Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Blessing

Last Sunday (January 13), I had the extraordinarily good fortune to be invited to a dear longtime friend's house blessing.

Joni went through the Habitat for Humanity program to serve others and eventually become a homeowner.  Her lifelong dream came true last fall when her house started construction from the concrete slab upward.

Joni's new house!  Isn't it gorgeous?
The amount of sweat equity that she and others in the Habitat program devote to building houses for those who need them is just amazing and, frankly, awe-inspiring.  Taking home maintenance classes, home ownership classes, actual labor building houses, and labor in the local HFH's ReStore had to be a lot of time and a lot of effort--but look at the payout!

The house blessing ceremony was just as wonderful.  The HFH representative I talked to at the door estimated that at least 140 people were in that home on that blustery, snowy, icy January day.  He ran out of programs; he said that had never happened before.  There was lots of love and happiness in that little house that afternoon.  Blessings, gifts, and hymns all were said, given and sung.  It was a lovely ceremony and lovely celebration for someone that deserves all the good that happened that day.

Laurie and Joni holding happiness :-)

There are five of us--Joni, Linda, Karrie, Stacey, and me--that have been friends since high school.  We were in the same youth group at church and have kept in touch, especially with the coming of Facebook.  Linda, Karrie, Stacey and I went together to buy Joni a housewarming gift (or rather a flowerbed-warming gift)--a 20 lb. decorative stone with the word "Happiness" etched on the visible part of the rock.  I've posted a photo of Joni and me with "Happiness" for you to see as well.

The house blessing also blessed me just for being there.  I felt a lot of love for a person dear to many people, a lot of community, and a lot of unselfish, unabashed happiness for a person's good fortune that day.  It touched me then and continues to do so today.

I've also posted a photo of Joni's new house in this blog post so you all can admire it for yourselves.

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