On house-building

“An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.

He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us.

We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter.

Think about your house.

Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall.

Build wisely:   It is the only life you will ever build.

Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.”

Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.” – Unknown

A friend shared the words above with me recently.  Little did she know how much I needed to read them.  Serendipity, yes, I think we could say that.

And to that end, it’s time.

Time for an absence of schedule. Time for a little less obligation and a lot more recreation.

It’s time to say “no” to phones, socks, clocks and conference calls.

It’s time for shared glances, twirly skirts, golf dates and date nights.

Every summer, hubbs and I take a “time out” to do all the above …and this year?

It starts …. tomorrow!

 * * * You are the carpenter. Your life is the house. How are you building it? * * * 

"Choose the guy who ruins your lipstick, not the one who ruins your mascara." -Unknown.  Me & Hubbs, an emjayandthem photo

Me & Hubbs: we sure have fun together.  (C) an emjayandthem photo

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Holidays, Home, Men, Personal, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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25 thoughts on “On house-building

  1. Great quote, MJ. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we are the builders of our own lives. Enjoy your summer break!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Absolutely! We are laying each brick down, one at a time. I want to look back and be happy about my choices, you?

      Bests to you in Ecuador!

  2. Have a wonderful break – and thank you for the reminder!

  3. I always smile when I read “twirly skirts” on your posts!! I know you & hubbs are going to have a wonderful time!

    • I know pencil skirts are feminine and fun but, in my life, twirly skirts are where it’s at 😉 We are definitely going to have a wonderful time – no schedule. Whoop whoop! MJ

  4. Enjoy your summer break and do some of the “work” out in the sun. Will there be cherries on hand?

  5. Have a great break and thanks for the reminder that taking shortcuts can really backfire!

  6. I was working at a men’s Christian retreat with the Methodist church one fall. I was working with a group with a smallish, frail, elderly man who had suffered a debilitating stroke. “Jim” was still full of life and wisdom. In confidence he started sharing, then later on (he was a joke teller) told me “the three up’s” that he had learned from his boss. “I was a real hell raiser when I was a young man. Drinking, womanizer and occasional construction worker. I showed up to the work-site and was doing my usual half-assed job when my boss pulled me aside and asked ‘Jim…do you know the three up’s?’ I told him that I hadn’t heard of them. He replied ‘Jim…the three up’s are: #1…Show up. #2…Keep up AND #3…shut up.’

    I can’t help but wonder how great my days might turn out if my co-workers (and occasionally myself) would practice the three up’s? 😉

    Enjoy your time.

    • I loved your story of Jim; he sounds like a real character! the 3-ups is a great lesson, and I thank you for sharing it. Future blog post? I say yes to that !! 🙂

  7. That sounds wonderful. Have a great break and just relax!

  8. Have a great time, twirly skirts and all. ~PW

  9. I’m sure your heels will be put to good use! I have a feeling you love to dance. Enjoy your time off and thanks for reminding us to build wisely, MJ!

  10. Okay, wow. That is great wisdom. Loved it and this shot of you two love birds. Enjoy your time!

    • I loved it, too, and as soon as I read it I knew it was going to be shared here 🙂

      Thanks for your kind words, me and Mr Man are headed north for a little getaway tonight – whee!! MJ

  11. great picture of you two! I appreciate the “energy” in your relationship..Anyone who is married for 20 years and can keep the romance alive is doing something amazing.

  12. And thank you for paying it forward. I really needed the reminder as well. Enjoy your time off!

  13. What a great parable! My husband and I often talk about this topic…are we taking charge of our lives, or just letting life happen to us? Some days I think I have the answer…others I’m not so sure! Thanks for the clear picture! ~ Sheila

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