Friday, April 26, 2013

Every Wednesday I make an effort to go to the prayer meeting at church. Sometimes I drop Sophie off at Mum and Dad's (when they are not travelling), otherwise she just comes with me. I love going to these meetings. I love it because everyone there is older than me. They have new and different (sometimes weird) perspectives on everything. They are ready to encourage me and are thankful that I want to be there. They remind me that it is possible to live a life for Jesus all the way through.

Last Wednesday I shared with them some of the fun family troubles and though they were not able to fix anything, their support was fabulous. Their willingness to pray for the situation just gave me so much peace. Thank you Jesus for providing such wonderful saints to encourage me.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Party Chain! 

Thanks to Melissa and Ron and the fabulous book they gave me for my birthday, I've been making party chain. First I cut up a lot of scrap material (thank you box of unending scraps!) into strips of two inches by eight inches (Inches! What is this? Quilting has ruined me I tell you!). Then I sew all the strips together in pairs, and then start the arduous task of turning them inside out. This takes a long time. Steve refused to help me, something about self inflicted pain.... anyway!

This time I ironed the strips flat to make them sit better. I was thinking after I did it (all 114 of them!) that it was a waste of my admittedly-not-so-precious time, but as I started sewing the chain has come together better.

Sewing the chain has to be done with hand sewing, but I like the change of pace. It's nice to just sit and sew... and be watching junk food TV like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. :) 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Small Blocks

Back from the huge weekend in Bundy and life just might return to normal soon. Sophie took the car trips well, only 5 mins of crying on the way up, and about 20 mins on the way back. She was exhausted by the sheer amount of adoring people and the crazy wind/blinding sun that was the wedding on Saturday, but pulled out alright. She looked fabulous in her dress. :)

I've been working on a few things lately  some of which I can't talk about because they will end up being Christmas presents (am I too organised?). Stay tuned for pictures of the party chain I sewed on the car trip to and from Bundy.

Today though, here are some of the quilt squares for the Block of the Month Quilt that Ruth and I are working on. :)

Saturday, April 06, 2013

I've said it before and I'll say it again: do not sign me up for a Greek funeral. So much death and sadness. Blah!

So my Aunty Pat passed away last week and the funeral was on Thursday. I say my Aunty Pat, but what I really mean is my Great Aunty Aspasia (Greek families can be so vague with names and what not :P). So my Yia-yia's (grandmother's) brother's wife. Given that Mum and Dad are overseas I wanted to represent our small portion of the family there, so I said I'd go. Thought I was going to go just go to the first part (the Greek/English chanted service part and then leave before the walk around the coffin begins, or the trip to the crematorium is taken or the wake afterwards (despite all that delicious Greek food)), but I ended up at all of it. See, I ended up taking my Yia-yia.

So the morning of the funeral comes, and Yia-yia has told me that Aunt Alexandra will be well enough to take her to the funeral. Past experience has taught me that this will not be the case. So I call at 8:30 and find out that indeed, Aunt Alexandra is too sick to travel, so I offer to pick up Yia-yia.

We get to the funeral fine, God provided us with a fabulous park in the very full car park for which I am truly thankful (what with Yia-yia and her walker and me with Sophie in a pram). Yia-yia wants me to sit up the front with her and her brother and all of that family, which I manage to get out of (thank you Sophie!), and after installing her in that front seat, I take a side seat and sit back to watch.

While doing this, I begin to think about things. I had thought to be leaving early, but that was not going to happen now. The service started at 10:00, the walk around the coffin took until 11:30 and as those people all file past the coffin and the family in that front row to say their condolences, I see my early escape slip out the window. I had to go to Mum and Dad's to pick up a letter, I had to go to the bank, I had  to get a birthday present, I had to do the groceries.

But here I was stuck at a funeral for someone I met a handful of times and only have one vague memory of. Thinking that I'm representing my bit of family when actually, I'm bringing shame to my bit of family because although I did put on the black dress today, I walked out of the house with my bright blue thongs on. Everyone else has their black stilettos and heals on. I saw the looks: "Who is that girl.... and what is she wearing on her feet??"

Sigh. So I'm there grumbling. People are in the midst of grief and I'm grumbling about everything. The inconvenienced of having to take my Yia-yia, my well laid plans out the window, my poor shoe choice, everything. So I start praying. God please give me Jesus attitude, let me see the opportunities you have provided here for me. Help me to do your will and represent Jesus!

And what do you know, God does hear me, and reminds me of something. I only have my Yia-yia left. My other grandparents are gone. Both my Grandma and my Pa-pou (grandfather) died after some time in hospital, and I visited both of them in hospital only a few days before they did. I guess I have a certain amount of regret about that, because on both occasions, I feel I should have taken the chance to talk about Jesus with them and I didn't take it.

Now, here I am, taking my Yia-yia to a funeral - what better way to start a conversation! I've got a whole half hour car trip back to Indooroopilly with her after this. I need to stop grumbling. I need to be patient with my Yia-yia. Hooray! Despite my blue thongs I feel revived. Yes, God is good, all the time.

So we go into the wake. My Aunty Anna and Aunty Eva are there. Yia-yia wants me to sit at the head table with her, but I've got Sophie in a pram that's just not going to fit. I want to sit with Aunty Anna and Aunty Eva who I've not seen for a while (and, if I'm honest, have more interesting conversation). Aunty Eva and Yia-yia hate each other and won't speak. I'm juggling back and forth between two conversations before Uncle Nick (Yia-yia's brother) returns and takes Yia-yia to the family table with him. Then I'm juggling two conversations across the room. Thankfully Sophie decided she was right to fall asleep at that point.

My newfound purpose is slowly being chipped away and I'm getting tired again. I don't  want to be here. It's now after one and I've got things to do. So I'm praying and trying to be patient. We leave at 1:30, and while Yia-yia had been relativity lively while she sits with Uncle Nick, now she just wants to complain about everything. Too much food, too many people, and Aunty Eva... don't get me started. So I'm going way out of my way to drive her back to Indooroopilly praying desperately that I'll be able to share the gospel with her and instead, I'm grumpy. And I'm so grumpy that I don't.

What have I learned today from God? Clearly nothing.

I am just as in need of grace as ever before.