Monday, March 21, 2011

Crocheting & a Little Lesson in Sanctification

I finally finished it! After months of work, setting it aside, coming back, working some more, setting it aside, etc., I finished my very first crochet project. I knew back in...August that I wanted to make this baby blanket for my best friend in celebration of her daughter's birth. October rolled around, and the blanket I planned to completely surprise her with when I visited remained unfinished. After six long months, the blanket was taken to the post office for delivery (and I still managed to pull off the surprise!).

Much to my own surprise, this little endeavor wasn't just another experiment with a new craft in my hands. I learned more than I would have ever anticipated.
Do you want to know a secret about me...? The secret is this: I am not a disciplined person... At all. I have a natural tendency to do just enough to get by when faced with a task or new project. I know my natural strengths, put forth that much effort, and set it aside the minute I'm faced with the next big step of moving beyond my initial strength and diving into a new challenge. This has happened at some point with virtually every subject or art I have set my mind to: certain spiritual disciplines, piano, vocal training, schoolwork, and various other crafts I have attempted. When faced with a challenge, I simply set it aside and return to that which I'm more comfortable with and naturally inclined toward. (And this is why I will forever strive to encourage young people to press on when faced with new challenges beyond their natural abilities - this advice coming from a woman who regularly kicks herself in the pants for not persevering when I studied piano all those years ago!)

When I began working the very first row of this baby blanket pattern, I simply was not getting it. I couldn't see the difference in a single vs. double crochet, my hands fumbled all over the yarn and hook, and I found very little enjoyment in the project before me. On a number of occasions, I was tempted to pack it all up and redirect my creativity back to scrapbooking. However, through much prayer, I kept pushing through. I knew I had to finish this blanket: not just for my best friend and her precious baby girl (although they were, of course, of utmost importance!!), but for myself as well. I learned anew the very rich benefit there is to be discovered when we push ourselves beyond our natural talents or abilities. To this day, I regret not possessing the discipline within to continue studying piano. What do I have to show for it now? An early-intermediate understanding of how to play that was stopped short all because of my lack of perseverance. This blanket was GOOD for me, and a completely unanticipated time of growth in my relationship with the Lord. Even crafts as simple as crocheting a baby blanket for a friend can serve as a means for real growth. Thank You, Lord!


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