Sunday, April 9, 2023

Weekly Word: Ephesians 2:10 + Books, Stitches and Gratitude!

Hello There,

Happy Easter to you!  The LORD is risen offering new hope and a chance at new life!

Well, it has been a year for us!  Instead of sharing the drama, I share the victories!  My husband and I had a wonderful week at the end of March in San Diego visiting my parents, sister and brother-in-law!  It was amazing!  I picked up these cross stitch kits at the locally owned Needlecraft Cottage in Pacific Beach.

They are on perforated paper, so it will be a learning experience for me.  Your suggestions are welcome!  

And more good news!  After a minor accident, Mama is recovering well in the hospital, she and Daddy held hands and talked about how much they miss each other 💖, a friend is recovering at home after an unexpected week-long stay in the hospital, my garden is coming along nicely, and I was finally able to take a good nap this afternoon!  I also celebrating my birthday this month and have a third birthday party to attend tomorrow with my beloved Golden Girls (a group of retired/almost retired teachers).  

I am very behind in responding to emails and will be working on catching up this week.  Thank you so much for your patience!  

Life is good, yes indeed, life is good.  So, please pull up a chair, a snack and your favorite beverage as we visit.    

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!    

The Weekly Word

What is my purpose in life?  There is no simple answer to this question.  In one of my small Bible Study Groups, we are going through the book of Ephesians and one of the ladies was asking, “What is our purpose on Earth?”  in life? Naturally, I said to praise God, but later that week I read Ephesians 2 and saw this verse.  

One of our purposes is to do good works:  works God has prepared us in advance to do. Occasionally, that can be challenging, depending on our life circumstances at the time. 

We never know how God will work through us to change a life.  So many people have been so kind to us this year and it felt good to pay it forward.  

Your beautiful emails and notes have blessed and strengthened me.  Though the tears still flow daily, your prayers and many kindnesses are there for me to draw upon.  

As I said in my Gratitude Journal, I pray to come out of this difficult season different...though I don't know what that will look like.  

But I do know God does and I'm looking forward to see how He will put my heart back together again.  
This weekend I was a bit lost...out of sorts...then a "kindness opportunity" presented itself. God had paved the way, prepared me for this act.  He will prepare you as well.  

Regardless of our own personal life circumstances, let us
1) listen to Him
2) obey His gentle nudges
3) put aside our pain and doubts
4) respond to acts of kindness when they come our way.

After all, we are created to do good works, works God has prepared us in advance to do. 

Let’s remember that this week and look for those “kindness opportunities.” 

My Reading Life

Progress on my hardcopy reads and eBooks has been slow, but I've been enjoying listening to books.  
Currently Reading

Slow Read

Finished Reading

**** The Audacity of Sara Grayson by Sara Grayson was a interesting book about an author finding her voice, finding her confidence and discovering familial secrets.  A great read that moves at the just the right pace.  I enjoyed the bookish theme as it relates to the arduous process that writers go through.  My appreciation for authors has increased greatly!  Be prepared to fall in love with Sara as you cheer her on!  Recommend

**** The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang is part two of The Poppy War series and part of my Buddy Read project.  As many of you may have noticed, fantasy is not a genre I usually read, however, that is part of the joy of Buddy Reading, we read books we may not have read before.  Though this could be a stand alone read, starting with book one gives greater understanding as you read book two.  We see Rin, the protaganist go from drug addicted, failure and being in hiding to woman who is strong, determined and willing, despite her injuries, to continue to achieve success for her people.  Recommend.

***** The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick is similar to Sara Grayson, in that both protagonists are chosen to finish a book after the original author's demise and they both find their voices.  Liv is different in that she is facing huge financial struggles as well as marital struggles.  Does she lose herself and possibly her family as she teetors between her new life and her old life?  What would you want her to choose?  Highly recommend.  

Stash Report

Yarny Numbers - no changes here

Fabric numbers - I finished a set of Kimberbell machine embroidered mug rugs (see below)! So my fabric used numbers continue to grow!
It seems like I've taken on so many squirrels, I need to get into my sewing room and focus - again!  

To Do Tuesday

Last Week's List
1.  Slow Stitching
- Continue stitching on the Bee Humble project Done!  I've almost finished the detail stitching for Month 4 and will continue on with Month five!

2.  Crochet 
make progress on my Fall Granny Square afghan  Done!  I made another 16 patch afghan square.  
3. Machine Sewing:  
- Make progress on my Christmas Tumbler quilt.  I almost have it all laid out and ready to stitch!
Casually look for the Fall Into a Quilt  kit. Found!  Yea!  Now to download the patterns and continue prep!
Prep this month's $15 Sampler blocks  Done - all cut out! 
Whew!  That was a job!    
I also got them stitched up.  

The one on the right came out so very wonky, (the one on the left is just placed on the design board crooked) so I took it into my LQS, Be Sew Creative.  Marsha, the owner, looked at it, taught me what I may have done wrong and then helped me investigate possible solutions!  She even offered to take it home and try to fix the poor little block!  Can you imagine her kindness?  And this, my friends, is why I shop local whenever I can.  💛💛
- On the day Mia passed away, I met with some friends at Starbucks.  The kind ladies working that night, saw my tears and kindly gifted me a huge coffee as well as a goodie bag of treats - totally unexpected.  I made this batch of Kimberbell machine embroidered mug rugs as a thank you gift and kept a few for myself.  
I also got this month's Teacup Critters (Joy from Days Filled with Joy) finished.  The stitching only takes a couple of hours and with my fabric precut, the block itself takes less than 30 minutes to complete.  I simply pulled a charm pack and the background from my stash, cut the squares on my Accuquilt.  After laying out the block, it was wonderfully easy to stitch up!  

This Week's List
It feels good to keep my list short this week.  If I get anything extra accomplished, it will be icing on the cake.  😉
1.  Slow Stitching
- Bee Humble - Attach Block Four to the main square.
2.  Crochet
make progress on my Fall Granny Square afghan 
3.  Machine Sewing:  
- $15 Sampler - Stitch up this month's new blocks  

This year has had a rough start, so I've decided it's the perfect time to pull out a UFO from 2014 which I call the Quilt of Hope.  I chose this particular square to one day embroider various Scriptures that have encouraged me throughout my life. The quilt blocks are all finished, they just need the Scriptures hand embroidered in the centers.  I'll be working on it during my Stitch and Sew get togethers.  Though this project will not be a "formal goal" per se, I'll share my progress.  

Gratitude Journal

Micah Tyler wrote Different during a difficult time in his life I've shared this song before and, at this time in my life, I found it perfect.  Sometimes, when we are broken, it's the perfect time to for us to ask God to make us different as He picks up the pieces and puts us back together.  I heard it on the radio this week and it has become my prayer:
I wanna be differentI wanna be changed'Til all of me is goneAnd all that remainsIs a fire so brightThe whole world can seeThat there's something differentSo come and be different

LeeAnna gave us this fun Easter prompt:
Most of us were raised with the fun spring idea of an Easter Bunny....and a basket of goodies
"Do you have any fun or special memories of getting or giving an Easter basket?  What was in it?  Was it covered in that shiny see through crinkly paper and candy sitting on that paper grass? Remember that wall of easter baskets in the front window of the dime stores ? Did you do easter egg hunts in the yard, and did you love it? "

I remember the Easter baskets as LeeAnna described.  I also remember making the hardboiled eggs and dying them.  It was fun.  I can't recall any egg hunts, but I certainly enjoying hosting them with my grandbabies - one of whom is 6' tall!  I enjoyed watching them this morning as they searched for eggs.  My son even joined in the search.  

Here are my Instagram posts that caught my eye lately.  

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  1. Love all those good things happening. I wouldn't mind reading The Messy Lives of Book People, that sounds worth reading. Love all your stitching. That bee humble project sure is going to be something wonderful.

  2. I'm sorry that life has been rough lately. Thank you for reminding us that God has given us a purpose for which we are equipped.

    Your handwork is beautiful. I especially like your Quilt of Hope.

    Praying, my friend.

  3. Looks like you managed to get lots of good stitching in, in spite of leading a busy life! How sweet of the coffee ladies to treat you in the midst of your loss, and the mug rugs you made them are lovely. Glad your mother is doing well, so sorry that happened to her. It just gets harder as we age to be separated from our loved ones, doesn't it? How are you feeling physically? Hope all is well with you and have a fantastic week!

  4. It is always good to do a review over the week or month and look back to see the progress we have made. And then look forward and keep going. Thanks for joining Sew & Tell :)

  5. I love reading your updates! You are so talented. I hope you have a great week!

  6. That was so nice of them to gift the coffee! I love hearing GOOD stories because goodness knows everyone (media!) loves to throw around the bad ones. Good idea to gift a little something back!

  7. Another inspiring post to read. Your mug rugs are such a lovely gift for your very supportive friends. It is a comfort when friends gather to help us through our losses and so sweet to find a way to thank them. I'm so sorry to hear of your Mom's accident. I hope she is recovering quickly. You made somme great progress on your list. Thank you for linking with To Do Tuesday. Im looking forward to seeing your progress on your Quilt of Hope and your other projects.

  8. Mill Hill kits always take longer than you think they will. Spoiler alert, it's the beads. Your bee project is adorable!