Sunday, February 26, 2006

Obedience requires faith

I am humbled that God has directed me to start this online knitting ministry. For as long as I can remember, but particularly after reading "A Purpose-Driven Life", I have struggled, searched and prayed to discover what my purpose in life was. God has been trying to answer me for a long time now, but I think I've been too self-absorbed, too stressed, and too busy talking to hear His reply.

When I felt the leadings to start Soulful Knitting Ministries, I realized instantly that this was a way to combine my love of knitting with my desire to give back to the community. I also realized that this ministry needs to be about more than knitting, and about more than charitable knitting. God intends this to be a place where women can come to heal, to encourage and support each other, to pray for each other, and to share what God is doing in their lives. I don't know exactly what God has in store for us through this ministry, but I believe with all my heart that as long as we allow Him to direct our paths, our time spent together serving Him and each other will be a blessing.

From the moment God asked me to do this and I said "yes", He is already fulfilling His promises. My first "worldly" thought was "What about money?" I have a small home-based business, and I'm a new author just publishing my first book, but there are still more bills than there is cash and my finances have been a concern for quite some time. God reminded me that if I do what He asks of me, He will take care of the rest. And He is faithful to His promises. Within 24 hours of my commitment to this ministry, I heard from a former client that I hadn't heard from in over 2 years. They submitted a significant work order which resulting in a full week's worth of pay for less than 3 hours of work! I'm now negotiating with another client to double his billings. Sometimes it's a very hard thing to do, but we need to step out of our own way in order to let God do His.

Today will be another test of obedience. I'm meeting with the women that I've been knitting with weekly for the past several months to let them know that I will no longer be "leading" the knitting ministry there. While part of me feels a bit guilty, like I'm walking away from something that I started, spiritually I know that that ministry was not "mine". God has placed rumblings in my heart for the past several weeks and I've known it was time to move on, but I was reluctant to because of what others might think. After much prayer, I realize that God directed me to plant a seed there and now it's time to move on. There are many more seeds to be planted and when and where I plant them is God's decision, not mine. I am thankful that the women who have been meeting regularly are all now comfortable with their basic knitting skills and with each other, and I pray that they will continue to meet regularly even though I will not be there.

What about you? Has God been trying to get your attention in order to lead you closer to the purpose that He has for your life? Please post a comment and tell us about it.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Think Pink Challenge

According to, a woman in the United states is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes! Over 200,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are diagnosed each year, along with over 50,000 new cases of non-invasisve breast cancer. Breast cancer is the leacing cancer among white and African-American women, with the latter being more likely to die as a result.

With statistics like these, it is very likely that if you're a woman reading this post, you have had, or know of someone who has had, a run-in of one sort or another with this incidious disease. It is terrifying, life-altering, and it cuts to the very core of our womanhood. But at the same time, I never cease to be amazed at the tremendous courage, encouragement and resilience I see from women who are fighting and those who have survived this cruel killer.

There is much that needs to be done to fight this disease, and there is no shortage of opportunities to encourage and support those who are fighting it, to celebrate with its survivors and to support efforts to find a cure. Even though October is the official month for increasing Breast Cancer awareness, tell that to women who are diagnosed with this disease in February, May or December. Why wait until October when there are hundreds of thousands of women, their families and friends who are dealing with this dreaded disease at this very moment?

There are a number of ways we can help, but there's one in particular that God has laid on my heart. My prayer is that through Soulful Knitting Ministries, we can collectively knit (or crochet) 1,000 pink scarves for women facing breast cancer. By taking the time to knit these scarves, and praying for the health and healing of their recipients in the process, we can make a tremendous difference in the lives of these women. God has shown me an image of a photograph of a mountain of beautiful pink scarves. By knitting this mountain, one scarf at a time, imagine the lives we can touch.

So, I invite each of you to participate in the 1st Annual Think Pink Challenge. Here are the parameters:

A pink scarf (knit or crochet) in the pattern of your choice, using the yarn(s) of your choice.

At least one, but prayerfully, as many as you can between now and the end of September (more details to follow). Imagine if each of us committed to just one scarf a month between now and September! And of course, be sure to tell as many knitters about this as you can... the more the merrier!

Please send the scarves to me and I will arrange to have them sent to the American Cancer Society in time for their October Awareness drive. Besides, by sending them to me, I can have that photograph of the pink mountain taken and posted here! :)

Sydney Thomas
Soulful Knitting Ministries
c/o Grace Bay Publishing
PO Box 383
Sutherland VA 23885

Please be sure to include your name, address and e-mail address with your scarf!

If you'd like to design a special pink scarf for this project, please do so. Be sure to let me know that you have designed it when you send it in... 12 talented knitters could have their scarf pattern featured in a fundraising calender to raise even more money to fight Breast Cancer.

Knitting for a Cause

I'll be the first to admit that I absolutely love to knit for myself. I even like knitting gifts for certain family members and friends on occasion. Knitting for paying customers is pretty cool too from time to time, as long as I don't go overboard.

But there's something indescribably satisfying about knitting items with the conscious intent of giving them away to someone less fortunate than myself. An unknown author may have said it best when he or she said that "gifts that one receives for giving are so immeasureable that it is almost an injustice to accept them."

Your knitting is a talent. If you take it for granted, you shouldn't. It may seem like second-nature to you, but the reality is that not everyone can do it. It's a gift from God. Think about it. It gives you peace, it gives you a sense of accomplishment, it's utilitarian, it's an outlet for creative expression. It's one of the many things that define you ... that make you unique.

Have you thanked God for your talent? If not, today is a good time to do just that. Then think of a way to express your gratitude by sharing your gift with others. Whether it's teaching troubled girls to knit, knitting preeming caps for babies or chemo caps for cancer patients, there will never be a shortage of opportunities to share your talents. You have been blessed. You can and should use your gifts to bless others. So what are you waiting for?

Free Charity Knitting Patterns

I know you're anxious to get started, so here are links to several free patterns that are suitable for charity knitting. Please send me an e-mail if you have links to others!


Cherry Chemo Cap, Lion Brand

One Ball Really Easy Instant Chemo Cap, Joan Fernbach,

Knit Chemo Cap and Keyhole Scarflet, Berroco

The 'No-Hair-Day' Hairy Chemo Cap, Sue W. Thompson, Head Huggers


Lion Brand Jamie Baby Preemie Cap,Lion Brand

Bev's Preemie Patterns, Bev's Country Cottage (Lots of patterns here!)

Preemie Baby Hat Patterns,Frugal Knitting Haus

Preemie Hat pattern, Elizabeth Dimbleby


Bev's Preemie Patterns, Bev's Country Cottage (Lots of patterns here!)

Knitted Burial Bunding, Touching Little Lives

An Invitation

Welcome to Soulful Knitting Ministries. I'm so glad you've found us. I hope you'll come back often.

Just in case you're wondering, Soulful Knitting Ministries is a virtual knitting ministry that combines the best of traditional church-based knitting ministries and on-line "knit-alongs" to bring together women (and men) who share a love of knitting to encourage, support and bless others by sharing our crafting skills through charitable knitting projcts.

Simply put, the mission of Soulful Knitting Ministries (SKM) is to extend and multiply the spiritual gifts of praise, prayer, encouragement and healing through a virtual knitting ministry. This online community of knitters will grow spiritually through a shared love of God and the craft of knitting. In addition to helping each other, we will reach out to our respective communities by engaging in charitable knitting activities.

I have been involved in a few traditional knitting groups and have learned a lot about knitting, and about life, from the women I've met there. In recent months, God has placed it on my heart that on an individual level, there are so many people in need ... of fellowship, of prayer, of understanding and support, of an emotionally safe haven where they can share their thoughts and concerns without fear of judgment or bias. On a broader level, recent tragedies such as the devestation of Hurricane Katrina, the daily struggles of women fighting breast cancer, the lonliness of the elderly who have been abandoned or forgotten by their families, and the cautious optimism of watching a preemie grow stronger each day remind me that there are things that each of us can do to touch other lives in meaningful and often unforgettable ways. It doesn't require a lot of money, or a lot of time, or a lot of contacts. It does require a desire to serve others, a willingness to share our gifts, and a commitment to finding and fulfilling God's purpose for our lives.

Soulful Knitting Ministries is doing just that. With God's help and direction, this online community of knitters can touch the lives of people in need all over the world, one stitch at a time. Through featured group projects and individual pursuits we can take the concept of "charitable knitting" to the next level. Through praise and prayer, we can exemplify the body of Christ at the same time. I invite you to join me on this journey. Let's make a difference, starting today!