I want to show you all what I have been working on lately to get ready for our new little girl.
Some of you don't know me, but you know of me. You bless my heart because you know and love my Mom or Sister.
Many of you I haven't seen since my last baby shower almost 7 years ago.
A few of you know me VERY well and have even seen my babies being born.
But few of you know my testimony. This quilt is an example of my testimony.
Some of you may wonder why in the world we are having our 6th child and how we got here. You may look at me and think we are either crazy or dumb, but some of you may look at me with admiration and wonder how I do it. It's kind of like a quilt show. If you have ever been to a quilt show, you'll know what I mean. There are some really beautiful quilts there and you wonder how in the world the woman made it, how long it took, etc. Then there are ugly quilts. If we are really honest we can say that there are some really ugly quilts out there and we would never choose them for ourselves. You may look at my quilt and see a beautiful quilt or a really ugly one. The same way you may look at my life and see a family that is welcoming their 6th child into the world and get warm fuzzy feelings or you may think (or even say) “she could be doing better things with her time,” or “why would anyone choose that life?”
When I was putting this quilt together and I got one row done I wondered if it was going to be one of those that got ugly before pretty. That's the story of my life. I grew up in church my entire life. My mom was diligent to take me to Sunday school and church every Sunday, almost without fail. I didn't know Jesus as my personal Savior until I was 18. My teenage years were REALLY UGLY. When I found out that I was pregnant, I realized the direction my life was headed and knew I couldn't make anything good of it on my own. That is when I came to know Jesus. Then I had my precious first born and married my amazing husband.
When I got about 2 rows into the quilt, it started looking much better, but I did feel like giving up, because it wasn't how I envisioned it. Over the years he has continued to work on me and Pete – all the way to the point where we had given up on having more children because, plain and simple, we were selfish. Motherhood was not as I had envisioned it to be and by golly, I wasn't going to have any more children. As God continued to work on me, He gave me a vision for more children and, overall, for my true calling as a woman. He planted that same desire in Pete's heart as well. He brings us all to a different place and this is where He has brought us.
What you can't see from the front of my quilt is all the loose threads, uneven seams, and pin holes from where I left the pins sitting too long without attention. You can't always see all my faults as a Christian woman, my struggles, our families struggles. You can't see how many seams I un-sewed and re-sewed. You can't know how many times the Lord has literally brought me to my knees to prune me for bigger and better fruit.
See if I would have stopped making my quilt, I wouldn't have known what it could look like. As I have continued to have children, the Lord has worked amazing things in my life and shown me His amazing grace. Because I am busy with my children, I don't have time to get into trouble doing things I shouldn't be doing with my time. My desperate need for His grace in my life allows Him to keep working on me, everyday.
I had a pattern for this quilt, just like I have a Bible. I have to look at the pattern constantly to know what row I am sewing on next or I will get confused. In the same way I have to be in the Word on a daily basis and in constant prayer or I will get confused because the world is telling me something so different than the Lord is telling me. The world is telling me how much easier my life would be if I didn't have a nursing baby or a toddler constantly needing training. The world is lying to me about how uncomplicated things would be if I would just put my teenager on the big yellow bus that comes at 6:41 every morning. If I'm not looking at the Bible, my pattern, I will be lost.
But there is a cost for everything. There is a cost of time in putting together my quilt; in spending time training my children. Sometimes it is very costly. Fortunately, Jesus paid the price for me on Calvary. His blood was shed for me so that I would know true Salvation and be spared from the pit of Hell for the sins that I commit every day. He did the same for you. It's not enough to talk about making a quilt, or talk about being a Christian or to say the right things. It's not enough to buy a quilt from someone else, or to try to earn your Salvation through your parents or your church attendance. You have to make a choice. Once you make the choice to follow Him, He really will lead you – through the good and the bad.
15"If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
But my quilt isn't done; and the Lord isn't through working in my life. He is constantly humbling me and showing me new ways to bring glory to Him. What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever. And my life is full of fabrics and prints I may have not had the guts to choose myself, but as I look at it, I love how it is turning out.
So, you may choose different fabric than I have, or a different pattern. But you know by now this isn't about quilting or having babies, this is about the Lord and His work in our lives – and whether we even know Him or not. This is about a true and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Choose for yourselves this day!