The endless teachings of opportunities


I have a crush on cabins, and it’s been there for as long as I can remember. We’ll be traveling down the road, and I’ll turn my head for a final glimpse at a cozy cabin tucked in at the edge of the woods.

It indeed felt like a dream too far-fetched to ever have within reach. It all came together during my teen years when Dad agreed to build a cabin in our woods behind the house. Dad and I would sit down evening after evening with a pencil and paper, making sketches of how it was to be built. After many evenings and Saturdays of Dad and my three brothers laboring over it, we had our dream materialize.

Since that day, the cabin has hosted more guests, birthday parties, prayer meetings, and family times than we could ever count. Now years later, Daniel and I moved to where I grew up, yet we did not buy the cabin. The agreement was that Dad would move the cabin to their new home. Though I missed it, I knew it was meant to be.

Now take this, though I never expected we’d have another cabin, it’s happening! A series of events transpired, bringing Daniel to conclude that he’ll need to build his own. As Daniel toils faithfully, along with his brother John and a young boy who generally works in the shop, I am amazed at the swift progress.

And yes, I am thrilled beyond words. It will be my little haven to spend time with God. We plan to set it in behind the shop, overlooking a gorgeous ravine of maple trees at the edge of the woods. I hope to have a set time of the day to go for a bit of a walk and spend moments alone with my Lord. And by the way, God is found wherever one seeks Him, it doesn’t take a special nook, yet as a mother, there is nothing like being alone with God sometimes!

The small 16-foot by 32-foot cabin has a small bathroom, a bedroom, kitchen, and living room. The children are most excited about the loft, where they have all sorts of big plans to play and sleep in. It brings back so many memories of when I was that girl, proud of Daddy to do it for us as his family.

Daniel has been super blessed with finding discount windows, flooring, and interior walls, which helps a lot. I keep telling Daniel it doesn’t all have to be grade-A products for God to be present when using it! We will also be using it for a guest cabin, and Owen will be staying in it for the first few months until his plans for a permanent home have materialized.

On sunny days I have taken the children, school books and all, outside to watch the progress on the cabin while the men worked.

And this is something that we value as Amish folks that the children get all kinds of opportunities to learn as they watch daddy pound nails, put on a metal roof, or hang windows and doors, or even teach them the value of insulation. The teaching opportunities are endless. We know that comments are made of how Amish do good quality work. We do want to give God all glory; all strength and capabilities come from him. One thing that makes a difference is the children being with daddy and seeing him do so many things, giving him this opportunity to teach them. Thus it gets passed to the next generation.

Okay, why not celebrate with four-ingredient ice cream cookies? If you make this simple recipe, and you have the opportunity to have children help you, do not turn it down. It is worth the extra effort and mess as you listen to their squeals of delight!

For the preserves part, you can use any flavor you like in the 4-Ingredient Ice Cream Cookies.

Easy Ice Cream Cookies

1 cup butter

2 cups flour

1 cup vanilla ice cream

preserves, any flavor

Mix softened butter and flour, then add ice cream.

(If you have little ones helping you, you’ll be sure to get giggles from this part!)

Chill until dough is slightly firm. Form into balls and place on cookie sheet.

Flatten slightly and press a thumb print on top.

Fill center with you choice of preserves.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Yields 20 cookies.

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