Why Knit?I took up knitting not long after our first adoption. I knitted a scarf first, imperfect with its holes randomly scattered, revealing to all that not only was I a novice, but also that I am decidedly not a perfectionist. The holes didn't bother me really-- but the sense of satisfaction I felt at having actually finished a project was soon to become an addiction. I've lost count of how many scarves I've knitted over the past 11 years, but suffice it to say that even my husband and 3 sons have scarves-- I totally knew they'd never wear them! I didn't care though because I soon realized that the hobby I began as a way to connect with our Russian daughter, who loved to knit, turned out to satisfy a need that parenting definitely does not. That is, I could set out to accomplish a goal and actually see it finished within a week or two. How refreshing in the midst of the parenting goals which consume our thoughts, our time, and our emotional and spiritual energies. Goals like bringing our children into healing from the deep wounds of their pasts, teaching them to give and receive love, to think before acting and to understand consequences, to learn English and to get along with others, to handle their anger well, not to mention personal hygiene, sharing toys etc, etc, etc........!
Talk about long-term goals--parenting surely can lay claim to being the job with the most delayed gratification ever! We realize early on that our efforts in raising our children often don't see the fruit we desire and believe for until an undisclosed but greatly anticipated and hoped-for day. So we parents learn to sow seeds in all kinds of climates, stages, and circumstances.
"Happy and fortunate are you who cast your seed upon all waters [when the river overflows its banks; for the seed will sink into the mud and when the waters subside, the plant will spring up; you will find it after many days and reap an abundant harvest], you who safely send forth the ox and the donkey [to range freely]." Isaiah 32:20 (Amplified)
I'm excited to share this scripture with you because it has been such an encouragement to me in the past few weeks. I am encouraged once again as a parent to continue to sow the seeds of love, wise counsel, firm boundaries, unconditional acceptance, words of Truth, kindness and firmness....
"You Will Find it After Many Days...."
Parenting is one of those jobs that is vast in scope with only occasional (but glorious) signs of accomplishment and finality. We treasure those moments when, like the tying off of the last piece of yarn on my latest knitting project, we see that one of our long-term goals have been met. As this scripture says, "you will find it after many days..." I want to encourage you parents to continue to cast in hope the seeds of your love (in all its many forms) on all the waters of your child's life, all the waters of your families' circumstances. For indeed, that seed will sink into the mud of your child's life, deep into his identity. And though hidden from you for what may seem an impossibly long season, so long that it may call upon you to believe with faith-filled hope, it will indeed "spring up."
Just recently we experienced the glorious satisfaction, (far more gratifying than any completed knitting project I am here to tell you!) of seeing seeds of healing spring up before our astonished eyes -- seeds sown over and over and over and over in hope. To hear our child speak words to us that could only be spoken from a place of deep healing, confirmed in both eyes and tone of voice, left both Stephen and me full of praise to God for His faithfulness. This experience, so fresh and pleasing, reminded us that we must not grow weary of casting our seeds when all we see is a muddy stream and truly wonder if we've made any progress at all.
Father God, we are believing You for the promised abundant harvest. Help us to parent in faith when our eyes don't see any evidence of plants and fruit in our children. May it be to us and our children as you have said. Amen.