Saturday, December 17, 2022

Weekly Word: Encouragement + Books, Stitches and Gratitude!

 Hello There, 

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you are doing well!  This week has been for us with highs in the 50's and lows in the 20's!  Between RSV, the flu and COVID numbers going up, I've been hibernating except for essential errands.  The winter storms are certainly causing havoc across the nation, aren't they?  I hope you all are safe and warm today/tonight!

I hope you enjoy this post, especially my Slow Stitching squirrel:  crocheted Christmas ornaments, some fun Christmas audiobooks I've been listening to and a fun song to get you up and dancing!  

Both Christmas and New Year's Eve fall on a weekend.  As I usually post on the weekend, I'll be taking a break until 2023.  However, I will be active on my Instagram account @miaismine22.   Please just request to follow me as it is a private account.  

Until I see you again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Here's is an index should you have a special interest you like to read first!  
The Weekly Word - is a short devotional that sometimes becomes a Bible Study series.  
My Reading Life - is filled with current, completed and upcoming reads as well as an occasional short review.      
Stash Report and To Do Tuesday is where I'll share share stats regarding my fiber usage and acquisitions, Slow Sunday Stitching projects, goals met/lack thereof and photos of my projects. 
Gratitude Journal - Sometimes I get lost in my own stinky thinking.  This digital journal reminds me to count my blessings!    
 Faith, Trust and Breast Cancer - - Here you will find updates on life after Triple Negative Breast Cancer.  I was diagnosed in November of 2014 and my last day of treatment was in November 2015. 

The Weekly Word

The holidays are such a joyous time for so many of us.  Yet, for some of us, they are lonely and difficult.
I have a sense that some of you reading this are hurting right now.  You are not alone.  
As we face our current challenges and those to come, I pray that these words from The Christmas Blessing by Donna VanLiere will come to mind.   
"Time in the valley will teach you to be a man, Nathan," she had said.  "It's where your character will form.  I hope you go through the valley so that you'll learn so that you'll learn how to love and feel and understand.  And when life wounds you, I hope it is because you loved people, not because you mistreated them."  It was a blessing of sorts, a blessing that forges love in the darkest places.  

There have been times, especially during those early years without her, that I thought time in the valley was anything but a blessing, but now I know otherwise.   As I grew, I began to understand what my mother meant:  It is those times of struggle and pain that teach us how to live.  It's not really living until you've thrown your heart and soul on the line, rising failure and suffering loss.  And I have come to realize that we're never alone; everyone has been through their own valley or is walking through it now...

There were times when the grief in my life made it impossible to believe that God was alive and working, or the doubts were so great it  seemed hopeless to believe anything at all, but as I look at the faces in the seats before me I now once again that we're all hear for a reason, a purpose that is often beyond us.
-The Christmas Blessing by Donna VanLeire
My time listening to Donna VanLeiere's books was such encouragement.  I was reminded of two facts:  

1.  We. Are. Not. Alone. 
Even if it feels like we are, God is with us!  
The fact is:  God is always with us - even if we are angry with Him or overcome by grief.
2.  We. Are. Here. For. A. Reason.
In 2023,let us prayerfully seek out the reason for our existence and live it fully.  
Someone needs each one of us.  It could be a perfect stranger or a dear loved on.  But, someone is out there who needs us.  

In 2023, let our antennas be up and sensitive to how we can contribute to making our surroundings a softer, kinder place to be.  

Once we focus on God's presence in our lives and on helping others, everyone's lives will be enriched.

My Reading Life
Last week I shared the 2023 Reading Challenges I'm planning to participate in,  however, I may be adding this one if my grandbabies decided to participate!  
Currently Reading
Finished Reading

*****I highly recommend all three of these books by Donna VanLiere!  

Stash Report

Yarny Numbers
I used all but 2 ounces of the yarn that came in last week plus some scraps!  
I was wondering how in the world I was in the negative last week after using and donating so much yarn:  a simple coding error!  Ug.  
I'm learning to think analytically though!  So yea for errors!  

Fabric numbers - No fabric has come in or out this week!

To Do Tuesday

Last Week's List
1.  Slow Stitching  
Finish block two of the Bee Humble Sew AlongNOT DONE.  I am really focusing on Christmas preparations, so this one is taking a back seat for now.   
Make progress on tea towel #3! DONE!  It's looking pretty good!
continue with the ornaments DONE!  Just in case you decide to make these, one skein of yarn made 17 ornaments and have proving quite popular with the recipients thus far!

2. Machine Sewing:  
- stuff the Christmas puppies for the grandbabies NOT DONE - YET!  
- I actually got a couple of "To Do's" finished from last week's "On the Radar" !
- Make the five 6.5" blocks for the $15 Sampler quilt.  DONE!
I actually stitched them up in a day!  Rechecking the cut pieces a few times times and reducing my sewing speed, I only lost a few points!  
- Prep Row 12 of the Pieces in the Garden QAL.  DONE and stitched up!  This beginner friendly block is so fun that I found this pattern for making it in 12" squares!  
Next Week's List 
1.  Slow Stitching  
Make progress on tea towel #3! 
- continue with the ornaments
2. Machine Sewing:  
- stuff the Christmas puppies for the grandbabies 
- pick and prep the next Christmas quilt.  I am making my way through my Christmas stash and looking at which "genre" of fabric to stitch through next!
On the radar
- Stitch up a baby quilt that I've prepped.
- Finish up my daughter's crocheted dishcloths.
- Prep kits for January 2023 

Gratitude Journal

Good Feeling by Austin French is sure to get your toes tapping and your body dancing as you lift your hands in praise to our heavenly Father!  Here is the cute story behind the song.  
At one point I started saving Songs from the blog on YouTube.  I've made a note to do this every week.  You can enjoy these songs as a sort of "radio station" any time you like!  

This week LeeAnne had a bunch of suggestions regarding Christmas music.  I have loved O Come All Ye Faithful since childhood!  It has always touched my heart as I praised Him for whom the season is for.  Even today I sing it in hopes that all will come to adore and love Jesus Christ!  
It's the Holiday Season makes me dance!  I love to play it first when we begin to decorate the tree!
My least favorite song is Baby, It's Cold Outside.  
Pre-pandemic I loved attending our church's Christmas pageants.  Now we go to El Paso and enjoy walking through the beautifully decorated downtown plaza!
As I child, I enjoyed participating in our elementary school Christmas programs and loved singing as loud as I could (despite my off-key voice!).  LOL!  

Now to my recent likes on Instagram!
This account, @healthtips.247 posted that Charlie Chaplin left us with the following quotations.

Isn't this true?🠇

If you like photography, this account is a great one to follow!
I've begun taking more chances this week 
and am enjoying the results!  Fear - be gone!
This camel saw snow for the first time,
ran to get his/her friends
to make sure they saw it!

Please, even if you pay a bit more,
support your independent bookshops!
I personally support @coasbooks (website), @barriobooks520 (website),  @libeula_books_co (website).  
These ship nationwide!    
Let's support our local bookshops, quilt shops, 
and small business owners as much as possible! 
Please share the names of the indie bookstores 
you support in the comments!

This quote reminded me of the Bible Study series I wrote 
inspired by Matthew West's song, Truth Be Told.  
@Tobymacspeaklife account always gives me food for thought.
This last week my husband found the belt 
he made me when we were in high school!
My favorite like is my constant companion, Mia, 
for whom this blog is named.  

Faith, Trust and Breast Cancer

I was diagnosed the day before we were to host our family Thanksgiving dinner in 2014.  It was tough.
That holiday season was filled with the stress of scheduling tests around doctors and medical offices taking their well-earned holiday breaks.
Less than a handful of years later, a close family member passed away the day after Thanksgiving.  
 But, that was then, this is now.
Now, we are extra loving to each other, supportive and patient.    
Now, I still remember, but am filled with gratitude, love and an extra measure of joy.  I believe this very much:   Tough times make us more empathetic, more tender.  
To those of you who are dealing with crisis this holiday season, please know you are in our prayers.  Your pain is in my heart.  When I say we are praying for you, we are.  You are not forgotten.  

I look forward to touching base with you again in the New Year!

Enjoyed this post? 
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Your comments are so appreciated! 
I read each one and will respond by email.
You can also expect a visit from me as well!

Here are some blogs I sometimes link up to!
Midweek Makers @ Quilt Fabrication (Wednesdays)
I Like @ Not Afraid of Color (Thursday)


  1. I enjoyed reading all your post this morning!!! Love the weekly word, the ornaments and the quilt blocks!!! Merry Christmas!!!

  2. So much wisdom in this post, Patricia. I have made my own copies of your quotes about people talking about you behind your back and God parting the Red Sea and the six best doctors in the world. It is when we travel difficult road that we really become better people. Thank you.

    Beautiful ornaments! Blessed are those who will receive your bounty!

    Merry Christmas, Patricia!

  3. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas! Hard to believe it's only a week away. Those ornaments as so beautiful!!

  4. Merry Christmas and Happy New year! I haven't completely decided what reading challenges I will be doing next year, but I will be completing at least one I didn't finish this year.

  5. I'm dancin' to your song choice too! LOVE it! And your quotes, the red sea quote is wonderful. Happy Christmas to you, you ole softie! from one to another, love, LeeAnna

  6. Beautiful and Inspiring words that are heart given. Thank you. Yes I am avoiding the Covid stuff etc. too. Even though we are summer our numbers have risen a lot. I even avoided church yesterday because only a few of us wear masks. All the best with your sewing and reading over the next couple of weeks after the Christmas busy time is over. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  7. Great post! I still have to set up my 2023 challenges. I've been procrastinating but I will - hopefully - do it this week. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  8. You were definitely on a Christmas book kick this past week. I was, too, but I've moved on from them now, unfortunately. Time to get back to some ARCs.

  9. Merry Christmas! I love the yarn ornaments. Those colors would match my tree perfectly this year. :)

  10. Your ornaments are beautiful!

    Wishing you a great reading week, and a joyous Christmas!

  11. I love your crocheted ornaments, Patricia! Always fun to see what you've been reading, too. The Instagram post about the things in life that are the best doctors is a good one! Have a lovely Christmas!

  12. Your Pieces in the Garden blocks are so pretty! Love those ornaments so much, they are on my list to make. I wish I had remembered to buy some clear ornaments I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family, and thank you for sharing with us at To Do Tuesday!

  13. Merry merry Christmas, Patricia!! Stay safe and warm. {{Hugs}} a bunch. ~smile~ Roseanne

  14. Have a wonderful holiday!