While I was growing up, my mother made almost all of my clothes. She often visited a basement fabric store that offered some bargain fabrics for a penny an inch. One spring when I was in the eighth grade, we found yellow and white petite gingham that had tiny embroidered flowers scattered throughout. My mom cut out a simple, sleeveless straight shift (a popular style in the mid-1960’s).
Since she didn’t always have money for notions, my mother had learned to “make do.” On this occasion, she noticed that the zipper on my white leather Bible was pulling loose from the edges of the covers. So the dangling, slightly tarnished zipper was relocated to the back of my new dress.
I can still remember how much fun it was to hold up my long hair and show off the small cross at the top of my zipper. I can remember how neat the other girls thought it was to have a zipper pull like that on a dress. But most of all, I remember a valuable lesson my mother taught me without using words: “Don’t waste time worrying about things you don’t have; instead, look around and see what you do have—and then get creative with it!”
Dianne Neal Matthews is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books including The One Year Women of the Bible and Designed for Devotion, which won a 2013 Selah Award. She also writes for websites and blogs, contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus), and teaches at writers’ conferences. To learn more, visit www.DianneNealMatthews.com or connect with Dianne through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.