A Faith in Quilting Post

Alt Title: Active but not busy

It’s only taken a bit over thirty-two years of being in relationship with my Sweetie, and nearly thirty years of being married to him to come to the understanding that our thinking processes are different, compatible, but different. That we each think and act differently is both heartening and challenging. Heartening in that we both have more fully discovered more of who we are in relation to one another and to God. And challenging in that it is still, after nearly thirty years of marriage, difficult to fully understand where he’s coming from. There is beauty and grace in this, as each moment then is an opportunity to grow in holiness through setting aside my thought processes to listen for what he’s telling me. Generally he’s pretty straightforward in his words and actions and lives af fully as he can right here and right now. He’s getting better at both understanding that my thought processes are that of an overthinker and a dweller of many places, and sometimes all in the same moment. I am entirely grateful to walk through this life with my Sweetie as there is great joy in doing so, there is a mutual freedom in pursuing where and how God is calling us both together and individually. This learning to live with one another is both an ongoing process and a reliance on the grace of the Sacrament of Matrimony, of calling each other to greater holiness, or perhaps holiness.

The other day on an IG Live I made a little confession: When I get stressed out it is hard to work on creative endeavors, quilting, writing, doodling, knitting or crocheting. Nope. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Uh uh. I have ideas! then I cross the threshold of that room it is as though the ideas run away and the creative energy that goes with it runs at breakneck speed after it to haul its booty back. This is frustrating on so many levels as there are things I *need* and *want* to do. And yet I know this happens and there are two paths out: wait it out – which seems to work the best or make some really icky stuff for a while and ride that wave until creativity and ideas return bringing their united selves back to me.

There is need for both these things. And yesterday while in the sewing room for something else I finished drafting on the black batik linen. As with most ideas it morphed a couple of times until I understood the shape of it. Now to decide on the backing and then figure out the basting. See there are moments of creativity and quilting. Just not all focused and brilliant. And I’m looking forward to that moment in the middle where resisting the urge to toss the whole thing in the nearest trash bin tsunami’s over me demanding that momentary break.

The word of the week, ironically, is stamina. A little backstory, in either May or June I said to my Sweetie that I wanted an elliptical. He looked at me and said, “join a gym.” Offer accepted. I joined our local rec center that has a full gym and when I’m not traveling I go six days a week. The major goal here is to stay off blood pressure medication for a few reasons including how I often react poorly to medication from stomach upset to hives. The rec center for the win! The day I started I could barely do 2k strides in 30 minutes, now I’m up to 4k (which is just over 2 miles) in just over 30 minutes. This week is a personal challenge week I’m going to see if I can do an hour each day. When I’ve done this I get up to 7K+ strides (over 4 miles) in that time frame even though for the second half hour I slow down a little bit. I am not saying this to brag, rather to say this is big progress for me. And that my Sweetie is supportive makes all of this easier.

Part of this is to say a couple of things: sometimes you know it’s time to make changes in your daily schedule that prioritize both spiritual and physical health. I am reminded over and over again in and through the steps toward better spiritual and physical health is a process not a one and done event. While in both there is a deep sense of frustration because I want all of this done well and I want to walk the Camino and, I want to have other physical changes happen in my body Right Now, developing a sense of patience through this process is essential to better overall health. It’s not simply about commitment and patience, though this is part and parcel, it’s also about stamina and endurance.

When the opportunity happens and I get to present the stories of the quilts I’ve made through the years there are tales told about the quilts that are, in so many ways, tales about myself. I suspect, that anyone reading this blog, gets this. Our stories, our learning our growth process is often both private and public. I choose to tell the stories of 49 Pieces of Chocolat and the things I’ll try again, and never do again because I got to make that quilt. I will forever pair dots and prints and teal and barn red, and brown and yellow and try putting 2 threads through one needle because, WOW and I do use wool batting with great regularity. I will continue trying new-to-me techniques more than once and keep free-motion machine quilting because one day I *might* be good at it and make something exquisitely beautiful. And all of that because I made 49 Pieces of Chocolat has a place in the forever story of learning how to quilt.

Stitch by stitch we grow. Stitch by stitch we grow closer to the Lord. Stitch by stitch we explore what it means to be a quilter and more importantly a Daughter of God.

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