Monday, October 25, 2010

Making up the difference

Since the elders have flown the coop, and taken up temporary residence on the other side of the continent, I've been in turbo-quilting mode.  Projects have piled up around here, are literally covering every available surface in my little sewing room (formerly known as J's bedroom). When I counted what I need to finish before Christmas, it about made me have to go take a nap.  Seven quilts.  Yep, that's right, folks, seven.  Isn't that the number of totality?  Of completion?  As in it will completely total me if I actually manage to finish all of them? But despite my lack of worldly ambition, I do have it.  Ambition, that is.  And I like to finish things.  I REALLY like to finish things.  It might come from that whole wrote-a-book-but didn't-manage-to-get-it-published-even-after-47,000-revisions-and-eight-long-years thing.  Or maybe from growing up with a mother who tended to start projects but never finish them.  I hated seeing her half-braided macrame plant-hangers laying on the dining room table, along with letters she wrote but never mailed (though come to think of it, maybe that was better than the ones that did get to their recipients), and lists of things she planned to cook/buy/do, wanted us to do, wanted Dad to do. Anyway, I don't make lists very often, certainly don't make them unless I can check things off of them, and absolutely don't want to say I'll do a thing and not follow through with it.  It weighs on me.  Keeps me awake at night until I'm itching with it, feel like every molecule is fidgeting with need to get up and get going. 

So I have quilts to make.  When I told Re the actual number I have in the queue, she said, "Wow, we'll have to start paying you soon."  But that's not the point.  The point is, I love doing it, love praying for the person who will one day sleep beneath the quilt, love that every stitch is a spiritual exercise for me.  And I feel so connected to these people and their quilts.

Here are my current offerings:

I just mailed this off this morning east of the mountains.  E says it reminds her of Psalm 23, all green pastures and still waters.
 And this is the t-shirt quilt top I finished this evening. It belongs to E's best friend CC. Every t-shirt is from a college ministry and/or mission trip during her years at Western.  Pretty powerful testimony this quilt will be in the coming years.  All the places she's been, the people she's touched.  Yep, pretty powerful.

And then there's this one.  Ok, I don't actually know who this quilt will be for.  I love the colors, dark as they are.  The peridot, gray, black and white.  It's pinned and ready to be quilted which is the hardest part, but I'm learning.  Anyway, I'm certain God will show me who this quilt is meant for soon enough.

I told someone last night that I'd be praying with him as the fall turns to winter.  And since I know he reads this, I  thought I'd write this post about finishing what I start because the two are connected. I don't know about you, but there have been times in my life when I've told someone I'd pray for them, then--to my great shame--barely follow through.  Maybe pray once, or twice, but have no staying power for it.  However, several years ago, I asked God to fill me up beyond my own ability in this area, to make me itch to pray for others, to awaken me from sound sleep if I hadn't, and to fidget at the cell level when I fail to.  And it's been nothing short of a gift to me that He has filled up my lack with His ability.  I am no different.  It is only God keeping covenant that has made the difference.  Do you get where I'm headed here?  God always keeps the covenant.  Even in the Old Testament we see it.  The people failed but He made up the difference.  He kept the covenant.  And so when we promise to pray for someone--if we ask--He will make up the difference.

1 comment:

Elle said...

Beautiful quilts! You know, I feel somewhat the same when I paint. There is always more thought in art when I make a painting to someone specially on my mind. All the hours of frustration of not getting the right shade of a color is wiped away in a second when I see that the outcome is perfect for the person the painting is intended. And to see the joy brought by giving a gift with some thought in it!

I also have homeless pieces of art that haven't found the right owners yet, but in the end these paintings always tend to find the right people!