Monday, September 17, 2012

Halloween pumpkins and knitting

So what do those two things have in common, you ask?  To most people - probably not a lot.  But for me, these two things changed my life.  God used these two simple things to help me find a new purpose. 

About 5 years ago, I went into our walkout attic looking for our Halloween decorations.  Unfortunately, they had been pushed into a back corner where the attic wasn't completely floored.  I was determined to do my decorating and balanced on the slats while tugging at the box.  Well, you guessed it - I lost my balance and my flip-flopped foot slipped very nicely between the wooden slats and through the ceiling of our garage.  No major damage to me, just a scraped up leg.  The garage ceiling was a different story (and hubby was none to happy with me, suffice it to say).  About 3 weeks later, a large knot came up on my calf and this led to the diagnosis of a MRSA staph infection and over a month of treatment and multiple surgeries to get it under control.  During this time, I was bored senseless and extremely antsy from all of the medications I was on.  My mother-in-law rescued me one day by bringing me a "Learn to Knit" book, a pair of needles and a ball of yarn.  I spent the next several days, pouring over the book, ripping out stitches over and over again, until I FINALLY GOT IT!  I had learned to knit! 

Over the next 9 months, I worked more and more on my new obsession until I could make a scarf and hat that my family wouldn't be embarrassed to wear.  About the same time, 2 moms that I knew were diagnosed with breast cancer AND I read a Debbie Macomber book that introduced me to the world of knitting for charity.  Why had I never thought about this before?  What a great way to take what had become a passion for me and use it to bless others?  God began to, not so subtly, push me towards doing something for these moms as they underwent chemotherapy and lost their hair.  And, if I could do it for them, why not do it for others as well.  After much prayer and arguing with God ( yes, you can guess who won that argument), the group known as Yarns of Hope was born.  It started out one September morning in Saxby's Coffee with myself, my mother-in-law and 2 of my best friends that I bribed with coffee to show up.  Lo and behold, there were actually 2 other ladies who showed up as well.  These humble beginnings have led to a membership of 100+ ladies and 2 cancer centers and 2 hospitals where our items are donated.  Over the last four years, 3000 plus hats have been donated to cancer patients who are in need of a little warmth and hope.  We have also sent hundreds of hats on mission trips, donated numerous baby items to local NICU's and started a Knitting Club at Finch Elementary. 

So, long story to say, God took a bad situation (my clumsiness) and turned it into a blessing. He gave my life a whole new purpose, when I didn't even know I was looking for one.  And, trust me, what He came up with is so much better than I could have ever dreamed of or managed on my own.  I would have been happy with making hats for my friends.  But, God had much bigger plans for this group.  You see, when each of us ladies makes a hat, scarf or something else to be donated, we are blessed just as much as the person that receives it. 

I am writing this story not to toot my own horn but to tell you how God can use each of us if only we are obedient and listen to His calling.  I wasn't looking to start a charity knitting group, but God knew there was a need and many other ladies who were also looking for a new purpose. 

How can you let God use YOU today?  Does God have a new and improved Purpose for your life?  If you dare - pray for Him to reveal it to you!  You just might be surprised.

Romans 8:28 " And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

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