measure 83 times, cut twice… start over, repeat…

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” – Matthew 7:24

IMG_1065I am not someone with “handyman” skills, not by any stretch of the imagination. But I can, if necessity demands, follow clear directions. And, given the right tools, my work is typically fairly solid.

But I am slow, the progress is laborious. and I am prone to making catastrophic mistakes necessitating some kind of a restart.

Take the garage, last week, for example. “Look,” I said proudly (but evidently a wee prematurely), “I may be slow, and extra careful, but it’s measure eighty-three times, only drill once…”

Then, a few minutes later, “Well I guess it’s measure eighty-four times, drill twice….”


This is why the garage is a good venue. A wall perforated with a row of unnecessary holes isn’t quite the eyesore it would be in the living room. But I’m getting ahead of myself.


The garage, initially filled up with furniture and boxes from the 2013 move up here, eventually yielded room for a (small) car two years ago. So we congratulated ourselves, rolled in my VW Golf, then took a couple of photographs.

Then, and only a day or so later, a huge truck rolled into our driveway full with Andrew’s stuff from Italy. The garage instantly went from “parking opportunity” to “storage unit.” And there it stayed for almost two years.

Fast forward to the summer of 2017. The HOT HOT HOT summer of 2017. Andrew and Alicia are in the States for a visit, and we were privileged to enjoy Andrew at home while Alicia took a class in New England.

Being a really good sport, Andrew worked hard to help us get a lot of the garage stuff sorted and up into the attic. And, while it may not look clean and tidy to you, believe me we’ve come a long way.


That’s where my lack of handy skill comes in. Rebekah and I went to Home Depot a couple of times; you know, “measure twice, cut once, go to the hardware store a dozen times.”

So we built shelves. I know, shelf building is not a big deal if you’re one of those HGTV people, but I was really proud of us! Finding studs? Not so easy; nothing worked other than punching a series of exploratory holes along a line until one showed up. Measuring? We’ve already discussed that. Drilling? I was all over that one. Dropping important screws behind stuff? Piece of cake; I do it all the time.

The true test came when I had to put in two sets of supports in different places, yet have the shelves line up plumb. Drumroll, please…. Nailed it!

Like I said, this is a work in progress. But I’m hopeful sometime soon there will be a car in there once again.


IMG_1136It all depends on the dining room suite Andrew has for sale. Mid Century modern, people, built in the 1950’s. Drexel, with all the paperwork including original receipt. You want it… come and get it. If you pay what he’s asking I’ll even help you load it on your truck.

So where’s the devotional content in this post? Well, the garage is a lot like our lives as spiritual people. Messy for a while, cleaned up; junked up, reorganized; too much going on, then not so much. Always in need of attention; always a work in progress; always demanding some kind of creative response. Never a good thing to let sit and ignore. Always brimming with hope and promise when we’re willing to put in the effort, and the remodeling, and the new shelves. Always better – much better – when we ask for support and help.

Peace, and more – DEREK



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