Saturday, January 13, 2007


I was asked if I would address staring traditions. This has been difficult for our family. We observed what others did and then we would try to implement them at our home. Most of the time it did not work. Every family has different dynamics. Therefore, what floats your boat may not float mine. We have found that the best traditions are the ones that just flow naturally. The most important thing is to make sure they are age appropriate. If you are starting this with teenagers be sure to not make this too corny. If you are starting with toddlers do not expect them to sit through long recitations and ceremony. They can be trained to obey, but not trained to love it. The key is teaching them to love it. I will run through our liturgy for sabbath feasting. The dinner begins with my husband reading scripture at the table. Usually what the pastor has e-mailed us for the sermon that week. During this time I am usually putting the food on the table. It is too tempting to put the food on the table and not let them partake. As they get older this will change. He then speaks a blessing on our family and toasts to our Sabbath. We then eat. We try to have fun engaging conversation. Maybe about what the sermon will be about the next day. But, let's face it with an 8 month old, 3 year old, 5 and 8 year old, we are usually cleaning up spills, laughing(or trying not to)or just enjoying the chaos. We then move to the living room for a family worship. We due this everyday so we wanted to make this on special. We did not know what to do, but again the kids came through. They see this as a night to celebrate and do we not have parties when we celebrate. They use this as a time to put on a show. They recite anything we are working on at the time. They have lots of fun with this as it is usually accompanied with much movement and laughter. They always have their favorite psalms or hymns to request. After this we will do family games or something else that is fun for everyone.I Tell you this just as a example. Not for you to copy. This has to have meaning for your home in order for your children to develop a love for it. You will also have to change things as your children get older. If you have a wide age range than consider letting the older ones be part of leading some things. One of my 8 year old's favorite parts is when he gets to read the scripture at the beginning of the meal. Be creative and do not stress. Let your traditions be a natural part of the Sabbath.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Counting the Cost

When we decided to celebrate the Sabbath with a feast every week we had to see how this fit in our budget.My husband is a Christian school teacher and we have four wonderful children. We knew something had to give to enable us to do this. The first thing was to revamp our weekly menus. I love to cook, therefore it has never been a chore to provide a home-cooked meal for my family. We decided to scale back a little. Instead of having a meat, a starch and two vegetables every night,we went to having a couple of vegetarian nights. We do beans and rice, mac-n-cheese,pasta, and anything else that is cheap and filling. Pots of soup are also great. A big pot can get us through 2 dinners and a lunch. I try to keep our week-night meals to about $7.00 a night. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. The vegetarian meals are usually $5 and under.When we have planned on entertaining and the budget will not allow we will do brunch after church. Brunch foods are less expensive. I have also become a whiz at shopping sales. When hams were $1.99 a pound at Christmas I bought 2. Turkeys are always cheap at Thanksgiving. There is always something like a Manager's Special. This week it was Chuck Roast for 1.99 a pound. I found a great recipe in gourmet magazine for an Italian Roast. I will add maybe garlic mashed potatoes and a salad. Possibly homemade bread. This will be an inexpensive feast. I do not do this to be cheap. The reality is, is that the average family cannot feast weekly without finding ways to sacrifice and cut corners. These are just a few things we have done.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Let the Little Children come to Me

Have you ever spent the day cooking, put an incredible meal on the table and your children proceed to turn their nose up at it? Or, the table is beautiful, everyone is dressed nicely, you sit down and someone spills something very dark all over the white tablecloth. By this time you are so tired that you just want dinner to be over with. That is the way our Sabbath dinners were going. I was so discouraged that we stopped feasting. After talking to someone about this I realized that we were totally missing the point. Did God care that my tablecloth was stained? No, but He did care about the way I fussed with my child over it. Did he care if my kids did not like the food? No, but He does care that we train them to be more polite at the dinner table. My point is, they are children. Help them to develop a love for this day. When mom is so worried about everything being perfect it sets the wrong example. I have begun to do small things to help them. I make sure there is something on the table that everyone will eat. Each child helps in some area of the preperation. They love to feel a since of ownership. I have become less stressed about my linens and dishes. So it is stained. I can get another one. I cannot change their memory of a negative experience at the Sabbath dinner table. Remember to not only teach your children the reasons behind this celebration, but also let them see it in our actions. If you still can't get past stains, try Linens and Things or Abondante Living. They sell beautiful stain free linens.


Why do we Feast?

My family is passionate about celebrating the Sabbath. For years we have always prepared ourselves for worship. It may be prayer and singing with the children or a quick "this is how you behave in church." My huband has always believed we should prepare our hearts and minds before entering into God's Holy sanctuary. We always wanted to do more, but did not know what to do. Then we heard about Sabbath feasting. That was it! Why not start this day with a great celebration. There are many thoughts on how to do this. My husband decided since we were celebrating Christ, than we would "go all out." We have grown has we have done this and have changed some things. This blog is meant to share this journey and ideas with you. Friends will often call me to get ideas. So, with the encouragement of these friends I am starting this blog. Please share your thoughts and ideas as we all have much to learn.