Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Giving of Ourselves

A Lesson From A Quilt

Since I was injured in an auto accident now almost 6 years ago, and my wife disabled by autoimmune diseases, our lives have been different, as we have had to adapt to our new found abilities and the inability to do things that we used to love. One of the new found things has been working on quilts together.

Two of our daughters were helping out in a project of their own, from the one daughter's place of work. She and her co-workers had adopted a family for Christmas, and were gathering things to make their Christmas special. Our daughters were going to make a rag quilt with blue denim and red flannel for a 9 year old autistic boy, to give him warmth and to give him different textures to feel while in bed.

A rag quilt is a straight forward quilt to make, just squares joined with big seams and then cutting into the extra fabric at the joins to make a raggy effect after washing.

They had asked us to come over and help them with it on Sunday after Church. However, by Sunday they were both ill, so my dear wife asked them to give us the things they had for their quilt. We collected the fabric and batting from them and some already cut squares and headed back home. We intended to just see how far we could get with it.

We spent the rest of Sunday, with me cutting fabric and making up squares for my wife to sew into individual squares, then rows and then groups of rows until we had it all together. It was a difficult job because the denim was hard, the flannel soft, and at times I wondered if the sewing machine would take the wear and tear. By Sunday evening it was all together, and our trepidation at the end result started. We even did a bit of the ragging on Sunday evening, more to see how difficult it would be to do through denim and flannel together.

We were both exhausted and my wife slept in on Monday morning. With her health, she requires more rest than most folks do, so I let her sleep, and went downstairs to my computer. I did some blogging, and then spoke to one of the daughters, who called to see how we had done. She was about to crawl back into bed herself, as she was not recovered, but planned to do the ragging when we delivered the quilt later in the day.

As that did not sit well with me, I sat down at the couch and started to rag on my own. About 4 hours later, I had it done. Then my wife put it into the wash, which is what you do with a rag quilt to fluff up the ragging. It was pretty heavy with all the denim in it, and took quite some time to dry. We were not happy with how it looked and my wife did the wash and dry cycles again with it. We had bits of fabric all over our basement, and the filter of the dryer got clogged more than once. It was kind of a mess, and that contributed to a feeling of impending doom as far as this quilt was concerned.

The colour of the denim had washed into the flannel and the red flannel was now touched with blue. We were really disappointed with the end result. Two days of effort had produced something we were not happy with at all.

Our other daughter came over later in the evening to pick it up, and my wife explained to her what had happened, and how disappointed we were in the outcome. She, on the other hand, was ecstatic at the results and figured it was perfect for the little boy who was going to get it.

So, to make a short story long, there is a lesson for us in this exercise. God cares about us putting effort into our lives, effort to love, and effort to give of ourselves. The results are up to him. Yes, we should be as diligent as we can be, but in the end, He is in charge. Our daughter knew it. We lost sight of it for a bit.

Where we might feel inadequate that our efforts do not produce the results we expected, and think that God wants, God is able to use our diligence, commitment, and perseverance to His purposes. He sees a picture much bigger than we can imagine.

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