In the summer of 2012, I returned from a six month RV trip around the country with my two boys, and we had just been back in town about 48 hours when one of the leaders from my local church congregation showed up at my doorstep and asked if I would be willing to work with the 16-17 year old young women in our area.
I wasn’t usually hesitant to accept responsibilities at church, because I liked being a part of a church community, and I was happy to do my part.
I was a little hesitant about this one though. I was pretty sure I didn’t relate to teenage girls even twenty-five years ago when I WAS a teenage girl.
But . . . I said yes, and my Crocs and I arrived to church on Sunday morning to meet the twelve girls I would be working with for the next two years.
As it turned out, they were all very lovely and didn’t seem terribly bothered by my lack of fashion sense.
When my mom heard that I was working with the young women, something she had done 30 years before, she sent me a book of ideas she still had stashed away.
The lady I was going to work with, Ashley, sat down with me one night, and we thumbed through this book of ideas.
As I flipped through the pages I stopped on this:
“INDIVIDUAL WORTH . . . In order to teach these young women that they are loved and important daughters of God, crochet each of them a butterfly to remind them of their worth.”
It then had instructions of how to crochet a butterfly.
We looked up and laughed. Who has the blinking time to crochet butterflies for their handouts?!
Now, I am an idea girl, so coming up with ideas for cool activities wasn't a challenge for me, and we settled into a rhythm of fun and meaningful activities in no time.
We were rounding the corner to Christmas, when Ashley was at my house one day. We wanted to put together gifts for the twelve days of Christmas for each of the twelve girls.
We had boxes and bags and bows and art prints and candy spread all over the table. We had just returned from going to the mall to collect perfume samples from the department stores and thought it might be fun to make some cookies to add to these bags.
It was in the middle of this ridiculously large project that we realized that we were, in our own way, crocheting butterflies.
It occurred to me for the first time that we were actually professionals at “Crocheting Butterflies” for these girls . . . and nothing seemed too big or too involved to figure out to let these girls know that we thought they were fabulous.
Years have passed since then, and I have noticed time and again, that I will spend inordinate amounts of time and energy on projects and ideas, just because they are fun and worthwhile and with the secret hope that someone on the receiving end of that time and energy will feel loved.
This week I have been crocheting butterflies on packaging. I snuggled into bed the other night and looked through every single page of the 432 page packaging catalog.
It has been SO fun to track down yellow envelopes and rigid mailers and decide what my return label will look like and if I want to put a quote on the outside and what that quote will be.
Crocheting butterflies . . . in hopes that whoever receives the package on the other end of the order will smile just a little and feel delighted to open their package.
These are the little things that make life feel so utterly exhilarating.