CROCHET WITH A PURPOSE
Just two days before I was scheduled to speak at a women’s retreat, my son Marcus shared a Chronic Joy post with me entitled Crocheting as a Spiritual Discipline. I was so excited to read the article not only because I love crocheting but also because one of my retreat topics was spiritual disciplines that help us amid pain, trial and suffering to “be still and know that [He] is God” (Psalm 46:10). As I read:
Crocheting helped me quiet all the noise inside so that I could focus. Once I could focus, I found it easier to pray and listen. Crocheting has been linked to reductions in stress and anxiety, a decreased risk of memory loss, and an increase in the ability to cope with chronic pain conditions.
I was excited to share these thoughts with the women, and I also had an idea of how I could bless them. I always say God’s timing is perfect — even when we only have two days to put an idea into action!
CROCHETING THEN AND NOW
My interest in crocheting started over nine years ago when my oldest daughter came home from college on Christmas break. She had joined a crochet group at school and arrived home with yarn and beautifully crocheted Christmas gifts for the family. I quickly flashed back to an unfinished scarf I had attempted to crochet (being taught by my sweet little Italian Momma) as a young girl. After completing several rows, I quickly lost interest, my mind filled with thoughts of running free outdoors, riding my bike, and playing with friends. That hobby was short-lived and never attempted again.
Now, fast forward: forty years later and with four children of my own, the time was right! With the guidance of my then 20-year-old daughter and the great invention of YouTube instructional videos, my love for crochet was ignited. It has become my new favorite hobby which I call “crocheting with a purpose.” I have crocheted sweaters, blankets, tops, hats, prayer shawls, and lately bookmarks.
CROCHETING WITH A PURPOSE
Two days before my retreat, after reading the Chronic Joy article, I incorporated the idea into my talk. The Lord also put on my heart the urge to crochet something for each woman at the retreat. I had previously asked our host for a list of participants to pray over. Now my search began for something I could quickly crochet in less than two days for nine women. I found it—a bookmark! How complicated could that be? I searched online for a free bookmark crochet pattern and found the perfect one called “Diamond Pattern.” (You can find the free pattern by Patricia Castillo here.)
I call my hobby “crocheting with a purpose” because when I crochet something as a gift, I pray for the recipient. With every stitch, I pray. I pray the fruit of the Holy Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). I pray they would know the unconditional love of God and receive His wisdom.
When there are groupings of three stitches together, I pray to the Trinity—Father God, Jesus the Son, and Holy Spirit—to guide and direct them to fulfill God’s will and perfect plan for their life. One stitch, I pray for hope.
BLESSINGS TO PRAY WHILE CROCHETING
I have made a list of God’s blessings to pray over that person. If I know of a specific need, I incorporate that specific prayer into my crochet piece. Most of us need a sabbath rest and the joy of the Lord! We all need the good news of salvation in Jesus’ name. So for the foundational 34 chain stitches of this Diamond Pattern, I pray the powerful name of Jesus over the person’s life.
It has brought so much peace to me as I crochet with a purpose! Being in God’s presence brings me fullness of joy. I receive overflowing blessing when I see the faces of those I’ve prayed for and given this gift light up.
When I give my small gift, which has been crocheted with the love of Jesus and covered in prayer, I feel that God has worked through me for His purpose in my life: to be used by God to bring His love to others so they too will find peace and joy in Christ.
THIS IS MY CALLING
At that women’s retreat, after reading some excerpts from the article, “Crocheting as a Spiritual Discipline,” I reached into my bag to reveal the crocheted, Diamond Pattern bookmarks. I let the ladies know that just one day before the gathering, the Lord put it on my heart to spend the day in prayer for them exercising this spiritual discipline. I told them that the diamond shape on the bookmark should remind them of the treasure they are in the eyes of Jesus! My excitement to share this small gift felt like a child receiving a gift on her birthday—but in this case, I couldn’t wait to give it away!
Who doesn’t need prayer? I offer a small gift, which comes with the love and encouragement of the Lord through a humble servant seeking to do God’s will and who believes His Word that declares, “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2), “encourage one another daily” (Hebrews 3:13) and so much more. As Jesus said, it is truly more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). I am blessed to be a blessing. When I bless others with this small crocheted item, I am blessed again! I count that a double blessing from the Lord!
CAREGIVING, CROCHETING AND PRAYING
Since that women’s retreat, I have crocheted and given away over 40 Diamond Pattern bookmarks. I keep the pattern and a small ball of yarn in my purse. I have memorized most of the pattern. So when I find myself sitting and waiting somewhere, I can crochet a bookmark in about 5 minutes.
Being a caregiver for older adults is one of my passions. They enjoy and are so intrigued watching me crochet. Recently, as I visited with my sweet 90-year-old young-at-heart Christine, I showed her this new pattern. Her eyes lit up and she smiled from ear to ear. I started praying for her and crocheted the bookmark as she watched and listened with excitement. Her eyes filled with tears of joy as I gave her the bookmark. I often tell her how much I love her and even more how much Jesus loves and cares for her.
A little bookmark, a lot of love, and heartfelt prayer make me and the recipient feel so blessed and encouraged!
I will continue my crocheting with a purpose and hope you will try too. Be blessed!
MaryAnne is a passionate follower of Jesus, wife of thirty-eight years to Arthur, and mom to four adult children. A CPA, she founded her own tax business, allowing her to work from home while raising kids. After caring for aging parents in their golden years, she began providing home care for older adults. She also enjoys leading women’s Bible study groups and speaking for retreats. In all she does, MaryAnne seeks to glorify her Lord and Savior and help others experience the joy of His presence!
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!
Crafts, Yarn Arts & More
Creativity is engaging with God at the intersection of faith and vulnerability. Creativity is an act of courageous vulnerability, intentional noticing, and patient listening as we explore God’s extraordinary call to create.