I have walked along the beach on both coasts and along the Gulf of Mexico. Just meandering along the tide line, looking for gifts from the sea. Over the years I have put together little jars filled with sand and shells and driftwood. For one who loves to do this, it is still a surprise to find myself living in Elsah, Illinois, far from salt water and beaches. At this time of year, I often wish I could be back on those sandy shores.
This morning I was reading an entry in Simple Abundance where the author was talking about the ways one can 'set the table' to make it special any day. We love to put together a pretty table for special occasions or guests but how often do we bother to dress up the table most week nights? As it turns out, I love to decorate our house, changing things around each month, bringing out things I've collected. Right now the theme is 'by the sea'. Our dining room table is set with a sand colored table cloth. In the middle of the table is a glass bowl filled with pieces of sea glass and glass bubbles. I've scattered more along the cloth and added a few sea shells. It is simple but pretty and the family loves it. Our own personal tide line.
I like taking a few extra minutes to dress up the table, especially when we are just eating one of our standard meals. These simple settings bring a smile to those sitting down to eat and are conversation starters as we remember searching for those treasures on some family vacation. It is a fun way to express a little bit of beauty and art. I like to involve the 'grands' in some of those table decorations and it is fun to see what they do with the things I put out.
It is a reminder to me to take a moment before each meal to be grateful for all the good being expressed around me, for the beauty in everyday things. Katie Rose recently added a tall glass vase filled with those weeds that look like wheat. She had fun gathering her 'bouquet' and liked adding something to our table. So this activity is fun for all ages.
There is so much to be grateful for. We've had our financial challenges but we have never really gone hungry. I've had my spiritual challenges but I have only grown from those experiences. Today I will take a moment before each meal for silent time with God, time to tell Him how much I love Him and to thank Him for His tender constant care of me and mine.