We have been enjoying a far too rare "gloomy", grey, cloudy day here... and while "gloomy" would be the most common description, I find these days refreshing and peaceful. I spent yesterday at home with the little ones while DH took the older three off to football games for the day. I wisely invested in a small Sponge Bob lego set in the morning which occupied the 2 boys for the entire day, which freed me up to dust, scrub floors, clean cabinets and do a bit of knitting... or maybe it was a bit of the other stuff and a lot of knitting. Hmmm... just semantics really.
Anyway today I have actually been reading which I do far to seldom anymore. I am quite caught up in this book, Stepping Heavenward... subtitled "One Woman's Journey to Godliness". Do you ever read something and just sit there amazed that somebody else could so intimately understand you and your struggles? Like you're reading something that was perfectly intended for you at this point in your life and it is no accident that you have picked it up just when you have? It doesn't happen very often but this is most definitely one of those books. Written in journal form, it tells the story of a young woman's growth into womanhood and maturity from her own intimate, painfully honest perspective. Fun-loving, impetuous and more than a bit selfish she struggles as she becomes aware of her often ill or willful behavior and strives to move forward. It is her story of growth and setbacks... her painful awareness of her own shortcomings and her growing awareness of the woman God is calling her to be.
I love her bitterness over the fact that she could really be the wife and mother God was calling her to be if He would just remove all the difficult people and obstacles in her way of doing so... wouldn't it be though! But truly, what would be left? I often feel that my own attitudes - including selfishness, laziness, and impatience - are my own worst obstacles to overcome. I had the distinct embarrassment of watching my 4 yos throw a good ole fashioned fit, kicking and screaming on the floor of Borders yesterday because I wouldn't get him the way too expensive book with the cheap plastic wrench that he wanted. As any experienced/tired mother of 5, (at least as any selfish, impatient & lazy mother of 5) I left him laying there in the aisle and walked away (it's not like you couldn't hear him from any corner of the store). He, of course, followed me slightly whimpering until I stopped at another rack (yes, it was the knitting magazine section... I had left him at the knitting book section) at which point he resumed his position on the floor kicking and screaming. Well, I dealt with his behavior when we got home. Obviously it was entirely inappropriate... it was selfish, greedy, impatient, and stubborn... and... it represents all the feelings I too often have inside when I can't have something I want. Is the extent of my growth the fact that I have learned to recognize and suppress these feelings instead of throwing myself on the floor of the LYS because I can't get the new merino on display? Yikes. Anyway, as I read Stepping Heavenward, I clearly see her growth even though she can't always see it herself... I take great comfort and peace in knowing that He's still at work in me and His patience far exceeds mine.
So... what does any of this have to do with knitting? For me, a lot. I, like many others (I know, I've read your blogs), struggle with the balance of this whole knitting thing. It captivates me, absorbs my thoughts and I'm pretty sure I could knit 24 hours a day (with enough caffeine) and never get bored (ya know - especially if I kept casting on or buying new yarn occasionally). I want knitting to be a joy, a pleasurable escape, a hobby to occupy my waiting hands... but I want my passion to be for God and my family. For me, this book is helping me find that perspective.
Notes: Forgive the poor photo quality, I often need to enlist very young photographers to do my photo shoots. That's Ella on top, Viveka in the middle and the beginning of a hat for the Christmas ministry on the sidebar at the bottom. (See - the book must be working... unselfish knitting - big step. :)