Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tree Planted

The Tree Planted quilt was finished over a year ago, and I gave the quilt to its recipient but failed to take pictures! This week I requested a photo shoot, and took a picture. Here it is.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

He Leads Me

All the way my Savior leads me
Who have I to ask beside?
How could I doubt his tender mercy
Who through life has been my guide?

All the way my Savior leads me
Cheers each winding path I tread
Gives me grace for every trial
Feeds me with the living bread

You lead me
You keep me from falling
You carry me close to your heart
And surely your goodness and mercy will follow me

All the way my savior leads me
All the fullness of his love
All the sureness of his promise
In the triumph of his blood
When my spirit clothed immortal
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages
Jesus led me all the way
Jesus led me all the way!

You lead me
You keep me from falling
You carry me close to your heart
and surely your goodness and mercy will follow me
You lead me
You keep from falling
You carry me close to your heart
and surely your goodness and mercy will follow me
Will follow me

All the way my Savior leads me...all the way my Savior leads me...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Going Deep

The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you're thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he's thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don't have to rely on the world's guesses and opinions. We didn't learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we're passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way. The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can't receive the gifts of God's Spirit. There's no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God's Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God's Spirit is doing, and can't be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah's question, "Is there anyone around who knows God's Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?" has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ's Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:10-16

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Shift in the Wind

Winds change. Directions shift. Seasons pass. Oh, how to keep up with it all? I can't seem to keep up with it, much less write about it! :) We are well into spring, school is out and we are dreaming about summer plans and goals, unfinished and yet-to-begin projects.

The tree quilt is sandwiched and rolled up waiting patiently for me to work up the courage to attempt my first machine quilting. Surely we will get into a rhythm here soon and there will be space and time for me to settle down to it. My next quilts are lining up in my head, waiting to get onto paper and then fabric.

Since I last wrote, the Lord has brought an unexpected art and ministry to our house, amazing me with His creativity and His desire to give His children good things that stretch us and that He knows we will love.

Last November, my friend Jodi came from Ohio to teach us how to paint silk dancing veils and scarves. I was drawn in and loved every minute of it!

Painting awakened a desire for creativity in me that I hadn't known was there.

Cheery paints "Bethlehem"

Before I knew it, silk painting frames were set up in our garage and people were arriving on our doorstep to experience this creative expression, and to learn that they too are created to be creative, and that God can speak through art.

Since November, I have lost count of the number of silks that have been painted, but I know it to be in the hundreds.

Jodi also taught us to use the silks in some ancient Davidic (Jewish) circle dances. Many have painted their silks, and then stayed to learn the steps. I have expected interest in this to die down, but people have continued to come every week.

In February, a group of us from our community went to Springfield to bring the silk painting and dance to a church there. Jodi met us there and spoke to us about the power of the Holy Spirit in the arts, and bringing the arts into the church. Jodi asked me to run the silk painting sessions and I was so blessed. Taking charge of such a thing was a stretch for me, but I was so encouraged and supported that it felt natural and right. Jodi taught the Davidic dances and the church there received this new thing with open hearts.

I am still astounded that the Lord unexpectedly dropped this very unusual ministry in my lap, and I continue to watch for where He is taking it, all the while holding and tending it with open heart and open hands. Thank you, Father, for the good gifts you give to your children!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Firmly Planted

They will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither

This summer the Lord gave me a picture and I knew that it was a glimpse of a quilt that I was to make for some dear friends. It was to be for them and about them, but the making of it was to be for my own heart's journey as I walked with them through this time in their lives. This quilt was to be unlike any other quilt I had made. It would speak the truth about my friends' lives, unfolding as a declaration of God's word spoken over them. Everything about it was to be prophetic, not just the picture I saw, but the very way that it was made, the time spent piecing it together, the times that I would have to lay it down and let it rest, and the things that I heard and learned along the way.

On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the field will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.
" 'I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.' "

Usually when I get an idea for a quilt, I jump in and find the fabric, get it washed and ironed, and start cutting as soon as I can. I plow quickly through the piecing because I can't wait to see the finished quilt top. This time I had the picture, but I had no idea how to make it happen. The picture would have to be portrayed in an applique quilt, and I had never attempted applique before. I began googling quilt trees to see if there was a pattern out there that I could copy or adapt to make it look like the tree in my picture. I looked and looked, but nothing suited the quilt in my mind. I began looking for the tree as I drove around town, searching for the perfect one.

One day I was sitting on my prayer room couch and I glanced out the window and saw a tree I had probably looked at a thousand times across the street in the neighbor's yard. I felt a jolt in my spirit and knew that was the tree! It's imperfection made it perfect. Twisty and bent like it had weathered some storms, it had a knot where a limb had been cut off-probably to keep it away from the power lines. The more I looked at it, the more I liked it. I sketched what I could see of the tree while sitting there and then walked across the street to get a better look. Not surprisingly, this tree when examined closely, was completely different than the tree I could see from my window.

I gave the sketch some detail then asked a friend to scan the picture into his computer and project the tree on the wall, adjusting it to the size I wanted. I taped freezer paper to the wall and traced the tree onto the paper. I cut out my paper tree and now it was time to find fabric. I knew that I wanted my background to be a lighter fabric framed by a dark brown fabric, so that the detail could spill over into the border. I wanted this tree to feel like it was continuing to grow beyond the borders that were originally placed around it. I found a tree fabric I thought would do, but it seemed too light of a brown, so I dyed it a darker brown. I ironed the freezer paper onto the fabric and cut out my tree. Placing it on my background, I hand stitched the tree to light fabric.

As I accomplished each of these steps, I would put the project aside for a few days or even longer until I felt it calling my name again. All of a sudden I would think, "Okay, it's time to get the fabric," or "No, I am not supposed to sew the border on yet. I'll wait." Some days I would simply need to stitch on it to have something to do for my friends...something tangible to put my hands to, bolstering my heart's hope. This past week I finally finished stitching the tree to the background.

I cut open the back of the quilt top where the tree is and carefully removed the freezer paper from inside the tree. I have been admiring the quilt top for several days. :) I set out the fabric that I purchased for the leaves and I glance at it several times a day, waiting for the go ahead to start creating those. It's not quite time. At least not today.

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord's renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Where Does One Begin?

This is the burning question following seven months of blogging silence. And these months were not full of long, boring, nothing-to-write-about days. These days have been earth-shattering, life-altering, never gonna be the same type days.

So where does one begin? Or, does one begin at all? Should I just start from here and carry on? Because there is so much that just can't be put on a blog page. That maybe cannot even be put into words at all. Some things that can only be hidden in a heart until the right form of expression comes along.

So I guess I will just start with some pictures and fill in some blanks as best I can...

These pictures are of Bookworm practicing her part for a worship dance recital. My three girls and I attended a worship dance class this spring in the local big city. It was unlike anything we have done before, and a lot of fun. Bookworm had a solo part and used these streamers...

Fire by night, cloud by strong tower, send the latter rain!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Foster Care Update

On September 1st we welcomed this little guy into our home and he was with us for about six weeks. He was a little love, but didn't sleep very well for us. This made for a groggy, grumpy mama and teacher. ;) In the middle of October we decided to take an indefinite hiatus from foster care and have spent the past few months focusing on our family and the purposes that the Lord has for us there.

To go back and look at these pictures tugs at my heart, but at the same time, I have cherished the past few months of "just us" and am so thankful for what the Lord has done in us without the added stress of an extra. We're still not sure to what the Lord is leading us next, but we trust and know that He knows the plan.