Billion Family Dinners Challenge grateful heart monday snapshot of the soul the everyday moments

A Billion Memories.

September 28, 2015

What is it about the dinner table that somehow encourages us to lay our hearts right there next to our food? Clearly I’m speaking metaphorically here but when I think about some of the most important or meaningful or sweetest conversations I’ve had in my life – I’d say 90% of them have been at the dinner table. My favorite snapshot of the soul moments? Most of them happened over food, at the table. Maybe this is because we tend to talk slower, with more thought in-between our shared thoughts, as we eat and listen and eat and then speak.

A few weeks ago I shared that because Christian and I have odd work schedules, sometimes the only times we truly see each other is at the dinner table. And when I say “truly see each other” I’m not talking about passing each other in the hallway or as we meet in the kitchen to fill up our coffee cups for the hundredth time; I’m talking about quality time, looking into each other’s eyes while we catch up on life. I’m talking about having those deep, sometimes-hard-conversations… and having those hilarious can’t-catch-your-breath ones too 🙂 It’s usually more of the latter, but I will say – if anything makes the sometimes-hard-conversations easier it has to be food. (Or a big glass of red wine. Let’s be real.)

I have had so many grateful heart moments over the years while at the dinner table, pausing to acknowledge my dinner partner or party… slowly taking it all in. I have watched loved ones share their own thankfulness as we pray over our food. I have shared in laughter as we reminisce, and I have shared the tears as we remember those who no longer sit beside us. (My sweet Grandpa Bob, we still toast to you any chance we get – I hope you can see us from up there, that you join us.)

I have clinked glasses with friends who have become so dear to me over the years – friends I consider family, no doubt. I have shared so many dreams, mostly with my husband, while at the dinner table. We have dreamed out loud together… many of those dreams involving the highchair we can’t wait to have in that currently empty spot to the left of me and the right of him. Oh how we are so ready to have our little person join us at the dinner table! I have laughed til I cried over the many ruined dinners I have attempted to cook – Christian eating every single one. And I smile when I think about our very first date, sharing chips and salsa at the corner table located inside the famous New Rebozo – a restaurant we deemed as “ours” and the first of many best conversations I would have with the best man I’d ever meet.

These are the every day moments that make for ever lasting memories.

This morning we close on our new house – the first home Christian and I will have bought together. Oh yes we are moving once again, Jesus help me, thankfully to the neighborhood right next door and I smile when I think about new dinners to be made and new conversations to be had in our special new place. I have lived in many different places in my 31 years of life, but take comfort in knowing the dinner table will always be a place that remains a fixture in what’s important each week.Being a part of the Billion Family Dinners movement has been such an awesome experience, truly. It hasn’t always been an easy one, but it’s definitely been an incredibly important one… and I think reflecting back on all of these memories proves just how important it is. Have any of you taken part in the challenge? The challenge is to share (at least) 10 dinners with your family in 2 weeks & to log them on your phone with the Dinner Call app as you go. It was pretty cool to go back through all of my logged dinners last night as I was gathering them to share with you guys. Check out my last few weeks…


If you missed out on joining the challenge in the Billion Family Dinners Challenge these last two weeks, you can start TODAY. Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win $50 to your favorite grocery store, as a thank you for taking part in the challenge. (PS- If you have already been logging your meals, you can still enter the raffle below – just enter your email address in the prompt & continue logging in your 10 family dinners!)I encourage you guys to make time for each other around the dinner table. And if that’s just not possible, grab your phone and FaceTime over dinner with a friend you haven’t talked to in far too long. Because that works too 🙂

*A huge thank you to Billion Family Dinners for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this incredible movement. Thank you for giving me the push to have more dinners together, more conversations. While this post IS sponsored one, the cause is clearly one I can & will continue to vouch for. Opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own.
What are you grateful for? 

Link up below and join the rest of us in starting each day this week with a grateful heart. Not enough time to write a Grateful Heart post today? No worries! This linkup will be open until Friday! 

1. Link up to your Grateful Heart post, not just your blog’s homepage, and please link your post back to Ember Grey (via link or GH button) so that others can link up too! *Any posts that do not have to do with this GH topic or those that do not link back up to this blog will be deleted. 

2. If you use #gratefulheart on Twitter, tag me and I will retweet! @embergreyblog

3. Carry on and be grateful! XO!
Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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  • Girl if you haven’t read Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist you have to! A beautiful collection of stories and recipes about the power of food and gathering around the table.

    • I heard about that book while at the Influence Conference!! Thank you for the reminder – I definitely want to read it!

  • Your dinners look delicious, Emily!! I always giggle about eating at our table because when we bought our house I expected we’d take the dining room table stored in my parents’ basement, but K found one that he LOVED and begged me to bless the purchase. I’m a push over and said “yes”, but I firmly believe that we eat so many meals at our table because, in addition to loving one anothers company, we love our table 🙂

    • I totally get it, I really do. I love our table and chairs too – it helps! 🙂

  • Good luck on the closing!

    • Thank you, Krystal! The whole thing only took about 40 minutes. It was pretty painless! 😉

  • There really is something so magical and amazing about doing life over the dinner table. It’s like time slows down and you’re able to just be. xoxo

  • Love what you said about the dinner table. I think so many people start eating in front of the TV out of just wanting to relax, which is understandable, but you lose so many opportunities to connect in a meaningful way when you do that. John and I had a period of time where we had moved about twice in one year, so our table was like the unpacking headquarters and we didn’t eat there for a few months. Now that we’ve moved to our current place, I’ve tried to keep the table cleaned off so that we can sit down across from each other and have a conversation without the distraction of the TV or anything like that. It’s just so important to make the time.

    • Totally agree and know exactly what you mean – it took us awhile to clear off our table and actually use it for eating/gathering 😉 And yes- making dinner time tv/phone-free helps so much!

  • What a great campaign and something amazing to be a part of. With our crazy schedules that is the one thing we stick to…..we may eat at 7 or 8 at night after practices are done and games are over but we eat as a family, no matter the hour. As you said it may be the only time that you actually sit down, take a breath and just be together.

    • We do the same sometimes! It’s so nice to know that time will always be spent together. It makes getting the work done before/after easier!

  • Congratulations on closing on your house. Now I can come visit. 😉

    • Thank you, Stephanie! 🙂 (We have to actually move first, haha!) (I can’t believe we’re moving again.)

  • Some of my favorite memories are around the dinner table at Thanksgiving, everybody always starts their meal teary eyed 🙂

  • Ellen

    I love this! My mom has always stressed how important it is to share your meals (especially dinner) around the table. She always reminds me when she was interviewed by my kindergarten teacher – the teacher told her out of all the families she met, we were the ONLY ones who ate dinner at the table. Can you imagine? I’ve been guilty on occasion of the three of us eating in front of the TV, but that’s RARE. I believe it is so important to have J at the table with Will and I. Even though he’s only two, I’m instilling values that are so important.

    • Wow. When I was younger, I remember most of my friends having to go home for dinner with their families… but the older I got, the less that seemed to happen. (I think just with sports, different schedules, etc.)

  • So, as you may know, LOL, I am Italian. Some of my greatest, favorite, (and some really bad) memories all come from sitting around the kitchen table. The good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly happens there. There is something magical about sharing a meal together. Especially for Nonna since preparing food is her love language. But really, sharing a meal breaks down a lot of barriers.

    • haha! 😉 Totally agree. The good, the bad and the ugly. It’s encouraged me to cook more too… still trying to figure out if that’s a good thing. Time will tell, ha!

  • Congrats on closing on your first home together!!! That is SO exciting!!!

  • Congrats congrats congrats on the house!
    I understand the actually spending time together vs. just seeing each other thing sooooo much. Omar and I work on the same campus but I really I hardly ever get to see him! We try to always have dinner together, but even that doesn’t always happen because one of us will be overloaded with paperwork to do at home at least a few times a week. It is worth it to have weekends off together though! Sometimes on Friday I am like, oh yeah! Time to spend time with that stranger I am married to!

    • Thank you, Kelly! 🙂 And yes, I hear you – crazy schedules make that time together so, so precious!

  • chall1018

    This is something we truly need to work on…suppers together at the table. Usually we eat at different times, tag-teaming to get things done to prepare for the next day. But, I truly believe this time together at the supper table is important.

    • As funny as it sounds, the app actually made it fun to start daily – it even has a conversation prompt (ex: If you could have dinner a celebrity, who would it be? – Believe it or not, I learned some things I didn’t know about Christian!) 😉

  • Food and drinks are always great settings for conversation starters. I am blessed to be from a family who sat down together for dinner and that I did the same with my own. This is the time we share the daily with each other and all our future plans. Now that I’m an empty-nester, sitting down to dinner with my kids is always a blessing. Your extra seat will be filled soon. God is listening. Be blessed.

    • So sweet, thank you!! 🙂 Wishing you many more family dinners this month, LR!