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And Let It Begin With Me

I am not a sunrise gal. I have some fond memories associated with sunsets, and I will stay up late in order to watch the full moon rise, but setting an alarm for 4 hours before I normally get up in order to sit and wait for the dark to become light, marking the beginning of what will now be a long day which must be gotten through, does not fill me with spiritual thoughts.

But yesterday morning I woke up wide-awake at 6am, so I went ahead and got up. I journaled for a little while by the dim light filtering through the fog, then read the intro devotion for this week's Advent focus (joy and peace). As the sun rose, the mist slowly cleared, but not before creating a cotton-candy sunrise, pinks and blues swirled together with no definable shapes of sun or trees - just the diffused glory of a rising dawn. It was a fitting moment to ponder peace.

I've been journaling more lately... the stream-of-consciousness, processing-through-thoughts kind, instead of planning posts and drafting letters like I usually do. After everyone goes to bed, before everyone's up in the mornings... on Saturday Adam took Brooklyn on an adventure and I spent a few glorious unplugged hours at my favorite local coffee shop, no computer, no music, no agenda - just writing.

It has an odd effect on my outlook --- after I spend time writing (more so by hand, but a blogging spree will also produce this), I become more aware of what's going on around me. The act is a balm to my introverted nature, refreshing and allowing me to interact with others more gently and more lovingly.

Another plus is that processing through ideas on discipline and education before they're necessary helps me to be more consistent with Brooklyn, and to not be caught off guard and ending up making an impulsive, emotional decision that I later regret, or miss a teachable moment (she is actually chording in that picture - imitating my Mum, from watching her a few weeks ago). I want to be proactive instead of reacting to things as they come - things tend to go much more smoothly, happily, and peacefully that way.

I succeeded in crossing everything off of my list last week, along with the additions that were scribbled in at the end, so this week should be a fairly calm one. All of the gifts are wrapped and neatly tucked into a sturdy box for easy transport (and I had a grand time making tassels, and matching the yarn I used to my little stash of Washi tape), the distant cards were mailed and only a couple remain to be written in (because I feel compelled to actually write in them, instead of just signing our names), we did most of our grocery shopping over the weekend so I think we'll be able to make it until Friday before we need anything...

...and the fire starters are finished, thanks to some help from our upstairs neighbor! I was out of lint (well-loved clothes don't have a lot of fuzz to shed...) but he does a lot of laundry (usually at strange times, which is why I noticed) so I ventured up to leave a bag and a note on his doorknob, requesting lint and explaining what I needed it for. By evening, the bag had been returned, full of more than I needed, so I was able to finish them off. A roll in pretty paper and stacked neatly in a basket, and they're ready to go.

With preparations completed, this week has been set aside for rest and recovery before a busy holiday week. There's so much possibility for stress and crankiness... I want Brooklyn (and Sprout - and Adam and I, for that matter) to look forward to Christmas as a time of joy, not as something to dread. I'd like there to be peace in our home, always, but especially now - and I'd like it to begin with me.


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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…