They are symbolic of many things in my life and in my God-given role as a wife and mother.
I think I could write pages about why I love them, cherish them, and embrace them with such an importance. Yet, for the sake of time I'll just say: they are just something that speak depth, history, and love. Some women love shoes. I love aprons. No matter how many I have, I get excited like I kid on Christmas morning when I receive a new one (especially ones handed down or handmade).
Tonight an apron taught me another valuable lesson. We've often laughed after the fact about all of the "strange" places God finds me and teaches me something I'm needing. Tonight was another such night.
The last few weeks I've found myself in a very odd place. Our family is stretching and growing....and searching. We are struggling with the direction of the world and what it means to us as a family. We feel the attack of Satan on us every direction we turn. God is making it very clear that He is preparing us for something and as we wait for His direction, we are finding ourselves torn and broken. Especially me.
I'm drained. I'm spilled out. I don't feel as if I have much to offer or give right now. We don't know if this is a time to pull inward as a family and just "hole up" for awhile or if God is getting ready to "move" us in another direction. It's become very apparent by many recent situations that we are not in the right place in some different areas.
Because I'm highly emotional and tender hearted, I'm finding myself broken and frustrated much quicker than ever. Even today, I found myself sitting in my closet floor having a melt-down. Feeling as if I'm failing my family and those around me. Feeling as if God is asking the wrong person to do things for Him. Doesn't He know my weaknesses? Doesn't He know I feel incapable? Doesn't He think He can find someone else? Doesn't He know that my scars, wounds, and baggage are just not what He needs to fulfill His purpose?
Kevin met me in that floor. He lovingly and prayerfully brought me to back to the real world. Back to the place of picking myself back up and getting back on with life. Helping to put my focus back in the right place. Speaking truth to drown out the lies I've been letting in my heart and head. He allowed God to use him to bring me back to a place of allowing God to minister to me even deeper.
And He did that.....through an apron.
I have a stash of aprons hanging in my kitchen on the shelf that Kevin made me at Christmas from antique window molding and porcelain knobs. I noticed that they had become pretty unsightly. I gathered them all up and did ANOTHER load of laundry. When they came out of the dryer, they somehow had become tangled in one giant ball. A knotted mess.
Knowing they couldn't be left like that, I start the untangling process and pulled out the ironing board and iron.
* Gasp *
For those of you that know me well........I don't iron. Practically ever. It's a standing joke that before I agreed to marry Kevin I had to make sure he knew that I would do ALMOST anything to take care of him, but ironing just wasn't one of those things I would do often. Our marriage deal was pretty much sealed when I found out that He actually "enjoys" it (or at least tolerates it!).
He came in and offered to iron them tonight, but for some reason I TRULY wanted to do the task.
Reason: God was working in my heart at that moment.
He was showing me that something all tangled, wrinkled and that looks pretty useless can turn out to be something beautiful.
Applying heat and pressure can make things beautiful again. It's a refining process.
Just like the place we are right now. He is refining us for a new purpose.
Stains. Wrinkles. Scars. Wounds.
All of it.
To make us new again.
So we can be used.
My aprons may be well worn, well-used, and stained. Yet they have a purpose. They have a story.
They have been made "new" again.
God is making me new again. To be used. He's in the process of applying heat and pressure right now to make us more usable for Him. We just have to hang on through the process.