Monday, December 22, 2008

The Christmas Ark~

My sweet husband made this beautiful ark for me for Christmas in 1990.
He wrote the 'tale' of it many years ago and I wanted to share it with you.
It's one of the many reasons I love him so much!
"Books have always caused me trouble.
In 1990 Des began collecting a series of books from Time-Life called the American Country Series. Among them there was a book on crafts. Toward the back of the book was a Noah's Ark pattern that she loved. So I decided to make it.

At that time we lived in a 2 bedroom apartment in Orem, Utah. I enlisted my friend, Ed, from work. He helped me, with his table saw, and we cut out all the pieces at the proper angles to build the Ark. When we were done he told me I was on my own because he didn't paint anything smaller than a wall. So I went home and assembled the boat. I bought craft paints and painted the boat. I then got busy in life and had no animals completed when Christmas Eve rolled around.

So I started that morning tracing the animal patterns on 1/2 inch lumber. Then I manfully pulled out the only power tool I owned, a small Black & Decker jigsaw I had picked up at a pawn shop. I hacked up a 1/4 of my wood and destroyed countless animals bringing me to the brink of profanity.

Then as I listened to the Christmas music coming from inside the apartment, I began to look at my task differently. I remembered I was doing this because I loved my wife. That calmed me significantly. I then started thinking about Jesus. It almost made me laugh to see how frustrated I had become. I retraced the animals I had butchered and began again with thoughts of Christmas.

I began to think about the significance of the baby that came to earth so long ago and who He really was. My mind fixed on the fact that He was the great creator. As I focused on this I began to think how much harder it would be to create a living breathing cow than to just cut one out of wood.

Suddenly, my task seemed a little less daunting. So I began again.

I started with the giraffes because they had the longest lines and the gentlest curves to cut. Then I moved to the hippos and the elephants. I hit the sheep along the way. I was caught up in thoughts of how Jesus was to be the Lamb of God.

Finally, I came to the hardest animal; the lion with his flowing mane. I took it very slow and tried to follow the lines exactly. When I finished I wasn't sure if it looked like a lion, but I figured paint would have to work a miracle.

I continued to paint the animals even after Des and Woody were sleeping and sure enough, after they were painted I could tell what they were. I let them dry for a little while and then I couldn't help myself.

I started playing with them. I marched them up the gangplank and stationed them at various positions on the boat. I was touched with the thought that the alligators were going to sleep with the pigs and yes, indeed, the lions would lay down with the lambs. I began again to marvel at the things the Lord had done and the great condescension of His coming to earth as a baby. I felt humbled that He came to a stable among the gentle creatures setting aside His birthright to make salvation possible for all men. It's funny how each year at Christmas we learn a little bit more about the Lord, and hopefully about ourselves.

That ark still sits in our family room. I've had to glue a tail back on a gator and a head back on a giraffe and sundry other reattachment procedures. The paint is a little scuffed, but you can still tell what all the animals are. And when my heart is troubled I can still pull it down and ask the lion with the flowing mane to walk peacefully with the fluffy lamb. Then for a short time in my heart and mind, there truly is

Peace on Earth."

I want you to know, that I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and our Savior.

His life and teachings are the way to peace and happiness.

Merry Christmas, my friends.
See you on the other side of Christmas!


  1. Des,
    That story is so sweet and touching. Thanks for sharing it. I love your ark too. You obviously are loved much and you deserve to be. Merry Christmas.

  2. Wow Des, what a man! My husband is not particularly romantic, nor religious, so what a nice combination! And so many times we lose sight of the true meaning of things, and thinking about it differntly can put it in perspective. Thanks for sharing your story, hope your hubby didn't mind! Have a great Christmas!

  3. Thank you for sharing that wonderful story. So many times people need to stop and remember what the season is truly about...not who gets the coveted game of the year, or toy or piece of clothing, but of the true reason we are all here...and it means more to take time and enjoy those who are around you, wether it be family or friends. A time to be thankful for what God has given us and be confident that he does have a plan for us. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

  4. thanks for sharing your beautiful story.

  5. What a sweet and thoughtful gift. Thanks for sharing! May you and your family enjoy another Christ-filled Christmas.

  6. What a touching story and your husband is so sweet to make the ark and all the animals. And Amen to Jesus being my Savior and the Son of God. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  7. Thank you for sharing that story and the reminder of what Christmas is really all about. Have a Happy Holiday.

  8. What a sweet memory...sweet husband at that. It really puts things in perspective, especially when so much of what we end up doing this time of year defeats the purpose of this wonderful season. Perfect story to share with my family tonight...Thanks.

  9. Oh Des, you two are so lucky to have each other. Thanks for sharing such a touching and wonderful story. Merry Christmas!

  10. What a sweet story! Awwwwwwww.

  11. What a fantastic blog post :) Have a special Christmas shared with precious family & friends - & celebrating the best gift of all, Jesus.
    Janelle xx

  12. Three words:
    Thank you

  13. Thank you for sharing that story. He is a keeper!

  14. Aw Des, that is an incredible story. I love it and the ark is so sweet and beautiful. Love this post. Thanks.

  15. That is so absolutely beautiful. He's a keeper.

    I love that Ark. I think I've seen that book with that pattern!

    I wish you and yours a very very Merry Christmas.

  16. What a beautiful and touching story. Thank you for posting it for everyone to read.
    I would like to wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.
    Mele Kalikimaka and Hauoli Makahiki Hou!

  17. That is the bestest gift anyone could recieve. I know that you treasure this gift and it will continue to give forever. The story was, well just so great. You are a very lucky woman. God Bless you and your family on this wonderful day - Christmas.

  18. Mom, that is a very good story. when you die, can I have the ark? :)

    your daughter,


  19. this is one of my top 3 Christmas moments, reading this story :) LOVE it :) xoxo melzie

  20. Des,
    That story is so sweet and touching. Thanks for sharing it. I love your ark too.What a sweet memory to have each year.
    Merry Christmas!

  21. I love it! What a great story and gift, and I love that he wrote it in his own words. I hope you had a fantastic Christmas!

  22. What a great story! Thanks for sharing.

    I got my charm pack in the mail yesterday. :) It's beautiful! THANKS!!!

  23. I am new to your blog site (thanks for the link). Wow, those ark animals look very tedious. Looks like your hubby found his patient side. Love all the handmade crafts, especially the teacher bags.

  24. Wow, awesome story about an awesome God! How wonderful to have a blogger with such a love for Jesus AND be a quilter too!! I'll definitely be hanging out here to see what you are up to next! I've bought from you on eBay, but it's good to be able to read your thoughts and get to know you. Bless you this Christmas season and through 2009.