On Saturday I attended a Celebration of Craft at the Joe L. Evins Appalachian Center for Craft near Smithville, Tennessee, along with one of our daughters and her children.
The day was bright and warm. We all had such fun. We watched craftsmen and craftswomen weaving, blowing glass, molding and throwing pottery, metalworking, and blacksmithing.
I especially enjoyed the woodcrafting shop where we saw beautiful furniture in various stages of completion. One young man talked to me excitedly about the walnut stereo console he is building. He has rebuilt various vintage equipment, including a turntable, a reel-to-reel tape player, a cassette player, and an 8-track tape deck. He told me that rebuilding those machines is sort of a hobby of his. He plans to put those devices and speakers into the console. How imaginative!
We have lived in this area for the entire 21 years that this event has taken place. On Saturday I was lamenting the fact that Saturday was either the first or second of these events I have attended. I remember enjoying a field trip there when we were homeschooling in the 1990s. Our daughter and I both had vague recollections of another visit, perhaps one of the past celebrations, but, wow! We have been missing out. I am so glad she saw a flyer for this one and invited me to come along.
Saturday was a wonderful combination of seeing God’s handiwork in the pretty spring day . . .
. . . while seeing creations people made in His image have created with materials that He has made. A variety of art decorated outdoor spaces, including these blown glass creations in a flower bed.
The oldest children enjoyed finding art nestled here and there. Someone even hung this glass pickle between two tree limbs.
I enjoy our Tennessee wildflowers each year. As our time together began on Saturday, I mentioned that the wildflowers in our area seem early. Our granddaughter asked where they were. I was surprised by her question because they are all around us and she has already been giving me little bouquets. Maybe she simply sees those as flowers and isn’t familiar with the term wildflowers.
With my comment fresh in her mind, she began searching for them as we walked by the roadside from the parking lot to the craft center. She was especially excited about this one, which stood about five inches tall.
Wild violets, like the ones that are prolific in our yard, also lined the roadside, . . .
I am not as familiar with the wild white violets. Aren’t they pretty!
The craft celebration on Saturday was very well-attended, and we had a mid-afternoon snack in its very crowded grill. In the midst of a great day, filled with God’s creation, the beauty people create and the wonder of children, I was surprised by two other sweet blessings.
The craft center is an extension of our local Tennessee Technological University. We are used to seeing purple Tennessee Tech T-shirts around here, so I wasn’t surprised when I saw a man wearing one. However, I was happy when I looked at it closely. Under its logo were the words, “Servants of Christ.” I told our daughter how grateful I am to live where we see faith so often. A few minutes later, the young couple across from us on the long cafeteria-style table finished their meal. The man spoke blessings in God’s name to us as they prepared to leave.
God’s wonders are everywhere. What a precious opportunity you have each day to share them with your children.
O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
From the mouth of infants and nursing babes
You have established strength
Because of Your adversaries,
To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.
When I consider Your heavens,
the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth!