As tears streamed down my face, I tried reminding myself, “Jen, you’re only saying goodbye to a table.”
I understood the reality of that statement. Yet… while it’s an inanimate object, our kitchen table represents a lifetime of memories, meals, and milestone moments that span nearly three decades. It’s more than simply a table, yet somehow last week in a spontaneous act of earning cold, hard cash, I posted our kitchen table and chairs on Facebook marketplace.
To say I didn’t think this through on an emotional level is an understatement.
Nice “stuff” isn’t important to me. I’m the queen of thrift store shopping and this table was purchased secondhand when our children were only babies. Before the internet, I’d page through the classified ads to furnish our humble abode, and when the newspaper description stated this table could seat up to ten people (or more if we smooshed), I knew this was the one.
My vision for gathering around our kitchen table started small. A day-by-day family routine that served more scratches, spills, and spaghetti stains than suppers. But as I extended additional invitations, it became a standard-bearer of sorts for curating sacred moments. Passionate about the power of family meal time, our normal ordinary rhythm became a call to linger, exhale, and pause amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A time to give thanks, share bits of our day, and remember who called us to the table in the first place.
Within hours of my spontaneous sale, someone messaged that they were on their way and the memories started bubbling over.
How could I sell the only table our children have ever known? For twenty-six years, nearly all our meals have been eaten here. Our five kids spit out their first veggies at this table and then scribbled with a permanent marker across the top in the name of creating art. We cheered on potty training success with their favorite ice cream cake in the same spot as the marker, and then in a blink, the same recipe was shared here for their graduation.
When I told our adult kids I sold the table, our eldest son jested in our family group chat, “Well Mom, that is the most special table and I don’t know if we can come home and eat family dinners on any other one.”
Celebrations and tears. Prayers, praise, and petitions. Sacred songs and silly banter. All have intersected around our life-giving table.
In Acts 2, we witness how the believers’ steadfast devotion to simple, everyday choices – God-honoring teaching, biblical community, prayer, and mealtime together — became the launching pad to their explosive revival in the church.
“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts.”
More than seven hundred times the imagery of eating laces itself throughout Scripture, but this simple phrase, “day by day,” gives me pause. As I scroll through Instagram, my life feels so chore-like, so “daily” compared to others. I have nothing extraordinary, no great stories to share. And yet, could our seemingly common, day-by-day, hour-by-hour, mundane faithfulness be the catalyst for a strong legacy that can shift the next generation?
As I processed the sacredness of this table transition, it hit me: Thousands, yes, thousands of guests have joined us around this very ordinary table. Day by day, meal by meal, bread is broken, His Word revealed, and the true Bread of Life nourishes amidst the most daily of rituals.
My tears continued. Our table isn’t quite as busy as it once was when we had little ones . . . but I began to think about the new family who might gather around its edges. In a moment of crazy, I shot out a plethora of texts to the woman buying our table. I found out that she has three young boys. (We have three boys and two girls.) And that commonality was all the encouragement I needed to share the back story of our beloved table and impress upon her the power of gathering with her family for mealtime. What I’m sure started for her as, “Facebook Stranger Lady, I just want to buy your table,” turned into deeper conversations. We even have another meet-up planned for one last “chair” exchange.
Who knows what the Lord has planned for the next season of this second-hand table? It’s served our family well and now there are new life-giving stories to tell. One thing I’m certain of: It’s not “just a table.”
If you want to see my table and hear my heart on the day I sold it, check my Instagram highlight.