If you are following along in the Facebook group, you know we decided to only do one chapter this week. It seems October is a busy month for many of us and I wanted to give everyone a chance to catch up and really focus on the reading. As I went through chapter five with my highlighter, I felt like I had to stop myself from highlighting whole pages. So much truth and wisdom that I wanted to remember and share on each page that it was hard to choose what to focus on.
One of the main points of this chapter that really resonated with me was, “Convictions aren’t memorized; they are digested.” (pg. 74). She went into further detail earlier on that page explaining that while teaching is important the real difference comes when that truth becomes a part of someone’s life. In some ways it can be easy to teach our children what we want them to know but harder to make sure they internalize it as a conviction in their own hearts. The time we take at the table to discuss and debate ideas and thoughts can help them make this transition to convictions.
“Let your Conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” (Colossians 4:6)
I had never thought of this verse in light of the fact that Paul was limited in what he could write and he still found this to be important enough to write about. Our conversations are so much more important than we often give them credit for. People form opinions about us, our families, and more importantly our God based on how we communicate with them. Communication and specifically conversation are important to our lives and our faith. As such we need to work with our children to learn how to have gracious and attractive conversation. I’m thankful for today’s digital communication in that I can keep up with family and friends that are hundreds of miles away. However, I see how our digital communication seems to be hurting our personal conversation skills. In light of that, I realize that I need to be more purposeful of teaching my children how to have good conversations and in making a point to invite those conversation with the people in my life. I need to take time for tea and conversation whenever possible.
I love music in a variety of forms, from praise music on the radio, to the old country that we turn on every now and again, blue grass concerts at the state fair, and our wonderful North Carolina Symphony. However, my musical abilities stop at the ability to enjoy the music and turn on the radio. I never thought I’d compare myself to a conductor of an orchestra but I love Sally’s comparison. On page 79 she said, “At our table, I pictured myself as the conductor of an orchestra and sought to make our table a place of harmony.” I know that harmony is sometimes hard to come by with children of varying ages and personality. I have a three year old that does not have much patience for long conversations, especially if he isn’t the one talking. Then there is the nine and eleven year olds that don’t share the same sense of humor and tend to clash if one of them feels slighted in the least. I need to spend time with my family rehearsing graciousness and conversation until it becomes part of our family culture. The more we practice and I coach or ‘conduct’ our conversations the more it will grow to be our regular rhythm.
“Table-Discipleship Principle: Shaping the mind and heart through repeated discussions about truth, beauty, and righteousness and engaging in these ideas regularly shapes convictions that last a lifetime. “
How are you orchestrating the conversations around your table this week? What topics are you hoping to discuss with your family or friends? How can you make your conversation gracious and attractive? I’d love to hear how you are applying this book in your life. It is really helping me be more aware and more intentional even through the toddler tantrums.
If you haven’t got your copy of the book, check it out here. Also there is a great study guide that goes deeper into scripture related to the life-giving table. Finally, if life is busy right now ans you are having trouble keeping up you might want to check out the audio book on Audible. If you have not tried Audible before you can get a 30 day free trial which includes 2 free books that are yours to keep even if you cancel the trial.
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