The photos are of a Quilt recently made by Muriel Brown. Thank You, Muriel, for sharing your story, Arleen’s inspiration, with me and allowing me to add it as a Guest Post for my readers to be encouraged and even inspired to use their own talents.
This is the short version of my story. Nine years ago I and, Dan, my best friend and husband were in our condo in Florida when we received the call from Janie, our youngest daughter. The doctor had just told her and her husband, Chris, that he was 99% sure the lump in her breast was cancer. The biopsy would confirm it. We flew home the next day and began a journey through the maze of treatments, tests, known and unknown fears of the future, questions with no answers, and a desire to trust God for His help, His plan, and his overflowing hope. Our prayer was to honor Him in all we did through the trial. God responded to our prayers by heaping peace, mercy, and such an amazing sense of His presence through it all on us. Janie endured with a faith and trust that astounded all who knew her. She never faltered, did everything the medical community recommended, and lost the battle Mother’s Day weekend of 2010. She is home with her Savior. We know where she is and rejoice for her. One day we also will meet our Lord face to face. But meantime we have work to do. And much of the work was adjusting to the new normal, especially for her children. Becca went back to Houghton College, Daniel entered his senior year in High School and Carly started 8th grade.
It seemed like all our energy went in to keeping life on an even keel. We lived on Cape Cod and have a small cabin in Vermont. My husband , Dan, is self-employed doing much of his work on computers. So we could be quite mobile. Pack the computers and our brief cases and we can set up an office any place. So we would go to Vermont to help out, but still continued to work. When we lived on the Cape, I had a large finished basement and had a quilting class with friends every Wednesday as well as working part time in a quilt shop and teaching classes there. It was a great creative time. As time went on I stopped working at the shop because we were in Vermont so much and also had to stop my Wednesday quilting with my friends. We eventually were in Vermont more than Cape Cod and my quilting took a back seat. Plus all my quilting things were on the Cape. When Janie died, the first year was very busy with the family. The second year, we decided to sell our Cape House and live permanently in Vermont. The previous year we sold our Florida condo for the same reason– we were never there. Last year we moved to a condo in Rutland to be closer to Carly.The round trip from our cabin to her house is twenty miles. Sometimes I made the trip three times a day. So this made sense. (We still have the cabin).
So here is where Arleen’s book, “Created to be Creative, find purpose and fulfillment through creative outlets”, comes in. I had all my quilting, craft, scrapbooking, and music equipment with me, but had no energy to create anything. What was always a great joy had become a burden to find a place to store it, let alone do anything with it. When I read Arleen’s book I became so inspired to put my creativity to use, realizing God gave it to me, that I pulled out all my Quilting equipment, some great scraps, and started cutting, sewing, rejoicing , and became so energized and excited that I feel like this book was a God given gift just for me. And my quilt, “Arleen’s Inspiration” was the result, and that is not all. I used my space managing creativity and persuaded my husband to help me switch our big upstairs master bedroom downstairs to our quest room and vice versa. He even called a mover to do the moving of the two rooms to spare our lives and backs! So now I have an art studio with beautiful lighting and the only cost was the two moving men. Everything I need is within reach and “Created to be Creative” was the inspiring force.
So many of Arleen’s thoughts and verses from the Bible touched my soul. It was just what I needed to read. I spend every day studying the Bible and it is the source of my spiritual strength to weather the storms of life. Her book ministered to my soul, encouraging me to not just feed my spirit but feed my soul also. You just can’t plant vegetables to feed your body, you need the flowers also to feed your soul. God used her to help me see that and I love her for it and would encourage her to keep on writing!
Arleen is the Author of: Created to be Creative
The book that encouraged Muriel to become creative again.
to purchase this book Click Here