THE TABLE WILL TURN
Have you ever heard the saying "experience is the best teacher"? THIS teacher can put you through a college course with a clearly outlined syllabus, yet sometimes she can hit you with a crash course. Although I did graduate college, I've experienced many crash courses in my life dealing with such things as warnings about my temper; lectures about making friends, outlines on respecting elders, pop quizzes on athletic performance, exams on how to make money, term papers on on how to treat my wife, and dissertations on how to raise Godly children.
You never realize what you CAN DO until you have to do it,
Enter my beautiful wife, Mie Ling! She has the bright idea that we can just sell our expensive dining room set when moving to the country. So I ask, " what are we going to eat on?" She says, "Oh, you're building a nice dining room table for us." "Oh, really?", I say. "Yes, my cousin Charlie built one just like the one I want", says my beautiful wife.
Now cousin Charlie is one of the smartest and most resourceful people I know. He's the guy that saves all of his money from childhood and helps all of his family members in need. He's pretty handy and is willing to do anything for anyone. He's the guy that checks out YouTube to teach himself how to build a spaceship! And, he was willing to show me what to do with this table.
Did I tell you how much I love my wife? She didn't pick a simple table for me to make. Nooooooo! She picked a Restoration Hardware farm table the retails for over $3000. No easy task. Or at least not for me! Let me explain to you that I was the focused athlete growing up, with football, track and martial arts. Undoubtedly a man's man, but, I NEVER signed up for shop class in high school. I didn't even have my first tool kit until I started managing fitness clubs and learning how to fix the equipment. I didn't even get my first electric drill until I needed it to take things apart for our move to the country. Yes, I'm that guy who paid the experts to do whatever needed to be done. How in the world was I going to build this table?
God Is Faithful To Send Help When You Need It Most!!
Cousin Charlie offered to help me determine how much wood and supplies I would need for the project. He taught me how to use several different types of saws, drills, and sanders, while walking me through the first set of cuts. His "right on time" guidance pointed me toward the best ways to build this huge farm table.
Carry on, Dreaded Farmer!
With the help of my gracious new neighbor, Justin, I was able to get some of the tough work done. On a side note, Justin was the one who used his tractor to pull our 26' UHaul out of the snow and mud when we first moved to Poetry. Awesome, God-fearing man! (We are abundantly blessed to know him and his wife Lucy!) My son, Ayri, was on hand as well for the dirty work. Believe me when I tell you that he was more than willing and eager to help! We stretched the boundaries of our collective brains to get the 10' bench cut and assembled. That was super tricky, because of all the small pieces to cut and put together. Precision was the word of the week!
Don't Give Up, Dreaded Farmer!!
Perseverance brings completeness in many senses. Yet, toiling at something for hours, days, even weeks and not truly knowing if it's all going to come together can be very scary and even discouraging. There I was, at a point where I needed to build the actual TABLE and all of my handy friends and family members were unavailable for various acceptable reasons. I continually praise God for those that helped! Little by little, God allowed me to build confidence in figuring out the little details that brought this project together. Some evenings, I'd be super productive and things moved fast. Other evenings, I spend a couple of hours just staring at two pieces of wood and trying to figure out "how in the world are these supposed to go together" or "did I cut this wrong" or "where do the screws go?"
God has a way of making sure our brain goes through that grueling process to receive the indescribable JOY in the end. What JOY it was, when the tide began to turn! It was as if my vision went from 20/100 to 20/15. Everything became clear and simple! This ex-athlete, that never really used more than a hammer and a screw driver in the last 20 years, experienced a major change! Almost overnight, I was this handyman/carpenter measuring, sawing, cutting, drilling, and fastening this huge 10' table together. Not only did I know that this table was coming together, I knew that it was going to be a sturdy, solid, functional farm table. I now know that this table will last for generations to come. It will be used for celebrating and building relationships through the "breaking of bread" with those we love. Build Your Table, my friends! Shalom!
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