The Current Struggle

It’s been a little while now. I’d say that I’ve been having “writer’s block” but that’s not exactly the problem. Because, I’m hardly a writer, and “block” pretty well describes the state of my brain most moments of the day already, as it is, and that hasn’t seemed to get in the way before. No, the reasons go beyond that.

Last Sunday our church watched the “Revival Hymn“, which I strongly, strongly urge every Christian to watch. The result?  My own deadness and lack of true spiritual vibrancy within has testified against me, and though I pray for awakening within my own self, yet I am also aware that even that prayer is tainted with wickedness and pride, in desire of vainglory for some perceived “holiness”, with shallowness. How can I write about any noble endeavour when I am in such a state, without being in essence a hypocrite?

As well though too, there’s just a general feeling of contentment mixed with joy and sorrow with our current family dynamics. It’s got me feeling all sentimental, but in such a way as is hard to pen. I love how things are now, but life changes. My sweet baby is growing up and I can’t stop it or even make it slow down. Sometimes I wish I could just hold on and not have to keep moving forward, but I felt the same way about each of the others and am so delighted with how they are right now, too, and wouldn’t go back. Perhaps this is all coming on because I’ve reached the furthest point I’ve ever gone without becoming pregnant again, and baby fever is setting in, even though a pregnancy now would be met with both joy and fear. I love babies. There’s just no getting around it, they’re special. I love toddlers, too. And preschoolers. Their exuberance in everything is both endearing and chaotic.

I love this life the Lord has given me, but I hate my complacency. And yet, I do not hate it enough, for here I yet am, wallowing in it.

And that is all, for now.

Striped pot-holders

Image“Good Friday”, everybody! Up for view today is a set of cotton potholders, crocheted in one piece and one strand but with double thickness. Personally, this pattern is my favourite to use for potholders because they truly are perfectly thick but still very flexible in your hand–not stiff like they can get when two squares are stitched together, and not as “iffy” as they can be when simply stitched with double strands.

The texture of these potholders are another thing to prize. The stripes are accented either by ridge or chain to make them stand out and look even more pretty. They measure 7.5 inches square, and have a loop on one corner so you can hang it up for the sake of convenience and eye candy. 🙂

The set featured here is made with “cornflower blue”, “cream”, and “white” Lily’s Sugar ‘N’ Cream 100% cotton yarn.

The price for this set is $14. If you wish to omit the stripes, the price will be $12. Please specify in your note what colors you desire if different from those shown here.

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The 2nd photo here shows the backside of the potholder, where the seem is.

Thank you for looking! For questions or to order, simply fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

May the Lord bless your weekend. And may we ever consider the payment made for our redemption, not only this “Good Friday”, or Resurrection Sunday, but every day. And in consideration of so great a price paid may we be humbled to true and sincere worship & service.

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God that raised him up from the dead and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God.”

“This, Too, Shall Pass”

Probably every American mother has heard it. It’s supposed to be an encouragement when the duties and sometimes frenzies of having children (particularly small children) can overwhelm the Lone Mother. Lately though, that thought has been an encouragement in a whole new and different kind of way, really the opposite of how it is traditionally intended. I think of those words sometimes at the end of a hard day, where my conscience smites me at the lack of grace or wisdom in mothering. But it does not come in the form of relief, but of reproof: “This, too, shall pass.”

They’re only little for so long. My baby won’t always cry 3 times in the middle of the night to be nursed, but neither will he always snuggle right up beside me for the comfort and nourishment that nursing brings. My daughter won’t always melt into a puddle of tears over my saying I can’t hold her because I have to make dinner, but on that day it won’t mean as much to her to do so, either, and that special little thing will be changed. My 3 year old won’t always get overly excitable negatively, but neither will he always entertain us with his silly dance when he’s particularly excited positively! I could go on and on. There’s no way to hold onto the wondrous, heart-filling moments that slip by every day right alongside the hard ones. “This, too, shall pass.”

Nothing can stop a child from growing, but what am I growing my children with?

Allow me to say, too, We take far too much for granted. I am chief in this trespass. We have no assurance of our lives. The very word of God tells us not to boast of even tomorrow for that we know not what a day may bring forth. Our life is but a vapour that appeareth for a very little while and then vanisheth away.

Yes, this too shall pass, this vapour. And then what will be left? What memories? What lessons learned? What legacy? You would think that I would have taken this greater to heart, or at least that there would be more evidence that it has been! who have had close enough calls at 3 separate births. The pride of life is so innate in us, and it is a curse.

We must look to the Lord for wisdom every day, many times a day, to fulfill the work He has given us, for as long as He’s given us to do it.

May He find us so doing: find us asking, seeking; find us spilled out for His glory in the lives that we touch; find us abiding in the Vine, bearing fruit for Him; find us thankful for the sweet moments and faithful in the hard; find us working for His infinite honour and eternal Kingdom here on earth; find us joyful and find us broken, knowing that

this, too, shall pass.

What is left when all is taken away? A look at VIRTUE

What would happen if you took away all the “accomplishments” of the Proverbs 31 woman? All the housecleaning, handwork, industry, labour, and meal preparation? What would be her adornment if she was rendered incapable of all the above? I think lately I’ve been regarding this virtuous model far too much in the lens of what she does rather than who she is: a virtuous woman. Virtue! It’s not attained by rising early, working hard, working late, or even serving others the best that you know how. It isn’t a fruit of endeavouring, it is a fruit of the fear of the LORD. She isn’t virtuous because she’s industrious; she’s virtuous because she fears the Lord, and she’s industrious because she’s virtuous!

This is what the Proverbs 31 woman is at the very core, a woman who fears the LORD, who loves Him, and obeys Him with reverence and devotion. This is why her tongue is ruled by the law of kindness, why she ministers to the weak and poor, ultimately why her husband safely trusts her, and why she is truly a blessing and blessed. Oh! I am so ashamed for my lack! For focusing on outward things and letting the heart go undertouched. Virtue. Image

Considering and meditating on what this precious fruit of the Lord’s fear is, put simply, it is an outworking of true love. “Moral excellence” is the dictionary definition, and the more I dwell upon it the more I am convinced that charity is the chief virtue, such that all others flow from it: “the greatest of these is charity.”

Love is so much more than feelings of contentment and delight. Which is a good thing, too! because wifing and mothering isn’t always delightful.

There will sure be a lot of that though, like when your 8 month old plants a big, wet, wide-mouthed “kiss” on your cheek, or your 2 year old daughter comes running into your arms for the best hug in the world, or your 3 year old son pulls his chair up beside you as you cook and says “I love you, mother”, or your 4 year old hands you a bouquet of weeds with the most beautiful smile to accompany it, or when your husband talks with you about a common goal and dream, praying with and for you, encouraging.

There is a wealth of treasures in wifehood and motherhood, for sure!

But, there will be days. Days where you wake up to your 8 month old’s hollers after waking up to them all through the night, and before groggily attempting to go back to sleep you will hear an outcry from your 3 year old in another room which you will know instinctively is because he didn’t make the toilet in time, and after you clean up after that and start the dishes you couldn’t wash the night before because your sink was too backed up, your 2 yr old will start her shrill screaming to get out of bed, your husband is “sleeping” through it all, and just when you think perhaps the excitement is dying down, your 4 year old wakes up and starts arguing with your 3 year old about which one is George Washington. Yes, there will be those days, too.

Yet, charity suffereth long, and is kind. Yet, charity never faileth.

This is my fail! Oh, for more charity! for kindness being the law by which my tongue is guided and by which my hands find the will to serve; for a love for the Lord that only grows truer and deeper as He is learned through His word and fellowship; for a hunger for this that will not die; for right fear and true virtue; for charity! not easily provoked, not seeking her own, rejoicing in truth.

The virtuous woman is a woman of charity. There is only so much one can “endeavour” when it comes to this, for love is a fruit of the Spirit, and not the fruit of her hands. Let this be our focus, however. Let us sow to the Holy Spirit, and we will reap of the same. Goals, lists, resolutions, organization: they’re all good, and they are important. But they are not the fear of the Lord, they are not virtue, and they are not charity.

May the Lord make and find us women of virtue indeed.

Anne of Cream Cables, cotton sunhat!

This week’s featured item is a sun hat made of cream and blue Lily Sugar ‘N’ Cream cotton yarn. The cables, tie, and detachable flower embellishment accent this original pattern for a truly lovely headpiece for your lovely little lady! The cotton will keep her cool Imagewhile the wide brim keeps the sun out of her eyes. The flower is made of white and blue cotton, and can be removed and used as a hair clip all on its own, staying snug in even the finest hair.

Hat can be made in the following sizes:

Newborn (0-3 months)
3-6 months
6-9 months
9-12 months
12-18 months
18-24 monthsImage
2-5 years
Child
Teen
Adult

Or, you may send me the measurements of the head circumference, if you prefer.

Newborn-12 months: $18
All other sizes: $24

Thank you for viewing!

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If you would like to place an order or have any questions, please contact me.

 

“She seeketh wool” — DIY — wool dryer balls

As the warmer months approach here’s another DIY thing to consider: wool dryer balls. It’s exciting too, how this fits in so perfectly with one of the current endeavours: “she seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands”.

I hadn’t even heard of wool dryer balls until quite recently, but they act as a fabric softener and theoretically as an energy saver as well. There’s some divided opinion about that. Some people swear by them–have their dryer time cut by 50%–others don’t detect a difference at all. I think it may just have to do with the volume of balls you’ve got in your dryer. 😉 Some people use up to a dozen for large loads!

Back a few months ago I was all set to order some wool from a friend but since shipping was going to be more expensive than the wool I decided against it. Then while shopping at JoAnn’s I spontaneously bought a couple skeins of fisherman’s wool with 50% and %40 off coupons. It made 4 balls and *still* cost me about $12 to make. One thing I can say for sure is that they are wonderful for softening clothes. Commercial fabric softeners are filled with harmful chemicals and aren’t good for your dryer either, so I hadn’t been using anything, and definitely noticed a difference right away when using these. Not sure about the drying time yet.

After spending what I did and then going back to find out what the price for wool plus shipping would be to get unwashed wool from my friend I’ve realized it will be much less expensive to go ahead and get some from her, even with shipping being what it is. I wasn’t keen on the idea of having to work much with the wool before using it, but in consideration and remembrance of this verse “she seeketh wool…and worketh willingly…” I’m so excited to make the plunge! especially if it means we will spend less on energy for running the dryer and the a/c to compensate for the dryer.

Some of you are way ahead of me and are already only hanging out all your clothes. Can’t save more on dryer time than that! My man is going to put up a new line for me (last one broke), but if you have a dryer I still encourage getting at least enough wool for a few balls, for the softening it will do for your clothes if you simply toss them in for an hour on the “no heat” setting before hanging them out, since hanging clothes out usually means stiff clothes! I’m also still planning on making my dozen balls so that I can use them on rainy days or terribly busy days where hanging them out just isn’t an option.

When I’ve got my dozen I’ll be sure and let my captivated (I’m sure!) audience know how well they work on cutting dryer time. 😉

For a picture tutorial on how to make your own dryer balls from yarn, go here. I’ll be doing a good deal of searching to learn how to process wool into roving, and for anyone interested in that process and knowledge will share about that once I have figured it out and executed it. So excited about blessing my husband by saving where I can!

Can any of you think of ways to save more money by conserving energy, or other ways?

Do any of you have experience with wool dryer balls? How do they work for you? Is your dryer time reduced?

If there be first a Willing Mind

We’ve had sickness in our house this past week, which has made the usual routine kind of wonky, and definitely made changes for the better much harder to keep up. It’s so easy to fall desperately behind your ideal when your ideal is a grand one but hard to attain even with all other things being ideal! Make sense? That said, one thing is ever, ever important: a willing mind. What will follow from this is willing hands, and is next on our “list” to observe: “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.” Proverbs 31:13

If you’re anything like me, being overwhelmed is a killer to motivation. It always seems like the opposite should be true, but it always tends to give me the blues and doldrums.

Just the other night we got back from a family reunion on my husband’s mother’s side, we did a bunch of errands afterward, and didn’t get home until almost 8. Nobody had eaten yet. We had just unloaded the van, adding it to our nice little mess that we already had in the house from leaving in a fairly rushed manner. Bithiah had overloaded her diaper. Abel had to be nursed. And, I was sick. And Nathan had to go back out. A look at the clock and a look at the house and the list that kept getting longer as I thought upon it mounted pretty quickly, but my husband, hearing of my depression (I’m pretty vocal about these kinds of things), before he left did a simple and powerful thing. He simplified it. “Just get them dinner and put the refrigerated things away and we’ll tackle it together when I get back. You can do this, my ‘endeavourer’.” You want to know how it really went? No? I’m boring you? Sorry!!! Anyway, just simplifying, making it sound doable, gave me a willing mind. Then I not only wanted to do, I wanted to do it all, before he got back. I love a good challenge. 🙂 I had 30 minutes. I got everything done except for making the sandwiches, which worked out fine since he had our eldest with him.

So if you’re “behind” where you want to be, here’s the challenge: Simplify! What are the absolute necessary things to get done, and what would you just like to get done? If you are at all competitive, as I am, one thing that helps is to “race”. Since I don’t have anyone to race I race myself against the clock. If it usually takes me 45 minutes to fold all 4 loads of laundry, I give myself 35. Since I often clean the kitchen in 30 minutes, I give myself 25, etc. Make it challenging enough to motivate you, but don’t make it impossible or it’ll just be depressing all over again!

A willing mind means willing hands! The verse in the Bible that talks about the willing mind is actually in reference to giving: “If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not” (can’t remember where that’s found, probably II Corinthians 8 or 9) The principal applies very well to this same thing, though. Just work, work willingly, work joyfully. At the end of the day more than likely you won’t have a husband who is saying “Why isn’t [this] done or [that] done?” Your work will be accepted. When you give you aren’t rebuked for what you didn’t give if you couldn’t give it, and in the same way when you work you will not be rebuked for what you didn’t do if you couldn’t do it.

Our offering is always to the Lord first, and He will always accept it if it is offered with humility and love.