~California Car Knitting~
Hello, there! I haven't yarned along in a long, long while. It's good to be knitting again. In a most encouraging note, Beth observed that the old ladies at the quilting store and the yarn shop have gnarled arthritic hands. And still, they create their art with them. (Seriously, Beth herself is such an inspiration. She knits and quilts and trains for a triathalons--all with arthritis.). So, I'm knitting. It hurts in the beginning and I can't go for very long at at all, but I'm doing it.
I started a much bigger version of this shawl while in California. I chose the yarn ahead of time--a Pakucho cotton in Forest. Pakucho cotton is 100% organically grown in Peru by rural artisan and Indian farmers, using sustainable methods, on small farmyard plots. And it's entirely fair trade. But, wait! There's more. It's not dyed. It's naturally colored yarn that grows in eight earthy colors. Colored cotton has grown in Peru for 4,500 years but it's recently been revived. Intrigued? Read all about it here.
The poet in me was pretty thrilled when my yarn perfectly captured my impression of the hues of California's landscape. It's a lovely gray-green-with-a-touch-of-brown.
I've made a little--just a little- progress on it since arriving home. I'm still settling into a workable fall routine and part of that is seeing where my knitting pockets are. I finished reading Interrupted on the trip. I have to admit that I was very inspired by 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and very bothered by Interrupted. [Caveat: among the heavy influences listed in Interrupted was Richard Rohr.]. What bothered me, I think, was the impression that somehow we are all called to flee the suburbs and serve the poor somewhere else. After reading the book, I looked at my homeschooling-mother-of-many-life and wondered if I wasn't totally missing the mark because I wasn't feeding the hungry in Africa or at least in downtown DC. Somehow, taking a baby from a weary mom at our dance school and rocking her for awhile didn't seem as worthy as rocking an orphan in Ethiopa. But God loves that mom at dance and He loves that baby, too. There are spiritually starving people right here in my midst. I know them and He calls me to love them well. To love them wholeheartedly. Some of us might be called to encourage and love and educate and support and feed and disciple right here in the midst of the minivans. Interrupted distracted me from my vocation. I don't think that was the author's intention. I think it was my overzealous interpretation. There's probably much more to say about that. I tend to get distracted...
Other things that try to distract me from hearth and home and this needy bunch of kids who all look astonishingly like my husband are opportunities to write and speak and work in the online and between-the-covers world of Christian publishing and ministry. In order to go to California, I had to say "I'm sorry, I can't do that." Again. Twice. I couldn't go to the Catholic New Media Conference in Dallas, despite prior plans to do so. And I couldn't join Sally Clarkson and the other writers from MomHeart at Sally's home for a leadership intensive. Both were good things. Very good things. A week in California with my husband? It was the better thing. It was the thing God intended for me. Sally was so very encouraging when I told her about the trip. And I know she's held me in her heart and her prayers. So, I'm revisiting my copy of The Ministry of Motherhood.
I can hear Sally's voice reminding me that God calls me home. I keep saying "no." Or "not just yet." Just as I was certain all those many years ago that God was calling me to raise a large family for His Glory, I am reminded that He still wants me here. There are many, many opportunities to serve Him in my neighborhood and on the soccer field and even in the grocery store. My children are learning to recognize those opportunities right alongside me. I am still wholeheartedly investing in my home and family because my family still needs me. Their needs are numerous and important and my job is far from finished. This is my Africa.
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