One of the blogs I have had the fortune of discovering through pinterest is Choose to Thrive with the slogan “Rock what ya got.” She does a fabulous job of making all manner of things she needs from other things she already has. I had resolved to do more rocking what I already have in the new year and my first step was to pull out the Pile of Clothing Unwearable For Indeterminate Reasons.
After close examination of said pile, it turned out that all but one of the items were solely missing buttons. How easy is that? I can sew buttons. I used the power of the internet to find a sewing shop nearby where I could purchase buttons for the purpose of repairing the pile of button challenged clothing and set about the task of Rocking What I Had. I began with a mackerdoodle dress because her winter church clothing wardrobe is small, and the buttons, while more expensive than I had anticipated, where still less than a new Sunday dress.
I took the newly buttoned dress down to my family closet, feeling so proud of my thrifty-homemakery. As I hung it up, I glanced down at a bag of clothing which Jonathan can’t wear, but also can’t be donated, because they have been tagged with acrylic paint in the midst of an artistic frenzy, or have had the misfortune of becoming too attached to an emotionally and structurally unsound pen or experienced some other stain making tragedy. Suddenly I realized the truth of what I had done. Every shirt in the bag had buttons. Just by glancing I could count seven matching buttons that would have looked just fine on my mackerdoodle’s little dress. THAT would have been rocking what ya got!
I have found this flaw to show up a lot when I look at great upcycled and reused projects. Instead of saying, “What a great use of things they already owned,” I fall into the trap of using those projects to define what I don’t have. I don’t have a sewing machine, or I don’t have any cinder blocks, so I can’t duplicate what those people did. Rather, I need to look around my life and ask myself, “what do I already own that can be adapted, or even transformed, to meet a need in my life.” In the same vein, I need to look carefully at things marked to be discarded and mine those things for the useable pieces or new purposes.
Isn’t this part of the secret to being content in all circumstances; learning to look at all that I do have and all that has already been provided, instead of the one thing I don’t? The Lord tells me that those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Maybe, when I feel a lack I should begin to look for where the Lord has already provided, before I begin asking him to send something new.
Not everything in life can be so easily resolved as finding buttons in a scrap pile, but I bet I could find a lot more hidden treasures in my life without looking that hard. In fact, now that I think about it, there are probably some situations and moments I had cast off as worthless that may turn up some valuable provision if given a second glance.
And all of that from buying buttons.