Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society

It's been mentioned to me that I may be a bit too "religious" here occasionally. I make no apologies for it. I know that some people may be turned off by what I have to say, and that's ok. I'm not here to offend. But at the same time, my faith is what gets me through each day, and if someone else is encouraged or strengthened by what I have to say, that's a blessing I'm grateful for! God has recently put it on my heart that I spend far too much time worry about what other people think of me instead of about what He thinks of me. I want to be living my life in a way that's pleasing to Him, and I hope that my blog is.

That said, I'd like to share a bit with you about Mia's growing faith. She's been bothered lately by my illness and worries that I'm going to die. Last night, she was lying in bed next to me trying to go to sleep, but she had fears that something would happen to one of us in the night. I remembered a verse in a Psalm about going to sleep in peace, so I pulled out my Bible, flipped to the concordance, and found it. Psalm 4:8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you along O Lord, will keep me safe. As I read it aloud to her, she folded her hands and closed her eyes, then she asked me to read it again. And then a third time, this time with my finger under each word so she could follow along.

A few years ago, I read somewhere that you should read Paul's discussion about love in 1 Corinthians 13 replacing your name for love in each instance. Try it; it will quickly humble you as to the quality of your love. To help Mia out, I tried something like it with this verse. In peace Mia will lie down and sleep, for you along, O Lord, will keep her safe. The smile that spread across her face was radiant. She asked me to read it again so she could repeat it after me. So we broke it up into phrases until she was repeating it on her own. Soon she said it with my name in it, and it became a prayer. In peace, Mommy lies down to sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep her safe. She wanted to say it for Jesse, so I called him into the room, and when his little girl said (with only a little help): In peace, Daddy lies down to sleep, for you along, O Lord, will keep him safe, I thought he was going to cry.

Mia has taught me so much about faith in her five short years. Last night she demonstrated for me what a true thirst for God's word is and the deep desire to keep it in your heart. I didn't coach her to memorize it; she was delighted to find God's promise to her and wanted to remember it so she wouldn't feel that kind of fear again. She went to sleep soon after; no more worries or fears about dying. Instead there was peace resting in his promise of safety.

The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Patillo is the newest in a flourishing genre of chick lit books focusing on a handicraft. In this case knitting, plus a book group. Eugenie, the long time town librarian runs the society with an iron fist, so when she brings in teenager Hannah, troubled and caught tearing pages out of a library book, to do penance by attending the meetings and cleaning the library, all of the other members are changed by her presence. Esther and Ruthie are sisters who couldn't be more different. Esther is picture perfect, but her husband is in love with free-wheeling Ruthie. Camille is only 24 but has given up her dreams of leaving small town Sweetgum to take care of her ailing mother. Merry is an overstressed mother with a faltering marriage and a surprise pregnancy. These different women all come to the society for their own reasons and find the same thing: family, acceptance, and love. But only after Hannah forces them to drop their facades and really see each other and themselves. Not too much attention is paid to the books read or the knitting, just enough to keep the plot moving without dragging. These women were so real; they shop next to you in the grocery store and sit next to you in the church pew. Patillo captures their hopes and dreams and makes all of them (even Esther) sympathetic. I hope that this is only the first in a series, because I want to know these characters better and watch them grow.

Today was the first power outage of the summer. It's also the first 90 degree day. Hopefully, the two won't go hand in hand for the rest of the summer.