I know next to nothing about Jewish customs and traditions. But that’s okay. I don’t have to know all the things about something in order to see when a good idea is a good idea.

During our Family Teams Workshop the other week (that I mentioned here) there were many things that hit home with me about how our family should function and operate. One thing in particular that stood out was the idea of having a weekly meal with your family that ushers in the Sabbath.

When our kids were younger, having dinner together every night was a priority for us. As they have grown and we’ve gotten involved in more things, the opportunities to have this meal have slowly but surely gotten laid by the wayside. We’ve chosen good things to do, but they’ve taken time away from the great thing that is our family. There are many weeks where we may not even have ONE meal together as a family.

The realization of that has been weighing on us for some time now, but it took someone else mentioning it for us to talk about it and then actually do something about it.

For the past 2 weeks now we’ve made time to sit down together as a family and have a meal together. It’s not a traditional Jewish Shabbat, and our current weekends are far from restful, but it is a chance for our family to come and spend some time together. We talk, we catch up on our weeks, and on each others lives. We just enjoy each others company in a way that our weeks currently don’t allow us to.

We’re still figuring this out. We are far from where we ultimately want to be. I mean, we still don’t even really know what we’re doing. We have yet to have our Shabbat meal at the same time or even the same day. Our current schedules were planned way before we knew about Shabbat. But in this busy season we are learning how to schedule time for something like this as a family and making sure we honor that time once it is on our calendar.

I anticipate this meal will change over time. How it looks, what we do, and how we celebrate will all change. As we get past our current busy calendar, this will shift to be more of a tradition that actually does usher in Sabbath for us. I also anticipate opening up our home to others to enjoy in our Shabbat meal as well.

But for now, we’re learning once again what it’s like to sit down together as a family and have a meal together. We’re learning that we actually are a family and we don’t have to exist as individual entities under one roof. I’m learning just how far removed I have gotten from everyone else and I’m using this opportunity to come back and be involved. This meal is becoming a “center” for our family. A much needed time of connection and joy.

I’m so thankful for this. This is a change that our family needed.

What changes does your family need?