I am thankful for …
Opportunities to pray
Interesting read and perspective. This was written in 2015! How befitting
Columbine wasn’t the first. Charleston won’t be the last. It’s not a gun problem. It’s not a race problem. It’s not a healthcare problem. We have mass shootings in America because we have an imagination problem.
When tragic evil happens, we look for rational explanations that give us a sense of control through understanding. Teenagers go on a rampage in their high school because they had access to firearms. A young white man murders in a black church because he’s a racist. The perpetrators are outcasts, misfits, and castaways that fell through the cracks of a society that is largely insensitive to mental illness. Everyone misses the cues until it is too late. Unarmed witnesses watch helplessly as the murderers unload and reload and unload again.
We could outlaw firearms, but murders will continue. We can criminalize bigotry, but it won’t stop people from hating. We can exonerate murderers…
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I get orders for baby quilts frequently and I am usually free to just go for what ever creation or design I may come up with. This particular customer asked for a baby quilt that is full-sized and a giraffe print. For about one month, I’ve been researching giraffes and looking for fabrics. Giraffe fabrics are usually accompanied with monkeys or jungle animals. These animals have different habitats but they are plopped together in a rain forest setting. Anyway, the next thing to consider was colors. Primary colors were easy to find; then there are some pastel colors and finally plenty of animal prints which is kind of risky for a baby quilt.
I solicited the help of the grandmother to go shopping for fabric and to come up with some ideas. Right off the bat grandmother found three adorable fabrics she would like. This is great, but it is the mom who is the actual customer so we need to look and shop with her style and creativity in mind. So we took pictures of all giraffe fabrics we could locate in the store and we sent them to Mom to see which one she would like. Mom quickly reply, all the first one, I love it. We took a picture of that particular fabric as a courtesy and never expecting her to choose it. Nonetheless she did choose it and yes it totally threw my entire creative game plan off track. These colors are not in my stash, so I purchased some nice Kona fabrics that were on sale. I always over the quilt size and color scheme before I go search. But on this occasion my mind was on baby quilt size instead full quilt size even though I used all of the fabric it is enough to make the quilt top.
Since the fabric is so light in. I thought I would do a patchwork border to brighten up the quilt but still keep the integrity the fabric. This is my first time trying patchwork. It is coming together beautifully but I do realize the need to be extra careful with the 1/4 inch seam and to be consistent with it.
I think I am going to like the way this one will turn out. I hope to finish the border this weekend and find a nice pale yellow flannel backing and perhaps a giraffe patch with the babies name on it. I rarely sign or label my quilts I’m not for sure how I feel about that. But I am told that I should do it so that no one else could claim my work.
Lighting is very important when you were taking these photos. You can barely see the green that is in the giraffes and how the green in the patchwork complements the work. At any rate I will press on to the finish line. I hope to post a finished top soon 👍🏾
Last week on the way home, this scripture came to mind ‘never the less, at thy word’. By the time I got home, that verse was just ringing in my heart. I walked in the house, spoke to my husband and grabbed my Bible. Found the scripture and proceed to read the entire chapter 5 of Luke. It was literally like quenching a thirst. If you have been a growing believer for as long as I have, you know the Spirit doesn’t just nudge you to read for fun or entertainment . I prayed and waited, prayed and waited but … nothing. Silence. Saturday came and went and still nothing on the verse. So I decided to let it go. If God wants me to see, hear, find, or help, he will let me know. All I have to do is meditate on Him and take him at His word.
Then came glorious Sunday. I teach Sunday school to wonderful 5th graders. In the past weeks, we have been learning about David. When Uzzah reach out his hand to steady the ark of the covenant, he died immediately because God’s plan and instructions were not followed. A few had difficulty understanding why God was so particular. And once again, nevertheless at thy word, came to heart. Although Simon did not fully understand, he chose to be obedient. After relaying Luke 5, I had them to think of times when a person of authority/ grown up asked you to do something they thought was unfair or that they did not agree with or understand? Oh yes! They all had stories to share on that one. But, the bottom line was obedience. Finally exhausting each scenario with obedience, one student proclaimed, ‘well I suppose God has it all covered! I thought, hmmm yes He really does. So this week I am waiting and praying for my need to be obedient as well as my growing students need to learn to be obedient.
It’s actually Wednesday night. The day is well over and weary of a day of living as we lie down to rest our tired bodies and minds. He falls into an easy quiet slumber right away. I lay and try to make my way to the quiet space that will lull me into unawareness and slumber. There. I think I hear a different sound. Intrigued, I push past the sounds of the ceiling fan whirring lazily overhead. Even further past the cloths dryer and traffic a mile away. Oh. There it goes again. Half excited because I am almost positive of the double call. The sounds the symphony the insects are playing is the perfect accompaniment to this soloist! Sweetheart, listen! Do you hear that? Opening his eyes and tuning his ear to the unknown. He assures me that all is well because it just an owl 🦉 and I could go back to sleep now because owls sleep outside!😳
But dare I be deterred? Of course not! The hoot of the owl keeps beckoning me. The owl doesn’t screech or growl but simply hoots as only the Great-Horned Owl could! For just over half an hour I listen to the bird hoot into the night and then the hunter is silent or flew away.
I am thankful for hoot of the owl (20)
The ears to hear the owl (21) &
The brain the recognize the hoot (22).
I am filled with a precious memory or memories should I say; of a dear friend and I sharing mornings on her porch. I would drive over to her house still in my jammies and we would sit and watch and listen and write and laugh. I am fond of the mornings and blessed to share them with a friend. We loved to watch the morning dew as the sun would rise over her home. The sun on the dew appeared somehow to makes things look new. Giving a reminder of a fresh new start to a new day. God makes all things new.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I lam making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Rev. 21:5
We journaled our prayers while sitting on her porch and drank a pot of coffee. If her hubby was home, he would ensure that our cups stayed hot and filled. And we would sit there and write and talk and laugh and even shed tears sometimes but the laughter would always take over.
I am thankful for …
Mornings on the porch with a dear friend
And ladybugs (because they were her favorite).
In an effort to reorganize my sewing studio/room, at the last minute I decided to go with a bookcase instead of wall mounted shelves. Per my google search, I found the perfect piece at the local big box store. So just shy of 9pm I head off to the store with my young strapping 22 year old son in tow. And behold! The perfect unit is here.
Now, all we needed to do was grab it and get to checkout because the store is close to closing. Then, … we could not find my perfect piece on the shelf below the display. My son and I both have retail backgrounds and we knew it was not there. So we were off to find one of those store associates who avert eye contact because they want to avoid that one customer who will ask the darned near impossible. So here is the conversation with the luckiest store associate in the company
My son: excuse me ma’am but can we get some help locating an item if you have it?
Associate: sure, I can help you.
(She shots the item tag with her gun)
Associate: it appears we have one but that is tricky with us because the one could be the display item. Would you like for me to call another store for?
Me: before you do that, is there any way to find out if ‘the one’ is a display or one somewhere in the store or backroom? You will be closing in a few minutes and I won’t have time to jet to another store.
Associate: oh. Uhm. Ok. Let me see if I can get a manager to help. (Yep she is ticked).
Manager: no no. This one is in the store and this tells the location. Oh. There it is up there. Ma’am, is that the item up there or were you looking for another item.
Manager: sure, let me find a team and we will get it for you (they walk away).
My son: you know they are mad right? You wait until 1 minute to closing And want to purchase the impossible to locate and retrieve item.
They were gracious but tight. And yes it was a lot of effort. And the poor cashier who had to wait was all smiles as she thought this whole scenario was hilarious! Once I get it all organized the perfect piece will look great in there!
While chatting up a storm with a few girlfriends of mine, the topic of television came up. None of us really watch tv mostly because it is time consuming and nothing really life changing that we must see at the moment. One thing in particular that makes me want to drop my tv from a 50-story building is the onslaught of politicians and leaders who are behaving badly. This bad behavior has been going on for centuries; but because of the various forms of media, we have access to the lives of these leaders almost instantaneously. What I realized is that I ‘expect’ more from a leader of a formidable country (we will talk about expectations in another post). I expect that -that leader would treasure and protect his character at any cost. But this is sadly not the case. This question was later posed to me -“why do we try to be so good when everyone else is doing stuff wrong, taking advantage of people, cutting corners and getting ahead”? This is one of those questions when asked you breathe deeply and exhale slowly while muttering a prayer and scripture before trying to answer.
As I began to formulate my response I thought it best served with sweet potatoe pie. This way I can get a full point across while she savored a slice of pie. Life is full of choices and sometimes there are hefty prices to pay for them because consequences always follows. A person (leader) can make poor choices and get ahead in life by cheating, lying, stepping on his fellow brother. As matter of fact, they may seem to have it all. But have you noticed a few things about these types of people (leaders)? 1. They are rarely happy and joy often escapes them. 2. They have no idea how to be content and 3. They are bad at relationships. 4. They can be downright embarrassing. Notice their demeanor when they feel threatened of losing what they have connived to gain. But let’s face it …bad guys win sometimes. Let me suggest an easier life. If you protect your image, name and reputation you will sleep better at night without worrying about all the bad things you have done. You will experience relationships that are healthy and whole. We were created as relational beings and even the most introverted pluviophile needs community sometimes.
The funny thing about character is that it affects your entire life. It’s not just that thing you do but it is who you are. Whenever I am training a new employee, I can assess their skills and knowledge base. If they are teachable I can help them get to the next step/level. But an unwholesome character speaks volumes about you. So, those bad guys really don’t win. At least they don’t win what really matters. Faith. Family. Friends