The Hospitality Project

Everyday life extraordinary

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Built to Last

The fresh breeze encircles us, the sun shines in….Mikayla reads and tweaks questions she wants to ask her students as we are road tripping to a wedding. We clip along and I glibly state that I would like to one day sit in the middle of the freeway on the grassy part and watch the cars go by. Quizzical eyebrows rise on my companion as she scrunches up her nose and ask, “WHY?”. I can’t even recall what I said but I do know that it sounded appealing. In roughly 15 minutes, I would find out that it was not appealing. It was loud and windy and dusty. Thud. Something hit the engine from the inside and immediately I pulled the car over. Getting out, we checked under the hood. Why, you ask? We have no idea. Yes, the engine was still there. Check. That was all we knew. We stood looking helpless. We looked at each other. We scoffed at the others’ thought of what might be wrong. Varied answers like we were out of oil, a screw came loose…. basic nonsense. Then we laughed. Stranded on the freeway watching the traffic go by was crossed off my bucket list and right quickly!

The cars streamed by without a glance at the helpless females on the side of the road. Should we drive the vehicle? Should we call a tow truck? Should we hitchhike to the closest town? Should we call Kevin? Our eyes meet and we agree. Yes. Call Dad. Decision made. Calling Kevin, he immediately jumped into hero mode. Making several calls, we were assured that he would come get us if we needed that. In the meantime, we flagged someone down to give us a prognosis of what the heck was wrong with the car. It was a HONDA! How could this happen? A gentleman and his wife stopped and after some investigation, he concluded that our car had spewed out her spark plug. We were definitely stranded. Kevin was on it and we called and told him the diagnosis after thanking the kind man for stopping. Kevin was going to try to make arrangements. Our hero. A couple hours go by and another hero comes by, Lee’s uncle Dave. So thrilled to see someone who knew what to do, I almost burst into tears. After several hours with Dave, driving into Hope and picking up parts, waiting for parts and driving back to the vehicle…. it was unfixable from the side of the road. Dave had invested so many hours and he had so wanted to be our hero. We assured him that he already had been! What a gift to have someone there, to guide us through that, to tow our car home, to talk deep thoughts on our relationship with God, to laugh with and hand over the situation to our heavenly Father. We were blessed and yet we were still in Hope at 6pm after leaving Langley at 11am.

Here comes another miracle. Kevin posted on Facebook. Asking for prayer for us, a friend whose husband was headed to the same wedding happened to see the posting. Immediately there was a bulletin put out to all cell phones and through that one posting, we had a ride from Hope to Kelowna. More heroes arrived at the scene to pick us up with their two seats to spare in their truck. I am amazed at this. Blessed by the care of good friends who went out of their way to rescue us. While we were stuck on the side of the road, Mikayla and I were discussing the whole concept of consumerism and how our society does not create things that are built to last. This is a testimony of friendships that are built on something solid. The friendships that came to our aid had been tempered by time, forged by relationship, had foundations of memories. My favorite kind of friendship comes attached with abundant memories. Over time, each friendship has a gazillion good times, memories, sad moments, trials, much laughter, babies being born, birthdays to celebrate, weddings to attend…as time glides gracefully through and onward. Really? Had it been 25 years since we welcomed the bride into our circle of friends by way of a baby shower? The only way to history is through the doorway of time. Time spent, memories built, built to last.

My question to myself is this, “what in my life is BUILT TO LAST?” Our stuff breaks down, our bodies break down and sometimes friendships break down but what is built to last? What are we doing to invest in the eternal? How are we developing our friendships to glorify Him? Are our families being drawn to Christ through daily interaction and care? Do we care in practical ways for those of our friends and family who may be walking through a rough patch? Are we intentional about seeking out our friends and caring for their soul? Let’s take some time to evaluate our lives and see if we are creating something “built to last” for His glory. We can only do this through the strength and grace of the one who is the true builder. Let’s build our house on a rock. My solid rock is Jesus Christ. He is my foundation and my rock. In all that swirls around me, He is my constant and my all in all and all that is in my life springs from Him. In a consumer society where very little is built to last, we can count on this. HE is built to last and when we build our house on Him, we will not fall for we are founded on a Rock.

Matthew 7:24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

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Dropped off the kids at piano and headed straight over to my new “find” of a thrift shop in the Langley Seniors Center.   On the first visit, I knew I was going to be a regular.  Swarming with old ladies and sweet chatter, I was in my element.   Sauntering in, I was met by Greta, a lady in her 90’s and her friend who was easily in her late 80’s.  They are volunteers and so pleased to see a “regular”.  I have gone three times in a row.  My heart is blessed by their warm smiles and their welcoming hearts.  This era knows so well the art of hospitality.   Their eyes light up to see a friend and they reach out to touch your arm in conversation.  Eyes meet your eyes as if searching for what is really on your heart as they catch every expression.  They take the time to chat about whatever comes to mind.  They have learned to value the simple every day moments.  What a gift to be in their presence.   Greta remembers that I come looking for wool and she steers me straight to a new donation of the prized find.  I am delighted.  Baby wool!!!  I love to make baby leggings for my little friends and here lies a treasure trove in a pastel array.  Immersed in the joy of having a friend look out for you, I finger through the wool and pick up many colors!  They are delighted to be a help.  That afternoon, Kevin and I head to visit adopted grandparents John and Millie (Thoroughly Modern Millie).  Millie loves to tell the story of her being a war bride and the many adventures of her finding her way to Canada to be with Johnny.  They have lived their lives in hard times and lean years.  Their hearts turned to the Lord in the early years of their marriage and they have devoted their lives to serving Him.  Now they are 90.  Everything about them is shaky except their faith.  As they walk, they are careful with their steps and tea flies everywhere as they are refilling your cup.  Stories are repeated and they stop to gaze into your eyes and  hug you over and over.  I love being with them.  They hold you close in their heart and in their hugs and in their prayers.  The value of friendships and time worn commitment is etched in their hearts.  Many of the stories we hear are of their loss of lifelong friends, a sadness creeps across their faces in the wake of this loss.  Then there is joy in the stories of great-great grandchildren and asking about our kids.  The pure joy of receiving a handwritten letter from Mikayla on a regular basis is evident in their gushing about receiving such a treasure.  Millie shows me her bundle of cards and letters and then rushes to her room (as much as she can still rush).  Coming out, she has a twinkle in her eye and hands me lovely chocolate kisses to give to Mikayla to thank her for the letters because she cannot write anymore…too shaky.  Their physical bodies are shaky and yet spiritually, this couple exudes solid ground. THIS is the solid ground I want;  an unwavering faith to the end stretch. This couple is pure gold.  Our time comes to a close too quickly and we have to leave.  Millie whispers, “When Jonny tucks me in at night, he whispers SEE YOU IN THE MORNING to me.”  I always reply.  “I hope so.”  I don’t say it but I think it. Their time on earth is coming to a close and yet I don’t like to think about it.  I think to myself that I hope to see this shining face again and again and again…I hope so.  This is GOLD…… Matthew 25:23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’