A Patchwork of Beginnings


It’s January. Time for new beginnings. Like trying to get my act together. I’m going to give that a go. Again. And by “getting my act together” I mean:

  • eating healthier
  • being physically active
  • creating an organized house
  • doing a better job of sticking to my budget
  • being more intentional about my relationships
  • devising a more efficient writing schedule
  • staying with the more efficient writing schedule
  • reading more
  • stepping up my Bible study/quiet time
  • maintaining the flower bed
  • remembering everyone’s birthdays
  • seeking out speaking engagements

Phew! Just reading this partial list is exhausting. Every year when people ask about New Year’s resolutions I say I don’t make them because they’re just a set up for failure. You see, I know me. I am beast at beginning things. I do it all the time. Nobody begins things better than I do.

But I’m horrible at follow through. Really, really bad. Let me give you an extreme, albeit good example.

When my dear friend, Beth, was pregnant I decided I was going to make a baby quilt. I carefully chose complimentary fabrics in blue and yellow to go with the nursery’s decor. Standing among the bolts of color in Hobby Lobby, I imagined the “ooos” and “ahhhs” when the beautiful quilt was presented. I pictured the child dragging her favorite blankie around with her as a toddler and preschooler. Envisioning the adoration bestowed upon me for this special creation, I made my purchases and flew home to start this project of love.

Of course, this brilliant idea came to me mere days (maybe even day) before the baby shower and there was no way I’d have it done by then. So, in typical Jen fashion, I wrapped a finished strip of the quilt with a note to return it to me after the shower so it could be assembled into the rest of the magnificent patchwork.

Sadly, the quilt wasn’t finished when the blessed event occurred. I’m pretty sure the top was finished, but I hadn’t attached the filling, back, and binding. The joke was to present it to the child at her first birthday. Then at kindergarten graduation. Then at high school graduation.

The young woman is now a freshman in college. COLLEGE! I would say I’m aiming for college graduation, but it’s kind of a thing now. Maybe when she gets married. Or better yet, when she has her first child.

Thankfully,  Beth and her daughter, Baylie, have shown nothing but grace and mercy. It’s become quite a joke among us, along with about a bajillion other people, and I can’t stifle the giggle while writing this. (Maybe “mercy” is a stretch.)

My Beth and Baylie are a lot like God. He is grace and mercy and it doesn’t matter how many times I choose not to follow through. Each day is a new beginning.

The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. ~ Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)

Lamentations isn’t a book I’ve spent a lot of time in. The title just sounds so depressing, doesn’t it? Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I realized one of the most encouraging and oft quoted scriptures is from that particular book.

Every day is a chance for a new beginning. Every morning is another opportunity to make the right choices. But more than that, every minute is another opportunity to start over and make the right choices.

Maybe this will be the year I finally get my act together. And maybe getting my act together will mean finishing a quilt I started nearly 20 years ago. Then I can begin another one.

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Jennifer Mobley Thompson
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  1. Tina Kachmar on January 11, 2016 at 8:27 AM

    This is why we “vibe”. I have the same disorder. And I have a quilt…. I started it when I was pregnant with my daughter. She will be 22 in a few days… Every day is another opportunity 🙂 Thanks for the reminder.

    • Jen on January 11, 2016 at 10:03 AM

      I need all those new opportunities to become a finisher!

  2. Gretchen on January 11, 2016 at 9:31 AM


    There have been days when I have gone to bed earlier, or at least WANTED to go to bed earlier to get those new mercies as soon as possible.

    • Jen on January 11, 2016 at 10:04 AM

      That’s why I take naps. (Or at least that’s my new excuse for naps!)

  3. Diane on January 14, 2016 at 4:07 PM

    ‘Every day is a chance for a new beginning. Every morning is another opportunity to make the right choices. But more than that, every minute is another opportunity to start over and make the right choices.’ Every day, every minute, every day, every minute…ok, that’s 4 new projects started. Phew! I am exhausted with all these starts!! Love your honesty, Jen. You sure ain’t the only one! But we do get grace, and we get mercy, and i for one am soon thankful for both!

  4. Tara on January 16, 2016 at 6:34 PM

    My cousin has been married for 3 years. I had intended to give them a pencil portrait (by me) when they got married. Haven’t…even…started…it…
    So thankful for mercy and grace and for true friends and family who love us through our best intentions.

  5. Denise Thompson on January 18, 2016 at 5:24 AM

    Thank you for sharing! I’m awesome at beginnings as well and awful, really awful, at follow through!
    My list resembles your list so much and includes so Many of the same things! My fervent prayer to God is to help me finally get it right someday, week or year! We talk about this ALOT!! I am so thankful he is not finished with me yet and that I am a work in progress still and will someday be his finished masterpiece! Love to you!

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