About the Author

Kaitlyn is a Virtual Assistant, book launch manager, and storyteller who writes about discovering God's goodness in the ordinary and faithfulness in the difficult. She loves good books, deep conversations, and iced vanilla lattes. Kaitlyn is the author of Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between.

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  1. The imagery in your post is so vivid. God is the artist of the tapestry of our lives. He loves us even as He looks at our messiness ~ the messiness that we try to hide from others. With the pandemic period of isolation, I have picked up an embroidery project that I started years ago, and yes, the underside is messy. Your post gave me a new perspective in looking at both sides of the hoop. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and providing an image for reflection.

  2. Kaitlyn,
    What a perfect analogy of the art that is our life’s story. When I think of you sitting and concentrating on your embroidery project, I picture you as being fully present. You can’t cook dinner and stitch; you can’t text and stitch; if you’re me, you can’t watch tv and stitch – all eyes are on the art you are making. Likewise, God’s eyes are always present and focused on His art which is you and He calls us to step away (even in the midst of the messy middle with knots and strings and loose threads) to let ourselves be embraced by Him. It’s the sacred relationship with our Creator/Father that makes our life worth living, both in the joy and in the suffering. He’s with us at every stitch along the way. Loved this post! Do share a pic of your embroidery!!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  3. Thank you for this message. It’s been a hard 6 months. My father passed away in August after being on Hospice since May. It wasn’t Covid 19 related but the Pandemic made it more complicated. In the early spring I saw a virtual class for knitting an afghan. I have done knitting in the past but it’s been many years. I thought oh, this looks like such a pretty pattern and in this shut down, social isolation of the pandemic, this will be a perfect time to knit a beautiful afghan! Well about the time I got the kit box of yarn and pattern in the mail for the virtual class (which was to start at the beginning of June) my father went onto Hospice. God had other plans for me for this year. I always say life happens when you are making other plans.
    It has been a messy year, now trying to go through dad’s house, settle the estate, wanting to move things along faster, reestablish some kind of routine and normal life again. But God keeps telling me to settle down, take one thing at a time and the order and pattern of life will take form. It’s not easy to let go, of my earthly dad, the things in the house the warm memories. But with faith in my heavenly father I know that my life will start over again. My beautiful flower garden suffered this year from lack of attention but the garden of my heart is being tended by the glory of the Lord. I have also done embroidery, crochet, water color painting and know those can be relaxing hobbies that help with stress. Sometimes those projects look quite messy in the process but end up looking beautiful when you see the whole picture. Maybe by Christmas I will be able to take up those knitting needles and start the afghan for the winter and the messy back of this year will take form into a glorious new year. All in God’s time and plans.

    • Judy,

      Sweet Judy praying for you now. Asking God to send a calming peace to your weary soul. It is so hard to lose a parent-I’ve lost both of mine. This pandemic has made it harder. May God help you take one day at a time & work on some of those projects. Asking God for guidance as you wade through your dad’s stuff, the memories & the house. Praying as time goes on it will get better. Know that one day you will get to see your earthly dad again.

      ((((((((((Hugs))))))))))

    • I am in the same place as you. I am 1200 miles from my home sitting at my mother’s bedside. She has been on a long journey under hospice care and it appears this is the final leg. My dad passed last year. I have neglected many areas of my life in trying to care of their affairs. Thank you for the reminder to settle down and take things one at a time. May you find comfort and peace as you finish your afghan!

  4. Kaitlyn I don’t know how many times in my life I tried needle work crocheting it all done my head along with niting. I even went on YouTube to follow how to do chrocing. No still could never get the hang of it. My Husband said Dawn put it down put it away before it drives you bunkers. We have a TLC group in our Church. It is called Tender Loving Care. For women. Our Salvation Army Offer thought it would be a good idea one time if we could make squares by chrocing them then make a blanket for older people. With the squares. So my Salvation Army Offer told me when I couldn’t get the hand of it to go home and practice at home. She even tried to show me. I still could not get the hang of it. My Husband said put it out of sight until next week one day I was practicing at home until TLC again. Just tell the Salvation Army Offer. The truth it nearly drove you bonkers trying it. You went on line to YouTube to try it no good. So I did. It not for you. But it taught me in the trying that God loves a trier. God still loves me no matter what. Even if I couldn’t master it. God will never give up on me. God will always love me no matter what. I am still a beautiful piece of art in his eyes no matter what. As he made me and created me in my Mother’s womb. To be the beautiful person I am in his eyes. He has other arts for work me to do that I can do. When I can’t do knitting or any thing else like that. God does not see me as failure. As when at that time I couldn’t do the the squares for TLC in my Church. I did at the time think I had failed. But God said no Dawn you have not. I have other things you can do. God showed me that. So for everyone reading this. Never think when you can’t do something you have failed. You have not. You can ask God he will show you what you are good. You are beautiful piece of art to God that is all that matters. As God made you. Thank you for today’s reading. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx

  5. What a wonderful way to look at life, through embroidery! My mom taught me how to embroidery. I do know what my first project looked like. The front was ok, but the back was another story! As I started making things like dish towels for gifts, I did get better. Then I started working on kits and bigger projects. It’s been quite a while since I’ve picked up my last project. My MS has made the embroidery a challenge, when before, I didn’t even have to concentrate on what I was doing. I also used to be fast and have tiny and even stiches. The back of the projects were really neat. Now, it takes a great deal of concentration and still takes me forever to do even a small piece of the project. I was doing an embroidery project for my parents. The MS slowed me down. They passed away within about a year of each other. That project still sits in my sewing basket…only half way done. My stitches are not even. The back is once again a little messy. I know that I should finish this project, but my incentive is gone. Then I read your post. I think that I will dig out this project and finish it. I’m sure it will take me a long while to complete it. I’m sure it will be a mess on the back. But I do think it’s the best thing for me to do. My project? The Lord’s Supper. I will finish this and frame it. I think that is what my parents would want me to do.
    Thank you Kaitlyn! May God bless you!

  6. Hi Kaitlyn,
    Lovely imagery that we are God’s art, that He is constantly refining in every situation throughout our lives. You reminded me that I have an embroidery project from many years ago that needs completing. 🙂
    I just put it away and did think about it at the beginning of this new lifestyle, but put it off once again. When my sister and I were kids, our mom taught us to embroider and the larger project I started back then never was finished either. I always had trouble doing a french knot for the centre of a flower or other “dot” in the pattern. I hope this new craft continues to bless you as a rest from your work.
    The beginning of your prayer, from your book, is beautiful. A great reminder that He turns messy, unwanted, situations into growth for Jesus’ glory.

    Thanks for this post, Sandy

  7. The post and all the comments were – great.
    All of them so uplifting, Christian women suffering loss, inadequacy in certain matters, but persevering, overcoming through the steadfast belief God is with them always

  8. Kaitlyn, I just love these lines: “If God as an artist made you, then that makes you living, breathing art. Art that smiles and sings, wipes away tears and cooks dinner, tells stories and runs errands. Art that bleeds, art with wrinkles, art with kind eyes and laugh lines.” Yes! Thank you for this beautiful reminder today. xx

  9. WOW. So beautiful!!!!! I love your analogy. As hard as it is to live in the midst of the mess and the brokenness, God has given me a passion for the beauty that can be found in our stories during those times. My blog, https://inbeautifulchaos.com is all about the beauty that can be found in the midst of the process. I admit I’m not always the quickest to see it when it’s happening in my own life, but I really believe that some of the most beautiful things in life and in our world come from situations, circumstances, and people that are very much “in the messy middle” as you put it! Thank you for this encouragement!!!

    Blessings,
    M @ In Beautiful Chaos

  10. Kaitlyn,

    Loved the art analogy. The back side of any embroidery, knitting or sewing project shows the imperfections, knots, messes that make up the beautiful front side. This year has been really hard on many people. Some are called to be home schooling teachers while working from home. Others are on the front lines of the pandemic & still others have lost jobs. All that can seem scary. Most of us want to know how this will all come out. God is calling us to a waiting season. He is asking us to be patient while the artist works on us. We don’t have to know how everything will turn out. Just live our lives in the beautiful here & now with our gracious loving artist God who made us. Let’s turn to the artist & allow Him to take the knots & tangles out of our lives.

    Blessings 🙂

  11. The embroidery is like a mosaic..looks so different from back to front, from hidden to revealed., by the Artist in Residence God!

  12. Many of us can relate to the mess that proceeds the masterpiece! Praise God for the way he can use knots and loose threads, misplaced criss-crosses and more to create eventual perfection. Thank you for the reminder, Kaitlyn, that we are beauty in the making, for God’s good purpose (Philippians 2:20)!

  13. This was beautiful and I could picture you hoop in hand, stitching. I have many a framed stitched pictures on my walls and over the years the backs of my pictures have gotten better and better. Especially after a lady who entered her stitching in contests said the judges always look at the back. My last piece I had framed I picked up and when I got it home I finally looked at it and realized something was wrong with the picture. They had framed my picture back side facing up. I took the piece back and told them the problem, and the guy started arguing with me that I was wrong. Finally I told him I had stitched it and I knew what it looked like and which way the subjects were facing, and they were facing the wrong way. So he turned it around and reframed it. Funny thing, though, it was the only picture I have ever stitched that one could remotely have framed the wrong way. And all my stitching has so many faults and flaws, but they also give the picture depth and character. Who wants a perfect picture or Life. I’m thinking, none of us. Because messes do become beautiful pictures.

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