Last year, we had the privilege of hosting the wedding of Jason and Jessica McMillan. It truly was a super special day- the weather was absolutely perfect, the wedding was simple without a lot of fanfare which highlighted the fact that these two were joining together as one with God's blessing. They transformed Andy's rustic Chainsaw Carving Shed into the perfect wedding chapel. Andy made simple wooden benches from logs and old boards that were draped in white sheets. Afterward, the guests had all brought together a pitch-in meal to sit and enjoy in our house talking and laughing. It felt normal. It felt good. It felt blessed. We didn't use the Bee-stro or our business at all for the wedding. It wasn't about that. And to be honest, if we had at that point in the pandemic, the event would have been hindered.
Truly, the simplicity brought out the beauty of the day and the moment. Items were transformed to fulfill a new purpose. A chainsaw carving shed became a beautiful wedding chapel. Old boards and logs became benches. Chirping birds became a choir. A girl became bride. A man became a husband. And two transformed into one.
The chainsaw carving shed was transformed on another beautiful summer morning. It was a Sunday and this time it held a breakfast buffet for a grieving family who had just laid their patriarch to rest. It was the final meal they would share together before parting ways again traveling to their homes in different parts of the United States. Stories were told, remembrances shared, hugs were given, and comfort was given while breaking bread together. It was another transformation in the journey of life.
Later in the summer, the same chainsaw carving shed was transformed again to a place where friends would come and help us through the struggle of one of our own trying to find her own path with God. They would listen to us, comfort us, and yes, sometimes, even smoked a cigar with us. The chainsaw carving shed was our counseling center.
The Chainsaw Carving Shed was the last of the structures added to Honeysuckle Hill. Andy built it in 2019 as a place primarily to do his chainsaw carving. Living on a hill, the need of having a flat place to chainsaw carve became apparent and the idea of having a roof over his head in order to work in the elements just seemed to be a good idea. Andy ran electricity to the Chainsaw Carving Shed so he would work after the sun went down. I thought it would be good to have electricity down there, too, in case we needed to plug in a crock-pot or two in the event people would need to be fed there.
You see when we built this house on the hill almost 18 years ago, I distinctly remember painting the foyer closet and talking with God. I was awed that He was allowing us to build a home on such a beautiful piece of land. I remember praying that He would use the house for His glory and that everyone who walked in it's doors would feel His Presence of Blessing. We have hosted Bible studies, parties, and have been the home to those just needing a little help. The lake has been used for two baptisms. One was on a cold November day, and once we got back into the house, the snow began to fall. It was beautiful.
The Chainsaw Carving Shed, like the Bee-stro, is just an extension of our house on the hill. We want the Presence of God's Blessing to occupy our whole property. Biblically speaking, land meant a lot to God. He wanted the folks in the Old Testament to have and occupy land. He wanted people to welcome strangers on their land. Land was seen as a blessing.
We have known that this land is only on loan from God. When we purchased this land, it was overgrown with thorns and bushes and weeds. We looked at it on a Saturday in February. Even with all the growing things dormant, we still had to bend over and cut our way through to see what the potential was. We had to clear out the overgrowth and tame the wildness of nature to be able to see a thing of beauty and plant beautiful flowers. It's not unlike what God has to do with us to bring out our beauty. We are blessed to be the caretakers of Honeysuckle Hill. While we are here, we want other folks to come and enjoy it and hopefully feel the Blessing of God's transforming Presence. We want to continue to host more celebrations and hug those shedding tears. One of our primary goals here at Honeysuckle Hill is we want folks to experience the simple transformation of leaving more at peace than when they arrived. When that happens, we have succeeded at being this land's caretakers.