April McGowan

Say It Isn’t So (Sew)

SingerDo you ever find it’s hard to live up to someone else’s expectations? Although you may be embarrassed to admit it, you just can’t quite measure up?

My daughter has been in more than a couple events that required costumes. As the mom, the ‘stay-at-home homeschooling mom’ no less, it’s assumed as rolls are handed out, that I can sew. To which I always find myself in a bit of a conundrum.

I come from a long line of seamstresses. My grandmothers sewed, one of them quite expertly. My Mom1 sews pretty well. My Mom2 was a professional seamstress (and still is, but now she only does it for ‘fun’). All of these wonderful women tried to teach me to sew. My Mom2 even gave me a brilliant sewing machine to use. They were all patient, and caring and encouraging in their instruction.

And yet…

The other day my daughter went through my sewing kit and found a bag inside. “What’s this?” She held up a sack and proceeded to dump the contents out. I knew what was inside—I didn’t need to watch.

“A baby bib,” I responded rather quietly—trying not to look at my failure.

“For who?” She held up the tiny circular bib with teddy bears on it, edging hanging askew.

“You.” Keep in mind, my daughter is fifteen.

You’ve got that right, I can’t sew. Well, I take that back, I can sew rectangular things-like tablecloths and curtains and pillow cases. But, as for the aforementioned circular bib-no. Doll clothes? Nuh-uh. Dresses? Let’s not go there.

Sometimes it’s hard to admit you’re beat. At other times though, I’d love to wear a sweatshirt that says, “Yep, I’m a mom who isn’t crafty and who doesn’t sew!” just to get startled looks from people. Because, really, I do get them. (I would naturally have to BUY the sweatshirt).

As I’m maturing, though, I’m learning that it’s okay not to be able to do everything. God made me for a particular purpose, with gifts and talents and it doesn’t mean I have to live up to other people’s expectations of me—just His. That sure takes off a lot of pressure when I remember that.

As I put the half-sewn bib carefully back into the sack (with about three others I had cut out) she wondered why I didn’t just give it away. I shrugged, but in the back of my mind, there was that nagging voice saying I might be able to finish them in time for grandchildren one day in the far future. Well, you never know…

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