The Hat

I don’t know about you, but as a homemaker, there are times when I feel as though I’m really not accomplishing much. There is always more laundry to wash, more meals to make, more homeschooling to do, more discipline, more dusting, more organizing, more picking up – you get the idea. Some days, I have an overwhelming desire to accomplish something tangible; something that is actually completed, something that proves that I achieved.
Yesterday was one of those days. I needed something to prove that I could, something that gave my existence meaning (this sounds really foolish in hindsight).
The sewing project I have been working on was not going well, interruptions and broken equipment were distracting me and discouraging me and so I laid it aside for something different. I decided that I was going to crochet one of those trendy ponytail hats. Sounds good. I have lots of ponytail but I’m shy on the crochet skills. Still, I dug out a ball of yarn (pretty stuff that I’m sure I bought with some ambitious goal in mind) and a hook (not sure which size I should have used but this one was comfortable in my hand). I found a YouTube video and I was off.
I watched the video and then I watched it again. Not really sure I understood, but determined to produce, I jumped in and started to crochet. My first indication that something was wrong should have been when my hat lay open like a doily instead of being shaped like a, uh, hat. Still, I kept crocheting. A few hours later, I had a hat that was far too big for my head (there may have been mention of elephants). I had a hat. It was not anything like the sample in the video, and it didn’t fit my head, but it was a hat (of sorts). In my need to feel like my day was not wasted, I started improvising and soon had a tam styled ponytail hat in a cute pink and white that tied around the ponytail hole and the head circumference with matching drawstrings. My hat fit, it covered my ears, it didn’t cost me anything (as I pulled supplies from my “stash”) and it was a usable testament to the fact that I can do something.
During the process, I had friends applaud my determination and I had friends offer to help. I needed to do this myself.
There is more than one lesson in this little story, but the one that is standing out to me today is that because something was important to me, I was willing to pour a lot of time and energy into it. The more I invested, in fact, the more determined I was to give it even more of me.
As a sit here, with my Bible open in front of me, I am feeling somewhat rebuked by the fact that not nearly often enough do I give my time with the Lord the same kind of investment that I gave that hat. In fact, throughout the frustrating process of creating my hat, I didn’t spend any time praying for help in understanding what I was doing or grace in the end result of my untrained efforts – all I could see was what I wanted to accomplish, in my time and in my way — the hat.
Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try to accomplish things, or that it’s unreasonable to feel like housework is overwhelming; every wife and mother knows these things, but I am challenging each one of us to take a close look at how we approach the things in our day and decide if we are giving the Lord the same level of investment that we are giving to all of our other projects.
When I do my Bible study, do I commit solid blocks of time to honour the Lord? When I am praying do I eliminate all other distractions? When the Lord is trying to teach me, do I commit to studying and pursuing Him until I have learned? In my Christian walk and desire to become more like Christ, how outside of my comfort zone am I willing to go to be obedient? Am I sold out on following Him?
My little hat is now a big deal, because every time I put it on, I know that God will remind me that He has to be more important to me than anything else.
Matthew 22:37-38
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.

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