needle and thREAD: the porch quilt and Give Them Grace

At the end of last summer, as the days cooled, I thought, “What a great thing it would be to have a porch quilt!”  You know, a quilt that wasn’t an heirloom.  One that wouldn’t mind a little rain (not that we get much rain.)  One that could sit outside overnight without protesting.  One that would make the swing a little more inviting in the cool of the morning or evening.  Or in the late autumn or spring.

In my usual manner of sewing=procrastination from other projects, I began the quilt immediately prior to my Thailand mission.  When I should have been studying, praying or reading.  And then it went in a box of fabric and disappeared from sight and mind.

But it’s April now, and I should be doing some spring cleaning.  (If you’re on Pinterest, you’ll see how much spring cleaning  conversation is flying out there.  How much of it I’ve pinned.)  So instead of cleaning, out came the sewing machine, and I finally finished the porch quilt.

Here is the quilted top, before I bound it.  Calling it a Porch Quilt gave me some mental room not to do any intricate quilting.  And not to stress when the tension was off and the back ended up with some extra loops here and there.  I even sewed the bind on the machine.  I’ve never done that before.

I had so much fun sewing it that I made two pillow cases to go with it.

There were many volunteers to test and model the quilt.


And then the minute Sam came home, he brought it all inside so it wouldn’t get rained on or dirty.
I think I’ll have to remind him what the point of the Porch Quilt is.

Last night I read one of the closing chapters of Give Them Grace.  I’m almost done now.  I have to say I love the concept: dazzling your children with the love of Jesus.  I love the questions it asks, specifically, How does the gospel inform our parenting?  I find that so much of the Christian polemic on discipline centers on Proverbs– which is good, but missing a huge piece of the puzzle.  And the author points out, Solomon (for all his wisdom) still raised a son who lost himself completely.  There is no magic formula, no do-this-and-all-shall-go-well guarantee in parenting.  I really like the idea of parenting from a place of grace, and offering that to our children.  But I find the book’s practical models off-putting.  One of the model conversations lectures (that are to occur at a time of discipline) I read yesterday was more than 400 words long.  I lost count, actually.  It was small print, almost a full page of text.  Another one that struck me earlier in the book was 327 words long, to be addressed to a preschooler after a tantrum about leaving the park.  Seriously?   I’ve already lost my kids at, “Can you tell me what was wrong with that choice you made?”

Find more needle & thREAD conversations at In the Heart of My Home.

8 thoughts on “needle and thREAD: the porch quilt and Give Them Grace

  1. I haven’t read Give them Grace yet, though I do read the author’s blog, and I read the Explosive Child at her suggestions (well, her suggestion to her blog readers in general.) It did help me with K’s extreme attention span (who’d ever think that could be a problem?)

    I can get the author’s idea that discipline doesn’t have to equal spanking but I get all muddled on her ideas about punishment being covered by the atonement – including fibbing and sneaking into a siblings room. I mean, it’s covered after repentance, but some consequences had better be there too and since I’m not about to let the siblings dispense it I’m going to do it?

    When I’m tired, and they have hit a new developmental stage, I can understand Ted Tripp. I think she’s onto some things about how the Evangelical society gets or doesn’t get love, justice, listening, feminism isn’t always wrong about everything, and men’s approval isn’t better than God’s, but her writing I have to read a few more times, and I’m still thinking about it.


    • I haven’t checked out her website yet, but the book definitely didn’t suggest that there were no adult-issued consequences for bad behavior. I did like her analysis of different types of morality, and that saying “please” and “thank you” are not spiritual righteousness. (Nor do right actions = salvation.) I’ll have to check it out.


  2. Ah!! I finally posted my thoughts on the book! I saw the title of your blog post and didn’t want to read it until mine was posted so I wasn’t influenced! 🙂

    Although, speaking of 400+ word converstions/lectures/ramblings, my last two blog posts are not for the faint of heart. They both came out incredibly long for some reason. No adults to talk to around here lately, maybe…? 🙂


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