Self-Care Boat Week 5: You’re Invited to Dine at the Captain’s Table!

“The comfortable lies we tell ourselves regarding these “little things” – that they don’t matter, and that daily personal and household chores are of no significance to us spiritually – are exposed as falsehoods when we consider that reluctance to care for the body is one of the first symptoms of extreme melancholia. Shampooing the hair, washing the body,  brushing the teeth, drinking enough water, taking a daily vitamin, going for a walk, as simple as they seem, are acts of self-respect.  They enhance one’s ability to take pleasure in oneself and in the world.” 

Kathleen Norris, Quotidian Mysteries

Hello, you lovely hydrated and moisturized women!

Can I tell you a secret?  I’m turning 42 this week and, in honor of the occasion, I am inviting YOU to join me at the Captain’s Table, EVERY DAY for the next two weeks!

What does this mean for you in the real world?

2 Things:

1) For the next two weeks, when you eat, please SIT DOWN AT THE TABLE.  I know, sitting down at a table every time you eat sounds crazy and on the verge of the unthinkable.  It’s possibly why Geneen Roth, pioneer of “freedom eating” (after God, of course), wrote the book entitled When You Eat At The Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair (I highly recommend reading it!).

2) I’m gonna challenge you to take this “eating at the table” thing a step further.  When you make this shift to eat at the table every time you eat, “make it nice for yourself” by putting your plate on a real placemat or by using a table cloth.  Use a full setting of fork/knife/spoon and napkin with a glass and, oh yes, you can even set a flower in a vase on your table to make it all the more inviting!

 

Why are we doing this?

When we “make it nice for ourselves”, we are agreeing with God that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and we are valuing our bodies.  When we value our bodies in simple ways like sitting at the table,  we end up valuing our bodies in the way we eat.  If we eat with a nice place setting – at the table – we just might eat some nice foods – foods that do good for our bodies.

Another benefit of eating at the table is that, when we sit down at the table to eat (and ignore TV, phones and other distractions), we have the chance to practice “Mindful Eating” (Google it and LEARN, LEARN, LEARN).  We can consider if we’re even hungry before we start to eat, we might pay attention long enough to know when we have had “just enough” as the Bible recommends as a good stopping place.  When we eat mindfully, we ask ourselves, “Does this taste good?  Do I want to keep going or save some for later?”  In short, when we sit down to eat and focus on the food (and the folks we are with if that’s the case), we are present for the present of food.  Let’s open it up and enjoy!

 

So, please do join me at the Captain’s Table.  Pull up a chair and relax while you eat!

“He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.”  Job 36:16

Steven Mast