As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Monday, October 10, 2011

{31 Days to Make a House a Home} Day 10 ~ Make Dinnertime a Family Affair

Perhaps one of the surest ways to make a house a home is to make the dinner hour a priority

Family mealtimes are a priority at our house...always have been, always will be.  There is just something about that time when everyone comes together, sits around the table, and shares a meal.  And it's not just about the food. 

We connect at meal time...not only a physical connection, in that we're all in the same place at the same time, but a relational one. 

We share conversation.  We talk about the details of our day.  We talk about the upcoming birthday party.  We talk about what we learned in our homeschool read aloud, or who we saw at the grocery store, or what we want to watch on movie night.  We talk about the Bible passages that Mr. Phil read on Sunday and the discussion that followed. 

We share family history and family stories.
  Dinner topics often lead to stories of our younger years.  This is how our kids learn about our lives, and the lives of their grandparents and great-grandparents, and thus, they discover their own history.  (Since there is such an age difference on our four children, we often discover that there are stories that the younger two have not yet heard.)

We share our values in the daily gathering at the dinner table.  Values are communicated in the honest, open day-to-day talk. 

We share time together, simply enjoying one another's company.  Shared mealtimes encourage family unity. 

We enjoy stillness and respite.  The dinner hour is a time to slow down the pace, a time to relax.  It's a time to feed the body and the soul. 

Dinnertime is an anchor for the day.

Sometimes mealtime is lively.  There is laughter and engaging conversation. 
Sometimes mealtime is quiet.  People are pensive...or just plain tired. 
Sometimes meals are special, wonderful food served on a beautifully set table.
Sometimes the meal is canned soup and grilled cheese sandwiches (or leftovers, as it was last night). 

But a meal that is shared by a family (whether that family is one with a table full of children, or a couple whose children have grown*) is a special occasion of grace and blessing. 

Consistently sharing meal time is an important part of making a house a home.

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My friend Kim over at Thistle Dew is writing a fascinating blog series, "31 Days of ReFeathering My Nest."  Kim is a very recent (and young!) empty nester (her youngest daughter got married only a couple of weeks ago), and so during the month of October, she is gathering her thoughts and exploring new ways to ReFeather her nest.  (This ReFeathering includes a bedroom make-over.  I don't know about you, but I am always interested in a room make-over!)

If you're an empty nester, or if you just want to follow along with Kim and learn in advance, pop on over to Thistle Dew for a charming perspective on ReFeathering!


  1. Every morning i come to see whats new while drinking my coffee & I get so proud when i see that "i do that" LOL

  2. Yes again! And yes, yes on the posts I am just getting caught up on. You are all over it Cheryl. I have a feeling that by the time you finish this challenge it will have become required reading for the young marrieds in my life. These are the principle that make a house a home. And making a house a home gives a young wife or mother that feeling of purpose, the understanding of her great influence within her own home and a head start on what it means to be a 'keeper' at home.

    Of course I could never send someone I care about to someplace ugly either... so yes, I'll send them over to my wise friend Cheryl where they will glean important truths while gazing at pictures of rich, homey, colors and textures all lovingly arranged and prepared for her dear family!

    Keep up the GOOD work.

    Blessings, Debbie

  3. I agree with Debbie! :)

    This is such an important part of our day - my husband works different shifts but we make it a priority to have one meal together everyday.

    Thanks for this series you are doing!


  4. Hi Cheryl!

    Looking forward to your posts about keeping meal-time special! Chris and I have eaten quite a few meals on the couch and in front of the TV lately. Hoping this is not a trend, and also hoping to get some ideas to keep dinner special when it's just us two.

    And thanks for the "plug" on your blog! I'm finally getting past the dream stage, and into the real work of the Bedroom Swap!

    Kim :-)


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