I drew this Ink with Pen & Brush of our home on Derby Circle in Rosemount, Minnesota two Summers ago. We moved from Andover, MN almost three years ago to be nearer our two sons and to have a home without stairs.  We love it!

I use it this week in keeping with our Thought— ‘Family’.  We moved from 2,200 to 1,500.  Sq. feet. You’ll see the significance below.  


The Invitation

THE ‘GENESIS’ for today’s Thought began two years ago with an invitation.  Marj and I invited her younger sisters (Sharon, 75 and Lana, 69 ) to be our guests and join us for a couple days in Mackinaw, Michigan, in early September. We drove across Wisconsin on US 8 and connected with US 2 in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  They drove from Royal Oak and Eaton Rapids, Michigan, to meet us in Mackinaw. We had a great time and ended with a plan to meet at our home in Minnesota next year–2020. COVID-19 changed everything.

The Question

LAST MONTH MARJ received a message from sister Sharon with a question: “Will we ever be able to visit you in Minnesota again?”  It had been ten years since they drove here for a visit when we lived in Andover. We had been back to the Detroit area only one time. Marj’s response was essentially: “Is that a possibility!?”  Sharon: “I haven’t even talked to Lana about the idea yet… Let me check!” Lana was 100% in agreement and the wheels were in motion.  No pun intended. Sharon uses a walker and wheelchair and has no driver’s license.  She is not fond of flying and doesn’t have proper ID to purchase a ticket.  They would need to drive.  Not a favorite thing for Lana.  Now what?  Walking was out of the question!

The Rescue

THE “KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR”, from two years ago, surfaced again!  Hannah (Lana’s youngest of four daughters) loaned them her car in 2019 to drive to Mackinaw.  Now, hearing of the plan and transportation need, rearranged her ‘work from home’ schedule and rented a larger vehicle to drive them to Minnesota. Their schedule was to depart for Minnesota August 5th, overnight in Janesville, WI, and arrive at our home Friday afternoon.  They would be here the full week and depart the following Saturday.  Hannah’s husband, Ben, would fly from Detroit to Minneapolis on Thursday evening and help drive back—a loving investment for ‘Family’ time from Hannah and Ben to make all this happen!  

The Serendipity

ONE OF MY PRAYER concerns has been how God’s love may flow through my life to our family in word and deed.  This is an extra challenge when family lives in so many different places.  A serendipitous event was about to unfold.  When family began to hear of the plan to visit with Marj and Jim in Minnesota…suddenly nearly everyone was looking for a way to be involved.  Lana’s daughter, Jodi, flew in from California for the first weekend. Daughter, Lori, and husband Phil drove in for the weekend from Kansas. Daughter, Sara, was not able to make the schedule. Our sons and family from Apple Valley and Hastings joined for the first Saturday.  Our son Jim and Suzi, (in the midst of planning their move from California to Nebraska) could not make it work with such short notice.  Total number involved at some point in the week was nearly twenty. 

The Accommodations

DID I MENTION we scaled back to 1,500 sq. ft. of living space?  Where will they sleep?  Marj and I are part of a Small Group Bible Study that meets every other week.  We begin each week with sharing our “Highs and Lows” since we last met.  Our “High” was the family that was coming! Our “Low (challenge)” where will they sleep? Two couples offered their guest room for the whole week if we needed it.  As it turned out, we only needed to use one guest offer for Hannah and Ben.  Thank you, Shari and John!

The Purpose

MY PRAYER FOR MORE opportunity to demonstrate God’s love to family was answered in a big way.  Thank you, Lord! Marj’s sisters, Sharon and Lana, spent the full week with us.  Friday night everyone arriving from out of town gathered in our home for dinner. Saturday – Friday we all met at Steve and Lona’s for evening meals with various ‘Family’ members providing food and cooking meals. We went from a simple question: “Will we ever be able to visit you in Minnesota again?” to a great celebration of love with “Family”. I trust you have had similar experiences with “Family” this Summer.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.  1 John 4:12

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.                          

Romans 12:10

3 thoughts on “Family

    1. Thanks, Sherri! I agree on the importance of “Family”. It was a great time and we are looking forward to a trip to Nebraska when Jim and Suzi get moved. You have a great family and I have watched a lot of it grow up in love over the years. God bless you!


  1. I have very fond memories of brief times with Sharon and Lana, as well as Marj’s mom and dad. I assume that Sharon has the same infectious laugh as she did 53 years ago. Lana was an energetic ball of energy with a great personality.


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