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  • Writer's pictureBeth Bowman

A Seat at the Table

Updated: Jan 3

When Mark and I got married, we quickly realized that our kitchen table was not going to be big enough for the future. The table the boys and I had been using (shoutout to a Miskelly's pay by the month plan) had four chairs. When you add three (me, Graham, Carson) plus three (Mark, Misty, Erica), we began our journey with two chairs short. Not a problem-we put the leaf in the table, added two folding chairs and Boom! We had space.

Enter son in law #1. Okay, no worries...extra chair on the end. We were good to go. The newlyweds didn't mind sitting close and again, all of our peeps were around the same table.

Fast forward three years and the most awesome baby grandson arrived. Big brown, soulful eyes and a sweet, kind, thoughtful demeanor. Oh, please scoot over and put the high chair right by me! Short on space? who cares?

As the years went on, we continued to add a grandbaby here, a new in-law there. Bigger tables purchased on marketplace, chairs added, more people to share a meal and life.

A couple of years ago, the desire for a table that would fit our entire family began to form in my heart ❤️ . God blessed us with an amazing woodworking friend who would make us a table and we would have, finally! (in my mind) a table big enough for us all. Mark made the benches, I had some chairs from great grandparents restored and Christmas 2022 was the date!

I don't love cooking but dang I love to set a table. I got out best China, finest glassware and momma's silver spoons, too...I was about to realize a dream come true. All of our people in one spot at one table.

December 26, 2022 we gathered around the table and I took the pictures. We ate, exchanged presents 🎁 and played games. After everyone had left, Christmas boxes and wrapping thrown out and dishes put up for another time, I got out my phone to look at the picture and busted out laughing. Oh yes, we are around the table but we hardly fit. Since the dream of the big table, we have added triplet grandbabies and, because of schedules, oldest son and fiancee (in California) are not even at home and in the pic. We took 103 pictures and this one-with people looking everywhere, son #2 with only his legs showing and food growing cold.....this one was the best. But, we are around the same table-ish.

blended family
Individually-photogenic. Collectively, not so much.

The dream of the table is not really about a table but it is about our blended family. Mark and I, from the beginning of our marriage were desperate to communicate to our kids that they always have a seat at our table, in our home and in our hearts. In a blended family, it takes intention, work and grace-lots of grace. It takes extra schedule juggling, extra time, extra effort-for everyone involved. Blended families are never made in a microwave-it's much more like a crockpot on low. Time together, memories made, new members welcomed-little by little by little.

We entered our marriage not realizing how our little family would one day grow. And God's blessings overflow! These blessings are represented in those around the table-the people we love most in this world. Misty, Erica, Graham and Carson-you and your families always have a seat at our table-we just may have to start putting the kids at the card table in another room :).

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