Colossians 2: 1 – 3: For I want you to know how great a struggle I am having for you and for those in Laodicea* and all who have not seen me face to face,that their hearts may be encouraged as they are brought together in love, to have all the richness of fully assured understanding, for the knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Several days ago I posted this longing for spring. I shared with a friend that the winter doldrums were really getting to me. As is often the case there’s more to the story and that will stay with me. Although I do continue to ask your prayerful intercession for a special intention. Spring and Renewal often arrive in a variety of ways. Sue Reno and Susan Brubaker Knapp post pictures on their facebook timelines of beauty on their daily walk. Just snapshots of little things: flowers, rivers, trees and these moments can inspire and lately Sue has been sharing spring/summer related pictures for the same reason I long for spring. This winter has been hard. We all know that.
Life has felt very “wintery” the last few years and signs of “spring” i.e. renewal, hope, encouragement, new life are arriving. They are coming in their own time as they do and I am grateful for them. They are encouraging me. Greatly encouraging me. I know that winter is a time for rest, for regrouping, for developing new classes and learning.
Encouragement. As we encourage others we need to listen to that word as well. Encouragement is water for the parched, rest for the weary and hope. Encouragement builds up.
Encouragement, oh let me give you an example: one comment I frequently hear is a variation on, “I don’t know what I’m doing, I can’t quilt like you” or “if I had what you had I could do this.” Over the years my response has changed and it’s remained the same. Personally early on I would get annoyed there was a physical response in my body where I would feel like icy cold water was just tossed at me. (Please don’t tell me you’re shocked by this.) Internally I’d be thinking, “I’ve worked really, really hard to be able to do what I do.” However, I’d respond with, “Here’s what I have – which is basic and simple and you can do this too with whatever you have.”
Now it’s very different over time a deep sense of identifying with their struggle. I’ve been there, done that and probably more which I rarely talk about unless someone asks, has led to a deeper sense of compassion. The struggle is what we all have to go through. I want to encourage others, walk along side them, whisper in their ear, “it’s almost over, you’re getting there! I see your growth and I know the beauty that is there”.
Last night I was reading work related email and had this overwhelming sense of “what on earth have I gotten myself into! I can’t do this! What was I thinking for even trying!” Well, the reality is what I’m doing fits my skill set, I can do this and a good friend reminded me of this and I have in place a great support system (the new peeps I work with) to nurture me through being the newbie.
Winter is ending, spring is coming, there are new signs of life and I’m grateful. These new signs of life are so encouraging. Deeply encouraging.
Happy Quilting and God bless!