Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Artistic Appreciation in Knitting

 When I pick up this sock yarn to knit I am struck by the magnifisense (sic) of color. I feel like I am knitting an impressionist art painting, that of Monet or Van Gogh. I see a sun setting behind a quiet blue/purple lake in the forefront surrounded by a field of tall green grass and pink wild flowers, the light reflecting its last rays of dusk making the water sparkle with the movement of the gentle waves and making the pink flowers glow as the light catches them just right.

Can you hear the crickets starting to chirp their love songs as dusk falls? Did the fiber artist know how this yarn would create such beauty or bring such a vision to my mind?

This was my moment of "hygge", my cozy place today. I drink it in......

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Cozy Life

Lately, I  have been thinking and feeling like something was missing from my life. Could it be happiness?  Since losing my husband 6 1/2 years ago, I have been searching, just like everyone else, for some meaning to my life. Is my 61 years of my life something that makes a difference in this world?
 I initially had a plan for my life. Like every woman, one dreams of a happy childhood, education, marriage, a career, raising children, their children grown, settled or in a marriage, retirement, and then grandchildren to keep one busy and purposeful.  Before all came to fruition, it seemed to change too soon. I have actually achieved much of this, and some  of it heartbreakingly disappointing.  I felt that something was missing and like many, I prayed to God to reveal what he wanted me to do next. How I can be happy in my end days without a spouse?( “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28)
I have come to realize that I can never be totally happy with someone (a man) who did not share my cherished memories of the ups and downs of my life. I didn’t know if I had the energy to take on a blended family and another person’s memories that I was left out of. Would I ever feel whole and connected? Do I really want to complicate my life and finances again?  With another spouse, there would always be an emptiness and separation from those memories. Perhaps I am better content discovering what I can do to make myself happy with God as my sole leader and guide.
So, when I felt the need to get away, I decided to go on vacation alone with God. I wanted to rebuild my confidence and drive myself far enough away from home, to avoid distractions and listen to God. It was like being as Jesus, going into the wilderness to be tested and to prepare for his ministry. I looked forward to the adventure.
                It was the best 8 days I have ever spent. I did things that made me happy. I rested, I knitted, I read my Bible, I listened to the rain (heavy for 3 days), and I slept in a very cozy and comfy bed. I took walks and drives and experienced mindfulness of my surroundings and really “felt” the moment; the beauty of God’s world in the rain and green hills and fields of central CA, the relief from caring for anyone but myself, imagining enveloped in a great big hug from God. I was creative: took some knitting classes, planned some decorations for my home,  and felt inspiration flooding through me. What I heard internally was “Daughter, you have worked hard and now it is time to rest. You are loved, you are special, and now refresh yourself. Drink from my cool stream and renew your energy. Use your gifts as you have learned to help others and encourage them. Feed my lambs with your love and care.”  It seemed to reset my world and refocus my direction on God and me. I realized that now I have permission to do some self-care so I can go out and care for others wherever God leads me.
        And then, I was browsing Amazon and saw the title “The Cozy Life”. Wow! This is what I was trying to achieve. It is based on Hygge (Danish pronounced hoo-gah). Hygge is a Danish lifestyle (attitude) that has made them the happiest people in the world, so they say.

“ It is the intimacy you create, several times a day, on purpose in order to make life bearable or even very good."

        Hygge is about being kind to yourself—giving yourself a treat, and giving yourself, and each other, a break from the demands of healthy living. It is based on connection with people and creating and sharing the cozy life in simple living. Yes, this I can incorporate in self-care and giving care and love to others. This could make me happy and purposeful. Isn’t God good to give me an understanding of all he has groomed me for my whole life?. I didn’t recognize it until now. It makes sense to me.

        So, I now look forward to this mindset of creating a hygge environment in my home, among friends, family and people. In a nutshell, it is living “kindness”, my theme for this year based on Galatians 5:22-23. It is being kind to self and to others.  It is also being mindful of gratitude and the life and blessings God gives you. This makes me “happy”.