The Builder

March 8, 2010 | My Jottings

My husband Michael used to be a carpenter. He has built new homes, remodeled old houses, built shopping malls and hospital additions, and colossal garage extensions. He worked inside and outside, sometimes in Minnesota winter weather that was way below zero, but he never complained. Not once.

He took the first house we ever owned, which was a hundred years old and to me almost uninhabitable when we bought it, and transformed it into a beautiful place I loved. He tore down walls, enlarged rooms, hung new Sheetrock and applied new plaster, put in new windows, added two new bedrooms, built up kitchen counters to accommodate my height, put up new siding, a new roof, and more.

He was never quite content unless he was building something, even if it was just a small project.

Now Michael has retired from home building and carpentering, unfortunately out of necessity. He has Parkinson’s disease, which stiffens the joints and muscles, slows movement, robs the speech and brings exhaustion.

But as God would have it, Michael is still a builder.

Even after all these years, he continues to build in our home and in my life — from the inside.

He builds with patience, gentleness, humility and steadfastness. He builds with optimism and prayer. He builds with his few words and his smile. He builds with his kind eyes.

I grew up in a family that had many wonderful strengths, but we needed lessons in building. We were more adept at demolition.

My man is no longer building buildings, but he continues to graciously and quietly build lives.

Mainly mine.


  1. Tauni says:

    What a wonderful tribute to him. I agree, he is a solid man of God. He has blessed me too, because he loves you so well!

  2. Jessica says:

    What a sweet post Julie. So nice to know more about your great family!!

  3. Deb says:

    I love the picture. God certainly filled Michael’s “tool box” with the things he needed to build lives, relationships and dwellings. You are both blessed!

  4. Sue Raimo says:

    His finest work is still being done

  5. Ember says:


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