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Off the Page and Into Practice

Practicing Pauses! Last week I discovered what "rests" me the most - this week, thinking beyond myself and finding peace through acts of kindness toward others.

As part of consuming less and creating/adding to the beauty more for Lent, I've been randomly trying to make people's mailboxes happier. Letters, notes, scarves, cookies, a print... mostly things I already had, or had a discount code for - it's surprising how little it can cost (in terms of both money and time) to brighten someone's day. And they can often also involve writing and tea drinking, two things that brighten my day! I was trying to do something every day or so, but Life hid around a corner and pounced me on my way by, completely overwhelming me for a few days - and then an act of thoughtfulness on the part of a long-distance friend reminded me that sharing what I love with others is an act of love in itself.

Rest is most restful, and pauses are most productive, when they're not completely focused on me. Reading and studying and journaling with the desire to draw closer to God... spending my time plotting things I can do for others instead of myself... even something as simple as choosing vulnerability and posting the grimy "before" along with the shiny "after" photo, or stopping to share a moment of beauty and encouragement, either in a public post or a private text. All of those happy thoughts and uplifting verses and quotes multiply when they're passed along to someone else instead of locked away in my own private journal.

That's one thing that I've loved so much about #fmfpartysnailmail - a few minutes choosing a card (I'm slowly working through my card stash...) and a few minutes praying and writing some words of encouragement is time well spent, and it's so exciting to receive notes back. Even though it can be initially awkward to write to someone you know nothing about, those provide especially great opportunities to attune your heart to the Spirit's prompting.

Kaitlyn has graciously and extraordinarily led and organized and made this snail mail project fabulous for 5 rounds - and now she's passing the torch to us: Jen, Rebekah, Andrea, Jessica, and myself. The form to sign up for Round 6 is here, and we're looking forward to working together to keep #fmfpartysnailmail the encouraging community that Kaitlyn made it!

Round 6 starts on April 6th - won't you join us for community in your mailbox?


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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…