Biscuits with bacon or sausage every weekday morning.
I can still remember my dad asking how many biscuits I wanted for the day as I pulled my drowsy self to our round, wooden table and joined the rest of the family. I then watched him scoop out peanut butter and pour honey over the pile to mix together—just enough to cover the surface of each biscuit being consumed.
The bites we took slowly opened our eyes and taste buds, and then we’d clear the table and return while my dad read the Bible for the day alongside the Open Windows devotional. The weekends only differed by the biscuits being replaced with syrup-covered pancakes or cinnamon rolls dripping with frosting.
This was every day of my childhood, teenage years, and visits home from college. There was always a hot breakfast, and there was always a Bible reading afterward.
Beauty in everyday rhythms
We gathered as a family, and anytime friends stayed the night, they simply joined into our morning ritual. When I shared this memory on social media recently, a childhood friend commented: “Jami, I loved staying at your house for the breakfast your Mom made and all of us sitting around the table in the morning. It was different for me. Having a little glass of milk and juice was just awesome! Sweet memories! I need to do this for my kids.”
Her comment surprised me—I didn’t realize how special our familiar routine was for my friends and honestly didn’t even understand the impact it was having on me personally at the time.
Decades later, I see the beauty in these everyday rhythms.
After a bit of a hiatus from them, I’ve found myself returning to their value and practice and understanding it anew. “For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” (Psalm 107:9 NLT).
Touches of beauty
Although I didn’t identify it at the time, the daily ritual of my mother preparing breakfast and my father reading Scripture began the process of understanding God’s provision for my needs. It was through my mother’s setting a table and serving hot biscuits, as well as my father’s faithfulness to opening the Bible, that I learned about the character and nature of God.
I remember a season after entering motherhood that stretched into years that really became a lifestyle where I didn’t want to bother with adding touches of beauty or much effort to anything at our table—it didn’t really matter, did it?
Why set a table or make a pan of biscuits or do anything that required a little effort when no one seemed to care or appreciate it? Could these simple actions really do anything to affect the souls of my children?
I’m grateful that years of experiencing this in my own home, as well as wisdom from Sally Clarkson, have helped reshape and redirect my heart in this area.
In The Lifegiving Home, Clarkson wrote: “A truth told without love and grace is a truth that is rejected. Would Jesus’ message have had the same impact without his feeding thousands and taking children into his arms and washing the feet of his friends? It is in service that God incarnate is recognized. And service begins with serving those who are closest to us, making home the very best place to be.”
These touches of beauty do matter. They add up and they make a difference—not just in the souls of my children, but in my soul, too.
The sacred aspect of gathering
This is not about our tables looking a certain way, or about whether or not you make a pan of biscuits; it’s about being faithful with what God has given you to live in a way that reflects his beauty, nature, goodness, and grace.
Because our God is so creative and there are so many ways to worship him and learn about his multifaceted character and how he loves us, this reflection of his goodness in our lives can look a million different ways.
And I think we know how it can or should look in each of our lives.
I’m grateful for the legacy my parents gave me and that my husband also came from a family who valued gathering around a table.
But maybe you don’t have this legacy. Start it with your own family. Just begin! I know it can be awkward and messy, but do it anyway. There really is something about gathering people (anyone!) around a table to share food and drink together, regardless of if it’s previously been a regular habit.
People recognize the sacred aspect of it because we were created to do it.
Cultivate truth, goodness, and beauty
Let me encourage you, as others have encouraged me. When you’re weary, lean into doing these rhythms that point to something beyond the act in and of itself. It matters. The effect compounds.
Use it not to invoke unnecessary guilt but to spur you into a healthy, circular habit of being motivated to continue something life-giving, which happens in the actual doing.
Let’s cultivate truth, goodness, and beauty at our tables each time we gather.
This is a worthy pursuit and reflection of our Lord and his desires for us to delight in him and his provision. “Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8).