Learning the Value of Handcrafting

learning_the_value_of_handcraftingI am not a creative person. That is unless you consider organizing paperwork, closets, busy schedules, and four little people creative. I often tease my children the only thing I have ever created is them, and even then I can’t take credit as God did all the work. Thus you can imagine crafting isn’t at the forefront of my mind. The Lord has needed to teach me the value of handcrafting, and the important role it plays in our family.

I’ll be honest and confess we probably would have skipped over the art of handcrafting entirely had the Lord not brought a few incredible women into my life. These ladies graciously hosted events, encouraging me to attend. Because of their influence, my daughters expressed a desire to learn. With a heart to lead my children and follow the Lord’s direction, I slowly found myself emerged in a new adventure.

I’d love to tell you once we began I was consistent and diligent in our study of handcrafting. I wish I could tell you I developed a passion for it. Neither would be true. However, I did learn a few valuable lessons.

Patience – There’s nothing like learning a new skill to reveal the true nature of our patience. We try, try again, and try again. The adventurous journey is half the lesson. It is through our errors we learn; more than just the specific skill, but a will to keep pursuing.

Economy – Crafting can be financially draining if we’re not careful. What a fine opportunity to teach our children budgeting skills such as saving and looking for deals; not to mention the value in items being handmade and not store-bought.

The Art of Giving – I used to think everything I created had to be put to use in my own home. This prevented me from crafting as I didn’t see myself needing a great deal of the items I might be interested in making. Then the Lord reminded me our gifts can be used to bless others. Seeing the art through this lens has changed my perspective.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All – Social media can be discouraging. We are shown images of people who are talented at creating the most amazing things, in a variety of mediums and skill level. All with hundred-watt smiles on their faces. Then we wonder why knitting just doesn’t do it for us. We start thinking something is wrong. The truth is, we are each given our own areas of creativity. Instead of wasting time wondering why sewing doesn’t light me up like a Christmas tree, I want to focus on learning the skill so I better understand the craft and have a decent appreciation for the art. Then, I can move toward discovering another area of handcrafting in which I will find greater interest.

Perfection Isn’t Everything – One of my biggest hangups is not being able to create something which is just as good as something I might purchase in a store. (This is where the patience factor comes in.) But perfection isn’t the end goal. As a family, we’ve determined to look at handcrafting as an exploration of art and skill. Improvement will come with time and practice.

There Is a Time for Everything – When I discover an area of learning we’ve missed or allowed to slip by the wayside, the tendency is to come down on myself. The Lord has needed to remind me there is a time for everything; even a time away from handcrafting. Instead of lamenting what wasn’t, we move forward with what could be. Maybe the break is exactly what we needed.

My Passion – I do not have a passion for crafting. Oh, I love looking at craft supplies. They are so blasted pretty! If I could merely purchase all of it so I could spend hours organizing them – and organizing them alone – I would be over the moon. Somehow that doesn’t seem a wise move. What I do have a passion for are my family, and helping them to follow their God-led passions. No, crafting isn’t my thing. But it is my kids’ thing. So, I’ve learned to adopt an attitude of joy. I get excited because they are excited. I edify and encourage. And, from time to time, create alongside them.

Thank the Lord he has given us friends who are so adept in the arts. They inspire and give me hope. Through their influence we’ve learned new skills and the value of handcraft. While I freely admit you still won’t find me sitting in a chair with knitting needles in my hand – I’d rather be reading a book or writing a review of new curriculum I can’t wait to share with the world – I confess it fills my heart to overflowing as I watch my daughters huddled together on a couch, crocheting various projects while watching old movies and encouraging one another in their progress. The value of handcraft is made visible and clear; pure and made for His glory.

“‘Let every skillful man among you come, and make all that the LORD has commanded:”
~ Exodus 35:10

Your Turn!: Does your family have a handcrafting skill it’s currently focusing on?

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