It is late afternoon and I have less than an hour before I go to pick up kiddos from school. Eli is napping and I am trying to prepare for home group, straighten up and I really need a shower but I have a post that has been ramblin’ around in my brain for a couple days and is knockin’ to get out.
As a kid did you ever weave potholders? I did my fair share of them. Remember the stretchy thin cloth with the hard plastic frame? It took forever to weave the little rubber band things together and eventually wore your patience out? At least mine it did.
McCall brought one home from art class last year and never finished it. He pulled it out last week and asked me to help him tie it off or finish it, but we discovered that he had very neatly layered the cloth strips but didn’t weave them in and out of each other.
I tried to explain to him that it was very neat and tidy but when pulled off the frame they would all pop off and not stay together. He decided to try and see if what I said was true when I left the room. Soon he came to me, very frustrated, with a big pile of jumbled, tangle mess:)
I slowly showed him how to restring the frame and then slowly weave each new elastic through the rest so they would become interconnected. The point of doing that is so when it comes time to attach the edges all the pieces pull together to make a complete potholder without holes. Hard for my very non-spatial mind to picture and understand but because I have seen it happen, I know it indeed works.
I am not crafty however McCall is and set to work once again to complete his potholder. (He made one for me last year and midway through making this one he asked if I use the other one. I explained that it doesn’t hold the heat very well…whereupon he decided that it was far too much work making another one if I don’t use the first one:)
This process set me thinking a bit. It is nice having our lives organized with activities, compartments all neat and pretty. Work here, school relationships there, church friends over here and family business over there. It works and keeps the plates spinning. However in my own life I have found that when something out of my control knocks me off balance and some of my plates come crashing down…I need some help. This is when I needed the support and help of friends and family and dear ones that were not just occupying space next to me but were interconnected and woven into my life. These relationships kept me from unraveling into a tangled mess.
Their willingness to be woven into my life during the good times also meant that they were involved in the mess of my hard times. But praise be to God for them because they helped keep me and my marriage and my sanity afloat. Like those elastics on the frame if they had not been woven in and out of my life and my days through home group, dinners together, sharing date nights, times of honest accountability, shared times of prayer, difficult questions, transparent conversations and day to day life…my potholder would be looking a lot different.
Sometimes lining our elastics up in neat rows, looks pretty and doesn’t take nearly as much time, inconvenience, patience and sacrifice; however, the extra time is certainly worth the effort when it comes down to times of real need. When you need a potholder to face the heat you want one that is stuck together with strong ties, not a tangled mess. A tangled mess doesn’t do anyone much good:)
So how about you? What is your life looking like? Neat little rows or are you blessed to have the complication of others being daily interwoven into your life? Some great ways to make that happen are to join a small group through your church, ask some friends to meet in your home to pray and study a book together or ask a few to join you for coffee and honest, transparent discussion. The initiation and courage to create an environment and opportunity for transparent community can be challenging but so, so worth the effort. Weave away!