Formerly The Brown Bungalow, this blog has changed names to reflect my new location in the deep South. We are leaving the Columbines for Magnolias; donating wooly socks to buy sandals; pouring out the hot beverages to sip iced tea; and building sand castles instead of snowmen.
Today I am thinking about how we get blessed from the bounty of others, from what is 'rich' in their lives. Or better put, how the overflow of our lives can benefit others. And not just with money. We all have gifts, talents, abilities, "much" that helps to address our needs and then flows out to enrich the lives of others.
I was reminded of this last month when we were in the Land of Corn and Soybeans, visiting my Sister, Former Farmer, and The Cook on Fifth Street.
You've seen my fascination with dolls (i.e. my "staff") and how Sister shares that with me. She also loves woodworking and has put that to good use in many ways, one of which is with doll houses and miniatures. This has been a hobby of hers for decades and she's good at it. She even had an article published in the Nutshell News magazine (which ceased publication some years ago).
back of the doll house
Anyway, Sister has six granddaughters, so it seemed only right that she build a doll house for them when they come to Gram's house. She used a kit, which if you have ever done this, usually has something missing or doesn't line up right. But Sister is seasoned and was able to accommodate the inconveniences.
She didn't build it exactly as the instructions were written because of the flimsiness of the 'gingerbread' they showed on the peak of the house. She was suspicious as to the sturdiness of the porch posts holding up the porch roof, so she improvised. She did not like the gingerbread on the "sticky-out parts" (her words) of the house that would too easily break at the touch of little girl hands.
She also did not like the flimsy, thin wooden roof shingles, deciding that a nice coat of paint was enough.
Perhaps most concerning was the staircase coming down to the front of the house, which as they had instructed, would have run the dolls directly into the front wall at the bottom! How impractical was that?! So as you can see in the picture, the stairs were redirected to the back of the house. Now the doll people can more easily access the bedroom attic from the kitchen.
Note the stair case position
Sister puts this doll house on the living room coffee table when young visitors are expected and then puts it away after they leave.
In her office she has a much larger, farm-style doll house that is fantastic. Note in the photo below the real shingles on the roof, the brick foundation, and the provisions for electricity on the white walls, later to be covered with wall paper, not to mention the high-quality, sturdy construction.
Great niece plays with the larger doll house
She's been working on it for years, making it solid and using all the materials she's dreamed of incorporating. This is a doll house for grownups, although during my visit last March, one of her granddaughters and I were given permission to play with it. My great niece supplied the plastic furniture and a cast of people.
For a long time I would give Sister furnishings for this doll house as birthday and Christmas gifts, but it finally got to the place where she had to put those niceties in storage (i.e. out of the reach of little hands) until she finds the time to complete the electricity, wall paper, flooring, water pipes, etc. I'm just kidding about the plumbing!
My sister has been blessed with a love and a talent for miniature doll houses and her grands benefit from the overflow of that bounty (I do, too!). We all see how this works in other people. It's a principle that our Lord has instilled in mankind. Even the most needy people have an abundance of something that can be shared with others.
From everyone who has been given much,
much will be demanded;
and from the one who has been entrusted with much,