Woodworking For Therapy #1: Live or Waste Away, I choose to Live

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Blog entry by Steve Kreins posted 12-10-2013 03:39 PM 3760 reads 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Woodworking For Therapy series Part 2: WOW! Fast results! »

I have decided to chronicle my woodworking journey as part of my therapy and boy do I need it! I am 65 years old, a husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and a disabled Vietnam Veteran. Oh yea, I’m also a Pastor of a Christian Church here in Waco, Texas. You’d think I had plenty to keep me active. So why would I want to add “Woodworker” to my titles?

It’s simple, I have Liver Cancer and PTSD from Vietnam. Agent Orange isn’t so good for the liver.

I came to a point, after fighting this cancer for two years where I had to ask myself, “Do I live each day to my best ability or sit around and wait to die?”. I ran across LumberJocks and a bell went off in my head, “I can do this too!” I started to get excited! I ran out to my man cave, that is currently a junk room and said, “This is going to be my woodworking shop!”

I’m not a TV preacher (Thank God) so I have limited funds. My shop space will be only 10×10, but it’s all mine! Just starting to clear the room out has already proved therapeutic results both for my cancer and my PTSD. Obviously my first “Project” is simply to clear, plan the layout and come up with a plan of attack. I’ll be posting my progress and looking for YOUR INPUT as I start this new adventure.

I have a second reason for blogging this journey, which just occurred to me, maybe some of you could use a little inspiration to get off your pew warmers (butts for the nonspiritual among you) ;).

One final thought. I said this is for therapy. Understand that if I don’t stay busy with a variety of activities, I’ll sit here and focus on the bad, I choose to focus on the good. From what I’ve already seen, there are a lot of GOOD Folks here on LumberJocks.

Finally, if sharing an occasional Bible verse offends you, then just don’t read them. ;)
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

22 comments so far

View NinjaAssassin's profile


656 posts in 2937 days

#1 posted 12-10-2013 03:51 PM

Welcome to LJ’s! I’m glad you’re finding ways to stay positive and do things that bring you joy.

Do you know what type of stuff you’d like to make? Have you thought about if you’re going to try hand tools only, power tools, or some hybrid approach? Good luck and I look forward to following your progress!

-- Billy

View Todd's profile


421 posts in 2889 days

#2 posted 12-10-2013 04:02 PM

Welcome! Thanks for the inspiration I needed today!

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4547 days

#3 posted 12-10-2013 04:07 PM

Welcome to Lumberjocks Steve, I have some health problems too, lots less serious than yours, but I do have a great deal of continuous pain in my back, knees and everything else. Woodworking for the last almost 18 years has saved me from becoming a grumpy old man and I look eagerly forward to being in the shop whenever I can, which is pretty often in the fall and winter months.

I do think you have chosen a great hobby to enjoy in your free time. I think you will find that more than therapeutic it is also joyful. You will have to keep learning new things all the time as your projects become more complicated. That should help take your mind off your health problems and give you the joy of working with your hands creating things you and others will admire. It’s also wonderful to be able to gift others with your projects.

Don’t hesitate asking for help. There is an amazingly huge number of friendly, helpful folks on this site of all ages from beginners to veteran professionals. All of us are learning from each other and trying to broaden and perfect our skills. It is good to remember that there are a lot of ways of doing the same things and still get a good result, so the advice you get may vary, but after awhile you will get the hang of it. Meanwhile don’t forget to have fun and don’t worry about making mistakes because that is a very important part of the learning experience, and I can guarantee you that it will never end!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1374 posts in 2926 days

#4 posted 12-10-2013 04:08 PM

I wish you welcome!
Regarding ww as a theraphy you might want to check the blogs and projects of members Mafe and Jamie Speirs. Werry inspiring read!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 4195 days

#5 posted 12-10-2013 04:12 PM

welcome steve, we as humans are meant to stay active. so if you got some down time, other than watching TV; then you might as well produce something. there is a lot of small woodworking projects you can make without buying a lot of tools. so after cleaning your work room; then you’ll find something to make.
good luck, is something you have to make!

View a1Jim's profile


118200 posts in 4790 days

#6 posted 12-10-2013 04:13 PM

Welcome to LJs
We all have times we get bogged down in what we think are tough times ,so truly a story like yours will inspire us to move forward in life and woodworking. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.


View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3505 days

#7 posted 12-10-2013 04:23 PM

Welcome to LJs and from my perspective, blog away and I’ll look forward to hearing about your journey and I, for one, will welcome any and all Bible verses you care to share!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View lightcs1776's profile


4269 posts in 2867 days

#8 posted 12-10-2013 05:18 PM

Thank you for serving our nation. I think you will really enjoy woodworking and the folks here are generous in sharing their knowledge. I’ll be looking forward to seeing your projects, as well as bible verses.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View clieb91's profile


4264 posts in 5148 days

#9 posted 12-10-2013 06:42 PM

Welcome Aboard LumberJocks. Woodworking is certainly a great way to stay active and such a diverse hobby I am sure you will find something that you will like to make.
Look forward to reading your future entries.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View TerryDowning's profile


1152 posts in 3330 days

#10 posted 12-10-2013 07:20 PM

Welcome to the fun! I wish you the best in your therapy.

-- - Terry

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 2843 days

#11 posted 12-10-2013 09:28 PM

I don’t know of a better therapy, at least for me personally, than woodworking. I work grueling 9-10 hour days in the office, I come home, run down into my mancave, and start working wood. Sometimes my lovely fiancee cooks me dinner and I munch it down standing up while I think about the next thing to do. Then I run back into my cave, keep working to 10-11PM, get some time with my better half and stay up for another hour here in the LJ page. Then I go sleep for 4-5 hours and I cant wait to get back up in the morning!!!!

So I have high hopes for your therapy, non conventional ways of healing are often the best and I wish you best of luck with that! Also, the community here on LJ is just spectacular, I can’t believe the loving, kind and helpful people that are on here and I’ve been here for 2 days.. I will be looking forward to seeing your projects!

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17506 posts in 3831 days

#12 posted 12-10-2013 09:47 PM

Suggestion: Look into working with hand tools. No noise, dramatically less dust and can fit into a smaller space.

Lots of us nut jobs on LJs…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View 54curly's profile


38 posts in 3007 days

#13 posted 12-10-2013 10:29 PM

Oh the smell of fresh saw dust should do wonders for the mind!! Welcome to Lumberjocks!!! Peace be Still!!!

-- Curly, South Dakota! Now where did I put that board stretcher?

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3403 days

#14 posted 12-11-2013 01:54 AM

welcome to lumberjocks!!!

glad you have decided to take up wwing it can be therapuetical,well sometimes.thanks for sharing,and i wish you the far as scripture share all you feel like!!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Ukidlele's profile


2 posts in 2841 days

#15 posted 12-11-2013 04:30 AM

Welcome Steve! This community has some healing mojo so don’t be surprised.

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