Thursday, July 17, 2008

What Joy (?)

I'm doing a Beth Moore Bible study on faith and the impact in my heart has been HUGE. It's causing me to think and examine my heart and God in an entirely different way and the results are astounding. It's funny; I initally decided to do the Bible study so that I could meet people. Instead, I've met God.

This morning, however, I was getting my daily dose of Stuff Christians Like and I read this. The short version is that we should stop "shining up our scars" to make things look prettier. He discusses the prodigal son in his post and makes a point to say we don't celebrate because things are perfect, but in that we have hope and healing in Jesus Christ.

I thought this was all good. I don't tend to think that I hide my scars. I like to believe that I am a "real" person; what you see, is what you get. But I have my sanitized list of things I am willing to disclose. However, for my study homework, I am supposed to read Romans 4 regularly throughout the duration. This is the chapter discussing Abraham's faith. I stumbled across verses 6-8 and was literally stopped in my tracks.

6 King David spoke of this, describing the happiness of an undeserving sinner who is declared to be righteous:
7 "Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight.
8 Yes, what joy for those whose sin is no longer counted against them by the Lord."

I began to wonder how and why I could easily skim over the part that infers I should be JOYFUL because my sins and disobedience were no longer counted against me. In theory, this is definitely something to be joyful about. What gives? Maybe it's a sense of entitlement. Maybe I've forgotten how astounded I should be by God's me.

I am starting to realize one of the points of the Bible study...God is bigger than I realize. He's bigger than people because I know hearing about some of the things I've done would turn hair white. And He is able to just easily put it out of sight. He no longer counts that against me. THIS IS HUGE. I can only speak for myself, but it would take Someone absolutely mind-bogglingly powerful to put my past out of sight. And yet, He can and is able to do it. I don't want to miss the significance of that. Some sin can land you in prison, get you socially ostracized forever, ruin your marriage, but they ain't nothin' but a thang to God.

The Tie-In
What if I need to show my scars and disclose more than my approved sin list so that I can attest to God's power and encourage others that He is mighty enough? Involved-in-my-life enough? I want to revel in the joy that is mine because my disobedience is forgiven. I want to properly grieve for my sins, but rejoice in God's mercy. I don't want to take God's mercy or forgiveness lightly. And that might mean examining my scars again with a joyful heart knowing that God is bigger than whatever wickedness I could dream up and implement.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Hidden Star Quilt--Update

I have been furiously working on my newest quilting project. Here is the opening discussion. I did buy the new sewing machine and am glad to see that there was actually a real difference in quality of my sewing. My teacher remarked last night had I not used the new machine for this quilt, it is likely that I would have become so frustrated that I would have quit the project altogether.

Nearly 30 hours of class time (if not more) and even more hours of work at home have gone into this project. It has been challenging in a way I did not think possible. Challenging, but good.

Pictures of completed blocks:

This is the first block...the Log Cabin. I made 8 of these and thought they came out really well.

This is The Variable Star. My first attempt with triangles. I was not a fan.

This is an appliqued peony. This quilt has 4 of them. It was extremely time-consuming doing the decorative stitching. I think the effect is really nice. Probably worth the effort even though I didn't put the block together exactly the way I was supposed to. I improvised. The block name: The Peony.

This block has an appropriate name: The Contrary Wife. This thing was a pain. Ever little piece of fabric has been cut and sewn together. Although some secret triangle paper made this block bearable.

This was absolutely the hardest block to do. I may never do another Eight Point Star. Ever. This thing was incredibly tempermental and I did not have any sympathy for a high-maintenance block. (I also figured out how to turn the chair to avoid the shadow of the armrest in my pictures.)

The Cross and Crown was the only block that we did not work on in class. We had to complete it at home. I am very proud because not only did I cut the pieces and sew them by only reading the pattern in the book, I also solved a problem without the aid of anyone else.

The complete quilt top without borders. Excuse the mess of my den. It was 2am, after all, when this picture was taken. I do like how I took this shot from a distance and you can very easily see "The Hidden Star". Before starting this project, I was very anxious about how well the Star would be seen. If the wrong fabrics are chosen for the Log Cabin blocks, the Star will not be as distinct and the Log Cabins will look like book ends and not part of a larger pattern.
The next phase will be to do the borders. Because I need a great deal of length on the sides, I am going to do some exotic things on the borders. Well, exotic to me. I am anxious to get this thing finished and on our bed. I've got several other quilt projects down the pike.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Death Of My Blinkies

I am sad.

Mother's Day weekend, the weekend my husband so selflessly took all 3 of our children away so I could have time to myself, I spent hours and hours looking for blinkies to decorate my blog. I will not say exactly how many hours were spent because of the embarrassingly high number.

And now they have been deleted.

All of them!

I just wanted to replace the one that said I was the Mother of a 3-year old since we celebrated a birthday on Tuesday. Alas, I deleted the entire element off my blog page instead of the html code. I really liked the C-section one with the zipper. I just don't have the inclination to mess with it further. Maybe I'll just list the books I'm reading instead. I'm sure everyone is interested in that. *insert eye roll here*

A Bottle Of My Tears

I stumbled across this last week and it so perfectly exemplifies what I go through in my Christian walk. I like to put God in His cosmic corner where He is far too busy to notice that I AM DROWNING HERE!

But He does notice, doesn't He?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Trials of Potty Training

It's fairly assured that Darcy won't be wearing diapers when she gets married, right?

We are now on the 5th panty change so far today. I honestly think she's doing it on purpose because she wants to wear diapers. I can not compete with this child's will. My paitence is being tested to the outermost limit.

If she wants to wear diapers so bad, I think I'll just let her. It's certainly easier on me.