How are you? Hope you had or will have a good day today.
Previously, I shared a testimony about my sewing machine. Today, I want to share some developments on my sewing machine with you. Yes, my sewing machine!
In January this year, I was looking into art classes in Seoul, where I might start to learn about painting. I’ve been the sole caregiver of my mom most of the time since late 2017, and she is in her 80’s and has some symptoms of dementia. She was very smart and independent. But I think she started to have dementia symptoms when she was left alone in Korea, with all her children living abroad. I did my best to visit and check her up bimonthly and spent around two weeks per visit with her and our doggie girl when I worked in Shanghai and Singapore. But I think I realized too late that her dementia was already developed. And it is not always easy to take good care of someone who has those symptoms or other kinds of disorder problems. I think I will share more on my experience in later blogs.
So, to balance my work to look after mom and my mental well-being and to max-out my time for His Kingdom, especially in a season when I can’t go anywhere but spend a lot of time alone with mom home, I wanted to learn something new that I could enjoy while staying home. So, I searched for some info on art class, but I wasn’t sure whether I’m gifted in it. Then, a while later, sewing came into my mind. But, I was reminded of my experience back in Singapore that I lost my interest only after sewing a line or two. So, I couldn’t muster up the courage to start it over. It would need investment if I wanted to learn sewing and buy a machine. By the time I debated on learning painting or sewing, the outbreak of the coronavirus was serious in Korea, and I had no clue as to when it would end or how serious the spread would be. And I thought I should ask the Lord what He has in store for me. In many of my experiences, I know He always answered my questions and prayers, if I were just willing to listen to and obey Him.
So, one night, I knelt down and said to Him, “Father, I want to learn something new in this season. I was thinking of art and sewing, but I do not know which one is for me. I’m more interested in sewing for now, but I don’t really know whether I have a gift in it – and if it’s in Your will to learn sewing, please let me know.”
And I felt Him saying, “I will let you know.” I trusted He would, as He created me and Father knows the best.
Expecting I would hear from Him anytime soon, I went to bed. But somehow, I couldn’t get sleep even after midnight. Then, all of a sudden, Proverbs 31 came into my mind. Knowing what’s in it, I just couldn’t help smiling. The virtuous wife who makes linen garments and sells them! I felt it was His answer. Then, the next morning, I saw something popped up on my mobile phone screen as a notification. When I looked at it, it was “Memory” from Photos, and the memory was on my Shanghai time. And interestingly, the very first picture from that memory was a picture of an old black sewing machine that I took in a museum in Shanghai. I smiled again when looking at it. Then, one evening, in my favorite TV show on farming, it interviewed an old man who repairs and reforms clothes for a living, using his old sewing machine. After these three, I couldn’t be more assured enough of what’s in His will. And I was so grateful for His kindness to answer my question through unexpected ways. And I always felt that He has a sense of humor.
So, with complete assurance, I ordered a low-priced sewing machine for beginners and fabric online in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. And I watched many helpful tutorials for quilting, making totes, and so on and bought some books on sewing bags and clothes. And guess what! This time, I enjoyed sewing so much, and I was so happy to see my works. So was my mom. While I sewed, I said to the Lord, “Father, I thank You so much for this precious time. Thank You for giving me this gift and joy.” My time of confinement turned out to be “KEEP CALM and SEW,” and I did love every moment of sewing. And, it was not the end. He gave me the heart to give my works to someone in order to help a missionary in Africa. I got to know a self-funding missionary for North Korea in Seoul. She and her daughter used to be a tenant in my mom’s property until last year. They have been so kind to my mom, and the daughter was like her own granddaughter when I was not around her for six years, working overseas. Later, I got to know more about them, and the mother tenant, the missionary had been supporting her nephew, a missionary in Tanzania. Given the bad economy with the coronavirus pandemic, I felt it would be His will to support the missionary in Tanzania with my works. So, I’ve been sewing and giving my works such as bags, aprons, and baby girls’ dresses to her, and I got encouraging reports from her that there were actual sales! And many friends of mine encouraged me to open my own online business, saying my works look shop-bought. I appreciate their encouragement and support, but for now, I dream of sharing tutorials online and/or offline to encourage beginners to start-up their own business or just to have the bliss of creation. I will see how the Lord unfolds it for His Kingdom.
Finding the gift of sewing and handcraft, I think there is always time. Like Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 7(NKJV), “To everything, there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven (verse 1): A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; (verse 7)”, it was not a time yet to sew in my time of Singapore, but now the Lord unfolds a time of sewing. And a time of writing to speak, too.
Today, I’d like to encourage you to ask the Lord what’s His plan with your already-known gift and calling or unknown one. He already has something in store for you. And He knows the best; He planted it in you. Your gift once might have been despised, and you might have been discouraged for a long time. But, I want you to ask the Lord about your gift and calling. If you were an excellent listener, you could do some volunteer work to talk to the elderly and listen to them in nursing homes (of course, after this pandemic). Or in the pandemic crisis, you could write His Words together with your own encouraging words in handwritings on postcards or letters and send them to those who are hospitalized or who are confined in nursing homes. If babies melted your heart, you could do volunteer work to visit hospitals and minister to sick babies whose parents can’t afford much time for living, holding, and praying for them. If you would love to cook and explore new recipes, you could cook and share them with the homeless. It doesn’t have to be much or look professional, or you don’t have to pay for classes to start up. Our Creator knows what you can do the best for His glory. We are all blessed to bless our neighbors and our communities. Your age or background doesn’t matter. Please, don’t be discouraged by the enemy’s voice, but ask the Lord to help you find your gift and calling for Him and for others. If you already know yours, but things didn’t look like what you want, it might be not the season yet, but it would come in His time.
Have a bliss!
He has made everything beautiful in its time. (Ecclesiastes 3: 11)