Family visits to a steam engine show in northern Minnesota were some of the most memorable parts of my childhood. The day involved looking at the blue Ball jars, buying those little "popper" fireworks, and my dad showing us the intricacies of vintage steam engines. I haven't been to the steam show in years, but I love that it celebrates so many wonderful handmade goods (like barrel making!) Back at home, I'm sure both my parents heard "Can I do a craft?" countless times when I was little. For the most part, markers and Perler beads were my craft of choice. My mom, an avid seamstress and cross-stitcher herself, sewed every halloween costume from kindergarten to middle school (thanks, mom!) I am so thankful that both my parents instilled in me and my brother the love of both understanding how things work and a love of creating. My brother continues this outlet through his work as an engineer and his talent in photography.

Recently, a large portion of my creating involves needles and yarn. I can see some of both my parents in my love for knitting.  When I'm curious about the more technical side of knitting such as techniques and how each stitch is formed, I see my dad. When I pick out a textured yarn or knit a lace detail, I see my mom. 

Although I'm a very process-oriented knitter, I do love when I get to enjoy the finished product—much like my excitement as a child to share yet another freshly-colored picture to my parents.

Like that little girl, there's a bit of all of us that wants to say, "Look what I made! Isn't it beautiful?"  Don't we ask that in regard to every area of our lives? Our homes, our jobs, our marriages, our children?

I've been mulling over this lately.  My desire for beauty and for creating extends far beyond my knitting or handmade items. I don't want my life to be beautiful "just because" or to be preoccupied with meaningless or empty beauty.  I recently heard a sermon on Titus 2 on the importance of "adorning" the Gospel, that is, "getting dressed up for the glory of God."  In verses 4 through 6, Paul gives some very practical advice for every demographic, but I specifically focused on the instructions for my stage of life (young woman). These are some practical ways to make life truly beautiful (but not perfect, by any means!)

  • love your husbands and your children 
  • be self-controlled and pure
  • work hard at home
  • be kind
  • be submissive (have a wise mentor to learn what godly submission looks like within God-designed marital roles)

I am so thankful for such a straightforward, yet humbling list.  My prayer is that God would further reveal Himself to me through the beauty of His creation (our homes, our marriages, etc.) and that I would seek to worship the Creator, not the creation. 

*I finished my Riverbank cowl! More details on Ravelry. We planned to take a photo or two of the finished product outside, but it started raining, so please pardon the quick shot in the car.