Every year following New Year’s Day I go into contemplative mode. I suppose a lot of people do, given the abundance of New Year’s resolutions we all hear about at this time each year. For myself, I like goal setting and the fresh feeling that January first brings, so I welcome New Year’s resolutions and the plans that they bring. I find, though, that I need my mind to quiet down a bit, so that I can fully discern what my next steps are towards achieving those goals.
Quieting down my mind is not easy for this introvert – my mind is where the majority of my spirited conversations take place! It is always awhirl with new ideas, and it is difficult to settle it so that I can either: (1) pray, or (2) actually accomplish any of the things that I am thinking about. For me, if my hands are busy, my mind is quieter, as paradoxical as that may seem. It is as if being productive with something physical allows my mind to be more at rest. And when my mind is at rest, I can pray and discern so much more effectively.
One of the ways that I accomplish this is via crafts. There are obviously a lot of options out there, but I am a knitter and a crocheter. Especially in the winter, I enjoy crocheting, because that is the craft that I use to make blankets. And let’s face it, blankets are a wintertime delight! I never want to make a blanket in the summer, because all of that yarn on your lap as your blanket grows is obviously pretty undesirable. In the winter, however, it is ideal. I am actually anxious for the blanket to grow quickly so that it will keep me warm in my sometimes-chilly living room in the evenings as I work, and thus it motivates me to continue making progress on the project!
Each January and February, a lovely crocheter named Lucy from the Attic 24 blog runs a crochet–along (abbreviated CAL in the crafting world) for a colorful striped blanket. She works all year to set a theme and a color palette, and announces the plans in late November or early December. Her fans (like me!) eagerly await the new blanket plans each year. This year, the theme is floral. So the Dahlia Blanket CAL started up right after the New Year, and I have been happily crocheting along with a community of other crocheters in a group over on Facebook. There is something about crafting along with a community that brings out the giddiness in me, I absolutely love it. The dahlia colors are so bright and cheerful in the middle of winter that it brings joy to the entire community.
As I crochet this blanket in my evenings, my mind is clear and at rest. When my hands are busy, my mind and spirit are quiet. I am able to contemplate the things I would like to achieve this year, and put together some ideas for how I may be able to achieve them. I can also ask God for help in discerning how I should best spend my time in working towards these goals, and even whether these are the goals I should be focusing on. I am at peace when I crochet.
Are you a crocheter or a lover of another needle craft? Do you find the process conducive to peace of mind and heart? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments!
Copyright 2020 Tiffany Walsh