Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Slowing Down

My Aunt Fannie introduced me to knitting when I was just a little girl. I have loved it ever since. There is something about it that soothes my spirit. I find that if I set it aside for any length of time, I am eventually drawn back to it - longing to feel the needles in my hands.

Some time last year I discovered that there is another style of knitting. Aunt Fannie taught me to knit English Style, but there is also Continental Style. Some of the other bloggers knit that way and said they found it to be much faster. Hmmm...faster. I decided to give it a try.

I printed out instructions, but found it difficult to teach my fingers to do something new. I decided to visit you-tube to see if there were any helpful videos, which of course there were. It is much easier for me to learn something new if I can see it. Before long I was knitting Continental Style and just zipping right along.

I was in the process of knitting a sweater (just as quickly as I could), when I took a good hard look at my knitting. The stitches looked strange. They were no longer uniform and neat; they were uneven and rather messy looking. It seems I had traded fast for quality.

I kept looking at those stitches and finally could stand it no longer. I ripped out all the work I had done and went back to knitting English Style - the one that was comfortable for me. It is true it takes a bit longer, but the finished product was so much more satisfying.

I realized something else as I began knitting all over again - it was the process I enjoyed. It didn't have to be accomplished quickly. I got that sense of peace when I took my time and relaxed as stitch after stitch eventually formed something special.

It is what I am trying to do with every area of my life as I think about "Quiet" this year. To step back and slow down and savor the moments. I miss so much when my life is hurried - running from one thing to the next with little time to even think about what I'm doing. I know it is necessary sometimes, but surely there are moments to be savored. Conversations with loved ones, reading a book, doing things around the house, reading posts and leaving thoughtful comments... so many moments that can slip through my fingers when I am anxious to get through them so I can get on to the next thing.

Quiet my heart Lord and help me to savor the moments.