My husband does the laundry. (Yes, I know he’s a keeper!) But the laundry room is in the basement and his office is upstairs, and all those flights of stairs can sometimes be daunting. So we’ve been looking online at houses–still in the thinking stages. But telling our realtor what we want has turned out to be more complicated than I’d expected. She understands the need for a master bedroom and laundry room on the main floor, but a large playroom seems unusual for people our age.
Also, I said that we need plenty of easy parking–as much as 8-10 cars. She blinked. That was more parking than she anticipated, and certainly not available in much of Fort Thomas.
And why do we need all that parking? Because every Thursday a lovely group of young mothers and their children descend on our house from 9:30-11:30. We never have fewer than 5 participants, and have had as many as 11. Last week there were 9 of us. The regulars are four from Central and three from other churches. Then there are several from Central that come as their work schedules allow. The teacher is here in the summer and certain holidays. The nurse sometimes works on Thursdays. The moms of new babies are always eager to come during their maternity leaves. Most recently, a young woman and her son came because they were visiting Central. I told her she can keep coming, whether they choose to stay at Central or not.
We have studied books from the Bible a few verses at a time and various books a chapter at a time. We have taken turns sharing what we’re studying in our own personal Bible study. (Which, I think, has spurred some to have more personal devo time!) We have used studies from Christian Woman magazine. We just finished listening, a section at a time, to a talk by Randy Harris at a Pepperdine Lectureship. The girls took turns studying his points and then leading a discussion after we listened to that section. This week we will host a missionary and hear her stories about her work in Italy.
The girls also take turns bringing breakfast for children and adults. We get the kids settled downstairs with their food and we eat upstairs, sharing our prayer concerns as we eat. We used to have each girl pray for the one on her right, but that became so lengthy that we had no time for Bible study! Now one person leads the prayer from the notes I take. Then we discuss our topic for the rest of the time. We meet from 9:30-11, and they are usually all gone by 11:30.
Our challenge is always having a sitter for the 8-12 children. For a while, my friend Fay kept the children every week, but she’s moved back to Texas. Now one of the dads comes every other week, even when his wife is out of town. Two of my retired friends, Marcia and Shirley, used to come together when the dad couldn’t, but each of them has had serious illness. Marcia is back on the rotation, but two sitters are much easier than one, of course. When we have no one, Laura or I keep them. We have occasionally had everyone take turns, 10 minutes at a time, but that’s rather fractured.
So you see our problem about housing: we need a large play area away from the rest of the house and a large dining room to accommodate 10 or more around the table. We can’t give up the lovely parking on both sides of our wide street or the convenience of our cooking and dining area.
So we’ll just pray for guidance, as usual. I’ve seen some lovely building lots, but without street parking, and I don’t want a new house with a landing strip behind it. Building an addition to our present home would be extreme but possible.
Meanwhile, we’re both getting plenty of good exercise, walking up and down those 26 steps. We’ve lived here over 30 years and been hosting this Bible study for seven of those years. Believe me, the joy we get from seeing both physical and spiritual growth in mothers and children is worth a little inconvenience.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they lie, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:3-5