A New Journey

Today would have been my dad’s 104 birthday. Even after these more than 32 years since he went home to heaven those moments of a deep aching for him can still sweep over me. I wrote a tribute to him three years ago here.

In some ways he was far ahead of his time. While always courteous to woman; holding doors open, letting them go through first, etc. it wasn’t because he viewed women as weaker. His mom had been a feisty auburn with a backbone of steel who expected respect, manners, and for her boys to help out with the kitchen chores. Dad expected both of his two girls to follow our hearts even if called into non-traditional roles.

He would be pleased as punch and bursting his buttons at one of my present roles: the preacher in our small local Quaker (Friends) church.

If someone had told me a dozen years ago that I’d be a preacher I probably would have laughed. I didn’t have an inkling. Nor was it one I actively pursued.

Over a year ago I began teaching the adult Sunday School class, leading us week by week on an overview of each book in the Bible, in order. What an experience it proved to be! I found out that I loved digging, studying, praying and pulling together each lesson week by week.

Our church had been without a pastor for two years since a fire in the parsonage had rendered it inhabitable. Without the house to offer a pastor, and our small numbers, we couldn’t afford to hire pastor. As a meeting we weren’t worried; God brought in a retired husband and wife pastor team, and a woman who is a hospital chaplain. All three of them were willing to periodically preach, as did one of our previous pastors who still loved coming to preach when he was able. Between those four people and occasionally an outside guest preacher there was usually someone to preach, if not we’d have a Sunday of open, unprogrammed worship praising God and seeking to listen to the Holy Spirit. Most of all, our meeting desired God’s will for us.

A few times during this past Spring I was asked to preach, and found to my astonishment that I enjoyed it. During the long drive to Moscow in June Ed brought up the possibility that I might be called to be the preacher. And if so, we needed to free up time for me to study. He knew that I was already in the habit of waking up early in the morning to study for Sunday School and the weeks that I’d preached I’d often be up by 4am.

Ed suggested we transition from direct, online sales to wholesaling the spindles. The transition has been slow, mostly due to my not wanting to let our wonderful customers down. So many whom I’ve felt a kinship towards even though we’ve never met. I’m still working to find the best balance between being able to continue to sell direct and sell wholesale.

By mid-August I was asked to be the preacher. It’s been a wonderful time of personal growth and challenge figuring out what all this entails. I still have so much to learn! And at times the responsibility is sobering, and daunting. Almost always I feel inadequate and wonder at how it is that God has chosen to use me.

We desire to be living for God to the best that we are able. I seriously love digging into God’s word, praying and earnestly seeking the direction on where He’s leading me each week in preparing a message. It’s an honor to  equip people with knowledge of God’s Word, to an understanding of our need for Him that leads us to the place of yearning for God, to yielding to Him which bring about a relationship with the living Creator who loves each of us beyond what we can grasp on earth.

At the same time, I’m not one to shout my faith from the rooftop, to get into people’s faces. I’m not the type to stand on a street corner and preach. Oh, how that thought makes me shudder! Instead I want live my life treating people with respect, dignity, love and trying to come alongside, to understand where they’re coming from, as God wants me to. To let God’s great love draw them to Him.

I’ll not use this blog as a platform to preach, unless I’m strongly compelled by the Holy Spirit to do so. It’ll still be the place where I mainly focus on fiber stuff and the periodic meanderings of my simple life. Periodically stuff of my heart and thoughts are bound to come out here for writing is a good way of examining and making sense of thoughts.

Today I am thankful for a dad who lived his deep faith in actions more than words, a dad who encouraged me to follow my heart and who expressed complete confidence in me.
I’m thankful for the people of our meeting who have encouraged me to take on the responsibility of preaching and are giving me time, and space, to grow into the position.
I’m thankful for Ed’s valuable support.
I’m thankful that the Holy Spirit is leading us in this new journey.
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Small Pleasures

Small things bringing pleasure:

Lucet necklaces. The one on the left is made from handspun hemp; the right one – with left over sock yarn.
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They take only a small amount of yardage and time, and are quite addictive to make.  dsc04221Interested in learning? Sign-up for a 7 Day Lucet Challenge, is a great tutorial put out by Stitch Diva Studios.

40 grams of Picperfic fibre spun into approximately 60 yards.

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These colors speak to my heart. The yarn might be used with a solid handspun yarn to make the most of it. No hurry, there are Christmas projects to be made first.
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The braided wheat friendship loop was gifted to me by a dear friend a dozen or so years ago. While we live far apart, seldom seeing each other this loop hangs where I see it every day and feel blessed by her friendship, and all the other friendships I’ve been blessed with through the years.

Small things that fill my heart with joy.

Unproductive Days

It’s been a month and the Jenkins Woodworking website still isn’t near where I want it to be.

Nothing has gone as planned. Nothing concerning getting the website updated has progressed smoothly. Nor has transferring files and setting up email accounts on the computer built for us by a friend Ed hired. All day I chased shadows and hopes. Progress on several fronts has been made but by 7 this evening I ran out of steam. There’s still so much to do. I’m almost at the point of plugging the old beast back in just to update the website a little.

Tomorrow I have to take the car in to be serviced and do a bit of birthday shopping for our son who, along with his wife, will be riding here from the Boise area tomorrow on his motorcycle. One of their longtime friends is getting married Saturday and they decided it was a great excuse for a road trip. Their kids will stay home with friends minding them.  His birthday is Friday. Friday afternoon I’ll deliver Standard Turkish spindles and Delights at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival for Morgaine of Carolina Homespun and Jim Pritchard of Herndon Creek Farm. (Ed doesn’t wholesale his other types – simply too much skill and/or time involved in them.)

Gotland sheep and spindles are the featured items for this year’s festival and we were asked to put some of our spindles in the display upstairs in the 4-H building. It’s been fun pulling together a sampling of our spindles and working with Kristi Gustafson who has been a delight. I am looking forward to meeting her in person on Friday. If you make it to OFFF (open on Saturday and Sunday) please check out all the displays upstairs – it’s also where the items that have been entered in the competitions are displayed, it’s always interesting to look at the different items.

Our daughter-in-law’s mother is moving out of state the end of this month. It’s sad to see her leave the area but for years she’s dreamed of living where she’s moving and she realized that she could either dream of it the rest of her life or do something about it. Last night four of us women friends got together for pizza and a puzzle. We had a lovely time celebrating our friendship with good conversation, food and a puzzle. We’ve watched our kids graduate from high school then college, witnessed their marriages and held their babies, and marveled that we could be so old already. We’ve cried, prayed and held two of these dear friends close in our hearts as they battle cancer. It wasn’t goodbye yet as we will all be at the wedding on Saturday that all of our grown children will also be attending. A huge family reunion, tied not by family blood but by the love of Jesus Christ.

As a children who both grew up in families that moved often: changing schools several times, new sets of friends every few years (more often for Ed), new scenery, new churches, it’s a wonder to Ed and I that we’ve been in one place for over 24 years. Roots settling deep. People in the church become our family and as with family members we take the good and bad in each other and try to have a sense of humor about the “trying” personalities.

Not all has been totally unproductive on the home front! Two more items have recently been finished:
This is the last of the rugs from the summer’s warp, shown draped over the loom. It wanted to live with us and now gives our toes a cozy cushion in the bathroom.

These socks make me happy! The superwash wool/nylon yarn which was a gift from a dear customer and his friend, Christiane who dyed the colourway for him, the color, the way they fit, and the fact that though they accidentally ended up in the washing machine they suffered no ill effect! They’ve been worn twice and feel wonderful.
Toe up, short row heel  – no pattern except for what was in my head.
Needles: double-point #2 / 2.75mm
Yarn: Drachenwolle  420 meters/100 grams – plenty left over to do a pair of socks for a small child

To avoid 2nd sock syndrome both socks were cast on the same day. The toe of first one sock was worked and then the other toe. From then on I alternately knit an inch or two on one or the other sock.  I debated doing 2 socks at once using 2 circular needles but in some ways it’s easier not to have two dangling socks going round and round, sorting out which the pair of needles.

I’m in that limbo between knitting projects! The vest weaving is still on the Julia loom. A hairpin prayer shawl is well underway but neither of those are for traveling. With OFFF coming followed a few days later by another jaunt that should have some good knitting time built in I need to settle down and decide what to cast on next.