Skip to main content


This week's gifts...
626. Brooklyn's delight with her toy steering wheel - it will keep playing music for awhile, so she can go do other things ;)
627. Friends to pray with and for - that's a badly underused aspect/blessing of Christian sister/brotherhood!
628. A whole two day weekend with Adam, three weeks in a row
629. Adam very much approving of a bold haircutting choice on my part
630. A zoo membership so we could spend a few hours there without feeling bad (and stand around on the train platform, sheltering from a brief rain shower, without feeling like we were wasting time)
631. Cajun food with gluten-free and vegan options, that we both ended up liking - a first!
632. Someone at church drumming up interest for a knitting class, and giving me the contact info I needed to get it going (also, it was her idea - she just asked if I'd be willing. Um, yeah!)
633. Deliciously grilled lunch while Brooklyn napped after we got home from church
634. A borrowed projector so we could have a movie date night in
635. Kisses and hugs from Brooklyn when she woke up
636. A Target gift card and them having an item I needed in stock (and in a color I've hunted high and low for but could never find!)
637. Overly generous carry-out --- I'll be eating voodoo chicken over rice for the next three days (and that's not a bad thing)
638. Local business owners in Fayetteville who care about a misplaced Fayetteville gal enough to wrack their brains for recommendations of appealing Little Rock-local businesses
639. The local business owner in Little Rock who just won First Place for Best First Impression by being friendly, helpful, and inviting me to just come hang out
640. An impromptu lunch date with my Bear - I texted him just as he was wanting lunch but not wanting to go by himself
641. Local classical radio that considers the occasional John Williams piece "classical"
642. A letter from a friend, sharing Story and inviting me to share, as well!
643. That every day ends, and that tomorrow is a fresh start
644. The first day of a four day weekend with Adam
645. Tiger cubs - adorable, pouncy tiger cubs at the zoo
646. Local small-batch ice cream in a gluten-free waffle cone - delish!

Combining this week's New Every Morning post with Five Minute Friday! New Every Morning is explained below --- if you're new to FMF, though, it's an internet-wide flashmob of bloggers, all writing for five minute flat (no stopping, no editing!) on a prompt provided by the lovely Lisa-Jo, then linking up and sharing a little comment love. For more info, more posts, and/or to join in, head here!

I have a truly dreadful reaction to extreme nervousness: my autonomic system involuntarily slows down. Just when I need a clear head, my heart rate and breathing suddenly get the idea that I'm actually asleep, and then asleep is all feel like being. Without even asking my own permission, I hold my breath.

While we sometimes "hold our breath" in anticipation of something good, I think it's more often done in the face of looming catastrophe. Then too, pain or shock causes a gasp - a sudden inward rush of air, in case another doesn't come. Even though the act of breathing in floods our bodies with necessary oxygen, it's only good in that it's step one of a two-step process.

Exhale - the second step. In order to live, in order to speak, in order to laugh, we have to release all the breath that we've been hoarding. We have to let go, stop being afraid that if we let out the air we've got, we won't get anymore, and trust that renewal and a fresh start - day by day, moment by moment, breath by breath - are part of God's plan.

I've been holding my breath for far too long - trying not to offend, offending anyway, caught in a cycle of depressing defeat. But the time has come to laugh again. I've been rediscovering my sense of adventure this past week, and it's led to absolute delight over some really strange things (see #641, as an example). But [re]becoming easily amused has also led to becoming easily gratified, and reflexively grateful - hands emptied and raised to receive His gifts, lungs emptied to be filled with the breath of New Life.

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 trust in Him.
[Lamentations 3:22-24]

Won't you join us in counting (and recounting!) His mercies anew? Just grab a journal or notebook (it doesn't have to be fancy) and a pen and write them down, then join us each week to encourage each other by sharing all of the blessings we've spotted. Catch up on everyone's posts and if you don't have a blog, feel free to participate by commenting, instead!

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
   Kelsey [at] Faith Fun and the Fergusons

What necessary thing are you tempted to try to regulate for yourself, instead of trusting that God will provide?


Great! Here from FMF and you describe that perfectly. I also hoard my breaths. How beautifully stated! Carry on!
Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my blog.. Your list of gifts is so beautiful... I do Thankful Thursday and write my own gifts in a journal the rest of the week... "Exhale - the second step. In order to live, in order to speak, in order to laugh, we have to release all the breath that we've been hoarding." Love Love Love that line! So inspiring!
Karrilee Aggett said…
"we have to release all the breath that we've been hoarding." Oh my goodness... this is so good my friend!
Hannah Leake said…
Sarah Jo, I love your blog posts. They always inspire me to want to write more on my own blog and to be more thankful and to express my gratitude.

Popular posts from this blog

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…