This Experiment Called… Extra Buttons

My life as of late has been, well, let’s just say it, a HOT MESS!   Since July, I jumped from 20 hours a week at work to 32 (and now to 35) I’ve become a grandmother for the first time, become a Mother-in-law for the first time, my marriage of 18 years came to an end, my daughter also graduated from high school early and in the thick of it all, I decided to give my master suite to the newlyweds, creating chaos within my house.  In all actuality, all of this happened from July to early October.  My head has just recently stopped spinning and I’m starting to get my bearings again.  We’re all starting to adjust, but it’s still tough sometimes.  I’ve been struggling to get the house in order and it’s not going very well. I feel like I’m backpedaling and making things worse.  I know, in life, sometimes things have to get worse before they get better, but gee whiz!  Recently, I had a bit of a revelation, though.

I work my almost full time job with some really great ladies.  I am blessed to sit in a nice office space with a very sweet young lady.  She and I are way more years apart in age than I care to admit, but we just seem to click.  We share a bit of quirkiness and are both a tiny bit scatterbrained (she had a nice chuckle at this).  Recently, as she put on her coat, she jumped and said, “Oh, those extra buttons.  I keep forgetting I have extra buttons and they startle me.”  Bells started going off in my head.

It’s a nice little treat when a company decides to give you extra buttons, especially the ones that are sewn into the seam of the garment.  You don’t always need them and not everyone uses them since we have become a throw-away society, but they are readily available if you need them and choose to use them.

God has given us all extra buttons.  They’ve been sewn into the fabric of our life. They are there, some hidden a little more than others, for us to use when needed.  Whether we choose to use them or not is up to us.



I’m one of the world’s worst at accepting help.  Part of it stems from my own desire to be self-sufficient (aka prideful).  Some of it comes from the notion that it’s just easier to do it myself. Other times, I simply forget the extra buttons are there.  But they are there and I need to strive to make better use of them.


Some garments (life situations) have a couple of extra buttons (people, resources, etc.), all you have to do is look for them.  They are the many people whom you have a history with, who would do anything it takes to make your journey easier and more pleasant. Other garments may only have one extra button.  These are the garments that you need to decide whether they work for you or if you need to donate them to someone who can fix and use them.  It’s okay to say no when someone requests something from you – time, money, knowledge – that you don’t have a plentiful supply of. We don’t have to do everything.  We can’t do everything.  Give these challenges to those who have a few extra buttons just lying around.  Let them add to that garment.  You don’t have to.  Then, there’s a third kind of garment. Some of the garments I have, for example, the end of my marriage, don’t have extra buttons.  The issues are mine, and mine alone.  I’ve never been down this road before and there are no easy answers.  Others around me may have worn a similar garment, but every garment is different so I must search for the right buttons to replace these, as this garment did not come with extras.  Sometime, we must even remove buttons that still work, in order to make for a matching set, so that our garment is wearable and whole.  Lastly, you have a garment that you’ve gotten extra buttons with and the button is broken.  You will need to use your judgement as to whether to use that button or not.  Will the button work for that garment? Will it cause more harm than good?  Will it make the garment whole again?  If not, you might want to choose to remove and discard it.

So… all that being said, my point is simply this… Do not forget about your extra buttons.  They were put there for a purpose.  Use them, but also, make sure you remember to use them wisely.

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