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A Pearl in My Heart

If you've known me for long, or brought up the subject of jewelry or the beach in my presence, you probably know that I love pearls, and am capable of going on about them for quite awhile. The gems photographed above are stitch markers, made by a lovely artist I know. She knits, and quilts, and weaves baskets, and does beadwork (and probably some other things that I'm forgetting) - and everything she does, she does for a reason and gives it a name. She named these "a pearl in my heart" and made them to sell at a craft show, but when I admired them she kindly gave them to me.

Their name struck me. I've seen pearls as a metaphor on inner beauty (the miss-shapenness of the oyster contrasted with the perfection of the gem within) but a new thought came to my mind today; this concept of a pearl in one's heart.

We've all been hurt, somehow, at some point, by someone or some thing. Emotional scars cut deep, and often fester, refusing to heal - in the same way a shard of sand cuts into an oyster. But they have a better solution - cover it with beauty. Instead of dwelling on the pain and allowing the memory to hurt us far more than the initial thing could ever have, allowing God to help us lacquer it with love and forgiveness, patiently persisting until it is no longer an object of bitterness but a shining gem; a testament to God's power to heal and renew. It may take some time, but I think it can be done, and I hereby resolve to stop meditating on every wrong I think that anyone has ever done me and to start focusing on the beautiful layers of grace and love that I've been blessed with.


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31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
Hogwarts House Tie
Urban Artemis
Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
Strange Jacket


In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. I've lost track of how many times I've said that, or how many people I've said it to. Frustrated new knitters wondering why their work is loose or tight or uneven or really anything less than perfect. But something I love about knitting is that it's a record of your inner dialogue. That swatch knit at the yarn store table with a cozy cup of coffee and a helpful (and more experienced) knitter nearby is going to be a lot more relaxed than the sweater begun a week later while sitting next to a hospital bed - just like the knitter.

Unfortunately, this also applies to my own knitting. For years, I was apparently unaffected by the shifts and turmoils in my own life, so I assumed that I was exempt from the rule - when the reality was, in fact, that I wasn't really experiencing any of those on anything deeper than a surface level because everything was deadened by depression. When I finally started to really…


A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of replacing the traditional list of resolutions with a single word. It appealed to me - I am not a big list person, but I love language and words and meanings and etymology and metaphor and... ahem. Ennyhoo. I liked the idea.
I've never chosen the word. It's always presented itself to me - and last year was no different. Pacific was very insistent, even though I tried to argue with it. Pacific? What does that even mean? What am I supposed to do with that?
But I accepted it, and I'm glad I did. I learned about depth and calm, about storm and nurture, about faith and adventure - and about the unstoppable ocean of God's grace, that overwhelms to fill and cleanse and bring blessings unasked.
So I'm bidding pacific a very fond farewell, and welcoming spark and whatever lessons it would like to bring. I invited it in with a copper wire punctuated with tiny lights and wrapped around my mood board, and I've got an empt…