Monday, July 25, 2011

Round Robin

Have you heard of a round robin quilt? I have a dear friend who is involved in one of these currently and first of all – WHAT TALENTED SEAMSTRESSES!!! The quilt she is currently working on is adorable! The idea is that each person in the group adds another row around the quilt. She can have the row be anything she likes, it just needs to follow the theme of the blanket. The theme of her quilt is tropical. The different ladies have added rows of hula girls and palm trees and it is just stunning!

This got me thinking.

My life is like a round robin quilt. The theme of the quilt is me. Many layers have been added (many, many layers) by differently people and this has greatly influenced the look and feel of my quilt – my life.

On my birthday, my Mom told me that she was recently asked by my nephew (who is 12) if she was jealous and wished she was also 12 again? She laughed and said, “no way!” In our conversation we talked about the wisdom and experience that comes with age and this adds (or should I say, “can add”) such depth and understanding to a person’s life.

Again, the layers of experience are just more patches of colors on this round robin quilt.

I am so thankful for all of it.

When I was 10, I felt so free. We had moved to a new town, a very small town. I could ride my bike all over town and I felt like the queen. Life was carefree and I loved it. This would be the only time of my life that I would ever want to relive. This row would be a vibrant and lively pattern filled with brilliant blues, yellows and greens.

Then as a teenager, there are so many new responsibilities, pressures and life choices to make that it is overwhelming. I would never want to be a teenager again. I am thankful that I made it through this hard stage, but there are many choices that I made that I deeply regret. This world tries to beat down, oppress, humiliate, batter, influence and pressure the teenagers (I can’t even imagine how hard it is these days). I was not equipped for the battle and I am afraid that this row would be dark and gloomy.

When I was in my twenties, I would have told you that I had it made. I was married, had worked my way through school, lots of friends, lots of laughter and good times. Life was a party. I felt like something was missing and knew that eventually I would have to “grow up”, but that could wait. Right now, I was having fun. It was all about me. This row would have my face plastered all over it – and I am sure that is not a very pretty row on a quilt. When I see how I have hurt other people so deeply because of the selfish decisions I have made, all in the name of a good time, it makes my heart sad.

Now my thirties. I am sure that I will look back on this time and still see myself as a foolish babe, but I feel like I have finally gotten it together. Actually, I wasn’t able to pull any of this together on my own. It was all God. He finally put His big thumb of discipline on me in the form of a troubled marriage, physical ailments, and stresses that were beyond my control. I was finally on my knees in prayer crying out for forgiveness and mercy. I had proven what I could do in my own strength – and that was to make a mess of my life. I needed God to come in and put it back together – His way. This row starts off red, but fades to white - white as snow. For “though [my] your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool." (Isaiah 1:18)

When the quilt is complete, and I hope there are many more rows, it will be beautiful. I know God uses all of this, the good, the bad and the ugly, for His glory. Starting with the blood of the Lamb, I pray that the rows of my round robin quilt grow more and more beautiful as they conform to the glory of the Lord. I pray that my own selfish will may be tested through put through the refiner’s fire so that I am changed into His likeness.

I love this song and pray that you take a few minutes to listen to it and reflect on the round robin quilt of YOUR life. Be thankful for it all. God can use it. And dedicate your life to God. Strive to be holy and set apart. That is how God is glorified through us and how we let His light shine to the world.

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