In 2006 my life changed forever. Eighteen months beforehand, the earth under my feet moved, jostled and quaked. What was the reason? My first husband found out that he had pancreatic cancer.
Eighteen months later he was gone and I was left with three boys, a dog and a mortgage. My life was upset in many ways. Among those ways was redefining who I was besides being a mother and a former pastor’s wife. I was now a layman with an 8 to 5 job – what did God want from me?
Over the next few months a lot happened. The Lord brought Mike into my life, we fell madly in love and we married. As a result, our family increased by one stepdaughter, a son -in-law and four grandchildren. It was also at this time when my pastor convinced me to study for my master’s degree in religion. The course I took was Spiritual Formation. This emphasis covered how people grow spiritually and how outside influences such as theologies, life experience, church history and culture affect that growth. We also learned to study the Bible in far deeper ways than I had learned in Sunday school, and I met some new authors that gave much needed affirmation to and then challenged the way I was thinking. The program completely revitalized me spiritually and by the time it was completed I had a minister’s license.
However, I did not feel like I was called into the ministry to be a pastor so I gave up the minister’s license. I thought that I was called to be a writer. At the time I was working at a newspaper and having a lot of fun. Then, because of differences in opinion with my boss, I left that job. This shook me to the core and I wandered mentally in an aimless state for about six months. During that time I was crocheting, reading, making things and trying to write but nothing seemed to come together until I saw an article about a crafter who had an Etsy store.
What in the world is Etsy? I wondered. After checking it out online and seeing that it was a creative person’s paradise I became excited. Mike encouraged me to try it and my first crocheted blanket went up for sale in May 2011.
Over the next few months, however, I still had questions. Why did I have a master’s degree in religion? Why did I enjoy crafting so obsessively? Where did writing fit in? The Lord kept saying that it all fit together; I just had to be patient… but patience is a difficult virtue.
However, I have noticed throughout my life that times of waiting have always proved beneficial and this time was no different. During this time, I did some healing and explored many crochet blogs and other crafting blogs. I loved the idea of doing one myself and tried to once but I couldn’t keep it going. This time is different.
Hi, and welcome to The Contemplative Crafter.
My name is Lisa. I own the Pen and Hook on Etsy.
I want this blog to be a reflection of the person I am and the person I am becoming. I’m writing it to be a reflection of what God has done and is doing in my life. I hope you enjoy it.
Why is it called The Contemplative Crafter?
Most of us know what a crafter is. There are blogs all over the Internet featuring crafters – people who are skilled in making things with their hands, such as potters, basket makers, woodworkers, fiber artists, seamstresses, quilters. I craft mainly with crochet. It’s what I love, but have I arrived at craftsman level? I don’t think so, but I am working to become better and better. There is so much to learn! Along with a huge stash of yarn, and the yarn that is stock for my store, I also have fabric, a sewing machine, buttons, shells, stamps, cardstock, scrapbook paper, a Dremel workstation, jewelry findings, and paint and yes, more yarn. I will probably never get to all of the projects I have in mind or have patterns for, but that’s okay for now.
Did I say that I have yarn? Did I say that I love yarn?
I guess that makes me a crafter.
A ‘contemplative’, according to Webster’s multiple definitions, is one who allows for deep thought or one who allows for religious thought and prayer. Another definition goes so far as to say that a contemplative person is a person devoted to prayer especially in a monastery. Well, there’s no monastery here, unless you define my workroom as a monastic cell. As I have said, I am married, with three boys, a stepdaughter and four grandchildren. We are a pretty typical American family with two cars, a dog, a mortgage, jobs, school activities and a lot more to do. We are anything but ‘monastic.’ I do, however, take time for religious thought and prayer. I wouldn’t say that I devote huge amounts of time to it but I do what I can.
I call this blog The Contemplative Crafter because I can contemplate the stuff of life as I work. Both of those definitions fit who I am – one who loves God and devotes time to religious thought and prayer and one who loves crafting. In fact, I told one of my sons that making things is what I love to do the most. There are other activities that I enjoy, but hand me a crochet hook or put me down in my workroom and I am in hog heaven.
What makes you happy? How has God worked out everything for good in the difficult times of your life?
Please feel free to share below. My policy for comments on this blog is that they are civil and contribute to the discussion at hand. Anything else will be deleted.