Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Tale of a Table

Many of you who are close to Matthew and I know that we have dreamt of having a large family for a long time now. Not because we think we can handle it (we don't...), and not because we think it's cool (we don't...), and not because we're trying to make some sort of political or religious statement with the size of our family (we aren't).

We want to have a big family because we believe that God loves children. It's pretty clear throughout the Word that God considers children to be a direct blessing from Himself. In a culture that often-times looks at children instead as a burden, a barrier to a particular lifestyle, an inconvience only to be had "when we're ready" and in quanities only conducive to maintaining the previously mentioned lifestyle... we want to counter the lies of our culture and the lies of the affluence of the "American Dream" (that arguably has turned into a nightmare for much of America).

We want to simplify our lives. Not by becoming empoverished.... but by using the resources we DO have to live a lifestyle that is glorifying to God, not to ourselves. And that means, loving what God loves, which is very simply... people. God loves people, therefore we want to strive to love people. We start in our home by loving Him, loving eachother, and loving children that have and will come into our family both by biology and by adoption.

For that reason I long dreamt of dining tables. I know this sounds silly... especially since God seemingly doesn't care about dining tables. But He cares very much about what a dining table represents... and that is family gathering around it, spending time together. Plus, we would need a new table as the one we have in our kitchen only seats 4 and will be useless once we're a family of 5. My idea was to move our current dining room table (that justbarely seats 6, tightly) to our kitchen. That of course leaves us with an empty dining room, but such is life.

Although I may sound somewhat self-righteous in my above stated views on materialism, let me clarify that I am not! You see, this is one of my biggest struggles. I loved watching HGTV (when we had cable). I love leafing through the pages of home magazines, gazing at the glossy pictures of beautiful spaces. One of my favorite hobbies is looking at home decor blogs. While I certainly don't have desire to drive a mercedes or live in a huge McMansion... I do really enjoy looking at pretty things and spaces. And I believe that is how God made me, and millions of other women! God made us to be homemakers, and part of that is in making a home that is lovely, welcoming and comfortable for our families and our visitors. I do not think it is sinful to like pretty things, I think it becomes sinful when those things are put above the things God loves and values most... which once again, are people.

All that to say... over the past almost 5 years of marriage, everytime Matthew and I would be out shopping or walking through the mall I, ummm I mean, WE (hehe) would love to walk through stores like Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, World Market, etc... We would look at, and sit at huge tables like these and joke about how many kids we could fit around it...

However, all of these tables range in price from around $900 to as high as $2,400. Well, unfortunately fortunately, our pockets aren't that deep. So these tables remained in our dreams and far from our house.

Until one day a few months ago.

This story starts just after we had made the definite switch to pursuing an international adoption and a few weeks before we announced it on this blog.

An unfortunate part about Matthew's job is that he has to work weekends sometimes. The only benefit to this is that he then gets a couple of weekdays off the following week. We usually use these days to do something fun as a family. Well, on one of those days we were driving down a road on our way to somewhere I don't remember when we started approaching one of my favorite thrift stores. It is associated with the Durham Rescue Mission which is a Christian outreach to homeless and addicted individuals in our area.

This place is massive. Matthew decided to be thoughtful and without me even asking he pulled in and as soon as we got out of our car this is what we saw sitting infront of the entry door to the building.

I know it looks a little rough, but I was instantly smitten. I got so excited about this table! I looked all over this thing, determined that although it had been "well loved" (which actually added to the appeal for me, if you look at the above pictures I like the distressed look) it was a solid wood, sturdy table, that did indeed, seem to be as good as it looked. This table is a massive 104" piece that is made to seat 10 people comfortably, without the leaves it's 72" long, seating 8 comfortably. The best part, it was only marked $75.00!! Did these people not know how great of a piece this was?!?!

While we were looking at it a lady who works at the Rescue Mission approached us and asked if we liked the table. We said we did and she went to get the manager. He came up a few minutes later and said if we liked it he would sell it to us for $50! Are you kidding me?!?! At this point I'm about thisclose to freaking out I was so excited! (Those of you who know me well know that this is definitely the type of thing that gets me excited!) We said we'd take it!!

Finally, the cherry on top... When I went to the desk to pay for it the lady told me that they were having a special and if you could present a church bulletin that we would get another %10 off! Luck be a lady, I reached in my wallet and sure enough, folded in there was the previous week's bulletin from our church!

$45 for our dream table!!

I was so excited I couldn't stand it. We took it home and as we were unloading it from the back of our friend's truck I noticed a little something stuck to the bottom of it...

I'm not sure if you can read that, because it was taken on my cell phone (as was the above pic of the table) but it's the original sticker from Pottery Barn!! OH.MY.HEAVENS!

Now I just didn't know what to do with myself.

You see, to me, this isn't a story about a table. It's about a dream that God has placed in our hearts to see a family with many children, from differnt countries with different colored skin and with different stories, all gathered around a table for dinner. It's a about a dream of craft projects, glue sticks and crayons in little hands being worked on at this table. Its a dream of one kid laying on it while the other plays doctor as they use it as a pretend examining table.

Most of all, its about God caring about those little things. Those little desires in your heart, that truth be told, don't mean a lot in the grand scheme of things, but that represent to you, much more. It's about God loving you, and loving me, so much that He takes joy in those little bitty unimportant details like dining tables.

(The above pictures are taken from the webpages of Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and World Market)


Amy Baggett said...

I love this post- I am so crying right now. God definitely cares for his little ones. Have you heard of the true story- book "Heaven is for real"? I have not read it but some ladies at church were talking about it and I thought of it when I read your post. The little boy had a vision of Heaven (after arresting in the OR) and told his parents how much God loves children and how He had adopted lots of children.

cari said...

love it! love the story and love the table. it looks very much like ours and its so functional and looks great with or without the ends. isn't God so cool?