There it was – the blanket… and all its secrets. It held the secret of love; the secret of passion; the secret of intimacy…. And who knows what other secrets are in that blanket? There it was…. With a story all its own… bound in its final place…. A gift to be given!
What do you think of when you think of a blanket? Warmth? Security? Covering? Love? Comfort? Fill in the blank . Yup, it could be that too!
So it was, or, sew it was! A baby is on the way and a present is yet to be found. It turns out that I got a brand new sewing machine for Christmas and was itching to use it but was so busy with a million other things, I hadn’t even opened it up. An invitation came for my niece’s shower – she was having a boy! As I contemplated a present for this new little baby in the womb, I remembered that sewing machine and how I used to love to sew back in my younger day when I had more time…. before marriage…. before children…before life ran away on me. It was a passion that I could escape to for hours and get lost in. The last time I sewed was maybe 14-15 years ago but then I moved and with 4 children, work and college, life took off full force! In any case, as I began on this journey of what I would do, with it came a bunch of pictures side by side on how much really could be in a blanket, and so it goes, I would attempt making a baby blanket. I decided that even though it was the busiest, craziest time of the year for me now, what with bookkeeping & year-end stuff, I was going to give myself the ‘luxury’ of having ‘fun’ in the midst of it! Yay!
It began with a journey to the fabric store – that in itself was a temptation I hadn’t faced in a long time. Guys imagine going into a store of something you enjoy… it might be Cabela’s, it might be a car store, it might be a video store, the places are endless. Ladies, for some of you, it could be like going into a shoe store, a clothing store, a food store, whatever it is that could get you in trouble – you get the picture, hahaha! My husband dared to come with me to remind me we were on a mission – fabric for this baby blanket I was going to tackle, thread, batting or filling (of which my husband insisted I get the thicker, cozier one, even though it was more expensive, it would so be worth it), and a couple odds and ends. All of the above in hand, there it was, we had our blank canvas!
A day or two passed as I tried to plan out how I would make this blanket, remember, I hadn’t sewed in a long time. I had a blue flannel, yellow flannel and then a print with trains that tied it all together. I wanted it to be a special blanket, as each baby is special and unique. Finally, I came up with the pattern, yay! I began to measure and cut each piece – I would make blocks of 4 squares and hoped each would fit in the pattern I had made. As I was cutting, I could hear this story unfold. That blank canvas is kind of like our lives. God says He knew us before we were born. He had a plan and purpose for each of us. As I cut, I was reminded that we all began as a seed, a thought in God’s heart and then in our parents’ hearts, a blank canvas if you will.
As the squares were formed, it reminded me that sometimes, our lives might feel like nothing; some of us may even experience things that make us feel like our lives are torn apart. I remember when I went through my divorce many, many years ago – I felt so broken, torn apart, like I would never fit again, like my life could never be pieced back together.
As I began to sew the different colors together, I was reminded that that is what happened in my life, one by one, God began to restore my pieces; one by one, they began to come together. There were times in the beginning, God would bring someone in my path who may have been broken too. Their pieces, if you would, had been more put back together and they would help walk me through as mine were being restored. As more rows in this blanket came together, more began to unfold. God reminded me that the more He had put me together, the more He was using me to help others who maybe only had one or two squares and felt their lives were going nowhere. Three rows later, someone else had been helped and now they were helping someone else come through, giving hope that what once seemed like an empty canvas, might have a purpose after all. Crazy, right??
Then the picture continued as I took the back of the blanket, one solid foundation and sewed it to the batting or filling. For those of you who may not have a relationship with God, it is like inviting Jesus and the Holy Spirit or comforter to come into our lives. Alone, our lives don’t have much meaning, but when we invite the Creator of the universe in, we realize that when Jesus died, He gave us the Holy Spirit. For all who welcome Him in, the Holy Spirit would be our comfort living on the inside of us – wow! My blanket took on all new meaning!
Through many steps, and a knitting if you would, of the top and bottom, the three became connected. Through the journey, all these facets were joined together and were shaping into an artwork – much like our lives! When I came to finish off the blanket, I considered using the same material with trains on it as I had for the back, but decided to go with a blue satin finish and I’m glad I did. Although it was a little more costly, it reminded me that Jesus paid a high price for us and the blue of this fabric reminded me of the heavenlies. For those who have invited Him into their lives, like the finish on the blanket, there is an eternity with those we love in heaven that is the finishing touch!
As I worked on this blanket, I thought of my niece who was carrying this little boy. I had watched her as an infant, through some precious times. As each piece was stitched together and this story unfolded, I prayed for this little boy and the joy he would bring to his parents – much like we do to God’s. I prayed for his parents, that they would have wisdom – as parenting isn’t always easy; for grace – as there will be days that will be overwhelming; for peace – that through it all, God’s love would shine through and that they would know how blessed they are with this precious child (just as our lives were blessed with them)!
I finished off the blanket with my initials in the corner to remind us all how personal our blankets are and to remind us that God has His stamp written on our lives, each unique. So it is with you – YOU are precious to HIM. Your life may have started as a seed but you are a masterpiece in the Creator’s eyes. Let Him piece you together. Connect with others who will help you on the journey and remind you that you are amazing and will make it! Inside the blanket are all the makings of a beautiful work that will keep you warm, bring you security and comfort, hide you from the evils in the world or embrace you when you’ve come in from fighting life’s battles. Eternity awaits – enjoy your blanket!