Monday, November 29, 2010

Tender Mercies

Psalms 103:2-4 - "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquites; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies."

I had a tough week last week. Somebody said something to me last Sunday that hurt my feelings. It wasn't a kind remark and it seemed, while I was busy feeling sorry for myself, to bring into focus in a negative way everything that this particular person has said to me in the last six months. Which up to this point I had not taken in a bad way.

Because of her words I lost my way. I shed many hot, bitter tears and was filled with self-doubt, shame, fear, anguish, and despair. I didn't know what to do and didn't feel like I could do anything. I felt paralyzed, diseased and destroyed, if you will, by my insecurity.

I went to bed on Saturday night feeling very bad and sorry for myself. I didn't sleep well. And then I woke up feeling very different.

I woke up feeling hope for the future. I woke up knowing exactly what I could do. I felt encouraged, peaceful, and calm. I woke up feeling the Holy Spirit.

I'm grateful that in a very real way, the Savior makes his presence known in my life. I'm grateful that I am not left to my own strength in this Relief Society calling and in this life, and I'm grateful that there is help for those that ask for it.

I'm grateful that even when I sometimes don't ask for the help I need, when I'm so busy feeling sorry for myself and feeling particularly overburdened and unappreciated, the help comes anyway, and I am left feeling literally crowned with love, kindness and mercy.

I'm grateful that in the midst of darkness and despair a light comes shining through, lighting the way and giving me enough confidence to take another step.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Knitting for Avery

I finally did the finishing on this sweater for Buttercup. It's super thick and squishy and I hope that translates into warm.

I would have really loved to talk to Gram about this sweater. I needed help and had to deal with it by myself. I miss her, and that feeling is somehow all wrapped up for me in this sweater. I'm glad it's finished and gone home today with the baby.

I miss the baby, too.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Not-so-deep thoughts

on Thanksgiving Day:
  • I finished a project today. That's it in the picture.
  • I've only been about 2 1/2 hours worth of work short of having it done for a few months.
  • Two and a half hours is basically a single afternoon of sewing.
  • And I can't quite put it into words what the problem has been.
  • Why didn't I just finish it?
  • Not too long ago I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't begin any more craft projects until the ones I have already started are finished.
  • And I've broken that promise but I'm diligently trying to be reasonable.
  • (I really love having all my crafting and sewing supplies and tools in my front room -working on things is so much more pleasant and efficient.)
  • Tonight I wondered how long ago I started this quilt so I started going back through my blog to see if I could find out.
  • I couldn't.
  • But I thoroughly loved reading through many, many old blog entries.
  • I crack myself up sometimes. Seriously.
  • I miss writing in my blog every single day. Looking back now I'm sorry that I haven't been doing it.
  • But it's sort of like the thing with my quilt project - I can't figure out why I'm not just doing it.
  • There have been a lot of days for the last couple of months that I don't feel like I have anything fun or new to report so I skip a blogging day. I wonder if I just need to look a little harder for good things that are happening in my life? Am I focusing too much on the difficult things and the annoying, hurtful people and the small disappointments?
  • I was sitting in the big red chair watching TV tonight and thinking that I'm just pissing my life away sitting in front of the TV. There are so many things that are more productive, and more than just that - things I that I enjoy doing more, than flipping through the guide on the TV simply waiting for time to pass until something good comes on.
  • So I got myself up out of the comfy chair and into my craft room and finished the fun-and-done quilt.
  • It was fun. And now it's done. And I love it. It's warm, and colorful. And it's finished! It will no longer live in the corner of my crafting room silently castigating me for its unfinished state.

Today, as I was finishing up the Big 2-Hour Thanksgiving Dish-Washing Marathon which always follows the Big 3-Hour Thanksgiving Cooking Marathon, my Little Friend came in and asked me, "What's for dinner?".

He's a funny, funny guy.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The only way

to eat an entire elephant is one bite at a time.

I'll back up a bit first. About a year or so ago my friend Tori started making a Baltimore Album quilt. (Obviously that's not her quilt - it's just a sample of what I'm talking about, in case you don't know. And if you're not a quilter there really isn't any reason why you would know.) She was taking a class once a month to learn how to make the blocks. From my vantage point as a beginning quilter I thought it looked hard. It looked to me like the kind of thing that would take you your whole life to make. Like it would be your life's work, you know? Like at the end of your life, God would ask you, "What did you do with your life?" And you would say something like, "Take a look at my quilt!" And God would say, "Oh, yes. I see. Well done!"

I'm serious.

Also, taking a class to learn how to make a particular kind of quilt was something I couldn't really get my mind around. It's seemed like something you would do only if you were a really hard-core, talented, dedicated, accomplished, experienced, real artist-quilter. Like some sort of cabal of inner-circle quilters who take classes. It sounds ridiculous now, and I'm not sure why I thought I could never take a quilt class. But I did think that.

Today I'm starting a Baltimore Album quilt class. I've purchased and prepared all my fabric and I'm going to give it a try. I got permission from my mother who said to me, "You could take a class" in a very casual way while we were at the quilt show and I was admiring a Baltimore Album-style pattern. She said it like that is something regular people do. Really? I had already seen that she had done it, and her quilt turned out beautifully. So I bought the pattern and thought about it. The pattern was only a few dollars and I figured I could sell it at a yard sale if I never figured it out.

Well, I took myself up to the quilt shop and signed myself up for lessons. That's my lesson book and fabric in the picture. (My mom's quilt is beautiful rich jewel tones, and Tori's fabrics are a little different but also lovely deep purples and reds and greens. I decided to go with Autumn colors so they won't think I'm copying them.) The class meets once a month for a year and the theory goes that at the end of the year I will have enough skills to make 12 basic blocks. It might take me my whole life to make this thing, and I really hope I enjoy hand-applique because a whole life is a long time to spend on something you don't like doing. I don't know that it will turn out to be some epic thing that I did in my life. But it feels that way today this morning as I get ready to start. I'm nervous and excited. I also feel like a poser. And a bit little ridiculous as well - it IS only a sewing class!

You know?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Buttercup, in buttercup

When I found this soft, buttery yellow yarn I knew it had to be knitted into something for my favorite little Buttercup! It's taken a long time, and some studying, and some back-tracking, and a lot of thinking and re-thinking to get through it, but it's done! And just in time for some really chilly weather.

I'm glad that sweet little girl looks good in yellow. What a lovey she is!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

B is for the blankie

that I wanted to make for Buttercup. ("Make" may be too strong a word - I hemmed a big rectangle of fleece.) When I bought the fleece I noticed that it had the letter B all over it which of course made it just perfect for our dear little B. Then while we were standing in line to buy it my bff D pointed out to me that it also had a lot of a's and y's. Oh well. B is for Baby. The blankie is all done and it's soft and fleecy and sweet-smelling. Just in time, because...

B is also for Buttercup, who is coming to Grammie's house! Tomorrow! I won't be here but I'll be hurrying back. A big Thank You to Buttercup's mama for coming to take care of Uncle Jake while I'm gone.

B is also for Brrrr. It's turned chilly here. I know it's just for a little while but it was enough incentive to hurry up and finish Buttercup's blankie before she gets here.