Sunday, August 31, 2008

there's always room for one more

God has a plan for each of us

No room in the inn?

It has been over a week since I've posted ... and for several posts before I stopped, all I had written about was our Honeymoon - 25th Wedding Anniversary - Current August 13 Anniversary Celebration in Hawai'i. I will complete some of that, too, soon.

Life has not been without the usual busyness, as well as some extra busyness - ergo, no posts. Besides regular work days and various ministry activities, I have embarked on an adventure which I've reference a few times in the last couple of months - that being the remodeling of the added-on to the back-of-the-house TV and laundry room [not added on by current residents but by those prior to us]. It has been consuming the few hours extra I'm able to steal in the course of a week. And it is finally starting to look like something is being accomplished - that makes my wife happy which makes me happy ... but it is a slow process.

The B I G event of the past week is a new member to our household. No-o-o-o-o-o, it isn't a household pet [ie: dog, cat, bird, etc.]. It is a human being. No-o-o-o-o-o, it isn't a baby, either - we've raised our kids and, while we've talked of adoption and/or foster-care, we've not done that, either.

We've gained a 22-year old recent college graduate, who, upon approaching graduation, realized she didn't want to leave our town while her fiance was taking another year to complete his degree. She wanted, if possible, to find a good Christian living situation for herself - that is, a Christian environment in which to live...with a family or couple, and thereby provide that biblical hedge between her and that which so much permeates the culture around us.

They both are committed Catholic Christians and are working very hard to remain pure for their marriage next May 2009 - and beyond. She was referred to us by the DRE [Director of Religious Education] at the Campus Newman Apostolate parish where she is an active member.

So how does such a referral come about? and how does one make such a decision and choice? Well, first, the DRE knew us through our recently ordained nephew with whom she struck up a friendship while she was working on her Masters in Theology at the seminary at which our nephew was studying. She learned that we've done this before. This young woman is the tenth early twenties woman with whom we've shared our home in the past 15 or so years.

If you've ever shared living arrangements with anyone, you'll already recognize that it is not always easy ... and that applies whether it is a husband and wife, or any other related or un-related people. We've been there before, so we've tried to prepare for the difficulties that can arise with personalities, life-styles, habits, preferences, etc.

There were friends of ours who experienced some extreme financial difficulties - they lost their house and their small business. We let them move in with us until they could get on their feet. That lasted several months, to the best of my memory. That was 15 years ago - and we're still friends. In other words, people can decide to get along, even in difficult situations.

There was another time we took in 2 of 5 children from one family. The mother needed a lengthy hospitalization [8 weeks] and the dad needed to work. SO, we and two other families took in the children and kept them until things got back to normal for them. We think this is normal Christian living and think more people ought to be doing it, too. Share what the Lord has given - make room for others in the Inn.

Living together and renting a room are very different things. We are not perfect beings, and with all the years we have under our wings, we have definite patterns of life and behaviors long developed. But, we are very willing to work at it, bending where necessary to make it work - and she is, also. So, we'll give it go and see if we can all survive until her wedding next May.

Well, I gotta get back to sanding some dry-wall 'mud'. I've promised this job done by Thanksgiving. The walls get done all the way around, first - than the floor gets done with a laminate hardwood pattern material - then the ceiling gets redone [??tile, drop-in, drywall, suspended?? - not sure which yet]. If we decide to put drywall on the ceiling, then that would require painting - and that would cause us to do the ceiling before the floor.

Pray for us.
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Adoro said...

I think it's so cool that you've done this. And continue to do so.

Being that I was a lost teen taken in by my best friend's family, well, I've been on the receiving end of that charity, and I LOVE those people.

I one night had a friend show up at my door unexpectedly, having problems at her building with some neighbors. I'm glad she knew she could come here (although she scared me to DEATH!). She had to leave for work before I got up, but I've always felt blessed by her presence in my home...both by her willingness to come here, and by my ability to offer her refuge for the night.

Tom in Vegas said...

You really do walk-the-walk. I know that you don't consider yourself either perfect or a saint, but I think that what you are doing is so darn KIND that someday you'll get there:0)

God bless you for doing ALL these things!

uncle jim said...

aw, shucks...

she ain't heavy ... she's my brother

uncle jim said...

we've had college women here for as little as 6 weeks to as long as two years ... and one year we had 4 of them living here all together.

it can be challenging ... but very rewarding to look out and see where each is now and what they're doing and how many children they've had etc etc etc

my wife is the 'saint' living through this - independent young women and set-in-her-ways house-mom can lead to what i call 'sand-paper' ministry [and it can get very 'gritty' at times]

k_sra said...

That's a wonderful thing to be a part of helping a couple keep that commitment. And I can say as a recent bride who did the same, that it is DEFINITELY worth waiting for. Our wedding day was all smiles! We have since realixed that waiting helped us feel completely safe and at ease with each other. Wasn't always easy, but if both commit to it, the payoff is very tangible. : )

uncle jim said...


i know you know how counter to the times you are

still singing? any gigs lately?

hope to see you and hubby sometime in the not too distant future

Adrienne said...

What a saint you are. Aunt Roz, too!!

Melody K said...

Bless your heart, Jim, I really admire you and your wife for opening your home like that. I am such a bad hostess!

Fr. V said...

You got prayers!