Saturday, May 10, 2014
There's no place like home!
We have a mobile society in America and many are moving and establishing new homes in new locations. This has been the history of our family over the years, mostly because of changes in ministry. This last Christmas our daughter Mary Ruth and son-in-law Phil Taylor took a short furlough from their missionary work in Curitiba, Brazil, South America, and visited us here in Crawfordsville, as well as family in North Carolina and Iowa. We celebrated both holidays with them in our one-room bedroom apartment here. We have a system for entertaining overnight -- our clothing finds corners and shelves here and there, and we sleep on the hide-a-bed sofa in our livingroom, while our guests occupy the "bridal suite" bedroom. It works out quite well for all of us, although it's not quite a Holiday Inn experience. In the case of Phil and Mary Ruth they brought some coffee from Brazil which helped to provide more comfort! Looking back over the years we recall entertaining loved ones and friends in all kinds of settings -- for example, our "honeymoon cottage" on Mary K.'s parents' farm was was without electricity, heated by a cold stove and consisted of three rooms and a "path"! But our best memory of having our family home for Christmas was while serving in Portage, Indiana, during our first winter there in 1974. Our four children with their little ones were snowed in by one of those lake-effect storms, so we celebrated together in the roomy parsonage which had been the church's first meetingplace. There were three upstairs bedrooms, one on the main floor and another in the basement, along with an open kitchen-diningroom area and large livingroom, plus one and-a-half bathrooms. As the kids say, "we had a blast!" We enjoyed entertaining in our parsonage in Brazil, Indiana, but later at Bloomfield, Indiana, we packed kids and grandkids into the mobile home parsonage and Mary K. and I slept in the church basement! The main consideration is not just comfort, but the joy of being together with dear ones. Just recently we "rolled out the red carpet" to welcome our daughter Judy to our humble abode, coming all the way from Gig Harbor, Washington, for a two-week visit. Although Mike couldn't come with her we let her occupy the Bridal Suite at no extra charge, but she did send some scrumptious coffee on ahead by mail. Judy was a blessing to us and other residents in the building, and especially helpful in going with us to a neuro-ophthamologist (BalanceMD/"DizzyDr.") for follow-up on her mother's vertigo/balance problem. And, by the way, Mary K. is doing better as this goes to press, thanks to the Lord and all who are praying. Well, in summary, just want to stress the thought that the living accommodations are not all-important, but it's the company that matters. The Lord Jesus is the key, and He reminds us that "where two or three are gathered together in My Name, THERE AM I in the midst of them!" (Matthew 18:20). His presence and blessing make any abode a palace!