Table Talk #27: The Value of the Table


Thank you so much for joining us at The Mentor’s Table. Mother’s Day is just a few days away, and since this site is designed to encourage, empower, and connect with women who want to do life better–spirit, soul, and body– is a great “gift” to share with a special mama in your life. Take them to the site to get signed up for these LIVE mentoring moments, and then give them the numbers of your favorite Table Talks, so they can go through and listen and be encouraged right away.

It’s official! Thursday is our new Table Talk day. Mark your calendars, and be sure to join us LIVE.

If you’re following me on Instagram, you know that I have a big weekend ahead with my eldest daughter. I’ve been gearing up for this transition into adolesence and doing as much research as possible. Two of my main sources that helped me prepare for this weekend are:

  1. Gail Anderson on Periscope/YouTube. Her Mentoring Moments for Moms are always solid gold. She was so gracious to personally respond to my email questions and give me a list of lots of resources to help prepare me for this transition of parenting adolescents.
  2. Six Ways to Keep the “Little” in Your Girl by Dannah Gresh (author of the Secret Keeper Girl series). This book had everything I needed to get me prepared for this weekend. It’s light and upbeat, concise and practical. I highly recommend it! And for all the boy moms, she’s got Six Ways to Keep the “Good” in Your Boy. I haven’t read it, but if it’s along the lines of the girl equivalent, I’m sure it’s going to be helpful.


Today’s Table Talk is about, well, tables. A table is a staple in any home. It’s an instant people magnet (my community group gathers at the table without any prompting, but they wait for an invitation to sit in the living room).

I chose the name The Mentor’s Table, because the word table naturally evokes a sense of security and fellowship. And it’s no wonder, considering the statistics of families who eat together at the table at least five times a week. On (and many other sites), for your children, the benefits of eating together are hard to ignore:

*Less stress 

*Better grades 

*Less likely to smoke, drink, do drugs, develop an eating disorder or struggle with obesity



I recently listened to The Splendid Table podcast #629 with Pableaux Johnson. Pableaux is a photographer in New Orleans who has taken the tradition of red beans on Monday to a whole new level. Every Monday night he opens his home to family and friends and serves a simple meal of red beans and rice (He even shares his recipe). Friends and family show up with a bottle of wine or their favorite beverage,

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The Problem With Plans

It’s moments after the New Year, and everyone is talking about goals and resolutions and focus words. Diets are starting, gyms are full, and your neighbor says hi as she jogs by each morning.

That’s all well and good for her, but you’re already juggling so much on your plate that you can’t imagine adding anything, goal or not. You’re just happy to keep everything on your plate and everyone around you semi-reasonably happy. You’ve got your job, your kids, your volunteer hours, your meal plans, your husband, your friends, your quiet time, your ___________. Any jogging neighbor would be flummoxed to have to juggle all that. She would grovel if she knew how much you were maintaining, and, she’d of course, toast your success and encourage you “Keep up the good work. You’re a model to society” if she knew how much you were maintaining.

There’s no room for goals, for plans. It’s all about survival of the fittest, right? . . . Right?

::cue crickets::

I think we all know there’s an inherent good in planning and making goals. But many of us have reasoned away why it’s good for others but not for us. Sure, we see the potential benefit, but then we value our organized chaos a little more, label ourselves as “eccentric,” and hush that still quiet voice that tries to argue otherwise.

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Gift Guide 2016

Part of being intentional over the holidays is buying presents now so you’re not scrambling last minute and filling your cart with Amazon Deal of the Days that don’t actually fit any of your family members. If you’re looking for meaningful items to add to your wish list or if you’re buying for a special keeper-of-the-home in your life, here are some of my favorite items–and they’re all less than $30! (Click any picture for a direct link to buy the item.)

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3 Reasons You Can Excel in the Kitchen

Why you CAN excel in the kitchenPERFECTION IS UNATTAINABLE 

So often I hear women complain about their inability to master cooking or to incorporate a menu plan of healthier food that their families will actually eat. And I get it. It IS hard. I’m not denying that. But that’s not an excuse to give up and stop trying.

Growing up I always heard adults chirp at me, “Practice makes perfect,” while I faced failure and defeat in some new skill set I was attempting. (Grueling hours at the piano come to mind, oh, and the many many basketball games my toosh warmed the bench.) I began to hate that phrase, but then when I became a mom, I found myself using it on my own daughters! Oh, the shock and horror I felt, disgusted with myself, praying my girls wouldn’t resent me.

I knew the reason I said it, disgusting as it felt; it contained an element of a core value that I refuse to let my girls grow up without. I always tell my daughters, “The Abad girls don’t give up. We always try our hardest. We do not quit.”

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Natural Air Purifiers: 3 Easy Ways to Clear Toxins From Your Home

3 Natural Air Purifiers to help you stop airborne germs from spreading to your family.We recently had a bout with a nasty nasty stomach bug that passed from me to my husband. I think it’s safe to say that there’s never a convenient time to be sick, and it’s one thing for a parent to be down, but it’s a whole ‘notha ballgame for a kid to go down. So before the virus could spread to anyone else in my family, I went on a cleaning spree, and I used these three things to help clean the air and naturally eliminate airborne toxins. Two of the three required no effort whatsoever on my part. They are simply a staple in our home and are constantly keeping the air clean. The last one took less than two minutes to finish. You can do these. They’re really that simple.

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Build Your Skill Set

Why you should try learning a new skill instead of staying reliant on technologyI recently listened to a Ted Talk about millennials and their desire to be taught how to be independent and empowered. One extreme example in how far some had strayed from independence (or the speaker would argue she was never taught otherwise because of parents who enabled her) focused on a college-age girl who needed a stamp. Whenever she needed a stamp, she would call her mom, and her mom would then mail it to her!

While I find this appalling on so many levels, if I’m being honest, I found a trace of myself in this story. In this age of technology, what we want or need is generally immediately available at our fingertips or can be delivered on our doorstep in less than 48 hours. When we have a question, we don’t have to go anywhere to get an answer, we just turn to our smart phones. When we need to see how something is done, we YouTube it. There is no immediate need for us to better ourselves by learning a new skill because we can just find a bandaid fix that takes care of our need without any real thought on our part going into it.

Stop relying on band-aid fixes. Learn how to do it yourself.FATAL FLAW

The fatal flaw that this system contains is that we’re
not learning and bettering ourselves. If the problem comes up again, we’ll just YouTube it again. We’re not learning anything. Just like if the aforementioned girl needs a stamp again, she’ll just call her mom. She won’t learn where her closest post office is. She won’t research a list of stores that also sell stamps that she could buy when she’s there already buying something else. She’ll never know that she can print postage online and not even have to leave her home (or wait for her mom’s stamp to arrive).

What skill are you purposely not learning because you’ve reasoned that you don’t

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White Space: The #1 Key to Organization Success

I’ve recently come to a revelation about organization.

White space. It’s not just for schedules anymore.

When I organize, I also need white space. Let me explain.

PB-clock_c0dec98e941ea8762025dcf0c0397919Not so recently, we went on a trip and used our carry on suitcase. It’s old and ugly and green, but it works. And since it’s so small, I’ve always prided myself on maximizing storage space by storing luggage within luggage within luggage. The canvas bag goes in the carry on which goes in the medium suitcase that goes in the big one. It’s quite a tidy system and save us tons of room, but . . .

As I type this, that same small green carry on sits in my garage, next to my babushka suitcase set . . . weeks after we traveled. Why? I just haven’t brought myself to going through all the trouble to open all the suitcases, nest it properly, and then zip them all back up again. Not to mention, there’s a stack of boxes on top of the big suitcases, so more effort is required.

And then I realized that my organization system is great for a one-time use, but it’s not practical. It’s complicated. And when it comes down to it,

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Why Table?

In the Beginning

When I was brainstorming ideas for my website and trying to pick out a theme and a name, I just kept going back to the idea of incorporating a table in it. What is it about a table (a farmhouse table in particular) that’s so inviting? When I see a great table–large, solid wood, dark finish, the centerpiece of a dining area–I am instantly drawn to it. Add a large, handmade, clay bowl to the middle, and I might start drooling. I want to run my hands along the edge. I want to sit in the chairs, and I want it to be in my own home.

A Table

A table is inviting. It’s a safe place. It’s a foundation for nourishment in our daily lives. It’s where so much of our daily life at home takes place. It’s Grand Central, if you will. Meals are eaten there. Homework is done there. Projects are spread out there. As a homeschooler, education is provided there. When holidays come around, it’s decorated accordingly. Presents are wrapped there. And when friends come over, laughter and community surround it.

“A table is a symbol of community.”

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A Return to Home Ec (and a survey for you)

Once upon a time, simple skills such as sewing, cooking, and balancing a checkbook were taught in schools as general education. Unfortunately, much of the substance of the Home Economics curriculum has since been removed from public education. More and more, teenagers are emerging in the adult world equipped with a strong sense of justice and inclusion, but unable to properly manage their dorm rooms, apartments or homes. I know there are exceptions to every rule, and I am so thankful for mothers like mine who took an intentional step to make sure we are educated in the finer points of home management. But for a startling majority, moving out to live on one’s own is a rough slap of reality that leaves many baffled and wondering, “How do I do this? Why wasn’t I taught how to do this by now?”

This isn’t a blame game. I’m not here to point fingers. I’m here to help. If you fall into the category of “How do I do this?” you’ve found a mentor to walk you through it. Where we start is up to you. What do you want to learn how to do? Take a minute and fill out this survey, so I can tailor my posts to target areas that you’re looking for some education on.


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