I write today, not plagued with doubt, but certainly thinking about it. It's easy to let doubt get the best of us - especially self-doubt. She's (why do I think doubt is feminine?) an evil beast and can bring us to a screeching halt. This happened to me earlier this week. I find I spend half my time creating something that I think is just too cute, too adorable, would look lovely in any one's home. I spend the other half of my time doubting that anyone else will even like it, much less want it for their own. It's an ugly cycle, but one I think many of us experience.
I spent this week working on items for a Classroom Creation for my children's school Gala and Auction. The theme for the 8th grade basket was "kitchen" and so I came up with the idea of making quilted place mats, napkins and napkin cozies. Fall, as you know, just speaks to me, so I decided they had to be Fall-ish. I wanted them to be reversible, fun, but classy, sweet, nice, something that would look great in any household....after all, you never know who might be bidding on the 8th grade class creation!
I put the fronts of the place mats together while I thought about making napkin rings (my dear friend Rebecca's idea, by the way). It occurred to me that the napkin rings should be just as pretty as the place mat, should also be reversible and be able to lay down or stand up.
Once I got the tops of the place mats finished, I texted Kaitlyn photos -- I thought, "they turned out so cute!" Then, the self doubt crept in. Kaitlyn began googling place mats on-line. You can buy really cute place mats for next to nothing....I'm talking like a couple bucks each! And they are, eek, I hate to say, just as adorable as the ones I spent days making.....the doubt began to grow....
Despite the ever growing doubt, I kept at it and decided the place mats should also be reversible and and maybe the back side should be a bit more fun and funky than the front - an entirely different look. I put everything together and used a lovely variegated thread to quilt the place mats and the napkin cozies. The doubt was substantial now and I was seriously considering shutting down the whole operation. No one is going to bid on this basket because NO ONE is going to like these items that I have just spent two days making. Ugh....doubt surely is one mean and vindictive monster.
Then, I opened up my journal to a page from January 1, 2011. This verse hit me like a ton of bricks:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not
be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you
wherever you go. ~ Joshua 1:9
I immediately translated this to: Don't be afraid, don't waste time being discouraged. God is with you in everything you make, everything your hand touches. Continue on....keep at it.....someone, somewhere, is bound to like these.
I pushed the doubt away and finished up. I even ordered some lovely Christmas batik fabric to make Christmas place mats to put on etsy, or sell at a craft show. After all, I decided, even if no one in the whole world likes my "stuff" - I like it and I LOVE every minute I spend making it. And, after all, God is with me in this; He is, after all, with all of us - and really, THAT is all that truly matters.
After I finished up the place mats, napkins and cozies, I crocheted up 4 dishcloths (because I personally, am addicted to hand crocheted dishcloths) to throw in the basket.
Notice, they match the place mats!
Now, it's on to fun Christmas stuff.....can't wait!
Until next time,