June 14, 2021

Scarcity vs Abundance

 Devotion for the Week...

Over the past couple of years, I've read quite a bit about different mindsets. I find it oddly fascinating to think about how our mindset affects so much of what we do, without us ever being aware of it. I can't remember how it came to my mind, but I spent last week thinking about the difference between a scarcity mindset and an abundance mindset and how those mindsets might affect us spiritually speaking.

For reference, someone with a scarcity mindset feels (either consciously or unconsciously) that something important to them - time, money, opportunities, popularity, and more - is scarce. On the other hand, someone with an abundance mindset feels (again, either consciously or unconsciously) that there is more than enough available to meet their needs.

If we feel that His blessings are a finite resource, then we resent the ones He gives to others and not to us. We hoard the blessings of time, money, knowledge and skill that He has given to us, rather than using them to bless others.

But if we know that "this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19), then we know that there are more than enough blessings to go around. When we are blessed, it does not diminish the supply of blessings that He can hand out to others. There is no limit to that supply!

A scarcity mindset would have us competing for God's favour, always trying to work harder than someone else or to be more "spiritual" than other people. But there is no need for competition! His favour is available to us all, regardless of how hard we work or how spiritual we act. 1 John 3:1 says, "See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!" It isn't what we do to earn His favour that matters - He loves us simply because we are His children. Paul wrote, "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8: 38-39). That sounds like an abundance of love, to me!
There is no limit to the supply of blessings God can bestow | DevotedQuilter.com
Spiritually, a scarcity mindset robs us of the security of knowing that God's love and blessings are available to us in more abundance than we could ever imagine. After all, He loves us enough to have sent Jesus to redeem us. What more proof could there be of His delight in blessing us?

June 13, 2021

Square Up Quilt Pattern

Hello and welcome to my stop on the Plum Pudding blog hop! This hop is celebrating and showcasing Sherry Shish's new signature line with Island Batik and, as always, it's so much fun to see all of the different projects my fellow bloggers have made with the same fabric line.

I chose to create a fun mini quilt to share today. I'm calling it Square Up 😊
Square Up quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
You can get the free pattern for Square Up by entering your email address in this form. Doing so will also subscribe you to The Bulletin, which I hope you'll enjoy reading twice a month as much as I enjoy creating it.

The Plum Pudding fabric line has some great Christmassy prints. My favourite is this raspberry coloured poinsetta print. Isn't it pretty?
Square Up quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
There are several directional prints, too. I made a point of cutting the directional prints so they'd all be upright when the quilt was sewn together, which took way longer than it should have, but I had trouble wrapping my mind around which way the finished strips would be facing.

Even though I was trying to be careful, I had to rip seams a couple of times, after sewing the pieces in wrong. Somehow, after all that, I still ended up with one block with the trees going sideways! I don't even know how I missed that! 
Square Up quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
When I realized it, after the quilt top was finished, I told my friend Michelle that those trees grow somewhere really windy because I couldn't be bothered to rip out any more seams. She said I can just tell everyone they're tuckamore, which is a Newfoundland phenomenon. The official definition is "A spruce tree bent and entangled by winds on the coastal shores of Newfoundland." Last summer we found tuckamore caves, where the trees are completely entangled together, and walking into them felt like we were entering some kind of fantasy land. Here are Nathan and Aiden at the entrance to one of the tuckamore caves.
Tuckamore cave | DevotedQuilter.com
Tuckamore trees are really quite something, with a definite diagonal or sideways growth pattern, so I'm quite happy to have them represented in my mini quilt 😊 And that's how it becomes a design element, instead of a mistake!

Some of my fabric combinations had a little less contrast than would have been ideal for this quilt pattern, which I didn't realize until the pieces were already cut. Turns out, though, I like that some of the blocks are more subtle than others.
Square Up quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
I don't often piece scraps to make backings. Somehow that feels like too much work, when I'm so close to being able to start the quilting (my favourite part of the process!). This time, though, since I was only making a mini, and I had a fat quarter that would make up most of the back, I decided to go for it. I'm pleased with how the back looks...and there aren't many seams, so it wasn't much extra work.
pieced quilt back | DevotedQuilter.com
When it came time for the quilting, I chose Aurifil 50 wt 2540 for this square stipple design.
square stipple free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.com
I really like how it looks on all of the fabrics, except the white bubbles and the reindeer. Even though it's a light purple, I still find it's a bit distracting on those fabrics. I don't dislike it enough to bother ripping it out, though. #lazy  Have you ever left quilting you weren't 100% happy with?
Square Up quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
It may be a mini quilt, but the binding is still made of a lot of short pieces. I started out with fat quarters of the fabrics, so I didn't have a lot of anything left that wasn't already cut. I did have enough bits and pieces left to make all of the binding out of one fabric, though, so long as I didn't mind having extra seams, so that's what I did.

Of course, there's a label on one back corner 😊
Square Up quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com

Square Up quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
Sherry has a great group of bloggers all ready to share their projects made with Plum Pudding, so be sure to hop around and see what everyone has been working on.
Square Up quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com

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?"