Mending, From Clothes to Hearts

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Here is something that not everyone knows about me. I have a mending basket. Yes, I do, and I use it, too. I also have a sewing box my Nana gave me for Christmas when I was eight years old, full of all sorts of curious notions, needle books that were made before I was born, and spool after wooden spool of thread in every imaginable color. I feel very content, rather feminine and a bit nostalgically, romantically old-fashioned with a mending basket by my side, a holey sock or torn pillowcase or shirt with a missing button in my hands. It feels good when I can fix something. Sewing is a skill and a handy one to have. It makes me feel capable and clever. It is wonderful to patch something up so it can continue to be of use instead of the all too easy alternative of simply throwing it away. I love being able to make my kids’ favorite clothes wearable again. I love to repair a stuffed animal that has been loved a little too hard. And I feel a real sense of accomplishment.

I can’t fix everything. I can refill our car radiator but I can’t change a spark plug. I can replace a light bulb but not a fuse. I can use a screw driver to open the battery compartment of a toy and install those new batteries. I can hang a picture, change a tire, replace the presser foot on my sewing machine and glue broken figurines back together so you can’t tell they were broken in the first place. But I can’t fix everything. I can’t even fix every bit of damage that requires a needle and thread. When my husband’s favorite shirt has gotten so old the fabric is practically disintegrating or my daughter has taken out the knee of her most comfortable pants in a way that just can’t be remedied I often feel sad. Those failures are hard, especially when someone is counting on me. But in the vast scheme of things, these are small matters.

There will be other things I can’t repair. A broken heart, a bruised ego, a dispirited soul. I may be able to offer comfort, wisdom, hope, but a full-on repair—not so much. What a comfort to know that I alone am not responsible for fixing things. I possess a fierce and steadfast belief in God’s goodness. I rely on His mercy and strength to carry me when I can no longer carry myself. And I know that my heavenly Father will be there to help me when I can’t help my family. The rend in the soul, the hole in the heart, the hard-learned lessons—life’s bumps and bruises, are all things I don’t have to address on my own. My mending basket holds many little projects to be tackled. My sewing basket holds the tools. Living in today’s world will cause damage that needs to be repaired. And because I have invited him in, God will give me the tools I need. He will direct my actions and my words. He will guide my heart and my hands. Praise God!

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