Friday, October 3, 2008

~The Lydia Jar~

Greetings and Holy Kisses!

I've waited a very long time to share this story with you all.
I pray it blesses you and God is glorified.

Acts 16:14-15 "And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, WHICH WORSHIPPED GOD, heard us; WHOSE HEART THE LORD OPENED, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us saying, 'If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us."

I read this passage of scripture over and over. Lydia worshipped God and He opened her heart. Reading that gives me goosebumps on my very soul. These words have sunk deep inside me and stayed. Over the days that followed, my life and ministry turned purple.

Sitting in my craftroom, my eyes gazed on a picture that my husband's Grandmother, "The Button Collector," had made. She'd pasted a snapshot of him inside an embroidery hoop, and then she sewed buttons all around it.

Turning it over, in her own hand was written: Grandma Bertha Engila Peterson Colwill was a button collector. Suddenly ... God made a distinction in my brain. Grandma wanted to be remembered for her buttons, and Lydia was a seller of purple. What did those two things share in common? Both were seemingly insignificant, yet "unique." From that moment on, God began to do something purple in me.

The Lydia Jar begins with three women meeting for coffee and bible study. My Mother, sister Diane, and myself, would get into the Word and God started revealing Himself. Diane, gave us each a piece of muslin and we created bible samplers. I enjoyed stitching symbols into my fabric depicting bible stories and verses that captured my heart. ~ I was sewing in the spirit!

I shared my sampler with my friend Debbie and she invited me over to look through boxfuls of sewing items she'd inherited from her own Grandmother. It was a treasure trove! Wooden spools of antique thread, pins, needles, vintage buttons, and old patterns that her Grandma had traced by hand. ~ While visiting, I discovered her Grandmother's name was... Lydia! Again, the well-loved scriptures flooded my heart.

It seemed a shame to box everything back up, so we found a jar and filled it with purple buttons, spools of thread, bits of beautiful lace, a silver thimble, and an antique brooch. It was beautiful!

I shared the Lydia Jar with my Momma and Diane, and together we made our own Lydia jars using antique fruit jars and our own purple buttons and baubles.

Realizing my interest for buttons, I logged on Ebay to learn more. Celluloid buttons, bakelite buttons, bone buttons... bone buttons? I wondered what kind of "bone" were buttons made from? I clicked Ask Seller Question, under seller Fancynancy1953 who had bone buttons for sale. I typed her my question and hoped for a reply. The next day she answered my email and said bone buttons were made from cattle and were Civil War era. She'd written such a friendly reply and my heart stirred. A GOD THING HAPPENED. I stayed up all night long embroidering a gift for a stranger.

On a square piece of muslin, I stitched Fancynancy "Her clothing is fine linen and purple. Proverbs 31" Below it my initials and the date, LS 10-20-03. God was moving.

I soon found out, Fancynancy was to become my kindred spirit and soul sister. Our paths were crossed by God. Funny too, because my primitive and humble sampler went to a woman who sews like an artist! Our friendship ignited! We both know and give glory to God that He destined our meeting. We were amazed at all the things God did to let us know it was really Him.

I sent her a Lydia jar, and at the same time, she sent me this crazy quilted teddy bear. The Lydia jars have printed calico for jar lids. Thee printed calico that I sent her on the Lydia jar was the same calico she sent me in the teddy bear! Neither of us could have possibly known, and we live states apart! Another God thing!

If the Lord said, "Send someone a Lydia jar," .. I sent one. He showed me it was His opportunity for witness and jars were going into several states!

To learn more about buttons, I joined the Arkansas Button Society. Doesn't that sound grand?!
I talked my Mom and Sister into joining with me. We sent off our dues and waited patiently to hear from the President of the Button Society! (We shared some great laughs over that!) Meanwhile, I kept sharing God through Lydia jars and my whole world turned purple! God was using a seemingly insignificant little life: (mine,) inexpensive buttons and gave it vibrant color. He led me into a purple ministry, centered around Proverbs 31:10-31. Reading those scriptures can sure inspire and set fire to an otherwise worldly mindset of womanhood!

God created me for a purpose. He created me to first be just like Lydia and WORSHIP HIM!
And His command is to share Him. I can still hardly believe He's used me in this way. I'm usually sorta quiet and shy. But He gave me a voice. A voice and a handful of buttons in an old mason jar and He said, "Share them. Share Me." I love Him and will share Him!

It's all beginning to fit together for me now. God's perfect timing. I'd started to write the Lydia Jar years ago, but it was for my own agenda. God's timing to do the writing part was not yet at hand. So I waited. Looking back, I see God was giving me His perfect time with my Angel Mother, and He blessed me to be with her when she stepped into His kingdom. He knew, I would then need time to grieve. He gave me "The Shabby Olde Potting Shed," and placed people in and around it to read His story. Using me... someone seemingly insignificant to share Him in living color... purple!

Many of the women I've shared Lydia jars with already know Jesus. We hand eachother buttons and baubles when the Lord stirs us, reminding eachother that God is faithful. Tokens of love to edify one another. Hebrews 13:3 says, "Encourage one another day after day."

There are many people out there who don't know Jesus as Lord. Giving them a Lydia jar is an easy way to break thee ice, and tell them God loves them. We're all commanded to share the good news. I encourage you to have fun sharing the Lord in whatever way He uses you... and become a woman of excellence! The worst thing that can happen is .... your purple MIGHT show!!

~Soli Deo Gloria!~

*If you don't know Jesus and want to have eternal life in heaven, it's easy and don't wait. It's not about how good you've been or what you have to do to get there. The bible says it's a free gift. You just have to accept it. Just talk to God and ask Him into your heart. Believe Jesus died on a cross for you and commit your life to Him. You are NOW a new creation and it's time to look forward and not back. He loves you!

Father God, please bless the person reading this. Please continue to guide them and help them become the person you created them to be. Thank you for loving us so much that You sent your only Son to die for us. We love you and praise your Holy name. Amen.

If you've just asked Jesus into your heart and asked Him to forgive your sins, welcome to the Family of God! You're now a child of the KING of the universe! WhoooHoOo~ I celebrate with you, my new sister or brother!

The bible says if you seek Him you WILL find Him.
If you don't have a church home, I pray you will find one because it helps so much in the world we live in to have people there for you,... encouraging you to live higher and better than you ever imagined possible. God bless you with my whole heart!
Sister Lea


Heidi of Everyday Cookies said...

What an amazing story. True and blessed story that it is. God works in mysterious ways, doesn't He? It's His timing, not ours, and I see this throughout your Lydia Jar story. I'm thrilled to have somehow (God knows how) been given the privilege to get to know you and your love for Him as well as your deep heart's desire to live for Him and share His love with all everyone. It's encouraging (Ut oh, you might start a Barnabas Jar!!!!) to see how God is continuing to work in your life. Oh, and what a sweet Godly lady FancyNancy is!

Bless your purple heart, LEA!!!


sherry said...

My heart is overflowing with tears, thank you for such a sweet post. I know Him, Love Him, and Serve Him, but do not feel I have a ministry as you do. Right now I feel that I minister for Him and not with Him. I so want to have a unique ministry WITH Him, and not something I just do. I do so much, I want to sit in His presence and soak up rays of knowledge and feel His very essence penetrate my soul.

Katy said...

What a beautiful story Lea! That is just so fantastic and God works in amazing ways! How awesome that you listened to Him and now you have a wonderful new friend because of it! The Lydia Jars are soooo neat! I love them! :)
I feel God has also led us to meet...I truly value your friendship and heart! :)
I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

lori said...'s UP and it's beautiful....thank YOU for sharing it with the WORLD in HIS time!!

Letting the Purple SHOW!

Edie said...

How beautiful that is Lea, just like you. I love watching God at work! His way is perfect. I am thankful that He brought us together as friends. Enjoy your Sunday.

Laurie Ann said...

Truly amazing story, Lea. I never cease to be amazed at how God works in our lives and in His own perfect and precious timing. The Lydia Jar is as beautiful as your precious heart!

teacupsandpoodles said...

Dear Lea,
Beautiful story! I was so blessed to read all about the Lydia jar. You are so right, always in God's time! You are such an inspiration to me. Thank You Lea,
Love in Christ,
Mary Ann

Debra said...

Sweet Lea,

What an amazing purple story! It has touched my heart so! What an awesome God we serve!!!

May the Lord bless and grow your Lydia ministry. It is beautiful, just as you are and to God be the glory!!

Blessings to you this night, my sweet purple sister! I am truly so delighted to know you.

Anna said...

I enjoyed your article on Lydia and the buttons. Your wit and way with words is most pleasant to read.

sailorcross said...


I hopped over here from the Internet Cafe, and I'm so glad I did!

Your story is amazing--showing how God' works in His way, His time--sharing His love in the most unique ways!

Have a wonderful and blessed day!


StitchinByTheLake said...

I just found your blog through Internet Cafe. I'm a fellow Arkansan. I enjoyed your story about the Lydia Jar - God works in ways we never dream. He has done so for me and it always amazes me. I just wrote a post about God's timing this past weekend and then He showed me your blog...I love when He does that. blessings, marlene

lynnmosher said...

Lea, oh, I love that name. My precious grandmother, who was the love of my life, spelled her's L-e-a-h. What an beautiful story of God's connecting power. May the Lord bless you with all things purple!

Amydeanne said...

Lea, that is a fantastic story of God's grace!

I love it! and what a beautiful jar!

~~ATTIC CLUTTER~~ said...

Hi Lea..
Oh what a neat post(:)

Thanks dear yup I am back whoohooo..LOL
you are so funny~~
I bought afew things ..
I am kinda busy today so I did ashort post, but I took 142 pictures ~~LOL
I know that is alot so I will post more tomorrow, and the next day and the next day (:) etc etc etc~~
Big hugs, Patty

The Surrendered Scribe said...

Lea, I read this over at Internet Cafe devotions. What an amazing story. May God continue to bless you for your obedience!

Anna said...

Thank you for your comment on my blog. Your site is truly beautiful and I've shared it with some of my gardening friends.

Debra said...

Hi Lea,
This was so beautiful and inspiring to me. You are humble in your details of how the Lord used you, and how you just want to glorify Him. I am not reflected so well in your 'mirror.' But because you wrote so encouraging words, I am not going to just stay there. I want to be pleasing to Him also.
I love it that we have so much in common. I have so many buttons-some from my grandma, and some from second hand stores. How wonderful that God raises what could be considered very lowly-when we give it to Him, He uses it for the higest purpose on earth-to rescue lost souls.
PS The can is coming your way tomorrow. Look for something inside it.
Love, Debra

irene said...

I love Grandma Bertha Engila Peterson's (a good strong Scandinavian name, my Mom was a Peterson) button hoop with her grandson's photo in the middle. I also love the way you use words, Lydia jars,your time, and your talents...all for the Lord. I absolutely know that he is using your humbleness before Him to open many hearts to the good news of grace through Jesus. You have a wonderful gift for friendship. I will definitely be working on being "purple" Love & Blessing to you Lea

Kristi said...

Oh, I LOVED this post!!!! God cares about every single detail. He is absolutely incredible! I just stopped over to say hi and to tell you that I miss reading your posts. I hope everything is well with you and your family. Blessings and holy kisses!

~~ATTIC CLUTTER~~ said...

Morning LEA(:)
YOU Button gal you ~
I've had the flu since my return home..ugh.. am getting better ...tomorrow I will be back up an running I think..Hope you are doing well..
big hugs, Patty

Tricia said...

Hello Lea,
I am so amazed that God spoke to you in such an unusual way. I am not surprised but amazed. He is always reaching people in ways that are just so "everyday" common. But our God is a mighty God. I too love buttons. I started with my grandmother's buttons in an old coffee can. I do have those now. I also have several that I saw in your box. It is SO nice to meet you. Thanks for sharing God's grace and wittnessing in such a sweet way.

Joyfulsister said...

Awww I want a Lydia Jar *smile*..What an amazing story.. so amazing that I am going to read it all over again !!!

Luv ya Lorie

B His Girl said...

Oh, The Lord pays attention to all the finishing details. I love that you are seeing His story for you. Also your goat is tooooo cute. How you must love her to share your candy corn! I wish I had some cool buttons to send you. Keep passing the jar around the world! Blessing to you!

Yolanda said...

Purple is my absolute favorite color and this with the scripture just came to life in a HUGE way!

I love you so very much!!

Lelia Chealey said...

Oh my goodness Lea, I have tears. As I sit here looking at my beautiful Lydia jar on my dining room table I thank God for you. Thank you for blessing my life with your friendship. Thank you for sending this to me. I love you sweet friend. So blessed, Lelia