Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sitting Alone at the Kitchen Table

Flowers on the Table at Mrs. White's Home.


The other night, I carefully placed a white lace tablecloth on my kitchen table. I was making dinner and making things look lovely for the evening meal.. . But no one was around.

I listened to soothing music and put a pretty candle on the center of the table. Then I put plates, napkins and silverware in each place. . . I did this, knowing everyone was out or busy.

When the food was ready, I created a nice presentation on my dinner plate and walked over to a chair at the table. I sat there all alone and ate. It was a  lovely meal.

My teenagers and husband came and went. They ate quickly or not at all. They were busy. They had jobs or events they needed to go to.

On holidays, I like to read to the children and have some time together. But they rush through the events, saying gently, "We are not kids anymore." or "We have other plans." They are busy, growing up and having their own lives. This is normal.

Instead of feeling sad when they don't have time to help bake cookies, or make a special meal, or sit while I read to them,  I do it myself and smile.  Yes, I read to myself. I bake on my own, and I sit at the beautifully- set table alone.

I do this because it is stable. It brings me joy. . . They all see I am doing this. They rush through their lives, but they can still see what I am doing. And they know they are always welcome at the table, whenever life slows down for them.

I will not change because they are busy.  I will not stop setting the table or making special meals, because they need to know those things will always be waiting for them when they need it.

Because one day, when they have grown up, they will remember that mother always does these same things, whether they are able to join me or not. Whether they are busy or not, mother will be sitting at the kitchen table.

They will remember that, despite the hustle and bustle of life, Mother and Home are stable.

Last night, as I sat at my kitchen table, I thought of my religion.  I thought of how times and culture change, but my faith must stay the same.  I thought of how people get too busy to do the most basic foundational things that keep their spirits joyful and their hearts warm with love. And I realized that by sitting at the kitchen table, even if I am alone, it is similar to how I must keep my religious duties, even if no one else does.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

It is my honor to be - Cooking for Mister.

A Precious Memory - How To Teach a 2 Year Old To Clean.

The Greatest Example of  - A Classic Old Fashioned Housewife


To find out more about this blog, or Mrs. White, please visit our About page. -

  For Encouragement in Christian Homemaking, order Mrs. White's book, "Homemaking For Happiness: Wonderful Days at Home."

In this book, you will find essays, articles, and diary entries about life in a Christian home.

Entries are arranged by season, and include:  "Keeping a Frugal Kitchen;" "Missing the Lilacs;" "An Evening Walk in the Garden;" "At Grandmother's House;" and "Chores for Grandchildren."

You will also find a few photographs showing a little of the local landscape.

Paperback, 307 pages. 


Jennifer Hoots said...

Very lovely post, Mrs. White. I am sure they will look back longingly, as we all do. I have several "holes" in my heart now that several people that I love are not here for Christmas. I remember those times long ago when we gathered together and I try not to be sad that those days are over. These days in the present are all we really have. I am making the most of them.

Rhonda said...

Very nice post. I am touched by the part about the world has changed but your faith has not. Neither has mine. That is comforting.

Thank for the juice coupons that I won from one of your contests. I don't live in a very big town but I found that brand at a local store, got one in grape and one in apple. My husband and grandchildren are juice fans and I know they will enjoy it.

Far Above Rubies said...

This is a very beautiful, post, Sharon.

I got sentimental reading your words because I could picture every word you wrote. You're lovely!

Just Me said...

Sharon, I can fully relate to your situation.

I'm in the same myself.

I usually "give in" but your post has given me the determination to continue to keep these things like a holy sacrament.

Thank you.

Unknown said...

YES!! This is so good---thank you! I can see myself someday using these same thoughts and actions to fight self-pity over the fact that everyone is growing up and leaving me!! :)

Have a lovely day,


Lori said...

Thank you for your post, Sharon. I just got off the phone with my oldest son who said he will not be joining us this weekend (a 2 hour drive for him) but just wants to rest (he is still single.) I was sad as were his younger siblings. But, in reading your post, I have 'girded' myself up and am determined to make it a joyful weekend, even if my 2 oldest children have elected to not come.


Sharon said...

THANK YOU! Now I know I am not the only one that keeps tradition. Just because everything around you is changing doesn't mean you have to change with it. Mom is the rock in the house.They keep everything normal.When life gets confusing,mom is there to help everyone sort things out.She is not pulled into run,run.I like my life slow and simple,it keeps my blood pressure down. Alot of times if I am drinking a cup of tea,they will slow down and join me.That's when we have some of our best talks.I pray for each and every mother because we have to be the rock,we have to hold on to God's promises when the world goes crazy, God bless mothers. Have a blessed simple Christmas Sharon

Anonymous said...

This is a post that so many of us can draw inspiration from, Sharon.

I had a similar experience on Sunday, and these words resonate with me.

Thank you for reminding us to stay steady and persevere, even if perhaps it seems in vain at the moment!

We are called to be the thermostat of our homes not the thermometer.

Have a blessed and Merry Christmas, Sharon!

RebeccaL. said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement. I have always read to my children various meaningful Christmas stories this time of year. This year, my children are older, going in different directions and it's becoming really hard to find a time when everyone is here and we can all sit down and enjoy hearing Scripture and other readings. I have finally just succumbed to at least praying with them before they leave the house and we read when they are home. I had been wondering if I should just give up but I am comforted by your words. I still have 1 small child here at home and I am going to keep on for her and myself. God bless and Merry Christmas.

Katrinka said...

This is SO GOOD and SO ENCOURAGING! As my child has grown up and taken her own way, I've told her, 'I'll never change.' and she says, 'Oh, Mama, do never change!'

Being available is so important, as our spouse and children rush through their lives they can know they'll always be able to find us. If they had to make an appointment to speak with us, they'd never do it, but if Mama's there in her chair; at the table; in the kitchen or the garden... they can easily stop and share.

Very good post!

Debbie said...

Such a beautifully poignant reflection into our roles as mothers. We should not change with the wind. We should be the constant aspect of life, that our family can count on.

Thank you for the inspiration.


Lisa said...

Loved this post. Thanks for the inspiration and reminder to keep on doing what we're called to do! Our calling doesn't change just because our children grow older or because life becomes busy.

Blessings, ~Lisa :)

Linda said...

Mrs.White, I needed to hear this as my youngest is 18 yrs.old. She is still home but doing more on her on. I do the same things as I always have and sometimes my family asks "why".I enjoy my duties as "keeper of my home".I want my children to always know they can come home.


Noelle the dreamer said...

Once a Mum, always a Mum! I second 'Linda' as I also hope my children always know they can come Home!
Thank you for reminding us to be steadfast and live our faith!
May your Christmas be merry and the New Year all you hope for!

Annie Kate said...

Thanks for the encouragment, especially the fact that it is normal for them to change but that we moms should stay the same and be available.

Merry Christmas!

Annie Kate

Jacqueline @ said...

I love the truth here! For me, I have not thought of it b/c we are not at that point yet, but it is coming...I know it will happen sooner or later, and I want to be that stability and faithful friend to whoever comes home! Well said!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post, I needed to read it tonight. Blessings to you, xx