Saturday, June 25, 2011

Preparing for Sewing Camp: Out of my Comfort Zone

I felt overwhelmed in the middle of a fabric store! I don't know why I thought it would be sew easy (pun intended) to run in and grab a pattern, fabric, supplies for my daughter's upcoming sewing camp.

As I looked at the books of patterns from which we should chose, I flashed back to my senior year in high school. I had one elective to find, and I thought I will try to learn to sew. The first day, to my dismay, I found I was the only beginner in an advanced sewing class. The project the other girls were working on was designing and creating the pom-pom squad uniforms for the fall!

The teacher assured me it would be O.K. However, as time passed, I realized I was on my own to learn.

It got worse.

Being anal even then, I did not want to fail this course. I was a straight-A student and planned on staying that way. After selecting a simple A-line dress, I sought out my grandmother's dear friend, an elderly lady who hand-sewed all her own clothes.

This sweet woman could barely see anything, but she could stitch the smallest stitches anyone ever saw! She showed me some approaches to use without a machine since all the machines in class were claimed for the advanced students' projects.

When the final exam came, I was to wear my dress, if you could call it that. One sleeve was at my elbow, the other below my fingers; the hem was long in front and short in back.

My teacher looked at me modeling the results of my hard work and broke out in tears from laughter. I joined her.

She apologized for overlooking me during the rush and applauded my tiny stitches asking more about the elderly lady who befriended me.

I got an "A."
-Yet vowed never to go near a sewing class again. I envied my friend who sewed her own homecoming dress and had amazing results, but I would not attempt such success.

Today, then, I guess I forgot about that experience as I entered JoAnn's Fabric Store. Seeing rows and rows of bolts with different patterns and textures, searching through books for THE right pattern my daughter wanted, seeking "notions" that accompany the pattern, I asked four different women for help. Finally, I capitulated as my daugther insisted on an American Girl coat pattern, purple heavy fabric, dragon flies for appliques and paid the $43.00 at the check-out counter. I then realized, $43.00! I could go to the American Girl store and buy at least two outfits for such a doll. Maybe more!

Oh, well, my heart was still pounding and head realing from my sewing search in the store. It seemed like a special secret club in that store. It was packed. People were discussing cuts and bias and styles and things I don't even understand. Mathmaticians would have been proud as person after person calculated yardage.

I now reflect on how many "clubs" are in our society. Ever been to a golf course? Golfers, too, have their own language and code of conduct. Tennis clubs, ice skating, cyclists, hikers, ....we humans seems to develop our own vocabulary for areas of our interest that can tend to set us apart or even separate us, intentionally or not intentionally.

I think about the Bible story of the Tower of Babel. Man's goal was to reach the heavens. God was not pleased with the intent. Man wanted glory for man, not God.

As a result, God separated man, divided man's language and interests.

I pray my interests and "clubs" do not exclude God nore intentionally exclude others. Do I use "Christianese" language that allienates those around me? God wants to include everyone in His love and mercy.

Jesus is even delaying His return so that He does not lose any soul, but gives every person ample opportunity to know Him personally.

So I am watching my own speech today, my terms, my "club-speak." It does not mean I stop talking about God. It just means I watch lapsing into a vocabulary I take for granted about Jesus, vocabulary or terms that non believers can find confusing.

In the meantime, I am going to wash the fabric, hoping it doesn't shrink as we prepare for Monday's camp. I just don't want to journey back to memory lane in the fabric store.

For His Glory,

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