It wasn’t that big of a deal, really. Still, I felt a twinge of sadness whenever I thought about it because it’s something I really liked a lot.
I made the small zippered pouch, all by hand—every last stitch. I wouldn’t call it a work of art, although I was quite proud of the clever piecing and homespun appearance.
I filled the little pouch with my most prized hand sewing supplies:
- Tiny gold scissors in the shape of a stork that were so sharp they cut perfectly all the way to the end of the beak.
- The only thimble I’ve ever found that fit perfectly.
- A small magnetic needle holder filled with the finest German stainless steel sharps in a variety of sizes.
- A tiny container of appliqué pins
- And two spools of thread just the right size and shape to fill the remaining space in the sewing kit.
It’s been years since my sewing kit went missing, but the feeling of loss deepened. I looked from time to time, always consoling myself that it would turn up. It had to. Sewing kits don’t just get up and walk away.
In time, my casual attempts turned to all-out searches and eventually to excavations. I emptied drawers; looked in nooks and crannies in every room of the house.
From time to time I considered making a new pouch and refilling it with all the right items. I came this close to ordering a new pair of stork scissors. Wow, I didn’t remember them being that expensive.
I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring myself to admit the originals were hopelessly lost.
I came to consider that there might be a lesson in all of this that I needed to learn, certain it has to do with the unimportance of things compared to people.
It’s just a sewing kit, I kept telling myself—a tiny treasure that must have fallen into the wastebasket or somehow got scooped up into a donation bag. It’s not like I lost a child or a close friend. I still have my home, my family and so many things in my life that bring me so much joy.
Over the years that little sewing kit has prompted lots of “going through” and cleaning out. I have pared down our closets, given away furniture and household items we don’t need to others who do. And that felt good.
One day I was cleaning up a desk I no longer needed to give to a friend who would find it useful. At the last minute, I decided to check all the drawers just to make sure they were empty and clean.
Right there in the small drawer on the right was my little sewing kit—exactly where I put it so it would always be handy.
I got my sewing kit back. But more than that, I experienced something I don’t understand fully but believe with all my heart: It is in giving that we receive.
Christmas is only days ahead. We’ve reached the biggest gift-giving season of the year and with it, for some, brings torrents of pressure and expectation.
Maybe today you’re having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit because you just don’t have what it takes to come up with appropriate gifts.
Perhaps your heart is broken because you’ve recently lost a loved one. You cannot wrap your mind around how to celebrate in the midst of the pain.
You may be struggling to make ends meet—you just do not have the means to meet the expectations and demands of those around you. It feels like you are nearly suffocating.
You want to make everyone’s dreams come true, but you’re only human. It’s taking all you’ve got just to provide the most basic needs of those who depend on you.
Whatever you’re going through, let me remind you that you are not alone. The fact that you are reading this right now means you are part of an online family—my EC Family! We gather daily around our common bond—our desire for friendship, community and to save time and money every day. I care and I know that thousands of your fellow-readers care, as well.
There are lots of ways you can give to others this beautiful holiday season that do not require money. It’s good to remember that sometimes the very best gifts of all do not come from a store.
Often the most meaningful gifts and the most difficult ones to give are those that cost no money at all. A gift from the heart is a gift of time and talent.
What do you do well? Cook, clean, babysit, garden, sew, drive, shop? Whatever it is, create a unique gift certificate and make what you do the gift that you give: a weekend of babysitting, a day of housecleaning, six hours of errand running. Follow up within just a few days to set the exact time your certificate will be redeemed. Your recipient may be too embarrassed to remind you to make good on the gift.
Question: Have you ever treasured something that you thought was lost forever? Did it turn up? If so, where? Share your story in the comments area below!
First published: 12-18-19; Republished 12-14-19