Friday, August 19, 2011

meeting God at my sewing machine

You know, in blog land, it's really easy to get caught up in the "whole thing". Do you know what I mean? In other words, it's really easy to only present the best version of yourself to your blog readers. To only show the good (not the bad and the ugly). To edit your photos in such a way that the humongous pile of laudry on the couch is out of focus, your double chin is cut off (ha! - i'm totally guilty of that one! :) ), your children are always smiling and quietly coloring at the kitchen table, etc..etc.. etc... I'm not saying its completely wrong to make a blog your super happy place and to make it pretty to look at and read. But I am saying there's a danger in it too that leads us to comparing ourselves to eachother in an unhealthy way. I know that I struggle with that big time. I read other blogs and think to myself how amazing their houses look, how skinny they are, what a much better mom they are, etc. Anyway... just some thoughts I've been having lately. Anyone else know what I mean??

I say all this because I've been going through a lot personally over the past few weeks and haven't really blogged about it. I guess its just easier to only talk about the good stuff... So, when God started doing something really cool in my heart through learning how to sew skirts for Ruth this week, I had to let my guard down and start getting real with y'all!

As I am sure many of you can relate to, times are tough for us financially. Very tough. (You probably wonder sometimes why there aren't more pictures of my wonderful hubby on this blog, and the biggest reason is that he's not home a lot - he works two jobs to provide for us. And, even then, we are stretched thin.) There are many days where I don't know how we are gonna make it through. God always provides for us and we've seen many miracles of provision in our family, but I'm not gonna lie - it is really hard to live like that! I am definitely learning to trust God more, and my children are getting to learn about living a life of faith, too. So, that's been awesome. But, I confess that I've felt very alone fighting this fight. It's humbling and embarrassing to admit that you are struggling in this way, and often, I just don't talk about it.

But, God is faithful. Let me say that again, God. Is. Faithful.

He listens to my cries. 
He hears my prayers.
And He cares. Even about the littlest things.

Ruth starts preschool at our church next week, and it has been a desire of mine to make it super special for her. She's my only girl, you know, and because of finances, I've never really been able to buy her new clothes. Normally, I'm pretty OK with her wearing hand me downs and old clothes around the house and stuff. We've been very blessed with lots of people giving us clothes for her.  But, I really had a desire in my heart to get her a few cute little outfits for preschool. But, I set that desire aside and just tried to make do with what we already had.

Well, the other day, my mom sent me a link to a blog post about the cutest little elastic waist skirts. I've never made skirts before, and have never made anything with elastic. My sewing skills are pretty basic. I asked my friend Jenn if she knew of any tutorials and she sent me this link. And it was so easy to follow, that I just dove in that night and tried to make one for Ruth. I cut up a sheet for the fabric and used some pretty vintage velvet trim.  Well, in an hour and a half, I had made my first skirt!  Ruth absolutely LOVES it!

I got so excited about this that I dove right in the next day and made two more! 

lots of fun little vintage trims and ric racs at the bottom! (and all of these fabrics are sheets or pillowcases)

hearts and butterflies!

I also really wanted to buy Ruth a new princess backpack and shoes and socks. But, I couldn't seem to find any that were a good enough price. I took Ruth to Wal Mart yesterday, and before we went inside, I asked Ruth to pray and ask Jesus to help her find good deals on the things she wanted. It was the sweetest prayer - you should have heard it! Well, we went inside and boy, did God answer her little prayer! We found the perfect little princess backpack for her! for only $3.00!! Can you believe that? And she also got some really cute shoes with sparkly hearts on them for just $7.00! We also found some fun socks and a little matching purple T-shirt for one of her new skirts for only $2.00. So, we walked out of there only spending about $15.00 for the things she needed. It was such a blessing. And Ruth really did get to see the power of prayer!

new shoes and socks

her new backpack!

All of these little things - learning how to make adorable new skirts for my sweet girl, finding the special little things for her at amazing prices, etc.. just reminded me - yet again - that God really does care about everything that concerns me today. He wants to bless His children. He wants to let them know that He does listen to their prayers. He hears them. And He loves them!

I am so thankful that He blessed me (and Ruth) this week!

Times are still tough, but He has placed some new hope in my heart.
He will take care of me and my family.
That's a promise!

Thanks so much for letting me share my heart.


  1. Yes. Yes. and Yes. I can totally relate. I try to be real on my blog, but reality is I still add lessons I learned that make each struggle appear as if I dealt with it well.......which is rarely true.

    The skirts are AWESOME!!!!! She looks so cute in them.

  2. My hand is raised..cause' I relate. Oh the stories i could tell you of the struggles financially and how God has provided. I Love your new skirts that your making..thanking God for your creativeness and ability to sew. loved reading your thoughts. :)

  3. I think you did an amazing job, they are absolutely beautiful and she looks so happy and beautiful in the pictures.
    We are in the same boat. Monday morning we had $16.30 in our bank account and we had a house payment due which would take just about the entire paycheck.
    The past couple of months when it's been really tight like on Monday, I just pray that God provides for us as he knows best and it always works out. On Wednesday there was a small deposit in the bank from an overpayment and it got us through until payday.
    I started sewing school clothes for Em and am thankful that when we had extra money I bought fabric from a fabric coop and put it aside and I'll go garage saling for tops.
    It's hard to admit to others when we struggle with finances but so many others are also struggling. I was talking with a friend at church about it and she said didn't want others to be struggling but felt better knowing her family wasn't alone.

  4. Beautiful, beautiful post!

  5. I've been avoiding posting to my blog lately because of life stuff, too. I was totally praying for you last night (OK, it was about 3am this morning...). Thanks for being real. Us mommies gotta stick together, you know?

  6. Hey Lora-

    Just like so many others, I can one-hundred percent relate to what you've posted. Being a one-income family I can hardly remember a time when finances haven't been an issue. But boy has God taken care of us year after year. I could spend the rest of the day literally relating stories of how he has done that. You obviously know exactly what I mean. What really brings me to my knees with gratitude and amazement is how often He has 'presents' for me- all sorts of little dreams and desires fulfilled that have nothing to do with real 'need'- There are countless things that I consider direct gifts from God just cause he loves me. And he knows my love language is pressies!
    Thanks so much for sharing your experience because it's such a good reminder of His love. And those skirts are fabulous. What a happy little girl!

  7. Anonymous12:53 PM

    Hi Lora : )

    This post was a blessing to me- thank you! I don't have a blog, but can totally relate to where you are coming from about being 'real'. As an avid blog reader I sometimes find myself discontent with my own life and feel envious of the lives others seem to live. I have asked the Lord for His help with contentment and to remember all His mercies. He is so good! I find I really gravitate to blogs that are more authentic and yours is one of my very favorites. Thank you again for sharing your heart!

    Those skirts are is your sweet girl!

    Thank you Sweet Jesus for your provision!

    Praying for you Lora!

  8. GREAT post TODAY!
    I thought I'd tell you about a project my family is praying over.
    They could use some prayers and FUNDING!

  9. Lora, you did such a beautiful job on the skirts and Ruth looks so sweet! I know how difficult finances can be, we wonder how we will get to the next day too, all too often, but in those times, when we cry before the Lord, wanting that struggle to finally go away, to have some rest from that storm, to feel free from work to make it to the next paycheck, those are the times the Lord is refining us. And the blogposts that come out of the "behind the scenes-untold about-icky times" are the beautiful outcomes of the Lord's work! I go through my times of measuring myself against others and certainly fall short and tend to take breaks from blogging when real life is hard and frustrating, but have found that my blog has become (for me) a journal of the blessings that have come out of those hard times.The little successes worth holding onto. A choice to focus on the good and not the bad. You are a precious voice that so often encourages me with the honestly of your struggle and the Lord's reply which brought you hope. I will continue to pray for you my friend!! Thank you for sharing!! You did an awesome job with those cute skirts!!

  10. lora,
    let me first say thank you for your sweet comment. second, do i EVER know what you mean. the internet is an easy pitfall in to feeling terrible about yourself because like you said... it's not reality. everyone presents their best selves. i am constantly feeling unworthy and not good enough. it is a HUGE job being a mom, let alone a mother to five children (hat off sister). i know God will continue to provide for you guys. times like these we are forced to draw near to Him. praying for your darling family!

    ps your little girl is precious and looks so happy in her new gear!

  11. I only found your blog recently but look forward to reading it:) You always make me smile! I just love the new school gear, especially her new skirts:) God is so good to us!

  12. The Lord has blessed my family abundantly, but early on in our childrearing years things were impossibly tight. God taught me through that, He cares for me more than I can even understand. But nothing He gives me is my own. I've learned that NOBODY gets out of this life without struggles. Becareful what you say, because you just can't possibly know what someone else may be going through.
    The skirts are incredible! So much better than store bought!!! WalMart has some leggings out where we live pretty cheap. We slip them under our summer skirts to take them through the chill of Fall. Asking Gad to give you a hug for me!!!


  13. I am definitely guilty of mostly presenting my best self, which is probably why I don't actually post as much as I would like! Must remember to work on that. Ruth looks so sweet in her pretty new skirts with her new shoes and backpack. All ready for preschool! You did such a nice job with the skirts :-)

  14. I couldn't agree more :) thanks for sharing your heart! and those skirts...precious!!

  15. I love the skirts! I may have to look into making some for my daughter. I can totally relate to the financial burden - my husband also works two jobs. We have 2 girls, one with multiple special needs who is medically fragile. I had to quit my job a few years back because she was so sick at the time. I still can't work even now. We moved from Texas to South Carolina a few years back for my husband to get a better job to try to keep us afloat, but he's been working a second job in a grocery store for over 2 years. VERY few close friends know this. People at his main job don't know this. It's a struggle even keeping up with that! We keep praying about the financial stuff. We get by {barely sometimes}, but God always provides. We can always have faith in that!! Praying for you!

  16. Thank you for sharing about how to make those skirts. My little one has been asking me to make her some, but I haven't wanted to try! So thanks :) I'll be giving it a go too :)



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