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Elementary, My Dear

This is day 29 in my 31 Days series on sustainable dwelling. For an introduction and more posts, head here!

The weekly reckoning...
2072. Napping for about an hour in a recliner while Mum looked after Brooklyn and Tobin, one of whom decided that 3:55am would be a great time to get up. For the day.
2073. Finding not only what I was looking for at Dayspring outlet, but also something that I'd been wanting and didn't expect to find
2074. A walk across campus with Tobin, jogging down hills while he bounced and belly-laughed
2075. The last few clothes I needed for Brooklyn, finally in her size (it took several stores to find them)
2076. and cargo pants for going to the park, for me (vanity sizing has eliminated my size altogether, making pants that fit really hard to find)
2077. Spontaneous lunch with a friend
2078. Tea and macarons with Mum
2079. Actually being in town for a trunk show - seems like they're always wherever I'm not
2080. A double-date night - good food, good tea, good company
2081. An excellent sermon to inspire road-tripping conversation
2082. Coming home to a postbox full of goodies - and that everything fit in the box (I was dubious)
2083. A pleasant winding-down evening before diving back into our week, after time away
2084. Errands completed before it started raining
2085. Successfully making dinner with minimal interference from Littles (especially since it involved raw meat, sauteeing, boiling, and timers that needed to be minded)
2086. Dancing around the living room with Brooklyn and Tobin
2087. Bible study and conversations on a rainy morning
2088. Time spent catching up with a friend/mentor
2089. Adam cleaning the living room and kitchen after I involuntarily fell asleep on the couch
2090. A good excuse for a jammie morning (waiting for a package)
2091. Our new mattress arriving before Adam left for a long weekend, so we could unbox it and dispose of the old one
2092. Adam home before Brooklyn and Tobin went to bed - they were very happy to see him

I am a sucker for personality quizzes - in part, because they often confirm things that I already know, and sometimes because I learn new things about myself through analysis (either they phrase something in an illuminating way, or I believe they're completely wrong in their conclusion and form a mental argument that strengthens my own belief). One that I consistently get the same result from, regardless of the variation, is the Myers-Briggs test. INTJ. Every. single. time. Introspective. Self-informing. Coldly logical. Highly structured. (Not surprisingly, the literary character I have the most empathy toward/commonality with is Sherlock Holmes.)

But recently, I've begun to notice a shift. Either in a hypothetical scenario or an actual one, I have begun to lean toward compassion. Mercy. Empathy. Grace. The logic is still there - the situation is still analyzed. But my responses are different - there's a moment of indecision, where I battle between what is instinctive and what I believe to be right. My mind is the same, but I make a different choice.

Adam and I have been reading the Harry Potter books, borrowing them one by one from the library. It's his first time, but I've read (and enjoyed) them before. We just finished the second one, and something struck me that hadn't before... an accent on choice. Harry encounters the Sorting Hat in Dumbledore's office and confronts it about its suggestion that he would do well in Slytherin. The Hat persists in its opinion, so he asks Dumbledore about it. The headmaster reminds him that the Hat put him in Gryffindor because he chose not to be in Slytherin -and it was his choice which confirmed he was different.

In some ways, this paradigm shift is comforting - I've always struggled with emotion (especially other people's), so to tear up at a wedding or be stirred with lasting sorrow over the plight of someone I don't even know is comforting in a way. To see that refusing to remain ignorant has opened my heart as well as my eyes; that seeking justice has brought about a love of mercy; and that walking humbly doesn't require a bending intellect but simply one of will - choosing to see the logic of Love and Grace, and seeking the guidance of the only One who can ever affect lasting change.

I'm grateful for the warming effect of Love on a cold and insensitive mind - and that He's given me natural bents and passions, but is also willing and able to refine them into something better than I could ever imagine.


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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…