September 30, 2019

Burst - Island Batik September project

Note, the fabrics for this project were given to me by Island Batik as part of their ambassador program.

I love scrappy quilts so this month I really enjoyed making Burst from my Island Batik scraps 😊 Unfortunately, because September was an absolute whirlwind, it's only a top at this point.
Burst quilt |
The Island Batik ambassador challenge for September was to make a juvenile inspired quilt using the Accuquilt Block-on-Board die that we were sent in our second box of goodies. I received the Crossed Canoes die.
Crossed Canoe die |
I have to admit that I had a hard time seeing anything particularly inspiring in the block for a long time. It's a fine block, but it had me feeling rather 'meh' until Laura (Slice of Pi Quilts) mentioned that she was using her die to cut the pieces for her quilt, but not creating the block they were intended for.

With that in mind, I started playing around with design ideas using a quarter of the Crossed Canoes block as the whole unit. Once I hit on this idea of having scrappy units radiate out from the center, I was excited to dig into my Island Batik scraps and get cutting!
Burst quilt |
Silas was my cutting partner again for this project and he still loves rolling the fabric through the Accuquilt Go! machine and seeing what the newly cut shapes look like. Now every time he sees one of my quilts he says something like, "we already cut the pieces for that one" 😊

While I was designing Burst, I tried using a few different colours for the background, but I kept being drawn to the white. I love how the colours pop against the white and using grey or black just wasn't giving me the same feel. I do feel like white is really impractical for a quilt (how long will it stay looking white if you're actually using the quilt?), but sometimes design has to win, so white it is.

I cut a whole stack of white squares to alternate with the pieced units, only to discover I cut them ½" too small. Whomp, whomp, whomp!
The Crossed Canoes die makes a 9" finished block, which means each of the quadrants is a 4 ½" square. Somehow, I forgot that that means it's 5" unfinished and so I cut my squares at 4 ½". I think I was thrown off by the finished size of the unit being a ½" measurement when I'm so used to that being the unfinished size. It's a good thing Island Batik sends lots of those beautiful solids in our ambassador boxes so I could cut more squares at the right size or I'd have had to rethink my entire design!

I love all these bright scrappy pieces!
Burst quilt |
Burst quilt |
Burst quilt |
Burst quilt |
 I'm planning to write the pattern for Burst, so keep an eye out for that, hopefully in the near future. In the meantime, I need to decide how to quilt it. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Pin this!
Burst quilt |

For Me?

Devotion for the Week...

Every year on Christmas Eve, we watch the Alistair Sim version of A Christmas Carol (in black and white, thank you, not the colorized version) and, for some reason, a line from that has been playing through my mind lately. I know, we're not even into October yet, but this isn't actually a Christmas message, so just bear with me 😊

Near the end of the movie, after Scrooge has met with the three Christmas ghosts and realized the error of his ways, there's a scene with Mrs. Dilbert, who refers to herself earlier in the movie as 'the chow lady.' In this particular scene, she runs screaming from Scrooge because he seems to her to have gone completely mad and he catches up to her on the stairs and calms her down. He then gives her a guinea (which was worth 1 pound and one shilling according to Google). When Scrooge explains that it's a Christmas present, she says in wonder, "A Christmas present? For me?"

It was the "For me?" that has been going through my mind lately, along with her wide-eyed expression of wonder.

There are many people who think that God doesn't want them because of their pasts...or because they've been told so often that they're unlovable they now believe it...or because they feel too insignificant to be worthy of God's attention. There are probably any number of other reasons, too, but the truth is that God does want each and every one of us. Not only that, but Jesus came to offer salvation to each and every one of us.

Romans 5:8 says, "God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Not only for the people who were trying their best to be good enough. Not just for the ones who had their lives straightened out. And certainly not only for the people who thought they were good enough (in fact, they were the ones Jesus spoke most harshly of while He was on the earth). For us.

Who fits into this us Paul writes about? Everyone. There is no one left out. Jesus came to offer salvation to everyone. It's our choice whether or not we accept it, but the offer is available to everyone without restriction. "For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

Have you ever heard that God offers salvation to anyone who believes in Jesus, but wondered, "For me?" I say a resounding YES, FOR YOU!
God says you are worthy |
Background is my Night Sky quilt.
No matter what your past looks like. No matter what people have said about you. No matter what you have done or what has been done to you or what you think of your own worth. God says you are worthy and He sent Jesus so that He could have a relationship with you.

This offer of salvation is for anyone and everyone. Above all else, it is for you.

September 27, 2019

Night Sky in Catch and Release fabrics

It's the last day of the Catch and Release project party and I'm so excited to share my Night Sky quilt made in Mister Domestic's fabrics!
Night Sky quilt |
When Mathew, aka Mister Domestic, put out a call asking for makers to join his Catch and Release project party and make something with these fun fabrics, I knew right away I wanted to re-make Night Sky. The original is made with only two fabrics, and I love the simplicity of it, but I always knew I'd want to make it again with each star made in a different fabric. Well, this new version of Night Sky is made with 14 fabrics and looks so completely different from the original!
Night Sky quilt |
I had to get a picture on these steps, just like the picture on the pattern cover 😊
Night Sky quilt |
These Art Gallery fabrics are so wonderfully soft to work with and they hardly fray at all, which is nice because I realized after I basted the quilt that I hadn't thought to check for stray dark threads under the white fabrics. Hopefully the lack of fraying means there aren't any lurking under there.

Along with the Catch and Release fabrics, I used Art Gallery's Pure solids - Tranquil Waters for the background and the inner triangles are Pistachio Creme and Sweet Mint. It was Mathew's suggestion to use different colours for those inner triangles and it really changes the whole look of the quilt 😊

Now, can we just talk about these adorable fabrics? This Catch and Release line is so much fun! There are ladybugs, fish and flowers, a text print full of great sayings and more. It's really hard to choose a favourite print! Do you have a favourite?
Catch and Release fabrics |
I cut all the pieces for the quilt top and started piecing, only to realize that some of the prints are directional and I hadn't even considered that when I cut them out. Oops! I was making four-at-a-time flying geese and I really tried to arrange everything so those directional prints would be going the same way, but I just couldn't keep it all straight in my head. In the end, I decided that fish can swim horizontally and vertically if they want and I'm okay with that, lol. We won't talk about the flowers that are growing sideways...
Night Sky quilt |
Night Sky quilt |
There was never any question how I'd quilt this one. Those flight paths on the ladybug print seemed to be practically screaming "quilt me" so I did 😊 Of course, whatever ladybug flew this loopy meander all over the quilt must have been very dizzy indeed by the end of it!

I did have some trouble deciding what colour thread to quilt with, though. I wanted to match the background, but it seems Aurifil doesn't have a thread that matches Tranquil Waters. There are a couple that are close, but not quite right. So, I tried unwinding some 2600 and 5006 on the fabrics to see what I liked and the 5006 looked best to me, probably because some of the prints contain a similar shade of teal.

The lighting in the picture doesn't show the fabrics well, but it makes the texture from the quilting show up beautifully. Makes you want to pet it, doesn't it?
Night Sky quilt |
I used the dark blue fish fabric for the binding and I love the little fish that ended up swimming here and there along the edge.
Night Sky quilt |
It seemed only right, with a quilt full of fish fabrics, to take it to the beach for pictures.
Night Sky quilt |
Night Sky quilt |
The rocks at this beach are fascinating, with folds and ripples everywhere. It amazes me to think these rocks were once layered flat and horizontal and now they're tipped up and wavy. There are also a few of these neat little scooped out hollows (in the shadow to the left of the quilt). They're like the beginnnings of teeny little caves.
Night Sky quilt |
Thanks for visiting! If you like my Night Sky pattern, click here to buy it. It's written for only two fabrics, but a fat quarter is sufficient for each of the stars, so it's not hard to mix it up with lots of fabrics 😊 

Now, let's celebrate the project party with a giveaway! I've cut charm squares from my leftovers of the Catch and Release fabrics to share with a lucky winner anywhere in the world. There are two charms of each of the fabrics I used, for a total of 22 charm squares. To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me which quilt pattern you've made most often. For more entries, follow me on Instagram and Facebook, leaving a separate comment for each.

The giveaway will remain open until the morning of October 4th, when I'll randomly choose a winner and contact them by email (so make sure I have a way to reach you if you win!).

The Catch and Release project party has been a lot of fun, with an amazing variety of projects, including an umbrella! How have I never known it was possible to make your own umbrella? If you want to see all the projects, check out #agfcatchandrelease. There's enough inspiration there to keep you sewing for a long, long time 😊

Thank you, Mathew, for letting me play with your beautiful fabrics!

Pin this to share it!
Night Sky quilt |
Linking up with TGIFF, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop, Beauties Pageant

September 23, 2019


Devotion for the week...

I love getting out for a walk with the kids I babysit as it helps to break up the day. I find they tend to argue and fight over toys less when we get out of the house and that just makes for a better day for everyone. We don't go out in the rain, though, or when it's really windy, and in the winter I have to keep an eye on the temperature and especially the windchill to decide if it's a good day to go out or not. Because of that, checking the forecast is one of the first things I do in the morning. Then, as we're getting closer to the time we'd leave for our walk, I often check it again to be sure I'm not remembering something incorrectly. Then, because I can't remember what it said for tomorrow, I'll usually check the forecast again later in the day, looking at the rest of the week. But I'll still check it first thing in the morning when I wake up.

You would think that checking the day's forecast once would be enough, but the funny thing is that I tend to forget what it said, sometimes almost as soon as I close the app on my phone. Maybe it's because I've read it so many times that the forecasts all run together and don't really stand out in my mind. Maybe it's because I'm only half paying attention as I read it to begin with.

As I was picking up my phone to check the forecast for the nth time on a particular day, I was amused by the fact that I couldn't remember what I had read already a few times that day and it made me think of a section of the book of James. James wrote, "But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it" (James 1:22-25).

I feel like me reading the forecast is a lot like people who listen to God's word and essentially let it go in one ear and out the other. They hear the words, but they don't take it in and absorb it, so they immediately forget what they heard. They can't act on what they've learned from the word because they can't be sure of what they learned to begin with. At best they have a vague recollection that they heard *something* about a particular subject, but they don't really know what it was.

So, how do we ensure we aren't doing that? James says,  "if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free," which sounds to me like we need to be paying attention to what we hear, if others are preaching, or what we read, if we're reading the Bible ourselves. We can't expect to absorb what we hear/read if our minds are distracted by what we want to have for lunch, the chores that need to be done later or the quilts we're planning to make (I've been there, lol). We can train ourselves to focus so that we can really take in what we're learning so that we can remember it later. No pretending to be listening or just skimming the words as we read so we can check off 'Bible reading' from our to-do list. True focused attention will allow the words to sink in and affect the way we live.

James continues with, "and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it." And if you do what it says. That's the tough one, isn't it? We don't always want to stop gossiping or to forgive someone or to tame our tongues. We don't want to pray for those who persecute us or for those in authority over us. We struggle with serving God rather than serving money and, to be honest, we often struggle with serving in general. Often it's easier to just turn away from those verses and allow them to flow right out of our minds.
God will bless us for our obedience to His word |
If, instead, we choose to pay careful attention to His word and then do what it says, our lives will change to look more and more like Jesus' life looked. We will react to people and to situations as God would have us react because we will have absorbed the lessons He wants us to learn from His word.

Furthermore, James tells us that "God will bless [us] for doing it." That's a forecast I won't need to check over and over again!

September 18, 2019

True North Bee Blocks for September

I've joined my first monthly block bee and I'm very excited about it! It's the True North Bee and it's made up entirely of Canadian quilters. The blocks have to be free patterns or tutorials so members don't have to buy any patterns. While we can request the colours we want, we can't ask for specific fabrics, again so no one has to buy anything to participate in the bee. The only exception that was made was for something like Kona white, which (the rules state) most people would already have.

The queen for September is Rhonda, @quiltnutcreations on IG, and she asked for these maple leaf blocks in fall colours - moss/olive greens, rusty oranges/red and mustard/goldy yellows - with Kona white for the background. Unfortunately, I'm one of those rare people who don't have Kona white. I do have some Kona solids, but no white, and my local shops all carry the Northcott solids, so I'm not able to easily get it. Fortunately, I do have plenty of the Northcott white, which is a white white, like the Kona white, so I'm hoping that works well enough. It doesn't show up as white in the pictures because it was a dark, gloomy day when I took the pictures, but it really is white.
Maple leaf quilt blocks |
I chose this Island Batik green with rust/orange throughout for one of the leaves. I really love this fabric, with its leafy print and the variation in the greens and oranges.
Maple leaf quilt blocks |
This mustardy orange is from Northcott. It is a great mottled print, which certainly reminds me of fall leaves.
Maple leaf quilt blocks |
My blocks are in the mail now and I'm really looking forward to seeing Rhonda's quilt come together. The blocks I've seen from the other bee members have all been beautiful, too.

My month will be November and I'm working on a fun, scrappy block. I'll have a tutorial for it near the end of October, so keep an eye out for that 😊

Have you ever been a part of a monthly block bee? Did you finish the quilt made from the blocks made by your fellow members?

September 16, 2019


Devotion for the Week...

I love tea. While I will occasionally drink an herbal tea, my preference is for a good, strong black tea with a splash of milk. Since I like it strong, I tend to boil the kettle, pour the water into the mug with the teabag and then go do something else for a few minutes while I wait for it to be ready. More than once, though, I've gotten distracted while the tea was steeping and forgot about it until it was cold, so now I usually set a timer so that doesn't happen.

Unfortunately, my body is really sensitive to caffeine and drinking even just one tea a day on a regular basis will make me have heart palpitations, which aren't fun. A few years ago, I switched to drinking decaf most of the time, but it was hard to find a good decaf tea. Most of them were weak and disappointing no matter how long I let it steep. When Mom told me they had found a brand of decaf that actually tasted like proper tea I immediately made that my new favourite tea 😊

I don't have a clue what the difference is between the weak, disappointing brands of decaf tea and the good, strong one that I enjoy every day. I do know that there was nothing I could do to make the weak ones taste like regular tea. Even using two teabags at once didn't produce a good cup of tea. Starting with a good teabag makes all the difference.

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul told them to "be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power" (Ephesians 6:10). This verse is written as part of Paul's exhortation to the believers to stand firm against the attacks of the enemy, telling them to "put on the full armor of God" (v. 11), which includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit" (vv. 14-16) Read the full passage here.

It's important to note that the full armor is from God. We don't need to create, find, buy or otherwise acquire our own armor. God has created the armor and He gives it to us freely. We simply have to put it on.

Isn't it wonderful to know we don't have to stand strong on our own? It's like the difference between the weak, disappointing tea and the good, strong one, only even more pronounced. On my own I am not strong at all, but in God's strength I can do anything. Philippians 4:13 says it plainly: "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." I want that kind of strength in my life!

So how do we be strong in the Lord? Well, to put on the belt of truth, we must be familiar with the truth, which is found in our Bibles. To put on the breastplate of righteousness, we must have trusted Jesus as our Savior because only He is righteous and it is His righteousness we put on, not our own. Do you see where I'm going with this? To be strong, to put on the armor He provides, we need to know God. It's not that we need to know of God, but that we need to know Him personally as our Savior and friend.
Devotions on Christian living |
The most amazing and wonderful thing is, the more we know God, the more we have that relationship steeped into our lives, the stronger we will be.

How do you steep God into your life?

September 12, 2019

Pinwheel Garden in Make Modern

Pinwheel Garden quilt |
It's new issue day for Make Modern magazine and I have a quilt in the new issue! Get your copy of issue 30 here. Use the code "BIRTHDAY30" to get the issue for $6 AUD by September 15.

Meet Pinwheel Garden, a fun, scrap-busting, quilt 😊
Pinwheel Garden quilt |
I had so much fun raiding my scrap bag for this quilt. No, it didn't really make a dent in the scrap bag, but does anything ever make a dent in the scrap bag?? I love scrappy quilts because they have bits and pieces from so many other projects and I love remembering the other things I've made. They're also great because I hate throwing even small pieces away, like these teeny little squares at the center of the pinwheels.
Pinwheel Garden quilt |
I used Northcott solids for the background and the blue pinwheels. In fact, I knew I'd be using the blue for the pinwheels and the backing of this quilt and at least one other I had planned (my Blue Sparkler) so I bought the full bolt. It was my first time buying a full bolt and I have to say it's wonderfully convenient to have it stashed away when I want to use it for a backing.

I quilted Pinwheel Garden with an all over swirly flower using Aurifil 4140 (I can't find an Amazon link for a single spool of 4140, but this collection that includes it would be lovely to have.) After I started quilting I realized I didn't have enough of the 4140 to finish the whole quilt. Oh, and did I mention I was on a deadline and there was no way thread ordered from anywhere would reach me in time? No next day delivery happening in this neck of the woods. I tried using a different colour in the bobbin to extend the amount of thread I had, but even that wasn't going to be enough. I was seriously kicking myself for choosing that colour at this point!

This was right at the beginning of the summer and we were planning a short trip to another part of the province. As I was quilting one day I realized that we would be (sort of) passing the one shop here in Newfoundland that I know of that carries Aurifil. Sort of because it would mean a detour of about 30 minutes added onto a drive that was already close to 6 hours, but that definitely seemed worth it to me. It's just a small shop, though, so what were the chances she'd have the colour I wanted in stock? Well, I quickly sent her a message and a little while later she responded to say that yes, she did have that colour! So, on our way home we took that detour to get to Blazin' Stitches where Krista saved my quilt 😊

The flowers were quick and so relaxing to quilt because they didn't have to be perfect to look good. It was also easy to quilt them bigger or smaller, depending on the space I had to fill. Considering I have a habit of quilting myself into corners when doing all-over designs, that's a very helpful trait for a design to have.
Pinwheel Garden quilt |
I eliminated elements of the block for the outer blocks, creating something like a faux border. This is the third quilt I've designed where the blocks create a different look in the border and I really like the effect. Love Birds was the first one I designed, then Mix It Up! Both of them use changes in colour to create the look of a border (both use black, actually). I think there will be more like these in the future. It's a fun look!
Pinwheel Garden quilt |
September is Make Modern's birthday month and they're celebrating 5 years! Five years already?! That's crazy! As part of the celebration, they're having a competition where you make any project from any issue of the magazine and you have the chance to win some great prizes. There have been quite a few Devoted Quilter patterns in the magazine since my first publication back in 2015 (just sayin' 😉).

Also as part of the celebration, for the month of September, every new All-Access subscriber will get a free Make Modern enamel pin mailed to them. The All-Access subscription is exactly what it sounds like - it gives you access to all 29 of Make Modern's previous issues along with a 12 month subscription going forward.

If you're not interested in the All-Access subscription, and just want this issue, click here to get a copy.
Pinwheel Garden quilt |
I love working with the team at Make Modern and I'm honoured that they have chosen to include my designs in their magazine so many times. I actually just submitted everything for another design for the next issue, which was my most recent bit of secret sewing, lol. I'll be sharing that in a couple of months.
Pinwheel Garden quilt |
Do you have scraps just begging to be used to make some pretty little flowers? Pick up issue 30 and get started 😊 Don't forget to use the code "BIRTHDAY30" to get the issue for $6 AUD by September 15.

I'll be linking up with NTT, TGIFF, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and Beauties Pageant.

September 09, 2019

On Auto Pilot

Devotion for the Week...

A few years ago, Paul heard someone on the radio talking about how God wants a real conversation with us, not rote repetition. The background for the person talking was the voice of a child saying, "God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food." That common grace is exactly the one we use most often and I do find it is really easy to close my eyes and say those words silently before eating, without really paying attention to what I'm saying. Saying thank you to God for our food is a wonderful habit to have...if we are consciously thanking Him. If we're just saying, or thinking, the words without paying attention to them, then it seems to me like it's just a waste of time. Grace can easily become something we do on auto pilot, rather than something meaningful.

Of course, saying grace isn't the only Christian activity that can be done on auto pilot more than out of a desire for a connection with God. Do we go to church because we really want to spend that time with Him and with other believers or do we go just because that's what we do on Sundays? Do we put money in the offering plate because we want to support the work of the church or because the plate is passed around and we feel we're expected to put something in?

Predicting what the last days will be like, Paul wrote about people "having a form of godliness but denying its power" (2 Timothy 3:5). That has always been the verse that comes to mind for me when I think of any religious activity done on auto pilot. Saying grace mindlessly certainly has the form of godliness, but there's no power to it. There's no power in allowing words to flow through your lips if you don't really mean them. And you can't really mean them if you're not paying attention to them.

Here's the thing - doing religious things mindlessly looks an awful lot like doing them consciously. You can't tell by looking at me if I'm saying grace mindlessly or not. I wouldn't be able to tell by watching you come into church if you're doing it out of habit or out of a desire for connection to God and other believers. Only I can know if my faith is on auto pilot or not.

Well, not quite. God knows, too. Psalm 139:1-4 says "You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely." Not only does He know what we say or think, but He also knows the intention behind it. He knows when we're focused on Him and when we're just going through the motions.
Weekly devotions on Christian living |
Quilt background is my Scraps Squared quilt
We must ask ourselves, then, is our faith on auto pilot? Are we just going through the motions, content to have the appearance of a connection with God? Or are we consciously focused on strengthening our relationship with Him? Do we want to form of godliness or do we want the power that comes from God?

September 05, 2019

TGIFF - A Little Finish

Welcome to Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday! I can't believe it's September already! I feel like I'm always saying I can't believe how quickly time is flying by, but it's always true. A particular day can sometimes feel like it lasts 6 weeks (you've had those days, too, right?), but then somehow 6 months disappear in a flash.

I'm in the midst of a bunch of secret sewing right now, so I have just a quick, little finish to share today. I whipped up a double sided 4 patch pincushion, made with scrap 2 ½" squares. The 4 year old I babysit arrived today in a shirt that coordinated perfectly with the pincushion, so I couldn't resist using him as my model. Thanks to his mom for giving me permission to share 😊
Scrappy pincushion |
Scrappy pincushion |
I stuffed it with scrap batting pieces, too. I've been trying to find ways to use the long, skinny pieces that I cut off the edges of a quilt after quilting it. I hate throwing them out, especially since I want to reduce how much garbage we throw out as a household. I didn't want to be piecing a bazillion of them together to make a decent sized piece either, though. I mean, some of these pieces are about 2" wide, so making a batting big enough for even a mini quilt would take a lot of time.

I wasn't sure about using them for stuffing things because I figured that would make the stuffed thing turn out lumpy, but then I decided to try cutting the batting into small pieces first and that worked perfectly. I started out just cutting the batting in a single layer, but quickly switched to cutting four layers at a time to speed things up. I probably could have cut even more at a time with these LDH scissors. Since it's only a 4" pincushion, cutting enough batting into bits didn't take long.
Batting scraps |
I have a tendency to under-stuff things and then wish they were fuller, so I made a point of stuffing the pincushion really tightly, which gives it a nice heft and used up more batting than I thought it would. Sure, I'd have to make dozens of pincushions to use all the batting scraps I have tucked away, but at least it's a start!
Scrappy pincushion making |
I ladder stitched the opening closed last night, which was the extent of my sewing for the entire day. It's our first week back to work and I'm finding the morning alarm rather jarring after a whole summer without it. I'm hoping to be more productive in the evenings again after I adjust to actually having a schedule again.
Scrappy pincushion |
I don't actually need a new pincushion for use while sewing, but I made this one to use as a sample. I'm planning a "Learn to Quilt" class that I want to offer and I thought it would be nice to start with a super simple, but also useful, project the first night. My thought right now is that I'd allow the class participants to choose from my 2 ½" squares (it's not like I have a shortage), so there would be no cutting involved that first night. They'd learn to wind a bobbin, thread their machines and then get to make something they can then use for the rest of the class. There's nothing like seeing a finished project to make you feel like you can actually do this new thing. Oh, and I'll spend some time beforehand cutting up lots of batting scraps so they can use them for their stuffing 😊

Turns out, though, that I really like this little scrappy pincushion, so it's entirely likely it will end up seeing regular use. I may want to make more, too, lol. How many pincushions do you use regularly?

Want to remember this for when you need a quick project? Pin it for later!
Scrappy 4 patch pincushion |
And now on to the party! Link up your finishes for the week (big or small) and be sure to visit a few other links to congratulate them on their finishes, too 😊
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

September 02, 2019

Work Attitude

Devotion for the Week...

I enjoyed the mental break from writing devotions over the summer, but I'm happy to be back with a new one today! I hope that, whatever your work, you were able to find ways to take a break, too.

On that note, I want to look at work today. This is the Labour Day long weekend for those of us in North America. It's a holiday that began as a way to celebrate the work of everyday people and their contribution to society and that has become the unofficial signal of the end of summer for most people.

We, as a society, have a rather complicated relationship with work. Work is necessary - collectively, everyone's work needs to be done to keep society running and, individually, we each need to work in order to have an income to support ourselves - but we place a much higher value on the time we spend not working. I'm sure you've heard the phrase "working for a living is getting in the way of living." I know I'm guilty of feeling exactly that, especially now when I'm about to start work again after a summer off. I've even said longingly that I will make a very good retired person when the time comes because I can guarantee I will never be bored.

In the Bible, Paul is very clear that Christians are to be working. You don't get much clearer than "Those unwilling to work will not get to eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). This verse is written as part of a larger argument against idleness as Paul reminded the Thessalonians that he worked hard so he wouldn't be a burden on anyone while he was with them. In that context I believe that Paul is not only referring to paid labour,  but also to all the unpaid work that needs to be done, which is why we've quoted that verse to our boys when they were younger and balking at the thought of doing their chores. Likewise, parenting is a lot of valuable work for which we are never paid.

Addressing slaves, Paul also wrote, "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people" (Colossians 3:23). This one can be tough to live, can't it? We probably all have parts of our work that we genuinely enjoy and find easy to do. As a child care provider, I find it easy to sit and read funny books with the kids or bake with them or listen to their sometimes quirky stories and explanations. The ones that are so good I have to immediately text it to their mother make my day. But there are also parts of our work that we really don't like. Dealing with tantrums comes to mind. Or dirty diapers. During the summers while in university, I worked at Tim Horton's (a coffee shop chain here in Canada) and there were certain customers I'd cringe to see arriving because they were so unpleasant and rude. And needing to clean bathrooms never makes me happy.

Those parts of the work inspire anything but a desire to work willingly, and yet that's exactly what Paul tells us to do. Whatever we do, even the parts we really don't like, we should work at them willingly. Not complaining or grumbling, not doing just the bare minimum to get by and not trying to find ways to make it someone else's job. Why? Put simply, because it really is God we are working for, not the people who pay us or who benefit from the unpaid work we do. "Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ" (Colossians 3:24).

It's not that He needs the work done, but rather that He wants the right attitude in our hearts. So much of living the life God wants for us is more about our hearts than it is about anything on the outside. I know I grumble in my head an awful lot about the work I don't want to be doing. Sometimes I even allow it to make me miserable, all the while knowing that's the wrong attitude.
Is your attitude about work godly? |
Quilt detail from my Blue Sparkler quilt
Is your attitude about work godly? Is it easy for you to work willingly, even at the parts of your work that you don't enjoy? I have a long way to go before I'll be able to hold the right attitude about work in my heart all the time. Hopefully I also have many years of work ahead of me to work on it.