Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
(2 Corinthians 9:7-8)
SERVING WITH CREATIVE GIFTS
God has given me opportunities to share my creative gifts with others over the past few years. Not only do the receivers appreciate the gifts but giving brings me joy. Friends have also blessed me by sharing their creative gifts. These include small paintings, notecards, and crocheted items.
Serving others by giving almost comes naturally to me because my mother set a good example. She loved making things for others, and it gave her great joy. My friends always felt at home when they came to visit because she was so hospitable. Through the years she brought joy to many with her creative gifts.
My mom taught me how to crochet when I was young, but I don’t remember showing much interest. Later I crocheted mostly dishcloths, but I did try making mittens for my then-young daughters. Time went by and crocheting fell by the wayside.
CREATIVE GIFTS: A RENEWED INTEREST
Sometime later, when we lived with my mom for a couple of years, she and I worked together to make afghans for my daughters as Christmas gifts. That same year, we hosted a Christmas party for the women in the church and gave each of them creative gifts of crocheted coasters.
Early in 2020, my interest in crocheting was renewed. With every project, my excitement grew as I learned new stitches and tried new patterns. There were plenty of mistakes, hours of untangling yarn that had become twisted together, countless times of taking out stitches and starting over — but it all helped teach me patience and attention to detail. As projects were finished, I found joy when I gave these creative gifts to my friends and family.
CREATIVE GIFTS OF CROCHETED ITEMS
A friend of mine designed some of the patterns I used. She was a wonderful cheerleader as she encouraged and helped me by demonstrating stitches and answering questions. Her joy was an inspiration as she willingly gave of herself. It was never about competition but about cheering each other on.
Early on, I made a few simple hats, giving them as gifts. Then I found patterns for facial scrubbies, which are useful for removing makeup or a quick face wash. They make lovely creative gifts for self-care. If you don’t fancy scrubbies, you can use them as coasters instead. Being made of cotton yarn, they are quite absorbent.
Some of the easiest crocheted items are washcloths that can be used for dishes or self-care. There are many free online patterns ranging in difficulty from beginner to more intricate designs. Many are fun to crochet and make great creative gifts.
CREATIVE GIFTS: DESIGNING MY OWN
After a lot of experimenting I came up with two simple face cloth patterns to share with Chronic Joy. As with almost any pattern, they can be varied by mixing and matching colors or making them all one color. I hope you enjoy making some of your own to give as creative gifts. In the samples here I tried to match the Chronic Joy colors: teal and magenta.
Crocheted in the round, this easy face cloth takes less than an hour of your time. Think of how the recipient will enjoy your creation and give thanks.
Using four basic stitches, you can crochet this lovely face cloth in an hour or so. Crocheting is relaxing and brings joy as you see your creation take shape.
Simple Crochet Bookmarks
Would you like a quick project to bless someone and use up those bits of yarn left after bigger projects? Try these simple bookmark patterns: Heartfelt Windows and Flowers Abloom!
Because we are created in the image of our Creator, we can create in our own small way. When we use our talents to give creative gifts to others, we are also richly blessed.
Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over—will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
(Luke 6:38 CSB)
A GIFT OF CREATIVE KINDNESS
Do you crochet or knit? Would you love to stitch a prayer shawl, lap blanket, face cloth, or heart sachet to help us fill our new Touch of Kindness boxes? Two new Creative Contributors, our very first Pattern Partners, generously donated two beautiful prayer shawl patterns for your use. You’ll find all the details on our brand new Prayer Shawls page. If you’ve never worked with yarn, but would love to be part of our Touch of Kindness boxes, would you commit to praying for those who are creating shawls and for those who will receive them?
Questions For Reflection
1. Is there a creative venture you’ve been longing to try? Can you take one step to learn something about it?
2. If you don’t love crafty things, can you think of some other ways to share creative gifts? Check out our Intentional Kindness page for some ideas.
3. What gift can you give others if you struggle with chronic illness or pain? You many wonder if there is anything you can do. Don’t fret over it, but spend some time in prayer, asking God to help you.
Chronic Joy® Content Coordinator and Prayer Team
Gayl is a writer, poet, amateur photographer, artist, nature lover, crocheter, and seeker of truth and beauty. Besides having 7 kids and 14 grandkids (Some have chronic illnesses and one son is with Jesus), she and her husband Steve also hosted foreign exchange students. Gayl was a church pianist for years and homeschooled her children. She has published poems at Spillwords Press and an article in the book, Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. Her desire in life is to glorify God and encourage others. Check out her blog, Words, Photos, and Art.