“She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.” (Proverbs 31:22)
I remember watching her fingers, crooked and wrinkled, as she held the knitting needles. I also remember the distinct clicking sound these would make as she wound the yarn just right. Here was a wonderful woman who had given her all to her family, and yet, she still made dish clothes, slippers, baby blankets, afghans and whatever else was needed to satisfy her family.
Me? I loved those slippers. I loved those hands. She was loved by so many and now, her clicking is missed a lot. Her bucket of yarn and needles sat beside her rocking chair for a very long time after she passed away. The day I threw out the last worn out dishcloth, my heart hurt because I knew she was never going to make me another one. For me, she fulfilled the role of the woman described in Proverbs 31 because her heart and love for others was never about herself. Continually, her heart was in making things — not only for her own family — but for other families as well.
And we all agree — the clicking sounds were a constant in her house, like the smell of rising bread. But now the house feels very different. There are no clicking sounds to disturb the silence. Neither is there a lingering aroma of fresh, home-made bread.
Still, there is nothing as warm as sleeping beneath a hand made afghan. In the winter months, I don’t even need to snuggle with my husband because those hand knit blankets are so warm. And so are my feet wrapped in crotched slippers, or my hands clothed in knitted mittens. My hands stay warm, one snowball after another. How can I forget this woman’s love for those around her?
Although this verse speaks specifically about making coverings for her bed, I am expanding its meaning to involve other homemade items. And I am encouraging other women to see their own potential in all of this. Why? Because there are so many things that we can make that will bring equally long-term benefits to our families. Just look at pinterest, for example, and you will love the range of ideas (whereby others have taken everything from milk jugs to old television stands) to create useful and heartwarming wonders. Indeed, there is no limit in the number of ideas that can be used to create useful items for your family.
For me, the best part about making home-made products is that there is an extra value in it — whether it can be seen or not. Creating something with your own hands may take time but there is a lot of love put into it that cannot be replaced. This is why these handmade products tend to be more cherished, and, many times, passed down again and again within a family circle. There are obvious reasons for this. Most handmade items are not just hurriedly put together. Rather, the fabric or yarn is chosen carefully to coordinate with the product’s final destination — the pattern on a fabric with a specific color scheme perspective. Then, with careful precision and thought, an item that was not an item is finally created into something beautiful. A “nothing” is soon made into something worthwhile and valued.
Our Lord God and Saviour does the same with us. With careful thought and precision, we are made into something very beautiful — we are formed in our mother’s womb — in His image.