Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pride of Homemade


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Proverbs 31:13 says "She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands."    Most women today think this verse is outdated and has nothing to do with them.  I think God's Word stands the test of time and speaks just as much to us today as it did when King Solomon's mother told him what to look for in a wife.  If you don't know anything about King Solomon, let's just say he was wise ;)  and here we have in print his mother's advice to him.

First of all, she makes garments and such for her household.  She doesn't trade for them.  Maybe this is because it's cheaper to have good quality stuff when you make it yourself.  She makes these things herself and her family uses them.  In this same chapter you'll find she also trades them for other things her family needs.  She makes good quality stuff that people want and at a good price.  Her trading is profitable.  Perhaps this is where she gets the money to buy the land in which she plants that vineyard.

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 My neighbor knits.  She knits early and often.  Oftentimes I can find her in her front yard under her awning knitting away.  She makes the most beautiful things especially for babies.  Her family sports wool socks in the winter.  Now, I don't know if you've ever worn wool socks that were knitted by hand, but they feel luxurious.  Also, she mails off boxes to an Indian reservation in North Dakota.  Her husband is a truck driver and passed through this reservation years ago.  He found a lot of grandparents there raising their grandkids.  These grandparents were going without socks and blankets so their grandchildren could be warm.  Ever since then, my neighbor knits socks, hats, mittens, and all sorts of things for them.  She mails boxes of these things to them.  She has such a big heart and I wish I had the time here to tell you all about this woman.  Is she perfect?  No.  But her heart is bigger than most and she carries the spirit of the noble woman in her.

The noble woman works with hands that are eager.  Whenever I'm getting ready to crochet a hat or a new blanket I get very excited.  I look at a lot of different patterns and maybe even practice a new stitch.  Choosing a pattern can take a couple of hours or a couple of days.  Oftentimes I'm thinking of that new pattern as I'm spending the last day or two on the current blanket.  I think about who the blanket is for and I select a pattern that, to me, suits them.  Shopping for yarn is also a joyful experience.  I don't just throw some stuff in a cart and move on with life.  I spend a lot of time and take great care in selecting the yarn I will use.  I might be in the yarn aisle for a half hour choosing just three or four colors. 

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When you make things for people you discover something they couldn't understand unless they themselves have done it.  You think of the person you are making the blanket for.  Not just sometimes.  All the time.  My mind is like a stage.  There are several actors and scenes on it.  The backdrop however is the person I'm making the blanket for.  Through every stitch this person permeates my mind.  So when I give a person a blanket, they may or may not know, I've been thinking of them for hours every day for weeks.  It's a good time to pray for a specific person.

Just a quick word about eagerness.  Whatever we do for our family or others, shouldn't be done with a hard heart or grudgingly.  We should be eager.  We should be excited.  If I threw a blanket together and slapped it in someone's hands and just said, "Here ya go!" well, have I really done something nice for them?  There are times I need a break from crocheting and I'll go a month sometimes without so much as picking up a hook.  This is good for two reasons.  One, it alleviates burn out.  Two, as I found some months ago, you could snap a tendon doing this kind of repetitive stitch work without a break.

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I suggest practicing and learning to crochet.  The basics are very, very simple.  Start with a chain.  Start with single crochet.  Learn how to read the patterns.  It took me, sadly, two nights to learn to crochet a simple granny square.  Sometimes it takes longer for some people to learn than others.  I learned from a book with great pictures, but it took longer because I'm a kinesthetic learner.  I learn by doing not by looking at pictures or by listening to instructions.  Nonetheless, I learned and once I learned this, I was able to really take off with it.

Another thing about crochet, it doesn't take a lot of money to get into.  Over time I've bought all the hooks I need and a cute case to keep them in, but in the beginning I had some yarn and a couple of hooks...all told about $15.00 from Walmart.  We are on a tight budget so I will pick up yarn from there made by Red Heart.  It's acrylic and very, very warm depending on the pattern I use.  Ideal for blankets really.  I would suggest watching YouTube videos and learn how to crochet a single stitch dishcloth.  Usually I make my own dishcloths.  They last longer than sponges and the sense of peace and accomplishment it gives me is unsurpassed by buying a sponge.

I'm perfectly capable of working outside the home.  I choose not to.  One of the reasons I choose not to is I'm living my purpose out.  It's not my purpose to clean other people's homes or push paper the majority of my life.  It's my purpose to make a home.  One way I make our place a home is by having homemade blankets you just can't buy in a store.  You can buy them from Etsy, sure, but the patterns I use would bring about $100 to $500 per blanket.  Let me encourage you to take up crocheting because I want other women to have the pride of having something they made with their own two hands in their homes.

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