Sunday, May 3, 2009

Off-roading and Quilts

Last week I went on vacation with Dale. We set off toward Moab, Utah for some outdoor adventure. My mom and dad joined us for our 2nd annual Moab reunion. While the guys did some all day Jeep trips, my mom and I pushed our limits rock-rappelling, rafting the Colorado River and then we joined up with my dad and my husband to Jeep around the ruddy cliffs. Later I even tried some rock climbing.

Moab leaves you feeling much stronger, braver and dustier than when you arrived.

After our adventuring with my parents, Dale and I reunited with a group of Rubicon Jeep owners (all members of the incredibly time-consuming, incredibly helpful Rubicon Owner's Forum 0f which my husband is a part). We took on trails, learned more about dusty sandstorms and team work in the few hours we had together than you can ever learn from reading a book.

In the slower moments (aka scouting out how to work over the next obstacles) I read So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore a thought provoking easy read that a friend had urged me to check out (Now I want to pass that word along to you--it is excellent!).

One of my favorite things about Moab is seeing friends each year in the same place, around the same campsite, doing the same trails together once again. This picture of the Jeep tilting is from the trail "Cliff Hanger" and don't worry he didn't tip over.

This year one of my highlights was reuniting with a woman named Dee and her husband, Bob. She and I first met 2 years ago when we were on the same off-roading trail, our husbands driving their khaki Jeeps, us alternatively reading and cheering them on. Dee initially impressed me with her hunger for reading and her curly auburn hair, so of course we hit it off. I imagine Dee is probably my mother's age (I haven't asked her), but that didn't create a gap between us. She's a ravenous creative, making more gourmet meals and quilts (finishing them by hand) for fun and then just giving them away. A truly inspiring sort of person.

After first meeting them in 2007, we learned that Bob and Dee could be called spiritual seekers. Bob had a background in the Jehovah Witnesses. But, after our 2007 Moab trip Dee and Bob met Jesus. This is another amazing story. Short version is another couple in the Rubicon group introduced them and they liked him so they invited him into their lives.

So when we re-united in 2008, Dee pulled me aside, told me she had guessed there was something deeper in me when we first met, told me about her love for Jesus and then asked me to sign a copy of Ruby Slippers she had brought along. I was both honored and slightly amazed at her enthusiasm to read a book written by a young girl on womanhood. Her eagerness was a huge compliment.

Another year passed and I didn't hear from Dee, as is usual for us Jeep enthusiasts between trips.

So last week I looked for her in Moab morning Jeep meetings (this is when all the Jeep drivers meet and discuss which trails they're going to hit). She found me in the crowd of Jeepers, gave me a big hug and told me she had something to give me. I followed her to her camp site and she pulled out a large white trash bag. What on earth? I thought.

I opened it up and found a kaleidoscope of reds and whites. Dee announced, "It's your Ruby Slippers Quilt." I could not believe her handiwork, the lovely design. It's just beautiful. I gave her a hug and then began poring over the details.

Home again, I've found a spot for my Ruby Slippers quilt, right dab smack in the middle of our bed, to remind me that no matter how small sales numbers look, there is a woman named Dee who was touched by my work enough to create this for me with her unique gifts.


Anonymous said...

what a treasure of a gift! and such encouragement for you, precious moments like that make life so rich!

Gretchen said...

What a beautiful gift! And, that picture is hair raising!!

Susy Flory said...

What a blessing! "Quilt" moments remind us of why we make the sacrifices to do what we do. And there is something very special about quilts...I think there is love woven into the very threads. I love this story.

Anonymous said...

And never forget how God used that amazing combination of Jeeps and Moab and people to call one couple to salvation. Wow. I am amazed at the big and bountiful grace of our God. Keep shining for him

Anonymous said...

Wow, how amazing that God blessed you with a friendship that is now eternal, and a beautiful blessing of a reminder of your faithfulness to use your gifts for the kingdom. Keep shining sister!

Amy said...

Wow...that looks like a scary trip, but I'm glad you liked it! I'm definitely not that adventurous! :)

That's an amazing quilt! Thanks for sharing this great story.

Jodi H. said...

Great story! I was practically in tears when I saw that lovely quilt. What a meaningful, beautiful thank you she has given you!