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A Cumulative Effect {7 for 31}

This month I'm writing a new post each day about my own version of Jen Hatmaker's 7 experiment. For more posts and an introduction, head here.

The weekly reckoning...
983. Adam having a day of leave in exchange for having to work last Saturday
984. A gorgeous fall morning, spent all together at the zoo
985. Lisa's gf chicken noodle soup - we both really liked it, and it made a lot!
986. The stylist only charging my half for my haircut, "since it didn't need much"
987. Brooklyn enthusiastically eating the soup, also - chicken, carrots, noodles, and all (a welcome break from having to make her a separate dinner)
988. A shared gf frozen pizza and a continuing game of Risk to end our evening
989. A fun, non-stressful commissioned knitting project
990. A fellow blogger stacking all of my favorite soap boxes on top of each other and handing me a microphone - a guest post I'll enjoy writing!
991. Finding a lamp for Sprout's room at Ten Thousand Villages - it's pretty, puts off the perfect amount of light, and it was on sale
992. That I remembered to tuck my journal into my bag before going to run errands - Brooklyn fell asleep in the car, and I spent half an hour in the Whole Foods parking lot, writing and listening to music
993. A design epiphany for Brooklyn, using yarn that I already have
994. Maintenance guys who come to replace the broken microwave handle, then notice that one of the florescent kitchen bulbs is out and fix that while they're at it (I didn't mind only having the light from one bulb, but I was slightly concerned lest it go out, as well)
995. A cold wet day with no pressing errands, so we were able to stay home and warm and dry
996. The cable guys coming right after we got up, so I didn't spend the day on edge and trying to keep Brooklyn's things semi-contained
997. Wired internet and our complex upgrading their provided service before we got fed up and started paying for our own
998. Kroger fuel points - $0.30 off a gallon really helps when filling up Adam's big truck
999. That Brooklyn is just now in size 3 diapers - the extra eight in the boxes of 2s has helped a lot for all this time
1000! Adam home "early" (on time) and somehow managing to clean up all of Brooklyn things and empty the dishwasher in the 15 minutes he was home alone before we got back from running errands
1001. That smoke alarms turn themselves off once they realize there's no smoke to be alarmed about
1002. Brooklyn's delight at walking in and out the open back door, and standing at the railing, just looking 

One thousand gifts. I started counting last year, on Thanksgiving day, and reading Ann Voskamp's book as I went. We were still adjusting to Brooklyn's dairy allergy, facing an impending-but-uncertain move, plus holidays and all --- I thought it might help me refocus and avoid stressing.

At first, it didn't (probably because I was just writing down things at the end of each day, instead of really thinking about it during the day). So after we moved in January I reread and journaled through the book, and started counting along with a dear friend. That led to a slight shift in what I wrote down and what I perceived as a gift (accountability is a wonderful aspect of community, as is seeing what others are grateful for).

Change has come hobbit-like, slowly and as I wondered if it would come at all, but the most noticeable leaps have been made this past month. I love to write, and I love personal challenges, and when I put those two things together they form their own sort of accountability. I want to write. I'm writing about this challenge. I have to be living the challenge in order to have something to write about it. Sometimes circular reasoning can be a good thing.

So by combining action with the conscious recording of that action, I've etched gratitude on my heart as well as the pages of my journals - both the one I keep by the bed for gifts, and the one I've been writing about 7 for 31 in. At the beginning of this month, I prayed for lasting change - and I've seen promise of that, in an increased contentedness with spending a day at home with Brooklyn, a better awareness of how our money and time are spent, and a spontaneous desire to blurt moments of thankfulness aloud in the moment instead of just waiting until the end of the day to look back and decide what I'm grateful for.

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

How do you make sure that your desires and actions line up with each other?


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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…