I am not a crafter. When I am at an event that includes a craft-project, I get antsy and wonder how long it will take and how long it will take me. Crafts are an exercise in frustration for me. I don’t enjoy putsy work that requires me to do things precisely or creatively, especially if I have the pressure of a time limit. I much prefer to purchase someone else’s item and appreciate the artist’s creativity.
Amber, our MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers) craft coordinator, thankfully gave me a different perspective. Amber presented options and helped me see creative possibilities that I would never have considered. The quintessential craft lady, Amber translated the world of art projects into reasonable projects for me, a craft-impaired person.
When our small group was called up to the supply table, I positioned myself at the end of the line so I could hear how to do it. Amber had worked tirelessly to prepare all the supplies ahead of time. She had cut and stained boards, printed mini-posters, and created options for different styles. Although I was a mentor mom, in crafts I was far behind the artistically talented moms at my table. I dreaded the decisions. What did it matter if I choose a rustic dark frame or a painted white one? I didn’t know what I wanted, didn’t think I needed it, and certainly didn’t want to fuss over it.
This was one of our last MOPS meetings in the spring. Amber had prepped everything in amazing detail and printed out instructions. Of course, I needed extra help. I watched the inspired moms at my table apply their creativity to the project, hoping to learn from them. Eventually, I chose a Bible verse poster and made the wood-framed wall-hanging. Little did I realize how meaningful that project would later become.
I wondered what to do with the wall-hanging. My husband and I were moving that summer, and we needed to downsize everything. I almost gave the project away, knowing that everything we owned would be packed up for 6 months to a year as we constructed an addition onto our cabin. Living out of a suitcase for the first 4 months, I somehow I found that wall-hanging in our boxes of stuff relegated to an unfinished room. I saw the project and then read through the Bible verse:
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts. Psalm 28:7a ESV
Reading that verse, chosen long ago from Amber’s tabletop of colorful options, I recognized my need to apply those words to my construction-zone frustrations. I pounded a nail into a 2×4 and hung up the verse in our bare toilet stall. Little did I realize how poignant and meaningful that verse would become over the next six months. My husband ended up with an acute illness lasting almost two months, which required lots of time in that room, to phrase it tactfully. During the long-lasting construction projects, I also had plenty of time to memorize and meditate on that Bible verse.
Thank you, Amber, for giving us physical reminders that stir our hearts to grow closer to God. You may never realize the impact your projects make on individual lives, but I pray that you keep sharing the artistry and creativity God designed in you.