After a couple years of blogging Maria opted to change to a different server. At the time she decided to change the name to something that better reflected our life and her desires for blogging. That might have been when we first discussed me contributing here and I vaguely remember her asking my thoughts on the name. I found no reasonable objection. Now that I’m joining in the fun and we’re being more purposeful, I started to think- what makes our homestead heavenly?
We are very blessed to live on family property situated across from a state park. We have a bungalow house with a walk out basement. The house sits on nearly 5.5 acres that is almost equally divided between timber and open green space. The (mostly) open space separates our house from what has become a busy roadway. We have slowly been filling that space with pine trees, fruit trees, a red cedar play set, trampoline, and garden that at last expansion put it at 25’ by 20’. We have two detached buildings, of which one is a barn that houses are mower, tiller and the chickens. The timber is a bit over grown, but the kids have spent countless hours out there with friends and cousins exploring. It provides natural habitat for all sorts of wild animals which we can often view from inside our house through a large picture window.
The house itself was built in 1949, before receiving a major addition in ‘58-’59. The master bedroom on the main level and basement storage rooms were added in 1979. Since Maria and I took over the home we have done a significant remodel of the kitchen and living room, as well as updating the living space in the basement and the three bedrooms. The house is plenty big for a family four, and we have also been able to accommodate two more adults for the last three months. The house is generally tidy and often smells like food. There’s no shortage of smiles and laughter. Now that’s not to say that something might get left in the fridge longer than it should, the garbage in the can over stays its welcome, or someone wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. Those are the days Maria is sure to be diffusing some essential oil. Oh- and disregard the laundry.
We have been very fortunate to have family and friends who have supported and helped us with projects in and around our homestead. With our limited budget and limited skills we’d be hard pressed to accomplish what we have around here without them. The labor of love that has been put in by so many is just one more reason why our homestead is heavenly.
While I have focused on the physical aspects of our homestead the most important component for a heavenly homestead is the spiritual. After all, what is heaven without the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit? For that I have to give credit to my grandfather. I could write an entire blog entry on the impact my grandfather has had on me, and maybe someday I will. It was my grandfather who moved his family from the city to this acreage back in 1958. Among many positive attributes, he was a faithful man. On the night after my grandfather passed away, Maria and I sat with Toby before tucking him into bed and recited the Guardian Angel Prayer with him for the first time. He was 2.5 years old. It was a humble beginning for making prayer a regular part of our lives. From that night forward we have tried to conclude each day with our children by giving thanks to God and asking His blessing upon those in need.
“In my Father’s house there are many dwellings places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going, you know the way.”
John 14:2-4 NAB
Scripture tells us that in heaven there will be no more sorrow and no more tears. We won‘t ever achieve that here. What I hope we have achieved is a place where we can be a witness to the beauty this world has to offer. I hope we have achieved a home where friends and family always feel welcome. Where we can share in each others joys, share our sorrows, comfort each other through our trials, and always find time to break bread. Where forgiveness is always an option and love reigns supreme. Until our place in heaven is prepared this is the closest thing I could hope for.