When Life Hands You Scraps Make a Quilt

When Life Hands You Scraps, Make a Quilt

When Life Hands You Scraps, Make a Quilt.

My friend and I chuckled at this quote hand-painted on a wall in a Chesapeake, VA sewing shop. I love the twist on the cliché, “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

While I like the idea of incorporating fresh lemons in my cooking, rather than the usual lemon concentrate, I often forget to purchase them at the grocery store.

However, as a mother of two and a novice quilter, I always have scraps. Scraps of fabric from previous projects, quilts, or curtains stuffed into bags. Once in a rare whim or craft room organization, I color-coded my scraps into bags.

I quilted this square using the paper-piecing technique. A technique taught to me by my friend Robin. Positioned on a prime piece of real estate in my home, this quilted square serves as my coffee coaster. Every morning, this scrap piece turned quilt square reminds me of our friendship and the decades of struggles we have each faced.

This quilt square sewed from fabric scraps is my visual reminder of the Apostle Paul’s words to the church in Rome: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.(Romans 8:28)

No matter how unraveled I might feel from unexpected hardship, I know: You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.(Psalm 139:5) and I can never escape God’s presence (Psalm 139:7)

This quilted square is a cheerful reminder that one day; God will use all my scraps to create a beautiful quilted tapestry for His glory.

So, when life hands you scraps, make a quilt. 

~April Dawn White,

© 2016, 2021 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

I’m April Dawn and This is My Month

April Dawn This is my month

Hi! I’m April Dawn and this is my month. There’s always been a bit of fun, joking, and curiosity behind my name. So today, on April Fool’s Day, I thought I’d plunge into some interesting notions surrounding me and my name.

I’m a July (not April) baby!

Contrary to what most people assume, I was not born in April. My birthday falls in the heat of July.

My mother chose two names, one boy and one girl name. Regardless of the month, her daughter would possess the name, “April Dawn.”  If was a boy, my father wanted the name, Shawn Oliver. (Being that my maiden name starts with a ‘B’ that child would have horrible initials.) Thank the Good Lord, I am a girl 🙂

My parents are not hippies.

When my husband’s extended friends and family received our wedding invitations, they  doused him with the same question, “Are April’s parents’ hippies?” To them, the name April Dawn sounded like the name of a free-spirited love child. In reality, my husband’s Irish/Italian family is far more robust and lively than my quiet farm-raised family. The joining of our family resembled the union of the Portokalos and Miller family from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” (This is still my favorite all-time movie!)

 

My sister and I were both given the birth name April.

For many years my sister and I differentiated ourselves by the phrase, “Big April and Little April.”

From my toddler years through my teen years, my parents served as foster parents. After much prayer, another April wobbled into our home. My mom kept this little girl in the church nursery and felt prompted to pray for her. Over many weeks, my parents, who had been fostering for years, learned this younger April was entering state custody. Already positioned in the foster care network and known to the child, my parents advocated for her. Little April teetered into our home and our hearts forever. Five years her senior, we used the term “Big April, Little April” until her legal name change.

Meaning of April Dawn 

Latin scholars derived the word April from the noun Aprilis, the fourth month of the year, and from the Latin verb aperire meaning “to open” because leaves and flowered opened in April. [1] The name Dawn offers promise, hope, and light. [2] The inner nerd in my comes alive when I learn about the origins of words and names. Imagine my delight when I discovered my name means to give promise, hope and light.

April Dawn. First and middle name.

Even before my parents adopted my sister, my parents and friends referred to me as April Dawn. To this day, If someone uses my first and middle name, I take it as a cherished throw-back to life in the 70s and 80s.

 

Fast-forward to Adulthood

I began my writing career with the blog titled “Red Chair Moments”. During that time, I signed off each post as “April.” But, as my professional writing career developed, and I received payment as a freelance writer, I added back my middle name. I said goodbye to my first website, Red Chair Moments, and relaunched under my name April Dawn White. Why? I researched and discovered several other writers named April White. Some of these writers do not share the light of hope in Christ I desire to display for my readers.

👉What’s the story behind your name? Please share!

Hugs & Hope,

April Dawn White © 2021

[1] http://wordcentral.com/cgi-bin/student?April

[2] https://www.names.org/n/dawn/about

 

When Your Heart Needs a Friend

Where do you turn when your heart needs a friend? I’m not talking about the gym friend or the book club friend. Instead, a friend who’s walked through hell and still has a hallelujah in their heart.

When your heart needs a friend, you need someone who’s been where you are, fought similar battles, and survived with joy? Do you have such a friend?

I Woke Up in the Land of Oz in Need of a Friend

I know what it’s like to wake up in an unknown place or circumstance. Like, Dorothy, I also woke up in the Land of Oz. One day, in 2015, I woke up totally paralyzed. Sporadic muscle weakness, which occurred for months, one day led to paralysis. What’s happening to me? How long will I be here? An explosion of unknown experiences surrounded me, like Dorothy in a Technicolor™ new and confusing land.  

Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis

Thirteen months after experiencing debilitating symptoms, doctors renamed the Land of Oz, Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis. Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis affects one per 100,000 people. [1] It is lonely to possess a rare disease. Daily, I battle emotional isolation. No one around me understands the random paralysis, fluctuating weakness, daily pain, and embarrassing impaired cognitive functioning.

My Heart Needed a Friend

My heart needed a friend who shared the same rare illness. God sent Nancy. Mutual friends introduced us via email and we formed an instant connection. (Only God could arrange mutual friends to know two people with our odd illness.) You could imagine my delight when I discovered she had a meeting near my town. Prior to her return flight, we shared a table at Panera. I sat across the table from someone with my illness. I sought comfort in knowing I wasn’t the only Dorothy in the Land of Oz. For the first time, I knew someone truly understood me.

I peppered her with questions about the illness, her treatment, knowledge of doctors, counseling, etc. But most importantly, her friendship filled me with hope. Hope that I’m not alone on this journey. Hope that I have another person who understands this chronic illness. Better than an aromatherapy (which I use) she infused me with hope through prayer and power in Christ’s name. Nancy’s friendship penetrated my weary heart and helped me renew my faith in God.

God doesn’t call us to fix other people’s problems but to walk with them.

A true friend is someone who will listen without jumping in with a “fix-it” mentality. But rather, someone who is “quick to listen and slow to speak” (James 1:19).

We are relational people, not created to live in isolation. This was on Paul’s mind when he wrote, “that you and I be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Romans 1:12).

You Are Not Alone on this Journey

Friend, whatever battle you are facing, know you are not alone. God sees you and He cares for you. Seek refuge in Him and find comfort in the words penned by David (perhaps when he was in the desert), “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7).

Singer, songwriter Cody Carnes wrote a beautiful song that captures the essence of this message. I suggest you listen to “Run to the Father” and allow the words and melody to saturate your soul.

If your heart needs a friend, please allow me to be that friend to you. You can reach out to me on my website, subscribe to AprilDawnWhite.com, on Instagram @ aprildawnwhite_author, or on Facebook @AprilDawnWhiteAuthor. Thank you for your patience if I take a few days to respond.

~April Dawn White

© 2016, 2021 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

Photos by Tom Wheatley, Gabor Szuts, & Takahiro Sakamo Unsplash.com

[1] http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1171678-overview#a6

Pile Your Troubles on God’s Shoulders

Learn to Pile Your Troubles on God’s Shoulders.

Burdens lurking at every turn mound quicker than our weary minds can process. These additional burdens are unavoidable and not of our choosing.

“Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders – he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out. He’ll never let good people topple into ruin.” (Psalm 55:22, MSG)

 

What Trouble is Piling up on You?

It is the bitter wrapped in sweet as your firstborn celebrates a monumental occasion?

Is joy wrapped in burden? Is your family stretching the all-too-thin dollar an inch farther for the <ahem> surprise child?

Perhaps tender compassion is wrapped in heartache as you choose to bring mama to live with you instead of a nursing home. A glance in a mirror and you see a middle-aged woman simultaneously caring for her aging mother and raises teenagers. One striving for independence, the other forced to relinquish independence. You pray for strength each day.

God Invites us to Pile our Troubles on His Shoulders.

Moses understood the stress of a sandstorm of burdens. He led the Israelites away from the oppressive former life of slavery under Pharaoh. The great need surrounding Moses overwhelmed him. His motley crew of refugees, though free, complained constantly.

The escaped Israelites had a front-row seat to the miraculous parting of the Red Sea, yet they had short attention spans of God’s mighty hand. God provided a daily Door Dash delivery in the middle of the desert as manna, but they still complained.

In desperation, Moses cried out to God, “I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.” (Numbers 11:14)

The Lord replied to Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short?” (Numbers 11:23)

When burdens pile up, remember the heartfelt plea of Moses and God’s invitation to pile our troubles on His shoulders. God’s arms are not too short to reach, nor His ears too dull to hear.

© 2021 April Dawn White

Images courtesy of Laura Adia and Austin Walker Unsplash

Stop the Stampede of Negative Thoughts

Stop the stampede of negative thoughts

How do we stop the stampede of negative thoughts? If left unrestrained, negative thoughts will gallop through our mind, like wild mustangs on the open range. When doubts and anxious thoughts stampede our minds, we can lasso negative thoughts to the truth of God’s Word.

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5, ESV)

Lasso Negative Thoughts

Motivational speaker and life coach Zig Ziglar coined the phrase for negative thoughts. Ziglar called it stinkin’ thinkin’. “We all need a daily check-up from the neck up to avoid stinkin’ thinkin’ which ultimately leads to hardening of the attitude.”–Zig Zigler

Wrestle Stinkin’ Thinkin’

If left unattended, stinkin’ thinkin’ thought seeps into the cracks of our minds and are difficult to wrestle. “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (Psalm 13:2)

If stinkin’ thinkin’ has your mind captive, as yourself, Who Told You That?” This oldie but a goodie article is filled with encouraging scripture and affirmations for dark days. 

Good News!

The good news is that God never intended us to keep these thoughts to ourselves. He desires us to surrender our troubling thoughts to Him in prayer. “Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught because of what my enemy is saying.” (Psalm 55:2)

In return, God proposes this promise. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

God already knows our thoughts before we think them. Psalm 139 illustrates God’s pervasive presence in our life. Verse after verse of this chapter describes God knows our circumstances and our heart. “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar” (Psalm 139:2).

God focus on our mental health. Our Heavenly Father focuses on our mental health. He considers our thoughts (even the troubled and anxious ones) precious. “How precious to me are your thoughts God! How vast is the sum of them!” (Psalm139:17). “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” (Psalm 139:23)

Stop the Stampede

We can stop the stampede of negative thoughts that gallop across our minds. Remember to lasso them captive to Christ with the truth of God’s Word.

Put a cowboy or horse emoji in the comments below if you need to lasso negative thoughts. I’ll go first.🤠

©2021 April Dawn White

Photos courtesy of Clarence Alford, Pixabay and Pieter via Noorden, Unsplash

 

Will You Join Us for Hope? 

Marilyn Nutter and I created an online Facebook group, called Destination Hope.

Click Destination Hope to Join. 

Destination Hope, is an interactive community of sharing hope in daily living. Link arms with us as we grow in our knowledge of Jesus, our present, and ultimate hope.
The Lord is Our Keeper
God is with us in the happy and the hard; in the miracles and the mess, the ordinary and the spectacular. Here you’ll have an opportunity to share conversation and encourage one another.
As we journey together, may “you and I be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith (Romans 1:12).
 

 

 

 

New Year’s Queso Mishap

I had a New Year’s queso mishap. I think I lost a powder-dipped fingernail in the queso. I made a queso dip for the kid’s NYE gathering. When I looked down while stirring the artery-clogging goodness and noticed a missing fingernail. It’s possible the nail popped off at the grocery store or in the shower, but I didn’t notice its absence until I stirred the queso dip.

Last year, I learned how to DIY powder dip manicures.  In full disclosure, this was not because of COVID salon restrictions, but because I am cheap frugal.  I mean, why spend boo-coos about of money on nails. I’d rather save the money and buy a shirt or shoes from TJMaxx.

The Trick is in the Set-Up

The trick to DIY dip manicures is the set-up.  The set-up is crucial for a good foundation for the nail primer and powder coating to adhere. Skipping the proper set-up will cause the nails to pull-away or fall off during New Year’s queso mishap.

DipWell suggests these steps for proper powder dip set up:

1) Cut cuticles

2) Buff the nails with a 180-grit nail file

3) Remove excess oil from nails with alcohol. (Not Pino, but rubbing alcohol.)

I skipped these steps because my cuticles look all right and I didn’t think it was crucial. But with a missing nail and a saucepan full of queso- I was wrong.

 

Why am I writing about a missing nail and a New Year’s queso mishap? Because it all about the set-up. How we set-up our morning and plan our day will determine our attitude, outlook, and whether or not we have fingernails in queso. 

Will you join me in the New Year to try to avoid queso mishaps? It won’t always be easy. But if I have you to help hold me accountable we can do it together.

What is something you want to do this year? Read new authors, experiment with new recipes, focus on intentional relationships, create new crafts, or journal?

 

My Plan for 2021

This year, I am reading (or listening to) the Bible chronologically.  By reading the Bible in order, I hope to gain a better understanding of the historical context and culture surrounding the events.  I recommend the free YouVersion Bible App. You can choose a book of the Bible and the version, King James Version, NIV, etc. I am choosing the Message Translation (MSG). This app also has an audio feature, which I love.

If this interests you, here is a website: https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-reading-plan/chronological.html .

Big News Flash!

Drumroll please…We have a book coming out this year. Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart will hit the bookshelves this spring. Will you join Marilyn Nutter (my co-writer) and me for the excitement? We created a private Destination Hope Facebook group. An interactive community designed to share hope in hard times and in daily living. Link arms with us and join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1837806079708594.

I don’t want you to experience the mystery of “Is there a fingernail in my queso?” So let’s join forces to make take one step at a time. Don’t worry, I’ve already stumbled by not finishing this letter before the start of the New Year. We’re not going to be hard on ourselves this year. Grace upon grace.

 

Add an 🖐💻👍 in the comments below if you will join me in the New Year without short cuts or mystery queso ingredients. 

Hugs, hope, and queso,

April White

P.S. No one was harmed in my queso mishap.

 

Pin It on Pinterest