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, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47 (NIV)
I’ve read this passage many times over the years but I love how Sally talks about wanting her home and her table to reflect that passage. Our table can be a place of fellowship and praise; believers breaking bread together with glad hearts. I long for my table to be a place where people can gather and be glad. I know that it will never be a place of perfect peace and harmony as I’m raising children. However, I love the idea of working towards creating that environment so that it is a place where we feel connected and nourished both physically and spiritually.
Sally states, ” Having deep meaningful relationships is not just a pleasant addition to our lives, but an element essential to our identities.” There was a time in my life when I let things get so busy that I was not taking time to cultivate deep relationships. I had ‘friends’ and acquaintances but I was not spending time developing those relationships. Between work, mothering, volunteering, and other obligations I felt I barely had time for those under my own roof. If I am not careful, I can still fall into those patterns at times. I have learned that making time for those relationships is vital to my overall well being. God created us to be in relationship, first with Him but also with others. This does not mean that I have to go ‘hang out’ with my friends every day or neglect my family or my duties. However, I do need to take time to cultivate relationships both with-in my home and in the community. This can be as simple as inviting a mom and children over for a play date and tea or gathering at the park with friends.
She also says, “Friends give us strength as we walk through life.” This statement is so very true and I have been blessed with some of the very best. God led me to a group of ladies in college that remain faithful in my life. We have laughed together, cried together, and stayed close through marriages, babies, international moves and more. In addition to those ladies with whom I have daily contact but only get to see annually or semi-annually God has blessed me with other local friends that can comfort me when I’m upset, set me straight when I over react, and praise God with me in the good times. I pray that I can be their strength as well. We know that our ultimate strength comes from the Lord but I believe that he uses our friends to help us along the way.
I really connected with the section on helping one another where she talks about having friends and family who are instrumental in a child’s faith. She says, “all of us stand for this legacy of faith.” The Bible clearly gives parents the responsibility for raising their children in the Lord. However, having family and friends that can help us on this path is so important. We have been blessed with an extended family that helps us to guide our children as well as great friends. Several years ago we became part of American Heritage Girls and Trail Life. Those organizations have provided us with several such families and examples for our children. In a world where we often feel like we are swimming upstream against the culture, it is amazing to have other examples of Godly men and women in our children’s lives. Those men and women reinforce what we are already teaching our children about living Godly lives.
As we close this chapter I encourage you to consider one of her ideas in your own home. Whether that is asking discussion questions around your table or inviting someone or a group of people over for a friendship tea. Even having a few friends over for lemonade and cookies while the children play can strengthen your friendship. We have one last chapter next week to wrap up this study. I have enjoyed going through the book and sharing with everyone. I hope that it has made an impact on your lives as it has with mine. If you have tried anything or made any changes in your home and are willing to share I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
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This is a great FREE challenge to help get some of that energy out inside even during this crazy weather. Lots of new activities and several age levels to choose from.