Last week the MOH Stepping Stones group started reading and discussing the Twelve Steps of Humility as per the Rule of Benedict. Since there is much to share and explore we will continue through the steps this week and maybe the next.

Simple version of the steps as I understand them so far…
– recognizing that God is God
– knowing God’s will is best for me
– being willing to receive direction
– not to grow weary
– acknowledge my faults
– be content with whatever I am given
– letting go
– learn from others/ community
– be silent and listen
– speak gently, avoid ridicule
– speak kindly
– be simple

Being silent, listening, being simple… those stood out for me, things I’ve been working on.

While looking for writings or articles on Humility, I took a break and visited one of my favorite blogs, Pilgrim’s Moon. And there I found a post on ‘Knitting Our Lives’ . I’ve been knitting since I was a young girl and found myself nodding my head in agreement as I read.

There I followed a link to a blog post ‘learning an old skill’ on a blog I’d never visited before but that I know I will visit on a regular basis. Again found myself nodding my head in agreement as I read.

There is just something about making an article one stitch at a time, be it sewing, quilting knitting, embroidery or other needlework and even things like spinning, needle felting, weaving, though not done one stitch at a time, they are done one step at a time, slowly. simply.

I am one of those that likes to hand sew rather than machine sew. I like to knit and weave using yarn that I’ve made starting with a raw fleece, skirting, washing, carding, spinning until I have enough for a project. I am also a gardener and enjoy the process of planting, digging in the dirt and tending to plants even more than I like to work with needle and fiber. All of these things grab me and help me to slow down, breathe.

One of my goals this year is to curb spending. Make do with what we have whenever possible. That includes working on projects using materials I already have, repurposing old materials no longer useful.

As an extension of this, I’ll be teaching others how to take unwanted clothing, fabric and turn them into useful items. The little basket shown in a previous post is one of those projects. We’ll also be working on other types of baskets, quilts, rugs, clothing… Each one of the projects will require handwork, nothing that can be rushed and I’m hoping others will come to enjoy learning old skills and finding new purpose for old clothing and other supplies, rather than throw them away.

I’m really looking forward to teaching these old skills, which will be new skills for some workshop participants.

Back to the Stepping Stones group. Several are knitters. Since we have the conference room for an afternoon each week, we can stay after we’ve finished our discussion. On nice days we can walk the monastery roads enjoying the view and the sheep or we weed one of the flower beds nearby. But when the weather isn’t so kind up on the hill, we pull out our knitting, writing, whatever, and work on them quietly or in silence. I’ve come to treasure that simple quiet time before having to head home.

On another note: I dropped my laptop, it won’t close properly and has developed an attitude. Using it is an exercise in patience. Today I actually wrote some things by hand! And enjoyed it… I see more hand writing in the works….

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