Pick Your Life Patterns Purposefully

Published online: Dec 02, 2020 Articles, Events Susan Stucki
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In the eulogy at my aunt’s funeral, her granddaughter detailed how her grandma had patterns all around her home. Saved in binders, stuffed in the storage pocket of her chair, filed in plastic boxes, and found with projects in progress were a plethora of patterns. Some were quilt patterns and some were crochet patterns.

Like the patterns she first laid out before starting to create quilts and handicrafts, she laid out the patterns to design her life which fashioned a productive, purposeful life. Like my aunt, designing our lives with worthwhile patterns will ensure we, too, enjoy a life filled with purpose.

Using those patterns for quilting and crocheting resulted in hundreds of items she created over decades. Those patterns became wondrous homemade treasures. She shared those gifts with people at every opportunity. Besides her handcrafts, she shared her precious time and her unconditional love. A visit, a phone call, a word of encouragement, lifted others. From her patterns of handiwork and patterns of service, she created a purposeful life. Although her life was fraught with hardships and challenges, she didn’t let them define her patterns. Her example to her family and all she knew provided worthy patterns to follow. She remained focused on the patterns that would result in a happy, fulfilled life and didn’t allow challenges to sway her. 

Stacks of thank-you cards from grateful receivers of her homemade treasures had been saved and cherished. As the family sorted through these expressions of gratitude from appreciative recipients after her passing, it was evident what sort of woman she truly was. The excerpts revealed her true self, the patterns of her life, the person who forgot herself and her problems to bless the lives of others. These excerpts tied her life story together, revealing her authentic character. 

The adjectives the note writers used exposed the impact she had on others’ lives. Words like angelic, unselfish, creative, and kind were prevalent in the messages which described the pieces of her patterns that intertwined with the large tapestry of life. Those comments in the notes were telling. These gifts of encouragement will outlast any afghan or hot pad. The pattern of how we treat others along life’s journey defines our true self and impacts us deeply. The heart is the happiest when it beats for others. Two of the many affirmations were:

 “You make me feel like maybe 

I am somebody.” 

 “You have brought much sunshine into my life.”

In addition to her quilts, blankets, afghans, hot pads, stick horses and dolls, she had implemented many life patterns herself. Patterns of service. Patterns of thrift. Patterns of industry. Patterns of gratitude. Patterns of love. Because she lived by those patterns, her life was filled with happiness. 

What are the patterns that we develop over our lifetime that result in the cumulative product—our life? Are our current patterns taking us to our desired destination? Are we enjoying life’s journey using those patterns that are fabricating the final masterpiece? In the end, will we be elated with the patterns we designed for our life or will there be regret? 

The review of my aunt’s life was a stark reminder and powerful illustration of the importance of living the kind of life today, so in the end, we will have lived a life we loved. Now is the time to scrutinize and if necessary, redesign our patterns for life.  

Grateful family members and friends spoke from their hearts as they described what they saw in my aunt. What would we want said about ourselves? It is that pattern we need to purposely craft now as we progress along life’s path. 

Pick your patterns purposefully. Life should never be guided by mere happenstance. Our daily actions, the patterns, need to be laid out carefully on the fabric of life to create the life of our dreams, a life of purpose, value and joy. 

Click here to read more of our December issue.

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