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Cathy Sifuentez

Central Sisters Write
Published monthly by the Womenís Ministry at Central Church of Christ, Amarillo, TX

Vol. 8 Issue 9
September  2010

It is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. Philippians 2:13 NIV

Lesson of 49 Shirts

As America comes down from times of plenty and a throw away society into a time of financial hardship for many, it is good not to lose sight of how we can find simple ways to help our situations while giving God glory.

As I ironed a blouse recently, I thought back to a story my mother used to tell me about life during the Great Depression. My parents had seven children during the Depression, six of whom were boys. Thatís 42 shirts to iron a week. Add to that my dadís 7 and the total becomes 49 shirts! Mother prided herself on her men folk wearing starched, well-ironed shirts. (To me, ironing all those shirts would be cruel and unusual punishment!)

Even though Daddy was fortunate enough to have a job, money was still very tight. Each boy only owned two shirts, a yellow one and a blue one. Each morning she would wash (by hand on a scrub board) the clothes worn the day before. Mother told me Daddy worked very hard
to house and feed them and it was important to her that they not look needy. To keep the shirts from looking worn and faded, she added a little of Rit fabric dye to the final rinse water. Each shirt was then starched and impeccably ironed.

In my teens, I worked in a five and dime store and people who knew my brothers in those days would sometimes stop and inquire about them. They would usually tell me a story about themselves and my brothers, often remarking on a memory of them being neatly dressed, industrious and well-mannered. These people helped me understand the value of hard work, good manners, care in oneís appearance and conduct and how it reflected on us as Christians. My family was not high profile in the community but it was well respected by those who knew us. My motherís story of the shirts was a piece of a puzzle of who I was. It was then I realized God was faithful in caring for my family during tough times and by not complaining, by being good stewards
stewards of what they did have, they reflected Godís care of us to the community.

While short of money, they were not short of dignity, inventiveness, industriousness nor gratitude. They may have had only two shirts each, but they reflected their wealth of Godís gifts in gratefulness, good manners, good character, and good repute.

óMary Ellen Evans



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Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:4-5

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