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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Scraps of Life

I love to sew. I started when I was thirteen, and made all kinds of clothes. I made my wedding dress, and maternity clothes when I was expecting. When my kids were growing up, I sewed for them. Little rompers and jumpers, then shorts and Halloween costumes. I don't have much time to sew now, but just looking at this picture makes me want to get out my patterns and fabric.

Whenever I do have a sewing project, I keep the scraps that are left after cutting out the pattern. I always hate to throw them out. You never know when they will come in handy to make a little apron, or a rag doll, or that "someday" quilt I will make when I retire. I have heard of people making "memory quilts", where they use scraps from different items of clothing that they have worn or a loved one has owned. It's a lovely idea, isn't it?

For years I bought fabric at a store in my city called "The Uptown Silk Shop". It's gone now. I really miss it. Their third floor was filled with "remnants", those pieces of fabric that were too small to leave on a bolt. A couple of times a year they would mark them down to 75% off. Boy, did I have a good time then! I still have stacks of fabric from years ago. Of course I won't get rid of it. You never know when it will come in handy.

I love to knit as well. So naturally, I have bits and balls of leftover yarn. All colors, all weights. I would hate to throw something out that could be turned into a pair of mittens or a scarf. It would be such a waste.

There is just something about taking leftover scraps, even from the refrigerator, and creating something beautiful and useful. Bits and pieces that might otherwise end up in the garbage can become something to keep you warm, or dress you up, or fill your stomach. I guess I have a frugal streak in me, though I can waste other things, like money and time.

When it comes to our lives, we all have scraps, pieces that we cut out or off, bits that didn't turn out or seem needed at the time. Things that we would rather not keep around, but the memory of them remains. Sad things, shameful things, regrets and mistakes. Some things aren't bad, we just wish we had made a different decision, or gone in another direction. To us, these scraps are wasted. But in God's economy, they never are. I think of Him keeping a neat little "scrap pile" for each of us. He takes those odds and ends of our lives and turns them into things we would never have imagined. He sews and knits them together and back into our lives, creating that perfect tapestry that contains the designs of His purposes for us.

So next time you are tempted to despair and discouragement, to regret and remorse, take that bit of your life that looks like a useless scrap, and hand it over to Him. If it is dirty, He will cleanse it with His blood. And He will keep it until He can use it for good. You see, He never wastes a thing.

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

3 comments:

Dena D said...

I love this analogy. :) Thanks for sharing, and for joining our blog network. I hope you find it as warm, encouraging, and inspiring as I have.

Maureen said...

Thanks Dena. I look forward to getting to know some new folks.

debbie said...

DEAR MAUREEN,
THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL. YOU ARE QUITE THE WRITER. WHAT A QUILT I HAVE BUT JESUS IS THE LOVER OF MY SOUL. I LOOK FORWARD TO THE DAY I AM FOREVER AND EVER IN HIS PRESENCE BUT UNTIL THEN I WILL DO MY BEST TO BRING GLORY TO HIS NAME IN A DARK WORLD THAT LAUGH ABOUT GOING TO HELL...THAT MAKES ME CRY BUT EVERYONE HAS A FREE WILL.
SOMEDAY I PLAN TO LEARN TO SEW. I DON'T EVEN HAVE A SEWING MACHINE BUT I BELIEVE ONE DAY I WILL. I LOVE TO SEE MATERIAL ALL STACKED UP AND ALL THE COLORS. MY DAUGHTER AND I BOTH LOVE COLOR...I KNOW HEAVEN MUST BE FULL OF COLORS WE HAVE NEVER SEEN AND MY AMY IS SEEING ALL THAT.
THANK YOU FOR VISITING ME....I FEEL A BOND.
HUGS
SIMPLY DEBBIE