October 2007


Submitted by Rachel Marieteacup1.jpg

“A true lady is like tea;
her real strength appearing
when she gets in hot water.”

-Unknown Author

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Since the beginning of time, there has been a mighty conflict. Good striving against evil, right assuaging war against wrong. When Adam and Eve disobeyed, Evil triumphed. When Noah trusted God, Good was the conqueror. And so, through the sands of history the battle continued. Sometimes Wrong was the banner of victory, other times Right was the waving emblem of truth.

But then the fiercest battle erupted on a lonely mountain. Good proclaimed war, Evil fought. It swept the mobs with fury, it twisted the minds of the authorities, it dipped the tongues of the soldiers in mockery and with the heinous crime of all time, pressed a crown of thorns into the Worthy Lamb’s scalp and pounded nails into His flesh. It looked as though evil would prevail. Every last shard of evil in the universe, from the past, in that present hour and to the future, came to watch the victory. With hateful scorn all that evil engulfed the Lamb of God. His shoulders bore the shame, separation and utter agony of all the evil in all the world.

When out of the tumultuous battle a cry echoed. “It is finished!” Like a conquering Lion, the Lamb burst forth. It was done, the battle was over. Evil was eternally conquered. The price was paid. Provision had been made. The work was completed. Satan is defeated. Victory is won. There will be no more war. Why then do we who know this victory start wars among ourselves? We stand on front lines against each other and sow discord. Why? Was the battle on Calvary not sufficient? When the strongest word of utter detesting disgust is used to describe the act of discord sowing in God’s eyes (Proverbs 6:16-19), why are we so prone to it? Why do we fight against each other when we are called to strive together for the faith of the gospel?

I wonder what would happen if we really stood up and put the cross front and foremost. I wonder what we would be like. I wonder what the power would be behind people who constantly beheld the emblem of suffering and shame. I wonder if we would continue to fight with our brother, or would we prevail in prayer? Would we see more walls and division, or more souls standing amazed in the presence of Jesus?

While striving for excellence and perfection is commendable, when we focus on the doing instead of what has already been done, we begin fighting battles that should not even be. Is it any wonder that it’s the peacemakers who will be called the children of God?

My challenge is that we would put the cross in the center and blazing passion of our hearts–that we may pour contempt on our pride and bring peace to the battles that are not meant to exist.

Has the strange thought ever flitted across your mind along the lines of “Whatever happened to Britt?” I know it does for a few of you because you ask me things like, “Why aren’t you updating your blog?” And I think, “duh! My hands are full, can’t you tell?” and then I realize that you’re all looking at me through your computer screens and not even a webcam would reveal what kind of elbow grease I stir up… Simply because I don’t have my computer or a webcam in my sewing room.

Oh yep, I see the lights going on all over the place. Yeah, dear readers, I got bit by the sewing bug really bad. And so, by popular demand (I almost wondered if there’s a way to unsubscribe from quilt picture requests) I am revealing to you some of my most recent completed projects–all of which are the results of digging in my box of scraps. There’s another still in the works, but has yet to be disclosed.

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This particular quilt is a rag quilt and is one of those things that little nephews are made of. That’s my li’l birthday boy snuggled in there.  
He’s a keeper–just in case you might’ve been wondering.

 

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This one I pieced together one afternoon (80 yards of hand quilting excluded)–approximately crib-size. All variations of the Irish Chain intrigue me, so it’s generally inevitable that I will make at least one in one of my sewing fits.

Last year’s was a Double Irish Chain.

 

 

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^^an “Ohio Star” lap quilt^^
and below is a close-up photo of a wall hanging of the same pattern to show the hand quilting.

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Most recently completed is the following…

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And that will be all for today folks! Amazing what a box of scraps can hold, isn’t it? Thanks for tuning in. 🙂

22.jpgThe afternoon itself was like the epitome of sublime happiness. Not necessarily flawless, but close. The sun was shining, the day was warm, the breeze was gentle, health was quite good, and the joys were abundant. I was carefree, enjoying a tree-studded slope with my siblings and a camera, taking goofy pictures.

My worries were few. The only shadow falling against the glistening sunlight of life was the trepidation of my brother’s deployment to Oman in a matter of months. Yet it was but a slight shadow. It was still far enough away that every thought was not consumed with worry.

That day I was living in the essence of God’s goodness. It was a way of life, a way of thought. My surroundings boasted everything of it. In the back of my mind I knew without a doubt that God was good, and oh-so-very good to me.

Fast-forward seven days. Thunder rumbled as the relentless rain pounded against the roof, my face was plastered with an itching, burning, enflamed rash, while my heart tried to recover from the horrific blow the weekend held. All of which haunted my dreams and robbed me of peaceful slumbers.

Those 36 hours were faith shattering. It’s so easy to speak of the goodness of God when things are good and the sun shines. And even when the occasional plans get disrupted, or the car breaks down, or you get hit by the latest virus going around… If you stop and look for it in those rather inopportune moments, God’s hand is still vivid in your circumstances. It’s so easy to speak of His love and care piously when life is going normal. I know, because that’s where I used to be.

But then that day, in the midst of that storm, there was a vast difference. The questions whirled around and around my mind and my emotions fall prey to the answers that didn’t exist. When a family member takes his own life, leaving behind 3 bereaved sons, a stunned and crushed ex-wife, and an entire family battling the trauma that this inflicted on their circle that had only recently already been broken by death, where is the goodness of God?

In such circumstances, saintly clichés do not readily slip off the tip of the tongue.

Yet as the sorrows like sea billows engulfed my life, peace like a river flooded my heart.

When things are too complicated to understand, when death is purposely invited to seize a soul, when there are no answers, when you know you have a heart because it hurts so bad… that, my friend, is what faith is for. That is when the infiniteness of God reaches a new level. This is where grace comes in—grace that far surpasses anything you could dream of. That is when you can understand and repeat with Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” (Job 13:15) and have it come from the very bottom of your soul.

There was a time when I didn’t have to have faith to believe that God is good. Life was far from perfect, yet it didn’t take much effort to see His goodness. I could talk so easily of how He’s such a good, good God no matter what. But here I am today with a new awareness. A fresh outlook that is un-cheapened by sustenance of earthly pleasures. When you hurt from the inside out, when the storm never subsides, and the answers are out of your reach, it takes a resource of faith that you never knew existed to say, “Blessed be the Name of the Lord,” and mean it with all your heart.

submitted by Rachel Marie 
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“It is not how many years we live, but what we do with them.
It is not what we receive, but what we give to others.”
-Evangeline Booth (1865-1950)

Never put anything anywhere “just for now.”

A simple rule of thumb to embed in your mind that will make a remarkable difference in keeping your environment organized and free of clutter. Believe me it works. 🙂 And don’t think that you save yourself time when you’re in a rush by just setting the pair of shoes there “for now”, or throwing the garment over a chair instead of hanging it in the closet where it belongs. To put something where it belongs may take a bit of effort, but only a mere few extra seconds generally, and will make a huge cut in your cleaning.

Put the comb back when you’re done with it, replace the book on the shelf when you’re done reading, hang the tool back in it’s place when you’re not using it… Keep your home and workspaces clean by remembering everything has a place, and purge the thought Just for now from your mind.

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