Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Life Over the Table

There is something magical about a table. There is life found over a table.

Okay, that might sound kind of crazy... But, I am convinced that that there is something that is inexplicably beautiful about time shared over meals, food, coffee (the table) with other people.

thanks caribou for your napkin truths & supporting my love language

In ancient cultures meals were typically the settings for blessings. Today meals are often a huge part of celebrations. We have birthday dinners, huge family meals to celebrate holidays, and even fancy dinner parties.

The thing that is so magical isn't really the dinner table, but the people that sit around the table and the bonds that the Lord creates between those people.

Life is found in the relationships that are formed over a table.

It's in the tiniest of moments that life springs forth, but there is most surely eternal significance.

It's in the moments... 

... of uncontrollable laughter as old friends recount their favorite memories

... of confession over coffee with best friends 

... of new beginnings with new friends as you learn about each others' lives

... that one person finally admits "I don't have it all together" 

... that two people realize they have more in common than they thought

... friends come back together for reunions 

... of celebration and excitement

... when one person should seemingly walk away, but they choose to stay

... of sharing old memories as you make new ones

... that two people realize the Lord has put them in each others' lives for a divine purpose

... declaring truths to each others' hearts

... of being humbled by one another

... of bubbling giddiness and delight at the other person's words

... of being truly vulnerable and transparent

... where healing is found in broken relationships

... of tears flowing freely as freedom is found

... that friends can rejoice with one another

I think that the Lord is present in all of those moments. He is there in all of those moments as life is experienced between two people or a group of people. 

The absolute most beautiful thing to me is when the people around the table begin to see one another, really see one another. They let one another in each others' lives and they truly see one another in all of their messiness and loveliness. And when they truly see one another, life is found in the inexplicable moment when both people choose to stay at the table with one another, despite all their messiness.

Our Heavenly Father is working in our relationships with one another... He is blessing us abundantly, or growing us, or stretching us, or humbling us, or teaching us through all of our relationships.

The life the Lord gives us is rich and abundant and He allows us to experience it in community and relationship with other people. Oh, praise Him!

Some of my favorite memories of this semester have come from time spent over the table with friends. He has brought us together over coffee, home-cooked meals, pancakes, and so much more and He has blessed us with life and with relationships that are growing us.

Here are just a few of those memories that have been documented and will forever hold a place in my heart:

To begin the semester, the McMansion had a house bonding evening that involved a wonderful dinner and little gifts to celebrate one another.

We have had the most exciting time this semester celebrating each others' twenty-second birthdays. There is nothing better than funfetti cake, best friends, and whole heck of a lot of Taylor Swift's "22." 

There have been countless evenings this semester of cooking dinner with the McMansion together and just learning from one another as we cook and talk and spend time together. 

an evening of shrimp & grits makes for so much southern goodness

Jen and I were recently shopping in Target and fell in love with some of the dinner party ware there, so obviously we decided to host a dinner party at our house. We had all of the girls from our College Life class over for a boojiest dinner party Chapel Hill had ever seen. We got dressed up, expanded the McMansion dinner table, took lots of pictures, and just experienced life together. It was a truly delightful evening full of laughter as we recounted memories from the past four years of college. The Lord has blessed us in mighty ways over these four years and the girls in this group will forever hold a huge piece of my heart.

class of 2009 college life ladies
table settings & decorations is kinda my secret obsession... along with etiquette... perfect for dinner parties.
conversation, laughter, goodness, memories
mary nel, anna, phoebe, & i
my third floor besties
melaney, sarah, & ashton

And life over pancakes... oh, I am sure that life is found over pancakes. Some of my most treasured memories from living in the McMansion involve our Pancake Nights. One Thursday of every month we open up our home to all of our friends (and their friends) to all spend time together and eat pancakes. There have been pancake nights with over 100 people in our house laughing, hanging out, and eating lots and lots and lots of pancakes. It has been such a blessing to have so many people in our house and to meet so many new friends as they walk through our door. Anna is working on her videography these days and her first official video comes from our last pancake night. I absolutely love the video because it documents some of the most beautiful relationships formed at pancake nights and the life that is found over pancakes.

"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people." -Acts 2:45-47

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