Tag Archives: Bible

Bring on the New Year

Today is the last day of 2011, time to get serious and list my goals. Like my friend Linda Apple, I believe it’s better to set goals rather than make blind resolutions. Linda suggests having five basic goals, after all as she says, we are not one-dimensional creatures. Following Linda’s lead, here are my basic goals:

  • Be flexible enough to sit on the floor and play with the grands, and then get back up.
  • Finish the historical/western (yes, it was a goal last year, but it kept getting shifted to the bottom of whatever list I was using. Not this year!)
  • Increase my speaking engagements, to Christian Women’s groups, um make that, GET some speaking engagements.
  • Increase quilting progress
  • Step outside my comfort zone and travel, I know, people who know me in real life already think I spend half my time on the road traveling. But the truth is, while I am gone from my house, I’m traveling well-known paths, I’m not reaching out or stretching to meet new people, have new experiences. That changes this year. I will travel, really travel not just go from place to place this year.

BIG DREAM GOAL –  attend the Oklahoma Winter Quilt Show as a Presenter. Now this one won’t happen this year, the quilt show is next month. But, it’s a big dream, one to reach for no matter how long it takes. If it’s not on the list chances are it won’t happen. Above all make each day the adventure God means for it to be for me.

Reaching those goals require steps in their direction. Here are some of the steps I’ll be taking:

1.  Flexible enough to sit on the floor.

  • Drop 60 pounds, the lighter I am, the less weight I have to heave up once I get down on the floor.
  • Exercise, start with my walking routine, not only will it help drop pounds, it will get muscles moving, making it easier for me to become more flexible.

2.  Finish my historical/western. Maybe decide which it is, a western or a historical

  • Write 1500 words a day
  • Visit where it’s set

3.  Increase speaking engagements with Christian groups

  • Blog regularly – there’s even a schedule to help make that happen – this helps give me an online presence, helping people find me and know what I’m about.
  • Submit queries  to increase my nonfiction sales – submitting articles to the right magazine will help get my name out.

4. Increase quilting progress

  • Complete the UFOs (UnFinished Objects) taking up space (joined up with a couple of UFO challenges to help that along)
  • Learn to hand quilt

4. Health –

  • Drop 60 pounds, to be healthier, I like not needing to visit a doctor on a regular basis, let’s keep it that way, look better, have more energy to play with the grands, and actually get down on the floor with them.
  • Exercise – I enjoy walking, will restart my walking regime. Exercise gets me up and moving, and burns calories, both great things.
  • Eat on a regular basis, sometimes I forget to eat, then overeat because I’m too hungry. Goal this year is to avoid that.

5. Travel

  • Visit someplace new each time I go to OKC for the sewing club
  • When I travel for a writing/quilting presentation plan on doing something “touristy” in that town or area.
  • Visit relatives and friends in California

What about you? Do you have any goals or resolutions for this New Year? Do you break yours down or just say, for example, ‘will sew more’? Share your goals, with us.

Wednesday’s Word – Adventure

Wednesday’s here at Patchwork Lives is usually about God’s word. Recently I’ve been posting about Romans 8 which some of us, with the help of Do Not Depart, are memorizing.However, I’ve noticed on a few other blogs, the authors selected a word for the year. I like that idea, so am going to copy it.

Christine Kane wrote a wonderful blog about choosing a word of the year on her blog . The post is a couple of years old, but it explains the word of the year idea well.

My word for 2012 is, adventure.

The year 2012 is the year for adventure in quilting and sewing, in reading, in writing, in Bible study, in life in general. It’s going to be a year filled with adventure.

I’m not talking about big adventures. Nothing like experiences thriller author Charles Sasser, actively pursues, I’m not going to try any extreme sports (or any sports for that matter) for my adventure fix.

No, my adventures are about enjoying the day, enjoying the moment. Taking time to do the things I might enjoy, if I just did them.

For the most part the challenge will be in finding the adventure each day holds. However, there will be some specific adventures in quilting, travel, meeting new people.

My first quilting adventure will be making a quilt using designer fabrics, something I’ve never done before. This will be a new experience. The second quilting adventure will take several days, weeks, months to complete, UFOs are going to be completed. I’ve joined up with Quilt N Bee and her “2012 is the year to finish” challenge

Sometimes all of those adventures will be wrapped up in one experience. I plan to attend a quilting retreat this year for the first time. That will be a quilting adventure, it will involve travel and I’ll meet new people, one great adventure.

To help with keep me on track, and let you know what’s going on adventure-wise a few new pages will be added to this blog. The UFO page will track in-progress and finished UFOs, hopefully some others will join me in this adventure. I know at least one other blogger is having a UFO challenge, if she reads this I hope she contacts me so I can sign up with her too. There will be a photo page for daily photo updates.

That’s probably all for now, but this is a new adventure so I’m open to changes and additions.

Do you have a word of the year? What would it be? I’d love to hear about others’ words. Maybe there’s a word to describe this year (2011), want to share it?

Color Us Beautiful

FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY – COLOR

 

Start – 6:47

We all have our own colors. That’s part of what makes God’s quilt so beautiful.

Not just the color of our skins, although we do come in many different hues.

Not just the color of our clothes. We do have our favorite colors. Some always wear neutrals, while others are uncomfortable in anything not bright.

Our skin color can change with the seasons, and age. Our clothing collection can change.

But the color of our souls, our personality are the colors God uses in His Life Quilt.

Some of us are bright, loud, shouting the word of God from rooftops, ok, maybe just television studios. Others of us are more quiet, doing God’s work quietly. Showing God’s love through our actions, like Mother Theresa. Many of us fall in the middle somewhere. We have preachers who are great at speaking from the pulpit, and other children of God who simply speak of God when asked, but work to do God’s bidding at all times.

God needs all of us, the bright noticeable colors of those speakers, the softer muted colors of the silent workers, the all the blended colors in between. All the different colors are what makes God’s quilt work, what makes it beautiful.

Stop – 6:54 ( went a little past the 5 min.)

Five Minute Friday is just that, writing for five minutes, without editing, without thinking (in my case), posting and sharing with other Five Minute Writers at The Gypsy Mama, Come play along or just read other five-minute posts.

Follow God, the Leader

Wednesday’s Word – Follow

Remember playing follow-the-leader? Generally it was a safe game, we followed someone around the house, or neighborhood, jumping over small puddles, or pot holes, walking along curbs. Sometimes though, the ‘leader’ was a dare-devil and did something dangerous. Did you follow then?

My children  were fearless and followed each other into whatever mischief the ‘leader’ found. When the followers (or sometimes the leader) failed in the attempt and was hurt, I asked why they did it?

The answer from the follower, “Brother (or sis) did it.” From the leader, “They did it on THAT television show.”

My next question, of course, was, “If the leader jumped off a cliff would you follow him/her?”

Unfortunately for my peace of mind, the answer was usually, “If I thought I could make it.”

Great. I just hoped and prayed, really prayed, they never tried anything too dangerous.

Of course, there are times when following is good. Following someone who has walked a path before is beneficial. That’s why so many How-to books get written, and sold. They are a guide to the reader for a new task or adventure.  The Bible is the first and best How-To book.

Want to know how Jesus did something? It’s in the Bible. Want to know how God wants us to behave in any given circumstance? It’s in the Bible.

Today’s Bible verse, Romans 8:7-8 says, “7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

Following God’s word doesn’t just mean giving money, gifts, or food to the needy, although I’m sure He appreciates that. We need to also reach out and touch people. Jesus didn’t just put some money in a gift bowl, he touched people, physically and emotionally.

Recently my son asked if I had a problem with a particular gentleman joining our family Christmas dinner. Of course I didn’t and at first I wondered why the question. Until I remembered, the man, who was a good friend of my husband had not been available to us when my husband died.

In his case there were extenuating circumstances, the man didn’t know my husband was gone. Would I have still welcomed him if he’d known and had just “blown us off”? If I follow God’s word I would. I would accept him now, accept that he wants to reconnect with our family. I am glad he wants to reconnect with us. I’ve missed having him in our lives.

Do you need to reach out and touch someone?

I’m glad that when I forget and ‘follow the flesh’ instead of God, He takes me back. Every time.

If our hearts and minds are focused on the hurt someone caused us (the flesh), we can’t be focused on God and all the good He wants for us. How will you follow God’s word and have a joyous Holiday season?

Talking to God

Recently a friend told me that it never occurred to her to pray when beginning a new endeavor. She knew about praying before a meal, or on special occasions, but not when starting a new project.

Because of previous conversations, this news came as a big surprise to me. “Really? I talk to God all the time.”

“Oh, I do too.” She said,”and I knew about praying before a meal or at a celebration or big gathering. But, I never thought about it when I started something new.”

She recently began a new venture and her preacher suggested she pray each time, before beginning work on the project.

I had trouble wrapping my mind around her words, and their meaning. What  in the world was she had been talking to God about , all those years? Should I have assumed less and told her what my discussions with God were about? 

 Maybe I did and I forgot the particulars. If she thought she had more experience or knowledge in an area, she seldom listened to me. So, maybe I did try to explain and she tuned me out, because I was young and couldn’t know that much about God and life.

As we all know, God’s timing is NOT ours. When the time was right, He got the message to her, in a way and at a time she would listen. 

For me, praying and talking to God are a way of life. Even when my world shattered, and my family was thrown into the abyss, I prayed. Now don’t get me wrong, these weren’t prayers of thanks, or even nice. Most of those ‘prayers’ were screams of why, and reminding God (like He didn’t know) how much it hurt. Still, in the depths of my heart, I knew God was with me and eventually the prayers of thanks returned.

Shannon MIlholland, on her blog, here has a great post about praying. In fact, she has a series about prayer which starts here. It’s definitely a series worth reading.