Friday, January 18, 2013

Completing my Purpose Project: being changed way more than I expected

I can't believe we are already halfway through January. I usually feel like January and February are the slowest months of the year. I have a feeling that will not be the case this year. 

Back in November I teamed up with Mocha Club to do a #purposeproject {click to learn more}. An idea inspired by the amazing Blair of Wild and Precious. My goal was to raise $400 in November and I achieved my goal, wowza! My plan was to learn to knit, hence the name the knitting project. However, I think God had different plans. Every knitting class over the last two months has not worked for my schedule. I finally decided to take a crochet class instead. Because really I wanted to learn to do both and I think the most important part of this whole experience was raising $400 to free one woman in Ethiopia from the sex slave industry. 

There is an amazing shop called KitschVA here in Norfolk. It is pretty much the equivalent of walking into a real life Etsy store.  They sell local handmade items and have tons crafty classes each month.

I was super nervous when we started. I was the only one signed up for the class so I got some amazing 1 on 1 time with the teacher, Amanda {who was beyond amazing!}. I was having a bit of a hard time understanding the terminology but I was totally getting what she was showing me. She praised me often that I was doing a wonderful job and was catching on quickly.  Just what I needed to hear.

Can I just say I seriously felt like a kid who just learned how to ride a 10 speed bike. I was on cloud nine. It's true, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, hehehe. What was so amazing to me was the feeling of accomplishment as I completed each stitch. My brain was thinking of nothing else as it was focusing on crocheting. This was the first time in a LOOOONG time I wasn't thinking of 10 different things. I was focused solely on crocheting and I loved it!

After the class I couldn't help but think of the amazing and resilient women in Ethiopia who gave up the only way they knew how to make money {prostitution} and learn a new trade with Mocha Club. If I was this excited from learning to crochet I can only imagine the satisfaction and gratitude they must feel every time they make a liveFashionABLE scarf. The joy and peace they must have knowing this item they created from their hands is they way they are able to provide for their family. 

I've said it before but I think it is worth saying again, I never imagined raising $400 would change me in such a powerful way. I look at life through a different lens now.  I wanted to learn to knit/crochet to give myself quiet time to relfect and talk to God more. I know this will happen, but I think this purpose project did something else. It reminded me that you can do so much with your own two hands. You can learn a new craft, you can use them to create beautiful work to provide for your family. The women in Ethiopia use their two hands every day to live a better life. How inspiring is that? They walked away from a life that was filled with hurt and trusted the Lord to give them a different way to provide.

Scott and I often talk about how lucky we are simply to be born in the United States. Just being born here allows us to live a life many people around the world only dream of. Learning to crochet on behalf of one of the women in Ethiopia is something I will treasure forever. Every time I pick up my crochet hook and yarn I will be inspired by the woman in Ethiopia who were courageous enough to trust that God would give them an opportunity to provide for their family without prostitution.

I plan to keep my finished coaster at my desk so every day when I drink my coffee {which is EVERY.SINGLE.DAY} I can be reminded of the change one person can make and the beautiful hearts of the courageous women in Ethiopia. 


Mandy Ford said...

LOVE this so much Jen! I really want to learn to crochet also and you've inspired me. But what you were able to do for those women is even more inspiring!

crazytalk05 said...

Love this!

I know the feeling...every time I drink a Starbucks I'm reminded of my purpose project and how blessed I am to have so much! And I pray for the kids in the orphanages who are happy with so little!

Yay for Purpose Projects that live on!!

Beth @ the city said...

so proud of you! I'm glad you have the crochet coaster as a special reminder.

Erin @ Isaboo Designs said...

I absolutely love this! I have a huge passion for those caught up in human slavery and I am grateful to see so many other who have this on their hearts as well :)

courtney {splendid actually} said...

Yay! You did it! Keep going, and you never know where it may lead you!

aimymichelle said...

love it and crocheting. its so relaxing.

Julie Marie said...

this is so awesome. I don't think we have ever officially met, but i saw you several times at influence. I am about to start on my project with the mocha club and wanted to check in on how the other girls did you have any tips for me? I am so excited about doing this...all by myself...=)

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