Meet the Maker: Barb Field

Today's Meet the Maker features Barb Field, the creator and maker of our Prayer Shawls.  Barb is a retired stay at home mom originally from California, currently living in Virgnia.  She enjoys traveling to visit her family across the country.  She and her husband have four married kids and four grandkids who light up their lives!  We love Barb and we know you will too!
Tell us the story of how you got started in your work.  I’ve always enjoyed arts & crafts.  Though I was taught to crochet & knit in childhood, it never really clicked with me until I was an adult.  I crocheted a blanket for each of my kids when they graduated from high school, & since then have made more scarves, hats, sweaters & blankets than my family can ever use!

What about your work makes you feel energized?  
Knowing that I am making something with a deep & tender purpose is humbling and gratifying.    As I stitch these shawls I pray for the recipients & for the friends who are caring for them.   Sometimes I use the inspiring words from the Bible in my prayers:  “O Lord, be her light in this dark season “ Psalm 119:105.  Prayers inspired by old hymns: “Be still my soul, when change & tears are past, all safe & blessed we shall meet at last.” Sometimes I bring simple but profound requests to the Lord:  “help her take her next her sleep at night.....let there be peace with other grieving family courage to face the next day.” I feel closer to God and feel a sense of purpose recalling the comfort He has given me as I reach out & help others along the path. 
What accomplishments in your life make you most proud?  My greatest sense of accomplishment comes from my 38 year marriage to my husband, Tim. As we have allowed our faith in Jesus Christ to permeate every area of our lives, we’ve been able to endure the storms of life & to appreciate the joys together in a deeper way. 
In the realm of crafting, I’m most gratified by the Davy Crockett costume I made for my son when he was little. He wore that thing all the time! It doubled as an Indian costume & was worn by his siblings as well!  When it wore out, I made him another one which was eventually passed onto a cousin!
Barb created the design for our Prayer Shawl and handmakes each one.  What purpose do you hope they serve the women who receive them?  I met Johanna’s family through my son & daughter- in-law when they were living in Colorado.   Johanna knew that I enjoyed creating things & contacted me about making prayer shawls for laurelbox.  I loved the idea of presenting beautifully tender gifts for hurting women and was very honored to become involved.   I did a few sample patterns & together with Denise, we decided on the design & color for the shawls.  I feel that the color gray is comforting for a season of sorrow.  It is sober, yet hopeful.  The design’s lacey softness is like a gentle hug.  Johanna & Denise have inspiring hearts of compassion for hurting women.  I feel very blessed to be a part of their company.
Is there any part of your own life story that gives additional meaning to working with laurelbox?  Having experienced losses of many kinds, I know what the path of grief feels like.  I’m familiar with the emotional, mental & physical anguish.  I have also felt the healing touch of God thru the caring of friends during those painful seasons.  Back in 1983 my family felt God's care thru the kindness & generosity of friends after the sudden death of my dad. I was 7 months pregnant with our first child, helping my sister plan for her wedding. Our world was turned upside down. We received food, flowers, heartfelt notes & hugs, generous acts of service. And then, my sweet friend, Kathy gave me a very special gift: a brand new maternity dress....something that I could not have afforded at the time.  It was gray with tiny white polka dots. This gift was like a glimmer of light in the fog of grief. The memory of that heart felt gesture is cherished to this day.  I pray that the shawls I make can bring a touch of comforting love in the same way that new dress did for me.
I wore the gray dress to my sister’s wedding rehearsal.  Our baby girl was born 3 days later!