July 23, 2014

Dear friend,

Are you having a hard time keeping up with all the things you want to do? I understand. I am right there with you. Some time periods seem to flow better than others, don't they? I think the times when we get stuck, or feel as if we are stumbling, are generally times of growth though.

Like a child going through a growing phase suddenly trips going up the stairs, or simply walking down the hall? That's where we are right now. Stumbling our way down the hall trying to figure out how to get where we want to go. There's no shame in that. It's simply putting one foot in front of the other, and sometimes picking ourselves up off the ground.

Laugh with me. Shake your head in disbelief. And send your heart love for trying something new, setting a goal even if you didn't follow through, and remember that it's all going to be okay.

keep trying

Don't let others tell you differently, either. There will be some who pretend they never fall. Or some who say the only way to get down the hall is their way. A couple who think their goals should be yours. And then the few who will find a problem with the way you are going, or where you are going, or how you picked yourself back up, and nothing you do is right. Regardless of where your heart is. They are all wrong. Can you believe THEY are wrong and YOU are right?

Because, sweet friend, this is your life and the Lord is giving you the strength to get back up, clearing your path as you walk down the hall, and giving you a place to rest when it is time for that. His love wraps around you, His song is sung over you, and your name is on His heart. He is the only one you need to worry yourself with.

So, sit down today with some paper. No, I'm serious. Even if you aren't a writer, do this. Sit down, make a list of ALL those amazing wonderful things you want to do. Set dates to some. Set priorities to all. Write down how you see your life, right now. What do you want your day to look like?

Now, that paper? Hold it as sacred in the sense that it is your dreams, but also hold it as temporary knowing that God may change things as you move forward. And that is more than okay.

Now, what steps are we going to take today to get where we want to be?

I would love for you to join the conversation through 
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July 18, 2014

Bloom

I haven't written for Five Minute Friday in... months. But this morning I saw the prompt and it hit a spot inside of me. I think it actually snuggled up in my brain and whispered yes.... now.




~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bloom ~~~~~~~

I love to watch people become what they are meant to be. I love to watch people take a step into themselves. I love to see someone who is scared to death, but ready to take the jump because they know that is what they are supposed to do. Even if they don't know what comes next.

I have crossed paths with a multitude of people who encourage others to do these things. They give out tools, hold hands, share encouragement, and become cheerleaders.

I am not the same person I was four years ago, but I am still the same girl. Does this make sense? I have had so many who willingly walked along side me as I dug through the valley, hid in the holes, and now I am coming out into my own. I have learned to know who I am, accept who I have been, and decide who I am meant to be. Of course, always with the hand of the Lord on my back as my True Guide.

I believe I will not simply bloom once in this life time. Rather I will have different seasons, flower over and over, and continue growing from what I need, the removal of what is harmful, and space to breathe.

I have been struggling as I write this, a little more than five minutes and many deletions. The point I am trying to come to is what I want deeply is to be for others as so many have been for me. I want to help others bloom and become the beautiful expressions God created them to be.

I don't know how yet.
I don't know the details.

But I once heard we have to have a dream, one that seems big and wild. And I think this is mine.


bloom

I would love for you to join the conversation through 
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July 16, 2014

A Molly Poncho and a Challenge for us all.

This:  20140715_083501

was such fun to make. My inspiration actually came from this knit (I believe) poncho. When I shared the project on Ravelry I was informed it looked a lot like Buckster's Fall Poncho, and I so agreed! Look at this amazing pattern you can get if you knit! Doesn't it look like the one I linked to?? Yep! When I made mine I was determined to only use left over yarn I already had, and apparently my yarn is sometimes quite... bright. But you know, while this is a little outside of my normal wear, I think it will be a fun wear on days I need a little extra punch, and it's like wearing a cloud it's so comfortable! At the bottom of this post I will share how I put it together.

But first, I want to challenge all you crocheters and knitters and quilters and crafters to a challenge.

AUGUST CREATORS CHALLENGE


In August my church puts on a Christmas in August event for families who have someone who is terminal and may not make it to the next Christmas. My heart goes out to these families, and I know this must be such a bittersweet event. I wish there was more that I could do for them, but it has inspired me to do something during this coming month of August.

My challenge, if you choose to accept, is to find a charity of any type and create what they collect. Make those items for the entire month of August, and then send them off to the charity. There are a lot of amazing charities which collect a variety of items which are handmade. I'm betting at least one of those popped into your head when I mentioned the challenge. Go for it. Send them a little bit of your heart and soul in the creations you make and they will share.

If you aren't familiar with any organizations which collect handmade items, then let me introduce you to the Bundle Up Club. You can "like" their Facebook page HERE, send in a donation rather than a creation HERE, and follow their blog HERE. The Bundle Up Club was started by two sweet girls who wanted to do something to help the homeless. They want people to know they are valued, loved, and worth the time invested in the creations they are making and collecting. I love their hearts and know this is only the beginning of two lives full of sharing, giving, and loving. They collect scarves, blankets, hats, and other handmade goods and if you contact them on their Facebook page they will let you know where to send the items you make.

Now,

the Molly Poncho.


Why Molly? Because as I was making it and watching the colors come together it reminded me of Molly Weasley's sweater from Harry Potter. The final result simply reminded my husband of a Mexican Poncho, which really I guess that's exactly what it is. As I said, this was my inspiration.

20140715_083844

Using a G hook I made two rectangles approximately 33x16 each. I made a chain 33 inches long, which was a 121 stitch chain making the first row in both rectangles as sc row.

These are the different rows I used to create the look.

Row A: sc across
Row B: dc across
Row C. *sc, chain 3, skip a stitch*, end with sc
Row D: dc, *dc, chain 1,*  end with two dc
Row E: 2dc, *skip 3 stitch, 4 dc*, end with 2 dc
Row F: 2 dc, *skip 2 stitches, 2 dc, 2 dc*, end with 2 dc

Repeat between * * to work across the row.

I mixed these rows up in no particular order, with no planned repetition as I went. I used a variety of colors with little repetition there as well, simply choosing out of the stash I had, until both rectangles were 16 inches wide.

Then I sewed the end of one rectangle (a) to the bottom side of the other rectangle (b). Then I did the reverse sewing the end of b to the bottom side of a. You can seam them in whatever way you wish, slip stitch, sc, ect. What I did was take the yarn from finishing off each row and used it to tie the end to the edge, knotting the yarn, and then weaving in the remaining yarn. Once the ends are attached weave in all the remaining ends.

This created a poncho which was too big, which was my goal.

From this point I filled in at the neck. I first did some short rows in the "back" as you can see in this picture. It allowed the back to be higher than the front once I started the neck rounds, more like a sweater neckline than a poncho neckline.

20140715_083944

After that when I went in rounds I would decrease stitches at the front V, and at each side of the short rows. I have no specific pattern for those, as I simply worked with each row to my best ability. I continued with the final round trying the poncho on each round until I had it at the size I felt was most comfortable.

This is a very freeform style of crochet, and I'm sorry I don't have more exact directions for you. If you give it a try though I would LOVE to see your result.

I would also LOVE to know which charity you send items to. I'll remind you of the challenge when August begins. I wanted to give you time to get your supplies and plans together before then.


I would love for you to join the conversation through 
Facebook, Twitter, my email, or in the comment section.