Buttons, Sears Roebuck, and Apron Pockets



When I was a little girl, I would spend a couple of weeks each summer with my Grandma Keen in Richmond, Virginia.  I always looked forward to these visits with great anticipation!

Momma would pack my suitcase and we would start for our journey to Grandma’s house.  The ride there always seemed so long, as I peered out the window and watched pastures meld into concrete and sidewalks.  My exhilaration was almost more than I could contain and I would pepper Momma with thousands of questions.  If she ever grew tired of my incessant talking, she never let on.

Grandma would be waiting at the front door with her hair pulled into a bun and her apron donned.  I can smell her now, as I remember, Oil of Olay –she was all of 4’11, pudgy, and had skin as soft as Rose petals.  Her apron pockets stuffed with Kleenex and her rocking chair full of love.


There were two very special things that I enjoyed when I would go to visit Grandma…pulling out the coffee tin of buttons and retrieving last year’s Sears Roebuck & Co. catalogue she saved for me to cut out paper dolls.  I would spend hours on the floor with those buttons of all shapes, colors, and sizes — placing them into “families,” giving them voices and personalities — pretending they were old friends that I had not seen in a very long time.  Grandma would also give me an old shoe box that would serve as a home for my cut-out paper dolls — oh the wonderful outfits they would wear!

Sears Roebuck

When these memories came flooding over me a day or two ago, I realized that we no longer live in a place of such simplicity and innocence.  Gone are the days of coffee tins full of buttons, Sears Roebuck catalogues, and apron pockets stuffed with Kleenex.  We live in a throw-away society that has neither time nor inclination to save and replace buttons — if we lose a button, we just go out and buy a new blouse!  We no longer need a Sears Roebuck catalogue to shop with or cut out paper dolls because we have Amazon!

The simpler times — the coffee tins and buttons — taught us lessons of redemption!  They taught us to mend — not just blouse buttons, but relationships.  We harbor unforgiveness in our hearts — you know the old saying, “Burn me once shame on you; burn me twice shame on me.”  That is not what Jesus taught:

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22

Does that mean we are to forgive them 490 times and then after that we’re done?  No!  Jesus was not telling us to forgive them a certain number of times, but over and over.  I know what you’re thinking, “But, you don’t know what they did to me…you don’t know how many chances I’ve given them…you’ve never been hurt or betrayed or used like I have!  Certainly, Jesus didn’t mean for me to keep being a ‘doormat’ or be used in such a way!  No, way!  I’m done with being treated like this or that and I won’t be a fool!”

Well, beloved, He most certainly did mean it and not only did He mean it, He demonstrated it by dying on the cross of Calvary to redeem us.  He, who knew no sin, became sin for us so that we might be forgiven.  We are redeemable — and for me, sometimes, that is hard to swallow because I know the wretchedness of my heart.  I praise His name for redeeming me — for not casting me aside as invaluable or useless to His Kingdom.

I will always remember the love of our Redeeming Savior when I see a mess of buttons or an old Sears Roebuck catalogue, or even a picture of my Grandma in an apron with pockets stuffed with Kleenex and the lessons God taught me on her parlor floor!




Resolute Obedience

Happy New Year and a Joyous One!

Each year about this time, we all start making our “New Year’s Resolutions” to only find out by February 1st that we kept maybe a handful of them and those aren’t holding up to well either!  I know that I can be the first to raise my hand and keep it raised.

As I pondred this perpetual dilemma that I face each year, I asked the Lord, “What can I do differently this year?”   Honestly, the answer didn’t come as an epiphany to me, but a gradual answer that He has been giving me for months.

…and, so, out of resolute obedience to Christ — here are my intentional goals for 2018:

  • Obey Christ…even to the point of death;
  • Be delibierate in all that I do in Kingdom Work;
  • Live authentically before God and others;
  • Be and make Disciples;
  • Give more than I take in all things;
  • Daily die to self — Christ FIRST…me last;
  • Be Jesus’ hands and feet;
  • Be more tender-hearted;
  • Put on Christ Jesus!

Resolutions are so easy to break — mostly because they are only made to ourselves.  However, to commit to Christ my all — well, I don’t want to EVER fall short in my commitment to HIM.  One day we will have to make an accounting for our works and that we were faithful in all that He asked of us, and I want to be found faithful in all things.

My prayer for you this coming year is that you will be obedient, intentional, and authentic in your relationship with Christ and with others!

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Philippians 3:12-21)