I know you are thinking "By Design" how easy! That is part of what we are called "Ladies By Design." Oh, well! I went to sleep about three hours ago with this running through my head and promising myself "I will remember all of this tomorrow." Well, after sleeping for a very short time I began to dream about the subject. Okay, God, "you really know I don't like getting up this early, I have all day tomorrow to write this." "Let me sleep." He always knows best doesn't he. So here I am at 3:00 AM with my fresh brewed cup of coffee flavored with raw sugar and half and half, my favorite way to drink it. My fresh brewed life for today is starting VERY EARLY!
I was reminded of taking some college classes in a subject that is very close to my heart. I have loved sewing for as long as I remember. I pursued a two year degree and wondered. "where do I go from here?" I decided to take some classes in fashion design and tailoring. One semester we were required to create a garment and name it. I thought I would never be able to pull this one off. I was not a designer.
I started out with a blank slate, actually like an artist's blank canvas. Am I an artist? I was not one who was able to sit down with oils and brushes and create a beautiful painting but I could create a beautiful garment. I first had to take the old muslin fabric and sew a jacket to be fitted perfectly to my body. I made the garment and went to class for my fitting by the best instrutor I had ever had in all of my school years, Aris Thomas. She was truly an angel from God. Always giving and sharing her knowledge to anyone who was willing to receive it.
After the perfect fit, it was time to take what she called the "fashion fabric" and make the jacket thus the real work began. I began to think of the quilting skills I had recently acquired. I decided to combine my quilting with a piece of fabric I had purchased some time before that had many different styles of hats. I love hats. I used to love to wear them. I began to strip, quilt and create. I decided a window frame would look good running down the front, a star highlighting each hat would look good on the front right, and Seminole strips would give a special affect going down the middle of each sleeve. I was really feeling excited about this jacket. I was liking the results, what else could I create to enhance this garment. I had my niece do a profile of me in a hat and I appliqued it to the back. My garment was nearng completion. Just one more fitting, a little trimming here and there and the finishing touches were applied. Oh, I almost forgot, I had to name my garment. Mine would be called "Chapeau du jour", hat of the day!
The requirement for each student was at the end of the semester we had to be in a fashion show and our garment was judged in the competition. The reward for my effort was "I won the blue ribbon." I couldn't have felt better. My hard work had paid off. I not only had a beautiful garment, which I still have today, but I was rewarded for it.
The above story reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures; Jer. 29:11 "For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." Even though there is a specific plan for each of our lives, we have choices and we can slow down or totally change the completed canvas of our lives. As God begins to trim away things that will hinder us from becoming who we are supposed to be, we can tell Him no. My jacket couldn't stand up and say "No, I want to be on the other side." I was the master creator of the jacket. We on the hand can protest God's plan. How many times have we all straddled the fence being torn between the right and wrong decision.
For many years I tried to paint the scenery of my life the way I wanted it to look, all the while knowing it wasn't being done by the "Master Designer." Just recently I again rose up and took the brush from the Master and tried to paint my own picture but He so graciously retrieved the brush from the novice's hand and He is again in control. He is back at work painting and decorating my life.
Are you trying to paint your own picture? Are you telling Him that you know best and you are in control? I am here to tell you, "He really does knows best."
I was required to name my garment. What has God named you? What does your name mean? Mine means: Betty - consecrated to God, Ruth - compassionate. I choose to let God paint a masterpiece of a woman who is compassionate and consecrated to Him. What does the painting of your life look like? Is it in focus? There is a song I learned recently that says "I want to see what you see, I want to hear what you hear, I want to say what you say." Doesn't that sound so relaxing and comforting? Crawl up into your FATHER's lap and lay your head upon his chest. Hear His heart beat with love and passion for you. Let Him wrap His arms around you and feel secure. He can love you like no other and watch the masterpiece of your life unfold.