Sister Letter :: Underneath It All

Dear Sister,

The monastery sure is hoppin’ this weekend! We have several visitors, family as well as friends, even an 8 month old baby! It has been so long since I’ve been around a baby for longer than keeping nursery at church. Thankfully I am not the sole person caring for this wee one. My oldest daughter is babysitting the boy so his mom could attend a music conference. It is amazing how much attention these little ones require and just how dependent they are on adults to care for them. A good reminder that I am not as autonomous and independent as I think I am…a child of God for sure, always in need of His love and care!

I’ve been knitting as much as I am able while our guests are here. It is a stabilizing endeavor and one in which I am still able to carry on conversation and be present. In my meditation this morning, I had the recurrent image of a flowing river of thoughts. But underneath the water, was a stable solid rock, embedded securely in the bottom of the river by the soil and sediment around it. It struck me that I am this rock and the soil of Christ’s love and care anchors me in the midst of so many thoughts and feelings flowing through and around me in any given moment.

Holding needles or a hook in my hand provides a similar image. The flow of wool through my fingers is stabilized and sorted as they glide through the needles. The tools of a knitter or crocheter serve to organize the constant flow of fibers, whether single, double or triple plied. Even the repetitive action of these knitterly arts provides something solid and soothing in the midst of whirling activity, whether inside my head and heart or outside events.

You mentioned in your last letter feeling the need for a pajama day…a day to just hang out in jammies, taking it easy. I heartily concur! I’m going to try to do just this in the near future. But not this weekend…full house…full heart…thus the need for hands full of wool!

Your Sister,



These letters are written to my knitting and crochet Sisters in the monastery of Life, where we long to live out the call of Christ to love others, live quiet lives and work with our hands. 1 Thessalonians 4:11.

Read here for the very first post & Letter.


2 thoughts on “Sister Letter :: Underneath It All

  1. This new series of letters and this one in particular, reassures and soothes my weary heart as I count down the next, last five weeks of fulltime babysitting my almost 2 1/2 year old granddaughter who heads off to kindergarten in January 2018, when her parent return to work after a 3-week Christmas vacation. I love Nyssa so much yet, “the end” can’t seem to come soon enough. I am so mentally and emotionally spent that most days, I don’t even have the mental and emotional strength to scream the scream I want to scream.

    I tend to lose focus, direction and inspiration when the busyness of babysitting and the almost constant , “Granny this and Granny” seem to mulch my insides, churn them out and scatter them on the floor. When the days allow me hardly ever a moment to think a single adult thought, well, suffice it to say that I yearn for life in a monastery – no humans to see, to hear, to talk too.

    Complete silence and solitude always eases me back to my center, my creative space, my sanctuary. There I have no doubt of my connection to God. I really try to be present, to seize a few seconds during the day. Every morning, in the blissful quiet moments, I pray to God, but the solemnity that I feel, last for only a hour or so before it all erupts into a deep and insane sigh.

    So yes, this letter/post is beyond special, precious. I’ll read it every babysitting morning until the next one arrives. Yes, this is the help I’ve been craving, I suppose – someone, directed by our Heavenly Father, to speak to my weary, weeping heart. Someone to say, “Hey girlfriend, I hear ya, I understand. Though our circumstances are different, I know what you’re feeling and you are not alone.

    Thank you Jennifer.


    • Dear Sister Cheryl…I DO hear ya, girl!! The way you describe your insides churned and turned out on the floor…yep, I feel that too many times. For me it is the busyness, the constant driving around everywhere, the huge to-do list, the expectations others have of me and that I have of myself. Then add to this all that I feel called to be and do as an artist and maker. Well, you get the picture. It is from this place where I am writing these Letters…real life for real women who refuse to let our crazy lives be the end point, but who want to see it as a place of prayer and offering to Christ. Your note here, left on the Notice board of the monastery, encourages me to continue writing. I’ll be praying for you in the next 5 weeks as you plead for the Father’s strength to not only endure, but to somehow find equilibrium in the midst of all the “Granny” requests and constant vigilance that a child brings. I am experiencing this even now with the baby in our home. And I am not even the sole caregiver this weekend. It is just SO much. May your worship today restore a sense of dependence and rest on the one who stitches and draws your life so beautifully. With love, your Sister Jennifer


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