Friday, February 24, 2017

The Work of Our Hands

It's quite effortless to be inspired in my children's homes -- where there are grandchildren filled with life, wonder and excitement. In addition to those little live-wires, the precious symbols, photos and memorabilia all over their homes gives me many opportunities to capture and seize precious moments, and even remember special times from the past.

This beautiful shadowbox display has a prominent place in my daughter's home. It hangs right outside "my" bedroom door. It's especially significant as I see Payton with his relentless desire to earn income. He has about 3 or 4 streams of income coming in and now he's going to work for Chick Fil A -- yet another means of growth and determination. Alexia, as she baby sits and is still the artsy girl, always creating a painting, a lush bomb or slime, as well as on turbo charge to finish her drivers education classes and do well in her Speech and Debate competitions. So when I see these sweet memories -- the Christening outfit worn by my grandson, Payton, and 2-1/2 years later, the Christening dress and jacket worn by my granddaughter, Alexia. I made the dress and jacket. I had such joy in selecting the pattern, the fabric, and sewing each stitch, weaving in the ribbon and sewing on the lace. I have such a sweet remembrance of this time -- of course the incredible significance of presenting/dedicating those babies to God, but especially the pride and joy I had in seeing precious little Alexia in that dress I made with such tender loving care. It was tedious work, but only because I wanted it to be perfect for my new little granddaughter. I haven't sewn much since that little dress -- other than the occasional repair of a seam or letting out or taking in a clothing item.

Sewing was a big deal back in "my day". I took home economics in school and learning to sew was an essential part of that class. I'm still grateful for what I learned during those days. It has served me well. Do they even teach home economics in school any more? If not, too bad because it sure gave me a great start as a young bride of 17 years old at the time.

Today, with stores full of clothing so readily available to us as well as so reasonably priced, it takes someone who really loves their sewing craft to take the time and effort to make a dress or outfit. But loving their craft provides so many rewards -- like the reward I had today with the sweet memories.

As I gazed at this work of art in the shadowbox, I realized that "the work of our hands" can be a ministry -- as we sew or craft something for someone, prepare a meal for someone that may be homebound, repair or remodel areas in a home, wash dishes, paint, caress a child, rake leaves (my grandson did that for a neighbor yesterday) and reach out to touch someone with love. I even thought about my hands that type these posts everyday. I hadn't attributed that verse to hands that share the good news, but that's what I purpose to do. No wonder my joy is complete.

God has given each of us unique gifts for ministry. What has the fruit of YOUR hands done for others? Take it from me -- the rewards of allowing God to use our hands in ministry and service to others is beyond blessing. Deuteronomy 16:15 "For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete." (NIV)