WIP Wednesday: More Than I Can Chew?

It’s the wee hours of Wednesday, and I’m sitting in a rocking chair in a dimmly lit room across from a two year-old who will not go to sleep for the life of him. Or, I should say, back to sleep. He was asleep for an hour before some inexplicable thing caused him to wake two hours ago. *sigh* Now, he has his proverbial second wind, partly, I’m sure, due to the newness of me. He doesn’t remember, but I took care of him when he was an infant. Anyway, it’s too dim to read or knit, and he refuses to be cuddled or rocked, so I think I shall get some blogging done.

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The Hook

I’ve been neglecting my crochet in favor of my various knitting projects. However, Sandra over at Cherry Heart has started a Blanket Along for the month of March, and that is perfect incentive to pick up my hook again and make some progress on my Magnum Opus. If you’re new or just don’t remember (it’s been a while), my Magnum Opus is an afghan I’m trying to make for my bed. It’s going to be between Full and Queen sized. So far, I am only about a quarter of the way finished with the squares. It’ll be interesting to see how big of a bite I can take out of the remainder.

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The Book

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Well…here’s where I should say that I’m still reading God For Us. I’d love to say that but the truth is that I’ve hardly touched it this week. I keep meaning to do better and actually read my daily readings, but it never seems to happen. In a way, not being able to do this perfectly (and really, who can?) just highlights for me that I really do need the grace and mercy Jesus gives. There is no way to be perfect on my own…and isn’t that the whole reason He came in the first place?

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Embracing The Body is a brand new book by a brand new author, my friend Tara. I have mentoned Tara before. She is a Spiritual Director at Anam Cara Ministries, and I did my Advent retreat with her. This book has been eagerly anticipated, and I’ve been privileged to witness its birth over the past year or so. I’ve only just taken a taste, so to speak, and I can tell that this is a book I will have to read slowly and thoughtfully, savoring each bite. I’m only through the introduction, and already pages are dog-eared and lines are underlined, bracketed, and starred. I think the best way to give you all a peek is to quote the back cover:

 “Our bodies teach us about God, and God communicates to us through out bodies. Our bodies are more good than we can possibly imagine them to be. And yet at times we may struggle with feelings of shame and guilt or even pride in regard to our bodies. What is God trying to do through our skin and bones?

In Embracing The Body, spiritual director Tara Owens invites you to listen to your thoughts about your body in a way that draws you closer to God, calling you to explore how your spirituality is intimately tied to your physicality. Using exercises for reflection at the end of each chapter, she guides you to see your body not as an inconvenience but as a place where you can meet the holy in a new way—a place to embrace God’s glorious intention.”

I’m excited. I’m excited to see what God has for me in the pages of this book…and beyond as we journey through it, He and I.

The Needles

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I’m making steady progress on Lexie’s bloom. I’m into the second diamond lace section. Her first birthday is at the end of the month, so I’ve got to have it done by then.

And that about covers it. See you at the Yarn Along!

Have a blessed Wednesday!

~Janet

PS: Little Rascal finally conked out again around 2 am!

WIP Wednesday: Progress and Periodicals

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The Books

I’m continuing to sporadically read God For Us. I wish I was more disciplined in keeping up with my daily readings, but, as I did for Advent, I’m letting go of the need to do this perfectly. I’m enjoying what I am reading. I missed last Friday’s reading and looked back at it yesterday, only to discover that one of the scripture readings was Isaiah 58 — the very same verses I quoted in my post on that same day!

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The second “book” is the Winter 2015 issue of Compassion Magazine, the quarterly publication from Compassion International. I’ve been a sponsor with Compassion for nearly 20 years, and I look forward to this magazine coming. It’s filled with wonderful stories of God’s work through Compassion. Every so often, the issue highlights one of the countries where I have a sponsor child, which is an added bonus. 🙂

I’m also spending a lot of time in this book:

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More on that later. 😉

The Needles

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I’m making great progress on Lexie’s new bloom. I just completed the ribbed bodice and have moved onto the skirt portion. My hands are going to be relieved to be done with all that purling! I love getting to this point in this pattern because the garment takes a more obvious shape.

That about does it for me today. I’ll be linking up with the Yarn Along at Ginny’s. Have a blessed rest of your Wednesday.

~Janet

WIP Wednesday: Lilacs and Ashes

Greetings to you on this Ash Wednesday. In a few short hours, I’ll be joining the throngs headed to nearby churches to receive a smudge of ashes upon my brow. It will be the first time for me, though I’ve participated independently in Lent for the last few years. I will probably address that in a blog post tonight. In the mean time, it’s time for my weekly progress update, the link up at Ginny’s Yarn Along, and perhaps a poem.

Here’s what I’m working on:

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The Books

On top of my stack is the latest release (as in yesterday) by one of my favorite authors, Laurie R. King. Dreaming Spies is the latest book in her “Mary Russell” series, which follows the adventures of a young woman named Mary and the greatest detective of all time, Sherlock Holmes.  I’d recommend these books to anyone, even if you don’t think you’re a fan of Mystery or Sherlock Holmes. The books are cleverly written in Mary’s exquisitely intelligent and witty voice. I just love them! Obviously I can’t vouch for this one yet, having only bought it yesterday, but I’m sure I won’t be disappointed. There are now 13 books in the series and, if you are interested, I would definitely begin at the beginning with Beekeeper’s Apprentice. I even would (and have) reccomend that book for older children (6th grade) who are very high readers and need a challenge without some of the themes and subject matter books at their level might contain.

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The second book in my stack is the book I’ve chosen for Lent this year, God For Us. It’s the companion to God With Us, the book I spoke of during Advent. Both books feature daily readings supplemented with gorgeous art and both contain history readings on the different feast and fast days associated with their season. I found the latter part the most appealing this season since many of the feasts and fasts are brand new to me. Also, did I mention the art?

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Speaking of fasting, that brings me to the book on the bottom of my stack. I decided for Lent this year to break my reliance on most store-bought, prepackaged carbs…which I hate to admit are a staple of my diet. This would include most bread. I have tried to make my own, and failed dismally. However, Monday night I was catching up on a blog I follow (eroosje), and came across her recent post about the master recipe from a bread book. The next morning found me at Barnes & Noble buying the book and Cost Plus World Market buying a peel! I can’t wait to get started! I’m sure I’ll be blogging my successes and failures in the weeks to come. Stay tuned!

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It might seem a little decadent for baking my own bread to be my Lenten practice, but I see it as a return to simplicity and being mindful (dare I say a little ritualistic?) of “my daily bread” and from Whom it comes.

The Needles

One year ago, I knit a bloom.

The prettiest you ever did see.

‘Twas for Lexie, my friends’ little lass,

And is half as lovely as she!

Now eleven months old, and quite a bit bigger

The dress now a shirt, you can see

She’s really outgrown it

‘Tis time for another

I think that you all will agree!

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On my needles is Lexie’s new “bloom.” It is the same color and yarn, but DK vs Fingering weight. It should fit her for a few years to come.

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Have a blessed Ash Wednesday. If you wander back in here in a few hours, I may add a photo of my smudged forehead.

~Janet