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Rachel’s place mat

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,  “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

(Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

Frayed cuffs and thread bare knees are all that remain of my children’s denim jeans. I carefully slipped the blade of the seam ripper under the thread and lifted the blade. After cutting the stitches, I removed a back pocket from a pair of blue jeans.  During this project, I repurposed the worn out jeans into funky denim place mats. Any salvageable part was cut away and assembled into something new. What once was a back pocket is now a utensil and napkin holder.

From the tattered jeans, I created four distinct place mats. Each denim place mat has a unique backing and binding fabric to represent the personalities of our family members. On my daughter’s place mat I repositioned a crocheted pocket and covered the back with pink and red heart and star material. As I reworked the fabric, Genesis 50:20 came to mind: “But God intended it for good.”  As the youngest in the family, Joseph was teased and despised by his older brothers. Their hatred for Joseph was so great, they sold him into slavery. Decades later, Joseph held a prominent place in the king’s court. The same brothers, who sold him off, later stood before Joseph begging for assistance. Joseph had every right to turn them away. Instead he said, “You planned evil against me, but God used those same plans for good” (Genesis 50:20, MSG).

I love the phrase “but God used those same plans for good.” Those same plans, not different plans, the very same plans—for good! I stopped sewing to offer praise! I began to examine those areas of my life that once were painful. Now I can see God was using those same plans for good. Praise God that He is the ultimate recycler! He was reducing, reusing, and recycling long before our generation. He wants to reduce our burdens, reuse our trials to help others, and recycle areas to bring us good and to bring Him glory!

~April Dawn White

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