I love listening to uplifting music or audiobooks while doing NeedlePrayer. Well-chosen listening helps me focus, and can even bring to my attention prayer requests I have lost track of.
Of the audiobooks I use, far and away the best so far is “The Lord is My Shepherd – the Healing Wisdom of the 23rd Psalm” by Harold S. Kushner. It addresses issues that must come to a thinking person’s mind in the face of tragedy, with a God-centered approach which is truly comforting while not icing over the pain. I often send a copy of the book as well when I deliver a finished piece. If you haven’t read it, I can’t recommend it enough.
The only problem is that the overlay of the canvas makes it very hard to make out slight differences in the colors of the design. If you have large contrasts between colors there’s no problem, but this kind of naturalistic design depends on subtle shading for its effect. There are more than 20 shades present in this design, and it is very nearly impossible to differentiate more than a dozen using the current printout.
“But if you have yielded to God and you have this nagging desire within you that just won’t go away, then most likely it’s from him. And if it is, then he has a way that you can live it out that isn’t about selfishness but instead is about service.”
From my morning readings in “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”, by Holley Gerth.
We need to be careful to do God’s will, not our will and desire. But often he has made us for our dream, and so it is delightful to us. The trick is to see how our desires serve his will and his people, vs. how they can be twisted into selfishness. I serve joyfully with my God-given talents and skills.
My lovely middle-aged cat, Mischief, frequently helps me with my NeedlePrayer work. She really seems to love it when I’m praying, and will come sit under the canvas I’m stitching and purr beautifully. Here she has realized that the canvas I’m about to photograph is crooked, and is straightening it out for me.
“True religion is that by which every day in life a man comes closer to his fellow-men and closer to God. Religion is that which produces fellowship with God and fellowship with men – and we can never have the one without the other.”
From my morning reading in “The Letters of John and Jude”, Daily Study Bible Series, by William Barclay.
One of the nice things about transferring a design to needlepoint canvas is that you can see through the canvas. The holes make it possible to put the design behind the canvas and work from it. This is true for canvas down to about 18 pt, which is a size I often use if there are words incorporated into the design.
I take advantage of this by printing the design at the size of the final piece, then transferring the design onto the canvas by painting it on. I find that trying to skip the paint step and stitch straight from the design doesn’t work. The paper design gets in the way of stitching, and after some stitching is done the paper can no longer be brought close enough to the canvas. Hand-painted canvas designs are the standard for many needle pointers; I was a needlepoint designer and hand painter before starting NeedlePrayer.
What gives you the most joy? For me, it’s making something creatively, and then giving it to someone else. It’s using my gifts in service for others. If you’ve never tried it, I believe you are missing out!