Sunday, August 23, 2015

Some Hand-Stitched Quilts -- Leave a legacy

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. Colossians 3:23

Mrs. Analee married late in life to a truck farmer who lived in his family home, way back off the road. She never had children, but she did what farmers' wives did half a century ago. She kept the house, planted and picked along side her husband, lived by the farm rules of "eat what you can and can what you can't". She sewed and crocheted to clothe herself and her husband and decorate their home, and she quilted - beautiful hand-stitched quilts, she intended to warm her husband and herself in the cold winter months. She made courthouse steps and Ohio star, log cabin and sun-bonnet Sue, crazy quilts and friendship quilts, more than she could possibly use. So she tucked them away for a colder day.

Mrs. Analee lived to a good old age and passed before her husband, the quilts still tucked away in a chest at the foot of the bed. At his passing I was given the responsibility to dispose of the estate. I knew no one would come to a sale "way back off the road," so I set up tents and made little rooms on our property along the road. One tent was filled with kitchen furniture decorated with plates, silverware, cups and saucers and all the other necessities of a country kitchen. Another tent contained bedroom furniture with a bed, spread with her bright quilts. Another tent had the wood stove and barn equipment left from days with mules.

People traveling the busy road stopped not just for an estate sale, but to revisit childhood days spread under the tents. Practically everything sold before the day was out. The prices were reasonable and the display tugged at the nostalgia the purchased items would bring to the buyer's home. Only one major item remained at day's end. Though I had spread the quilts on a bed and turned them several times for customers, no one had purchased even one quilt. Odd, I thought. I love quilts and this is quilt country. I gently folded each one and placed them in a storage box in our basement for safe keeping, thinking maybe we should take them to the mountain shops for consignment.

Years passed and the quilts remained in the box. The VBS theme this year was pioneer days. Someone suggested we use quilts to decorate if anyone had any. I opened the box and removed quilts and quilts and quilts. We hung some on the bare walls of the fellowship building. Others we spread for family groups to use during puppet and lesson time. The children seemed to know they had a place of their own where they could sit quietly while the gospel was given.

Mrs. Analee was a Christian woman. She would have been glad her quilts had been used to bring the gospel to children. Mrs. Analee didn't know she was leaving a legacy. She was just doing the best she knew how to do; but without her careful stitches we may very well have had wild Indians instead of quietly amazed children. l'm hoping Jesus whispered to her that the quilts she loving stitched brought peace and joy to the church built just two doors down from her farmhouse, way back off the road.

We do not know how God will use the things we leave behind to affect generations to come. I pray we all leave a legacy that demonstrates our careful attention to God's purpose for our lives.

Blessings for God's purpose,

Hey Kids
Have your parents or grandparents shown you things from their childhood or told you stories from the good old days? Ask about an old quilt or baby blanket and take a few minutes for snuggle time this week. Ask questions about the role God has played in the lives of your parents and grandparents. You will likely find some amazing and moving stories. You may just be making memories that you will share with your children.
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