My favorite thing to do is spend a day in Jamesport, Missouri with my Plain neighbors. I love the sights and sounds of the horses and buggies. I pretend to step back in time just a day. No schedules or worries. I visit the Dutch Store and load my cupboards with flour, yeast, and spices. I eat at the Mennonite restaurant buffet loaded with the most amazing food in all the world~ It reminds me of eating at my Grandmother. Did I mention it was heavenly?~ Fried chicken, homemade bread, mashed potatoes and this week bread pudding with caramel sauce. Oh, my stars~ my mouth is watering.
My friend and I had the pleasure of visiting a Plain home this week on our visit. My friend has played dorm mother to a plain girl this past year while she finished up her education at our local University. So rather than live in the dorm this sweet girl stayed in my friend's home. Needless to say~ they have become family. This week when we visited Jamesport we stopped to pay a visit to the Bennett family.
We dropped in to say hello and was greeted by a Plain woman in a little plain farmhouse. Her husband is a dentist and all of her homeschooled children have gone on to college~ except for a couple still left at home. Mrs. Bennett was about my age~ gray hair~ no make-up but the most beautiful face and eyes. She had a skin-deep beauty that you don't often see. She was full of joy and peace and you could tell she loved Jesus for she oozed with the fruits of the spirit. I felted like I could sit and learn at her feet for hours. She hugged me like we had been best friends forever.
She invited us in to sit in rocking chairs. Her little farmhouse was full of rocking chairs. There was no T.V. but a large school desk with a computer and school books all over. There were kerosene lamps you could tell had been lit but she did have electricity. The most beautiful violets were blooming in several pots on a table by the window. On a nearby table were many board games in boxes that looked well used and tattered from many hours of a family playing together. She had bones boiling and was getting ready to can some homemade broth which smelled wonderful.
Visiting with her and her children sort of felt like a warm hug. As she welcomed us in she said something that stuck with me. Me being the recovering perfectionist that I am ~ plans on remembering her wise words from this day forward.
She said~ " Just drop by anytime if you come to visit with us. If you come to see a clean house ~ call first so I can get it cleaned for you."
In the middle of her living room was a huge pile of sorted laundry that she was in the middle of washing. She was in the middle of chores and cleaning but her hospitality hid all that to me. She was so gracious and kind and seemed above enthusiastic that we had stopped by to disturb her morning. In that plain little farmhouse not at all decorated in the latest fashion, I felt so comfortable. She was showing the love of Christ and her light was shining brightly through her spirit and through her hospitality.
I left there that day determined to focus more on things that really matter ~ rather than all the stuff that really doesn't matter. Nothing like a visit with a Plain friend to remind me to put life back into perspective.
King James Version (KJV)
8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?