Listening In

Tuesday’s readings are fascinating. First up Jonah preaches to Nineveh, letting them know that their city will be destroyed in forty days should they choose to continue in their wickedness. Word gets back to the king who repents, then declares fasting and repentance for the whole city. Wow. it’s stuck with me all week as I’ve worked on this post. The whole of Nineveh repented. One would think that Jonah would rejoice that God’s will was accomplished. God, our loving, merciful Father called the people of Nineveh to repent, and they did. And Jonah? Jonah wanted to see the Lord do something else, he wanted to see God’s Justice played out in from of him. Yeah, they got theirs. Woooohooo. Finally someone gets what’s coming to them for their horrible behavior. Yet, they repented, choosing to amend their behavior, and live the life God asked of them. We should rejoice, right? Jonah pouted.

Repent means reform.

I’ve been working on piecing a quilt over the last couple of weeks. This has something of a hard deadline, and I’ll be traveling with my day job so time is of the essence. When I finished piecing one of the blocks I realized that I’d made a pretty big cutting error. Instead of cutting blocks at 2 3/4” then cutting into quarter square triangles, I cut them at 2 1/2”. What is irritating and so weird is, I made myself notes everywhere for how each fabric needed to be cut. And in the quilting world that 1/4” is something of a big deal, not only will my block be smaller, everything needs to be adjusted. Leaving off that quarter of an inch resized my block by an inch, that inch resized the quilt by at least six inches.

As you might guess there are several solutions including cutting more pieces at the right size, or getting more fabric. Both are great however this is sample yardage of a fabric line that will not be in country until next year, so I have what I have and was only able to get from the company what is needed to make the quilt. So a size change it is! When I write the pattern though it will be at the correct size.

I have to tell you I was rather annoyed with myself when I discovered this cutting error. I had to pretty quickly have an “eh whatever” moment as I have no time to waste in this. So I’m stitching smaller blocks, will restitch the nine patches at a smaller size and move forward.

Mistakes happen, what we do with them makes a difference. In the Gospel reading that day, the story of Mary and Martha. I’ve recently begun wondering what kinds of changes Martha made after this conversation with Jesus. Did she sit and listen to him? Did she go back to the household responsibilities with joy in her heart for her sister? Did she continue grumbling? What did she choose? I’d love to have a cup of coffee with her and ask. I want to learn from her is that it’s okay to question the Lord. I want to learn that envy often ruins something beautiful. I want to learn that time spent with Jesus is that treasure we all seek, that trying to take it from someone is not the way to go. I wonder if Martha was longing to sit with Jesus and learn from him in the same way her sister was so boldly doing.

I know I’ve made mistakes in quilting career. Ones that have caused me some heartache. What I’ve learned from them is that it’s important to extend kindness and grace all the time. It’s important to own the mistakes, learn from them, and move on. It’s also important to forgive, to extend forgiveness to your self. Just like the quilt I’m working on right now, mistakes happen, sometimes our choices for dealing with them are limited by circumstances; sometimes our choices are many offering us the opportunity to accept and extend grace in a way that opens us up to God’s grace in a new and unique way.

Today I get to quilt this quilt, named Autumn Sky. I love autumn. God created me for autumn and spring. Thank you God.


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