Monday night and Tuesday, the busy world of people outside the walls of my house came to a stand still. The cold winds swirled and the snow piled up and everyone stayed home. It was a perfect time to work on my latest quilt.
I love quilting. One of my favorite things is the tangible progress. Every cut, every stitch, every seam pressed I can watch the quilt take shape. Many aspects of the ministry don't offer that reward. Teaching and mentoring have a few "aha!" moments but for the most part the success isn't visual.
Quilting also keeps my hands busy. My mind is always whirring. I am still amazed when I ask someone what he or she is thinking and they answer "nothing." I can't imagine it's even possible to think nothing.
A busy mind can be a problem sometimes, at least for me. If I'm not careful, I brood. I foolishly replay the tapes of failures and betrayals and my heart can spiral downward into darkness. Quilting occupies my mind and keeps me from going there.
While the blizzard of 2011 and its aftermath whirled, I quilted and my mind mused on my blessings. I live in Iowa, a place where the people have learned to live with nature's fury for hundreds of years. This blizzard has been the first time the schools have closed this year. We've had over two feet of snow fall since winter began, but in Iowa, life only stops for the most extreme storms.
I thought about those pioneers who lived on these prairies during the 19th century. I'm safe in a house with indoor plumbing and a furnace. When it came time to dig out, snowplows cleared my street and a neighbor brought his snowblower over to help clear our driveway.
I cut my quilt pieces using my knife sharp Fiskars and a rolling cutter.
Seamed on my nice sewing machine.
And pressed with a modern iron.
I didn't have to build a fire, use a chamber pot, sharpen a blade, treadle, or heat irons. I am thankful: Thankful for those who have gone before and braved the trials; Thankful for those who invented the conveniences I enjoy; Thankful to my husband for working to pay for the things I have.
I'm ultimately thankful to my Lord who daily loadeth me with benefits.
"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah."