On Mother’s Day, I’d like to share a tiny piece of my family history with you.
My mother did not have an easy life. She raised nine children, four of whom were deaf. Her gentle but tenacious spirit pressed through the difficulty to equip her children to live the best lives possible. She spent hours and hours teaching my deaf siblings and me to talk. Late at night she labored in the kitchen to wash formidable stacks of dishes that collected while she devoted her time to her small children. She worked her fingers to the bone in the family business to help us scrape together enough money to survive. Her strength and courage in the face of loss and hardship still amazes me.
During my young years, my mother often talked about how God spoke to her through her daily Bible reading. I remember sitting close to her on the couch as she read my favorite Bible stories, and how she talked about being ready to answer Jesus when we heard him calling. I grew up thinking that hearing God’s voice was an expected and beautiful part of life.
At one point in my childhood, our whole family was crowded around a card table to eat, because our dining room table was off in an Amish shop to get some extra table leaves added to it. What should have been a temporary arrangement stretched out into weeks, and as our family smooshed ourselves around the table, God spoke to my mother. At My table, there is plenty of room.
This thought sustained her during the daily mealtime mishaps, such as when someone knocked over the water pitcher on our wobbly card table and soaked all of us! Our crowded home was only temporary, and God’s house has plenty of room.
His table is big enough for everyone.
Not only does God offer plenty of room, Mom thought, He offers plenty of grace. And plenty of balm for our healing.
Through the struggle of mothering and survival, of finding enough of herself to go around, my mother wrote a song that speaks of abundance. There is plenty of room at the table of the Lord. Plenty of place I see. There is plenty of love flowing from His heart to mine, plenty for you and for me…
Even now, many years later, that message remains true and precious. Immigrants, refugees, orphans, foster children, single parents, outcasts, the wounded and weary, all of us, are welcome around God’s table. There is a lavish supply of grace, and an invitation to come to the feast.
There is always plenty of room.
You can listen to an old recording of our family singing Plenty of Room here. Mom sings a solo toward the end of the song. I can’t listen to it without feeling emotional. I love my mama.