My mother began teaching me to sew when I was twelve years old. I remember the first dress I made – it was a simple shift dress, with color blocks of orange and green (one half orange, one half green), with a large, lovely, very sixties flower at the front neckline. I was so proud. Thus began my love of sewing. I sewed many of my own clothes throughout high school, learning more with each piece, and using this skill as a source of income once I was grown. I became a seamstress for the public, a profession that allowed me to stay home with children and have a small income. When I say small income, I really mean it. Sewing for others in a small country town isn’t the strongest opportunity for business growth, and while still in the times when many women made their own clothing, my fees were relative to the average low-income of my community, not necessarily indicative of my talents and skills. But I loved the creativity involved and the freedom to be a stay-at-home mom, so I took almost every sewing project presented to me.
Some of the sewing projects pushed the limits of my knowledge and skills, but having a mother and a grandmother who had vast amounts of experience, I had resources to rely on and a perpetual continuing education course available upon a simple phone call. Many projects completed brought about a firm decision that I would NEVER do that again. Others brought much delight. The greatest pleasure in creating a piece for a client was the smile on their face when pleased with the outcome. And of course the check they would write.
Fast forward to today, when life has brought me back to the pleasure of working from home and the opportunity to once again be a seamstress for the public. However, much has changed! Very few women make their own clothes in this day and time, opening a much wider door for business to grow. I also am residing in a much more densely populated area, with many of the subdivisions near being very affluent. I am able to charge fees that are more appropriate for a professional with thirty-plus years of experience. It is very satisfying.
A friend of mine, who also sews, asked me last week to complete a simple sewing project for her. Of course, I accepted and made plans to do it one afternoon this week. If you’ve read any of my recent posts you understand how I have the propensity to take something very simple and completely over-complicate it. Well, I was true to form this week. In my defense, I did have to make some changes in design and complete mathematical calculations in order for the proportions to be correct. I’m not sure exactly when or where my thoughts went awry…
I am happily sewing away, pleased with the care I am putting into each separate piece in preparation to put them all together for the finished product. I have taken more time than usual in the details as this is for my friend (who knows how to sew) and I want it to be just right! Each piece ready, I begin to try to assemble the garment. At first, I find myself just staring at them, my mind aware that something is wrong but cannot determine what it is. This examination lasts longer that I choose to reveal to you. When my brain finally begins to process what I’ve done, I still just stare at the pieces in utter disbelief. I have made the most elementary mistakes! A first-time student with nothing more that a machine, fabric and a pattern could have done better!! How could I have done this?? It was as if my mind had completely emptied of all that I knew about sewing.
I finally just had to put it down and walk away. It obviously wasn’t a good day for me to sew. I couldn’t get it off my mind, though, and kept attempting to figure out how and why this happened. Was it because I have recently relocated and my sewing set-up is vastly different from before? Was it because I was listening to the radio and singing along, not paying attention to what my hands were involved in? Was it because it was the first day of a new venture for my husband and I am wondering how his day is going? Or was I just out of my mind? It was so frustrating.
On this particular day I didn’t feel as if my mind was in the way – it appears it wasn’t even present!! But often, when it comes to the things of God, my mind IS the problem. I’ve spent countless hours of my life trying to analyze and figure out what He was doing. Or not doing. Examining my every word and action to determine if I had been acceptable to Him, or had made a mess of things. Many times I’ve stood looking at a mess I’d made and felt mentally incompetent! How can a Christian with many years of experience make such elementary mistakes??
You may be familiar with Isaiah 55:8 –
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.”
The beginning of having a “right” mind is to acknowledge that His thoughts are ALWAYS right. If my thoughts are in contradiction with His, mine are wrong. We would all agree that God’s ways can be very mysterious. Paul wrote to the Ephesian church –
“For I always pray to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation – of insight into mysteries and secrets – in the deep and intimate knowledge of Him…” (Ephesians 1:17)
God wants us to get so close to Him that His ways will be revealed to us, that we will increasingly understand the mysteries and secrets of His ways! Paul also wrote a very bold statement to the Corinthian church –
“For who has known or understood the mind of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ and do hold the thoughts – feelings and purposes – of His heart.” (1 Corinthians 2:16)
How often are we busily doing things our way only to find that it just isn’t working? We sift and analyze and may even find ourselves trying to instruct God on how things should be! Wondering why He hasn’t done what we expected! Once we’ve stared at the situation for a while with still no understanding, we surrender our minds to God and He begins to reveal His thoughts to us. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we learned to seek His thoughts first?? How much peace will we gain by believing we already have His mind and depend on Him to lead us?
Spiritually, it’s a good thing to be out of our minds. He does His best work when we are. 🙂