Follow-up: Jim’s Shed—Leaving a Mark

Follow-up: Jim’s Shed—Leaving a Mark

I’m blessed twice, when I write a blog and then, when I read responses. Feedback from the texts and emails gives readers another nudge in reminiscing how the examples of friends/family/teachers have contributed to the shaping of your life. Very often, those who set the examples are unaware of it as the responses reveal.

What a great story I can relate to.... I spend many hours daydreaming up new projects, turning over in my head how to fix something that needs attention....and it all emanates from my own shed. Nothing in my dad’s shed ever got tossed if there was a hint of repair or repurposing that might be had. He had few tools, and he borrowed what he couldn't buy. He told me to buy tools whenever I could. I following his advice and acquired any and every tool I could.

Now that I'm older, I've begun to write inside the tool or box, the year, place & cost of the tool. Sometimes I write a little story about how this tool or that one has saved the day (& lots of money) because 1) I had the tool to do the repair or fabrication 2) repeated uses have long paid for its cost.

My dad willed all of his tools to me, but mom lived for 11 more years, and few tools were left after neighbors and other family forgot to return them.  But I have a few...some VERY special ones that have memories nearly 60 years old attached to them with my dad and me using them. From his shed, now resting in mine.  Sheds I believe, are VERY personal to men if not universal to us.  Great "guy story". J

Such a great story.  I didn't know some of those things.  Jim was a fantastic man.  Deeply missed.  I didn't know that he made the table that we use at the lakehouse. M.

Hello, lady!  Very enjoyable blog. Our elders came from a responsible, respectable, lovely generation of folks who were grounded in God, America and love of family. I am prayerful every day for the body knitted by the love of my parents and God's grace. Surprising myself with the strength and endurance, patience (for the most part) and love I am able to muster and deliver upon, God is holding me up. B.

Really enjoyed this, Ruth. Thanks for sharing. He had so many skills! When I think of Jim, the first word that comes to mind is KIND.  D.

Wow, how this blog brought back fond memories of Jim and all that he was to so many people.  It also brought back good memories of my dad, who like Jim was very good with his hands.  Everyone knew Dad; Grampy, could "fix anything," and he did.  I read the blog to Mom and of course it brought tears to her eyes as well as she remembered two very good men that we miss so much. They have truly left a legacy. I hope that in my lifetime I have or will have the opportunity to build such a legacy that will be remembered fondly as well.  Knowing they both knew and loved the Lord means so much too. Assured that we can look forward to being reunited with them someday produces peace as well. Thank you for sharing.  It means so very much to us. G.

For new readers: my blogs are two-pronged, involving personality design (MBTI) of ourselves/others, enabling us in getting along with everyone and overall encouragement in solving problems as we share life at home, work, extended family, church/synagogue and any involvement with people. I’ll use Jim’s shed as an example of how understanding personality design clears the air when differences occur.

Because Jim, by God’s design was an Extroverted, Sensing, Structured Head-logic Thinker—(ESTJ), and I am by God’s design an Extroverted, Intuitive, Structured Feeler—(ENFJ)—it was possible for Jim to do many hands-on projects without my noticing. Yes, Intuitives, with their mind surfing around, miss many physical events going on right under their noses.

Thinkers get an idea, make a mental decision about what they will buy or build, never questioning that the decision needs anyone else’s input. They proceed and expect approval.

If I had built the shed, I would have run-by Jim exactly why I thought we needed a shed at this particular time and how we could afford it. I would definitely need his approval. I would have researched the designs that others recommended and asked about any difficulties they had encountered, so I could assure him that it was a good idea.

Getting on-the-spot approval from anyone interested in my project would have been important. I would have discussed the proposed cost with Jim and set a time frame for beginning and finishing and would have lined up people to give me a hand. Extroverted Feelers usually do not like to work alone. The shed project would have dominated our conversation.

If Jim had been against the idea, I would not have proceeded. But I would not give up on the idea and bring it up at another time. Maybe, sometime in the future, he would become convinced and build it. If Jim asked anyone’s opinion about the building of his shed, I do not know.  I rather think he already knew how and about how much it would cost and how to do it.  He would have based his decision on what his/our needs were and proceeded from that point. He trusted his financial and physical decisions.

That explains perfectly our two personality differences---How we prefer to gather information and make decisions.  We were a perfect blend for ministry. We both enjoyed ministering. We loved to read, teach, study, spend time with family.  Jim and I were extroverted and structured which eliminated much stress, but we had to intentionally plan to be spontaneous and take time for fun.  He taught me how to play golf and he played golf with family and basketball with pastors. You’ll be surprised that we enjoyed a spontaneous round of ping pong every day.  We were about even in score as the score sheet on the wall proves. The ping-pong table is now primarily a downstairs office table for copying and folding.

Much contention stems from not understanding how differently another person prefers to gather information and facts and figures.  Sensing—hands on—people are closer to the conscious world making black and white facts and figures easy subjects. Sensing people’s shadow preference is Intuitive—gathering ideas and possibilities--dream world.  Both preferences are needed in decision making.

Intuitives like to look way ahead and sometimes their castles in the air become financially threatening to a common-sense Thinker.  Intuitives are wise to learn how to share their dreams a little bit at a time so not to turn the Sensing person off. Keep in mind that sometimes the female is the Head-Logic Thinking Sensing person, and the Male is Heart-Logic, Intuitive.

Thinkers, trusting their decisions are not considering asking someone else for their opinions. Or do they automatically ask if anyone wants to go with them to the store. A Feeling person has to insert themselves into a thinker’s schedule, which means they need to listen and ask questions about where the thinker is going and say, “I’d like to tag along”.  Thinkers find it easy to say ‘no’.  (For more information on MBTI, check out my book How to Get Along with Everyone…or Google Ruth Ward blogs.)

Dear Father, we thank you for your miraculous design of personalities.  We ask for patience as we discover others are very different from us. Give us wisdom and grace as we interact with people we know and strangers who we may never meet again. Amen

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Col. 4:6 NIV