As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?* No one is good but God alone.You know the commandments: ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.’”jHe replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
from Mark 10


You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

I start out with a sigh this week. It’s a deep sigh. You know those sighs of slight exasperation and those sighs of I get it all in one? Yeah that. A friend posted a link to a blog (no link here as I’m not “calling the blogger out” or “challenging the perceptions”) about this song Oceans that has had a personal memory loop going through my head all out with my sweetie 059

A way back when I was a teenager I knew that I would somehow go into ministry of some kind. I had NO idea what that would look like I just knew that I needed to do this. I remember one night saying to God, “Hey I’ll go anywhere you want me to go, except New York City”. You know where this is going don’t you. I said “Yes! but No.” I’m not the first, I won’t be the last but God’s gentle leading brought me to New York anyway.  The journey a bit long and winding, kinda like the pathway of a certain young woman clothed in gingham, taking a trip with her little dog and some seriously sparkly red shoes going toward a city bathed in a particularly opulent shade of green.

The gift of this song is the longing of the heart and spirit longing to listen to, actively participate in God’s will, to be led by God, to be open to where ever God leads.  This is not an easy prayer. Nor should it be.  It’s one that we start saying when we give our hearts to Him in some way through an “altar call”, First Holy Communion, opening Scripture and really reading, responding to that longing of the heart to draw closer to God.
Saying yes means saying good-bye to selfishness, self centered-ness, me me me, and beginning to develop an awareness of the other in a way that honors the gift of who they are – warts and all. Saying yes allows us to begin to develop patience with people even when we don’t like what they’re doing, their political bent. Being patient and loving does not mean we accept evil or tolerate it, it means that we’re willing to listen and gently, lovingly correct. It means that we’re willing to be friendly and friends even when we don’t see eye to eye on everything.
Saying yes means discovering more deeply how beautiful we are in God’s eyes. That He created us and wants the best for us. It means that He will ask us to trust him on that journey, mature and grow. Saying yes offers us the opportunity to give over to God all of those things we find irritating about ourselves – faults and failings and seek His Mercy and His Wisdom in dealing with them – seeing them as opportunities to grow. It means that we choose to Thank God for, rather than whine and moan and groan and complain about the circumstances we find ourselves in. It means that we set aside our pride and seek help when we need it.

We say no to God in so many ways. Qualifying our “Yes”, responding poorly to people, being impatient, uncharitable. That list is never ending. We say No to God whenever we shut people out and shouting them down and forcing our will on them. We say no, no, no like two year olds learning the power of the word using it to wield “power” over people or put them down, make them seem or feel less than. And God gives us that freedom to say no.
CAM01719And yet our Hearts long to say yes. As evidenced by the longing prayer of Oceans. As evidenced by the Psalms and the whole of Scripture. As evidenced by those who long to be kind and caring and call others to something more and simply say Yes to God. As evidenced by those moments when we are kind and caring and hold our tongue or speaking out boldly against wrong.
Saying yes means we’re willing to do the work or at the very least, try to do the work.
I think it’s important. No. I know it’s important to begin to say Yes to God even if, even when we have no clue what that means. It’s essential to begin to say yes. Every journey begins with that first step. A journey of faith, a journey toward God a journey of the heart begins with that first Yes.

I had NO clue where that prayer would lead when I began saying Yes to God. I have NO clue where I’m going. I know where I’d like to go, but I’m not entirely certain that’s what God wants.
Peter said yes and no and yes and no and yes and no and Yes. And even when he finally said Yes things still got a little screwy sometimes.

Now you’re wondering how I’m going to relate this to quilting and you’d be right this is related.
the back of the quilt John Cardin dyed fabricEach one of us is different and unique and holy. Each of our quilts tells part of our journey from those very first quilts that were clearly made by someone who is new. We grow and become and discover new facets of quilting along the way that really begin to show our identity as quilt makers. We find those things that we love and pursue them with (hopefully) reckless abandon. As we pursue that learning opportunities happen (mistakes) and we continue to say yes to learning more about quilting. About what works and what doesn’t. Our path along the way is as unique as we are, oh like the faith journey, the saying yes to God, we find other of a similar journey and cling to them to share in that common experience. Other forms of quilting have something to teach us as well. There is so much we can learn from one another.

God bless and say Yes!


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