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I attended a meeting the other day. It was a gathering of about 20 women, ranging in age from upper teens to senior citizens. This group represented a wide array of occupations, interests, ethnic backgrounds, and levels of education and income, yet all had come together with a common purpose. The meeting happens on a weekly basis, and while it's scheduled to last about 2 hours, people start arriving up to 3 hours early.

One woman had experienced life-changing trauma since the meeting the week before. She came in in tears and was immediately hugged and comforted by everyone present, and before the meeting was over there was a smile on her face and peace in her heart.

Another girl had exciting news, which she shared with the group. All shared her joy, and exclaimed encouragingly on how she deserved it. She was a little more animated than usual, and left a little more confident.

There was also a newcomer, venturing in shyly to see what this was all about. She left a convert, fully embracing the shared belief of the group and determined to return the next week and uphold their common cause in the intervening days.

The mature were asked for advice, which was freely given and willingly accepted. Since age is no indicator of experience in this group, everyone present interacted as equals, only deferring when advice was needed. And the need for help was not belittled or suppressed - as soon as a question arose, it was asked and answered.

Food and drink, laughter and tears, quandaries and advice, triumph and tragedy - all were shared with open hearts.

This utopia isn't fiction; it's a tale that occurs on a weekly (sometimes monthly) basis all over our country, and their numbers are growing as each new convert converts others. And I wish with all my heart that I could tell you that the place where these life-changing gatherings meet is a church - but it's not. This group that has somehow bridged all divides convenes to knit. Knitting is their sole commonality, and yet there is a sense of community among them that I have yet to find in a church.

Knitters have already broken the missional code - they have crossed every divide and joined together in harmonious community. They have learned what matters and what doesn't, and they have bonded in extraordinary ways. It is rare to find a solitary knitter; one who sits at home knitting and reading books on knitting, but has absolutely no desire to share their craft. Knitters burn with a passion that drives them to show others the things that they create, and to teach the uninitiated how to create. It's a beautiful model of community and discipleship - and it's one that, with the double drive of a knitter and a follower of Christ, I desire to share.


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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…