Jan 28, 2014

Gleanings from an Unfinished Wreath

Once upon a time this creative (but not-so-crafty) mama came across a picture of a beautiful Christmas wreath wrapped with yarn. I imagined how beautiful a wreath like that would look hanging on my front door during the Christmas season, so I investigated a little to see how much work would be involved in creating such a beautiful wreath.  

A Styrofoam ring…. I had spotted a box of straw wreaths at the thrift store a few days earlier. Surely, one of those would work just as well with the help of a little duct tape.

Yarn in various colors…. I could afford that.

Pretty little embellishments made of felt... I already had some felt on hand from a previous craft attempt.

Glue… check.

Wreath hanger… I had one of those to.

In late November, with supplies gathered, I sat down with eagerness to begin wrapping the yarn around the wreath. Thirty minutes later I was not even a fourth of the way through. The work was taking much longer than I had anticipated.

I hadn't anticipated the fact that every time a strand of yarn went around the wreath, the whole roll of yarn had to go around with it. I hadn't considered how careful I would have to be to keep the strands of yarn straight. I hadn't realized how tedious it would be to make sure the yarn didn't overlap as I carefully wrapped it around the wreath.

I set the wreath aside, intent to come back and finish it up another day.

Two more long episodes of wrapping yarn around the wreath, and I was only halfway done. The repetition was nearly paralyzing.

The finished wreath in the picture looked so pretty. I knew what could be mine if only I could survive the monotony of wrapping the yarn. 

There was hope of something beautiful.

But other things seemed more exciting.  

The holidays came and went, and the wreath went unfinished.

Looking at the unfinished wreath sitting on a dusty chair in late January reminds me of the overwhelming feelings that surfaced each time I sat down to finish the wreath.  

Will I ever finish?

The feelings are all too familiar.

Just like the yarn going around and around and around the wreath... the tedious work of the home... the long, monotonous hours of mothering young children… the dullness of repetitive work… are all being weaved steadily around the days of my life.

Will I ever finish?

I hadn't anticipated these intense feelings that would surround my days as a mom of young children. I hadn't considered how vitally important it would be that I line up each and every feelings with God’s Word on a daily, often moment-by-moment, basis. I hadn't realized how strongly other, more exciting things would vie for my attention, forcefully drawing me away from this divine work. 

As I ponder these thoughts, I am reminded again...

There is hope of something beautiful.  

But the picture that forms in my mind is not of a pretty wreath, a spotless house, an empty laundry hamper, or a stack of clean dishes. It is not the end of the diaper days, a full night’s sleep, the putting away of the wooden spoon, or even the vision of my children growing up into Godly, respectful adults.

No, the picture in my mind is of ME.

I am the one who is being made beautiful.  

And I don't have to worry about whether the work will go unfinished because I am not not the craftsman. 

The good work that was started in me years ago will most definitely be finished (Philippians 1:6).

The exhortation to love my husband and my children (Titus 2:4), and the instruction to stay busy with the work of the home (Titus 2:5) is all part of the sanctifying work that is making me beautiful on the inside, making me look more like Jesus (Romans 8:29, 2 Corinthians 4:16). 

I cling to truth...

There is no day too long that His strength isn't offered (Psalm 28:7).

There is no task too monotonous that His joy is not readily available (Colossians 3:23).

There is no weakness of mine to overwhelming that His grace is not sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).

HE had given me a work, but HE is the one completing it.


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