In elementary and middle school, the table always induced anxiety. For a girl that always felt like she was living on the fringe of every friend group, lunch period was slightly more fun than a root canal. I spent many days alone or sitting with people I barely knew while choking down a chicken patty. But at home, that’s where the table took on new meaning. It became the place cookies were cooled on racks and beans were snapped while caught up in conversation. It was where my workaholic dad would smile and sit captivated by our stories while our mom would laugh with her entire being. It was a safe place to talk about broken hearts and wild dreams. It is where we prayed, laughed, and communed. The table held our secrets, fears, and discarded eraser pieces. We worked and played at that table. I vowed that when I was older and had my own family, I would create that same safe place for my own husband and children. And I’m so happy to report that I did. It is a place where we download the stories of the day. We sit with serious conversation, and we make big plans for our family brand of athletic gear. Seriously, we have an entire business plan. But there resides inside my heart a memory of the tables that were never safe. The guard could never be lowered because the risk was too great. And it is that space in my soul that longs for deep and meaningful conversation with everyone. I want to take on topics that are so sacred and fragile that they might just change a life. My actual table is a place where teenagers and adults from all places in their faith are welcome to sit and be real without fear of judgement or rejection. It is my hope that this will someday be a virtual table where people from all places in their faith are welcome to sit, be real, and never fear judgement or rejection. So this is my unadulterated invitation. Please join me at the table as we contemplate life and love.