Monday, September 20, 2010

My Inspiration

Eating lunch with the sweetest group of kids
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have a heart that beats to help orphans. I’m not sure when I my life I recognized it,  but from an early age I knew and fully believed that to whom much is given, much is required. At an early age I had birthday parties in which I asked my friends to bring gifts either for children at the Salvation Army or for the local animal shelters.  The most memorable birthday growing up was my 16th, not because I got a car, but because my friends were able to fill my newly acquired care with enough dog and cat food, cat litter, food bowls, and flea medicine to keep eleven animals alive for one more year!  I’ve grown up in a world in which I’ve always had clean water and food when needed. However most do not live with luxuries that we have. I’ve always had strong calling into helping those less fortunate, thus in my college years, this desire to help others has resulted in many mission trips.  Most memorable, this past summer, when I went to Peru to work with orphanages and campus ministry.  
Out of all the friendships, laughs, amazing Peruvian cuisine, and many good memories of Trijuilo, Peru, my favorite are that of the week at the orphanages. By our standards, these orphanages had nothing, but in their hearts, they shared more love than most will ever know.

Alyssa and I at the school with children
 I am especially excited that as a class we are all working on knitting red scarves for orphans. I feel that it is our duty as skilled and educated people to in some way, shape, or form to give back. I know that it would take my lifetime to knit scarves for the hundreds of orphans I worked with in CAEF ministries, yet I left them so much more- a piece of my heart and my first tie dye craft. Which, I did not expect to—the orphanage director asked for it. It is huge, parachute blanket used for games. I was hoping to keep it (selfish, I know—but I’ve always wanted to keep my first craft of every sort as a memento) but rather reluctantly gave it away.  Reflecting now, months after my Peruvian days, I’m glad those children have that parachute blanket. I made myself a t-shirt with a similar pattern and wear it in fond remembrance of those precious Peruvian kiddos!  
The children of Peru. Can't you just
 see how they captured my heart?

My  friend Alyssa leaving a message on the parachute.

We have been reading in the Ulrich text about  what our crafts says about us—and since day one we have examined how what we make, makes us  (JEEP commercial). So, what is that parachute blanket, down on the sandy shannytown beaches of Peru saying about me? I’m not sure. I’d like to hope that it conveys the love and care I have for these children. 

In the shantytown of Torres with the sweet kids!
My sweet friend, Dorcous Ayebare, an orphan in Uganda, shares my birthday although she is five years younger than me) has been the current focus of my WIP! (Sorry I cannot post a picture of Dorcous, Compassion International does not allow reproduction of the images of children in their program for safety issues). I’m attempting to make us matching green (both our favorite color!) scarves, however I just cannot perfect all these patterns without ripping out countless rows, only to start over at the beginning. My perfectionist self is too worried that if I drop a stitch or forget to catch a stitch that somehow this object that I have made for this precious girl that has captured my heart will somehow mean I love her any less. So, I stare at a wad of yarn in hopes to finish the project in time to be sent to Uganda by her birthday on February 10th! In my knitting/crochet I grow from the process and feel closer to the person in which the object is for. I devote all this time and effort into this object in hopes that the recipient will somehow see it as a gesture of love. Much like we read about the Knitting Sweaters for Our Boyfriends by Joanne Turney, I have that same anxiety and fear that the recipient will reject me or the gift. As silly as it sounds, I feel that a dropped stitch or accidently repeated row will ruin the gift. To apply the concept we began focus on, what we make makes us, then will a wrongly knitted row mean that what I make somehow imperfects my love for these kids. I sure hope not, but my type A personality drives onward to perfect. By the end of this class,  I hope to have made significant headway on Dorcus’s gift without having to rip it all out too many more times. My three little words from the beginning of class were helpful, providing, and unique. I hope that my products convey the love that these orphans inspire in me. What is your knitting inspiration? How closely related to your heart is your knitting inspiration? My love and desire to perfect my products for these dear kids is without a doubt is one of the main inspirations behind me knitting. Thank you sweet children for giving me a passion behind my knitting!
Fun and games at CAEF

Notice my shirt? Same dye pattern as the parachute!

1 comment:

  1. As a fellow perfectionist, I feel your pain. But I do know that it's the care behind the gift rather than the perfection of the gift that speaks to the recipient.