Last Sunday we went to the Deerfield Fair in New Hampshire. I love fairs, but that’s not why we went. We wanted to see how daughter Rachel’s crocheted bedspread stood up against other handcrafted items. How would it be judged? We finally located the proper building but couldn’t find the spread. Walked round and round, searching among quilts and doilies and afghans. Was it so bad they weren’t even displaying it? Stood by the door to ponder the matter. AND THERE IT WAS—in a special, roped-off area with the purple ribbon of excellence attached. The top award among all others! Our chests grew six inches with pride, and as other people stopped to see it, we said, “Our daughter made that!”
Deerfield award 13_2That bedspread with its intricate pattern took Rachel 30 years to complete, each segment averaging 20 hours. Counting 75 segments plus 10 halves, my shaky math comes out to 1600 hours. A lot of work over a long haul. But the joy, the satisfaction of seeing that ribboned display right by the main entrance. How could we possibly have missed it?

Well done, O excellent crocheter!

Brings to mind other long, arduous tasks—writing books, raising kids, staying married, serving God in the trenches of whatever occupation. Hard stuff, and the haul can seem long and lonely. But God’s loving commendation at the end will be worth far more than any ribbon of excellence—