It’s a Hebrew word. It means “to call to one’s side to help.” Or “come alongside.”

Better known as “encourage”. (To infill someone with courage.)

I read a devotional a few days ago about the Olympic runner, Derek Redmond. Almost at the finish line, in the 1992 Olympics, he hurt his leg and was unable to run unassisted.



Instantly seeing the need, his loving father came running from the sideline to pick him up, and help him get across the finish line.

Derek was still on foot, doing the hard work that earned him the spot on the team…but his father “came alongside”…and filled in where the weakness was, in order to help his son accomplish his goal.

Jesus didn’t avoid other people’s problems, or view them as inconveniences to His day or schedule. Rather, He made it His goal to come alongside and minister to those needs. Wow.

How does this apply to our log home?






In answer to countless prayers for financial solutions, The Lord seemed to inspire us to build Steve’s (and my) dream home…an honest to goodness log home…and be mortgage free when done.

This idea never would have entered our minds, since we built our current house as a family, and planned to welcome our grandchildren in it. (And, why do that to ourselves? Why take on such a huge task, as if we don’t have hectic-enough lives already?)

But, through ceaseless ideas, logic, and the unanimous words of many wise counselors, we knew this was the direction He was leading us towards. Thus answering our prayers for better financial stability in a way cool way…but one that takes enormous effort, stamina, time, mental energy, physical energy…and faith.

Our (current) race is finishing…or at least make it LIVABLE…by Thanksgiving. (?)

By livable, I mean a finished bathroom, microwave, sink, walls…

Yes, it’s an optimistic goal. Without goals, there would be no motivation.

And, no… we aren’t naive…we know that it’s very possible that it will take longer. But, why not try? “Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

If it works? We will be out of the b&b sooner.

If it doesn’t? We will be that much closer to the finish line.

Admittedly, it gets extremely daunting to head outside each morning from our b&b, and face the huge tasks of finishing our race. We are beyond tired. It’s overwhelming. We typically pull 12-hour physical labor work days. But, at the same time, we are both loving it, and treasuring the process.

The Bible says, “Encourage one another and build each other up.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). I want to tell you about THIS WEEK, alone (from Oct 13th til today…21st)…that ties this topic of encouragement to our log home building process. …

Steve and I have been finishing the gables, the sanding, and roof this week. We have been out in the cold and some rain all day, on the man-lift, putting up plywood, black paper, and cedar shingles.







Our daughters came out from schooling in the b&b, bringing us lunch and drinks. They even gave us desserts. We thought it was funny as they served us through Reiley’s upstairs bedroom window, like a drive-thru restaurant. Now THAT’s service!



After one very long day, Gina and Charlie showed up with a rotisserie chicken, candy, trail mix bars, and pumpkin spice drink mix. As always, they encouraged us (parakaleo), reassuring us that everything looked great, that tons was getting accomplished, and to keep up the great work.

Another day, Kristy Allen came to visit, bringing her kids. She filled us with words of encouragement and excitement over what all we had done since her last visit. And we all went out for dinner together.

Another day, Dixie came out with homemade apricot pies for us one afternoon. And yesterday, she and Sue Heisler brought us a full dinner with brownie dessert.



Mallory came out to sand for me. She tackled the “girder” log. Handing my sander to her felt very much like her helping me walk to finish line.




On Saturday we had three different groups of visitors come out to encourage us. Tuffy, Phyllis, and Curt Lang were the first group. This was their second visit. After their first visit, they said they just had to bring her mom, Tuffy, out here to see it. We got hugs, watery eyes (from Tuffy), and an abundance of encouraging words from them.

Not minutes after they left, Pat Maxwell and her sister Bernice (whose childhood home was the McGuire House…our b&b) came with all of their cousins and spouses! We gave them the tour, and, again, got showered with praises and uplifting, motivating, positive words to keep us going and excited.



During their visit, the Comeaux family came out to see us and check on the progress. It felt so good to enter the log home and see their smiling faces.

A dear friend of 20 years, Lori Anderson Hoskens, unexpectedly posted her pride in us and our “project” on her Facebook page, and we’ve received positive comments from her friends!

We had a flat tire one evening from a screw, and discovered another screw in a different tire (screws we don’t use). Our neighbor Jacob so kindly offered to come patch them for us at 9pm when he was getting off a very long day of work! We didn’t let him do it…but the offer was amazing. So like him.

Our neighbor, Mona, and her husband were all too willing to come to our immediate aid one night when we needed scaffolding. We ended up not needing them, but their willing hearts and encouraging texts were awesome.

Judy Gottardy, Jeremiah, Mallory, Kristy, Jeannie & Gina (and their hilarious group texts to me almost daily), my mom, Dixie, Jeremy Sutterfield from LHBA, Suzanne Meador, my sister Jennifer (and her much appreciated professional architectural advice, abd always encouraging compliments), the Flummer family, Carolyn from Log Home Builders Association (LHBA), cousin Jeff Moore, Tabatha Steubing, Randy and Emma McDaris, and 5 people we don’t know and aren’t familiar with the names, have all reached out to us this week alone, with encouragement. (I just know that I’m failing to remember people.). I don’t know who may have texted or spoke with Steve (other than Jeremy).

This also doesn’t count the fellow log home builders who Steve communicates with on the LHBA forum. He has a fantastic support system through them and their on-going encouragement.

This week, one more viewer from another new country has started reading. That makes people in 16 (or 17?) countries joining us on our adventure now.

None of this is unusual. This is how God has been pulling us through the process all along! We are being sustained daily…feeling very much like that exhausted and hurt Olympic runner being supported by his dad.

Thank you.
And thank You, Lord, for orchestrating it all.

I just wanted to share it all with you readers in case any of you are in need of a little encouragement…you know where to look for it, and how He Provides. (I AM Provider…YHWH-Jireh)

We also managed to get some over dangles trimmed…



Reiley got to work clearing them all away with the tractor




Reese cleaned up trash, burned wood, got us drinks, cleaned the b&b, and helped Reiley with logs.

Today is Monday, October 21st. The insulation people came out this morning to put up spray foam on our roof (and then the metal over that). But the roof had dew on it, and the sky turned gray. Cancelled, again. Total bummer. They are booked up all this week, Steve goes back to work, and the man-lift goes home next week. Oops.

But after several phone calls, Wednesday seems to be the big day the roof gets finished.

Right now, Reiley and Steve are on the roof nailing up more boards, the fascias (sp?), trim, etc, so that all that will be left Wednesday is screw in metal. Charlie texted us just a while ago…not knowing about the insulation dilemma, and said he’d be here Wednesday to help Steve.

We are quite sure that many out there think we are crackers for taking on such a task. And, we are quite sure there are many out there who would rather die than live in a log home. But, it is a dream come true for us, and our pocketbook, and that’s enough for us.

Acts 20:24 “My only aim is to finish the race, and complete the task The Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

Are you in need of some parakaleo?

To go on to next post, click here: “Sky Diving”.  To see what this blog is about, click here: “What is Cottonwood Creek?”  To start from the beginning of our chronological story and the building of our 130-year old guest house, click here: “Welcome to Cottonwood Creek“.  To start at the beginning of our log home build, click here:  “What do Vegas and logs have in common?”









3 thoughts on “Parakaleo

  1. Wonderful post. I never know when you are clicking that camera phone!   Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice. Philip. 4:4



Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s