Restoration

Restoration.

Not my favorite thing. In fact, it’s probably my least favorite thing. I am not talking about taking something old, slapping some cute crackle paint on it, and calling it “new.” I am talking about tearing it down, stripping off the paint, sanding, repairing, replacing screws, and COMPLETELY overhauling the thing.

What is this thing? A dining room table. The same table that we have used for YEARS. It’s out of style, wobbly, scribbled on, gnawed on, dinged up, and has too many water rings on it to count. Seriously, I think that it is just way easier to buy a new one.

Here I am, in the workshop, staring at the table. My hands are at my side. I’m looking more than skeptical, and definitely NOT patient.

The conversation begins…

“Daddy, why do we have to re-do THAT table? It’s really old, rickety, and WAY out of style.”

He replies, “Because, it is part of the family.”

“But I am sure the family would not mind a trip to the furniture store. It would be a fun outing,” I quickly say.

“No, Daughter, this table is real. This table has stood the test of time. It was created JUST for this family. There are too many substitutes out there, and none of them would replace what was created for THIS family. Just be patient, you will see.”

I begin getting out the tools, at my Father’s request. I know that, at this point, I have nothing to really argue. He is the Master Carpenter, who am I to question…

…here come the questions…

“Daddy? How long is this going to take?”

“As long as it needs to. Patience is what gives it stability. Understanding gives it strength. There is a lot of love in the wood’s grain. We just need to bring back the shine. The best ingredient for shine is faith. Have faith, Little One.”

Okay, I remember this talk from another restoration project: “Faith is the evidence of things unseen.” I see a broken table, but my Father sees beauty, stability, love, and faithfulness. Yes! I am starting to see it too!

There are so many good memories around this table. Each stain represents a place in time. Laughter, love, shared meals, heartfelt talks, lessons learned, holiday pies, birthday parties, and hot cocoa rings that evoke memories of snowy days past.  How many times did chilly little toes sit under that table, basking in the warmth of home? Yes, this truly is a dear table.

My Father is the Master Carpenter. He is the Restorer. He is the One who can truly make something out of nothing

I decide to sit next to Him, and to watch Him up close. I don’t want to miss any of the repairs taking place.

Anyone can take a cheap kit, and make a table. But it will not stand the test of time.

When my Father builds something, it’s for life. It’s for keeps. He never gives up on it, or calls it unworthy. He just simply…restores.

Until next time,

The Carpenter’s Daughter

 

There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD. Proverbs 21:30

Hebrews 11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:14)

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Dancing With Your Shadow

When was the last time you danced with your shadow? When was the last time you were free to just walk by a blank wall, look at your shadow, find inspiration in the light…and DANCE?

Through the hallway, a light casts a shadow.

A little boy stops and wonders…

A shadow should not be wasted,

A dance is in order!

He doesn’t hold back!

Little feet go flying.

Tiny hands are clapping!

This is an audience of two…

The Dancer.

His Maker.

There is nothing to hold back the giggles.

It matters not what is going on in the world…

A dance is in progress!

Suddenly, the dancer has been spotted.

He blushes.

He giggles.

He bows…and walks off stage.

Let the Lord guide your steps. Give Him room to show you how to dance, giggle, and clap. There truly IS Light in the shadows of life. You may blush at the silliness of your steps, but Our Father delights in His children. He loves it when we stop in the shadows and dance in the Light of Who He is! He truly is the Lord of the Dance!

“Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing…” (Psalm 30:110)

~Dedicated to my tiny dancer, Tate.~

Until next time,

The Carpenter’s Daughter

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Twinkle Twinkle Little Star…In The Father’s Care You Are…

Tonight, I would like to suggest that you gaze at the stars with my Daddy and me. (I hope He’s your daddy too!). As we sit on  the back steps, He begins telling me some of their names. I cozy up closer, and He points upward. I look and smile in awe. Many stars are brand new, some are very old. All equally priceless. Each one is a different color, size, and shape, but they all sparkle. Oh, how they glitter like diamonds! Daddy has told me some of their names in the past, and I would like to share two of them with you. The first one is named, “Gadese,” and she is brilliantly shy. She has a tiny little star next to her, named “Miracle.” Miracle is there because she was prayed for. Would you like to see more Miracles shimmer in the sky? I know I would. Let’s pray together, and watch the Master polish and care for each one, glowing like diamonds in the sky…

Please support this cause. When you do, you support a star in need of some LIGHT: http://becauseeverymothermatters.com/home


“Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.”Amos 5:8

“There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.” 1Corinthians 15:41


Until next time,

The Carpenter’s Daughter

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The Sparrow

The Carpenter’s shop is quiet today. I was playing outside and came across a little bird…a sparrow. He had fallen from his nest and had broken his wing. I was overcome with shock at the site. At first, I thought he was dead. He was barely breathing. The mother bird was swooping around my head, squawking out threats and sadness…desperation. She knew her baby was in danger. I scooped him up and took him to my Father (He saw it all from the window. He never misses a thing.). When I brought Him the little bird, He had already prepared a place for him. A soft blanket was laid across one of the tables in the corner of the shop. It was a quiet place, safe from drafts and noise. There were bandages and tools laid out that I was unfamiliar with. Tools that brought healing. I could hear my Father singing over the little bird. I could see it’s tummy go up and down…breathing ever so slightly. He was too weak to complain of the pain that was surely there as my Daddy bandaged up his wing. I smelled a sweet salve, something that made your heart grow hopeful. I knew that my little feathered friend was in the best of care, so I went back outside to reflect on what I had just seen…Despair…Rescue…Hope. This little bird was in the Hands of HOPE. As bad as it looked, I knew that this little sparrow was in the Hands of Hope Eternal.

Zephaniah 3:17

The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”


“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

This post is dedicated to Varney…a little sparrow who flew home to Jesus.

Until next time,

The Carpenter’s Daughter

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A Letter to the Carpenter’s Daughters (Who are so Gloriously Ruined):

Dear Warrior Girls,

Thanks a lot. Thanks for taking my cozy, easy, half-convicted life, and turning it upside down. Thank you for allowing God to work through your lives in a way that has switched me from reading decorating blogs (and dreaming of billowy curtains, and glorious white dishes), and choking me with grim reality blogs. I really appreciate the way you took my shopping trips (*SIGH*) and made them seem so darn petty. Today I came home with a little pink bag of my favorite undies, and now all I can think of is how many bellies that price tag would have filled. Yeah, thanks for that. I would also like to thank you for introducing me to your children. Children that could have remained a mystery…unknown… Now my heart has been touched in places that I didn’t know existed. I sob over photos of these little ones, and the ones that peep through bars…waiting for their forever family. Yeah, thanks for that heartache. Now I cannot throw anything out without wondering how I EVER became so wasteful. I look at my stuff and wonder what my problem is. REALLY? Do I REALLY need another one of those? Great. Now I have more conviction…thanks. This is what I get for having a band of friends that care more than I knew was even possible. This is what I get for knowing a God that is SO BIG and AMAZING, that I have been smacked-down, face flat on the concrete. I have tripped on my own indifference. And you know what? I TRULY AM THANKFUL! I love you all so much. I wonder why God allows me to be in this group? I am SO stinking far behind where I should be! I don’t pray enough, care enough, give enough, try hard enough. I am so selfish that is nauseates me. Why on earth would God show me such mercy? There is so much mercy in pain and correction. My Father is so good. Yes, this letter started sarcastic and silly, but here is the cold hard truth: I want to know more. I want to hurt more, feel more, give more, break more. I need all of you to hold me accountable. I am not even close to making the cut. Thank you, Jesus, for your mercy and grace! I am nothing without the blood of Jesus covering my every sin. I needed (NEED) the reality and support that He has brought through all of you. I am forever grateful…even though I really liked billowy curtains and PINK undies. 😉

Your Warrior Sister,
Layla

(“Gloriously Ruined,” is a quote from Kay Warren)

Below is a modern day Psalm by my friend, Sean Gutteridge (Oh! The encouragement this has brought to my heart!):

“Trouble surrounds me – too many to count. They pile up so high that not even I… can find a way out//But here I will stand – battered by storms, but here still I am; Here will I stand – I know that I am – one who loves your salvation – one needing redemption – one pleading with mercy – embracing Grace and casting out… misery so…don’t forsake me ’til You’ve heard my heart shout: The Lord is great! Rise Up, Lord, and Save Me! Your Power can’t be Mistaken, no…nothing can replace Him! Rise Up Lord in Greatness!”
[inspired from Psalm 40:11]

Psalm 40:11 “Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD; may your love and your truth always protect me.”

Until next time,

The Carpenter’s Daughter

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My Tool Box

Until recently, I only had a couple of tools in my box. You know, just enough to get by. A hammer and a screwdriver. If I can’t find the hammer, I use the end of the screwdriver to get the job done. Not very efficient, but hey, it works in a pinch! My Father is telling me that I need to do more than just get by. He is adding some new tools to my box. I am not really sure how to use them yet, but He is promising to add more each day.

I blurt out, “Daddy, I stink at math! Why would I need a tape measure?” (It’s possible there was a “tone” in that question.)

He replies with a chuckle, “Because you don’t have to measure up, I am going to give you all the direction you need.”

Next he adds a level. Great. A level.

“Ummm, staying level-headed is not really my strong suit,” I quietly say, while digging my toe into a pile of saw dust.

He smiles, “I know.”

I hear the level drop in, and wonder how long it will be until I lose it. I am pretty sure it won’t take very long.

CLANK!

“What was that?” I ask, while jumping into a corner of the workshop. “That was an awful sound! It looks like a weapon!”

“Don’t be afraid, it’s just a crowbar. You are going to need it to pry a lot of strong-holds out of your life,” Daddy says in a more serious tone. “As long as you follow my instructions, you will find this releases a lot of tight spots and unwanted, rotten boards.”

At this point, I am thinking about that one squeaky board that I have grown fond of. Maybe He won’t notice…no, He definitely noticed. Now my heart sinks. Am I going to have what it takes to pry that thing up? It’s been there a while, and I trip over it every time. Yeah, that has got to go.

Wow, look at all of those beautiful tools Daddy has placed in my box! I gingerly pick up the crowbar. There is a squeaky board we need to deal with…

2 Corinthians 10:4-6

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”

Until next time,

The Carpenter’s Daughter

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A Twinkle in His Eye

I went to bed last night with a lot on my mind. There were so many faces staring back at me when I tried to sleep. Little eyes and ears that are (right now) straining to see and hear about my Heavenly Father. Those little faces are halfway across the world, and yet I feel like they are closer. I want to reach out and hug each one. My heart leans towards their haunting eyes…eyes without hope. And yet, here I struggle. I struggle with being still and talking with my Father. I bustle about the workshop and get sidetracked by all of the different tools. I even find myself playing in the pile of curly wood shavings and blocks of cedar that have been cut away from many past projects. My Father…oh, how He can create much out of nothing! So, why is it that I doubt and have so many questions? Like a normal kid, I want to know: “Why, why, why?” I pester and I probe. But do I listen…? Ahhhhhh, here lies the problem. I don’t want to take the time to sit and listen. I want my Daddy to just take down the candy jar, pat me on the head, and send me off on a big adventure. Instead, I feel He wants me to sit on the bench and learn about the trade. Building, carving, sanding, measuring… Oh, there is so much to learn! I wiggle. I drop tools. I get splinters. But always, He is most patient. Don’t get me wrong, He is also firm. I can hear Him telling me to sit still and pay attention. His tone is loving, but concerned. He is concerned that if I do not pay attention, I might glue my hand to a board, or step on a nail. I have to PAY ATTENTION. He wants to show me his blueprint. My Father doesn’t do anything without a perfect plan. He is careful, steady, and…patient. He is not working on a timetable. He is infinite.

Finally I say, “Okay, Daddy, I will sit here and listen (wiggle, wiggle). Please help me to endure, because patience in not my middle name.”

He says (with a twinkle in His eye), “My grace is sufficient for you.”

In that moment, I know that He truly does hold the entire world in the palm of his hands. I look up and catch the reflection of those little one’s eyes in His. It turns out that he knows them all by name, and even counts the hairs on their precious heads! He just wants to talk to me about them…now, I am listening. (Wiggle, wiggle.)

“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to. But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God. And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him—and in seeing him, become like him. All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own.” (John 3:1-2)

Until next time,

The Carpenter’s Daughter

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