There are a couple of things that I want to squeeze into this post, all of which vaguely refer to the title. The first is that, for the first time in my life, I am the proud owner of a sewing machine. Diane McGarry – one of the world’s most charitable individuals – saw my previous post and volunteered to give me a machine she had bought at a yard sale for her own children (none of whom have turned out to be keen on sewing). I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but I can’t wait!
As I was admiring my new possession’s fantastic pleather bag, I remembered that I had prayed for a sewing machine earlier in the month when it became clear that a) I probably wouldn’t get one for Christmas and b) I couldn’t afford one myself. Now, I’ve been reading a lot of Guideposts lately (don’t laugh! someone leaves them in the women’s restroom at work) and one of the things I find most distressing about the magazine is the emphasis on the Power of Prayer. Having a bad day? Not enough food in the fridge? Send up a little prayer and Someone will mysteriously answer your request, leaving you vaguely reassured that you’re loved. I have no idea whether the magazine has always been like this and don’t want to look down on grandmas who eagerly await their monthly issue, but Guideposts is SO focussed on the praying and the prayer and not at all on the Answerer of prayers. God listened to my prayer and blessed me, and I think that’s a lot more important than the fact that I sent up a measley, self-centered little whisper a few weeks ago. My response should be gratitude and a desire to use His gift to bless others – please hold me accountable for this.
My second thing to share is less serious – I’m working on a new round of pins and barrettes.
When I came home from work yesterday, I was feeling really stressed out because I have way too much work to do at work and way too much work to do at home. After trying to “relax” for a little while, I finally pulled out my fabrics and ironing board and started picking out patterns and colors. And then I sat at the dining room table with my scissors and started cutting out little circles and flowers. And you know what? I forgot all about student applications and websites and filing and the big pile of unfinished presents on the other side of the table and felt really happy just to be working with the fabric.
I think that work feels cursed some times more than others – lots of thorns and thistles, not many vegetables. But sometimes I remember that God gave Adam and Eve some work to do before the Fall, and it was undoubtedly very satisfying to them to garden all day.
Josh believes very strongly that we will have work to do in Heaven, and I have to say that I agree. And that I’m glad.
Finally, tonight is the night of the ol’ office Holiday Party. I call it the “office” party, but it actually includes the whole research institute where I’m based. These events are usually full of delicious potluck food and awkward conversation, so I’m only partly looking forward to it. Last year I was responsible for putting together a long and supposedly humorous slideshow, which is not a very nice job to give the New Person. This year we skipped the slide show (insert happy dance) and are doing…karaoke. Yup, karaoke. My supervisor rented the machine and I figured out how to hook it up to our digital projector, so we’ll lure groups of twenty or so to the front of the room to sing carefully selected non-religious holiday songs. The groups have to be big so that the Chinese, Korean, Japanese, German, French, Bulgarian, Swiss, Italian, Mexican, Croatian, and Indian people who don’t know secular American Christmas songs will be willing to mouth “watermelon” in front of their coworkers (I probably forgot a few nationalities – we’re a diverse group). Me? I’ll probably spend most of my time fiddling around with the projector. But when I’m not, how can I keep from singing?
Next Monday: results of the $5 Secret Santa Gift Exchange, or Whether or Not Someone Livens Things Up by Throwing an iPod into the Mix.