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After virtually camping out in the cottage for 3 months, I was lamenting to Ray-Ray about the difficulties created when one attempts to live without a closet. Our bedroom was lined with wardrobe boxes, which visually was not a good look. And the process of getting ready each morning was greatly hampered by the need to dig through the over-stuffed boxes looking for a particular article of clothing. And finding my shoes - well don't even get me started!

"Here's a thought," Ray said. "What if we get in there and start flinging some sheetrock."

Seriously?!?! Fling some sheetrock.The thought had never crossed my mind! But in a few short hours Craig had been to Lowe's to load up with sheetrock.



The closet and adjacent laundry area were framed up but insulation would have to be installed before sheetrock could go up. Seriously? Is there anything about me that would make you think I was up for this task?



Driven by desperation and motivated by the hope of a closet in my near future, I donned gloves and pitched in.

I should explain about the freezer in the foreground of the picture. In our previous life, we kept this freezer in our garage. We thought it would be great to have at the cottage since the grocery stores is a bit of a drive and stockpiling frozen meat is always a good idea. On paper the freezer would fit (just barely) in the laundry area (which also was not finished at this point) and was currently sitting in the unfinished closet - an 8 x 8 foot space. Can I just say, it was a major obstacle in this process - but I digress!

closet

I am nothing if not a good sport.

closet

Working in such a tight space, made tighter by the presence of the freezer, made the project a bit challenging!



See what I mean. And by the way, what's up with everybody wearing denim from head to toe? Just sayin!



Two ladders, three people, and one big ole honking freezer. What's a girl to do?



Ray makes this look easy!



It wasn't. After insulation came sheetrock.



And an occasional break.



The tiny 8 x 8 closet project took much more work than we dared dream.



The sheetrock was installed. Next it had to be mudded. This "to do" list was growing by leaps and bounds. Before long we had drug Roy into the mix. He used his week long vacation to rescue the closet deprived Stockdales. You're a GOOD FRIEND, Roy Terrell. 





Sanding, more mudding, and painting followed but slowly the tiny space morphed into the promise of a closet. I could barely contain my excitement cuz this is what we were using. Don't you love the way I used boxes to create a dresser?!?!? Desperation caused my creative juices to bubble up and expressed itself in so many ways. Not really. I kid.



Slowly, and by that I mean after HOURS and HOURS of work, a real live closet emerged.



One week, four people, 2 boxers, and a disgruntled Siamese cat later, we had finally finished an 8 x 8 closet.

Knowing we had ALL worked non-stop on it for over a week, we sat down and tallied up a rough estimate of the man hours involved in our project. It took us over 150 HOURS to complete an 8 x 8 foot closet!!

DIY eat your heart out!!! 














Posted: 8/31/2011 10:49:10 AM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments


If you are a MOM of a toddler, tween, teen or collage-aged child, may I have your attention for a moment. If you would like to be inspired and instructed in Biblical parenting, I could like to extend a personal invitation to you.

For 21 years I have been teaching Bible study to MOMS. It has become the driving passion of my life and defines a large part of my ministry. On September 8 I will begin teaching a 10-week Bible study for MOMS at Bellevue (in the Memphis area) from 9:30-12:30. I have written a study on the Book of 2 Peter called "Lighten Up!" 

Each session begins with small group discussion of the weekly homework. Then I teach for 45 minutes using sanctified humor, personal illustrations, and practical application of the profound truths of the Word of God. You will leave with your emotional tank overflowing!! I promise!

The cost for the semester is $10.00 which includes the cost of the workbook and FREE CHILDCARE! We have a program for homescooled children and a reasonably priced lunch is served-which you will get to eat sans children and in the company of adults!! Priceless!

You can register for MOMS on line at www.bellevue.org

AND GET THIS! This year we are offering a small group for Spanish speaking mommas!! AND the lecture will be translated live in Spanish!! Seriously, who exciting is this!?!?!?!

Now what if you are a MOM but cannot attend on Thursday morning? What's a mom to do? We will soon be offering my new study "Lighten Up!" as an ebook on my website www.jeanstockdale.com. We will also offer "Lighten Up!" as an ebook in Spanish!! You can purchase the workbook, make 1 copy of the study, and join us via the internet. My teaching sessions are available at www.bellevue.org at no cost under the archived messages in Women's Ministry. The messages will also be available as podcast. You can do the study and hear the messages week by week. You might want to find a buddy and do the study together! 

We offer 7 video-driven Bible studies for MOMS. These studies are perfect for individual study, small discipleship groups, or for churches to use to offer a ministry to MOMS. For more information on ordering our resources see Ministry to Moms at www.jeanstockdale.com.

My heart is to instruct MOMS with the Word of God and encourage MOMS with the Holy Spirit of God. Please let us know if there is any way we can serve you.

Standing Near the Cross~
Jean




Watch my blog for more details.

Posted: 8/29/2011 8:15:25 AM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments


In the big scheme of things, a closet isn't the biggest issue in life. That is, unless you are the one living without one. Our little garage home did not come fitted with a closet or storage of any kind. We had all our clothes hanging in wardrobe boxes, which was a step up from hanging our clothes on the shower rod, which was our first option!



Using wardrobe boxes may seem like a minor inconvenience to the casual observer, but from personal experience I can tell you this got old really fast. Trying to get ready for church or to go and teach was a real drag!! And where are my shoes?!?!



Just finding where my stuff was, got to be a challenge and started the suck the life right out of me!



We lined the bedroom with our makeshift closet. Poor Joey cat was perplexed by the whole move! This was my attempt to create a "double closet" using a PVC pipe to connect 2 wardrobe boxes. I started dreaming of the day we might get a closet.



Beside the lack of a closet, we didn't have a kitchen or a laundry room. Each week I drove my laundry to Ray-Ray's house and washed clothes while we worked in her office on the ministry. Prior to this huge upheaval of life, Ray's office was next to mine in the upstairs of my home. She worked 4 days for me in the ministry. Ray moved the ministry office from my house to her's. Once a week I would work at her house. We did not have internet service at the cottage for nearly 6 weeks. Along with a closet, I wanted me some internet. All in due time!

We didn't have much of a kitchen either. I only unpacked 2 bowls and 2 coffee mugs. Sadly this was the fate of one of our bowls and one of my favorite coffee mugs!



We did not have a kitchen. What we did have was more of a makeshift counter. Without a kitchen, cooking was limited mostly to toast. When I was really in the mood to cook, we had peanut butter toast!



This was our silverware. The good thing about this kind is that you don't have to wash it!



Which was a good thing because we didn't have a kitchen sink either!



And then there was the issue of mud. Again, these seems like small things unless you are the ONE coping with them! Because Craig had to change the grade around the house to correct a drainage issue, the yard was scraped down to the dirt. The rainy fall we had created a "mud bowl" effect around the cottage. Getting to and from the car became a marathon of mud! 

We did not have a driveway per se and our carport was packed with belongings that could not be moved in because we did not have a finished place to put them. So we parked in the yard and we walked in the mud. Craig put down plywood boards to create a makeshift walkway but that was not enough to keep us out of the mud.

One morning I had an early appointment in town. I dug through my wardrobe boxes to find my clothes, dressed, ran the mud gauntlet, and headed out. In no time I had buried my little Honda up to the hub caps. Mr. Stockdale came to my rescue and pushed me and my little car out of the mud. However I sprayed him from head to toe with slimy mud! Sorry, dude.



This is about what we didn't have. 

This is what we did.



"Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."
Psalm 119:105




Posted: 8/29/2011 7:12:03 AM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments


In the Chronological Bible study we have arrived at Ezekiel 29:1-10. This passage is commonly thought to be a picture of Satan and his subsequent fall.

I have written an overview of the strategy of Satan to included in my book on Ephesians "High-Stepping in Heavenly Places." (This is copyrighted material but please feel free to copy it if this is helpful). Although this is not a comprehensive study on the devil, I thought it might give you some valuable insight into the workings of the enemy of our souls.

A Study in the Strategy of Satan
 
The Bible teaches that when you and I became followers of Jesus Christ, God Himself supernaturally delivered us out of the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His dear Son. Ephesians 2:1 states that through the new birth He has made alive (spiritually) those of us who were formerly dead in trespasses and sins and who walked according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience (unbelievers). There is a very real spiritual being named Satan. He is the enemy of our soul and although he has lost the spiritual battle for our eternal soul he continues to harass us in an attempt to render us ineffective in our spiritual pilgrimage on earth, on our way to heaven.
 
It is helpful to see how the Scripture speaks of Satan. To see just a few of the names he is given, and to learn something of his character, look at the following Scriptures:
·        In Job 2:1-13 we see that he is the accuser of the brethren
·        In John 8:44 he is a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.
·        In Matthew 4:1 and I Thessalonians 3:5 we see he isthe tempter.
·        In Matthew 13:19 he is the evil one.
·        John 10:10 he is known as the thief (who) comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
·        2 Corinthians 4:4 states that Satan is the god of this world.
·        Colossians 1:13 says he is the ruler of the domain of darkness.
Understanding all these facts, what should you and I as believers do? Again we must look to the Scriptures for our instruction and admonition.
 
First Peter 5:8-9 says, Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. James 4:7 urges, Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. First Peter 1:13 says, Gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 6:11-18 (perhaps the definitive passage on spiritual warfare) teaches us that we should put on the full armor of God, that we might be able to stand against the schemes of the devil…take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one .Second Corinthians 2:11 says, We are not ignorant of his schemes (his methods or systematic processes of attack).
 
Ephesians 4:27 says, Do not give the devil an opportunity (that is a foothold in your life or mind). Resist his attacks with your renewed mind and protect yourself from the onslaught of the wicked one by casting down every stronghold. Second Corinthians 10:3-5 says, For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
 
Finally we can take comfort in realizing, the battle is not yours but God’s (2 Chron. 20:15) and greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world (I John 4:4).
 
The enemy is strong and his power should not be underestimated. However, our God is immensely more powerful and Satan is a defeated foe! Stand firm in the Lord!

@copyrighted by Jean Stockdale
from "High-Stepping in Heavenly Places"

Linked to Spiritual Selections.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Posted: 8/28/2011 5:52:35 AM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments


 
In Oct. 2010 Ray-Ray posted this blog about the early days of settling in at the cottage. Along with Criag and I, Joey the cat, and 2 boxers, Marleigh and Sadie, had to orient to our new tiny space. This was her take on the transition.

I gotta tell ya, it been interesting watching Jean and Craig’s pets work out squatters rights in their new 900 square feet of living quarters. Come to think of it, it has been interesting watching Jean and Craig navigate in 900 square feet of living space! Just so everyone is on the same page they have 3 pets, Joey the chocolate point Siamese, Sadie also known as Boxer #1 and Marleigh, aka Boxer #2. Here are the mug shots.
                 JOE CAT                               SADIE   (speaking of ears - I'm just saying)  MARLEIGH
Joey in cat bed                        

I don’t know much about cats. Growing up I always had puppy dogs. I don’t speak cat-talk and I don’t understand the unspoken cat signals. Having said that, if I was going to have a kitty cat Joey would be the one I would select. He is a great cat – all 6 or 7 honking pounds of him.
 
One thing that I have come to realize is the position of a cat’s ears speaks volumes. Joey loves to have his ears rubbed. Prior to the arrival of Sadie and Marleigh, you could almost put Joey in a cat trance by rubbing his ears. He would get all relaxed and he would let you massage his ears as long as you were willing. Joey has seldom experienced any relaxed moments (let alone extended periods of relaxation) since Sadie and Marleigh blasted onto the scene. Relaxed ears on a cat are a good thing. Ears held rigid and straight up mean “MOUSE” but, oh mercy sakes, horizontal ears on a cat means you had better stand clear.
 
Just prior to the move into the cabin Jean and I were taking a break from packing. We were sitting on the couch trying to feature out how to fit it into a box when Joey jumped up on the arm of the sofa. He was looking for some ear rubbing. Marleigh saw him and eased up to say hello. The meeting went badly. Having never seen this exchange before, I watched has Marleigh inched just a fuzz closer. Then a smidge closer. Mar-Mar moved just a nano of an inch closer and in less time than it takes to blink the eye, Joey had poofed himself out to the size of a small watermelon, turned his ears horizontal and firmly against his face, hissed, extended his clawless chocolate paw out and swatted Marleigh’s nose.
 
Mar-Mar turned around and looked at us like, “what up wit dat”.
 
Jean as a name for dog vs. cat encounters like this. It is called a dust-up. She recently captured a photo of a dust-up in the making. Once Joey turns his ears horizontal, he counts to three before bringing the extended paw part. He’s trying to give Marleigh an opportunity to back that thang up which, apparently, her timing is still just a tad off.

You can see Joey's ears are going all horizontal and he's counting to three. I don't know if you can tell from this photo but his eyes are closed. Apparently in the cat kingdom when you close your eyes your opposition can't see you.

 
I think Mar-Mar and Joey could be buddies. They are both cuddlers and I can see them curled up beside each other on rainy days. Just hanging out enjoying a rainy day in the country. Sadie and Joey – well, not so much……
 
This is how the animals have divided up 900 square feet. It's looking like Craig and Jean will have to sit on the washer and dryer to watch tv and sleep in the bathtub.

Marleigh in the chair      Sadie on the couch      and      Joey on the bed!
Mar-in-chair.jpg       Sadie-on-couch.jpg                   Joey-on-the-bed.jpg

Have a blessed day,
Ray-Ray
Posted: 8/28/2011 5:22:16 AM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments


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