Success is defined as a desired or favorable outcome, also the attainment of favor, wealth, or eminence, a position of prominence.

There is a video clip of the end of Bishop Barron’s Homily on Social media that caught my attention. First because while I’m following first the posts don’t always come up. Second because of these last few weeks, the publishing and seeing of my book, (Color, Thread & Free-Motion Quilting Learn to Stitch with Reckless Abandon) and the conversation that blew out so much built up crap in my mind about who I am and am not. The wind is still blowing, in part removing more crap, and in part showing me the process of getting to this moment, and further allowing me to, leading me to resting in this moment, enjoying it for what it is.

The thing is, there is — there has to be — a balanced and sane place in between the sin of narcissism and the sin of walking around carrying excessive amounts of extra weight (or a foggy, alcohol-or-sugar-related hangover), all ungroomed and wearing rags. And yeah, it is a sin; hatred of a human person and neglect of a human body are sins, even if the hate and neglect are “only” directed toward the self, because they involve complete disrespect toward God, as he is revealed in his creation. That creation would be you, yourself. That creation would be me, myself. What God loves into being, we have no right to mistreat or dishonor.
– Elizabeth Scalia Little Sins Mean a Lot

On my e-reader I have a bunch of books that I flit back and forth with, including Elizabeth Scalia’s Little Sins Mean a Lot. The quote is in a chapter titled Self-Neglect. I’m going to grant myself a little grace at this moment as we are in the middle of something unprecedented in our lifetime with everything either shut-down or opening up in very difficult stages, but I haven’t gotten a haircut in a long time. There is a bit of further grace in that when times are personally tough I try and figure out where I can save money. Not getting a haircut is one of them. So grace extended. As I read the chapter it’s dawning on me in a new way that taking an interest in my physical appearance is part of Jesus’ command to “Love your neighbor as you love your self.”

Further promoting my business: the teaching, the mentoring, the book, growing social media as best I can, all of it is part of that whole “Love your self.” It’s not that I *deserve* this, but it is part of the work God has given me to do during my time hear on earth. Living in the space of “I’m not worthy” is both a full-blown lie, and does a disservice to God, I’m in essence calling Him a liar. At it’s very core this is part of the fallout of Original Sin, and is inherently disordered.

My Sweetie is great at cleaning the windows when we stop to get fuel for the car. It is amazing the clarity of seeing the road when all the bugs, and dirt aren’t accumulated on the outside of the windshield. But what about the inside? He does that too, I on the other hand forget that part. I’m also short, complete with short arms, so it’s a bit more difficult to reach. That said, cleaning the windows from the inside makes a tremendous difference. Even when the outside is clean there is a thin layer of fog on the inside, that we might not notice, obscuring our vision that when cleared off, I wonder why I waited so long.

So here’s the thing I have a book (see link above) and I teach free-motion machine quilting. I’ve worked hard to develop the understanding that I have, exercising the gift of intellect God’s given me, in the creative quilting endeavor God placed on my heart way back in 1993. As Lydia, in the Acts of the Apostle 16, is a seller of purple cloth and does so with great success, I’m going to embrace that it is not only okay for me to work for a living (God gave us work in the Garden before the fall), it’s also okay, good even to earn a living wage from that work. It’s good to promote what I’m doing and because quilting is about community I’m seeking your help.

Faith is about community, it’s about preparing to, and building. The prep work is sometimes a harder slog than we ever imagine. It means examining who we are, looking at our faults, and turning them over to Our Lord, and seeking to correct them as we’re able, and turning that into the understanding that this is or path to holiness. Faith is allowing me this moment to see how I am needing to grow, to give this work that He’s given to me to Him through not only taking care of my person but also in doing my best with this career path He’s given me. And so dear ones where is the Lord leading you? How do you see yourself? Is there something here that needs to change?

Yeah I normally don’t ask those questions however it’s deeply in my thinking this morning and I see them as an opportunity to build up, rather than tear down.

God bless!


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