I finally finished my first t-shirt quilt. The directions that a friend gave me have been in my “to do” file for several years I think. Included in the directions she sent a photo of one of the quilts she had made for her son. I really wanted to make one.
But I waited. From time to time I’d get out the directions and read them over and over. Can I really do this I wondered? I’ve made dresses and curtains and table cloths. But can I do this? And will it be as good as hers and the others I’ve seen? I thought of all the treasured t-shirts that my son had saved. Would I ruin them? I thought of all money I would spend on materials needed to complete the quilt. Would it be a good use of money in the end? So I waited.
Finally, I felt brave enough to actually cut the t-shirts according to the directions. I put them in a stack and waited. Later, I felt brave enough to purchase the backing for each shirt, cut it to size, and iron it on. Then I waited some more. Weeks later, I laid out the prepared shirts to determine the pattern I would make with them. My sweet boy knew exactly how he wanted them to look. He was brave and full of excitement. I hid my fear and uncertainty and waited some more. Soon I ordered the fabric he had requested—a soft, navy flannel. I pre-washed it, folded it, put it away, and waited. The stack of fabric and shirts and instructions mocked me every time I walked into my craft room.
Last week I felt brave again. Really brave. A different kind of brave. I know why. For a week, Eric and I had been meditating on and discussing Philippians 4:13. Often, when faced with an overwhelming situation or a simple daily challenge one of us would say, “I can do whatever I need to do through Christ who strengthens me.” Setting my mind with that thought has begun to replace the fear and hesitation and waiting that can be my default thinking. On my own, I have every reason to be afraid and stay afraid. My “do better—try harder” self-sufficient, independent life is a recipe for defeat and never what God intended. A surrendered, Spirit walking, Jesus clinging life is. Through Christ I can do whatever I need to do. Even make a t-shirt quilt.
Jesus isn’t just interested in helping me share my faith, or understand a difficult Bible passage, or teach Sunday School. Jesus wants to help me live. Every day. Doing whatever it is I need to do. He delights in helping us.
As I proceeded to finish the quilt there were a few times when I couldn’t figure out what I needed to do or the best way to do it. So I’d stop and wait. But this time I waited and remembered that “I can do whatever I need to do through Christ”. Stitch by stitch I made a quilt and strengthened my faith.
Caleb is proud of his quilt. I’m proud that it’s finished.
What do you need help with today? Set your mind on Philippians 4:13 and let Him help you.
P.S. If you would like a copy of the instructions I used to make this quilt, leave a comment and include your contact information and I’ll be happy to share them.