Monday, October 25, 2010

Let's make a difference

What will they say at your funeral? What will be etched on your headstone?

I'm not being morbid. I'm asking these questions of myself as well.

I recently celebrated (On second thought, I didn't exactly celebrate--it was more like suffered through.) another 40-something birthday. My hair looks a little whiter every day, and at some buffet restaurants the young little girls at the counter give me the senior discount without asking my age. I've got aches and pains that Aleve can't alleviate, and those squirrels that run around in my head get lost on a regular basis. Yeah, I'm aging, and I'm not going to live forever. Well, not on this planet anyway. Death is a natural part of life, and though I don't dwell on it or even think about it often, I do, from time to time, wonder...will I be remembered when I'm gone? If so, what will be my remembrance? What will they say at my funeral?

Will they say, "She was so DASHING and BOLD?" I hope so! I hope they will say that--and more. Much, much more.

I've never wanted fame. Most people have a hard time pronouncing my name, so I'm not expecting it to become a household word. What I do want--is to make a difference. I want to know that someone's life has been changed for the better because I existed. And the more lives that are changed, the better.

Over the last several months, my spirit has been impressed, almost obsessed, with the desire to give what I have and do what I can to bring about change in the lives of people. I'm not talking about change via the Obama way. I want to do it God's way.

I'm reading books, praying, seeking God's guidance, and I still don't feel like I've got a definitive plan. I don't see the whole picture and can't say with certainty what God has "called" me to do. But I know one thing for certain. I'm supposed to be doing what I can--today--every day--no matter where I am or what I have to work with, to change another person's life for the better and bring glory to God in the process.

Where am I today? Camped in my own back yard. (Not much dashing and bold going on here.)
What do I have to work with? (See my last post) My addiction: yarn and fabric, hooks, needles, a sewing machine, a little know-how, and a few broken hours of time.
What can I do with what I have where I am? Have you heard of Warm Up America?

Here it is in a nutshell. Knitters and crocheters from all over the country spend a small amount of time and money to knit or crochet a few (or even just one) 7"x9" rectangle. Those individual rectangles are joined together to make warm blankets which can be donated to homeless shelters, The Red Cross, women's shelters, etc. (Click on the link above and read all about it. Then come back here and finish reading.)

You know, because of my dashing and bold life, it is hard if not impossible for me to be involved in "group" type activities. Weekly or even monthly meetings? I might be here and I might not. Today I can make plans to attend a meeting tomorrow and before the meeting time I could be on the road three states away. Since nothing is impossible for God...

I see no reason why Dashing and Bold people can't get together on line and through good old fashioned snail mail to form a new Warm Up America group. Do I have any readers who knit, crochet, or quilt and would like to do something very small to bless someone who needs to feel the warmth of a blanket and God's love?
Or maybe some of you don't have a crafting addiction but would like to help by buying yarn or fabric, or by paying for some postage.

Won't you join me in this little thing? Please know--one person may not be able to do a lot, but a lot of people can do a little. Those little things, when combined and done for the glory of God, can change a life for the better. If you want to get involved, please leave a comment or click on the link in my menu bar to contact me. I'll need to know how to contact you. Let me know how you would like to help and I'll give you more details as our group comes together. (Even though the WUA web site offers only knit and crochet patterns, I have instructions for making individual quilt blocks that can be combined to make a nice quilt, so our group won't be limited to yarn only.)

I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

Where are you and what do you have to work with? What will people say at your funeral?
I would like my marker to read--She made a difference.



Lavonda

8 comments:

Penelope said...

This is absolutely incredible, and I would love to be a part of it. Please count me in. As far as what I am most comfortable with, I would much prefer quilting of the three types of crafting. I have never knitted, and my ability to crochet only extends to potholders... On the other hand, I have recently gotten into quilting, and I adore it.

Let me know what the plan is, and I will happily jump in and do this. Thanks for this idea! It's going to be a blast!

MdmDragonfly said...

Hello, Lavonda!

I'm your newest blog follower! I would love to get involved in this ministry with you! I love to crochet. If you would send me more information, that would be much appreciated!

Are the rectangles the only acceptable donations, or can whole afghans created by one person be donated?

Thanks so much for this opportunity to give!

Talkin' Texan said...

I'm so excited!
Penelope, I'm working on some pictorial instructions for my next post to get us started on a quilt. I'll zap you an email in a bit as well.
As for your abilities to crochet, if you can chain and single crochet, you can make a rectangle. I want you to do what you enjoy, but never pass up the opportunity to stretch yourself. :)

Dragonfly,
Oh I love followers! :) I'll be happy to send you more details. I'm actually waiting for some extra information from the foundation myself. I will head over to your blog to see if I can find an email address for you. :)
One individual is more than welcomed to donate NEW afghans. (They must be new.) The foundation actually recommends that you find a place in your local area to donate to. They offer some suggestions on their site. If you make a blanket on your own, you are welcomed to use any pattern you like.
I actually have a few different patterns that lend themselves to group participation so I hope to have our group shake it up a bit so we don't get in a rut. Though, you'd be surprised how exciting an afghan can look with some rectangles stitched in single, some in double, and various different stitches and colors. The reason the foundation asks for 7x9 inch motifs is for ease in stitching them together.
The beauty of working with a group:
1)More afghans can be produced in less time.
2)We share the expense--making several squares is far less expensive than a whole afghan.
3)We share the work.
4)If life throws you a curve, you can probably still find time to make one square--you can still give of yourself and not be stressed or feel guilty for not completing a big project.
5) All members will have input as to where the completed blankets are donated. More than one community can be blessed. (Or we can always send them into the foundation for distribution.)
6) You get to use up your scraps!!! Woo Hoo! :)
7) You make new friends and enjoy some fellowship (even if it is via the internet and mail.
And the list goes on.
I'm looking forward to getting to know you and ministering with you.

Thank both of you for your responses. Pass the invitation along to any friends and family you might have who would like to join us in our efforts.

Talkin' Texan said...

Dragonfly,
Oh I love followers! :) I'll be happy to send you more details. I'm actually waiting for some extra information from the foundation myself. I will head over to your blog to see if I can find an email address for you. :)
One individual is more than welcomed to donate NEW afghans. (They must be new.) The foundation actually recommends that you find a place in your local area to donate to. They offer some suggestions on their site. If you make a blanket on your own, you are welcomed to use any pattern you like.
I actually have a few different patterns that lend themselves to group participation so I hope to have our group shake it up a bit so we don't get in a rut. Though, you'd be surprised how exciting an afghan can look with some rectangles stitched in single, some in double, and various different stitches and colors. The reason the foundation asks for 7x9 inch motifs is for ease in stitching them together.
The beauty of working with a group:
1)More afghans can be produced in less time.
2)We share the expense--making several squares is far less expensive than a whole afghan.
3)We share the work.
4)If life throws you a curve, you can probably still find time to make one square--you can still give of yourself and not be stressed or feel guilty for not completing a big project.
5) All members will have input as to where the completed blankets are donated. More than one community can be blessed. (Or we can always send them into the foundation for distribution.)
6) You get to use up your scraps!!! Woo Hoo! :)
7) You make new friends and enjoy some fellowship (even if it is via the internet and mail.
And the list goes on.
I'm looking forward to getting to know you and ministering with you.

Thank you for your response. Pass the invitation along to any friends and family you might have who would like to join us in our efforts.

Talkin' Texan said...

Penelope,
It is not easy getting used to calling you by that name. :)

I am working on a pictorial instruction post to get us started on a quilt. I'll zap you an email as well.
As far as your abilities in crochet, if you can make a chain and single crochet, you can make the rectangles to go into an afghan.
I want you to do what you enjoy, but never pass up the opportunity to stretch yourself. :)

Thanks so much for your response and enthusiasm. I am looking forward to ministering with you!

Edie said...

Hey my friend! It's interesting that you mention this. A couple of ladies at my church just recently started Proverbs 31 Quilters. We have met twice so far. We are quilting lap blanket to donate to an assisted living center for Christmas. We also plan to quilt baby blankets to donate to a local pregnancy center. I was thinking it might be fun to get something started online too. Not sure if I have time to participate but I'm open to it and to helping any way I can.

Talkin' Texan said...

Edie, I'll be posting my plan for the quilt soon. If you want to play with us, I'll be overjoyed to have you! If not, I'll still love you anyway! ;)
Girl we've GOT to get together on the phone. I've had you on my mind all day today. I need a sounding board and and encourager. Or maybe I need to be one?
CALL ME!

Penelope said...

Lavonda-

Believe me, you are NOT the only person that has trouble with it. Surprisingly, I've been going by Penelope for a full decade now! Crazy, huh? I asked Mom if you would recognize who was commenting last week. Sharla told me that she just couldn't change and I would be "Megan" forever. :-)

I love the quilt pattern that you have. I haven't seen it done like that before, but I love it! I think this is going to be beautiful. I have some scraps left over from some projects I have done lately, so I am looking forward to getting started on this. I've always wondered how the "quilt as you go" thing works. This will be a gorgeous quilt. I'll let you know when I got some blocks done!

As for crocheting, I completely agree that it's important to stretch yourself. I think that's definitely something I should try soon. Thanks for the encouragement. :-)