March 19, 2018

Our Toddler Nature

I have been sick all weekend (my usual devotion writing time), so I've chosen to republish this devotion that was originally published in March of 2014.

Devotion for the Week...

Aiden will be 12 in May, so over the last almost 12 years I have spent a lot of time with small children. There have been my own three boys, of course, but also the kids belonging to my friends and the kids I babysit. While the kids have all had their own distinct personalities, there have been some obvious similarities.

1. They all throw fits when they can't have something. Have you ever taken something from a child because they're not allowed to have it? Their little fingers grip so tight you have to pry them off the item in question, and once you take it away they howl as if you actually cut off their fingers.

2. They all take what they want, when they want it. Their sibling has a truck they want? No problem. They'll just snatch it and start playing with it. How many times as parents (or babysitters) do we take a toy from the snatcher and hand it back to the child who had it first? 

3. They all head straight for the things they know they're not allowed to have. Whether it's an electrical cord, an older sibling's ipod or a kitchen cupboard, they want nothing more than what has been forbidden. As soon as they think the adult in the room is distracted they make a beeline for it. You can tell they know it's wrong by how they react when they see you coming. They either drop it and try to look innocent or they grab on tighter as if daring you to take it away (see point #1).

4. They all push limits, testing how far they're allowed to go before they actually get into trouble. If you say 'no' to something, but then allow them to do it with no consequences, you can be sure they'll do it again, and they'll push a little farther next time.

5. They all hate to clean up their messes. Spreading toys and books all over the floor is fun. Picking up those same things to put them away is awful, capable of inducing whining, complaining and crying.

Gradually, with plenty of work on the parent's part, these traits are replaced by things like self-control, sharing, patience and responsibility. I find it interesting, though, that toddlers reveal our true nature as humans. As adults, we like to believe that we are good people and, for the most part, we are good people. But we're still people who have the nature of those toddlers, even if we have been trained to behave in a more civilized manner.

The Bible says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), and looking at toddlers we see that this is true. No matter how sweet a child may be, there are always times when selfishness or disobedience shows up. A child has to be taught to share, to follow rules, to consider how their actions affect others.

Even when we are grown, there are times when those less-than-desirable traits show up. Maybe we get angry with God because we aren't getting what we pray for or maybe we're pushing the limits, testing how far we can go before God disciplines us, or avoiding an apology we know we need to make to clean up the mess we made with our words or actions. Whatever the case may be, if we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that our inner toddler is not completely grown up.

I love the book of Romans. It's a tough book to understand, but there is so much food for thought in there that the effort is worth it. We might be tempted to think the apostle Paul had it all together, that he was perfect in his thoughts, words and actions. After all, he wrote a big chunk of the New Testament and God uses his writing to help us learn how to live a godly life. But Paul struggled too. "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do" (Romans 7:15). Can you relate? I know I can.

Though we work hard to live godly lives, there is no doubt that we are working against what our human nature wants. Our human nature is like a toddler - selfish, demanding, wanting to explore as far into the forbidden as possible. In short, sinful and in need of Jesus.
Weekly devotions on Christian living |

March 18, 2018

Spring Into Colour 2018

It's that time of year again, when people in more southern climates are sharing pictures of their first flowers of the season while outside my window is white, white and more white. There are new tulip bulbs planted under the snow, but it's still going to be a while yet before I can see them 😊

Spring is almost here, though, and I'd love to be surrounded by lots of colour. To get a dose of all the colour I'm craving, I'll be hosting my Spring into Colour Instagram photo challenge again this year. This will be the third edition of the challenge and I'm so looking forward to seeing all the glorious colour that will fill up the hashtag! I hope you'll join in!

The fun begins on Tuesday, March 20, the first day of spring here in the northern hemisphere, and runs for 14 days with a new photo prompt posted each morning. This year I've changed up the prompts. Rather than using a single colour as a prompt most days, I've chosen categories of colour, like 'analagous colours' or 'primary colours' to give everyone a chance to use the colours they like best.

Here's the list of prompts.
Spring into Colour 2018 |
We'll be using #springintocolour_2018. Don't miss the _ before the 2018, or the 'u' in colour (I am Canadian, after all 😊).

And did I mention there are prizes? Well, there are! Thanks to some wonderful, generous sponsors, I have the following prizes for participants in the challenge.

Three 6-month subscriptions to Make Modern magazine (affiliate link).

A $50 gift card to Mad About Patchwork.

Winners choice of 2 PDF patterns from Quilting Jetgirl.

A $50 USD credit towards patterns in the Sew Fresh Quilts pattern shop.

Winner's choice of 2 PDF patterns from Slice of Pi Quilts.

And I'll add a prize myself, which will be the winner's choice of 3 PDF patterns from my pattern shop.

To be eligible for prizes, IG accounts must be set to public for the challenge. I'll use a random hashtag picker to choose the winners the morning of April 3rd and they'll be contacted by IG message. The more photos you post in the challenge, the more chances you have to win!

I hope to see your colourful pictures in the challenge 😊

*Note, this post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click the link and then make a purchase I may receive a commission. This does not affect the price you pay.

March 12, 2018

Beautiful Generosity

Devotion for the Week...

I love that Jesus used parables to teach us because I love how easy it makes it to identify with the lesson He wanted us to learn. Stories are so much better than just straight teaching, don't you think?

Take the parable of the vineyard workers, for example. It can be found in Matthew 20, but here is the condensed version: A vineyard owner goes out looking for workers first thing in the morning and hires some, saying he'll pay them the going rate for a day's work. A few hours later, he goes out and hires a few more, saying that at the end of the day he'll pay them whatever is right. Twice more through the day he goes out, hires a few workers and says he'll pay them whatever is right.

The end of the day comes and the owner tells his foreman to pay the workers, starting with those hired last. Those workers get the going rate for a full day's work, which makes those who were hired first assume they will get more. When their turn comes, though, they are also paid the going rate for a day. Feeling cheated, they protest that they worked longer than those who were hired later and so deserve more.

The owner says to them, "Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?" (Matthew 20:13-15).

Jesus was telling us that those who serve God all their lives and those who give their lives to Him at 90 are all going to get the same reward. Don't you love that generosity?

Just think of the thief on the other cross as Jesus was being crucified. He acknowledged that Jesus was innocent and asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom, to which Jesus replied, "I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). It can't get much more last minute than that. He was a man who, by his own admission, deserved to die for the crimes he had committed, and yet when he acknowledged Jesus as King, Jesus immediately conferred on him the right to eternal life.

That man would never live a single day as a Christian, never tell anyone about how Jesus can save people from their sins, never show by his radically changed life the power of God. And yet Jesus promised him eternal life in paradise. Do you know why?

Because what we do for God has nothing to do with our salvation.
Weekly devotions on Christian living |
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9). It wasn't our work that brought us salvation to begin with. It is entirely through faith in the work Jesus did for us, which means that how long we have believed or how much we have done in service to God is completely irrelevant.

All that matters is that we believe. The moment we believe, we have eternal life with Jesus thanks to His beautiful generosity.

March 09, 2018

Scraps Squared Pattern Release

Are your scrap bins overflowing? I know, it's a silly question, isn't it? It seems like if you're a quilter, then your scrap bins are always overflowing, no matter how many scrap quilts you make. It's like they multiply when we're not looking 😊

To help you tame those scraps, I'm pleased to release my Scraps Squared pattern today.
Scraps Squared quilt pattern |
Scraps Squared finishes at 60" x 72" and uses small squares in two different sizes. Change your scraps into a gorgeous quilt!
Scraps Squared quilt pattern |

Scraps Squared quilt pattern |
I made my quilt using 4 patch blocks I had made as leaders and enders, which is a great way to make a lot of units easily. Make the 4 patch units while you're making other quilts and before you know it you'll be ready to put your Scraps Squared together 😊

To celebrate the pattern release, Scraps Squared will be available for 25% off the regular price until March 20th.

Get your copy now from my Payhip shop or my Etsy shop!

As always, if you make Scraps Squared, I'd love to see your version. Tag me on IG (devotedquilter) or FB (devotedquilterdesigns) or send me an email at devotedquilter at gmail dot com.

Happy scrap sewing!

March 06, 2018

Cross Stitch in Make Modern

My quilt, Cross Stitch, is in issue 21 of Make Modern magazine (affiliate link), which is available now. The issue includes a lot of other gorgeous designs too, and I can't wait to have time to properly enjoy them all, rather than the quick flick-through I've managed so far.
Cross Stitch Quilt |
The X design reminds me of the stitches in cross stitch, though they aren't quite the same. I really loved using the two different sizes of blocks to create the design and the limited palette gives the quilt a striking simplicity.
Cross Stitch quilt |
My Cross Stitch quilt is made with fabrics from the Northcott Gradations and Gradations Brights collections. If they look familiar, maybe it's because I used the leftovers to make my Necessary Clutch wallet once the quilt was finished. I have always loved near solids and Northcott makes some of the best ones I've ever seen. There's so much texture in each one. I wish I had yards and yards and yards of all of them!

I debated for days about how I would quilt this and I didn't actually decide until I was sitting with it on the sewing machine, with the needle down and ready to go. Talk about waiting until the last minute! I finally decided to do simple back and forth lines, but to vary the direction of the lines to emphasize the shapes in the design.
Cross Stitch quilt |

Cross Stitch quilt |

Cross Stitch quilt |
Cross Stitch finishes at 65" x 65" and with only one block (in two sizes) it comes together really quickly.

To get your copy of Make Modern issue 21, just click here (affiliate link). Because Make Modern is a digital magazine, you'll get a link to download the issue immediately so you can dive right in 😊 And, since this is issue 21, Make Modern has created bundles of their first 20 issues, so you can pick up bundles of issues 1-10 and issues 11-20 (more affiliate links). I'm willing to bet you'll find lots of fun things to make in there!

As always, if you make Cross Stitch, I'd love to see your version, so tag me on IG (devotedquilter) or FB (devotedquilterdesigns) or email me at devotedquilter at gmail dot com. Hopefully you won't have so much trouble deciding how to quilt yours, lol.

*Note - this post contains affiliate link, which means that if you click on a link and then make a purchase, I may receive a commission. This does not affect the price you pay. Thanks for you support!
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