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It's Five Minute Friday - a blogging event that I look forward to every week! Writers all over the internet, joining together to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing!) on a prompt provided by the lovely Lisa-Jo, then linking up and encouraging each other. Head here to learn more and join in.

Here in America, we have so many choices. Any item we want, we have a wall of them to choose from - unless it's some highly specialized something, there are going to be at least a few different choices (and if it is a highly specialized something that becomes popular, rest assured that others will jump on the bandwagon soon).

A little over a year ago, I went gluten-free (my Mum was diagnosed with Celiac, so it was precautionary. Subsequent events have confirmed my suspicion that I have it, as well). And suddenly I found my choices dwindling. There's more to it than just not eating bread - gluten is in everything (and that is only a slight exaggeration). It's an anti-clumping agent in spices. Really? Why?! Then when our daughter was two months old, we discovered that she had a dairy allergy, so I went dairy-free (being her main food source and all). And guess what? Dairy is in everything. It's in sidewalk chalk (see, it's not just food you have to worry about).

But we've adjusted. I've gotten good at researching and finding hidden contaminants, asking Good Questions and impressing it on the wait staff at the few restaurants we can eat at how important it is to avoid cross-contamination, and accepting the fact that there are a lot of things that I really liked and considered "needs" that I can actually live without.

So the project that I'm embarking on now is just the sort of thing I relish - a quest of sorts, that leads to a better end. Yesterday, the End It Movement raised awareness about the 27 million slaves that are currently in our world. And I decided to make a choice: to slowly but surely work toward never again supporting a company that uses slave labor or employs any sort of unethical, dehumanizing practices. I'm choosing one thing every month to thoroughly research... this month, I'm doing oral hygiene (start small!) I've already discovered that palm oil is bad (unless specifically noted otherwise). It kills orangutans and is harvested by untrained eight year olds - and guess what? It's in everything.

Today, let's make a choice. Let's not choose the prettiest package, the one with the catchy jingle or the funny ad, the first one we see at eye level as we're hurrying by, or even the most economical - let's choose to proclaim liberty to the captives and the oppressed, to pray for a recovering of sight for our selfishly blinded eyes --- and let's take the freedom that we ourselves have been granted, and choose this day whom we will serve: a God who has a heart for the widows, the fatherless, the poor, and the broken - or the idols of Western consumerism that blast us with all of the things we "need" and "deserve."

How can you choose to make the needs of others a priority over your own today?
Check out Monday's post to support a self-employed artist who is, in turn, supporting an excellent cause in South Africa, and join the conversation on Facebook.


Wow... Your choices are tough. But, not impossible.

Great post Sarah. Thanks.

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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…