Years ago, my mom sewed frog pillows for family members and friends. They were especially welcomed by college students, as they served as great study support pillows. I’ve thought about them over the last several years. My writing retreat group shares a theme of frogs. We often give each other creative gifts that refer to frogs. It all goes back to a motivation approach to tackle the most difficult things on our lists or schedules. We encourage and hold each other accountable as we post our goals for the week and update the group every evening as we share a meal.
It’s hard to believe, but this is our tenth year together. We sometimes gift each other small items. This year, we didn’t set clear guidelines. Everyone seemed to have their own ideas. I’d been planning mine for a while. My mom found the frog pillow pattern. When fleece was on sale around Black Friday, I shopped online, trying to choose fleece that represented each woman in the group. A couple were easy. One is a quilter, and one is a coffee-lover (although that’s an understatement). As soon as I found their fabric, I knew it was right. I couldn’t imagine picking anything else. Another woman regularly serves in Mexico, and I found a colorful pattern that reminded me of the culture. I chose a bright tie-dyed for another woman, because she inspires me with her diverse experiences and commitment to considering many perspectives. And I chose one with the words Grateful. Thankful. Blessed., because another woman’s steady faith encourages me. And I chose one for myself as well. I would sew mine first in case I had issues with it and needed to make adjustments. Mine would be a polar bear print.
The end result was a large pile of frogs. If I wouldn’t have placed them in bags to keep them from dirt and germs on the trip, I probably would have gotten quite the odd looks when driving to the retreat location. I’m a light-packer, and I’m confident my vehicle was more full than any prior year. I don’t know how much each woman will use her pillow, but each one was fun to make. As I’ve mentioned before, the sewing process for me is soaked in prayer. These women are important to me. We share the ups and downs of daily lives. What started as friends from a distance who primarily spent time together once a year has grown into a group I trust and depend upon. They’ve walked with me through the deepest challenges of my life. They’ve encouraged me to pursue God’s purpose.
I hope these frogs are a practical reminder of how we support one another.