pens or pins? that is the question...

What's one to do when the heart and hands enjoy words and fabric, the pattern of paragraphs and quilts to an equal enthusiasm? To solve my dilemma I'm writing the print that stirs me and sharing the journey of blending fabrics into quilts and wearables, the discovery of old--be it quilts or friends, and the pleasures of today. Come...have a visit with me.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010



Does your life make a difference? Does my life make a difference? Soul wrenching questions. Self evaluation and reflection comes more readily as we pass birthdays, reconnect to a distant acquaintance or loose a friend. Reflection of my personal time line became  a more conscious awareness as my mine's eye focused on the simple question of this week's daily devo read. The article, found in an old Sunday study, suggested taking  personal responsibility to make a positive difference for forty days. Set a goal to achieve simple attitude/action opportunities in giving and counter self-improvement.  Create an opportunity to analyze life priorities and the reason to be...

Forty Days? I read..."Make our world a better place." Begin...touch someone in a gentle or powerful way; better our self by putting our own needs last. Take one daily change-step at a time.The article impacted me and I liked the challenge. What to do? It read, "Make simple, from the hip type changes." Send an old-fashioned greeting--stamped--in the mail card.  Take food to a handicap friend who struggles with the mere effort of going to the grocery.  "Pay back" a fresh loaf of bread to a neighbor that collected mail for a recent week-out event. Kindly visit and notice a conversational detail of a clerk (her awards on her nametag) in the checkout stand. Run an errand for one with a sick child or invalid husband. I made a list and asked myself,  "is it possible for me to carry a 40 day load of thoughtfulness?"

Christ carried a 40 day load in the temptations he faced. Noah faced 40 days in his ark with the two by two's of all of God's animals. And the Israelites faced forty years in the desert. I researched the scriptures and read literature and realized my forty day challenge felt small to histories' records. My challenge felt small to the challenges of people with extreme physical needs, money shortages (not wants), or loneliness challenges of fellowmen whose lives lack companionship. From the simple observations  read in the paper, a short walk in a mall, or newsy visit with a neighbor--my observation of others' daily walk brought the reality of the forty days of thoughtfulness into a ready-go! mode. So much to little time. I thought, " I've been blessed and "except by the grace of God, there go I."

My list of obvious opportunities seemed easy. "Surely it is harder than this...but no," my mind challenged. "It is not hard." The scripture says "It is better to give than receive." The door of opportunity swung open. A pineapple for the rheumatoid arthritis victim to reduce her inflammation and a short visit to say "I care."  Cards sent the old-fashioned way to friends that don't use e-mail.  Phone calls to check on the unchecked. A simple note to remind hubby of his importance in my life. Grandchild baths so mom gets the night off. A session in the floor playing Lego's with my grandson.  I went into my forty day challenge thinking  "one task a day." Ten days into the challenge it more accurately read "one opportunity."

In honesty I must say human nature still captured my spirit. In the first ten days part of my behavior daily-do's, part of me made an A, part make an F. Last week I failed when I was tired and hanging out in the tire department at Walmart. A burdened mom and her very misbehaving children made me so-o nervous! And I showed it with rudeness.  And daily, for every one good intention and deed I pass,  a failure befalls me-- again and again. Now, not to write a "poor me so you will .feel sorry for "pens" note. Just the facts, mam. But, like the journey of learning to ride a bike...I want to get on again... I want to make a difference. The road looks straight ahead. Christ is in charge. So, back on the bicycle I climb.

Perhaps the biggest bonus of  my forty day challenge is my unexpected blessing. In reflection,  I noticed the forty things you have done for me. In an old book, I found a note card that said you loved my showed two women sitting over lunch, enjoying their best cake--and each other. ( love of our friendship.) I remembered the flowers (for no special occasion) in the kitchen from my husband that loves me. And last weeks' mail brought an unexpected letter from a dear friend of history past. I took the phone call that said "what are you doing?" "how did it go?" I remembered the girlfriend chat that giggled my insides. And thanks for helping me edit my last story. Thank you for listening about..."endless A trivia."

 And, an unexpected blessing, I laughed with pure joy at a literal translation from my three year old grandson. Referring to his messy room, I said "this is nuts." He picked up a toy pizza part from his kitchen set and said, "no, it's pepperoni." I remember...YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE. All forty of your efforts... made and make a difference in me...a gift of blessing from you! Thank you!

Forty days...forty differences. To a better neighborhood; to a better world. Let's do it.

My best to you,

And remember God's word: Matthew 7:12 "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."

And a fabulous read: Mother-Daughter Wisdom by Christiane Northrup, MD., Random-House, 2005. Noted for her skilled knowledge of integrated medicines, she touches the world every mother-daughter relationship has experienced. I highly recommend this book.


  1. Alice,
    I know what you mean. Some days I do really good and then some days I do really bad. My human nature is always getting in the way of my spiritual desires. I guess the good news about that is God knows we are human and loves us in spite of it.
    All we can do every day is keep striving to do God's challenges. For me that means - sew, read devotion, pray for all of those kids that need help. I keep trying. God is able when I am not!!!

  2. ...and God is strong when I am weak. Okay, Alice, I'm taking your challenge--oh how frightening to even put it in print in a well-read blog. But, I've spent so much time begging my High and Holy Father FOR things when I am already lounging in goodness, grace, and mercy.
    Oh dear; just realized the next 40 days go THROUGH Christmas...decorating, cooking, shopping, .... you pack a whallop, my precious friend, but in Christ we CAN do all things and let's pray for each other. Thank you for blessing my life.

  3. What a great idea, Alice. I'm so blessed to be in a field of work where I have these opportunities every day. You've reminded me to be thankful for that, even in the midst of the craziness that's inherent in any job. :)

  4. Your words are so simple and thought provoking, dear friend. I always have the best of intentions, but seldom get past a week of follow-through. Thank you for reminding me to pass the blessings on, as I have been blessed. And I count your friendship as one of those blessing....