Tuesday, March 12, 2013

With the Carpenter's Help

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

Have you ever been so overwhelmed by a situation that you felt alone or forgot for a moment that God’s hand was right there guiding you? My sister Teresa faced years of hardship after her husband Sal died from pancreatic cancer. After selling her house in the city, she downsized to a fixer-upper nicknamed “the ranch” in a more rural area. In today’s devotion, she shares a glimpse into her journey the summer she and her son Jeremy tackled “the ranch.” Thanks, Teresa, for sharing!

With tears of frustration, I left the ranch for the first time in all these months, discouraged. The negative thoughts began. “Two steps forward, three steps back.” The muttering continued, not bad words, just having a pity party with myself. Heading down Archer Road to the back road I regularly travel, I passed an old church. There was a sign out front that read: “When you have done all you can, God will do what you can’t.”

Now, I am fully aware that God is not going to come down and do construction for me. But, in that moment, I needed some words of encouragement. I know I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. However, it’s difficult to accomplish much in this extreme heat, hot mostly because the windows won’t open, air conditioners aren’t working or haven't been installed yet, and the three ceiling fans just stir the hot air (or so it seems).

Teresa on a mission trip
Every time we begin a project, we are met with another situation to fix. Each project has taken us three times longer to complete than anticipated. I found a leak a couple days ago and spent my morning yesterday sealing the roof. I will put another coat on tomorrow. Hot on the roof? Yes, but equally as hot inside.

I do feel grateful for all the help we had yesterday. Several of Jeremy’s friends arrived, to do yard work and cleaning, in this 100 degree weather. These friends, committed to helping in this project, mowed for 5½ hours, completing the front yard. The scraping of the kitchen floor was completed at 3:00 this morning. I’m grateful we reached our deadline for finishing the kitchen floor.

Now, sitting in my cool apartment, with the television on, my level of frustration has diminished. I repeat again my ongoing mantra: “We can do this.” I know that tomorrow is a new day. It will indeed be another scorcher! But, I also know there is a Carpenter up there keeping an eye on our crew, keeping us out of harm’s way, and lifting me up when I feel discouraged.


If you have a prayer request, please feel free to share in the comments section or e-mail me confidential requests. New requests this week include:
      ·         A friend who’s having trouble concentrating. She feels as if she’s in a fog. Please pray for clarity and peace of mind.
      ·         Same friend's daughter is struggling with 2-year-old twin girls and a 3-month old baby. She’s moved to a new town with very little support. She’s battling depression. Please pray that she’ll make new friends and gain a local support system within the church she has began attending. Pray that she will feel God’s presence and comfort during this difficult time of transition and motherhood.

      This is one of my all-time favorite renditions of “How Great Thou Art.” I hope you’re as blessed by it as I am. 

The most up-to-date prayer list is on a separate page at the top of the blog, along with information on Sgt. Jesse McCart. He and his family appreciate all the prayer support they’ve received from so many folks since he was injured in Afghanistan last summer.

God bless,
Laura J

© Laura Hodges Poole


  1. laura is teresa living in gainesville? when she mentioned archer road it made think she must. let her know i enjoyed her post.

    1. Yes. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I'll let her know.

  2. Laura er teresa bor i Gainesville? da hun nevnte bueskytter veien det gjorde tror hun må. la henne vite jeg likte henne innlegget.

    snekker fredrikstad
    or snekker moss

  3. Hi Laura....beautiful song....I love that He's there always and we can go to Him anytime anywhere....about anything. Hope your weekend is a good one.

    1. Thanks. God is so faithful in his love and care for us. God bless you. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Oh Laura, how this post blessed me, and will continue to. To hear your sisters resolve to trust in the "master carpenter" to come along side of her was inspiring. In the midst of my own personal (and quite lengthy) pity party, God again reminded me I am so blessed with all He has given me. Your sis lost something so precious and still she trusts and lives and moves on! Love it!

    I am so blessed by your desire to lift up others in prayer and give us an opportunity to join you in that! Thank you for your selflessness! Praise God for sisters like you! :) (and thanks for linking up with me at What He's Done Wednesday this week. what a fitting post!)

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I'm so glad you were blessed by my sister's story. She inspires me, so I thought others would be, as well. Thanks for stopping by. God bless you.

  5. Wow, How awesome that Jesus was a carpenter, and He sends others to help us build and repair. My kids are going on a mission trip to Charleston over spring break and will be doing this kind of work. I am excited for them to be His hands and feet.

    1. I agree, Katy. Christ is always there helping us build and repair. I hope your kids are greatly blessed, as well as blessing others, on their mission trip.