Even though we just finished a season of ‘too much to do’, I am personally in another season of ‘way too much to do’.
You’d think that the end of December would be the end of stress, but that’s not the way it works for me.
It’s a long story, but let’s just say that serving the Church can keep you so busy that it’s hard to tell the difference between the Christmas season and any other month of the year.
As I mentioned in a previous post, my daughters both moved away during the holiday season. My oldest moved away to Colorado on the day after Thanksgiving, only one scant week after her sister’s wedding. And my youngest left for Portland, Oregon on January 2nd. Ugh. I’d barely finished putting my oldest back on the plane to CO and celebrating the New Year when I had to get my baby packed into her car, a UHaul trailer, and a huge dually pickup truck. Thank God that my daughter’s in-laws are wonderful helpers, or I think my head would have exploded!
Back to my scheduled programming, which focuses on too much to do and too many emotions.
You would think that the last thing I’d want to do after baking for 36 people and feeding 17 for Christmas is MORE work, but that’s exactly what I turned to once my daughter and her husband had pulled away from the condo they were living in to head for Oregon.
My heart was breaking and all I could think about was socks.
You may be wondering what the heck I’m talking about.
Let me share the joy of Sprinkle Socks.
Sprinkle Socks are socks that have a fringe of beads crocheted onto them. They make noise when you walk, and they are vibrantly colored. You can make Sprinkle Socks to match every single outfit you own…but then again you probably would refuse to wear them if you were over the age of 11.
Sprinkle Socks are something I made for my little girls back in the day.
I crocheted on the plane to CA as I traveled to seminary. My daughters were 2 and 5 years old when I started seminary, and I made them Sprinkle Socks in every color imaginable while I sat in the airport or on the plane. By the time I finished seminary, my daughters were seven and ten years old and I had made them many more pairs of Sprinkle Socks because they kept growing out of the old ones. It was the perfect craft project: once they fell in love with Sprinkle Socks, it wasn’t like they could live without them, so I had to keep making larger and larger pairs.
As I watched my adult daughters pack their lives into boxes and moving trucks, all I could think about was all the things I had done to take care of them and bring them joy…and how they wouldn’t need that from me anymore.
I guess I could have just invested in sadness and spent my next few months crying and pouting. Instead I invested in tri-beads, crochet needles, crochet twine, and crew socks from Target. (I have to admit that I did have a few tearful meltdowns, but each one lasted only a few minutes and I’ve only had three or four meltdowns since October 2016.)
On the day my youngest was leaving for Oregon, my husband and I arrived with coffee for all four of us. We spent our entire morning at the condo helping them helping them find anything critical that wasn’t already packed and load the few remaining items of big furniture. Katie and her husband were frantic, trying to do and remember everything. It seemed like it took a long time, but suddenly it was over and Katie and her new husband left in her overstuffed car, headed for their new life in Portland, OR.
All I could think about was getting to Target to buy a package of socks so that I could get started.
You would think that with all the baking, cooking, cleaning, wrapping and packing that I had to do during the holidays that the LAST thing I would want is another project to complete.
NOPE…it’s exactly what I want.
Sure it’s a distraction from the sadness that I’m feeling, except that it’s more than a distraction.
I become genuinely happy thinking about the Sprinkle Socks.
They remind me of all the things I did to make my daughters happy. They remind me of the dozens of pairs I crocheted for other little girls, knowing that their Sprinkle Socks would be their favorite socks.
They remind me of the myriad of ways that I can use my skills to create joy and pleasure for others.
They let me do the thing that gives me the most meaning in my life—serving others—with the added bonus that I get to be creative.
Do you ever think that God created humans to be creative just so that we could discover that joy that God felt when God created US???
I can make you Sprinkle Socks in every color in the rainbow and even a few colors that aren’t found in nature. I can make Sprinkle Socks for babies only a few months old, and I can make Sprinkle Socks for girls that are already in Middle School. I can crochet Sprinkle Socks that have glitter beads! You cannot believe what I can do with a few beads and a pair of crew socks.
I think that the overwhelming joy that I feel as I crochet each bead onto the Sprinkle Socks is the exact same joy that God felt as He created trees and flowers, as He created grass and mountains, as He created every human being with all the different skin and hair and eye colors, as He created the world with infinite variation in trees, mountains, plants, animals, and people.
God created so that we might have everything in abundance and find joy in all of it.
I create so that some little girl might have socks in abundance and find joy in that.
It isn’t near as impressive or massive as God’s work, but it is an echo of God’s creativity, and I’ll take anything that will allow me to glimpse into the mind of God.
If crocheting Sprinkle Socks is any indication of what God’s mind is like, God is very calm and extremely happy.
In light of all that’s gone on in the last month, I’ll take all the calm and happy I can get. If you are looking for me you will find me on the couch, crocheting Sprinkle Socks.