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Photo: I am donating these full and leftover skeins to Ree's Needle Arts For Hope Initiative: Virginia10221 Krause Rd., #73 Chesterfield,Virginia 23832 where yarns are needed.

John 14:14 (NIV)

14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

The season of giving is upon us once again and for weeks I have been praying, even more diligently than usual for strength and yarn.

Over the past few weeks and months  I have been watching my two bags of yarn slowly dwindle to just pieces.    As the list  of needs expands and exceeds my meager stockpile, I did the only three things I know how to… pray, post a request on Facebook and keep knitting.  Afterall, the Bible says that if we ask for anything in Christ’s name and He will do it.

This period has caused me to become a lot more creative as I pull together hats and scarves from remnants left overy yarn from previously knit projects in order to create a single piece that would wrap someone in a warmth and love.  The blending of  mismatched pieces of yarn from my stash provides a level of excitement because the final outcome is not always visible or known.  Yet, what is known is that these remnant, left over pieces create a whole that are vital and have a  very important mission.

Were my prayers answered?  Absolutely and spectacularly!  I received a note from Emily’s Hats for Hope Initiative HQ that someone was sending me yarn.    Imagine my delight when I received this picture and the words that it was not only whole skeins but “partial” skeins.   As I write the tears began to flow because I am again reminded that in God’s hands all broken, discarded,  mismatched, damaged remnant materials  willing to be used by the Master’s hands can fashioned into a whole, able to further and share the message of God’s Love.   Those partial pieces can create beauty and warmth which can be worn.  My thanks to Nimara & Japarta  (Please go like their Facebook page!)  for your generosity and the generosity of others who have opened their stashes and hearts to share with Ree’s Needle Arts for Hope Initiative Virginia!   With each item and gift we truly are…

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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37 Nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

Let me be the first to admit, I had doubts!  Nagging, defeating and at times crippling doubt.  I opened my mouth and announced that our spin-off of Emily’s Hats for Hope Initiative  was going to complete 200 items by December!  Initially the “we” was just me, but fueled by a sincere desire to help, my needles have been humming, through illness, storms, weekends and every seemingly waking moment that I was not working or driving.

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There were moments when I started to feel like the Dunkin Donuts man in the old 70’s commercials, except instead of “I need to make the donuts”, my mantra was “I need to knit the (insert hat, cowl or scarf here).”  Time was getting closer and closer,  I prayed and begged God to please send help, things just were not moving fast enough under my needles alone.

The testimony of God’s answering even the smallest prayer was manifest  first by the dawning  of interest and then by the desire of angels to help!  The trickle became a stream one hat became 40 (I realized I might need to learn to crochet), boredom for a University student morphed into hats and scarves cranked out overnight and delivered with smiles the next morning.  My empty mailbox received boxes as God blessed others to bless us with yarn at just the moment we were about to exhaust the supply.

Humbled and grateful I was able to bear witness to an ever-growing  pile of knitted, loomed and crocheted items.   These items are now bagged and ready to go home with University students who are excited about being able to  distribute them in their communities and to make a difference at home!   Please pray with us as  pray over the next number!!

There is nothing too hard for God!  He truly allows us to be stretched when we have doubts He calms them and allows His will to shine through!  Continue to pull and shape me, Lord!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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A basket of yarn

A basket of yarn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Psalm 27:13 (CEB)

13 But I have sure faith that I will experience the Lord’s goodness   in the land of the living!

Some months ago I embarked upon this incredible quest to consciously and more actively help others.  Being able to spend copious amounts time doing something I enjoy such as the of changing balls of yarn into hats and scarves  was and is an added blessing.

Wait, now how exactly does that translate into stitches in faith?  Well, I believe that God blesses us when we help those in need, as listed in Matthew 25:40  –  ‘I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.’   I was already knitting, a lot, but it lacked a truer more useful  purpose.  With the realization of purpose came the growth and testing of my faith.  I believed God would send yarn and knitted goods so I opened  a post office box and put out the word!  Admittedly, self-promotion or promotion in general is NOT my gift, after all for the most part, I am shy.

Imagine my sheer delight when I received not one, but two separate donations!  My glee was barely controlled.  The needles never stopped. I prayed for eager helpers and found two sitting right under my nose!  Bored students with time on their hands have been my angels.

Last night digging through the  slowly dwindling yarn stash trying to cobble together enough yarn colors to make even more items, my prayers began anew,  “Lord, please send more yarn and soon!  The nights are getting colder and the need to meet the need of others has not diminished!!!  I thank God daily for the heart of a servant who desires nothing more than to do the will of my Master and lead others into glorious relationship with Him!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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English: Satsuma iris button (self-shanked), s...

Luke 1:14 (NIV)

14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,

When I completed my most recent scarf/cowl there was a problem well before the last stitch was knit.  No question there was not going to be enough yarn.  So what, I finished it anyway and upon holding it up realized that all it needed was just the right button.  There were buttons in my button baggie, but not “THE” button.  In truth, there are a quite few projects lying about in need of buttons.

I jumped online and longingly perused the buttons at www.woodenbuttons.com.  The button array had be salivating!  This was the place where I would find that gorgeous button that I  could picture finish that piece perfectly.  Knowing my budget limitations I said a prayer and did a little button shopping.

There were toggles, long and short, rounds, ducks, flowers and domes it was almost overwhelming, almost.  I selected a, pretty on the monitor, dark brown wood toggle and a large black disc shell button for a future project.  Then it was time to wait.

Arriving at home on yesterday, I flew to the mailbox, not caring that it was hot and humid; I just knew the buttons had arrived.  Opening the envelope I was not disappointed!  Nestled inside were my buttons, lovely dark chocolate in color, smooth to the touch and just the right size.  My surprise was that there were more buttons in the bag than I thought, it would seem that I neglected to read the fine print (ok it wasn’t fine it was at the end of the sentence! )  These buttons were sold in dozens, so there was definitely more bang for the buck.

We are God’s masterpieces!  He carefully selected everything about us, our eyes, just the right color, that unique edge or speck of color here or there.  He knew that our teeth would set off our smiles perfectly.  The joy that I found in a button for a project, He finds in all of us.

Father, thank you for loving me, one of your unique, flawed and imperfect creations and for allowing the beauty of Your grace, mercy and love to show through and be shared with others.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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Proverbs 14:10 (NIV)

10 Each heart knows its own bitterness,    and no one else can share its joy

Oh my goodness, happened again!  I was going merrily along and bam that wall popped up!   I was once again blocked, stymied, according to blogger Peaceful Knitter, my knitting mojo had flown the coop/gone on vacation, was nowhere to be found. No matter how many exciting new patterns I read on All Free Knitting or added to my Ravelry que nothing was motivating, encouraging or jolting me back me into picking up those needles and relaxing into knitting nirvana.

I picked up a book and started reading, something I used to do as relentlessly as I had been knitting. It seemed that my old reading love had been replaced by knitting my new, productive, time-consuming hobby. Picking up a book reminded me how much I always enjoyed reading and how it transports me to new exciting places, introduces me to new friends and fuels that round the corner, beneath the shelf spot of my mind where the mojo might have gone to seek quiet restful peace.

More often than not we fill our lives with so many new and exciting things that the tried and true are often relegated to spots of less importance.  This also happens with our Cristian walk, the fire that burned brightly  when we first learn the wonderful truths can over time die down or almost distinguished by busyness or overwork.  It is important to build our continued joy and happiness in God.   Proper alignment with reading God’s word and working to do for others provides moments of bliss.  Deciding to knit something for someone else, sped my mojo’s return from vacation.  Glory to God for the daily lessons and moments of sheer joy!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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A little dexterity is helpful in working with ...

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6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.It  has been a little over a year since I picked up knitting needles and began this journey of knitting with God.  As I was reading Jeremiah and re-reading the story of the piece misshapen in the Potter’ hand I thought back on my year of projects.  Jeremiah 18:6 (NIV)

I, an acknowledged, novice somehow neglected to check my gauge in the early days, ok it is still a problem, and as a result there was more than one odd-shaped, twisted, gaped piece that should have never seen the light of day.  In the beginning the idea of taking it apart, after hours and days of diligent work was unimaginable.  What a difference mere months made.

I might bind off to the last stitch, but if it is wrong, it is wrong it is wrong and out comes the ball wonder.  More than once in my life I have been that imperfect work in the Potter’s hands, how thankful I am that He takes the time to make me over and over, and over again.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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Flat knitting. The loops on the metal needle a...

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Don’t go to extremes on anything. Make God the center of your life and you’ll be content. Ecclesiastes 7:18 (Clear Word)

 My thumb hurts, no doubt due to the marathon, rapid-fire, repetitive knitting session I engaged in over the weekend.  I have no one to blame but myself  for my discomfort.  The people pleasing part of me, that still desires to make others happy, took a big  bite out of an ego cookie and knitted two hats in less than 24 hours.  For those more experienced crafting folks who can knock out a hat in a few hours that may seem like nothing, but for an almost minted yearling, I was pushing my envelope.   I was determined, focused, in a word –  I was a machine and now I am in pain!  I wanted to fulfill a wish for someone else to give a gift and was doggedly persistent in the desire to produce a quality product in a short period of time.   I was in such a hurry I didn’t even take a picture of the pain producing piece of work, so you will just have to believe me that they are pretty.  There might be a dropped stitch or two and some other flaws that may appear in the wash, so I wouldn’t suggest a vigorous washing!  I went to an extreme, the day began with me focusing on God, I was reading, studying the Word, writing and discussing the goodness of God and other weighty subjects and then the chapeau request.   Yet, through the pain, the seeming unfocused thoughts of my one woman knitting marathon I know this to be true, God was never far from me.  While I may not have prayed on every stitch, He was with me and though it appeared I was outside the lines, He knew my heart and mind would once again be turned firmly and securely back to Him.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

 

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