But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 22-23 NIV
“Oh no, you don’t need patience to sew. I hear her cussing at her machine all the time.” my husband reassures our sister-in-law during a phone conversation. Overheard from the next room, I deduced that he was responding to a comment I have heard countless times, “It must take so much patience to sew.”
(Of course his answer to that routine comment was atypical, in that I normally disavow supernatural patience, but leave out my episodic sewing-induced rants. My husband dropped that little gem a few years ago, and I believe, I hope!, I have improved. ) 🙂
Whenever I encounter the assumption that sewing must take incredible patience I am at a loss as how to respond. Invariably the scene in “Empire Strikes Back” comes to mind, (hard to believe – but yes, Jedi training is applicable to home-sewing!,) where Yoda is waffling on taking Luke on as apprentice. Yoda argues that “The boy has no patience!” The disembodied voice of Obi-Wan counters, “He will learn patience.”
Sitting anonymously munching popcorn in the darkened theater my own head nods in sage agreement with ancient Jedi wisdom.
Non-sewers assume I was born with incredible patience. The more vehement my denial, the more entrenched they seem to become in their idea that they could never possibly sew because they lack this magic ingredient.
An argument could be made that I was born with the desire to sew. Seaming two pieces of fabric into one has always felt like something of a minor miracle to me. But I definitely wasn’t born with the skill to sew. That has been hard-won. And I have yelled my way through a lot of it.
That is why the appellation of patience has never rested easy on me. I know the truth. I was not born with patience. I learnt it.
Through sewing. Sewing has made me a more patient person, not just during the time I sit in front of a sewing machine, but also I am more patient in other aspects of my life.
Thanksgiving is the time of year when we consider what we are thankful for. Often we think of our family and loved ones, our most precious blessings. Then we begin to think of material blessings, like our homes, cars and other beautiful things we may own. But sometimes we don’t think of our spiritual blessings, especially those we didn’t start life with, but which we have developed through times of crisis, through experience, or through craft.
Sewing as a craft has developed things in me that probably wouldn’t have come about any other way. Patience instead of paroxysms when I have to pull out the seam ripper. Discipline to carry a project from start to finish. Tolerance to endure failure as I have certainly met up with it many times. Fortitude to not accept that failure as defining me as either a seamstress or as a person.
Most often I have thanked God for the gift of sewing as a creative outlet for me, focusing on the outward expression manifested in a myriad of quilts, garments and handmade gifts. Lately I have been increasingly thankful for the spiritual gifts that sewing has given me. Still at the mercy of my innate human orneriness, I am not without the occasional sewing snit. But I have noticed over time these outbursts are farther apart. The practice of sewing has within it other practices, that of patience, self-acceptance, reason, and calmness.
This year I am thankful to God that not only did He give me a desire to pursue the craft of sewing, but unbeknownst to me, by calling me to sew, has worked to grow within me qualities that do not stop when a quilt or garment is finished, but reach into every corner of my life.
In this I am deeply humbled and give thanks.
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. II Corinthians 9:8 NIV
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10 KJV