I’m currently working on editing a video interview. A couple of months ago I knew how to add a couple of features and now, because of lack of practice, I don’t remember. Thankfully I have a friend who will help me so I’ll be back up and running fairly quickly. This is a good reminder that in order to have any new skill become part of our life in a way where we can easily repeat the skill that actively, regularly practicing, especially practicing awkwardly, makes the biggest difference. Whether I’m free-motion machine quilting or praying out loud I’m still practicing these skills. I am, absolutely certain Peter and all of the other Apostles and disciples felt awkward when praying with or for others, or preaching the Gospel. I still feel awkward.
While I practice talking while I’m demonstrating quilting it is still awkward as it is hard to try and explain what I’m doing while I’m doing it. There is some brain science t’s also hard to remember all the things to pray for when I’m in a group setting, particularly when I have something to write on in front of me. (Please giggle with me here.) One of the things I’ve noticed is that when practicing or doing stops for any length of time there is a period of time where it is challenging to do the thing I want to do whether it’s prayer, quilting, reading, or taking care of my health. It. Takes. Practice. It takes cultivation. It takes commitment. It takes willingness to make mistakes and it takes a willingness to give myself some grace. I really want to use “ourself or ourselves” in there, but really these are “I” statements because no one can practice for me, no one can say the prayers I’m supposed to say, no one can do the things that I’m in need of doing. And I’m the only one who can move forward when things are getting tough in the practice of anything I choose to do or am called to do. While I am the only one who can move forward, or make changes, or do the practice I can and do ask for help, whether it’s someone or a group of people praying for me.
Also while I’m often the problem solver for most machine quilting issues for my friends and students there are times when I need help because some problems are beyond me. There are times when the machine needs service. This is beyond the scope of what I know. Editing this video isn’t beyond me, I need reminders for how to do a couple of things that I want to include in the video content. Growing in the life of faith isn’t beyond me, there’s a lot I need to do to grow in faith and holiness, and yet it is as simple as making the smallest movement towards God, admitting to the Father that I need Him so, so much and I’m reminded often that I need people so, so much because in so, so many ways people are the face of God.
I share these homilies today because in some way they’ve touched something deeply in my soul.
Tomorrow afternoon I go to Spiritual Direction, I’ve been going monthly since August and it is the beginning, the continuing of, for me, living an examined life. Of Cultivating the life of Faith, of cultivating.
Oh and may I ask for prayers for one of the bright shiny stars in the quilting world who passed away over the weekend.
And for myself.