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Cabin Talks


It was in 2006 that we decided to build a backyard cabin. You read that correctly, a cabin in our backyard!


Just as I had surprised LaDonna with our building lot in '96, with this project I would arrange for a nice restaurant outing for Mothers Day.


Remember the hearts and cupids mentioned in the previous post? This time I would surprise her with a special oversized card, the actual building permit tucked inside. That was truly a special moment, one well deserved by this transition champion of a woman!


We were by then settled into our new home in Clemmons, focused on an entirely new window of life as entrepreneurs, for the first time fully self-employed.


After nearly seven years on a church staff, it seemed to have become a distraction from my personal calling to cities, as the more deeply involved I became in the church's growth, the more deprived of time for service within our community at large.


I was no longer doing what I loved, though the move into campus based ministry had served as means for moving us back to my hometown and for that I am grateful.


We were now peering through a different lens, with an entirely new paradigm for ministry.


I had fully transitioned (can you see a pattern here) to a consulting role with the church, one among many ventures soon launched, all under our newly chartered for-profit business, Master Counsel, Inc..


My wife, who has long been our bookkeeper, launched her own DBA (Doing Business As) under Master Counsel, one built around her interior design talents. We called it, Concepts by LaDonna.


I had moved into an inner city twenty-fourth floor office (a great story there) and she was working out of our new home in Clemmons. I had also served several years on the county planning board, as well as being involved in multiple nonprofits. We were now living the dream we felt we had left behind some sixteen years back.


Our getaway place became Blowing Rock, yet each time we tried to purchase a second home there, we were outbid. Frankly, it just seemed ill-timed.


So, my wife decided, why not build a cabin in our backyard given that we had recently acquired a wooded parcel just behind our home, one that was platted within an older neighborhood just behind us, likely with fewer covenant restrictions.


We quickly began the design phase of her dream, given that both of us had considerable life experience with such projects. We were confident in our knowledge of construction and inspection policies, having constructed two new homes, as well as my previous church expansions. God wastes nothing!


However, we would soon discover a limitation as to size, and even nomenclature. There were local village restrictions around what we were describing as a backyard cabin. We found that we could only build a 750 square foot "accessory building," in other words a good sized shed!


We decided to pursue it anyway, simply dressing up our shed with hardwood floors, a rock chimney, along with a full bath and small dining area! My wife would again show out her amazing skills, building the nicest shed in Clemmons.


That would be followed by years of small gatherings with friends and family. Not to mention, opportunities for prayerful get-aways for community leaders, as we shared her gift of hospitality with scores of people, to include neighbors and an occasional annual HOA meeting, while taking our turns as officers within our small cul-de-sac.


Later and by way of a Concepts by LaDonna client, the cabin would be featured in a special holiday edition of a national publication called, The Cottage Journal, in 2013.


This small shed has now become a gathering place for one-on-one dialogues, Cabin Talks as we call them, with young Kingdom entrepreneurs facing life transitions similar and yet quite different from those experienced by these two Boomers. We now see our transitions as a preparation for this moment!


Oh, I almost forgot! Just shortly after the final inspection and certificate of occupancy for our "accessory building," I was asked to host a meeting with several community members. That would lead to an invitation to run for mayor!


That's another transition, one I'll save for the next post.






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