Thursday, February 14, 2013

Count Your Stitches

Lent began yesterday. This season of the Christian year is meant to be a time of self-examination, prayer and sacrifice. This knitting devotional is offered in that spirit.

The elderly woman who taught me to knit told me to count my stitches every few rows to make sure I still had the right number. Mistakes that are caught early are easier to correct than those that go unnoticed.

I continue with that habit to this day.

I have also learned that from time to time it is advisable to look over the piece you are working on to see if there are any mistakes that counting stitches won't catch. Loops, pulls, errors in the pattern: anything you would want to fix without having to do undo half the project.

Just as it is good to count stitches, it is good to keep a watch on our lives. Are our motives not quite pure? Are we sliding into a negative relationship? Are we slipping into sin? The sooner we catch these things, the easier it will be to correct them and straighten things out. If we let them go, fixing them could be come very costly.

Many people ask themselves a series of questions each evening. Things like:

  • Have I hurt anyone today?
  • Have I been angry?
  • Have I failed to forgive somone?
  • Have I neglected something I should have done?

This habit can keep negative or inappropriate behavior from becoming a pattern. It can be personalized to help you keep tabs on your own problem areas -- we all have them.

Once or twice a year, or perhaps even each Sunday, we should look at our lives as a whole, in a prayerful spirit, to see if anything needs renewing or changing.

Of course learning about ourselves isn't quite enough on it's own. When we have done these things, we should commit to fixing what needs fixing and to living as God wants us to live. And then do it.

 You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
         Before a word is on my tongue
                                       you, Lord, know it completely. 
                 You hem me in behind and before
                   and you lay your hand upon me.
             Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
                  too lofty for me to attain.

                   Psalm 139: 1-6

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
                                                                                   James 1:23-25

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?   
                                                                               2 Corinthians 13:5

Do you have a method for examining your life?


  1. Love the analogy. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I am really enjoying your Knitter's Devotional.

    1. Thanks. I am thinking of calling it "Stitched with Prayer" and if I manage to sell it using the proceeds for my mission trip to Burma.

  3. Thanks for a very thought-provoking post, Melinda! I am really familiar with the idea of counting stitches from the days I was able to do counted x-stitch (bothers my eyes a lot now). It was especially vital to keep checking the pattern, and counting the squares in the cloth, and counting the stitches, to make sure everything matched!

    My usual means of examining myself includes daily devotions, including prayer, Bible reading, and a few devotional books mostly by Joyce Meyer. I also say some daily affirmations from her books that are very positive, encouraging, and motivational.

    Just an aside - it dawned on me just now that I also have a blogspot blog with a very similar name: Random Thoughts & Musings. I haven't developed it as much as you have yours, though!

    1. Thanks for commenting! i used to cross-stitch, too, but it is hard on the eyes. Those sound like great means of self-examination.