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A patchwork quilt of joy

morgan-quilt2My friend Kim is a fabulous quilter. 

She says things like “zig zag stitching along the wavy grid lines to hold the fused fabric in place” and “quilt feathers to echo the center” (yes, those are actual words on her blog; do you understand???—I know some of you do!).

I don’t get the vocabulary or the work.
But I do get this: when Kim finishes a quilt, you step back in awe.

She quilted a masterpiece for Morgan and Fuller’s wedding gift.

She chose the colors, the designs, the placement of each piece. She knew what she was doing.morgan-quilt1

God is a master quilter too.
I watched him quilt on Sunday.

He patchworked together a gathering of fellow believers—some from our Sunday night small group and some from our Wednesday night singing group—to weave in our common thread of joy in sang songs of joy and each shared something that brings us joy. Some quilt squares I related to immediately—mother/daughter relationships spoken of by Louise, Tonda, Connie.

But others, it’s only by the grace of God that we’re now on the same quilt at all.

Graham is one of those squares. He lived a rough military life, as fearless as they come. He had no use for God. Until four years ago. When he met Rachel. And then he met God.

Now I’d trust Graham with my life. We walk side by side in Christ. We’re part of the same big design.

I loved seeing the joyful colors on Nathan’s square as he talked about being a happy empty-nester, of Kay’s square as she shared joy from one-on-one time with Anna, of the squares of Jenna and Jack and Jeff as they thrill over creating masterpieces, each in their own way.

Quilts are pretty to look at. But they also keep us warm. The friends in my quilt keep the coldest winds off me. joy-jam2We’re beside each other for a purpose. We’re hand-chosen and intricately woven together by the perfect Designer.

Kim probably understands that even more intricately than I do.

But I know enough to step back in awe at the quilt of relationships that is my life and say, “Thank you, Father!”

For the joy in my quilt.
And for our beautiful Quilt-maker.morgan-quilt3

* * *

Are you surprised at some of the squares in your quilt too?


Brenda said...

One of my favorite post that I have read on your site.This is great comparing our Christian friends to a quilt. Side by side for a purpose, the close ones keeping a cold wind off of us. Really spoke to me. I have a group of girls that just loved me and loved Mom & Dad through the whole process of losing Mom. Always there They gave me a quilt with a verse and the words "Circle of friends" on it. Think of their love every time I use it.

Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke said...

God is indeed a Master Quilter and it is a blessings to be a small part of his Master Quilt! Blessings to you, sis! Keep up the good work! Loved the pics, too!

Barbara H. said...

What a neat analogy! Even the contrasting pieces of the quilt help to shape the overall design.

Lisa notes... said...

So glad this spoke to you today. And how special to have been given the quilt with those words! Wow. That would have made a great picture for this post too. :-)

I love having tangible reminders of friendships like that. We have definitely been blessed with good family and friends through the years.

I remember going to my other grandmother’s house in Springville, Mississippi, and sleeping under her big heavy quilts. Her house was always so cold to me, so those quilts were so comforting. But in Toccopola, I remember Grandma and Granddaddy’s house being so warm, especially as they got older.

Louise Gallagher said...

What a wonderful quilt of heavenly beauty on earth you have revealed in this post. Thanks for sharing it Lisa and thx for dropping by my place. I'll be back to visit the rich tapestry of your quilt again

Laura said...

THis actually brought tears to my eyes, Lisa. Nothing gets me more emotional than pondering the way God weaves us together into a special family. I love imagining you all choosing your joy item and then singing praise with all your hearts. What a beautiful playdate. You have the best fun.

Lisa notes... said...

Another wonderful benefit to our playdates is that the memories of them continue to bring us joy, even after the event is over. I keep thinking back to different objects or words that were shared and the joy settles right back in. God is so good to us.

I’m glad I found a new playground at The Wellspring. :-) I love what you’re doing there.

Carrie said...

I loved this post! It is always amazing to me how God can use different fabrics and textures to weave together the most beautiful quilt.

Anonymous said...

This is an exquisite analogy. I love quilts.

Floyd said...

Amazing pictures and an amazing analogy. Great heart felt story. I love the story of Graham the best. I find it so fascinating how He chooses the square that you would have never thought matched yours. You're right, He is the perfect designer.

Interestingly enough, I find the squares of not only the people that surround me physically, but also via these blogs. I never would have thought God's family could be stitched together from great distances. I never really quite comprehend the awesomeness of God.

Joan Hall said...

Lisa - the quilt is absolutely stunning! I loved the analogy you used here - though we are all different, we are members of the same body, each with a purpose.


bekahcubed said...

Here's where I need one of those (totally cheating) Facebook-style "like" buttons. I love this post.

God is indeed a master quilter--one who specializes in making scraps into masterpieces.

a joyful noise said...

Each of us is a splashing of colors and talents as we blend into the quilt of His making. I enjoyed your lovely post very much.

Peter P said...

... and I'm absolutely certain that they're all glad you're part of the quilt to.

Great post!

Turquoise Gates said...

I have some amazingly brilliant new patches in my faith quilt and I am praising God for them - and our new church - this autumn. Beautiful post!

tinuviel said...

What a lovely quilt and post! Quilts are by far my favorite blankets, and I especially love quilts with stories behind them. How nice to transfer the patchwork beauty idea to your Christian community. I like it. God bless you, friend.

sara said...

I love quilts and would love to be able to make one as they simply are the way of life. We all have a patch and together we combine to create something beautiful, useful and warm. All in God's hands.

Jennifer said...

My goal is to make a quilt one day. :)...I love your perspective on community, Lisa. Our lives sewn together by a loving Father makes a breathtaking quilt!

Katie said...

Oh Lisa! Quilts... Friends... Believers. I love how God weaves words together that speak so deeply to my heart. Community and friends are what keeps us warm!

Debbie Petras said...

Oh how I especially loved your post Lisa. What a beautiful analogy with the quilt! I am going to share this with some from my 'group' like yours. It is amazing how the Lord brings together a group of unlike-lies and quilts them together in love.

We are not to live this Christian life in isolation.

Blessings and love,

Nikole Hahn said...

Same here...I don't understand quilting. I don't sew. I don't quilt. I rarely mend. I gave away my sewing machine that my mother had bought me. It was still brand new. I was trying to gain her approval by sewing and now I realize there are so many others who love and enjoy the craft and art of sewing, but it's not for me. As far as friends, yes...that "quilt" grows around me, enveloping me in warmth and love and accountability. The difficulty of friendships bring about good change, patience, new found understanding. Great blog!

Unknown said...

Lisa these are beautiful words. The quilt of relationships is the sweetest way to describe our loved ones. Thank you.

Yaya Jeri ;-)

Bonnie Gray said...

I love hearing how you can turn a beautiful quilt into a picture of the people in our lives. I hope I can be one patch on someone's quilt of community... it's mysteriously God's weaving and part of me taking a risk! Beautiful, Lisa!


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