Category / Ponderings

Ponderings

January 1, 2021 – Maybe It’s the Perfect Time to Reset Your Table

Whew! What a year is behind us! A year of much loss. Loss of life – loss of health – loss of time with friends and family – loss of gathering to celebrate great achievements and major life events – loss of gathering to mourn and celebrate lives that were lost – loss of jobs – loss of a bit of independence – a certain loss of decorum and tact – loss of understanding –  loss of many, many things we simply took for granted.

I was reminded early this morning, via a Facebook memory, of one of the sweet, simple things I simply took for granted prior to these past months. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy it, cherish it, relish it, prepare for and look forward to it – I guess I just naively assumed “it” would stop only when I did.

The “it?” – having the blessing and privilege of others gathered around our table.

And when I say I took it for granted – it was the pure ability to gather that I held so lightly. I have always thought anyone sitting around our table was a special person for a special place and time. Even if the day or meal itself didn’t hold any special significance – the fact there was food to eat, food for thought, food for conversation, food that created laughter, food that garnered memories, spiritual food and food that led to deeper friendships and relationships made it special. There was a magnificent significance, even in the insignificant.

So here we are, at the precipice of a new year. It’s a perfect time for a “table reset” if you will.

With all of the strife, loss, discord and division of the previous year – be it economic, spiritual, political, racial or any other “al” – your table is a wonderful place to begin bringing others together. It is a perfect place to rekindle lost friendships and relationships and heal wounds of hurt and cuts of separation and scars of disunity.

During much of the upheaval of 2020, I’ve thought about, and been especially grateful for the vastness and variety of those who have passed through our doors and sat around our table over the years.

We’ve had close friends whose place in our lives can never be exchanged or replicated. We’ve had many who are no longer walking or living among us. We’ve had persons from all walks of life, from all beliefs, from a great many places around the world, from practically every wonderful, diverse, interesting aspect of life.

While I set the table and prepared for them – it was that amazing mix of life experiences and melodious cacophony of differences that made every gathering special and memorable in its own way.

My children experienced sharing a table with those much like us and others that could be described as much different from us. Here’s the thing though, when your table is open and welcome to others who aren’t “just like you” – you seldom notice the differences at all. The differences just become part of the beautiful tapestry and place setting your table is presenting at any given time. A tapestry that weaves lives and experiences, conversations and “differences” into the very fabric of our lives.

Here’s a challenge – when we are finally able to gather at tables with others – hopefully sooner than later in 2021 – How are you going to “set” your table?

Possibly do a reset!

It doesn’t have to be fancy or pretentious. It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.

Just begin.

And as you begin, think about setting your table a different, more inclusive way. It will possibly be challenging to have new and different people in your home, much less sitting around your table. It may be a bit unsettling to have differing opinions and beliefs and positions sharing the same meal.

There is a certain grace that settles over a gathering of mere humans sharing a meal, a discussion, a moment in time together around a table. Yes, we’ve had fireworks and tears and difference of opinion. But those have stretched us to a level of acceptance, understanding and “unconditionalness” – even wisdom – that may not have occurred otherwise.

So, here’s to 2021 and your beginning plans for a great reset around your table when things “normalize” in your neck of the woods.

Surely we can gather and regather and begin to regain some of what we lost in 2020.

Seek to make it your goal to make yours a table of grace in every way. We will all benefit from such a setting, or resetting, of grace.

 

Thought to Ponder: How can you “reset” your table to encourage others to join you in sharing a meal and meaningful conversation? What do you need to do? What could be your first step? Who do you need to include around your table to lead to a diversity of life and thought? Who needs to be invited to heal division and relationships? What grace needs to be invited to sit in one of your empty chairs? Do you pray first – for wisdom, guidance and the grace to pull people together? Go ahead – begin a reset!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ponderings

What My 60-Year-Old Self Would Say to My 30-Year-Old Self

I remember explicitly the day I turned 30. Even though that day has now, itself, been thirty years ago, it seems as though it occurred in the not-so-distant past.

I worked that day and did a business closing for a client who was buying an existing business from a not-so-nice seller. It was a hot, sunny August day and I was left in the office that afternoon tending to the transaction with the noticeably disagreeable person (who was not our client) while the partners in our area of the office played a late-summer round of golf. Those same golfing attorneys were treating me and my husband to dinner at their club that evening to celebrate my birthday. By the time dinnertime arrived I was, myself, in a noticeably disagreeable mood as I had allowed the events and personalities of the office to frustrate my special day. I had to apologize the next day for my surly behavior. Not the best way to celebrate the entrance into a new decade.

Ponderings

Just Smile! – Your world needs it!

Less than a month ago – let me say that again – not even a month ago, I cooked (along with the help of a dear friend) a celebratory dinner for our high school’s girls’ basketball team as they were heading to the state tournament. The dinner has become a bit of a tradition over the past several years.

On that Monday morning – not even four weeks ago – I set out to purchase all I would need to feed 30 players and coaches. I drove to Lexington to Sam’s Club, then to Walmart and back home to our Kroger. I cook enough that I know what store has what items for the best prices.  I got back home with everything I needed. I never gave it a second thought.

Ponderings

I don’t know why . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (but I know Who holds the water bottle)

As a bit of an intro (not really a disclaimer) – most of my ponderings are (hopefully) fairly relevant across the board. This one is a little more applicable to those who define themselves as Christ-followers – but everyone, please read! You might be surprised . . . .

“I don’t know why . . . . . “

Yeah, I say that a lot!

Usually after I’ve thought and pondered and analyzed a person or a situation, a challenge or a circumstance – – – really, anything – good or bad, happy or sad, blessing or struggle – – – that’s my end result.

I don’t know why.

Ponderings

Pondering Toward a Future Memory

We’ve already catapulted to the third week of this new year of 2020! Weren’t we just buying extra batteries, food stores and candles for Y2K? We speak in proverbial snippets like “the blink of an eye,” “a week is just nothing,” “where did the time go?” Indeed, time is elusive and fleeting – often our past, present and future collide and collapse so it seems there is no differential at all. The continuum of our lives is but a circle. Sometimes fractured or incomplete – often imperfect and challenging – yet our lives move forward as we remember the past.  We move forward in hope that the future will be sweet and kind, rewarding and productive. Much of that future is built on our past – on what we remember.

Ponderings

Moms Just Doin’ What Moms Do

A couple of years ago my husband and I decided, totally out of the blue, that we should become beekeepers. Doing so would provide us with a hobby, homegrown honey and would most likely help in the pollination of flowers in our yard.  So, we ordered a “nuc” (pronounced “nuke”) whereby our starter bees would be delivered the next spring. Honey bees are absolutely fascinating. Since their arrival, we have learned more than we could have ever imagined there was to learn. And, somewhere along the way, our daughters, who started out this episode of our lives being somewhat fearful of the new residents at the back of our yard, began filming their dad giving bee “updates.” He has garnered a bit of a following on their Instagram stories (much to his delight).  And the little one liner he works into each of his updates: “Bees just doing what bees do.”

So it got me to thinking – – – that’s exactly what can be said about so many of us: “Moms just doin’ what moms do!” The thing is, most of what “mom is just doin’” is hardly heralded in the world around us. But that doesn’t make it any less vital to the lives of our children, homes and families.

Ponderings

Refined to Shine

 

For many years my husband and I have diligently (and now I understand, somewhat naively) prayed that our girls would “shine like the stars in the universe” to those around them* – to not only be different, but to make a difference. We desired they become godly young women whose strength and beauty comes not only from their outer looks, but from the loveliness of faith, fortitude, integrity and commitment radiating from the depths of their inner character.

Ponderings

Layers of Relentless Love

The last couple of weeks I’ve had the precious opportunity to ponder as our family was slightly “cocooned” together anxiously awaiting the arrival of our family’s first boy/son/grandchild/nephew.  Due to the gracious gift of a temporary housing situation that could accommodate all of us, we’ve had the privilege and blessing of experiencing his sweet arrival and new life together in a comfortable place. I’ve watched my two younger daughters become delightfully enchanted with the little guy and his dear parents transition into Mommy and Daddy without hesitation or trepidation. It has been a time to cherish and treasure. It has also given me time to consider, once again, what is truly valuable in life. What is my treasure? What is the desire of my heart and what will I do to attain it?

Ponderings

The Expectation of a Bountiful and Flourishing Life

 

I don’t know about you, but my life has certainly not turned out as I expected in my younger years.  That is not to say it has been less than I expected, just different. In fact, as I reflect back on what I would have considered a happy, successful, “flourishing” life three or four decades ago, my life is now almost in another dimension than the one I was holding up as the standard and measure of achievement and happiness at that youthful point of my outlook on my life’s future journey.

Ponderings

When Life “Shifts”

Years ago Carole King sang “I feel the earth move under my feet.” The other day I was telling a dear friend that there are so many changes taking place in my life and the lives of those around me that I literally feel as though the ground is giving way – – – that it is shifting right under my feet.