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Live boldly, laugh and make art

Have you ever felt like a broken sewing machine, a tangled mess of thread?

a broken sewing machine

The sewing machine kept breaking. The thread got caught under the fabric and the needle stopped moving.

I followed all of the directions according to the manual. The thread was threaded properly, the needle was new, the bobbin was placed in the bobbin holder with the thread facing the right direction.

The sewing machine would sew a nice neat seam for five minutes, and then the needle would get caught under the fabric, and I would have to stop sewing and untangle the tread. Rethread the machine, reposition the bobbin and start sewing again.

And no matter how much I tried to follow the instructions, even if I did everything the way I am supposed to,  the machine still broke. 

Sew, sew, sew, break, stop, fix the problem, sew, sew, sew, break, stop, fix the problem, sew, sew, sew, …

Life is like my sewing machine.

We can follow all the instructions, follow the rules in the manual, do what we are supposed to do, and our life will still break.
What we planned to happen won’t.
Where we wanted neat lines and no loose threads will look like a tangled mess.

Prayer is for the weak.

In the midst of your tangled strings, you forget how to get untangled. You try to get out yourself. You won’t ask for help. You won’t call a friend to help.

You don’t pray.

Days go by, weeks, months. And you are still in the middle of the string. Stuck.

In the bottom of your despair, in the middle of a mess of tears and white string you remember the song. The song you sang as a child.

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.
— Anna B. Warner, 1860

Prayer is for the weak.

I am weak.

Dear God, please help me. Help me make sense of my world. Help me untangle the string. 

When your life feels like a tangled mess, don’t quit

Life is not like a sewing machine that never breaks: sewing machines break , eggs crack, tires go flat and bread goes moldy.  It is not possible to live a perfect life where you will never have problems.

1.Don’t quit.

2. Stop.

3. Pray.

4. And. Then.

5. Keep going.

6. Don’t quit.

( Hey Hodges, that is not really six steps, “And. Then.” shouldn’t count as a step, and you repeated “Don’t quit.” twice.)

“When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope.”
― Pittacus Lore, I Am Number Four

There is always hope

When I am in the middle of the tangled mess, I hope the machine will not break again. I hope I can sew straight seams. And, I will be able to, sew straight seams, for about five minutes, and then the thread will get tangled again.

Just like life. There are 7308 quotes about hope on Goodreads, and 539 quotes about despair. Clearly, Hope is talked about more. That is very hopeful.

Have you ever felt like you were a broken sewing machine? Please click on the word, “here” to comment. “HERE” not there.


If you feel hopeless. Like, totally hopeless, so hopeless you want to die. Call this number. (And send me an email so I can pray for you. [email protected])

  1. Need help? United States:
    1 (800) 273-8255

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

    Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
    Languages: English, Spanish

About Pamela Hodges

I write slice of life stories to help you know you are loved, valuable and worthy just as you are. I am a writer, an artist, and a cleaner of seven litter boxes. I live in Pennsylvania with one husband, four cats, one dog and two birds.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • La McCoy

    Yes. I love sewing and have know many tangled messes of thread. Works for Crochet too.

  • DA Schuhow

    Well, all I can say is that EVERYTHING is tangling up and all I can do is give it to God and then patiently wait to see what He does with it.

    • Hello DA Schuhow,
      Dear Jesus please comfort DA today in the middle of her tangled mess. Bring her sunshine today and joy.

  • Thank you for this! Exactly how I’ve been feeling. This was good advice, too. Because sometimes you’re just tangled, but eventually the knots will work themselves out. (Or you’ll have to work really hard to get the knots out!) But either way, we can’t fall into thinking everything will be tangled, always, because that’s when we lose hope.

    • Hello Jaime Leigh Hebert,
      Sometimes hope is all we have. No, wait, we always have Jesus. God is bigger that our knots. Hope you are well today.

  • Do I ever feel tangled? Yes, at times. But I am glad that God can untangle whatever mess we bring him. He’s especially good at knots. Good post Pamela.

    • Helo Anne,
      I love that image. Of God sitting down and untangling our knots.

  • Dave Kwiecinski

    Yes, Pamela. ALWAYS tangled. Always.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    • Hi Dave,
      I pray your tangled mess gets untangled, and that you have a straight seam. Finding joy in the middle of the mess.

  • Hi Pamela! Yep, I’ve felt like a tangled mess at times, but I remind myself that “this too shall pass.” Remaining hopeful and soldiering on is important, because there is promise in the dawn of each new day.

    • Hello John,
      Thank you for the reminder of the promise of each new day. The sun is shining and life is precious. May we always remember.

  • I feel like that all the time. (And I prayed for you this morning.)

    • Thank you Kathleen for the prayer.
      The string wasn’t as tangled this morning.
      And I prayed for you this evening.

  • Berdeane Bodley

    Whenever my machine plays that trick on me I find if I take out the bobbin, vacuum all the dust out, wipe it clean with a damp cloth, vacuum the top part where the thread goes. Now does this mean when our life goes down this road, if we were to take a bath would that solve all our problems too?? I love you.