Sunday, August 30, 2015
A Circle of Quilting Moms - A Circle of Love
One of the many blessings of being in ministry is the congregations Mike pastored. We were fortunate in each church to have men and women who became surrogate grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles to Sarah and Anna, filling gaps that our lack of family provided. Many of these friendships continue today even though we have not been in some of the churches for over thirty years.
When we moved to Fishers, in June, 1996, Sarah was a freshman at I. U. and Anna a sixth-grader. We were embraced once again by a loving church community.
Anna became acquainted with a wonderful group of girls and one young man who became fast friends through school events, but mainly by participating in church youth group. Their friendship deepened as they served on mission trips as well as celebrated birthdays, went to the prom, ate at favorite restaurants, and traveled to the mall. The families of these young people - particularly the mothers - became friends too, as we watched our children grow.
Following high school graduation, the mothers gathered four or five times during the school year to prepare care packages. Each mother brought five small gifts which we exchanged then mailed to our college student. These surprises contained candy and other treats, all expressions of love and care.
Following college, one by one, the children married and had babies. For each marriage and birth, the "circle of moms" gathered to make a quilt for the bride or new mother, which we presented at a shower for family and friends.
Making a quilt gave us the opportunity to come together, and piece our good wishes and blessings in a tangible form for these young couples and growing families. Just last week we gathered to present an eighth baby quilt to the newest grandchild among the group.
Making each quilt begins when we meet at the fabric store and choose the material. I am reminded of pioneer families who made quilts for their daughters and nieces. Often these young families left in covered wagons to explore unsettled territory and start homesteads. The stack of quilts that made the trip were reminders of love that followed their new beginnings. The children of our circle are heading out on their own journeys, and we're sending them off with our own reminders of love.
Years ago I saw the following phrase in a book of quilt patterns: "When this you see remember me." All of the families who have received quilts from the "circle of moms" have these words stitched into every quilt, a permanent record of love and affection from mothers who came together nearly twenty years ago through a connection at church and who continue to show love and support to our children.
Prayer: God, there are many ways you provide for us and one of those is through communion with each other. Our ties deepen when you are there and we become family to each other. Thank you for bringing us together, for the experiences we share, building memories to fill our hearts and bind us closer to you and each other. Amen.