Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Needs vs. Wants and a Gracious God (A New Love of Crafting)

A year and a half ago, I sat in a Time Management class where our teacher gave us some practical pointers for determining how to use our time well when we have hundreds of things vying for it. He gave us a little chart and talked about how there are things we need to do and things we want to do. Then he helped us break down our time use by placing things in the following categories.

- Things I need to do and want to do
- Things I need to do and don't want to do
- Things I don't need to do and want to do
- Things I don't need to do and don't want to do

I loved that chart and remember turning to the person beside me and saying, "This is why I don't do crafts. I don't need to and I don't want to."

Fast forward a few months, and about one year ago, my friend was heading to a craft night. She asked if I would go along, and I told her I would, but that I wasn't crafty at all. I told her that I wasn't crafty and that I didn't enjoy being crafty, and that I would just take along a shutterfly book to work on because that was as crafty as I got.

Today I barely even recognize that girl, as a day doesn't even go by that I'm not being crafty or thinking about crafty things or buying craft materials.

And I think how sweet it is that God gives us new loves.

(I painted this sign last week for our house. It has significance behind it that I'll write about one day.)

I was content with not being crafty then. I didn't have any need for it. But at this time in my life, God has been so kind to give me a new love for crafting. You see, before I always loved reading and writing and deep thinking and editing and analyzing. I received a bachelors of art in English, and I loved diagramming sentences and reading Pilgrim's Progress and writing research papers. ((Nerd Alert)) And I could easily still pick up those old loves of mine, I am sure... because God has instilled them in me and gifted me in certain ways for them. But for right now, I am so thankful for this new love because crafting allows me to be still. It allows me to still my mind and heart at a time when I desperately need it.

(These lyrics from Bethel Music have calmed my soul many times)

Crafting is something I can do that doesn't require a lot of thought once I get started. So I can turn on worship music (I'm loving Hillsong United's new album Empires!), or I can pray, or I can work on memorizing Scripture (I'm working on Romans 8 right now. It's been so good to memorize this chapter full of such good and solid truth). When I'm reading a book or writing a paper or editing or analyzing or diagramming, I have to give my attention completely to that thing in order to do it well. But with crafting, I don't have to. I can work on my painting (or whatever else I'm working on) and still give my brain to something else. And in those moments, I completely feel in touch with the verse, "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10). I have memorized verses and allowed worship song lyrics to sink deep into my soul during times of crafting, and I am so thankful that I can be productive and be still at the same time. It's a pretty fascinating thing.

(I tried my hand at an embroidery hoop. A little sloppy, but I did it all free-hand, so not bad)

And so I praise God. Because he has been so kind to instill a new desire within me. A new want. And he has given this ridiculously practical girl (that's me, ya'll!) a peace in knowing that it is okay to sometimes do things we want that are not needs. He is such a kind God to allow us to be creative... and not just to allow it, but to cherish when we capture this incredible quality of His, the ultimate Creator, and establish it in our lives. When we seek beauty in a way that pleases Him.

(My third world map that I painted)

Think about how creative our God is. He didn't need to put so much color in the world. He didn't need to make so many types of animals or cultures of people. He didn't need to make deep valleys and high mountains or oceans and land. He didn't need to make seasons or light and dark. He especially didn't need to make a galaxy of planets and stars that will never.even be enjoyed or explored by the human eye to its depth. He didn't need to. But he wanted to. For his own enjoyment. And for ours. 

(A sign I made as a friend's wedding gift)

And that's what we do when we create. We create beauty for our own eyes. And we create beauty for others' eyes. And we give all the glory to God for allowing us to create and for allowing us to appreciate beauty, because He is the ultimate Creator and He is the ultimate Giver.

(A sign I made for my friend)


  1. Wow, you are super talented - I LOVE LOVE LOVE that "It is Well" sign! Isn't it so wonderful that God can give us new loves?!

    1. Thank you, Kelly <3 I so appreciate your kind words!
      And YES, it is SO wonderful that God gives us new loves! People and places and hobbies and talents... he can place new ones in our lives at any moment, and that's so incredible and encouraging!