Praise is the motivator to keep us going when we are learning a new skill. It has to be authentic and specific. New knitters drop stitches, create uneven tension and a variety of mistakes as they try to manipulate the needles and yarn. This can result in frustration especially if they have picked a project that is not conducive to the beginner.

Scarlet, my eight-year-old granddaughter, sat down next to me with her knitting. Her Mimi had taught her to knit and chose the perfect first project. The yarn was multicolored with varying weights which hide a multitude of mistakes. It soon became apparent that there was not enough to create a scarf so we decided to make the project into a cowl.

It was easy to praise her work. I told her how much I liked the colors, the texture, and her ability to create the stitches. She immediately understood how to use the needle to stitch the ends together and we both exclaimed over how beautiful it was.

Praise gets us through the challenging spots. We stop, take a look at what is worthy of praise no matter what the situation. This becomes the encouragement we need to persevere and be brave enough to take the next step. If we look, we may be able to find something worthy of praise even in the midst of our failures. We are worthy of praise when we step out and try something that may make us uncomfortable.

I met a woman recently who had volunteered to coach her six-year-old’s basketball team. No one else had stepped up. This woman had never played basketball. She told me she went to the library and read every book she could find on the subject. I watched as she conducted a great practice with fun drills and games designed to teach the young athletes the skills they needed. The new coach was generously praised by all the adults present for her willingness to make herself uncomfortable to help the eager young players.

We know how praise works. The person who praises is expressing gratitude and appreciation for the efforts of another. When we praise God we are acknowledging the role of the divine in our lives. When we comment on the beauty of the sunrise, when we sing Alleluia, and when we say thank you for the blessings of this life, we are praising God and reminding ourselves that all things come from you O God!

Great job Scarlet, the colors are beautiful and the cowl flares perfectly around your neck and shoulders.

Published by Julie Cicora

I'm an Episcopal Priest that loves using knitting as a spiritual discipline.

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