friends and loved ones · shop talk

the long journey to patience

James 1: 4&5 : But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Last week Michael took time away from his day job to get the flooring down in  the shop.  He got a few other things taken care of too – the awning over the front door is up and the drywall is finished with the walls painted.  What a week of accomplishments!

You know, I haven’t updated much on the progress of the shop lately, because frankly sometimes there’s not a lot to see.    But I can tell you with confidence we are near the finish line!  Compared to what’s behind us, only the small details are left now.

It was just four short years ago, that Michael and I decided to spend our efforts towards following his dream in our backyard.   Initially he swore he thought we’d have the shop up and running in 6 months, a year at the most.


Okay, he was a little off on his predictions – on the time and probably the budget too.  But, none of that matters when I look at the project; his attention to detail and his careful craftsmanship on each step has blown me away.  My heart bursts with pride when I look out my kitchen window and see that little building standing in my back yard.

Soon the process of guitar making will be underway.  But for now, I can tell you I have learned to let the fruit of patience bloom in the process.  Truly, I’ve come to appreciate the joy in each small step – even the ones that seem invisible.   I love to see my husband learn this craft and take pride in a job done well.    Whether its watching him problem solve how to lay the flooring, or figuring out how to fix a crack in the drywall, the list is endless, really – I have seen him grow each step of the way.

Reality check?  Of course I have moments of impatience!  But, even if we’re moving at slower pace than I’d like, I am grateful to be up close and personal on the journey.    And I’m even more thankful that the Heavenly Father chose this particular way to grow my patience and my love for my husband at the same time.    I am one lucky girl!

Here are a few recent photos of our efforts.

Making the cuts for the flooring.  (also, notice the awning over the door!)


Walls and ceiling were painted a lovely shade called Dolphin fin (thanks to the Hudsons idea on paint color)  White trim work will be done soon.


Michael’s favorite board, a bit deeper color than the others.


The flooring is down – a simple oil finish will be applied soon as well!



friends and loved ones · shop talk

leave the light on


Several weeks ago my husband decided to run conduit in our backyard, ending at the bottom of the steps that lead up to his workshop.   He has been working on this project, building an elaborate lamp post for the better part of two months.

At one point I said to him, “There are so many things you could be working on now.  We are so close to you making a guitar.  Why are you wasting time on this light fixture?”  I was a tad bit frustrated, in case you can’t tell. If it were up to me, I’d have him floundering in the dark.  But, calmly he said, ” I need the light.  It is dark out there at night.  And that’s when I’ll be working in the shop mostly – at night.”  so that settled that, and now – the project is complete.

Now we have a golden glowing lamp giving light to everyone who comes to the shop.

It will come as no surprise to you then, knowing my careless frame of mind, that last week I found myself navigating in the dark.  By my own choice, no less.  Life had become terribly busy, many places to be,  stuff to do and decisions to make.   In the middle of that, social media was lit on fire with disagreements about refugees, politics, devastation and terrorists, christianity, elections and many other dilemmas.  I tell you it caught me off guard;  I was completely blindsided and could not see straight.

The problem is, it wasn’t until several days into the struggle of trying to separate my emotions, thoughts and beliefs that I realized : I was in the dark.  Normally as my days pass, my schedule includes opening God’s Word – I keep the lamp lit on my path.   However – in the midst of getting busy, I had let the light go out.  I hadn’t made the time to read and think on His Words and His thoughts.

Sometimes I forget just how important it is to keep His Light pointed at my steps – and I let myself stumble in the dark.   But I do remember learning this Scripture and it’s importance when I was a child:

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. ”  Psalm 119:105

As promised, His Word glows in my heart and my mind – illuminating my way.  I can’t tell you I’ve figured everything out and have all the answers.  But, I do know decisions become clear and right thoughts are brought to light in the presence of His Words.   God’s Word is what keeps me from fumbling around in the night;  it guides every single step. I’ve just gotta remember to leave the light on.


a bit of history · friends and loved ones · shop talk

answered prayer, wrong day…

Yesterday  when I woke up it was Saturday.  In case you aren’t aware, Saturdays normally belong to me.  It just works better that way.  I make plans and I get stuff done. Please, I’m begging, don’t mess with my Saturdays.  Ever.

So, yesterday…  It started out fine, but by lunch time, things were coming unglued.  And by unglued, I actually mean, Michael had an accident and we had to go to Doctor’s Express to get a bad cut dealt with.  He sliced open the top of his left index finger.

Here’s the thing : on a normal day, my prayer life might consist of asking the Heavenly Father to administer growth in my heart.  “Help me to be more like You,” I pray often.  “Let my life show Your fruit!”    But it is impossible to pray that prayer and know what you’re asking for…  I’m never prepared for how He will answer.

As we sat in the waiting room for a physician to look at Michael’s finger, I could feel it happening.  Patience was slipping away.  And all sympathy or concern was passing, and being replaced with selfishness.

I might as well have told God in my completely self-absorbed way, “Listen, I know what I asked for, but I didn’t mean on my Saturday!”

The truth is, I’ve never resembled Jesus when it comes to showing lovingkindness – My attitude is more like this:  “Oh! You’re hurt?  I’m so sorry!  Now, lets get on with things.”  And every time I’m given the opportunity to allow fruit to develop, I destroy it!  Especially yesterday, on my Saturday, when all I could do was think:  “Look, honey- It is Saturday!  I don’t have time for this!  I’m sorry you almost cut your finger off – but I have stuff to do…”

Oh, I realize it sounds ugly – but I’m not good at compassion some times.  I can be, if it is convenient for me.  And even as I type these words, I’m aware (again) of how sinful I am.

Last night, when it was late and dark and rainy and cold, and we realized we were out of bandages that we needed to wrap Michael’s finger, I made a run to Walgreen’s.  For some reason on that drive, I was reminded of the Scripture from Isaiah 53:

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

His death on the cross, bearing every sin, allows Him to understand each one of us deeply in a human way – whether death or suffering or sin or sickness –  It was all laid on Him to experience.  I will never be able to understand or care for my loved ones to this degree.  It is impossible.

But, here is how that Scripture can change me: The more I focus on His complete sacrifice, the less my selfish motives make sense.  And, the more I allow His great love to sink deeply into my heart, the more love I will be able to offer others.    Maybe when this truly happens, someday,  I will be less interested in my prayers being answered on the right day, and I’ll welcome Him to work in my heart on His terms.