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This week's gifts...
752. Mum taking off work after Brooklyn had a rough night, knowing that I might need the help
753. Sweet baby smiles in the grey twilight before dawn, after 8 hours of intermittent screaming
754. Grace from my mother-in-law for a cancelled meeting
755. Pedal Pops at the Farmer's Market with my Dad
756. Stopping because of construction three times on the trip home - it was pouring rain so hard that not moving was a relief
757. and arriving home safely (even if it did take an extra hour because of storms) and finding Happy Handwritten Mail in the mailbox
758. Getting to attend the singing part of church - Brooklyn was delicate and we had to leave after that
759. Internet and sermon podcasts for when things like that ^ happen
760. Sharing a bowl of rice with Brooklyn for dinner - she shares quite well, and occasionally offers me a bite instead of taking one herself
761. Sleeping in
762. Errands successfully accomplished - the rest of Little Rock seemed to be having a bad day (or, at least, an impatient one) but we survived and made it home in one piece
763. Getting my desk satisfactorily organized (and only making one purchase to get it that way!)
764. A balcony - all my life I dreamed of having a second-floor view and apartment-dwelling provides that, with no stairs to vacuum or banisters to dust!
765. Three more green days 'til Adam comes home! (I'm using a rotating selection of colored pens to write him a long letter, a different color each day)
766. Remembering the little block of square tiles that I had for making coasters out of, while I was wondering what I'd use as a coaster on my desk
767. Apartment maintenance - because otherwise I don't know what I'd do when something that I can't fix breaks while Adam's gone
768. Knitting while listening to a podcast of Sunday's sermon
769. A good stretch before getting out of bed - silly perhaps, but I haven't felt like I've had time to stretch before Going and Doing, and taking that moment was oddly refreshing
770. Being informed of/invited to a friend's baptism - "God really worked through you to find me" (emphasis on God)
771. Adam's pay being delayed due to a system error - I never would have thought to make cinnamon toast out of the English muffins that are buried in the back of the freezer otherwise!
772. #fmfparty

I spotted a set of chair magnets at the Four-Legged Bird last week, and was inexplicably drawn to them. In retrospect, it was because they spoke to me of rest.

Rest. That's something I've been seeking with increasing desperation. I've napped - then regretted the tasks not completed. I've done the tasks, hoping for peace - only to be faced with more. I've read and studied, certain that my problem stemmed from some sort of horrific spiritual failure, to no avail.

But then it hit me - maybe there's not a deep existential cause. Perhaps the issue is that I'm woken up multiple times a night, don't take the time to sit down and eat proper meals, and I've been pursuing rest so desperately that I've driven it away. Maybe I need to relax before I can, well, relax.

So that's what I've done the past few days. I've made for certain sure that Brooklyn has gotten a substantial dinner so she won't wake up hungry in the middle of the night, worked out ways that she and I can eat meals at the same time so that I can actually eat all of mine and at the proper temperature, and taken a few moments between tasks to calmly and quietly rest - reading a chapter in my book for the month, stretching/yoga, knitting a bit, working on the long letter I'm writing to Adam... little things. After Brooklyn's gone to bed, I've finished up whatever I had started earlier and then gone to bed myself. And it's actually starting to help.

It's funny how circular things are sometimes... letting go of stress during a stressful situation before that situation is resolved, acting in faith even when you don't feel it --- being grateful for something in the middle of it, before you've reached a hopeful end. Counting gifts is helping me to see how that circular reasoning can be applied to other situations - and I'm grateful for a simple solution, after being so bent on there being a difficult one!

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 areas of struggle in your life have a simple solution, that you tend to make harder than necessary?


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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


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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?
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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…