The above photo was taken two days before the photo below (as a knitter, I notice marked progress, but I wouldn't necessarily expect everyone to notice).
I'm finding that I prefer to do a lot of things the slow way. I knit hats and scarves, rather than buy them. On that note, the question I receive most often from non-knitters about my knitting is how long did that take you? I generally like low-key evenings and staying in, and I handwrite letters on pretty stationary. Today, supper is in the crock pot (with me working nights, I'm appreciating its usefulness so much more!), Christmas candle lit, library book to my right. I buy unpeeled, whole carrots, because oddly enough, I enjoy the extra step of peeling them.
My attraction to slow things doesn't extend to everything, however.
We just got our Texas driver's licenses and license plates. As the next step in these car logistics, I was waiting in line at the customer service center to do some paperwork for a local highway toll system. I'll be the first to admit that this was anything but a thrilling experience. The line was long, the people were impatient, and it was evident that everyone wanted to be anywhere other than in that lobby. In particular, the gentleman behind me in line audibly voiced his discontent and questioned the capability of the office's employees. I felt embarrassed and put off by his words, but listening close, I heard those same words in my own heart.
I'm keenly aware of my own need to practice patience (it doesn't just happen, you know). You can see more about that here in a post about patience before we moved and having patience after we moved. Notice a trend? Regardless of our life stage, patience can be a struggle for me. This week's experience only highlighted that. Our hearts are bound to yearn and desire and sigh for all sorts of things—freedom from needing waiting in a line, a bigger paycheck, a better ____, a different_____, the opportunity to just do what we want to do without being interrupted, for pete's sake.
But what if we yearn and groan for something different?
In the words of C.H. Spurgeon,
"We are to groan for glorification, but we are to wait patiently for it, knowing that what the Lord appoints is best. Waiting implies being ready . We are to stand at the door expecting the Beloved [Jesus] to open it and take us away to himself. This "groaning" is a test. You may judge of a man by what he groans after. Some men groan after wealth [...] some groan continually under the troubles of life—they are merely impatient; but the man who sighs after God, who is uneasy till he is made like Christ, that is the blessed man . May God help us to groan for the coming of the Lord, and the resurrection which he will bring to us."
I love that. That kind of sighing, and groaning for glorification, in order to anticipate the resurrection. I want to trust that "what the Lord appoints is best," and also sigh after God, that is the blessed [person].
In this season of waiting in lines, and general anticipation, let's encourage one another to have hearts that sigh for God, regardless of our season in life.
I love baking. I truly do. The difference between a bad afternoon and a good one can be as simple as a baked good. I love the slow process, the premonition of preheating the oven, sometimes playing around with different flavors. My favorites are your typical "home bakes," nothing couture. Cakes, cookies, brownies, etc., are all my go-to baked goods to make in my own kitchen.
Some projects come along at just the right moment, and this shawl is one of them. After several rather hectic months, I wanted to get back into the rhythm of knitting, but wanted a fun, low-pressure, but still creatively inspiring project. I love knitting socks, but I wanted to knit something with more colorplay and this shawl was just the thing.
It's that time of the year when typically, as a born-and-raised Northerner, I'd be yearning for spring. That yearning isn't quite so pronounced here in Austin, but nonetheless, February is a month of almosts. Winter is almost over, spring is almost here, etc. And so it has been timely for me to indulge in a few self-care practices (and treats) while we're living in the almosts.