/ / The Kitchen Is Not Just For Cooking But For Connecting

The Kitchen Is Not Just For Cooking But For Connecting

When making our home a haven, we find that the kitchen is not just for cooking, but connecting, too. Grab these conversation starters to help you connect. #WomenLivingWell #homemaking #conversationstarters #makingyourhomeahaven

{Cue the Confetti!}  We are to our final week of the Making Your Home a Haven Series!

Next Wednesday, we’ll begin a special Thanksgiving Series to keep our candles and prayers going!

This week we are focusing on the kitchen – the heart of the home.  At the bottom of this post you will find this week’s challenge, some fun conversation starters for kids and Women Living Well’s Favorite Recipes!

The kitchen is not just for cooking but for connecting.

God created taste buds, the sense of smell, and the eye that is drawn to beautiful things – to please our senses.  He created crunchy green peppers, fuzzy peaches, juicy watermelons, sour lemons, and sweet potatoes!  Our God is creative!

Edith Schaeffer says in The Hidden Art of Homemaking,

“Just as it is good to get one’s fingers into the soil and plant seeds, so it is good to get one’s fingers and fists into bread dough to knead and punch it.

There is something very positive in being involved in the creativity which is so basic to life itself.

Home-made bread, home-made cakes and pies, home-made vegetable soup from home-grown vegetables or from vegetable market purchases, home-made jams and jellies, home-made relishes and pickles—these are almost lost arts in many homes.”

I admit the above list does not represent the cooking in my home. Very rarely have I made homemade bread dough; I tend to make quick and easy recipes (I included some of Women Living Well’s favorite recipes at the end of this post).

But it’s the coming around the dinner table that blesses the souls of our families.

In Luke 11:3, Jesus said to pray,

“Give us each day our daily bread.”

In America, we are so blessed we rarely have to ask God for our daily bread, but we must remember to give thanks for our food.

Bowing our heads as a family in thankfulness to God is a gift we give our children and a memory they carry with them into adulthood.

I remember when I was a child, shortly before dinner would be served, a loud beeping sound would come from the kitchen phone. In the olden days, when a phone was taken off the hook, it would beep very loudly at a fast pace so you were alerted to put it back on the hook. Well, my mom took the phone off the hook on purpose because she did not want our time around the table to be interrupted.

My mom guarded our family dinnertime.

Mom always had a home-cooked dinner and dessert on the table. We opened in prayer and then ate and talked up a storm. As my sisters and I got into our teen years, we had activities that would get in the way of family dinner; but when we arrived late in the evening, there was always a home-cooked meal and my mom in the kitchen, ready to feed us and talk with us about our day.

I strongly believe this family dinner time is one of the reasons that all five of us as adults are close to one another and to our heavenly Father.

We still enjoy monthly meals together with the extended family. Here we all are last Sunday after church.  Below are my two kids with 2 of their cousins. In the background, the guys are watching football (Go Cleveland, Browns!) and the girls all ate in the dining room and visited together.

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Pictured Above L to R:  Alex (my son), Andrew, Alexis (my daughter), Julianna

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Pictured Above:  my sister Kristen, cousin Mikhaila, Me, my sister Jennifer

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Pictured above L to R: my cousin, brother-in-law, nephew, other brother-in-law,
my sister, my husband, other sister, my Uncle, my Dad and Mom

Growing up, this seemed normal; I assumed all families had dinner together regularly. Then I married my husband. He did not grow up in a home like this. Some of his favorite memories from childhood are from the holidays when his mom cooked a big meal and they ate around the dinner table; this is when I realized how special our nightly ritual was.

Children and teens who eat a family dinner tend to get better grades, are less likely to do drugs, have healthier eating habits, and communicate better with their parents . . . and yet coaches schedule practice right in the middle of dinnertime!  (Anyone else frustrated with this?)  What do we as moms do? We have to get creative! We need to move dinner to a later time or we have to say no to obligations that stand between us and our family time. We must not cave in and abandon the tried-and- true practice of eating dinner together. It truly is important.

The kitchen is not just for cooking but for connecting!

Edith Schaeffer says,

“Food cannot take care of the spiritual, psychological and emotional problems, but the feeling of being loved and cared for, the actual comfort of the beauty and flavor of food, the increase of blood sugar and physical well-being, help one to go on during the next hours better equipped to meet the problems.”

Alexis and I connect over peeling potatoes and cracking eggs. She loves to stir a pot of soup or pour the ingredients into the mixing bowl. She enjoys making meals appealing by pulling out fancy napkins and china alongside me. We don’t have to have guests to pull these things out; we make our home a haven when we treat our own family as worthy of these special touches.

Let’s bless our families this week with special surprises from our kitchen! And while the candles are lit and the music is going use these Conversation Starters to connect in the kitchen:

When making our home a haven, we find that the kitchen is not just for cooking, but connecting, too. Grab these conversation starters to help you connect. #WomenLivingWell #homemaking #conversationstarters #makingyourhomeahaven

This Week’s Challenge:  

Keep lighting your candles and praying.  Focus on the kitchen, the heart of the home and connect!  

Cook things with pleasant aromas like homemade bread, pies, and cookies. Don’t wait to have a reason to make something special – do it simply to show love to your family. Invite your kids and/or hubby to cook along side of you – make memories in the kitchen – test tasting, being creative, laughing and loving. Remember the importance of dinner time around the table as a family.

Live out the fruit of the Spirit this week by showing
love, goodness and faithfulness to your family.

Need some recipes to try? Try these:

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Creamy Bacon Chicken in the Crock Pot
Hawaiian Meatloaf
Chicken and Dumplings made easy!
Crescent Chicken
Homemade Crock Pot Applesauce
Fluffy, Soft, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Best Ever Snicker Doodles
Low-Fat Pumpkin Trifle
Homemade Starbucks Mocha Frappucino

**Chime In**

What are your family dinner times like?
Do you struggle to get everyone around the table at the same time?
What are some of your favorite meals to cook that your family enjoys?

Walk with the King,

Courtney

This post contains an affiliate link.

13 Comments

  1. This is the challenge that will be the easiest challenge for us (yes, even easier than lighting a candle or turning on music). My husband and I cook together every night unless he’s working a night shift. Our oldest daughter is 4 and loves to help. Our one year old sits in her high chair and plays or snacks on ingredients.
    Unfortunately, we do not have a kitchen table at the moment (long story) but we have been eating our meals in the living room around the coffee table. Its messy and crowded and inconvenient and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

  2. Oh how I LOVE this post!!! We are a family of 5-myself and husband and 3 kiddos (praying and always hoping to add more!) ages 7, 3 and 6 months and dinner time at the dining room table is not just reserved for special occasions but is part of our EVERY DAY practice.
    I make a homemade meal every night and the kids (the oldest) help to set the table, feed the dog (even the dog eats dinner at the same time as us) and help me to finish up the meal prep. We, like many I hope, have a no phone/electronic devices at the table policy, it is a time of the day to really connect with our kids and hope that they connect with us and each other. But it is also a great place to teach valuable lessons. I am a believer of kids eating what is made for dinner not what they want. Our kids have to try everything (most of the time they end up liking it) on their plate no matter how much they whine and complain, they have learned that it is best to follow the rules and instructions set forth by my husband and I than to try and fight it. We don’t have the trying everything on your plate rule purely to instill good eating habits but to also demonstrate that you just have to follow the rules as they have been laid out in front of you. Tell the kids your expectations and follow through and it leads to wonderful outcomes.
    My blog title is Kitchen Table Talk because I believe that the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a house, it is a place that allows you to connect with ALL of those who enter into your home, it is a common meeting ground, a room where everyone can feel comfortable. There is just something about being in my kitchen which is both literally and figuratively at the center of our home.
    I love nothing more than being in the kitchen our kids coming to and from, running in and out and grabbing a quick hug and kiss from them or a quick word in passing. It is sometimes these quick hugs/kisses or words that make the longest lasting impression.
    Thanks for the great blog I am so happy to know that others find sitting down to dinner with your family every night just as important as we do.

    1. Ashley,

      Wonderful! I love hearing how your meals are in your home. This habit is going to bless you and your family for many decades to come!!!

      Thank you for sharing and keep on going!!!
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  3. My favorite thing to do is to gather family and friends around the dinner table, enjoy a good home-cooked meal and share our lives together. We did this just this past Sunday and everyone was here about 3 hours. No one took out their phone to check it out, no phone rang and every one was attentive to what others were saying. At restaurants, I have seen entire families on their cell phones and not communicating together at all. The harm in not having personal 0ne-on-one contact is making so many so lonely. It’s not the way God intended us to live.

  4. Hi Courtney! I’m really enjoying your blog and articles each week. My candle is all used up! It does help me focus on praying for each of my five children and my husband. My daughter is on a competition cheer team and raising money for their uniforms. Guess what they chose? Yankee Candle! You can order candles for a great cause at http://www.yankeecandlefundraising.com. If you decide to order please use the team group code: 990083181.
    The seller is Elizabeth Woods under Spring Hill High School All Star Cheer. All orders are paid directly to YC and shipped directly to you. Many thanks for your inspiring and encouraging words!!!

  5. Eating dinner together was something we always did when I was growing up. Once a week, everyone on my mom’s side of the family would get together for dinner, too. While we don’t do that anymore, I know that we are all so close still because of that tradition. Now with three boys of my own, we make it a habit to have dinner together and we get together with my husband’s family once a week at his grandmother’s. We have had to get creative lately, though. My son has soccer games twice a week and since we live so far out of town, we’ve been meeting my husband at our church and I cook our meals there. (He’s the associate pastor and works there part time in the afternoons.) So we may not be at our dining room table, but we are all together! It is a wonderful tradition that I hope continues for many generations!

  6. My Dad worked out of town a lot when I was young and I find it interesting that I don’t remember those dinnertimes. I do remember the times he was home, Sunday lunches around the table, and the many times we were around the table at my Grandmother’s house. My husband worked long hours when the kids were little and we didn’t have many meals together. As my kids got older, his work slowed down and we had more family times. Now that they are grown we have Sunday lunch with the extended family every other week. (They would come every week, but that is a little much for me). We have anywhere from 16 to 30+ people. What a blessing it is to have them here and sometimes I just sit in the living room, sipping my coffee, and thank God for the gift of love and laughter that fills my small house. For all the cooking, cleaning, and spills, nothing can replace having the grandkids piled on your lap fighting over who can kiss you or the adult girls sharing their everyday lives.

  7. As a mother, we tend to be the ones that bring the order and the focus to the kitchen table, or the family. Lately I have really been letting that slide. Kids want to watch something while they are eating, and I admit I give in. It is easier to let them watch and eat so that I can get other things done. My focus these days is chores and what needs done. =(

    Thank you for reminding me just how important it is to SHARE together as a family; a meal, a conversation, a focus on the love we have for each other! Tonight we will eat some yummy paleo chili together (with phones off) around the table! Candle lit, and conversations being had! My schedule and “things” that need done are not more important than my family!

    May God Bless All of you around your kitchen table!
    Jody

  8. Hi Courtney & everyone!
    Just wanted to say thank you so much for all your prayers from last weeks blog. The Lord is so good and sweet and through the convictions and some hard prayers he is beginning to change my attitude and add such needed peace to my home. I loved this post! My husband and I both grew up having dinners around the tables as families and that is something that is so important to us both. With 3 kids things can get crazy and I work part-time out of my home as a hair dresser. Dinner time is one of my most favorite times of the day! My Mother in law was a stay at home mom and my mom worked as a teacher’s aid when both my sister and I were in school so she was always home when we were home. Both our mothers did a wonderful job of having amazing home cooked meals on the table for our families. My mother in law did much more from scratch and such and my mom always cooked amazing meals but she most defiantly used her crockpot a lot! I’m so thankful for both these women and how they served our families and how much of an influence it has had on our families. When I was a young bride (will be married 14 years in feb.) My mother inlaw was such a great source of wisdom and taught me how to make such great things from scratch like soups , homemade mac & cheese , rou (I know i spelled that wrong ha! You know butter flour mixture) and all sorts of things that helped me learn how to do many things . I absolutely love to cook and now my almost 11 year old is loving it too. Each night at the table as we chat about our days we ask the kids what are 2 good things from today? If my husband or I forget to ask one of them always chimes in and says Oh we need to do our good things! For our family I love so much doing this because it helps us talk about our day but also it helps us focus on the good things God has done through out the day. Our children go to Christian school, so something else we go over their memory verse for the week at time as well. Thank you so much for sharing! I always LOVE this series!!!
    Many Blessings,
    Stacey

  9. I am embarrassed to say, that we don’t normally eat around the table. I am changing that tonight.
    I am a single mom, my daughter and I live with my mom and sister.
    I know they will be game and will enjoy what I’m trying to do.
    Today I cleared off the table and put a new tablecloth on. I took a picture of conversation starters to do tonight.
    I want to say “Thank you Courtney”! For sharing with us the difference experiences you and your husband each have had in regards to eating at the table.
    It is what encouraged me to take back eating at the table. Something so simple that most in our time don’t really think about. Everyone is so busy, it’s obvious that having that time around the table is what we all need.
    I am new to this group. I also started with the Numbers Journal. I just love being apart of this!
    Thank you again!
    Rochelle

  10. Good morning! I stumbled upon your blog site and am so excited to have done so. I have tried to sign up for your emails, but I keep getting a “not valid, not allowed” pink error message. Can you please subscribe me? Thanks and have a blessed day ~~ di

  11. I grew up in a home with nightly dinners around the table, and frequent dinners with my dad’s family. My children didn’t have that luxury. However, now that it is just me and the 2 high schoolers, I believe I’ll reintroduce that tradition tonight! Thank you for the inspiration, Courtney!

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