Friday, July 24, 2015

moments of grace // thy will be done

Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

Take steps forward. Take them back. But keep on taking them. Take the steps.

They matter. All of them. Each effort behind them. Each decision behind them. All of it matters.

All of it is moving forward or away from a solution. What's important is there is movement.

You haven't stopped. You won't stop. You keep on keeping on because it's what your heart moves you to.

Your heart. Your little heart.

The one that cringes the moment you hear a cry, or a heave, or a sad moan.

The same little heart that wakes you in the middle of the night the moment something is awry. The little one that knows. The one where He lives - if you let Him - and keeps loving you and others through you.

The little space that you can either let be guided by the One who Guides or the little space you can keep on trying to guide on your own. Away from the One who loves you and all of your loved ones more than you'll ever know.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

***

I'm rambling. I know. That's just where I am. In rambles.

Since we came back from vacation my son has been struggling with a parasite that has been wreaking havoc on his insides. It took doctors and labs two weeks to diagnose him, meanwhile we were tasked with trying to keep him hydrated and nourished best we can. Tasked with fighting the invisible with our own limited senses that were always seeming at their end, whether from stress or sleep deprivation.

But. Our little one; he's been a trooper. Such a trooper! Stronger than any of us! Keeping smiles, jokes, and sillies regardless of how lethargic and low energy he has gotten. Regardless of it all, playing and trying to keep up with his not-sick big brother. Regardless of it all!


How easy it is to get wrapped up in my own worries and anxieties! How quick I am to worry myself to a migraine on the daily and let myself spiral into all the what-if's of all-the-scary-things.

Gosh. So quick!

In my few moments of peace, I let myself wander to the true, good, and beautiful. I seek out the saints and His Word, as I'm sure y'all are now familiar with about me by this point. It's where my Hope lies. In Him. And, in Him alone.

Pride. All the pride found at my root, letting me convince myself that there is more that I can do. That there is more that the doctors can be doing every second of every day. That I am missing something. Something! I...I...I...

The thing is, these are all lies. In my mama heart I know I've done all I can. I know I've loved this little boy day in and day out, the best that I can with all that I am in that moment..that hour..that day. I know. And, when I let the lies get the best of me, I'm not listening to the One who loves me and my son more than my little self will ever be able to fully grasp. So so much more.

I know the love letter that can be found in scripture. I know it and have felt that warmth since I was itty-bitty. I know the words that ease anxiety. That bring calm. The how-to of how to find peace. All there.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 4:6-7
So why get wrapped up now? Call it fatigue, preggo hormones, life, weariness, pride, distance, exhaustion or what have you. Or call it, me being human. The kind that doesn't always get it. The kind that gets wrapped up. Call it a million things. All of which matter and don't matter, all at the same time.

Where I've been on any given day, all these things have been thrown around. But. On all of these same given days, He was there all the while, gently calling me to Him. Gently asking me to let Him hold my little one and me, so that we could endure our suffering with peace and understanding. 

"O Lord, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised to high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a child that is quieted at it's mother's breast; like a child that is quieted is my soul. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and for evermore."
-Psalms 131: 1-3
All the while, He's been there sharing grace. Waiting for me to say, Here I am Lord, I've come to do your Will. Wanting me to rest in Him. His Hope. His Strength. His Love.

Asking me To Trust Him and His Love for me wholly. Not just sometimes. Not just a little here and there. Trust His Truth and Goodness so much that I say, Thy Will Be Done. Amen. And that's it.


My son just finished his second round of medication. I don't know if it worked this time and probably won't for another week or so.

But I do know that the grace He shared with me today brought me to these moments that allowed me to gather my thoughts in this post. Brought me to some moments of clarity that my weary-mama-heart so much needed.

Watching your son struggle for three weeks wears on the heart. But hope in the Lord from this time forth and evermore is what I'm really going to try and rest in. He's got this. He knows. I'm the instrument that just needs to keep on loving in service of Him through the little gifts He's shared with me in my home. And believe in His love for me and for my son. Because it's there. There in His Will and His Love where clarity can be felt and found. Always.


How have you struggled with His Will lately? Or embracing His Peace and Love? How do you get the focus and peace you yearn for during those muddled times?

Meet you in the combox!

#BISSISTERHOOD thy will be done

Saturday, July 18, 2015

made with love // easy-peasy squiggly quilt

I made something! With my sewing machine! The one I've been chatting about wanting to learn how to use for the last few years.

There have been a few times I've crafted at the gift of some close friends who shared their talent with me at a couple Sip & Sew nights of fun. I'm so very grateful for the foundation they shared with me, because now I feel I have enough grasp on the craft to make functional items here and there.

The great thing about this little quilt is it took less than 24 hours. In fact, I'd say time combined, it took me a good 5 hours to get this quilt together. I spaced my hours over a weeks span - children, nap-time, and bed-time permitting. The great thing about this is it's definitely something that can be cranked out in a day if you have the time allowance!

Let's start with my non-technical, beginner-self sharing the sewing items I bought to get started:
  • 1 spool of thread
  • 1 box of quilting pins
  • 2 packs of quilt binding
  • 2.5 yds of quilt top
  • 2.5 yds of quilt bottom
  • 2.5 yds of batting
  • Needles
To begin I layered my quilt bottom, batting, and quilt top. Made sure they were in line and started pinning away. Starting from the middle and moving outward. I pinned quite a bit to keep the layers from shifting.
Once the layers were pinned I went to town on the machine. Again, I started from the middle and worked my way out. I began sewing at the top middle and squiggled my way down to the bottom. I cut the thread at the end, and turned the layers to start a new squiggle line next to where I ended. On and on I went alternating start sides and working from the inside out.
Once all my squiggles were done, I trimmed.
Trimmed some more because I don't have the fancy things that help with straight cuts.
Added a touch of love.
Then moved onto the binding.
Pinned the ready-made binding all the way around and got to sewing some more.
Once binded, I gave it a few washes and felt the comfy-cozy goodness.
I really loved adding the Made with Love thread I bought as a small extra because this quilt was being made for someone who has made me quilts and blankets my whole life.
At the end of it, I was thrilled with the end result. It has the coziness of a quilt and a fun look to it. You can use fun prints and have it done quickly!
If we wish to make any progress in the service of God we must begin every day of our life with new eagerness. We must keep ourselves in the presence of God as much as possible and have no other view or end in all our actions but the divine honor. 
- Saint Charles Borromeo
This quilt allowed for a fun eagerness to share a whole lot of love from me to my grandmother. My first quilt was given to me when I was born and since that time she's given me various blankets and quilts made with love throughout my life.

I can definitely say this blanket was made with lots of love, eagerness to share goodness, and prayer. Such a gift in that!

It really was an honor to love someone with the very same love language they shared with you your whole life. Thinking that every time she uses it, that the prayers prayed are wrapping her and keeping her warm kind of makes my heart smile. I only pray it makes her heart smile similarly every time she uses it.


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