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Dessert {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 hereToday's 7 topic is food.

Food week is over. On the first page of the journal I'm keeping along with this project, I wrote out a prayer - asking for real heart-change, even with the short amount of time I'm devoting to each topic. I've certainly learned some things this week!

At the beginning of this project, I realized that each area of excess leads to a corresponding deficit. I still don't think that Food is an area of excess in our lives - but it has definitely been a missed opportunity. Our bodies require being fed at intervals in order to keep going, and that's a gift! Multiple times a day we're given the chance to pause, to remember a God who cares and provides for us, and practice at least a few moments of peace and gratitude toward Him while enjoying whatever it is He's provided (even, and especially, if it's not my first choice... I wonder if the Israelites got tired of eating manna every. single. day. for 40 years?) 

Also, I haven't been grocery shopping in nearly a week. I feel almost lost... what am I going to do with a morning that doesn't involve running into Kroger or Whole Foods to pick up a thing or two? But making lists and limiting trips has shown me that a large part of our unnecessary grocery expenditures are the toll of boredom. Going less often gave me less opportunities to be tempted by cookies, making a list helped me both remember to get everything and kept me accountable to not getting anything extra, and making it a more intentional act also ensured that I remembered to take my market bag (which I love - check out this post for a giveaway!)

Not eating out or getting candy and treats not only saved our grocery budget, it also extended the life of my allowance. I knew that it was mostly spent on food (since I rarely had anything to show for it - although, if a small purchase is going to be made, I still have no problem with that being a $3 gluten free treat from Dempsey, just maybe less frequently) but I didn't realize how often I was giving in to craving or convenience, or how quickly those things were adding up. I spotted a lovely raspberry cardi while getting diapers at Target (I'd been looking for something to brighten all of my grey and black maternity clothes - and to help my short sleeves and tank tops live on into the cooler weather) and actually had enough expendable cash in my wallet to buy it, which was a rare and wonderful thing.

So in focusing on Food, I've discovered that while I shouldn't actually focus on food, I also can't allow apathy and busyness to distract me into apple-frittering away the possibility of more lasting purchases, or cause me to overlook the wonderful chance for soul-nourishment that it provides.

Don't forget to check out Tuesday's post for a giveaway, and join me tomorrow as I start a new topic of focus!


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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…