Have you ever been in a home where the aroma of Christ dwelt so strongly that it was undeniable? Where you learned something new about the character of Christ at every turn? That's the kind of weekend we had. The Carpenters are such people. There was never a dull moment during this visit, whether it be sitting together at the family meal table enjoying scrumptious food and talking of the days events and what each meant to us, or meeting new friends, or being shown around the sweet and pristine little town of Franklin, Tennessee.
(Speaking of the family meal table, which I mentioned in a previous post, Ken's company, Franklin Springs Family Media, has just released a new video, called The Family Meal Table, which we have found extremely helpful in furthering our efforts in this area. I HIGHLY recommended it!)
The Carpenters have that graciousness of spirit that only comes from being wholly given to the Lord. To give you an example of the kind of hospitality we were shown, we arrived at their home around (o.k., Carpenters, at EXACTLY) 4:30 on Friday afternoon. We were shown all around their beautiful home and told that we would be staying in the front two bedrooms. These bedrooms are where their children sleep. So, where would the children sleep? You got it, all of them (they have eight children) would sleep in Mom and Dad's room for the following three nights. I know that Mom and Dad didn't get quite enough sleep, yet they were so fun to be around the entire time.
Self-sacrifice and joy in hospitality, extending a Christ-like hand in friendship and desiring to build a new friendship... these are the things that have been impressed upon me from our time with the Carpenters.
My favorite part of the weekend? Saturday morning we all drove into Franklin. Franklin was great, but the best part was that Ken wanted Devon and I to drive into town together in their car while he and Jim Bob drove in the van with the children (all twelve of them) so that Devon and I could have the chance to get better acquainted. What a wonderful time we had, Devon! I've made a new friend! A kindred spirit! What a great time we had just talking, talking, talking! We have so much in common. Isn't it wonderful when God blesses us with a new genuine friendship?!!
I am thankful for all that the Carpenters did to give us such a blessing this past weekend. Vacations like that just don't come along all that often. What a beautiful family. What a blessing of new friendship!