You did not create me to worry,
You did not create me to fear
But You created me to worship
I’m gonna leave it all right here

There is a distinct difference between knowing something, and experiencing something.

And sometimes when the experience of something is so incredibly beautiful you want to go back there over, and over again. When it doesn’t happen the sense of doubt, anxiety, and fear can be so overwhelming as to feel lost. And when people seem to have their stuff together on social media, doesn’t mean that it’s true. Mary deTurris Poust posted, Mirror, mirror: discovering your true self which felt like water to this soul. Why? Because last night I had 5 peanut butter cups. In a row. They were tasty and I do regret it. When Mary shared this experience, I didn’t feel so alone in this moment of insecurity.

I know right now I’m not my best self. There are experiences I need to probably apologize for, forgive myself, and move forward. Then there was the reminder that sometimes when others completely flip out over something you do, it might not actually be about the thing you do. It might, and often is, about them and their need in that moment. And you are the safety valve.

There are things I want to do regularly in the morning: pray, read, etc. The thing is I know how glorious it is when the time is set aside to do these things. I know the spiritual joy. Did you know that spiritual joy comes from practice? Shocking I know. Did you know that not practicing brings frustration? Particularly when you are beginning again?

I’m not really beginning again but seeking to lengthen the time I’m reading and praying and it’s frustrating because recovering from spiritual laziness is just as painful as recovering from physical laziness. HA. It takes time. It takes some pain. It takes work. And Effort. And in the end it’s worth it.

As a quilting teacher I bring the early quilts every time I teach, why? Because the students need to see that I didn’t magically wake up one morning with this amazing ability to free motion machine quilt, and some intuitive understanding of color.

new york beauty

I realized while teaching on Saturday that I’d been working on learning both of those things for a long time. That sometimes things have worked really well, and sometimes there’s a lot of frustration.

Realizing this makes me realize ever more that while we tend to think of ourselves, talk of ourselves as physical, mental and spiritual where there is really no distinction between these things. The more we integrate what we see as separate parts, the more we discover who we are. The being an artist/quilter isn’t really separate from being a faith-filled, spiritual being. These components are so intertwined that it’s part of the whole. The whole is precisely the sum of it’s parts. And the difficult experiences are just as important as the good/fun, holy experiences.

I can be a deeply empathetic, and sympathetic. And sometimes I can be an absolute prat. To say that I’m embarrassed being a prat would be something of an understatement. This ability to be a prat really does help me see that empathy and sympathy are so key to growth and understanding, and kindness towards others. Especially when I need kindness and understanding.

the back of the quilt John Cardin dyed fabric

Quilting teaches me over and over again to embrace imperfection and give up some idealized, false sense of perfection. Quilting teaches me over and over again that while I might not feel like I’m enough, I am enough. God is good. Struggle is part of the process.

I’m putting this out here so that you my dear quilting community don’t feel alone when the tough moments happen. Because they do happen. God loves us so much he gave us our freedom, and that’s scary. I give students solid fabric and tell them to quilt it, and that’s scary. And it’s beautiful, and freeing, and sacred, and holy, rich and messy. Oh dear sisters, and brothers it’s a little scary putting this out there for you to see, the mess that I am. And yet we’re connected. We’re all a bit of a mess and knowing that someone else is willing to share their mess, like Mary shared her mess…we’re all in this together. Pray for me.

May you experience the peace and joy of God through this day.


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