Blessed

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Recently our church walked through a series called The Blessing. In the final weeks of this series, our pastors asked, “How are you a blessing to those around you?”

For the first two years of our marriage, we lived in a small house in upstate New York. Our little rental home was perfect for the two of us, but with all of our family living in other states or countries, I wanted to be able to host them for weekends and holidays. I loved having friends over. However, with such a small space, our options were limited. Our parents’ love was obvious when they visited and slept on our couch and an air mattress in the living room. After renting for several years and relocating to Colorado, we began searching for a home to purchase.

During our home search I prayed,

Lord, if you give us more room than we need, let us use it to be a blessing to others.”

We purchased a beautiful three-story house with plenty of extra room. In our first two and a half weeks, my husband and I had our house to ourselves for three days only. It was a whirlwind of family and friends. While I still feel like I’m trying to catch my breath, my heart is bursting with joy. I have seen our friends and family sitting on the back patio enjoying our mountain views. Our friend, Jen, even elected to sleep under the stars on our new back porch.

I dream of hosting my husband’s or my entire family for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I can already see my brother-in-law cracking jokes in our backyard while my nieces and nephews play hide-and-seek all over the house.

You are blessed to be a blessing.
I know that this spacious house has bountifully blessed us. Although the perfectionist in me would like the guests to wait until we have furniture in every room, I know that these details are unimportant. It would be nice to have a complete bedroom set in the guest bedroom, but I know that a mattress and a bedspring on the floor work for now. We will have to wait for a sectional couch for our family room and an entertainment center for our TV rather than an old desk. As much as I would like all of these things to be done and our house to be completely settled, I remember my prayer to God and realize that it is more important to use what we’ve been given to pour into others. I’m so grateful that we have already been able to use our house to be a blessing.



About

Amy VanSlocum grew up 100 miles from the nearest stop light, McDonald's and movie theater in rural Alaska. Since growing up she has lived in Michigan, Montana, New York and now Colorado and according to a friend takes "500 trips a year." She graduated from Calvin College in 2008 with a degree in elementary education and earned her graduate degree in library science. She currently teaches elementary school in Loveland, Colorado. In her spare time, she loves heading to the mountains to take a hike with her husband, Justin, and her black lab, Zoe.


  • Brenda Slocum

    Love your sweet article. Can’t wait to see your new home and share in spending time with you two.

  • Chris Ruch

    Thanks for your article Amy. Excellent thoughts and I hope they inspire others to think along the same lines. When we’re blessed with more than we need… it’s awesome if we ask God to use those extras in some way to serve Him and bless others. We prayed much the same thing and God has taken us up on our request multiple times. We’ve adopted my wife’s “Little Sister” (my wife, Jennifer, was a “Big Sister” via Big Brothers, Big Sisters… and eventually found that her “little” went into the foster system…. we then chose to pursue foster/adoption through Bethany Christian Services) and she became our daughter when she was 15 years old. After guiding our adopted daughter through the tumultuous high school years and helped her into adult life, we then felt ready for an additional challenge … hosting exchange students (via AMHomeLife.org)! Our daughter still lives with us (she’s now 24) and we strive to help guide her while also making additional space for short and long term students from countries such as China, Japan and Korea. We’ve also been involved in the “Fresh Air Kid” (freshair.org) project and hosted kids from NY a couple times. Plus of course hosting various church, friend and family parties, small groups, etc. There’s so much life and joy in having people over… I encourage all your readers to think & pray BIG to find out how God might want to use you to bless others. It’s an amazing adventure.

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