Saturday, September 27, 2014

Store Up Not for Thyself....

 Lay not up for yourselves...

 treasures upon this earth....

where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal....

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, 

where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Day 4 of battling the carpet beetle infestation, laundry, moving furniture, laundry, vacuuming, poisoning, carpet cleaning, laundry.... 

It's exhausting, and not just for me, but my poor mother in law is working and working on this. And the worst part is, its mostly my fault (and a little bit the 8 cats fault, for shedding fur, mostly long haired, which makes the dust here delicious). 

My fault, because of my stash of fabric and things made out of fabric that I was "going to refashion." Like those 2 beautiful deep red wine colored wool winter coats I got from the thrift store for the amazing deal of 15 bucks total, that were going to turn into a splendid medieval winter coat with silvery buttons....
Or the piles of sheets and re-purposed clothes, all awaiting their transformation into medieval-inspired gowns and nostalgic children's clothes. 
Or the 15 belts and worn out shoes & boots that I had stuffed in bottom of my closet with dreams of glory, of scabbards and medieval boot making skills....

For some reason they really like fabric stored under beds, and in closets. I don't know why they are on the cotton as they can't eat cellulose, but I suppose a thin layer of cat hair is all they need. And evidently the leather & keratin-muncing pupae (hatch in 5-35 days, are pupae 2 months to 2 years) live quite a while, eating and eating in the dark to prepare for their brief 2 weeks of adult life in the light.

When I found the first signs, and told Josh, he said "Store up not for thyself..."
When I threw the wine-colored coats in the trash, and said it to myself. I think God is trying to get my attention.


1. Vacuum the floor and closets 2x a week. (and wipe down dusty baseboards) Mondays and Thursdays. Make one of those times moving furniture that can be moved.

2. Do a deep cleaning 2x a month. (moving mattresses, vacuuming under beds, dusting bookshelf tops and trying to vacuum as much as I can behind dressers, dusting baseboards) First and Third Mondays of a month.

3. Do Fall and Spring Cleaning, moving all the furniture, shampooing the carpet (especially closets) and washing the walls and baseboards.

4. Don't store stuff under beds, or on carpet level. Put it in tubs and stack them to high heaven.

5. If I'm not planning to make it into something in the next 7 years, DO NOT BUY IT, nomatter what a great deal it is. While I might be saving money on a deal by buying it now, say I get it for 4 bucks now instead of 24 bucks ten years down the road, I am saving 20 bucks but hauling a chunk of stuff around with me FOR 10 YEARS. That's 10 YEARS of space used up in my home, 10 YEARS of mental stress about my stuff not getting moth and rust and all that. It comes out to 2 BUCKS A YEAR for hauling it around. So if I realistically am not sewing something for the next 7 years, don't buy it.

6. If it takes me more than 20 seconds to figure out what I'm going to do with a scrap, then throw it away. (and that use had better be within the next 7 years) I love making silk purses from a sow's ear. I love taking somthing that would have been thrown away, and turning it into something precious. Like a medieval hat from an empty diaper genie refill container (literally). Or elven leaves applique from T-shirt scraps, or fabric flowers from old shirt collars....
I hate to think of a 10" x8" piece of a white sheet rotting in a landfill just because I was too lazy to come up with a use for it.
I hate wasting fabric, even cheap fabric. To the point that I find cutting out patterns mentally exhausting, as I reposition my pattern pieces for half an hour, trying to get the least wasteful method of cutting them out from a polyester mockup sheet. I want to have a scrap bin, waste turned into endless possibilities, that I will transform into amazing things. 
But the truth is, my scrap bin is paralyzing. I feel I must justify the existence of each scrap, like the animate things in a Hans Christian Anderson story, and give them purpose. And if I throw them away, its like I've failed. It's emotionally exhausting to dig through the scraps and try to think of uses for little odd shaped trapezoids of fabric. I cart around little 2" wedges of fleece that I might turn into fleece flowers, etc, because I can't bear to see them sitting in a landfill till Jesus comes back.
But  all I'm doing is turning my house into that landfill. 

And it is paralyzing my creativity (Its so much easier to make flowers from a 75 cent piece of felt, than spend an hour piecing together fleece bits from my scrap bin), and time is a resource too. A very precious limited resource with the kids and all. 

And something else I've realized. Trying to make cool stuff when you are unemployed or trying to support 3 kids off a grad school stipend, made me value money. If I could decorate, sew, and make beauty for cheaper, than it was possible. I wanted to prove that you didn't need money to make things. That you could get a medieval gown with thrifted table-clothes, a medieval hauberk with a stained leather jacket at a thrift store. That with grit and ingenuity, I could make all those things that other people spent thousands on, with grit and pocket change.

But there's something else, much much more precious and limited than money. Time. 

I only have one life on this earth.

And yes, in my lifetime, even with very limited funds, I might be able to sew and make every cool craft and dress and medieval weapon that was in my inspiration folder. With lots of creativity and a little money, making dresses and boots and swords and satchels...

But I only have one life on this earth.

And while I could do it, it would use up all my time.

And there are other things I want to do more. Read the Hebrew and Greek, read the Church Fathers and Midrash, write children's books with beauty & symbolism, help re-write StarCraft, make movies that touch people's souls and reveal the deep symbolism that God wrote into the universe, go camping with Josh & the kids on a frequent basis, teach the kids survival skills and archery and history....

And there's the things I should do more, because I know when I'm 70 I'll look back and wish I did them more, read the kids more books, eat more popsicles with them, cheerfully change diapers, make Josh tasty lunches, listen with Isaiah says "Mommy!" at the crazy little babble he has to say....

"Fix your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our that you may run..."   
                            ~ (Hebrews 12 from the slightly mashed Bible in Hannah's head...)
I haven't been fixing my eyes on Jesus. I've been fixing them on my wishlist, on supplies I need to get from craft stores, on the pretty things I want to make. And I haven't been running. I've been sorta slowly trailing, like a kid on a leash not wanting to leave the park, who had calculated the most amount of resistance he can do before the frustrated parent turns around and reprimands him....I've treated God like the frustrated parent, who is trying to take away my happiness, when really, he's trying to get me to the brink of battle, to the wind from the break in the sky and the morning star...


  1. and write morning people!!!!

    gimme that novel, please. Cough. Cough.

  2. We're all very, very proud of you. This is going to be a momentous occasion that will go down in history, a turning point in records; when the dawn breaks over a benighted battlefield. Never give up, we are all cheering your efforts on. This is the best news I've heard all week. Seriously, keep up the good work.