For the last week, Michael and I have been on holiday. We have spent the last five days at the most beautiful place called Craig Lodge: “Family House of Prayer.” This lodge can host up to 42 occupants and is located in the village of Dalmally.
The lodge is ran by Magnus’ (the founder of Mary’s Meals) parents, MaryAnne and Callum. The lodge hosts up to ten young people in a group called the community. Here these young people experience a sense of solitude and the opportunity to pursue their faith deeper. Many of these people move on to pursue a religious order, or in some capacity work within their faith.
The hubby and I adored this place. As soon as we set foot on the property we were immediately greeted by an all-encompassing sense of peace; the one feels only from the Holy Spirit.
We enjoyed attending Daily Mass, receiving the Eucharist, participating in a LIVELY praise and worship night, and simply fellowshiping with so many Christ-centered individuals. It’s great to see people on fire for our Lord. It is easy to get caught up in the busyness of everyday life, and it was nice to be in a place that revolves their day around Jesus rather than attempting to fit Jesus into their day.
Some of the highlights of our trip were:
1. Our trek up the “hill” (more of a small mountain by my standards) where we walked the stations of the cross. These consisted of fourteen rock piles winding up the mountain that ended in a very large white cross at the top of the mountain, err…I mean hill. The ascent gave us beautiful warm weather, but the descent gave us a wee bit of rain, and wind. As I am into symbolism, it was neat to see a lone sheep on the hillside by the white cross. In Scotland there are sheep everywhere, but this one had fallen away from his flock. Not only was this he on his own, but he also had a slight limp. This made me think of the sins, and inadequacies we have, and how Christ loves us all the same. That we are his flock, and can always seek refuge in Him.
2. Hanging out with the Mary’s Meals crew. It’s always wonderful to speak with Magnus, as he’s so easy-going and incredibly humble! I would even go as far as to say he is the most humble man I have ever met. Meeting his family, wife Julie, babe Gabriel (although he has six more at home) and his parents were fantastic! It’s great to see what a spiritual foundation Mary’s Meals has as an organization. God is at the very center, and here at Craig Lodge the organization is prayed for daily. Callum always greeted Mike and me with the warmest hugs (they’re world famous-very genuine) and MaryAnne always had us laughing with her hilarious stories.
3. Watching Mike speak about his experiences in Liberia. Mike, reluctantly had a few speeches about Mary’s Meals Liberia. In one talk Mike captivated a room-full of over 40 people. It’s great to see your spouse excel and charm an entire room. I think all of this goes back to the fact that Mary’s Meals is such an incredibly genuine organization. That those working for the NGO are doing so because they believe in what the organization stands for. There are SO many people that volunteer for Mary’s Meals, and have raised so many funds all from the goodness of their heart! I love being apart of the Mary’s Meals “family.”
4. Our road trip to Fort Williams. That’s right, MaryAnne and Callum insisted that Mike and I take their car and travel around the area for a day. With shaking legs, Mike agreed to driving on the “wrong” side of the road and off we went! Callum gave us the low-down of the area, accompanied with detailed maps, and waved eagerly as he sent us on our way (not before we received our hugs of course). We traveled up to Glencoe, which was THE most beautiful scenery we have seen thus far. Then, we continued up to Fort Williams, and we lived to tell the tale! We had no accidents, and had such a beautiful time on our day-adventure. Which, by the way, took place on our month-anniversary.
While we were at Craig Lodge the Lord spoke to my heart in several ways. The loudest message that came through was the importance of serving others, and through your actions helping them to get into Heaven. God really weighed on my heart about Mike specifically, and that the goal of a spouse should be to get them into Heaven. Through words, actions, and thoughts, all things I do for Mike should revolve around my ultimate goal of helping him to achieve eternal life. While we were in praise and worship, I felt as though the Holy Spirit was speaking to me and I immediately broke down crying.
I won’t live forever, well, not in a physical sense anyway. At some point, Mike and I will be separated by death. There is nothing in this life that I could ever give my husband, the person I will always love most in this world that will last forever, except helping him to achieve eternal life. It’s something to think about for all of our relationships in this life. If we truly love and care for people the way that we say we do, are we showing them by helping them to achieve eternal life? By showing them Jesus’ compassion in all times? Through praying for them in the good times and the bad?
I challenge you to pray for others! For the ones you’re “sure” will get into Heaven, for the ones you are “sure” will never want anything to do with Jesus! Who are we to judge others? Our ultimate goal should be to help others in their pursuit of being born-again. Easier said than done, right? But the power of prayer is incredible and it’s free, and anyone can do it! More on this later…BUT in the meantime, prayer your hearts out 🙂