To Help Others in Time of Need

How important is it to help others that may or may not be in need?

How important is it to treat someone that is helping you with respect and as an equal rather than as someone who doesn’t matter?

A friend of mine had been helping someone complete a big project recently, but this someone kept treating my friend like crap, constantly yelling at her and fussing about the project itself. Eventually my friend got fed up with the other person who was being so not nice. She walked away from the project and that person, leaving said person to complete the project without my friend’s help.

A while ago, last year some time, I was driving along the highway on my way back home. A lady was pulled over to the side of the road because a deer had run out in front of her. She was trying to get hold of her husband when I got back to her after turning around. Being only a few miles from her home, I offered to give her a ride which she accepted because she had groceries in her car and her husband had been drinking so he didn’t want to be out driving. She offered to pay me, but I said no. She insisted.

A few winter’s ago, my friend and pulled into a place of business and went inside. When I came back out, my car wouldn’t start. My friend and I tried everything we could think of (which isn’t much because we are pretty much clueless about cars) to start the vehicle. To no avail, we went back inside to ask for help. Finally, after about 10 minutes someone grudgingly helped us. Giminy crickets,¬†it was WINTER! Did the other patrons of this place of business not have any reserves about someone being stranded on a cold winter’s night?

Growing up, my parents didn’t teach us to get others back who wronged us, but throughout the years, that’s what we picked up along the way. The Bible teaches to love others even when unlovable, to love always in the face of evil.

If one slaps you on one cheek, turn to him the other cheek….Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you. – Matthew 5:39, 44

My husband and I teach this to our children through example. It’s not always easy to do the right thing. In the midst of our anger, sometimes, we want to act out and let our anger get the best of us. An example, the first story I mentioned that involved my friend. She was tired of getting treated like crap rather than get the appreciation for the time she was committing to help with the big project.

What I question is: where is the humanity in this life? Why is it so hard to help someone in need when you witness that they need help? Again, with my first story, was my friend right to walk away from the project before it was completed? Remember, when we are asked to show love no matter what, we are only responsible for ourselves, not the actions of others. With that in mind, the question again, was my friend right to walk away before completion of the project? The answer is of no importance¬†because as I stated, she is accountable for her actions and hers alone. It’s merely a thought-provoking question and an example.

My point is being helpful to others is something that many fail to do unless something is in it for them. Other times, people are just to busy to take a time out to help another. One teaching I heard during Mass a few months back consisted of saying yes to God because God comes first. One way to do that is helping others in times of need whatever the need may be such as unloading a truck in a dump yard, giving a ride to someone stranded, or lending a hand in big projects. Rather than watch someone struggle and struggle with something, I mean literally stand and watch, why not step in and offer your assistance?

It’s a hard world we live, one created by the selfishness and the greed of the people who inhabit it. It seems to me that the world as a whole, but also communities everywhere would be much better off if everyone would put others before themselves.

Maybe it’s a little more Leave it to Beaverish kind of thinking than most are used to, but hey, it’s a good hope¬†ūüôā

The Ugly Quilt Project

I have an upcoming event through our church, Ocktoberfest. It’s an annual gathering of patrons of the church plus any other guests that may attend (it’s open to all) that offers a smorgasboard of German foods for lunch, a raffle drawing, silent auction, etc in order to raise funds for the church.

This year I have committed myself to donating a quilt for the silent auction. I am naming it the Ugly Quilt. It’s not going to be ugly by any means. The fabrics will go together very well. I found a pattern in a quilting magazine that I like, but rather than using newer fabrics that the pattern suggests, I am using some older fabrics that remind me of the 70’s. The quilt will be beautiful when it’s complete, but the colors consists of reds and browns, blues and creams, which are not the lively colors that I normally quilt with.

I like A LOT of color!

Please join me as I walk through the Ugly Quilt project, from start to finish. It’s a long process, but one I enjoy! I will post periodic updates so stay tuned for recent changes throughout the next couple of months. My¬†choice of machine is the Bernina Activa 135 which is the one I started with a few years ago and haven’t changed. It works perfect for the quilting that I do.

To start, here’s a few pictures to¬†start this quilting journey.

As always, comments welcome, but please be nice ūüôā

Beatitudes Post #8

Alas, we have come to the last Beatitude. Before introducing it, I would first like to say thank you for all who have followed the postings. I hope they have, in some way, helped or encouraged another.

Without further ado, Beatitude #8

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

By living a life devoted to God and doing His good works, He promises life ever-after in His kingdom. Doing good is not the ticket to heaven, but through belief and faith in Him one wants to do good, feels heavily laden to do right by God and His people. When doing for God just for the sake of doing for God, because He is asking us to do good, He sees that selflessness. He sees the humility, the love that He teaches. Our devotion to Him is present in our actions to, for, and against others. When one is willing to die for belief in God, He will recognize that. As simple, yet hard as that devotion is, that’s really all He’s asking.

As always, comments are encouraged and welcomed. If you follow me, thank you. If you don’t then I hope you start. If you choose to ignore, that’s acceptable, too. However, if you feel lost when reading, don’t worry. The previous links are found below.

As always, I hope you have a wonderful, blessed day.

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/07/18/beatitudes-post-7/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/07/11/beatitudes-post-6/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/07/07/beatitudes-5/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/06/27/beatitudes-post-4/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/06/20/beatitudes-post-3/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/06/13/beatitudes-post-2/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/06/06/beatitudes-post-1/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/06/06/upcoming-series-to-start-soon/

 

A Sanctuary

When thinking of a sanctuary, what comes to mind?

For me, when I think of sanctuary, I think of a place of safety.

Another place I think of when I hear the word sanctuary is the church.

And coincidentally, one of the places that someone may feel safest is actually in a church. I often go to the church, such a sacred place, a sanctuary that offers peace. It’s a place of solace, a place where¬†one can feel God’s presence. In God’s house, speaking to Him with reverence of course, we can be who we are because He is the only one who knows us throughout. He is the only one that loves us through each and every fault that we have.

He offers us the graces to show kindness, to love others freely, to forgive others as we are forgiven, to have faith in our darkest moments, and to remain hopeful when it seems hopeless. It’s in His presence that we can really delve into ourselves in order to learn of our strengths and weaknesses.

Being here in my home, my sanctuary, life doesn’t stop. It doesn’t slow down. It’s always a bit noisy. Kids are playing with one another, completely engaged in childhood activity that includes board games, bike riding, going for walk, playing in the water…….just being kids. Part of being kids is arguing, disagreeing, and yes, wrestling around with siblings. I love it! When I am not playing referee or gym coach, I pick up the role of cook, dishwasher, janitor and laundress. However, those very important roles cannot be replaced by my devotions of being a teacher, a confidant, a role model, and a religious educator. The role of parent is very diverse and involves much praying, contemplation, patience, and LOVE, always love.

Outside of being a mother, I also have not only obligations to my spouse, but a love for him that pushes me to be the very best I can be. I fail sometimes, I learn, and I keep moving forward –mere centimeters at times, but forward is forward, right. Together, we raise our children and live a life according to what God is asking of us.

My home is my sanctuary.

Marriage

Dazzling thought for the day:

My parents will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this year! Boy, does that put my age into perspective?!? Wow!

My mother- and father-in-law have been married at least 45 years, I believe.

My grandparents, at the time of my grandpa’s death in 2005, would have celebrated their 50th anniversary the following year.

And this paves the way for this particular post topic: Marriage.

The marriages of longevity mentioned above are symbolic of that era: 40+ years ago. The hard life that people who lived during¬†that time-frame endured taught many life¬†values that have since disappeared such as hard work, commitment, putting others before oneself, looking ahead rather than living for the moment (the ‘I want it now, I deserve it now, I will get it now’ attitude that is so prevalent in society these days) and the understanding that the actions of one affect many.

One simple and often overlooked concept I’ve learned over the years, one¬†that covers of multitude of circumstances is: Just because something can be done doesn’t mean it should be done.¬†Sadly, society today operates completely opposite of¬†that concept – again the ‘I want it now, I deserve it now, I will get it now (often at the expense of others)’ attitude.

My husband has often informed me that I carry that very same attitude (I want it now) sometimes.

And you know what?

Much to my dismay, he’s right!

Finally acknowledging that truth will now allow me to reevaluate certain things in my life and to improve those shortcomings through prayer and conscientious change.

I want a marriage of longevity. I want my marriage to last until death do us part. I want a marriage to¬†sustain and thrive through all that life throws at us. I get that you can’t force someone to remain married. It only takes one person in the marriage to file for divorce. I’m not quite certain how it works, but as many divorces that occur each year, I’m under the impression that one is granted even if both parties don’t agree. Put simply, a judge will grant the divorce regardless. Again, I’ve not experienced divorce so I don’t know how it works, just assuming.

Going backwards, though, to marriage and longevity. Again, the premise that just because it can be done doesn’t mean it should be done applies during the times of trouble. Marriage has become commonplace and completely disposable. Couples promise their love and commitment to one another (and all that that entails) only to divorce at the first sign of trouble, ranging anywhere from months to years.

 

What I’ve learned during my marriage is marriage takes more than just husband and wife. It also takes God’s presence and requires husband/wife to trust in Him first. Trusting in God doesn’t eliminate troubles and trials, but He¬†is a source of strength, love, forgiveness and so much more. He affords us many graces during marriage that strengthen the bond between husband and wife.

I pray that our marriage will last our lifetime.

Her Wedding Day

The BIG weekend was upon them. A weekend that had been in the making for the better part of a lifetime, but the actual planning process only 8-10 months. The wait seemed to go rather slowly,¬†couldn’t get here quick enough, but is now only one night’s sleep away. As happens quite frequently where time is concerned, it goes rather quickly when we want/need it to slow down with the exact opposite effect when we need/want it to speed up. A very well-known fact that is proven daily in the workplace, home-life, just about any area of life.

It’s the celebration that most every woman anticipates from her childhood. It’s a day that some girls spend a small fraction of their life fantasizing¬†about, perfecting even the smallest detail. It’s that memorable moment¬†in a girl’s life when the dream of an innocent young girl meets the reality of a beautiful, ready-to-spread-my-wings young lady. It’s almost a right of passage into the next chapter of her story.

As a result of the childhood anticipation, dreaming, and all that led up to this long awaited moment, her dream is about to come true. Through hours and hours of endless planning that progressed¬†at a snail’s pace, tweaking¬†of details as one idea led to another, changing what was questionable because questionable is not okay, and finalizing what was agreed upon resulting in one more item checked off the list, she is now at the threshold of one of the most dramatic and rewarding changes in her life.

For some, every flower, boutonniere, head-piece, and table setting was crafted by her hand in any spare moment she could snag. For others, she may only have to show up, dress up, and say her “I Do.”

No matter if she took part in the planning process or if she hired someone to worry over it for her, she is now a beautiful bride escorted (hopefully) by her father to a moment of truth for two people madly in love. Standing, arm-in-arm with her father, at the back of the waiting guests, a million thoughts flip through her mind. Excitement for what the future holds. Fear of the unknown. Anticipation of possible changes. Happiness at knowing she’s been blessed with something wonderful.

As her father slowly walks her down the aisle, she feels none of the nervousness the had anticipated knowing all eyes would be focused on her. She feels beautiful in her white gown with the flowing train trailing behind her, shooshing around her feet with every step. Her eyes shine with the love that she feels for her soon-to-be husband. The joy she feels radiates from her as she walks, spreading to each individual she passes. She doesn’t see them. She knows they are there, but all she really sees before her is the man she loves, the man she’s about to promise the rest of her life to.

And, as they say, the rest is history. Jobs. Homes. Kids. And a hundred plus other things that occur over a lifetime.

Time, as slowly or as quickly as it moves, doesn’t ever stop so every second counts. Each moment in our life is a moment creating a memory to be cherished. It’s my goal to make each one matter.

 

Carefree Lifestyle or Not?

I recently made a post about a trip that my husband and I took with my father-in-law….it was business, but we made time for play ūüôā

Anywhoo….

My kiddos were divided between my parents’ house and my mother-in-law’s house because she declined to go on the trip because…well I don’t really know why but she did want¬†to keep my girls.

Yay! Some time for me…some time with my husband….some time away from the kids. Every parents dream, right? It’s not unheard of to have some time away from the responsibilities of parenthood. I mean, it happens quite a bit. There’s business, there’s pleasure, and there’s nurturing the relationship with a spouse….or whatever. As is¬†said “if a reason/excuse is needed then any reason/excuse will do” (unknown). When parents want time away from their children, they find a reason/excuse and a way for it to work out.

Anyway, so…..

Here I am….on a business trip, meeting my responsibilities of being on this business trip. As mentioned in the¬†Exciting News!¬†post, my in-laws own a sewing shop and as strictly a Bernina dealer, the store offers Bernina machines which¬†include sewing machines, embroidery machines, long arm quilting machines, and sergers. The shop also carries a large selection of choice fabric, needles, thread, and other sewing supplies. My husband and I are taking an interest in the store as his parents are closing the gap on retirement. Working alongside them, they are teaching my husband the ins and outs of the business. Anyway, the reason for the trip was to learn of new products, changes in product, and attend training on Bernina machines as Bernina does require certification of anyone who sells their brand. A bunch of technical stuff and information for store owners to increase sales. That’s the gist of it, maybe more, maybe less. We attended three days of training classes, creativity classes, informational classes to help the store grow. With that portion of the trip taking much of our time plus the exploring we did over the course of the week, we stayed pretty busy.

Oh, the excitement of the carefree life…you know, that life before children. That life between, on average, the ages of 18 to 30, give or take. Responsibilities, ehh, yeah. Jobs, car payments, insurance all the way around, the ‘adulting’ part of life. But, with no kids, still pretty much able to do as one pleases. Turns out, I never had that. I had my first kid when I was 18 so parenting came pretty early which means I bypassed the carefree lifestyle. Wouldn’t change it though. Not even a little bit. So, when my husband and I get the chance to be a little carefree….well, we take it ūüôā

And there lies the problem….Oh, I enjoy every minute of that time devoted to growing, evolving our relationship, but -as has happened on each trip we’ve taken without the kids — within a day or two, that carefree life begins to not mesh with me. I start thinking about the kids, wishing the kids were with us, wondering how the kids are…..Missing the kids. They don’t¬†become the focus of the trip because, as with this latest trip, there’s some responsibility, but I also whole-heartily believe in keeping the marital relationship strong and thriving through focused time together, devotion to one another, encouraging and maintaining the foundation on which our marriage is built while deepening our friendship, loyalty, trust, commitment, and love. As with any relationship, marriages need to be nurtured in order to grow so even though the carefree life isn’t suitable for me, I still make it a point to focus on our marriage when we are able to get time away from the kids, business trip or otherwise.

As I get older and my kids get older, all the sudden carefree doesn’t seem so important. In fact, it’s probably the least important thing to me. I enjoyed our trip, but I realized, I’d rather be a mother and with my children all the time than to live that carefree¬†life on a daily basis. Kids grow up so fast, so many changes take place from one year to the next in who they are and who they will become. And that is what I want to be present for so carefree…uh-uh, not so much. I’m perfectly suited to being a wife and mothering the children that God so generously blessed me with.

My heart belongs to God, my husband and my kids where it shall remain.

Exciting News!

I know! I haven’t posted in forever! With good reason, though. My father-in-law, my husband and I were¬†at the annual Bernina University conference. It’s quite exciting! The theme for the conference was Unmask Amazing which is tell-tale of the location.

New Orleans!

Mardi Gras!

Masquerades!

Overall, I learned quite a bit about Bernina¬†products, the history of the company, and the different products offered through partner companies that include¬†fabrics and other notions. You can’t very well create and complete¬†a sewing project without fabric or thread with as much ease as you can with quality products such as¬†scissors, cutting mats, or rulers of all shapes/sizes and tons of other gadgets.

bernina

The registration booths at the conference. Each dealer for Bernina who attended the conference received a welcome package from Bernina headquarters in Switzerland and Bernina of America at these registration booths. As you can tell, the booths are arranged by dealer last name alphabetical order. And, of course, the main event, Bernina Masquerade Ball (pictures provided at the end of the post).

During the conference, Bernina¬†revealed¬†new product and/or changes to current product that¬†will be available to consumers within the next few months. As required by Bernina, when a store owner chooses to become a Bernina dealer, he/she must be certified on Bernina machines for installation, repairs, and teaching how to use the machine to customers. At the conference, classes were offered to dealers and/or employees of dealers to educate on the machine (about, how to use, how to repair if needed, etc.) If you are a sewist, seamstress, or quilter, then you probably know of Bernina. If not, I’d like to briefly introduce Bernina to you. Bernina is “the¬†world’s premier manufacturer with a proven reputation for offering state-of-the-art sewing and embroidery systems, sergers, and embroidery software” (Bernina website) with familial roots¬†and manufacturing¬†in Switzerland. The company itself has been in business for almost 125 years and has remained within the same family since the beginning. It is a company that promotes family values while providing the most up-to-date products such as the 3, 5, 7, and 8 series sewing and embroidery machines, the long arm quilters such as Bernina Q 20 and Q 24 (which, by the way, provide a fun experience with quilting), as well as Bernina L 220 and L 450 Overlock and Cover/Chainstitch¬†machines plus sewing notions such as needles, foot controls, and suitcases or bags for the machines.

Go ahead, keep reading as even more interesting information can be found further down.

As promised, more Bernina. I have to mention that my father-in-law, a Bernina dealer in the densely populated state of North Dakota (located in Mandan), owns and operates the store Sewing Machines Plus! (not to be confused with a separate sewing machines plus website). The store offers a variety of fabrics, threads, sewing/embroidery systems, and serger machines as well as the long-arm quilting machines with friendly service and an inviting atmosphere. They also offer sewing classes to anyone who is interested and even rent the use of their long arm quilting machines located in their sewing studio, connected to the store. Their website is found here so stop by and check it out (again, the Mandan store is not to be confused with another SewingMachinesPlus.com website as the two stores are completely separate and do not tie into one another). If you have questions on product or services offered, shoot Jim or Angie an email or call the store. For a memorable conversation, if at all possible, swing on into the store as face to face communication is always so much more friendly and encouraging for all involved. Speaking with the owners and/or the employees offers a wider range of conversation and is surely to answer more of your questions plus actually seeing, touching, or even hands-on practice of the machines will definitely grab the interest of experienced quilters as well as those who are not so experienced but have a willingness to learn.

Building
Photo courtesy of Mandan, ND Sewing Machines Plus! website.

But, we didn’t make the trip all about business ūüôā

We can’t possibly go to New Orleans without seeing and experiencing the city, known for its crawfish served in a variety of ways, music of the city: Jazz, and the infamous Bourbon street. The culture in the great state of Louisiana is quite simply amazing. The three of us (my father-in-law, my husband and I) were easily entertained during our stay. I’m sure you’ve heard of the most popular district in New Orleans – the French Quarter (Mardi Gras!). The atmosphere in the French Quarter was relaxing, expressive, and enjoyable. We even rode in a Pedi-Cab!

french quarter

Other areas may not be as entertaining, but most certainly are just as fun to see, such as the Garden District which is like walking back in time. The “antebellum mansions” (http://www.neworleanscvb.com/visit/neighborhoods/garden-district/) are rich with history of Louisiana and are beautiful to look at. Sadly, these two districts are the only ones we were able to visit due to time constraints, but it’s a trip not soon to be forgotten. Our mode of transportation throughout our stay consisted of the trolley ride. I’ve never been on a trolley to get from one place to another so¬†it was quite exciting for me. I boasted the unforgettable smile of the ever-popular kid in the candy store the whole time I was in New Orleans.

trolley

And the buildings, skyscrapers! Beauty. Creativity. Artistic abilities. All tied into one unforgettable city.

buildings

Another big bonus to me was the warmth. You see, I am from the south and currently (and for the better part of the last 20 years) live in the north. Being back in the south, among the trees, southern plant life, the people and yes, the heat was quite refreshing for me. ¬†I told my husband I could stay there forever, but ahh, here I am, back home with God’s greatest blessings, my children who we missed terribly throughout the trip. North Dakota is simply unbearable to me, but I love my kids and my husband which is reason enough for me to stay. It’s unfathomable to even think about leaving here since their (my husband and children) family ties are here, this is where I shall remain. It’s not to bad, but most definitely not my cup of tea.

OMGoodness, I can’t sign off¬†without mentioning the fine Louisiana cuisine. My husband and I didn’t eat one single food¬†that we normally eat at home (either home or out dining).¬†For every meal, we tried¬†a new dish. The foods are absolutely to die for. Some of the foods that we tried are right out of my childhood (a southerner by birth) that¬†I haven’t eaten in years. Such foods include red beans and rice, grits (the hubby likes his with shrimp but I’m not a shrimp person so butter, milk and sugar is my choice for grits which is the way that mama made it when I was a kid), and boiled crawfish (I never ate these in my childhood so completely new to me but delicious!). And spicy! Louisianans definitely like their spice! They don’t call it Cajun food without reason ūüôā Much to my dismay, most places didn’t offer my drink of choice: Dr. Pepper! Since most southerners (at least all the ones I know) prefer Dr. Pepper when not enjoying a cold glass of sweet tea, I was quite perplexed and disappointed that DP was not a popular drink choice in many places we dined. Honestly, I was sad about this ūüė¶

Oh, but I managed to enjoy the trip regardless.

food

As with any major city and/or tourist attraction, you can’t enjoy such a visit without engaging in a least one guided tour ūüôā

Ours just so happened to be a paddle boat cruise on the third longest river in North America and the¬†major river that flows through that part of the country, the mighty Mississippi aka “Big Muddy”. Riverboat Natchez carried us along the river and provided fine dining for those who paid the extra, a New Orleans history lesson, and entertainment¬†with what else other than music that was created in N’Awlins: Jazz. I fell in LOVE with the music and who am I kidding, the city itself!

paddle boat

So, as promised, a few extra pictures from our visit:

opening and ball

As enjoyable as the trip was and as memorable as the experience of New Orleans will always be, my without-a-doubt, hands-down most favorite part of the trip was getting home to our little people. We were gone for almost a week that felt like months, years even. We were undoubtably happy to see our youngins and bring them their treasures we got while in N’Awlins.

lil people

The trip was fun and captivating, but home is where my heart is and will always be ♥♥♥

 

 

Beatitudes Post #7

Almost the last one! How sad I am!

The best book that one can own is the Good Book, the Bible. Everything you need to know about life is written within the confines of that Book and this includes the 8 Beatitudes that this series focuses on.

So, with only one more to go after this one, here’s Beatitude #7

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

I believe this is one pretty clear. God is ALL ABOUT LOVE and PEACE is surely a representation of the Love that God is and that He encourages.

Peace.

Peace is the feeling of safety, serenity of heart, and harmony among people. We are a country at peace when we refrain to enter into war within the states or within other countries. We are individuals at peace when we love others by always showing kindness through many different actions and with gentle words. When the spirit is harmonious among us we are at peace.

We are all children of God who were given something called free will or the ability to choose the path we follow, to make choices in our lives that we will be accountable for to God. With that free will, as said, the choices we make as well as the faith we not only carry within us but spread around us will determine God’s judgement of us when He comes again. Living, spreading, encouraging, building and restoring peace in the world while we inhabit it is just one more way to prove our love for God. It’s one more way that we show God’s love for each one of us. Living in peace, being the peacemaker as God¬†promises will name you as His child.

As always, I hope you have a blessed day.

And with each post in this series, if you’re lost the links below will get you caught up. Feel free to leave comments and discover other inspiring posts throughout Blessed Moments -n- Memories.

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/07/07/beatitudes-5/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/06/27/beatitudes-post-4/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/06/20/beatitudes-post-3/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/06/13/beatitudes-post-2/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/06/06/beatitudes-post-1/

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/06/06/upcoming-series-to-start-soon/