My wonderful parents-in-law both grew up in the same town. They went to the same high school, started dating during their high school years, and ended up getting married at 19 years old. They're even the same age. : ) They bought a little house on a couple of acres on a dirt road on the edge of a small town in the same area where they grew up and fixed it up. They raised 3 boys there on that dirt road. Each of them came from big families--5 kids in one and 7 in the other, and all of the siblings grew up and settled down nearby with the exception of just one, who moved down south after a while. So, my hubby's childhood home often was a gathering place for grandpas and grandmas, aunts and uncles and cousins from both sides of the family as he was growing up.
After all the boys were grown and out of the house, my in-laws began plans to build the home they would spend the rest of their days playing with the grandkids in--right next door on that same dirt road on the other half of their property. And build it they did. A nice, big, ranch style home with extra bedrooms and a great big sunny room with plenty of space for lots of grandkids to wrestle around and make a lot of noise. (With glass sliding doors that could shut if it got too noisy.) : ) They've lived in that house for about 12 or 13 years, and we always love visiting there. It's cozy and comfy and welcoming, and it feels like home, even though neither of us has ever lived there ourselves. And most of all we love the people who live there, so that's the best part about it...
But my in-laws have another home. They have a log cabin my father-in-law also built, up at the youth camp my brother-in-law runs in Morley, Michigan. It is another great place. It's cozy and homy, and it's brand new. Just finished this year. It has one amazing screened-in porch on the back, overlooking the woods and a little rippling creek. Simply beautiful! But the reason they have a home up there is not for the view. They know that the most important things in this life are not material. They have spent their summers and other parts of the year up there for years now, serving the Lord in any way they can. Washing, cooking, cutting grass, helping build things and doing maintenance jobs, and investing in the lives of the kids who come to camp and spend time there.
And now they have decided that they will rent out and eventually sell their home on their quiet dirt road that's a hop skip and a jump from all their brothers and sisters and the familiar places they have always known (and their old house where they raised their boys that their son owns now) and move most likely for good into their sweet little log cabin up at camp. I know it's not easy, especially for my mother-in-law, because you know for us girls, big changes like that are tough, especially when it comes to sentimental-type things. But one of the things we love about them is that they know that what's most important is not always the easy road. They are willing to do the more difficult thing because it's the right thing. And they know that the blessings God wants to pour out on those who love Him, and are willing to serve Him no matter what the cost, are the greatest blessings we can ever imagine.
I am excited to see what God is going to do with my wonderful second parents as they continue on their journey, letting go of what's behind and pressing on serving Him. And I can't wait to see how He is going to bless them for their obedience...(I think part of that blessing is going to be frequent visits from US! heehee)
We just got back today from visiting them at their old house as they get ready to leave. I must admit it was pretty hard to say good-bye to that house. So many memories. What is it about houses and saying good-bye? But like I said, I'm sure the best is yet to come.