I’m excited for our new season of the Anchor at Home! Our first Anchor of this new season will be on Thursday, October 7th — exactly one month from today! I love the beautiful graphic our web designer Carolyn Kach has created to inspire us.

The image is of a table encircled with chairs and decorated with our Anchor glassybaby and a bouquet of flowers in our trademark colors. It symbolizes our dreams for the upcoming Anchor at Home season in which we plan to bring women together to be encouraged with the hope and light Jesus brings. The table itself signifies the coming together of family and friends and represents the mission of The Anchor — to gather women of all ages to be anchored in faith and friendship. I find the table to be a true metaphor for the way we gather together.

I have always enjoyed hosting events and take great joy in setting the table for special occasions. I love to plan the theme and décor to make it a beautiful sight. I’ve always liked dishes and napkins (and I have quite a collection) and I envision just the look I want to achieve, treating every table setting as it were an art project. I owe this fascination with table decor to my mother who also took pride in making her tables pretty by adorning them with treasured dishes.

A recent tablescape from this past summer

A top-down-view of our decorated table

While doing a little research on tables, I found a few interesting facts. The table was invented by the early Egyptians and has forever been an essential piece of furniture in most homes around the world. The table is a symbol of many things: the place where we gather, interact with others, nourish ourselves, celebrate important milestones and where many memories and traditions are made and experienced. I began to think about the significance of my own table and the wonderful memories that occur around it.

The table is a symbol of many things: the place where we gather, interact with others, nourish ourselves, celebrate important milestones and where many memories and traditions are made and experienced.

My first memory of a table is the one from my childhood home. We had a large family and a table to match where we each had our own designated places. The table united my family every evening as we routinely sat and ate dinner together. Many fond memories and holiday celebrations were enjoyed there. Another significant table memory involves the very first piece of furniture my husband and I bought when we were newly married. It was a round oak table. I have cherished memories of our first meals together at that table. We graduated to a bigger, sturdier table as our family grew. One of our prized possessions was that trestle table in our home of twenty years. That table held the most memorable moments.

Karina’s last birthday celebration with us, age 19 years

I continue to cherish the birthday celebrations we experienced together at that table. Yesterday would have been my daughter Karina’s 31st birthday. It is always a time of year I remember specific special memories of my precious girl. Her last birthday was celebrated around that table. I love to set a few pictures of her out on my counter every September as I ponder those days we all sat gathered together. As I think about those days and Karina’s life I am so grateful for her unwavering faith in Jesus. Seeing her faith at work and experiencing Jesus for real in the biggest of storms is the true reason and passion behind starting The Anchor. Her place is empty at our table now but the promise we have of being together forever in heaven at God’s great table is the joy and hope we share at The Anchor.

So as we get ready for the new Anchor at Home season I’m excited to gather friends around my table. My current kitchen table is now my favorite. My son made it for me this past year during the pandemic. It is a live-edge table made from a fir tree. I love the natural characteristics of the slab of wood and see it as a beautiful work of art. I am in awe of my son’s handiwork. It was tediously sanded and crafted to perfection. As I sit at my table each day and look at its beauty, I am inspired and excited for our new season which is about to begin.

The live-edge table my son made for me

I am thinking and praying about whom I will invite to come gather with me for a watch party. My hope and prayer is that we can all be inspired by the table and gather together in watch parties everywhere and share the greatest news — the hope and light of Jesus and the truth He brings!

“For where two or more gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)

With hope and light,

Catch up on last week’s journal entry!

A Garden of Hope

A guest entry by Jennie Heideman