Today I’m starting a 5 part series on how, in living for and serving God, blessings come that are over and above those directly related to the work of the Gospel. We’ve experienced it once again and I want to share it with you each day this week…. are you ready?
If I use the term “once again” it’s because this principle of ‘over and above blessing’ goes back a long time for us.
From time to time, one of our kids will ask if we’ve been to this or that place and though we haven’t been everywhere, we’ve been fortunate enough to have visited a good number of places (Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, Philippines & much of Europe).
This blows our kids’ minds (particularly our youngest) but we’re always quick to point out that probably 90% of the places we’ve visited have had something to do with serving God. Either…
- We went on a missions trip,
- We went because of friendships formed during missions involvement or
- Our time in a place has been significantly enhanced because we’ve connected with Christian brothers & sisters onsite.
There is the work of missions… and then
there are the above & beyond blessings of missions.
A House in the Countryside
For the second time in a couple of weeks, we’ve come back from spending a weekend at a house in the country, roughly 30min from Châtellerault.
We don’t all go to stay for reasons that I’ll tell you tomorrow – day 2 – , but we’ve all been at least once to enjoy this amazing blessing from the Lord.
The house is a transformed stable, with 4 bedrooms, a living room, a reading room, a bathroom, two toilette rooms and a cozy kitchen. Though it sounds big… it’s not really… but it’s quaint beyond its size.
Built like many old farms… it’s essentially U-shaped. Here you can see the exterior, the kitchen and a window looking from the kitchen out into the courtyard.
It’s like stepping back in time… by about 100 years!
Probably the first thing you’ll notice upon entering is the abundance of authentic wooden furnishings… undoubtedly, each piece has a story to tell and a long history written on well-worn pages of tin, iron and wood.
If there was ever any doubt that you were located in a stable, you need only look at the wooden hay-feeders on the Living Room wall (middle picture) and the assortment of farm tools, also in wood.
The next thing you’ll notice, however, is the cool temperature of the entire house.
Yesterday the temperature outside was 37C (or… 98F), but step inside the stable and the entire place was a cool 18C (or… 62F).
What a difference!
Why the difference?
Simple… the entire place was built out of stone and if you look close enough at the photos, you’ll notice the thickness of the walls (the back wall, incidentally, was at least 2′ thick). The thermal mass of the building itself was such that it held the cool air perfectly… even with the doorway open.
The Price is Right
Attention was paid to every detail… from the collection of antiques, to the recently redone bathroom (can’t believe I neglected to get pictures of it…. copper sinks installed into the tops of large wooden barrels), to the towels on our bed – folded in the shape of two swans – upon our arrival
Did you happen to notice the beamed ceiling over the bed? The whole place was like this… The only thing that wasn’t included was food… we had to pack our own.
If you were to spend a night in a bed-n-breakfast like this, it would be both common and reasonable to expect to pay anywhere from 80-120€ per night.
Not us… this was an over & above blessing… so we paid nothing.
On our first trip out, it was just Timo & I for the full three days but Liz, Sophie & Dominic did join us on Sunday afternoon following church. This weekend, our second visit, Dominic joined us, completing the boys-only trio. This Friday (day 5), I’ll get into more about the significance of our time together.
The Real McCoy
We got the honest-to-goodness experience of living in a century-old house in rural France… with lots of “friends” (see tomorrow & Wednesday’s posts) and in an incredible setting (Thursday’s post). What a wonderful way to spend a couple of days! It’s an above & beyond blessing from God.
Click here for part two of five where I tell you how we came to be there and about all the new “friends”.
God bless you today!
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Click here for a full financial breakdown