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52 Lists Project: ways you can love yourself more

For me, the best place for a fresh start or to begin a new project is on my birthday - the beginning of my year. So the year I was 21, I did a photo a day project (that ended up including an internship in Cleveland, meeting/dating my now-husband Adam, and going to New York to work for Vogue Knitting - so I'm retrospectively glad that I committed to documenting that particular year!), and the year I was 24, I knitted the sky (one row on a scarf each day in the color of the sky). So for 27, I'm doing lists. I'm going to roughly follow along with the book The 52 Lists Project.

Fellowship North is about to start a sermon series through Philippians, and the women's ministry is also going to study Philippians, so I'm currently reading through it. I am very familiar with Philippians 4:6-7 (it's part of the prayer we pray with Brooklyn every night), but this time a phrase stood out to me. Let your requests be made known. 

Let your requests be made known? It hovered in my mind, poking me occasionally to remind me it was there. Then I had lunch with a friend. We were in the midst of attempting to get a bottle cap off with a car key when a guy sitting several tables away got up and brought us the bottle opener on his keyring. The lid came off easily (amazing how much having the right tool helps...) and that verse poked me again. When you're open about your struggles, people help you.

Later, I answered a how are you? text honestly, and started a conversation about a struggle I was having. She offered comfort, prayers, and a small dash of advice - and I found a peace about the situation where before there had only been anxiety. (Lo and behold, my "problem" then resolved itself without any assistance from me.)

The whole phrase says, "let your requests be made known to God," but there's value in the community of His people, too - in opening up to others, they can join us in lifting up those requests. Then waiting for a reply begins to feel less like a dark, lonely bus stop where you begin to wonder if you read the timetable wrong and actually missed the last bus of the night, and more like hanging out on a bench talking with your friends while you wait for the restaurant table you know will open up eventually.

What does this have to do with loving oneself? Well, when I'm secure in the knowledge that I am loved, I spend my emotional energy loving others, instead of turning inward and self-destructively trying to independently supply my own needs. Therefore...

A list of ways I can love myself more realize how loved I am

1. Spend time with Jesus - both reading my Bible, and in prayer
2. Spend time with encouraging friends (who will point me to Jesus)
3. Take time to wonder...
     a. at nature
     b. at the gifts and talents He's given to me, and to others
     c. at unexpected beauty
4. Journal - keep a record that I can look back at when I'm tempted to think that everything is horrible and it's always been that way
5. Create, for the joy of reflecting my Creator


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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…