"When the seventh day arrives we look at the world with eyes of a higher reality. Shabbat offers us a vision of the world not as it is but as it has the potential to be; indeed, as it will one day be- in the World to Come...."
From the introduction of: 7th Heaven: Celebrating Shabbat With Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
The Holiness of Shabbat is wonderfully refreshing to the soul. We look forward to it with great expectation. Although not every week do we achieve the timely preparedness and organization we'd like, here is a glance at a day when all is working according to our wishes. From the first hours of the day, we prepare and work to complete all that is needed for the culmination of the week. A special meal is prepared to be served for our Shabbat meal, on dishes reserved wholly for this occasion. The table is dressed in our lovely white Shabbat tablecloth (brought by my nephew from his trip to Israel). The house is cleaned with more detail than on the regular week days, as the anticipation builds up. The house is filled with the lovely scent of Challah in the oven, followed by the blend of aromas from the meal being prepared. The children help complete the final tasks and then wash up for the meal. We gather as a family around our kitchen table with great joy as the day is about to begin. A special blessing is recited including the following...
“Compassionate Father, extend your lovingkindness to me and my loved ones (grant me the privilege of raising my children) so that they walk before You in the ways of the upright, holding fast to Your Torah and to good deeds. Keep far from us any shame, grief, and sorrow. Set peace, light, and joy in our home, for with You is the source of life; in Your light, we see light. Amen” From: Authorised Daily Prayer Book
After the Shabbat blessing is completed, I light the candles. We then say the blessings (Kiddush & HaMotzi)over the wine/grape juice and Challah bread. We then proceed to enjoy the meal served before us. When we finish eating, we quickly clear the table and make room for our Scriptures (Tanach) and siddurs. All join in singing the prayers in Hebrew followed by English translation. The children all get up and gather next, while my husband and I stretch a large Tallit over everyone for blessings over them. Next we all sit down and read the parasha followed by a teaching given by my husband. By this time, the hours have passed quickly and the children are ready to be sent to bed.
With little ones it takes a bit of effort for things to work out. The baby will at times be carried be me, or held by his big brother from time to time. My toddler will have a bible coloring book or bible story book to look at during the evening. Mostly everyone else five and up are fine following along with us. On occasions when the little ones go to sleep during our reading, we take them to bed and continue. More or less this is what Erev Shabbat looks like in our home. Another blessed Shabbat shared with the precious family G-d has blessed us with.
13 If you turn away from the Shabbat your foot to do what you please (2656 – chefatzekha חֲפָצֶיךָ) on day my holy and call [you] (veqara’ta וְקָרָאתָ) the Shabbat a delight (6027 – oneg pleasant/delight עֹנֶג) to the holiness of Yehovah glorified and shall glory in it (3513 – mekhubad vekhibado מְכֻבָּד וְכִבַּדְתּוֹ) away from doing [or making] (me’asot מֵעֲשׂוֹת) your own ways (1870 – derakheikha דְּרָכֶיךָ), from finding your own pleasure (chef’tzakha חֶפְצְךָ) or speaking word (vedaber dabar וְדַבֵּר דָּבָר).
14 Then you shall delight yourself (6026 – tit’anag תִּתְעַנַּג) on Yehovah. And I will make you ride on the high places of the earth, and make you eat the inheritance of Yaaqov your father, for the mouth of Yehovah has spoken. Isaiah 58:13 & 14 reading from: karaitejudaism.org