I go through different phases. Sometimes, I get in a clean-out everything phase. This phase comes around less often than it used to, but when it does, watch out! If I haven’t worn it, used it, or found a purpose for it in the last year, it goes. Fortunately, my husband is still here.
Ted loves it when I’m in a cooking phase. I try some new recipes and fill the refrigerator and cupboards with fresh spices and delectable ingredients. I create delicious meals complete with complimentary wines and rich desserts. This phase doesn’t show itself very often anymore either. Most evenings, we enjoy simple meals, or we head out to our favorite restaurant for the “early bird” special. I guess we’re in our senior phase.
Once in a while, I enter a fitness phase. I’m in one of those right now as the spring air seems to bring out the “I really want thin thighs” mood in me. Why do I always believe the latest fitness craze or the most recent Dr. Oz recommendation will work? Well, I have to try, right? I consider exercise routines to be as important as taking medication, and I do not care for either. I would prefer not to have to do them, but I must in order to keep my health in check.
About half the time, I am in a writing phase. When an idea comes to me, no matter where I am or what I am doing, I have to stop to write. I’ve been known to pull off the road, get up in the middle of the night or jump out of the shower to quickly jot down a thought before it has the opportunity to escape to senior-itis heaven.
When I was a local correspondent, coming up with a great lead-line was crucial to any great newspaper story. In any written story, a reporter’s first challenge is to capture the reader’s attention. Compelling him/her to read further came second. During those exciting years, I tried to keep a notebook close at hand should a lead line idea pop into my head. However, I can’t deny there were times I resorted to scratching out story lines on restaurant checks, gum wrappers, dinner napkins or even the palm of my hand. When I’m in a writing phase, I try to forego operating large machinery as there is little room in my brain for “safety first” necessities.
Lately, I’ve been in a sewing and quilting phase. Since last fall, I’ve turned out project after project. There was the Hospice Memorial quilt and the quilt for my pastor. I made quilts
for the New England Air Museum Quilt Show and a color-bar quilt for the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. I’ve been creating baby quilts for family, friends (is there a boom?), and charities. Just when I had thoughts of slowing down, another exciting project would enter my creative psyche. How could Ted and I not have matching, monogrammed aprons for the Chili-Cook-Off?
In January, I put out the word I was looking for help in sewing some Rena-Bean Baby Quilts. God placed eight talented and giving women in front of me. Every month I am more excited than the last as I see these ladies enthusiastically working. The resulting quilts have been amazing. This fall I expect we’ll give the biggest donation of baby quilts yet.
As I reflect over my phases, I see God’s presence every day. I see Him in the ideas that come to me and in the plan to help those ideas come to fruition. I see Him in the kindness and generosity of others who are eager to help in this ministry. I clearly see God present in my husband, who pitches in when I am anxious to finish a project, and who supports my passion for quilting even when it doesn’t always make sense to him. (An engineer’s logic: “You cut up beautiful fabric only to stitch the pieces back together?”)
God’s love is in the raindrops that nurture the Earth to create the beauty where so much of my inspiration originates. God’s guidance is in the glistening rays of sunlight, giving me a boost of motivation I sometimes need to keep working. Most importantly, I thoroughly feel God’s loving grace when I see the joy in the face of someone comforted by a quilt.
Despite my varied moods, ever-changing whims and chaotic schedule, of one thing I am sure — I am always, and forever will be, in a God phase!