At long last, a peek into my brain...
I would absolutely LOVE to open a Bed & Breakfast some day. God planted this one in my brain a number of years back and he's been working it through slowly; preparing myself and my family for what might be more than just a great dream. While some B&Bs are quite luxurious places of rest and relaxation, others are much more simple and down to earth. My vision is far from luxurious, yet it is definitely NOT simple. The vision in my mind's eye is a homey country retreat that would invoke the comfortable memories of decades past. A place that can take people back to a "simpler" time.
Please allow me to share with you my mental picture. This home would be located outside Winnipeg (or another major city center yet to be determined). Somehow, I see it near a town something like Neepawa, MB; picturesque and quiet. The property itself would be large enough for a simple farm designed to help us educate, entertain and feed our family and guests. Nothing major, just a couple cows, chickens, horses (for riding), bunnies and maybe a pig or two with a garden full of fresh fruits and vegetables. There is something to be said for the comfort that fresh farm eggs and home made breads bring to one's heart and tummy. For the families, we could show the children what farm life is like (it could be quite eye opening for some of them I'm sure) and provide for them the freedom to run, laugh and explore (something most urban raised children and adults just don't get enough of). My husband and I have always really enjoyed exploring, so I pray the property would be treed well enough to encourage peaceful exploration. I am also hoping that there will be a pond or river nearby for people to enjoy; there is nothing more wonderful that looking deep into God's creation to remind you that He is amazing!
The main house would be an older two (or better yet three) story house, loaded with plenty of character and interesting nooks and crannies. There would be at least 4 bedrooms open for guests (not easy to do with a family of 5-6 already residing in the home, but God knows the full plan). I see it something like this house, here in Winnipeg (Dalnavert House). It's beautiful!
One can't talk about all this without at least touching on one of my favorite subjects, FOOD! Cooking is something I enjoy so thoroughly, that you all know the food will be amazing and plentiful. Fresh baked bread and goodies (healthy enough to cancel the guilt of coming for seconds). Sweet special comforts for each guest and traditional, home cooked meals, like Grandma used to serve. I would customize the menu, based on people's needs or wants, because this is the part that means most to me. I want the guests to feel blessed and important; just the way we all are special to God. Though I know I could never emulate that intense a love, I would hope that through me (and my family) each guest would know that God is love and we are but one simple expression of His love on earth.
I would like to see a larger building on the property made available to hold meetings in should a group come for a retreat, but this is still very new in my brain and already my mind is already wondering "just how is this all going to be possible?".
I know in my head that a lot of this dream will come in stages, as it takes time and money to build up something like this. I also know that all things are possible through Christ and so we are trusting in Him to make these things clear. Already, God is preparing my husband's heart to see this vision and see that it might actually be something he would like (he's a city boy through and through). Even typing about it now gives me chills of excitement. Like with so many other "ideas" God gives me, I know that He gives me a practical plan to accompany the flighty excitement, so the practical business woman in me can already see three stages of development here.
After finding and purchasing this amazing property the "business plan" would begin something like this:
1) establishing of the garden/farm to help sustain our own family
2) opening the rooms for guests
3) further development of the property to accommodate more guests and groups
I have spent the last 5 years in the dream stages, but now God has begun to really stir this in my husband's heart (at least in thoughtful consideration). He is much more of a cautious soul than I and, let's face it "farm life" wasn't something he ever imagined his life's path would take him. He also never imagined himself married with 3 children and a home and look at us now (and honestly neither had I)! As things are right now, I honestly could see something like this starting to take form in the next 3-5 years. I look forward to this family adventure so much, but will wait upon the Lord for his timing! For now, we will keep praying and keep dreaming.