Well, while it has been a blast this summer trying to learn (still learning FYI), I have also learned a few life lessons along the way. Me and Jesus have had some interesting conversations while I have been sitting at this machine.
First of all, I physically cannot sew a straight line. I can't do it. I know that I am supposed to "follow the guides" and all, but when I get done it looks more like a line that a drunk would walk. I cannot do it perfectly, and to be honest, it is driving me nuts! My personality might fall closer to the perfectionist side than I would like to acknowledge. I like for things to look right, look nice. But when it comes to sewing, I'll be, it's crooked. I was talking to Bryan earlier this summer in the car about this issue. I came to the conclusion that I cannot sew perfectly, because I am not a perfect human being. I have flaws. The only person who is perfect is Christ. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the only one who can do it. I bet you He could sew a straight line.
"Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence. I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." -Ps 27:11-14
Even if I can't sew a straight line, I still want my life to be on the straight path. I want Bryan and I to have a marriage that is centered around Christ and is on the straight path... even if I can't do it by myself.
I mentioned this verse in an earlier blog, but Jesus tells us in 2 Cor. 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." So even with my imperfect self, God can still use me. He is the whole reason for everything. Because of the sermons at church recently, I have really thought alot about materialism and selfishness in our culture and even within my own life. Look at my sewing projects for example, I have made some different things, starting out small and working my way up. I started with a project for my husband and then quickly started a purse (for myself). I made Baby Nathan (my future Nephew!) some wash clothes, which I love, and then started making a skirt for myself, and a casserole carrying case (for food for me to eat) followed by another dress (for myself). In all reality, I am starting to see a pattern.... myself... myself... myself.
It wasn't until a weekend when I got to spend some time with my sister that I got to do something really for someone else. Erin and I spent the day picking out fabric and making a dress for her! And while the dress wasn't perfect or sewn straight, it turned out great!! I can use this strange developing talent, that is far from perfect to love on and bless someone else. Do I really need another dress? No. Would the materialistic side of me like one, Heck yes! But what good does another thing for me really do? What if, instead of collecting more things for myself, I spent time making things for other people?
For the most part, sewing is very forgiving. There were many, many times when I would sew something backwards... you have no idea! I have gotten to know this seam ripper quite well. I can just see Jesus smiling down on me with a chuckle knowing I would do this and get frustrated. But you know what, I haven't given up yet. Jesus hasn't given up yet on me either.
Jessica did teach me this summer how to sew using a pattern. We had talked about it early in the summer and she felt that it would be important that I learn using a real pattern, not just using pintrest and blogs. So later that week when I was at the fabric store, I picked up two of the cheapest patterns they had (a shirt that looked like I could wear to work and a bag pattern.) I think I paid $2 for them... I mean... cheap. Maybe that should have been a sign. I picked out two fabrics that I liked for a shirt and skipped on fabric for the bag. I didn't have a clue what I was doing, so not only did I pick out a cheap pattern... I picked out "cute" fabric... not easy fabric to sew with. (My bad... I'm so sorry Jessica!) I got home and decided that I would try and do this without Jessica's help. That would be a big, fat NO! I didn't know what I was doing. So when Jessica so kindly came over a few days later she taught me what was going on. Once she explained it, I felt like I knew alot more about what to do. We made the first shirt together and then I just recently finished my second shirt.
I started thinking about how this is the perfect example of discipleship. In Matthew 28, Jesus commands us to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." As a person new to sewing, I didn't have a clue how to make a shirt following a pattern. Jessica was kind enough to teach me and then I was able to do it on my own. The pattern that we have been given from God is the Bible, and while I do believe that the scripture is sharper than a two-edged sword and He is capable of showing Himself to any one whenever He wants to, it is helpful to have someone explain and SHOW you how to do it (follow Christ).
I went from being a person who didn't know how to follow a pattern, to be someone who did. And the crazy thing about it now, is that I have two shirts (and one day possibly more) to show off to the world. When people see my shirt, I can explain how I made it from a pattern and we can talk about it. If Jessica hadn't helped me to make the first one, the second one would never have been made. Do you see what I am saying? God has plans that are bigger then we can see. Jessica didn't have to come over and teach me, she didn't have to put the idea that I should learn about a pattern in my head. But she did, and now look... I have two cool shirts!
Through kindness, thoughtfulness, and a Christ-like love, and I have two school shirts to wear. The total cost of the two shirts might have totaled to $12, which is good for the Hazzard's budget, but also I have a walking advertisement for what I did all summer. I can't wait to see what Christ is going to do this year!
Thank you summer, it was a lot of fun! Fall... Bring it on!