“You have to put heat to it to make it hold its shape!” my stepdaughter protested.  She who is completing her senior year in fashion design at SCAD is advising me.  She who would watch needle pulling thread and Parent Trap on the couch beside me years go is now advising me.

I comply; but ironing is not my favorite task.

Pulling out the board, that looks so much like the board my mother used fifty years ago, I set the iron, more complicated than she has known, on to the board.

Spray starch now. Back when my mother was younger it was a mix of starch and water in a coke bottle with an aluminum top and cork bottom that allowed a sprinkle of the mixture on the linen and cotton clothes.

Steam rolls from the hot iron indicating that the correct temperature has been reached.

Pressing the fabric down – heat pressing compliance, steam rolls up and above my head rising up, up – And I watch water change into vapor and rise.

Putting this dress together for the Granddaughter, I construct the form, and then apply heat to causing it to hold that shape that I have determined it to have.

Is this how it is with God?  He teaches us in the way we should go, he determines our form and purpose, and then applies the heat so that the form in permanently set?

Then the fiery trials we encounter are moments for praise, this is a time of rejoicing, for He is sealing us as His forever.  And just as the fragrance of starch on freshly ironed laundry is distinctive, so is the fragrance of Christ distinctive in our lives.

So my Father in Heaven, in the fiery trials of life, I give you thanks.

Linking with Walk with Him Wednesdays, Scribing the Journey, On Your Heart Tuesday, Into the Beautiful, Praise and Coffee

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Diane W. Bailey is the founder of The Consilium – an online community of wisdom and purpose for women over 45 years of age. She is a published author. Her books include String of Pearls – From Tears to Treasure, and 30 Days To A Better Stepfamily. She creates her own line of precious metals bracelets. Diane lives in the Deep South with her husband Doc. Together they have created a stepfamily, each having two stepchildren and two birth children, and share three grandchildren, one black lab named Charlie and one long haired tabby cat named Lil Girl. Diane’s passion is to encourage women to be all God has created them to be by pressing past fear and daring to live life as an adventure. Some of her life adventures include traveling to Israel, speaking, entrepreneurship and backyard farming with Doc. She loves Gumbo, fried shrimp and seeing all sunsets across water.

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