Monday, August 17, 2009

Quilting Bee # 20

Good morning!! I think being it is our twentieth meeting, cake is in order! So I have invited our favorite Barrista to come by and create delicious coffee and tea creations for us and the cakes... well let me tell you. Warning this is not a low calorie meeting today!! We have Black Forest, Coconut, German chocolate, White cake with the most delightful lemon custard filling and a lemon butter cream frosting, Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, traditional white cake with white frosting, and traditional chocolate cake with fudge frosting. I have set them all up on lovely milk glass pedestals. Ohhh they are pretty!! I have racked an interesting quilt inside today as it is cool and rainy here, please pull up a chair and join me won't you?

Do you have a shelf full of books at home? I do...some are new and perfect, some old and worn, some fancy coffee table books and some old worn paperbacks. There are lots of subjects and genres. Some I've read once, some I have not found the time for yet others are worn and dogeared by my loving hands as they have been read again and again. I believe people are like books. That old adage, don't judge a book by its cover, is very true I have found.

I am guilty of judging others. I try hard not to, but I catch myself now and again judging the cover rather than the soul. I did it more before I was suddenly thrown into the group folks labeled; poor, welfare parent, person standing in the food bank line, woman with food stamps. Yup I have been that woman. It was a huge wake up call for me to suddenly go from being one of those lovely coffee table books to a used up paperback. You see I still felt like a lovely coffee table book, what I was lacking was the depth of that well used, well loved paperback. It was painful to be judged constantly. But like most lessons we are given..pain hopefully leads to understanding.

I found that the more I looked beyond my perceptions of what my eyes saw and looked at what my soul saw, the more beautiful souls I saw. Some of them were so profoundly beautiful and wise it shocked and embarrassed my soul. I had looked on them as a label..not a person. It was like someone had opened a curtain and all of these amazing people stepped out to greet me, welcome me, care about me. All of the people I had thought of as used up paperbacks were in fact precious old manuscripts to treasure and hold dear to my heart.

One such couple live in our little town, they are "slow" but the most giving people I know. I am greeted with a hug from them both each time I see them, they come running to me with "Ooooh Sarah how wonderful to see you!" They might not have seen me for ages, but never forget my name. Or they might have seen me yesterday..the greeting is the same, pure joy to see me!! They are to me a perfect example of being present in their perceptions of all. They do not care what we wear or what socioeconomic group I hale from. They see the soul!

So I was thinking this weekend as Nonni and I sat in our coffee shop, wondering if my ability to stay present with my own perceptions were in line. Was I still looking at people's souls or was I back to judging their looks and circumstances? I had to remind myself..people have their own path to follow, their own lessons to learn. Some of them are not pretty or fun..but ultimately it makes their book a much better read.

The cakes are calling me..I adore a good piece of carrot cake - I do. I will have a small slice of that and hmmmmmm maybe a skinny, double shot, English toffee latte. What can I get for you?? I am beyond blessed that you have come again! That I am still writing - whoo hoo I am writing- my 20th Quilting Bee!! Thank you so very much for coming!! Namaste, Sarah


Holly said...

What can you get for me? You just did...this was some beautiful writing m' dear. And, so good for me to continual remind myself to look with my heart and not my eyes when it comes to other Human Beings.
Love to you this day.

Oh, all right, just a smidge of the German Choccie...

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I don't want to judge any of the cakes by their exteriors, so I will have a slice of each, please!

cinner said...

The carrot cake sounds scrumptious.The view is much different from our hearts and eyes. Have a great quilting Bee.Take care.

Dede said...

The heart is so much nicer and easier to get along with than the eyes. Thank you for writing such a beautiful post!

jane augenstein said...

Oh, Sarah!!! What a beautiful post, a real eye opener. Much better to look with the heart than the eyes. I believe that is how I found Gilly, the ugly duckling that turned into a beautiful swan!
I believe I will have a tiny slice of each please with a Latte on the side!
Beautiful post!

Snap said...

Beautiful post, Sarah. One of the most difficult things to learn -- not to judge. Accept. Understand. Love. Compassion. We are all star stuff after all!

Sherry Byrum said...

Very Good subject Sarah! I couldn't agree with you more. I have found the same thing "Don't judge a book by its cover." The same with people "Don't judge by the cover." Some of the most wonderful people, giving, loving people I have ever met would scare most people. Like the bearded, rough looking biker friend Ron has that was the only one who ever rode with him to go the hour and half drive to have his radiation treatment. Of course I would go with him but that guy was a real friend!
And some of the most beautiful people on the outside who look like they have it all together are the most selfish people I've ever met. We all do it, judge people, its hard not to but I give everyone a chance and I judge by their character, not how they look.
Wonderful, wonderful topic!
That German Choclate cake is calling me!

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

So true! When we are on the top, we don't see what is right in front of us and are quick to judge those that may not be "up to our standards". The fact is, we just may not be up to their standards with our puffed up preening self. We often miss the beautiful people by not looking to the interior...just seeing the cover and if it is time worn, only means something worth looking into. Always enjoy quilting with you!!

Marisa @ Getting Back To Basics said...

We need to do better at not judging others based on their appearance or station in life. I always find it amazing how some people who are obviously going through hard times can remain so up beat and positive. I often have to ask myself where their self confidence comes from.

Emmy said...

Thanks for these great thoughts. You really never do know what someone is going through or has gone through. I am grateful for some of the hardest times in my life as it has made me a much better and more understanding person.

Misty's Creations said...

Thank you Sarah,
I'll try that! I may have to borrow the word "Clanlett" from you, don't know why I didn't think of it! Great word!!

LindaGJ said...

Yes, a beautiful post. I too have learned through this life of challenges to never judge a book by it's cover. Happened to me when I was a lot younger and as I faced life's challenges even more, I had no right to judge, as I know all people have their paths to follow. I grew up overly sensitive, compassionate, and caring. This has brought hurt to me in some ways, but I have learned to put myself in their shoes. I think in another life I was insensitive and very selfish, and this life I am just the opposite. I wonder if that attracts people to me that can hurt me and push me around. Well, it has, but that is one thing I still need to work on...not being a people pleaser and standing on my own and not let people take advantage of my good nature. I love what you wrote so much. It really is an eye opener and something everyone can relate to. I've had a lifetime to grow and understand and be more compassionate of others you would normally not understand. I keep thinking I am on God's path and think I have reached that point of learning not to judge, but then I'm slapped in the face and realize I still have a lot to learn, because something will come up and I am judging. God lets me know it too!!! I guess we are on this earth to become aware of our flaws even if we aren't aware of them, and I'm not talking about the physical, I'm talking about the heart. Once you think you have learned that lesson and maybe all the lessons God wants us to learn, well wouldn't you know it, there is another lesson just around the corner to be learned!!!
Have a fabulous week and thank you for your wise words!

Renee said...

I love the new picture of you. Gorgeous.

This post was one of the best I have read in a long time Sarah. You have a lot of heart and your children or lucky to have you as their mother.

Love Renee xoxo

Barbara said...

Love this one, Sarah. Such a good reminder. We went to some new friends' house for dinner this weekend, friends who are quite, quite well off --polar opposite to where we are at right now. I worried all week, feeling wierd about it. What could we have in common? But I worried for nothing. They know where we live. He grew up in our neighborhood. They were happy to share their evening with us and we were happy too. Happy, we hadn't let that stand in the way. So it's wierd that you would post this right now, because I was guilty of this myself, this very weekend. A good reminder. And Love the new header!!

Christine said...

We all need reminders to treat people well no matter what they look like. I saw an old man with a can crossing the street very slowly and a young man in a sports car impatiently waiting for the old man get out of his way. I internally chastised the young man for his inpatience with the elderly. Now that you say this, I don't know what was going on in that young man's life. Maybe he had a reason to be in a hurry -- a sick family member or a wife in labor. Who knows. Thanks for the reminder not to judge others.