I have a fun little exercise for you!
Today instead of thinking of all the things you aren’t, all the things you don’t have, instead think of all the things you do have, and all the incredible things you are. All the times you stood up for what you believed in.. Yourself and your dreams, with tears in your eyes, but firmly rooted in your own person. You tell yourself you can handle whatever comes your way because you have gone through so much already. Each little moment, battle, scar, and tear.. Etc. adds up to the patchwork of strength and courage that is you. You are made up of your stories, your struggles, and your triumphs. Your story is so incredibly unique, and no one is like you. No one else can be exactly you. You are a one of a kind creation. Stitched together with love and memories, backed by your faith and courage… colorful with all the experiences you’ve had so far. As well as ready for all the adventures to come down the road.
Life is a journey, but such a colorful and exciting one!
I recently inherited a beautiful quilt from my grandma after her passing. Quilts are so incredible to look at. All the stitches, the colors, the patches, the designs that make one whole beautiful masterpiece. All the love and time put into making the quilt, all the memories and history created. We are all quilts. Unique in our own patterns and masterpiece. No quilt is alike. Even down to the tiny stitches we are all unique and special and loved. The quilt my grandmother gave me is a baby’s quilt with lovely flower like circles lined up in rows. Each circle is filled with many different colorful patches and all are stitched together with care and love. Looking at it I am always amazed at how much time must have gone into making this lovely blanket. How much energy and love was spent making sure everything was right, everything was just so.
When I think of us as a quilt and all the different aspects that create up our life and masterpiece I am always blown away by how incredibly unique each and everyone is in their own right. Often enough we gloss over individuals and lump people together, but when you really get to know that one person you are blown away by how different each individual is! Each colorful patch in our quilt tells a story of a triumph or a struggle in our life. A moment that has shaped us into who we are now, all different colors and shapes because life isn’t a cookie cutter. We don’t always get to decide the outcome of scenarios life hands us. We just get to decide how we are going to respond, positively or negatively. Do we keep fighting the good fight or give up? That is the big decision we get to choose for each of those beautiful patches that create the bigger picture and masterpiece that is us.
The backing of all quilts is the huge piece of cloth that strengthens and protects the front of the beautiful creation. Our backing is our courage and our faith. Our faith in ourselves as well as whatever faith each individual has, that could be in God, or some other higher power. That faith and courage though in ourselves and knowing we can walk through the fire. We can stand up for what we believe in and keep standing up. Stay rooted firmly in what you believe in and learn to bend with the wind. Bend, but never break. The strongest trees are the ones that have withstood the strongest winds because their roots are so deeply planted in the earth. They learn to bend with the wind, but never break. Be that strong tree, strong and secure in your person.
Every stitch that holds the patches and whole quilt together is stitched with love. Love is the undercurrent and foundation to truly living life to the fullest. There is something so magical that happens when people truly love those around them expecting nothing in return, agape.
Agape love is a little different. It is not a feeling; it’s a motivation for action that we are free to choose or reject. Agape is a sacrificial love that voluntarily suffers inconvenience, discomfort, and even death for the benefit of another without expecting anything in return. We are called to agape love through Christ’s example: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2).
We often get so caught up in the what ifs, what if they don’t love me back, what if it doesn’t work out, what if they don’t appreciate my love, what if.. What if…. So much doubt leads to shaky stitches, shaky foundations and creates self-doubt in ourselves. If we learn to quietly and strongly love ourselves and all those around us though expecting nothing back we become a force to be reckoned with. Stitches deep and bold in the patchwork of life. Secure in ourselves, unquestioning and unwavering. Sometimes it is hard to love all those around us, especially those people out there that wrong us or do terrible terrible things that we can’t even fathom. But if we really want to see change in this world we need to be that change. If we want to see more love in the world we have to love. We can’t wait for others to take the first step. If we all are waiting then nothing will ever happen. Be proactive and personal in what you want out of life. If you want love, then love those around you strongly and fiercely, and watch the ripple effect happen.
We all look back on memories of quilts usually connected with our grandmothers. The memories are always fond and positive bringing a smile to our face. We know that each quilt was made with so much love and perseverance full of memories and time. Think of yourself in that way as well. We are all beautiful quilts made up of so many different aspects that create one beautiful masterpiece. There are so many different facets that go into each one of us and make us unique. The stitches, the patches, the love, the time and history… etc. Each part of every one of us adds up to make a beautiful masterpiece. Sometimes we might have a hard time seeing that full masterpiece of ourselves as we are always a work in progress, but know that you are amazing. All your quirks, your stories, your feelings…. All colorful and magical. They are what make you the incredible human you are! Xo
What is the meaning of agape love? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.compellingtruth.org/agape-love.html Copyright 2011-2019
Photo By Eirik Halvorson