Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

I'm writing through mildly bleary eyes today. =) The laundry is going behind me, and I've been nursing a Dr. Pepper since all three of us dragged our weary carcasses out of bed at 8:30 this morning. There is little evidence left of the steady influx of welcome guests that this house has seen since Christmas. Seth is napping, and I'm heading there myself soon. We've put some miles on the car, and we've had a lot of fun. Many, many paper plates have been sent off to a landfill somewhere, and ridiculous amounts of sugar have been consumed. And now I'm going to ramble incoherently. Feel free to leave at any time...

I was thinking today that this house is settling into one of its major purposes. When we started looking for a place to buy, a big thing for us was that whatever house we bought would make it easier for us to be hospitable. We believe that our home is not just for us; its supposed to be a place where we can welcome others in in the name of Christ and serve them through meals and fellowship. It doesn't have to be fancy, and it doesn't have to be perfect. But I'm realizing anew that the layout of this house is very conducive to hosting groups. We have much more room to bunk people on sofabeds and floors. There are more bathrooms for their use, and more spaces for their kids to lay down sleeping bags. There are closets that can hold pack n' plays. =) There is plenty of space to put up extra tables for eating and game playing. And I'm thankful for all these things.

We have always invited people in to wherever we were living, even if conditions were decidedly less than ideal. Friends and family have slept under our dining room table because we ran out of floor space. David has used his laptop sitting on top of the toilet in our single tiny bathroom so he wouldn't wake up our guests. We moved the kitchen table and chairs onto the porch for lunch once at our last house so everyone could fit around it. If it can be done, we've done it. But it's nice not to have those constraints anymore. =)

And I'm totally in love with my new wood burning fireplace. I think we've decided that the last owners must have put in a fireplace insert, because we're not sure they came with this type of house in the '80s. We love it! It has vents at the bottom, and I think those babies make it draw like a dream. No problems with smoky rooms after a fire anymore! I know there are those of you that swear by gas, but there's nothing like the smell and crackle of oak logs to me. I think its because we had two large wood fireplaces when I was growing up, and we used them all the time. Daddy or Vance would build us a fire in the schoolroom, and we'd use it while we did our morning work on a lot of cold days. Having a fire in the evening was pretty standard during the winter months. I would lie on the carpet in front of it and read. I'd sit with my back to it until I couldn't stand the heat anymore, cool down for a few minutes, and then come back for more. There's nothing like a cozy fire on a cold day... (Oh yeah, the little guy in the picture above is our friends' Jason and Amanda's adorable baby, Isaac. He was one of our Christmas guests.)

I could say much, much more. But I'm not because there have just been too many happenings to record, and I'm on information overload. I hope you're all having a wonderful start to the New Year, wherever you are. May this year be more full of blessing and growth than the last...

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