My husband and I celebrated our twenty-ninth wedding anniversary this week. As a family we have a longstanding tradition of getting one hearty-melting card and one funny card. Sometimes we simply show each other the card when we’re standing near each other in the grocery store. This year he gave me the cards, and I wrote him a letter, sharing thoughts and memories from our life together.. We’re still getting to know each other. That’s the beautiful gift of being married, and one of the most challenging. He’s only recently discovered that, to me, cilantro tastes like soap, and that even after all these years I still do not like cooking meals. Give me a stand mixer, with butter, sugar, flour, and some form of liquid and I’m all over the kitchen making big batches of lemon curd to go with the cake, and berries. We’re still learning how to navigate his being and extrovert with loads and loads of spoken words, and my introvertedness with loads of words that live inside my head. When the tsunami of words begins overwhelming me I’m still struggling with patience. My lack of immediate response is a place where he gets to grow in patience. This is part of the beauty of us as a couple.
My Sweetie and I were supposed to take this week off to celebrate but some work things came up and well…plans change.
Monday morning I asked “what did you hear in Sunday’s Homily in a “coffee house” I manage on one of the social media networks. I responded that I didn’t “hear” much, even though the Church is rather quiet and he’s mic’d the Priest speaks in a soft, even voice so sometimes it’s hard to hear what he’s saying. I’m always struck in this particular Gospel of a deeper call to vulnerability and how to live that out. And then I reread this:
Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every foul practice.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure,
then peaceable, gentle, compliant,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without inconstancy or insincerity.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
for those who cultivate peace.
Where do the wars
and where do the conflicts among you come from?
Is it not from your passions
that make war within your members?
You covet but do not possess.
You kill and envy but you cannot obtain;
you fight and wage war.
You do not possess because you do not ask.
You ask but do not receive,
because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
The specific part that caught my attention is, “You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” At first glance it is a clear admonition in prayer asking God for things that are ruled by our passions. This has me thinking about what I ask for in prayer, am I praying for people even the ones wherein I find the deepest struggles? And then I remember that there is a distinct difference in pouring out my heart to God and praying for specific things, and that over time, with a desire to grow in maturity in faith that I’ll begin to step back and begin with gratitude rather than “I want” or “I need.” I’ll look for those places where I’m unsettled, inconsistent and ask our Lord to help me rightly order them, as I cannot do this on my own. I want to take up this invitation to offer the Lord my passions and let him rightly order them. In some ways it’ll feel as though duct tape is being pulled from legs, taking all the hair with it. Ouch. In the end though it’s all for God, it’ll cultivate peace within leading to peace without.
And then quilting, oh have I been thinking about quilting lately. About being a beginner and how hard that is. I see so many quilters who are really good at longarm quilting. It’s a beautiful thing to see their work and know how much time has gone into that skill level. It’s hard too knowing what my skill level is on the home sewing machine and seeing what happens under my needle on the longarm. No, I’m not complaining. Being a beginner, knowing what I can *already* do is somewhat frustrating. However, as a friend says we don’t need new teaching we need reminders. Whether we’re walking that faith life, standing still in the faith life, or knowing we’re at a moment of something different in our quilting life it’s all part of the path of, journey of life.
One day I might be a good longarm quilter and one day I might be a woman of deep faith. For now I’m going to pray, focus on what’s around me and enjoy where I am.