A Fresh Look for an Old Memory

Today’s post was written to the word prompt “Fresh” as part of the Five Minute Friday community of writers.  Let me invite you to read the inspirational writing of other writers on the same topic at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com 

I was blessed with a mother-in-law extraordinaire. Shirley loved me fiercely, prayed for me often (even before I met her son), and lived an exemplary life as a devoted follower of Christ. She gave me, her “daughter-in-love,” as she called me, a few of her earthly belongings which serve to remind me of her love. Over the years she’d hand us a bag or a box full of surprises as we headed out the door after a little visit. One item bestowed upon me was a blouse she enjoyed wearing–a denim blouse with colorful hot air balloons embroidered on the front of it.

One day, our eldest granddaughter Violet was using her gift of organization by tidying and reorganizing my perpetually messy craft room.

My craft room

As Violet carefully sorted fabrics into color families and folded them into neat little stacks, she came across that colorful blouse of her great-grandma’s and asked me what I was going to do with it. I told her its story and that I was thinking I might reuse the fabric to make a book bag or something someday. Violet remembered her great-grandma wearing it. Her eyes lit up with an idea!

“Can you make a jacket for me?”

I hesitated a tiny bit because refashioning clothing was outside of my realm of sewing skills, but told her I would try. With all the faith in the world that grandma could do it, she folded the blouse and put it on my project pile (on top of the pile, of course, with a sticky note that indicated it would be my NEXT project).

After more than a few searches on Pinterest for some inspiration and ideas on “upcycling” and “remaking” clothing, a design idea began to form. Violet really wanted a jacket, but there wasn’t enough fabric to make the sleeves, so I decided I’d create a little vest with an inset of pretty lace on the back. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find lace that I liked in my stash or at the fabric store, so checked the local resale shop. I was about to walk out of the store when I spied a lacy sleeve peeking out of an over-crowded clothing rack. There it was! A beautiful lace blouse made entirely of the kind of lace I had in mind AND it had long sleeves that I thought I could use to create the jacket Violet desired.

I thanked the Lord for helping me find the needle in a haystack and hurried home to start my special sewing project. Here it is!

A fresh look for an old garment, made with love and a prayer that Violet will follow in the faithful footsteps of her God-loving great-grandmother.

Matt and Mommy’s ‘Weary Land’ Day

Matt was little – probably about 3 years old. I don’t remember what he did that morning that prompted a scolding from his tired mommy (tired from taking care of his baby sister). In the midst of that scolding, Matt looked up at me with his winsome green eyes and interrupted, “Mommy, can we listen to ‘Weary Land’?”


Unbeknownst to him, my precious little guy had just gently rebuked his mommy and diffused our tense moment with his special request. Knowing just the song he was asking for, I reached for the record album and said, “Oh, you mean Shelter in the Time of Storm?

He clapped his hands together as I turned on our phonograph, lifted the cover, gently placed the vinyl album on the turntable, then lined the needle up with song #2 on Side Two. I turned the volume up and we were soon marching around the toy box that served as a coffee table in our living room, singing:

The Lord’s our rock, in Him we hide
A shelter in the time of storm;
Secure whatever ill betide –
A shelter in the time of storm.

Chorus:
O Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,
A weary land, a weary land,
O Jesus is a Rock in a weary land –
A shelter in the time of storm.


The raging storm may round us beat –
A shelter in the time of storm;
Be Thou our helper ever near –
A shelter in the time of storm. (Repeat Chorus)

I thought about this moment in time yesterday when I read that ‘Uncle Charlie’ from Children’s Bible Hour had gone home to be with the Lord. Uncle Charlie and the Children’s Bible Hour ministry had a special place in our family. We loved listening to their radio program – a dramatized Bible story written for the younger listeners (and for the moms and dads too). As each of our kids became readers, they also enjoyed the Bible devotional found in CBH’s “Keys for Kids” publication. The church we attended hosted a Children’s Bible Hour choir concert on several occasions. We were sure to find a place in line for their sales tables after the concerts. Over the years, I think we bought nearly all of their records. One of my favorite albums was “Good Old Gospel Singing” – that’s the one that had Matt’s special ‘Weary Land’ request on it.

I gave that vinyl record another spin today in memory of Uncle Charlie. As I sang along to the familiar tunes, I thanked God for Charlie VanderMeer’s legacy of faith. I wondered how many lives had been touched by his faithfulness in his ministry for Christ. I wondered how many servants of Christ have been called to ministry and mentored by Uncle Charlie.

Only God knows.

Of this I am confident. Uncle Charlie is now in heaven and has surely heard from the lips of his Lord and Savior, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”