Friday, September 12, 2014

Serendipity Moments - A Giving Sampler

A Giving Sampler

When I posted my first Serendipity Moments, I was going through a box marked: “Lynn’s Writings and Art Designs”. Today I am sharing another item found during that time. 

I simply loved creating it and it was joyous to watch God guide me in the process!

First, here is the background.

The end of January, 1993, the  women’s ministry at the church I attended was to have a weekend retreat. I had been retired for 6 months from teaching. I no longer had the outlet for creating all those bulletin boards and other joy-filled items for my elementary aged students! I longed to stay active in these artistic ways.

I offered to make the gifts given at junctures during the upcoming two day retreat - favors at tables and “something” after each of the talks. 

The challenge was that the woman heading the retreat had no real direction from the Lord what the retreat theme would be as these preparations had to be begun. Her only nudging was that it would be on  Forgiveness

Others had offered to speak and we all went on faith and the Holy Spirit’s guidance and later watched it all flow together perfectly - as if we had conferred with each other! 

The Gift of Forgiveness is in the Giving

As I contemplated forgiveness, I wanted to zoom in on the outcome of forgiveness .  I loved doing counted-cross stitch so a "paper sampler" seemed a given to prepare as one of the gifts. 

All creating was done with paper, pens, rulers, scissors, and an electric typewriter. Next  came Kinko’s for copying onto very pale gray toned card stock paper ( that color not evident in how my camera caught the images below) and then individually pinking the edges of the  5”x7” paper copies, coloring, punching holes, and tying each sampler with a pink ribbon ( x 50, the number of women who were to attend our retreat - maybe it was 100?? - there were LOTS of copies that had to be made!)

When the need for forgiveness comes into my life, it becomes a heart issue and a spiritual issue. My heart is affected and my emotions can go all kinds of ways. The place I need to run is to God’s heart - the One whose heart suffered taking on all my sins with his death and suffering on the Cross - so that I am forgiven and, with Him, I am able to forgive another. 

Hearts. The Cross. 

Those are the core needs.  But first, surrounding that freedom I seek, are hearts and crosses askew ( the outer border of the sampler ). A pure heart is one blob of a circle. The cross it more an X - a cross not quite set straight. This is where I dwell while I live in un-forgiveness. 

Seek and Find

The Scriptures I chose to center within the sampler are ones that speak to what I have been given because of God’s forgiving grace.They are within the inner border where his heart and my heart are flowing together. They are reminders of where I want to try and keep living - and where I want to return when I realize that forgiveness is once more a need in my life.

The back of the sampler is one for acknowledgements to those who made our women’s retreat all that it came to be. 

However, I chose to change the outer border from the front of the sampler, to words that are the transforming gifts Christ’s work on the Cross completed so that, as I am forgiven, I can team with Him in offering grace to others.

Humbled.   Compassioned.   Tender-Hearted.  Saviored.  Reconciled.   Transformed.   Loved.


  1. This is beautiful Lynn - you are so creative and so much thought went in to creating this. Those attendees were blessed I'm sure by your efforts and the way God was guiding.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Fiona! I truly loved doing this sampler ( and the other ideas God gave to me were also a joy ). Those who received the gift were most appreciative. One of the woman who attended that retreat read this and told me that she still has this sampler! That was fun to know.

      Always glad to share!
      Love, Lynn

  2. Soooo special to see what you made & hear the story behind it Lynn. When my dance group used to run retreats or lead church services, often with a section of forgiveness or releasing something to Jesus at the foot of the cross. We always created something special for each person to receive. Although different to what you made it sparked special memories of hand made items. The most we ever made was about 120!!! Lots of creating!! So often people were teary, moved, amazed at what God revealed to them through it. Special! LOVED what you made!!! Lotsoluv Kerryn

    1. Thank you for sharing your parallel memories of kindred times, Kerryn. I know that you understand that within the context of where such representative gifts are shared - those participating have gone to those deep places where the "gifts" that represent them become reminders of the moments shared.

      And I love the deep moments and where God takes me in the creating - then joy in the sharing and being a part of the corporate experience.

      If we did not live a half a world away - we'd chat for hours about such creations and bask inhaling every moment!

      Love, L.


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