Goodness, it has been awhile since the last update. I've been rather busy, but the LORD placed this on my heart and I wanted to share it with you. First, a little background information is required.
Last year my sister made her first quilt. Then she started another. "Little Angel" was still coming after school at that time and saw the quilts. She asked a lot of questions about how to make one and commented she would love to have one. She asked if I could make her one. I answered "someday."
I thought it would make a wonderful Christmas gift, but there was not enough time to put one together. Also, I've only made 3 quilts my entire life. I pieced them together with a sewing machine and had a lot of help on them all. They took a lot of work, and I learned a lot with each one. Each time I learn to do something different on the next one; to make it better. But, I'm still not completely comfortable with all of the steps.
But, I'm one that when I take up a challenge I just jump in with both feet. Unfortunately, I can also be very hard on myself if something doesn't come out "right" the way I think it should. It's taken me many years to lose the whole "it has to be perfect" concept. And, I still struggle with it at times; especially if I am trying to do something special for someone else.
I really wanted this quilt to be special. I knew it had to be horses, because "Little Angel" loves horses. Her dream is to have a brown horse with a white diamond on the forehead. I found the perfect fabric with just such a horse.
My sewing machine
So, I began buying up materials in January and cut the first of the fabric in April. That began my 6 month journey. During those 6 months I prayed as I sewed. I prayed for guidance and wisdom it quilting it correctly, but mostly I prayed for "Little Angel". That the quilt would not only bring her warmth and comfort, but would be a testament of God's love for her. I prayed for guidance and wisdom. I prayed for her salvation. I prayed for her future husband and children and prayed for blessings for her.
A letter began forming in my mind. A letter that I would put on paper and give to her along with the quilt. As the letter was being written on my heart a devotional from God to me was also being formed. I was being ministered as well, and a desire to share that burned in my heart.
Here are the things God taught me, and reminded me of in the last 6 months:
1) Although this quilt is not “perfect” it is beautiful, and still “serves a purpose”; to keep you warm and comfortable. It is not beautiful because it is flawless; for it contains many flaws. Some are well hidden, others you can see right away when you look at it. But, there is beauty in the fabric, in the love that is sewn with each stitch, and in the way it is used. The overall beauty is within.
This reminds me of Mandisa's song "True Beauty". True beauty is based on what is inside of you. What's in your heart. If Christ is in our hearts then HIS beauty is what is portrayed. That's the greatest beauty of all. If we don't have Christ then it does not matter how much make up, hair care products, face lifts or "nips and tucks" we have; we still will not truly be beautiful.
2) Like this quilt, we are never going to be perfect, but God can and still will use imperfect things and imperfect people for His will, and to His glory. YOU are beautiful, and YOU have a purpose. I am reminded of the lineage of Jesus. David and Rahab immediately come to mind. They were definitely not perfect, yet God used them both the save His people. David slew Goliath and later became their great king. Still he was not perfect. Through his life God has given us many examples of His mercy for us. Rahab, a harlot, but also had a hand in saving His people and helping them in the battle of Jericho. A harlot, yet she is in the line of Jesus! God uses imperfect people. Paul, perhaps the greatest Apostle for Christ began as one of His greatest enemies. God uses imperfect people.
3) Never back down from a challenge. I have only made 3 other quilts in my life. This is the first one I have ever done totally by hand, and totally by myself. It was a challenge, and I prayed for God’s help through it all. He will also help us. Philipians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
4) Persevere! J For me, the hardest part of quilting is the binding. Especially the corners!! The binding kicked my booty, and I confess that I almost gave up and went to a friend with a sewing machine. But, I stuck with it. After MANY viewing sessions on youtube of how to miter corners and ripping out and resewing the binding several times, I finally got it on. Again, it is not perfect, but it is my best effort, and it is from the heart. The Bible says that perseverance builds character!
5) Never stop learning. Over the last 8 months I have learned many things that I will do differently
IF when I make another quilt. There will be many opportunities in your life
to learn and improve yourself. Do not be
afraid to make a mistake. Don’t be upset
when you lose, or something does not work the first time you try it. Those are times we learn what NOT to do, so
we can move on to try to do it a different way.
If you do your best, learn something, and have fun during the journey,
that is all that matters. Give God the glory either way. When Thomas Edison was trying to invent the light bulb he said, " 'I have not failed. I've just found 10000 ways that won't work.' Never give up.
I finished the quilt last night; the night before "Little Angel's" 10th birthday. I will give her the quilt and the letter tonight, and I pray she loves it. While I have a "relief" the quilt is finished, I am also a little saddened. God taught me so much throughout this process it is hard to put it all into words. I pray I never forget it. But,most of all I pray God is glorified, that a seed is planted for Him in her heart, and that she truly understand and appreciate the love that has gone into over these last few months.