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teaching them to mend…

I grew up in a home where we made the most of everything we had–and you didn’t throw anything away. If it was broken–instead of buying a new one, you carefully glued it back together…seemed up the stitch…and made the broken pieces relive their purpose.

When Rich and I got married–he thought I was crazy for all the little things I’d fix. Now, he laughs when something breaks…he sends it to momma to glue back together. (Some of you who are friends and have read for awhile have seen me glue many things back together…like Joseph two Christmas’s ago). There is something soothing…something therapeutic…about mending what is broken. And as I clamp pieces back together (like I watched my daddy do for years)–I always ask the Lord what He wants to teach me in this time of mending.

Rico Suave does occasionally try to draw the line. About this time last year, he was doing the laundry (yes–my man does help with the laundry!), and he spotted an apple size hole in our fitted sheet. He insisted THIS would not be mended…that was just ridiculous because of the hole’s size–we just needed new sheets. I agreed we could buy a new sheet set because we could use another so we didn’t always have to wait on the dryer to finish drying before we could go to bed with clean sheets–but I put my foot down too. This sheet set had nothing wrong with it. It just needed…to be mended. And it could still perfectly do the job it was designed to do.

I got out the needle and thread and began to mend the hole. As I was mending, my daughter Laney (just 5 years old at the time) walked in the room and with joy jumped on my bed to see what I was doing. She is like her momma and loves a good craft–only this wasn’t a craft to me. It was clearly an emergency. To save the 1 billion count sheets. I explained this wasn’t a craft–that it was momma trying to save the sheet set–I was mending it. And she was welcome to watch. I’ll never forget our conversation that day…

“Oh momma! Can I help???”

“Oh Laney. Let momma do this one. If it’s not done just so–it will tear more…and not be useful anymore.” But something in her eyes told me that THIS was part of my lesson the Lord wanted to teach me in this mending project–if little one was going to learn–really learn…then momma needed to begin to let go.

So I threaded a new needle and handed it to her. And with me holding my breath and biting my lips to keep from constantly correcting her, she mended that hole. It wasn’t perfect. In fact–a few days later a little gap in her mend caused my toe to catch it in the middle of the night, and it tore the hole a bit more. Out came the needle and thread again…and although I was tempted to fix it–I knew this wasn’t to be my thing to fix…but hers. I called her…and she came running with joy to make the mend.

So many times in my mommying, I want things to be perfect. I want to have my hands on things–and passing things off…especially to little ones can be hard for me. I want the cupcakes to look just so. The art wall to be displayed neatly. And I realize I’m really only attempting to make an impression on people that my heart wasn’t designed or charged to make impressions on. But these little hearts–these little hands…they were entrusted to me by my Creator…and I’m daily making the choice to choose to make impressions on their hearts rather than pretty things to be tagged on Pinterest or displayed on my blog. (I mean–truthfully…I tell myself that no one really reads this anyway–and this is just my processing…for my littles to one day read…and some times He’ll guide another over to read these words that He has something to speak to their hearts similar to what He is speaking to mine…)

Last night–it was time to mend that fitted sheet again. It’s seen quite a bit of mending sense that first hole…the trail of stitches is beginning to take on a design of it’s own. And I’m so, so thankful that I didn’t toss it out. Now when I’m sleeping at night and my feet feel the stitches in the sheet, I smile. I remember all the conversations we have had as she mends…how just because something looks like it’s not perfect, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a perfect purpose…I smile thinking of the precious time and energy of those delicate tiny hands–with her brow tightened as she concentrates–trying so hard to mend the sheets, tie her knots and carefully cut the extra thread. I exhale with peace and joy remembering the look of confidence as she asks her younger brother proudly if he’d like to watch as she mended. I’m so thankful it didn’t have to be perfect–because now it is precious. And in this little mend, the Lord is teaching me to begin to hand things over, allow my children to really learn–even if mistakes must be made as they do–and to be sensitive to the Spirit as He teaches me too…

{mommies that feel overwhelmed like you can’t keep up–please also take note of the large pile of laundry you can see from the door opening. some things can wait…and i vote laundry is just one of those things:) i’ll be on top of it one day–when the kids are grown and gone…until then–i like my pile:)}

Dawn Wright - June 12, 2012 - 1:31 pm

Andrea- I LOVE THIS POST!!!!!!!!!!

I am not a mender, I stink at it. If you see me with a needle and thread you should be scared!

BUT the heart in this post is seriously what I need to hear and repeat daily!! Sometimes we get so caught up we forget the lessons we need to share and learn. THANK YOU!!!!

Kendra - June 12, 2012 - 2:53 pm

I know that you have no idea who I am–just a stay-at-home mama in Ohio who used to be a Bama girl–but I read your blog often and it brings me to tears every time. You have such a heart to honor Christ in how you live your life and how you raise your children. My 6 month old little girl is very precious to me, and each time I read one of your posts regarding YOUR little ones, I am reminded as to why God gave her to me in the first place. It’s all for Him. For His glory, for His purpose. And, I am ever so thankful that He chose ME to be her mama… to show her God’s love and to one day teach her to fear the Lord. Thank you for your heart and that you blog it. It really is a ministry to me. I’ve been meaning to inform you of your encouragement to me as a mama, but just haven’t done it yet. So, I wanted to let you know now…with this post… that I am thankful for you and your blog, and your heart for Christ. My dear sister in Christ, I hope my words have served as an encouragement to you too. God bless!

Bebe - June 12, 2012 - 7:33 pm

I love the heart you express in your posts, Andrea. ‘how just because something looks like it’s not perfect, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a perfect purpose…’ This.

And yeah, no one reads your posts. Consider this I am a 50 something, single, without children, not adopting ‘career woman’. We have nothing in common 🙂 And I read your blog because I love the heart you express in your posts.

God is using you in ways you have not even begun to imagine.


Jennifer - June 12, 2012 - 8:50 pm

This is GOOD! I had to choke back my tears while reading this. This really spoke to me. THANK YOU!

bobibobbitt - June 13, 2012 - 1:38 pm

Again, God uses you my friend, to speak to me! I SO needed this today…. just this morning as I left for work, I told the sitter that I had not even began packing for the kids…she asked if I would like her to have them pack their own bags, I immediately said “No” as I do so many times in a day when they ask to do things on their own… I am way too consumed with trying to make things perfect… their beds, the house, the way the clothes are folded, etc. etc… and boy is it EXHAUSTING! I will continue to think of Laney’s mended sheet when my kids ask me to teach them to do things on their own! (:

Cara from PA - June 13, 2012 - 6:18 pm

I love the post- thank you for sharing your world with us. I rarely “comment” but you bless me so much and so often! Praying for your healing, too! 🙂