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A Patchwork Life

A Patchwork Life

I began sewing when I was about 9 or 10 years old. My mother sewed a lot of my clothing when I was younger, and I became interested in learning to sew, too.

One year for Christmas, Grandma and Grandpa Sims bought me a sewing basket with some sewing accessories – a pin cushion, some straight pins, a tape measure, some thread, and, yes, even a seam ripper.

My Mom taught me how to read a pattern, to lay out the fabric, pin down the pattern, mark the darts, and how to install a zipper. When I was old enough to be in 4-H, I always worked on cooking and sewing projects each year – first an apron, then a skirt, and finally a dress. When I was in high school, I secretly worked to make my mother a two-piece outfit with pants and jacket for Christmas. That year, I got my siblings to help with the cost of the fabric, and I sewed it together. Mom still has that outfit in the closet.

About three or four years ago, our church started a quilting group. I had never quilted. This wonderful group of women taught me how to cut and piece a quilt top together.

Quilters take small scraps of fabric – leftover, sometimes odd-shaped pieces of fabric that might seem useless to most people, and piece them together into a beautiful pattern – a beautiful quilt.

We use a lot of metaphors to talk about God and our lives. In recent blog posts, I’ve talked about eagles and shepherds to name a couple – and even watermelons!

But I’ve been working on some quilt projects at home to make a couple of gifts, and I’ve been thinking about quilting as a metaphor for our lives.

Sometimes – when things fall apart in life – an unexpected illness, financial struggles, family or relational problems – times when we fail as a friend, spouse, employee, or parent. There are also times of loss – loss of a loved one, loss of a job, a divorce, or strained relationships.

But God is the “Master Quilter” of our lives. If we gather all the pieces of our lives together – all of our experiences – the good, the bad, the losses, the celebrations – and bring them to God and offer them up in prayer, he can piece them together like a Master Quilter and make something beautiful of our lives.

Take a glimpse at the overall pattern of your life – can you see how God is fitting all the pieces together – like a quilt top – to make something beautiful and thriving?

Lucinda Secrest McDowell wrote:

“If my life is like a quilt, then surely God is the Divine Quilter. How lovingly he gathers up the scraps and remnants and leftovers of my experiences, my brokenness, and my joy. With the skillful needlework of grace, he stitches it all together to make a wonderful whole.”

This metaphor also reminds me of the beautiful hymn by the Gaithers – “Something Beautiful”:

“Something beautiful, something good; All my confusion He understood. All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, But He made something beautiful of my life.”

So, gather the pieces of your life, offer them to God in prayer, and watch how he pieces together something beautiful of your life.



Cathy Harris ovalCathy finds great joy in serving as co-pastor at Spiceland Friends Church and in ministering alongside the wonderful folks in our church family. She loves music and enjoys singing, playing the piano, and dabbling a bit on the mountain dulcimer, autoharp, and lap harp. She enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her husband, Tom, their children, and her granddog, Jack. Her greatest desire is to serve God with all her heart.

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