Just Do IT!

My girls recently asked for “Little House on the Prairie” dresses. We searched and searched for dresses, knowing that I was not a good seamstress. After realizing I could not make the “Laura Ingalls” collars, or the perfect Pinafore (which I looked up the technical term for those, so I wouldn’t call it an apron), I started looking for something simpler. I googled “easy to make girls dresses” and I read read and read some more. I spent a full week in research. I read every blog, pattern, and comments section. Finally, I took the girls to pick out their fabric. I found a pattern in one of the books, however, it was $14!!! So we passed on that and decided to research more.

The fabric was bought, it sat in the Hobby Lobby bag. And it sat. And it sat some more. I stared at it as I read more and more blogs on how to sew. It sat while I watched youtube videos learning how to do a basting stitch. It sat while I googled what pinking sheers were. It sat while I compared what was best, pinking shears, serger, or a zigzag stitch. (I don’t have ANY clue about serging!!!) The bag of beautiful prints and colors just sat while I stared at my sewing machine and contemplated my plan of action. FOR DAYS!

There comes a point in life when we can’t just research, plan, and ponder without DOING IT! We do Bible studies on how to find God’s will for our lives. We ask other’s opinions, we weigh our hopes, dreams, and gifts all while they sit in a bag unused. We have a huge desire. Our heart aches, but yet we hold back because we don’t think we know what we are doing. We don’t feel we have the resources, the history, the know-how to carry out this calling God’s given.

The great thing is… if He calls you, He also equips you! And that is just awesome! If He calls you to be a preacher, he’ll equip you with the sermons to preach. If He calls you to be a teacher, He will give you skills to teach. If He calls you to adopt, He’ll provide the stamina it takes to go through the endeavor. But you have to JUST DO IT! You’re sermons will not come out of your mouth if you do not open it. Your classroom will not appear when you do not do the work to obtain a job with a classroom.  Adoption paper will not be signed if you do not actually sign them! God allows some things to done on our part. He can line things up just right for the path to go smoothly, but if we just sit and stare at the path, we will go no where… We must JUST DO IT! Then watch how God uses us! Watch and see the wonderful benefits from taking that leap of faith. Move as He leads and dwell in the fact that you are taking every step toward a beautiful masterpiece.

James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (emphasis mine).

So, I sewed. I followed this bloggers instructions to a tee.  I dove right in. I took my time. I read and reread my instructions, and I trusted even when I didn’t understand what it said.  (read into that… The Bible is our instruction manual. Dive right in. Take your time. Read, reread and trust when you don’t understand.)

I made mistakes. But the fabric (and design) was forgiving. (read as, we all make mistakes, but God is gracious and forgives. His love covers over a magnitude of sin)

And at the end the mistakes were only evident to the creator, the dress blessed my daughter. Her ooohs and ahhhs were beautiful. There are times we make mistakes. God works on us all individually. But when we set out to serve, to do God’s will, we can bless others beautifully. As we learn and grow our mistakes become less and less. But the blessings grow in their beauty.

Just as I should, I needed to learn to do this project. I needed that research. I needed to define terms I didn’t know. I needed to know how to use what I learned… that is a given. But there comes a point where we need to start doing what we’ve learned. Listen carefully for the green light!

So… It’s time to DO. What’s in your heart? What has God been nudging you to try? Is now the time to dive in? JUST DO IT!!

There is a long list of things I did wrong... but I did just enough right to create the awesome dress for my awesome 3 year old!

There is a long list of things I did wrong… but I did just enough right to create the awesome dress for my awesome 3 year old!

  • I didn’t plan for it to be a halter dress. It was supposed to have cute little buttons on the front, but I sewed the straps right in forgetting my original plan. It is super cute without the white shirt under… but well, it’s winter already here! So long sleeves and leggings for now!
  • I also measured for the bodice, not remembering that my cutie patutie has a much curvier bum than I think the original model had. So we had to tear some stitching and redo to get it on her… once over that curvy bum, it was adorable.
  • I also did not buy quite enough fabric, so it’s a tad smaller around than the original plan. However, I am not sure I would really notice a few inches.
  • Once it was on her, we noticed that there were two straight pins in the bodice that were sewn in. I had to cut tiny holes to free them. Silly me.. just proves how much more I need to learn!
  • I already had the thread, and the ribbon. So my total for this dress came to $8.09 (look for Hobby Lobby sales, and use your coupons!)
  • Thank you to Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom for a set of instructions and pictures I felt I could really follow. I learned so much doing this project and I couldn’t be happier! Please visit her awesome blog and try a few crafts of your own.

I have one more to make for Lil. I’m hoping it will be easier and with even fewer mistakes. I can’t wait… neither can she!

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What am I chasing?

In a life where I play many roles, wife, pastor’s wife, mother, homeschool mother, and child of God, it’s easy to get pushed around, twirled, and tossed. I see it as a pin the tail game. I sometimes feel blindfolded, turned around and set off to do a task of life but all I really do is feel my way and hope to get “close enough.”

I don’t want to get close enough. If I’m putting in the effort, I want to hit the mark. I want to support and love my husband; I want to serve my congregation; I want to love my children more and more each day; I want to teach my children values, reading, writing, and arithmetic, but most of all, I want to serve my Lord, Savior, Redeemer, and God of the universe! Unfortunately, I put too much emphasis on helping my husband get the church to grow (spiritually and in numbers) I pray so hard, I research, I worry, I brainstorm, I get consumed. But I fail to chase after God. Regrettably I strive to make it through my stay at home mom days filling it with activities to diminish the chaos trying to keep from yelling, and to love more. I pintrest fun activities for the kids. I read a stack of books to them, even let them crawl all over… but I fail to chase after God. Grievously, I pour my time into researching homeschool curriculum, sometimes well into the wee hours. I fear failing them academically. I worry they will hate being at home. I worry that I’ll spend too much money and then it not work. But I fail to chase after God.

The funny thing is that on paper (or a computer screen) those things don’t seem bad. I’m supporting my husband, we have a good marriage. I’m doing the best I can at my role at church, I’m a loving mother just wanting to do what’s best. I put a lot into our homeschool day… but sadly if I do not have God as my center, all this energy, all this research, all this “LOVE” is for nothing.

Jennie Allen, in her Bible study Chase says “Whether we acknowledge it or not, our lives are motivated by our hearts. So what we love determines how we live.” I truly believe that my success in those roles lies in my love for God. Apart from him, my marriage fails, our church has no meaning, my kids stay lost, and my homeschooling efforts fail. My fears are reflective of my lack of trust in my Provider. My frustrations stem from me relying on ME. My failures are a direct result of me chasing the title of best wife, and not my Jesus. My inadequacies as a mother and homeschooler are connected to my inadequacies to run hard after the heart of God.

Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

My chase should not to be to become a spectacular homeschooler (I will probably never attain it!). My chase should not be to single-handedly grow my church 10 fold. My chase should not be to have “Devoted Wife and Mother” on my tombstone. My chase NEEDS TO BE after HIM, His kingdom and Righteousness… then all these things… all the hopes and dreams I have for my marriage, my church, my kids, my “Ciske Academy” (haven’t settled on that name, yet!) will be given to me as well. And not just given to me by anyone, but by God himself.

Again, from the Bible Study Chase by Jennie Allen, “We’re all chasing after something, something that we think will make us happy– comfort, success, a bigger house, or someone’s approval. But if we are all honest, it feels like we are chasing the wind. God is invisible, and yet His is the ONLY thing we can chase that won’t leave us feeling more empty.” (emphasis mine).

My prayer for myself, my prayer for every wife, mother, pastor wife, and homeschooler… well, for every Christian and for those still seeking is for us to run wholeheartedly after God. To chase Him with all our might. To call upon Him in weakness, strength, worry and fear. Strap on our running shoes and lets run!

Hebrews.12:1                                                                                                                                                                                                                     And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Get Ready, Set… CHASE!

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