Monday, August 5, 2013

Philippians Bible Study (part 1)

Our pastor has been leading our church through the Book of Philippians for a few months. We are in chapter 4 now. My youngest son got to study Philippians at Bible camp in July. And now my friend started a Bible Study on Facebook. Which book are we doing first? Philippians!

I have insecurity issues. I know that most people have some sort of insecurity, but mine just seems to be extra bad. Especially at church. It's pitiful! I am so blessed to have a friend with similar insecurities. We talk about it from time to time, mostly trying to figure out how to just knock it off already! We haven't come up with a solution, other than Jesus, because of course we ALL need Jesus. But how do we fix our issues specifically?

Two weeks ago I went on a retreat with other women from our church. We went to a monastery. I was quite apprehensive about going because I grew up in the Catholic Church and have been away from it for about 12 years. Another reason I was nervous is complicated. Basically I have been a sort of self-proclaimed watchdog, feeling a need to protect our church from teachings such as mysticism and lectio divina. I was a little afraid that we would be taught meditation techniques at the monastery.

Our pastor went with us to open our time with a short devotion and prayer. He prayed that we would be protected from evil forces. I immediately felt more relaxed and re-remembered that God was bigger than everything I've been afraid of. Later in the day I found out that I was not the only woman who was concerned about our chosen retreat location. But it was not longer a huge issue for me. What a relief! I can still be watchful. I believe we all need to protect our faith. Jude urged his audience to contend for the faith. (Jude 1:3) But I should not be afraid.

Another blessing from the retreat was that my heart changed toward church. Specifically the women in our church. You know, the ones I keep finding myself insecure around. (I attend church with wonderful women. None of them have done anything hurtful. The insecurity is all me.)  Two ladies in a small group discussion admitted they have feelings of insecurity... even at church. Comparing ourselves to others is so harmful. Why do we do it? Anyway, it was a nice reminder that we all have those moments.

And because of reading Philippians again, I have a scriptural way of dealing with those moments when they happen to me. I have been reminded that they (other Christian women) "are all partakers with me of grace" and I should "hold /them/ in my heart." We need to pray for each other. We need to pray that our "love may abound more and more."
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace,[d] both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness,how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.    Philippians 1:3-11 
I love our church, God's church.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I am learning how to quilt and I am totally addicted! My mom started quilting in 2003, or close to then, and it looked fun then, but I had a brand new baby, was teaching full time, and didn't know how to sew. Several years later we were without internet for a summer and I had a three year old girl in need of a home-made summer dress, or so I thought. I borrowed my mom's old sewing machine, bought a simple pattern, and re-taught myself how to sew. I bought patterns for other projects, but they were way too challenging, and we got internet again, so I put the patterns in the basement and the idea of sewing in the back of my mind. During that Sewing Summer I had spent some time in our local fabric shops. I loved all the colors, textures, and patterns and I knew that I would enjoy quilting... someday. 
One of the major things that was keeping me from quilting was the cost. My mom is an avid quilter. She and my father (up til a couple years ago) work full time, they have no kids living at home, they have money that she can spend on quilting. So she spends money on quilting. Boy, does she spend money on quilting! I, on the other hand, have no job, four kids living at home, a VERY frugally-minded husband, and have no intention of spending lots of money on quilting. I just figured quilting = spending lots of money
Earlier this month I went to a friend's house to help her pin a quilt. I had never pinned a quilt before and I was not entirely sure what to expect. She had a couple long tables pulled together in the middle of her living room and draped over those was a quilt sandwich; the backing, the batting, and the quilt top. I got to help her safety-pin the three layers of the sandwich together. It wasn't too hard once I got the hang of it. We spent a few hours pinning and chatting, and chatting, and chatting, and eating, and pinning. It was so much fun! 
I honestly have no idea how much money my friend spends on quilting. I do know that she does not have a room dedicated to the craft. She has four young children. She has no job. I realized that day that quilting is something I could totally do at this stage in my life. I don't have to spend oodles of time and money to enjoy quilting.
Driving home from her house, I decided I would learn to quilt. The more I thought about it, the more excited I became. I talked to my mom, and she, with memories of my 8th grade Home-Ec sewing fiasco still fresh in her mind, suggested I take a beginning quilting class from our local quilt store. I was registered, and two weeks later, I took my first quilting class. This next Tuesday I begin my 2nd quilting class. I am already registered for my 3rd quilting class in February.