Tag Archives: God

Stars and Quilts

She slipped out of the house, closing the door with a soft click. No need to wake the rest of the family. She skirted around the toys of her younger siblings and headed for a clearing in the front yard.

She tossed the quilt on the sandy desert ground and sat down. For several minutes she just sat and stared at the stars above and soaked in the cool night air. Finally, she said aloud the words that were in her heart.

“Please send me somebody to love me for me. Someone who will accept me the way I am and not want me to be someone else.”

She began to trace her fingers around the well-known outline of the hexagon shaped pieces of the quilt. So many different contrasting, and competing fabrics sewn together to create a beautiful quilt.

As she traced the shapes the words filled her heart. “I love you the way you are. I don’t want you to be someone else. I love you for you, I created you that way.”

She smiled softly, “I know. But, could you also send someone real? Someone who will allow me to feel safe and love in his embrace.”

There was no immediate answer. Still, the girl felt better being she was okay just the way she was, she didn’t need to be a genius, or a fabulous typist, or a social butterfly, she was okay as her.

Six months later. Attending the college of their choice, in a state far from her friends, she met a man whose arms sheltered her when she hurt. A man who loved her not for who she was, but because she was her. They were together thirty four years before he went Home.

Joining up is Lisa Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday. Check out the other bloggers playing along and why not come join us? The rules are simple:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back at Lisa Jo’s site, here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/2013/07/five-minute-friday-belong/#sthash.45Mgtorx.dpuf
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/2013/07/five-minute-friday-belong/#sthash.45Mgtorx.dpuf

Best Present, Worst Present

The worst present I ever received was also the best present.

the house shortly after moving day.

the house shortly after moving day.

In 2006 he signed the paperwork for our very first house. The first house we (along with the bank) would own. The first house we couldn’t lose because someone else decided they wanted to sell it, or some family member needed a house. The first house where he could build his pig barn just the way it wanted, and it would add value.

It was an anniversary gift of sorts. Since he was a teacher, and in the early years we moved during July, our anniversary month, our private joke was he got me a house for our anniversary. Of course, we’d lived in Stuart for 28 years, so there hadn’t been any “house presents” in recent years.

It was a fabulous present to ourselves, our own home.

Except, we never lived in it. WE never lived in it, I do. Oh, we both moved. Just to different “homes.” He actually moved home, to live with God. I on the other hand, moved to our new house, the place that was to be a home.

Now, after seven years, it almost feels like a home. Every day I’m thankful for his worst, and best present to me.

The side yard of our house, a view to love.

What was the best present you ever received?

What was the worst present you ever received?

What is the best present you ever gave?

Hooking up ( a couple of days late) with Lisa Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday.

Birthday Comfort

Photoshop version of the birthday cake. Photo courtesy Joe Marquez

Today is Hotshot’s birthday.

Hotshot is my first, from scratch, grandchild. He arrived at a dark time in my life, when storm clouds were gathering preparing to dump a torrent of pain in my life.

But Hotshot came.

He was early, almost a month before his due date. He was small. But, he was healthy. It gave me comfort to know he was here and safe. He was comforting to hold.

His mom and he came to our house. His presence comforted his grandpa.

All our grandchildren give comfort in different ways and different times.

Hotshot gave comfort in the dark time. He continues to comfort me, because every year when  I remember that dark time my heart breaks a little. But, also every year, he turns a year older. It is such fun to watch him grow.

Many people thought his birthdays would be a bittersweet time for me. They are not.

Sure, the pain of the dark time returns. Did it ever really leave?

But his birthday doesn’t bring the pain or the memories of the darkness. His birthday brings happiness and joy and memories of fun times. He and his birthday shine the light on my life, banishing the dark times to the far corners.

God has graced our family with six grandchildren. Each with their own abilities and skills. Each bring joy from a different perspective.

 

Linking up with Lisa-Jo and the great group that participates in Five Minute Friday. The main rule is to write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking – on the topic that Lisa-Jo posts about each week.

 

 

Brave Enough

Once again linking up with Lisa Jo Baker and others for Five Minute Friday.

I promised myself I’d start back up with the Five Minute Friday in May. Here is it Saturday, and the Five Minute Friday post for yesterday is just now going up. But, better late than not at all.

Brave

We often think and even say someone is brave, much braver than we’d be in the same circumstances.

But, here’s the thing, we’re as brave as we need to be at any given moment if we just allow ourselves to be.

When God called my husband home, several of my friends said, “Oh, I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know what I’d do if it was me.” And then later when I’d do something different, “You are so brave.”

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

First no one knows what we’d do in someone else’s shoes. We haven’t been there yet so how can we know? I certainly didn’t know what I’d do when left alone. Not completely alone of course, God was always with me, and my husband’s memory stays. But, physically, alone.

I just took one step at a time. Sometimes not even whole steps. Sometimes not even steps, I just stood still and let God hold me up. But, one day, one hour, one minute at a time, I muddle through.

It’s the same for everyone. Whatever their challenge, we all bravely face it a piece at a time.

The same way we make a quilt, even a difficult one. We do one row, one block, one patch at a time.

There are quilts I haven’t gotten brave enough to tackle yet, maybe I never will. Yet, there are others that I do with relish. Brave as I need to be for the project at hand.

We are as brave as we need to be at the moment. Don’t worry that you don’t have the bravery of someone else, you don’t need it yet. What are you bravely facing today?

Linking up with Lisa Jo Baker

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

and Boost your Blog.

Learning about New Friends

Cruising around the internet it’s fun to meet new people. In the last couple of days I’ve met several thanks to the sewing/quilting challenges and a blog building challenge, also known as the ultimate blog challenge.

For the ultimate blog challenge we are attempting to post every day to our blog for the month of January. Every.single.day. Whew.

Since Mondays are about introducing you to others, quilters, authors, inspirational speakers, I figured why not start with me? Here they are, ten questions I borrowed from another blogger.

1.What was the Happiest Moment of your life –

When I realized my boyfriend, later to become my husband, loved me and I loved him.

David & Nita 1972 cropped

2.What is your earliest memory?

Going to my great grandmother’s house with my mother when I was three or four. The house had hard wood floors and I wore those patent leather with hard soles. I liked the sound of the shoes on the floor. Most of the adults tried to get me to walk quietly, but grandma, from her bed would call out, “Leave that baby alone.” Later I’d go in and climb up in the bed with her. She had cancer and the bones in one leg were practically gone. It had to have hurt when I climbed up on that bed and jostled her until I was settled. She never said anything, just smiled at me and then we’d talk.

Great grandparents

Great grandparents

3. Is there something about me that you’ve always wanted to know but have never asked?

Probably, but I don’t know what it is at the moment.

4. What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?

We aren’t promised a tomorrow and there isn’t always an answer. Some things have to be taken on faith.

5. Do you have any regrets?

I try not to. Every mistake or decision I’ve made helped make me who I am and I’m a pretty cool person.

6. When in life have you felt most alone? The morning my husband left. We’d been married 34 years and now God had called him home. All I had left were the memories and our fantastic kids.

7. How would you like to be remembered?

As a caring and loving person. There’s a saying about being the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning satan groans and says, “crud, she’s up.” I want to be remembered at that woman.

8. What does your future hold?

I have no idea. Fun. Adventure. Learning. Books. Quilts. The future is waiting to be discovered.

9. When did you first fall in love?

I thought I was in love when I was 17. In hindsight I was in love with the idea of being in love. When I met my husband I learned about real love.

10. Can you tell me about your first kiss?

Now why would anyone want to know about my first kiss? I was in high school; I really didn’t have much to do with boys until then.

There you have it, ten things you never you needed to know about me. Anything I left out? What about you? Want to answer that last question and tell about your first kiss?

Is There Too Much of a Good Thing?

Remember the holidays of your youth, and maybe even the more recent “healthier” versions? Holidays where the family and friends gathered for visits and food. Lots and lots of food. Tables groaning from the weight of the food. Every flat service as a food-server.

Remember those meals? Remember how we’d leave the table barely able to walk because everything was soooooo good and we consumed much more than our usual daily fare?

Remember those feelings? Well, currently, that’s how I am with blog hops and challenges.

It seems every time I click on a blog I’m following they are about to begin a blog hop or challenge. Worse, they’re inviting me to join in. It wouldn’t be so bad if the hops didn’t sound like fun, but they always do. Right now I’m following, or participating in a couple of challenges or hops.

1. The Ultimate Blog Challenge, UBC – the brain child of Michele Scism. The idea is to post on our blogs ever day in January. Every.single.day. Today is day 12 and this post will be number 8. I have another post in mind, was going to tack the information here, but why not give it its own post? That will leave me three behind. With any luck I’ll come back tonight and post about my week with post 10. Then I’ll only be two posts behind. 🙂

2. The Finishers – A Facebook group devoted to cleaning out and finishing projects in our UFO stash. It started last year, I finished, I think, three UFOs. This year will be better.

3. Get it Done – From Judy Laquidera at Patchwork Times. For this challenge we list four projects we’ve started and plan to finish in a given month as well as four more projects we’d “like” to complete. My list is here.

4. The Rainbow Scrap Challenge – From the Super Scrappy Blog, oh my how I love anything with scraps. For this one, a color will be selected each month and we will make something, or finish something, in that color. January is all about pink. Hot pink. I need to get cracking on that one. This challenge didn’t require a sign-up, but I do need to add her button to my sidebar.

5. In the non-sewing/quilting lane we have reading. Specifically reading historicals. This challenge comes from Historical Tapestry.

6.  On Friday’s the goal is to link up with The Gypsy Mama, write for five minutes, no editing, no over thinking, and posting.

As if those weren’t enough, I’m adding another challenge, hop to my plate. It gets it’s own post.

I love Blog Hops and challenges. Enough is enough however, for me there is too much of a good thing. How about you, is there such a thing as too much? Are you involved in any hops or challenges?

Taking Time for Thanks

Jim Reeves, and other artists recorded a song, THE FARMER AND THE LORD.  It reminds us there is always something for which to be thankful. You can hear the song here.

Last year I found Janice Tanton and joined her journey to list five things I’m thankful for each day. Thursday’s I’ll recap the previous week’s gratitudes.

Friday, January 4

Someone willing to write a blurb for my book My second quilting devotional is finished, and I wanted to add a blurb on the back from another quilter. Barb is willing to be that person. The sunshine makes the day brighter, my kitchen is clean, I’m making progress on making a sewing room and most especially I’m thankful for PeeWee and her help in clearing out the future sewing room.

Saturday, January 5

Finding new blogs,  others’ blogs add variety, education and fun. I’m always thankful when I find a new one I enjoy. Five Minute Friday, the brain child of Lisa Jo at The Gypsy Momma and her friends. It’s where we write for 5 minutes about a subject she posts and then we post, no editing no second guessing. It’s fun? Courage found to do difficult tasks. Grandkids carrying on a tradition, showing in livestock shows, like their daddy and grandpa. Milk for breakfast cereal, because seriously, who wants to eat cereal and not have milk?

Sunday, January 6

Crispy potato wedges, I actually left them in the oven long enough to become crispy. I’m thankful for the patience and the taste. Policeman stopped me on my way home last night, I’m thankful it wasn’t for lawbreaking, so no ticket. Thankful he did stop me, to let me know my headlight was out, before it caused an accident. Grateful there are stock shows close enough to attend if I so desire. While the calendar says January, the temps say more October. Love and appreciate the lack of cold.

Monday, January 7.

I’m always thankful for the people in my life, and periodically I will list five of them for my daily gratitudes. Monday was one of those days. I met these five ladies through the internet and they have all blessed my life considerably. Amy Mullis is a funny writer. Really she is. Check out her venture, Stage of Life. I must warn you, it’s best not to have liquids in your mouth when reading her insightful prose.  She is a fun cheerleader and has boosted me several times when I’ve been down.

Mariam Kobras was promoting her first book, The Distant Shore, and caught my attention. Who knew she was a quilter before she became an author? We have become good online friends and I’m looking forward to meeting her this year when she once again is in the United States. Her blog, Author on the Porch, often includes snippets from her books.

I “met” Lauri Rottmayer through Mariam. Now how strange is that? An author in Germany connects two Okies? Lauri makes me smile every time I see her tweets. One of these days she and I will meet in real life and have lunch.

Rebecca Laffer-Smith, is another friend from “across the pond.” She is an Australian author. We  met at AbsoluteWrite.

Lisa Adams, is caring, encouraging, a mother, and a cancer warrior. I always look forward to seeing her posts. I worry and send up prayers for her when I don’t.

Those are just five of the awesome people I’ve met online.  Hope you enjoyed meeting them too.

Tuesday, January 8

In Your Words Blog hop, a group of quilters selected a word for the year and made a small quilt/wall hanging featuring the word. It’s great fun, not only to see the words others have chosen, but also the many creative ways of expressing the words. Pretzels, the hard crunchy salty ones. Had some left from the holidays and enjoyed munching them. Technology that works, because often it doesn’t. Book signings, always thankful to meet others who enjoy reading and quilting. Also it’s a fun  way to promote and sell my book. Fifth gratitude, finally, making progress on finding and establishing a routine.

Wednesday, January 9

I don’t often dream, or at least the dreams aren’t remembered, thankful to not only have and remember the dreams, but also the reconnection with those I love, even if only in my sleep. I love attending Toastmasters, and am thankful for the Atoka group that is only an hour away. Rain, filling the ponds, and adding much needed moisture to the soil. Having a safe trip, after dark and in the rain, neither are my favorite driving conditions, thankful the trip was uneventful. Red birds that brighten the dull winter landscape.

Thursday, January 10

Receiving cards in the mail, just because someone cared. The bills are all paid for another month and there was money to pay the bills. Places and people to visit or see, a reason to leave the house and be involved in life.

As Jim Reeves points out in the song, regardless of the down side, there is an upside, and always something to be thankful we have in our lives. Have you taken time to notice some of your blessings? Please share, either here or join us on Twitter, using the hashtag 5dailygratitudes.