It's been a few weeks since I had a dream and vision of what I can only describe as a "prayer board". I was meditating on how we, as a family, can agree together in prayer. I want to involve the twins in our daily activities, but it's easy for kids to just sit in the shadows while their parents do the doing. Whether it is painting a house, fixing a car engine, or praying there are opportunities to teach kids by example AND inclusion. If all I do is show the twins something and never involve them to do it for themselves, then I'm setting them up for failure. Learning doesn't happen by simply observing. If it did, I would be able to fly a 747 jumbo jet, but I can't because that's not the way teaching, learning, and leading work.
I had a vision of a huge hanging chalk board with an appropriate height for all 4 Webbs to write out what we are praying for. Now that the twins are in first grade and learning to spell it is the perfect time for them to read and write what we are praying for. My first thought was, "there must be a lot of these in stores to choose from." After searching a few department stores and craft stores I realized how rare and expensive a 4' x 5' framed chalk board is. I told Kendra about my idea and she agreed to take it on as a project. She is a true DIY wife!
I'd been thinking about what Easton and Layla are learning from us about prayer. We pray at meals and for healing and in thankfulness, but it is painfully obvious by listening to them pray that they don't understand what is the purpose of prayer.
God is not a cosmic Santa or an AmEx in the sky that we go to when we want something. He is also not the last resort, hail-Mary pass to the end zone when we get in over our head in a situation. God is less interested in us having a better human experience than He is in us having a relationship with Him. Prayer is about talking and listening to the creator of the universe. We should be finding answers to the two big questions:
Who is God?
Who did He create me to be?
If prayer isn't revealing those two things then that means we are asking the questions, or worse, not asking any questions at all and simply giving God a wish-list of stuff He needs to do for us.
Kendra and I went back and forth refining the ideas and figuring out how to make it happen. The first decision was agreeing where to hang it. We decided on the wall in the great room between the front door and the laundry room. It's been vacant since we ran out of money during the home purchase process. We pass by this wall many times each day and its prominent location makes it ideal for keeping the family prayer list visible and in the front of our minds.
We taped it off to see how it would look.
Kendra went to many stores, websites, and friends to identify the best material and process for creating such a unique thing. She used MDF board as the chalkboard and baseboard as the frame. Our laundry room because a wood working shop for a few days.
She glued the molding onto the MDF board and clamped it down on each corner with wood glue. I don't know much about the exact supplies she used, I just wanted to capture the progress as it was being built.
She added the molding on the outside edge and wood filler to fill in the cracks from the joints.
The prayer board started to take shape and Kendra was happy for the way it was coming together.
The garage became the paint shop where Kendra sprayed a few coats.
Here's the way it looked before the chalk paint was used to give it the chalkboard surface. The time required for the paint to cure was a few days because of the requirement of multiple coats. She taped off the frame and sprayed the chalk paint on the MDF.
The only effort I put in for the prayer board was hanging it. I hung it like a piece of art or a mirror with two hooks on the wall and a wire across the back of the frame. I added a clear small square bumper on each bottom corner so it would be level against the wall.
We hung it. It stayed. Yea we're done! Here is how it turned out.
I convinced Kendra to let me take a picture with her next to her creation. The total cost was somewhere around $100 plus several hours of her time. We are both really happy with how well it turned out. As soon as it was up we gave each other a big high-five and a hug.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. Ecclesiastes 11:4
I view the prayer board as a success story of how we plant and reap. We don't just sit around and watch the wind and look at the clouds. We get 'r done and this accomplishment is proof!
See you soon.