Did you know that God can quilt? I didn’t either until it was seven days before our daughter Aimee’s seventeenth birthday. Our money was tight, but I wanted a special gift. A brilliant idea struck. . .or so I thought. I would piece sachet tops, quilt them, and make a Bible cover. Each sachet would be 3” x 3” and contain nine pieces.
As Jerry figured the total sachets needed, he asked, “Are you sure you want to do this? I will take 24 of them!” I tried to hide my anxiety, and began cutting out the tiny pieces. They totaled a whopping 216! Doubt and a large lump in my chest grew.
Not helping matters, our daughter Amber said, “Mom haven’t you bitten off more than you can chew? You have only five days to make it? I gave her a menacing growl, but secretly agreed with her.
Sunday and Monday I was sick. There were still meals to prepare, laundry, ironing, and cleaning in addition to Aimee’s gift. Not to mention it had to be done without her knowing as we lived in a small 780 square foot home! As I lay in bed, I prayed the Lord would “raise” me up like He had Lazarus.
That afternoon I tackled my mountain of minuscule pieces. My head felt like Pooh Bear’s, “all stuffed with fluff.” I realized only two pieces could be sewn and pressed at a time. By 2:00 am. I felt like calling 911!
Once they were put together, the pieces swayed like the old pattern, “the drunkard’s path”. Georgia Bonesteele I wasn’t! “It looks awful!” I whined.
“It will be alright when you quilt it,” Jerry said in a tone a husband uses when he’s trying to calm a distraught wife. “Come to bed and work on it tomorrow.” Exhaustion won and I followed his advice.
The next morning, another monster loomed before me. I had to quilt 672 sides ranging from a half inch to 1 inch in length! Progress was slow; the stitches had to be very tiny, and they were looking quite awkward and uneven. This sure wasn’t what turning out to be what I had in mind!
As I worked, I remembered when Aimee was born. We pictured ourselves becoming the perfect parents. Just like my Bible cover I was making, we thought we knew things would turn out “just right”, but that isn’t how life works is it? Time forced us to view parenthood realistically, with its flaws and failures. There were so many mistakes.
We loved Aimee very much and wanted our birthday gift to be perfect to show her that love. Just like our lives with her, we never wanted to make any mistakes. We’d worked hard at teaching her God’s Word and His Ways. In spite of our errors, Aimee knew we loved her.
I realized that this Bible cover would show our love, despite all of its imperfections. I hoped the weak spots would hold. They weren’t noticeable unless I pointed them out. Just like Aimee, when she is grown. God will strengthen the weak spots from our blunders as parents and they will not be as noticeable because of Christ living through her.
I was feeling better. I finally finished the Bible cover. It was beautiful but not perfect, just like our precious daughter. I thanked the Lord for helping me, saving me, and loving me enough to overlook my imperfections. For continuing to mold me, piecing my life together and mending it each time I mess up. I was grateful for the lesson He had taught me as I made Aimee’s present. He had taken the gift I was making and turned it into a gift for me!
Earlier this month Aimee and I were going through a cedar chest and I found a Bible cover with a cross stitch she had made me years ago. I asked her about the one I wrote about and she said she still has it.
This was the second article I wrote and published in the Oklahoma Baptist in June, 1993. (The first was written as a testimony when I was 18 years old.) I did make a few small changes to the original.
I find it ironic that even though it was written 20 years ago, it was published in the same month Jerry passed away this year. In spite of my and Aimee’s “imperfections” I still see the strong thread of God’s power and love running through our lives. She continues to be a wonderful gift from God! I love you Aimee!
Published in the Oklahoma Baptist Newspaper, September 2013