November's Focus: Gratitude and More Quiet Stitches

The fall is my favorite time of year, but I was glad to see October come to a close.  So far, September and October have been quite challenging for me.  Not a single thing seemed to go as I planned.

But then, I'm often reminded that my plans really should entail a whole lot of prayer and waiting on God for direction.  I am in need of a much quieter heart at times.

I'm hoping that November goes a tad easier on me but I know December is going to arrive soon enough.

I have some quilts to finish up before Christmas.  I'd also like to get some donation quilts finished to give away, as the weather is getting pretty chilly at night now.

Aside from quilting, I've had some personal challenges that sidelined me momentarily.  

Last month, I found out that I have to have the first of four scheduled surgical procedures done just before Christmas and the concerns the doctor shared with me had me frazzled for a while.  It makes me glad that I'm a quilter, because medical expenses are certainly a budget-busting proposition at Christmastime.  Good thing I've got a basket of flimsies, as well as an order of batting I'm waiting on (Promised delivery date is this Friday!).  After I piece together some backings, I can make a few beautiful things while I figure out what I'm doing these days.

And since money seems to always want to disappear around the holidays, I also just put down a 50 percent deposit to have retaining wall work done before my back yard winds up in my neighbor's basement.  Unfortunately a 50 percent deposit means my wallet needs to locate the other 50 percent when the work is completed.  It's definitely a little stressful, but certainly manageable.  I will sleep more soundly when the work is finished.

Again, I'm grateful for that basket of flimsies, because I need to make some gifts appear!

November should give me some much needed rest and time to get quilting done.  I've got a whole week off coming up near Thanksgiving, so I'm definitely planning on curling up with some good books, as well as my needle and thread, and just enjoying the good life.

Oh, and I'll be baking pies.  Because that's what I do.  If you catch me and I haven't been reading, stitching, or baking, something is seriously wrong!

For a while now, I've been keeping a prayer journal and writing daily (well, almost daily), and I think it helps me slow down and savor the life I'm blessed with.  Waking up early for some quiet devotional time keeps me grounded, but I didn't ever have too much focus.  I could easily get lost for hours reading and stumbling across more and more things I wanted to look up, and then writing and writing and writing until I absolutely had to work.  

As I haven't been feeling well lately, I've reeled back in a lot of my activities.  I was excited to find a Monthly Scripture Writing Plan from Sweet Blessings.  I saw it on a post on Christy Jordan's Southern Plate.  I scribbled out the plan for the month, and I just added it to my daily prayer journal and morning writing routine, and I think it is going to be perfect for this season of my life.

The start of a new month, new week, or even new day for that matter, is always encouraging because I can set some intentional goals for myself.  

My goals always include quilting, trying some new recipes, being intentional and authentically me, and just believing that I have a calling on my heart to give, love, and serve.  After a little planning and prayer, I keep waiting to see what's in store when I focus on that leading for my life.

What do you love most about starting a new month?