Around the Table {Giveaway}

UPDATE: Rachel, comment #311, has randomly been selected as the winner of this giveaway.

I get a lot of emails from moms asking what to read around the table.  Our old chalkboard table in our new kitchen:

Here’s a great place to start with all ages:

  1. The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name (all ages)
  2. Window On The World (missions focus)
  3. My Life, His Mission: A Six Week Challenge to Change the World (what we are reading now)
  4. Truth and Dare: One Year of Dynamic Devotions for Girls (ages 9-12) and Triple Dog Dare: One Year of Dynamic Devotions for Boys (ages 9-12)—–winner’s choice

I want to encourage you to bring dinner (and family time) back to the table! Just last night, we had such a special moment reading together. At the end of our not-so-perfect devotion time, my husband prayed out loud, “God, I want to follow you wherever you lead me and I want to commit myself to you again in front of my kids.”

And then each of my kids, from the youngest to the oldest, prayed the same thing. When it was my turn, I was all blurry-eyed and I just wanted to bottle the moment up! Most of our dinners aren’t like this, but we are beginning to see fruit from making this time together a priority [stepping off soapbox now].

Today, I’m giving away this gorgeous Blessings Unlimited Lazy Susan (value $94) to one lucky reader, plus any one book choice from my massive recommended family reading list.

Tell me what you love/hate/struggle/succeed with around the table and you’ll be entered to win! (And if you read someone’s comment and you have a helpful suggestion, please add it!)

Giveaway ends on Thursday.


  1. 151

    Katie says

    We’ve struggled with alot in our marriage and so one of the biggest difficulties is getting past what emotions/fears are lurking to have conversation, to love one another even when we don’t feel like it.

    • 151.2

      Renee Richardson says

      I have been where you are. There were times when the hurt was too much and I never thought we would make it. I thank God for bringing us out on the other side. I have no idea what the future holds but now I am happier than ever and I am thankful for the relationship we have. Stay Blessed :)

  2. 152


    Our struggle would be feeding something tht everyone likes.. but that is a work in progress. I am proud of our dinner ritual is AWESOME.. not only do we have a wonderful prayer time, but we engage each member with individual time to share their highs and lows of the day. This is such a great time to be heard and even get feedback and support. the girls are 8 and 10 and ,ove to invite their friends for dinner because they want so share this time with them… off to add devotionals!!!! and our must read list are very similar

  3. 153


    I am with Nicki at the top!! Our 18 month old daughter commands a lot of our attention and she loves to YELL (lalalalala) as soon as we start talking!! It’s pretty funny, but doesn’t leave much room for conversation!!

  4. 155

    Tracey H. says

    We struggle with 2 children who are 14(boy) and 9(girl) and trying to make the devotions relevant to each!! Thanks for the book options and the lazy Susan:)

  5. 156


    We aim to read the proverb of the day and a psalm or two at breakfast or lunch, but dinner sounds like an even better idea, to include dad! With the fall schedule looming, I am working to limit activities to keep family dinner intact- it stands a chance of being cut out most days of the week if we’re not careful! Thanks for the giveaway- that lazy susan looks awesome!

  6. 157


    Family meals around the supper table are the norm here, for which I am very thankful! My frustration is that I am usually the last one finished, and everyone else has scarfed their meal down and heading off to other things.
    Several years back, I made a request to my husband, that we enjoy that time together a bit longer, and so our compromise was for each child to ask their father to be excused before leaving the table. Dad usually checks with Mom, to make sure someone is not slipping away and getting out of eating what they ought to eat, and then he gives his ok.
    I still don’t often get my leisurely dinners with deep, philosophical conversations, but I do get a bit more time with them than I used to.

  7. 158

    April R says

    Love the lazy susan and can always use more books :). One struggle we have is getting everyone home at the same time. With two driving teens, jobs, after school activities it is a constant issue. Working on some new fall ideas to make it work better, thanks for the encouragement!

    • 158.1

      Karen says

      In busy seasons, we would have dessert/snack time later in the evening! It accomplished the same purpose as dinner and the boys were always glad for a late night snack! :-)

  8. 159


    Hm…I struggle with not fighting with my almost-4-year-old about eating. She is the pickiest eater I’ve ever met. I want to teach her to be grateful for the food we have, and to eat healthfully. For some reason, it’s so hard for me.

    • 159.1


      We have some of the same struggles with our 2 1/2 yr old daughter. I have discovered though, that she’s more likely to eat something if she has 1) helped pick it out in the store or 2) helped prepare it. If veggies are a struggle, give her raw carrots, green peppers and cucumbers to dip in ranch dressing (or hummus, peanut butter, plain yogurt, etc). If you’ve tried this and it hasn’t worked, at least know that you’re not the only mom out there with a picky eater!! : )

  9. 160

    michelle myers says

    B/c my hubby travels quite a bit, I struggle with getting all 4 of mine wrangled and at the table to eat the same thing, at the same time. My lovelies are ages 18m-10yo.

  10. 161

    Sara Z. says

    I love spending time asking my daughter about her day, what she did, best thing that happened, etc. I’m struggling with making it a habit to read from the bible after we finish eating. We try to remind each other but often forget. We are still working on it though!

  11. 162

    Cindi says

    My children are grown and gone. But the dogs remain. Begging with their lie-ing (what is the correct way to spell that?) eyes that say we never feed them. Even when we have soup and it’s impossible to give them anything those eyes still make me feel guilty. Life’s tough, isn’t it? LOL I AM SO BLESSED!! And the kids do come home occasionally.

  12. 163

    Sarah Noll says

    My struggle is to relax after whipping up dinner so I can enjoy the company and have my wits about me enough to encourage thoughtful conversation. I am thankful for this reminder to be mindful of how we spend our time together at meals and for the opportunity to win this awesome lazy suzan and a great book!

  13. 164


    Our struggle is that with 4 boys (1 daughter, and a hungry husband) , no one wants to talk at the table because they’re all eating so much!!! :0)

  14. 165


    LOVE that lazy suzan! The thing we struggle with as a married couple with an 18 month old is having a whole conversation at the dinner table. I love to cook and love for my husband to enjoy the food i prepare for him after he’s been out all day working for us. I’ve slowly been transitioning and succeeding at cooking healthy food for our little family…and I hate cleaning the kitchen. my husband says im an artistic cook…. meaning i make a huge mess. lol…but sometimes my husband does it and other times he gives my daughter a bath and I turn on some tunes and have a good time cleaning and unwinding.

  15. 166


    Family dinners are one of out parenting/family “requirements” – I only wish my oldest would remain in her seat for the entire meal! I’ve been trying to talk more about God with my girls, which is difficult since my husband doesn’t know if he believes in God or not. I think this Lazy Susan might be a gentle visual reminder of life’s blessings…God’s blessings!

  16. 167


    I love that we have dinner together in the evenings (our kids are 5 and 8.5, so I know this won’t last forever), but we struggle with simple conversations about our day sometimes. The kids are worn out at the end of the day, and then they aren’t all that interested in what the adults did all day:)

  17. 168

    Cheryl says

    We struggle with kids that sit down and want to eat before my husband and I are even at the table. Then they eat so fast and want to be excused before my husband and I have even started!

  18. 169

    Johanna says

    Dinner times aren’t a struggle. But they are often mostly RUINED! by the arguing that takes place as soon as dinner is over and the kids start to “work together” on the dishes.

  19. 170

    Destiny says

    I love that my husband and I have dinner together every evening at the table. Occasionally we have conflicts, but usually we can have an early dinner so we can eat together.

  20. 171

    EMTgirl says

    The lazy susan is really neat! We have one 7 yr. old boy. Most nights we eat dinner together as a family. We struggle with our son eating in a timely manner. Sometimes he eats part of the meal quickly and then dawdles over the rest. After the meal my husband reads The Daily Bread and the Scripture portion for the day. Sometimes it is too deep for our son , but most of the time he learns something and is challenged by it, too. Thank you for sharing you blog with us.

  21. 172

    Tricia says

    I love that we make eating together at the table a priority. What we struggle with is getting everyone to settle in and have a conversation instead of wanting to run off to the next thing…especially in the summer!

  22. 173


    We have supper together most every night but I would LOVE to add a family devotional time to the routine. We don’t do it. I have no idea where to begin as I’m so “young” in my faith (or so I feel) sometimes. I want more fore my children than what I had growing up, so badly.
    LuvNHugz -SupportNPrayerz
    Deo Volente – NMV

  23. 174

    Katie says

    This is such a great giveaway! Our struggle is that the kids talk over us and it’s very hard to have a conversation with my husband…mind you our children are very young but I love the idea of spending time together at the table growing as a family in our faith.

  24. 175

    Sunny says

    I actually found your blog through the post about the chalkboard table and we painted ours! We love it. But since, my mother has been visiting with us for an “undetermined” amount of time. I hate to admit it, but it has squelched our family time and worse than that our devotion time. I tend to shut down around my mother for fear of judgment. That is something I’ve been working on.

  25. 176

    Rebecca says

    I love the time spent around the table eating together in the evening. It’s our time to catch up on the day! Would love to win! Maybe we could do our devotions at the table then!

  26. 177


    Our latest struggle is schedule. My husband works overnights as a meteorologist, so he sleeps in the evenings. It makes it difficult as we really don’t eat at the same time, much less sit down at the table together. I’d like to move our meals back to the dining table, rather than on the couch in front of the TV :)

  27. 178


    What I LOVE about eating meals around our humble table, is that I get to gaze into the eyes of my family as they talk and tell stories. I long for eye contact. So often they are looking at a TV set, a book, or an i-pod while talking to me. For whatever reason, when we are gathered around the table we actually lock eyes for extended amounts of time. It’s priceless too me.

  28. 179

    Jenn says

    I’ve had my eye on that lazy susan for a long while!

    We participate in our church’s Awana program. They have books for our kids (ages 4 and 5) to work through and also have adult versions of those books…it’s wonderful. So, at dinner time, we all work on our memory verses and talk about the Bible lesson for that week (sometimes we do 2 lessons if one is too easy). For the past week, my 5 year old has been working on John 3:16 and it’s been great explaining that verse to her. I love spending this time with my family.

  29. 180

    maria says

    We struggle with keeping our composure when things get unruly. With two little ones, that’s every day! I have to constantly remind myself that the goal is not a perfect, or even smooth execution. The goal is nurturing our souls with the Word of God…even if we only get a few good nuggets of wisdom for the evening!

  30. 181


    We struggle to actually talk at all at the table. Everyone gets to the table, shoves the food in and then goes on their way. We need to learn to just sit for awhile and slow down :) I STINKING love that lazy susan!!

  31. 182

    tonya says

    Our biggest struggle is actually getting around the table! I’m in school, the kids are getting ready to start back, one has cross country and softball practices during the week, 3 of us will have homework, 2 of us work…it’s crazy!!!

  32. 183


    I struggle with creating a varied menu on a budget and on my husband’s limited preferences. How many ways can you make chicken and vegetables? :)

  33. 184


    We struggle with a couple things. One, like a lot previously posted, is making something everyone will enjoy and that is healthy. My youngest would rather eat snacks than a meal. Second, we struggle with actually sitting and eating at the table. My youngest has a lot of energy and the last thing he wants to do it sit and eat. He is up and down more times than I can count at a meal. I need to let this go but right now meal time is the worst time of the day for me as I want a perfect meal time and we never get it. We have not started to do devotions at the dinner table as I can’t wait for it to be done each evening.

  34. 185

    maggie says

    My husband and I struggle to keep the tv and the world news off during dinner. I am a news junkie and I admit, it is way more my struggle than it is his!

  35. 186


    A small struggle, but ours is getting our toddler to stay in his chair the entire meal! Love that lazy susan. And we love that Jesus Storybook Bible. A friend of ours got it for our son for his first birthday, and we read from it every night at bedtime. :~)

  36. 188

    Liz says

    I am so thankful that my husband has taken the lead in making our dinnertime a time of sharing and bonding as a family. With a five year old boy and and an almost 3 year old boy who is in a picky eating stage it is often hard to focus on the bonding time and not so much the table manners, whether or not they are eating, and them wanting to leave the table too soon. But we are pressing on and starting with topics like thankfulness and talking about their favorite moments of the day. Also has been a good time to go over Bible memory verses. Right now we are especially grateful because after 8 years of marriage we finally replaced our hand-me-down table with broken chairs with a beautiful new dining set. We hope to share lots of meals and make memories at it with our family, old friends and new friends.

  37. 189

    Brandi says

    I have recently been convicted to make meal time more than just time to eat. My husband has a busy work load but knows that dinner together is important and we (almost) always have dinner together. We have 5 little loves ages 6 weeks to 8 years and want to establish this routine now while they are still young. Thank you for the encouragement in this area.

  38. 190

    Kim Phillips says

    I love eating with my family at the table. I hate that there are five of us in the family and only four chairs. I struggle with getting everyone to eat as a family together since everyone seems to want to watch tv while they eat or eat at a later time. I feel successful when I have managed to cook a meal that will bring everyone to the table and each and every person will eat at least one thing that I have prepared!

  39. 191


    We have dinner together as a family every night – well, every night that my husband isn’t traveling – but we struggle with using that time for the Greater Good. Part of it is our youngest kids (4 and 2) are too little to sit still for long, even, much less pay attention and participate in conversation. But I fear we aren’t redeeming the time well for our older kids (11 and 8). Reading your posts the last few months have encouraged me to try again.

  40. 192

    Jodie says

    We have teens and the current struggle is to get to the table at the same time. Everyone’s schedules pulling us in all directions is a real challenge. We tend to make Sunday after church an eat out day and that time at a table even in a restaurant is so nice, talking about the days lesson and how to apply to our daily lives, worth the $.

  41. 193

    sara says

    Our biggest current meal time struggle is finding time to eat together after my husband gets home from work and before the baby’s bedtime!

  42. 194


    By the time dinner rolls around I just want to be alone. So, I need to make our family meal time be more than just feeding everyone. It needs to count towards eternity.

  43. 195

    Jolene says

    With an 11, 7, 5, and 3 1/2 yr. old around the table, we struggle with bickering, refusal to eat what’s served, bickering, making it through a meal without someone dumping their drink… (sigh) I will mis this someday, right?

  44. 196


    Sometimes, due to crazy schedules, we struggle to get to the table at all. I want my remaining kid at home to know God is always first.

  45. 197


    there are often so many things that aren’t going right or that are not where I want them to be but I am so thankful that we do cherish our time as a family around the dinner table. If we miss it everywhere else there is at least that special time to sit and talk as a family at dinner. We don’t always succeed at having faith talks with the kids thats an area of struggle but we are working on that area. I think its so awesome you are giving that beautiful lazy susan away. We are a family of 6 and that would be pretty cool to have. Thanks for all the ideas on good books to be reading as a family and also sharing your sweet stories with us!

  46. 200

    Rebecca says

    We’re good with sitting together for dinner. It happens every night. The problem is that the kids eat so fast and ask to be excused that I feel like I spent 45 minutes preparing for 10 minutes of “family dinner” time.

  47. 201

    Nicole Bardell says

    I have been married one year and we recently have talked about starting the tradition now of eating at the table before kids so we have that engrained in our life. Everytime we sit down and turn off all media and focus on each other it always blesses us. We can connect and chat about our days and any struggles we may have. I love this simple family tradition.

    What a great idea to read a devotional!!

  48. 202

    Rosita says

    What I like about our meal routine is that we do eat together (breakfast and dinner). What I don’t like is that the meals tend to be rushed and with 4 boys (7, 5, 3, 1) and baby number 5 on the way, conversation is often at a minimum and the entire thing seems more chaotic than uplifting. We keep at it though, because starting the practice now will help to maintain it in the future. My hope is once they are a bit older more meaningful conversation will occur.

  49. 203

    km says

    We do eat together. And we love it. My hubby was unemployed for 14 months a few years ago. We always say that the privilege of that time was enjoying our meals together. Right now our kids are in a bickering stage…and I don’t know how to get my kids to stop.

  50. 204

    Kristy Lynn says

    It’s just me and my two daughters so at dinner time we get lazy and usually just eat in the living room with the TV on. I would really love to get back to sitting at the table for dinner and love the idea of having prayer and devotional time together at dinner. My girls are older and sometimes it seems a challenge to begin a new routine like dinner devotions because why haven’t I done this sooner!! I know it is still important to connect with my girls and pray God will help me to find a way to make dinner time more of a time of devotion and connection than it has been before.

  51. 205

    Christina Burrell says

    We eat together nightly, but we struggle with keeping our five year old calm and not silly the whole time.

  52. 206

    Janel says

    We make having meals together a priority! We have succeeded with doing High/Lows for many years with the kids and they (mostly) still love it!

  53. 208

    Rebecca says

    We struggle with the kids wanting to rush through the meal. We do enjoy sitting down together though, it is one of my favorite childhood memories.

  54. 209

    Debra Shepard Stanley says

    We do sit at the table to eat dinner. I grew up that when it was meal time you stopped what you were doing, tv off and no distractions. I want the same for my family but it’s very difficult with boys who find it funny to “silly” things at the table. Parenting right now is a VERY BIG STRUGGLE FOR ME!! Did I say BIG?!!! My 13 year old is going through all the normal beginning teenage “things”….. and I, as the mom, need to find a way to minister to him during this time. I would love the chance at winning this for my table. My desire and goal is to start making dinner time meaningful and special! Thanks for sharing and the opportunity to win.

  55. 211

    Olivia says

    I love to hear my children (6 & 3) deviate from the memorized prayers and say what’s on their mind. I struggle with finding things to make for supper that everyone will eat and feeding the 9 month old while trying to get supper on the table. I hate when I have planned and prepared a meal that is nearly complete and my husband calls to say he’s running late. I consider supper a big success when my kiddos tell me that something new (to them) is delicious and when they remember to thank me for making them supper.

  56. 212

    Amy says

    I struggle to not focus on table manners. I realize they are important and want my boys to have manners but sometimes I need to just focus on the realational aspect instead of the instructional aspect of the meal.

  57. 213


    We struggle with the kids gobbling up their food then proclaiming, “I am done!” As if it is a race. I want them to slow down. I know it’s hard for kids when there are things more fun than hanging out with their (gasp) parents. But, I would love one time during the day when we are not rushing and we can connect at the table.

  58. 214

    Heather says

    We eat dinner tonight every night and enjoy each other’s company. With fall activities and sports coming up we’ll struggle to have the whole family together every night. The lazy susan is so pretty and would make a great edition to our dinner table.

  59. 215

    Tina James says

    We’ve always eaten dinner at the table together, but as the kids have gotten older, are involved in their own activities, and are not always at home in the evenings at the same time, it is much harder to get everyone together around the table. As our family has entered into this new season of the kids having their own activities, I have had to learn to grab times that we can all be home to eat at the table together.

  60. 216

    Monika says

    I love that we still manage to eat dinner together at least 5 days a week even with our different schedules. I will add though, that I’m glad the Olympics is over because there were many many nights of tv watching during dinner while they were on.

  61. 217

    Lorie says

    We struggle with everyone getting home at the same time with different work schedules and sports after school. We do our best but I think we can always strive to do better! We really need to continue to try to make this a priority and not just sitting to each together but having meaningful conversation.

  62. 218


    We have a family meal at the table together almost without fail. Lately, because of our new house it’s been even easier to gather. I think we struggle with focus though…more of ourselves and not God. Plus, with two 4 year olds to train, it’s hard to concentrate. Keeping up the conversation and keeping it going in the right direction is a difficult. I need to make a more concerted effort.

  63. 219

    Kysia says

    We try to have dinner as a family around a table most nights. It’s when we stop and listen to the adventures of the day or find out the heartbreaks. It’s when we break bread together and thank our Father for what he has done for us. It’s also when we breathe in comfort and inhale sustenance.

  64. 220

    Jenny says

    We strive to have a family dinner every night, but I find it hard to relax at the table after cooking and serving. We have recently tried to add discussion time at the end of dinner, but did not incorporate God’s word. We will start trying that!

  65. 221


    I’m a SAH-Homeschooling Mom, so dinner is often the time when Daddy comes home. It is often hard to hold off on dinner until Daddy is home and it’s often hard to have a good conversation without the crazy happening. We do Bible Study before bed, and it’s always at the kitchen table. The Jesus Storybook Bible is amazing and Windows on the World is such a treasure too.

  66. 222

    Melissa says

    Working on keeping our two little ones engaged is difficult at this season in our life, but I love that we spend the time together everyday.

  67. 223


    My biggest struggle is just taking my time and relaxing all the way through dinner. I am always up fixing dinner, getting something for someone, clearing dishes as soon as someone is done….I need to just let the mess happen and not be in such a hurry to get it all done! Love that lazy susan!!!

  68. 224


    My biggest struggle is actually coming up with and fixing dinner to get it on the table, so very thankful for a husband that is so quick to jump in where I am weak! But also really trying to be intentional about prayertime at dinner with my 6 year old. Trying to teach prayer is difficult!

  69. 225



    I love that my 3 year old knows to make sure everyone holds hands to pray before we eat and I love the way my sons’ friends react to our mealtime routine!
    I hate the nights when we don’t sit down together, it eats at my soul.
    I struggle with being able to put a meal on the table that satisfies everyone.
    I succeed in making sure we have a mealtime at least 4 days/nights a week, even with everyone’s crazy schedules.

  70. 226


    We do our best to sit around the table too. It’s important to my husband and I. The struggle right now is my 2 1/2-year-old boy and how he doesn’t exactly want to sit. We spend too much of dinner reminding him to get in his seat. I trust the consistency will pay off, but it can be exhausting at times. We usually try to talk about our days. The kids (especially my 5-year-old girl who goes to kindergarten … tomorrow!) will tell Daddy about their day and I’ll fill in some details. I am committed to making this a priority now so it’s a foundation for later. I love your idea about doing devotions and Bible reading following the meal. Thanks for your real-life encouragement.

  71. 227


    We struggle a lot with table manners and getting up in the middle of meals (especially with our 2 year old), but I love the togetherness, and the opportunity to talk with one another. One of my favorite parts is when the kids take turns saying something that they love about one another.

  72. 228

    Mary B says

    With 3 kids in different schools and the oldest one in sports dinner time is a challenge for all of us to sit down together. We do try and connect each day knowing our schedules are challenging! Also, when we do all make it for dinner we all take turns saying our favorite thing about today :) Special memories!

  73. 229

    Lacey C. says

    Love that lazy susan! What I love about our current routine is reading to the kids from the Jesus Storybook Bible at breakfast (and then talking about it), and reciting our verse for the day at each meal. What I struggle with is thinking what kind of short yet not fluff-filled devotional would be good for my 6-yr-old boy. I also have a 4-yr-old girl, but she tends to keep up with her brother’s level of discussion. Thanks for the suggestions above!

  74. 230

    Daphne says

    My husband is in the military and we struggle with getting him home on time for dinner. However, when he is there, he is the one that makes it fun!

  75. 231


    I struggle with getting my younger kids (5 and almost 3) to remember good table manners during dinner. They tend to get very fidgety and my almost-3-yr. old daughter likes to try to use her hands instead of her fork and spoon. The kids also start to get super silly and laugh and talk while their dinner gets cold. I feel like I spend most of the time reminding them to use good manners and eat more quickly!

  76. 232


    Hi! When we sit at the table for supper, the kids talk about their day and then my husband will ask one question that makes everyone think. A question could be something like, ‘Did your behavior today encourage others to follow Jesus.? It is usually VERY interesting!

  77. 234


    I love that my husband does such a great job in leading our family during our meals together. He has set up a format that begins with a prayer before the meal, continues through the meal discussing what we each read during our personal prayer time that day or what we’re thankful for that day, and continues after the meal usually with a reading from our family devotional and always with a prayer. After breakfast (our main family meal) he says a prayer for each person at the table and then we close with a short memorized prayer together.

  78. 235

    Sarah says

    My kids are 3 and 1 so our struggles are getting them to stay quiet long enough to pray, and eating what we’ve given them. We love the time as a family though, and have high hopes for dinner time as the boys get older!

  79. 236

    Nichole R. says

    I love supper because it’s typically the only meal we all eat together, since husband is gone at work for breakfast and lunch. During the meal we take turns going around the table, each sharing what we are thankful for. For my 2 and 4 year old, the answer is usually “Grandma!” :)

  80. 237

    AR says

    Getting it all togethers is my hardest part. With 7 of us – things are usually ‘crazy’ by dinner time. But we do make it everyday – ha ha. Its great time. Would love to read the Truth of Dare book for girls.

  81. 238

    Amber V. says

    Our struggle lately is getting us all there. My husband recently started traveling for work so it has been an adjustment. I never realized how much I treasured that time until now… I know we will get into a groove that will allow us to really focus our time when we are all home.

  82. 239


    Our main struggle is that my kids take so. stinkin’. long. to eat! Maybe instituting a “no talking til food is gone” policy will speed things up so that we can have a great conversation/devotion/prayer-time AFTER the meal is finished!

  83. 240

    Shelly Smith says

    We struggle with the “busy-ness” of toddlers and trying to keep everyone at the table long enough for Mom to actually sit down (after serving everyone!) I guess a little better preparation on my part might make that smoother?! :)

  84. 241

    Lonnye says

    We struggle with turning off the TV. We also struggle with all the demands that we’ve put up with from our children for too long. They need to learn that we’re not their own personal wait staff (and if we were, we probably wouldn’t put up with the way they ask, anyway).

  85. 242


    We struggle with keeping everyone AT the table for long, but when we’re all there, we have a lovely time! We take turns praying, choosing our favorite music to listen to with dinner, and we talk about our day. Which isn’t terribly full {since the kiddos are all so little}, but I think we’re on the right track! :)

    Thanks for the entry!

  86. 243

    Jamie says

    Love it when my husband offers to pray. Struggle with keeping knees down off the table, heads up off the table, using utensils, no bodily noises and not talking about poo or something else that is gross!

  87. 244


    You’re so wonderful! Our kids are a little less than a year apart, which makes dinnertime extra busy (they’re 2 and 3 right now). They really need to eat earlier than we normally do because of bedtime, but we want to wait until Daddy gets home from work. Sometimes that just means that we need to do baths before he gets home, so there’s enough time for everything before bed! Keeping them still and sitting at the table is always a challenge, too!!

  88. 246

    Carleigh says

    I love that we eat dinner as a family almost every night and now that my children are getting older I am hoping we can use this time to connect more as a family.

  89. 247


    I love that we keep trying to work on our around the table time! 😉 I struggle between meaningful conversation and staying on top of correcting manners and impulsive behavior during dinner discussion. We’ll keep at it!!

  90. 249


    Our biggest struggle is getting dinner started at a reasonable hour. We all end up being tired, and the little ones falling asleep. Terrible, but true. Especially during the summer. We still make a point to read some scriptures and pray together, but we know it just isn’t all it could be.

  91. 250


    We pray at dinner each night, but my 4 year old absolutely refuses to pray out loud. I’m not sure what his reservation is- even his 2 year old sister will do it! I’d love to see him begin a prayer life of his own.

  92. 251

    Amanda B. says

    We struggle to actually get around the table every night, but we love the times that we do. It’s a goal as our girls get older, and our family schedules level out, to make this a priority for our family.

  93. 254

    lindsay says

    I’m thankful that we have dinner together every night. Good conversation is a bit trickier – but I think that is because of the stage we are in (1,4 and 7 year olds). I’m just trying to enjoy this phase of my life – the good and difficult parts of it!

  94. 255

    Becky says

    Our antique dining table is used for so many occasions — schooling, eating, crafting, talking, planning to name a few. It is a place of rest, security and peace. A command center of sorts. Prayers and singing are a vital part of schooling, as well as mealtime. So in a way it is a spiritual place and center of meeting where we all join together each day. A kind of “church” [away from church ;-} ] setting for our family.

  95. 257

    Christie says

    My struggle is getting to the table together! It’s just me, my husband, and a 9 week old, but it’s rare that he’s home at the same time I am available to eat since half of my day is spent feeding the babe, and my husband works really long hours starting a business.

  96. 258

    Kelley says

    The biggest struggle is keeping family dinner the priority with all the other competing activities of a busy family. We sometimes eat late, sometimes early, but almost always together.

  97. 259

    Erica says

    I want to have a conversation with my kids but with all the neighborhood kids… They just want to eat and run!

  98. 260

    Jessiann says

    My kids really look forward to family dinners! We eat together most every nit, but in the summer we gat slack because we’re running all over… The last tow nights we have made it a point to eat together, and they have both said how much they enjoyed it!

  99. 261

    Rachel Watters says

    I struggle with sore feet and not wanting to go anymore (maybe it’s the 5 kids with 2 on the way!). I love my husband’s encouragement and willingness to help without me having to say anything!

  100. 262

    Sharon B says

    I struggle with the fact that my two middle children (14 and 11) can’t even be in the same room with out arguing over something…or everything! It irritates me and my husband and just puts everyone else in a bad mood. I need something that will help that to change. Something more that just time. :-( I do love that we make and take the time to have dinner together almost every night (not Date Night!).

  101. 263

    Sabrena N. says

    In our house we do Worst/Best/Request…and sometimes the requests are silly, but they do allow us to share a part of each other’s day. Eating together at the table is my number one favorite family activity…and even though it’s sometimes a struggle to get everything together, its so worth it!

  102. 264

    Megan Beck says

    Thanks for the continued reminder how important family time around the table is so important. So true that most meaningful conversations start at the table. Thanks for the opportunity to win the lazy susan. What a neat piece.

  103. 265

    Mari says

    We are pretty good about waiting together at the table and talking about our days. I also get Geary listening to my kids pray! I want to move devotional time from bedtime to dinner, inevitably I’m too tired for one more thing at the end of the day. And I don’t want us to come to God in our fatigue.

  104. 266


    We have four boys so dinner at the table can be very loud, everyone wanting to be heard. So having a devotional time after dinner would probably help my sanity :) as well as encouraging boys to be godly men.

  105. 267

    Teresa says

    We struggle with devotion time as a family period. I always feel like it shouldn’t be this hard. Sometimes impatience, talking over each other, disinterest. We need to change our approach.

  106. 268

    Andrea says

    I struggle with getting our family to sit down during the fall. My older two boys are in marching band and my youngest son is playing soccer. All 3 are in scouts. We do a daily devotion during Advent but I would like to do that more often.

  107. 269


    I love that EVERY night our family of 5 plus (we foster parent) gets to sit at the dinner table together and share a good home-cooked meal and do devotion together.

  108. 270

    Karen says

    May I just encourage all the young moms to hang in there and keep working at having a family dinner time? It will pay off as your children are ‘trained’ for that time. It is wonderful now to now have adult kids who love to sit around and talk, but it started when they were little and in high chairs!

    Our biggest ‘issue’ is now that the kids are pretty much out of the house to make sure that my hubby and I actually cook and sit down to a meal together. I can tell that it would be very easy to sit down in front of the TV or just stand in the kitchen!

  109. 271

    Mary Johnson says

    We eat together every night, my problem is my girls are 4 and 2 and they just don’t sit well, much less have good conversation!
    We are trying though!

  110. 272

    Darby says

    kristen…. first – what a powerful word! thanks for being spot on, as usual:)

    family identity is so important and, in our house, that meal time together is key. our prayer is that if we build a strong enough family identity, the kids won’t get as swept up in searching for a place somewhere else…. everyone wants to belong, right? and somehow, that consistent dinner together – doing whatever is right for you and your family – seems to foster that.

    thanks again…

  111. 273


    We struggle to keep everyone focused for Bible reading after the meal… with 6 kids, ages 1 to 15…. they just don’t like to sit still and/or be quiet for very long and they feed off of each other’s energy!

  112. 274

    Vanessa Davis says

    I think the verse on the lazy Susan would help me to keep focused while our kids….ages 10, 11, & 13…..try to keep it together at the table. No phones for anyone, definitely no TV!

  113. 275

    Lisa says

    Love, love, love the Lazy Susan! We eat most of our meals together and I think that our biggest challenge is silliness in kids!

  114. 276

    Niki Blake says

    Love our family mealtime together but with our two oldest 14 and 16 I see it slipping away. SO…I guess my struggle right now is to CONTINUE to keep it a priority. :) Our youngest is 6 and he is always up for family mealtime. :) Except when he doesn’t like what I cooked. HA!

  115. 277

    Amy says

    Our biggest struggle is staying at the table and having conversation. My husband has been working LONG hours and is ready to sit in his chair and relax after dinner. I would LOVE to have some reading material to get the conversation started. Thanks!

  116. 278

    Renee Richardson says

    I love that we eat together as a family and discuss our day. Thanks for the incredible giveaway :)

    fattybumpkins at yahoo dot com

  117. 279

    Rebecca L says

    With my 18 year old, it’s hard to be have everyone here at supper. It makes me sad, she’s getting busy with her own life as it should be but I feel like someone’s missing when she’s not here. :(

  118. 280

    Marie says

    We’ve had family mealtime since we’ve been married. My family did it growing up and it was my favorite time of day, so we wanted to continue it in our family! Our mealtimes are treasure now even though with a 1.5 yr old and a 3.5 year old they can sometimes get hairy.

  119. 281

    Jaisa French says

    We struggle with meeting needs. With a 20 month old and 4 year old someone is always in need of something more this, more that, spills, dropped forks, whining, meal time is honestly a time of day where I have to keep my voice at a calm level because I am *just that close* to raising it and regretting it. Meal time for us is a chore from beginning to end and I know I need to make strides to improve that. We also get so few meals together a week due to my husbands work schedule.

  120. 282


    Kristen, I have just felt a sense of accomplishment having my entire family around my table for almost every meal. That’s easier to do when they are 4, 2.5, 1.5, and your hubs is ‘self-employed!
    My struggle is participating in nightly devotions. As our family grew {rapidly}, bath and bed was my hubs gift to me so I could get my ‘nightly chores’ done. Then he started the bible reading before bed. I love hearing him seed truth into them and overhearing them memorizing fun stories. BUT I want to be involved in that part of their life as well as get my ‘chores’ done. I think I may ask if we can start “Breaking Bread” at the table!
    Thanks for all your encouragement!

  121. 283

    kelly fitzpatrick says

    since my children were little, we each share our “best”, “worst” and “weirdest” memory from our day. it has been a favorite part of our family’s traditions and i pray it continues until they all return with their college buddies around our big table.

  122. 284

    Krista D says

    Love the lazy susan! Since my husband travels quite a bit of work, we don’t have family dinners with the entire family as often as I liked. Seems like we get a routine going and his schedule changes or is out of town for an extended trip and momentum disapeers as readjust our family schedule.

  123. 285

    Cheryl Spofford says

    We struggle with getting our young children to just sit still and eat. They are constantly fooling around.

  124. 286

    Kelly says

    We have family dinners most nights with few exceptions. I love when my big kids come home and we ALL ( 16 of us!) share a meal and a fun evening together. I love the lazy susan and my kitchen table is seriously in need of a centerpiece, this would be perfect!

  125. 287

    Pamela says

    Hi1 love the Lazy Susan! I was extremely fortunate when my 3 kids were small. My husband , served in the Navy then, would be gone for up to a year at a time. So it would be just the 4 of us. My little ones would eat anything and we always ate at the table. I would ask how their day at school went, or what they liked most about the day when school was out, during the summer. We read books at night and sometimes they were Bible stories. Then we would say our prayers together before they went to bed. We always went to church on Sundays. They are all grown up now. One still live with us to help us out. I am so thankful for my family. God Bless!

  126. 288

    Kim Anderson says

    We have trouble engaging together as a family. We have a 3 and 5 year old and they have limited attention spans. It is also hard to get my husband involved in our devotion time so it would be helpful to have additional resources.

  127. 289

    Elizabeth says

    I love that our family eats together most nights and we work on memorizing Bible Verses. As soon as we sit down, one of the kids ALWAYS reminds us to choose a verse from our homemade Scripture book.

    What I don’t like is when my husband works night shifts. He’s so tired and in pain he doesn’t feeling like talking much or hearing a lot of noise (our kids are 5 and 2, so that’s not easy). He works 12 hr shifts at a steel mill and it’s unimaginably loud and his duties are physically exhausting. I understand why he feels so bad. Even though I’m thankful he has a job, I constantly pray that he can find something where he doesn’t have to work SO hard. Would love prayers for this awesome Daddy, please! :)

  128. 290


    I have three girls under four right now, so we have trouble with the older two goofing around, pushing, playing, etc. While I am writing this, I realize I probably should just sit them on opposite sides of our huge table. I am sure they would still find a way to get to each other. :)

  129. 291

    Sarah says

    We eat together every evening meal…my parents, my 3 children, and my husband, so a 2, 6, 10 year old, 2 40 year olds and 2 65 year olds, it is a blessing, but keeping all in the conversation and on topic, can be a challenge, and our table is small, but we found a new to us table today and will have room for guests!

  130. 292

    Angela Putnam says

    One of the best decisions I ever made was to eat our evening meal together and insist on it every single tine it is possible. My older 2 (of 3) children are out of the house now and they look back and value that time. It knit us together as a family.

  131. 293

    Brittany says

    Our family of three really struggles with eating together as a family. From my husband’s busy military schedule and my busy coaching schedule to our one year-old’s very picking eating habits and sporadic appetite, it’s hard to actually make a meal easy, serve it together (my husband is gone three or four nights out of the week), and get my son to eat it contently rather than fussing! We never grew up with family meals, and when we got married we both talked about wanting to make it a priority in our family, but it seems like an impossible task at times. Hopefully my husband will be out of the military soon though!

  132. 294

    Christina says

    We have 9yo boy/girl twins. Most nights we do have dinner together but our struggle is being able to talk with each child without the other interrupting or offering their sarcastic feedback! Thanks so much for the book suggestions. Can’t wait to try them out! And that lazy Susan is awesome!!!

  133. 295

    Laura says

    I love when one of my kids asks a thought provoking question way beyond their years. It just shocks and amazes me and makes me realize they are paying attention to what we are teaching them sometimes. Devotions around the table open up great communication times that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

  134. 296

    Janet says

    At the dinner table, we regularly have everyone in the family share about their day through what we call “best and worst.” Each person shares what was the best thing that happened in their day and what was the worst thing that happened. It allows an opportunity for each child to open up and share what is going on in his or her life.

  135. 297


    Great ideas for table time. I have 4 kids under 6 so I feel like I’m always running, but it’s nice when I get to sit down with everyone for the special devoted time together. The feelings of filling the tummy and the lighthearted banter do my heart good.

  136. 298

    Denise Wilson says

    It is difficult to have regular devotions or conversation around the table. Either my husband gets home from work after we’ve already eaten dinner, which is pretty common. Or, if my husband is home in time for dinner, he just wants to sit and relax. That involves little talking and usually watching a little t.v. We definitely need to work on being consistent with dinner devotions. :)

  137. 299

    Jennifer says

    We struggle with getting our oldest child to enjoy eating and trying new foods without complaining and deflating the dinner atmosphere. This is in contrast to our youngest who thoroughly enjoys his food and is quite a character at times. We want to make it a meaningful meal without a battle.

  138. 300


    I love that we have almost every dinner and lunch at the table together. It gives us a chance to chat. I’m fortunate that my kids have become less picky eaters over time, so fighting over food has become almost a thing of the past. We struggle with just remembering to pray before dinner, much less have devotional time.

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