Lessons from Knitting, Broken Cameras, and Nail Polish | Teen Ink

Lessons from Knitting, Broken Cameras, and Nail Polish

August 5, 2010
By JennieSmile11 GOLD, Bridgman, Michigan
JennieSmile11 GOLD, Bridgman, Michigan
12 articles 2 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
Dream until your dreams come truth.

Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.

Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven

So I’ve always had this zest for learning, I just love growing from something I may not have known yesterday but do today. I’ve never really bought into the whole text book thing though- if facts are rubber, then I am glue, and whatever I hear or read just bounces off me as quickly as it came… hands on learning, however, sticks with me.
This is no different in my Christian walk- though I realize reading my Bible is crucial to my growth in Christ, God always seems to show me the most through, well, unorthodox methods of teaching. Lately he’s decided to pour knowledge into me as though preparing me for some huge test through knitting, broken cameras, and nail polish. And I have this gut feeling that these lessons are not ones He wants me to keep to myself. Don’t worry though, God won’t test you until you’re ready, and He will never fail you, so sit back & listen, as He is the wisest teacher you will ever have ?

I have this amazing friend, Kayla. While complete opposites, we get along like peanut butter and jelly- her being the smooth, controlled peanut butter and me being the messy and colorful jelly that kinda ends up all over the place. Somehow we just work together and bring out the best in each other. Well for some reason only God could know, Kayla decided it would be fun to teach me how to knit. Now, if you know me at all, you know I am THE most impatient person. Ever. I didn’t get why we would sit inside and work instead of skipping around outside, but I decided to give it a chance. Again, it had to have been a God thing. Since I’m sure He thinks it’s cute how much we think we know, He sometimes throws us complete curve balls, and that’s what He did. Because yes- I totally bought into knitting. I LOVE IT! I can’t stop-I even bought purple knitting needles!! ( ? ) Anyways, I do not just enjoy the steady and relaxing pattern of knitting, but all God has taught me so much through it already such as… (from knitter’s point of view) When I look at my knitting, I see something beautiful because I created it; I would never want it to be different no matter how untogether it turns out. The flaws make it real and interesting, and I usually don’t even notice them- I just see the overall spirit of the whole thing and notice the best parts of it.
(from knitted work’s point of view) There are plenty of holes to overcome while being knit, but you can not dwell on them. You must learn from how those holes were created, and see how you can avoid making holes in the same way. However, sometimes the needles and other distractions can cause old mistakes to repeat- and again you just have to keep going, and realize that through your faults you are still someone’s work of art, still something beautiful and adored. And while being pulled and stretched is painful, we grow from it. You can’t grow without growing pains. Don’t ever judge your own knitted work, because you have come out perfectly in the knitter’s eyes. Time was spent so preciously and precisely on you, and you are different from all the other knitted art pieces. No matter a scarf, washrag, or pair of socks- you were created just as you were made to be. The Bible says "And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:11, 25. We are created as we are for a purpous, and despite our holes, we still turn out as we were created to, though it may take time, you just have to trust the knitter. ?

God has also decided to teach me, multiple times, through broken cameras. I seem to get a new one every Christmas, birthday, and paycheck- yet, somehow I always manage to break this. Ok, so I know- I never keep them in their case, but that’s besides the point. Ok, ok. That is the point. God wants us (or uhm, in this case a camera) to take care of ourselves, and not forget that, while it’s wonderful to care about the wellbeing of others, we were also ment to take specific pictures others just cant capture. My most common problem with cameras is that pesky little flashing “Lens error” sign. How that irks me with every new camera. But since God wants us to get advice from those He has given strengths in our weak areas, and since we become strongest when we can admit how we are, for we then seek help, I went to my wonderful friend Kelly, the master photographer. Upon deciding my lens error was probably due to sand, I decided to try and fix it- first by gently cleaning around the corners. Soft, gentle, just trying it to take notice of the errors of its ways so it would clean up, change, and work again. Again, while God has endless patience, I do not. So my next tactic was beating the camera, hitting it to try and knock the sand out. While God would never beat us, sometimes we just refuse to clean up, even though we see our “sand” is causing us so many problems, maybe even to the point of not functioning, or at least not like we are ment to. He loves us and wants us to see and fill our own purpous so badly, that He has to do whatever it takes to bring us to our knees- to clean the sand out. When our world is shaken, as I shook my camera, we end up so much stronger, cleansed, pure, and ready to work again. (Although God also showed me that while this clearly works for Him to fix us, I am not God, and shaking and beating cameras only breaks them more.)

Nail polish ? Never did I think spreading crazy colors onto my nails would draw me closer to God, but hey-I’ll take whatever He blesses me with! I go back to Kayla-after a stressful week for her, she decided to do an at home spa day, and I was there to join. Every stress evaporated as the warm water of our face cloths took over. While she went for a pale purple color, I decided to do my toe nails all different bright colors, but with her suggestion, went for a solid finger nail polish. I did not hide my crazy toes and just show off the pretty fingers though- the crazy parts of my life are just as much a part of me as the pretty, orderly parts. Sometimes they can even be more fun if we ask God to help us look at them that way. However, I also learned we don’t have to bring extra craziness into our lives, we get enough of that without trying. It’s not sin to want nice things, to have nice fingernails. Not everything has to be messy. Even if people expect us to have every nail ten different colors, all that matters is what we feel at that moment. Be who you truly are, not others perceived image of you.. “A man’s reputation is what others think of him, his character is who he really is.” Sometimes simple is best. “Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly & leave the rest to God.” Anyways, sometimes we need just a quick clipping to make ourselves feel good, and sometimes it takes a full out spa day. Don’t be afraid take time to do whatever it is to bring you back up after a rough day. (sorry boys, you’re on your own for this lesson) Also, so many mistakes can happen while painting nails, and sometimes the texture is rough or the polish spreads to areas it’s not meant for- sometimes we are taken out of comfort zone, or sin can take over more than we expect. While nails could always have something about them turn out better, we have to appreciate what we get, even if it’s bumpy. Then we really appreciate the smooth times more. Nails come in all different shapes and colors. Some enjoy simple colors while others work well with extravagant patterns. Don’t be afraid to embrace whatever makes you shine, or change things up. Though life is different in that you can’t always remove mistakes, you can always wait for the ruined polish to fade and then paint differently the next time. Always be learning; just because you started out painting a flower on a nail, don’t force it to if it’s not working out, if it turns into a giraffe, go for it. Don’t be afraid, take chances. Oh, and sometimes we chip, but that’s ok-we are not asked to be perfect. When we let our flaws show, we truly accept ourselves and who God made us. One time my grandma painted my nails, though they did not turn out professionaly, it's the memories that are important. Again, take risks for the sake of memories and crush ideas of perfection. Trust your heart, and everything will turn out beautiful.

God is a wise teacher. He doesn’t give much homework, just asks that we listen and take home what He’s given us. We can always ask questions and He loves when we raise our hands in praise. God can teach us through everything. Even if He has to repeat the same lesson a million times, He’ll keep teaching us until He gets to celebrate with us for getting it. Even if it’s not always straight As, God loves us just the same & couldn’t love us anymore for those As than when we do get a C-. ?
( That’s good to know. Maybe He should share THAT lesson with parents… ;) )

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