Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Good to Be Alive!

Sometimes it feels like I'm watching from the outside, sometimes it feels like I'm breathing,  but am I alive? 

I love this song by Building 429

So when the walls come falling down on me and when I'm lost in the current of a raging sea I have this blessed assurance holding me.

All I know is I'm not home yet, this is not where I belong...take this world and give me Jesus...this is not where I belong...

But it's where I reside for now, and even when I'm not sure of my purpose or where I'm going, I know that I'm suppose to "work 'til Jesus comes" and live each day to the fullest.


The past few weeks have been glorious! There's been a break in "winter" - if you can call it that, after all I do live on the Texas Gulf Coast...seriously, it's been an answer to prayer to have beautiful sunshine after some dark days. Makes me feel more alive.

I did it! Got the dream machine! January 18th I took my maiden voyage on my new bike for almost four miles up and down the Galveston seawall. It's an old cliche but oh so accurate I'm like a kid with a new bike!

Seriously, who knew that riding a bike would make me feel young again, alive!

So my first day out I'm trying really hard to NOT fall off the seawall - its a huge drop off to the beach below and trust me, not something you'd wish on your worst enemy. Being winter and a weekday it wasn't too crowded, yet it still made me nervous every time I came upon someone and had to pass them - especially if they were walking in front of me and had their backs to me...Bike to the right sir .... lady driver....  Or Bike to your left - it's my first day out...  Yeah, it was a good thing that it wasn't very crowded on the seawall. After my return to the bike shop (where the car was parked) I decided that I needed to accessorize the bike with a bell so I could be a little more sure that folks could hear me coming and jump out of my way!

Oh how I hated to pack up and head to the mainland...I think I could just live on the island and ride my bike every day! 

But alas, a little quilting needed to be done...and this time on a personal that I pieced the blocks almost a year ago and left hanging on my design wall... it was time...

I took a little longer to quilt than anticipated...only because I decided to overquilt the feather was like quilting it three times (see top photo for close up - one side is the original design, the other side shows how it looks after adding the "overquilting" design element).  This is one of my dizzy quilts, yet unnamed (open to suggestions). I love the purple zebra type print that pulls all the scraps together as well as the purple checked print on the border adding to it's dizzy youngest son said the checkerboard reminded him of a tablecloth - perhaps this will be my biking picnic blanket...all I know is I almost like the back better - you can see the quilting design more!

I have to admit, it's been very hard to stay focused these past two weeks. All I want to do is "ride, Karen, ride"  Since it is still January, even in Texas, there's been a few days that the weather wasn't just picture perfect but I'd get out there and put in my miles as best I could - even  on a few foggy days or the days where I needed to wear my rain slicker.  What can I say, I'm addicted! I can't explain how alive I feel when I'm riding my bike!

I've found a couple of different routes around the neighborhood. Some that are just 2 or 3 miles for those days with limited time because I really need to be quilting and some as long as 7 to 8 miles. I realize that's not breaking any records, going an average of 7 miles per hour - but it's just what I need...The view is pleasant and I've been blessed to be accompanied by various family members at various times. Bike riding is contagious!

Speaking of family...I just had to take a picture of my youngest son making a baby quilt for a friend. He pieced it and I quilted it. 

Working with him on this project and having multiple bikes rides with my husband, my youngest son, and my daughter-in-law  as well as many many solo rides (total 85 miles in 12 days) has made me really stop and reflect on the importance of being with my family - something that I've put on the back burner for way too long. How easy it is to get caught up in the busyness of life - deadlines, to do lists, obligations, what's for dinner?  Stuff like that. Or distractions that keep you from focusing on the important things of the day...that of just rejoicing that I'm alive!

So here's to more bike rides, more quilts, more time with family, and more time to just stop and reflect that   ITS' GOOD TO BE ALIVE!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Island Time

I've been known to take photos of my feet and post to Facebook or email friends with the caption: Current World View.  Most times it's my bare feet resting in my hammock...but today, it was my feet hanging over the seawall ! Yep, I didn't plan too well in the shoe department...but I'm getting ahead of my story...

We've had more than several days of nasty weather here on the Texas gulf coast...yesterday my yard had standing water and we were under a flash flood watch...during the night we had more rain and I heard on the radio this morning that there were several houses struck by lightening up into Houston..yep, like I said, it hasn't been too fun around here. And this gal who needs sunshine to function was starting out pretty low this morning.

I tried to exercise,  got my dancing shoes on and jumped around to the zumba "Good Morning" song - like I said, I've got two left feet when it comes to dancing, but I was laughing and doing my best to wake up. It was short lived. I decided that sweeping and mopping could be considered exercise so I turned off the videos and went to work in the house...had it really been since preparing for guests at Thanksgiving since I'd mopped? Sigh.  I'm too transparent for my own good...yes, it's been that long.

About then the sun broke through and I had this crazy idea to head to the island. Galveston Island that is. Where no matter the weather I'm guaranteed a pick me up! Just the thoughts of the Island and the special secrets it holds makes wish that were my reality each and every day. I could really get used to that!

I parked on the seawall and started walking, petting a few pups as they and their owners passed me by. Not too crowded this time of year, that's the way I like it - sorta private. I really like to walk on the sand, but I wasn't thinking and had on my heeled boots. It was a tad too cool to take them off and walk barefoot - I do that a lot...

I found a spot where I could walk down to the water without getting in the sand...I was on the island, full of wonderful thoughts and so glad I'd decided to play hookie...I'm smiling even now...

After a little reflecting I decided to stop in the Island Bike shop across the street...I've been doing a little online research and contemplating the idea of owning a bike. I haven't owned a bike since high school - remember when 10 speeds first came out? Yep, I've just dated myself. The only bike riding I've done in 30+ years was a stationary one at the gym and I found that terribly frustrating. I like to see go places. I'm not one to be stationary! 

So I find myself walking into a bike shop that not only rents bikes and surreys but sells and services them.  I had lots of questions....and then he asked if I wanted to take a test drive around the block. He didn't have a girl's bike in the style he suggested for me, but I was welcomed to try out the boy's bike...I said no, because I had on heeled boots.  I left with catalogs and brochures to walk the few blocks back to my car parked down the seawall - and changed my mind. Fickle female, I decided that I indeed wanted to take a spin - so I drove over there and did just that!

The owner rolled the bike out the front door for me, and told me to take my time, go around the block at least and experience the incline coming back to see if I really wanted a single gear bike instead of a 3 or 7 speed. (I don't like hand brakes, they scare me - and I don't like to "lean over" like I did on that old 10 speed). I couldn't believe that he was letting me just ride off like that - but then again, he was holding my car keys with my purse locked inside (grin).

I'm really a shy person in some regards. I'm not real confident in a lot of things, so I do best when no one is watching me. How thankful I was that no one else was in the parking lot and he went back indoors. I would have hated if he'd hovered, that would have made me feel old and incapable - something I didn't want to be apparent!   I have to admit it was a stretch to get my leg over that "boy bar" - obviously all my 4 days of exercise hasn't limbered me up quite that much.  Okay. I'm on. The seat was the right height, it took just a moment to find the pedals and get my balance. What's the old saying about riding a bike? that it comes back to you? Well, it wasn't instant I can tell you, but I wasn't afraid - strange, but for once I really wasn't overly concerned if I'd mess up and make a fool of myself. Maybe it was the fact that no one was watching.  I'd peddled about two turns when I figured I'd best test out the brake to make sure I knew how to use it!

I was a tad wobbly as I rounded the parking lot heading to the sidewalk on my right. By the end of the corner I had my balance and turned right towards town. It was then that I realized I was going to have to get off the sidewalk and enter the street because the sidewalk was quickly ending. Oh good! There's two driveways coming up, all I have to do is do a slight turn left and I'm on the road! Have to admit that thought scared me a bit and it was the second driveway before I got the nerve up to slow down and maneuver like that. Thoughts of finding out just how hard that concrete would be if I fell flashed momentarily as I hit a broken area in the road and tested out the shocks on that seat. But I made it and suddenly, at the time I least expected it - I felt alive! I was actually riding a bike - and no training wheels!

The first block came up suddenly. I wasn't ready for this to be over yet. He said "take your time" didn't he? Surely I could go another block before turning around....

I was sitting tall, I felt the wind in my hair, I felt confident. I felt freedom - dare I say, I felt young! This was exhilarating - especially combined with my earlier experiences of enjoying island time. 

I was going to turn on the third block, really I was, but it was a one way street going the wrong I went four blocks away from the seawall bike shop. Oh! and one of them had a four way stop and I managed that without any hick-ups. I was really liking this experience!

Turn right, go several more blocks before the cross street that lead back to the seawall...hum..didn't realize living in this "flatland" that we actually have some inclines. Yep, had to put the old legs to work...but then again, I'm wanting this for exercise right?  By the time I got back to the parking lot my busy little brain is trying to figure out how I can budget for this...Entering the parking lot I notice someone else with their bike - looks like they were airing up a tire or something, they didn't even glance my way...much to my relief!!!

Stopping wasn't pretty. Well, it wasn't so much the stopping as it was the dis-mounting.  I'd forgotten I was on a boy's bike and my leg got hung up trying to swing off. Next thing I knew my knees were to the ground with the bike on top of me! Much to my relief NO ONE saw me or came to my rescue! Saved from public humiliation! Of course I laughed and picked myself up, rolled the bike inside and confessed to the owner that  the conclusion of my test drive was less than graceful!

I thanked him and said that I hoped to be back on the weekend if the weather was nice to rent a bike and ride for an hour or so on the seawall...I do hope the weather holds!

I'm in love. I know it's silly. But today made me feel alive. The sunshine, the laughter, the wind in my uninhibited as I could be at the time...I truly enjoyed my island time today. More memory building! I'd like to play hookie more often!

Now if I can just figure out how to make that bike mine - don't imagine me in a 70's halter top and hot pants, but I bet I can have just as much fun!  Dreams....somewhere in time. Island time.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

She Makes Quilts

 Proverbs 31:22 She makes coverings for her bed

The Proverbs 31 woman is very energetic - she gets up early to take care of her household, she deals in fine linens and scarlet cloth...and she makes sure her family is warm in the winter by making bed coverings. 

There are a lot more virtues to this woman, but as I read this passage today I kinda focused in on the quilting part (grin).

One thing that I did today, like the Proverbs 31 woman, was get up early! About an hour earlier than yesterday thinking I'd do better about fitting in my exercising. I'm sooo glad no one can see my pitiful attempts! Today I thought I'd try zumba. What a hoot!

I do love this song and I like these ladies (they have several YouTubes so I hope to learn to do more) - I attempted three different "dances" but have to admit I just managed to jump around a bit - but that's okay - I was moving right! And I  was laughing at myself - so it proved to be a great way to start my day.

Here's a close up of the customer quilt I finished this afternoon. I was most eager to get it finished so I could work on something special....

How do you like my color choices?  This is the beginnings of a class sample.... back in 2005 I designed a very simple quilt to teach basic beginning techniques....rotary cutting, quarter inch seam, chain piecing, strip piecing, basic four patch, basic block construction, assembling the blocks into the quilt top...and then how to "quilt it" by stitch in the ditch free motion quilting on the domestic sewing machine and finishing it up by hand sewn binding.... the original class was taught to high school girls in the young mothers class in Galveston. The finished quilt was for their newborns or expected babies. It was most rewarding to teach these young ladies a viable skill . I'm sad to report that I lost touch with them, but it is my hope and desire that at least a few of them continued and caught the "quilting bug".

Now it's time to teach beginners again. I've been wanting to do this for over a year now and the time is soon approaching. This afternoon, in a matter of a few hours, I cut out all the strips needed for the project and began the piecing...

Hopefully in the next few days I will be able to complete the class sample and set dates for new students to embark on this journey of quilting...then it too can be said of them..."she makes quilts"

A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Proverbs 31:10-31

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Proceed with Caution

 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble on its own. Matthew 6:34

What a day! It started out pretty good - the alarm went off and I jumped out of bed eager to begin the new day. Well, that's an exaggeration, didn't really leap out of bed, but I did have a plan!

Yep, I was going for "day two" of exercise! Several months back I purchased my "magic bullet" - an exerciser to end all exercisers, one that I knew would give me that slim trim look in only 30 days! Well, the problem with it was you have to use it more than three times for it to work. Sigh.

Today was the day! I pulled out my trusty little exercise DVD, set up the Core Body Reformer, had my exercise gear on and away I went....I was huffing and puffing and really thought I was going to die, and then she said "that was round one, now that you know the routine we are going to do it three more times"...and that's when I put in the stretching DVD from yesterday - that was hard enough! But I did it, I stretched and patted myself on the back for at least moving and not falling over. It's a start!

So far so good right? Well, just when you think it's safe to go back into the water something goes wrong...very wrong.  Seems our bathroom sink has been stopping up lately. Liquid Plumber was working over time but needed a little help....and then it happened. The pipe broke and flooded the cabinet underneath...Time to call a professional plumber...sigh...

 It would be afternoon before I could be worked into the schedule. That's okay, at least I knew help was coming. We only have one bathroom and trying to remember NOT to use the sink was most difficult. Good thing I am a resourceful woman - I mean, who else do you know that keeps caution tape just laying around the studio!

On to bigger things. This lovely batik quilt was up next on the frame. You'd think that it's beauty would keep me glued to the machine, but alas, I was battling with my mind today. Worry was creeping it's way back in. The clouds had rolled back around, figuratively and literally. Oh how I miss sunshine. I turned the praise and worship music up really loud.... God inhabits the praise of His people right? And music calms the does a conversation with a good friend reassuring me that I'm not alone in this sometimes upsetting world.

I had hoped to have a photo of the completed quilt, but found myself taking time off while the plumber was here - sorta hard to run the machine with someone working in your house...besides, it was someone "live" to talk to for a bit (grin). Seriously, I didn't hover, I respect a working man too much to do that.  A few hours later I have new pipes and an unexpected repair bill!

And a day that has gotten away from me, again.  Goodness. I don't have an answer for that one. Some days are diamonds, some days are stone...but in retrospect I can say that I did accomplish a few goals: (1) I exercised - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger right? (2) I managed to eat healthy all day (3) I have now "gone back to work" after the holidays and illness - a little slower going, but I do need to apply the grace factor here, maybe it was just a half a day, but it was pleasant and I did enjoy the process and (4) I have a new set of pipes that won't leak and because of the process I have a clean bathroom and clean cabinets! and (5) I learned that God gives you people to come a long side you to encourage you when you are down - reminding me that I don't walk this journey alone.

One of the songs today was most meaningful..."He gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord". Whatever lesson it is that I'm suppose to be learning I hope I passed the test. It wasn't in my budget to have repairs but I'm trusting that God already knows that and He has a plan to redeem what was lost.  I'm thankful that He always provides, even when I slip up and worry

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. Psalm 8:3-5

Monday, January 7, 2013

First Monday of the First Month

Did anyone else notice? Today was the first Monday of a new month, actually, the first Monday of the new year! For most folks with "real jobs" it probably felt like a Monday, and not just any Monday, but a full fledged know what I mean!

I've always been one to want to celebrate the ordinary - turn every day into a party...well, I think Mondays are something to celebrate. Technically the "first day of the week" is Sunday but in our society we count the first day of the "work week" as the first day of the week and count down until the weekend...our self-declared reward for making it through another week!

So just how did I celebrate this first Monday of the new year? I slept in. Sorry. For those who have to punch the clock I know you want to punch me about now (grin). But in self-defense, I didn't sleep well last night, actually wide awake for several hours, so I guess my body made up for it and I slept a couple of hours past my normal wake up time.

But! I did redeem the time and did something "productive" - I took the shrink-wrap off a DVD that I purchased at the 2011 Houston International Quilt Festival and actually exercised along with the DVD! Yep, got those muscles all stretched out and I really think I had more clarity of mind today. Stretching for Quilters will give you a small taste of this 40 minute stretching. I'm not sure where you can purchase this, but if you are handy with a computer I'm sure you can locate it.

That accomplished I then had a "green smoothie" for breakfast. Around September I've started what is called a Paleo lifestyle which is simply eating unprocessed foods as much as possible, avoiding grains (gluten-free) and very very limited, if any, sugar. Actually I'm trying to do more of a "Phase One" diet from Know the Cause  if anyone is interested. My smoothie was full of protein, fruits, and greens and provided good energy for the remainder of my morning.

A while back when I was trying to better organize my time and not feel like I worked all the time I came up with a plan of "taking Mondays off"...sounds wonderful doesn't it? I mean, as a quilter I pretty much work on Saturdays because sometimes that's the only day available for my customers who punch a clock in the real world to drop off or pick up their quilts. So I don't have a "normal" weekend. I pretty much take Sundays off - for worship and fun things for myself (like shopping, working on a personal project, or just taking a Sunday afternoon nap). The idea of a "two day weekend" was very appealing so it just made sense to take Mondays as my day off. Of course, real life doesn't always permit this, but its a good guilt free goal when it does happen!

Today though, I really had planned on working, I'm behind due to the holidays and being sick.. But as the day worn on things just lead away from "clocking in" at the studio. And that's I totally enjoyed the impromptu time with my kiddos late in the afternoon - all three work retail and today found everyone with a much needed day off to run errands and do whatever it is that they do (grin). While the fellows were in the man cave, Katie and I enjoyed some hot tea. That's my new passion - hot tea....

Right after Christmas I discovered Teavarna  and have entered into the world of brewing loose tea. Nothing is more relaxing that a hot mug sitting on the couch visiting with a loved one.  As you can see from the photo above, Pixxie enjoys the couch time too!

What I'm enjoying at this very moment is the guilt-free, stress-free, worry-free attitude of today. Yes, there were plenty of things I could have/should have done today (I did some laundry, does that count? OH! and the dishes!) but the simple act of relaxing and giving my mind and body more time to heal is going to outweigh any to-do list that didn't get checked off. Tomorrow is a new day. I hope to begin it with some exercise and I do plan on "clocking in" - will share some quilting photos tomorrow...but today...I celebrated the first Monday of the new year with a little stretching, a couple of mugs of hot tea, and family time.

It doesn't get any better than this!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

No Worries!

I knew today's message would speak to me! No Worries! based on Matthew 6:25-34....(Calvary Houston)

Worry is a distrust in God. By definition it means anxious, fret, to have fear, or to choke or strangle. Doesn't sound too healthy now does it? In fact, worry effects all sorts of things physically - your glands, your heart, your nervous system - things that can actually shorten your life.

According to the verses Jesus addresses three basic things people worry about - food, the future, and clothing (or fashion as Pastor Ron referred to it).

In the example of food we are told that God sustains the birds and that we are much greater to Him than them. The point was also made that birds don't stockpile, they don't fret over their next meal. God provides daily for them, and He will for us as His children.

We tend to worry a lot about our future - but worry doesn't and can't lengthen our lives. Oh we can do our best to eat healthy, exercise, and all that - but even these good things doesn't lengthen our life, it may help the quality of our life but it doesn't give quantity of life. In other words, we shouldn't be consumed with our future - because it  chokes out our ability to enjoy today.

Concerning "fashion" - the example is the flowers of the field - even King Solomon in all his glory wasn't robed as glamorous as the flowers, and they are seasonal and don't last long - He cares about us so much more. In other words, don't be people of little faith, the kind that worry about what to eat or wear, but instead trust Him with our daily needs, after all, we trust Him with our eternal destiny so how hard do we really think it is for Him to care for us!

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

So to trust God for our daily "manna" we need to move from an earthly mindset to a heavenly mindset - seek Him first. This is a conditional promise - God takes care of those who put Him first!  Isaiah 26:3 says that He keeps him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him.

Worry of tomorrow cripples us today. Today has it's own issues, and we can trust Him today with those issues. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever - His provision is full, He has been faithful, and He will sustain us. Lamentations 3:23 reminds us that His mercy is new every morning!

So I left the morning services encouraged by the Word and thrilled with the change in the weather! The sun was shining (of course THE Son is always shining, but I do like the other type a lot a lot!). I decided to practice what I preached yesterday (grin) and to make a point to enjoy the day.

And that I did! I went to lunch after church with a girlfriend, then I went to a cooking class at the mall, did a little shopping - like my new coat? Bargain shopping at it's best. I was even able to encourage a clerk who just had to deal with an irate customer right in front of me - my way of spreading a little Sonshine. And then tested out my new coat on a walk around the Kemah boardwalk for a little exercise enjoying the last of the sun rays for the day.

All in all a very wonderful day, with NO worries! Resting in His mercy and promises that He loves me and wants the best for me. I have to admit, it's a lot less stressful to just enjoy the day and not be under pressure! ...and tomorrow...well, tomorrow I will need to remind myself that once again, God has my best interest at heart and all I have to do is have faith to trust Him with my day.

I'll close with a hymn that came to mind as I was walking in the sunlight: Click on the You Tube link below to hear a beautiful rendition recorded on a Mountain Dulcimer  - reminds me of our 20 years in Tennessee!

Heavenly Sunlight
Hymn Lyrics

Walking in sunlight all of my journey;
Over the mountains, through the deep vale;
Jesus has said, “I’ll never forsake thee,”
Promise divine that never can fail.


Heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight,
Flooding my soul with glory divine:
Hallelujah, I am rejoicing,
Singing His praises, Jesus is mine.

Shadows around me, shadows above me,
Never conceal my Savior and Guide;
He is the Light, in Him is no darkness;
Ever I’m walking close to His side.


In the bright sunlight, ever rejoicing,
Pressing my way to mansions above;
Singing His praises gladly I’m walking,
Walking in sunlight, sunlight of love.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Enjoy the Process

 Sigh. Where to begin. It has been way too long since I've blogged. Days, weeks, months have passed (said with an Eeyore voice!). Some of them significant, some of them best forgotten. Nothing really out of the ordinary, can't remember any cute quips or funny stories to share. I'm sure I've learned a few lessons along the way, but I didn't record them. Sometimes not even in my then the question is, did I really learn anything? Or were my days just little squares on a calendar page long torn off and discarded? Hum, I don't really know,

Isn't this the time of year that we stop to reflect on the past year, make those resolutions, all those things we want to change about ourselves or our habits? I saw a cartoon today where one was asking another "just what is a resolution?" and the answer was "January's to do list."

High hopes. I always have such high hopes, things I want to accomplish, goals to be better, loose weight, exercise, keep the house neater, be nicer to strangers (and family!), deep clean, finish up projects, etc.  Sometimes I think I just set myself up for failure because the goals are usually too many for one person to accomplish at one time. The need to measure a day by the "production"....don't get me wrong, sometimes that is a very necessary part of life...but sometimes I think my goal for the day would just simply be better to "enjoy the day".

Hence the photo above. I was all stressed out because my "time off" between Christmas and New Year's didn't go according to my plan....I got sick. Socking. Really! Okay, I know I'm not the only one out there who has suffered with the flu, but you have to understand, I never get sick! Seriously, we tried to remember the last time I wound up sick in bed - that's how my body heals, deep sleep - well, it hasn't been in this century! Can't remember actually...anyway, the fact that my week didn't go as planned really bummed me out. And with the sun wanting to hide for well over a week has contributed to my restlessness, my unfulfilled empty and alone feeling. that deep melancholy feeling that I can't seem to shake...I seriously need sunshine!

So on my one day that I found I  could devote selfishly to myself all I did was just turn in circles in my studio. I wanted to work on something, but there were too many choices and the time was short. Did I start a new project, or did I pull out one that was almost finished so I could say I finished something? I was wasting time with my indecisiveness and THAT  certainly wasn't being very productive.

It was then I remembered something my husband has shared with me on numerous times - "enjoy the process."  Too many times I get caught up in the end result and want to rush right through something so I can mark it off my to do list. Or those deadlines, gosh how they can rule your life if you let them (especially if you are a procrastinator like me!). Seems like I'm always rushing through something to get on to the next something. Where's the joy in that?!?!?!

I peeked ahead and already know that tomorrow's sermon is going to speak to me...Our pastor teaches verse by verse and tomorrow's passage is from Matthew 6, the part where Jesus talks about worry... about how the birds are taken care of and the fact that God loves us more than the birds. I'm already feeling both convicted and released. Set free from over analyzing, stressing over the to do list, being gloomy cuz the sun isn't shining and I can't find the energy to focus.... or to put one foot in front of another.

Enjoy the process. That's what I did the day of that photo. I wish I had a pieced top to share, but I don't. Just 20 blocks made for a quilt that needs 4 to 5 times that much. Is it another mounding unfinished project? Who knows. I'd like to finish it, I like the way the colors and design are coming together. How soon do I think I can steal away time to work on it again? Who knows...and when that time comes I may be distracted and want to work on something else. All I know is that I did enjoy the process that day and I hope I  can remember to enjoy each day.

Even the dark gloomy days. Even the days when I'm alone and it seems like there's no one to talk to. Even the days when all I do is put one foot in front of the other and focus on the task at hand. Yep. Joy is a choice. Enjoying the process is a choice. Not just existing, not just checking off the to do list...but truly enjoying  being alive and thankful for God's provisions for that day.

That's my goal. Be grateful for each breath I breathe and do my best not to be so wasteful with all those precious moments, all those little squares on the calendar page. It's a new month, a new year, and a new opportunity!  thanks for taking time to share the journey.