Taste and see God’s goodness from the heart of your home—the kitchen table.
A simple meal shared around a table. A fresh cup of coffee and God’s Word in the quiet hours of the morning. The joy of laughing with friends and family.
Devotions from the Kitchen Table invites you to slow down and appreciate the gifts that are right in front of you. These ninety devotions will inspire you to sit in God’s presence, nourish your soul, and cherish the people who grace your kitchen table.
Take a seat at the table and reflect on the extraordinary blessings that are wrapped up in the most ordinary moments at home.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.90(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Devotions from the Kitchen Table
By Stacy Edwards
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2017 Thomas Nelson
All rights reserved.
He took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people.
What rules do you have at your kitchen table? No elbows on the table, perhaps? Maybe electronics are a huge no-no at dinnertime. Or when you were a child, maybe nothing would elicit a warning glare from your parents quite like chewing with your mouth open.
In our house we don't have a rule so much as a rhyme, and it goes like this: "You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit." (In order to make this rhyme, use your best Southern twang.) Any child who says, "This is exactly what I hoped you would serve, Mom!" receives bonus points. The general idea is that we expect everyone to be grateful.
No parent expects children to love every food that ever touches their plates. But slaving over a stove in an attempt to nourish your little people only to have them grimace as if you had served dirt on a plate is disheartening. The truth is that we all are just looking for a little gratitude.
Matthew describes a scene where many people had gathered to hear Jesus teach and to receive healing. Four thousand men (plus women and children) surrounded Jesus, and they were hungry. The disciples looked at the small amount of available food and deemed it not enough for the crowd. Haven't we all looked at our resources, time, or abilities and thought, What can God do with this?
But Jesus took the loaves and fish in His hands, and He gave thanks for what was before Him. He was grateful for the little before Him because He knew that, with God, a little can be more than enough. God can take whatever we bring Him and use it in miraculous ways. It's what He does!
Gratitude is easy after God multiplies the loaves and fish — after the bill is paid, the job is offered, or the diagnosis is good. What if we chose, instead, to be grateful before that? What if we trusted God not to take what we have and make it more but to take what we have and use it as He sees fit? Let's be people who give thanks on the front end — before the miracle.
Thank You, Lord, for being such a faithful provider. Each day You give me exactly what I need. Help me remember that, with You, the little I have can become more than enough.CHAPTER 2
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Turn on any home-decorating show, and you'll see how easy it seems to redecorate your kitchen. If you get tired of the color on the walls, a gallon of paint can fix that. If the layout begins to bore you, just rearrange the furniture. You can take out a wall if your kitchen is too closed off and even add an island for more counter space. Anything is possible with a little imagination and elbow grease. Change is very "in" these days.
If your grandmother was like many, it's likely that her kitchen never changed. Maybe the table was always against the same wall just below the clock. The gigantic wooden fork and spoon hung above the mantel. The decorative owl magnets were always on the refrigerator. It was always exactly the same, right down to the weekly pill organizer on the windowsill. There is something very comforting about consistency.
We live in a world where things are constantly changing. People who praise you today may persecute you tomorrow. Jobs become obsolete. Loved ones pass away and friends move away. It's hard to keep your footing in a world that never stays the same. Aren't you glad our God never changes?
Jesus will always be who He has always been. He will always be found by those who seek Him. He will always be faithful and forgiving. His love for you will never fade, and His ability to save will never cease. The same Jesus who met the woman at the well sees you in your time of need. The same Jesus who conquered death for you can move the mountains that stand in your way.
Jesus is as close as your next breath. He is more faithful than your closest friend. He is trustworthy and true. Jesus is right where He has always been — even more than Grandma's kitchen.
Lord, I live in a constantly changing world, but I find great comfort in Your consistency. Thank You for always being who You have always been.CHAPTER 3
FIRST ONE AWAKE
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.
It isn't easy to be the first one awake if you're not a morning person. You might be tempted to hit the snooze button a time or two. Perhaps your children serve as your alarm clock and your house is already in full motion when you arise. Or maybe you hit the floor running when you wake up.
On the other hand, there is something incredibly peaceful about rising early, being the first one awake, and sitting at the kitchen table with your Bible and a cup of hot coffee. You can enjoy a moment to take a deep breath, give yourself a pep talk, and meet with God before the busyness of the day begins.
Soon enough, the house will be filled with noise and activity. There will be doors slamming, people talking, and breakfasts being prepared. To awaken in the midst of the chaos can feel overwhelming. But in those early moments, while the rest of the house sleeps, it's just you and the God who loves you.
Having your quiet time with God in the morning isn't a biblical command. What works best may depend on the season of life you are in at the moment. For the longest time I would sit on the bathroom floor while my little ones bathed and have my time with the Lord. The when doesn't matter as much as being diligent in doing it at some point each day.
Still, if at all possible, you just can't beat meeting with God in the wee hours of the morn. David met with the Lord in the morning, laid his requests before Him, and then went about his day expecting to see God work. Don't we all want to see God move throughout our days? We can expect big things from a big God.
Let's rise early to meet with Him. He can fill our hearts with peace in those quiet moments before our days begin.
I love spending time with You, Lord, at any hour of the day, but there is something special about the wee hours of the morning. Thank You for always meeting me there.CHAPTER 4
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Some days, dinnertime is a breeze. There are no wrecks on the commute home, the kids don't have any homework, and you are right on track with your meal plans for the week. You walk in the door to the smell of pot roast and potatoes in the slow cooker and throw together some homemade bread just because you can. Yes, some days you rock at this thing called life.
Then there are those other days. The commute home takes an extra thirty minutes, and you drove the last ten with your fuel light on. Your spouse is out of town, and your children inform you that they have a science project due the next day that they haven't started yet. You have no idea what it was you had planned to make for dinner with the pitiful offerings in your pantry. These are the days when the delivery person is your friend. It doesn't matter if the delivery is pizza, Chinese, or sandwiches — you just need someone to help shoulder the dinner burden.
During some seasons, life feels under control. Our kids are healthy, our marriages are happy, and our jobs are fulfilling. We're blessed with time for family vacations, date nights, and friends. Our social media posts are all beach photos and funny memes, and life is good.
Then there are those other seasons. We don't spend much time on social media because tears in the shower are not as pretty as toes in the sand. The car breaks down, the toilet overflows, and an unexpected bill comes in the mail. We feel disconnected from our spouse, and the kids are passing around a stomach bug. In those moments we need someone to come along and carry some of the burden.
The beauty of the body of Christ is that no one is meant to bear their burdens all alone. To fulfill the law of Christ is to come alongside another person, link arms, and take on some of the load. We are so much stronger together. Let's look around and see who is weakening under the weight of a burden, and let's carry it for them. It might be as simple as having dinner delivered to their door.
You knew that this life was too much for us to do alone, Lord. Open my eyes to ways I can carry another person's burden.CHAPTER 5
After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.
Everyone has that one recipe: Grandma Ruby used to make it, and then your mother made it, and now you've started making it for your children. It's written on an index card that has a butter stain. The ingredients include a dash of this and a pinch of that. The most important part of the recipe, however, is that it gets passed down to future generations. How else will people know that nutmeg is the secret ingredient in Aunt Audrey's Christmas cookies?
A whole generation of Israelites had seen the Lord do miraculous things. They had seen God deliver His people from slavery and sustain them in the wilderness. They had seen the Jordan River dry up, the walls of Jericho fall, and the sun stand still. Yet, when that generation passed away, the generation who followed did not have a relationship with the Lord or any knowledge of all He had done for Israel.
It has been said that "if we don't teach our children to follow Christ, the world will teach them not to." While the source of the sentiment is unknown, the truth of it is undeniable. We are responsible for passing our faith on to the generations that follow us. They need to know what we have seen the Lord do in our day.
What prayers has He answered? What blessings has He bestowed? Write it down. Others need to know. What do we know to be true of Him? What has He meant to us in the dark seasons of life?
May it not be said that the generation following us did not know what the Lord did for us.
Remind me, Lord, to recite Your wonders to the next generation. May they know how mighty You have been in my day.CHAPTER 6
THE LAST PIECE OF PIE
"Commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see."
It's hard not to be bitter when someone takes the last piece of pie. You hide it in the back of the refrigerator while you go about the nightly tasks of washing the dishes, bathing the children, and getting everyone ready for bed. You practically skip into the kitchen thinking of the slice of deliciousness that awaits you. You round the corner and gasp as you see your spouse finishing the last bite of the dessert you have been thinking about all evening.
Maybe something other than a piece of pie tempts you toward bitterness. Perhaps another person was offered the job that you had your heart set on. Someone else received the proposal that you have been dreaming of for the longest time. How do you feel when you see someone receive something that has been the desire of your heart? Satan would love for you to give in to bitterness and envy.
Moses had spent a lot of time preparing God's people for their entrance into the promised land. He had endured a lot of griping and spent quite a bit of time intervening on their behalf. In the end Moses disobeyed God, and the consequence was a big one. God forbade him from entering the promised land. More than that, God told Moses to encourage Joshua to do the very thing that Moses himself desired to do.
Deuteronomy 3:28 holds the key to battling bitterness. Encouragement conquers envy. We can begin to see situations differently when we take the focus off ourselves and look for ways to strengthen the other person. Let's learn to say, "Yay, you," instead of "Poor me." We can be happy for someone even if they get what we have been waiting on.
Even when it comes — heaven forbid — to the last piece of pie.
Teach me to encourage someone when I'm tempted to envy them, Lord. Let no root of bitterness grow in my heart. Help me point others to You.CHAPTER 7
I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.
Philemon v. 6 ESV
Container gardening is all the rage for people without the space to plant a proper garden or the time to invest in maintaining one. By planting a few items in pots on your porch or windowsill, you realize it isn't as hard as you imagined. You might be tempted to think that your little container garden wouldn't be worth the time (and wouldn't produce enough anyway), but the truth is that container gardening can be extremely effective.
Perhaps you viewed other gardens, and they seemed to require more time, effort, or knowledge than you were able to put into gardening. If you'll just try some container gardening, you'll find that your gardening method doesn't have to be complex in order to enjoy sweet basil. You can use what you have at your disposal and get the same result.
Basil is an herb that grows fast and with minimal effort. Basil may not be one of the first things you envision yourself growing, and you might think you'd have no need of it. But once you have fresh basil at your disposal, you begin seeing a need for it everywhere!
Sharing your faith is a bit like starting a container garden. Maybe you don't feel you have the knowledge, the boldness, or the time to engage someone on a spiritual level. You might even think there are no opportunities to share if your only "field" of influence is with other believers. But your way of sharing doesn't have to compare to anyone else's.
If we would ask God to open our eyes so we truly see the people around us, we would begin seeing countless needs. There are opportunities everywhere to share our faith with individuals who need to hear our story. We would begin to realize that the cashier who checks us out every Friday needs us to notice and encourage her. The neighbor to whom we wave but never speak is desperate for changes only Christ can bring.
You may think sharing your testimony is pointless, but once you make up your mind to do so, you will begin seeing a need for it everywhere.
Help me ignore the lies of the Enemy when he tells me that my little testimony could never be enough. Open my eyes, Lord, to those who need to hear my story.CHAPTER 8
A GENEROUS HELPING
Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.
Certain situations make cause cooks to serve generous helpings. When you know that a person will love the dish you've made, that someone is in need of the meal you've made, or that you have more food than anyone could ever eat — well, you pile that plate high.
On the other hand, portions tend to be smaller when someone requests a second helping. After all, you want to be sure everyone has had their fair share and there's enough to go around.
Whether you have lots of growing kids to feed, a limited budget, or a teenage boy, seconds aren't always guaranteed. If you serve something particularly yummy for dinner, you'd best not take your eyes off your plate because someone might snatch a biscuit out from under your nose. It's every woman for herself when bread is involved.
When Jesus dishes out grace, He serves it up like a hot, creamy dish of Mama's macaroni and cheese. It's a generous helping every time. He doesn't skimp when you ask for seconds. He doesn't make you wait until everyone has had some before you can have more. Best of all, Jesus never runs out of what you need. He isn't scraping the pot, hoping there's enough. He offers the same measure of grace each time, and it is a full measure.
Have you fallen into the same pit again? Do you fear there isn't enough grace to cover you this time? If so, you're wrong. Jesus' supply is limitless, and He is generous with it. When John described the grace of Jesus, he said that we receive "grace in place of grace already given." The grace given the second, third, or fourth time is just as generous as His first serving.
Lord, I crave Your grace more than any serving of comfort food. Thank You for Your generous helpings that will never run out.CHAPTER 9
AFRAID OF THE DARK
The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.
Exodus 20:21 ESV
How comfortable are you in the dark? Is it calming or creepy? Do you feel perfectly secure, or are you guilty of mistaking the bathrobe hanging on the door for an intruder? Do you buy nightlights, pretend they're for your children, then plug them in your bedroom? Nyctophobia, or fear of the dark, is a real thing, and lots of people have it.
Has fear ever kept you from meeting with God? Many sermons about hearing God's voice have been preached from 1 Kings 19:11–13. This passage talks about God being in a whisper rather than in the strong wind, earthquake, or fire. It's true that we do, sometimes, look for a big production from God and miss His still, small voice.
We think we would prefer Him to be a little louder, but how do we respond when He does come in thunder and lightning? We like the idea of a gentle whisper, but are we still eager to draw near when there is a smoking mountain and a thick darkness? What happens when fear fills the space between where God stands and where we stand?
Excerpted from Devotions from the Kitchen Table by Stacy Edwards. Copyright © 2017 Thomas Nelson. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsGiving Thanks, 10,
Grandma's Kitchen, 12,
First One Awake, 14,
Special Delivery, 16,
Family Recipes, 18,
The Last Piece of Pie, 22,
Container Gardening, 24,
A Generous Helping, 27,
Afraid of the Dark, 29,
Crumbs Under the Table, 30,
Seasoned with Salt, 34,
An Unexpected Gift, 37,
Family Reunion, 38,
Supper's On, 40,
Home Repairs, 43,
In Real Life, 47,
Meal Train, 48,
Security Code, 50,
First Dish, 52,
A Chicken in Every Pot, 58,
Room at the Table, 61,
Freezer Cooking, 62,
You All, Y'all, and You Guys, 65,
Sleep Like a Baby, 66,
Cherry Dump Cake, 70,
Washing Dishes, 73,
Slowing Down, 74,
Taste Buds Change, 76,
A Safe Place, 79,
Take a Message, 83,
Slow Cooking, 84,
Living in Community, 86,
Crumple Burgers, 88,
Power Lines, 90,
Follow the Recipe, 94,
The Snack Drawer, 96,
Legos on the Floor, 98,
Tend Your Own Garden, 101,
House Sitting, 106,
Inside Scoop, 108,
The Telephone Game, 110,
Dirty Laundry, 112,
Nothing to Eat, 114,
Many Hands, 118,
When Life Is Loud, 121,
Spreading the News, 124,
Dad's Voice, 127,
The Secret Ingredient, 130,
Rubber Boots, 132,
Baked Custard, 135,
Granny and Granddaddy, 139,
First Aid, 142,
Bite-Size Pieces, 144,
Being Prepared, 146,
A Cold Plate, 150,
Fingerprints on the Glass, 155,
Redeeming the Time, 156,
Raindrops on a Window, 159,
The Garage Door, 160,
Room with a View, 162,
Fake Fruit, 166,
Small-Town Living, 168,
Half the Story, 170,
Blending In, 172,
Hardwood Floors, 174,
Taste and See, 178,
Straight from the Fridge, 180,
From Darkness to Light, 184,
Looking in the Wrong Places, 186,
Bird Feeder, 191,
Kitchen Gadgets, 192,
Past and Present, 194,
Family Style, 196,
The Gathering Place, 204,
A Casserole for Every Occasion, 206,
Grandpa's Toolbox, 209,
Toast and Tea, 210,
Finding Quiet Time, 212,
Love Your Neighbor, 214,
The Wishbone, 217,
Are We There Yet?, 218,
Covered in Chocolate, 220,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Excellent devotional. Beautiful and heartwarming pictures. It makes me feel like I am at the kitchen table in my own home. Highly recommend!
Devotionals are not that hard to come by, and chances are when you go to a bookstore you will see dozens of choices. But which one do you pick out and actually use? Which one is a really good one? I don't know about you but I have several devotionals that I just never use or even thumb through. This one is not one of those.... Devotions from the Kitchen Table is an absolutely beautifully gorgeous book! The photographs in this book are exquisite and invite you in to read for awhile. Oh, they are splendid! Not only are the photos amazing, but the devotions themselves are lovely and encouraging. You are pointed to the Scriptures and reminded, through each page and word written, to find God in the small, ordinary moments of your day. What a needed reminder that is! I truly cannot say enough good things about this book and am really excited to have it in my collection. It will be one to use, read, reread, and keep for years to come! *I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in return for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and ramblings in this post are my own.*