Today’s blog comes from Barb, a regular volunteer at the Wellspring Living women’s home.
One evening in 2005, women at my church met to discover what it means to minister “outside the box.” The truth we learned was that God has placed each of us in specific places with unique opportunities to reach the women in our lives for His glory. We don’t have to wait until we feel ready. “Allow God to ‘wow’ you as you embrace the adventure that lies ahead,” we were told. “Consider what you already enjoy doing.”
I pondered and prayed. Tutoring? Cooking? Knitting? Hmmm. I loved to knit, but really, how could God use needles and yarn? If I knit with others, what would be our purpose? About that time a friend gave me a tour of the Pregnancy Resource Center of Gwinnett. “What do you need?” I asked. “Baby booties—50 pairs every month for women when pregnancy is confirmed.” I had never made booties. I did not even have a pattern. But now I had a goal. Just as God builds our faith by giving us a dream of something beyond ourselves, something that requires his guidance, Heartstrings Needlework Ministry was born. During our first month, 100 pairs of booties were made, showing me that I could trust in God’s provision. Since then, many women have come alongside to “Knit@Nite” for others. Recipients today include infants at Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, parents at the Lilburn Co-op, refugee families in Clarkston, women restored by NightLight Atlanta, cancer patients, and U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Wow.
Knitting, however, is so much more than the end products. Yes, hundreds of booties, blankets, bibs, caps, shawls, and scarves have been lovingly made and families prayed for stitch by stitch. Yet the creative process—choosing colors, following a pattern, trusting in the outcome, ripping out and starting over, experimenting with different fibers, accepting help, learning from each other—mirrors life in a centering, therapeutic way. The satisfaction that comes from saying “I made this” is immeasurable. So it was easy to say “Yes!” to offer a class to Wellspring Living Women. We had to share what we enjoy doing. Recently I was thrilled to hear the word is out and knitters are now teaching at the Wellspring Living Girls Home!
Above all, knitting is relational. It stirs memories of lessons learned or perhaps skills attempted and forgotten, of favorite warm blankets, scarves and sweaters, and a desire to give to others. As the seventh of eight children, side-by-side time with my mom was precious. I treasure her gift of showing me how to knit. Each time we visit Wellspring Living, I pray the women experience the same patience, unconditional love, and acceptance. At 91, mom is still knitting baby caps and booties, and the mittens her mother made every Christmas for all of us are passed down to great-grandchildren! We can each have our own beautiful legacy to pass on to future generations—not just in what we produce, but in how we share God’s love at home and in community.
I am grateful for the welcome we feel at Wellspring Living and for how the Lord is growing my faith through my sisters who “Knit@Nite.”