Sunday, June 14, 2015

From chicken coops to castles...

It's funny the things I think about now, as I look back to our growing up years. I remember lots of it, but some happened even before I was born.

There is royalty in my blood! I wrote about it here. This is my castle in the Black Forest area of Germany. :)

It was not the kind of royalty that really means anything though. I would be a princess today if the tradition in my dad's family had continued. It didn't, I'm not. Now it is a castle for tourists. It still bears my dad's family name, although the spelling changed generations ago. My mother was born in Norway, she married dad, a preacher from America, and left a prosperous family in Norway where her dad was the mayor of Tromso and a successful business man, to become a preacher's wife.

That's the royal part of my family genes, but there is more...

Before I was born, my mom and brother often traveled with dad when he was preaching in other states. On one of those trips, the church where dad preached  'housed' the preacher and his family in what they could afford... it was a former chicken coop behind the main house. 

My mother remembers taking a broom to the dirt 'floor' and sweeping it out, and my brother happily played among the chickens who still gathered there. It's been a great story for our family all these years. 

Now, in retrospect, I can see the grace of my parents, the way my mom handled each new "adventure" is such an example to me. I can't imagine spending a night in a chicken coop, and it certainly would not be without grumbling and complaining.

Even though they never had much money, God provided things for our family that many others never got to experience. Taking the Queen Mary to Norway to visit my mother's family, spending summers traveling all around the USA as dad preached, entertaining in our home so many real heroes of the faith, from Corrie Ten Boom to Bill and Vonette Bright, and so many more. Names I now know to be the leaders of their day in the world of Christianity. They were my heroes of the faith. 

I had a rich childhood, one that I treasure, one that has helped to shape who I am.

From chicken coops to castles... what a journey in the faith my parents had. What they left for me was their example, in all of it. They had grace in the chicken coop and grace in their castle experiences, and balance to understand that all of it was part of life. I have drawn on their well of wisdom a thousand times in my own life.

I am reminded that The King of Kings had no place to lay his head. He didn't even own a home. His birth was in a stable. His death was on the cross. And yet... his life was lived with love and grace, and the examples and lessons he has given us are the very things that guide us as we move through life. 

Just as my parents knew, I also know... He is our King, and we are all a part of His family... we are all royalty.


Debbie Petras said...

I love when you share your stories of growing up. Your mom certainly showed her true colors and they are beautiful. How many women would stay in a chicken coup? How thankful I am to be the daughter of the King of Glory. We have an amazing and privileged heritage!

Love you,

Farm Girl said...

I love your stories and what amazing parents you had. I love the chicken coop story.
I would say about the same as a manger to lay His head. :)
Lovely indeed. Have a lovely week.

Lea @ CiCis Corner said...

Although different, we have so many similarities as the daughter's of minister's. My Dad pastored churches from Ark. to Virginia and we had little to no money but the Lord always provided more than we needed. My Mom adjusted to so many less than comfortable situtations and was such a testimony in her support for my Dad and his ministry.

Enjoyable post!

Saleslady371 said...

I also love it, Sonja, when you share your childhood stories with us. That beloved wisdom from your parents not only blesses their children but each of us that hear the stories! I too love the connection you made to our Savior, The King of Kings, born in a stable. How royal we all are.


Debbie said...

Can't tell you how much I needed to hear all this on this morning, and how it blessed me, and made me think and remember. No, I can't imagine many women setting up house for any length of time in a chicken coop, be it only 1 night, or 1 summer. What an example to you she no doubt was of what is important and what is not. I was talking with my hubby yesterday about my preacher son and his little family and how SMALL their house is and how much I'd love to see them move to a bigger place to accommodate their growing family. And yet as we discussed it I was reminded they have everything they need. And truly their house is full of love and what's important and the kids are learning what's important and what just isn't.. I love it....and honestly can't wait to see what the Lord has in mind for all of them. Have a great week Sonja!

Vee said...

Oh my! I had a chicken coop playhouse once and even it had a floor! Your parents were exceptional, godly people. There is no way that I would have spent time in that chicken coop and my poor husband would have had his ear bent directly off. =D

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Yes we are. And when my dear husband looks at some of the extravagant places to live (like Carmel where we are currently vacationing), he wants to try to live like this. But I say, "WHY? WHY burden ourselves with this want that eats away at you and each day, stealing you of true joy?" Because I too believe that anyone of us who believes that Jesus is the savior and who follows him lives a rich life. Why do I need to live on the beach when I can just plan to come here for 10 days and savor in His gift to us, for we OWN NOTHING. We are here to observe, understand, to give glory. He is the owner of all, we are his servants who can at least ENJOY the gifts around us.

AMEN and me too, I have some royalty too, but way too forgotten to make anything about it! HAHHAHHH

Thank you dearest Sonja for coming to visit me! Anita

Sharon said...

OK, seriously?? You could have been a princess? Actually, now that I come to think of it, I can picture you wearing a jeweled tiara!

What a lovely post, Sonja, detailing the *rich* upbringing that you had. And what wonderful lessons you were taught by your parents. For indeed, knowing that we are children of The King is all that truly matters in the end.

Rumor has it, too, that we've got some mansions awaiting us in eternity!!