Bring on the Smiles

© jb katke

What makes you smile?

Any number of things can bring one on. Babies, helping others, special people, a favorite TV show, a hobby, if you enjoy your job, even work can instigate a smile.

In a recent visit to my local grocer, I brought a smile to a lady without even trying. We were standing in the checkout lane; the cashier very slowly was ringing up the customer of the woman ahead of her. The cashier was far more interested in conversation than doing her job.

The shopper in front of me turned, sighing and giving me an eye roll. Understanding how she felt, I couldn’t resist asking is she had ever visited another discount store in our area. “Yes, I have.”

“Then you know how fast they ring up your bill, this cashier would never make it working there.” She laughingly agreed.

Spurred on by her friendliness, I commented, “I don’t like these self-checkouts that everyone seems to be getting. I think if they want me to ring up and bag my own purchases; the manager needs to put me on his payroll.”

Again, laughing, “You’re funny! You should be a comedian.”

I doubt that, I only have one joke in my repertoire. Things in life can make me see the humor in them, although it may take a while. Recently, in the course of doing laundry I made a big boo-boo. Using the large bottle of detergent can be too heavy for me; I kept a smaller bottle that I routinely refill. Such was the case when I added more detergent. I think this is detergent, I should have checked the bottle before just dumping it in. Girl, have more confidence in yourself, you know what you’re doing.

After I filled it (of course) I peeked at the label. Yep, I put fabric softener in the laundry detergent bottle. Both of the bottles are white, making confusion easy if one is not paying attention.. Because I was raised in an economical home I found a way to use the mixture anyway. Let me know if you need my ‘recipe.’

Getting back to my grocery story; emboldened still more, I shared, “God is so good, you know through all these hard times, we have not wanted for anything.” She nodded in agreement, “you’re right, I haven’t either.”

Eventually both I and my new friend ahead of me got checked out. Each of us walking to our vehicles, “Thank you for making my day lighter,”

It was nothing, really. To bring a little joy in someone’s life doesn’t hurt at all. It can make or break a day. Nest time you are out, give it shot, what do you have to lose…except looking foolish? You’ll get used to it, I did.

It Is Finished

How can I blithely spend a few minutes jotting down an accomplishment that has taken me years to complete? I am the only quilter I know that can make a brand new antique. But it is finished.


This cathedral window quilt began in a workshop many years ago. My goal was three-fold, learn something new, use up scrap fabric piling up everywhere, and follow in our foremothers example of using the fabric on hand.

But Then…

For the mostpart I stayed true to my intent. But then I used up all my blue scraps and was far from done. So I begged scraps off fellow quilters. Eventually I used all my white fabric too. So I used off white colors. But then I was reduced to going out and purchasing more.

Life has interruptions. In the course of this project, I took on quilting for a lady that had inherited an unfinished quilt. She had everthing needed to complete it, all I had to do was put it together.

“You can keep all the white fabric left over, I’ll never use it.”

What a blessing! I was back at it, able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Just The Stats M’am


If you’re not already sitting down, feel free to do so.

Keeping in mind one yard is 36 inches. Three forths of a yard will make one block. One row consists of 8 blocks, bringing the yardage up to 6 yards. To cover a queen size bed required 11 rows. All total, 66 yards of went into this. It weighs in at 9lbs.


A Work Of Love

This helped fill my evenings with handwork to keep myself busy. I’m not good at sitting and doing nothing.  Things worth having are worth working for. This work of love filled my heart as I imagined my family enjoying the warmth it provides.

Jesus comes to my mind, as I consider his lifetime of love, example, provision for mankind, and his sacrificial death so that we might spend eternity with our Creator. He finished His task too.

I included an up close picture of the quilt to see what can’t be seen from a distance. If you keep too much distance from God, your going to miss knowing Him and what He has to offer. Its woth the time investment to see Him better.



Have you ever had an inadvertent conversation with a know-it-all? There is no point in bringing up reason or logic because this individual has an answer for everything.

This is how mine went:

My thought: I would enjoy reading a book about an average Christian and how God impacted her life.

Mindreader: Why don’t you write it?

Me: Are you kidding? I’ve never dreamed of writing or becoming an author. I wouldn’t even know how to go about it.

Know-it-All: You could learn. Did you notice that Heart of America Christian Writers Network website about a conference in your area?

Myself: Yes, but it’s expensive.

God: Following me is costly, but its worth it.

I: You know I’ve gotten myself in trouble too many times with saying things better left unsaid.

Circumstance Planner: I let that happen for you to realize how much power there is in words. Now that you understand that, write!

Me: What about that quilt ministry i was involved with? That was serving you.

Creator: Yes it was, but that was your idea and it didn’t go as planned did it? You and I don’t think the same, I have something different in mind for you.

Myself: You know how uneventful my life is. There’s not much to write about. It would require using a computer, you know how much I hate technology. I get in situations that i don’t know what to do.

Timeless One: That’s part of the world you live in, I know some folks that can help you deal with it. You’ve had some experiences to write about, I’ll help bring more of them to your mind.

I: There’s another issue, interacting with people. I’m not comfortable sharing my life with others.

Jesus: I love people! Tell them about me. Sometimes I can be funny, tell them that too.

Me: You mean like this house I’m living in? The type I swore I’d never live in?

Holy Spirit: You’re catching on.

And so my story begins…