I know you’ve thought about what people might say about you at the end of your life. You’ve thought about what a well lived life might look like. And one of the things you want people to say about you is this;
‘She always had room for one more at the table.’
Maybe you should get it on a board now – don’t wait for the gravestone. It’s a good way to be. It’s how your parents raised you. They always had room for someone else. Your bedroom was shared with house guests, some short term, some longer term, and there were always people coming for meals, and being welcomed. It gave you a good feeling.
And that’s how you want to live.
Because a home should be a place of family – and that’s not just the people who were born into that family.
Food can always stretch to another. The table you sit at every day has 10 seats – a family table passed down from your grandparents who filled it with relatives.
And now that it’s yours, keep filling it with friends and strangers who you will welcome as family. Have a table where your children’s friends feel welcome. Let it be a place where it will always be ‘safe’ for them to come to.
You will gain far more than you give from all the encounters you will have with people round that table. It’s a grace table.
A few nights ago people gathered to celebrate your son’s birthday and when the youngest child present, a beautiful four year old, told jokes, the laughter shared just about made the place sparkle.
That’s what happens when we share time with other people and that’s what sitting at a table is about. Yes, the food is good, but the time and the space we make for each other when we choose to sit down beside one another is what matters the most.
So never be slow to offer hospitality, even if all you can offer is a piece of toast.
When you can, keep an open home and an ever expanding table.
You won’t regret it. And they might even write it on your gravestone …. 😉
p.s. Of course you need to ensure that you guard time for you and your husband and children to be together, and you need to make time for you to rest, but don’t worry – that will have a letter all to itself!