Today, my friends, is Friday!! Whoop whoop! For our family, Friday night is when our rest day begins-we observe Shabbat. So Friday is a day of much excitement, of preparation, and of relief. 🙂 Friday night dinner is the highlight. We usually try to set the table special-put on some candles, or maybe place mats. If we’re going all out (or our daughters get involved) we will use a fancy table cloth and goblets and candles and maybe even flowers. But usually, it’s something fairly simple. The meal is usually fairly normal, sometimes I make a dessert or a special dish. Challah bread is a very yummy egg bread that we sometimes have, or other times matza or an artisan loaf from the local grocery is used. 😉 We drink juice at this meal. We do not usually drink juice, so this is a special thing we look forward to. We often share this meal with family or friends. JE’s family and brother’s family also observe Shabbat, and depending on the time of year, we may go to my in law’s house every week for several weeks in a row, or trade off who hosts dinner. It’s very special and fun! The part I must say is my favorite, is the blessings.
At the beginning of the meal, we bless God for providing us with bread and drink. Then each father goes to the members of his household and blesses each one and serves them by pouring their drink. I don’t know about your background or what you believe, but just stop and think about that. What if your dad had spoken a blessing over you each Friday night, praising you for something you did? Powerful, right? JE usually starts by blessing me, and then goes around to each child by age. Each one eagerly awaits what Papa has to say about them-what they did that pleased their Daddy this week. This is also challenging to JE some weeks if we’ve had a particularly rough time with a certain child, and forces him to look past the temporary struggles and encourage them in some way. Like I said, POWERFUL. A Daddy’s blessing is so huge. This is why this time is my favorite. We bless our heavenly Daddy, and our Daddy blesses us.
Then we go on to eat our meal together, all ’round the table. I love meals where all are “present”. No one is looking at their phone, or the computer, or a TV. We are all laughing and engaging one another. There is much to be said for a family meal time. After dinner we might play games, go on a stroll to see the sunset, sing songs together, or watch a movie or sermon. Sometimes we pray together or just talk about what’s going on in our lives. This moment, this chance to just -stop- each week, give thanks, reconnect with our family, and rest, have been such a beautiful gift to us from the Father. I’m thankful for the gift of Shabbat.