Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Table

We thank Thee, Heavenly Provider, for every earthly good:
for life and health and family, and for our daily food. Amen.

My children often accuse me of having no pride.  In fact, many times, they accuse me of having pride in the fact that I have no pride.  They remind me of my old Suburban, a car I loved and drove for eleven years, as my husband repaired it over and over with baling wire and duct tape.  In fact, that car was so bad that the bishop of the Mennonite church we attend told me I didn't have to paint it a solid color, because there was no way I could have pride in THAT car.

I still miss that car...

But there is one thing I do take pride in, and that's my kitchen table.  In fact, I call it The Table.  I tell my children that if our house ever catches fire, they are to throw that table out the window first.

Here is the story of The Table:

Many years ago, more than twenty, in fact, with four children already in our family, I - and by default, husband Bill - became "quiverfull".  Quiverfull like the Duggar's, only we came to this conviction before the Duggar's were a reality show.  I was excited over the prospect of letting God plan our family.  It wasn't a hard sale by God, I only needed to be lead to the right scriptures before I realized that my longing for a big family was actually okay, and even encouraged by him.

It wasn't long before I was pregnant with baby number five.  I was thrilled, to say the least, and it was in that state of mind that I visited Golightly's Gallery , and saw The Table.
It was huge, nine and a half feet long, the top all one solid piece of wood, which made it a bit unusual.  I'm sure pregnancy hormones and nesting instinct had a lot to do with it, but I was instantly in love with this Table.  It's $650 price tag was more than I had at the moment, but Golightly's had a layaway plan, and the table was soon claimed by me.  I excitedly told the owner of the store - her name is Annie, if I remember right - my recent conviction of letting the Lord plan my family, that baby number 5 was on it's way, and I anticipated a lot more to come, if the Lord blessed me, and The Table was just what I needed.  I'm sure that was a lot more information than Miss Annie needed or wanted, but there was no stopping the overflowing excitement of my heart.  Paying $100 a month on layaway for The Table, I figured I would bring it home right about the time the baby was due.

Sadly, it didn't work out that way.  Just a few weeks later, on the day of my father-in-law's funeral, I began to show signs that this little baby might not make it into my arms.  After racing to my doctor, a sonogram showed a beating little heart in a snowman looking baby, but right next to it was a large bleed where my placenta was threatening to break loose.  The doctor said there was nothing he could do, but maybe if I went home and stayed really still, the placenta would reattach itself and all would be well.
I followed those directions as well as a mother of four can, but eight days later, with many tears, I buried my tiny baby's body under a flowering bush I had dug up from my grandmother's house when she died.  Certain this baby was a girl, I named her Rebecca.
A few weeks later I went to Golightly's Gallery to pay on The Table.  Miss Annie took my payment, remarking, "You sure don't look pregnant!"  I told her about my miscarriage, and she apologized profusely for not knowing - but how could she have known?  I reassured her it was okay.

And it was.  I still miss the baby I lost, but I will hold her someday in heaven, and by the time The Table was paid for, baby number six was on his way, and Spencer arrived nine months later.

Another miscarriage followed (buried with the first one under my grandmother's flowers, and named Cameron by me), then came Beau and Mary Susannah.  Eight years later, Angel-Leah, Luke, and Tommy arrived by adoption, so over the years, ten children have sat around The Table.

There have been lots of meals, parties and celebrations there.  Goofy children have built candy houses at Christmas on The Table:

We've celebrated birthdays on The Table:

We've had Thanksgiving concerts around The Table:

I bonded with my first baby that didn't come from my womb, but found his way right to my heart, Luke, at The Table:

 Sometimes, when the conversation gets boring, someone even falls asleep at The Table:

Lately, when son Max, who used to work at a cabinet shop, would come over, he would tell me we need to refinish The Table.  I guess when you see something day in and day out, you don't realize how bad it's beginning to look.
I procrastinated, so last week, Max came over, electric sander in hand:

He had lots of helpers, Luke, as you can see, and Tommy used his play sander - or something, and even Angel-Leah wanted her picture taken sanding The Table:

But no matter how hard we sanded, we couldn't get rid of all the marks that have been gouged into that table over twenty years and ten children.  I sanded and sanded, but it kind of made me sad to erase them all, so in the end, I decided the ones that were gouged too deep to come up were love marks (we'll call it that instead of naughty kids) and I left them there:

So now, The Table has a new finish.  I'm sure it looked even better when I bought it at the Antique shop all those years ago (did the family that owned it before me have any kids, or were they just better behaved?) but it sure looks nice now:

It will probably be another twenty years before it gets refinished again.  I wonder how many grandchildren will sit around The Table before that time comes?

Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him ye creatures here below,
Praise Him above, all ye heavenly hosts,
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

Thank you Lord, for The Table, and bless everyone who eats there!


  1. thanks Carla for sharing this not everyone knows what it is to lose a child i both miscarried and also had a still born baby boy elijah i wish i had got to bury him myself somewhere nice bless you MARIA X

  2. We are so glad you are still enjoying your table! The owners name is actually Janet Golightly. Everyone associates her with Annie Golightly though! Come back and see us soon!


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