Saturday, April 3, 2010

a gift from the heart...

Not long ago a dear friend of mine came to hang out with me and my family for a spell. It was a great blessing to my heart to reconnect with him, and an even bigger blessing to be able to open my home to him in a time of his need. During this time we shared many memories of our yester-years. The story I am about to share grew out of one of those yester-year memories.

When we were together MANY years ago my friend's mother and I did exactly get along. I loved this person dearly, but the gap between the two women in his life was always hard on all of us. One day he asked me to make his mother a quilt. Now I love to quilt, I love him and at that time I really wanted to love this woman too, so of course I agreed. We headed off to a fabric store where this friend specially selected each fabric that would be used in the quilt. He is an amazing artist and had a great eye for color along with a special place in his heart for what his mother would like. It was a great joy to select everything with him and I greatly looked forward to jumping into this project.
Now if you know anything about quilting then you know that sometimes projects take on a life of their own, and this one sure did! I jumped right in and started piecing a quilt top, but then life happened. This friend and I went through a tough time and went our separate ways. The quilt project got bagged up and stuffed into storage because it hurt my heart to see it. So much hope of healing went into it for me in the beginning that I couldn't look at it without crying in the end.

Years latter I found it when we moved into the house I am currently living in. I saw it and thought of the pain of that lost hope of healing, but I also though of the love that went into it, the fun that we had together creating it and the hope that was diverted. Being ever practical, I also thought of the great expense that went into it and what a loss it was stuffed away in storage. I decided to finish the quilt and let my son use it. I got it out and started working away on it again. But once again life diverted the plans. I got pregnant unexpectedly with Audrey and ended up on bed rest with a little boy who needed lots from his mommy that I could no longer provide. Let me tell you, bed rest with a two year old son with Spina Bifida is interesting!! Needless to say, the quilt once again got put away. Throughout the years I have pulled this project out time and time again, only to end up putting it back away unfinished.

Now, here we are in 2010. My friend and I have become friends again. Life throws us both a bunch of curve balls and I end up separated from my abusive husband at the same time that this friend is having life issues of his own. He heads down to visit me and ends up helping me out so much around the house in his time here. He will never know how much he taught me in those months he was here or what a blessing he is to my life (ahh... but I am getting off track.. sorry!). So one day, as I am packing to move out from this house, I find the quilt in the garage. Time has not been nice to the unfinished project. Neither had nature. I set the whole thing out by the garbage can and counted it all as lost. My friend sees it and to my surprise remembers it! We shared a memory or two over it, then both moved on.

But God wasn't done with that project, or my heart.
He kept nudging me to finish it for my friends mother. God an I had a few interesting conversations about this quilt.

God: Finish it and send it to her.

Me: But God it is ruined. It is gross. No way. It's trash.

God: Is it a complete loss? Seldom are things a complete loss....

Me: But it's gross!!!

God: So are your sins, but I have washed you clean.

Oh my. How do I argue with that one? I don't. Now way.

So out I went to the pile next to the trash can to take a closer look. And sure enough, God was right. It was not a total loss. There were parts that were destroyed, but there were other parts that were still perfectly fine. The quilt was no longer a quilt, but it would make a beautiful table runner or two.....

Just like so many things in life, it started out as one thing, was molded and changed over time, and still God brought something beautiful out of it!

So this UFP (Un Finish project) is no longer unfinished!

Just recently I finished a table runner for my friends mom, made a beautiful handmade card and poured out the story to her and sent off her present... some 15+ years late, but I still hope it brought happiness to her heart! I know it made me feel good to complete it and bless her with it!

And on a purely selfish note... I have a matching one so I can remember the lesson God taught me through this UFP!!!

So many times we start out with a plan or an agenda and life and God take it and turn it around and around until we can no longer stand it, and just in that moment of complete surrender He dose something beautiful with what we started. God is just amazing that way!