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Preparation and Waiting

'Tis the season! I'm less frantic about Christmas preparations this year, since I'm not having to plan around a baby being born, but I'm still trying to plan ahead. I made tags on an impulse, off of a doodled design I found in the holiday issue of DO magazine (dangerous thing lurking in the check-out line at Whole Foods...) and happened to have some yarn left over from my washcloth project that worked for strings.

I'm expanding my yearly "local" quest to include "fair trade" - remember that earring-of-the-month subscription I got back in April? I partially justified it by saying that I was planning ahead for Christmas, because surely I wouldn't love them all. Which, contrary to how that sort of thing usually goes, has worked! There were five pairs that either weren't my style or whispered some else's name to me when I opened them - and they are all perfect for specific people on my list. So that's five gifts taken care of (and we really don't have too many people to give to) and I don't have any left so I can continue the subscription next year with a clear conscience (besides knowing that by doing so I'm helping women all over the world support themselves and their families with dignity...)

I love making things to give. Friends and family are getting mostly crafty packaging with local/fair trade goods inside, but I did spend all of last month knitting washcloths for assisted living residents and wove in the ends on the last one a few days ago. So those, a corresponding number of word search books, and also lavender sachet bookmarks (my mum is crafty, too :) got packed into a box and sent on their way yesterday.

Last year I wrapped and tagged everything as I got it, and that was such a gratifying feeling that I've been doing that this year as well. It's less stressful to only have three things at a time that need wrapping, and I think that allows me greater creativity - if I'd been in a hurry, it wouldn't have occurred to me to use a sheet of stickers instead of a bow (not to mention how nice it is to have a box full of wrapped things, several weeks early).

I feel like building in space for stillness is important at all times, but especially in this season. Not just because we would allow ourselves to be overrun with busyness without constant effort to the contrary, but also because expectant waiting is an essential part of preparing our hearts to give Him room.

2204. Both Littles actually sleeping during naptime, and at the same time
2205. A peaceful morning at church. and no meltdowns during an after-church grocery run
2206. A brief, solitary, successful, after-bedtime quest
2207. Peaceful moments and the return of normal naps
2208. Adam home between work and STEP, so I could make dinner without "help"
2209. Tobin's cheerful sociability even when kept out past his bedtime


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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…