It is so easy for Christians to get discouraged these days. To be honest, I find myself getting discouraged a lot – it seems as if we have lost battle after battle in this new age, “do whatever feels good” time in which we are living. In fact, I often find myself meditating on the life of the early Christians – when the penalty for practicing one’s faith was death. But, I am so happy to report that my soul has been renewed and encouraged over the past few weeks. I have been sick lately (spent 5 days in the hospital) and I can not tell you how full my heart is from the outpouring of love that I have felt from those around me. Yes, my friends and family have been phenomenal. However, it is the kindness of absolute strangers that has shaken me to my core. And, I can only come to the conclusion that Christ is among us. There is no doubt that He is still here fighting along side us, drying our tears, and even working miracles.
Today, although I am supposed to be resting at home and recuperating, I had a deep yearning to get to Mass. I had to be in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. But, I was not well. I pushed myself to get ready and by the time we arrived at our parish, I was exhausted. I sent my family in ahead of me while I sat in the car to get my bearings. With only a few minutes before Mass would begin, I pushed myself to get out of the car and to walk inside. When I got to the narthex, I almost passed out. And, sure enough, someone was there to catch me. I barely recognized the face at first, but it was my friend and she walked me in side. It was almost is if Christ knew how desperately I wanted to be in His presence and He sent her to help me at the very moment I needed it.
Well, it seemed as if we were walking miles. When we stepped inside the Sanctuary, I saw my family seated near the front and I thought to myself, “Can I make it that far?” My friend whispered in my ear, “The Father has us now.” Those words touched my heart like you would not believe and I thought about the woman who had to touch the hem of His garment as we slowly made it to the pew.
I am so grateful for each person who has shown me Christ through them. And, I pray, that I am able to show others Christ through my actions.
Happy Stitching! God Bless!
Crochet, knitting, quilting and all things needlework. Of course, I am thankful for my family and friends, but I would like to say a special thank you for the needle arts too. Not only does needlework bring incredible joy and beauty into my life, it serves as my artistic outlet and helps me find peace in the midst of chaos. Thank you Heavenly Father for all stitches, big and small. Thank you, too, for all of the wonderful friends that I have made through our mutual love of needlework.
Happy Stitching! Happy Thanksgiving!
I have been working on a fun, little Tunisian crochet project – designing a hat inspired by the Premium Cable scarf pattern by Sharon Silverman. I have taken sort of a freestyle approach and have let my hook talk to me as I stitch. Normally, I plan out my designs, working out all of the math first on graph paper. Of course, the freestyle approach is risky. Quite frankly, it could be disastrous in the end, but it is so liberating to just let the creative process take shape as you go along. Luckily for me, I am happy with how it is turning out so far and I love the yarn, Mirabella by Tess’ Designer Yarns (an angora/merino blend). Best of all, this is for just me and there are no worries nor any pressure with this one.
I am switching gears today to my Christmas gifts – besides, I needed a cheerful project to keep me going. Christmas will be small this year, but my goal is to make each one of my children and my husband something handmade. This Butterflies and Dragonflies Quilt is for my youngest, and I have enough fabric to make a smaller version for her American Girl doll, Allie.
So, here is my stitching “to-do” list:
1. Matching Butterflies and Dragonflies quilts for my youngest and her favorite doll
2. Two pairs of crocheted socks – one for my Secret Santa and the other for my oldest
3. The Patriot’s Quilt for my husband
4. ???? something for my son – Any ideas? I am open to suggestions.
As usual, I have bitten off quite a bit, but this will keep my hands busy for sure.
As a Catholic American who fully believes what the Church teaches, yesterday’s election left me wondering if there is actually a place for me and my faith in the New America. Without a doubt, it is time to embrace the fact that the Catholic Church in America has been pushed over a threshold which will make it more difficult to live out our mission and to spread the Gospel. It is clear that America has decided to turn away from God by voting no to life, no to the family, and no to religious liberty. We, the faithful, must come to terms with what this means for us and recognize that “practice as usual” will not work anymore.
This past Sunday during Mass, I felt God whisper to my heart. I had been so restless with anxiety and had not really slept for days (maybe weeks). After the Eucharist, I began to reflect upon the period of time after the crucifixion but before the resurrection. For those 3 days (which could have easily felt like 8 years!), the faithful must have felt so alone, sad and rejected – just as the 2 disciples felt on the road to Emmaus. Yet, hope in Christ’s resurrection lay ahead. The disciples could not take comfort in the whims of the populace, for they had shouted “Crucify Him!”, nor in the actions of their governing officials, who were complicit and had turned the other way. All that remained was hope and comfort in Christ and His message of truth.
As Sunday turned into Monday and I still was not sleeping, I began to reflect upon Esther, who was called to be in the right place, at the right time so that she would “be ready for such a time as this.” There is a reason why we are living through this dark day and why our children, the next generation of leaders in the Church, are being called to stand-up and guide the faithful through the “Red Sea” before us. Some battles are not always won, but God’s goodness always prevails.
Before closing, I would like to leave you with some words of hope. I remember after the 2008 election, I was struck by how many people were putting their hope in a man. In quiet defiance, I started carrying around a bag that read, “My HOPE is in the Lord.” And, never has that been more true than today.
Well, I am positive that I will lose some of my needle arts-centric readers and my left-leaning Twitter followers with this message. However, we do not live in a vacuum filled with yummy yarn and fabulous fabrics alone. Sometimes we have to take a stand for what is right. I also recognize that God must form every one of my decisions and that truly, all of my pearls of needlework wisdom and inspiration are gifts from Him. Besides, as I told my 7-year-old daughter this morning who was concerned about losing friends at school because of our family’s values – it is never wrong to stand with truth and goodness, no matter the consequences.
Happy Stitching! Viva Cristo Rey!
Here’s what’s on my sewing machine today……I’ve been working on this quilt for years for my hubby and it is finally getting some traction now that I have a machine for piecing.
My hook is finally back in full gear again. Yesterday, we were given our Secret Santa’s for our team’s Christmas party in December. Of all things, my Secret Santa asked for hand-made “tall” socks. It was like divine providence stepped in since these were randomly assigned and I am the only yarn-addict on our team. After spending a good hour searching online for the perfect yarn, I realized that I already HAD the perfect yarn in my stash! YIPPEE! It took a while to find it, but I finally got my hands on my Cherry Tree Hill, Supersock yarn (100% superwash merino). It is so cuddly soft and I can’t wait to see the look on her face.
I picked what I hope to be a fast and easy pattern – Crochet Hear & Sole Socks, designed by Alison Grenier. I do have to make a few modifications for the “tall” version, but I am hoping that won’t be too major. My oldest daughter saw what I was planning and her eyes turned green with envy, so now I have to make 2 pairs before Christmas…..not to mention finish all of the other WIPs dormant in my yarn corner by New Year’s Day 2013.
Dare I even ask Santa for more yarn?