WEAVING A LIFE

By Lisa Huddleston

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Over and under

And pulling it through

Weaving the wool

To make fabric new

 

Red wool and blue wool

And purple and gray

The over and under

Help me through the day

 

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Like yoga sometimes

It’s more undo than do

So over and under

I’m pulling me through

 

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Teasing out knots that

Ravel my brain

Picking apart to

Lessen the strain

 

Over and under

And pulling back though

Undoing the old knots

But still making new

THANKFUL FOR THE QUIET LIFE

Learning to spin.

Learning to spin.

By Lisa Huddleston

For many years I’ve had a special attachment to some words in a letter sent by the Apostle Paul to the Christ-followers living and worshiping in Thessalonica:   “… make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody” (I Thess. 4:11-12).

These words have meant different things to me over the years as I worked to raise my children, take care of my family, home school, serve at church, and live a purposeful life. Sometimes I didn’t want my quiet life. Where was the glory? Where was the glamour? Surely not in the laundry room or the kitchen or the schoolroom. And most surely not in the empty nest that was left behind when my chicks flew off. Sometimes I mourned the careers I could have had if I had not stayed at home.

My first handspun skein. Lumpy and luscious!

My first handspun skein. Lumpy and luscious!

But at other times, I just felt blessed. And that is the feeling that lingers today and keeps me pushing on in the path of my Quiet Life–blessing. My work has changed but my calling has not, and it makes me smile to find myself more and more drawn into literal hand work in the world of fiber arts. From knitting to weaving to spinning, I have discovered a deep satisfaction and sense of quiet purpose that is pulling me deeper into this woollen world of peace.

Surely, we (Chuck) can do this!

Surely, we (Chuck) can do this!

 

 

I’ve already written about the vision that is growing in me, about a studio full of creative work, about raising animals, and shearing, spinning, weaving, and knitting their wool, and about the ways my husband and I will be able to work together in these creative new endeavors. I am excited to think about our future, but I am also thankful for the work I have today and blessed by this Quiet Life I’m leading right this very minute. Even if none of my vision actually comes to pass, I know I will have business to mind, work to do, and a Quiet Life to live.

And today I am thankful for the words Paul wrote, thankful for the many different ways of living them out that are weaving themselves into my life, and thankful for the new works my hands are discovering.

Baruch haShem.

WHAT’S IN YOUR LUNCHBOX?

Clumpy, wet grass.

Clumpy, wet grass.

By Lisa Huddleston

I only have a few minutes to write today so a few minutes is what I’ll take. Some days are like that. For example, because of the unusual amount of rainfall in the Southeast this year, my yard HAD to be mowed today. I simply couldn’t put it off any longer. Even though it was still too wet to mow. Even though I couldn’t make it look as pretty as usual. Even though there are still nasty looking clumps of grass everywhere. The grass had to be cut today or we’d soon need to bush hog it!

Do you hate doing cruddy work as much as I? Often instead of doing something that I’m afraid won’t turn out well I simply won’t do it at all. Perfectionism can paralyze me. But doing something is usually better than never doing anything so I have to push myself to go. A recent example of this is the beautiful loom my husband bought and assembled for me. I sincerely wanted this loom. I had wanted a loom for a very long time. A thoughtful friend had even taken me to a weaving class to learn the process. But I still was afraid to even try to warp the thing. Finally, I bought beautiful yarn, got out my instructions, and went to work. I loved the process as well as the product! So glad fear and inadequacy didn’t hold me back forever.

First solo weaving project begun.

First solo weaving project begun.

As I mowed and pondered both of these examples I remembered good words from a recent sermon by Jim Thomas as well as something I read just this morning in Mere Christianity. First, Jim’s sermon from Mark 8: Jesus asked his disciples an important question. When it was time for the many people who had gathered to eat, the disciples wondered how they could feed so many, and Jesus asked, “How many loaves do you have?” Great question! How many loaves do I have? Today I’m running short on bread, but I can still make the most of what I have by sharing these words with you.

Then from C.S. Lewis: “We see only the results which a man’s choices make out of his raw material. But God does not judge him on the raw material at all, but on what he has done with it.” Awesome! God provides the material, but what we do with it is up to us.

Okay, so the grass is cut, the first weaving project is on the table, and these words are about to be published just as soon as I add some pictures and push the button. Hope you enjoy the snack from today’s lunch and that it will feed your soul at least just a bit. How many loaves do you have?