So, half-way decent Catholic that I sometimes am, I keep a Rosary or two in my purse. A couple of weeks ago I pulled one out to pray for a bit and it was a bit tacky and I couldn’t figure out why. Cleaned. Back in purse. Good to go. Last night at Mass I pulled this same Rosary out again and what?! sticky again. That’s when I realized that it was near a piece of candy that decided to leak out its soft inner core. Now I get to empty the purse (which is a good thing anyway) and clean both the Rosary and it. Goes to show ya that examining things a bit more closely is a good thing because sticky situations.
When removing the Rosary from my purse I had a gut-check moment, one that was slowly bubbling up to the surface over the last few weeks.
Who do you think you are?
This question contains within itself some serious things to contemplate. In one way it’s our elevator pitch: I am a (fill in the blank). I’m a free-motion machine quilting teacher with a penchant for understanding the technical side of quilting, author, blogger, sometimes competitor, and encourager. Another pitch includes: wife, cake baker/decorator, artist, truth teller.
I am also sometimes the one who disappoints, disagrees, discourages. While I’m not fond of these it is still very much part of who I am.
And truth teller that I am, I disappointed someone recently and it’s still gutting. Anyway.
That experience combined with a few others led to the question bubbling up to the surface causing a bit of a “Dear God, it’s Anna” moment, meaning a bit of a focus shift. In getting annoyed with someone I was asking (thankfully not out loud) in a not so kind way, “Just who do you think you are?” Sometimes I’m so glad that thought bubbles don’t appear over my head. And that’s when, “Beloved child of God” shifted my focus in such a way that I experienced a physical reaction, as though my soul was turning toward the tabernacle.
Beloved child of God.
While I might not see it that in the moment wherein the question is asked, it’s important to remember that the answer, no matter what else is going on, happening, being experienced, whoever I’m asking that question of is Beloved child of God. Throughout Saint Paul’s letters we hear “Beloved” as he addresses the various Christian communities. My favorite being Beloved let us love one another.
As that teacher/encourager/supporter/mentor I’m often calling quilters to recognize that what they are doing in this moment leads to, builds what comes next. Our first experiences as quilters: choosing fabric, rotary cutting, keeping a quarter inch seam, quilting (hand/machine) lead to our second experiences and third, and fourth. I encourage quilters to remove “just” from their lexicon as it diminishes our perception of our belovedness. “I’m a beginner quilter” holds onto the belovedness, accepting our newness and dismissing the need to compare and feel ashamed of our work. Removing “just” also frees those of longtime quilters to encourage, support, and teach newer quilters. We get to support them as they grow, and watch them take the support we’ve given and pass that on discovering who they are as quilters.
Removing “just” also frees us from comparing styles of quilting. Oh dear ones this post could go on for days. We get to then focus on our goals, or make quilts for those we love. We get to compete at quilt shows or not. We get to write articles or not. We get to write patterns or not. Removing “just” frees us to build up, rather than tear each other to shreds.
And that tearing up is partly what was happening last night, in the pew, on the left hand side of the Church where I sit next to my beloved Sweetie. Recognizing that I was, in that moment seeking the answer to, “Just who do you think you are?!”. The answer is “Beloved child of God” that’s who. That Beloved child needs me to build up, rather than tear down.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; everyone who loves is born of God and belongs to God. Whoever is without love does not know God. For God is love. 1 John 4: 7, 8.
May you experience your day as a Beloved Child of God.