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I really hadn’t intended to fall in love. In fact, it was the furthest thing from my mind. But I just couldn’t help it. The reality is that I had come for just this very reason. All my working plans suddenly evaporated, and I fast discovered that I was, once again, going to learn more than I could ever teach, and be blessed more than I could imagine.
Part of the design of the Hugs and Kisses branch of The Encouragement Project is to find and encourage the handcrafting abilities of those who enjoy knitting and crocheting, and to teach others who are interested in learning one of these skills. They are then invited to make scarves and hats (hugs and kisses) that will be given to those in need—the homeless, low income children and families, cancer patients, and others who need warmth.
Not long ago, we started a knitting/crochet circle at one of the local retirement centers. It is here, among these beautiful ladies, that my heart has been lost. Every Monday morning, for about two hours, we go to knit and crochet, untangle yarn, fix lost stitches, teach new stitches, and simply enjoy time spent in the company of these sweet souls.
One of our regulars (who is 88) told us that she had given away all her pattern books, knitting needles and yarn, thinking she was done making things for people. When she heard about Hugs and Kisses, and that the items made would go to those in need, she decided to pick up her knitting once again and join this effort to help others.
Just last week, we had two new ladies join the ever growing group. One was well into her eighties, and the other was 92. Neither had ever learned to knit or crochet before. You know, there is something about a ninety-year-old excited about the challenge of learning something new that is, well, astounding and inspirational. It makes me realize even more clearly that this demographic is quite often overlooked in their ability and desire to continue embracing life and to be useful in any way they can.
To see the creativity and determination these ladies have to make absolutely beautiful things for people they will never meet is inspiring. They want to help, and it has given this fine bunch new purpose—yet another incredible blessing.
God always surprises me with beauty when I least expect it. Time with others is a gift. May you be encouraged to find rich blessings in the people around you—the best is truly yet to be discovered.