Thursday, August 22, 2013

Elisabeth Elliot's "Bless These Guests" (& Our Old River House!)

I love the words below that were on a wall plaque in Elisabeth Elliot's family vacation home in Franconia, New Hampshire. I copied them and put them in our river house after reading them:

Sleep sweetly in this quiet room,
O thou whoe'er thou art,
and let no mournful yesterdays
disturb thy peaceful heart.
Nor let tomorrow scare thy rest 
with thoughts of coming ill.
Thy Maker is thy changeless friend,
His love surrounds thee still.
Forget thyself and all the world,
put out each feverish light;
the stars are watching overhead.
Sleep sweetly, then, good-night.

That paper with the words (which I had written in a calligraphy-look type) that I had framed floated down the Pamlico River when Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast—two years ago next week. It took with it our river house! Nothing was left! 

We didn't even have insurance on that old river house, and we guessed we probably broke even after having the house twenty years. We were still way ahead because of the memories we made there with our children in the simple life we had there where our children caught fireflies and frogs and learned to kayak and fish.

Blair, our older daughter, made this tugboat out of the boys' blocks,
2 bottle tops, a sardine can, and some shells. I had just taken it out of the house before the hurricane. Isn't it so cute? She also had sketched the pier at the river house, and I can see it in my mind's eye.
It was in the house when the hurricane hit, along with John's tin fish that hung below it,
just like the one below that my son Alex made. 

We got the river house when some friends asked us to join them by going in on an old house that they already owned. We called it "the quack shack" as all our husbands were of the Duck Dynasty nature:-) I didn't want to go in on it at first, as I thought we could better use the money somewhere else—like the ultimate homeschooling field trip—Europe! My husband and I didn't agree, and he had to make a decision—so we moved forward by deciding to go in on the river house.

What a great decision it turned out to be. We adored our simple, quiet lives spent enjoying God's beauty  in the unforgettable pinkish-orange sunsets at the river. I can see my children going up and down the pier with our loyal golden retriever, Cinnamon, happily following along behind. I'm so glad my husband had the foresight to not listen to me. Remember it was Eve that was deceived? 

A godly man makes the decision he believes God would have him make that is best for his family even if his wife doesn't always agree. The Bible says the buck stops with him. 

It wasn't until I heard Elisabeth speak about her family's vacation home did it finally hit me that having that old river house was the best thing that could have happened to our young and growing family (it was about the same time period as when we were invited to go in on the house or shortly afterward).

For the simple, relaxed environment with God's beauty all around—I am so grateful! My children learned contentment there with the simple pleasures of life like catching shrimp off the pier (they would cling to the pylons), and fishing with their dad. Oh, the wonderful memories of fish frys and fireworks with our friends... (Hi Katie & Johnny if you happen to read this!!!) The very opportunity I wanted to throw away—became such a gateway to joy!

My hubby and me in 2002 with our youngest, Mary,
with Elisabeth Elliot, and her husband, Lars Gren & the dots are the back of my phone!
This picture is behind glass in our music room!

If you enjoy posts on Elisabeth Elliot, you may want to follow my Elisabeth Elliot Board on Pinterest to not miss any future posts on her. You can also search for previous posts I've written on her by inserting her name (be sure to use an "s" in Elisabeth) in my search topics blank box on the right side bar of my home page (you'll need to scroll down to it).

Next time—more from Elisabeth Elliot—a thought on letting go for empty nesters.

Walk by Faith,


  1. She is such an amazing and inspiring woman. So thankful you posted her blessing - I'll definitely be keeping that in my quote journal. Thanks!

  2. Hi Kirsten! Don't you just love her? She always began her program with the words, "You are loved..." from Deuteronomy... adn while I know she was referring to God's love for us, I always think about how much she is adored by so many! Love Juana

  3. Learning to trust and let go of control is one of the best lessons I am continually learning. I find it is more about trusting the Lord through my husband than it is trusting my husband. When I trust the Lord, trusting my husband is so much easier! Great post! I named my daughter Anna Elisabeth (with an s). You don't see that very often. Love Rachael

    1. Hi Rachael! I love your comments especially trusting The Lord by trusting your husband. God is very practical God! He doesn't give us conflicting responsibilies! Love, Juana


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