Random Anecdotes of Antidotes in my Dotage

I have my own sewing room, which allows me to keep my messes projects out at all times. So I can snatch bits of time throughout the day to pop in and work on whatever suits my fancy. The minutes here and there spent sewing add up to about an hour, maybe two at the most. All this to say, it took the entire day today of my snatches of time to complete this one triangle:

Another border triangle for my Bible Sampler quilt

I had the dickens of a time trying to expand it to fit my measurements. As I ripped out multiple tries, I thought about my creative flow. I “dote” on one task which requires concentration, then follow up with an “antidote” on another that can be assembled carelessly. For example, these courthouse steps came together in between that one very fiddly paper pieced triangle. These blocks are using up unwanted strips sewn onto telephone book paper. They’re mindless and grow quickly. Fun!

I know the real definition of “dote” is to show extreme fondness and attention to another. I use “dote” as in, “takes all my attention because it’s complicated, and uses more time than it should”. The real definition of “antidote” is a substance that counteracts poison. I use it to mean, a safety valve that prevents burn-out.

All this to say, I realize that I always imbed a safety valve, which is to pace myself, whether the project be in the kitchen, the garden, or the sewing room. I want to enjoy my pasttimes for a long time, so measures must be taken to make sure I don’t wear out the fun factor on any one project.

In the garden, I jump from pulling weeds, to planting seeds, to trimming up and picking vegetation. It may look like I have an attention deficit, but it’s my way of keeping it fresh.

So if you’re struggling in the motivation department, maybe this antidote would work for you too.

Now to complete my wordplay. Where would we be without anecdotes? People love hearing personal testimonies. Biblical accounts originate mostly from anecdotal evidence. As I continue reading the book of Daniel, the stories grower wilder. They tell of him surviving threats of death by execution, only to be thrown into a fiery furnace and survive, only to be dropped into a lion’s den, and so on. These stories cannot be supported by hard historical fact. What’s a believer to think?

Well, that’s where a crucial requirement of personal salvation kicks in: surrender. We can only receive our faith when we take a leap of faith. Leaving our own limited powers behind, we rely instead on the trustworthy power of the Almighty God to give us new life in Him.

I had to memorize and recite Martin Luther’s third article in front of my entire church congregation when I was in eighth grade. It was terrifying at the time, but now I appreciate knowing these words so well:

“I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him: but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day, He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.

This is most certainly true.”

What a relief! It’s not what I do, but what He does, that grows my faith. He sanctifies me by daily forgiving me, not by measuring my own attempts to grow towards holiness.

This reminds me to start with prayer when I crack open the Bible and start reading; Prayer that the Holy Spirit would reveal His truth through His Word as He means it to be understood.

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