The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
Finding the sacred in everyday life
Stitching together a new picture of spiritual gifts
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Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. ...
Simply Faithful
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. Every day I got to listen as people told me about the things that were most important to them, the things that were sacred. But the newspaper industry was changing and few papers could afford to have an army of speciality reporters. So, I moved to cover the suburbs where, as luck would have it, they have plenty of religion, too. Eventually, children came into the picture. One by birth and another two months later by foster care/adoption. I struggled to chase breaking news and be home at a decent hour, so I made the move to what we journalists call the dark side: I took a job in public relations. (Don't worry. I work for a great non-profit, so it's not dark at all.) When I gave my notice at the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, the executive editor asked me to consider writing a column on a freelance basis. She didn't want the newspaper to lose touch with its religious sources, and she still wanted consistent faith coverage. I was terrified. It took me about 10 months to get back to her with a solid plan and some sample columns. And so it began, this journey of opening up my heart to strangers.
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By simplyfaithful
June 18, 2013 12:01 a.m.

A few weeks ago I asked my readers to start talking about their gifts and talents. I wanted to get a sense for how God was working through us to share his love and his peace. And, I wanted people to be honest about what made them hide their gifts.
Thankfully, several people opened their hearts and are willing to share their stories. Today, we have the gift of hearing Shelia Bacon’s story…
Shelia &amp Quilts 017
Twenty five years ago I started to teach quilting. Many times I have struggled to do so but I have always considered quilting my “gift” from God.
When I took my very first hand quilting class I fell in love with it. I knew immediately I wanted to “share” quilting because it was a way of remembering the past. As a “tool of God’s” I have been used to link the past, the present and the future.
Shelia &amp Quilts 012What I had to “overcome” was my lack of “self confidence and/self esteem.” I am not a teacher, I never had any formal training. Others were/are better than I am but I have always felt this was a “gift” and I wanted to share it.
The other thing I had to “overcome” was when I could no longer quilt by hand. I then had to make a choice – in order to keep teaching quilting I had to learn machine quilting well enough so I could keep teaching. This was a definite fork in the road and a very big challenge but I felt in my heart this again was God’s leading.

My students have taught me so much about life, love and laughter. Sometimes I think they have taught me much more than I have taught them. It has been worth every moment I have spent preparing a class and wondering if I can really teach others how to quilt. Also, along the way I have taught people how to knit, crochet, needlepoint and tatting and - whatever else God wants me to ”share” with them.
Since, I now have a group of friends that quilt we get together and make quilts for people with cancer and send them to various hospital in the area.
Whatever “gift” God has given you - use it, share it – then your “gift” will bless others.
Shelia &amp Quilts 007

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