Above Rubies Daily Encouragement Blogs

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Women's Daily Encouragement Blog

Strengthening Families Across the World through the encouragement of women in their high calling from God as wives, mothers and homemakers.

FeedFiveSensesI believe it is important to feed the five Senses of your children at each meal time.

Sitting down to a meal is far more than eating food. Eating not only feeds a hungry tummy but includes all the five senses--sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Can I encourage you to think about this as you prepare meals for your family? It will bring such blessing to your children.

Sight

To dish up a meal on an un-set table is, I think, a sacrilege. It is even worse to prepare a meal and let everyone eat it at different times and wherever they want-- even in front of the TV. You can spend time preparing a lovely meal, but if it doesn't minister to the sight, it doesn't have a great appeal. On the other hand, you can sit down to a humble meal, placed on a table that is prepared with dignity and love and it can be a spiritual experience. Proverbs 9:1-2 tells us that the wise woman PREPARES her table.

Even young children feel the atmosphere when they sit up to a delightfully prepared table.

Perhaps you are a mother of young children and you can't imagine one more task during the busy supper time. It takes all your effort to cook a meal without the extra work of setting a table! However, obstacles are only in our mind. It doesn't take long and you can teach young children how to set a table properly. It is a basic task for them to learn and they will love to do it. You can make it a competition, as they each have their turn, to see who can set it the most attractively.

It adds a touch of class and delight to use a tablecloth. If you haven't time for washing tablecloths, purchase some clear plastic which you can place over a pretty tablecloth, or purchase some attractive plastic cloths you can wipe down after the meal. Add a candle, some flowers (even if they are wild flowers or weeds that your children find around), or a centerpiece to your table. Encourage your children to set the table beautifully, not haphazardly. It will make all the difference to your meal.

Did you know that we taste with the eyes as well as the mouth?

Make your food look attractive, too. Arrange it appealingly on the table in serving dishes, or on individual plates if you do it this way.

Hearing

If you do happen to have TV in your home, make sure you turn it off during mealtime. Put on lovely peaceful music which you can have quietly playing in the background. Create a soothing atmosphere.

Touch

Hold hands together as you give thanks to God at the beginning of the meal. Create an atmosphere of togetherness and love.

Smell

This is a very important part of each meal. Use herbs and spices to enhance your food. It will not only taste better, but fill your home with tantalizing aromas. There is nothing like smelling the food that is cooking for supper. It really makes home feel like "Home, sweet home."

Did you know that God loves smells? The meat that burned upon the altar was a "sweet smelling savour" to God (e.g. Genesis 8:21; Exodus 29:18, 25, 41; Leviticus 8:21 and 2 Chronicles 13:11). I don't think there is any more wonderful smell than lamb cooking in the oven! God loves it too. I guess I say that because I am a New Zealander. It may not be the favorite smell of an American! However, you will have your favorite cooking aromas that you love to have in your home.

Taste

We wouldn't want to eat food if we couldn't delight in the flavor, would we? Make your food palatable and tasty. Be creative and make different kinds of tastes. Delight in the flavors of the foods God has created. We like to ooh and aah over the tastes of food in our family. I think God is happy about that. He likes us to appreciate what He has created.

You can also train your children's taste buds from a young age. Don't give them sweet foods when they are young and they won't clamor for them when they are older. Feed them healthy food, rather than junk food and that's the kind of food they'll enjoy. Don't even bring junk food into your home and you won't have trouble trying to stop your children eating it.

As you prepare your meal each evening, think about how you can impact the five senses of your husband and children. They will take these memories with them for life.

Enjoy making your meal table more special,

Nancy Campbell

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ColorNightWhen raising our children, I would try to do something different at the meal table one night a week. One of the things the children loved was COLOR NIGHTS. For example, I would choose a color and put up a notice:

"Tonight is RED Night! No admittance unless wearing something Red. Supper at 6.00 p.m. Please knock before entering."

I set the table with a red tablecloth, adding red candles, napkins, and centerpiece (red flowers if I could find them). I prepared red foods. There are plenty of foods from which to choose, e.g. beets, radishes, red beans, red hot dogs with tomato sauce, tomato soup, potatoes or rice colored with red food coloring, etc. For dessert, you could have lovely red fruits such as pomegranates, blood oranges, cherries, strawberries, watermelon, or red grapes.

You can also purchase red paper plates and knives and forks, etc. I would often wrap a little gift (something inexpensive) in red paper and put it beside their plate. The children loved these nights and we tried every color of the rainbow!

Love from Nancy Campbell

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MakeTableInvitingWhat are some ways you can draw your family around your table for meals?

1. Use herbs and flavors to spice up your meal so the aroma draws everyone to the kitchen.

2. Put a lovely tablecloth on the table. Change the colors of your plates and tablecloths from time to time so you don't get bored. Your table should look attractive. It may be difficult to have time to wash tablecloths when you have little children. But, you can purchase clear plastic to put over the tablecloth so you only have to wipe the plastic.

3. Set the table attractively and teach your children how to set a table properly.

4. Use candles, flowers, or a centerpiece. Create a lovely ambiance.

5. Holds hands together as you say grace at the beginning of the meal.

6. Turn off the TV and all other distractions. Talk and communicate together.

7. Seek to make every meal a LOVE AFFAIR.

Blessings from Nancy Campbell

Painting by Polina Luchanova, born in 1977, The artist having tea with her family.

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EatTogetherIn a day when many families eat on the run, around the TV, or at different times, why is it important to gather together as a family and SIT AT THE TABLE FOR FAMILY MEALTIMES? Because...

1. The table is a GATHERING PLACE. There is nothing like food to gather the family together. And when we gather together, we relate together. And when we relate together, it binds us closer together.

2. The table is a COMMUNICATING SPOT. It's where we interact with our children and talk heart to heart and soul to soul. Fellowship and food go together. God didn't intend us to eat on the run. When Jesus fed the 5,000 plus, He made them first sit down in groups before He fed them.

3. The table is an ENQUIRING PLACE. It's where the children can ask us questions and we can ask them questions. We become part of one another's lives.

4. The table is a DISCUSSION ASSEMBLY. I believe it is as important to prepare what you are going to talk about at the table as what you are going to eat. Think about topics you can discuss when you sit down for your evening meal --biblical, spiritual, geographical, or political, etc. Ask fun questions and get everyone involved. Or, you can ask each person to come to the table prepared to share about a book they have been reading recently. Or, share about a person who has impacted this world. Sometimes, we have a general knowledge quiz at the table. Use your imagination to make your family table fun and exciting.

5. The table is a RELAXING OASIS. Ooops. I know that it's not often like that when you are still training little ones. However, be diligent to keep training for you will eventually reap wonderful blessings. Food releases oxytocin which is a calming hormone. Therefore as you gather together as a family to eat and share together, you relax. Isn't that great?

6. The table is a SPIRIT-FEEDING PLACE. We have to get a new mindset. The table is not only a place to feed our children's hungry tummies, but a place to feed the whole man--body, soul, and spirit. If we let our children leave the table before we have fed their spirit, they leave half fed. The physical food fills us up, relaxes us, and prepares us for the most important feeding, the feeding of the spirit--Family Devotions. A friend in The Netherlands told me that when she grow up her family called Family Devotions, "Finishing up the Meal." They didn't leave the table only half fed, but finished up their meal by feeding their spirit. Don't starve your children.

Blessings from Nancy Campbell, www.aboverubies.org

For further encouragement about your family meal table go to:

http://aboverubies.org/index.php/2013-11-12-17-55-51/english-language/family-meal-table/2324-family-meal-table-make-memories-at-your-table

http://tinyurl.com/FamilyMealTable

http://tinyurl.com/FamilyMealTableDVD

http://bit.ly/DailyLightDailyPath

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AllStoriesThe moment of conception is the beginning of a human being and this great miracle begins in the womb of a woman.

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