Family dinners are my favorite. Sometimes it looks like a handful of people and other times the numbers grow to twenty or more. The overflow of people make themselves at home wherever there is a seat.

The gathering of family highlights a connectedness that God blesses as you invite Him into the mix. He takes your highs and lows and bundles them with grace. The shared conversation only grows sweeter through years of familiarity and the dynamics of change. God seasons the time together with hope, love, and provision.

One thing I’m always sure of is the connection of love shared over a meal. Life around the table is a gift and treasure from God.

Writing about life around the table is easy and hard all at the same time. My immediate family only gets together several times a year. But my extended family of friends, neighbors, and church community fill in the gaps.

During the first week of November, I received the gift of life around the table with dear writing friends. Love, laughter, and life mingled with good food and deep conversations. Our time together in real life only happens once a year at the most, but it always nourishes the sweet longings of our souls. I wish I could describe all the feelings that accompany such a gathering.

Know this–God’s presence was palpable and there was a standing invitation to go deeper.

I know for some of you that there are periods of time that look lonely or feel empty. It is a piece of the puzzle when seeking community. I, too, know this feeling and wonder when the “family” feeling will be restored. God is present in those times of longing too. He hears your heart and knows your desires.

Will you trust Him to provide new experiences of life around the table? How will you open your heart and mind to accepting the newness that God promises?

My week at the beach looked nothing like the sweet community that we first experienced when we met. At this time, we were in awe of each other, geeked out over how we shared common interests, and amazed that God chose to grow this beginning into something more.

Today we share writing as a foundational piece of our friendship. But let me describe how that one piece now looks like shared life, times of prayer, encouragement, and whatever else God lays on our hearts. The beginning was a seed that God nourished and developed as we accepted the friendships we were offered.

Only God grows a seed that blooms into beautiful fruit.

Life around the table is an analogy for community and new beginnings. Just when you feel overcome by missing out on deep friendships, God is ready to bless you with unexpected people who enter your life. It has happened to me time and time again. Has it happened for you?

Throughout the Gospels, we find examples of Jesus sharing a meal as part of His life of ministry. The most famous example is the Last Supper, but before that meal took place, Jesus spent time with unexpected individuals and groups of people. There is the …

 

Wedding meal at Canaan

Feeding of the five thousand

Meal with His good friends Martha, Mary, and Lazarus

Dinner with a Pharisee

Unexpected invitation Jesus extended to Zacchaeus, the tax collector

And the road to Emmaus story ending with Jesus appearing to His disciples

 

The common factor was a shared meal and the connection was Jesus. It is this truth that keeps me grounded when engaging in life around the table.

Opportunities to grow community, friendships, and relationships are available for all of us. Just as I found deep connectedness with my writing friends, God desires the same for you.

The only magic piece to the puzzle is Jesus. Together let’s open our hearts to create a rhythm of belonging. May our testimonies offer a thread of connection and deeper meaning. In our times of loneliness, may we extend the invitation to God and others. I am always surprised and pleased at how unexpected friendships grow out of the courage we extend when we go first.

Thanksgiving blessings! May you find beautiful life around the table this Thanksgiving!

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Newsy Notes

A few changes are coming to #TellHisStory.

First, the linkup will open at 7:00 AM EST beginning next week. I hope this makes it easier for you as you are sharing your words with multiple communities.

Second, starting in January, I will open the doors for others to #TellHisStory. Once a month, you and others will have a chance to share your story for the whole community. God is showing me that I have no corner on the writing market for #TellHisStory and you all have beautiful words to share. Look for a chance to apply to write in December.

Third, I am learning to balance all the things in my life. In keeping myself aligned with what is most important, I will continue to respond to all comments, but will visit those of you at your place when you comment here. I want to honor your words too, but I know that keeping up with visiting all of you who link up is not realistic.

In other news …

I am beginning a return to writing on Sundays with an Advent series. If I have never mentioned it before, Advent is my favorite and God won’t let me not write about it. Subscribe below to receive all of my posts right in your inbox. You will be glad you did.

There is a beautiful new magazine that launched its maiden issue. It is called The Joyful Life Magazine and here is what they say:

THE JOYFUL LIFE is a quarterly lifestyle print publication for Christian women seeking the authentic JOY found by inviting JESUS into our everyday lives.

Our goal is to help women find the joy and see the beauty in every area of their lives – home, work, marriage, motherhood, family, friendship, fellowship, and community. It’s a publication about REAL LIFE…as raw, vulnerable, beautiful, fragile & joyful as it is.

Check it out by clicking HERE. The magazine would make the perfect Christmas present.

One last thing …

Will you share some love with my sweet writing friends, Debbie Kitterman, Patti Krank, and Holly Solomon?

#TellHisStory Link Up
Each week we gather here as storytellers, word weavers, and encouragers to make His name known. Our story is God’s story and this small corner of the blogging world, where we come together each Tuesday, needs you. This is a place where poetry, snapshots, prayers, and stories find a safe spot to nod in agreement that what we have to say matters.
I am glad you are here and would love to have you join the #TellHisStory community. Add your own encouraging post through the link below. Spread some love by visiting your neighbor and leave your own encouragement. Add the #TellHisStory button to your post so others can join in on the fun. Click HERE to get the button.
Your story matters and the #TellHisStory link up continues because of you.
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