Archive for the ‘hospitality’ Category


My hands are speckled with paint as I type.  Blue paint, actually, the color of the summer sky.  I just finished brightening up the downstairs bathroom with the cheerful color.  I prayed for the next owners of this wonderful home as I painted, remembering how smitten I was the first time I walked into the house. 

The arched doorways and wrap-around porch reminded me of my great-grandmother’s house in western Kansas–my favorite place this side of heaven.  The creek in the backyard (artificial, but still awesome since I’d specifically prayed for a house with a creek) bubbled happily and pictures of Jesus gazed down on me from every room.  The master bath had just been remodeled and now had a big jacuzzi tub and walk-in tile shower.  It was love at first sight for both Greg and me.  And our girls were pretty excited about the pool . . .

And we’ve spent a lovely six years in this home, housing children in transition and offering hospitality to friends near and far.   We’ve hosted dinner parties, showers, Bible studies, receptions, thrown pool parties for Somalian refugees, fed hungry missionaries . . . and more.  This house was a gift from God that served us well.  But now it is time to move on . . .

“Mom, Africa has changed you and Dad,” Candyce commented during our conversation yesterday.  (Yes, she’s home from the hospital, large black gallstone in a jar, resting while Steven dotes on her–which he does quite well).   “I hear it in your voice, the things you say . . . I’m excited for what God has next for you!”

I suppose we did come home from Africa with a different perspective.   Mostly, though, Greg and I have decided that we want to spend the time we have left doing what matters most–from God’s perspective.   And we’ve felt His  nudging to downsize, simplify and get ready. 

For what, exactly, we don’t know.  But we’ll be ready to roll when He makes it clear.

Anybody interested in a fabulous house in the heart of Happy Valley?


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the strannigan b & b

Over the years, we’ve been blessed by a steady stream of folks who pass through our lives–and stay at our house. A friend actually asked me yesterday if Greg and I were enjoying being empty nesters–and then stopped and laughed.
“You really wouldn’t know, would you?” she observed.

But hospitality is one of our gifts and it’s a happy choice we’ve made over the years to open our doors to those God sends our way. We’ve welcomed a wide assortment of wanderers–from friends to foster kids to missionaries to young men without fathers. Some stayed for days–some for years–and all have left their imprints on our hearts.

One of our most unusual guests was hitch-hiker mike. Through his connection with my sister, Erin, mike somehow appeared at our front door when we lived in Anchorage, AK. Mike was a believer, and artist and incredibly odd. (I think my girls might still have some of the apocalyptic drawings he produced for each of them). Mike stayed for about a week, and then departed to thumb his way to warmer regions. I can’t recall why exactly, but after Mike left, we all wondered if we might have entertained “an angel unawares.” Heb. 13:2

We just said goodbye to one of our latest visitors–the kiwis; otherwise known as Kyle, Jacob and Christian. The three guys are friends of friends of Candyce and are touring the U.S. during their holiday (I think it’s summer in New Zealand). They were a blast and we learned a lot about kiwi ways and culture. We were especially pleased to know that God is alive and well and moving on the far side of the world.

So, now it’s time to change the sheets, do the laundry and get ready for the next influx of friends. Let’s see–there’s Darnelle from Washington . . . then Tobi from Texas . . . then ????

Better make your reservations now!

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