Work-in-Progress: Rebekah’s afghans and my design

Derek – enjoying being a “work in progress”

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 

  • A time to be born and a time to die,
  • a time to plant and a time to uproot,
  • a time to kill and a time to heal,
  • a time to tear down and a time to build,
  • a time to weep and a time to laugh,
  • a time to mourn and a time to dance,
  • a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
  • a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
  • a time to search and a time to give up,
  • a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend,
  • a time to be silent and a time to speak,
  • a time to love and a time to hate,
  • a time for war and a time for peace.  

What do workers gain from their toil?  I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11)

Rebekah’s current afghan project

DESIGN: Once in a while, Rebekah will pull out one of the “afghan” design books from her craft room and launch a new crocheting project. She’s made probably more than 50 over the years and – to date – they’ve all been given away as gifts. Wedding presents, graduations, new babies, “thank-yous” and more.

At least half of the afghans started out as, “I really need to make one for us,” but then something comes up and – poof – they’re gone!

Of course an afghan is impossible to value. Between $25 and $50 worth of yarn, depending on the size. Then time, huge amounts of time. Again, duration is contingent on the complexity and the size. The current project, partially pictured above, represents around 100 hours of work.

HARMONY: This current afghan, and the reason I’m writing this post, has an interesting story (well, they all do…). Not only that but there’s a good chance it may actually stay at home.

Rebekah doesn’t officially collect yarn. But there are always left-overs, afghans that never happened, afghans that changed direction when the colors didn’t work, afghans lost in other afghans. And then there are the treasures passed on from fellow crafters over the years.

So when we got back from our Holy Lands tour Rebekah decided to design a one-of-a-kind afghan from all the scraps. That, not surprisingly, led to some more trips to the store as the pattern emerged.

Work in progress. Aren’t we all?

HISTORY: Then, just a couple of weeks ago, Rebekah realized she was putting in a row of color from her grandmother Mae. Grand-Mae passed away over thirty years ago in the small South Georgia community of Newington. The yarn made it into Rebekah’s mama’s collection and then her own after Nell’s death in 1999.

This afghan has history, love, loss, and family stories crocheted right into the pattern. In a sense, it’s kind of like the rings inside the trunk of an old tree.

SURPRISING DESIGN: These past few weeks, in light of my brother Geoff’s death and my mum and dad’s 60th anniversary, I’ve been paying closer attention to the threads of design built-in to who I am. Some elements are easy to spot, others more subtle.

Some of the features are deliberate, the result of being raised in a loving home, of becoming immersed in a faithful marriage, of a faith that grows more real as the years go by, of the values and priorities we have cultivated with purpose and conviction. Then there are threads that are more surprising (good or bad), outside of the plan, unintended, or even unwelcome at the time they were introduced; splashes of bright color as well as darker and more dissonant hues.

And so both embellishments and scars share the stage and – eventually – enrich the complexity of the art.

yarn from several generations

STAND BACK:  Once in a while it’s a good thing to stand back, take a look at the big picture, and appreciate the ongoing work of creation that is a life.

What do you see?

Grace, peace and blessings – DEREK


  1. Carol is a very good crochet person. She collects yarn for future projects and has made some wonderful gifts, too. I just love the vibrant colors Rebekah is combining together to make a coherent whole. Biblically, Joseph had his coat of many colors and each of the tribes of Israel had a color coding bannerr to identify it quickly. If, on your recent Holy Land journey, you saw Marc Chagall’s twelve magnificent stained glass “Jerusalem Windows”, one appreciates all the more the colors of the tribes. So color plays a role in all of this and Rebekah’s talent (one of many talents) just speaks to the issue that out of diversity may come a most functional whole. Prayers and Blessings, Henry


  2. I see a family rooted in faith, from the day they arrived from England in 1792; who worked hard, lived off the land, both suffered and celebrated, lived and are living their faith. They have passed this blessing on to us today. I also see many other families, through the preschool, church, and my neighborhood doing the same. This is the blessing God intended for us…To be part of creation, all connected through time.


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