Why I stitch and free pattern

The post I shared on Monday, 40 Catholic Saints in Cross Stitch, has had such an overwhelming response (thank you!) that I just had to spend one more day talking about stitching.  Many many people have written me to say that they are excited to try cross stitch for the first time with this project.  How exciting!  I love stitching and I love that a little project I made can bring this wonderful, reflective pass-time to others.

If you’ve spent time around me, either in person or here on the blog, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I stitch.  Not occasionally, not just for gifts or Christmas or baby gifts.

No, for me stitching is a life style.  I stitch nearly every day.  I stitch in the evening while my husband I binge on Netflix.  I stitch in the car on long road trips.  I stitch (or try to stitch) which my kids play happily in the sandbox.  And the more I stitch the more I’ve begun to realize that I NEED to stitch.

Most of the stitching I do is cross stitch.  Cross stitch is possibly the simplest form of stitching.  It is the first type of stitching I ever did, way back when I was an elementary aged kid getting 4-H projects ready for the fair.  My mom spent a little bit of time teaching me the basics but beyond that, cross stitch is just a lot of counting and stitching, stitching, stitching.

And that right there is what I love about it.  Cross Stitching is only this side of mindless.  It is easy, stress-free and offers me the much needed opportunity to process.

My typical day is loud and frantic and nuts.  We rush out the door to pre-school, run errands, get home, play, break up fights, make lunch, clean, take naps…all amid a constant stream of questions, screaming, laughing and action.  I love it but most of time I am simply reacting to the newest crisis and have very little time to actually think about the choices I am making, the life I am directing and the children I am forming.

And so at night, when I finally and put up my feet and pull out my stitching I have a chance to think.

why I stitch as a mom

I know, I should be able to just sit and reflect.  I should be able to do that.  But I am a chronic doer.  If I’m not asleep I feel like I need to be DOING something and stitching fulfills that need.  So, with my hands busy I am able to process the madness of the day I just lived through.

And when I sit down, with the kids asleep, in that wonderful quiet, there are always things I can regret.  The moments I lost my patience.  The moments I didn’t get down on the floor to play.  The moments I was distracted with my phone.  The moments I could have done better.

Because that’s the thing.  Motherhood is a series of failures.  A never ending chain of apologies and forgiveness.  Sometimes I feel like I’m just making this whole mom thing up, and blundering at every turn.

But that’s okay.

We love each other.  We forgive each other and each morning I long to give my kids at big old morning hug and start over because for each other, we are enough.

We are imperfectly happy, flawed in our charity and deeply human.  But, since we are also knee deep in love, that’s enough.

So that’s what I try to think about as I sit and stitch in the evenings.  I made mistakes.  I resolve to do better, but I am enough for them and, during this season in my life, they are more than enough for me.

If you’d like the free chart for this pattern you can find it HERE.

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