fire-island-9-2016-smallThis week I had a birthday. I like birthdays because they feel like my own personal New Year’s Day — a fresh start in the middle of the year. This year, I took a personal retreat. I needed to step back, clear my mind and get some perspective so I went to Fire Island for a few days.

Like pieces of an improvised quilt, thoughts slowly came to mind and gently fit themselves together. Unlike New Year’s Day, with its hype and hooray, the process was quiet, like the island itself. Like hand-stitching. “Aha!” moments were more like “Ahhh….” moments.

One of the things that came to mind was “Ask, Seek, Knock.” You may recognize this as a scripture from the New Testament, but whether you believe in the Bible or not, this is just good, practical advice about how the world works and how to get things done.

Put in quilt terms: Design, Gather, Make.

Asking/designing is coming up with an idea. “What do I want? What do I need?” You can’t get what you want if you don’t know what that is, right? Get a clear idea. Make a drawing. Write it down.

Seeking/gathering is looking for the means to make it happen. There are two parts to this. The first is “What resources do I have?” Dig into your stash. Gather up your tools. Make a list of contacts. Add up your cash. The second is what you need. Don’t think of this in terms of what you don’t have; rather think of it as “What resources are available?” This is where you have to do some searching. Go to the quilt shop or online to find the fabrics and tools you need. Do some research. Network. (If you’re religious, include God in your networking – pray.)

This is often where miracles happen: The thing you are looking for appears from a completely unexpected or unknown source. But the reason it comes as if “out of the blue” is because your being involved in the searching process activates energies larger than your own. You put your money where your mouth is by putting your resources and effort on the table. You put legs on faith, and faith took on wings.

Knocking/making happens when you find the resources and tools, or an opportunity. You have your fabric, so you cut, sit down at the machine and sew. You put in the application for that new job or for the school you want to attend. You show up and do with your hands and your brain whatever the next step is to get where you want to go.

And again, chances are you’ll find help along the way. You are never alone in this process.

Every day, in small ways and large, this process of asking, seeking and knocking helps each one of us to make our lives. You are a maker. What will you make today?  What will you make of today?

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This week I’m finishing the draft of my next book. We plan to have it ready by the beginning of December, in time to ship for Christmas.  Stay tuned for news.

Happy quilting!  RaNae 🙂

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