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Sewing Shoes and Mending Hearts

Some years ago, my daughter bought some shoes with her birthday money and lovingly brought them home. But she put them on before we removed the plastic tie and took a step that exceeded the stretching capacity of that little tie. One of the shoe straps ripped completely off. 

Naturally, she was heartbroken. It looked like an easy fix though, so I assured her that I’d try to repair it.

The next day, I sat down to fix it, but the doorbell rang. I ran to get it, shoe and needle still in hand.

A friend, who has always been a hero of sorts to me, was at the door. I let her in and we sat and chatted while I sewed.

She was curious as to why I was sewing a shoe. I told her what had happened, and in true Christ-like fashion she exclaimed, “What a good mother you are! That’s such a motherly thing to do.”

I was taken off-guard. I hadn’t thought anything about being a good mother when I tried to fix that shoe. I just wanted my daughter to be able to enjoy the fruits of her own dollars.

In fact all the times when I hadn’t been a good mother whizzed through my mind. But here was a woman, who is a great mother, remarking on a small act that I’d thought nothing of.

I’m certainly not a candidate for mother of the year. I’ve got laundry piles that mountain goats could live on, and I’ll never be an Iron Chef. In fact if dinner isn't "extra crispy" it’s a good day.

But I do love my children and I’m grateful for them, even though I often feel well behind the motherhood curve. Needless to say, my friend’s comment buoyed my spirits and taught me a lesson.

This friend has always had a gift to recognize something praiseworthy and to praise it in a way that reaches the most jaded heart…and not because she’s trying too.

The ability to see and express something good is just part of her nature. Perhaps you can see why I admire her so much.

When I picked up the needle that day, I didn’t know I’d be mending more than a shoe. I also mended a mother’s fragile ego. More importantly, I learned that seeing the good in others is a gift to be sought after.

It’s going to take a lot more sewing to get me where I need to be, but one stitch at a time, I hope to bind that gift to my soul until it too becomes a part of me.

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J. blogs about her three precocious children, gluten-free living, life as a nomad and other random things at

Enjoy shopping for quality baby clothing at

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