Pre-Mass reading the last few weeks is Hallie Lord’s Falling Home.
I met a young mother named Maggie at a conference I spoke at recently. Maggie felt frustrated by the fact that God was not allowing her to use her artistic gifts during this season of her life. She couldn’t understand why he had given her such hunger to create but not the things she needed to pursue her passions – sleep, childcare, financial stability, opportunity. She asked me if I knew the reason. I though for a moment, then said, “Space. He’s creating space within you.”Hallie Lord, Falling Home
God has such a desire to fill us with good things, but first he has to create the space within us to receive them. The years of loneliness that I experienced before I met Jen were not purposeless. God wasn’t just asking me to twiddle my thumbs and hang out for a while because he was running behind schedule. He was preparing me for the gift of a friendship, for this “intensification” that Pope John Paul II spoke of, that would not only last a lifetime but would require me to stretch myself and be vulnerable and accept the love and give of myself to another.
We are not meant to portion out parts of ourselves to the people God brings into our lives. We are meant to love them wholly and wildly as Jesus loves us. God knew that in order for my friendship with Jen to take root and grow in ways that are healthy and strong and life giving, I needed time to ready myself and allow him to ready me for it.
I told Maggie that I suspected he was doing the same with her. God wasn’t saying that now that she had become a mother she had to deny her own desires and aspirations—just as he wasn’t consigning me to a life of loneliness. He was simply asking her to submit and surrender to a season of preparation so that when the time came, she would have the space needed to receive whatever particular gifts he wants to pour into her, and then, after having received his gifts, she can go forth and share them with the world.
Over the weekend I dropped a couple of balls that I’ve needed to do a bit of catching up on, and it’ll take a little bit yet to accomplish what is necessary. There were twinges of annoyance at myself for not accomplishing those things until I looked at the guy next to me on the Church pew. All of those twinges scurried far from my thoughts and my heart did the deep heart sigh, my breath caught in that delightful way it did when I recognized my love for this man, the desire and need to spend time with him.
When I pulled that quote from the book and posted it here the thought about God allowing us to go through experiences in life to make, to Create space for us to receive His good gifts really profoundly resonated with me and offered me a bit of a perspective shift in a way I didn’t expect. In some ways, while I don’t exactly know what I’m creating space for, I’m experiencing mixed feelings over not listening, giving in, plowing through, walking with our Lord through this. I’m also wondering if I have in any real way allowed Him to Create that space. While reading this there were, Oh! Oh! moments wherein I thought I’m ready now for whatever good comes. And yet there is a wondering if I’ve consented to this Creation of Space, and more wondering what might be coming. Part of my deepest desire is to really be that National Quilting Teacher who travels to teach and speak and writes new books (okay that one is a distinct possibility). And yet there is a deep yearning for something I can’t quite name, see, something.
More than once over the last several weeks I’ve had the conversation with friends that, “This doesn’t look like what I thought and dreamed it would look like” when talking about the book and the quilting career. Things that I’m enjoying and grateful for are opportunities to learn how to quilt on a long arm, learn to take and edit video content for a class, and have this time to spend with my guy. This move to TX feels like a new beginning a fresh start and something deeply more. Part of me wonders where might I squander this gift, am I squandering this gift? Part of me wonders if I might be able to give into and simply enjoy how life unfolds here, actively looking for where God is moving in my life and seeking with an open heart that which he is creating space for.
This is giving me the idea to write three project lists for quilting
Need to do:
Want to do:
Do to create space for the need/want
Why yes there are a couple of quilts wherein I need to do them to create the space to do the others so I’m going to employ a strategy that will allow the joy of doing all of this. And this dear friends is the reality of life there is work we need to do that is wholly unpleasant and yet it needs to get done, doing it makes life livable, doing that work and incorporating the fun makes doing the tougher work a bit sweeter. Oh dear I feel like creative/work brain is all over the place the morning. This is the same for faith reading/Scripture study and dedicated prayer – giving God the First Fruits of our time, even when it *feels* laborious yields such sweetness in our lives.
Sisters I’m off to pray, quilt, and prepare for all the things of this day.