Almost 200 Followers – and a Lucent Sylph Award!

I am SO proud of and excited for my friend, RJ! Lucent Sylph is one of my favorites that she’s written (and it’s FRE E on Kindle!) Check out her blog post and enter to win her entire collection! She’s written some incredible books.

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I had a breakthrough.

One of the things I struggle with is worth and value in the things I make. To me, each thing I make is like my baby. A piece of my heart and soul is poured into every quilt, every mug rug, every pillowcase, etc. I have been constantly asking myself, “what is this worth? Is this valuable? If I try to sell this, will anyone want it? Will they even like it? And if they do like it, will they be willing to spend their hard-earned money on this thing that I made?” (Y’all, I’m about to open my own quilt shop and I’m having some serious doubts.)

I listened to Taylor Lee give an excellent talk on her Instagram LIVE that shed some light on some of the shadows I’ve had in my brain. I named doubts and fears that apprehended me from sharing or even doing what I love. Like for instance, I have a fear in the back of my mind that the recipient will not appreciate or love what I made for him or her as much as I do. And if they don’t love it, does that mean my work isn’t worth anything? To be completely honest, my doubts about how much my work is worth and how valuable it is translate into my doubts about how much I am worth as a person. “How valuable am I? What am I worth? Am I appreciated and loved? And by whom?” (There’s the deep question.) As I think about myself and my faults, shortcomings, and sin issues, I get so down and wonder how it’s possible that anybody could ever love me. What do people see in me that makes them stick around and tolerate me, like me, and LOVE me? What about me is so interesting?

I had my “aha” moment that broke me. I was asking the Lord (and myself), “what am I worth? What do You see in me?” And the answer came as a whisper but it was as plain as day. I am worth JESUS to the God of the universe. Jesus who is perfect in every way and I am not. Jesus who never ever sinned, (not once!) and I sin every single day. Jesus who always pleased the Father and I do not.

And yet, when God looks at me, He does not see my righteousness, He sees the perfect person of His Son. (How can this be!?!?!)

I am completely, entirely, and fully loved by Him. I am worth everything He is, not because of any innate ability or quality of mine, but because He saved me from my sins by giving His life as a ransom for me. And that’s really all that matters. He rescued me. He redeemed me. (You’d think I’d know this, and I did in my head. But it’s been so long since it’s penetrated my heart and sunk in.) Y’all, this never felt real until now!

I am in awe of how God works. He doesn’t leave us in the dark.

So anything good that you see from me, whether it’s something I make or say or do, is not because of me. It’s all because of Jesus, my precious Savior. He has changed my life forever and without Him I am nothing.

The Quilted Rose Co.

I am SO excited to announce that The Quilted Rose Co. is {FINALLY} opening Saturday, March 3rd (3/3)!

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It has been my dream to open my own quilt shop and now I’m pursuing that dream.

Here are a couple sneak peeks of what will be listed. Let me know what catches your eye!

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I’ve started a blog in hopes of sharing the stories behind each quilt I’ve made in the past and the quilts that that are yet to be made in the future. Feel free to check it out here!

A Bottle of Glass Hearts!

I’m watching the snowfall today. What I thought was only going to be > 0.1″ actually turned into a winter wonderland. Needless to say, I’m happy to be home. I’m just trying to figure out what to do on this unexpected day off. 😉

My friend, RJ, is releasing yet another book! This time, a collection of five short stories. Check out her blog to read the descriptions of each one. (A Bottle of Glass Hearts!) Then come back and tell me which one is most intriguing to you! (Mine is Gem because Soleil is an ESFJ like me!) 😁

***If you absolutely cannot wait to read Lucent Sylph, you can download the kindle version for FREE here. (Read Lucent Sylph) It’s one of my favorites written by RJ.***

Be Anxious For NO-THING

(Part 4)

July 21, 2017 (Evening)

I was laying down on the couch in our music room, scrolling through YouTube checking my subscriptions. I listened to the acoustic version of Hills and Valleys. I liked how it wasn’t all peppy and exciting like you were shouting praises from the mountain tops. It was softer yet still joyful as if you were in the clear, just coming out of the valley. I could just picture coming out of the valley and beginning to scale the rocky terrain.

Anyways, in the list of related videos, there was a message given by Ben Stuart at the 2015 Linger Conference. I had listened to the one he gave earlier this year about how our phones are a great tool, but they can also be a distraction. Intrigued, I listened to this one.

And O. My.

I needed to hear that message. (Which you can watch here.)

Ben spoke on Philippians 4:6-9, which is a very familiar passage to me. I had verses 6 through 8 memorized. Hearing him speak on this familiar portion was refreshing to me. His thoughts about anxiety and how God is the God of peace, not of confusion, came at a time when I had been worrying and stressing and crying over several things in my life, not just my grumpy neighbors. This could only be a message from God to my burdened heart.

I have been letting anxiety take a toll on me.

I have allowed myself to be controlled by my fears, or anxieties, or stress. And it’s crippling. It’s exhausting to worry. There’s a Proverb that says “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25) and that is so true! As I had allowed my worries to weigh down on me and as I let it keep me up at night, I began to feel more helpless and hopeless as the days passed. I began to feel disappointed and I remember feeling that in the extreme almost two years ago. And I did not want to go back down that path.

I love how Ben said it this way, “Be anxious for nothing. For NO-THING. But in EVERYTHING, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

When he expounded on letting our requests be made known to God, he described our tendency to suppress the ugliness and dirtiness of our life as if we were trying to keep a beach ball underwater. It’s so difficult to keep it from bobbing to the surface! You have to put so much pressure on it in order to keep underneath the surface. And that is exactly like our spiritual life when we try to keep our problems out of the Lord’s hands!

I was encouraged by Ben’s honesty of how he would write prayers to God and it was just crazy. His thoughts were everywhere and it was a huge mess. It was real and raw and unfiltered. And pouring them out before the Father was a lot like vomiting. That’s where I am right now. With my angry letter to God and every letter after that, I was all over the place. I let everything that I was trying to keep from God out.

Most of my angry letter was about my grumpy neighbors, but the underlying point I was making was pretty much, “God, I don’t like how You’re dealing with this. This doesn’t seem fair. I don’t trust Your judgment. I know You have a great plan for my life, but I don’t believe that Your plan for my life is the best plan for me. I want to believe that. I know I should believe that, but I just don’t. I feel like my way is better.”

But I love how the Lord works. When we’re honest with Him, He is honest with us. And when we’re real and raw and ready to hear what He has to say, He comes to us so lovingly, so tenderly; And He, the GOD of peace, (not just the Prince of Peace,) gives us HIS PEACE!

How amazing is that?!?!?

Because of the radical work on the cross that Jesus did, we can be anxious for NO-THING, but in EVERY-THING by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, we can let our requests be made known to God. When we cast our anxieties on the Lord because He’s strong enough, we can think on things that are true, that are lovely, that are just, that are pure, that are virtuous, that are praiseworthy and that have a good report. We can experience the peace of God which surpasses all understanding because Jesus guards our hearts and our minds. Because of Him, we can sleep well at night. And that night, I did.

Hills and Valleys

(Part 3)
Still July 21, 2017
I asked God, “how is it possible for me to praise You when I feel so low? How can I possibly thank You in this difficult situation?”
A song got stuck in my head right then and there. It was a tiny whisper of Hills and Valleys by Tauren Wells. When I heard it on the radio for the first time, I remember thinking to myself, “this is a pretty cool song. God is the God of the hills and the valleys in life. Also, this guy’s voice is amazing. Isn’t he from Royal Tailor? 😛 “
Because I just could not get the chorus out of my head, I looked up the lyrics. I also wanted to find out if Tauren was the singer from Royal Tailor or not ’cause I wasn’t sure. (He is, but he’s no longer with Royal Tailor.)
Here are the lyrics that encouraged me:

I’ve walked among the shadows
You wiped my tears away
And I’ve felt the pain of heartbreak
And I’ve seen the brighter days
And I’ve prayed prayers to heaven from my lowest place
And I have held Your blessings
God You give and take away
No matter what I have, Your grace is enough
No matter where I am, I’m standing in Your love

(chorus)
On the mountains I will bow my life to the One who set me there
In the valley I will lift my eyes to the One who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain I didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley I know I am not alone
You’re God of the hills and valleys, hills and valleys
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone

I had to write the lyrics down in my journal. I needed that reminder that my God is not just the God of my good days. He is the God of my good and bad days. He is bigger than anything and everything that takes place in my life.
I needed that reminder that if God chooses to place me on a mountain where everything is great and wonderful and beautiful, I need to stay humble. I need to bow low to the ground because I didn’t climb up there by myself.
I needed that reminder that when things get hard and I find myself walking through a valley, I need to look up and know that my God didn’t leave me alone. I love Psalm 23:4. It says,
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
There is no need to despair. Sure, there’s a time to weep and mourn and say, “Why, Lord?!?!?” But there’s no need to lose heart. It really is possible to sing to the Lord and praise Him while you’re walking through a valley.
How did I come to that conclusion?
I made a list of God’s characteristics according to what the Scriptures say.
Here are a few:
He is faithful.
He is patient.
He is holy.
He is just.
His timing is perfect.
He sees all and knows all. (He is omniscient.)
He is everywhere. (He is omnipresent.)
He is all powerful. (He is omnipotent.)
When I started to see how big God is and how small my problems were compared to Him, I felt kind of silly for making such a big deal about this. I began to see that no matter where I am in life, I can look to my heavenly Father and know He sees me where I am. He is constantly consistent. There is never a moment where He is not who He says He is and that is such a comforting thought to me.
He’s God of the hills and the valleys.
And I am not alone.

A Little Motivation

The most wonderful thing happened last week.

Saturday evening, I opened a package from Mrs. Terri. I knew it was a graduation gift. Mom asked me if I wanted to open it now or later. She was like, “maybe it will motivate you to finish school.” and I was like, “Mom, I don’t need any more motivation to finish.” But Mrs. Terri wanted me to open it, so I did. And I am so thrilled.

Y’all, the Pin Pals made me a quilt.

Several of the ladies made quilt blocks and embroidered a message, or just signed their name in the corner of their block. They picked such beautiful fabrics. There are pink and red flowers. There are text fabrics with different quilt terms. There’s a block with “Baby Ruth” embroidered in big red script letters. (That’s what all the ladies call me!) The backing is a green and white triangle pattern. Mrs. Terri quilted the entire thing with meanders and stars.

It is so perfect!

No one has ever made me a quilt before. I have always been the giver and maker of quilts! Being on the receiving end, I understand now how special and meaningful quilts truly are. They are the product of love, kindness, and generosity. To me, it’s a reminder that though distance may separate us, it cannot lessen the love that I have for my Pin Pals and the Pin Pals have for me. It is a comfort and an encouragement (not to mention it keeps me warm at night!).

That Saturday, I was sad that the sewing guild will not be here to celebrate my graduation with me. When I look at this quilt, and as I’ve read the messages they wrote on my card, I see that they’re already celebrating. They’re already proud of me and they are already excited for the next chapter of my life to start.

I think Mrs. Rose said it just right:

“I will be right there with you in spirit as you graduate and you will know we are all there with you when you wrap yourself in the quilt. You are loved.”

I can’t get over how amazing this gift is. I’m never letting this one go.

Now I really have to finish. I said I didn’t need any more motivation, but the Lord knew I needed this.

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Physics is finished. I took my last test yesterday! All I have left are two writing assignments for English. I’m almost done.