For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
(Ephesians 2:10, NIV)
Friend to Friend
As a high school junior, I decided it was time to take Homemaking 101. I can still see Mrs. Johnson’s face as she naively gazed at her new students. Bless her unsuspecting heart! She had no idea the challenge I brought to that class or to her career as a teacher. For weeks, I muddled through each lesson with a respectable, but less than stellar performance, until we hit the section on sewing. It would prove to be her undoing where I was concerned.
Being the veteran teacher that she was, Mrs. Johnson took a deep breath and doggedly plunged ahead in determination, vowing she could teach anyone to sew – even me. I decided to make a blouse and chose what I thought was a simple McCall’s pattern. Mrs. Johnson was thrilled with my selection, competent that even I could make a blouse requiring approximately seven straight seams.
The pattern looked so simple and even pretty in the package. Then I opened it, gingerly unfolding and carefully arranging each delicate pattern piece, staring at the foreign documents before me. They were simply beyond human comprehension. I concluded that the pattern was actually a sinister trap of some accomplished but sadistic seamstress, and quickly stuffed the flimsy entrapments back into their package. After all, I was creative. I didn’t need a pattern. I knew exactly what I wanted to make. How hard could it be? Ignorance really can be bliss.
When I presented the completed blouse to Mrs. Johnson for a grade, her eyes widened as she stared in silence at my first and last attempt at sewing. “Interesting,” she muttered, obviously in shock. I made a “C” in her class, a sympathy grade if there ever was one.
And the blouse? I buried it in my back yard – literally.
Since that day, I always make sure I have at least one friend who can sew and the name of two seamstresses on hand at all times. However, in all my years of ministry, I can truthfully say that my inability to sew has never hindered God’s work in my life.
Some have even dared to suggest that since I have a daughter, I should not only sew, but that I should teach her to sew as well. Danna is a very bright and talented young woman but sewing is not on her radar. So, I buried that proposal like I buried that dreadful blouse I made.
Another line of thinking proposes that because I am a pastor’s wife, I should drag out my silver (if I had any) and host dinners and teas for the women of the church. Please know that those of you who actually enjoy these tortuous events have my undying admiration and respect. Seriously!
In our first full-time church, I actually invited the entire church to our home for a Christmas open house. Since there were several hundred church members at the time, I concluded it would take three nights to accommodate them all. Looking back, my only defense is a complete loss of sanity.
My family eventually grew to hate the month before the first open house. They had good reason. I put them all to work, cleaning and scrubbing every square inch of the house. I bought and hoarded food and threatened to hurt anyone who even thought about infiltrating my “stash.” I even managed to destroy Thanksgiving weekend by insisting that we decorate the house, inside and out, for Christmas – not in anticipation of celebrating Christ’s birth, but in preparation for the “open houses” to be held the following weekend.
For three years, I tried to be the “hostess with the most-ess” until my husband put a stop to the madness by asking one simple question, “Honey, why are you doing these open houses?” The answer that popped into my mind and out of my mouth was absurd. “Because that’s what pastor’s wives do!” I feebly responded. “Where does it say that, honey?” he asked. Dan went on to set me free. “We have done our last open house. Please don’t ever do anything else as a woman in ministry because you think it fits the man-made profile of a pastor’s wife. Do what God has gifted and called you to do – period – and never apologize to anyone for doing so.” I do not have the gift of hospitality, but in every church, we have ever served, there have been women who do and delight in using that gift for Him.
What do you love to do? What energizes you? What is your heart passion? What gifts and abilities do others see in you? Ask God to make His plan for your life clear. Trust Him with all your heart. Submit your will to His and choose now to walk through the doors He opens.
Father, I praise You because I am made in Your image. Please help me live my life on the basis of that truth and not on the lies of the world. Teach me how to see myself through Your eyes.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Here is your assignment for the week. Read Jeremiah 29:11at least one time every day. In your journal, write each verse in your own words. At the end of the week, set aside time to celebrate who you are in Christ.
More from the Girlfriends
The Word of God is our blueprint for life. If we want to discover and live out God’s plan, we must know the Word of God. It is our life compass. Need help? Mary’s book, How to Study the Bible, is a simple and effective way to study, meditate on, memorize, and plug the Word of God into your life.