The Best Medicine

Nearly two months ago, our family was struck by tragedy that left us feeling alone and scared.  I tweeted about our struggles and was astonished by the kindness of several amazing people.

Lori was one of those people.  She reached out and truly threw us a life-preserver that that kept us afloat for days.

Within moments of my tweet, she had sent me her personal email address and phone number and encouraged me to call her.  I would have never felt that I could actually impose upon her by making that call, but at her insistence, I did, and she was calm, encouraging, and educated–exactly what we needed.  During our calls, she provided me with information, advice, and compassion.  She empowered us and helped us to feel as though we could keep going.

My family will be forever grateful to her for the role she played in one of the most difficult times we’ve experienced.

And on top of being one of the kindest and calmest people I know?  Lori is also beyond funny and is beautifully self-deprecating.  Her blog, In Pursuit of Martha Points is truly unique and between her stories, photos, and graphics, there’s never a dull moment.  Her blog honestly reflects who I have come to know her to be–funny one minute, tender the next.

Thank you, Lori, for being there for my family when we didn’t know which way to turn.  Thank you for making me laugh when I need it and for inspiring me to pursue my goals.

When we meet next month, to show you just how much I love you, I will be certain that I know exactly how to make your coffee.

And now, finally, I share with you Lori’s lovely contribution to Small Moments Mondays

The Best Medicine – by Lori


As a family. All five of us with serving dishes and salt and pepper shakers, placemats and a chipped butter dish.

I stepped into the kitchen to get something…a serving spoon, perhaps. And asked, as I stood up, why the coffee table was in the wrong place. The answer, which I already knew, came from Child B: “I guess I forgot to put it back after we rehearsed.”

When I said, as I sat back down, that I’d been hoping for something more interesting, the following conversation ensued.

“There was a herd of wildebeest…”

“No, it was space aliens.”

“… And the aliens knocked the table over. We were so busy cleaning up the from the rest of the havoc they wreaked that we totally forgot to put the table back.”

“From a metaphysical standpoint, the table could be anywhere.”

“Quantum physics says that the table both is and is not in the right location.”

“Or, it says that if you’re not looking at the table the probability that the table is and is not in the right place is exactly equal.”

“Zen furniture: the table is still a table in whatever location. Embrace the table.”

“In Soviet Russia, table locates YOU!”

“Ask the table about its mother.”

“Then the table would need to lie on the couch.”

“If a table gets moved in a living room and no one is around to hear it, is it still a coffee table?”

“Life is like a coffee table…”

I ate my dinner, I chuckled. And I loved my kids with all my heart.

They are smart and funny. Making each other laugh is important. When they do the dishes after dinner, I hear laughter. When they’re all stuffed in the back of the car when we go anywhere, they make each other laugh.

They make me laugh. They make Himself laugh.

It would be so easy, in a house of five people and two bathrooms, in a home of step-parents and step-siblings, to let friction percolate and let small irritations grow into arguments and discord.

Yet I hear laughter more than anything else.  More than disagreement, more than tension and more than rivalry.

Life is so large some days – with work and grades, talk about college, talk about the world. We worry about the news, we worry about our children learning about the news. We think about retirement, our investments and the value of our house. We wonder if we are giving our children every tool they need to build the life they want in the world. Each brick in our lives feels so weighty it seems as if we are in perpetual need of pulleys and crowbars.

But when I sit down for the evening meal and hear my kids teasing each other and laughing at jokes with punchlines only they can understand, life becomes my dinner table. Small, intimate…and my very own. With serving dishes and placemats and salt and pepper shakers.

And a chipped butter dish.

Now quickly grab a pad of paper and a pencil, head on over to Lori’s place, and be sure to read So what are “Martha Points?”,  where Lori explains her ingenious point system.  And don’t miss my some of my favorites, A Polite Request, Shopping for Points, and The Princess and the Pain.


  1. Love this post! I truly enjoyed and appreciated the family dinners we had almost every single night as a child. Nate and I are already trying to time our dinners with Laura's (she eats so early…), so that she can grow up having dinner in such a loving atmosphere!

  2. KLZ

    In Soviet Russia, table does locate you.

    Reminds me of hanging with my family yesterday, 4 of us laying on the floor and just….talking, laughing, debating who is the craziest of all. That is what it's all about.

  3. Megan (Best of Fates

    What a beautiful reminder of the importance of laughter. Also, my two favorite lines:
    “In Soviet Russia, table locates YOU!”

    “Ask the table about its mother.”

    Really, I can't even handle how amazing you are (you know, both of you).

  4. Poppy

    I would like to think this describes my household too. Even with the constant smack downs between my 3 and 5 year old, I live in a household with constant laughter amongst the chaos. Great post Lori.

  5. Stacey

    Beautiful as always. I think my children could learn a thing or two about not calling each other "idiot". I love your description!

  6. Kristin

    I think I'd like a chipped butter dish to remind me to laugh more and stress less. Could that me your next giveway. A Martha points chipped butter dish?

  7. This sounds like my brothers and me are eating at your dinner table! My mom thinks it's funny that how even though we are all in our upper twenties to early thirties we all still do this around the dinner table when she has us over. Dinner time is such a great small moment that, unfortunately, too many people see fit to ignore or not even have with their children. I love this post. Now, I have to go call my brother.

  8. Nichole

    Funny how something that truly is so every day, is so much bigger in the span of years.

    Lori's story serves as an beautiful reminder of just how important it is to come together at the end of a day, to reconnect, to laugh, and to love.

  9. Nichole

    Yes, that really is what it's all about.

    By the way, did you win? ;)

  10. Peggy

    When I first heard of Nichole having a Small Moments post, the first thing that came to mind was our dinner table conversations. I have always been a stickler for everyone eating supper together, AND sitting at the kitchen table. I heard the funniest stories and imitations of teachers, coaches, etc. from our 3 kids sitting around the dinner table.

    I can't help but think that people who don't sit down for dinner together every night are missing out.

    And by the way…I was raised that way.

  11. Nichole

    Thanks for coming by, Megan.
    Here's what I propose: we figure out exactly where Lori lives and crash her family dinner. We could be certain of having an amazing time. :)

  12. Nichole

    Love balanced beautifully by smack downs–I love that image!

  13. Nichole

    I see a new brawl brewing…or in Poppy's words, a smack down!

  14. Nichole

    I was so excited to have Lori guest post here today. Her words perfect and her stories just lovely. I've been pinching myself all day.

  15. Nichole

    Dinner is a big deal at our house. Even though there are nights when Katie is so tired that things don't exactly go smoothly, the day isn't complete unless we've shared the same table, even if for just a little while.

    I hope that we're able to continue this, even when the kids are older and busy running all over the place. Sigh.

  16. Nichole

    You just made me homesick with one word, Aunt Peggy: supper. I miss having supper. And I look forward to having it at your house, one day very soon!

    Your kids were blessed to have a mother who treasured that special family time, who refused to settle for anything less.

    Love you.

  17. Lori

    Just need to chime in and 1) Thank Nichole for her wonderful words and letting me be part of so lovely a project, and 2)Thank everyone else for their sweet (and funny!) comments. My kids do crack me up. They're part of the reason the material for the blog stays so lively.

  18. Adrienne

    Oh, this brings such lovely memories to mind! We used to play a game called "Would you rather…" and we'd ask someone to choose between to awful (usually gross) things.

    It always ended with us in big puddles of goofy, uncontrolled giggling.

    Sigh. Thank you!

  19. kris

    I love this post. Some of my family's best moments are at the table . . . laughing and telling stories and trying to one-up one another. We eat dinner together every night, and I sometimes forget how amazing that is.

    Thank you.

  20. Anna

    What a wonderful heartwarming post. Thankyou for sharing the relationship between you. It is encouraging to know that real community is resulting from your interactions.

    Many blessings!

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