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Cottage 117

Divine Romance

Welcome to my cottage in the 

mountains of Western Pennsylvania

at Mahaffey Camp. 

I hope you enjoy the
pictures and 
stories.
If you are ever on the grounds,

please stop by and say "Hi". 

You are Welcome!

Before & After

Renovations 

Fall 2022 - Summer 2023

COTTAGE PURCHASE

September 2022

COTTAGE HISTORY
 

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 Julian's 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 read the following to the friends and family that came to the ceremony. 

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.

A Better View
Countertop Trash

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.” (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. 

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