She wanted to be Alice, she said.
This year, they celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday by dressing as their favorite literary character at my kids’ school.
We have the world’s largest dress-up collection. This should have been easy.
But we do not own a pre-made costume for Alice during her whimsical Wonderland adventures, which meant we needed to make one.
Creativity, sewing, costuming—not my best things.
But surely, I thought, someone in my town must have once owned a white pinafore-style apron perfect for an Alice costume and large enough to fit a third grade girl.
And surely said person wanted to pass that on to someone else by donating it to a local thrift store or selling it at a consignment shop or yard sale on the very weekend when I needed such an apron.
So, we shopped.
All afternoon I shopped.
I did not find an apron.
I did, however, find a curtain with white eyelets and ruffles reminiscent of an Alice apron.
Many women could have snipped and sewn that curtain into an apron in about 15 minutes.
I took an hour or more. It was an extended evening project complete with ripping out the seams where I messed up and re-sewing what I got wrong.
But in the end, I held up that custom-made curtain-to-apron (complete with a pocket!!!) and felt real and true pride like I may never have felt before in my life.
I had overcome my allergy to crafts and my sewing machine phobia. I had labored and been found worthy. I had toiled and reveled in my success.
Or something like that. I was super proud.
Last week, my second daughter announced she needed a pauper Cinderella costume for her song in the school talent show and that meant she needed an apron.
But not an Alice apron. A Cinderella apron.
See the difference?
Dear children, have mercy.
So, I adjust the original design and adapt, turning the curtain that had become Alice into Cinderella.
At some point in the 9 years of being a mom to daughters, I have become a seamstress who produces custom designs; not a good one, perhaps, but after all, we all have our limits.
And while I’m still apt to prick my finger with the needle and still have to pull out the instruction manual every time I have to re-thread my sewing machine or my bobbin (wow, I know what a bobbin is!!), still I sew.
Still I stumble along into creativity so that I can draw near in the presence of the Creator.
Because God, He is this expert artist.
I read in Colossians:
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him (Colossians 1:15 ESV)
In He is My All, Debbie Alsdorf writes:
“By Him and for Him. Those few words give new meaning to my life. They are my personal slogan. They explain what I love for and who I live for….those words—by Him and for Him—-simplify my purpose and meaning. They simplify my choices and help me focus on what’s important (He is My All, p. 82).
God teaches me between stitches and threads that He is the Custom Designer.
You and me—Alice, Cinderella—whoever we are, we are by Him and for Him, handmade.
Not just who we are, either, but He weaves in this also: what we’re placed here to do.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
You are made by Him and for His purposes and what you’re doing right here and now, it may not seem life-changing, world-altering, stage-worthy, award-winning, or crowd-gathering, but it is of value to Him.
This home…this husband…these children….this ministry….this friendship….this job….this calling….this waiting….this service….
He has designed You for this…
and this for you.
So, feeling insufficient? Feeling restless? Feeling unworthy? Feeling unnecessary? Feeling uncertain? Feeling overwhelmed?
Remember His custom design and the way He creates perfection, and the way He creates beauty all in His time.
To read more about this 12-month journey of pursuing the presence of Christ, you can follow the links below! Won’t you join me this month as I ‘Create Beauty’?
- Finding Room to Breathe: A 12-month pursuit of the presence of Christ
- January: Be Still and Know
- February: Pray Simply
- March: Unplug
- April: Enjoy Beauty
- May: Create Beauty
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2014 Heather King