5 min read

The season ahead & a Summer of Basics recap

We woke up to pouring rain this Sunday morning and temps in the low seventies, with a high in the upper seventies. Perfect for wearing my sweater, and I did just that. I can't tell you how much more comfortable I feel in my skin in layered clothes, even if it's only for the day. Cooler temps always make for a clearer mind and a happy heart for me, and it helps that physically I'm feeling much better after a virus earlier in the week.

After church, we stopped at Tacodeli for lunch, and then we came home. I swapped jeans out for my leggings, and got cozy. We're sipping on our second cup of tea now, enjoying some little blondie squares I made last night, that I really should share the recipe for on the blog soon.

Candles are lit, the diffuser is filled with drops of orange and clove, and the blinds are tinted to let in the cloudy, dreamy afternoon light.

We're trying to spend more of our "slow" mornings with coffee on the porch. and I've been organizing my entire fabric stash, which all started when I rediscovered two almost-finished fabric ornaments. I needed a few more squares of a particular fabric in order to finish the ornament, and that fabric was in one of two places. Obviously, it made sense to completely reorganize all my sewing supplies, fabric, and patterns while I looked for the fabric, right? ;) No matter, the organization was overdue, anyway.

And while I wrote about my finished sweater yesterday, I was remiss in mentioning anything else regarding the Summer of Basics challenge I set out to do at the beginning of June. The plan morphed over time, but eventually, it was to make a sweater (check), a Klein dress (check, but not photographed or blogged about just yet), and a pair of Arenite pants (not started).

I noticed something big today, in both my making and my life. I tend to mentally live a season ahead in my mind. Yes, there is the natural anticipation of fall and winter and Christmas that I share with many people, but this is a different sort. The truth is, I would still like to sew a pair of Arenite pants, and have plans to do so, hopefully soon. I think they'll wear beautifully into the fall. But the reality is that I didn't get around to sewing the pants because I was knee-deep in Christmas knitting. I've finished three Christmas gift knits since the beginning of August. There is something noble about wanting to be prepared, and as a conscientious but often tardy person, I daily teeter on the edge of preparedness.

My intention with Christmas knitting now is to be more present in the fall/Thanksgiving/Christmas seasons, and while doing so, I've made myself less present for this end-of-summer season. There's no need for guilt or shame about that, but awareness is a good thing.

And so while I sit here in September, knitting on Christmas gifts, working on Christmas crafts, trying on various knitwear accessories with my sweater "just for fun," watching Christmas knitting podcasts (yes), and dreaming of a life that looks a little different than our current one, I need to watch my heart attitude. As a more "dreamer" type, my tendency is to stray quickly away from contentment, to the next, the better, the best. In making and in my life.

But I don't want to casually look away, ignoring the life in front of me, eyes already fixed on the next season (or the season several months out). I want to be present and holy and grateful for the now.

I just saw Acts 17:27-28 yesterday and it struck me:

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for "in him we live and move and have our being": as even some of your own poets have said, "For we are indeed his offspring."

There's no harm in planning ahead, but I think I may find harm in planning so far ahead that I miss out on life right now.

I'm not sad about not finishing the pants. They served a far bigger lesson than my sewing or fitting skills, in this case. I'll still make them. And when I do, I want to make them for me to wear in this life, not the one I'm dreaming of, but the beautiful and imperfect life I wake up to each day. I know that He's allotted the period and boundaries of our dwelling place, and the details of our lives. I'll still work on Christmas gift knits, but I'll also sew those pants. And greet this day, and tomorrow with gratitude, because those sunrises, the hugs from Nicholas, texts from my encouraging and loving friends, calls to family at home, chopping veggies, drinking something warm out of a mug, knitting stitches with wool, finishing a book and picking up new library books—all those things—they're a gift. Anticipation can be a gift too, but  even more so when I'm still clear-eyed, sipping my tea for this life, today.

P.S.—I know that many of my posts follow along this same thread theme-wise. It's hard for me to articulate the purpose of this blog, when people ask. It began as a way to visually scrapbook our newlywed life, especially when we moved across the country. I wrote out the above quote and included it in that post over four years ago, and it is still so applicable today. My writing is the most healing and helpful to me when I can process, record, and reminisce about my own life here. I hope to write in a way that shares our life without assuming your experience is the same as mine, and hopefully write in a way that might be encouraging to you, if our stories align on one front or more. Hope and encouragement is my aim, with some repetition in themes, especially when preaching to my own heart.


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