Friday, July 11, 2008

The Family Meal Table

Tammy is a faithful reader and encouraging commenter here at the Homespun Heart and I appreciate her friendship! She recently sent me this book and I just finished it!

I really enjoyed The Family Meal Table and Hospitality by Nancy Campbell, which is really an in-depth Bible Study on the idea of our own tables and extending our tables to others. Yes, this includes hospitality - and so much more. I decided to read the book once through without doing all the Bible Study and then go back again later and do that part. So, this review is coming after only reading it the first time.

This book is loaded with Scripture. I appreciate the consistency in looking to God's Word and I was amazed at the thoroughness of the study. This woman definitely knows her Bible!

My absolute favorite thing about the book was that she shared an acronym for TABLE and dedicated an entire chapter to each of three aspects of each of the five letters.

T: A place of training, teaching and togetherness
A: A place of affirming , anointing and atmosphere
B: A place of binding, building and blessing
L: A place of loving, listening and laughter
E: A place of encouragement, example and enjoyment

She includes a list of every food item and every cooking utensil mentioned in the Bible complete with references to line up. She shares Biblical examples of hospitality and the blessings of hospitality.

I loved this idea - she shared a blessing to pray over your children when they wake up and when they go to bed:

"I will bless you with God's favor and grace
And in mercy and peace you shall dwell
Today in the land of the living."

"Jesus is Lord of your sleep and dreams
Under His shelter you hide
angels of the Lord encamp around you
And in truth you shall always abide."

Have any of you read this book? I'd love to hear what you thought!

Incidentally, I'm certain that this is not an inviting dining table. Ahem - it is such a big open space that it is easily cluttered. This is a recurring problem area for me - any ideas?

"Cheerfully share your home
with those who need a meal
or a place to stay for the night."
~ 1 Peter 4:9 ~ TLB


Anonymous said...

I am so glad you liked and enjoyed this book Monica. I too was very blessed and encouraged by it. I also want to thank you for encouraging all of us toward hospitality. You are in the spirit of Titus 2, and we SO need that these days. Thanks again-tammyp

Ellie said...

Hi Monica! I can't help you with your table, as mine is looking the smae these days! We just moved to a new home, and a new province actually, and every available flat surface is taken up with bits and pieces that I have no clue what to do with!! So they are hopefully going to get sorted and put away or re homed soon!

Michal said...

Hi Monica, I have a suggestion for your table. How about a small attractive bin or box on the floor in the adjacent area to throw stuff in until you have a chance to sort and put away?

asnipofgoodness said...

Sounds like a terrific book. I think you could have written it, you are such a hospitality maven!!

My table gets the same way sometimes, and it is the first thing we see when we come in the back door. I try to clear it two times during the day. Once in the late evening when I do the last walk through because i hate wakeing to clutter, and again right before setting it for dinner. That way it keeps from accumulating. Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

It's not my table, but the end of one of my kitchen counters. It drives me batty!! I'm forever cleaning it off. Oh, and the top of the microwave too!

Willys and Elizabeth (Lizzie) said...

I know what you mean about the table getting cluttered... That is a tough one for me also. I know my husband likes it to be clean and I try (although failing often)
I have not read the book you mentioned but I think it would be a great book for me to read.
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I have a large counter big enough for 4 bar stools. That catches my clutter. Every few days I have to clear it off. Everything is either thrown away or goes in the spare bedroom until I can deal with it.

GeonHui's Bakery said...

Hi Monica. I definitely don't have this figured out as my table right now (and all week) is very cluttered. I do have a suggestion though that a friend of mine uses. Keeping the table set with nice dishes or maybe just placemat/table cloth and some decorative cloth napkins. Making it attractive so you won't want to clutter it up.

I also second the idea of having a decorative box/bin to put the clutter.


Elise said...

Its not just my table-its everywhere!! I just don't know what to do with paper clutter.
Loved that last verse-so convicting-and yet we've done that, but was my heart right?

Kelly @ The Barefoot Mama said...

I'll have to check that book out, Monica! Our table gets like that, too, sometimes. Throughout the day, I declutter three things every time I walk through the kitchen and that helps control build-up.

Aubrey said...

My table was always a magnet for clutter, too. I made a sweet looking little sign out of scrapbook paper and set it up on the edge closest to where I dumped the most that reminded me to put it away. It sounds ridicules, but it worked. Somehow breaking a posted 'rule' is much worse than breaking an unspoken determination. Folks laughed at my sign if I forgot to put it away before company arrived, but that is okay. I don't need my little sign any more. I finally managed to make it a habit to put my stuff away rather than drop it on the table! Yay for good habits!

Katy said...

Wow...that sounds like such a wonderful book Monica! I am so glad you enjoyed it and I will have to keep an eye out to maybe purchase it sometime! thank you for sharing it with us! :)

Anonymous said...


I have a friend who always has her table set. After dinner, they just reset the table for the next day. Or else set it in the morning and leave it set for the next meal.

Find a different work space for everybody. Maybe the desk in your living room or a little table in the girl'r room.

Mother of Many said...

Another great looking book. I'm so glad so much is being written on hospitality! It's really where ministry happens. I have some of your same table issues. I remedy it by making it pretty. I put my favorite table cloth on, and that is what motivates me to keep mine nice. Except right now, it holds my sewing machine where I'm trying to make your totes.

Jamie - Family Focused Fun said...

Thanks for the book suggestion. It sounds neat. As for the table...just keep plugging away at it I guess! I have the same problem. :-)