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It's Five Minute Friday! A weekly flashmob of bloggers gather internet-wide to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then link up and share a little comment love. For more posts, more info, and/or to join in, head hereAlso, I realize that it's no longer Friday, but I was otherwise occupied...

Opportunities to practice patience and to prepare abound within our calendars - we're so time-bound that we keep close track of upcoming dates and events, from that appointment this afternoon to the 7-8 months of warning we have to buy baby clothes and put a nursery together to planning a reunion or anniversary party several years in advance.

But often we get caught up in getting ready instead of preparing. We cook, we clean, we invite, we decorate, we anticipate, we stress - but even though our homes are ready when the time comes, our hearts aren't. We miss out on the joy and end up just being relieved when it's over (or exhausted and utterly unprepared for the continued work involved in whatever our preparations were the gateway to).

I've loved doing Advent readings with Brooklyn each morning - there's been more hoping and more peace, as I've been actually preparing. And that (along with all of those monitoring appointments) has also helped me to prepare for Tobin in a better way than I was able to before Brooklyn was born - I've been able to spend more energy praying and pondering, and less trying to figure out how to assemble a crib.

This year, my heart is prepared, the waiting is over, peace and joy (and Tobin) have come, and in these final few days before a quiet Christmas at home with my family, the glow in my spirit is matching that of the fifth candle - the candle that invites us to adore.

In the last few days before the holiday, how can you prepare more and get ready less?


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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…