Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sam's Journal

Check it out! I'm the guest blogger over at Stash Manicure today!! I spent some time over there talking about Quilt Journals and how meaningful journaling about my quilts has become.

Here are some journal entries I didn't show over there:

I found some photos of Sam stuck in my journal...they hadn't quite made it to the narrative pages yet! (I'm further behind in my quilt journal than I want to be, for sure!!)

There are photos of a signature quilt I'd made for Emily's and Sam's youth leaders a few years back.  He'd signed his name "Sam ("The Man") Casada." 
:-D He loved that I let him immortalize his nick-name on a quilt! LOL

Sam journaled a little in the weeks before he died.  He was participating in a "Throw Down" (like Bobby Flay! :-D) with his youth group, and along with reading the New Testament in 40 days and also reading a couple of books, specific prayer times, and other character-building exercises :-), he was challenged to write something in a journal each day.  Listen to some of the things he wrote....
Today I started a throwdown.  Something to really stretch me in my walk with Christ.  As of right now, I am struggling with different temptations such as, porn, lust, lies....Also I'm trying to get to that place of total surrender.  God is working in my life with different things, but some of these things are what I'm supposed to do in life, also how to serve Him in the present.  Philippians 2:5-13  I'm overwhelmed.  But God...He will use me.  (5/11/11)

Loving reading our Bible plan so far.  It's great to follow Jesus around.  It's like hanging with a friend.  I also realize that this needs to be a consistent thing.  I'm not sure what God has planned for me yet, but I'm sure it will be something great!  (5/13/11)
Already starting to fall behind.  Sticking on schedule is harder than it seems.  Thought for the day:  My joy is found in serving.  (5/16/11)
I laugh when I see his entries getting shorter! Journaling was hard for him.  I love knowing some of his thoughts in the days just before he died.  No wonder I have peace!!!  He was a normal kid with normal struggles....but he was also extraordinary!! :-)  He was always the "lover" of our family -- affectionate, soft-hearted, eager to help.  Like the moon and stars of the quilt he wanted for Christmas (the top that I'd completed just a few weeks before he passed!), he could not be contained on earth!
Philippians 2:5-13 (ESV)
"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."

I'm eager to see the great things God does with Sam's life and death.  I'm glad Sam knew it would be great!!



Janet O. said...

How tender this is to me. What a blessing to have that journal to see where he was at the time he died. And I love that his Christmas quilt has a heavenly theme. I can see that your faith sustains you. God bless,

rubyslipperz said...

These quilting journals are wonderful! I did a post awhile ago on my blog about my niece who has done 3 of these...over the last 10 years...each quilt was with at least one of her 2 children. So, it's a journal of quilts and the children growing...

It's sad...but, I don't think that they make these journals anymore... =(

=) new follower =)

Connie said...

Your quilt journal is so wonderful. I read your post at Stash Manicure and am sorry for your loss. I'm also a new follower.

Shelley said...

Oh my gosh Mary Lou....your Sam is ministering to me today :)

Sarah Craig said...


The Civil War Quilter said...

What a blessing to have his journal! You know where his heart was for sure by reading his thoughts in print. You can tell by his quilt choice that he was "Heaven bound". It's beautiful just like your precious son was.

rebelreed said...

Sam left such a great testimony! I am honored to have been able to have shared just of few of the precious moments of his life!

Quilt Hollow said...

I love the idea of your quilting journals and I should have started that many moons ago!

As for Sam being normal...not in my eyes. From what you tell us through your words of blogging he was one EXTRAORDINARY son!

The photos you found of Sam are sweet...I sure can see who the brother is right? Hugs!!!

Patty Sumner said...

You know me I am the "journal Queen". Sam is doing great things even in death actually in his death. Just like the scripture you used....Jesus knew he was going to die and chose to do it. Our great Abba Father prepared him before he even was sent here. You Mary Lou, spend your days preparing Sam and he was willing to do whatever all for the glory of God. Sam's death would not have been so powerful (wow, powerful in death) had it not been for you and Jeff and your determination to raise him in the ways of the Lord. Hats off to you! In Sam's death the glory of God was evident not only in Sam's life but in his death. The way that you stood by Sam (in Sam's place, if you will) and greated Sam's friends, family and just those who stopped by...the glory of God was evident in you too. Blessings! God does not make mistakes in who he chooses to reveal his glory in! Thanks for being a willing vessel! Sam and you, have definitely made me look at my own life. Sam would love that, he is pushing me toward the Father! Thanks! I pray for you and know this is only the beginning of what God is going to do.

Madame Samm said...

Thank you Mary Lou for sharing your son Sam, through your entries, you have directed his bright light onto sew many of us. He no doubt was one of those souls who you felt before you even saw him....No mistaken, his light still shines with all of you...

Helen said...

Your quilt journal is an inspiration. What a wonderful record of your quilting memories and "masterpieces". Thank you for sharing it on Stash Manicure - I'll get started on my own journal right away!

StitchinByTheLake said...

I loved the post over at Stash and this one as well. And I especially loved those pictures of Sam. Because I didn't get an opportunity to know him personally it's a joy to "know" him through your words and pictures. blessings, marlene

Cheri said...

Beautiful quilt and beautiful young man. I love the picture's of Sam and his friends helping at the quilt show, such typical teenage attitude :)
I always told my kids when they were litte that I loved them more than the sun and the moon and the stars, that would be a good quilt depicting that.

soren2go said...

I receive such beautiful encouragement from Sam as you share his journal words. Thank you and may the Lord continue to bless you as you reveal His Love through Sam.

LynCC said...

What a gift for you to find that he knew he was headed for something great! It's a pleasure to get to know your son Sam as you share and celebrate him with us. What a poignant moment it must have been to find the photos of him in your quilt journal. {{{hugs}}}

Mrs.Rabe said...

Beautiful! Oh, Mary Lou! How wonderful to know where he was in his life and that he was ready to meet the Lord!

Peace, indeed.


Lori said...

Wow, I can't imagine what that must feel like to read Sam's journal. God did have big plans for him didn't he?

BelovedMrsMom said...

Mary Lou,

You and your family have been in my heart and in my prayers since that day Sam went Home. Your blog posts have touched my life and blessed my family in ways only GOD could understand.

Thank you for sharing the pain and joy of your journey these last several weeks while holding the FATHER's Hand.

Praying for you and look forward to meeting you in person soon.

S. Lynn

Melissa Jung said...

Somehow God led me to this blog tonight. I don't "follow" many blogs or people on the computer, but you and your family have been on my heart and mind these last many weeks so I look you up once in a while just to see how you are doing. the other day I was thinking I should mention to you how much I love and appreciate the signature quilt you made us. It is proudly on display over my couch everyday. The kids love cuddling in it, but I always have my watchful eye on it and make sure it is promptly returned to it's home when they are through. :0)

Mary Lou, You are such a testimony to God's strength. Keep holding on! - Melissa