Friday, March 12, 2010


So, here's the deal with me and crocheting. I know how to crochet - basic stitch and all of that. My grandma taught me long ago. I love that memory. But, I've never done much more with it and feel like it's one of those things I love to pull out and get into over time. It's crazy what you can find on the internet, there are lots of videos and tutorials out there, so I just look at those and figure I can figure out how to do more difficult stitches. I never ask anyone or take a class - that's all too much work or too scary. So, I tackle it on my own and really enjoy it, but usually have to figure out how to make the stitch work for me as I have a hard time following along in the videos sometime and have no clue how to read written crochet instructions.

About a year ago, I started making an afghan for my mom - she showed me this yarn she really loved at the store and I thought I'd make it for her for Christmas. So, I searched for an afghan stitch pattern that I could master and ended up putting these two together - not knowing if it would even work. I've never understood when it says to use a gauge and count your stitches and all of that, I just kind of wing it. Last night, I sat in my chair and tried to decide if I was going to go downstairs and face my small group or not and that blanket kept drawing my attention from my crochet basket beside my chair. It's about 1/3 of the way done and I've been avoiding going back to it because I really don't like the way it looks - I think the holes are too big and it's just not doing the yarn justice - this yarn is some of the most beautiful yarn I've ever used - it was more expensive and way harder to work with as it's got a twisty texture to it.

Anyway, I was sitting there looking at it and had the weirdest urge to unravel it. Just unravel it. I told myself no, that was ridiculous - I could just cut off the part I'd already crocheted and throw it away and start new. Besides, the yarn wouldn't be any good anymore after being held together for just under a year in a weird looking afghan. Unravel it. No, that would be a ton of work - there's no way I could sit here and do that. Unravel it, unravel it, unravel it. So, I picked it up and began unraveling it. Emma came in and helped. She asked why I was doing it. I told her I didn't really know, it just needed unraveled.

I unraveled the yarn from the afghan, it didn't take much - just a little tug and hours of work were undone and being wrapped onto the attached skein. It went like this for awhile. I thought about the night I had just had - it was a bad night, a bad, bad night. I had been short with everyone and unloving and bitchy and closed off and difficult to talk to. I had unraveled further in front of people other than my totally loving and understanding husband than I ever had before in my life. It felt that the night was beyond irreparable. That I had damaged our relationships, that no one would want to talk about my stuff ever again. I kept unraveling and would hit a few snags, nothing that a little harder tug wouldn't fix. But then I hit a big snag.

As I looked at the snag and pulled and pulled to see if it would come apart, I realized that it was one of those spots where I had made up my own stitch or done the stitch incorrectly and been too lazy to fix it. So I worked on it for a good 10 minutes and then had to take the scissors and cut it out. I kept unraveling and began rolling the excess yarn into a new ball - however I kept hitting more snags, or sometimes the yarn would just break in half in my hands. This unraveling process took me about 2 hours. I started to worry about what I would feel like when it was all done - would I be frustrated that that much work was wasted? Would I be relieved?

As that thought took over, I started getting a little crazy with my unraveling, trying to unravel a whole row before rolling it up onto the skein, seeing just how fast I could get my fingers going. Once I stopped and got to rolling the yarn back onto the ball I ran into a huge snag - in the extra excess yarn from my unraveling sprint session. Even in the unraveling, I took over and made it about me.

Eventually, I finished. The yarn, by the way, held up beautifully - not messed up at all. And now I have 6 balls of it - and I am really excited. To learn to make something beautiful, to use this yarn how it's meant to be used. I am that yarn, I continually crochet my own patterns and make up my own stitches and run into snags and the only way that I'm ever going to work is if I just let Him be the one holding the needle. Let Him shape me into what works best for the yarn. Let Him pick the best pattern. When I hit snags, I know I still will this side of heaven, only His scissors will cut me loose from the damage I do to myself. He is the only one who can undo those knots, I know - I've tried.

I long for this unraveling to be a memorial stone in my life. I kept the pile of snags and I plan on making so many beautiful things out of that leftover yarn. I am so grateful to Him for the time He took to teach me that the only way to beauty is to unravel the mess I've already made, to pull and tug at every knot and then look to Him for help when I can't get it. The yarn He made - me - is beautiful and He longs for me to know that and to stop trying to shape it into some other form. So, until I can get that, I will just remain what I am...unraveled.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Feeling very close to my Jesus today and just leaning into Him for all of my strength and comfort. In doing so, I noticed something tiny, but so huge today. Gabe and Millie and I were leaving J.C. Penney and I had Millie on my hip and Gabe was walking beside me as we headed for the parking lot. I reached my hand down, as mothers do, to grab Gabe's hand as he headed off the curb into the street. Usually, I'll say, "Hand please." However, this time I didn't and I happened to be watching him and he was off in his own world, not looking up at me. What I watched unfold though, has left me thinking - I instinctively reached my hand toward him - noticed that I didn't touch him or anything - he instinctively grabbed for my hand, simultaneously. We joined hands and walked toward the van. In the middle of the street, I realized how natural this was for the two of us. He knew to reach for me as I was already reaching my hand for him. This is how my heavenly Father longs for me to be in relationship with him. To know that He is always reaching his hand down to me, he's always there. But for me, to be more like my Gabe - to reach for him, instinctively. I mean, wow. I want to react that way - to everything, not just when it comes to crossing the street. Gabe knew my hand was going to be there - he reached for me. We met halfway. My God doesn't even ask me to meet him halfway - he is there, all the time, his hand never leaves me. I am going to start reaching mine up without looking, before thinking, trusting fully that what he has for me is way better than anything I could ever dream up.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Crazy Beautiful

Everybody’s been there everyone’s the same
but mostly we don’t care isn’t that a shame
We bring us down face after face
the inside is beautiful but the outside we want to change.
We want to change.
Whoa you’re oh so beautiful, you don’t need anyone’s approval
You’ve got to believe in your self you know you are
You’re crazy beautiful
Well every new year you say your gonna change
There's no need to change
We're different but the same
In the eyes of the King
We're beautifully made
In his image we're made
Whoa you’re oh so beautiful, you don’t need anyone’s approval
You’ve got to believe in your self you know you are
You’re crazy beautiful
Take a look it’s all around you
See the world from different views
The way you shine from the inside
I know with out a doubt
It’s more than what you’ll be
In the world’s eyes.
Whoa you’re oh so beautiful, you don’t need anyone’s a approval
You’ve got to believe in your self you know you are

You’re crazy beautiful


He loves me - just as he made me. I don't need anyone else's approval. As long as I am spending time with Him and seeking after His heart, then I need to follow Him - not what anyone else tihnks is best. With that may come disappointment or even anger, with that will come grace, if I/we are founded in Him and His love. There's no better place to be.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Galatians 4:8-11 - the message "Earlier, before you knew God personally, you were enslaved to so-called gods that had nothing of the divine about them. But now that you know the real God—or rather since God knows you—how can you possibly subject yourselves again to those paper tigers? For that is exactly what you do when you are intimidated into scrupulously observing all the traditions, taboos, and superstitions associated with special days and seasons and years. I am afraid that all my hard work among you has gone up in a puff of smoke!"

I sat with loved ones last night being explored and loved (even though in my head I couldn't see it as that) regarding my inability to see myself as loved by Him. Or maybe it's my own view of myself and my pride saying that I'm good enough to not need His love, but oh, how I want it. I long to feel the freedom of that. And I think I have, for brief moments - I've been on the edge of diving in head first. And yet, i think that no matter what, I will always find times like this where I creep back to this spot where I am.

And so this verse found me at naptime today. Found me in a slump on my chair. And I am struck by the "weak and miserable principles" I followed before I knew Him - or was known by Him. That's exactly what they were - weak because they do not have the power to overcome the guilt and power of sin, miserable because they cannot impart new life. (

But I have known a different way - a way of freedom and power, nothing about Him is weak and miserable. And yet, somehow I am drawn back to those ways and the twisting pains they take my heart and soul through. Why? When there is a far better way? I fear I may not know this side of Heaven.

And so, as I read on further - I will try to rest in this:
Throughout the Bible, the joy of God's people is that God knows them. "O LORD, you have searched me and you know me," the psalmist sings (Ps 139:1). Jeremiah begins his prophecy with the certain knowledge that God knows him: "The word of the LORD came to me, saying, `Before I formed you in the womb I knew you' " (Jer 1:4-5). By contrast, the worst fate of all is to be unknown by the Lord. There are no more terrible words than the words "I never knew you. Away from me!" (Mt 7:23). To be known by God is to be chosen and loved by him. Because he chose to know us as his own people, we know him as our God. This is the knowledge of personal relationship, a relationship initiated and sustained by God's grace.

To be known by God is to be chosen and loved by him. I only know Him because He chose to know me and to know me means He loves me.

He loves me.

He loves me.

He loves me.

My personal relationship with Him is one that is initiated and sustained by God's grace.
No one else has done or will do what He has done for me. I'm going to stop inching away from the edge and attempt to not turn back to the weak and miserable ways I know all too well.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Matthew 11:28-30

Another sleepless night of being a mom brought me to this verse this morning. I set my alarm for group, just in case the night had gone well. When it went off, I was so out of it, I decided to stay in bed. Why am I so guilt-ridden when I do something like that. Gabe had only been up once and I went to him and slept in his bed for an hour. Millie was up a few times just stirring, so I went to Em's bed and slept there for 3 hours so I wouldn't have to keep doing the stairs. Fed Millie and back to my bed. One night's sleep in 3 different beds is starting to wear on me. But there I lay, anyway, at 5:08, with my cell phone alarm going off and I feel like a total slacker for missing group. Anyway, decided to get up with the screeching Millie - she'll go back to sleep if I put her in my bed - at 6:30 and see if I could find some encouragement in scripture this morning. In sharing our gauges last night at small group, I shared how all of mine are empty and still draining, but that I knew if I could give my spiritual gauge just a little fuel, the rest would take an upswing. So, I decided to act on it. I knew I wouldn't have much time before that dreaded high school bus came by at 6:55 and woke my babies up (they slept through it so far.) so I jumped to the New Testament and found this verse waiting for me in Matthew.

I don't know if you're supposed to apply every Bible verse to yourself for your own personal comfort - I'm sure that's extremely self-absorbed, but this sure was nice to read this morning. I feel weary, I feel burdened, I want rest for my soul! I read the footnote and it had a great illustration of how a yoke is still meant for hard labor and in this verse, Jesus isn't promising a life of luxurious ease, but what he is promising is a Partner for the yoke. I don't feel as though I've kept God out of this funk that I'm in, but I think maybe I've expected Him to make it all better, just like that. I like this better - I will still work at it, but He will be right alongside me. Because, in reality, I don't have a decrease in work load coming anytime soon.

And there it is, a little fuel for my spiritual tank.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I love the way Gabe has his arm wrapped around his baby sister in this picture, like he's holding her with me. There is no greater feeling than to hold my babies in my arms and feel the love in me growing. Lately I've been seeing myself in Emma - in the little things she does. I don't always like it. I'm afraid she's not always picking up my good habits - not sure if I really have any of those these days. It's a difficult thing to see yourself and your inadequacies reproduced - in, of all people, someone you love so dearly and wish for no hurt or harm to ever happen upon. Yet, I can't stop it - just like Gabe won't be able to protect Millie from things as he is trying to here. They are going to hurt and be hurt and it scares me to pieces. I want to cry thinking about having to put two little girls through middle school. To think of Gabe having to be tough and face "guy" situations all on his own. What kind of mom would I be though, if I didn't let them have their own stuff. A selfish one. I am that anyway. I just pray that they will be so secure in the love of their Heavenly Father, so grounded in Him that the day-to-day hurts are nothing but just that.
In other corners of my brain and heart there lives this lingering feeling of something I just can't put my finger on. It's almost as if I've stuffed the person God created so far down in all my self-protection and self-seeking desires that I can't resurrect her. I'm continually haunted with the little girl I was, a little girl who was going to be an astronaut or something. I fought and fought against the norm and would argue my points and passions with whoever until I was blue in the face. I find that lately, I can sometimes barely even squeeze words out of my mouth without fumbling them up. I blame it on 4 pregnancies - lost brain cells, to be funny. But, honestly, sometimes, I think that little girl was so beat down and embarrassed over and over again for standing for what she believed in - for being made fun of for her silly inspirational phrases like "real winners rise after falling." I think those things happened so much that I don't want to let that creature - that woman that God created with His own two hands and loved - that I don't want to let her back out for fear I'll feel the same things all over again. I never really knew it was bothering me that much or that I had molded and shaped myself to society so vehemently, but I have and I hate it and I'm afraid that my daughters will think they have to do the same thing. No, I want them to live in a freedom I never knew and I guess I still don't. To live in a freedom that is Christ.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

not much

I haven't been thinking deep much lately. It's kind of by choice, but I'd rather say it's by way of no sleep. I figure if I don't think too deep I won't start a tailspin like I was in last week. Lots of crying and complaining to those close to me. Makes me feel weak, I don't like it - or do I? In my weakness I don't often feel His strength. Too many years of being strong enough myself. It's the culture I grew up in, to be strong - not weak. Anymore, though, I feel over it. I wish I could act like it.