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Where Is the Gracious Mistress Of The Parsonage?

By Dr. James L.  Snyder

Ocala, FloridaDr. james snyder


Our family’s Christmas this year was the best one yet. But, of course, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage says that every year. I completely agree with her this year.

Our great-granddaughter served as the focal point of our Christmas this year. She assumed that position because she was born two weeks before Christmas. What a gift.

This is our second great-grandchild.  The first one is in Ohio, and we don’t get to see him very often. But this new great-granddaughter is only seven minutes from our house. I was to realize what a difference that would be.

My granddaughter’s mother and grandmother are now there to support this precious little great-granddaughter.

The time our granddaughter’s mother can spend with her granddaughter is limited because of her work schedule.

The great-grandmother, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, is free to visit the great-granddaughter whenever she pleases. Her “free” does have a cost, and I would soon find out that cost.

Every time we visit, I have to pull the great-grandmother away. I’m not entirely sure how this great-granddaughter will affect her when she’s a few months old and then a few years old because she’s only a few weeks old now. So I need to get ready for that.

The previous week was an interesting one.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came to my office on Monday morning as I was working and said, “I’m going to visit my great-granddaughter, and I prepared lunch in the refrigerator for you in case I don’t get back in time.”

She sped off and drove to the great-granddaughter’s house without waiting for any response from me.

It was a relatively quiet morning. I stopped to check the time and realized it was time to eat. When I entered the kitchen, it was completely dark and quiet. I then recalled her mentioning going to the great-granddaughter’s house.

My lunch was in the refrigerator, just as she had predicted. So I took the lunch plate out of the fridge and sat in my chair to eat my meal. I then returned to the kitchen with my empty plate and entered my office to continue working on my day’s project.

Because I had not heard any sounds coming from the other rooms of the house, I decided to check on the infamous great-grandmother. She wasn’t anywhere in sight.  I hoped she didn’t have an accident because I didn’t know where she could be. That started to worry me. She’s never been known to leave the house for an extended period without sending me a text or making a phone call. Did she have a problem of some sort?

I was ready to text her on my cell phone when I heard her pull into the driveway. Then, as she entered the door, she said, “I forgot what time it was. I was having so much fun….” Then she began story after story of time with her great-granddaughter that day.

When I woke up the following morning, her side of the bed was vacant. I assumed she awoke early to prepare breakfast. There was no one in the kitchen when I went there.

Looking around, I noticed a note on the refrigerator, “My great-granddaughter needed me this morning, so I dropped everything to go and help her. Make your own breakfast.”  Making a meal was simple because I’m not much of a breakfast hound dog. So coffee was the main component of my breakfast, and there was plenty of it.

When I stopped midway through the morning while working in my office, I heard no noise coming from the other parts of the house. Unless there was an emergency involving the great-granddaughter, I assumed my wife should have returned home by this point.

I started to worry about the welfare of that tiny infant. Why would The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage be so preoccupied with her if nothing was wrong?

When lunchtime arrived, I made my lunch. There’s nothing better than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch and a hot cup of coffee. So I returned to my desk after lunch to pick up on my work.

I paused and listened for a while after lunch, but there was only silence. I was starting to worry a little bit. Was the great-granddaughter ill, or did the great-grandmother get into some accident returning home?

Where is The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage?

Then I heard her drive into the driveway, exit the car, and enter the house. Then, I asked, “Is the great-granddaughter having any problems?”  “Oh, the great-granddaughter is doing great,” she said, beaming one of those smiles in my direction. “I spent the entire day with her and had a great time.”  She then began a series of stories about herself and her great-granddaughter, giggling while she told me various details about that young baby.

After a few weeks, whenever I ask myself, “Where is The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage?” I only have to think about that great-granddaughter. That’s where she is.

I believe Solomon in the Old Testament had it right when he said, “Children’s children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children are their fathers.”  (Proverbs 17:6).

Children are truly a blessing from God. But grandchildren and great-grandchildren are beyond a blessing. It is God’s reward He gives to those faithful parents.


Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34483, where he lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 1-352-216-3025, e-mail The website is

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