As I mentioned a couple of days ago, this has been a bit of a crazy week. The primary reason is a really good one: Aileen and I just completed the purchase of our first house. We are now waiting only for a piece of paper to change hands from our lawyer to our real estate agent and it’s a done deal. While we would have preferred a single home property, housing prices in this area are sufficiently high that we decided to buy a townhouse - a good, cost-effective way of building some equity towards a “real” house in the future. So we found a nice, upgraded, four bedroom townhouse that should serve us well. Best of all it is quite near our current house so we will not have far to move. We take possession of the house near the end of March.
So this is all very exciting for us! After eight years of paying rent we will be thrilled to finally pay our own mortgage rather than someone else’s. We are exceedingly grateful to God for providing a home for us. We have perhaps not been as diligent as we should have been in seeking such a blessing, but my mother and sister have been praying on our behalf for a long time. This house is the answer to many prayers. One blessing this house will provide is a more natural setting to invite people over. The house we live in now, where we have been for the past five years, is very poorly-suited to entertain people, primarily because there is nowhere for the children to play except for where the adults are trying to converse. The new house remedies this with a large, bright, finished basement that will become the children’s play area. One of the upstairs rooms will become the new headquarters of Challies Dot Com and should be able to fit enough bookshelves that I can be in the same room as my books.
We are looking forward to meeting our new neighbours and to, hopefully, sharing our faith with them. When I was growing up my family’s house was always that house on the street where all the children gathered. My mom was the mom that all the children turned to. Our house was always buzzing with activity and the door was always open. I hope and pray that our house can be that house.
So if you live in the Toronto area and are interested in getting some exercise on or around March 25, do let me know!
Last night I was browsing through a book of verse and found a little poem by Robert Herrick that seemed timely. Here is Herrick’s “A Thanksgiving To God For His House.”
LORD, Thou hast given me a cell
Wherein to dwell ;
And little house, whose humble roof
Is weather-proof ;
Under the spars of which I lie
Both soft and dry ;
Where Thou my chamber for to ward
Hast set a guard
Of harmless thoughts, to watch and keep
Me, while I sleep.
Low is my porch, as is my fate,
Both void of state ;
And yet the threshold of my door
Is worn by th’ poor,
Who thither come, and freely get
Good words or meat ;
Like as my parlour, so my hall
And kitchen’s small ;
A little buttery, and therein
A little bin
Which keeps my little loaf of bread
Some little sticks of thorn or briar
Make me a fire,
Close by whose living coal I sit,
And glow like it.
Lord, I confess, too, when I dine,
The pulse is Thine,
And all those other bits, that be
There placed by Thee ;
The worts, the purslain, and the mess
Which of Thy kindness Thou hast sent ;
And my content
Makes those, and my beloved beet,
To be more sweet.
‘Tis Thou that crown’st my glittering hearth
With guiltless mirth ;
And giv’st me wassail bowls to drink,
Spiced to the brink.
Lord, ‘tis Thy plenty-dropping hand,
That soils my land ;
And giv’st me for my bushel sown,
Twice ten for one.
Thou mak’st my teeming hen to lay
Her egg each day ;
Besides my healthful ewes to bear
Me twins each year,
The while the conduits of my kine
Run cream for wine.
All these, and better Thou dost send
Me, to this end,
That I should render, for my part,
A thankful heart ;
Which, fired with incense, I resign,
As wholly Thine ;
But the acceptance, that must be,
My Christ, by Thee.