Connect to your Maker

Catholic at Home

Jennifer Antkowiak

Do you know what a Cricut machine is? It’s an electronic cutting machine that allows you to design and cut a variety of materials with an intricacy and precision that would be hard to duplicate by hand.

I received a Cricut as a Christmas gift last year, and I’ve loved using it to get back into crafting. Working with my hands to create unique cards and gifts is emotionally rewarding.  It also normally provides some valuable stress relief.

One evening earlier this week, however, recognizing how quickly December seems to be flying by, I sat at my Cricut machine, after a long day at work, determined to get as many cards and gifts made as I could in the small amount of time I had.

The usual creative, relaxing work of designing templates, selecting papers, and hand-embossing and inking projects was lost in the rush, and in the pressure I felt to get things done.

The Cricut machine I use connects to my laptop via bluetooth.  To make matters worse, there was some kind of internet issue, and wireless connection was weak.  I kept getting kicked off, which added to my frustration.  I didn’t have time for that!

There are different models of the Cricut machine — the Joy, the Explore, and the one I have is called the Cricut Maker.  Each time I was dumped, an alert message popped up on the screen:

To continue, please connect your Maker

The more I was hit with that message, the more I began to smile—even laugh a little, and read it as, “To continue, please connect to your Maker.”

I took it as a sign to stop, take a breath, and slow down. I was not joyful in my haste to get my crafting done. And, these things were going to be gifts!  That’s not the energy I wanted behind sharing something handmade with someone I care about.

Bigger than that, I lost touch with the meaning and purpose of Advent and Christmas. I truly needed to reconnect to my Maker!

The BLESSING of a weak internet signal allowed me to do that. In just a few minutes, I felt more peace, and more happiness in my heart.  I reeled it all in, and set more manageable expectations for myself. I stopped rushing and started focusing on the person I was making the gift for, and why.

Since then, I’ve given time to making just a couple of projects a night.  The feeling of joy is back.  And, once again, I look forward to the time to unwind and create things I hope will bring smiles to the faces of those I care about.

These last days leading up to Christmas can start to feel hectic. We can start to burn out, and that puts us at risk of not being able to be fully present to enjoy all the beauty of this holy time. I share this story with you, hoping that the lesson I learned from my Maker will help you to slow things down a little, and focus on the bigger meaning of the season.

Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year to you and those you love.