Wednesday, April 8, 2009

House of Gratitude

Be thankful in all circumstances (I Thessalonians 5:18) is a habit than can be developed. It's a habit that is serving us well today. Staying positive is an ongoing process. I've found that I too easily fall prey to negative thinking when I am around people with a critical nature. It brings out the parts of myself that I don't like. I've learned to either avoid those folks or not take anything they say personally.

Linda has pneumonia. So why are we thankful?

  • That this didn't happen during a teaching week.
  • That the quilt shop owner is being kind and understanding about Linda not coming into work.
  • That Zithromax and prednisone will get this bad boy knocked right out of her system.
  • That the pneumonia vaccine she took a year ago ensures a less severe case than what she's had in the past.
  • That there's nowhere she absolutely has to be.
  • The sun is out and streaming through the windows. It makes everything so cheerful!
  • The daffodils are still blooming despite the frost we got last night.
Does your life follow the pattern of pushing yourself so hard for so long that you don't even notice it until God just forces you to slow down? That's what happens to us and it's always an "aha" moment.

Ironically, this is the book that Momcat is reading.

This book gives us a glimpse into the story of Martha and Mary in the Bible. While Martha was doing everything she could to get ready for a houseful of guests, including Jesus, Mary just sat at his feet and listened. Martha was pretty upset about this (and wouldn't we be too!?) and asked Jesus to intervene on her behalf.

"Tell her to help me!" Or in today's vernacular we'd say, "Boss, tell her to get off her butt and get to work."

Jesus responded by saying, "Martha, you're worried about a lot of things. Mary's chosen the better part."

The entire book is about how women have both Martha and Mary inside of them, but our current fast-paced world rewards and encourages the Martha personality. Mary focuses upon the eternal and meditative, Martha is a doer.

Now Linda's able to take the time to not only read the book, but to reflect upon its message.

Being task-oriented is a hallmark of her personality, and the groups that she's in feed right into that. How many UFOs did you finish? What are you working on? Make sure to log the hours you worked last night on your quilt. Did you finish that block yet? Human beans put so much pressure on themselves. Why do people compare themselves to others so much? In what way does that serve any of them? For those beans who are spiritual, how does that magnify the Lord? What Linda's finding is that the competitiveness (although friendly) and documentation takes away some of the joy she should be experiencing when quilting. Much of that is in her nature of seeking approval and always having to earn something. So she can become easily overwhelmed and feels that she doesn't measure up to what she really ought to be accomplishing

I know that not everyone feels the same way, and that's fine. But maybe some of you do, and you're wondering how you got to this point. For my bean, she's in danger of perceiving her leisure time into yet more obligations to fulfill. Momcat really needs to pray and get her head on straight. Perhaps this down time is meant to be used in a way to think some of this stuff through.


jillquilts said...

Hmmmm ... Are you trying to tell ME something?

Jen said...

Personally, I think that without the Martha's in the world, there'd be a lot that we couldn't accomplish or enjoy. Thke retreat for example. Without the work of the Martha's there wouldn't be a quilt retreat to attend and we wouldn't be able to see our friends. The same goes with building a house of worship. Throughout life we have to do a lot of preparing to reap the rewards - including preparation for the sacraments or other occupations. While prayer is important, we still have to do the sweat labor to get things done. I see the message as trying to be a little like both women.

As far as quilting questions about ufo's or what you are working on, that's just conversation among people with similar interests. Really no different than, what are you having for dinner tonight? Whereas asking if a block is completed yet is based on a commitment or promise that's been made. This teaches us to not overextend ourselves in the future.

I try not to compare myself to others and get really freaked out when people compare themselves to me. I quilt and accomplish what I do because I am passionate about it. For me, that time spent is spiritual. I document because I want to, not for others. To me my blog is the modern day journal - writing of life's experiences. Sometimes a friendly competition is just a way to step outside the box. Waun-a-quilt and quilt survivor built comaraderie and strengthend the friendships with those involved.

Strong friendships are invaluable. It is these specific friendships that can get a person through any of the hardships in life. Friendship is give and take - at one time or another one friend is the Mary and the other is the Martha...rarely are both the same at the same time.