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Say No to the Dress

Here's one of the last photos of the old 100 Huntley Street building, before Crossroads moved to Burlington, Richard and me, with baby Katherine.  It's also special because I LOVED THAT DRESS.

It was a one-piece, purchased by my dear hubby when we were vacationing in Banff prior to children - a green blouson top above a navy blue straight skirt with the belt featuring both colours. It became a sentimental favourite. I never ironed the dry-clean-only dress, but here I was thoughtlessly doing the unthinkable.  When the fabric started to shine back at me, I came to my panicked senses.

I was desperate to salvage the dress I loved. I knew the skirt was a good length and could be taken up a few inches past the damage. I rushed to the dry cleaner. The woman heard me out and held it up to the light. I had missed seeing the distinct imprint of an iron right on the front of the skirt, dead center, accented with light shining through separations in the cooked fabric.

Horrors! Just then I had a scathingly brilliant idea. The top was blouson and there was a belt. Why not cut the skirt off and tuck the top into another navy blue skirt to recover the look of the dress?

Catching the vision, the woman behind the counter smiled and said, "Would you like me to cut the skirt off for you?" Thinking her scissors would be better than mine, I gratefully agreed. She took the dress and returned with two pieces.  She had trimmed the top cleanly to the elastic, with no fabric below to tuck into a new skirt.

Ruined! My last, best option had been sabotaged. All was lost. I was about to say something for which I probably would have had to apologize, when another Voice interrupted.

"Moira, this is symbolic of your scrambling efforts to keep it all together, and more than a dress is being eroded in the fray. Precious relationships - our relationship is coming apart at the seams."

That was it. I knew it was time to stop trying to be Supermom with a fulltime ministry and two preschool children at home. I needed to resign from Crossroads and commit to motherhood.

On a Monday night I made the bedtime resolve to write a letter of resignation. The following Thursday I went to David Mainse with my five page, prayerfully handwritten testimony. That very day a postcard arrived from someone who doesn't keep in touch with me regularly and could not have known what was going on in my life. God's timely hug of affirmation read:

"My dearest child, I am calling you into a place of rest, into a haven of stillness." (Home alone with two preschoolers?) "The world can be a tyrant, pushing and rushing and driving you. You need not yield to its merciless rhythms. I will give to you a peace that the world cannot give, nor comprehend. I will place my peace within you. I will draw you to me out of the rush and confusion and will teach you to enter my rest. Though the world swirls madly about you, my Spirit at the center of your being is a fountain of stillness and peace. There, I am closer than your heartbeat. There, you can be still and know that I am God. Enter my rest. There you will know me. I am… God."

Barbara Johnston wrote: "Once you give up hope in all your own efforts and quit depending on your own strength, that's when you can have real hope in what God can do."

King David agreed:

"God gives a fresh start to those ready to quit" (Psalm 145:14 MSG).

My home is the greatest pulpit for my life's message. If Mom, who determines the atmosphere, is on her last nerve, she had better not be pontificating elsewhere.

In the months that followed, I made an amazing discovery:  "the rest of God" really is possible, even if you're home alone with preschoolers. 

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God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
- James1:12 NLT
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Dear God, sometimes my "testing" season seems so long. Please give me courage to endure until the end. Help me not to bail! You said you would bless me for hanging in there - I will not give up on you or your promises. You are with me and will see me through this trial.