“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Lately I’ve been playing around with making things. I think there are a few reasons why I suddenly feel the need to make more art, but one sticks out to me in particular. When you are busy in the work of parenting + homemaking, when this life of laundry, meal making, dishes, discipline, training, playing, errands, and mundane rhythms is your everyday, it can feel sort of endless. The long-haul nature of it can wear on a person who likes to see a finished product or an accomplished goal. The reality is, we cross many things off our lists every day, we finish a lot of menial tasks every day, and that counts for something important and it feels GOOD. Then, little feet jump out of bed in the morning and the tidiness and order gives way to glorious chaos once again. It’s the reality of our work as mothers, bringing some semblance of order from chaos day in and day out.
Beyond the actual work of managing and running a home, the work of raising little people into adulthood is D A U N T I N G. If we look too far ahead, we can feel entirely overwhelmed and underprepared for what lies in the future. The thing about parenthood is, it’s a fairly thankless and inglorious job. More than that, it’s a marathon not a sprint. Not even a cute little 5k. It’s long-haulish. Because of that, we find ourselves parenting to our particular children’s individual needs + bents and we see little glimpses of progress, but more often than not (at least in our home) we slap our proverbial foreheads and think, “How many hundreds of times have I told you this?!?!” (Or maybe we actually say it, if we are having a weak moment.)
It’s such a work of slow returns and slow progress. Surely progress is happening, growth is happening right under our noses, but it’s often as imperceptible as our children’s physical growth.
Maybe that’s why I’ve been craving some crafty projects lately, things that I can start, work on, and F I N I S H and see that I have, in fact, accomplished something. Not only is the work itself soothing and relaxing, but the end product reminds me that I am still able to accomplish something lasting. It reminds me that one day, I will see all the days of labor that melted into weeks, into months, into years produce a great harvest. It even whispers to me that much like my children are, in a sense, the masterpiece my life is working to produce, in the very process of this … God is making a masterpiece out of me. All the intense ways that motherhood presses me–it’s shaping and forming me more into the image He is after, the image of His Son. I am His workmanship, and His goal is for me to grow up into full spiritual maturity.
“…until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Ephesians 4:13-16)
When we grow weary in the seemingly endless and slow-producing work of parenting, let us remember He is parenting us and we are just as slow and stubborn and forgetful as our darling children. And if it helps to alleviate some stress or to give you that sense of satisfaction that comes from accomplishing + finishing something? Go make something. It could be anything… a batch of cookies, a meal, a card, a bouquet of wildflowers, a hand-sewn or embroidered dress. Enjoy the small steps, the small minutes of working with your hands, producing something, and seeing your effort come to fruition in the end product. And while you’re at it, remember, you are His workmanship, His masterpiece, to the praise of His glorious grace.
(The weaving pictured above was inspired by the lovely Beautiful Mess blog + you can find free tutorials for weaving here. This weaving was my first and I’m already working on another!)