Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Gift

On a TREE, my Savior died.

A WREATH of thorns for His head...

A spear for His side.

As a baby, He came to Earth...

Giving hope to all.

Giving worth.

While the shepherds followed a star,

We don't have to look that far.

He left His GIFT,

under the tree.

That gift's for you...

that gift's for me!


(Go ahead and OPEN YOUR GIFT!!!)


"My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can't know him if you don't love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God.

My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!

This is how we know we're living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He's given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we've seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God's Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we've embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God."

(1 John 4:7-14) ~The Message~

Until Next Time,

The Carpenter's Daughter

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Season of Grace

Let there be salt without limit,

let it fall down like snow.

Piles, and drifts, and glimmering granules...

...a show...

…of GRACE.

Snow covers, and whitens the darkest night.

Salt purifies a soul,

no more pain.

Afflictions are seasoned,

GRACE piles high…

Countless, unlimited portions.

Watch it fall, like pure white snowflakes.

This is a SEASON…


A gift.


Receive, and give.

Grace never stops falling…

…it is without limit.


"...salt without limit." (Ezra 7:22)


Until next time,

The Carpenter's Daughter

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Who Wants Cake!?!

My Father's birthday is next month. He never wants anything fancy, or new. In fact, He always wants the same thing! I will tell you all about that soon.

Today, I am baking Him a cake. Of course, He always gives away every slice. He loves to see His children smile, as they get their piece. I can hear Him laugh the loudest when the babies use the icing as a hair product. Even though He always gives away every slice, I want it to be the perfect cake. I want to bring Him an offering of sweetness that fills the room with the smell of vanilla orchids, and butter cream. I think I will decorate the cake with tiny, golden sugar bells, and little red birds, made from frosting. White lilies will line the border. There should be three tiers...yes...we always need more cake.

As I tie bows around the cake pedestals, I think about how this reminds me of the way my life is tied up in my Daddy. I also think about the things that are not tied up in Him. How I tend to be greedy with my cake sometimes. How I don't always want to share my piece. I mean, I worked hard to make that cake. I took the time to choose the finest crystalized sugar, to make it sparkle and eye-catching. I had to make the mess, mix the batter, grease the's hard work! I should at least enjoy my piece in...uh...peace, right?

As I pipe the lilies around the edges, I can hear my Daddy's laughter in corners of my memories. It's contagious. It makes me want to hear more. I want to listen to that sound as much as possible. And I know just how to get Him started.....

...share my piece with a baby....

...and watch that little one use the icing as a hair product...

...and laugh until my sides hurt. No, WE will laugh until our sides hurt! This would be shared laughter, the best kind. The only kind that brings tears of joy, and makes your sides split.

My Daddy just peeked around the corner. He has already started inviting guests to His party. Are you going to come? There will be plenty of cake.

We'll talk about the GIFT soon.

Until next time,

The Carpenter's Daughter

P.S. My Father is the One who provided the ingredients for the cakes AND paid for the Gift! He invites you to the party to RECEIVE this Gift freely, AND to partake in the the sweetness of His glory. You are NOT going to want to miss this party!

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!”

Psalm 34:8

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


As I walk down the path that leads to the Carpenter's shop, rain begins to fall. At first, I am annoyed. I don't like my hair wet, my clothes soggy, and I really don't like the wet dog smell that is sure to stick. I continue my journey...uphill. Then, I remember! I have an umbrella! Digging through my bag, I find it. I quickly flick it open, continue on, and think about how dirty my shoes are going to be when I get there. Why on Earth, did I wear my favorite shoes? How could I have not noticed the dark clouds? When did they sneak up on me?

Trekking along, I stop. What's that noise? Frogs. Hmmm...I like frogs. I actually think they are cute. Not toads. Those are an entirely different story. But frogs...they sing. They just SING their hearts out, and they LOVE the rain! Those little guys find it as an opportunity to hop, and conduct happy choruses of joy. It makes me skip a little.

I am now in the little yard, that surrounds the carpentry shop. I stop at the bird bath. Interesting. Look at how my feathered friends joyfully splash about. They even seem to DELIGHT in sharing the water with their neighbor; spritzing and throwing droplets at each other. Instead of worrying about their shoes, they are basking in the crisp, cool FUN of it all. I notice that they are finding their lunch easier as well. Little worms are peeking out, perking up to the song of rain.

When did rain stop being a song? When was the last time I stopped, popped open my umbrella, and just stood in that little awe? Wonderment? Worship.

Rain can do two things. It can make everything very muddy, or it can wash away impurities. It's all in how I choose to embrace it. I can see it as a huge obstacle, or an opportunity to kick off my heavy shoes, and dance in the puddles.

Which reminds me, I love twirling my umbrella in the rain...

It's a very colorful umbrella. I like the way its yellow top shines and drips, and looks like the sun. Yep, I give it twirl it. It's keeping the rain off of my head, but is making my heart joyful somehow. It's a shelter...a friend. A banner singing over me.

Oh, look! There is my Father, standing on the porch. He is smiling. NO! He is laughing! Big, beautiful tears of laughter! And He is delighting in the fact that I have stopped to stick my feet out from under the umbrella. Yeah, I hit some nasty, dark, ugly puddles...but the rain took care of the mess. My Father's laughter is like thunder. And I cannot help but join in. We hook arms, go up the steps, enter the shop...but we don't shut the door. No, not today. Today, we sing, laugh, and dance WITH the rain!

“May we shout for joy over your victory
and lift up our banners in the name of our God.” (Psalm 20:5)

“Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.” (Deuteronomy 32:2)

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”  (Psalm 28:7)

“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:38)

Deuteronomy 32:2 (The Message)

The Song

Listen, Heavens, I have something to tell you. Attention, Earth, I've got a mouth full of words. My teaching, let it fall like a gentle rain,
my words arrive like morning dew,
Like a sprinkling rain on new grass,
like spring showers on the garden.
For it's God's Name I'm preaching—
respond to the greatness of our God!
The Rock: His works are perfect,
and the way he works is fair and just;
A God you can depend upon, no exceptions,
a straight-arrow God.
His messed-up, mixed-up children, his non-children,
throw mud at him but none of it sticks.

Dear friends,

As we approach Thanksgiving, let us rejoice in the One who has brought us through the storms, and saved us from the mud of life.

Until next time,

The Carpenter's Daughter

Wednesday, October 20, 2010



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... 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)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

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

Saturday, August 21, 2010

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:

"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

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

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...




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

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

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,

("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

Thursday, July 8, 2010

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.


"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, 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

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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, 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