My name is Kathryn Filip and I am the owner/sole knitter at Royal Windsor Knits! I have been knitting since I was about 9 years old, when my mom taught me to knit.
When I was 11 years old, my parents responded to the call of God on their lives. Two years later, when I was 13, they took our family on an adventure of a lifetime from England to Romania. We went to encourage and take Bibles/literature to the persecuted Christians. Long story very short, I met my now husband of 28 years! He was 14 at the time, spoke no English but loved God and we fell in love. We got married, moved to the States, and have 3 wonderful grown children.
Last year, I was knitting and making things for family and friends when my kids introduced me to the wonderful world of Etsy. I opened a shop in November 2011 and people seemed to really like my cowls and scarves etc., and this is where my little side business started.
My husband and I have never been able to afford to take the kids to Romania and see where we met, so this year I began to think about my little side knitting business. I have set a goal to make enough money to take our whole family to Romania and join with some friends there who run a School of Worship. (They have been asking my husband and I to go and teach in the school during the summer.) We have been involved in leading worship for many years and would love the opportunity to help the next generation in any way, especially in the country we met in so many years ago! So, that is my dream and God willing, if the business does well, we will be able to go there hopefully next year.
Thank you for reading and God Bless you all as you follow after His heart.
- Kathryn (Royal Windsor Knits)
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Every relationship offers the potential to reflect the heart of God. Parenthood is chock full of these opportunities. When my firstborn son arrived, I started learning about boundless and unconditional love. And when my second son showed up on scene, I learned something else that can happen to a parent’s heart.
It was about a week after Elias was born. Caleb was almost two years old and so far had shown exuberant love for his baby brother. I was so proud of my toddler. Despite everyone’s predictions of raging jealousy and sibling rivalry, my big kid was gentle and excited at every turn. One evening as I was basking in the sleep-deprived euphoria of mothering two small kids, Caleb was having a rough time. I think his nap had been wonky that day, and he didn’t do well at dinner. He sulked over to where I sat on the couch with the baby, and I cradled his rosy cheeks in my hand. He took comfort in my company for a minute, absently stroked the baby’s soft hair… then viciously scratched his little brother’s forehead, twice, with all the fingers on his left hand.
My heart broke.
Eli was the first one to get over it. Caleb was fine after sputtering out a tearful apology. But I was still devastated. The antics of my son were one thing when he was being impulsive and another when defiant, but it was a whole new ballgame when my child’s actions were hurtful to another one of my children. I was far more grieved than angry.
I wonder, is that what it feels like to the heart of our Father when we hurt one another? So much of Jesus’ prayer in John 17 is for the children of God, those who believe in Jesus, to be one with each other. If nothing grieves my heart like my children being against each other, it follows that nothing rejoices my heart like them being united with one another. I want to bring that kind of joy to my Father’s heart.
Guest blog by Missy Takano.
I grew up singing songs and hymns centered on the idea of freedom. It sounded nice. Patriotic. Lighthearted. A little vague, but… nice. I didn’t see “freedom” as being centrally connected to the work of the cross, or even as something I desperately needed.
Then I found myself weeping on the floor of a dorm room, both in agony at my sorry state and in gratitude at the depth of grace. I started to understand freedom, just a little: freedom from the stain of sin on my soul, freedom from its eternal consequences, freedom from the very real cycle of addiction that can be found in a toxic relationship just as easily as in cocaine. Taking communion started to mean something, as I did this in remembrance and knew that my chains of sin were broken when Jesus’ body was broken.
And it doesn’t stop there, because Jesus isn’t just in the business of setting us free from. He makes us free to: free to receive love, free to give it wholeheartedly, even free to heal.
That one surprised me. Healing is complicated and sometimes feels like shedding old skin, leaving us exposed and vulnerable, but we are free to heal. We are free to let the Potter change our shape without owing an explanation to what we were before. We are free to mourn, free to rejoice, free to grow, free to not live in fear of the very things He has set us free from.
Now the songs and hymns about freedom are my favorite ones. It’s central to the Gospel.There’s much I still need to learn about freedom in Jesus, of course. I’m so glad I’m free to not have it all down just yet.
Missy is married to Chris and an amazing mother of two young boys. She is full of humor, passion, and wit. We are excited and thrilled to have her contributions on Substance Over Shadows.