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This week's gifts...
1510. A balcony, so that Brooklyn can be outside-but-contained on nice days
1511. An actual handwritten letter in the mail (we've been getting a lot of ads and flyers lately)
1512. A few hours between Tobin going to bed and Adam getting home in which to finish my to do list
1513. Walking at the park with Brooklyn and Tobin 
1514. Painting the back porch (with a cup of water and a couple of cheap paintbrushes)
1515. Greening my sprouts - they're destined for a sandwich tomorrow!
1516. Flowers and a photo booth adventure at Whole Foods
1517. Walking around the air base, looking at planes, before it started raining
1518. Dinner out, all-four-together
1519. Brooklyn identifying the animals painted down her hall at church 
1520. Free writing 
1521. An hour of solitude at Starbucks
1522. Someone to walk with, randomly on a Monday, who brought their dog (Brooklyn was happy to walk with a Cairn terrier)
1523. Time to make muffins to take to a potluck Gathering, and getting them there intact
1524. Adam secretly folding Brooklyn's laundry and leaving it, with a note, for me to find 
1525. Brooklyn's absolute delight over new doorknobs that she can work
1526. A delicious box of fancy tea, on clearance for half off
1527. The last Hobbit movie, Redboxed
1528. Spending all morning out, without major incident 
1529. The Emergency Backup Onesie
1530. Remembering Brooklyn's birthday Toys R Us gift card - she's pumped about the new ball and bottle of bubbles that we got
1531. Rend Collective, Tenth Avenue North, and Chris Tomlin
1532. A visit from a friend in Fayetteville
1533. Tobin being either content or asleep for [most of] a concert

This week has been a Week. A month's worth of catastrophic diaper malfunctions packed into three days, maintenance spending two days updating everything (fans, light fixtures, cabinet knobs, door knobs...) which meant keeping out from underfoot/away from sharp things and choking hazards and Brooklyn being woken up from a nap because they were standing in her room conferring about something (it all looks great, and further fuels my preference for apartment dwelling, but the in-progress period was a little rough), Adam having a couple of late nights which resulted in us spending practically no time together, and the slow realization that those periodic moments of breathless, nauseous, lightheadedness that leave me utterly drained afterwards are actually suppressed anxiety attacks (because who has time for that?), all on the heels of a not-very-refreshing weekend left me unusually pessimistic and unhopeful. (Uplifting things happened, too - see numbered list above.)

For Valentine's Day, Adam gave me a pair of tickets for Chris Tomlin's Love Ran Red tour's stop in Little Rock, and arranged for a friend to go with me while he stayed with Brooklyn. He was excited - I was cautious, since Tobin was going to have to stay with me, and there were so very many ways that that could go wrong.

But April 23rd arrived, and with it conviction about my consistent habit of resenting God for apparently not providing me with the rest and space I feel entitled to combined with second-guessing everything that might turn into the rest I so desperately seek (because surely it must be too good to be true).

My friend from Fayetteville arrived safely and in time. Adam sweetly made dinner. We got to the concert venue in plenty of time, and Tobin happily sat in my lap and smiled at people while we waited for it to start. I took him out for a diaper change just before Rend Collective made their appearance, but made it back in time for two of the three songs they did - their energy was infectious and it reminded me of the Celtic music I've stopped listening to because no one else likes it. Tenth Avenue North (my favorite lyric band, I think) offered grace and conviction at the same time, and brought to mind a past realization that I had forgotten. The seats that Adam had so carefully chosen were right behind the sound booth, in the quietest part of the arena, and Tobin snuggled contentedly in the Boba carrier, shielded from the noise and lights, alternately nursing and napping, for almost the entire evening (a brief bout of evening fussies occurred during the set change between Tenth Avenue North and Chris Tomlin). And after several hours of excellent and mostly familiar songs, Chris Tomlin ended the concert by calling the other two bands back on stage to finish by singing Ten Thousand Reasons all together - the first song I sang to Tobin (he is our little God is good, after all).

Far too often I try to control the circumstances, things, and people around me, and when I can't then I try to put God into my own little box and assume in my arrogance that if I can't do it, well... how can He? Not a deliberate thought, but no better for being unconscious. But our God is greater | our God is stronger | God, You are higher than any other | our God is healer, awesome in power | and if our God is for us, then who can ever stop us | and if our God is with us, then what can stand against?


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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…