Monday, April 14, 2014

Holy Week

Well, the last couple of weeks have been a bit on the rough side.  Two Saturdays ago, our mini-van was broken into at my son's first High School Baseball game.  Two windows were smashed and a multitude of things were stolen, not the least of which was my camera.  I spent the entire following week getting things fixed and replaced; the week was taxing and exhausting but there were blessings a-plenty to be found.  To start, a dear friend had come out to watch my son play ball and had the where-with-all to pray with me right there smack dab in the middle of the park, amongst all the broken glass.  I was astounded by the folks who were SO incredibly good to us throughout the week - the lovely people at our amazing bank who canceled cards and accounts, set-up new accounts and then diligently watched for signs of further theft AND for incoming debits on the cancelled accounts that they knew needed to be paid.  I met a lovely gentleman who was at our home within 2 hours of my phone call to fix both car windows.  Friends sent flowers, others prayed for peace and then there were the amazing folks who allowed us to hold off paying for things after our entire April budget was blown paying for new van windows.  Burglaries are a yucky thing, the personal violation felt is beyond comprehension or explanation but through it all we also found the undeniable comfort of friends and family and more than our fair share of the Lord's blessings.  And, after all, as my girlfriend prayed, it was just "stuff" gone, broken, taken.  Everyone was healthy and whole and here, the rest - well, it just doesn't matter.

I week after the van was broken into, I got terribly sick.  I'll spare you the details but I spent the wee hours of Saturday morning in the ER at our local hospital.  Pain meds and a quick prognosis helped so much but it took me a full week plus to begin to feel human again.  And again, it was such a little thing.  Thanks to great pain meds, I was still able to hear my daughter's Junior High Band play at church on Sunday morning.  I was still able to meet a friend for a birthday lunch celebration.  Bottom line, I was still able.....

Anyway!  Today is the start of one of my favorite times of the year, Holy Week.  I am a practicing Lutheran now but was raised Roman Catholic and during Holy Week, we always went to church to pray the Stations of the Cross.  This is a beautiful way to remind ourselves of Jesus' trial, betrayal and walk up Mount Calvary to the Cross which He endured of His own. free. will.  This fact never fails to astound me and in light of the last couple of weeks, I have to admit I am a bit ashamed that I certainly cannot fathom willingly taking up that Cross or another such trial.  All of this of course, just brings me back to remembering all of my many blessings, even in the trials of life.  I am forever thankful.

So!  I am in a mad dash to finish up Easter projects.  Recently, I have gotten back into something my dearest friend and college room-mate taught me eons ago - Cross Stitch.  This is a pattern by one of my favorite designers, a mother/daughter team from Kansas - "Lizzie*Kate".  It was a quick and easy finish and I like the way it looks in an old frame I had on hand. 
Sorry about the glare....trying to learn to navigate with cell phone and iPad photographs since I no longer have a camera.  Sigh.
Several months ago, an artist friend offered to design an Easter rug for me, based simply on this -- "O Glorious Day".  She drew more than eight tiny sketches, I chose my favorite and she drew up the pattern on paper.  After deciding that I needed bigger bunnies, I re-drew the rug with just slightly bigger bunnies and chicks and am hoping to have it finished this week.  Janice Lee (of Blackhorse Antiques/The Rug Hooking Store) helped me color plan this rug and I am just thrilled with the colors.  Once again, I was able to give Janice my decidedly vague ideas and frame of mind for this rug and she helped me chose the MOST perfect colors and wool! 

The smaller bunny definitely needs more eye's funny what you see in a photograph.

Finally, just after Christmas I started this tiny, bunny needlepoint.  I've never done such a small needlepoint and I am finding that I need a lot more practice.  I am having a hard time keeping my stitch tension even, although I don't seem to have this problem on larger works.  Anyway, it is just for me and I think it is just too cute, despite my horrid stitching. 

See if you can find the leaves whose stitches I need to remove because they are going the wrong direction!  What in the world??

Praying peace and blessings on your week and wishing it is Holy indeed, for each of us.

Until next time,

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

An Untitled Post

I think the hardest part about writing a new post is coming up with the Title.  My thoughts for the title of this particular post ranged from "I'm back....." (sounded spooky) to "Honey, I'm home..." (spookier) to "Ugh" (pathetic) to "What have I gotten myself into again?"  I think I'll go with "An Untitled Post".

But I AM back.  It's true.  For months and months I have been thinking and praying about coming back to blogger land.  I follow a wide variety of wonderful, inspiring blogs and each time I read another writer's posting, I'd feel so inspired to write my own.  Events of this past weekend, which were crummy but not life shattering, pushed me over the crevice of whatever had been previously holding me back from posting.  

I stopped posting early last year because at the time I felt one too many pulls in my life and just didn't think I could justify spending the time to write a blog.  At that time I was attempting to blog daily - which truly, is just plain silly.  My goals this time around will be to post as the Spirit moves me, which may be weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly. 

I have to come clean with another reason that I stopped posting.  I was feeling rejection and criticism for my writings.  It has taken me a year plus, many conversations with wonderful and supportive friends and my family and the inspiration of an excellent writer's perspective on criticism (Michelle DeRusha) to decide that regardless of anything else, I have to write from the heart.  I will hopefully not offend anyone with my words, but I realize that some may not agree with what I have to say and that is perfectly okay.  If folks feel offended or radically disagree, they certainly don't have to read my posts.  I will not, for one second, be offended.  

I thought a lot about changing the nature of my postings, but have decided against that.  I kind of am what I am which is a mother, wife, Jesus loving, people loving, Christian and a textile artists.  (I didn't say crafter because that word just makes me cringe, sorry.)  I'm terribly human, quite sinful and a little nuts sometimes -- okay, a lot of the time.  I also have a terrific family and a huge variety of wonderful and amazing friends which will all play a part in what my postings have to say.  It will be interesting to see how things go.  Since I am letting the Spirit move me, I may blog about textile art or I might blog about my faith.  One day, I may want to chat about my job as a mother or wife or maybe the latest book I'm reading.  Off the Trodden Trail will have variety, if nothing else.  

There are lots of exciting things happening in my life right now.  My eldest child will be graduating college in May (yes, I feel old). 

My youngest will be a Freshman in High School in the Fall and my son will be in the 10th grade!  Still feeling old.  (And yes, I am speaking of these children, who were just BABIES in the photos above!) 

A dear friend and I recently got a group of lovely women together to meet monthly, study Scripture and knit or crochet for charity.  It's a group for fellowship and support and has been an immense blessing.  More on that later.  

In the world of crafting (ugh, I used the word) I am working on an Easter rug that another dear friend helped me design, an Easter needlepoint, several small cross-stitch projects, knitted socks, a hand-pieced quilt and lots of other fun needle-arts type projects.  If you know me, it's no surprise that I have so many projects going at once.  I will hopefully have a completed project or ten to show soon!

So there you have it.  If you are reading this first posting, it's because you are my friend or in some way related to me and you received it in your in-box.  If you enjoyed it or decide you like future postings, pass it on.  

Until next time,