I'm not finished with the Happy Crawler Quilt, but I'm already looking forward to what's next.
I discovered this fabric, Figgy Pudding by Moda, sometime over the summer, and just KNEW I had to use it for something. It's non-cheesy Christmas fabric! But the question was What to do with it? I think I know, now.
Obviously it'll be winter and/or Christmas related. I don't think I'll reveal it until it's ready to be used.
When I got these pieces in the mail last week, I fell completely in love. I'm super excited!
I feel like I got a lot done this weekend. Finished piecing the top.
Rob said the stripe around the outside (the border) pulls it all together. And I totally agree. It's like a frame on a photo. The cherry on top. Although Rob doesn't like cherries. Which is good for me when we split a dessert, 'cause I love me some cherries!
I also designed, cut, and began piecing the bottom. No pics of that, though, since I stopped working after it was too dark for any semblance of quality photography.
Last night I finished piecing the bottom, and starting sandwiching. (The "sandwich" consists of the top, the batting, and the bottom. Get it?) This part stinks. Not literally.
I did get a tip from Cindy, who is a long-time quilter, to tape each layer to the floor individually before basting (or safety-pinning) the three layers together. The bottom layer is under there, I promise. I think I need to cut the batting a little closer, so I can get a better sense of whether the top & bottom are lining up properly—though I still want it bigger than the other two pieces.
All in all, it's coming along quite well. We'll just have to see if I end up throwing anything during the quilting process...
I ordered fabric yesterday for my next big project, and then I got a great idea for the one after that! Wish I could do this full time, but such is life...
I'm nearly halfway done piecing the top of my quilt. Pretty good progress, if I do say so myself. This is what it currently looks like:
Sorry if the photo is blurry. Is the one below any better?
Yes? No? I don't know... Here's a close-up of the nearly finished part.
These are the strips sewn into squares sewn together in strips. After I have all the squares sewn into strips, I'll piece the strips together. I'm planning on using that stripe fabric to sash around the whole thing and also to bind it. Still working on an idea for the bottom.
Then I attempt the quilting part! Yikes.
I'm loving it though. I already have about 5 new ideas floating around my head. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I need more people to get married & have babies! I need reasons to make quilts, since I'm on a budget and can't quite justify making a gazillion quilts for myself.
My job-job is great too, but today I'm just stoked about the students.
We had a teaching team meeting this morning, and besides the fact that the ladies outnumbered the men for the first time EVER (give it up for the ladies!), we had some great conversation. We're focusing on the second of Vanguard's four core values, Lover, for the month of October. In order to be a little less obtuse, and avoid the typical high schooler response to that word, we're also calling it Worshiper. We're to worship the Lord by loving Him & loving others. In order to love others well, we need to learn how to receive love from God. Most of us face a roadblock in this process, because we have believed so many lies about ourselves & the world around us.
Culture says I have to be a lazy teenager.
Culture says I have to be a crude dude.
Culture says there's no way I can remain a virgin until I'm married.
So why bother trying?
I'm lined up to teach the story of Mary & Martha to fight the lie that we have to constantly be doing-doing-doing in order to be good enough. Or that we have to be "enough" before we can be useful to the Lord & the people in our lives.
I'm percolating on an idea for an activity during stations (small group discussion time at the beginning of our Sundays). It's gonna be stellar. Very likely, it will involve cupcakes.
It was the second week of classes, my first year of college. I didn't have a tv, but my friend Karly IM'ed me & said, "A plane ran in to some building in New York." I thought, "huh" and walked to M118–Finite Math. I was about halfway to class when I realized something was wrong. The vibe on campus was off. It was too quiet. Too somber. Especially for such a gorgeous day early in the semester.
So after I class I checked out the giant screen tv in the basement of my dorm. With two girls in black hajibs.
And I realized it wasn't just a plane running into "some building."
I've always said that I'm no good at silence. Meditation? What's that. Clear my mind? Make room for the Holy Spirit to speak?
No thank you.
I need something to keep me company. If I need to concentrate on something, I'll put classical on. But even that can distract me and get me pretty worked up. Especially if one of the Planets comes on.
Silence and I are not good friends.
I forget what I was reading—probably Authentic Beauty—but I felt challenged to turn my music off when I'm in my car. So I decided to start small. I drove to work that morning in silence. It was uncomfortable a couple times, like when I had nothing to distract me from the nasty thoughts I had toward some of my co-commuters. But for the most part, it was pretty great. I had to prepare some thoughts for our youth ministry guide training, and I was able to organize my thoughts pretty well during that 20 minutes of solitude. My thought process moved beyond the superficial ideas we want to address in our girls' mentor groups. I started working on a few of the deeper rooted issues we need to address.
I wasn't very good about heeding the call to silence the rest of the week, but then I tried again this morning. The results were similar to last week. I was surrounded by crazy drivers (grr). But the mean, frustrated thought moved towards processing.
During our first mentor group teaching time, we will be discussing, designing, then signing covenants. I want them to go beyond "I'll come every week & won't tell anyone's secret outside this group." So I was thinking, Jesus said we're to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and body. Can we make a covenant based on these four ideas? I believe so.
Oh, and I'm definitely teaching about blood & guts & God's covenant with Abraham. Just because we're girls doesn't mean we can't appreciate a gory story or two...
If I hadn't given myself the time of silence in my car this morning, I would have had to find that time elsewhere in my schedule. Which means that I wouldn't have come up with (or heard from above?) those ideas until the day or two before I have to teach. Now I have three weeks to ponder what it is the Lord wants the girls to hear about covenants.
Perhaps silence and I can become better friends. But first I'll have to quit ignoring her.
P.S. I borrowed a video from the library called Christoga. Christian + yoga = Christoga. I'm skeptical. But I'll give it a whirl. I'll let you know if it's any good.
My life has been in turmoil since those last few months of wedding planning. Okay, maybe not turmoil. It's just messy. I keep thinking it'll settle down. You know, "Once I get all moved in, I'll be able to relax." Or "I just need to get the kitchen organized." Then "I have GOT to get this office/spare bedroom put together." Just when I think I can sit down to enjoy my life, something ALWAYS comes up to get in the way. Another opportunity to support a high school student or encourage a friend or whatever other good thing comes up.
The other morning I was reading Authentic Beauty, by Leslie Ludy. It's not my usual fare, (I tend to avoid teen self-help-y books, because (A) I'm no longer a teen, dangit and (B) they're usually too sugary-sweet for me), but it's been sitting on my desk at work for ages whispering "I'd be a good resource for teaching the high school girls. They need me. Read me..." And I've discovered that I really like this book. Yes, it's all sweetness about princesses & Princes, but she's so good at clearly stating what we should expect from relationships. Especially with ...boys...
But that's a whole different post. Leslie included this quote from Amy Charmichael's book, A Quiet Mind:
"Having a quiet mind is not a question of choice—if we are to go on at all, we must have a quiet mind. All too many Christians break down, not because of their circumstances, but because of a weary, fretting spirit too rushed to dwell in peace."
Oh man! is this something I want for myself. I want organization & cleanliness & contentment. But more than all that, having a quiet mind & a peaceful heart is my dream right now.
Today we had brunch with a friend then went straight to My Man's sister's house for the T3's third birthday (All four of their kids' names start with T. Thus, they will henceforth be referred to as T1, T2, T3, & T4. Easy, no?) Two get-togethers. Twice we were asked what we've been up to. And twice we looked at each & said, "What HAVE we been up to?" It all comes down to: Homework (My Man), housework (me), real work, youth group. Oh, and we've been a little under the weather. Nothing exciting.
EXCEPT that we're getting really excited about some of the stuff the previous list encompasses. For example, we're getting ready to jump start the school year with the youth group, including mentor groups (aka Small Groups, but different) and getting back into teaching Sunday mornings. Along with our regular roles, we've begun the process of planning a mission trip to Monterrey, Mexico, and we're totally stoked for it. I've been to Mexico several times since my sophomore year of high school, and there's always been a part of my heart that stayed there. So I'm really looking forward to showing My Man why I talk so fondly of my time there. And I know how my life was changed by MX. I can't wait to see how our students' lives might be changed! One of the sophomore girls has already expressed an interest in serving orphans. So, who knows? I just can't wait.
Here are some photos from my last trip to Monterrey. (Forgive the poor quality. I took them on film, which was processed poorly & scanned even more poorly.) i LOVE these kids!
Last weekend I was talking with some friends about blogs. A friend asked if I had one. I said No. Errr, well, I HAVE one, but I've never posted anything on it, because I always got overwhelmed by not having the perfect thing to say. The very next day, I found myself telling the same friend she should just go ahead & write whatever on her blog, because readers (and potential clients) are looking for personality, not just the right topic or style.
And then I said something like "I have all these great ideas, but I never use them myself."
Psh. So, in order to not be a hypocrite, here I am, writing Something rather than Nothing.
The phrase "Tether My Heart" comes from a line in the song "Let All I Do Be Praise," by the worship pastor at my church. It says "Tether my heart to Your Presence Deep..." A tether is either something that fastens to a fixed point, or is the "the limit of one's strength or resources" (from Merriam-Webster).
The image that comes to mind when I think of a tether is from Little House on the Prairie. The books, not the TV series, come on people. Every night, as the Ingalls family was traveling across the country, Pa had to tether the livestock. For each animal, he'd put a stake in the ground, attached to its tether. Yes, this was to keep the animals from running away, but it was also for their safety. Who knows what kinds of wild beasts might have been waiting on the other side of the fire light? And I imagine that if Pa looked over at some point & realized there wasn't any delicious grass for the cow to eat, he's probably get & move or lengthen the tether. He was a pretty compassionate guy...
What in the world does this have to do with my heart? Well, the things that tether my heart sometimes seem to hold me back from what I want (or think I want, right?). But they keep me centered around what's important. Sometimes, when I strain against a tether, the stake gets moved, and I discover something fresh & new. Other times, I'm pulled back in, and I realize it's for my safety. And yet other times I break free, only to discover that I want to go back to where I was before.
Now, this metaphor isn't perfect. Sometimes we're called to step out into the darkness on pure faith, and sometimes we're pushed into areas we don't want to go. But you get the picture. I love the lyric, and that's that.
I am tethered by my Lord, My Man, my family (immediate & extended, Lord help me), my friends, the high school students of Vanguard Church, just to name a few. And the experiences that accompany these people often turn into crazy fun.
Back to Fike's song—the chorus says, "I'll live my life as a story, that you'd be seen in my ways. And in the light of your glory, Let all I do be praise..."
So, read on as I share my story of the people, places, and things that tether me and give me wings.
And because every good blogger knows, a post is nothing without photos, here are a few of My Man & me gettin' hitched...