Advent is something of a little Lent, wherein we, hopefully out of love of God and neighbor, give up a little something either as a charitable gift, or spend a bit more time in prayer for someone, or take a moment to examine our heart. It is a time of preparation for the Advent (coming) of our Lord into our physical world, and a looking for that second Advent at the end of what we now experience as earthly time.
As often happens there are a lot of things whirling around my heart and brain coming together all quilt related in one way or another, all leading to new beginnings and God’s infinite Grace. I’m often surprised by how God speaks to my heart.
The other day I posted that I’m a beginner again. While talking about something I saw the words leave and looked to the sales manager with that “help me now look” she stepped in with great grace. I started that particular day with a thank you to her for some insight she offered me the night before while we talked. You see, I’m beginning again. I’m experiencing all the experiences of being new: the desire to do good work, the wanting to be perfect right out the gate, the fear that I’ll mess this up (I won’t but you know) and some of the “what-if” thinking that gets in the way of just being.
These words of hers are little reminders, they are full of life, and moments of encouragement.
Today is a good day to begin again.
I’m going to see a friend later today with whom I will practice showing the lines. This is valuable practice time in which I can practice key points and speaking less. I get to practice stepping though open doors, or not. I get to practice. I get to practice remembering that this is new to me, and while my enthusiastic bubbly nature is essential, taming it is important too.
I get to practice being new again.
I am remembering the excitement of being new and all that goes with it. While I am new to this work there is so much that isn’t new, it’s simply different. I get to practice different, like practicing a new motif until it isn’t new anymore.
I get to practice extending grace…to me.
Which is where the sales managers reminders come in. I’m writing down her words as reminders on my calendar pages, letting them sink in like a gentle rain on parched earth. Like working on a practice piece reminding my eyes and hands that they are well coordinated and can do this thing.
I get to practice praying before doing.
Kind of like breathing while quilting, it’s essential. It’s like taking a moment to look at what I have before beginning cutting fabric, or taking those first stitches of machine quilting. Do I have enough thread? Do I have the batting I want/need? And like any beginner I have an ideal of what I want this all to look like, however it’s going to take some doing to meet my goals. And right now, the doing is practicing.
I’m going to rest in the grace of this new beginning, taking with me the wisdom of experience. As quilters we begin new things, learn new things all the time. Our first efforts always offer us the greatest opportunities to learn and grow. In this new beginning I’m taking the reminders of what I already know: be patient, mistakes will happen, I am the right person for this job however might not be the right person for everyone (that’s fine!), communicate well, and most of all: enjoy the process.