This gallery contains 8 photos.
This is a typical ball of yarn. Innocent looking, right?
This is an example of a typical yarn shop.
And so is this.
This is my own private yarn shop, actually it’s my yarn closet on steroids … well, a good portion of it anyway. The scenery changes as I take from my stash to complete projects, but then I add more yarn when I see types or colors I just have to have, even if I don’t have a certain project in mind.
The other day I was browsing yarns in yet another store when a woman next to me, who was doing the same thing, started to leave with several skeins of yarn in her cart. Suddenly she stopped and grabbed another one, saying “I better get this one, too, just in case…” We smiled at each other and I replied, “I think and do that all the time!”
Have I told you how much I love to crochet?
Crocheting is something I can do during CFIDS and FMS flareups and even migraines. It helps keep my hands busy and my mind focused on something other than me and my pain. There have been times when I don’t feel like picking up one of my crochet hooks, but that is truly rare. It is a soothing therapy where I can see the results of my efforts and that means a lot at a time in my life when I often feel like I am floundering in a sea of pain. I started taking photos of my completed projects—well, when I remember to do so—as a way of feeling a sense of accomplishment on days when I feel like I get nothing done.
For the past couple of years I’ve been keeping busy crocheting lapghans as therapy, plus it serves as a ministry. Somehow the process of crocheting seems to keep me from totally focusing on my pain. I have several patterns—some from actual patterns and some I make up as I go along—but they all have one thing in common: they are quick and easy to work up.
So here are my latest projects, displayed in a collage for your viewing enjoyment.
This Mishmash Monday is brought to you by the pain I live with every day. There are several things I’m going through this week that will make it difficult for me to work on my blog regularly for the next couple of weeks, so I’m scheduling several inspirational image posts to remind you how much you are loved by Jesus Christ, the One who loves us so much He died for our sins.
Even though I endure pain on a daily basis, I always look to my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, for “the peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). And I absolutely “consider it all joy…when [I] encounter various trials” (James 1:2).
How is this even possible? Because I know where my true joy lies: in the knowledge that one day I will no longer be in any kind of pain as I enjoy life in my new heavenly home.
So, here’s my mishmash of images that describe (in a way) how I feel on any given day.
If you have trouble viewing the Casting Crowns video above, here are the lyrics to the song, “Praise You in This Storm”:
I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You
But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth
I haven’t been doing as much crocheting lately as I usually do, but on this Mishmash Monday thought I’d share a mishmash of crochet photos with you.
Some of these are PIPs (Projects-in-Planning) and some are finished. Others just show you a jumble of yarns—from a basketful of skeins for a current WIP (Work-in-Progress) to a snowflake pillow to a shopping basket of rainbow color skeins for an afghan I made for Kathy a year or two ago. And let’s not forget my yarn stash closet: I took 5 hanging sweater shelves and filled them with yarn, color coded (in a way).
So there it is. My crochet life in color…
When Rick and I first moved here, I immediately loved all the pot shelves in the great room. However, I could not visualize how I could decorate them. Enter Daughter Kathy, who is blessed with artistic foresight and decorating ability far beyond my capabilities. I spread out all the items for her to see, and she came up with the greatest mishmash decorating scheme ever!
I haven’t changed a thing in the almost-8 years we’ve lived here because I can’t imagine them any other way. So here’s a peek into my kitchen.
As you can see, Rick and I love cobalt blue and have collected these pieces for years. The pedestal dish shown in the bottom left photo was Rick’s Mom’s and kind of started us on our quest for more cobalt glass. When we lived in California, we used to camp at the coast at least once a month. And on each of those trips we visited a thrift or antique store in search of even more cobalt glass items. Fun and precious times…
Today’s mishmash is brought to you by the word HOPE:
I was working as the coordinator between homeowners and subcontractors for a residential construction company. One day I was told that they needed to cut back their spending so they had to let me go. However, they allowed me to work for them an additional two weeks while looking for a new job. I was my sole source of support at the time so I was understandably concerned about how I would be able to support myself.
A few days later I was praying about this situation as I was driving to work. I suddenly felt the Lord telling me, Don’t worry, child. I’m going to provide you with all that you need and even more! I smiled and immediately sent up a prayer of thanks. I couldn’t wait to see what He had waiting for me.
As I walked into work and picked up my telephone messages, the receptionist had trouble making eye contact with me as she said how sorry she was that I was being let go. I smiled and told her I wasn’t worried about it at all because God had already given me a peace about the whole thing and already had a job lined up for me!
Several minutes later, I heard one of the subcontractors ask how I was doing. In reply, our receptionist excitedly told him exactly what I had related to her.
Later that morning I was driving to a meeting and one of the homeowners waved me down. He and I knew each other well because I had helped him coordinate various additions and changes to his home before he moved in. Not surprisingly he had heard my job was ending and that I was looking for new employment. I nodded at his words and the next thing he did was offer me a job with his company—right there on the spot! The salary would be exactly what I needed plus I wouldn’t have to move. To say I was amazed and excited by God’s quick timing would be stating it mildly!
When I returned to the office after my meeting, I shared my good news with the receptionist who looked shocked. I don’t remember what she said to me, but I know that she was not a believer so this little episode gave me a chance to share my hope in Christ with her.
There are many Scripture passages about hope, so I believe God thinks it is very important to us. Among the many definitions of hope, here are just a few:
This is all well and good, but what is this thing called hope really all about?
First of all, hope is a choice! God has given us the freedom to choose to have hope or not.
That receptionist all those years ago saw the hope I had in the Lord for the good job He promised me, true. But our ultimate hope comes from and is in God:
Jesus Christ is the actual object of our hope because it is in His second coming that the hope of glory will be fulfilled:
No matter what is happening in our lives, we can rest assured that God is in charge and has everything under control, so:
There are many mornings when it is very difficult to get going. Chronic pain illness sometimes seems to rule my life, but I try to remember Isaiah 40:31: “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
I will admit, though, that sometimes it is difficult for me to remember to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” —Romans 12:12
Most obviously, hope is not discouragement. The Word of God tells us that there is no hopeless situation, no hopeless illness, no hopeless marriage. As I said before, it is up to us to choose to have hope.
Hope is not unhappiness or a feeling of gloom and doom. No matter what is going on in our lives, how can we be unhappy with Jesus as our hope?
Psalm 16:9-11 says: “So I rejoice and am glad. Even my body has hope, because you will not leave me in the grave. You will not let your holy one rot. You will teach me how to live a holy life. Being with you will fill me with joy; at your right hand I will find pleasure forever.”
* * * * * * *
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. —Proverbs 13:12
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to
give you a future and a hope. —Jeremiah 29:11
Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget, that until the day God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words, ‘Wait and Hope.’ —Alexandre Dumas
There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow. —Orison Swett Marden