Winning & Losing in Life (and Sewing)

Last Saturday I went to a sewing convention, for the first time in my life.

Yes, love makes you do things you never before thought you would do.

You see, Noelani and Maleia have been sewing for several years, and they were entered into a sewing competition/fashion show. It was at a sewing and quilt expo that travels the country called, “Sew Sweet.” They have a bunch of corporate sponsers, and they hold this competition for the next generation of sewers.

There were two different age categories. Noelani was in the older category, and Maleia was in the younger one. Heather went there early in the morning with the girls. I took the boys and got there about 3:15–30 minutes before the fashion show/competition.

They start with the younger girls first, having them walk on the runway, modeling the outfit they made, all while the emcee reads their bio and their comments about the experience of making the outfit.

I was excited.

Noelani and Maleia both have put in a lot of work the last few years to learn how to sew. I was proud of them, and wanted to see them shine.

But then something happened.

I started feeling nervous.

I wanted them to win, and felt nervous about them not winning.

Then I started reminding myself about how not winning can often propel us to a greater understanding of what it takes to be excellent. Then I felt nervous for wanting them to win.

Ultimately, I said a prayer, and asked God to have His will be done in a way that would best glorify Him.

Have you ever been in a situation where you are confident you are not the only person praying for a competition? (ahem, Super Bowl?) I just calmed down, and trusted in whatever happened.

Maleia didn’t win anything. But boy did she look good. I think she owned that runway more than any other person. I learned a lot about her, and how she handles pressure.

Noelani came out and I saw her face flush with energy. She was blushing. But she also owned the stage. And I could see that her outfit was very detailed. I thought, “Wow! That’s a detailed and well-made outfit. She could win!”

She ended up getting 1st Runner up.

I was so happy for them both. I thought about that feeling, and what I was really proud of them for. I was excited about Noelani’s price and place, but that wasn’t the source of my pride.

I was proud of them for doing it.

For having the dream, for starting it, for sticking with it when it got tough and conversations about not entering the context came up, and for finishing.

I was equally proud of them both.

And I thought, “That must be how God feels about His children.”

He doesn’t care more if someone becomes CEO of a company. He doesn’t care less if someone makes $10,000 per year.

He wants His children to embrace His vision of them as His holy and blameless children in Christ. He wants us to start. He wants us to stick with it. And He wants us to finish.

Arguably some of the last words ever penned by the apostle Paul were, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

That’s what life is about, in our families on earth, and in our Heavenly Father’s family–an unconditional love that supports our children through their journey, and helping them to not give up.

Is it okay to give up on your dream of working for Target, deciding to work for Walmart instead? Of course.

Is it okay to give up on your dream of being with God forever?

No way.

Let’s be the kind of parents that emulate God’s love, and encourages our children to maximize themselves, without doing things for them.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)