Refreshing Hearts One Sentence At A Time
I come from a family of crafters. My mom and sisters can sew, knit, crochet, cross-stitch and hem and hook and hitch almost any item that would be created with a type of string. I, however, have never been able to catch the fever. I’ve had a minimal desire to pull out my still-in-a-box-after-seven-years sewing machine. The desire was there, but has been put on the back burner pretty much all my life. I’ve made a random item here and there, including a bright yellow trenchcoat for this creepy three foot tall doll my fraternity friends found in college and for some reason kept it around and took it places with us. It needed some clothing, after all.
So here I am, a crackerjack thirty-one-year old who of course needs something else to do. After all, teaching online classes, raising two children as a stay at home mom, and helping out a moms ministry occasionally, are small things that require almost no time or mental capacity. Note my sarcasm.
But there’s that small desire in the back of my mind, the one that says, “You should be able to do this. Your mom can do it. Your sisters can do it. All these other people you know can do it. That Proverbs 31 chick could do it. Come on, pansy! Buck up and make your two girls some fluffy ruffly dresses!” I shake my head at myself, and shrug with a sigh.
Then a friend offers me the chance to whip out my machine with a new group of friends who also want to learn! I’m NOT the only 30-something who doesn’t know a selvage from a serger. We gather materials, meet, and after three three-hour meetings, I have created a shopping bag. Miracle of all miracles! My courage has been gathered, my feathers have been ruffled, and now we must make a baby blanket!! Because a baby blanket should be easy. Because a baby blanket…should…be….easy.
Two hours later, I finished the blanket, older and wiser.
The blanket is still in the dryer, fluffing.
I don’t know who will receive my fancy gift.
Who knew straight lines were so hard to create? Who knew flannel warped so much when moving in a straight line?!
As I was yanking, tugging, sighing, and stitching and unstiching and restitching, flashbacks of my desires to learn the drums, attempts to play the soprano saxophone, ballroom dancing, cheerleading, aerobics instructing, interpretive dancing, basically any time of dancing, and baking cookies from scratch, whirled through my mind. I could list even more activities that were flops. See, I like to try new things. Maybe I get bored easily, I don’t know. I like NEW. I like new food, new flavor, new spice, new scent, new days, new shows, new hairstyles, new shirts, new earrings, new weather, new jokes, new ideas, new products, new projects. I’m not great at sustaining projects. But I can hang in there with the best of them, even when the ship is going under. I never let go, Jack. There are a few activities in which I engage that fuel my passion and duel for my time, and those projects continue on. Like writing. I can write a pretty decent sentence from time to time. Like that one. And that one. Wink.
We are not all meant to star in the same show. Each human is uniquely shaped and gifted. I have my green eyes, you have your blues. I’ve got my shifty blond eyebrows and you’ve got your rosy cheeks. The conclusion to which I am drawing with my projectastrophies are that I don’t have to sew well. I don’t have to be a master housekeeper. I don’t have to be a tasty baker. I don’t have to be The Best At Everything. I don’t even have to know how to do everything. Although that’s another project for another time. Seriously.
For goodness sakes, DO try the new projects. If you want to craft, then grab some string. If you want to build a media room, start comparing projectors. Be not afraid to try new things, for that is where passion begins. If I’m afraid, or if you’re afraid, to advance upon new paths, then any journey will be dark, dreary, and dangerous. But if along the journey you discover that you don’t really like to ride a bicycle, and if you keep falling off the bicycle, and the bicycle makes you mad, then by all means try a scooter, or roller skates, or a motorcycle, or a car, or even just walking. You may be the next greatest Oarsman who was trying to ride in the Tour de France. Put down the bicycle and don’t be afraid to say, “Well, that wasn’t for me.”
As I work with students in online classes, I read all sorts of sentences. I come across writers and I come across let’s-just-step-away-from-the-keyboarders. As a sewer…. Ha ha ha, let’s just enjoy that sentence fragment, eh? My gift is not in sewing. My passion is not in running marathons. My goals are not involved in fixing the innards of computers. But I do care about words, and how fun they are to manipulate. I do dream of finishing my tenth novel with a crowd of readers anxiously awaiting the next juicy morsels for me to deliver to them. I do tip my hat at those who mend, who dance, who bake, who barter, who fix what I cannot.
But I tip my hat with a smile instead of an anxious, thudding heart. I appreciate the stops along the journey that show me I should indeed hone my capabilities instead of pander in the fabric aisle. I will instead follow the pricking of my heart rather than the pricking to my pride. I need to write. Writing intensifies the joy in my life. Writing is a challenge, and writing will never be perfect, and I will never be the perfect writer. But I’m glad I have found my niche. Life is tough when you haven’t found your niche; and I’ve been there, so I know the dull ache. I’ve found my boat, although at times I look longingly toward the shore. Have you found your boat? Or are you still wobbling on the bicycle?
Now, in other news, does anybody want a baby blanket?
But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. (1 Corinthians 1:9)
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