Monday, November 23, 2015

The Sabbath vs. the Fabric

I cut out a bunch of things the other night, taking advantage of a moment where no one needed me and I felt motivated.  I'd purchased this cute cuddly flannel fabric the afternoon before to make a dress for Kate.  She's gotten bigger and the last time I made her a dress I made a mental note that the next time I'd need more fabric.  But the more I bought wasn't enough, and I found myself on Saturday evening out of fabric still needing to cut out the bodice pieces.  

I drove down to JoAnn's with only minutes to spare and then looked for my bolt of snowman flannel.  Up one aisle and down the other, through all of the Christmas fabric, and then again.  I even spied on other people's baskets and went to the cutting counter to make sure it wasn't in their "just cut" pile, but with no luck.  I searched their website online so that I could show the worker what I was after but it was sold out online too.

I left the fabric store at 9pm in a quandry.  Hillsboro has 2 JoAnn's--isn't that great?!?  So there was a possibility that the other one would have my fabric.  But--Sunday.  

I went back and forth.  We don't shop on Sunday, and unless we're traveling and there are no other options, we hold a firm line on that.  But clearly this fabric was super popular--out in my regular store and online too!  What if one more day was all it took for the rest of the fabric to be sold?  The rationalizer in my head started in: the workers were already going to be there!  I could at least call and get them to hold the fabric!  Lucky for me my conscience was also going strong with it's mantra, "Not on Sunday."

I told everyone about it yesterday when the home teachers were here.  That I was visibly making my stand before the Lord, showing that He is more important that fabric.  Even more important than fabric that's already all cut out and just waiting for a few more inches.  I planned how I would still make the dress if I couldn't get more fabric, because I was sure that's what would happen.  My plans didn't really make my heart happy because I just couldn't see how I could make it still look good.  But it was better than nothing.

As soon as it was 9 this morning I called the other JoAnn's and described my dilemma.  The lady put me on hold to go look for the bolt of fabric and was back a few minutes later.  "Do your snowmen have green scarves and red scarves on?"  "YES!!!" I told her, absolutely thrilled.  And then Kate and I drove down there a while later and picked up the fabric, which I'm hoping will turn out to be a cute dress.

But one thing it will be, regardless of how cute it is or isn't, is a visible symbol. A symbol that in a moment where a big part of me wanted a pass, the other part of me held the line, knowing that integrity and obedience are far more important than cute snowman dresses.

PS--I can't take all of the credit for this decision, or even most of the credit.  Here's something I put on instagram last week:  

I've been thinking a lot recently that we are in many ways the beneficiaries of habits instilled by our parents. Sure, we have to make the decision to keep doing these things. But it's so much easier to continue what we've done our whole lives rather than to have to learn a new habit. Today I'm grateful that we both came to our marriage with the "church is what we do on Sunday" habit. I think it blesses our lives in many ways...

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Winter Whine

It's 3:54 and it looks like twilight already.  It's bad enough that the days are so short, but the daylight savings change seems to add insult to injury.  By Christmastime it will be fully dark by 4:30 every day.

I see this sign every time I drive to and from Utah.
 I always have several feelings when I see it.  First, certainty that I should be headed towards the equator instead of away from it.  Second, surprise (even after all this time) that Portland is farther north than Rexburg.  Since Cindy Lynn spend several winters in Rexburg I know how bad those winters are, and I'm extremely grateful that the proximity to the coast tempers our winters.  But still--we are so far north!  And last every time I see the sign I'm at least a little depressed by the knowledge of the coming winter gloom, the short days and the gray skies, and the seasonal issues.

Today is a classic Oregon winter day.  It's rained for much of the day (even hard sometimes) and while it's been dry this year and rain is a good thing the resulting gloom is, well, gloomy.  It's obviously time to get my winter game plan in place to be sure that I'm ok during the long gray months.

But first, just for the moment, I want to whine!