Holding on.

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So I wrote a little while ago about not going on holiday this year and feeling very grown up about coming to that decision. We played around with the idea of house swapping with my parents and weeks later, here we are. In the Middle of the Yorkshire Dales.  And I’m very, veryhappy we’re here.

In my limited experience of the world I reckon the Dales has to be somewhere at the top of the list of God’s masterpieces. It’s stunning. I’ve been to the cottage and back so often over the last ten years and I’ve not grown tired of its’ breath-taking landscapes.  And, believe me when I say this, I’m not the ‘oooooh-look-at-the-pretty-scenery’ type.

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I hope you appreciate this picture, I was hanging out of the car window to take it.  It didn’t occur to me to ask The Husband to stop the car.

I am seriously grateful to have avoided the post-Soul-Survivor slump.  Crashing down from the mountain top can be painful and it’s a common affliction to those who enter back into ‘reality’.  Sure , I feel ultra reflective and a little dazed – we came home to the news that one of the guys on our team who had driven a caravan back the night before had been in a horrific accident.  Pete’s ok, and by the grace of God he walked away from it with a bust nose, when reality tells us he shouldn’t have walked away from it at all.  I’ve been told that the policeman at the scene of the accident told him that Someone’s obviously looking out for him.  He was right there, I have absolutely no doubt about that.  That afternoon we all felt a mixture of emotions – shock, worry, fear but most of all gratitude God who is the ultimate protector.

Now, in the aftermath of the accident, instead of loosing all God had done at Soul survivor to the shock that clung onto everyone, we’re holding onto it for all its’ worth.  We’ll not let it go.  And we love Pete all the more for it.

I’ve come back from serving teenagers – it was their hour – only to feel like I’ve been fed myself and, oh my life, I want more.  I want as much of God and His Word (the bible) as I can get – not for the sake of knowledge but for the sake of the kingdom of God.  And get this; I am so captivated by a book I bought from Soul Survivor (Influential: Women in Leadership at church, work and beyond. By Jo Saxton) that I passed up on getting magazine for myself (The confession of my addiction to home/lifestyle magazines is widely known!) today in Hawes.  Modern day miracle, I know.

And I’ve brought my knitting! I’m not sure if the bringing of the knitting is more worrying, or the excitement about it.  Either way I think I’ve just aged 30 years.

April.

A quarter way through 2012.  The weather has been teasing us with glimpses of summer and causing optimists to don their shorts.  The sunshine is serious medicine for all ailments.  I read a blog this week that said if there were to be a tangible way for God to hug us it would feel a bit like standing in the sunshine.  I like that.  I’m declaring April to be a good month.  It will still require patience and grace and good old fashioned hard work, but I’m stepping limping into it with a glass-half-full attitude. For us as a family it will be the month for:

Decorating.  We’ve made the decision to take the plunge and work through the whole of the downstairs.  You know that difficult decision where to repaint the woodwork up to?  It runs through the whole house so you do a door, and then right next to the door looks grubby so you do that skirting board, but then the next door needs doing, and urgh!!  We’ve been really fortunate that we’ve been in this house for six years and because it was in such good condition when we moved in we havnt’ needed to do anything (we have done stuff – but we didn’t need to).  But now, everything’s looking a bit worn and tired.  It just means it’s been thoroughly lived in – I mean everyone has shoe prints on their walls, right?  Plus we ripped out half the kitchen a little while ago…We should really do something about that.  The plasterer will be here next Tuesday and that will mark the start of the big makeover.  No doubt we will be pulling in our youth group for some good ol’ child labour.

Frugal Living. How many times a week can you get away with feeding your kids pasta? Five? six? Kidding. Kind of.  But we’re going to be spending cash only, and seriously asking Martin Lewis’ question of do I really need it? I hate that.  Do I really need it?  No I don’t need that cute pair of earrings and no I realise I do not need that magazine… Uh.  A little while ago we were talking with our youth group about anger and what really ticks uss off.  The Husband said it makes him really mad that decisions should not be based on money but so many are.  Perspective Heather, perspective.  So thrifty will be the word this month, and we’ll pursue it with smiles on our faces.

knitting. I could sit and get lost in Ravelry for a whole evening but I find lovely patterns then they’re all on circular needles, and I don’t know how to use them yet! When I was last in my local knitting shop the lady was talking me through knitting a cardigan for Chloe.  I really want to make her one for her 6th birthday, and the knitting lady (I should really find out her name!) said it would be way easier to start with a child’s cardigan if you’ve not done one before.  So I’ll get on with that soon.  It won’t be long before I start looking around for christmas present Ideas.  That’s weird I know.

DIY. This is linked with the thriftiness I guess.  When you don’t have surplus money to buy nice things, you go and make them yourself.  I’ve started making up some bunting from old clothes,  I’m making the girls some sweet stuffed toys and I’m going to make me a chalk board (I know that’s bad grammar, I was saying/writing it in a southern american accent.  Of course.)!

Physical Wellbeing.  This is a risky one.  Of course there’s no guarantees.  But I’m speaking out my faith that God can just heal me like that (I just clicked my fingers).  The bible tells us about a horrid king (I’m paraphrasing) threatening some God-followers with the fiery furnace if they didn’t bow down and worship him and idols.  They said this:

“The God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

How awesome is that?? Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – cool names guys, and I salute you for your attitude. I know God is good.  And he is so able.  I don’t get it but still I trust.  And even if my back continues to hurt I am choosing not to turn my face from his.

There is stuff in my control though.  I’m pretty sure the extra ‘chocolate’ weight I’m carrying around me won’t help my back, so it’s back to that old chestnut! I think I’m possibly the worlds worst yo-yo diet-er.  Today my back tooth (that should have been taken out two years ago) has started to hurt right down to my jaw.  I think this eating deterrent, though not invited, may help to stop me eating junk food!

So how is April going to be for you?

hat.

I kept looking at the hat I’d knitted for the girls and wishing it fit me.  I was looking at some lovely grey yarn I had bought that was a little too scratchy for a scarf but would be fine for a hat and decided to knit me my own.

I need to learn to be a bit more systematic with my knitting.  I should:

decide what I want to knit – go buy the right amount – start knitting.

Looking at yarn – starting to knit it up without making sure I have enough is always a little risky…

Very risky indeed.

After sewing it up I had about an inch left. phew!  I still can’t decide if it needs a flower on the side or a pom pom but I’m going to keep my head warm while I think.

scarf.

I can’t remeember if I’ve posted this picture but I’m super proud of my little scarf/mini snood.

It’s knitted in moss stitch with chunky yarn using 8mm needles.  I’m in love with moss stitch at the moment.  Very tactile.

knit.

One challenge in my Challenge 30 was to knit something other than a scarf.  I was bought a knitting book for beginners, Knitty Gritty By Aneeta Patel and its perfect for working through if you’re as knittingly ignorant as I am was.   My first masterpiece was a baby booty.

And when a baby booty, I really do mean a booty.  I was too excited about moving on to make a second one.  But was easy peasy.   As long as you know a way to decrease stitches it’s a doddle.

Next up was a hat for the girls.  I really loved knitting this, knowing that it would be used, rather than knitting something just for learning.  Although I love Aneeta’s explanations I’m not the biggest fan of some of the patterns.  If I had to I would work through them to learn the various techniques but I’ll probably scout around for similar patterns that are a bit more me.  So about this hat.

I’ve not had the camera nearby to catch a shot of Ruby wearing it because as soon as I’ve managed to slip it onto her head she’s off like flash out into the garden.  And it’s way to cold for me to join her with the camera.

I’ve knitted a couple of other things that i’ll write about and pop up some pictures another time.  Have a look at the knitting category on ther right there and all things knitting will be there.

All is peaceful in the house.  The girls are out at church with The Husband.  He didn’t think I should be there because my back is punishing me for walking around too much on Friday.  So I’m doing as I’m told and curled up on the sofa with a regular pottering around the kitchen.    A perfect morning for knitting.

needing to knit.

When this sciatica started back in October, somewhere between drug-induced slumber and tearful frustration I picked up a pair of knitting needles.  Now this wasn’t the beginning beginning of knitting for me.  The previous winter I had learnt to cast on, knit garter stitch and just about cast off.  I made two whole scarfs.  After that the needles were forgotten in the busyness of family life.  I picked them back up again hoping to distract me from the pain in my back.

We all need something that can take us away from the hustle and bustle of life, if only just for a few minutes at a time.  Reading, writing, painting, playing music, listening to music, gardening, photography, cooking, baking – anything.  We were made to be creative, it’s in all of us, we just need to find the right outlet.  For me it’s photography, baking and since only very recently – knitting.  Normally I feel blessed to be able to grab a moment to get my camera out or a half hour to bake a cake.  And for this season of my life, as I’m drugged up to my eyesballs in painkillers and limited with movement, I cherish the chance to pick up my wool and knit.  It’s a beautiful thing coming out of something quite bleak. With sciatica breathing down my kneck I love to knit.  I need to knit.

So this is where it all starts.  I’m working my way through a book – knitty Griity by Aneeta Patel.  I start here in a place where I have no idea how to knit a button whole, wouldn’t know where to begin with those weird needles that are stuck together with a bit of string and I have no clue what to do when you know you’ve gone wrong somewhere.  And I share this journey with you.

ooooooooooh what’s that link all about????

Lovely readers may I point you towards this very interesting link I have on my blogroll here to the right.  ladies and gentlemen, introducing to you this blogs baby sister – Knead to Knit . I am in no way leaving this blog but rather making space for something new in my life that runs the risk of taking over here if not diverted.  Does that make sense to you?  If not I blame all the medication forced upon my poorly self…

So in short – take a peek!

That is all.

Big love, hugs and smiles to you.