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This is day 7 in my 31 Days series on sustainable dwelling. For an introduction and more posts, head here!

I opened our postbox a few days ago to find a solitary blue envelope with no return address. The handwriting was familiar and the postmark was from Washington State, and there was something round and flat and hard in one corner.

When I got upstairs, I opened it to find a very sweet note from a fellow knitter/#fmfpartysnailmailer/Instagram friend about noticing a picture I'd posted of my little foreign coin collection (my Dad used to work in avionics interiors, so he brought me the change that fell out of people's pockets), how she and her daughter had taught at a school in Uganda a few years ago - and enclosed a Ugandan coin.

Part of the reason that currency fascinates me is because it connects me to that place. I can not only remember the person who gave it to me, the circumstances under which they acquired it, but also get a better understanding of where the coin itself came from. One that Dad found for me was a 100 rupee piece from India - that one has long stood out because of a childhood obsession with Amy Carmichael (an Irish missionary who founded an orphange in India in the late 18/early 1900s). At the time she was there, a Hindu temple could purchase a girl (generally for the purpose of "marrying her to the gods" - or, more accurately, for temple prostitution) for 50 rupees - and suddenly, that coin takes on the value of two souls. Makes it weigh a little more in your hand when you see it that way...

This coin was no different. It instantly brought to mind this post, from Kristin Welch, that I'd read last week {you need to go read it now - I'll wait here}.


Now then. The model of Christian community that these girls are demonstrating is beautiful - and not really something we have here in the West. We try so hard not to be that dependent on others - and if we become that way, we try not to let anyone know. But we're robbing ourselves of such joy! The joy of shared meals, and shared resources, and shared lives... This is why I'm so passionate about supporting fair trade/local businesses - because if we would just pour our drops into the good buckets we'd be able to fill them up and keep them full, reclaiming consumerism and demonstrating Love in a tangible way.

Seek out ways to make the reality of poverty, human trafficking, and oppression real to you - then go out and do something about it!


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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…