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This week's gifts...
190. Forty-five uninterrupted minutes to spend writing poetry while Brooklyn napped in the car
191. A burst of pattern sales
192. Adam's desire to be part of Brooklyn's bedtime routine
193. Book drives that provide Bibles for crisis pregnancy centers

194. The Loopy Ewe blogging about one of my least popular patterns

If you're not a knitter, I'm going to go ahead and apologize in advance - because this is about knitting. About how I wanted to be a knitting designer - to write patterns, and to have them published. About the way I pursued that dream, through a job at my local yarn shop, through an internship in Cleveland, through a job in New York City, through publication in a book and a couple of magazines, through a return to my local yarn shop, and through self-publishing my designs.

Except that, despite all of those wonderful things, it never really took off. And I'll admit - I got kind of discouraged. Post-Brooklyn, I left the knit shop and stayed home, still writing patterns and still seeing minimal sales. A few things happened that should have boosted at least my exposure (being featured in one yarn company's digital mail-out, and having one of my designs as part of a prize package offered by another yarn company over Christmas) but sales were still barely dribbling in.

Then came #191. That was last Thursday. My email was suddenly clogged with notifications for pattern sales - all of the same pattern, one of my least popular, at that. I noticed that several of the buyers were from Colorado, and wondered what was going on, but went to bed happy that I'd sold 7 copies, which was more patterns, total, than I'd been selling in month. The next day, a knitting friend pointed me to The Loopy Ewe's post - as over 80 copies of the pattern sold in the next 24 hours, and the pattern was pushed to page 2 of Ravelry's (Facebook-for-knitters, if you're not one) "Hot Right Now" chart.

All of my striving had gotten me nowhere. But after I quietly opened my hands and gave my dream to God at the beginning of the year, then shifted my focus to other things, an employee at a knit shop in Fort Collins, Colorado, decided to knit my pattern, and then liked it enough to promote it. In addition to another exciting knitting-related happening that I can't blog about yet, that was tremendously uplifting at a time when I was feeling discouraged, and like everything that I'd been passionate about wasn't worth much.

But that was the problem - I was seeking happiness and worth in my accomplishment. It wasn't until I released that desire that I could be humbly overwhelmed and truly grateful for a sudden success. Because when you're expecting something as payment for your effort, you tend to take it for granted as just dues - but when it's wholly unanticipated and unmerited, then it can bring a greater joy.

"Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established."
[Proverbs 16:3]

195. The encouragement that that provided
196. That Adam won't be gone for all of February
197. Brooklyn's ecstatic reaction to seeing Carolyn
198. and that she happily let us spend over an hour talking and sharing a meal
199. Getting to visit UBC (even if the service was shortened due to weather)
200. Brothers and sisters in Christ who have all-wheel-drive and are willing to rescue people who do not and are therefore stuck [also, not getting totaled by a police car that slid sideways down the hill I couldn't get up, just before that]
201. The freedom to stay at my parents' house for an extra night
202. A coffee date with my Dad
203. Sunshine and a break in the weather that allowed Brooklyn and I to come home
204. A sweet husband to come home to
205. Granite countertops - I can enthusiastically rinse dishes without worrying about the splatters
206. The way the dishwasher drowns out the noise our neighbors are making
207. Watching Adam dance around the living room with Brooklyn, to the tune of Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are" on repeat
208. The roads drying today, despite the clouds, after several days of freezing rain
209. Finding out that our photo printer will actually print photos [I've had bad experience in the past]
210. Allergy-friendly chocolate chip muffins

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him."
[Lamentations 3:22-24]

Won't you join us in counting (and recounting!) His mercies anew? Grab a notebook or journal (it doesn't have to be fancy) and a pen and write them down, then join us in a weekly link-up to encourage each other by sharing all the blessings we've spotted. Catch up on everyone's posts, add your own below (please stay relevant to the topic when linking up!), and if you don't have a blog, feel free to participate by commenting, instead!

Please check out these #NewEveryMorning hosts, as well, and don't forget to use the hashtag on Twitter so that we can find each other!
   Kayla [at] Renown and Crowned
   Dolly [at] Headed Home
   Kelsey [at] Faith Fun and the Fergusons


Kayla said…
I am so excited with/for you! My book hasn't been selling well (though I haven't marketed well), but when a lady from our Bible fellowship group at church purchased one, it totally made my week. I can envision what over 80 pattern sales would do for your spirit. :)
Dolly Bigelow said…
Amazing!!! God truly provides--- especially when we surrender all to Him. BTW, your Ravelry shop is absolutely beautiful! If I could knit more than a dishcloth, I would buy every single pattern! :-) Perhaps I shall take a class... :-D

Blessings and take care!
Amanda said…
I'm glad I kept reading when you said you were going to talk about knitting! I think this lesson is very applicable to a lot of life, but especially starting any home-based business. My biggest graphic design client found me just when I was beginning to think I should just give up.
Kelsey Ferguson said…
How exciting! I have been finding that there are many things that I have written off as not good enough or failures that God is redeeming and using for His glory.

I'm thrilled for you! Going to check out your shop, although, I only know how to crochet. :)

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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!

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