Twenty-two years ago I went to a furniture warehouse with my mom and bought our first dining table. I was a newlywed with a husband who was traveling a lot for his new job and we were getting ready to move into our first home. My sweet new husband had very few opinions on things like furniture and paint color. This was the guy who furnished his first apartment with an oversized chair that had lost all of it’s stuffing and was pulled out of a dumpster. You may be surprised to hear this, but it didn’t make the cut when we got married and combined households after our wedding.
So, he encouraged me to take my mom shopping to pick out our table and I knew that what I really wanted was something similar to what my parents had in their home at the time. Mind you, this was the late 90’s. I wanted it to feel fancy but not have a fancy price tag.
We found what I thought was the perfect table (we got what we paid for) and I felt oh so grown up when I saw how it looked in our dining room. Never mind the fact that the aforementioned dining room was basically a glorified ‘nook’ and my fancy new table totally overwhelmed the space.
(OLD DINING ROOM TABLE)
Fast forward twenty-two plus years and while I might have been able to obscure it in pictures (the glories of photoshop), the wear and tear on the table was harder to ignore in person. And, after one particular family gathering where some very hot soup left it’s mark (literally) in multiple places, I knew it was time for a change.
But, what to do? I considered painting the table but, if I’m honest, I knew that I would never be able to achieve the finish I wanted. Some people are really gifted in the refinishing/repainting of furniture but, sadly, I’m not one of them.
So, I began to shop around and found the perfect table on sale!
I wanted something that had classic lines and the look of an antique piece. I would have loved to have found an actual antique table but all of the ones I fell in love with were WAY above my price range.
So a newer table made to look old fit the bill perfectly.
I know for a FACT that I never could have achieved this finish with paint and I give a lot of credit to those of you talented people who are able to do that. I’ve come to accept my limitations!
Having a matte finish vs the shiny finish on our old table adds a wonderfully soft touch to the room.
For the majority of 2020, our dining room was used as an office for me when Robb began working from home and a catch-all for our kids’ books and papers when they switched to distance learning. So, I spent a lot of time in here. And, while I am grateful for this space, I was constantly reminded not only that our old table was starting to look very sad but also that it wasn’t being used in my most favorite way.
If the past year has taught me anything (and it’s taught me a LOT!) it’s that we were not meant to live our lives in isolation. We were meant for fellowship and community and gathering. And my dining room saw very little of that in 2020.
So, with a brand new year and a brand new table, I’m eager to make up for lost time. Yes, we will be cautious and responsible, but we will remember that we are called to “not neglect to show hospitality” (Hebrews 13:2). We’ll celebrate special occasions and enter into sacred conversations. We’ll laugh until tears roll down as we swap stories with lifelong friends and we’ll ask thoughtful questions as we get to know new ones.
As I think about who might sit around this table, what kind of meals will be shared and how we will invest in each other, I can’t help but feel that it already has a history even though it’s one that has yet to be written.
If only you could join me here too!
Much love to you friends,
*We purchased the table through Overstock.com and it’s called the Hekman Furniture Wellington Hall Farmhouse Table*