Saturday, December 5, 2009


My sister gave me a gift when she was in town last summer.  I've delayed posting a picture of it because I keep thinking that I will drag out my lights and take a proper picture of it but, well, I just am not getting to it and probably won't any time soon.  So, I will take a better picture later but the quilt on the left is her design and represents 100's of hours of work on her behalf.

The colors are not quite right in the photograph (much richer in person) and, per my earlier comment, the picture just doesn't do it justice.  When you stand really close to it, you can see that each feather of each crane has 3 perfect rows of stitching outlining it and, well, the detail is staggering.

It hangs over our fireplace in our front room and you can't help but notice it  - it was designed by her for that space.

I have a funny relationship with gifts in general.  For 15 years, I've been embarrassed in my family because it is really bad form when you're more moody around getting stuff at Christmas than your grandkids.  I've noticed throughout my life that I've always wanted what I didn't have and, then, when I get it, I'm generally not satisfied with that stuff or it disappoints me or I just move on from it and the stuff just accumulates.  Page 76 in our 12x12 outlines the constant struggles of my life.

So, how does one "get" recovered from this selfish attachment to my wants and demands?  I think, as outlined in aforementioned 12x12 passage, it's an inside job where my most difficult part of the process is to surrender all my old ideas and accept God's grace that's offered.

I was truly awestruck when my sister unfolded this quilt in my house last summer.  Even though I knew she was working on it, nothing prepared me for the incredible amount of time and talent that she had invested in it.  You can trust me that NOTHING that I have done in my relationship with her could have made me deserve this from her.  And, nothing that I own or could build or could do would repay her for what she did for me in this demonstration of love and generosity. 

Yet, as I write this, there it hangs.

I still hope I had the ability to say "thank you" appropriately.  I think I did.

I think it's a lot like that with God's grace and my healing from my character defects.  Sometimes I fail to thank God for the grace shown to me this day and for the path that got me to this day.  Sometimes I think my problems, wants and demands require just a little more cleverness and manipulation.

But, on a good day, I can remember to say "thank you" and accept the incredible gift as the universe's perfect expression for my life in this day.

That is a better day.


Scott W said...

Isn't the fact she loves you a testament to your being deserving?

BTW that photo of the snow on my blog was not in Houston, Dave was kidding.

Steve E said...

Never have I minded giving to others, whether the motive was noble or ego-driven.

It is in receiving that I run into difficuty...but if I can just remember to say "Thank you", as you suggest, well, maybe that IS the humble way to be gifted.

Thanks, Ed....

Mary Christine said...

The quilt is beautiful. I have made quilts for people and I like to think as I make them that love goes into every single stitch (and there are many). What a wonderful thing to have in your home.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

This is such a beautiful gift of love...given with love! It is an amazing quilt.

I have a picture quilt a dear friend I call sister gave me in my work space and I see it every day and am reminded of the joy and love and freedom of life...

Thank you for sharing this with us!


Syd said...

Ed, your sister has so much talent and obvious love for you. That is a beautiful gift. I can think of nothing much better than the love that went into preparing such a work of art.

mike said...

thanks for the post.
I love this time of year...always so much thankfulness.
That quilt is beautiful....and it is good you are now able to truly appreciate its 'value.'

Doc in Al-Anon said...

It's a beautiful quilt, and your thoughts about it are beautiful too. Thanks.