I find it interesting that some days aren't according to the "to do list" - you know what I mean...you have certain things planned and think you have it all figured out and it's anything but!
That's not always a bad thing. Unless you are some what of a control freak (grin).
Take this past weekend for example. One thing that went according to plan were my plans to attend a women's conference at my church, Calvary Houston, Friday night and all day Saturday with the theme Abounding. What didn't go as planned was this quilt...mainly because there wasn't a plan!
Well, that's not the absolute truth, there was a goal at least...a goal to try to use some left-over parts and fabric from a previous project(s). Ya'see, several years ago I decided to re-do my living room moving from blue to these colors. I don't even know what color family to call this because it's so foreign to my color pallet of brights and more brights...but it fits my living room nicely. I'd made curtains, pieced a borders quilt wallhanging from a class sometime back in 2008 (it's still waiting to be quilted) and even covered one of two rocking chairs (the other is a UFO)...and oh me oh my, there's still fabric from this beautiful collection! What to do, what to do?
Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
I Corinthians 15:58
Abounding. Means overflow, over doing it, abundance. Yep, I had an abundance of fabric that for sure, so Sunday afternoon while mulling over some of the topics from the conference I decided to work on turning my parts and pieces into something useful.
I wish I'd of thought to take pictures of the process, but didn't think of it until the little parts had grown....
I started out with the diamond in the center that has the rose, added the flying geese next to it and then just went about playing on the design wall - The diamonds in the rectangles were previously pieced as were the flying geese and the half square triangles and tri-triangles used for the pinwheels. The interesting part was piecing them all together.
One of the Abounding themes was Abounding in Service with the key verse the one quoted above. Our speaker was Kym Hindt, pastor's wife from Calvary Houston and founder of our women's ministry. She shared that what we are doing will matter now and in eternity, that we should work hard doing things God's way and not just being busy and burdened. That we should live our Christian life with future vision, to see needs and move to meet those needs. She also stated that to have vision for the future you must be strategizing during the present, preparing and planning...
In a way, that's how I approached this little quilt. Trying not to make it a burden by just being busy working in the fabrics, instead envisioning something useful. As each part was added I'd plan for the next...hum, if I add squares to the pinwheels that should be about the same width as the diamonds and flying geese...gee, I think it needs a little something to separate the design elements and that stripe will work nicely...oh and then why not add the scrappy collection of leftovers...now what about a long strip on the side to give your eyes a place to rest before adding the diamonds...and so the process went as I reflected....
Kym went on to share that abounding in service also included a sense of flexibility, being willing to shift our plans to His plans, in other words, live with the attitude of "if the Lord permits" or "God's will" and recognize that living in Him means to give Him permission to change my plans, and then exercising the choice to be flexible, to just keep moving - allowing God to lead, accepting His opening or closing of doors as He sees fit. When He says move, be flexible and move.
Abounding in service also means doing a job to the best of your ability until its done, commitment to follow through to completeness as well as being faithful in the present. In other words don't quit what you are doing now or become discontent because you look at everything as a stepping stone to what you want to do in the future. Just be faithful in the little things. Keep working.
As my Sunday afternoon of sewing and thinking was coming to an end I reflected on my work... I'd added the half square triangles top and bottom, figured the math for the floating strips to be able to add the drunkard's path blocks (quarter circles for my non-quilting audience) and was ready to pronounce it good. I'd managed to use up a lot of fabric. Loved using the Go cutter for the drunkard's path blocks, the accuracy in the cut made sewing the "pie" to the "L" so much easier. Yep. I'd used up a lot of scraps, actually running out of the green/yellow combo and having to improvise with the pinks to complete the border. Yes, there was still fabric left over, but there's always scraps, right? time to call it quits.
Kym admonished us to not waste time mourning over closed doors (the what if's of life) but instead recognize God as authority - when God closes a door you are at a crossroad - the choice is to go towards the open door or sit and fret over the closed door (which is truly just a waste of time). We should learn to look for the open door with eagerness, not ignoring it - because it may not always be open. What opportunities await? What you do today in service is preparing you for the service of the future, preparing for good work... so be committed to the present and seeing things through to completion.
An opportunity arose today, a window of time was provided....I chose to walk through this open door and embraced the challenge of working towards completing the work I'd begun....
Still reflecting on things gleaned from Kym's session on Abounding in Service...we should have forbearance with people patiently allowing God's spirit to work in their lives - this reminded me of song lyrics "I'm not who I was" - we all grow at different rates, learning things at different times, being patient with others as they too are working through things...and how we should have fruitful fellowship by being a team player, serving together, a co-laborer not trying to do everything in isolation....serving together, getting along...profound simple truths to pattern our lives after. As we all know, life is not always a picnic in the park.. but that facing opposition with challenge is not a reason for retreat. That adventure in ministry (life) is to get in the battle and face it with courage. The greater the challenge, the greater the victory!
Part of my challenge with growing this little quilt was what to do next... and then realizing that there wasn't enough fabric for my final border!...the solution to this challenge was a green corner stone (grin)...and you just thought I did that on purpose!
I certainly have enjoyed the process of this quilt. I had absolutely no idea what I would end up with as I began with parts, scraps, and a little knowledge of how to do a borders quilt. It was a challenge to think of the next part, to "do the math" to make it all fit. But I kept moving forward, committed to finish what I'd begun. Just like we sometimes encounter difficult people in our paths I encountered a few difficult blocks that weren't perfectly square or didn't want to lay flat (grin), but I knew the quilt needed those parts to be successful so we worked it out. All about growth isn't it? Either personal, spiritual, or yes, even functional as in quilting...
The Little Quilt That Grew....may it be a reminder of the need for growth in my own life...
There is so much more to ponder concerning the Abounding Women's conference... Abounding in Faith, Abounding in Hope, Abounding in Love, and Abounding in Grace...if you are interested you may want to visit the Pillar's of the Word website - CD's of the conference are available.