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Cottage 117

Cottage Dedication


July 23, 4 pm

Everyone Welcome!

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July 2023


There are a bazillion stories to tell, these are just a few. 

"Divine Romance"

This video tell the story of how I became the owner of

Cottage #117



You just can't make up a story like this. Jesus flexing. LOL

(read more)

Door in Truck.jpg


Just chillin' on the

side of the road

(read more)

Cottage History

July, 2023

Cottage history is somewhat of a mystery. The camp records don't go back very far. It seems the cottage was built in the early 1920's but I don't have an accurate date or details on early owners.

Ron and Helen Julian, purchased the cottage in August 1965, from Harry Patterson. The Julians lived in Cogan Station  Pennsylvania. They named the cottage "Fairlawn" after the church that Ron pastored. Two years later they moved to Dayton, Ohio. The church there was named "Fairhaven" and so they renamed the cottage after their new church.

Their last summer at camp was in 2017. A few years earlier they gave to cottage to  their son and daughter-in-law, Ron and Ruth Julian. Ron and Ruth served as missionaries in Côte d’Ivoire. When they returned to the states they settled in the Chicago area. I purchased the cottage from them in September of 2022. I named it "Divine Romance". The story of how I got the cottage and how I named it are in the video above. 

I have been rehabbing the cottage since I purchased it. I could tell you stories for days about stuff I repurposed out of the burn pile or found on the side of the road. If you want to know just ask. There is a story for everything and some of them are simply miraculous. There is still much to do but it has come a long way in a short time. I love every moment I have spent sewing, painting, and building. I believe this investment will ring into eternity in the lives of friends and family who will enjoy this space with me.

Mahaffey is a "thin space" for me between Heaven and Earth. God choose to provide this cottage to me as a place to worship and find refuge during the difficulties that came with the last year. I cannot tell you why His favor sits on me in this way but I sure can tell you some stories. Pull up a chair!

Cottage Dedication

July, 2023

I can tell stories for days about how God operates in my life. If you think I’m kidding, come on over. Acquiring this cottage is one of those stories and has become a platform for other stories. I'm going to tell you a quick one.

I bought this last year after camp and immediately got started on the rehab. I do my best praying and my best worship when I am alone with God and doing some mundane task - building, gardening,  painting, creating, sewing - not crazy about drywall but if it has to be done… I also get a special thrill when I repurpose something - especially if it's some piece of junk I picked up on the side of the road. I always say that is what Jesus did with me so…  Anyway, for the last year while I was working here, I had plenty of time for chat and worship with Jesus.  I call Mahaffey a "thin space" - like the space between Heaven and Earth is somehow less here.  I don't know if that is theologically sound but if you have spent much time here you know what I mean. God seems so easily accessible here.


This past year, the cottage wasn't the only thing that needed rehab. In my journal, I described this past year as a rough year at the end of a rough decade - and I needed a lot of time with God to get through it. Part of the way God preserved me through this time was giving me this place where I could build, garden, paint, create, sew…. and reluctantly even do drywall - all the while pouring out my heart to Him and being comforted by His Holy Spirit in the process. Matthew 5:4 says "Blessed are they that mourn because they will be comforted." That's because when we cry out to God "The Comforter" shows up! There were lots of days when it was just me and Jesus walking with my morning coffee. I now have a whole new list of sacred spots around camp where the Holy Spirit stopped me and spoke to me. He led me to treasures in His Word that sustained me and He led me on a treasure hunt of crazy physical junk that I could repurpose and give new life to - He TOTALLY gets me!! LOL Of course I have a list of stories about that.….  A few of those are on my website and some are so incredible I am still trying to write them.

So here's my point -  THIS time LAST year, God knew what the enemy was planning against me and mine, He gave me my own place, at the place I love the most, to do all the things I love the most, with the person I love the most. And for the record, He didn't just get us through He brought victory. It is a story of "Immeasurably More than we can ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20) and I will tell it on repeat in eternity.


So how do I say Thank you? How do I find the words to dedicate such a personally sacred space? This past Tuesday morning I got up, here at camp, asking God that question. "What do you want me to say at the dedication?" He didn't answer, so I opened my online devotional for that day and read this by that day's author:


When we move into a new house, my family and I pray through it room-by-room. We dedicate each room to the Lord, ask that we would be conscious of His presence, and invite Him to guard and provide for us. We want to remember that this is ultimately God’s house, not ours. The Word of God and prayer consecrate. The word “consecrate” means “to declare something to be holy” or “to set apart something as sacred” or “to commit something to divine purposes.” Everything God created is good even though sin can corrupt, or we can mishandle His good gifts (1 Timothy 4:1-8). 


How crazy is that?!! See, that's how good He is to me. He even gave me the words for this dedication ceremony.
So with that, I'm going to ask my Uncle, Rev. Carl Schmidt to make an official dedication of 117 Hebron Place, which I have named Divine Romance. 


February, 2023


I am a woman of faith who struggles to have faith. I know that sounds ridiculous but if I'm being honest I must confess that while using one side of my mouth to tell you how much I trust the plan and timing of God, I will use the other side to voice my fears over whatever situation has me stressed. It's the truth I like the least about myself.
If you know me, you've heard me tell story after story of God's provision. Not coincidences or friendly blessings but straight up miracles of Him providing for me. Stories I could never make up…stories that prove His goodness and stories that only He can get the glory for. It is often that these miracles coincide with some personal drama. I will be laboring in prayer over something, usually someone, and God shows up by doing some miracle in the mundane. This is one of those stories.
I pray for people who don't want my prayers. They run from God and make praying for them an act of faith. I am so grateful that the Spirit prays for us when we have no words. (Romans 8:26) I have spent much time in His presence with no words left to deliver my prayers - literally speechless - if you can imagine that. (LOL) Recently, my distress has been coupled with a financial hardship that I didn't see coming, my normal careful planning cannot resolve and I can't see out of right now.
Last week I ran away to my cottage at Mahaffey Camp. (If you haven't heard THAT story, please see the link below) While I can explain to you that God will meet me in prayer anytime and in any place, I cannot explain to you exactly why His presence is thicker to me when I am there. Camp is a place for me where the distance between Heaven and Earth is easily "bridged" (see what I did there - if you know you know). I call it a thin space.
Normally my trips to camp are filled with projects for continuing the rehab on my cottage. But that has come to a halt until this financial mess is resolved. So this time I had to cancel the handy man and set about to work on things that didn't require any new costs.
The big looming project is finishing the kitchen and the counter area that will sit between the kitchen and the living room where there used to be a wall. Eventually I will pay someone to finish the install and I will be able to purchase the countertop. The counterspace is an odd size and it's likely to be a long time before I can afford to have that made. For now, I've been using a scrap that I salvaged.
I arrived at camp last Thursday morning and spent the first part of the day walking around the deserted grounds just talking to Jesus about my people. It's what matters most and I'm not going to miss the chance to connect with Him for them.
After unloading the truck and getting situated I decided to take my salvage loving soul to the burn pile and see what treasures might be waiting for me. I was so excited to see that that pile was HUGE. Camp administration has been clearing out old buildings. To me this is a treasure hunt more fun than any shopping trip. I took my time digging through all the junk looking for stuff I could repurpose or upcycle in some way.
Then I spotted it… a giant slab of wood covered in mud. Immediately I thought, this would make a perfect temporary countertop. Whatever adjustments it would need would be better than what I already had. So I worked to unbury it and load it into my truck. It was then that I realized that it was not a slab of wood but an actual countertop. I got it back to the cottage, washed it off and wrestled the thing inside. I laid it across the base cabinets and tried to figure out where I would cut it to fit the space. Yup, you guessed it. No cuts necessary. The countertop is not only the right color it is literally the EXACT size for the space. How is that even possible?!
I just stood there…speechless, yet again. I'm not amazed that God can do stuff like this, I'm amazed that He does it for me - a woman wrestling to hold to His promises. I don't deserve His favor.
So, I have two points. God's goodness to me is because He is good not because I am.  I can struggle with faith and consistency and He still does crazy cool stuff like this for me because He operates on the merit of Jesus that has been imparted to me, not my merit. That is literally the Gospel. And… those eternal souled people that I am praying for- how much more important are they than a countertop that will never last through time. I am assured again that if He is willing to dump a miracle on the mundane He will surely do it on them. So I will wait and I will pray - I am speechless.

March 2023

When I got the cottage the door from the kitchen to the back porch was a solid dark brown door. Not only did the dark door suck the light out of the kitchen, it kept you from seeing through to the back porch and beyond, namely the playground. I had a vision in my head of sitting at the counter watching my grandkids at the playground. The kind of vision the you feel as much as see. I checked on the price of a standard exterior door with windows and realized immediately that was not going to happen any time soon. I also didn't really want a new style steel door. The cottage needs  vintage decorations to make them look like they belong. 
A month later, I was packed up with supplies and headed out of my hometown back to camp. I was going to camp to volunteer in the kitchen for the Replenish youth retreat and to work on the cottage. On my way out of town, I passed a pile of junk on the side of the road ... yea, you know the rest. At first I thought, "no way that is the size I need and I just kept on going. I got about a quater mile down the road when I thought, "This is exactly what God would do for you - exactly." Because only He could get credit for a story like this... so I turned around. I pulled into this narrow driveway where they were rehabbing an old motel. The furniture that was sitting at the curb was wrecked but it was the kind of stuff that was beautiful in it's day. But the door, the vintage wooden door... was exactly what I was looking for. I still wasn't sure if it was the right size but I had to find out.  I scooped it up into the bed of my truck and headed to camp. 
Yes, it was the right size and a few months later it was iinstalled.  At the moment that I am writing this, I am sitting at the counter, looking out the windows in that door at the playground. The only thing left is for my family to be in the playground. Someday... 
It is true that  is a fun story about God providing some physical thing. But it's also a story about me believing that God will do that. If I hadn't turned around that cold day to look at the old door the good thing that God prepared for me would have never been know. No credit to me... He's just done it so many times I've come to expect it. And I LOVE telling the stories.



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