Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sew, Repent!

Today is Wednesday so you know what that means...another afternoon with Mrs. Nagy!

Last week while Rachel was diligently working on her pillowcase, Mrs. Nagy showed me how to cross stitch. This proves Mrs. Nagy is the most patient woman on the planet. Several years ago I thought I'd try and be crafty so I picked-up a little cross stitch kit. It looked easy enough. I took everything out of the package and read the directions. I looked around to see if anyone was watching then quietly slipped it back into the kit and hid it in a basket where it's been ever since.

I have to tell you that I just realized what the thing says right across the front, "Everything is possible with God." Obviously this doesn't apply to me and sewing.

Anyway, she got me off to a great start. I actually found the middle...who knew that would be such a big accomplishment. I got started and seemed to be on a roll. At one point I paused, quite proud of myself, and handed it to Mrs. Nagy for her inspection. "Oh, remember when I told you how you have to be careful and stitch in the same direction?" Ah, no. "See how the blue looks like it has changed colors? That's because you have stitched it in the opposite direction." Oh. She picks up the package, looks at what these tiny little blue lines represent and kindly says, "You know, it's OK. These are clouds and clouds are different colors, right?" Right. By this time, our afternoon session was coming to an end. My Rachel is an incredible student and I can tell Mrs. Nagy is so proud of her. I, on the other hand, was happy to call it a day.

Now it just so happens I didn't have an opportunity to cross stitch over the past week. Today was a new day and a new blue line of x's could begin. I would make sure every stitch went in the same direction. And so I begin my little x's while Mrs. Nagy helps Rachel learn three new embroidery stitches. Cross, cross, cross...stitch, stitch, stitch. This is going much better today than last time. I run out my thread and tie it off, all ready to begin the next section. Hold on a second. Why isn't this lining up? You have got to be kidding me. Keep in mind, I really don't want to tell Mrs. Nagy what I have just done, but I must because I don't know what to do. For a split second I thought I'd just keep going and pretend I didn't see the problem. You know what happens to little problems that are ignored, right? I do too. I quietly interrupt the wonderful lesson that's going on next to me..."Um, Mrs. Nagy? I think I've done something wrong. I'm suppose to have two blank squares, but I have three." That may not sound like a big deal to you, but I'm here to tell you the whole thing would be off by one square and that would be a big deal in the end. Mrs. Nagy takes it and looks at it. "Should I just pull everything out and start that whole section over?" She kindly tells me yes and adds, "Count three times, stitch once." Kinda like cutting wood...measure twice, cut once. I discovered that it's much easier to pull out little blue stitches than to put them in. You can be sure the next two hours I spent time counting and recounting and then marking the little square with a pin just to make sure I knew where I was!

I thought about this little miscount I made today. Had I kept going, I would have had a very big mistake at some point. It would have shown up eventually, especially to the eyes of an expert. Where it concerns needle and thread, I'm certain I can't pull any quick ones on Mrs. Nagy!

Isn't life a lot like that? We usually know when we do something wrong. Instead of recognizing our problem, we just keep going full steam ahead. What might have been an easy fix turns into a major reconstruction. I am so happy to know God has provided a way for me if I will but stop and repent and ask for forgiveness. A funny little word most people today think is old-fashioned. Repent really means to stop, turn, and go in the opposite direction. The older I get, the easier this becomes. I suppose it's because I've been through too many major reconstructions in my life and continue to find the easy fix is always less painful.

Note to self: Repent does not apply to cross stitching (unless, of course, you're stitching little blue clouds).

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