“What have I done?” My breath caught, and I closed my eyes thinking over the offer I made. What was I thinking? I’d offered to do something I didn’t even know how to do and had never done before. What if I failed? What if I disappointed others? I should have kept quiet instead of speaking up and doing what I clearly felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to do.
So, what was this terrifying thing? Sewing. I had offered to help my granddaughter with a sewing project. Not only had I offered, but I went out on a limb and approached her with the idea. Why? Why would I do this?
At the first of the summer, my son and his family came to our house for a meal. My husband cooked out burgers. I set the table and had everything else ready. I put on some cute cat material cloth napkins my sister made for me. When we sat down to eat, my ten-year-old granddaughter was so taken with the napkins that she turned to her mother and said, “We should have some cloth napkins too.”
The comment passed with little note as the conversation ebbed and flowed. I’m not sure anyone else caught the importance of the statement like I did. I couldn’t seem to let go of the idea that I should help Tiffany make napkins for her mother.
Anyone who knows me well, knows I abhor sewing. I like the idea of sewing, but have never had the gift. Not only do I break out in hives (figuratively) when I see a sewing machine, the sewing machines also scream in horror at the sight of me. They break down and never work right. I’ve even borrowed machines from friends who sew and love their machines, only to have those contraptions refuse to work for me. It’s very frustrating.
Still, the next time I had a chance, I talked with Tiffany and asked if she wanted to pick out material and make napkins for her mother’s birthday. We had until September to get the project done, so there wasn’t a huge hurry.
I picked her up one day to take her shopping. She looked at so many patterns of fabric. We touched and tested and talked about colors. She finally picked a pink background with white butterflies, which I thought would be perfect for her mom. Then I procrastinated. And panicked. I watched videos, read blogs about making napkins. I finally bought material and made a few just to see if I could do it.
The day finally came. I picked up Tiffany and she chattered all the way to my house, about a forty-five-minute drive. In fact, she talked all day as we worked, cutting material, ironing, clipping and sewing. In the end my worries were groundless. We had plenty of time to not only make the napkins, but we also washed, ironed and folded them, and put them in a gift bag for her to give to her mom on her birthday.
It wasn’t easy for me to step out and do something outside my comfort zone, but I’ve thought of the lessons learned. I know I would gladly do it again.
Teaching—Deuteronomy 6:6-9 talks about teaching children about God and His statutes. We aren’t to sit them down for a lecture, although that can be one way to teach. We are told to talk of them when we are in the house or out for a walk, when we lie down or get up. In other words, we are to spend time with our children and grandchildren and part of that time will be spent imparting the importance of knowing God and Who He is. I believe weaving tidbits of truth into our everyday conversation with those we come in contact with, is a much better way to teach than a lecture that they tune out.
Building Confidence—When God places something on my heart to do that is out of my comfort zone, being obedient builds my trust and confidence in Him and deepens our relationship. My relationship with my granddaughter was strengthened as well. She now has a new skill, one she is eager to try again. Learning something new may be hard but is well worth the effort. Titus 2:3 talks about the older women being, “teachers of good things” to the younger women. One of the best ways to teach godly behavior is to spend time being a godly example. I am not one all the time, but by reaching out and doing this project with my granddaughter, I believe I showed her an example of an older woman trusting God. She will be able to look back on that day and remember what it means to help someone else.
Blessing—I can’t begin to say how much I was blessed to spend the day with Tiffany. We had fun. We talked. We laughed. We worked together to make something that would bless her mother. I believe we also blessed God. Because He placed the idea on my heart, carrying through with the project was the right thing to do. I Peter 3: 8-9 tells us to have compassion for one another, to be tenderhearted, courteous and to be a blessing – so we may inherit a blessing. I certainly received a blessing that day as Tiffany and I worked together and again later when her mom opened the gift and was so delighted with the handmade napkins.
Will I panic the next time I do something outside my comfort zone? Knowing me, it’s possible. However, each time I listen to the Spirit, I learn how much I can trust God. Then, stepping outside my comfort zone will be a little easier.