Mealtime Rituals

When I was a child our family would sit down for lunch together every Sunday after church. My father would always say the grace. “God bless this food to our use and us to thy service and make us ever mindful of the needs of others.”

As a child the words got all slurred in my mind into one word, “useinus”. But it wasn’t the words that had meaning for me so much as the gathering of our family at one table and the practice of stopping for a few moments to share a blessing.

Pausing together in the quiet was such a contrast to the rest of our complicated family life.

It was a moment I could count on when all was well.

Although I no longer say a prayer at mealtime, I’ve carried the “pausing together” part of my childhood tradition forward. When my family and I sit down for dinner we have a practice of holding hands, closing our eyes and sitting in silence for a few moments before eating.

I find the quiet so nourishing after the business of preparing the meal. I like to linger in the peace and I appreciate that my family waits patiently for my eyes to open.

After the quiet, someone usually adds something they are grateful for, the farmers who planted the spinach, the person who prepared the food etc. Then we laugh with one another, ask questions and exchange stories. It’s a sweet time of sharing.

Having a mealtime practice creates a transition from the “doing” of life into the “being”. It sets the tone for a time for your family to cherish one another. And as you relax together, you’re more able to take in the nourishment of the food.

Creating a simple mealtime ritual will bring a nourishing pause to your life and will foster the feeling of connection with your family.

Do you have a mealtime practice? Please share it here in the comments!

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  1. Heather Alexander
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Dearest Jovanna,

    It has been several weeks since I have been able to be in touch with anyone via email as my computer has gone on the fritz. My house mate has been kind enough to let me use hers. For that I am grateful for it allows me to stay in touch with those I love and to explore and be inspired.

    You Jovanna are one such lovely woman that “Creates Space” for me to explore and be inspired by the simplicity and the gentle nudging of your words, images and experience. Thank you for sharing your gifts.

    I like the concept of your meal ritual of transitioning from “doing” to “being”. I have found myself learning and practicing just “being” more and more. Being mindful of the instances of Grace in everyday life and looking to Nature and my intuition as my guide. This can often be a challenge yet my spirit is willing to follow my heart.

    What lovely, simple and sweet images of Spring you have posted.
    We have a chickadee family living in a birdhouse on the side of the garage. Everyday and every few moments the mom and dad take turns going out for food for their new fledglings. They return with a mouthful of worms and such and are met with a chorus of baby tweets.

    The crows are also keeping an eye on the new ones for they are known to grab them while the kids are out on the lawn practicing their survival skills. Mom, Dad and the grackles are watching out for the crows. The grackles will surround the crows and verbally force them to leave. Interesting how they take care of one another.

    Yes nature has so much to teach us if we are open to its lessons. I fall in love with nature more and more every day. It makes my heart joyful, open and kind of ticklish.

    I’m so glad that nature gives you similiar feelings and that you are willing to share that with us and those you love.

    Thank you Jovanna! You are always an inspiration and a creator of quiet space for one to become fully and innately themselves.

    Love Heather

    • Jovanna
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Yes, Heather, I agree. It’s so freeing to look for moments of “grace”, in everyday life. Observing nature from that perspective can be uplifting helping you find a clearer more positive perspective in all areas of your life. Thanks for offering your words of wisdom!

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