Come sit with me

I love blue, purple and scarlet yarn! I have crocheted most of my life, and when I found out that there were women across the nation who were forming Prayer Shawl Ministries, I became so excited; I started one at my church. The Wednesday devotionals on this blog weave together the art of crocheting and the love of God. Plus there are quotations on leadership, patterns, book reviews, and news from other Prayer Shawl Ministries. So if God has filled you with a love for crocheting & knitting, pull out those blue, purple and scarlet yarns and those crochet hooks and knitting needles and join me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Following Directions

John 21: 15-17
… Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” … Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” … Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

As an elementary teacher, I learned that directions should be stated in positive terms.  “Don’t run!” should be said, “Walk.”  “Stop talking!” should be, “Listen and follow directions so that you can do your work.”  As a teacher of crochet, I try to give positive directions, too.  “You’re going to jab your eye out!” becomes, “Loosen the tension on the yarn so your hook will slide easily.”
Another trick I learned as a teacher is that if I gently repeat the exact phrase and ignore the excuses, the student will eventually comply with the directions.  “Do a double crochet in that chain space.”  To which the student bleats, “But there’s not enough room in that loop.”  I repeat, “Do a double crochet in the chain space.”  And I show her where the chain space is.  In the chain space, the student does a single crochet and an extra three chains at the top.  “Do a double crochet in the chain space,” I again direct.  And I show her how to do a double crochet.
Following directions can be just as difficult as giving them.  I have to trust and respect the person telling me to follow directions.  I also have to see a purpose for the directions.  In crochet or knitting, the final purpose is clear – there is a picture of the finished product on the front page.  But the clusters of directions can seem overwhelming.  (Loop your hook under the yarn, swirl it around once, push the hook through the anchor loop.  Swirl the hook under the yarn at your left pointer finger and grab it, pull it through the anchor loop.  Swirl the hook around the yarn again and pull it through the two loops on your hook.  Swirl the hook again and pull it through the remaining two loops on your hook. That’s a double crochet stitch.  Now do 159 more on this one row of 80 rows.)
I have seen grown women throw tantrums when being given directions.  It’s not pretty.  Shouts of, “I can’t!”  “It’s not going that way!”  “This is stupid!”  and other less nice declinations of ability lead to only one end result:  the shawl will never be completed. 
Take a deep breath.  It always helps to take a deep breath.  I am not sure why, but it does.  So take a deep breath and gently repeat your directions. 
Even Jesus had to tell Peter three times.
Making a shawl is a way of feeding Jesus’s sheep and taking care of His lambs.  The directions are simple, “Make a shawl.”  Follow the directions . . . If you love Him, then you will do it.

Well God, you know how stubborn I am and that I’m not very good at all of this.  But please Lord, be patient with me.  Go ahead and repeat your directions.  Keep telling me what to do, because I do love you, God.  I want to follow your directions.  Help me feed your sheep.  Amen.

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