Monday, August 26, 2013

One Beautiful Daughter and Two Important Dresses

A couple days ago  I received a text from Noelle.  It read as follows:  "Hi mom!  I've been looking at my wedding pictures over and over this  past week and I just can't get over how gorgeous my dress is!  It is seriously so beautiful and so perfect! Thank you, thank you for making that for me! I just want to wear it again!"  I know I write a lot about sewing on my blog.  There is a reason for that.  Sewing is a talent that I worked hard to acquire.  It is how I express myself and even find spiritual fulfillment as I seek to create something of worth and value for my daughters. With that understanding, you can see why I will always cherish this text.

It has always been my goal to sew for my four daughters', their  temple dress to be sealed in and another wedding dress for their reception.  The girls and I have talked about this many times while they were growing up and regardless of whatever the situation may be, that has always been the plan.  I had no idea how difficult it would be to execute that plan for Noelle.

Due to school and work schedules, Noelle came home only one time for just two days before being married. She had sent me pictures of wedding dresses  and few hand-drawn sketches and that was basically all we had to go on. Natalie and I picked Noelle up at the airport on a Thursday evening and we hurried over to   Jo Ann Fabric before the store closed in less than an hour.  We grabbed the raw silk and a bolt of lace that Noelle liked, guesstimated the amount of fabric we would need and left the store.  No pattern,  no thoughts to a specific design; just a huge realization that we had two days to create Noelle's dream wedding dress and an elegant but simple temple dress for her sealing.

I will not bore you with the details, but just know there was lots of designing, fitting and  sewing  going on for those two days.  Despite how hard we worked and the long hours, when Noelle left on Sunday morning she did not take her dresses with her.  I continued to design and sew, and pray for direction over the next two weeks.  It is not foreign for me to be divinely guided in my sewing and this was certainly the case with Noelle's dresses.  As my "sewing" prayers are answered,  it always confirms my understanding of a loving, kind Heavenly Father, even a Heavenly Dad.  I know it is important to him simply because it is so important to me.  I guess that is why sewing can be a spiritual experience for me and often is.

Noelle received her dresses about two weeks after she left.  I, still being in Overton, was excited but so nervous to hear if she liked them, if they fit her, if they were what she had envisioned. To make a long story less long, both dresses did fit her like a glove; not one alteration was necessary other than the hem. They were both exactly what she had  hoped for.  When I finally saw them on her for the first time, I felt overwhelmed....not just because of how beautiful she looked, but by how perfect they were for her in every way! I still express gratitude to Heavenly Father for that  wonderful experience and miraculous outcome.

I hope that this post is not misconstrued in anyway as being boastful, or worse yet, taking away from the sanctity and holiness of Noelle and Eric's sealing and all the events that celebrated  their sealing.  I hope it is viewed as another sweet tender mercy given to a mother who simply desired to sew two very important dresses for her daughter. Nothing less. Nothing more.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

"Thank You. I Love You."

I have done a lot of thinking about the word "friends" as of late.  I have studied scriptural references regarding this word.  I found it interesting that in the parables of the lost coin and lost sheep, upon finding both of those things, these individuals share their good fortune with their  "friends".   I also found it interesting that in one of the most heart-wrenching sections  in the Doctrine & Covenants, where Joseph cries unto the Lord while imprisoned in Liberty Jail  and the Lord responds to be of peace and  to endure adversities well with the promise of  exaltation on high, the Lord then offers these poignant words to Joseph:  "Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands."  D&C 121:9

 I, like in the parables of the coin and sheep, have shared my good fortune with good friends.  And though I have not experienced the depth of  the trials that Joseph has, I have certainly experienced "...friends [who]...stand by [me] and ...hail [me]again [and again] with warm hearts and friendly hands."    In fact, I am overwhelmed with the warm hearts and friendly hands that have shared in the good fortune of our family these past few months.

So to all my friends, who so lovingly stand by me, Jared and our children; who offer hearts and hands of charity over and over again, who share in our good fortune of weddings, missions, family get-togethers, and  the many other joys we have, I say with a heart brimming over with gratitude: "Thank you. I love you."