Monday, July 6, 2009

Perserverance (and Prayer)

Monday. Who would have thought.

A wonderful Monday! Typically Mondays are met with a groan. Not today.

Woke up to the radio DJ talking about having an "attitude of gratitude" and things just went up from there.

Who would have thought "normality" would have been so long in the coming. So easy to want to give up, to be discouraged. Yet how many verses and numerous songs do I know that talk about "waiting on the Lord". Umm humm.

And then there was that little sermon yesterday that is still mulling around in my head (and my heart)....speaking on being "armed" for spiritual warfare....the topic "weapon of prayer"...certainly something to think upon today - good thing I took notes! (1) the frequency of prayer - always. (2) the diversity of prayer - general requests and specific requests (3) the power of prayer - praying in the spirit - when we don't know how or what to pray the Holy Spirit in us leads and guides (4) the watchfulness of prayer - being careful of sinful interruptions that separate us from asking God's forgiveness (5) the perseverance of prayer - that was sorta my keyword today - not giving up, but keepin' on keeping on. Prayer is hard work, but we grow when we are challenged to persevere. (6) our object of prayer (in the context of Ephesians 6:18-24) is to pray for the believers that they might be strong in spiritual battles and (7) the perspective of prayer - to be a bold witness. This has been a good series, and if you are interested in the real meat of the subject be sure and check out Calvary Houston and download the podcast to listen to on your computer or iPod.

Okay, so back to Monday. My Monday. Perseverance. Normality. Well, maybe not totally normal, but a new normal, a good start to a new routine. At least it felt more normal than I have experienced for the past three weeks with travel and guests and not having time to quilt for hire....but wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.

It's good to have goals, and it can be discouraging when there are road blocks to those goals...but instead of dwelling on the past failures or temporary detours and giving up, a little perseverance kicked in this morning -- by way of an alarm clock! Yep. I actually made it back to the Y today for my water aerobics class -- haven't been in over 3 weeks and it felt soooo good to be back in the water. Never mind the class is at 7 AM!! It's Texas, and the water was warm!

A great way to kick off my Monday, love the fact that I can shower at the Y after class and be ready to meet my day. Home by 8:30 AM and ready to face the longarm! And this time not for workshops or practice quilts or even my own project, nope. Time to re-establish normal and load a customer quilt! And boy did it feel good!

Of course, it helps to have a pretty quilt on the frame (grin) Even though these aren't my colors (purple, lime green, anything bright and bold) I really loved the batiks. And I loved the freedom. This little quilt is a shop sample and I had free reign to quilt as desired. My machine was really humming, it was timed perfectly and I couldn't have asked for better tension (yes, even on batiks front and back and with a batting that's not number one on my list).

Had to throw in a Karen's Special Butterfly for good measure. The quilt just needed it (grin). A few times I had to remind myself to perservere - especially when the phone rang or an email came through. I needed to remain focused and do my best to get this little quilt done today.

Ah, but interruptions are a way of life. Not all interruptions are bad, as in the case of today. A most pleasant interruption. New customers. A couple of ladies from across town had made an appointment to bring their quilts tops by today. When I say 'across town' you have to realize down here we mean an hour or so away, a real effort sometimes with the ever increasing traffic. These ladies multiplied. I had an appointment with two and four showed up on my door step. When quilters gather you know it's going to be a fun time.

And it was. I managed to squeeze in a lot of yaking while measuring and 'taking in' a quilt. Design ideas discussed. Thread chosen. Paperwork complete. Time to get back to quilting. Did I mention that it's always great to be listening to uplifting music while quilting? That or a good audible. Today it was music and I have to say I was very happy in feeling at home with a familiar routine of normal.

So what do you think? The lighting in my studio doesn't lend itself for good color sometimes, especially in the evening, but trust me, the colors on this baby are pretty. How could anyone go wrong with batiks! They are just yummy.

Ya'know, machine quilters are kinda weird in a way. We tend to look at the quilting more than the piecing...and when you have a busy quilt...well...the back is what really tells the story... so I took a bunch a'bunch of photos of the back. Can you tell I had fun today? If you double click on the photo I think it makes it bigger (grin)

Perseverance paid off this evening too. That and prayer (#2 SPECIFIC prayer)....seems on the way to my summer ladies Bible Study I found that my cell phone didn't want to work...said I wasn't activated or something silly. Now I'm a coward when it comes to going without my phone. I know, my ultimate trust is in the Lord, but the way I've figured it, He's provided me with common sense and a cell phone, so I never leave home without it. Hum...I don't want to miss Bible Study, but I don't want to travel into town without a phone....

Son #1 is my wireless cell-phone guy. No kidding. He works for one of the major companies. Used to be in sales but is now in customer service. I think he was good at both, he's a people person and he knows his stuff. Well....seems over the 4th of July weekend Son #1 and his cool buddies had gone to the hill country to do some river rafting. I get this email on my blackberry from one of his friend's number that is actually from my son informing me that his blackberry didn't make it down river, but that everyone else was alive and well so not to worry.

First thing that comes to my mind when my phone doesn't work is I bet Son #1's deceased phone has something to do with this. So I detoured on my way to church to his house. Chalk up another one to perseverance. Keep knocking till the answer comes!

Sure enough, he's home and on the phone and the internet with his company. Seems when they reactivated his number on a new phone that they actually pulled up my number instead of his (two blackberries on the same family account, simple error I guess). Twenty minutes later I'm be-boppin' down the highway to my study, knowing good and well that the only praise and worship I'd be hearing tonight was on the radio and from my own singing in route.

Yep, I arrive about 30 minutes late. To my utter surprise the entire parking lot is full, I couldn't find a place to park! What a wonderful problem to have. Surly there must be several things going on at the church tonight, couldn't all be women. As I find a place to park I see a gal heading towards the new sanctuary. Hum. I made that mistake last time - we still have our studies in the "old" worship center...I was glad I was late so I could direct her. Come to find out, this was her first time there. Who knows, perhaps in God's sovereignty He allowed me to be late so that this lady wouldn't have been discouraged, given up, and possibly gone home because she couldn't find the group ....who knows? All I know is that my perseverance to NOT give up and go home myself paid off. We had a record crowd of ladies for our summer series Bad Girls of the Bible. If you are local please check out Calvary Houston and join us. If not, wait for the CD's of the series, and/or check out other studies. I know you'll be blessed.

Tonight's study was on Tamar...I'll save some of the thoughts for another rambling...but have to say that it's amazing what you can learn by reading the stories in the Bible -- it's always applicable to our lives today. Throughout HIS story I am reminded of His mercy and grace AND forgiveness. Things keep reminding me to persevere and to "wait upon the Lord" - wherein lies my strength.

Yep. A good Monday. A great start to what promises to be a fantastic week. I mean, just look at Pixxie! Can't you tell she's glad to be back to work too!

1 comment:

fancystitching said...

LOVE this post, Karen! Now that I've met you I can put a voice and face with your writings... that makes them really special. We all need reminders about perseverance and more prayer... thanks for sharing!