1. A valued possession passed down in a family through succeeding generations.
How would I have guessed that the works of my hands would be passed down from one generation to another. As a young wife and mother, I loved creating with my hands. One of the first substantial purchases my husband made for his new bride, other than kitchen gadgets, was a new sewing machine. I still have that machine all these years later. It has served me through the decoration of two homes, six baby nurseries, smocked dresses and multiple business ventures. Creating was one of my purest delights.
When the first e-mail came, I was shocked. I had been commissioned to sew smocked dresses for clients in the 80's. One of my repeated clients was the mother of one of my best friends from high school through our mutual stands in each others' weddings. While I was having boys, she was having girls. So grandmother would order a Christmas dress and an Easter dress for her granddaughters. I only got by with a couple of boys' smocked outfits before my Dad's protest was heard loud and clear....releasing my sons from wearing Lord Fauntleroy clothing. I never thought about those dresses beyond the 90's. Then one of those precious little girls grew up and had a little girl of her own. Her e-mail that was recently sent to me was a picture of the dress being passed down....a true heirloom. I had created a true heirloom.
I also hosted a craft show in my home one year... sewing Christmas skirts which were large, reverse- able, muslin-stenciled skirts. I didn't even remember who bought those skirts...each with different designs. Then the phone call came. "Janette, I thought you would enjoy hearing this." She had bought the skirt in the early 80's. Her son, a close friend of our son, had been going through a difficult time and lived many states away. She had asked if she could send him anything and he replied, "yes, the Christmas skirt." He didn't even know I had made it, which enlarged the story for him after 26 years. Again, how could I have known.
Recently, I received an email from a friend I met back in the 90's. Moves had taken us to different states, until God miraculously had us standing in the same basketball arena years later. We reconnected... we both now had six children and home school athletes. She was now watching her sons marry and wanted to give each daughter-in-law an "heirloom". She wrote to ask if I would help her make this dream come true with her cross-stitch. The piece of art arrived in the mail and I began creating a pillow to enhance her work. For the first time in my life, I knew there was a chance this piece would be an heirloom. I was honored and fretted over it like I have never fretted over any of my own work. She was so pleased....and I was so humbled, that I could be a part of her dream. I will receive another piece from her soon.
As I now venture into my magnifying-glasses-wearing season-of-life, I am contemplating what I want to learn or re-learn as I began to increase my creating. "Heirloom" has now taken on a special meaning for me. I am glad I am leaving behind some works of my hands. But more importantly, I pray that I am also leaving behind some things that point to my Creator, the author of any gifts I possess.