Friday, October 28, 2011

Chair Transformation

This forlorn looking guy once was the special chair that resided in my good friend's grandmother's house and may have even made the trek across the prairie in a covered wagon in his early years.  But, alas, time had taken its nasty toll on him, stripping him of his arms.  It seemed the only humane thing to do was end his misery and send him packing to the dump.  

I couldn't let that happen though and asked my friend if I could have one chance at bringing a little life back to him.
He was in worse shape than I imagined and my initial plan to replace the arms and upholster them fell flat.  The upright support of one arm rest was broken and I did not have the tools to refashion a new one.  
Since he had already been sentenced to the dump I figured I couldn't do much more damage to him so I cut those useless appendages off and converted him to an armless rocker. 

After some sanding and hole filling and cleaning I gave him a new coat of barely grey paint (my own concoction from leftover wall paint), followed by some slight distressing and antiquing to let his age shine through.  

Reupholstering the seat involved covering the old springs with a piece of canvas, upholstery foam, a layer of batting and a final piece of canvas painted to resemble an old feed sack.  I attached it all with staples which were then hidden behind a row of braid.

And here he is now.  (If I was really good at this blogging thing I would have great pictures of the process to insert between the paragraphs but....)

Without his arms he isn't the most comfortable chair in the house but he will be a great addition to our entry way providing a spot to take off or put on shoes.  And I don't think he misses those arms too much.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What's in a name?

So why do I call this little blog MakingMeMary?  Allow me to explain.

It all started when a visiting friend commented on one of my DIY home decor projects prompting me to say, "Oh, it's just one of the things I do to amuse myself." She chuckled at my response and replied that she liked that idea.  She, too, is someone who likes to get crafty and "amuse" herself.  

As I thought back on our exchange I started thinking about that word "amuse".  What does it mean?  I looked up definitions and synonyms and found that it can mean to make one merry.  Hey, that's what I was doing for myself.  I was making myself merry.  But wait!  My endeavors are also part of what make me MARY!  So my amusements make me merry and make me Mary!  

And that is what this little blog is all about: the things that  amuse me and make me who I am.  

My desire is that it brings you a little amusement also.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Each One--Reach One

Jesus, tired and thirsty after a long walk from Judea to Galilee via Samaria, stops to take a much needed break at a well while his disciples head into town to find take-out.  A seemingly unplanned encounter occurs with a Samaritan woman at the well that results in her questions being answered and in the revelation that she was talking with the Messiah.  Her life is changed as well as the lives of many of her fellow townspeople who are introduced to Jesus through her testimony. 

A Pharisee comes to talk with Jesus in the dark of night to avoid the disapproving eyes of his peers and has his life changed to the point that after Jesus' crucifixion he willing accompanies the burial party, supplying the necessary and costly spices for preparing the body.  He bravely identifies with the Messiah.

A lame man, suffering from his affliction for 38 years, is told by Jesus to take up his pallet and walk on the Sabbath of all days.  He walks away later discovering the identity of his healer and telling others that Jesus was responsible.

All are personal encounters with Jesus, the Messiah, that result in changed lives.  

Yet others did not experience the same after encountering the Son of God.  The Jews who witnessed a once lame man walking on the Sabbath were upset and sought to persecute Jesus.  A large group of Jews, hearing Jesus claim to be the Bread of Life from heaven, became aggravated at His statements.  Some who had been disciples even walked away when His statements became too hard to grasp.

Why the different outcomes to meeting the Saviour?  

It seems to come down to whether or not the person or group met Jesus on a personal level.  Did they get their questions answered directly by Jesus or were they left hanging because they kept their concerns to themselves?  What if they had asked Jesus directly why He ignored the Mosaic Law and healed on the Sabbath?  What if they had told Him one on one that they were struggling with the statements He was making about "eating His flesh and drinking His blood"?  What if they gave Jesus a chance to explain Himself rather than walk away with their misunderstandings?

These examples speak to me about the value of personal, one to one ministry.  It is on the eye to eye level that we can get to the heart of matters, just like Jesus did with the woman at the well.  It is on a personal level that we can address the questions of our hearts, just as Jesus did with Nicodemus.  It is in one to one encounters that we can be transparent and reveal our hurts in order to receive compassion and encouragement, like the lame man at Bethesda.

Ministry to the crowds is used mightily by God; i.e. Billy Graham and Beth Moore and Christian radio.  But I am none of the above.  I am only a single person who will most likely never speak to the masses.  I doubt that I will ever experience a thousand souls saved in one day.

I am however, one who can be used by God in the life of another.  I only need to be available, like Jesus at the well; willing to ask the tough questions, like Jesus with Nicodemus; looking for the opportunities God sets before me, like Jesus at the pool of Bethesda.  

I am one.  But God uses each one to reach one.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Here We Go!!!

The interesting thing about aging is that I have started thinking about the "proverbial" bucket list which to me is surprising because I am not a risk taker and do not consider myself adventurous.  I assumed that I would be happy living out my life in a comfortable status quo existence, happy that my boat is not rocking more than necessary.  But this past year I have found myself thinking "Will I be content in my later years knowing that I didn't take advantage of opportunities that my God had placed before me?"  

 That question motivated me to water ski again for the first time in years this past summer.  I was relaxing in our boat on the lake watching my son and husband gliding across the water behind our boat on the perfect glass like water and thought "what if I never try it again?"  Quite a few years ago I had pulled (or possibly tore) my hamstring muscle water skiing and the remote possibility of that happening again had removed any desire to get out on the skis for another go at it.  Then the Question popped up in my mind...What If....?  And lo and behold I found myself in the water, up on the skis and gliding along the glass like surface of the water, watching my husband and son cheering me on from the boat.  Later, it occurred to me that the whole bucket list idea may not be just for my satisfaction but also for the benefit of others.   

All of this is a long way of explaining why I am jumping on the Blog Wagon.  Here is an opportunity that didn't present itself until recently.  And I don't want to say I never gave it a try.  I trust that the idea is God inspired.  If it isn't then I trust that my Lord will reveal to me that I have been listening to the wrong voice.  Will I be consistent?  Will I grow weary of this endeavor quickly?  Will I realize what a big mistake this was?  I don't know but at least I can say I tried.