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Hi there!

I’m so happy you’re here with me again today. Usually, I love to chat about all things needlepoint, but this blog post is waaaaay different from the others on this website. It’s sparked by an experience I had earlier this morning. So if you’re here to learn how to make the clouds on your needlepoint canvas look like big puffy marshmallows, click here. And if you have a question about your project, scroll down to the comments box and ask away. But if you want to learn more about my “things-that-make-you-go-hmmm” encounter, then just keep reading…

I was drying my hair and listening to Pandora Radio…

when Bill Withers started singing “Lean on Me”. I’ve probably heard that song a million times. (Well, maybe not a million, but you know what I mean. I’ve heard it A LOT.) Thing is, I never really paid much attention to it. Yes, it has a good rhythm and Bill Withers is a gifted singer, but today, I listened to the words – and it struck a chord deep in my soul.

Maybe it’s because I’m still gathering my wits from the recent fire at Perdido Key. Or it could be that the nightly news is the culprit. (Surely I’m not the only one who’s disgruntled over the state of affairs in Washington, DC.)  Whatever the reason, the fact remains that the song spoke to me in such a profound way that I hit replay – again, and again, and again…

Do you know the words?

They’re seared in my mind – and upon my heart – but here they are in case you aren’t familiar with the song.

“Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on
Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won’t let show
You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you’ll understand
We all need somebody to lean on
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on
You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you’ll understand
We all need somebody to lean on
If there is a load you have to bear
That you can’t carry
I’m right up the road
I’ll share your load
If you just call me (call me)
If you need a friend (call me) call me uh huh (call me) if you need a friend (call me)
If you ever need a friend (call me)
Call me (call me) call me (call me) call me
(Call me) call me (call me) if you need a friend
(Call me) call me (call me) call me (call me) call me (call me) call me (call me)”
                                                                                                                      – Bill Withers

So, what was this “encounter” I mentioned earlier?

I love my Mama!

Before I dive into it, I feel like I ought to give you a little background info. Let me begin by sharing that I’m a spiritual person. Always have been, thanks to my sweet Mama. I grew up going to Sunday School and church every week and I’m still a God-fearing, church-going southern gal. I suppose I always will be. Heck, my iPhone pings me about the traffic and tells me how long it’s gonna take to get to Christ Church every Wednesday and Sunday morning a little before 7:00. But I digress.

Back to this encounter thing…

Admittedly, I talk to God and Jesus. A lot. Every day, as a matter of fact. Now, if you’re not a spiritual kind of person, you might think I’m crazy. And that’s okay. I won’t judge you for what you believe if you’ll be so kind as to return the favor.

You see, it’s those daily conversations (aka, prayers) that keep me on track. I know I talk more than I should and I’m absolutely-positively-beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt certain that I need to listen more. In fact, it’s usually when I’ve been yammering on and on about something that’s bothering me when “it” happens.

If you haven’t guessed “it” already, my friend – I’m here to tell you that I met the Holy Spirit head-on this morning, via Bill Withers’ soulful voice.

What does all of this have to do with needlepoint?

Well, nothing – and everything!

Nothing, in that “Lean on Me” shares no prophetic tutorial or quick tip that you can use to make your needlepoint projects more fantabulous.

And everything because needlepoint is so much more than stuffing holes with yarn.

What I’m getting at is this…

needlepoint is the “thing” that brings us together. We share a passion for creating beautiful works of fiber art out of mon0 canvas, a needle, and some string. But it’s the connection we have with one another – the community that results from our magnificent obsession – that’s the real treasure. That, and the assurance that we’re making the world a better place, one stitch at a time by loving each other and caring for each other as our Creator bids us do.

“Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain. We all have sorrow.”

When I hear the first few lines of the song, I think about you caring for aging parents – and I feel your pain. I see you struggle as you mourn the loss of a child or your spouse or a beloved pet – and my heart breaks for you. I watch with compassion as you learn to live with a debilitating injury.

“But if we are wise, we know that there’s always tomorrow.”

And then, I remember something Mama says when life throws me a curveball. I can hear her voice in my head, “Things will be better in the morning. Everything always looks worse at night. It’ll be better in the morning. I promise.”

And you know what? She’s right. Things don’t seem as bad in the light of day – when you have hope and somebody to lean on. And that’s what our circle of friends is all about. It’s about love and needlepoint.

“Lean on me, when you’re not strong and I’ll be your friend.”

I’ll help you carry on. For it won’t be long ’til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.”

We need each other. We weren’t created to live isolated, self-centered, small lives. Instead, we are here to love one another and care for one another. Every. Single. One. Of. Us.

Truly, no man is an island. We’re here to provide an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on. And we’re supposed to ask for help instead of trying to do it all on our own.

“Please swallow your pride if I have things you need to borrow. For no one can fill those of your needs that you won’t let show.”

Whether your “need” is for advice about which stitch to use for the snowman on your grandson’s Christmas stocking – or what kind of food is best for someone undergoing chemo, just ask. I’m here for you! We’re here for you!

I know it can be hard to admit you need help. Especially if you consider yourself independent and more than capable, thank-you-very-much. (Busted! That’s definitely me.) But asking for help when you need it is something we all ought to do. Period.

It doesn’t mean you’re weak. It just means that you’re human.

Love is always the answer.

So, back to needlepoint, love, and Pandora Radio.

I’m thankful for that importunate encounter this morning. It’s exactly what I needed to push me outside my comfort zone and share how love is an essential value for me in my business. It doesn’t matter if your beliefs are different from mine. I respect you and your right to those beliefs.

I’m not here to judge you. Instead, I’m here to help you. I’m here to be a friend. I’m here, so you can lean on me.

Sending you all the love this little website can manifest…

XOXO!
Stitch with a smile!

 

 

 

PS: Next week, I’ll resume writing about all things needlepoint – and how we really can make the world a better place, one stitch at a time.

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4 Comments

  1. Ellie Bellantoni

    July 23, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    Thank you so much for the beautiful and loving blog. Lots of times we feel that way but say nothing. You are such a caring , knowledgeable God loving person and I feel so fortunate to know you. I’m sure that God has gotten you through a lot of life’s problems as He has me. I wish you well and thank you for posting this blog to make us stop and think.
    Ellie

    Reply
    • Ellen Johnson

      July 23, 2019 at 2:31 pm

      Awwww… Ellie, you just made my day! Thank you so much for your kind words. I rely on my faith every single day, too – and I’m so thankful to have you as part of the Serendipity family. Sending you lots of love!!!
      XOXO!
      Ellen

      Reply
  2. Lou Anne Lamar

    August 14, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you. That was well put!

    Reply
    • Ellen Johnson

      August 18, 2019 at 10:15 am

      Thank you, Lou Anne! I miss seeing you… let me know when you’re going to be in Tuscaloosa again and, perhaps, we can have lunch. I’d love to catch up. 🙂
      XOXO!
      Ellen

      Reply

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