"When it comes to the stitching part of your life, what are you most thankful for?"
Oh, wow, that's a great question. The answer is simple...my childhood. Let me tell you a little story. Once, there was a little girl, about 5 years old, whose daddy passed away very suddenly. She had a couple of sisters, but they were much older, teenagers already. Her mommy had no education and hadn't worked a job for pay in 17 years. The home they lived in was provided by a farmer, whom the father had worked land for in exchange for use of the home. In a matter of days, they found themselves homeless, full of heartache, and without income. Enter the little girl's grandmother.
She gave them a place to stay in her large, roomy house and welcomed the mom and 3 girls to stay as long as they needed to. The mom was able to find a job as a seamstress in a factory. Sewing, needlepoint, and the like had always been a strong point for her. This left the little girl with lots of time to spend at 'home' with grandma. Grandma was fascinating...she knitted. She crocheted. She embroidered. She could do anything with a needle. The little girl sat next to her grandma's chair, enraptured by the things she could create, and just watched. And watched. And decided one day that she would like to be able to do that, too.
Months later, the little girl's mom was able to move them into an apartment. The little girl had almost no time for anything, for she had recently started kindergarten and was very busy at home helping her sisters take care of the housework. Soon, her mom started back to school and began working a second job. Her sisters were busy with high school and athletic activities, not to mention learning to drive, hanging out with friends, and the introduction of (dun dun DUN) boys. Ewww.
The little girl found herself increasingly bored and lonely, as she was shuttled from sitter to sitter to neighbor to family member to sitter. After about a year of this, her mom was able to buy them their first home. Her mom had finished school, started a new job, and was home much more often. The little girl was so happy. Unfortunately, her happiness ended about three years in, when her mom's job was 'deactivated' and she had to start over. She found work in a bicycle factory and was assigned to work second shift. By this time, the little girl was 8 or 9 years old and had learned to stay home alone and take care of herself after school. Her sisters were moved out already - one of at college and one engaged to be married. The little girl was alone. A lot. Lots of kids were running around town, riding bikes, causing trouble, playing pranks. The little girl had no interest in any of that.
She turned to TV, but that quickly got boring. She tried food, but was so small she could only eat so much before becoming full and feeling sick. She tried sleep, but that only worked for an hour or so. Then, one day, she found herself sitting on the couch, watching mindless television, and remembering how her grandma used to seem so centered and at peace...and occupied...when she had her needle and thread in hand. The little girl asked her mom to show her "how to do that". Her mom gladly obliged and the little girl soon brought home her very first cross stitch kit from the local Kmart. She attacked it with great zeal and quickly figured out just how the needle/thread/fabric relationship worked. She completed that project in a matter of days and then moved on to another...and another...and another. In time, she also taught herself how to knit, crochet, and latch hook, all hobbies she enjoyed interspersed with her stitching.
To this day, that little girl is so GRATEFUL and so THANKFUL for the lessons stitching taught her. She learned to enjoy solitude, to embrace individuality (cross stitch wasn't a terribly popular hobby for teenagers), to occupy her time wisely, and to be patient...for good things will come. Today, that little girl is 33. She has passed her passion for stitching on to her DH and her daughter. She is still an avid stitcher and she still has that very first project she ever finished.
That project will always be a reminder to me that my life could have gone in so many different directions, but I love that I was able to grow up humble, be appreciative for everything I have (no matter how much or how little) and keep myself out of trouble when so many other kids my age had nothing better to do. It was needle and thread that got me through so many trying and lonely times in my life. I'm eternally thankful for such a peaceful and centering hobby.
Phillipians 4:11-12 says - "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."