Saturday, January 16, 2010

A new day

I love the morning.  It holds so much potential and it is after all when the joy will come.  The previous day's events can be discouraging, or the lack of events.  You can be frustrated and worn down, but waking up often gives you new perspective and determination to overcome those obstacles.

I know each day is a blessing and I was recently convicted by the verse "Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." Proverbs 27:1.  It came with a sermon by Jonathan Edwards titled "Procrastination" or "The Sin and Folly of Depending on Future Time".  I have not read far into the sermon because it is after all Jonathan Edwards, a well known Reformed preacher from the 18th century.  It requires much focus, a dictionary, and thesaurus for me to get through it.  You can find a copy of the sermon here,  It was the title that really stuck with me because I had never heard procrastination described as sin or in that manner.

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

Procrastination can take on many forms, but it means you are unwilling to do something that can be done today.  Although we may seem "busy" these days we often choose frivilous activities, and there are many out there, to occupy our time.  I will sit on Facebook looking at profiles and pictures of people I don't know because it entertains me.  My past largest sinful time waster was television.  This one is a huge weakness for me, more so than the computer. All the fictional stories developed by worldly writers often put me in a bad mood for reasons I am sure a therapist could figure out but getting rid of it altogether seemed more economical.  We do still have a television, but no cable.  I also had a huge problem with commerical and how they affected my children, even those on kid channels.  We have chosen to purchase shows and movies on DVD and some we watch on Netflix.  It has been almost a year since I turned it off and truly I do not miss it.  I did compensate by watching shows online which I still do but I have learned to do other things, like quilting, which makes viewing TV online not possible.  I do maybe once or twice a month watch a few favorite shows online, but for the most part I simply do not have time.  Inevitably even doing this requires I lose sleep or neglect something else.  I woud much rather be quilting or reading a book.  Both make for a better night's rest than an episode of Criminal Minds.

I do wonder when others find the time to watch television.  I stay at home with my children.  I have 3 dogs, more than the average family, and I homeschool.  But I only have one child of homeschooling age right now and he is easy to teach.  I have one real hobby which is quilting and I don't have time for it that often, maybe 2 hours a week, tops.  We get sick less than most because we don't go out to public places as often and I don't go to a gym or exercise at all.  I should but I don't have time.  Now I admit to being a procrastinator but I don't procrastinate enough to make room in my schedule for even an hour of TV.  It seems like you really have to neglect your duties and ignore the needs of those around you to actually watch TV shows these days.  Of course this is my opinion, and I pray others are better at it than I am.

I am truly a weak individual, driven by my selfish desires.  My desire for more sleep because I didn't control myself and get in bed on time makes mornings annoying.  My desire to sit on the couch or buy that pretty thing I just saw online I wrestle with daily and I almost always regret giving in to.  My desire to have a moment of silence when all my children really want is to play while I watch them leads to raised voices and grumpy kids.  All these desires are self-serving and require that I neglect my calling as a Christian, wife, and mother.  It is obviously backwards from what we are told by every facet of communication and most "experts" these days.

I would elaborate more on this but I have cookies to make and my son wants his hair shaved off.  I am working on my sin of procrastination.  I have only been promised today and I will take advantage of it.  It isn't even lunch yet and this new day still has so much potential.  What will God bring you today?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My First Quilt Class

I took my first quilt class this last summer.  God answered my prayer of learning to quilt by putting me in a rent house we found online that happened to be next door to an expert quilter.  I have been hoarding fabric for over 10 years and slowing buying supplies, unwilling to give up hope that someday I would make a quilt.  It took me many months to get to know my neighbors.  I was overwhelmed with the deployment, the move, and having no friends.  I also decided to switch from the church we had first visited and joined when we arrived to one more suited to our family and beliefs.  That was difficult but a blessing and what led to the opportunity to have the quilt class.

This is Mildred and I at the end of the second class.  I gave this one to my oldest son who named it his "Blankie Quilt" and sleeps with it every night.  He begged for weeks for it to be done.

It was a passing conversation with my new friends at church and Mildred happened to be free for the summer class.  It was providential in so many ways and the blessings keep coming.  First, I am absolutely hooked on quilting.  "They" say you either get obsessed or forget about it altogether.  Well I am obsessed.  If I am not quilting I am looking at quilts, reading quilt blogs, pricing quilt tools online, and estimating how much cash I need to save up before I enter another fabric store.  I have to very seriously talk to myself about budgets and not spending more than I should when I need to go into a fabric store.  It goes something like this, "You need one thing, go fast, and get out.  NO you can't buy anything else just get it and get out.  You KNOW you will be so mad at yourself if you overspend...."  This dialogue keeps going in my head as I make my way to the cash register.

This is Rita's quilt, a wonderful little baby quilt.

Second, I have some wonderful friends from quilt class that I would not have been able to get to know as well in another setting.  I got to know Mildred 10 times better and I love that.  She is wonderful and supportive.  Always willing to come help me out of the mess I made of the quilt or the sewing machine.  I have learned so much from her and love to have such a wonderful neighbor.  She is also alone with her husband in a nursing home.  I feel so blessed to be able to support her when she needs it or help her lift something if needed.  Not that she needs it often.  She is seventy something and always goes.  I pray I will be that active at her age.  I pray I can be that active at my age!  She has been such a blessing from God.

I also was able to meet my new friend Jackie.  We mainly email but that is all we have time for.  Jackie has been a blessing from God in so many ways.  We both have been dealing with deployed husbands and have small children at home. I have 3 little boys and she has 5 (3 girls, 2 boys).  During this time we have both faced health issues that were daunting and still had to homeschool and maintain households.  We both think we did poorly but God had a plan in there somewhere.  Neither of us can see it yet but I know we both have faith that it all happened for God's glory.  We are both praying that the deployment stuff is over soon, at least in the short term.  In the mean time we email, a lot.

This is Regina and her cute quilt.  She gave her's as a gift to her mother and she loved it.

Third, it gave me a distraction I desperately needed this last year.  With DH gone I dreaded each night and I had something to occupy my mind.  Getting your points to match is a fantastic way to distract yourself from the nagging loneliness.

This is me, my first born on his first Christmas, my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.  Aren't they lovely?

Finally, it has given me the inspiration to document my great grandmother's quilts and her story.  She is still alive and mentally present to convey her story.  I am so excited to find all her older quilts and preserve them for our future generations.  She started quilting over 80 years ago when she was 14 years old.  She lived through the depression and still loves to laugh.  I won't be able to get to Texas until May and have already started preparations to speak with her.  She doesn't do much but she is still able to live with her daughter and not in a nursing home. She is excited about the project as well and I can't wait to see her again.
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