Mailing It On Ahead: The Fabric of My Life

J.Richter 2011

There’s something I’m pretty excited about.  And honestly, I’m really not trying to “toot my own horn”, as my mother used to say. I’ve been de-cluttering for the purpose of eliminating housework, storage issues, distractions, and in an effort to not only pass on what I am no longer using, I am also seeking to sharpen my focus on what really matters in life. So many tech gadgets, books, projects, and hobbies easily draw me away from accomplishing something that lasts for eternity. Isn’t it amazing that we humans have the opportunity to leave behind a lasting Christian legacy or ‘send it on ahead’?  I’ll admit, I’ve been more successful at the latter than the former.

Not all that earth-shattering, just a simple way to make a difference. I’m a sewer and drawn to all things colorful. Over the years, I’ve frequented fabric stores and regularly snapped up ‘fat quarters’ and a yard of two of pretty fabric planning on making ‘something’. I have sewn many projects both for myself and others, but with us fabric-aholics, it’s not always a wise nor frugal thing to enter a fabric store. Our stash builds and builds until we realize that we’ll never get through all that fabric– this was the case with me. I began to think, “What am I hoarding this for?”  With my ongoing de-cluttering obsession, I decided it was time to share… but with who? I had the idea of stitching up some simple raggedy quilts and then asking God who I should give them to… sending it on ahead.

But then, I did myself a favor. Making all those quilts was going to stress me out–they do take hours of time.  Why not just donate the fabric? But to whom? The local thrift store was an option, however I came to the conclusion that yes, someone needy might possibly buy the fabric and make something useful, but most likely, the fabric would languish away in a dark, stale corner under a pile of discarded funky colored 1970’s kitchen curtains. I didn’t want that to be the fate for my fabric!  Then, I remembered a recent conversation with a friend who has been volunteering for years with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Tucson, Arizona. She mentioned that volunteers at the center sew quilts and either give them to Missionaries or sell them to raise funds for Missionary families. Can I get an “Amen”? Let me hear ya now!

I contacted the Tucson branch of Wycliffe and asked if they could possibly use clean donated fabric… yes! I boxed up the fabric along with a completed blue flannel raggedy baby quilt and mailed it off! I love it! I was feeling guilty for amassing fabric and ‘wasting’ money over the years–no more! God redeemed my ‘wastefulness’ and turned it into a blessing! Now, those who do God’s work through out the world will benefit from my obsession! I am excited that I can do something practical to make a difference for eternity. I like how God uses us just where we are and with what we have to offer.

Are you holding on to belongings that you no longer can use or need? Stressing over storage options for excessive ‘stuff’? Longing to pitch your spouse’s precious ‘keepsakes’?  😉  Ask yourself, how much does one person really need? When you’ve compared your over-accumulation to those in the world who struggle to find enough food daily let alone clothing and shelter, you will experience a paradigm shift. Let it go… let it go! Let your excess be a blessing to others in need!


Note: I trimmed down my fabric stash to a manageable amount, and I am currently working on two raggedy quilts for myself!


8 thoughts on “Mailing It On Ahead: The Fabric of My Life

  1. O came to the same realization, Joy, and started thinning my things out. My 100% cotton I’ll donate to a group at church that makes baby quilts for a home where women who were brave enough to not get abortions have their babies. The same with some excess yarn, to the group that makes mittens, caps, etc. for homeless. Our bad habits will be used for good!

  2. “Stuff” can so easily take over our lives. I guess the truly content people are the ones who have the ability to hold on to so much, but actually make do with very little.
    I can think of two extremes, John Laing the house builder in London built hundreds of homes, but as a Christian he was in the habit of giving. When he died his estate amounted to virtually nothing, but his business still goes on today.
    Another housebuilder I met were working on a project in Bideford, by law they had to enter an adjacent property to carry out a structural survey. Access was nigh on impossible with “stuff” piled to the ceiling in every room. The security of “stuff” had destroyed the latter’s life.

  3. I have been working on this for several years now but it seems to be one step forward and two back, especially when it comes to husband hoarding:) we are all work’s in progress though, do I trudge onward!

    • I’ve been de-cluttering for close to 5 years. For me, the trick is not to bring more into the house, or if I bring in one thing, I got rid of two or more things. We moved this past May, I got rid of things before the move and am now getting rid of things I moved into this house.

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