Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Joy Planted

Little one.  You entered the world and I almost lost my life.  No one wanted to quite say that, but it was true.  Your arrival was paired with the most terrifying experience of all my years, that hospital stay where my skin puffed up and too much blood was pumping through my veins and I wrestled with The Fear and He won over my soul once again. 

So we planted Joy right in the middle of your name because we knew that you would plant joy right in the middle of our lives.

Your little life built up like building blocks, day after long day learning to know and love your enormous soul in a still-tiny body. The responsibility to shepherd an eternal soul is so heavy to bear - too heavy to bear - without that ancient covenant promise that God's children can rely on Him to pass the promises to our own children. 


On that special day this week, our pastor, Chris, preached that Christ renewed everything of the old into something new and better.  Christ, he said, is like Pharaoh's royal daughter who, after drawing Moses out of the water, went to her father the King and said "THIS one is mine."  In the same way, Christ goes to our Father and says the same over us, and also to the one who is called the accuser, He says, "This one is MINE, you cannot touch a hair of her head without my permission."  Trust Him, little one.  Listen with ears of faith when He calls.  He will never leave you or forsake you and He pursues you with His love.  

So, my dearest darling little Rosemary Joy, I looked on with great hope and comfort in the promise of the covenant to me and to you as water streamed down your hair.  Though you will fall and fail and sorrow in this life, I trust Him to carry you into His Kingdom as His child. Though you will know suffering - it is promised, after all - I trust Him to lift your spirit with the joy of His salvation as He delights in you and sings over you as His beloved child in Christ.  May you walk with Him all the days of your life, may I teach you to know the deepest things of the gospel that I can, and may I never fail to point you to His saving grace at the cross.  Plant true joy in Him everywhere you go.

Yarn Along- Shalom

I think this may be the last week you see my Shalom cardigan!  I am adding some extra length to go with the larger size I am making before I begin the  garter band at the bottom. This has been a delight to knit. This yarn is so squishy and heavy and I am looking forward to its cozy warmth as the days will surely eventually cool into fall...

I put aside The Egg and I. The glimpse of anti-Native American sentiment I had early on into the writing was apparently only going to worsen or at least continue, making it a terrible fit as that would anger and irritate me too much to make time for regardless of how funnyuch of it was. So instead I picked up A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot (Amy Carmichael's biography) and since it's not the most gripping reading (at least in the early portion of her life,) I also picked up North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson,  one of my all time favorite singer/songwriters. This series he's written for young adults is truly excellent and highly reviewed by a range of artistically talented people. I read the first, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness last year and decided to stop saving the sequel and enjoy it now. One chapter in and it's exactly the right decision for this fall.  I can't recommend these enough, especially for older boys (and girls!) who need something adventurous and inspiring.
Oh! If you haven't heard, all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls will be on Netflix streaming in October so we are excited to watch the second season soon! Perfect knitting TV.
Well that's all from me folks! Joining in with Ginny's Yarn along as usual!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Unicorn Farts {oh my, how indelicate she is tonight!}


It was an indescribable blessing to get to spend time at the Oregon Coast with some of our dear friends.  Jesse and Danny (er, Pastor Dan - so weird to say) have been friends since high school and when he fell in love and married Amber, we were so excited for them, albeit a little envious since our own engagement was at the same time but a year longer since we were living long distance at that point.  We have visited Danny and Amber several times over the years and at different stages of family growth and every time I remember what a kindred spirit I find in Amber, all the more so as our children get older and I see the Kingdom mentality borne out in the way they are rearing their children too.  It was so fun and so encouraging to get to spend five days with them in their home in Pacific City where Danny is now the pastor at Pacific Coast Bible Church

In my life I don't often have much "girl time," (unless you count the 13 hours a day I spend with girls four and under).  My children are young, younger than any of the other moms I really know here and my life is still so dictated by their needs.  When we moved here, we moved away from the place that had always been my home where many of my oldest and closest friends and some new and incredible friends have settled down and I really miss them and the time spent just talking and laughing and doing goofy things together.  I know it takes time to develop those kinds of friendships and I am blessed with several incredible women who have befriended me here.  But when Amber and I were trolling pinterest together late one evening after the kids were all abed, and came across THIS hilarious idea, it was so nice to just collapse into giggles with her and then try our hand at it for the Kids Day Amber was planning for the next day.  Jesse and Danny talked about Serious Things in the other room while we mixed and poured and problem-solved how to proceed with this silly baking project.  So, if you're reading this, Amber, thank you for just being goofy with me.  I enjoyed our serious talks too, but Unicorn Farts and sack races and watching our kids put on a concert are some of my favorite memories now. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Yarn Along

While I only really missed on yarn along and then last week I was a day late, it still seem like a really long time since two weeks ago.  I suppose that's what happens when the days are full and vacation happens.  We spent a lovely five days in Seattle and another lovely five days visiting sweet friends in Oregon near the beach.  

Aren't the twisted knit stitches in the Shalom pretty?  I tried it on carefully last night to see how the yoke would look and I think it will be really a nice fit for me.   The second picture is a pretty close representation (at least on my computer screen) of the true color; the other pictures make it look more orange-y than it is.

(excuse me a moment while I go try to pat dry the head of my teething, sleeping baby, who is covered in drool... no wonder she is moaning in her sleep.  There, Orajel will hopefully give her some immediate relief.  Back to my knitting chatter...)

The yarn is just so weighty and I love how it feels in this pattern rather than the original sweater which had long bulky sleeves and big bulky collar and usually felt stifling, especially indoors.  I'm really in love with this knit and the modifications; since I eliminated the waist shaping it's just stockinette with a few rows of garter at the bottom now; quiet mindless knitting for the evenings after days full of children and canning and laundry. 

I have been reading Keep A Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot for a long time now, just savoring a couple pages at a time, which is really how it is supposed to be read since it's excerpts from her newsletters.  It seems to speak immediately to my heart regardless of what I'm experiencing and feeling.  After reading her thoughts regarding a visit to Dohnavur as she was writing her biography of Amy Carmichael, it was clear to me that I have been a fool to let that biography sit on a shelf without reading it, so it is now on my nightstand waiting to be read - A Chance to Die.  I think it will likely end up being life changing.

I saw Gretchen post a few weeks back about The Egg and I and since it takes place on a chicken farm on the Washington Coast, how could I not look it up?  I suddenly remembered as I was searching for it on the library catalog why the author's name was so familiar - two words:  Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle!  Her writing for adults is just as clever and funny as for children but so very very different.   I'm not very far in (this week has been too busy for much reading) but the 20 or so pages I have read have had me literally laughing out loud.  I am also listening to North and South on Craftlit and because waiting for a new episode and chapter to be released each week is so difficult, I also started listening to The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, also on CraftLit.  It works out well to turn it on as I begin my canning in the afternoons once Rosie goes down for a nap.  I can usually get through one episode a day that way. 

Free the Elves!!  The signs were a posted all the way down an alley between two shops in Puyallup when Jesse and I were hunting for antique shops to poke around in on our one-night getaway. I thought other book-addicts might enjoy them too! My parents graciously kept the girls overnight and it was our first time away from them besides quick dinner dates in two years. The signs made me smile and so did spending time alone with that handsome man. 

Joining in with all the yarn friends at Yarn Along with Ginny!

Monday, September 08, 2014

Last Week's Living

Where do you live?  On the Rez we talk about where people stay, because the answer to where you live is actually where you are most alive.  Where you live the most.  

I live on the Pacific Northwest coastline.  The salty air awakens my senses and my lungs open wide and I am home.  The rhythmic beating of waves, the screeching of seagulls, the unbridled joy of dogs and children dashing in and out of roaring water, the morning fog and afternoon sun - it is a part of who I am. The sand in the Red Vines, sand in the diapers, sand in the hair, sand coating the inside of the car, sand everywhere brings me back to being five years old and rolling down sand dunes and darting in and out of the tide.  It reminds me of waiting impatiently while Daddy untangled and connected line to kite and fearfully holding the line while the wind whipped and tried to tear it from my little fingers.  It reminds me of being a teenager and playing with little brothers in the sand, and strolling through shops meant for tourists like me. 

All those memories are tied up together with a longing to share the ocean with my own children.  So I spread towels on the dry sand and watch them splash in the waves like their mommy did.  We gasp excitedly as that cormorant dives yet again, this time coming up with a fish that it swallows whole, its neck bulging.  We watch the flock of 15 or more pelicans crossing the sky all afternoon, and make sand sculptures, and run squealing from the waves.  I drag water-crazy Millie back once more from the place where the waves will be just a little too strong and deposit her on a towel for another red licorice stick.  We go for a drive and get cocoa after the weather turns cold and look out our window at the forest, the beach houses, the bays.  We are on our way to making our own beach memories together now.