Many of you don’t know this but I am exceptionally shy, I think my shyness has often been a stumbling block for me feeling like I don’t fit in. I have my ideas, but to verbally speak them out to people is difficult.
That’s where a recent magazine article helped, it told people what the quilts of hope does and mentioned what we needed and I didn’t have to say a word to anyone.
One of the main difficulties is approaching churches and asking if I can bring the quilt to them and it’s a real problem because I have several shelters and safe houses who want a quilt, but am struggling with places to visit and get folk to help make more quilts. What I need is a permanent location where people could also come to sew.
I’ve run a lot of craft groups and attended a lot of groups and I’ve a few ideas on what works best… anyway, that’s for another post.
The building my church has is pretty fantastic with rooms available, exceptional disabled access, on-site parking and a lovely cafe (where I come and work most days because it also has fantastic internet). If I had a dream location to run a craft group, my church building ticks every box. So you’d think I’d just ask right?
No… too shy!
I’m not what most people call a praying person, I’m more of a chatting to God person. When we’re in the car (God and I) we chat. I was having one of these chats the other day, telling God how I am just too shy and if I had more confidence I’d ask for a room. What I needed was someone to ask for me… like Aaron!
“God, I need an Aaron!”
For those who don’t know the story it’s in Exodus chapter 4.
Short version, God asked Moses to speak to Pharaoh but Moses said he wasn’t a good speaker and asked God to get Aaron to speak for him. Whether it was Moses’ shyness or something else, I needed an Aaron to speak for me.
And like most little chats I left it at that.
Two Sundays ago, a few days after the Woman Alive article came out (yep, another post I have to write to fill you all in) I was in the church cafe with a friend and showing her the article. A woman from church I didn’t know sat with us, so I showed her the article too. Immediately she looked and said, “Oh, I read that, I think we should contact that person and get her to come to church”.
“It’s me!” I said.
We chatted for a while about shyness and confidence, because it’s not just shyness that is my barrier, it’s my confidence. I suppose it’s a third blog post I’ve to write, how even years after escaping an abusive environment, you can still hold the affects of who you were. Well, the woman said she would ask for me and off she goes.
Two days later I was in the queue at the cafe and stood behind a guy from church… now I need to go off track a moment here…
So, I have two ‘official’ craft/art groups that I run, but I’ve unknowingly started a third! I was asked by a friend recently if I would teach some people to crochet, but there was no certainty that they’d come to anything I arranged. So not wanting to put myself out I said I was always at the church cafe on Monday mornings and if they came to the cafe I’d stop what I was doing and show them how to crochet.
Well, the next monday two women turned up with crochet hooks and wool, the next monday a friend also came and well, a week later a fourth. so, now we have a Monday morning crochet class. Some folk at church have mentioned it to me and I look innocent and swear, “I didn’t invite any of them, they just turn up!” and they kind of do. I believe knitting and crochet groups work best when they’re seen, knitters might look at a notice for a knitting group, but when they see knitters knitting, they come over and ask to join in.
Ok, back to the story.
So this guy in the cafe queue mentions my little crochet group and I do my, “I swear, I didn’t invite them” routine and I make a comment on how we’re taking over the cafe. He says I’ll need a room at church and I mention that I do, but I’m too shy to ask. Well, I knew this guy worked for the church, but it’s a big church so I didn’t know where he worked, but as it turns out, he works for the conferencing team, booking out the rooms at church. He says he’ll ask about a room for me and off he goes.
So a few days later, I’m having coffee in… Yep, the church cafe (I told you I’m in here a lot!).
A third person comes to me and says he’s read the magazine article and has been sent to ask what I need so he can find me the right room for a textile group! He gets the information and goes off.
And it hits me, my little chat with God? he took it and ran with it.
Where I was too shy to ask, God sent Aaron.
So, I’m writing this from, Yep, the church cafe. I’ve got to stop here, because in ten minutes one of the pastors from church is coming to sit and chat about my ideas for using textiles in the community. Not just the quilts of hope, but ideas to help give confidence to women making their house a home (another post I’ve to write).
But hopefully, soon, the Quilts of Hope will have a permanent place to make quilts (and more)… but I still want to bring the quilt to you!
Just a little note at the end.. The Quilts of Hope is coming to Liverpool in November, I’ll add more information when I have it, but if you want to know more add a comment and I’ll message you with the details.