Welcome to Mary Lou's Sitting Room

Hello! You are entering the world of Mary Lou...hope you have fun here! I created this blog to be a place of refuge in the storm, inspiration in the fog, light in the darkness, and hope for your life. I love to encourage people and have fun-I hope you will find this true as you visit me here. I plan on writing about all types of subjects, because I am interested in all the good things God has made, so hang on for the ride~! I love to sew and also cook...hence the name..

Friday, August 28, 2015

Just a Simple Girl

Well, let me start off by saying I'm not really a "girl" anymore since I'm beyond the age of "girl-hood", but inside my head I am still a girl.  :)  So, that being said...I am not fancy, I'm not beautiful, I'm not rich, I live in an average home in an average neighborhood. I don't have great ambitions - never have - but I do want to make a difference in this world.  And that is actually a huge ambition, and yet each and every one of us can attain to it!

How?  Just by being you and using the talents and personality you've been given...that's how!  It doesn't take a great ability or beauty or money to start a chain reaction of blessing in this life.  A smile.  A helping hand. A prayer. A thoughtful note.  Some people call this "random acts of kindness."  I call it bearing fruit for God.  It's what we're called to do.  We all have our "sphere of influence" - people in our lives that no one else can reach but us.  This is important to realize because when we do, we understand the importance of showing them Christ's love that they may not get to       experience anywhere else.          

One of the keys to success in bearing fruit for God in this life is not comparing yourself to ANYone else!  One side of comparing is pride and on the other side is depression.  Neither are healthy or productive.  So we accept ourselves as God made us, with whatever gifts he's given, and we go forth in His name to just love on people.  And everyone can do that!  Just be a simple girl-or guy. Be who you are and let God show you how you can make a big difference in someone's life today.

The pics I've added show ways to be simply "you"....make muffins for a neighbor, invite someone over for a visit, give flowers, sew a tablerunner or something else for someone - or just smile!
 Just go out there and be simply, beautifully YOU! And let the love of God flow...
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Patchwork Life

If your life is anything like mine, it's a combination of the good and bad, the beautiful moments and ugly moments, the fun, carefree times and the stress of trying to hold it all together as a parent or in a workplace environment.  Some days I'm just glad to be alive and other days people and the world around me are so negative and disappoint me so severely that I just want to leave it all behind.

How can this be?  It's because we have been created with emotions and also because this world is not paradise.  In the Bible Jesus tells us that "in the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)  So we have basically been promised that we will experience trouble and hard times. Rich Mullins wrote a song about troubles that I can relate to and it also encourages me. You can find it on YouTube. A lot of his songs encourage me because he's just real and sings about real life.

The hard times will make us strong if we let them.  I've heard people say that trials will either make you bitter or better, and I believe that's true.  It's a matter of perspective and attitude.  When I was in grade school I was made fun of all the time.  I would often go home in tears and my mom would just tell me that kids do that because they're jealous of me...although I couldn't for the life of me see anything they would be jealous of!  I was just a normal kid - not really pretty, not rich, not stylish, not good at sports..just ordinary.  But what I learned from the pain of being treated that way was that I never wanted to purposely cause that kind of pain to anyone else.  It helped me to become compassionate.  And God also taught me about forgiveness at that young age.  Forgiveness is freeing.  Compassion is essential to live a Christian life effectively.

So as I reflect on these things I see my life as a quilt that has been pieced together of all types of fabrics (I am a quilter, so this is a good analogy for me).  In a scrap quilt there are all colors and types of prints used - some are spectacularly beautiful- some very ordinary; some I might not even like, but when you add them to the scrap quilt they become one lovely piece of artwork and you would never even notice a particular fabric....you see the whole, not the individual pieces.  That's how God sees us - one beautiful creation and that's how we should see ourselves.  Don't obsess over the not-so-nice or  repulsive parts of your life - see what God sees!