Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Balancing Act

So much to do--and I love doing it all! The past two days, I have done nothing but hands-on sewing instruction with the women...to the detriment of my other work. But we have a lot of orders to concentrate on, and we want to make sure that we don't disappoint our customers.

I enjoy getting the women to reason with me through the sewing process.
  • If we cut the curtains this way, then the leaves will be going sideways. But if we cut it the other way, the curtains will not be wide enough. How can we fix this?
  • Can you figure out how we're going to sew these angel blocks together? (Diagonal rows--she got it!)
  • What size are we going to cut the border pieces in order to get the pillow to be 14" square?
I really love getting absorbed in the creative world of sewing...it's just that the other demands of ministry are putting on heavy pressure these days.
  • Write a report on November activities.
  • Prepare a budget for 2010.
  • Work on strategic planning for 2010.
  • Update the website.
  • Proofread this document.
  • Etc.
I don't mind doing these things. They are all good and very necessary. It's just that I struggle with how to divide myself and get it all done.

There are 12 of us who work in the sewing program. Everyone has their own job description and their own specialty. They all help to carry the load. It's just that there are some things that take more of my time and effort--especially when it comes to new projects.

I make it a point never to say: If I want it done right, I'll just have to do it myself.
But, it is true that if I want it done right, I will need to give step-by-step instruction and guidance so that the next time they can do it by themselves. This takes T-I-M-E.

But here's what it looks like in the end:
On Monday at 4 p.m. we gave one of our top quilters fabric and about 3 minutes of instruction on a queen-sized quilt. Today, Wednesday, the top was finished, and she loaded it on the quilt machine and quilted it herself. On Thursday morning, she will submit it to quality control. I can tell you right now: it won't have a flaw. This is the result of instruction and guidance in the beginning stages. (Isn't this where we hope to get as parents?!)

As a side note, about six months ago we gave the above quilter a loan so she could have abdominal surgery. Without this progam, she had no other way to get that amount of money. Today she paid off the balance of her loan in cash. Whenever we have given someone a loan in the past, they have worked it off. This is the first time I have ever seen someone pay off their loan in cash.

And so, the balancing act will continue, but I've come to realize: that's just part of life!

1 comment:

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Good lessons there. Good lessons for parents. Too often, as parents, we forget what kids can do themselves. Use a wash machine? Some moms don't let their kids do the wash. But come on,..., they can run a computer, they can run a wash machine.

But I've found that as the kids grow into the next stages and I forgot to realize that they also were more competent. My husband was really bad at assigning chores to the kids.

Recently I was babysitting the grandboys. My daughter suggested that I have pizza with homemade crust for supper. We had that....I made it all while the boys played. I found out later that usually my daughter has the boys work on part of the pizza themselves. Another lesson in not letting go or thinking I should do it all myself.

Your method is harder in the short run, but better and faster in the long run.