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The Little Things

Last week I talked about why I need to practice pauses - this week, things that add a touch of joy, and are pauses in themselves.

I heard the term "hangry" for the first time recently. In case you don't know what it means (although, I'm probably the only one...) it's when your hunger impairs your judgement and causes you to become easily irritated.

Sometimes, my soul gets hangry. All of the Have-Tos gather into a rambunctious mob that overwhelms the Want-Tos and then I end up sobbing on the couch after both kiddos are in bed in a terrible state of Everything Is Awful and I'm Not Okay, when all I really need is a shower.

I heard the Nester on a podcast the other day, talking about how the things we use every day should be beautiful. That we shouldn't just deal with the ugly bottles and boxes that things come in, or resign ourselves to something that is simply utilitarian but in no way lovely.

Surrounding yourself with beautiful things is excellent soul-food - little reminders that life is beautiful and that even if you're in the middle of a tossing sea, there are still stars above you, twinkling hopefully.

Finding things that remind me of beauty not only lifts my spirits, it also helps me to see the hidden beauty in the ordinarily mundane. It tunes me to a "beautiful frequency" and alters the wavelength by which I view the world around me - causing me to delight in a ladybug, or stop to marvel at the artistry of a spider's web, when I might otherwise have passed it by.

One "little thing" that I succumbed to while waiting in the check-out line at Whole Foods a few weeks ago was the premier issue of Thoughtfully magazine. It's a lovely little publication, with pretty pictures and engaging articles and a beet lip stain recipe that I want to try - but the most exciting part was a bedtime yoga routine. Six simple poses that take about 15 minutes to do properly - it's the final pause in my day and the time I spend doing it is far less than what it deducts from the time it takes me to fall asleep (and the benefit I've derived from it has already outweighed the cost of the magazine).

I dream of someday spending a day (or two) alone in a cabin somewhere, reveling in glorious solitude - but until then, I'll slake my thirst with the small and beautiful. Hyacinths to feed the soul...

What "little things" bring you joy?


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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…