The Comfort I’ve been Given
I’ve been there. Home alone and feeling kind of lonely. When my husband was still serving in the Army National Guard, there were weekends and summer training when I was a party of one. Sometimes there is comfort in solitude, and other times, it is a terrifyingly isolating experience. My heart holds a special place for those military spouses and anyone who is lonely.
For years now, I have attempted to make Christmas presents for our family members. I say attempt only because sometimes when you have four children under the age of nine all you can muster is a half completed scrapbook. Let me use this moment to support all the mommas doing the best they can. If someone gives you a half completed scrapbook, don’t look at that as the glass is half empty. Look at all the love (and probably hours of sacrificed sleep or a less than picked up house) it took to give you that much even if it is half full. This doesn’t get better as they grow and get involved in activities. Do not judge these mommas! Just don’t. Every mom I know is doing the best she can and is probably her own harshest critic. Why add to that?
My other reason for using the word attempt is that my gifts haven’t always arrived on time. My gift list totals over thirty people (twice that many if you count teachers), and sometimes there are only so many hours in the day. More than once I have ordered my glass of sweet tea with extra, extra, extra ice and if they would be so kind to throw in an extra hour or two for this day, I would appreciate it. So needless to say, I have the best intentions, but not always the time nor energy to see them to completion on time.
But the one thing that never fails is that when I am making something for anyone is the item is well prayed over. While I am sewing or knitting or crocheting or crafting, every second my hands are touching that item, my heart and head are praying for the recipient.
So it was for our niece this year for Christmas. Having recently moved, and her beau traveling away from home for long stretches at a time, I knew I needed something extra special for her. My family’s story of triumph over tragedy has been punctuated by the people who have buoyed our spirits when we didn’t even know how desperately we needed comfort. Many were sweet souls who had endured life’s hardships and they were sharing from a deep well of love and support from the comfort they had been given. My heart felt that maybe our niece needed just a little more love and support this year.
She has often tagged me in crafting posts, dropping hints that she might really, really, REALLY enjoy said item. So this year knowing that while she does have people in her new community who adore her that this might be the year of comfort.
It took a village and a bit of persistence because once I set my mind to making an afghan out of gigantic yarn there was no looking back. Skeins of yarn flew in from Florida, Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota because apparently the yarn I chose is discontinued – of course, it would be – requiring personal shoppers around the country. Let me just take a moment to say that knitting this blanket on size 50 circular needles (yes they make those) was akin to wrestling an octopus. Often, the octopus won and I had to put it away for a bit. Add to that the fact that I have hit the stage of life where I need a turbo fan wherever I go, there were moments that I considered knitting this treasure in my bathing suit. Love knows no limits . . . unless of course, you have to break it to the puppy that the blanket is not for her.
I couldn’t be more proud of the final product as it is beautiful, but more so, because I hit it out of the park with our niece. Along with the blanket, we gave her a soup cookbook (which turns out is her favorite comfort food). Totally auntie win-win! But even more importantly is every stitch was knit with prayers that whenever she is wrapped in this warmth she feels the love of the hands, hands that know days of loneliness needing comfort, that made it for her.
Had it not been for a blizzard it would have arrived right on time, too. I guess we can’t win them all. But who’s sweating the little stuff? Wherever you are today, I pray that God is wrapping you in His arms of comfort!