One week from today I will be posting my 31st blog in this 31-day series, shutting my computer and taking a blogcation. I have learned a lot about my writing, about my own thoughts and opinions, and about finishing something I started.
When I was about eight years old, my grandma started teaching me how to knit. Every time she came to visit, she was working on some sort of project, and she decided her grandkids should try their hands at a little knitting. She began teaching my sister and I how to knit a simple dishcloth. The only time we worked on it, however, was when she was visiting, and most of that time was spent re-learning, or fixing our mistakes. It remained an unfinished project for eight years. Eight. Years. I didn't finish a dishcloth until I was 16 years old. But I finished. That was a big year for finishing projects - I also finished a tiny cross-stitch project I had started when I was about 10. But I finished.
Over the years I dabbled here and there again in knitting, and got pretty good at squares or rectangles. All straight things with straight edges and no deviation from repeated, monotonous stitches were right up my alley. I even learned how to crochet. I made a few scarves, a few blankets, and a ton of dishcloths. Grandma would have been pleased.
When we moved to North Dakota, I took a knitting class at a local yarn shop. I made a purse, and learned extra techniques, and decided I could venture out of my square/rectangle boundaries. I started making hats. Sweaters. Booties. I would take my knitting everywhere, and if I felt I could have gotten away with it, I would have knit during church. I turned out project after project, made items to give away as gifts, had people purchase scarves or hats I had made - plus I really enjoyed it. Knitting is relaxing, keeps my hands busy, my mind focused, and it produces such beautiful garments!
If you look around my home now, however, I have about six or seven projects I've started and subsequently stopped. For whatever reason, when it comes to knitting, it takes me an exceptionally long time to finish what I've begun. Once, I started knitting my mom a sweater to give her for Christmas....and I didn't finish it until the following year. It took me 15 months to make her sweater, because I kept putting it down and neglecting it for long periods of time. The sweater was gorgeous and I wanted to keep it for myself, but then I knew "I can just make another one for myself". I still don't have it. Right now I have a half-finished sweater, two partial hats, the collar of a sweater, a small blanket (that's supposed to be a big blanket), and tons and tons and tons of yarn, just begging to be wrapped around some needles and fashioned into something worthwhile and functional.
I don't know what the deal is. I don't know why I have so many unfinished projects. Maybe I get bored. Maybe I get frustrated and just need a break. Maybe my determination isn't as strong as one might think. Maybe I'm just a lazy blob. I really don't know. I, myself, don't understand how I love to knit yet refuse to take the time necessary to complete what I start. It's a little disheartening. A lot disappointing. It seems I can't even finish something so simple... I know it will be so worth it when it's done, and it will look so nice and make me feel so accomplished... yet, I postpone. I procrastinate. I sometimes stop caring altogether.
I am so thankful not everyone operates the way I do. I am especially thankful God has promised to complete a good work in me. I'm okay with being a work in progress. The difference is: He is continually working on me. He doesn't begin, set me down, neglect me for a while, and then pick me up again when the fancy strikes. I am continually being refined. Perfected. I know when He's finished with me, I'll be more spectacular than a fancy hand-knit sweater. I know when He's finished with me, I will be complete.