Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Personal Progress

I have the privilege of working with the Young Women in our ward—and I love it. About a year ago we challenged one another, as leaders, to complete the Personal Progress Program—hoping this would serve  as a motivation and example to the young women in our stewardship. The Personal Progress program is a goal-setting program that helps young women develop a testimony of Jesus Christ and prepare for temple covenants as well as future responsibilities. The Personal Progress Program focuses on the eight Young Women values—faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, integrity, and virtue. I was particularly excited by this challenge since I joined the church when I was twenty-one and didn’t have the opportunity to complete the Personal Progress program when I was a young woman. Completing the program has always been a goal I’ve had for myself, especially once I had daughters.

I have always wanted to learn to knit a sweater. I have basic knitting skills but up to this point have mostly just knit scarves. I wanted to learn to knit something more complicated  and increase my skills at following a knitting pattern. Until now I’ve not made the time to improve my knitting skills—I guess it feels like an unaffordable luxury. There always seems to be so many things clamoring for my time and attention that this personal goal is consistently put aside. I don’t think this is particularly wise necessarily but haven’t quite figured out how to reconcile my desire to create with my day-to-day responsibilities and busyness. I’m a work in progress. With this Personal Progress challenge, though,  my opportunity had finally arrived. How could I feel guilty knitting if it were for a Personal Progress project, for my church calling no less. 

As soon as I decided to plunge in and learn to knit a sweater, for my knowledge project, I knew immediately that I wanted to give it to a sweet sister in the ward and her little miracle baby (they are all little miracles really, but this one was particularly long-awaited). This sister and I  have both tasted of the trials of infertility and she has always been an incredible example to me of a stalwart, faithful, woman who follows the spirit. Her example was especially meaningful to me when my faith was at it’s weakest, when I was at the point where I did not think I could handle my trial a moment more—during my fourth watch so to say.

I will never forget the day my friend told me she was pregnant. I was overcome with joy and gratitude and I just cried and cried. It’s hard to explain completely but in that moment my testimony was strengthened ten-fold. In that moment I KNEW  that our God is still a God of miracles, that HE answers prayers, that He is in charge. Even more importantly, in that moment I KNEW that He loves us and He knows us.

I hope that her sweet baby will always know what a blessed little miracle she is, and that even in her young age she has been an instrument in the Lord’s hands . . . because every time I see her I am reminded of our Heavenly Father’s love. I can’t thank her enough.

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7 comments:

lifeatthewhitehouse said...

You did such an amazing job on that sweater, Janet, and like you told me: there was a lot of LOVE poured into those stitches! I know they will always feel that whenever they look at your beautiful sweater! You are a wonderful example.

Thelma said...

Beautiful post and beautiful sweater. You are a talented and faithful woman and such a blessing in my life!

XOXOXOXO

mom said...

Sometimes I just feel so overwhelmed that the Lord blessed me with such a beautiful, loving, sweet spirited & wise daughter. I am so proud of the person, friend, mother & wife that you are! I love you so much and the sweater is absolutely precious. You have always followed your heart & as your mom I do not ever recall a time that you didn't complete your life goals. You set the perfect example for every young women Janet. I love you, mom

susie said...

That is one sweet post. You are a very talented women and you did a Awesome job on that beautiful sweater. You are a beautiful example to me!!

The Fab 4 From Washington said...

Wow what a beautiful post from your Mom Janet. I don't think I have ever met her but I'd like too.If she is like you then I'm sure I would love her! Congrats on achieving one of your personal progress projects. The sweather is adorable Jante and looks like something Britta would wear. So sweet!

Mara said...

Uh, WOW! Janet, there is truly nothing you can't do. It was so fun spending some time with you and Eric last month. Let's do it again soon...miss you! Mara

asimpleknitter said...

I love the baby sweater you knit, it's beautiful!