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Tidings of Comfort and Joy

This week's gifts...
1129. Sprout being declared "small but mighty" by the APN
1130. A little quiet time when I got home, after Adam went back to work and before Brooklyn woke up from her nap
1131. Brooklyn getting a pen - not something sharper or more breakable - off the table while I was in the bathroom
1132. Starting a new gifts journal
1133. A digital billboard with photos of a sunset, baby toes, and a daisy - no agenda, just happy thoughts
1134. Brooklyn waving and saying "Daddy! Ah nu [love you]!" as we left from meeting him for lunch
1135. Sever hours spent at Mugs, unplugged, journaling by hand
1136. Brooklyn's addition of props while reading - a blueberry in her Colors book sends her looking for a toy blueberry to hold
1137. A refreshing, connective day, even though we didn't spend much of it together
1138. Four more Warm Up America! panels in the basket at church
1139. Teamwork lunch while Brooklyn napped - he made bacon, I made pancakes
1140. Nose-boops from Brooklyn - so cute!
1141. A warm, if rainy, morning
1142. Long naps for both of us, since we both woke up early
1143. Sprout's room all set up - I'd like to prettify it a little, too, but que sera sera
1144. Thank-you notes from the STEP girls for teaching them to knit
1145. An evening of sitting and knitting and talking, instead of watching a movie
1146. Reading Mama, How Long Will You Love Me over and over to Brooklyn
1147. Having a car to drive to my appointment in, instead of waiting in the cold for a bus
1148. Reasonable, understanding, explanatory doctors and nurses
1149. Meeting Adam at church for New Community, then dividing-and-conquering to get Brooklyn in bed, and also get stocked up on groceries.

Yesterday morning I got up in the darkness before dawn, ate a solitary breakfast by Advent-candlelight, then distracted myself from the cold by taking pictures of the frost on my windshield while I waited for it to melt, before joining the line of cars waiting to get onto the main road - as I have twice a week for the past five weeks.

At my October prenatal checkup, they discovered that Sprout was smaller than "normal" at that point. By November he hadn't caught back up, so they set me up for twice-weekly monitoring and once-weekly ultrasounds - not really what you expect or want to hear when everything's been apparently fine, up to that point.

Initially, I was concerned - then that was replaced by frustration, as each appointment went smoothly and showed nothing to be concerned about (other than size). Finally, I began to see it for the gift it was. The quiet drive to and from the clinic, that I could spend praying and processing - uninterrupted knitting while I waited (morning traffic meant being either 30 minutes early or 30 minutes late) - listening to his heart beat on the monitor - seeing his little spine curve and his fists wave as he curled up with his back to the ultrasound tech's prodding...

Before I had Brooklyn, people described to me the sensation of your heart growing to accommodate the child who's just been placed in your arms, like the Grinch when he finally got some Christmas spirit. I didn't experience that. I love her to bits, but the joy has been a gradual process as I've gotten to know her as a person.

Over the past five weeks, I've begun to get to know Tobin - and tomorrow afternoon we have an appointment to meet him face-to-face. I don't know what the day holds - the doctors and nurses have all been calm and reassuring, and used the word precautionary liberally - but whether this goes according to their plan or not, I can rest in the knowledge that it's part of God's plan, be grateful for what we've been given, and be comforted by a sovereign Creator who consistently acts out of love.

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

I never really know what tomorrow may bring - but sometimes it's easier than others to pretend that I do...


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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!

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