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On Tuesdays I've been writing about Practicing Pauses - last week we discussed being truly still. This week, why it can be hard to slow down and take things one at a time.

A recent journaling exercise had me write through how I did things as a child. One trait that surfaced was my tendency to wholly immerse myself in whatever I was doing, focusing on a single thing instead of multi-tasking.

I practically never just do one thing at a time anymore - I'm almost always alternating between multiple tasks, sometimes perforce (reading a book aloud to Brooklyn while tending to Tobin) but often simply out of habit. Realizing that I didn't used to function that way made me curious as to why I do it now.

Plenty. When I was a child, I wasn't worried about time. I could give my full attention to a project because if it took all day and I didn't get to something else as a result, then there was always tomorrow. Scarcity - the fear of running out - is what causes me to multi-task now.

But for all of my frantic effort, I always seem to be running behind. When I try to do five things at once, I end the day with five half-completed things, whereas if I had done them one at a time I would have at least had one or two completed things, if not the entire list. Worse, it is rooted in an unspoken disbelief - not a healthy recognition that putting things off may mean them never getting done (procrastination), but an unhealthy terror that if I don't do it, it won't get done.

It also causes me to only half-enjoy things that I want to do because I assume that I won't be allowed to complete them - glumly laying an ambush for joy, then wearily watching it go by without even trying to stop it. I run around in a desperate tizzy, trampling over the journey in my mad dash for a destination that I never reach because for all of the energy I'm pouring out not a whole lot of progress is really being made.

Last week I wrote about being still - full-stop-truly-still in the presence of God and recognizing His presence, His peace, and His sovereignty. When I catch myself trying to do too much at once, I need to pause - to lay everything at His feet, literally and figuratively, and recognize that if something goes undone until tomorrow and tomorrow never comes, it must not have been that important anyway, and that He is a good God who gives good gifts and doesn't tease or taunt us with things only to snatch them away as soon as we reach for them. Nothing lasts - the good or the bad - but His mercy is renewed every morning, with each day bringing fresh opportunities to trust in Him.

It will take practice (there's that word again...) but I'd like to learn, after I've laid it all down, to only pick up one thing at a time - whether that's unloading the dishwasher or reading a book - and embrace the time I'm given, moment by moment.


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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…