By Lucinda J. Rollings
Peggy rummaged through her fabric scrap box, choosing a flowery red piece, a delicate brown print, and some green and cream ticking scraps. “You’ll make a clever white elephant gift,” she said with a chuckle.
A few days later when the gift was opened, “What’s this?” the recipient exclaimed. “An adorable apron! Thank you, Peggy!” She slipped the apron over her head, tied it around her waist, and paraded around the room. Others clamored, “We want one too.” And that’s how, at age 77, Peggy Hobbs began her Scrap-Box Apron ministry.
New Life for Leftovers
“I love fabric,” Peggy said. “I can’t bear to throw even the tiniest pieces away. God gave me the idea to mix up the scraps and sew them into aprons. Into each apron’s pocket, I stuff a letter of encouragement and some Bible verses.”
Speaking from experience she writes in the letter: Many of us think of ourselves as small and useless, like these former scraps. If we put ourselves in God’s hands, he can make something wonderful. He draws us to Christ, who saves us, giving us eternal life, then makes us “fit” to be used in his eternal plan. If you examine my aprons you may find flaws because it is made with human hands. But God’s hands are perfect. He makes no mistakes. Trust him.
Peggy gives most aprons away, but some people purchase them to give to others. Peggy has created over 500 unique Scrap-Box Aprons that now reside in several states across the nation, ministering comfort and encouragement.
The aprons have opened doors for Peggy to give her testimony at women’s groups. Fulfilling 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4, Peggy shares how God comforts and gives peace through life’s tragedies. She has experienced cancer three times, she has lost one daughter and family who were killed in a freak car accident (leaving one orphaned granddaughter), she watched her husband lose his 7-year battle with leukemia after 52 years of marriage, and she lost another daughter to cancer.
From Misery to Ministry
When loved ones were ripped away and life felt meaningless, God reached down and refashioned Peggy’s tattered and torn remnant of a heart. He pieced it back together with joy that Peggy loves sharing. She encourages others to read the Word and find God’s comfort and peace for themselves. She said, “I believe everything happens for a purpose. I cannot be bitter at God. Nothing has happened to me that God has not allowed. My faith is stronger for having gone through the hard times. I cling to the promises in his Word. I think about who God is: sovereign, unlimited in power, and with me all the time. It is true what he says, ‘weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning’” (Psalm 30:5).
I am a privileged recipient of a Scrap-Box Apron. Each time I wear it I am reminded that as God has comforted Peggy, he will comfort me. And like the apron’s ties, his loving arms are wrapped around me. I’m certain, just as Peggy desires, that many other Scrap-Box Apron wearers are also assured of God’s love surrounding them as they struggle through life’s difficulties.
Today at age 85, Peggy still has a spring in her step. She has expanded her sewing ministry into refashioning men’s neckties into purses. Her twin brother, who loved to wear ties, recently passed on. She took several of his lavender ties and stitched up a purse. The necktie purses are another tie to opportunities where Peggy shares how God lovingly comforts and refashions fragmented lives with joy.
Lucinda J. Rollings, from Greenwood, Indiana, enjoys writing for Christian publications, reading, and scrapbooking.