The Missionaries, The Amadinda, and The Quiltmaker (in other words: Serendipity)…

Serendipity:  the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

Have you ever experienced that magical moment when you stand back in awe of what just happened; how people are interconnected in really special ways.  and when the connection is revealed, you simply say, “That was God.

The Missionaries:  A new family sat behind us at church one Sunday.  I turned around to shake their hands and asked the usually questions, “Where are you from?  How long have you lived here?” etc.  The family was on their last leg of gathering financial support for their first missionary term in Alaska.  As the conversation continued, it was discovered that D had been a student at the school where my husband did his student teaching many many years ago.  Here we were sitting in a church in Illinois, speaking with a family from southern Indiana.  There was a connection, a very unexpected connection.  Our families became friends, and it was through this friendship that our passion for missions grew.  I was priviledged to spend time with this family once they were on the mission field in Fort Yukon, Alaska.  That experience opened my eyes to so many things; a different culture, true dependence on God for provision, and what it looked like to love God so much that you want to share that love with others.  I believe God put my family and theirs in the exact precise place at that exact precise moment in time.  God is good like that.  As a result, our friendship has continued, our interests in missions has grown, and we have been privledged to go on missions trips to Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

The Amadinda:  My husband and I met in college on the football field.  We were both percussionists in the marching band; my husband a percussion performance major and me, a percussionist wanta be taking marching band as an elective.  H’s percussion teacher built amadindas;  a melodic percussion instrument somewhat like a marimba or xylophone.  Fast forward 39 years.  After many years of being a secondary/high school band director, H changed his teaching emphasis and started teaching instrumental music to 3rd-5th graders using the El Sistema philosophy of teaching music and character education.  He commented to me that he would like to have an amadinda much like ones that his college professor made.  A week later my percussion teacher from high school posted on facebook that he was downsizing his studio and had an amadinda for sale.  I couldn’t believe it.  We inquired as to the specifics of the amadinda and discovered this amadinda was made by H’s professor.  My teacher and H’s teacher were colleagues and friends.  Well, of course we purchased the amadinda, and it is being used to help young children develop a love of music.  God’s hand was definitely in the timing and connections.

The Quiltmaker:  A friend of mine, A, introduced me to quilting.  She did beautiful work and encouraged me to try my hand at this art form.  I am a seamstress and quilting seemed like a logical next step.  The piecing was not difficult, but the stitching was a little trickier for me.  I practiced and practiced until my stitches were even and small.  As time went on, quilting practices started to change from hand quilting to machine quilting.  I viewed machine quilting as not really quilting.  As far as I was concerned, it was cheating until my arthritis started progressing to the point it was difficult to hand quilt anything.  So, reluctantly I switched to machine quilting on my little sewing machine.  If you have ever tried quilting a queen size quilt on a regular sewing machine, you can appreciate the diffuculty.  For years I fought the notion of purchasing an actual quilting sewing machine.  Then another friend of mine L became a ‘spokesperson’ for Handiquilter.  L did beautiful work as well and spoke so highly of the HQ machines.  I started investigating which machine I wanted and if the price fit in my budget.  While visiting a local tourist attraction last Christmas, H and I ventured into a store called “The Quilt Shop”.  We started chatting with the owner, and I shared some of my frustrations trying to locate a HQ quilting machine in the area.  There was another dealer, but they were not able to help me with my purchase.  S helped me select the machine I wanted, placed the order for me, and then when the machine came, she came out to the house to train me on the machine.  Talk about service.  God’s timing is always perfect.

I share each of these vignettes, not as profound philosophy or religous truth, but rather as an encouragement to look at the moments of your week, day, month, or life as pieces put together by God.  Your experiences with people and events are masterfully linked together like the pieces of a fine quilt or the notes of a symphony.

Do you have a “that was God” story to share?  Please add your story in the comment section.

Until Next Time,

Rita

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