This past week, one of my kids was having a pretty rough day. As a consequence for some poor choices, the child was to be copying verses on self-control. After sitting at the table for awhile, said child called me over. “Um. I was supposed to be writing my self-control verses but I did this instead.”
“This” was etching designs into our wood dining table. While assigned to write about self-control. Ironic, right?
I sent my little artist upstairs to prevent my mouth from unleashing all the thoughts in my head.
I grumpily returned to cooking dinner, where I was reminded of something from my own childhood that had a nice, humbling effect: I had etched “TEXAS THE LONE STAR STATE” in inch-tall letters into the lid of our piano when I was young. Yep, I did that.
Who etches their state’s nickname into a piano?? Of all the things to write! I guess my parents can be confident that they raised a proud little Texan. I do currently own a Texas Home T shirt.
I don’t remember getting in trouble for this artistic expression, though I do remember that I knew it was so, so dumb and spent the next few hours spazzing out over my own stupidity. My mom says she doesn’t remember it at all, but I know she knew about it at the time. Thankful for grace and kid-induced amnesia.
For a few days before this art exhibit, the Lord had been speaking so clearly to my heart about our dining table, of all things. It is quickly getting torn up by kids who like to pick everything to shreds, but He wants me to see it as the place where I am to pour out love and service for my family, not where I put my (non-existent) decorating skills on display. It’s not an exquisite piece of furniture to be maintained at museum quality—we bought it used from neighbors going overseas. It is, however, the place where our family will spend many hours, and I want it to be the place where they remember enjoying meals and reading aloud. I want to gather around it in remembrance of Christ—what He did for us and how He invites us to His table as beloved family members.
So now, our table is a little more decorated. May I see those drawings as encouragement to live our family’s story around this table, always pointing to the One who invites us to come and be part of the one good story.