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For All Your Goodness

This week's gifts...
1048. Resetting from yesterday's off-scheduledness
1049. Warming the apartment while accomplishing necessary tasks
1050. Finishing the last "demo panel" that I needed for my knitting class
1051. Getting up and around before Mum and Dad got here (to watch Brooklyn)
1052. A full and excited class, and knitting evangelists who can't help but help
1053. Amazing nachos at Local Lime
1054. Waking up in just enough time to get ready and go to church
1055. The way Brooklyn says "hi" to everyone that walks by
1056. Superior officers who order Adam to go home, even when there's work to be done
1057. Adam having the morning off so that he could stay home with Brooklyn while I went to a doctor's appointment
1058. Taking a nap when I got home (the appointment took longer than expected)
1059. A long hot shower before Adam got home from STEP
1060. Kroger having all of the groceries we needed, so we didn't have to make multiple stops
1061. Adam emptying the dishwasher before he left for work
1062. Napping without worrying about what I wasn't getting done
1063. A quiet living room - in our last apartment, everything that happened in the courtyard and every noise near the front of the building traveled and amplified
1064. Two of three deadline writing projects complete and sent, and progress made on the third
1065. That God made me and knows me and calls me by name
1066. Fellowship North - the sense of community that we've found there has been refreshing and much-needed
1067. Gaining two pounds in 2 days - Sprout needs it!
1068. Brooklyn recovering from waking up from her nap delicate and managing to have a good afternoon

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning - it's time to sing Your song again. Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes.

At New Community last night (our church's once-monthly communion service), we had an evening of thanksgiving. Squares of cardstock were handed out, someone got up and spoke about God's provision, reading from Mark 14 about Jesus sending His disciples to prepare the Passover meal and talking about how He prepares for every step and every circumstance and goes before us in whatever way He asks us to walk, then prompting us to list gifts on our cards as the worship team played a few songs.

They started with Matt Redman's song 10,000 Reasons, which I assigned to this project as a sort of theme song when I started it last Thanksgiving. Lyricists often say things in a much better way than I can, and it helps me stay on track when I have a 3 minute anthem that I can go back to. I chose the song because I didn't want to set a goal of counting to a thousand gifts over the course of a year and then stopping... there are so many gratitude projects floating around on Facebook and Instagram this time of year, but most of them end with dessert on Thanksgiving Day and then we get caught up in the Christmas rush, and I didn't want this to be like that. Those overrun last three days of November are the most important - a chance to gaze ahead to the Cross before diving into Advent, remembering our greatest reason for gratitude - and a thousand seems like such a tiny number when compared to an infinitely creative and merciful God.

Everyone was invited to clip their thanks onto some lines that were strung around the room - one became so weighted with cardstock and clothespins that it fell down. That's how I want to be, especially on the brink of a busy and somewhat uncertain season (both in terms of holidays, and of life) - overflowing with gratitude to the point that I fall on my knees, poured out before the One who poured Himself out for me.

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

If you're participating in one of those month-long gratitude challenges, how can you carry it over into your daily life in the coming months?


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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:

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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…