Knitting and Crocheting

At the start of the year I, for some strange reason I haven’t yet quite figured out, started up knitting and crocheting after many years of doing neither. Over the last six months or so I’ve completed quite a few projects.

Some of them are:

Baby blanket 15 Feb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby blanket, crocheted, completed 15 Feb.

Owl 8 Apr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owl, crocheted, completed 8 April.

Toddler Slippers 22 May

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slippers for toddler, knitted, completed 22 May.

2014-05-25 13.39.10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slippers for adult, knitted, completed 25 May.

2014-06-18 21.48.09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Box, crocheted, completed 18 June.

These aren’t the only things I’ve done. There’s one more baby blanket – I don’t have access to those photos at the moment – and I have three works-in-progress, but I’ll be keeping them under wraps for now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patience isn’t a virtue…

…I can easily lay claim to.

I have been quite frustrated for the last couple of days – but this particular frustration actually goes back several years. I have long felt a desire to “do something”… mostly for God, to be honest… but that “something” has never been anything concrete. Over the years I have tried different projects – all of which have ended in failure, me being more frustrated and… yeah.

Yesterday I was visiting a friend, and she shared with me about some verses that her husband holds on to, and they have been nagging at me ever since. These are they:

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord , I will be joyful in God my Savior.

– Habakkuk 3:17,18

Something else that went through my mind was the chorus “We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise” by Kirk Dearman:

We bring the sacrifice of praise
Unto the house of the Lord.
We bring the sacrifice of praise
Unto the house of the Lord.

And we offer up to You
The sacrifices of thanksgiving;
And we offer up to You
The sacrifices of joy.

Then it hit me. God wants me to wait. To praise Him, but to wait.

And I have peace again.

Is there such a concept as ‘I can’t forgive myself’?

I am currently re-reading the book I’m OK – You’re OK by Thomas A. Harris – and if you’re on FB, you probably know this already. This book triggered a turning point for me fourteen years ago when I was in a pretty dark place. I am not reading it for help at this point in time (although it is proving very useful going over the concepts it covers again – concepts I’d completely forgotten), but one of the things I’ve been interested in was to find the section that had triggered the turning point. As near as I can tell, the section I quote below is ‘it’ – the only problem is, I clearly did a huge amount of associated thinking at the time, because the principles I’ve lived by ever since are not in themselves reflected below. Principles that I’ll outline following the quote.

The following description by Tillich in The New Being seems to come close to how the religious experience feels. He begins by asking, ‘Do you know what it means to be struck by grace?’ (I would like to paraphrase: Do you know what it means to experience I’M OK – YOU’RE OK?) In answer he says:

It does not mean that we suddenly believe that God exists, or that Jesus is the Saviour, or that the Bible contains the truth. To believe that something is, is almost contrary to the meaning of grace. Furthermore, grace does not mean simply that we are making progress in our moral self-control, in our fight against society. Moral progress may be a fruit of grace; but it is not grace itself, and it can even prevent us from receiving grace … And certainly [grace] does not happen … so long as we think, in our self-complacency, that we have no need of it. Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life. It strikes us when we feel our separation is deeper than usual, because we violated another life. It strikes us when our disgust for our own being, our indifference, our weakness, our hostility, and our lack of direction and composure have become intolerable to us. It strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection of life does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage. Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: ‘You are accepted,’ accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything; do not perform anything; do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted! If that happens to us, we experience grace. After such an experience we may not be better than before, and we may not believe more than before, but everything is transformed. In that moment, grace conquers sin, and reconciliation bridges the gulf of estrangement. And nothing is demanded of this experience, no religious or moral or intellectual presuppositions, nothing but acceptance. In the light of this grace, we perceive the power of grace in our relation to others and to ourselves. We experience the grace of being able to look frankly into the eyes of another, the miraculous grace of reunion of life with life. [Emphasis mine.]

The realisation that struck me at the time was that, by saying ‘I can’t forgive myself’, I placed my own standards above that of God’s – and that to me was anathema. It was at this point I realised that Jesus’ death at Calvary was ‘enough’. That He had died knowing I would make a mistake and yet He died. I was loved and accepted.

As you can see, none of my line of thinking really stems from the passage quoted, but it was definitely reading it that triggered it. Apparently it was just what I needed to hear.

So if you’ve ever heard me say ‘There’s no such thing as “I can’t forgive myself”.’ – that’s why.

Introducing Sara…

As some of you may have gathered by now, I have a daughter. I do not mention her name on public forums to protect her privacy. But some times it’s really convenient to be able to refer to someone by name rather than by some pronoun. So. I will now refer to my daughter as Sara. I’ve taken this name from the title character from A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Sara Crewe. The Wikipedia article about the book describes Sara as “very intelligent, polite, and creative”, and I felt that this kindof describes my little one, toddler though she is. It’s just a label. So, world, meet Sara.

I need my head read…

At the weekend my husband picked up a knitting and crochet magazine for me while we were out shopping. I have just completed crocheting my first baby blanket ever (cannot post pictures as the mum-to-be has yet to receive it) and embarked on a second for another mum. Now I have Noah’s Ark, owls, baby/child sweaters, doggy draught excluders and a whole host of other projects (did I mention a Christmas jumper and leg warmers?) running around in my head!

Question: When am I going to find the time for all of this!?

I’m a SAHM, run an editing business (which I only work on when my daughter is sleeping), love to read books and have to run a house. Um….

Where is the Church?

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. – James 2:14-17

As many around the world know, the UK has been battered by storms for the last almost-two months, with some communities now abandoned and several others evacuated. Over the last two days the question running through my mind has been “where is the church?” And by this I don’t mean “Is the church praying for the flood victims?” That is all too easy to do. No. The church needs to be helping physically – whether it be by giving financially or by actually getting into one’s car and driving down to physically help building the flood barriers, providing food and other necessities to the victims. To not do this brings into question the faith of those who are praying – according to the above scripture. I live not even two hours away from areas affected badly by the flooding and I haven’t heard of any churches local to me getting involved in any sort of support for the flood victims. If anyone local to me (Oxfordshire) reads this and knows otherwise, I would love to know about it!

While I had heard that the churches local to the flooding have been giving what aid they can in this time of crisis, I had not heard of any national effort to lend assistance. I have just run an internet search and, to my relief, have learned of two appeal funds that are raising money to help flood victims. Here is one, and here is the other. There may be more (I hope?), but these were found on a quick search.

Christians, please don’t let your comfort be placed before those who are in a real crisis.