Precious Priority: Family Mealtimes

Ahhhhhhh—Thanksgiving. It reminds me of a simpler time.

I love Thanksgiving because it’s the one time of year that beckons us home, but without the pressure and expectations of gifts.

The memories without the mayhem, if you will.

I tell my children of my love for Thanksgiving and they remind me that they love mealtime at our house.  Not just the fancy meals, either. Their appreciation comes from a certainty that at the end of the day, we’re together. Candles lit. Music playing.

Toddler fussing.

Milk spilling.

Teenagers talking.

Daddy praying.


We live in a culture that has largely forgotten the power of a shared meal. There is something missing when we rush from one hurried day to the next. We think we’re saving time to rush through the drive-thru again. But really, we’re not saving anything. Days turn to weeks. Weeks to months. Months to years.

Where we spend our time is a window into our hearts: it’s an indicator of where our hearts are.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:21

For me, Thanksgiving is a reminder of how fast my life is going by.  Each holiday that passes I know I am another year closer to a quiet house. Mealtimes are markers for me.  I think just last year, I had a babe inside me and a preschooler vying for my attention as I muddled my way through learning how to use my slow cooker.  Mmmmm.  No, that was not last year. That was nearly twenty years ago.  Can we really s l o w  d o w n?

Mealtimes beckon.

Time is passing. That’s probably the real message my heart receives as I plan Thanksgiving dinner. Again.

I ask myself, “Where are your priorities?  What is truly precious in this life?”

And in my heart, I know the answer.  The best memories we share will never be found in the drive-thru of life.

The best memories are more of a “sit down” affair.  An affair of the heart. An investment. An open-door, company-for-dinner, home cooked investment.

Doesn’t have to be perfect.  Mac-n-cheese at the table is just as beautiful to your children as filet mignon 🙂  It’s not about the food. It’s about the priority.

If you’re looking for a place to start making an investment into the heart of your family, the dinner table is a very, very good place to start.

Heidi St John Guide to Daylight

About Heidi St. John

Heidi has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children and three grandchildren! The St. Johns homeschooled their kids all the way through high school. Heidi is the the author of seven books, host of the popular podcast "Off the Bench," and the founder of MomStrong International, an online community of women learning God's Word and how to apply it to every day life. She and her husband Jay are also the founders of Firmly Planted Family and the Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center, located in Vancouver, Washington.

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