On Being a One Off

At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to little ones.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father. 
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves. 
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” – Matthew 11

Friends

I had an epiphany. And God made me laugh.

This is going to be a bit of a thread so bear with here.

So I watched this video on one of C&T’s social media outlets. Then texted a friend saying I’d had an epiphany after watching her talk about my quilts.

Sometimes it takes just the right words, in the right order, with the right visuals for the dime to drop with the realization that you did good work, and that it’s perfectly okay to own this work as something good. Friends who’ve already seen and read the e-book, Color, Thread & Free-Motion Quilting Learn to Stitch with Reckless Abandon, have given me some really clear insight into how unique what I do as a machine quilter is.

For so many reasons I struggle with deep insecurities.

Right after this, and texting with my friend, I got back on here to write and

well Lauren Daigle’s You Say started playing. “I keep fighting voices in my head that say I’m not enough.” and with that I laughed out loud, and snorted. Well played God, well played. Then without skipping a beat, Ocean’s, which is one of my very favorite songs played next.

Yeah friends. I know. I’m not sure what I think I needed to believe the deeper truth. Some days I think I need deep therapy, and other days I plow forward without navel gazing at all. The memories I started writing about earlier in the week are moments where the Lord is showing me it’s time to forgive, accept the person for having their own faults and insecurities, and move on. The quilting I do, the deep listening I do, those are God’s gifts to me that I get to use for others honoring Him. I get to be quirky, and deep, and weird, and give God back the insecurity and let Him deal with it. I know where that comes from, and it’s not of God. It’s not simply those who have told me I’m not quite good enough, or didn’t have the capacity to walk with me through some really tough times, not it’s not simply that.

Just like learning to machine quilt is a process, giving over to God’s love is a process. It’s a process of letting go of the idea that being a one-off is a bad thing. It’s a process of finding people to identify with who share similar likes and dislikes but also being kind to and respectful of people we disagree with. Some quilters hand quilt. some quilters machine quilt. Some quilters use templates, some quilters use green thread, some quilters use purple thread, some quilters use cotton only, some quilters use polyester pink or green batting. Some quilters use this kind of ruler.
The video showed me the one-offness of what I do as a machine quilter, as a quilter.

Being a one-off is good

So I’m totally going to flip all of this insecurity on it’s ugly head and call it out for the ugliness it is: Pride. This places my thoughts ahead of God’s truth. This places my goals and dreams ahead of where God wants me to be. This places my self at the center, where God belongs. This then belittling of the person God created is nothing less than a twisted version of prideful selfcentered-ness based on overthinking other peoples poor opinions of who I am, what I do, and what my gifts are. Whoa.

Here’s the thing we need both to be shown where we’re doing good work (not participation ribbons) and where we can do better. Correction without identifying what’s working doesn’t fly. So here’s an example. One of my bosses asked me if I taught a particular thing in a class. Yes, yes I did. Would you please stop. No, I won’t here’s why. Would you ask students to do this then. Yes, that I’ll do because I did that myself. Great.
I know there are correctional conversations that can’t happen quite like this as there is an immediate danger that must be dealt with.

I sometimes multi-task horribly. I started listening to a Jen Fulwiler Podcast, when an email alert Medium Daily Digest popped up, the title catching my attention, Sometimes Kids Don’t Grow Up written by Jacqueline Dooley about her daughter’s life. She writes about education and community. As the tears streamed down my own face at the sheer gut-wrenching beauty of it all I thought deeply, this is how education can change. I can assure you most of our public educational system is lacking in so many ways. Kids need time to expend energy, to rest, to explore, and learn. We miss so much about the individual as we teach to test and conform to the same style of learning. This doesn’t meet the needs of each kid, and it does not meet the needs of society in any way, shape or form. I can assure you that a this leads to this leads to this leads to this leads to this style of education is not for everyone. For so long I thought I was a bad student when in all reality I wasn’t I simply needed something else, another way of looking at the concepts that were being taught. I needed space to think.

Okay so I didn’t intend this post to go there. I am asking you to purchase my book though. I’m asking you to rejoice with me, to celebrate with me the beauty of being a one-off, to looking at things differently, to seeing the possibilities in quilting, but more seeing the God-given beauty and possibilities in each person I get to meet when I teach and network in the quilting community. You are a gift.

From one One-off to another.

God bless,

Teri

One thought on “On Being a One Off

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