When You Give a Girl a Steamer

After we finished praying, I sensed in my heart that God had another assignment for me. I headed back into the sanctuary foyer to see where my help might be needed. There I saw the a woman still steaming the models’ outfits. God gently whispered to my heart to find another steamer. I hadn’t heard back from any potential steamer-owning friends. So I just prayed as I walked around looking not-so-helpful.

Then an old friend’s name popped into my head. Kathy! She makes custom drapes. I knew she’d have a steamer and she lived close by. But I didn’t know her number. I went up to the church office and found someone who had access to the church database and got her number. I called Kathy, who just happened to be home. Her sisters were in town and they were getting ready to leave for some sight-seeing. I told her our need and she gladly gave me directions to her house. Within 20 minutes I had a steamer in hand.

When I got back to the church, I approached the women using the very fancy steamer machine thingy. She looked so professional. I assumed she’d been recruited by the staff as the expert steamer. I didn’t know what to do with my little portable water boiling, steam-shootin contraption. So I sheepishly offered to help her steam if she’d help me figure out how to work it. I am sure about that time she was wishin’ I had not been so willing to find my portable steamer.

Bless my heart, within 5 minutes I knocked over the thing, spilled water, spewed steam bubbles on the clothes and actually managed to put more wrinkles in to the fabrics than I was able to get out. Finally the sweet steamer lady told me that what she really needed was for someone to put the costumes on hangers, hold the fabric out flat and move them to the “ready” rack when she was finished with each piece. I think she fired me from my job! Or maybe it was more of a demotion.

Even my new assignment was a bit of a disaster. Clothes kept falling off hangers and I knocked over a whole full rack of “ready” clothes! I quickly confessed that this was not my calling. She smiled as we finished the last piece and then said, “My name is Christen. And you are….Renee Swope, right?”

I almost lied. It was so tempting. I didn’t have a name tag. She didn’t need to know. I considered the “witness protection plan” as a cover up. You know, protecting my witness for Christ and for the ministry I work for called Proverbs 31. The one that esteems the Godly role model of a women who served God and her family by making beautiful fabrics, working at her spindle and holding a distaff. I don’t even know what a distaff is but I now have this feeling it might be what they used to get wrinkles out of fine linen, and I would surely be a disaster at that, too.

Well friends, when you give this girl a steamer you end up with a story, a God-story!

There is more to this one. I have no doubt God sent me to go get that steamer, even though we barely used it. It was the tool He used to introduce me to Christen and wait ’til you hear why!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Ok, now you have me waiting with baited breath to hear what “the rest of the story” is!!!

    I am so glad to hear that God had you where you needed to be, and when. God bless you for being so willing to go where He led, even if you were disappointed at first…
    (and a bit… ummm.. creative (?) in your helping!!) 🙂

    god bless,
    heather

  2. If she has a sister with a baby for you or something, I’m going to just pass out. 🙂

  3. Renee….you have me sitting on the edge of my seat!!! Girl, I can’t wait to hear what happened. I know it’s going to be something amazingly exciting and a real “God” moment!!!!

    I totally loved this post!!!! Every word!!! I loved your surrender. Your willingness. I sympathized with your longing to help and your failing attempts to do it just the right way. It reminded me of the many times I try so hard to do something ‘right’ for the Lord and I fail miserably, yet He always forgives and gives me another chance.

    I can’t wait to see how He used your obedience this time!!!!

    Love, hugs and prayers,
    Joy

  4. Well I’m anxious to hear the rest of the story – it’s always neat to hear how God works in ways we least expect Him too. And especially when he works thru our mishaps!!

  5. Yes! What happens next? Thanks for the smile and inner laugh you gave me–knocking over the steamer and clothes. I am right there with you. I stay out of the way when some of the women in our church clean after a meal. I like to think that God hasn’t “gifted” me in the cleaning area (probably just an excuse). 🙂 Can’t wait to hear what else the Lord did. God bless!

Share Your Thoughts

*