"And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;" KJV
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you," NIV
(1 Thessalonians 4:11)
This verse has been life-changing for me. I keep it with me through the day
Today I would like to pose some questions. They should be simple enough to answer, with at least a reasonable 'guess'timate. And yet, I think that most of us find it difficult to even think about these seemingly innocent questions. Please stay with me here, because I hope that you will be encouraged as we go on.
1. How many sewing patterns do you own? How many of those have you actually made up at least once?
2. How many knitting or crochet patterns are in your cupboards? What proportion of them have you used?
3. How much fabric do you have, how many card-making supplies?
4. Are you thinking about buying more of the above, even though you haven't used what you do have?
Dear Home-makers, my final question is..
What sort of emotions are you feeling as you consider those questions?
Many of us are probably feeling some measure of guilt, stress, anxiety, dissatisfaction, inferiority, or even fear!
We are aware of the desire within us, to make pretty and useful things for our homes and family.To 'work with our hands'. These creative ideas whirl around in our heads like a tangled muddle, but they rarely translate themselves into finished items (or even begun items). We may even buy the new fabrics, yarns and pattern books, fully intending to make them up 'next week' or 'by Christmas'. We feel bad about wasting money on them.
I believe that it doesn't have to be this way. It is possible for the home-maker to turn those negative and unproductive emotions around. From feeling guilty, stressed and fearful - and unfulfilled, to productive, meaningful, relaxing, contenting and peaceful. Her home can soon be full of lovingly crafted pretty touches, and clothes for herself and her family.
One obstacle that gets in the way is - no time! This is the first thing we need to address when dealing with 'creativity anxiety' in the Home-maker
Here are some beautiful images from the past which can give us some insight into their attitudes towards creativity.
The first thing that strikes me about these images, is that none of them seem to be in a hurry. The little girl in the first picture looks as if she is engrossed in the pleasure of the 'making' rather than focusing on 'the end result'
In the second image, the lady sewing seems to be very relaxed and quiet. This is her 'evening' activity. There doesn't appear to be a deadline, rather, regular sewing, mending or small gifts to sew while the little ones are sleeping
In the next, our little girl and friend are content to sit and sew, or watch. And in the last picture, the woman knitting socks for her family is dreaming as she clicks away with her needles.
Today's home-maker does not have the time to approach her sewing and creativity in the same way. It isn't very easy - and it certainly isn't much fun trying to cram your sewing into jam-packed days. But there ARE things we can do which will give us the time we need. Just by making small changes, we can reap big benefits. Here are some ideas to think about
Facebook.Twitter. Internet. TV, Cell/Mobile phone. Books and magazines. Can all be useful, but can also be a way of frittering away huge chunks of our day , nosing into the lives of others, judging their actions or righteousness, unwholesome, unedifying and time-sapping. How many hours a day are we using one or other of these media?
Activities outside the home. Is it vital to your family or yourself to spend much of your time outside of the home?
Perfectionism. Spending hours in the kitchen perfecting new recipes, over-detailed cleaning (worrying about what others may think of your housekeeping). Are you a total perfectionist when it comes to your sewing or crafts? The beauty of home-made is in the imperfection. It doesn't look mass-produced.
Choosing the RIGHT time Sometimes, there is the time to be found in the day, but it is not convenient to sew or craft at that time because of the space required for that activity. The home-maker needs to think about the way her home and family run. It's no good getting out the pins or card-making when it's nearly tea-time for example. It is a good idea to sew in the evenings when children are asleep or everyone has eaten and settled down. As you can see from many old pictures, ladies often sewed by lamp or candle-light. In our house, our electric lights are those energy-saving bulbs that don't give off good light. But, as in the old days, it is still possible to do things without daylight. Save the cross-stitch projects for the daytime however and sew while sitting near a window as you can
|My house cross-stitch is a daylight project|
The home-maker can adjust her day and her priorities so as to make time for quiet creativity. It takes a little thought and effort. But most of all, I find, it simply takes a decision to make small changes.
This world is a hard task-master. It insists that life is all about performance, results, productivity. But that is not where contentment lies. The joy and contentment comes from taking your time, the feel of the fabric, the rhythm of the stitches, the love that is woven into them. This has been my experience as someone of older years. I wish I had learned it when I was young.
Remember that making the changes we would like in our life, can seem impossible however hard we try, but when we are weak, God is strong. We can take our weaknesses to our Heavenly Father in prayer, and He can transform us through the power of His Holy Spirit
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Happy creating, ladies