Sky Diving

One of my life-long dreams is to sky dive. I can’t express how badly I want to do this. I ADORE heights, which is why I loved the T-Rex so much (if ever pictures don’t show up, just click on the space where they should be, and they’ll enlarge for you)…

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And let’s not forget my great desire to have a sky-deck (Sky Deck Dreamin’)! Anything to get me up closer to the sky.

Well, my friend Mallory texted me this picture of her first jump.

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I’m FILLED with joy for her (and insanely jealous!!!).

Then I got this picture…

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(Sigh)  I’ll get back to that in a minute…

This past couple of weeks we have gotten a tremendous amount of work done on the log house:

The spray foam insulation company came to insulate our roof with foam. Steve installed our metal roof. We finished our cedar shingle gables. Steve wired the whole house. He installed the glass, bay window and has our other living room windows in our trailer ready for installation.

We also started staining the logs inside, and putting in insulation between them. Each log needs two coats of stain and a clear top coat (that’s 3 coatsby hand!  MY hand.). In these pictures, only one coat of stain has been applied, and no clear coat, yet.

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We only have the machine for 6 more days (until Saturday the 16th). In that time, we MUST stain all logs inside…so that I can get them insulated (easier to stain before insulation is in the way)…and chink the entire outside of house using machine.

I already have everything upstairs stained with both coats (except loft above kitchen), and insulation in Reiley’s room and half of Reese’s room. Our master, closet, and bath need second coat, and insulation.

The a/c people are scheduled to come in 2 weeks (almost Thanksgiving). Sheetrock the day after that.

I’ve “logged” (get it?) around 12 hours a day standing on and controlling the man-lift machine we’ve been renting.

Using it, I’ve stained every log twice, painted all four fascia boards (roof trim that “faces ya”) twice each, all our window trims twice, sprayed every inch of our wood overhangs three times (twice with bleach and once with water sealer). Then I sprayed water sealer over the cedar shingles on both sides of the house.

PLUS I managed to school both girls from the dirt floor when they bring books and questions to me. They’re getting A’s in every subject, on assignments and tests! They’re playing piano, sewing and baking (at Dixie’s), Reese is in dance class, they clean our b&b for me (when I ask), and help insulate, clean up the grounds around log house, run tractor, and more.  I’m SO proud of them.

Here I am on the man-lift (see my reflection in the newly installed bay window?)

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Here’s my view from the cage/control panel. You steer and drive it from the cage….unlike a car or tractor. And the machine is the size of a tank.

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See how handy it is! I can reach all kinds of spots!

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This past couple of weeks has been taxing…to put it mildly. We are worn out, but must press on.

Remember the post about encouragement I wrote (“Parakaleo”)?  This project, the mess, the awaiting tasks, hard, long hours of labor…adds up and drains you.

I have found myself sinking several times…just too physically or emotionally drained to function…but manage to keep going. I have to. December is right around the corner, and I refuse to have my children living in the b&b for that.

Many times I have found myself sitting on the wood floor, staring at the logs, piles of sawdust, mountains of tools, and more…realizing that “this” IS my “home”…and I have to keep functioning in order to get into it.

I told you that God has been taking excellent care of us, in the midst of the hardship. Well, He sees me sulking, and without having informed anyone of my struggling, He sends in the troops, anyway.

So, in the past couple of weeks, the Trowbridges brought us homemade soup, scratch pie, sausage, tortillas, and a bag full of teas, bagels, chèvre cheese, crackers, and more.

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Charlie came over to help Steve frame the kitchen walls for rock, and Dixie has come over several times to stain logs.

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My mother threw a Halloween party for the girls…

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Spaghetti, and all kinds of dips with veggies and chips. Then she filled a bag with homemade sloppy joes, chowder, soup, goulash, breads, tirimisu, snacks, and gifts.  Our fridge and food needs were satisfied for days!  The Lord just continues to encourage and provide for us through the hands and hearts of others.

Dixie let the girls spend two nights with her, to give them a break from the b&b. She reminded them how to use the sewing machine. They made dozens of bows for hair clips, and came home with gifts for Steve and me for the new house. A table runner, pillowcases, and down pillow!

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We also broke away from working early one evening to take the kids to a pumpkin patch. And didn’t miss out on trick-or-treating.

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Saturday (the 9th) I started off in a bad, exhausted mood, dreading my day of labor. Plus it was raining, preventing me from finishing my exterior trim painting.

In the midst of my frustration, I heard the words in my head, “Sit down and enjoy the rain. Spend time with Me.”

I knew it was God, because at that moment, the last thing I wanted to do was sit, be still, and start praying. I was in a bad, determined mood…wanting to achieve and go. Get things done. Get OUT of here! But the Bible says, “He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams.” Psalm 23:2.

I sat down and talked with God…unloading my frustrations and exhaustion, and just watched the rain.

Then it happened.  An all-over peace, inner rest, and calm came over me.  (“Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you.” Job 22:21)

I felt recharged. Ready. (“The Lord gives His people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.” Psalm 29:11).

How ’bout that?   God really does care.  We hear those words, but too often ignore the message.  We get too caught up in trying to solve our own problems.

He just wanted me to rest for a bit, vent to Him, and let Him take care of my mood and current mental/physical/emotional status…and He really did resolve it, instantly.  “…for I AM The Lord who heals you.” Exodus 15:26  (YHWH Raphe…The Lord the Healer)

Anyway, hours later, Mallory came out to see me. We talked about her recent sky diving jump. Here’s a picture of her, again (How COOOOL is that?????!!!!)

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She explained to me how she must learn various tricks with each jump…such as flipping, spinning…etc.

To complete her certification as a sky diver, she must complete 25 jumps…fulfilling and accomplishing each stunt or trick. There’s an instructor beside her the whole time, ready to lend a hand if needed (taking her pic, too, apparently), but also to observe her and tell her how she did, or what needs improving. (Just like the Holy Spirit!)

What I didn’t know is that the purpose of doing the stunts is to learn how to go from spinning or flipping in mid-air, to regaining control. They call it “getting stable”.

What a metaphor for life!! Especially mine right now. And maybe yours?

In the Bible, Peter wanted to get out of the safe boat to walk on top the stormy, wavy sea, to get closer to Jesus. As long as he kept his focus on Jesus, he was stable. When he started looking at the storm and huge waves, he became afraid and started sinking. Unstable.

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Wow. In my eyes, that has been a picture of me with His hand reaching out. Building this log home has 100 percent been a walk on water…totally foreign territory, not “normal”, trusting that God pointed us in this direction in answer to prayers about finances, and much more.

As a natural consequence of getting out the safe boat of a typical, normal life, and willingly placing ourselves into unknown waters, I have turned to Him more than ever before…for vastly needed advice, direction, and help.   And….that’s why He’ll tell us to do such seemingly crazy things.

The outcome of this “water walk”?  A paid-for house made with our 4 hands, family bonding to the max, children learning valuable skills and powerful life lessons, closeness to my partner and best friend spouse, incredible bonding to those who have come alongside to encourage and assist, and a far closer relationship with God than I ever knew possible.

If He gives you a water-walking, frightening, unexpected, out-of-the-norm assignment…don’t blow it off.

Each time I have found myself drowning or spiraling out of control with sorrow, frustration, or exhaustion this past couple of weeks, it only got worse…until I put my focus back onto Jesus, and asked Him to help me. “O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and you restored my health.” (Psalm 30:2)

When I did, help promptly came…in abundance! That’s when all these troops show up, food comes, texts ding in my pocket, or He guides me to a chair to watch rain or sit by the fire we always have burning out front. Rest.

“If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored–” (Job 22:23)

This next week promises more exhaustion. It’ll be stressful. However, the lesson I learned from Mallory’s sky diving…”get stable” when I start to get or feel out of control…will stick in my head.  And the best way to get stable is looking to Him and telling Him you need stability. He’ll take it from there. 

If you want to go on to the next post, click here: “CHINKING!”.  If you just stumbled on this post, and don’t know our story, click here: “What is Cottonwood Creek”.  Or, simply start from the beginning of our chronological story, and the building of our 130-year old guest house: “Welcome to Cottonwood Creek!” 

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