Lisa Scandrette is writing freerangefriday this week while I am out of town. I’ve known Lisa for almost twenty years and she is a dear friend! She lives out her faith daily through hospitality, creativity and compassion for others. She is a weaver, an educator and a world traveler! She also is amazing fiber artist!
“You knit me together in my mother’s womb…I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
It has been easier for me to quote this verse than to embed the belief into my own heart. In 2020, seeking to live into this truth, I decided to knit a doll of myself in order to meditate on this truth. I selected a pattern, yarn for her flesh, hair, eyes, and clothes, and began to slowly knit my doll-formed self. As I knit her, I reflected on how I embrace who I am made to be.
When I knit, it takes lots of care and intention. It starts with selecting the yarn. What is most suitable for the project I am making? Then comes a knit sample to make sure that the item I am knitting with turn out the size that I am anticipating when I am done. And then I cast on the project. The item is completed by creating loop after loop, stitch after stitch, one at a time. Rows build upon rows. The yarn passes through my fingers and I feel every inch of it. If I make a mistake, I carefully undo the previous stitches to fix the hole I have created. Knitting isn’t a slapdash way to create, but rather slow, thoughtful and precise. Each creation is unique. To suggest that God knit me together in my mother’s womb suggests that he took time, careful thought and planning to create me. Perhaps God started in one direction, thought better of it, and decided to make me different. Perhaps, like me, God sat back and examined her work, running her hands over it with thoughtful satisfaction, pausing to take it in from time to time.
My quirks, the way I’m wired—it’s all on purpose. Can I learn to love my quirks and imperfections? What about my gray streaks? What about the slow way I move in the world? Do I have the courage to embrace who I am and openly offer what I have, trusting that it will be used by God? Will I show up as my true self?
I struggle to honor my own voice, thoughts, and desires, tempted to believe that somehow mine are not as important or worthy as those of others. Or I believe the lie that what I have to offer doesn’t really matter. There are already so many competent voices speaking loudly. So, I am prone to self-censor and withdraw when I forget my true identity. Sometimes I think that mattering has to do with how many people hear me—the size of my “platform” or how many followers I have. But, I am not a big platform kind of person. I love the small and the beautiful. Deep down, I think the invisible and less visible matters. On a good day, I want to live beautifully and matter to the people that I know and love and come into contact with. On a good day, I want to love well in secret. But, there are other days that I feel the pressure that what matters must be public and loud. And I feel ill-equipped for that.
When I fall into the trap of comparison, I often think it would be better if I was more like another person—more eloquent, more put together in my appearance, more fit-looking, more activist, whatever the comparison of the day is. Instead, I am wanting to learn to become more fully the self I was created to be in all my quirky uniqueness.
As I’ve been working through these aspects of identity, my goal is to learn to become the most flourishing “Lisa” that God envisioned when I was knit together in my mother’s womb. In that light, I matter a great deal and what I say and do matters. If I lived more fully into this, I would care well for my physical needs. I would recognize and honor the gifts that I bring to the world and develop them. I would authentically own my thoughts and opinions, even when others disagree. I would write and let others see it, even if it’s just a few. I would express my creativity. I would surround myself with beauty. I would be comfortable in my own skin and honor what I already do to live in beauty and walk with Jesus, not just see the ways that I wish I did. I would be comfortable with my limitations, and I would step into things that I desire, but that I am not yet comfortable with. I would learn to not be limited by fear of mistakes or failure—in fact, I would embrace them as ways to learn. I would be secure in the fact that I am deeply beloved, no matter what I do, say or am.
My doll now sits among my books on a shelf in my office. She looks out with her blue eyes, wearing a Norwegian sweater just like mine. She makes me smile. I see the potential to add to her, to complete her representation even more. I am reminded that creating beauty takes time and I pray for God’s slow handiwork to be continually embodied in me.
God has knit you and I both together with care and intention. You matter! You are welcomed with joy, with eagerness, with open arms! You are celebrated and anticipated. How would you live if you embraced the person that God knit together so carefully in your mother’s womb? What would that look like for you?
Lisa Scandrette has devoted herself to a life of care, hospitality, and teaching. She regularly facilitates workshops and provides administrative support for ReIMAGINE, a center for integral Christian practice with a mission to help people become more fully human through engagement with the life and teachings of Jesus. She makes a life in the Mission District of San Francisco with her husband Mark and their three children, and she is coauthor of FREE: Spending Your Time and Money on What Matters Most.
Read about Lisa’s work with ReIMAGINE.
It’s here! Christine Sine’s new book is now ready for purchase! Journey along with Christine as she walks you through contemplative container gardening. Reviews are coming in:
“Digging Deeper is a beautiful companion for anyone who is looking for a mindful and sacred way of connecting their bodies to their souls, and their prayers to actions. All you need is a bowl, some dirt, this lovely book, and the desire to slow down and dig deep. – Jerusalem Jackson Greer, author of At Home in this Life: Finding Peace at the Crossroads of Unraveled Dreams and Beautiful Surprises”