“The decision to be like Christ has touched every area of my life. Nothing has been harder to implement, yet nothing has been more rewarding. Because of the changes it has brought to my life, I am passionate about helping others remodel their lives according to the example we have in Christ.” Mary C. Dodd
- The Pink Toolbelt – Spiritual Remodeling for Women sounds interesting. What do you mean by spiritual remodeling?
Until just a few years ago, I was a carpenter by trade and spent my life building and remodeling homes, barns, whatever I could sink a nail into. Because of my background, I easily saw an analogy between the process used in remodeling homes and one that could be used to remodel lives. Spiritual remodeling is a process that begins by identifying areas of your life that you are unhappy about, tearing them out, and rebuilding them better than before. All under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of course. Our goal as Christians is Christlikeness, and I believe the spiritual remodeling idea presented in The Pink Toolbelt will help women reach that goal.
- Women carpenters are a unique group. What started you down that road?
I often tell people that I think I was born with sawdust running through my veins. I worked with my two brothers to complete my very first construction project. It was a tree house suspended some twenty feet in the air and was little more than a few boards nailed precariously to the branches of the tree. My father was a great influence as well. He built the home that we lived in and always had a project of some sorts in the works. After my brothers left home, I became his right-hand girl and spent countless hours holding the tape-measure and learning the tools of the trade.
After high school, I went to college to study elementary education. But after a year and much to my mother’s dismay, I joined a silo construction crew headed by my brother-in-law, Ron and we traveled the U.S tearing down, relocating, and rebuilding the big blue silos that dot America’s heartland.
- You likely faced many challenges working in an industry dominated by men. Do you have any advice for young women who find themselves in a similar situation?
Don’t try to be anyone other than yourself, work hard, and do your best. You have gifts and talents that only you bring to the project. Be proud of those gifts and give glory to GOD for them. I used to put on a tough girl façade, but at the first sight of a mouse, my blood curdling scream would quickly shatter that tough exterior. I soon realized that when I worked hard and did my best, I would always gain the respect of the men co-workers.
So, be the best ‘you’–a ‘you’ that is going through a spiritual remodel that will be an even better version of ‘you’–a Christ-like you.
- How did you get from carpentry to writing a book, specifically The Pink Toolbelt.
Writing is another great passion of mine and when God began to radically change my world, it seemed a natural progression. Several years ago, my life, my marriage and my family was falling apart around me. As you often hear, I was at the bottom and didn’t know what to do except pray. It was out of that prayer that I heard God say, “You can trust Jesus—be like Him.” I took that to heart and decided that I wanted to be like Jesus in every area of my life. The Pink Toolbelt is my way of sharing the things I learned as I began to live my life as a true disciple of Jesus.
- What makes you an expert on the subject of discipleship? Are you a bible teacher?
Not by any means. I’m just a carpenter following the Jewish carpenter, Jesus. His words have changed me, day by day, word by word, action by action. While some of my circumstances remain unchanged, I have changed. My perspective has changed. I no longer let circumstances bring me to a state of hopelessness, because I know that Father hears my prayers and is working things out for my good
My credentials come from simple obedience to Him. Father challenged me to be like Jesus in every area of my life. I rose to that challenge and as a result, every area of my life is being remodeled. I have learned to tear out un-Christlike thoughts and rebuild my mind with Christlike thoughts. I have learned to tear out words that are not His words and rebuild my speech with Christlike words. My actions, my attitudes, the way I forgive and resist temptation, even the way I love others and pray, are being remodeled into the way that Christ loved and prayed.
- You wrote The Pink Toolbelt as a devotional. Can it be used in other ways?
It’s a devotional in the sense, that the lessons are presented as 70 daily readings with a scripture, application questions and a prayer, but I like to think of it as a remodeling guide. It meets women right where they are and takes them on a step by step remodeling process that will move them from unhappiness to something better than the original. I believe it is also a great tool for small group discussions.
Each lesson draws from my real-life experiences and is presented with construction analogies and anecdotes in a style similar to the way that Jesus often taught. From learning to use the right tools, serving an apprenticeship, building in stormy weather, or passing final inspection, I develop the theme of remodeling one’s life through true discipleship with Christ.
I realize that many women may not think that they will relate to carpentry, but they will quickly find common ground with the principles that are covered. We may have different occupations or interests, but our needs are the same and God’s call to Christlikeness is the same.