About the Author

Michelle Reyes, Ph.D., is an Indian American pastor’s wife, writer, and activist. She is also the Vice President of the Asian American Christian Collaborative and writes regularly on faith, culture, and justice. Michelle lives in Austin, TX with her husband and two kids. Follow her on IG @michelleamireyes.

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  1. Michelle,
    I hadn’t thought about my table as an Ebenezer, but it certainly is a place where stories have been shared. When friends come for coffee, we often sit at the table and across its woody grains are where trials, struggles, heartbreaks, victories, joys, doubts, questions have been shared and confided. At Christmas, I purposely asked my 85 year old mom to share some of her Christmas memories – the good, the funny, the ugly. I soaked in her words because when she is gone, her stories will go with her. I love my table as a gathering place, much like you do. As for my Ebenezer, I would say my pillow on my bed is a symbol of Ebenezers in my life. It is often where, in tears and utter despair, I lay it all down before the Lord. Often my only words I can utter are, “Jesus, help.” It’s when I lay it all at the foot of the cross that God is able to pick it up and bring beauty from the ashes. I often need to try in my own strength and when I reach the end of me, I finally, in tears, turn it over to God and offer whatever or whomever it is up to Him. He has always been faithful to answer prayers – often not in the way I would imagine, but He has never forsaken me and so I have raised many Ebenezers to His lovingkindness. Loved this post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Bev, I love your description of your pillow as an Ebenezer! It’s so true. Many tears have been shed on my own pillow, and many prayers too. Grateful for your words on the need and power of prayer!

    • Bev,

      Good for you for getting memories from you parents. You never know when their last days will be. Then it is to late to get those memories back. Unfortunately I never really had the chance to do that. Both my parents had dementia of varying degrees. Enjoy your mom while you can.

      Blessings 🙂

  2. I have referred to my dining room table as my “command post,” because from it I can see most of the downstairs inside the house and the entire front lawn outside. That came in handy when I had four wild boys running around. And in the midst of a recent kitchen renovation, the command post received yet another wound, this time from a circular saw that barely grazed the edge. It couldn’t have happened in a better place, because it’s right in the middle of the spot where I sit to eat and also to read or study.

    My kids are mostly far beyond the reach of my eyes much of the time now, but I can sit in that spot and pray for them, and I completely agree with you that the scars on our tables are a road map of blessing.

    • Michele, I loved your story! What a crazy experience with that saw! And I resonate so much with your description of life with “wild boys”. Like Bev, I appreciate your words on prayer. Reflection on what God is doing in our life and prayer go hand in hand. Thank you for highlighting that.

  3. I totally agree!!!! As a mom, I’ve often wondered if maybe one of my kids sitting at our table is the next Billy Graham, Elizabeth Elliot or someone else the Lord will use to bring Him much glory. I’ve been convicted of the importance of what takes place each time our family gathers at our table. The table has become a place of learning, studying God’s path lighting Word and a place of prayer. It’s one of my most favorite places to be with our family.

  4. So true in your message. So often we want to be living this grand great life and ask ourselves daily what our purpose is and how to go about finding it so we can be fulfilled. We shouldn’t think this way and this is not what God meant for us to live. Each and every one of us have our own path of living out our lives and the main goal is to live according to His way and truth. We must look for joys in all things no matter how little or big. Thank you for reminding us of this Michelle.

    • Finding joy in the mundane – that is like my life challenge for 2019. Yes and amen! That’s where God is working; that’s where He wants me to see Him most. I need to remind myself of that daily to fight against feelings of ineptness and meaninglessness. Grateful for your words, Maylee, and the reminder to choose joy in Christ every day.

  5. Michelle,

    The word God gave me for this year is “intentional” and I see it so clearly reflected in being faithful and honoring the space of my normal life. It’s so important. This little circle where I’ve been placed. If I’m not intentional, I miss it. My family, my house, my literal neighbors. This is sacred work. Thank you!

    • Amy, what a great word for this year! I love it! I really like your phrase of being intentional in “the space of my normal life.” That’s such a good way to put it. Thanks for this.

  6. Thank you, Michelle! What a wonderful “table” story. Thanks so much for writing and sharing it — and for inviting us to raise our Ebenezer. For me, I believe it’s my late parents’ big family Bible that graced the coffee table in our humble living room. Like a stone of hope, it now embodies everything my parents taught me about Christ, and who I could be in Him. I never thought of it as a memorial of my faith for my ordinary life, but your beautiful story stirred that understanding. Such a blessing to glean from your wisdom. Thank you!

    • Patricia, what a beautiful reminder of the link between the ordinary and the communal! I myself have been challenged this past month about looking outside of myself to hear God speak. So many times, His word is spoken over us through the voice of others, especially through our parents. May we all be better listeners of God’s word, in all the ways He speaks it to us.

  7. Michelle,
    This was refreshing thank-you for sharing. Arjeta’s story, and your’s.
    As I think about our dining table I have a new appreciation. It began as my my parent’s, and traveled everywhere. Then when my Mother came to live with us it came along too., she then left it to me. Over the years it has hosted many celebrations, awkward moments, shared stories, laughter, grace and tears. It is a place that while it can be dressed up or down, seat one or twelve, more importantly it’s where so many memories have been created that God has blessed us with. And that has been one of His greatest gifts of all.
    Have a blessed day all,
    Penny

    • Penny, your table has such a beautiful story! I love the bond and memories that it holds between you and your mother. Praise God for the way He has shown you his love and blessings in your life!

  8. Michelle,

    This world calls for us to live a “big & grand life”. It says make much money, do great things, get accolades, etc. Most of us just live out plain ordinary lives in our humble towns. God never asked us to live extraordinary lives. Heck he picked two ordinary people to be His parents. “God isn’t calling me to live a ‘great’ life. He wants me to live my ordinary life and make Him great in it. ” Our job is to go make disciples. Tell the whole world about Jesus & His great love for humanity. This reminds me of a poem “The Dash”
    I read of a man who stood to speak at a funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end. He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth. For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash. So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged. To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before. If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while. So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash? I believe Jesus is asking us “how will you live out your dash? Will you glorify me?”

    Blessings 🙂

  9. My Ebenezer is actually a space. My sewing room. It is where I spend a great deal of time creating, quilting, listening to music, or savoring solace. It is where I go when I need to talk to God about my deepest concerns or praise Him for remarkable blessings. In this room, I have wept tears, grieved the death of my precious grandson and recovered through prayer and God’s amazing grace. This space also houses my desk and computer, so many hours are spent there working, researching genealogy, learning, monitoring a prayer request site, and communicating with family and friends. It is a messy space most of the time. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is not a showroom. It is my happy place. And when I walk in, I can leave the noise and stress of the world outside the door and just breathe. It is filled with the tools of creativity, two dog beds, and a large window which looks out onto the piney woods in my rural neighborhood. I’ve had my daughter, granddaughters, nieces and friends visit and create alongside me. It is filled with love and memories. Thank you, Heavenly Father for my Ebenezer.

    • I love this! What a blessing to have a space like this – a place to breathe, pray, heal and be uplifted. My heart breaks to hear of the pains of death in your life, and of the sorrows that your heart carries. But praise God for the way He has used your sewing room to draw you to Himself and heal you with his love and tender care, among other things. Such a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing this.

  10. Yes. Love this, Michelle. Thank you for the reminder that God is doing great things in and through us; our ordinary is not His obstacle, it’s His spectacle — the way others see His glory shining through. I’ve never thought of it like this, but maybe my favorite old jeans are my Ebenezer — knees worn thin from years of crawling after babies and toddlers, kneeling bedside to pray over each of my boys, denim soft and perfect for wiping sticky fingers and wet hands and always ready for the next adventure. Yes, the ordinary is quite great after all.

    • Becky, you are so right! After reading your comments, I thought of my own jeans, many of which are worn down from crawling on the ground after babies too…and covered in who knows what because of said babies 🙂 I used to feel bummed about ruining my pants and having to buy new ones, but I will never look at my worn-out clothes the same way again. Such a good reminder to see God in all of the ordinary, worn down things in life. Even our clothes can testify to the good work of Christ in our lives and can remind us of all the things we have to be grateful for. So so good.

  11. This is the beautiful treasure of truth that we are missing today. There is so much pressure to do outstanding things, but the importance of beautiful ordinary things isn’t valued. In fact we are often to busy to savor the beauty of the ordinary. Thank you for your lovely reminder!

  12. What a great discovery it was when hit on your blog. It is worthy of a million views plus There is inspiration and motivation to appreciate the small mercies that flood our lives which should cause continual praise to our God