Thursday, December 12, 2013

I needed to be reminded...

I recently read this quote of Spurgeon on the internet on a blog I follow.  I will take it for today.  I hope it blesses you too.

“To a man (or woman) who lives unto God nothing is secular, everything is sacred.
He puts on his workday garment and it is a vestment to him.
He sits down to his meal and it is a sacrament.
He goes forth to his labor, and therein exercises the office of the priesthood. His breath is incense and his life a sacrifice.
He sleeps on the bosom of God, and lives and moves in the divine presence.
To draw a hard and fast line and say, “This is sacred and this is secular,” is, to my mind, diametrically opposed to the teaching of Christ and the spirit of the gospel…
Peter saw a sheet let down from heaven in which were all manner of beasts and four-footed creatures, which he was bidden to kill and eat, and when he refused because they were unclean, he was rebuked by a voice from heaven, saying, “What God hath cleansed that call not thou common” [Acts 10:15; 11:9].
The Lord hath cleansed your houses, he has cleansed your bed chambers, your tables…  He has made the common pots and pans of your kitchens to be as the bowls before the altar –
if you know what you are and live according to your high calling.
You housemaids, you cooks, you nurses, you ploughmen, you housewives, you traders, you sailors, your labor is holy if you serve the Lord Christ in it, by living unto Him as you ought to live.
The sacred has absorbed the secular.”

Monday, August 12, 2013

Life Stages

Good morning friends! (I wrote this post a few months back)

Do you ever stop and take a minute or two to look back on your life and look for patterns or even just wonder at the path you have walked?  And as the various experiences along the path are remembered, what does the mental journey tell you?

When I was growing up we lived on the edge of a park which was bordered by forest, so our backyard was open to the forest. I spent a lot of time walking through those woods, on those well worn paths to and from public school, then high school, and to and from my friends' homes.

Back in those days, it was safe to walk those routes, if need be, after dark and this I did many a time. I knew those paths so well and even in the dark, I was seldom afraid. The moon would shine down through the trees lighting up the path in front of me. I knew well the main path which ran east west through the woods, and the path to our back yard was well marked.

Spending so much time in those woods meant becoming particularly attentive to the changes the different seasons brought to the forest. Millions of oak and maple leaves crunching under foot in the late fall, then winter snow covering the paths becoming well worn with footsteps from kids going to and from school; spring woodland flowers appearing on schedule...trilliums, jack-in-the-pulpits, dogwoods, violets...I remember them all and I particularly enjoyed this harbinger of spring. Then the long hot days of summer when the wood was in full leaf, squirrels busy gathering, chipmunks running in and out of the woodpile that was on the edge of the yard, various birds building their nests in the trees...

The pathways became so familiar. Even though the different seasons brought changes to the wood, the pathways remained the same. The paths took me to school, to the park, to friends' homes, and to my home.

And so it was a season in my life which I remember often.

The path I seem to be on now involves a new stage in my life as once again I intersect with my mother's path. She is moving into a retirement centre and for a few of us in the family this change represents a new stage in life that brings with it many mixed emotions. Together, mom and I have been sorting through her closet, cupboards, and drawers throwing out things that need tossing, deciding what needs to be passed on or given to the Sally Ann, and what will be kept to be taken to her new room.

 As I have worked I find myself remembering the early days with my mother, when she ran a house, cared for 4 children, preserved jams and jellies, froze the produce from the garden, and kept many balls in the air. I have other memories from the stages since then that my mom has gone through. My life has always intersected with her life and now I find myself mentally addressing every stage of life she has experienced so far.  And as I do this, I marvel at the path of a woman's life. The path is continually being different speeds...and changing seasons. How we navigate those changes, whatever they may be, determines our quality of life.

I am honoured to have accompanied my mom on her path and witnessed her life to this point.  Even though there have been hard times there have been many joyous times. I am thankful she was a witness to my raising my children, and that my children knew her at different ages and interacted with her. She has been an important influence in their lives.

And now she is going to experience another which I hope will bring her much joy and rest. She will meet new people, develop new routines, have new experiences, and while this is a little frightening for her, I think she will rise to the occasion and be a blessing to others in her new community.

The pathways a woman walks throughout her life take her in many different directions and through many different experiences.   Our experiences are unique and mean something. What we learn along the pathway is important and worth sharing with others. Pathways. That's another post. Be well.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Good day Friends!

I realized the other day that crickets were chirping and in my piece of this planet that means August has arrived and fall is not far away.  I love Fall! I don't love the heat and humidity of July here on the shores of Lake Ontario.  So I've been planning my projects for this coming Fall...the quilting...the decorating...the planting of the urns with mums...and I might even start knitting a new sweater for this winter.  Being a quiltmaker, I love the thought of snuggling up under a well worn quilt and that's just not something I do during the muggy summer months here. I will welcome the cooler days of Fall with exuberance!

There have been some sad stories in the news lately...stories that I just can't wrap my head around. Sometimes I think I will take a media fast for a month or so, but then I am not sure God wants his people to be unaware of the suffering going on the world, and, there is always prayer. He needs us to engage with Him in his work, in prayer. And so, for those who suffer in our world, our community, our families, we pray God's peace in troubling times.

Once again, we are experiencing life without family. We had some good visits earlier in the summer, and now they have all returned to their homes to live their lives. I must admit I am jealous of my friends whose grown children have chosen to live their lives nearby.  How pleasurable it is for grandparents to witness their children raising their families. And what a blessing it is for grandparents to be an influence in their grandchildren's lives.  Our small opportunities to do this via facetime leave us unsatisfied, to say the least.

I wake up in the mornings these days choosing to be thankful, although my heart is sad. And in choosing thankfulness for what we have in this time, and in this place, some of the sadness is put into perspective. After all there is much to be thankful for...and I am. I guess you can have deep sadness, and be thankful at the same time.  I'll let you know how this works out.

Since there is little demand on our time these days, I find myself becoming more reflective during quiet moments. Lots of questions for Him. Lots of asking...lots of wondering.

Speaking of wonder, just looking at the scene in our back garden we are awed at the Creator's work. The night sky last night was a beautiful shade of midnight blue and I thought of the artistry of God. The colour of the early dawn sky and the sound of the birds waking as the sun comes up.

 Another day, another opportunity to choose to be thankful.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Good morning friends :-)

It's been a long, cold, quiet winter here in B town. I thought I'd give you a look see at what I've been up to since Christmas.  Enjoy!

 This is the spool quilt, designed by Edyta Sitar, and I finally got the applique finished along all the borders.  I think it's the most intricate applique I have ever attempted. 

I enjoyed the quilting process on this quilt.

My son and his wife have moved into a new home and this squares quilt will be for them. It is quite different from the quilts I usually make and it looks much better now that it is being quilted.

Here is an up close view of one of the blocks I fussy cut. Just to remind him of home...

My friend has decided to use her beautiful Robin Pandolph christmas fabric for a lovely dresden plate. She worked on this at our annual after Christmas retreat.

My other friend decided to complete a quilt she wasn't really fond of. But she persevered and finished it. We had a great time quilting for the weekend in a lovely setting.
 And I did go shopping and couldn't resist this little bundle. I am a sucker for red.

We are off to visit family out west while they are on their spring break.  We will have 6 adults and 6 kids, 5 of whom are under 7, in one house!  Lots of fun, I am sure!
Do you think spring is going to arrive anytime soon? On my walk the other day, I spotted some snowdrops blooming, as well as a clump of crocus. It was a reminder to me that despite the cold winds still present, and the frozen ground, spring is advancing and can't be stopped.
I love this time of year and enjoy watching my garden begin to awaken. I go out daily to see what is coming through the ground.  I am sure that once the weather starts to warm up, the daffodils and tulips will emerge quickly and be ready to bloom.