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Adventures... Quests... Things

I've been pondering the concept of adventure lately. I wrote about the nature of adventure a few weeks ago, drawing from The Hobbit (one of my favorite books) and the way that not everything goes as planned or even goes well, but is still all an adventure.

The past couple of years I've chosen a word for the year - last year's was grow, the year before that was harmony. I didn't really write about either of them, nor did I adhere to them particularly well, which is why I'm starting here, now, with a post about this year's word (adventure) so that I'll have some sort of accountability.

I don't do well with resolutions - I do write myself a letter every year on December 31st, but I don't open it until the next year so it's more reminiscing than exhortation. But this year there are a few things that I'd like to be more intentional about, and they all fall into the adventure category nicely:

-Prioritize rest. Early bedtimes (by "early" I mean "before 10:30pm, preferably"), focused devotions (as opposed to reading a passage and not thinking about it again for the rest of the day), and grace-filled routines. Ultimately, practicing peace, body and soul, to encourage more loving responses to the trials of the journey.

-Budget better. I was doing so well for awhile, and then at the end of the year I not only fell off the wagon but also completely lost sight of it over the horizon. But finding joy in the journey means seeking less joy from material things - it also, for me, means a heightened creative sensibility, which makes "making do" more of a challenge than a chore. (Also, one of our pastors managed to work my word for the year into a sermon on money the first Sunday of the new year - Generosity is the adventure we were made for - so there's that ;)

-Take more pretty pictures. That may sound odd, especially after the other two, but I was surprised at how happy that pinecone picture made me, and it also made me realize how my photography has drifted away from mostly arty closeups to mostly mugs of tea and Small Persons Doing Cute Things. Not that I want to stop taking pictures of Brooklyn and Tobin, but I'd also like to rediscover the sense of wonder that caused me to seek out shots like that.

I used to see the wonder more easily - to be the person with the crazy ideas who was always asking others "where's your sense of adventure?" - to go around every corner in eager expectation of what might be lurking behind it. I'd like to rediscover that person --- it sounds like an adventure in itself!

2291. A perfectly reasonable grocery budget (highlighted by the cashier telling me about the valuable work of the Arkansas Food Bank and her son's brief period of homelessness)
2292. A letter from my grandma
2293. The barista accidentally upgrading my drink to what I actually wanted (but hadn't ordered)


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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…