I'm tempted to write the words "life has been busy lately," but the truth is, isn't that always the case? We (or at least most of us) thrive with busy. Even if we're not exactly thriving, the busyness is comfortable in its own way because it's familiar. (Not because it's always good).
I'm trying to not be so busy, and at the same time, see the busyness in my life for what it is right now: a lot of good things that I've chosen to do. I took two trips up north, one to Ohio and one to Minnesota, and we've been getting back into the swing of things with work and errands and chores and dog-sitting for a friend. BUT. Those are all choice-things. And all good things. So choosing "busy" as the defining characteristic for my current life isn't entirely fair. Maybe "full of joyful things" might be more accurate. And that's a blessing.
The part I (all of us) do have control over is what we choose to make ourselves busy with. I want to choose well.
Here are some tidbits of our life lately:
- Pre-warming our coffee mugs with hot tap water while I brew aeropress coffee. When I was a barista we kept the clean cups on a warmer above the espresso machine, so we always poured hot drinks into warm cups. It's a simple thing (to do) that we love.
- I'm knitting a lot! I think this is in part due to a lot more planning as I organize and prioritize projects. When I'm organized, I stay excited about projects, even when I have 3-4 things I'm currently knitting on. At this time those include a new pullover mini KAL with my friend Maeve, the Glacier Park Cowl, and a pair of impromptu socks for myself (I had to make something with the yarn originally intended for Nicholas' socks). I'm excited to cast on a pair of tonal navy vanilla socks for him on a new set of 9" circular needles.
- P.S. — I'm so glad I decided to use the self-patterning yarn for a pair of shortie socks—it redeems the yarn, in a way.
- Smoothies for supper on work days, or as at least one meal per day. We have to snack a bit more to make-up calorie-wise.
- Oat milk(!) lattes and cortados from Cenote. The texture and flavor is so good and actually really similar to whole milk, in my opinion (this is coming from someone who does not like soy or almond milk anywhere near her coffee)
- Manchester Orchestra's new(ish) album, A Black Mile To The Surface, on repeat
- Mini pumpkins (well, I know they're technically small squash, but still...) from Trader Joe's
- A mulled cider candle from the apple orchard I visited with my parents in MN
- Adding to my sewing queue, particularly tunics and boxy tops. I want decide what to attempt next!
- Plans for knitting Christmas presents (as a direct result, some of my knitting will be less visible for the next few months)
- A favorite orange skirt, rediscovered in the closet. Well, I knew it was there, I just forgot how great it was.
- Friends who make you big breakfasts and share their best coffee with you!
- A wild rice blend cooked in chicken stock and served with roasted sweet potatoes, a fried egg, and breakfast sausage, all in a bowl. We're into "light comfort" food. That sounds like the smooth jazz of food.
- Honest prayers about heartache—and thankfulness that God knows where He has me in any season—and really, truly, He has me.
- Macarons from Bakery Lorraine, an extra fancy fika treat, and a gift for pup sitting
- Reframing how we view mistakes & the case for ripping out a big chunk of a sweater to get it right, and finding joy in reworking things. I so agree with her take on this!
And lastly, these words from Spurgeon (on Deuteronomy 1:38) hit me like a brick between the eyes:
God employs his people to encourage one another. He did not say to an angel, "Gabriel, my servant Joshua is about to lead my people into Canaan-go, encourage him." God never works needless miracles; if his purposes can be accomplished by ordinary means, he will not use miraculous agency. Gabriel would not have been half so well fitted for the work as Moses. A brother's sympathy is more precious than an angel's embassy. The angel, swift of wing, had better known the Master's bidding than the people's temper. An angel had never experienced the hardness of the road, nor seen the fiery serpents, nor had he led the stiff-necked multitude in the wilderness as Moses had done. We should be glad that God usually works for man by man. It forms a bond of brotherhood, and being mutually dependent on one another, we are fused more completely into one family. Brethren, take the text as God's message to you. Labour to help others, and especially strive to encourage them. Talk cheerily to the young and anxious enquirer, lovingly try to remove stumblingblocks out of his way. When you find a spark of grace in the heart, kneel down and blow it into a flame. Leave the young believer to discover the roughness of the road by degrees, but tell him of the strength which dwells in God, of the sureness of the promise, and of the charms of communion with Christ. Aim to comfort the sorrowful, and to animate the desponding. Speak a word in season to him that is weary, and encourage those who are fearful to go on their way with gladness. God encourages you by his promises; Christ encourages you as he points to the heaven he has won for you, and the spirit encourages you as he works in you to will and to do of his own will and pleasure. Imitate divine wisdom, and encourage others, according to the word of this evening.
This particular project has been on my needles since March of this year. At the very start, it felt like a mindless, but very uphill project. I knit it on size 2 needles, and at first, I had to look down a lot as I knit, and it just felt slow. But bit by bit, I picked it up and worked on it.
Each year, I enjoy glancing back and making note of what knitting projects I worked on and completed throughout the year, noticing trends or patterns in my making. I've noticed that my creativity or how my creative pursuits "serve" me in a given season can vary widely depending on life circumstances.
Over the last several months, I've been working on several Christmas crafts—both sewing and knitting. Some are for our own home as decor, and most are gifts. Since some were mailed off relatively early or opened at early Christmas celebrations, I can now share them here, just in time for Christmas. The links with the knitting projects are to project pages which then include pattern links.