Sunday, October 21, 2007
Lessons that Continue
One of my sewing buddies told me recently that I have a constant thirst for learning. I used to think taking a path in life that didn't include college, there was so much to make up for, but I've decided that's probably not true. I think it's just the way God made me, us. Life hands us lessons from the moment we're born, and they don't really stop til our last breath. It's not so much a matter of individuality, of whether there are lessons to learn. Rather, whether we grab them and run with them or not. Usually I grab them - the pleasant ones. I'm no different than anyone else in wanting to avoid those that are too challenging, or scary.

Learning to tie my shoes at age six was frustrating, all those loops going over and under. Learning to roller skate, to swim, to ride a bike, to drive - all scary, to type and take shorthand, do a budget, balance a checkbook. Then to be married, raise children, cook and care for a home, deal with family dynamics. To say goodbye to friends as I moved away, or when family members passed away. To welcome into our family circle new additions, or new friends as we moved into communities.

My mother, in her 70's, is still learning the ins and outs of a new job, and will soon begin the learning process that comes with owning a home. My mother-in-law, at 95, is learning to drive an electric wheelchair. Over the past few years she's had to learn to live with pain, loneliness, physical limitations, and saying goodbye to friends who live at her assisted living facility.

As I look at family members' lives, the lessons are endless. Some are pure pleasure, some are painful. I listened to a sermon last night - the crux of it was that God is preparing us for what He's prepared for us. Whatever I'm going through today is a training ground for tomorrow, if I'll let it be. Sometimes the training is pleasant, sometimes not so much. Still, it all reflects God's love for us, his confidence in us.

This week, here in Texas, I'm learning to deal with noise levels a few decibals higher than I'm used to, to serve others graciously even when I'm tired, to recognize the sinfulness that raises it's ugly head in me way too easily. I'm learning to more fully appreciate the stage of life I'm at. While it includes some battling of the bulge, and crow's feet, a need for Hydrience every six weeks, it also has a lot of quiet times, freedom to choose how I spend my day, cooking dinner and not doing three other things at the same time. The lessons never end, if we'll just recognize them as such.

Sarah decided this week was a good time to teach me to knit. I'm crafty, I've crocheted, I sew, I quilt. It shouldn't have been a big stretch. It was. My fingers did not want to go in all those positions, loop over this, under that, pull through here, not there. The first day I cast on, and tore out at least a dozen times. By the end of the second day I joked that I had a nice blanket for a worm. Then all of a sudden, on day three, the hand positions didn't feel so strange, and my fingers seemed to just go there. The casting on wasn't so tight, since I wasn't so anxious about it all. Sarah gave me a project - she had me pick a skein of yarn in my favorite color, sage green, then she set me about a project - a scarf. On day four I'm enjoying it so much more, have ordered a couple of books for when I return home, and checked into a shop near my home, "Bloomin Yarns". They not only carry beautiful yarns, they will likely have a class I can sign up for. Already it feels like a great stress-buster, rather than stress-inducer, to grab my needles and click away.

I've checked - the airlines allow knitting needles onboard! By the time I get home, I should just about have a lovely knitted scarf, ready in time for the change of weather that is just around the corner.

How gracious is God! He continues to give us lessons, to prepare us today for what He's prepared for us tomorrow. Some will be challenging situations, requiring patience on my part, or tolerance of situations and circumstances different than what I'm used to. Some may be a beautiful knitted cap to go with that scarf. Or a lap blanket for someone I care about.

The lessons continue - they're there daily, they don't always feel so comfortable at first, but if we just grab them and run with them, oh what we're capable of!


  posted at 1:36 PM

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    Girl Raised in the South

    I have a deep, abiding love for full octane coffee, sewing, knitting, quilting, reading, cooking, gardening, God and my family - not in that order.

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