Thursday, 14 December 2017

C Columns

Publisher's Corner - Making Sunday a special family day

By Sandy Jones


Sunday nights are a favorite for our family. Nearly two-and-a-half years ago when we lost our daughter-in-law, we started Sunday Night Family Dinner. I phrase it that way because I do my best to make it an event each week. Do I plan an activity? No, but with few exceptions I do try to make it like the old fashion Sunday night dinner — the full meal deal.

We clear all the stuff off the dining room table. Turn off the television. Sit in ourfavorite seats, and enjoy a time of food, fellowship and laughter.

Initially this was to help our son and his children through a time of grief. My hope was to bring the chaos of the busy weekends to a close, and return to our roots of love and support — a bit of security in their uncertain world. We continue it today, as it’s become our norm. We all look forward to our time together each week, and on the rare occasion that something comes up and we have to miss a Sunday, our grandchildren are quite vocal about their displeasure, insisting that wethen reschedule to Monday that week.

My only regret is that we didn’t start this tradition earlier. When our kids were still home, we had dinner on Sunday night, but it was usually just another meal on another night in our home. When we started having grandchildren, the thought crossed my mind, but I didn’t want to step on toes, or appear to be hogging the time all to myself. In retrospect, I don’t think anyone would have thought anythingof it, except perhaps to have been inspired to start the tradition in their own homes.In The Word we are encouraged to break bread together.

We have gained so much as a family, and grown closer through this fairly new tradition. I highly recommend it. It doesn’t have to be a big formal meal; it can be soup and sandwiches or a pan of frozen lasagna. I recently read of a young single mom who has no family near her, and she invites friends in every Sunday evening.

We start with saying grace. Literally we form a circle, grab each other’s hand and my husband, son and grandkids emphatically say “Grace!” then laugh hysterically as if it were the first time anyone ever thought of this joke. I have to laugh at their jest. Then we get serious about thanking God for the food and for thelife we share.

We have great conversations. If things start to lull, we pick a topic. Maybe it was what was the sermon on at church today? Or ask the grands what they learned in Sunday School, or what’s going on at school or how their kung fu studies are coming. Anything that would cause strife or discord is off limits. We specifically set this time aside to affirm our family and grow closer.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. — Psalm 28:7 (NIV)

Recently I’ve focused on preparing my heart to be more conscious of the many things I have to be grateful for. I’m not talking about material things. I try to start each day simply by thanking God for His love; His gift of salvation; His grace; forcreating me, and blessing me in so many ways. Then throughout the day I thank Him for answered prayers, send up prayer for family or friends, or concerns on my heart. Grateful that when Jesus died the veil was torn, and I don’t have to wait for someone to take it to the Lord for me! I can talk to Him all day long.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. — 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)

As 2017 winds down, and we go into this holiday season — a season of gratitude and celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior — I am grateful for you,our readers. If it were not for you, all we do here at Christian Living would be pointless. Thank you for inviting us into your homes and lives. And, as I’ve said before, I'm thankful for the businesses in our pages that make this possible; please shop them, and thank them for their support.

May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas season, and until next time –

God Bless! 

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