The Lesson of Afghans


My mother is obsessed with keeping us warm. Sometime before my six-year-old was born, and I think right before I was married, she discovered crocheting. She turns a ball of yarn into a work of art, and her specialty is afghans.

I have them all over my house. There are super-soft baby-sized ones in pastels scattered in play areas and bedrooms; there are hubby-sized ones with bold dark stripes on our bed and in the living room. There are the heavyweight “it’s below zero” afghans and the lighter “just for cuddling” afghans. We have lap-sized afghans and giant-sized afghans.

I used to wonder what we would do with them all.

The answer came the first winter of my marriage. It gets COLD in our old farmhouse. The luxury of warm floors is for those in the ’burbs to enjoy – we don’t go anywhere in our house without wool socks or, better yet, our rabbit-fur-lined slippers. The piles of afghans went into immediate use as the temperature dipped, and I came to appreciate Mom’s obsession with keeping us warm, her concern about the old farmhouse (even as romantic as she thinks it is) and its heating (or lack of).

Now that I’m a mother, I relate more with that maternal instinct to keep your family warm. I’m always piling on another blanket before I leave the kids’ rooms, or trying to get their socks back ON their feet, or marveling at how you CAN have too many blankets, but we don’t (we have just the right amount). I marvel at how my mother can take what looks to me like a string and turn it into something I will curl up under and get piping hot.

If my mother can take a ball of yarn and turn it into an afghan or another beautiful creation, think of what God can do with ME! Here I am, much less useful than the ball of yarn, and certainly less appreciative of my lot in life, and yet He does not fail to tug and push and pull with the knitting needles, urging me to more than I was before.

The more is rarely about doing; I find myself increasingly drawn to the more of being. God might ask me to do more, but more often, He seems to ask me to BE more and the first focus is always to BE closer to Him under the afghan of His love.

Copyright 2011 Sarah Reinhard


About Author

When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.

1 Comment

  1. Sarah,

    As a knitter and crocheter who learned the crafts at her grandmother’s side, I just LOVE this post My grandmother made afghans all through her life, right up to her final days.

    I especially like how you explain that God forms and knits us, too. Just beautiful! God bless.

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