Skip to main content

A Happy Place

After I got our comfy-sitting-spot redone, I sat down for a moment with Jonathan Adler's book 100 Ways to Happy Chic Your Life, which I succumbed to on impulse at Nightbird Books a few years ago. A lot of his ideas assume home ownership, but even those are inspiring (if impractical, for now).

Some of them are doable, though. The mention of a breakfast nook allowed me to see our little dining area with new eyes. Nook is such a more flattering description than small windowless corner (although, the latter is certainly accurate). We already have a cabinet filled with board games and a bulletin board devoted to our adventures there, and I recently made covers for our stained seats, but that left two walls in need of something.

As part of Crystal Stine's Creative Basics course in April, she did a giveaway each week - and one week I won a print from Dayspring's new Friendship On Purpose collection. We have a picture frame I like that was occupied by two pictures I didn't (one was blurry and someone was caught at an awkward-face-moment in the other), so I happily replaced it with the print. I felt like it was appropriate over our collection of board games (mostly different versions of Monopoly and Scrabble).

I have always had a fascination with peacock feathers. The color, the pattern, the texture... I think it's amazing that God created such a bird. The fact that the accompanying print involved a peacock was the primary reason that I ordered the She Reads Truth study pack for their look at the book of John, back in January, but the lovely blue didn't go with anything.

Until I remembered the sheet of handmade paper that I bought on a whim two years ago and have been carefully carrying around since. I made a template and cut out pennants, stringing them onto the beautiful black-and-white twist the paper had been rolled up and tied with. They were a little curly at first, but I spritzed them with water and they flattened out nicely. It was a lot of fun, and I still have quite a bit of the paper left - I'm tempted to make the rest of it into buntings, as well. I can think of some people who might enjoy receiving a few yards of peacock-feathered pennants in the mail...

I flanked the print with two Hope*ologie printables on half-off paper from Hobby Lobby, hung using my favorite instant-gratification method: a strip of Washi tape, stuck to the center back, folded over at the top, and affixed to the wall with a clear pushpin. It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful, indeed.

The three quotes are all good thoughts to start the day with: "Wherever you are is a good and important place; start there," (Gary Morland, from the first month of Hope*ologie), "Abide in my love," (from John 15:9), and "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful," (a favorite saying of the Nester's, handlettered by Annie Barnett).

Getting my day off on the right foot has a huge bearing on my ability to face the rest of it with a positive attitude. Tobin has settled into a pattern of either sleeping later than Brooklyn, or going back to bed for a few hours when he wakes up early, which means that she and I can have breakfast together. For the month of May, I read a Psalm or two aloud each morning while we ate - she was intrigued, and it definitely helped me. Having breakfast (and every other meal) in a happy place applies to the spiritual, mental, and emotional, as well as to the physical place.

Beautiful dwelling is seeking God's presence in my present, and recognizing the sacred service of sharing the moment.


Popular posts from this blog

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…