June 07, 2021

Listening

 Devotion for the Week...

Over the years I've been caring for toddlers, I have said "Are you listening to me?" more times than I can count. It's never because I'm questioning if they're actually hearing the words I'm saying, but because I know they're hearing me, but they're not doing whatever it is I'm telling them to do. Usually that's because I'm telling them to clean up or to stop doing something and they'd prefer to just ignore me.

Lots of times we use the word 'listening' when we mean 'obeying.' I want the kids to do what I tell them, not just listen to me and then ignore my instructions. If they're listening to me, but then not obeying, that doesn't get the results I'm looking for. And, though they don't realize it, obeying me is in their best interest, too. If it's time to clean up, that probably means it's lunch time, or there are too many toys on the floor and someone could get hurt by tripping over something.

We can easily know God feels the same way about us and the instructions He has given us. James wrote, "But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says" (James 1:22). It can't be stated much more clearly than that! What use is God's word to us if we never do anything with what we have heard? God has given us plenty of instructions for how to live a life that is pleasing to Him, but are we obeying? If not, there wasn't much point in taking the time to hear or listen to it, since it won't benefit us unless we take action on what we've learned.

Here are just a few of the commands He has given us in His word:

"So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples" (John 13:34-35).

"So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy" (1 Peter 1:14-16).

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:31-32).
I don't want God to have to ask, "Are you listening to me?" | DevotedQuilter.com
How are we doing with our obedience to these commands? We have heard them, but are we doing what God has told us to do? I don't know about you, but I don't want God to have to ask, "Are you listening to me?"

June 01, 2021

Me Made May 2021

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Have you heard of Me Made May? It's a challenge started by Zoe of "So, Zo, What Do You Know?" to encourage people who sew their own clothes to wear their handmade wardrobe through the month of May. Each person sets their own parameters for the challenge, whether that means wearing only me made items or wearing the one item you've made so far as often as you can. I didn't officially sign a pledge for Me Made May this year, but I decided to try wearing at least one handmade item every day for the month. It's the first year I actually had enough me made items to even consider it, and I'm pleased to say I succeeded 😊

May in Newfoundland isn't warm, so my Harper cardigans both got worn. You can see them here and here. My Lotte got a lot of wear, too. And just a little over a week ago I made a Skylar and I've pulled it on for a little while almost every day since. The weather is warming up, but the mornings and evenings are still cool enough to want an extra layer.
Dragon scale Skylar hoodie | DevotedQuilter.com
This dragon scale fabric just makes me happy. It seems to make my husband happy, too, as he keeps coming up with dragon jokes! I still have a bit of this fabric left and a few patterns that are perfect for colour blocking, so it will be fun to see where I use it again.

I made another Cachet shirt this month, too. That's the fifth Cachet I've made, three for me (you can see my other two in the posts linked above) and two for my mom. I wore all of mine quite a bit this month.

All of the above patterns are from Sinclair Patterns. I love their designs and I've bought several more that I haven't gotten around to making yet. There are never enough hours in the day, are there?

I also have a few Slim Fit Raglans and they got a lot of wear this month, too. They're fabulous for using up scraps of fabric, especially for the short sleeves. I finished an Essential Tank in May, too. Both of those patterns are from Patterns for Pirates. I need to work on finishing the bands on the neck and arms, to prevent the distortion of the straps. That's what pulls the outside edge in and exposes my bra strap. I know I want to make more of these tank tops for the summer. It's super comfortable and will be wonderful when the weather does finally warm up. I also like that the neckline is pretty, but modest, and it doesn't gape when I lean forward. 
Essential Tank | DevotedQuilter.com
Somedays I only wore me made for a little while, like when I wore a dress to church and then changed out of it when I came home. I did that with the Tessa dress and the Laundry Day Tee dress. I also made another knee length Summer Basics dress this month, which I got to wear to church on Sunday and it was warm enough I could wear it all day. Those patterns are from Love Notions.
Grey Summer Basics dress | DevotedQuilter.com
I really love wearing the clothes I've made! I want to try tackling pants again, but they're a fair bit more complicated to fit properly than tops and dresses are and I haven't worked up the nerve to try again after the less than successful attempt last summer. If I ever want to be able to wear all me made for the month of May, though, I'll have to either get a new job where wearing dresses is practical, move somewhere considerably warmer so i wouldn't freeze in my dresses, or learn how to make pants!

If you're a quilter and you think you'd never be able to sew clothes, I'm proof that you absolutely can! Check out my Quilters Can Learn to Sew Clothes post for all the reasons I know you can do it 😊

May 31, 2021

Not According to Plan

 Devotion for the Week...

Our dishwasher died almost two weeks ago. I know. Feel free to take a moment to mourn with me. Because we live in a small town, there were no dishwashers to be had locally, so we had to order one. That finally arrived on Thursday. When Paul looked at all that would need to be done to switch out the old one and install the new one, he realized he needed to redo some of the plumbing under the sink because there was a valve missing and he might as well get it done right while he had the chance. That meant it would be a Saturday job, not a Thursday evening job.

Saturday morning he headed to the hardware store to get what he needed. Unfortunately, the hardware store didn't have all of what he needed, which meant a road trip to get those parts. Towns in rural Newfoundland are well spread out, so it was mid-afternoon before he was back and could actually start the work. Things went really well for a couple of hours, until he hit a snag that requires more things be bought. Of course, that snag occurred after the hardware store closed at 5:00. Also, of course, the hardware stores aren't open on Sundays. This isn't exactly going according to the plan!

At this point, we can run water in the sink, but we can't drain it out, since there are no drain pipes in place. So we're washing dishes in a large bowl, that then has to be dumped elsewhere. It's a minor inconvenience, in the grand scheme of things, but I'll still be very happy when those drain pipes are back and the new dishwasher is installed!

Proverbs 16:9 says, "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." Sometimes our plans are for little things, like getting a new dishwasher in place. Other times, our plans are for large things, like careers, where we will live or how many children we'll have. Either way, it's helpful to have a bit of flexibility for those times when things don't go the way we were planning.

The apostle Paul knew a lot about having his plans change. There were shipwrecks and beatings that I'm sure he never planned on. He wrote to the believers in Rome, saying, "One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you. For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours" (Romans 1:10-12). Paul did get the opportunity to travel to Rome, but it was as a prisoner. I doubt that was in his plan, either.

The thing about Paul is that he just rolled with it. Sure, he was a prisoner, but he was allowed visitors, so people came to hear him teach rather than him going to them. His guards were a captive audience. Even though Paul himself was actually the captive, they had to stay with him and I can only imagine how many times they heard the gospel either preached directly to them or indirectly as Paul was teaching someone else.

Did Paul hate his circumstances and wish they were different? Maybe. There's no record of it, but there are plenty of details left out of the Bible and it's possible Paul wished fervently for freedom. But even if he did, he spent his time making the most of the situation he was given. 
even when life doesn't look like we planned, we can still trust that God is determining our steps | DevotedQuilter.com
We may long for our situation to be different, to look more like what we planned. But even when life doesn't look like we planned, we can still trust that God is determining our steps and that He has a plan for us. It may not be life according to our plan, but it is according to His plan.