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Looking Back, Moving Forward

11am. Normally, my brain is just now starting to function and I'm still working through my morning routine. But today had an early start - and thus far, it's been more than worth it. I had a deeply uplifting meeting with Taryn at Mama Carmen's, for one thing (which is definitely worth getting up early for :)

I also reread my notebook. Everywhere I go, my notebook goes, too. This one started on August 13th of last year and I filled in the last page yesterday. It's always interesting to see what I've been through and how I've grown and changed over the course of each one. Something in this one struck me - on the first day, from notes taken at a UBC college leadership retreat: "Turn habits into opportunities. If you frequent a place and others consistently frequent the same place, reach out to them. Don't form a holy huddle - in order to reach lost people, you have to know lost people." Then, from a few days ago: "Be intentional. Live your life's rhythm in a way that puts you in contact with the lost. If you need to eat (which, you do), then choose a place intentionally. Not for convenience - for the Gospel. We've been entrusted with the Good News of Christ - so, what are we doing with it?" It's taken half a year, but that has finally gone from being the copied words of a speaker to something that affects me enough that I've begun to live like I believe it.

Another thing that this notebook covered was quite a few designs. One of them is a reworking of the very first pattern I wrote, long ago for the public library's teen knitting club. I made it a little more grown-up, but at its roots, Ace of Diamonds is the same.

There was also a leap forward - the process of designing a sweater. Date Night challenged me in a lot of ways, but all of them were good and I ended up not only learning but also producing a garment that I like and will enjoy wearing.

The last notes in my just-finished notebook were from a Love the City meeting. At the encouragement of the leader of the initiative, and to keep fresh in my mind the change that's taken me 6 months (or more) to process, we're reading through For the City by Darrin Patrick and Matt Carter. Mark has started a book discussion group for it at Nightbird Books on Dickson Street (our first meeting is this Wednesday), and if the first chapter is any indicator, it's going to be an awesome read.

Time marches on, and I need to march with it. My day (and my week) are off to a good start - now, to maintain that momentum!


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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…