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Why Pause?

I've been writing about Practicing Pauses on Tuesdays for the past few months - today, why I practice pauses.

I am exhausted - and I feel guilty for being exhausted (which is, in itself, exhausting). While Brooklyn and Tobin are extraordinarily easy-going, one or both of them requires something of me at all times, from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. My energy evaporates like a puddle on a partly-cloudy day - not quickly, but at the end of the day, all that's left is a slightly dark spot on the pavement.

"It's ok" to just focus on my two Tinies - but at this stage, they're not really taxing my intellect. Tobin likes to be snuggled and fed on demand, and appreciates having his diaper changed promptly. Brooklyn brings me books to read, lids to remove, a fresh diaper when she needs one, and requests meals when she's hungry. In a strange sort of paradox, I am bored but also tired. Creation fuels me, and there are only so many ways to read Are You My Mother? aloud.

When I'm drawn to books like Breathing Room and Finding Spiritual Whitespace, I initially scold myself. bullying my own psyche with the dreaded question professionals ask of stay-at-home-moms: "But what do you do all day?" Nothing. That's what you do. You sit around and hold a cute baby and read books to an exemplary toddler - you don't even have to cook dinner or stress if the living room doesn't get cleaned up, because you have an amazing husband who takes care of those things for you, after getting back from the job that he works so that you can stay home. [That must be read with bitter condescension, for an accurate rendition.]

Without nothing constructive to focus on, my mind can get pretty hostile.

But I want to tell a better story. I want to demonstrate a lifestyle of co-creation to my Littles, and invite them to join me. I want to share my passions, and encourage them to pursue their own. I want to be steeped in Scripture, constant in prayer, and attuned to the Spirit's leading. I want to live life abundantly, so that I can watch my children grow up and teach them to fly, without being left in an empty nest wondering who I am and what on earth I'm going to do now. I want to grow - to learn - to change - to thrive.

And so, I pause.

Why is (or should be) the purpose of the pauses in your life?


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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…