Sunday, June 5, 2011

Blessing the hands that made these...

When I was growing up, my dad traveled and preached all around the world. He always brought a gift home for my mom, and usually some for the 3 of us kids as well.

Today I was thinking of the intricate linen tablecloths and napkins that he brought my mother from Japan.The detail of the needlework was amazing.

My mother used everything he brought, they loved to entertain. But this tablecloth was ' a beast' to iron! They didn't just send everything to the cleaners back then. So, one day when my mom was ironing that tablecloth for the next use...

She was probably grumbling a bit about how hard it was to make it look right, there were so many stitches and little places to make smooth... first she sprinkled the whole thing and rolled it into a ball and put plastic around it and stuck it in the fridge... later she took it out to steam press... as she labored over that tablecloth, the very one pictured above...

She began to think of the little women in the orient who sat and made these beautiful pieces by hand, and how difficult it must have been to even see the needle as they worked. She began to pray for each Japanese lady who did that hard labor, day after day, and for their eyesight as they labored, and for their families, and for their knowledge of Jesus.

Her ironing was changed that quickly... from drudgery to praise.

I have thought of that many times as I have ironed clothes through the years for my husband and our children. Not so much now, as we are blessed to wash & dry most of it and send the 'hard stuff' to the cleaners.

I wonder though, if I took the time, especially when I am irritated and impatient...

...when someone is slow in traffic

...or sneaks ahead of me in the grocery line

...or yells at their kids in the mall say a quick prayer for whatever their needs might be, and to ask God to speak to their hearts in whatever place they are... if that wouldn't also be the very thing that turns my irritation into something much better.

I know this works... so do you. I think I can do better... there are lots of 'wasted' blessings all around me!

Every situation is a potential for praise. (and now that I've said that in black & white... I'm convicted by my own words!)


Felisol said...

Dear Sonja,
One more important lesson from you.
I think the scripture says just what you say, "Bless and do not curse."
I must admit, I am not that patient.I am occasionally filled with this holy wrath, "allowing" me to be angry at people instead of feeling soeey for or pray for them.

I will try to change my course, with the help of God, that must be.
From Felisol

Farm Girl said...

I agree and I have learned that is the fastest way to get happy too. Ironing my husband shirts I pray. Doing laundry and praying for each person whose laundry I am folding.
It always turns the mundane into a time of praise.
I love that tablecloth and I sure wish I could sew like that. It is so nice you have it to remember the prayers that went into it and remember your Mom.

Diana Ferguson said...

Love this post, Sonya!!! Attitude and gratitude.....

Lea @ CiCis Corner said...

Sonya, so nice to meet you! I came over from Debbie's at Heart Choices and so glad I did. Love, love this entry and what a blessing it was to me and what conviction as well. I'll be back and look forward to getting to know you. Have a joy filled week!

Debbie said...

Oh I loved this...wonderful suggestion. I have done that when sewing...but then I "enjoy" sewing so it isn't difficult to have a good attitude and to pray. I think I will try this next time I am cleaning up my kitchen...such a chore to me for some reason. But I could always thank Him for the food we eat, the dishes to serves them on, and the ability and strength to clean up. I always love to read your posts, they are contagiously inspiring. Have a wonderful week! HUGS

Nancy said...

Just another wonderful example of how God's ways are so different from man's......Praying for someone while irritated, being thankful instead of complaining, giving instead of receiving......Thank you for reminding us to be different in the way we handle everyday situations.......

Just Be Real said...

Sonja I have always admired people who needlepoint or sewing. The patience that is involved. Thank you for sharing this and how God shows up. Blessings.

Debbie said...

You said it all in black and white in that last sentence. Lately, I've been lamenting that everything around me feels upside down. I think you have given me some insight into one of the "whys" behind that. I think if I try harder to take the advice of this post, I might find it turning back around a bit.

LisaShaw said...

My friend, there are numerous things we can pause and pray about that would change our "drudgery to praise" as you said.

I appreciate you sharing the special parts of your upbringing that encourage me even today. What lessons learned that we all have that if we lived them and shared them we'd make an incredible difference to the Kingdom of God.

You are doing that in my life friend.

Love you! said...

Yes each situation is the potential for praise...that is my theme this week..thanks so much, I think I will be having plenty of those this week.

GwendolynKay said...

Hello Sonja,
It is Gwen here. I was able to start a new blog yesterday , after having problems with the old one. What a thought provoking post. We should always try to place ourselves in the other's shoes, when I do, it most often humbles me and provokes me to love that person or persons.
My grandmother used to put her ironing in the freezer... I never understood that.

Kathleen said...

This sure took me back to the ironing days of yore! Mother had quite a collection of similar table coverings, embroidered pillows cases/towels, and the like. We even ironed pajamas and underwear :(

Yes ... you're are spot on about our doing better in seeing the beauty in every situation. I guess that's why we never find scriptures telling us how to be impatient or intolerant or mean-spirited. God simply doesn't want that for us.

I can do better too. Thank you.

Andrea said...

From drudgery to praise. This was more convicting than you know, my friend! GOD bless you for always writing from HIS heart through yours!

Blessings, hugs, and prayers,

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

The older I get the more willing I become to notice the "details" in life, the beauty and gift of others. I try hard to look past my own emotions to realize that each person is worthy in God's eyes; that each person comes to the table with a different way of viewing life/God. When I take the time to pause and consider this, then I'm quicker to offer grace rather than frustration. As for the daily tasks of ironing, cooking, cleaning, etc., well let's just say I need to find my praise a bit sooner. Either that or a maid!

Love you, friend.


Vee said...

My pastor used to say after a particularly cogent point in his message, "Say 'amen' or 'oh me.'" I'm saying both.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why my previous comment would not post. Blogger has been a little strange lately.

Enjoyed this great lesson Sonja!

I will remember it the next time I get impatient or irritated at work!

Blessings friend,

Rita said...

That cloth is absolutely fabulous, even if it was a chore to iron. I can only imagine the time and effort it took to make such a beautiful piece. I am so impressed that your mom prayed for those people who took the time and effort to make such a piece. I don't guess that I had thought in that vein before, but it is a wonderful idea.

Debbie Petras said...

Your mother is still teaching lessons after all these years. Won't it be wonderful to tell her when you get to heaven? She is impacting many through your blog.

I have memories of my grandmother ironing in the same way you described. My own mother used to love to embroider beautiful tablecloths and napkins and I still have many tucked away in boxes.

I'm trying to catch up on your posts as I have another week off. Culinary Camp went well but now I'm tired. :)

Love you sis,