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First Things First: June/July 2014

I know people who post their goals at regular intervals, and others who write about what they learned each month... this is kind of a combination of the two. It's a monthly Sabbath of sorts, reevaluating current goals and projects in light of building God's kingdom instead of my own - and for the sake of consistency and thoroughness, I'm dividing it into three categories:


The wagon, y'all... I have fallen off of it. The cloud of dust has subsided and I've been left sitting in the middle of the road, alone and wholly out of sight of most of the goals that I set. It's my own fault, I suppose, because I knew that June would be a fairly busy month - I just underestimated how busy it would be.

So, while I am currently caught up on IF : Equip's study through the book of Acts, that's not because I did it every day (more like a grand catch-up once a week or so). I need to find a (flexibly) consistent time to try to do it every day - I suspect that would help. Maybe.

Oh, and reading Rhinestone Jesus didn't happen either --- because Adam ended up kidnapping it and reading it himself. With commentary and discussion, so I sort of feel like I read it again. And he enjoyed it, so I feel like that ended up being a good thing, even if it wasn't what I'd planned.

Praying outloud is a work-in-progress - but I feel like it's worth continuing to work on, until I make better progress.

previously Family

In the category of Things That Did Happen, Brooklyn's party. Everyone found our apartment, no one had a meltdown, the gluten-free fare was eaten and at least outwardly enjoyed by all, and there were enough chairs.

I have been faithfully taking "real" pictures (that is, not square Instagrammed ones) and posting them on Facebook/emailing them to grandparents. Since everyone was here, a monthly update letter did not get written but that is on the agenda for this month.

So, we've lived in Little Rock for 6 months. And I've spent that 6 months trying to find the Fayetteville in Little Rock - and failing utterly, because only Fayetteville can be Fayetteville. I finally decided to let Little Rock be itself and this morning Brooklyn and I went on a quest to find a shop that Keith at The Four-Legged Bird had recommended. We found an entire district. There are shops filled with things that I use, things that I want, and things that I would buy as gifts - and they have lovely owners. MOXY just made first place in my experience as "Best First Impression" (besides giving me a map of the area and suggesting a few places to visit, and agreeing to let me take all of the pictures I wanted, the owner extended the invitation to bring a cup of tea and just sit for awhile. It's a retail shop. And I may just take him up on it.) There is an ice cream parlor/soda fountain, a cafe with gluten-free options, and a sort of an art garden that hosts a Farmer's Market and would be a perfect location for a photo shoot. With that, I'm reviving my Love the City project, with a special focus on South Main Street (to be extended as further discoveries warrant). Hopefully I can get the first of several detailed posts up sometime next week.

We're finally starting to meet some people at church, as well, which is nice, and there looks to be interest for a knitting class if I'm interested in teaching one (which, of course!)


I also fell off of the sky-knitting wagon, but I'm all caught up - however, I need to get more of both the light and dark greys before I can continue, because I'm all out of those. When I started this project, I envisioned there being a lot more blue...

And, about that skirt I was working on... I'm still working on it, but I kinda sorta mighta gotten a wee little bit distracted by another project. "Over Hill and Under Hill" (working title) is too delicious not to work on, but since it's a woolly little thing I'll probably need to wait until fall to publish the pattern.

Something that I've been avoiding but must face, the sooner the better, is our third bedroom. When we moved in, everything that didn't have a home/all of my knitting and crafting supplies went in there. However, now it has need to function as a nursery, so I'm going to have to start working on it. My goal is a purposefully vague "make visible progress."

- Find a time for quiet time that works
- Really. Pray outloud
- Love the city
- Take intentional steps toward fostering community at church
- Make visible progress on the third bedroom

How often do you stop to (prayerfully) reevaluate your goals and projects? What are your reasonable goals for this month?


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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…