Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Poured Out








I finally finished this quilt. I presented it to our church on Easter Sunday and below is the statement I read as I presented it. I had to read it as this was quite emotional for me. I only had to stop reading once and collect myself to stop tears. My camera and it's operator aren't the the best, so these pics don't do it justice.


"Poured Out"

When Eric was diagnosed with cancer in July of 2010, I needed an activity besides caring for him and the children to help keep from going completely crazy. Doctor’s appointments seemed unending and of course, housework and laundry never stay done but a stitch is a stitch and it stays that way. So I began doing more quilting whenever I could get a little time to myself.

This church had been such a help to us and I wanted to do something to show our gratitude. Making a wall quilt based on the church logo just seemed to be the perfect thing---if I could figure out how to do it. When I first drew out the design it seemed very surreal, as if the hands that were drawing were not my own. I am uncomfortable with "Art speak" or spiritual self-promotion but it did feel as if God was using me to create this.

I actually have a love/hate relationship with this quilt. When I started it, I didn't feel as if I had the technical skills to create it, but I just went with what I knew and hoped for the best. Consequently, I can point out numerous flaws, mistakes, and things that I would do differently if I did it again. But I think that this process is similar to our walk with Christ. With God, we learn as we go. The truly important part is to go; we go, are called, lead, follow.....but we go. And we learn on the way. The learning isn’t linear, it can be messy. Many times we move ahead to find we must step back and start over. I did a lot of ripping out of stitches on this quilt. There were times I just couldn't work on the thing because it wasn't as perfect as I had envisioned. Other times it was turning out so well that I was amazed. Then there were times that what this quilt represents was just too raw, too emotional, for me to work on. I put it aside many times.

Of course anyone that has been part of Grace Community Church for a while recognizes the pitcher of water representing the flowing out of God's mercy and grace upon us, the unending flow of Living Water that quenches the need of our souls. But there's another meaning for me.

During Eric's treatment for cancer there were times that I just felt utterly, completely, totally drained. That I had nothing left to give and that life was just sucking me dry. I had poured all I had on those I loved and felt empty. Ian was just 9 months old when we got Eric's diagnosis and I was already one tired momma. But over and over again, even when I didn't want to recognize it, His mercy, provision, and love flowed over me. This church was instrumental in how He poured out blessings over us.

The background of the quilt represents how God pulls His people together into one body. Nearly every block is quilted differently from the others, and yet it all still fits together into what I think of as a sort of wailing wall. We all are crying out for the Living Water of Christ which He pours out in abundance. There are a few hidden motifs in the quilt, a reference to how we rarely see clearly what God has planned for us and are called to trust in Him.

I would like to present this quilt as a gift to represent our thanks for all that this family of believers has done for us in the last few years and as an offering to God. I pray that the work of my hands is pleasing to Him and may touch those who see it, causing them to think on His pouring out of mercy and grace.

9 comments:

  1. Oh Amy this wall hanging is absolutely wonderful and your words to describe it according to your feelings and needs are enlightening and something we all need to stop and realize from time to time. Your words spoke to me and I thank you for sharing.

    You do wonderful quilting and look forward to seeing more of your work.

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  2. Beautiful and touching. Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Wow! Now I want to cry! How is your husband doing now?

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  4. Since Desert Threads is a no reply blogger, I'll respond here, and I probably should have given a hubby update in the post anyway.

    Hubby is amazingly healthy! (He does have diabetes and it could be managed a bit better but it's OK) He got laid off while undergoing Chemo so that added to the challenges, but it opened the door for him to go to the community college to get some credentials to go along with all of his hands-on skills. He still needs a good steady job with health insurance, but we've been getting by with him working off and on for a friend.

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  5. I read your profile and thought, wow, this is me! I am so delighted to meet you. Your quilt is gorgeous and your story wonderful. I was a feminist in the 70's, am wholeheartedly God's now, loved organic gardening, schooled my girls at home through highschool (now college grads), once felt I had to be better than a man, now love the man God has given me, dealt with cancer, not with my husband, but my little daughter. What God can teach us if we let him!

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  6. Isn't is amazing the things that focusing on making a beautiful piece of artwork can get us through? And I haven't even gone through as much as you but I understand...

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  7. Your post is beautiful as is your quit. Altho I'm not a Christian I do have faith and this was just what I needed to read this morning to remind me that we are not alone and there really is a plan for us, even if it seems obscure to us some times.

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  8. Absolutely true, Amy. Poured out. And let God fill you up again. Psalm 23 'he leads us THROUGH the valleys' - because he knows the way as he's been there ... God bless you! Thank you for pouring yourself out for Jesus so the world will know He is poured out for us!

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  9. Your blog was recommended to me when I asked how a ruler can be used for a sit down machine. I am reading from blog post one and now I must comment. You really do give/pour out but a pitcher only has so much capacity. When we get into the fountain, then the flow is truly free and plenteous. I believe you are in the flow! Thank you for blessing me with your insight.

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