In Mary Cassatt’s painting, A Young Mother Sewing, a little girl is leaning on her mother’s lap. Do you think her mother is working on a dress for her? We can imagine though, that she’d really like her mother to stop and come play.
Have you ever had to wait for an adult to finish something before helping you or playing a game? It’s hard to be patient at those times.
A second artwork by Mary Cassatt, called The Fitting, reminds me of a time like that for me.
When I was young one of the hardest times for me to be patient was when my mother hemmed my dresses. She began by measuring up from the floor with a wooden yardstick. I had to stand straight, with no drooping to the right or left as she placed pins at the right place. As she went round and round, checking, re-pinning, and checking again, Soon I’d start feeling wiggly, because I wanted to go play.
Have you ever had to be fitted for or shopped for clothes for a special event and thought the adults took too long? Did you feel wiggly and want to play?
Now I’m grown up, I know my mother was being careful because she loved me and wanted me to look my best. And when I look at The Fitting, I’m reminded of these verses from Psalm 139
O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in – behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. (Psalm 139:1-5 NIV)
We are God’s children, and He uses the Bible as His yardstick to show us how to become more like Him, our loving heavenly Father.
Can you think of a time when the Bible helped you see a change you needed to make in how you treated friends or family?
Pinning is only part of the hemming process. In A Young Mother Sewing we see that hemming is done by hand and takes time and skill. It’s important not to get the stitches so tight they cause the cloth to pucker or so loose they fall out.
In the painting, I can imagine the mother laying her hand on her daughter’s head, encouraging her to be patient so the dress will turn out beautiful.
God has laid His hand upon us and encourages us to learn from Him. He knows us and doesn’t push us so hard that we get frustrated, but He also loves us enough to keep helping us make our lives more beautiful to glorify Him in the world.
Think of one lesson from your Bible that you can put into practice this week. Do you need to use kinder words? Do you need to be less impatient and wiggly when you have to wait for Mom or Dad to come play?
Let’s pray: Thank you, Heavenly Father, for knowing and loving me. You are always with me. Please help me become more like Jesus. In His name, amen.
Before You Go
Go here to learn about the painting, A Young Mother Sewing and how to enjoy it with your children. Go here if you’d like directions for a children’s art project based on Mary Cassatt’s paintings.
If you’d like more activity ideas for art, history, and nature, curriculum connections, and links to more resources, be sure to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free guide to 5 Ways Art Benefits Children’s Cognitive, Physical, Spiritual, and Social Development, with a Few Fun and Easy Activities for each Benefit
And be sure to visit my website where you’ll find free downloadable puzzles, how-to-draw pages and coloring pages for kids, and an updated list of my hands-on workshops, chapels, and presentations for all ages.
Molly and I hope you enjoyed this devotion based on art by Mary Cassatt. If you’ve signed up for my newsletter, you’ll soon receive our May newsletter with more fun things to do.
in this photo Molly is learning to sit inside a hula hoop and wait patiently for me to say she can get up.