Ahhh, dishes are done, floors are swept, Papa and older children are all out and about working somewhere on the ranch. The morning sigh has been heaved. Time to get to the tasks at hand. But first, first some time at the bench.
There has been a lot of pondering on this bench lately. Exactly what is this bench? email? a blog? or is it more, much more? Is it important? Does it bless anyone besides its author? Have I yet again taken a concept too literally? Was this gathering around the bench simply an act that my own heart hungered for or is it an ache in the heart of others too? A hunger-created ache for gathering and connecting not just our hearts but our every day lives in the security of God's love garden? A desire to share recipes alongside deepest fears, needs, desires? What is this bench about anyway? Is it merely a romantic figment of idealism?
Questions roam the paths of my mind much as the wind rises mid morning here on the ranch at Abundance House. In spite of numerous confirmations from God the questions still blow in and brush the walls of my mind with reckless abandon. Ignoring the wonderings is impossible despite the fact that I would very much love to do that very thing. What is this bench, and why do I feel such a drawing to it?
Oh my. Oh dear friends, if only you cold hear the song flowing and soaking through the house this morning. "He loves us, oh, how He loves us, oh how He loves us, oh how He loves." Isn't that the answer to those questions dashing in the mind? Isn't that the reason we're at this bench, because we're hungry to gather in God and His love? "Jesus You're the center...Jesus, nothing else...nothing in this world but You." Because Jesus is the center of everything, and He in us draws us together like nothing we've ever known? Something none of us can quite explain is calling us to draw close to not only Jesus but each other? "Jesus be the center...every knee will bow, every tongue confess...Jesus...sing that name...Jesus...healing in the name of...Jesus...our hearts, our head, Jesus be the center. It's all about You, all about You..."
Here at our bench there is a safeness, a security that can only be found in the love of God. Whether expressed as the warmth of home, evening's coolness in a garden, steaming liquid in a cup of coffee, cocoa or tea, the coziness of a fire, comfort food, colorful garden produce, new chickens, a duck's waddle, a hug, or a loving compassionate quietness as the other pours out his/her heart, our bench is Jesus at the center in visible form. At least my heart longs for it to be. And your heart...
What is your heart longing for, dear reader? Are you soul hungry for a gathering together in God's love? Do you find yourself moving through your days with a deep gnawing ache for more, more than what you alone can find? A wanting for what you can't quite describe or explain but a wanting nonetheless? Something similar to a fresh from the drier warmth of a blanket but tucked around your heart and soul instead of shoulders? Are you lonesome for the love of friends and family without fear of judging or disapproval? Do you need a safe place of loving welcome?
If these words could have come from your own heart, then please know Abundance House is just such a place, a place of refuge for gathering together. We are gathering together at this bench until God lovingly leads us elsewhere. Some days our bench will be inside by the fire. Some days we'll stroll around the yard laughing at the parade of chickens and ducks following. Other days we'll only have time to zip in and out for a mini-visit. We're real people after all. Some days there simply won't be time to gather anywhere other than in loving prayer and kind thought while moving through our day. No matter, we will gather still. Whether thought, prayer, or blog post, gather together we will. Deep within my heart I know we have been called to do this very thing, for such a time as this.
Other bloggers have used words such as meeting at the bench, becoming an Esther generation, many other words. Whatever the words used, all expressions are singing the same message. All of us everywhere are hungry, hungry for Him, hungry for each other, hungry, heart and soul hungry for more. There is more for us to do, and each of us knows it. Way down deep inside we know the words Mordecai spoke to Esther so many, many years ago are also for us today "Who knows but what you have placed in the kingdom for such a time as this?" It's time. Time to gather, to love, nurture, nourish, and comfort one another. Gathering together as friends and family is vital. This gathering isn't only for us but also for those around us, those we don't yet know. IT IS TIME. Time to allow God to draw ALL men unto Himself, through us.
Will you gather with us still dearest friend? Will you come and meet with us? Will you allow us to love on you in this safe place of refuge? Oh how I pray you will. God and I, along with friends and family yet unknown are waiting for you here at this house of Abundance. There is an abundance here, an abundance of God who is love. He is here too. HE is the One holding us all so gently and lovingly close in His bosom. In Him we are all One. It is in His love I say good-bye this morning. Until our next gathering together know you are not alone. You're not the only one with a hunger of heart and soul for more.
On a personal note, 19-month-old Victorious Man of God sends his love. He is busy watching big sister's baby doll while insisting I need a straw in my glass of water. Mighty Man of God crossed another threshold of growing up this past weekend. Two bottom front teeth were lost. This is an event he has been eagerly awaiting ever since older sister lost hers several years ago. Oh dear. Our dear ole dog has moved from his spot by my feet to a location farther away from the duck decoy Victorious Man of God insists must "fly". Now a barstool is being shoved my way. Apparently VMOG wants to sit beside me and hold sister's babydoll. If only you could see how sweet this little guy looks sucking his thumb with a tiny babydoll tucked under his arm. As sweet as he is, our good-byes couldn't have come at a more opportune moment in this ever-evolving scene of adventure otherwise known as life here at our house. Nap time is upon us. Mama's visiting time is over. Hugs and prayers to each of you!
Until next time,
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House