Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Finishing Well...a Christmas Letter

Christmas comes at just the right time of the year, near the end. It is during this festive time most of us put on a new spirit of generosity, grace and forgiveness, and of course love. Despite our shortcomings throughout the daily grind of life, we strive to finish the year well, being the kind of people that God wants us to be. It is after all, a joyous celebration of the birth of Christ, the greatest "finisher" of all.
I wish I could say that I too was a great finisher. I am, rather, a great starter. I start books, and after the first few pages if the author writes in a style that I don't enjoy, I don't finish it. I start knitting projects, but if the garment looks like it will fit a small cow, then it goes in the pile of abandoned yarn. I start diets, but they are much to hard to stick to, especially at Christmas time, so I quit in the same day I started.
I spend a lot of time daydreaming about projects and tasks to start. I started this blog some time ago, and because I love to write, I thought I would keep it up. Not so. I think about starting another art quilt, but the challenge of what to do is overwhelming, so on that one, I decide not to start at all. For all my good intentions, the days just get away from me, and I end up just living life and taking care of what needs to be done.
Let me assure you that I have much to be thankful for this year. Dave and I have our health, our home, and our family. On the homefront, after years of driving over potholes and stubbing our toes on exposed aggregate, we were able to finish our new concrete driveway and courtyard this year. The result was a dramatic change to our home and our IRA (sigh). So no big vacations this year, right? We did sneak in a short jog up to Seattle with Mom to see my brother. Our kids are doing well, and the grandkids are a never ending source of joy and amusement for Dave and I. Dave continues to golf and fish, two passions that he will never finish. And I have spent a lot of hours since May helping out with our church's expansion project which, God willing, will be finished in February, 2012. Life is good.
I had a spiritual epiphany this year. I finished a book "The Green Letters" and learned more about myself than I have in all the 20 plus years that I have been a Christian. I learned that it's not so much surviving in my faltering humanity but standing firm in my position in Christ, day by day, moment by moment. I am grateful that God has a time schedule for me and that I don't have to worry so much about finishing. He will accomplish His good work in me, just as He has promised. I just have to rest in Christ. May each of you have a blessed year ahead...finish a book...live a dream...love well.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

10 Things I'd Rather Do Than Seam a Sweater!

They say that knitting is a great activity for those of us who have anxious, worrying personalities. And since I can make a mountain out of a molehill in approximately 3.5 seconds, it does seem to calm my spirit in periods of mental chaos and turmoil. I love to knit. I love wearing the things that I make, though they would never win a blue ribbon by any really good knitter's standards. It still pleases me.

But today I must face the inevitable point all knitters reach after making the cute little sleeves, enormous back, and stylish fronts of a new sweater: If you want to wear it, you have to sew it together. The "Mattress Stitch" - the two worst words in the knitter's vocabulary. Maybe some people get some kind of sick joy out of seaming together a sweater, but I am not one of those people. I hate it. I dread it.

I heard from a friend of mine that she just pays someone to "put it together for her". That's a great solution if you're a good knitter. But I couldn't stand the shame of passing on my sleeve with the big knot on the wrong side, or the the left front that doesn't exactly match the right one, or the back that had a rather irregular gauge going on until I reached my pearling stride 20 rows up.

So, I'll just gut it up and get going. But as I was thinking on this beautiful Sunday morning how I wanted to finish this sweater for my Mom before we take off for Seattle, and my mind wandered to all the things I'd rather do today than seam a sweater. Like for instance:

  1. Have a root canal

  2. Dig a drainage ditch with a wooden spoon

  3. Iron clothes

  4. Walk accross Death Valley in my bare feet

  5. Eat dirt

  6. Eat liver

  7. Peel a lug of over ripe peaches in the hot sun

  8. Put on snow chains in a blizzard

  9. Drive across West Texas

  10. Undergo Chinese water torture

Did I mention that I'm a great procrastinator too? Time's a wasting, Laurel. Get to it.
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