Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gracious Receiving

I love making things for my parents. I gave my parents the very first afghan I ever crocheted. It wasn't "square" - it was really a trapezoid. They still have the afghan and it is used regularly (even if it is irregular). I made it about 30 years ago.

A few years ago I decided to experiment with cotton yarn and homemade dishtowels and potholders. I love how my Mom never fails to admire my handiwork. Even when things are less than perfect. I could easily believe that she's just trying to be polite, but when I visit, I find evidence that my gifts are all in use. Nothing could delight my heart more!

One dishtowel protects the counter under a bread basket. Another protects the counter from coffee drips (I could do an entire post on the challenges of pouring coffee from automatic coffee maker pots, but we'll save that for a rainy day). Another is used in a drawer to protect the Teflon lining on often-used pots/pans. One, one of the original ones, a Christmas gift from years ago, shows definite signs of wear & tear.

My Dad is not exempt from my forays into the land of domestic creativity. Years ago (Middle School? Maybe 9th grade) I was trying my hand at needlework. I monogrammed a few handkerchiefs for my Dad. He proudly put them to good use. This year I gave my Dad a few more. For the sake of comparison, he humored my request to bring out the old to mingle with the new so I could snap a shot for posterity.

I love making things for my parents. Not just because they clearly enjoy my gifts and use my gifts. It gives me joy to see their delight that I've devoted time and dedicated attention for them. Outside of their presence, I'm thinking of them. When I give them one of the "treasures" I never have to worry if they will criticize or point out the flaws. They always accept these gifts graciously.

I see the same in my relationship with God. I imagine God's pleasure when he knows that I am devoting time and dedicating attention to Him. Whether it is prayer time, bible study, daily devotionals, ministry work, fellowship in His name...more than just the face time spent in His house. More than "duty." He is not looking for perfection in our acts, in our thoughts. He is pleased by our efforts to please Him.

It gives me joy to know that I have delighted God with something I have said or done. Can we live our lives to please the LORD? I am certainly trying. With a joyful heart. And like my parents, He graciously accepts my gifts, my love, my acts of faith....all that I do in His name.



Anonymous said...

Darn good segue there! I was totally caught-up in relating my craft experiences, parents and what you were telling - not to mention I kept expecting you to say you made the basket in the top photo. Then, boom, you relate it to God!
Darn good!

Heidi said...

It's the thought you put into your gifts - that's what makes the gift so special and unique. I think the same can be said in relationship with God - it is your heart in it that makes it so sweet.

Jeanette said...

Great image and transistion from craft to talents.

Manifestation said...

Nice art work indeed.Thank you for sharing.Wish you all the best.LOL:)

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Anonymous said...

Yes, I came all the way back to this one because this is where it fits. I found this poem and wanted to share it with you. Perhaps you are familiar with it, but I hope you will enjoy it in this moment.

The Weaver
by Grant Colfax Tullar

My Life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who chose to walk with Him.