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The Journey

On Tuesday we've been Practicing Pauses - last week I wrote about planning ahead. This week, why "practice" is important.

It is my tendency to pursue perfection. Once I become interested in something, I want to know everything there is to know about it, and become an expert. If I try something and it becomes quickly obvious that it doesn't play to my natural talents, I promptly abandon it because I can't stand the idea of being merely mediocre at something.

This is not necessarily a positive attribute, since when I'm faced with something that cannot be mastered (coughraisingchildrencough), I end up frustrated. Enter the concept of practice.

Mastery is a destination. Practice is a journey. On some level I already understood that - I'm teaching Brooklyn to "practice patience" because as an adult I recognize that patience isn't something you can be (at least not without some serious help from the Holy Spirit) and we also "practice peace" when we get overloaded (since peace is something that, while attainable, is also oddly easy to abandon).

Even at that, and even with my desire to succeed at things, I've never been fond of practicing for practicing's sake. It's taken a long time for me to reach a point in knitting where I can cast on and work a few rows, to be pulled out later, simply to show someone else how - to be able to say "every stitch is practice" without gritting my teeth as I unravel row after row of wrongly knitted fabric - to see that the Navajo, Amish, and Persian belief that every piece should include an error because only God is perfect doesn't mean deliberately messing up, it means not compulsively going back to correct every mistake as you go.

But if I'm truly honest with myself, I know that I'll never be able to master anything on my own - especially nothing of the love-joy-peace-patience-kindness-goodness-faithfulness-gentleness-self control ilk. So I pursue pauses instead, seeking to spend time in the presence of my Master and only hope.

Do you relish the journey, or set your heart on a destination?


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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…