Sewing with children and the usefulness of a child...

What does that mean? When I first became a mother that might have meant not very useful. I've found that our children, as limited as they may be, are really very capable of being helpful and useful. Don't believe me? Try for a week to train a little one to do something you think they can't do. Chances are at the end of the week they'll be better at it than you thought. I did mention the word "train", I know "sigh".  But let me encourage you dear mother that the time put into the training will be worth it.
A hundred years ago a 3-4 year old little girl could go right on over pick up a sewing basket carefully and bring it to mama without spilling it, then begin to help with the mending. At such a young age?! The practicality of it was 2 fold. They needed to learn young so their skills were fine tuned enough as older children to help with real important sewing, like clothing for the family. Secondly, the older children had chores more pressing than the "mundane" work of mending.  Most blessed of all was that those little hands were learning a skill, keeping busy not getting into mischief, and they felt useful because they were useful and everyone needs to feel useful.

How do you feel when you're stuck in bed, sick or laid up. Pretty frustrated I'm sure. I've been there and I know that having something useful I can do, ANYTHING, makes me feel better. I know from watching my littlest ones that they feel the same way. They don't care if they're wiping the door nobs on cupboards or sweeping up a pile of dust, they are helping and THEY LOVE IT. The smile and sense of pride that comes over them when they feel helpful is amazing. Thankfully, I caught on to this concept early and my children do help a lot! The older ones do "real" chores. But my 3 year old puts away silverware, clears the meal table, folds washcloths, helps with cooking and even helps wash and dry laundry. It takes her 2 long minutes to climb the basket to reach the dryer button and turn it on, but she doesn't care, she's helping. And besides I don't get to see her beautiful smile when I push the button myself! Don't forget the babies! My 14 month old wipes her face, and if left alone with a washcloth, she'll wash the table too! She may not do it "right" but we cheer her on and clap for her anyway, because we're building her up. Soon her time to help will be here and she'll be happy to do it because of the joy she brings to others.

So here's my challenge to you, find a mundane chore, that can be done right or not and give it to the little ones! Let them have at it, teach a little, laugh a little and smile A LOT mama because you're teaching that little one to be a helpful contribution to the family.
A word of warning though, focus on their strengths, not your needs! A happy sweeper is much more useful than a discouraged duster! If a certain job is particularly challenging or boring to your child, find something they enjoy that you can encourage them in and continue building them up.

Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 2 Chronicles 15:7 KJV

If you're interested in teaching a little one to sew, here is some great information: Preschool Sewing Activities , Easy Hand Sewing For Kids  (at sew mama sew, I love this site!), and a Free Hand Sewing Stitch Guide. We started Hannah with lacing beads, and sometimes I poke the needle into my quilt and let her pull the thread through. When she's older I'll start her on dolls, perhaps she'll bless other children with them, or even explore entrepreneurship. My boys got to participate in a recent quilted pot holder class at our church. They loved it and with a little help they had a neat gift for their gramma's! My husband is a great sewer and is very helpful, so they naturally don't have qualms about sewing. It's a useful skill for men and women alike!
This is my oldest son making a doll skirt for his sister!
 Thanks for reading! and feel free to comment on what your children to do help! Blessings!


A giveaway and an awesome deal you won't want to miss!

If you haven't heard of the Chris and Wendy Jeub Family before they're a wonderful Christian family with many blessings! Another thing you may not know is that they write and sell books. I've come to think of it as the "Love Series". Love in the House, Love in the Kitchen, and Love in a Diet are a few. They also offer some other great stuff. But what I'm excited to tell you about today is a wonderful promotion they're offering now through Thanksgiving! Their cookbooks are on sale and if you help spread the news about their sale you might get in on their Diet book giveaway. Being a mom of many her "diet" book is not like others. She says she has a realistic approach to weight loss. I appreciate that!

Here is what their website says about the books: 
Wendy’s cookbooks are awesome. There are several unique characteristics that make these cookbooks stand out.
  • Additional chapters on how to shop frugally, but not feel its impact.
  • The “spice-that-no-one-ever-heard-of” problem: most ingredients are bound to be in your home.
  • Index of key ingredients allow family cooks to find recipes to fit their needs.
  • Coil binding with durable front and back cover, ready for plenty of food stains.
  • Most portions cut to starndard-family sizes of 4-6. (There are a few “feeds 20″ favorites, though.)
  • Real recipes that the authors have actually been eating over the years. (We wonder about some cookbooks out there.)
Most importantly, Wendy’s cookbooks get used.
So if you're interested in the diet book giveaway fallow this link Jeubs Giveaway. And if you're only interested in getting some great cookbooks at a great price, just in time for the holidays, then fallow this link Awesome Cookbook Deal. BTW - I checked it out and these are INDEED a great deal! Plus you get free shipping! How many places do you know that are offering free shipping right now?!

So thanks for reading! and Be blessed!


Trust in the Lord with all your heart

Isn't this how we all look when trusting in the Lord? Today I want to tug at your ear for just a bit. I would like to encourage some deep thought. I'm sure at some point or another you've heard a bible passage saying:

5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Now what I'm going to suggest is that this scripture goes far more into the depths of our soul than we have ever realized. Does the Lord really want us to trust in him for EVERYTHING? I've heard it a dozen times, "trusting doesn't mean being irresponsible", "we can trust the Lord without sitting around waiting for him to fix our troubles". The list goes on and I'm sure I've said things in my life that reflect the same human insecurity that prevents us from totally trusting in and totally leaning on our heavenly Father. Several years ago, the Lord convicted my husband and I to give Him control over our family. So essentially we became what is known as a quiverful family. I cannot begin to describe the blessings that came from trusting in Him for this very important part of life. I may expound on it in another post, on another day, but that's not really what this post is about. As time went on, we found ourselves learning to lean on Jesus like we had never before. Our doubts turned into trust and our fears became challenges. We really believe that we can trust God for everything. And I believed I really was trusting Him, completely. However, He showed me a couple years ago just how much I was NOT.

I was READY for another baby (how selfish do I sound!) and I was not pregnant! As I explained my upset to my husband, he gently reminded me that part of trusting the Lord was trusting the Lord. WHAT? What he meant was that trusting "the Lord with all your heart..." was not just about preventing the blessings until we were ready, but allowing Him to decide when and if we were ready for another blessing. This theory has applied to many areas of our life, not just children. When finding a spouse or finding a job, moving, personal growth, and every provision ever needed.  Every time we've had a need, no sooner did we turn it over to Him, He provided and provided according to His purpose.

28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

My point: I've been weeping to the Lord, begging Him to take away my symptoms, feeling that there is no reason for this. Pregnancy is a blessing I say, until I became sick, and since then, I have complained, excused bad behavior, and I've denied meeting the needs of my family. Today I am struck at my boldness. How could I, believing in trusting Him for all my needs, assume that I know better than He what is good for me. How can I say I don't need to feel like this. Can I really say there is no purpose? What about learning to give when I have nothing left, so that what I give is of the Lord. Am I really so good at working through adversity, that I need no more practice? and most importantly am I so much better than Jesus that I should avoid suffering for my own sake? Or should I be found faithful in my suffering for my husband and my children's sake, and to all who are watching me, being a light to them, as Jesus is to us.

So for today I want to submit this thought. Have I any need of which the Lord doesn't know? Can I suffer and the Lord turn a deaf ear to my cries? Has the Lord EVER failed me, left me, or proven Himself not trustworthy? For me the answer is no, you have your own answer. I'll leave that for you to ponder. But first I'll leave you with this scripture, the rest of the above passage.

6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Proverbs 3:6-9

Be blessed abundantly!