Feeling Creative

16 03 2009


“The Charles Shaw”

Anytime one of the boys starts a conversation with: “I’m feeling creative…” you know that they found something laying around that they want to make into something else.  Past projects include an oatmeal container that became a tower. A feather and thread magically turned into a cat toy.  A small fabric scrap that became…well, frankly I’m not sure…it still looks a lot like a fabric scrap.

Yesterday, I threw out an empty bottle of cooking wine but set the cork on the counter.  Elliot soon came around with the creative line and was off planning a great sailing ship.  The first order of business was christening it the “Charles Shaw” (the brand of the product).  

Since we couldn’t do much about adding balast (which would prevent it from tipping over in the tub) we decided to cut off each end and make pontoons.  Elliot cut out little sails and tried in the tub.  It floated nicely, but with the funny outriggers, it looked more like a water bug than a clipper ship, so Elliot decided to take the pontoons off and made it the steamboat “Charles Shaw” instead.  I think its pretty cool.  

Now if I could just get him to do something with the oatmeal box that is still in the living room…

From Mark 4:

Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.


A Lesson in God’s Provision

2 03 2009


Last weekend was my birthday; number 38.  A few weeks earlier I caught myself thinking of what I’d like to do for my birthday–a visit to our friends the Fuzaks, hobby farmers in central Illinois.  However, after thinking about it for a while, I thought Pamela would probably prefer to stay around home (since we’ve been busy for a number of weekends in a row) so I didn’t tell her.


However, Pamela was inspired a few days later to arrange a weekend away.  She told me later that it came like a bolt of lightning: “I bet Paul would like to spend his birthday on the farm doing chores!”


On the day before my birthday, my coworkers asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday.  I told them I wasn’t going to say, but I had my hopes (thinking all the time of a visit with the Fuzaks would be great).


So Friday evening I came home for dinner and the phone rang.  Pamela said I could answer it, but the kids tried to stop me.  It was Andy Fuzak.  The cat was out of the bag.  The kids were disappointed, but Andy was calling to invite us down early to try and beat the winter storm.  So we packed our bags and headed to the farm, giving us an additional night to spend there.  

That night, as we drove up to the house from the very dark country road, the light just poured out from the house.  It was such a welcoming sight, the first of many moments of delight for all of us. 


I had a great time.  Driving the tractor (plowing snow this time).  Pitching hay.  Helping care for the animals.  Wonderful fellowship with the Fuzaks over ice cream, steak dinner, ice cream, scrambled eggs, spagetti, garlic bread and more amazing ice cream.

It is a birthday I won’t forget, not just because of the activities of the weekend, but because it was a great lesson from God of making our desires known to Him and trusting Him for the results.  Obviously, not every request will be answered in the affirmative, but I am grateful that this one was.

From Psalm 37

 Trust in the LORD, and do good;
         Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
 Delight yourself also in the LORD,
         And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 
 Commit your way to the LORD,
         Trust also in Him, 
         And He shall bring it to pass.
 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
         And your justice as the noonday. 
 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
         Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, 
         Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
         Do not fret—it only causes harm. 


p.s.  Pamela, thank you so much.  I love you and look forward to another year with you.