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Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

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34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Today begins my birthday week.  Every day that I awake, I have a reason to be thankful.  With each breath taken, with or without difficulty, I am grateful.  In the grand scheme of things, God cares about me so much that He touches and wakes me up everyday, for these 50+ years.

Grateful I am to serve in His vineyard, delighted to do as He bids. With joy, I thank God for this hour, this day and this week in which He gave me life!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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English: Man Made in the Image of God, as in G...

English: Man Made in the Image of God, as in Genesis 1:26 to 2:3, illustration from a Bible card published 1906 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Genesis 2:15 (NIV)

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Reading the above text, it struck me that God is highly in favor of work!  Not only is He in favor of it, He put Adam in the garden to “work and take care” of it.  In other words God told Adam to “Get to work!”

This holiday break has been an absolute blessing but it is over and now and time to go back to work.  Time to be about completing and undertaking tasks purposed by God for me.  These periods of respite away from the daily grind have a way of providing more than just physical and emotional rest.  Ok, so maybe I did a bit more knitting than actual resting, but those long uninterrupted periods of knitting provided quiet moments of reflection and contemplation.

Rested, ready, reliable and responsive,  let us go into the next phase of our tasks, whatever work we do, give glory to God while working!  Be grateful to be employed and understand that God employs us to be emissaries on behalf of the Kingdom!  Now, it is time to get back to work!  

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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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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Romans 9:21 (NIV)

21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

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Have Thine Own Way, Lord (Adeline Hubbard – lyrics – George Stebbins – music)

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!

Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

For the last month I have been knitting “Sunshine” by designer Amanda Reed. Being the out-of-the-box thinker that I am, my yarn  selection was a beautiful Cozette Fuisha silk blend by Knit One Crochet Too purchased at my new Richmond hang out The Knitting Basket. This yarn provided challenging for the professionals who patiently spun it into the balls that I would later knit from. It is a soft yarn that snapped frequently and caused no small amount of frustration while being wound.

The shawl had been turning out nicely,  Even with my somehow inescapable little mistakes that evidence that I am still learning and make each creation wonderfully unique.

Knitting closer and closer to the next phase It was time to fulfill the required needle change and all was smooth sailing… until the actual change. Much like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole, I struggled with moving the stitches from the size 5 to size 7 needles.   Needle changing  inexperience was clearly showing as painfully, tautly,  slowly the stitches moved until disaster struck. The yarn snapped and four or five stitches broke free, leaving a really big hole. My heart crushed I folded the shawl and determined to put it away in frustration to be destroyed later. Was there another option, is this beautiful yarn wasted because of my impatience, lack of skill and excitement of being close to the end?

This shawl is a representation of life. Every day activities are the stitches that comprise the whole of the masterpiece of an individual life and then disaster strikes. As a confessed follower of Christ, I have the privilege of always calling upon God for direction and guidance through difficulties. As a piece of clay I have opportunity to be pulled, molded and stretched into the exact masterpiece God desires me to be.

So, will my lovely shawl be destroyed? Will I give up in defeat?  Will the yarn be  repurposed in failure?  Absolutely not. As God continues to work to make me better, to smooth the rough patches and fix the holes and imperfections. I will seek the assistance of a professional who can create flawed beauty from my tattered pieces.

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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Jeremiah 23:24 (NIV)

24 Who can hide in secret places     so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord.     “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.


For many years  I have maintained my own fingernails.  It was a consistent weekly Sunday night ritual, until I started knitting. Pushing back cuticles, cutting and filing followed by slow patient polishing.  Ok maybe not so patient during polishing, as evidenced by errant brush strokes that will peel off with soap and water.

A very rare and special treat was a trip to a nail salon for an infamous mani-pedi. Rare because I am blessed with an aunt,  who happens to be a top of the line nail technician, who  always ensured that I have enough professional polishes, emery boards and oil to keep my nails in perfect condition from home.

That rare treat and my slacking due to knitting almost destroyed my nails. I like many other innocent women, I contracted a fungus. My always strong nails clouded and were slowly dying, from the inside.  Due to my less than fastidious care and keeping them covered in polish I was unaware of the damage.

My unsaved life was the same, all spit and polish on the outside, yet crumbling and dying underneath. A life specialist Named Jesus had to be called upon, He alone could fix my life.   From the inside out He worked to clear out the damaged parts and replace them with pockets of His Love until my life was so full the damage became a memory from which others could be served.  My nails also needed a professional, so I texted my aunt and she told me what to do to bring back the health of my fingertips.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

 

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Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,  for His compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning;     great is your faithfulness.



I had extremely productive plans for the holiday weekend!  There was a wedding to attend and as I packed my three projects for the ride, I noted the progress of each.  These were not projects that needed to be cast on, okay one did need to be put on the needles but the rest were at least 60 rows in.  I was looking forward to a pleasant ride with my needles clacking their soothing cadence with music softly playing.

Alas, then the car air conditioner and the cd player went out.  No biggie, I could still knit, but that morning I neglected to fortify myself with a cup of coffee.  So not having achieved full wakefulness I picked up the needles and  pattern, allowing my faulty memory to tell me where to begin, I totally neglect to re-read my notes, so I did not include the necessary increases in those twelve rows.  In frustration, I stuffed that project back into the bag and picked up the next “mindless” project. Admittedly, I had already made two minor mistakes that only a perfectionist would have caught, then my coffee deprived mind made mistake number three.

Three strikes and  that project was now out and hastily packed away.  The breeze picked up and I sat and pouted, fussing at myself and trying to figure out what to do.  I did not read the directions again, I did not make sure that I my mind was in the right space to move forward.  Riding home the next day later, I pulled out the project and began pulling out ALL of the stitches.  I’m sure the trucks looking down in the car thought I was knitting, but nooooo, I was frogging!  There was quite a bit of tension released as I wound that sweater back into a ball.

Like life, I am still learning to acknowledge and recognize my errors.  I am resigned to be more patient with myself and others.  Life is filled with constant lessons should we be willing to learn and embrace our mistakes long enough to acknowledge, confess and release them.  Did I not read my Bible that morning?  Had I neglected to find out God’s plans for my day?  Without fortifying myself with the Word, the reading or patterns and directions won’t happen.  Knowing God’s plan for the trip, would have diminished the frustration I caused.  Thankfully, God permits do overs, His mercies are fresh and new every day. I am grateful for the blanket of forgiveness that cover our lives should we be willing to learn and move forward.

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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English: Photo showing how to pick up a droppe...

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7 Give all your worries to him, because he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NCV)

For two days, the needles have been silent.  Fingers have not felt the soothing slide of yarn, ears have not heard the rhythmic clicking and clacking of stitches being woven together nor have my eyes viewed rows of progress.   Every single work in progress,  all of them, came to a screeching halt.   What the world, how could it be the very thing that has fueled my days and blog had stopped.  I have been perplexed and in a word, lost.

One innocuous phone call and my world went into a silent, motionless holding pattern.  Not upset, not resigned, not spurred on, just…nothing.   Oh then last night the dam broke and the tears and words flowed, freely and unchecked.  I was impatient and once again questioning God, Poppa why? what? when?  As usual, He spoke, the whisper caressed my ear, gently patted my back and dried the tears.  “I got this!”  That was it, all He said and I realized again that the life I had surrendered so long ago, remained surrendered.  My self-imposed worries and fears had to be laid down at His feet.   Freed, I plan to pick up the needles and work on a project of praise and thanksgiving.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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