Building a Doll House: The Foundation – Chapter 3

The most important portion of any building is the foundation, for without a strong, firm foundation, there could be an issue with instability. As we began the process of the dollhouse, Mason wanted this house to be used by our great-grandchildren; therefore he knew it needed to be sturdy. Glue was simply not enough. He needed to use pin nails. However, the pin nail air gun he had inherited from his father would not do. It didn’t have a safety latch which meant someone could get hurt. The obvious solution? Buy an updated version that would work and would be safe.

In our lives we too need a foundation that is strong. One that will hold up when we encounter troubles and trials. One that is built to last. One that not only uses glue, but pin nails. God plus His Holy Spirit plus His Word plus…well you get the picture. The foundation of our faith must be built upon God’s love and grace and forgiveness. Upon Jesus, “a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation.”

Sometimes we rely on what past generations have handed down to us. Right or wrong. What we must realize however, is that our faith must be our own. We must spend time and energy to build this faith for ourselves.

We knew that without a firm foundation, the dollhouse would not be able to stand up to the weight we were going to place upon it. In our lives, without the correct foundation: one that is not stable or sturdy, one that cannot withstand the storms of this life, the entire home is susceptible to collapse. Never underestimate the benefits of a firm foundation.

Listen to Jesus’ words from Luke 6:47-49 from The Message.
“These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on.

If you work the words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on bedrock. When the river burst its banks and crashed against the house, nothing could shake it; it was built to last. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a dumb carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation. When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss.”

I pray that we will not be called a dumb carpenter…in the case of the dollhouse or in our daily lives.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,

Donna

Building a Doll House: The Plan – Chapter 2

We had a kit. We had supplies. We had a plan. We had nearly four months to complete the project for Joy’s Christmas gift. We got started immediately. Mason pulled out every piece and placed a “sticky note” on it with the part number and the number of pieces. He read through the directions and felt they weren’t adequate, so he found a great website that had step-by-step instructions (with photos) on how to build this particular house. We found this resource to be extremely useful throughout the project.

My project was to design each room. The color scheme, wall paper, flooring, and décor of each room was especially exciting to work on. I spent hours looking for the perfect items. In addition to this, I also searched the Bible to find a verse to write on each surface that related to the purpose of each room. Each verse is hand-written under the wall paper, flooring, or shingles. My prayer is that when the wall paper or shingles fall off of this house, my great-grandchildren will see a message from me (and God).

ImageMason gathered tools and supplies. Lots of tools and supplies. Here’s a list: rulers, squares, saws, clamps, air hammer, glue, pin nails, tape, paint, paint brushes, electrical tools, pencils, sandpaper, and tables. Pretty soon, the loft was overtaken by all things doll house related. Our work station and planning were complete. It was time to actually start building the doll house.

We used a lot, a lot of clamps. Of various shapes and sizes, these supports kept pieces in place while the glue dried or they served as extra “hands” when the task got a bit difficult. Without the clamps some of the work on the house would be impossible, difficult or perhaps delayed. Occasionally we’d come to a spot where none of the clamps would work and in those situations we’d simply hold a piece in place or hope the pin nails would keep it exactly where it was supposed to be until the glue dried. These were not fun times and it made us very thankful for the clamps when we were able to use them.

God gave us several tools to help us through difficult times. Times we might need an extra hand, or an encouraging word, or a hug. Our fellow Christians can be the support we need at times. Remember Ecclesiastes 4:12? God’s Holy Spirit can lead and guide us and God’s Word can give us encouragement when there is no encouragement to be found. Through the true foundation of God’s Word, Jesus as our Savior, and added strength of good Christian friends will we be able to handle the trials we encounter.

Proverbs 14:22b tells us, “Those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.” Love and faithfulness. Gifts from God. They may come in the form of friends, but most definitely from God. Do you have a plan? A good plan? I pray that you do. If not, why not seek out the Planner of our salvation and begin the process of building a new life? His plans stand firm. Forever. Let’s use His plan!

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,

Donna

What I Learned from God While Building a Dollhouse: And So It Begins – Chapter 1

At first I liked this title, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more I believe it’s more than just what I’ve learned. I have been given the opportunity to relate the building of this doll house with what God desires for each of us and for what he desires in our homes.

We first got the idea of building a doll house for our granddaughter when she saw a doll house in a toy store and was mesmerized by it. We thought it would be a fun and exciting process, so we began our journey.

We started at the hobby shop. Standing in front of half a dozen fully built houses was inspiring. We decided upon one and asked to see it closer. The store manager lifted it off the shelf and we inspected it. Yes, this was the perfect house for Joy.

Along the wall were accessories: furniture, knick knacks, fireplaces, flooring, wall paper, lights…the list could go on, but you understand. Then the manager asked if we were thinking of adding electric for the house to have lights. “Of course,” we said. “I quit before I got to that point,” replied the manager. “It’s a lot more work than most people realize. I hope you’re giving yourself plenty of time to complete this project,” he added. It was at that point we began to understand the enormous task we had thought to undertake.

We purchased the house kit and a few accessories and left the hobby shop with our heads spinning.

Think a moment about the creation of the world, the universe, and man. Can you imagine what Jesus and the Holy Spirit thought when God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26). Were there questions? Maybe opposition? Probably not. They all agreed to the plan. And I’m sure they didn’t have the overwhelming feeling Mason and I had at this undertaking, but none the less, they knew what it meant. What it would cost. Rejection, pain, inconsiderate words and actions on man’s part, and death.

Oh yes, creation was the beginning of the fall, but there’s so much more! Through the resurrection of Jesus, we have the opportunity to accept the grace offered by God and along with it, the hope for a future with God for eternity.

That first step into God’s grace may seem daunting, almost impossible. And on our own, it is. We can only understand His forgiveness when we allow Him to take it on. And through His love and strength, we are able to overcome any “trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, or sword…In all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:35, 37)With Him on our side, we have nothing to fear.

This is the first part of many chapters in this story. Enjoy the process and the finished project. We did and still are.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,

Donna