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Love/Hate Relationships

Time for a little seam ripper action!
And I’ve sewn the two fabrics together with the wrong sides facing each other. Boo.

Here it is, the tool I love to hate:  my seam ripper.  Its purpose is to make fixing mistakes easier, right?  If you’ve sewn something incorrectly, if the stitches are somehow messed up, or if you need to let out a hem or a seam, this tool is your ticket!  The problem is that it’s annoying to have to use it.  I’m nearly always kind of mad when I pick this thing up; who wants to have to undo what’s been done?

The cool thing about fabric is that most of the time once your stitches have been removed, you can iron it up and the evidence disappears.  No one even has to know that there’s been a mistake.

That’s for MOST fabrics.  On these laminated cottons that we use for our bibs, the inside of lunch wraps, and soon the inside of some fabulous new pacifier holders, the evidence likes to stick around.


Life can be like that.

Tiny holes left behind by my mistake. Luckily this cotton can be spritzed with water, ironed, and no one will ever know!
Ladybug laminated cotton
These holes in laminated cotton are pretty much permanent. 🙁

Sometimes we make mistakes, go back and fix them, and that’s the end of it.  But sometimes we make mistakes and the evidence hangs around, taunting us.  The question is, “what do we do with that?”  I think Jesus is pretty clear in his teaching that our past mistakes do not have to define our future.  And Paul reminds us in Philippians 3:13 that even he is “forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead“.  (And do you remember all that is in his past?)



Maybe for us the evidence of our past mistakes or sins is left around to remind us of how far we’ve come, or to challenge us to move forward and not make the same mistake again.  Maybe it’s to help us connect to others and encourage them that they, too, can overcome their past.  For sure it’s not there to weigh us down, to shame us, or to stand in the way of our being the hands and feet of Jesus here on Earth.  Restoration and freedom are ours for the claiming.

The New Testament is full of passages that show us how we can move forward after making a mistake.  Check out Philippians 3:12-14, Colossians 1:21-23, 1 John 1:9, and Hebrews 8:12 for some examples.  As for the sewing, well, the top headband in the photo below is the one that caused me the headache of the seam-ripping.  It’s done, with no lingering evidence of how messed up it once was.  But oh, the stories it could tell!


Elastic through a tube, bodkin use to turn things right-side-out, seam ripper, and finally, the finished reversible headbands!

Bonus Additional Use Idea:  The vacuum!! 

#reallife, #thisisgross

This handy tool quickly frees the spinner of your vacuum cleaner from all of those strings, hair, and debris caught up in the bristles.  I keep a second one for that purpose – you can pick one up for about $1.00.


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Bodkin: Priceless or $.35?

It was in original packaging, luckily, because I didn’t have any idea what it was.

I was pretty excited to find this little beauty at a second-hand store this summer for $.35! Made for helping you pull cord or elastic through a sewn tube, this tool has a ball tip at one and a needle eye at the other. Oh my goodness, where has this been all my life? I’ve been attaching elastic to a safety pin for years, scrunching and pulling my way through a fabric tube.

Luckily for my safety pin collection, they’ve also found a new use 😊

Trust me, in about 10 seconds the fabric will be caught inside this tube and it will take me a good five minutes to unstick it.

My usual way to turn a fabric tube right-side-out after sewing was to use this handy chopstick (or on large projects, a dowel rod). You just fold out one end and start working your way through. The problem is that the fabric easily gets all bunched up and stuck, and then you’ve got an annoying mess to finesse. And it sometimes stresses the seams, and on rare occasions creates a dreaded hole in the fabric. But let’s not talk about that.

Instead, I recently discovered what seamstresses everywhere will probably say is the oldest trick in the book. I attached a string to a safety pin, ran it through the fabric tube, and attached the safety pin to the fabric. An easy tug on that string and the fabric tube turned right-side-out with no stress and lots less wrinkling. Sewing win!!

Push safety pin/string through tube
After attaching safety pin to the far end, gently pull the string. Magic!

You’ll have to tune in next week to see what I was making with all of this turning and elastic work…Until then, perhaps you’ll consider how having the right tool for the job is like letting God have control of your worries and problems. Sure, you can work at them yourself, plot and plan, try some different tactics. But how much unnecessary stress do we create for ourselves, pushing ourselves beyond our limits and feeling torn apart? Isn’t it so much more effective to allow God to lead each step? Like the bodkin, or that magical safety pin and string trick, His ways are the answer to our toughest problems.  You’ll find them in the Bible (probably in your home or even Online for less than $.35!)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  Isaiah 55:8

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.  Matthew 11:29-30

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Key-ping It All Together

Where are my keys???  The answer is usually an eye roll from one of the kids, because they know that the solution to this everyday problem is to put the keys in the key drawer when I walk in the house.  But I don’t.  I drop them in my purse, or whatever bag I’m toting around with me, or set them on a table close to my sunglasses, or put them in the pocket of my jacket.  Then when it’s time to leave, it’s a mad dash to check all of those places and hope I come up with them.

Short of actually putting them the same place every time I come into the house, there is something I’ve done to make life easier.  I’ve attached them to a key fob.  So instead of looking for a little black car clicker attached to an even smaller house key, I can look for something in a bright pattern.  Here’s an example of what my bag often looks like at the end of a busy day:

Can you spot the key fob?


How does this relate to living the Christian life?  I think the key fob is a lot like Scripture that we can “hide in our hearts” (Psalm 119:11).  Lots of times we don’t know why things are happening or what is going on.  We might feel like those little keys, lost in the clutter of life and not sure how we’ll ever get out.  But that key fob, that’s our lifeline to the One who always knows where to find us!  Adorn yourself with the Word of God!

When we make key fobs, we call them “Essential Keepers”.  How true.  We think that it’s the key fob that keeps your essential keys together and find-able.  And it’s the Scriptures that are our essentials for life; they are our guide.  And while God surely does not need us to do anything in order to be found by Him, as we adorn ourselves with Scripture, we will feel less like the tiny keys lost in the bag of the clutter of life.

Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.  Psalm 119:105

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13


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Was it a perseverance kind of day for you?  I found myself just having to “muscle through” some of the usual routine, with no one on the sidelines to cheer!  But then perhaps that is just the race marked out for me in this season.  Thankful that today’s hurdles were smallish, and praying that tomorrow’s path is clearly marked.

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame,

and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2

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In the Silence

“I Will Come to You in the Silence” is a song I’ve loved (listen by clicking HERE)

After, quite frankly, a rather “silent” summer of Divine Gifts sales, this week Amy and I have had the fabulous privilege of restocking our space at the newly opened Sayre’s Marketplace. (See their facebook page HERE)

Bonus points for identifying our photo-bomber.

When we heard September had gone well, we came to the sudden realization that we would need much more inventory to fill both that space and this website.  Yikes!  What had been silence for so long soon became a rapid fury of emails.  Our Inboxes chimed frantically as we discussed choices and availability and who would do what, all in great excitement and not a little confusion as multiple emails piled up, many with the subject line, “Last one, I promise!”  It was a new noise for us after the summer of silence.

All of this to say:

  1. We will be updating our website inventory soon, but for now you’ll see entire categories missing or descriptions identifying nonexistent products.  In the meantime, you can shop Sayre’s in Smithville or come see us at the Old Schoolhouse on Tuesday, October 24th or at Jingle and Mingle on Saturday, November 4th in Medina.
  2. As exciting as this “noise” of inventory planning has been, it’s not the email chatter that I really appreciate about our friendship but those times when we can sit down, put away our other distractions, and really talk.  And that same idea is true in our relationship with God, as well.
This event is so fun!

We can have a great time caught up in the “noise” of doing good works, reading great Christian books, and being involved in lots of worthwhile activities.  But we need to make space for real conversation with God, apart from distraction.  Silence.  That’s where we grow in our relationship, and while it’s true you can pray anywhere and any time you want, it’s in the silence you’ll find the real joy you are looking for.

I will come to you in the silence
I will lift you from all your fear
You will hear My voice
I claim you as My choice
Be still, and know I am here