Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Sewing has not come naturally to me. It’s been a journey of fear and tears, and even a few inappropriate words thrown into the air when things didn’t go right. And even though I consider myself to have the sewing skill level of a five year old, I love sewing, even though I find myself needing much improvement. 

My most recent project is no exception. I wanted a simple journal cover that had a pocket to hold four color pencils and one pen. It didn’t seem too much to ask for. I searched for tutorials and tips online, I found a few and dove in. 

I can’t even begin to describe what went wrong the first try, other than the obvious issue that it didn’t even come close to fitting my journal. The second try proved only vaguely better than the first, in that the pocket was in the right place, only if the journal was upside down. It also didn’t fit my journal. Try three was much the same. And again, so was attempt number 4. I could have just thrown in the towel, or better yet the sewing machine. But I was determined, and also tired of loosing my colored pencils that were stuck haphazardly in the pages of my Bible. 

This week the clouds parted. Literally, they did, we had sunny weather after a cold and wet Saturday. But figuratively, the clouds parted as well. I sat down on Sunday with new resolve to do it. I took the mistakes I made and the tutorials I used and patiently went for it. 

And by now you know, it worked. I would not have believed it if I hadn’t sewn it myself. I am only just now kicking myself that I ended up using two very oddly unmatched pieces of fabric. Next time, girly, next time they will match.

Now, brace yourselves, here comes the life lesson. Sometimes we must do hard things. And sometimes at first we will fail at those hard things. We all know this, but we have to just keep trying. 

When facing obstacles or failures we have two choices. We can fail and then stay defeated, giving up altogether. Or we can turn our failures into lessons and try again. It’s not easy, and sometimes we waste time and fabric in the process. But the lessons that come from getting up and trying again are priceless. 

And now, that I’ve got this success under my belt, my kids are asking for Bible covers. Lord help me, I’ve got work ahead. But I’ve also got the experience of failure under my belt. The lessons of efforts unrewarded are crucial to how we go forward when we experience setbacks. And I’m not just talking about sewing here. 

It’s true in life. I have a goal to eat healthy, but I actually just ate four (count them, four) spoonfuls of frosting from the tub in the back of the fridge. Tomorrow, I will try again to not eat said frosting. I have goals to parent with love and intention, but I just found myself distracted by mobile technology for too long after the kids were home from school. Today, I will put the phone away and try again. I learn and retool and show up every day, trying again. It makes me grateful for God’s new mercies dished out daily. They are fresh for me, and ready to lead me to my next lesson. And I think we know this by now, God is the very best teacher.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds all too familiar. Except I would have thrown the %$&% sewing machine. :) Okay, really, I would ahve had a melt-down and Michael would have helped me... like he did with the Bible covers I made (would you like me to send him up to help you??)
    And did you also sew the triangle pattern?
    Lastly, I've seen your quilts pix. If you sew like a 5 yr old than I sew like a toddler.


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