Tuesday, June 29, 2010

God works to move us to a small town - 1999

Do you believe in signs, coincidences, God? Let me tell you a true story.

Three days before our ten-year anniversary, my husband came home and suggested maybe we should move to a smaller community. I could not believe it! I was raised in Kilgore, Texas (population 9000) and had always wanted to raise our family in a smaller place.

I got up the next morning and told him I would stay home with our two young girls if we moved. We could afford it if we got a smaller place.

I started thinking about where I would want to live. I immediately thought of Fredericksburg and the B&B, Texas Two-Step. I called Gastehaus Schmidt to get the owner, Anne’s last name. I wanted to send her a note to see if she would be interested in selling her place, even though we probably could not afford it. I also asked Gastehaus Schmidt if they knew of any guest houses or B&B’s that were for sale. They said no, but Anne is giving her place away in an essay contest.

My husband went out of town to a conference in New Orleans, which happens to be Anne’s home town. I was so excited. All of these coincidence's could not be coincidence!!!

Now how does this relate to my ten-year anniversary? On November 12, 1988, my future husband and I were spending the weekend in Fredericksburg. We went shopping and bought a wedding dress in the bridal shop (which is now “The Secret Garden”). We decided that weekend while we were in Fredericksburg to get married.

Looking back over this story ten years later it is apparent that God was working in our lives. God knew that a "coincidence" would get my attention.

First of all, we had bought a wedding dress in 1988, before we were even engaged. When I called my grandmother to tell her, she said, "When are you going to get a ring?" Quentin and I went the next day to a jewelry store in San Antonio and bought an engagement ring. This strengthened my connection to Fredericksburg.

Second, Quentin's sister and I had just gotten in a big fight about how to raise our kids. She insisted that we did not understand how the big schools worked and that your child could be labeled, good or bad, and that label would follow them throughout their school career. She was a teacher and had experienced this phenomena with students she had taught. God nudged us to consider a smaller school for our kids. The San Antonio high school had 4,000 students. The school was much too large to provide the kind of environment we wanted for our girls. It was basically a small city that allowed a lot of bad behaviors and activities to go on under the radar. Quentin suggested a small town. Those were the only words I needed to hear to get me started in a new direction.

Our favorite place to stay in Fredericksburg was Texas Two-Step. It was a gasthaus that had provided us with a lot of good memories. If we could buy it, then we could supplement Quentin's salary by running a B&B. What is an Essay contest????

Again, God pulls us in with his ingenius plan!!!!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Lord looks at the heart

I Samuel 16:7
The Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.

Have you ever just looked at someone in passing and made a judgement about them? They are old, they are poor, they are mean, they are grumpy, they are ________. When I was in 5th or 6th grade I had a friend named Valerie. I spent a lot of time at her house playing. One day she wanted to go visit a young couple that lived next door. I told I did not want to go because they were mean. I did not know them and had never even met them. She tried to reason with me but i prevailed. Eventually on another visit to her house we went next door so I could meet the young couple. Imagine - they were nice.

I do not know where I got that idea or why I said those words. I do know that the trait has followed me my whole life. I immediately jump to conclusions when I see people - whether I know them or not. I have tried over and over to change the habit, but I still struggle with it everyday.

God looks at our heart. Why do I have so much trouble doing that? I know, I am human and God is God after all, but still. Why can't I see the good in people? Why am I always looking for a flaw? Maybe it allows me to be bigger and better than someone else for a few moments. Writing those words makes me sad. Am I so insecure that I must "belittle someone else's existence?"

God has insights we do not have. He knows every hair on every head. God sees my flaws and accepts me anyway. He not only accepts me, He LOVES me. Sometimes I wonder how that can be.

Dear Lord,
I lift up my life to you and ask for your guidance. I am soooooo human. Provide me with a positive view of people. Help me to be the person you want me to be.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Quilting in a small town

I moved to a small town about 10 years ago. My husband recommended that I join in some local groups to meet people. I found out about the quilt guild and decided to join. The quilt guild is called Vereins Quilt Guild to reflect the German Heritage.

I attended a meeting and joined the group. I had been quilting for about 3 years, so I was a pretty new quilter compared to most of the members. I remember wishing I was 40 years old, so I would not seem "so young" to all of the other members. The guild meetings consisted of a business meeting, "show and share", and then a speaker who would follow with a program.

"Show and Share" gave me a chance to get up in front of other quilters and show my work. This was a new step for me. In the corporate world, I had presented info in front of groups of a 1000, but the information was not personal. At quilt guild, we would stand on the table, and show our quilts. The other quilters would "oooo and awwww" at your project. Sometimes I would get questions about the piecing or quilting designs. It was a really good way to receive positive encouragement.

I eventually became the treasurer of the guild. I modernized all of the books by putting them on Quickbooks. I held this position for 1 year. The new treasurer put all of the books back in the paper format. It was disappointing to me since I thought the computerized version was the way to go. I think I was sort of a fish out of water. I was young with new ideas, and I was trying to fit in with a group of older women who had definite ideas about how things should be done.

I helped with the quilt show that were produced every two years. Eventually, jealousy set in. The quilts I entered in the quilt show won numerous prizes, but I heard grumbling about my work. I was working at the local quilt shop and it was said that the quilt show should have been called the "quilt shop" quilt show. It was implied that was the employees at the quilt show were the ones who won the prizes at the quilt show. I decided to withdraw from the quilt guild.

Fo me,it was never about winning a prize or making someone else look bad. Quilting was a gift from God. I decided I wanted to use my gift to glorify God.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Blog

I want to write a book relating the experiences I have had when I pay attention to God's intentions for me. I would like to talk about moving to a small town, quilting as a ministry, youth and the impacts they have had on me.