Monthly Archives: February 2015

Because your little matters much <3

No, this is not turning into a knitting blog (if you read yesterday’s post).

It’s just that I wanted to share with you why I have even returned to knitting as a hobby.

It all started with this group of beauties….

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I saw them all sitting around the cafe at our church a couple of  years ago and inquired what was going on.

Knit-a-Square.

Yes. It is as simple as it sounds. They knit squares.

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Oh, they knit other stuff, too. And some of them crochet, which is just beyond me how that works… And they talk. And laugh.

But mainly the focus is to knit….squares.

And I wanted to be a part of it. So I dug out my needles and relearned the basics and carry my cardboard square with my knitting everywhere I go to make sure my squares are 8″ x 8″…because….

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My little squares will be packaged up with my friends’ squares and mailed off to South Africa where they will be sown together with 34 other squares from all around the world.

And then they will be wrapped around children who are orphans to Aids.

We got a letter from the director of Knit-a-Square. She told us that the children marvel when told of how the blankets have come to them. How they are wrapped in the warmth and love of people who do not even know them.

But Jesus loves them. And so do we.

Each stitch is a prayer for them to feel the love of Christ.

To be wrapped in His arms.

To know they have not been forsaken by Him.

An 8″ x 8″ square doesn’t seem like much, til you sew it up with the others and it becomes the tangible touch of Christ.

Maybe you don’t knit or crochet squares, but every little thing you do to be His hands and feet to someone else adds up to something big in a very cold and dark world.

Be blessed today and know….your little matters much <3

*Check out the website….www.knit-a-square.com* and if you live locally and would like to join us, bring your little self to First Christian Church the first Tuesday of the month from 6 – 8 PM. You don’t have to know how to knit or crochet…there is plenty ‘o help on site!!!!! 

Out of my hands

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Last Saturday evening I was sitting on the couch, knitting happily on a little project I have been working on and thinking to myself how happy I was that I finally have the hang of the pattern…knit 3, purl 1, knit 3…oh sorry…this happens a lot once you get the hang of a pattern or so I am learning….

Except on Saturday night somewhere between a knit and a purl I allowed myself to have non-knit thoughts and boom…I dropped a stitch.

As I tried to fish it back on the needle, it slipped dangerously below several rows and I knew I the sting of truth…pride goeth before the fall.

I googled “How to pick up a dropped stitch” and made matters worse.

So I did what any one in my situation would do who has an ounce of sense. I texted an SOS to one of the experienced knitters at church and made arrangements to meet up with her in the lobby Sunday morning for help.

And by help I mean, I handed her the Ziplock bag with my knitting in it, explained the problem and pattern and took off to get my coffee, because well…if you know me…

With coffee secured, I headed back to the table where she was sorting through the spaghetti of my mess.

She looked up only briefly to shoo me on to go teach my class.

Because as surely as I will have a coffee in my hand, I will also need to make copies five minutes before class starts. I am pretty predictable.

After class, she met me in the hall, showed me the progress and assured me she would have it pulled together after church.

And she did. She fixed the problem and I can proceed with the work that I need to do to finish the project.

And I wonder why it was so easy to hand over a mess I couldn’t fix to someone and not give it another thought. Not once did I argue with her or try to take it back. There was never a moment during Sunday School or church when I was distracted because I was wondering how she was doing. I didn’t care. My mess was in the hands of an expert and I just went on with life.

And I wonder what God thinks of all this marvelous letting go.

Because I have some stuff on my heart. Unraveled and messy stuff that I have absolutely no idea or way or power to fix.

And I hand it over to God, but then I never really release my hands from the bag.

I wonder and ponder and fret how He is going to work it out and make it right. I worry that how He works it out won’t end up looking like the project I had in mind.

The past few weeks I keep running into the same message from teachings to articles to email devotions about how worry is really the sin of unbelief, and the root is a desire to be in control of things.

I’m thinking God just might be telling me to LET GO OF THE BAG….so He can get on with His work…and to TRUST HIM because He knows what He is doing.

In fact, I sense He is telling me to go get my coffee, and make my copies and teach my class; basically do the every day stuff that I am supposed to be doing instead of watch-dogging the ways He is working in areas that look kind of like dropped stitches.

Oh there will be work to finish, when He hands it back to me…but He will be there to help me with that too.

Maybe you are like me and you have some things that are troubling you. Let’s put them in some sort of “bag” and in prayer, hand them over to God acknowledging that He is the only one that can fix the mess. And then let’s purposefully, faithfully, intentionally get busy with the things that are right in front of us that only we can do, exercising complete faith and confidence in Him to do what only He can do.

 

So who are you following?

We met some friends for dinner a few weeks ago. Our table was in an enclosed upper level annex to the main dining area. There is a ramp walkway located in the center of the restaurant that leads to this section.

When we were finished and ready to leave, I was the first out the door of this room. The little hall leading to the ramp is small, so I charged forward boldly and continued down the ramp into the main dining area.

I felt a little conspicuous descending past tables full of diners so I kept my head down and mustered confidence knowing my husband and friends were right behind me.

Except….

When I got to the front door and looked back, I was completely alone.

Realizing I had just marched through a restaurant full of people without my posse, I panicked. Pure adrenaline propelled me to retrace my steps rapidly back the way I had just come.

By the time I reached Russ and our friends, embarrassment succumbed to humor.

We all laughed when I burst back through the door commenting that you know you aren’t a leader when no one has followed you.

Which makes me think.

I say I am a follower of Christ.

But I know for a fact that there are many times when He arrived at a destination planned for us without me in tow.

He marched forward, but I was off somewhere…distracted or wandering or straight up lost.

I have been deeply touched by the video of the 21 Coptic Christian prisoners kneeling on that beach.

I can not get over the serenity on their faces. One young man is, obviously, calmly praying. Probably a prayer he has prayed his whole life.

And I think how in the midst of the worst of all possible situations, these men were right behind Jesus. Following Him, as they always had.

All the way to the end.

There is a precious video that captures the faithfulness of these men and many others who have followed well. I don’t know how to do the fancy addition of the website, but you can google it with “21 Martyrs”.

May we all be followers worthy of our Leader.

God bless you as follow Him well; all the way to the end <3

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Aaaannnnnnd on Day 4, I have a plan…..

Well, I move slowly. We all know that…and I ponder long on all things, including what to order on a menu….so no big surprise it has taken me until day 4 of Lent to get my act together…

Exhibit A:

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This represents my post-lunch scene…here we have the remnants from morning devotions (including kleenex and reading glasses), materials needed to balance the checkbook, my laptop with an email about trusting God, and the printout of the 40 day Lent series from Ann Voskamp’s website that I am supposed to have cut apart, folded, inserted string into and hung from tree branches artfully displayed somewhere…ain’t happening…

However….I actually HAVE been doing the meditations and today…I got serious and….

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I did come up with a plan….

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And now we all know why I am not on Pinterest…but here’s what I got from today’s meditation….

The focus was on Matthew 23: 23 – 26 and the part that jumped out at me and “transformed me” today was in verse 23….

but you neglect the weightier issues of the law: Justice….Mercy….Faith

Well…ouch

Because Justice…yes, I want justice. But sometimes I get more caught up in making sure I am RECEIVING justice then making sure I am acting JUSTLY…

And Mercy…oh mercy! How thankful I am for mercy. I had one of those moments in the midst of the ponderings where I came face to face with some ghosts of season’s past and all I could do was weep in gratitude for God’s mercy. Which was quickly followed by His asking me if I am showing the same mercy to those who are making similar mistakes….

And then there’s that matter of Faith. Having the kind of faith that pleases God. Being faithful myself because I know He has never failed me. Believing Him, taking Him at His Word, doing what His word says: faithfully…

Weighty matters indeed. Not to exclude other acts of service, but God is getting through this easily distracted blonde brain….Justice, Mercy, Faith…these MATTER highly to Him!! And therefore, they must matter highly to me as well.

The instructions are clear….

But you must return to your God;

maintain love and justice,

and always put your hope in God.

 Hosea 12:6  HCSB

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Bless you as you journey onward <3

 

Take your son…your only son…

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If we take time during the season of Lent to quiet the heart and meditate on Scripture, asking God to speak to us…He does…in ways we can understand.

He threads together the truths of Scripture and if we take the time to ponder, we can pull from our own limited understanding and begin to glimpse a little more the depth of His love.

For instance, I have spent several days mulling over the following passages of Scripture involving children.

One is from the Genesis 44 account of the sons of Jacob standing before Pharaoh’s right hand man (unknown to them, he is their brother Joseph, who they assumed met demise as a result of their own cruel hands).

He is demanding the imprisonment of their little brother Benjamin on trumped up charges. Judah pleads for the freedom of the boy, offering himself in his place. He explains to Joseph how this child is very special to their father as he has already lost one son. Judah uses this phrase, explaining the heartache it would cause their aged father, Jacob: “…since his life is bound up in the lad’s life.”

I think any parent can understand that phrase.

Surely, our lives are literally bound up in the lives of our children.

Then I think of the Scripture that recounts God’s call to a father who has just one son left at home; one long-awaited, precious  child of promise. And God asks the unthinkable.

Genesis 22: 2…”Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

I cringe and I gasp. Abraham had two sons, but God makes clear it is his only son Isaac – the son of the promise – the son of he and his wife, Sarah.

So much in that is so tender…your son…your only son…whom you love…and offer him…as a burnt offering….

And I think how the life of the father is bound up in the life of the child.

We gave birth to three.

And each one…is an only one….

there is only one Rachel, one Sarah, one John.

They have added to our numbers…one Zach, one Daniel, one Graham, one Emmett…

and our lives, Russ and mine, are bound up in the lives of these children.

And then I think….

For God so loved the world

that He gave

His only begotten Son….

That all who believe in Him…that Son…that only Son…

should not perish…

but have….

everlasting….

life

And surely, the life of the Father is bound up in the life of the Son.

Everlasting life

For all

Who

Believe.

And now we, who believe, are His children.

The life of the Father, bound up in the lives of the Son and the children of the Promise <3