Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's the Economy

Laura A and I were talking a couple days ago about how our husbands and households are doing, and we agreed to pray for each other's finances. Not because it was the nice and appropriate thing to say, and certainly not because we thought we could make anything happen! We believe God answers prayer, and we were acknowledging our experience that God likes to involve us in the process, sensitizing our hearts to see when he works on our behalf.
I was reminded, and told Laura about how the Lord reached through all kinds of muck to answer and retrieve my son Joseph, and how humble and grateful I was to Him, knowing I certainly hadn't prayed hard enough or long enough to make it happen. We're both a little put off by recent experiences in prayer meetings that get very emotional and fervent, with lots of proclaiming and claiming and prophesying and crying out; still we absolutely believe that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)
That's why it's easier to pray for my own needs as I pray for someone else's. When I pray for myself, it's easy to bog down in unworthiness. When praying for another, I can agree wholeheartedly that I'm unworthy, yet God is faithful, gracious, and merciful! We were reminded, too, to be anxious for nothing, but in everything, with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, that passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6&7) It's the thanksgiving part that lifts the spirit from wallowing in fear or worry, to trusting in His goodness. When I'm thankful for what I've seen of God's goodness in the past, and for the strength of His truth, and for His unfailing loving kindness and mercy, all sorts of windows open up in my soul!

These are the last little tomatoes trying to grow, despite the fact that it's winter and the rest of the plant has withered up and thinks it's dead! Oh, these little beauties give me a boost! Hanging there, alive and bright, even though the plant looks dead and the pot is scruffy. They were just getting a little sweeter every day they got some sunshine and water, and some had ripened and been left to get soft and mushy. I finally cut these off and cooked them, because I wanted to clean up the patio. I'm glad God isn't in a hurry to clean me up, and is letting me stay on the vine, getting a little sweeter...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Winter Casualty

Look at this sadness, this beautiful big willow tree that made my backyard like a park, and screened us from the neighbors. Amazing that it didn't take out a fence or anything else! Ralph said he watched it from an upstairs window as it slowly pulled itself loose from the soil and lay itself down on the grass.

The tree was lopsided, because a large branch had broken off one side before we ever lived here, and it was top heavy because it hadn't been pruned. We hired a tree service to trim it once, but they couldn't get their big equipment into the yard because previous owners had blocked the way with a poorly located shed. With the rain, the ground was so saturated and soft that the off-balance weight of the tree just pulled it over!

Monday, January 18, 2010

We took Kathryn to the airport Friday, returning her to college in Portland after her Christmas break. Then we visited with Ralph's brother on his boat in Half Moon
Bay, made pizzas with my sister's girls, saw the King Tut exhibit and visited Amoeba Music in San Francisco, went to a Stanford men's volleyball game, ate at Buca di Beppo, I taught my sister how to freezer paper stencil, and we got home in time for me to make cookies and go to Bible study. (Thank you, Grace, for the Girl Scout troop project Cookies in a Jar!) Whew! And in the midst of all that, niece M and I completed a scarf project she'd received as a birthday present.

She's very proud of having knitted her scarf! Think of it like riding a tandem bicycle: even if one rider does all the pedaling and steering, both have gone for the bike ride and end up at the same place together, right?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bethany had asked for an afghan, back when I was crocheting this:

It was a hand-me-down project from super-crafter Donna, when I asked her to teach me how to crochet. It was so cozy to have a warm afghan on my lap and to keep my hands busy while watching TV with the fam. The half Donna crocheted is perfect, and my half is a little wonky, and I love it. Crochet and knitting take a long time, though, and I like to finish a project while running on the initial enthusiasm. Then I started noticing all the discarded and unappreciated crochet afghans at the thrift stores, and I decided to spay/neuter the yarnworks, and not contribute to that overpopulation.

Anyway, when Bethany asked for an afghan, she wanted one in yellow and brown. Colors I like, but I wasn't enthusiastic about putting them together. In a quilt, however, I could smoosh together lots of prints and shades, and I think it works pretty well.

I could have arranged the blocks better, I know. How did I get all that white in one section? and I neglected to add seam allowances to the longest middle rectangles, so the corners/edges don't all line up, but that's certainly okay. It was my first try at machine quilting, and I'm very proud of it!

I was going for a stippling pattern, but ended up with this "fingers and toes" pattern; I like it! But I'm still going to try for stippling next time! And I'll try to get my pattern a little bigger, too: this took a lot of work!

This is my first project for 2010! I've wanted to try quilting since I was a teenager, but I knew it would take over my life. I was too busy with school, and then with socializing, then marriage and kids and church and going back to school... you know how it goes! Now that I've started, my prediction has come true. My dining room table and shelves upstairs are covered with fabrics and supplies, and a work table has appeared in the family room for my sewing machine. I spend more time on quilting blogs and in fabric stores than on housekeeping and cooking, alas for my family! But the creative juices are flowing, and they're lubricating some joyful, forgotten parts of my soul.

Let's start this in 2010!

Today I'm going to try again to keep a blog. I've copied a couple entries I've made in the past, on another server, though. The other server hosted some unsavory neighbors, so it's time to try a new neighborhood!
The old posts are the ones I haven't deleted in the last five years as I've been recovering from depression. Maybe I'll tell you more about that another time. I deleted some whining, and some wishful thinking, and I want to be a little more positive and honest!

  • Sep 9, 2008