Wednesday, June 10, 2015

{An} Old Oak Table


My husband and I recently completed a nine week Financial Peace University (FPU) course with Dave Ramsey. It's a course our church provides a few times a year. If you have never heard of FPU, I highly suggest you check it out. It will change you. And when you go through it with your spouse, it will have a positive impact on your marriage.

It's powerful stuff. It’s so powerful we have shipped off copies of the CDs to our eldest son to encourage him to go through the course. Afterward, our younger son will receive the same encouragement.

Mostly, I hope our children see a change in how their parents handle money. I pray we also reflect the truth to them: everything we have comes from and belongs to God. He has simply entrusted us to be wise with what He gives and to treat it with open hands. In other words, become like Him and be givers.

Dave Ramsey began and ended the nine-week course with reference to an old oak table. You see, it was around his old oak table where he and his wife declared bankruptcy. Around that same oak table they made the choice to be obedient to God’s instructions by following biblical principles on how to handle money. God actually has quite a bit to say on the topic.

I left the last week of our nine-week course reflecting on the old oak table which sits in our home and serves as our dining room table. The table has been in our home for at least 15 years. And life has surely happened around our old oak table.


The table is battered and worn out. Several years ago hubs started to strip the stain off to prepare it to be re-stained or painted. For the most part, it sits there as bare oak waiting on us to decide. At times, mainly when we entertain, I throw a white table cloth over it for a prettier look.



Like Dave Ramsey, there are good and not-so-good memories which surround our table. Of course many meals were served and eaten around our table but there’s so much more to this table…

Toddlers became middle-schoolers.

Boys became young men.

Homework was fought over.

Art was birthed.

Fights were fought.

Fists were pounded.

Hard decisions were made.

Hearts broke there.

Tears fell.

Forgiveness was given.

Smiles formed there.

God was found.

The Bible was opened and read.

Prayers were lifted.

Grace was said.

“See you later” and “welcome home” moments were spoken and lived.

Love letters were written and mailed.

Care packages were assembled and shipped.

Friendships blossomed.

A marriage proposal prepared for and extended there.

The growth of a family was witnessed.

Losses mourned.

The gifts of redemption and transformation were received.

God’s miracles are still seen daily.

The above memories only scratch the surface of the life lived around our old oak table. Nonetheless, the process of writing down the memories makes me wonder how I could have ever considered saying good-bye to our table. Yes, maybe it's just a table. The memories would not disappear with the table. But I have suddenly grown founder of our table.


I find myself sitting at the table on one of the four chairs slowly falling apart, one being held together with a yellow bow, humming the lyrics to a song by Colton Dixon:

There are days I've taken more than I can give
And there are choices that I made
That I wouldn't make again
I've had my share of laughter
Of tears and troubled times
This is has been the story of my life

I have won
and I have lost
I got it right sometimes
But sometimes I did not
Life's been a journey
I've seen joy, I've seen regret
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it

Watch video here: “Through All Of It

Through every event which transpired around our old oak table God has been our God through all of it. Maybe we didn't always see Him. Maybe we went most of those years denying Him. Yet, He was always there knocking, waiting for us to open our hearts to His everlasting love.

Hard stuff didn't stop being lived around our table once we did let Him in for we live in a fallen world. But God continues to be our God through all of it. Instead of waiting on us to respond to His knock, His Holy Spirit now dwells within us.

I think we shall keep our old oak table. Whenever we gather around our table I think we shall take a moment to thank God for being our God.

“You are my God, and I will praise you;
you are my God, and I will exalt you.”
Psalm 118:28

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49 comments :

  1. Beautiful post my friend!! Love the memories and moments you have experienced around this table. It reminds me to be thankful for all the memories created in my family, regardless of where they may have happened. I've done FPU and love it!! Hope you are having a good week. Love reading your words again! xoxo

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    1. Thank you, sweet friend. Yes, let's be thankful for all the memories! Always good to see you here. Love you much. xoxo

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  2. Beth, just beautiful! So glad you shared these words in a post. May we each remember the faithfulness of our God to us, through each & every circumstance in our lives. Blessings to you & yours today!

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    1. Thank you, Joanne. Blessings to you and yours too!

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  3. I love how we center ourselves and gather around a table to do life. It makes me think how God is our oak table. We gather around Him and set our focus on Him as we work through all the good and bad times in our lives. It is a beautiful thing. Thank you for these words to remind us that centering ourselves on God is how we make it through. Love you girl!

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    1. Amen to Him being our center! Love you, Mary. xoxo

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  4. You know that old saying, "If these walls could talk..." Well, I'm thinking that in your house, it's the old oak table! I love how you captured the essence of life, the ups and downs, in your list of things that have happened around that table. It's true, isn't it, that life is a journey. And when we journey with a family surrounding us, we learn a lot about God's faithfulness. In the good times, the hard times, the in-between times. He's always there, steady as a mighty oak tree...

    ...taking care of us nuts!!

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. I always appreciate the little nuggets you leave, Sharon. Love this . . . He's always there, steady as a mighty oak tree."

      And chuckling over the "taking care of us nuts!!"

      You are simply AWESOME!

      Love you.
      xoxo

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  5. It's an alter of sorts, a memorial, and a blessed one at that - I can see the beauty in your table, Beth. It's perfect, with or without the cloth. Beautiful post, my friend.

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  6. lovely, Beth! Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. It's wonderful to see you here, Janice. I hope you are doing well.

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  7. Beth, I have not visited your blog in too long of a time but I am so very glad today is the day I ventured over! I love this post - and I imagine that old oak table will see another generation as grandchildren begin to arrive. Beautifully written and expressed!

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Susan. It's so good to see you again. Thank your for your kind words too. Blessings to you. xoxo

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  8. I haven't been over here in so long. It's good to see you slowly coming back to writing. I went through FPU several years ago and it was life changing. Over time I've been able to get my husband on board with it. We still struggle with it and I'm sure Dave would shake his head at us :), but we are doing better than we were. And I hope I can pass on what we've learned to my kids. Isn't that our greatest hope as parent's that our kids will do better than us?

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    1. We are still figuring it all out too, Alecia. And Dave is surely doing some shaking of his head at us too. There were many times I was shaking my own head at the myths we have bought into while going through the course. I am so glad we went through it though.
      It was so good to see you hear. Thanks for stopping by.
      Much love.
      xoxo

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  9. Around the table...so much of life happens around tables. What a beautiful reminder that life is about sharing with others. Those tables hold so many memories and know our touch too as we sit around it with those we care about and love. The best part is having God in our midst as we sit around those tables.
    Bath, I listen to Dave Ramsey's radio show as I am driving to tutor children in the afternoons. He is quite a teacher.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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    1. I did hear mention of his radio show and need to check that out. Always blessed by your visit here, Linda. Love you. xoxo

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  10. FPU is wonderful. We did a self-study by Dave. It is a wonderful thing to teach your children how to handle and respect money instead of live by it. Love this story of your life around the oak table. If we only stopped and cherished more things in life instead of the "out with the old, in with the new" mentality. Blessings to you, Beth.

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    1. Thank you, Kim. I do really want to spend more time on his website as I know there is much more there for us to take in. I'm so glad we went through the course.
      Blessings to you.

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  11. God is our God through it all - amen to that! I'm a weepy mess while reading your post today because my once toddler graduated 6th grade today. God gives us so many beautiful memories - around our tables and through our lives. Thank you for sharing yours and for the reminder to cherish every single one - even the ones we wouldn't have chosen for ourselves. Blessings to you, Beth - always such a joy to read your words.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Tiffany. I'm glad these words blessed you. It was so good to see you here. Blessings to you and your family.

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  12. So blessed to be your neighbor at #tellhisstory today. What amazing words for the legacy of your table. So thankful for His steadfastness through it all!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Winter. Blessings to you.

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  13. You know I love this. And you. xoxo

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  14. This must make it into your memoir, Beth. Cuz I know that book is in there. I love this story! You've truly given me new perspective on this one. <3

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    1. Oh, Jennifer, you made me smile over the mention of a book. We shall see. But you made me think of the different chapters of our life lived so far that I imagine would be in that book if it ever comes to be. Blessings to you, friend. xoxo

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  15. This is a beautiful post, Beth. What beautiful memories you have. I'm curious about that Financial Peace University. I've heard SO much about it! A measure of financial peace I'm sure comes in "keeping the old" rather than getting rid of it to buy something new. :-)

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    1. It's a great course, Betsy. Lots of information to take in but it's something you would be glad you took. Blessings to you.

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  16. We too have an old oak table that has seen many good and hard times. So lovely to see God moving you to write. We've missed you. Hugs!

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    1. Thanks, friend. I've missed you too and need to come catch up at your place. Much love. xoxo

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  17. Oh, Beth.
    ♡....I was listening to that song today and tears pooled in my eyes as I thought of the fighting that we often do when we wrestle against His will. I do way too often anyway.
    But these memories, and stories, beautiful...and what a hallelujah to God for the testimony He has given to you.
    Much love sweet friend!!!
    Dawn

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  18. Hello. My husband of almost 7 years, cheated on me and left me for her and is living with her now. He said he hasnt been happy in years but never told/showed me he was unhappy. We have a 4 year old son that missed his daddy so much and cries for him to just come home. Our son even crawled all over his car crying "daddy stay home with me." And he still left. He just keeps saying "he's never coming back, no matter what." I didn't know what to anymore..he left me 5/7/15, the weekend before mothers day this year and it broke my heart and I keep praying to God and he keeps telling me "be patient" I was still trying my best but it was hard when this was hurting my son so badly. I have told my sister about this and she gave me some advice to contact a very good and powerful prophet who can help me pray for my husband to come back and be happy with us again which i did and i contacted the prophet. he prayed for me and my husband cam home begging me to take him back and now we ar happily living togeter and a family. all thanks to the prophet and his email is (prayerstosaverelationship@yahoo.com). May God bless you abundantly!

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  19. Beautiful reflection and makes me value our old dining table too. Dave Ramsey sure is good. great advice. I married a wonderful money manager and learned early on to adopt his traits. We weren't sure when the kids were younger if they would also learn them but now seeing them as adults all three managing money very wisely- is amazing. I feel we have passed on a very valuable skill to them. Good words here today, Beth. Thanks and have a terrific weekend

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    1. A valuable skill, indeed, Jean. Praying for my young men as I know this is a skill all of us need to adapt more into our life. Blessings to you.

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  20. Beth,
    My old oak table had those same exact chairs. It has since moved on to my son's apartment, but Oh the life that took place around that table!! Thanks for taking me on a trip down memory lane. When you put the white table cloth on...I could so relate. Even with all my scratched, dings, and dents, Jesus' blood still washes me and covers me - white as snow! Love you friend!!
    Big ((hugs)),
    Bev

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    1. Our table is currently getting a makeover which is oh so exciting. I'm sure one of these days it will be passed on to one of the boys. But for now it remains. Love you, friend. xoxo

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  21. Beth - that sounds like a pass-it down table - all the more valuable because whoever you pass it down to will remember the living, loving and God who shared it with you! My 4th son is taking an on-line class for school on Dave Ramsey's personal finance. He's learning a lot! So glad it's a require for high school - and from such a good man! I love your list of all that happened around the family table! Praying also for God's Shalom around the table - and refreshing for all who sit there!

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    1. One of these days I'm sure it will be passed on. Right now I'm enjoying the makeover process hubs is giving it. It looks BEAUTIFUL. Much love to you, friend. xoxo

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  22. Hi Beth! I think you should keep that table too. I often wonder what I'd hear if my 'walls could talk'. So much life and love and suffering in our houses, around our tables...it's all life. And it's all good.
    I'm glad your program was so good! I hope your sons will appreciate the information too, and will begin a new family legacy of financial savvy.

    Happy Father's Day to your husband!!
    Ceil

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    1. It's all good! :)
      Love you, Ceil.
      xoxo

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  23. Beth,
    What a beautiful and redemptive story about your table...I always love physical reminders of God's faithfulness in the midst of life...praying all is well with you and your family :-)

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  24. I LOVE this Beth!!! So beautiful!

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Much love to you.