This week's blog is a tribute to my Aunt Shirley and my Grandma.
As I gear up to launch the Mom 2 Mom Mentoring podcast, I reflect on the valuable teachings these two incredible women imparted to me throughout my life. In my younger years, I failed to express my gratitude, perhaps not fully comprehending the depth of their influence.
Now, as I dedicate this year to self-discovery and embrace the notion of myself as a masterpiece, the lessons they shared are serving as a source of renewal, rejuvenation, and soul restoration.
This week, I had the privilege of spending time with my incredible Aunt Shirley, who is by far one of my favorite people. Over the years, her hospitality toward my sister and I have known no bounds. In a time when my mom, a single parent, needed support, Aunt Shirley stepped in, providing not just childcare but also nourishment and joy. Her home always offered safety, and her life gave me a vision of who I someday hoped to be and offer my own family. In addition, she was the mom of my two favorite cousins. Oh, there are stories I could tell, but that is for another blog.
This week marked my initiation into a special society, unbeknownst to my aunt. The longing to be a part of this exclusive group of women had been with me since I was a young girl of 8 or 9, a desire passed down by my grandmother.
Inheriting a Passion: Grandma's Artistic Legacy
My grandma, a skilled artisan of food and family, inspired my passion for creating beauty with her knitting, crocheting, and needlepoint. Watching her craft elaborate quilts, I would occasionally snuggle up beside her, learning the art of stitching. She emphasized that the back should match the front, teaching me patience in placing each needle for the next stitch to avoid tangles and knots. My 8-year-old fingers would soon grow weary, and I'd run off to the next great adventure.
The invaluable lesson from Grandma was clear:
What lies beneath matters.
Attend to the tangles and knots to create a true masterpiece.
Grandma's quilting frame was the stage for her laborious yet enchanting process. I envisioned creating such masterpieces, passing down warmth and beauty through generations.
Through life's various seasons, visits to Aunt Shirley unveiled her role as a creator of masterpieces. Inheriting Grandma's quilting frame, she continued the legacy, investing time, emotions, and resources into her projects. I loved visiting her when the frame was set up, intrigued by how BIG the project seemed to be. I couldn't imagine...yet imagine I did. I dreamed of someday (far off in the distant future) that I would be like my Aunt and Grandma. I dreamed of creating these works of love and legacy.
A Special Society: Initiating Dreams into Reality
This past week, Aunt Shirley extended a special invitation to join her quilting friends. Just as before, she patiently guided me through each stitching step. Despite my hesitations about my shaky hands and crooked stitches, her response echoed a divine truth: "Oh, we don't rip out anything." The notion of discarding any stitch seemed unheard of—nothing is wasted.
The Profound Truth: He Uses ALL Things for Good in Quilting and Life
In that moment, the profound truth of our Father's words resonated once more: "He uses ALL things for good."
Every stitch goes into the making of the masterpiece.
There is no such thing as "not good enough."
I am rejuvenated with the awareness that our imperfections are integral parts of our uniqueness, embraced by Him as His special creation. I am renewed as I revel in the knowledge that I don't have to be afraid to try, I don't have to do it perfectly for it to matter. The imperfections are a part of the process of learning.
I am restored as I consider yet again that I am fearfully and wonderfully made; my soul comes alive to this truth:
I am my Father's Masterpiece.
Thank you, Aunt Shirley, for always inspiring, always embracing, always teaching, and leaving a legacy of love. Thank you for what you teach me, show me, and impart to me by living your beautiful life.