It takes an entire day for the job, but finally it’s done.
That morning I had dashed out to the garage and opened several huge Rubbermaid bins to find the sealed bags of clothes I needed. Having three girls means we own girls’ clothing in every size for every season and when it’s time to transition from size to size it’s a chore.
Oh my, is it a chore.
I sorted through the dressers and in the closets. I pulled out piece by piece of clothing from the bins and covered my living room and kitchen in piles for this size and that season and this child and that one.
Then I washed all of the “new” clothes, dried them, folded them and hung them on hangers.
Packing away the old size, I dashed out to the garage once more and then returned inside to collapse on the sofa with a cup of tea.
It isn’t without its share of memories, this sorting through old clothes.
I pulled out the outfits and remembered the preschool programs, the weddings, the birthdays, and the handmade treasures…
It’s like flipping through the pages of a photo album and I find myself telling the stories to my daughters as I fold down the ruffles and lace.
I tell them how I know exactly at what age my oldest daughter decided she had to wear dresses, all dresses, all the time—even nightgowns instead of pajama tops and bottoms.
I know it because in the size 4T bag of clothes I find dress after dress after dress. You’ve never seen so many dresses: Dresses for play and for church and for school and for special occasions and everything in between.
I stretch out on my living room floor and sew a button onto a shirt while my youngest daughter runs her fingers through the buttons in the tin.
And I tell about visiting my great-grandmother’s house when I was a girl and playing with her tins of colorful buttons and stacking her empty spools into towers.
We moms are storytellers so often, the caretakers of the family saga, the ones who remember grandma, great-grandma, and the babies, the births, the marriages, the days both joyful and hard.
So I take time to give my daughters this heirloom: these memories, these stories, these word pictures from the past.
It’s more than just generation-to-generation storytelling, though. I consider this as I sew and tell those stories that Saturday afternoon.
All this month, I am drawing near to the presence of Christ by creating beauty, and this is the truth I find: That God’s creative work in our lives compels us to tell others about Him and what He has done. This is a story we have to tell…
The Psalmists urged us to:
Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! (Psalm 105:2 NIV).
Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does (Psalm 96:3 NLT).
I want my life to be this perpetual testimony of God’s grace and kindness and the giving Him glory.
I want this so that when others talk about me–when they tell the story of my life—they will talk about Him. Let my story be utterly wrapped up in His Story, indistinguishable and inseparable.
Tabitha was a woman who followed Christ in her city of Joppa and “was always doing good and helping the poor.”
When she died, the people called for Peter to come and as he stood there in the room with her body: “All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas (Tabitha) had made while she was still with them” (Acts 9:39).
I stand in front of my own piles of clothes and remember our family stories.
That’s what the widows did. They held up physical reminders of Tabitha’s past, of her kindness and self-sacrifice, of her service, of the way she used her gifts to glorify God and bless others.
So Peter called for Tabitha to come back from the dead and even this became part of her story, her testimony to God.
Amazingly, “she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.” (Acts 9:40-42).
The miracle started with a woman serving others in the simplest of ways.
It continued with the women in her town telling this story to Peter.
And it ended with God’s glory and with many people believing in Him.
We also are storytellers about the heroes of faith from the past and about the God who does wonders.
And we also are forming our own story, serving, loving, giving and trusting that the legacy we leave is one that gives glory to the God who saved us, even if it’s as simple as buttons and sashes and telling the tale to our children.
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
Originally published February 18, 2013
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
One thought on “Oh, the stories I could tell”
I empathize! That chore of going through the clothes, was one of my least favorite things to do. Five children’s clothes can fill a lot of closet and drawer space. I remenmber going through the drawers and finding all the well-worn favorites on the top, and the ones on the bottom that were now out grown, yet never worn. That made me crazy, because wastefulness is one of my “hot buttons.” Also, as you know, I still hold on to special treasures of family history and memories in my cedar chest.