What do you collect? Cookbooks? Old radios? Photo albums? Nativity sets? Maybe you keep certain things for their sentimental value like a favorite dress, canning jars, or even a drawer in your kitchen with matchbooks from a hundred restaurants you’ve been to over the years.
Why do we like to gather and save these earthly things? We know we cannot take them with us to eternity, but there’s still a comfort in collecting, in gathering.
Gathering is a term we use to mean storing up. We gather things that are valuable: antiques, family photos, coins; items that connect us to another era. But everyday objects are also gathered and kept so that we might survive: food, house and garden tools, and medicines. These are life giving.
Gathering, bringing near what is important, is in fact both necessary and meaningful. God created us for relationships with one another and with Him. The structure and formation of those relationships happens in the incubator of a home with other people called family. Our earthly families are the prep school for our graduation one day to His family and His Home.
Because God designed us this way, and loves us passionately He talks frequently of gathering us to Himself. In fact the word is used 127 times in the Old Testament. Remember the story of Jesus saying “How I longed to gather you as a mother hen does her chicks, but you were not willing” (Matthew 23:37)? We women understand that emotion. We love having our ‘chicks’ safely under our roof.
These verses on gathering are all pictures of what so many of us Americans enact at Thanksgiving. Our children come home or we as a family return to a place we know, like Grandma’s house, which for many feels safe and familiar. We gather and give thanks to our God for His goodness.
I love knowing that my desire to gather my family together is actually God inspired. It’s not an invention of some retailer or marketer! Because gathering is a biblical idea, what better way to add meaning to our Thanksgiving gatherings than by featuring Scripture’s truth!
We’re happy to announce our brand new Gather Me placemats that hinge on this idea.
These white cotton mats with verses lettered in gold calligraphy are beautiful for any dining or kitchen table. They’re festive, full of truth, and work with any color scheme. Even paper plates, which our family admittedly uses because there are usually over 40 of us at the farm with no dishwasher, except the old-fashioned hand operated ones!
And I’m not even embarrassed to tell you we use paper or don’t like doing dishes! Because, here is what matters most: taking the initiative to bring family and friends together to give thanks and model truth from generation to generation. It doesn’t matter if everyone is happy. It doesn’t matter if the pumpkin pie is overcooked. It doesn’t matter if your table isn’t pinterest-worthy. Perfection is not the goal.
Adorn your holiday table with these beauties to remind your family and guests of God’s amazing love that will one day gather His children to Himself and to His eternal Home. Maybe someone present that day will want to know more about the hope that is in Jesus and you can share His love with them!
Snap a picture and send us your ideas in the comments below so we can see how you’re encouraging the joy of gathering with these all new placemats.