Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How to Knit Correctly... and Other Things that Grandma Taught Me.

"What are you doing?" my Grandma asked.
"Knitting." I said. (I thought the wool and knitting needles made that rather apparent.)
"No you're not," she retorted, "that's not knitting. Stop that right now."

This conversation was the beginning of one of my favourite memories of my Grandma Klassen and, since I've taken up knitting again, I think of her often while I knit the "correct" way. You see, Grandma was born in Russia so of course she learned how to knit the European way or what is commonly known as the Continental Method. I first learned how to knit from some friends while I was away in Bible School (Canada) so I learned the English style - the wrong way, according to Grandma.

She was very patient with me as she demonstrated over and over & I tried to relearn the way I had been doing it for years. The continental method is not easy to learn, wrapping the yarn around your fingers with just the right tension, never letting the wool out of your hands and wrapping the stitches with your left hand and not your right. I was ready to give up so many times.

But she knew something that I didn't know.
When I mastered it I would be able to knit twice as fast as before.
And she was right.

To this day I am grateful for that knitting lesson.
But Grandma taught me so much more than that...she taught me by her example and how she lived. Grandma went through some pretty tough times in her life and yet her motto was always "it is what it is." I'm pretty sure that she had plenty of days when she doubted God but she trusted in Him until her last breath.

Today would have been Grandma's 98th birthday, she's been gone for quite a while now - I still miss her. Now I'm an 'Oma' and I just pray that when my grandson looks back on my life, what I said and what I did will have left the same impact on him as Grandma left upon me.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Glimpse of Spring

Last Sunday, Peter, one of church family members shared with us about the season of winter. Not the actual growing season of snow and cold of the environment around us but the season of winter in our hearts. The times when we go through loss and hurt and disappointment.

It's a hard subject to talk about or, for that matter, even to listen too but Peter spoke to us from a heart that is, unfortunately, all too familiar with the subject and, as I listened, I found myself thinking back to my life's seasons. I have to admit, though I don't want to (I'd rather live in denial thank you very much) that this last year has been a bit of a winter for me. Letting go of some dreams and picturing them now through a heavy dose of reality? Watching my friends go through illness and my family go through loss? Not my favourite way to pass the time and a really good way to lose sleep.

I get it. I get that I need these times to grow in my faith but I'm impatient and what I really want is Spring and green and warmth and light.

So at the end of his message I was feeling a little heavy. Don't get me wrong, the message was awesome, it just gave me a LOT to think about.

Then the most wonderful little thing happened... Peter invited the worship team up to end the service. He said we were going to sing "Come, Now is the Time to Worship." I was in the back that Sunday and there had been no Sunday School that morning so all the kids were in the back with their parents. The drums kicked in, the music got louder and suddenly the children started to dance. They jumped into the aisle and just started to dance.

It was something... we all stood there smiling and watching and enjoying.
They had no worries.
They were being watched over by those who loved them.
And in their happy faces and dancing feet we all saw, and were reminded of, a season of Spring.