Saturday, May 05, 2012

dawson & sentimental fools

I am a sentimental fool.  It's true. You can call me that and I actually won't get offended.  Any other type of fool and I'd probably cry in a corner.

I don't know if Hubs knew this about me before recently or if it's more on the forefront of my life now that we have children but almost everything I dream about these days is sentimentally in tune.  Hubs noticed this when I told him about my dream to get wood from the family barn and build a door out of it for our future home.  You can see the blog that inspired me if you click here. (cue drooling now)

I love the thought of the past tying in with the present and the future, my daughters eating cookies their great-grandma learned to cook while she was a 16 year old working in a home for a rich family.... sniff, sniff.  I can't help it.  There's just something magical about sharing life and history.  It's what makes us who we are.  Let us never forget where we've come from (and I'm not talking about the "us" as in our own lives... I'm talking about the "us" that spans back generations, lifetimes, oceans, immigrations, etc.)

Hubs and I work for a Christian ministry called The Navigators.  Recently, I have been inspired to read more about the beginnings of our ministry and its founder, Dawson Trotman.  He was a pretty cool dude.  He was definitely human and flawed but it's amazing to see how God used his life very intentionally to serve a purpose before calling Dawson Home.

One thing that stood out to me about Dawson and his wife Lila is that they constantly had an open door policy with men and women in their lives.  They even had men and women living with them at different points in their lives.  This was how they did "training" with their staff.  They literally shared life with the men and women who wanted to join their ministry endeavors.

This stopped me in my tracks.  Why don't we do this anymore?

Three specific things stood out to me about this arrangement.  One: ministry is more than just meeting for coffee once a week.  Passing on what God is teaching you is about letting people see the good and the bad, like allowing people to see you pray with your children and oopsy, maybe even losing your temper with them too.

Two: because you always have someone in your life you are allowing yourself to be open and vulnerable to them as well.  Sometimes I think as "the staff" I  share and I teach but I forget that I need to listen and to be taught.  Third: the person living with you has to be quite humble.  One young lady, Morena, was asked to stay on their couch as her living quarters, often times not able to go to sleep until guests had vacated her room.  I thought, "Holy turtles, this is amazing!" because Morena was later married to Jim Downing who is an amazing staff guy.  It's basically a lot of history with the Navigators but you didn't ask Jim and Morena to sleep on your couch now.  You'd give up the master bedroom and scour it with bleach and cleanser till the whole thing shined.

These are people that God used to turn a small pack of raggle taggle Navy guys into the worldwide organization that it is today.  You don't ask these people to sleep on your couch... and yet, they did.  They did because in the grand scheme of things learning to pass on your life and ministering to others was more important than where one slept.

So all this rambling to say... how can I open my doors and let others in not just to teach but to be taught? (Anyone, wanna live with me? I promise you don't have to call me Lila.) And, what is the "couch" in my life that I am refusing to sleep on because I'm too good? (metaphorically speaking, of course)

I did live in my director's home once with his wife and three kids... more on that and what I learned next time.


(*my thoughts and sentimental ramblings are coming from the book, "Living Legacy" by Jim Downing and "Daws" by Betty Lee Skinner)

1 comment:

Hannah Joy said...

My parents had a whole slew of people live with us when we were young. It gets harder when your kids all have their own rooms, however I always liked it because we had an extra friend in the house. It's a great way to share life (and expenses) and beneficial on both sides. I hope to do the same when I have a home with more than 1 bedroom :)