A year or so ago a friend Reeve told me about a book called Bread&Wine by: Shauna Niequist. The idea is simple: to gather around the table together over a home cooked meal + share life together. An excerpt from her blog introduces it like this: Bread & Wine is a collection of essays about family relationships, friendships, and the meals that bring us together. This mix of Anne Lamott and Barefoot Contessa is a funny, honest, and vulnerable spiritual memoir. Bread & Wine is a celebration of food shared, reminding readers of the joy found in a life around the table. It’s about the ways God teaches and nourishes people as they nourish the people around them. It’s about hunger, both physical and otherwise, and the connections between the two. At first it was startling to me that this is a call back of sorts to a simpler life, something that used to be routine 3 meals a day for my grandparents generation. It is something I try to fight for my family, to have at least 1 meal a day where we all dine together & look into each other’s eyes. I am so thankful Shauna wrote a book about gathering around the table with friends + that an entire movement has begun called IF: Table. A few months ago a friend approached me about starting a local IF:Table in our town with a handful of others. We planned to meet once a month for two hours to simply eat & connect over 4 questions provided by the IF:Gathering. The IF:Gathering not only is led by some incredible women I learn so much from daily through their blogs & books, but the imagery is visually peaceful & the Gathering in 2014 awoke my soul! We are only 3 months in to the table & I am learning so much about myself & others around as we process the questions together. It’s so refreshing to take the time to have meaningful conversation that goes beneath the surface preschool pickup quick conversations that make up most of my people contact on many days in this season! The video by Susie Davis (author & speaker from Austin, TX), below gives a glimpse into the vision for If:Table:
My hope is that in watching this video you might get a taste of the community that seems to naturally form over the table. Anyone can start an IF:Table & there are many rumblings of more popping up in Lake Norman. Please email me if interested milkandhoneycounseling at gmail.com + I would be happy to connect you to my friend who is leading the charge of our Table.
For me personally it has been a date on my calendar I look forward to because I am eager to pick back up where we left off on the conversation before. It is a night I know I’ll have real adult conversation when I am used to little kid ramblings throughout my days. I don’t have to make dinner thanks to our lovely host and I get to sit in a peaceful setting, with great music in the background, with my heart wide open to what my Creator has for me during this carved out time. Typically I leave with clarity on where He wants me to grow + deepened relationships that simply are hard to tackle in this season of broken interactions with kids around! I am also reminded that my yearnings, yet again, are similar to those around me. We all yearn! It is truly a gift to sit at the table together & I have high hopes one day for all the IF:Tables in our area joining together for one long table outside under sparkly lights with falling leaves in perfect breezy weather. Doesn’t it sound dreamy?