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I've been talking about Practicing Pauses on Tuesdays - last week I wrote about Sabbath, and today I'd like revisit prioritizing the things that bring us the most rest.

I went on an elimination diet of sorts last week... for a week, I only did things that were absolutely necessary. Diapers were changed. Everyone was fed at appropriate intervals. Laundry was done and put away. The dishwasher was emptied and reloaded before we reached a point of having to handwash dishes in order to use them. Baths were given and showers taken. My Lenten devotional was read every morning while feeding Tobin and before getting Brooklyn up.

When I get a little uninterrupted time, I always have so many things that I want to do with it that I waste half of it trying to decide what to do (this is why my mother never told me I was being timed for standardized testing...) By not doing any of it for awhile, I hoped that the deepest desires would rise to the top.

So at the end of that week, the very first thing I did, when I had a chance, was write. I wrote a couple of letters. I journaled several pages. I put up two blog posts and drafted a third. Then I made a cup of tea and sat down to catch up on the blogs that I follow, and went ahead and read a chapter in Acts in preparation for the next Sunday's sermon, and worked through the next chapter in my Forgotten God book study. And before I took a brief nap, after putting Brooklyn and Tobin both down for one, I knitted a couple of rows on my current project.

Drink tea.

Now I know - whenever I get a few moments of peace, I have a good idea of where to start, and what will do the most good in the shortest amount of time. The week of not doing anything was a little rough, but more than worth it for the data it provided.

What would bring the most peace to your pauses? What small thing feels like a breath of fresh air when you're overwhelmed with life's busyness?


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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…