Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Things I’m Working On

This time of year, all crafters are busy. 

This week, I’m finishing up an order for a local friend - 100 of my plastic canvas ribbon crosses. I promised they would be completed before Thanksgiving.

After that, I immediately begin on a dozen of my little Christian acronym mini-signs for another friend. These do not need to be ready until mid-December, but there are reasons I need to finish them before 11/29.

On 11/30, I begin 3 days of pre-Op eye drops (4x a day); on 12/3, I have my first cataract surgery, followed by a week of steady eye drops. I’m not sure how easy it will be do to very close, fine work during that time, so I’m playing it safe and having these done early.

During my recovery, I’ll work on things that are easier to see and feel - some gifts for local friends, gifts for our Charity Crafting team, for my senior mobile home community newsletter delivery team - that type of project.

During this time, I can also easily work on charity crafting projects like hats, scarves, gloves for the homeless, things for needy new moms, and prayer shawls and prayer lap covers.

I’d love to also be making more things for my Etsy shop, but even I have my limits. Still, I am so happy to be able to work with my hands - I love when a project is finished and turns out exactly as I had hoped it would do.

Every year, I promise myself I’ll begin, in January, to craft and build a stash of little things to have ready at year end. Every year, I remember my goal and my resolve sometime just before Christmas.

I’m sure you all know exactly what I mean; I’m sure you are all in the same boat.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Well, I’ve Lost My Bed

My mobile home is old and drafty. My latest kitty, a 3-1/2 “shelter cat” has consistently sought rest in odd little corners in here since we brought her home just about two years ago. It has always been on the floor.

During the night, she will usually jump up on the bed, and onto my chest/tummy, for about 15 minutes, enjoying the rise and fall of my body and the warmth. Then she leaves. 

A few moments ago, however, Silkie surprised me by jumping up on the bed although I am not in it, and curling up, up near the pillow, and is fast asleep. 

I think she just realized she’s a cat and that this is a house that loves cats and that she is allowed, in here, to get up on things - like the bed. 

I think I just lost control of that bed (sigh).

This should be an interesting night!  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Amazing Little Everyday Miracle

From time to time, I’ve written about how I feel nothing is too small to pray for or about. I figure that if Jesus turned the water into wine, before he was even planning to announce himself to the world, just to save a local groom some embarrassment, then it would be fine to ask about some of my smaller issues.

Today was amazing in that respect. I have been stalling when it comes to packing and returned a bunch of equipment tied to my former contract TV service. They sent me the box, one small piece of bubble wrap (about 36” x 12”), a piece of paper wet-me tape for sealing (not even a yard long), and a prepaid label. 

I finally disconnected the last of the equipment within the past week. I ended up with (are you ready for this), altogether, from all the connections, 4 larger “boxes,” several smaller power supplies, a fat power strip, and 15 (yep, I counted them) various cords, cables and wires. 

There was no way that small piece of wrap was sufficient. And they told me that if anything arrived broken, I’d pay for it. 

I prayed on this issue, feeling it was too trivial but I really needed all the help I could get. Two days ago, I found a grocery bag stuffed with a variety of bubble wrap in my clutter. I brought that into the back bedroom. I spread out all the equipment. 

And I began.

I placed their inadequate piece of bubble wrap on the floor of the box. I began placing the largest pieces of equipment in first. As each piece went in, I grabbed a piece of bubble wrap from my stash. One by one, I managed to get each piece into that box. 

Meanwhile, some “pieces” of bubble wrap turned out to be bubble-wrap-pockets, like pouches. I easily tucked cords, cables and wires into two of these, and small power supplies into another. 

Each time I reached for more bubble wrap, I expected it to be the last piece. That bag of wrap became my “loaves and fishes.” I cannot believe that I kept pulling out more as I needed it. It didn’t look as though I had anywhere near enough, but I did.

When I placed the last wire inside, and gently placed the carton flaps down to see if it would all close, I was happy to see that it will be just fine. I will seal it in the morning and call for pickup. 

And, here’s the real miracle - when I finished, I ended up with exactly as much bubble wrap as I needed, exactly! That grocery store plastic bag I had it all stashed in did not look as though it held that much. It just kept appearing every time I reached inside!

Lord Jesus, even something as trivial as my fears of packing this carton safely and properly was important enough for your help. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this little miracle today. I am still stunned by how well you answered my insignificant prayer. Thank you for this little miracle.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What “Only 38 Days Until Christmas” Means to a Crafter

Today, I head on the news that there are only 38 days until Christmas. 

When I was still working outside the home, and getting paid every two weeks, I would have immediately done the math and realized that meant I only had two (or three, depending on the pay day structure) pay days until Christmas.

As a Crafter, it makes my fingers itch. 

That’s not nearly long enough to make all the things I want to make for those I want to give something to. Even the small, token items, or what we might call stocking-stuffers, still take time and effort, if we are making them by hand.

Yep, it makes my fingers itch, and even though I am not a headache-person, it makes me think I should be getting a headache at this time just thinking about it.

But to be truthful, I sort of love the excitement of the challenge every year. It has to be fun and loving or else it would not matter and I would not do it. 

Some of my reasons for making things by hand for holiday gift-giving are financial. There is always the fact, as well, that I just love crafting and always loved making things for gifts. I’ve loved doing that ever since I was a little girl. 

Part of the fun, also, is in choosing what to make for each individual.

And, some of the joy comes from the friends and loved ones who truly do enjoy what I give them, no matter how small or inexpensive, simply because I did take the time to do it.

So, yes, I only have 38 more days to accomplish it all, but what a wonder-filled 38 days (and nights) they will be!  

Helping the Strong as Well as the Weak

Today I was thinking a lot about some folks I’ve loved who are no longer on this earth. One, my little sister, passed on at 69 after four long-years in long-term-care. I told her often how much I loved her being both my sister and my friend. I knew, also, that she was a person who needed love, a lot, and that the words meant a great deal to her.

However, that led me to realize that several others in my life did not get the full measure I could have given to them. My mother, my dear old friend, Jane, her son (like my own), and a few others. Oh, I thought they knew how much I cared and how much I admired many things about their character. But I look back and I did not say enough.

Here, on earth, the words do mean something to us. These folks were strong. They had the courage to deal with life’s problems and not gripe about it as much as others sometimes do. I always admired their bravery, their stoic ways - but because of that, I held back on the words.

The other day, I was on the phone with my “baby” brother (now 70). I did make sure to tell him how proud I was of him for several things he had done that not many would have tackled. I am glad I did that. After today’s reminiscing, I realize that it is important to tell our friends and loved ones how much we care, or why we care, whenever we have the opportunity.

I can’t hold back on complimenting or praising or thanking someone just because I think they are so strong that they do not need it.

A post has circulated recently on social media that says something similar. It mentions that just because a person is strong, it doesn’t mean that they do not need a hug or a word of support at times.

Sweet Lord Jesus, fill me with your love and remind me at the right moment to give a word of encouragement or love or support exactly when someone on my life’s path needs it most. Help me resist the urge to assume they are strong and do not need those words. And please help me find the right words to say.