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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Start (01/16/06)

TITLE: Craft Store Crisis
By janet rubin


I grabbed my husband’s hand and dragged him through the crowded craft store. Sale-induced hysteria had taken over and women rushed the aisles like dogs let loose at Petco. In the particularly clogged scrapbook aisle, I lost my grip on Dave then turned back to make sure he still followed. He stood, jostled back and forth by the scrap-booking fanatics. Was that fear in his eyes? Sighing, I stomped back, expertly eluding the shoving bodies, and rescued my man. After that, he clung to me more passionately than he had in months.

Dave shuffled. “This is worse than hockey,” he whimpered.

I smiled and batted my eyelashes. “Isn’t it wonderful?”

He rubbed his temple. “Tell me again why we’re here?”

I steered him around the next corner and pointed. “Yarn.”

Yarns of every imaginable color and texture filled three aisles. My heart raced and I trembled with excitement. Grabbing some sparkly, teal “fun fur,” I squealed. “Look at this, honey. I can knit it together with some regular yarn and make a scarf.”

Dave frowned. “A scarf for who?”

“Well, I don’t know. People can always use scarves.”

I picked up some purple yarn and gasped. “Babe, you have got to feel this. It’s so soft!” I rubbed it against Dave’s face.

He rolled his eyes. “Great.”

Fifteen minutes later, our arms were loaded.

“Oh, just one more thing,” I said.

Dave groaned. “What?”

“Knitting needles,” I said, inspecting the selection.

“Wait a minute. I happen to know that you have knitting needles. Lots of knitting needles. Remember the big needle sale? You bought one of every size. Did you lose them?”

“Um, no.”

Confusion washed over Dave’s features. “Well, then why don’t you just use them?”

My face reddened. “I can’t.”

“You can’t? Why not?”

I gulped. “All those needles are being used.”

“Someone borrowed them?”

“No, I started knitting things and I haven’t finished so those needles have partially knitted things on them.”

Dave’s eyebrows shot up. “Don’t you think you ought to finish what you started?”

“Well…yes.” Suddenly the yarn in my arms didn’t seem so attractive. We put most of it back and left the store with only three new skeins.

Now, my husband isn’t exactly the king of completed projects—I’ve got the partially sheet-rocked hallways to prove it. Still, he had a good point.

I’m wonderful at starting things. Ideas pop from my brain like doughnuts dropping off the belt at a Crispy Cream. I’m always excited to begin, but finishing is a different story. The problem isn’t confined to my knitting. It extends to many areas of my life, including my writing. My computer is stuffed with unfinished documents—stories and articles waiting for endings.

Why is this a problem? With the exception of chocolate chip cookie dough, unfinished things are not useful. Who wants to wear part of a sweater or read half of a novel? Also, it’s wasteful. If I never finish things, I am a bad steward of the time, talents and resources God has given me.

On the flip side, if I follow through, I can bless someone. I can wrap a pretty new scarf around a depressed friend or give a homemade baby blanket to a new mom. If I finish my stories, people may touched or encouraged by reading them. But that won’t happen as long as my knitting projects hide in a bag under my bed and my stories are imprisoned in cyberspace.

Finally, I want to be a finisher because God is. The Bible calls Jesus, “the Author and Finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV) Imagine if God never completed the plan of salvation. If Jesus decided not to go through with the crucifixion, we’d still be lost. Our only hope was that He die on the cross and rise again. I’m so thankful He did.

One of my favorite verses says, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6 NKJV) As I struggle with sin, my hope comes from knowing that God won’t stop working on me until I am made perfect in Heaven. He won’t stick me under his bed and forget about me or find someone more interesting to work on.

I’ve been focusing on finishing the things I’ve started. Completing a project is satisfying. I find pleasure in finishing because I am made in God’s image. And Dave? He finds pleasure in avoiding trips to the craft store.

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This article has been read 1114 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kelly Klepfer01/23/06
Great story. A little convicting, darn. Lots of laughs, too. Good job.
Reni Bumpas01/23/06
EXCELLENT!! I could totally relate to the frenzy of shopping in a sale and your husband's reactions. I enjoyed the way you transitioned from shopping to the whole idea of finishing and then brought in how God is the Great Finisher. You motivated me to finish some of my projects, and with a smile, too, from your fantastic portrayal of real life.
Maxx .01/23/06
Mrs. Maxx? Honey? I didn't know you entered something in the challenge this week! lol!

Could be a chapter taken out of my life! (except for the unfinshed sheetrock ... I finally hired someone to take care of that!)

Well written and to the point. Great message! Thanks for writing it....

Oh, and is tonight meatloaf night? ;-)
Venice Kichura01/24/06
Too funny! I loved this because as knitter who has tons of stash I could surely relate!
Lynda Schultz 01/26/06
Sounds like me in Mary Maxim's - but without the husband. I don't finish well either so thanks for slap in the head, it was very well (and softly) done!
Jan Ackerson 01/27/06
Love the reference to cookie dough! I'm glad you finished this particular entry.
Marilyn Schnepp 01/27/06
Oh so brilliant! I loved the part about you shopping with husband in tow! Funny, funny stuff - and typical of men! The whole article was fantastico! Great job, great humor, and (Mrs Maxx??) can't wait to see who wrote it! Kudos, my friend, KUDOS!
Shari Armstrong 01/27/06
ROFL!! OUCH! have you been spying on me? Well done :)
Julianne Jones01/27/06
Well I'm glad you finished this article because it was funny, creative, inspiring, and just a little bit challenging. Good writing. Well done.
Sandra Petersen 01/28/06
Your first paragraph sets this up to be an amusing look at the difference between the sexes. But you made it much more! I started nodding my head and tucking my chin in shame because I so thoroughly identified with your 'unfinished' projects. Some nice ending thoughts to encourage even one like me! Thank you!
terri tiffany01/28/06
Loved how you wove this story together and kept it light but with a powerful ending..loved that scripture usage too!
Pat Guy 01/29/06
What a great way to show us that we can always depend on God! And no fair peeking in my closet! :) This was fun!
Stevie McHugh01/30/06
This story is so well written. Perhaps we need an additional category for the competition: Professional.
Rachel Rudd 01/30/06
Wonderful article! This sounds like an article "Today's Christian Woman" would like....just a thought...I definitely liked it!
Val Clark01/30/06
Congrats, Janet. What a great story. Very visual, I was right there, even visualising half finished garments hanging from their needles around your home - 'till you delegated them to under the bed! Left me smiling and thinking. Yeggy
Suzanne R01/31/06
I love your analogies! The dogs let loose at Petco. The ideas popping out of your mind like the doughnuts off the belt at Crispy Creme. LOL.

By the way, I'm wearing that teal scarf that you envisaged... my mother made it for me ... thanks for leaving her the yarn.

Congratulations on your win - it is well deserved!
Shannon Redmon01/31/06
My son asked me to crochet him a blanket about three years ago! You guessed it...I never finished. I think it is time I start again! Great story!
Sarah Soule02/03/06
God must have dragged my mouse to your article. I'm sitting here debating whether to finish the article I'm working on or go get a cookie. Guess I have my answer. Thanks a bunch for the encouragement.
Jan Kamp02/08/06
Oh, my...so convicting, as someone already noted. Great creative humor and life lesson. Congrats on your well-deserved Editors Choice win!