A few weeks ago, I went through a box of scrap fabrics. Pieces that really were not big enough to do a lot with.
I had gone through my youngest daughter's American girl clothes and made a pile of clothes that had been way out of date, and you could truly tell my nonexistent sewing skills, lol.
So I spent the afternoon taking things apart, so I could repurpose the fabric and make some more up-to-date clothes. I love to sew for 18 in doll's clothes. That is how I learned to sew, actually. My girls fell in love with the most beautiful dolls one evening when we visited a Christian book store. I remember, just like yesterday, the fifty-cent piece-sized eyes. They were sparkling, and you could feel their excitement, and they had only seen them from the front of the store. They couldn't wait to go see these dolls up close. I remember telling them they were beautiful, but there was no way I would buy porcelain dolls for them to play with. Oh, with my sweet oldest delight when she told me they were plastic and that she just had to have one. The problem was it was January, and we had just gotten through Christmas, and I just couldn't justify new dolls so soon. So that day, my girls went home with sales magazines that opened our home to the world of the A Life of Faith Dolls. The beautiful Elsie Dinsmore, Millie Keith, Violet Travilla, Laylie Colbert, and Kathleen McKenzie.All came to be a part of our home, which I will never forget, after the first purchase of the favorite doll. Every chance we got, they wanted to go by the store and look at all the dolls and accessories also inform me who they needed next. I had spent hours studying the dresses in the sales magazine. How nervous I was when I went to Walmart and bought a Simplicity doll dress pattern and a couple yards of fabric and began my sewing adventures.
Here is a picture of that very pattern! It's been good and opened the door for many hours of creativity! I still use it today it is my favorite!It was almost Easter and I wanted to make 1800 themed baskets for the girls! I was going to purchase one of the expensive doll dresses for the girls. The owner of the store comes up and spoke with me. He normally did, so I wasn't surprised when he did this day. He said you know Mom I am not trying to change your mind. Not only that, but he said you are probably going to spend less actually. They need to read the books so you know why these dolls are so special. So I took a deep breath and listened to what he said. I put the dresses up. Made myself promise I would do my best to make my girls fancy dresses for their dolls the best I knew how. Picked up books and devotionals that went with the dolls they had gotten. I had feather pens made to resemble quills. I know you are wondering what this has to do with my scraps.
Those dolls and their books opened up a whole new world of adventures for my girls and me!It opened the world of tea parties, cooking over a fire, making butter, falling more and more in love with things from the past allowing me to teach my girls why we needed to be the change. To make sure history never repeated certain parts of our past! All people are meant to be loved and taught with the same respect as others. Everyone God created Should be treated equally! You see when I went in my sewing room and sat down in that chair. I looked up at the dolls that spent so many hours as a part of our family! Those memories and choices were much like the pieces of fabric that lay before me. At a glance, it all looked like a hot mess.
Yet, as the patterns were laid out, the fabric is chosen and cut. Brought to the sewing machine, piece by piece, sewn together. You begin to see something beautiful take place. Much like us, we start out ugly covered by our sins and when we spend time with the master creator we begin to change inside and out. Our hearts begin to change until finally, we give our hearts over to Him! He creates in us a new beautiful heart that is like no other whiter than snow! I imagine our hearts glisten like diamonds as snow does in the light. When I sew it's a lot like that, no two pieces, even if they are cut from the same fabric and sewn by the same person. No two are ever the same. Still, the beauty of the craftsmanship shines through. That day, as I pondered on all of this, I glanced up at those dolls and thought back on the owner's words he shared with me. He was right, the dolls were nowhere near enough. The books taught my girls the importance of having a strong relationship with Jesus, choosing good friends, the power of prayer, praying for the person God created for you to marry way before you meet him. These books were so much more than stories! The pieces of knowledge that each brought to our home. Was priceless, like these pieces of scraps I was putting together. Each piece was bringing something valuable to the end project at hand. When I finally finished the two dresses I had been working on. I looked at the final product in awe and saw how my skill set had changed over the years. You would have never known that the bodices were made 3 times before I was happy. One dress was once a curtain and scraps of a pair of shorts and pieces of a sleeve. The other dress was made from pieces of two doll dresses taken apart and a pair of old overalls. Pieces of lace painstakingly gathered from old dresses, shirts, nightgowns from over the years.
Of course, if your gonna sew for the 1800's they have to have beautiful plantlets and petticoats!
So much like our lives! One thing is not the only thing we need to survive and to become who God wants us to be. The stitches may have to be taken out multiple times, we may have to change the fabric out or add trims, we may have to take things in or take out. No matter the process it takes more than what the eye beholds as the finished product.
Sewing and our Christian lives are much the same! It takes more than just Sunday morning services and children's church for our kids on Sunday. Just like I can not just set the fabric down in front of my sewing machine and expect a dress to appear. We have to continue that relationship with our heavenly Daddy on our own and teach our children how to obtain and grow their relationship. Sunday morning isn't enough for anyone. We all have to have more! We often don't realize but we go to church on Sunday and we get busy and we don't take time to teach ourselves or our kids more about Jesus. We stop growing and we grow weak in Jesus. We get busy with life, going to work, school, household chores, seeing family and friends. We turn the tv on to help pass the evenings for our kids while we prepare for the next day. or we rush around to sports or dance classes. We go have our hair and nails done or return calls. The question is when did we take the time to fit Jesus into all of that. What did we watch or read?
What could we give up to make more time with Him in our week and our everyday life? How can we teach our kids the importance of doing the very same things? He is the thread that holds it all together! Just like with sewing if the bobbin thread isn't correct the top thread won't hold together it will unravel!
So could we give up some tv time for family reading time from a Christian-based book? How about a faith based movie. Most important is family devotion and prayer time with each other. These moments may not come easily at first. I promise the fight for it will be worth every second spent doing it! Because I can not tell you pride you experience when you see your child choose these things that makes Jesus smile great big! Over the things, the world pushes!
We can't expect Sunday mornings to be enough. Because it isn't enough after all. We have to add more to the scraps than just pieces. Or it will just continue to look just like that. A big bunch of scraps!
But oh the beauty when we chose Him!
I am not sure what my life looks like when others look at it. I am sure at different times it looks different ways. I just hope that over the years like at the end of the project that day in my sewing room it looks beautiful and full of Jesus!
I am glad I chose those dolls all those years ago! As crazy as it sounds they still impact my life today! Their stories are shared in a girls club sponsored by our church, A Life Of Faith Girls Club online. The stories are broken down into devotions and are used to teach life-changing lessons that give value and a stronger relationship and walk with Jesus.
They are still my favorite go to books to read! I have read them many times over. I still take something new away each time. Next to my Bible, they are the most read books in our home.
What is God needing you to add to your scraps? Or what does He need you to take away. There really isn't a right or wrong answer. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, What I may see as ugly you may see as beautiful vise versa.
No matter what the answer is, Know no matter how painful or easy it is. As you bring the pieces together, I am over here cheering you on and praying for you! My heart is covered with stitches and pieces my heavenly Daddy has put together. To Him, it's the most beautiful creation ever because He brought it all together and not just that He is always adding more embellishments.
Sewing in enough stitches helps make your garment stronger and able to stand the test of time! He is always doing the same for you. I honestly never knew how much my relationship with Him and sewing had so much in common with one another! Until now....