“He will not submit to our schedule or agenda for our day.”

whatdidyouexpectFrom Paul Tripp’s What Did You Expect?:

The fact of the matter is that change is most often a process and seldom an event. Change happens chaotically. It comes unannounced, in fits and starts. We don’t wake up and say, “Hey, I think I’ll create all kinds of change today.” Change is pushed upon us by a persevering Redeemer, who will not walk away from the work he has begun in both husband and wife. He will put the need of change before us in the most inopportune moments. He will not submit to our schedule or agenda for our day. He has not promised that change will be enjoyable each time or a comfortable process over the long haul. He has promised to stay near us, giving us everything we need, and he has guaranteed that we will be more than we ever thought we could be. (He will not cease working until we are like Jesus. Now, how’s that for a goal!) So, he calls us to be patient. He calls us to be willing to wait. He calls us to continue when continuing is hard, and as we are continuing, to look for any way we can to incarnate his transforming love.

“He grew strong in his faith…”

romans4As I slowly, but surely, continue my way through the 3650 Bible-reading plan, I’m reading Romans over and over. On one pass through that rich book, I marked the following, and I marveled at it again recently:

He [Abraham] did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was counted to him as righteousness.

Did you catch that? “He grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God.” Those two acts are linked, also tied to being “fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” It’s something to think about, isn’t it?

“One way God establishes beauty is by…”

whatdidyouexpectFrom Paul Tripp’s What Did You Expect?:

God places lilies next to rocks. He places trees next to streams. He causes bright sun to follow a dark night. He made the muscles of a lion and the delicacy of the wing of a hummingbird. One way God establishes beauty is by putting things that are different next to each other. Isn’t this exactly what God does in marriage? He puts very different people next to each other. This is how he establishes the beauty of a marriage. The moon would not be so striking if it hung in a white sky; in the same way, the striking beauty of a marriage is when two very different people learn to celebrate and benefit from their differences and to be protected from their weaknesses by being sheltered by the other’s strength.

knitting

​As you may have noticed, I’ve recently taken up a new hobby and am now obsessed with knitting. It all started when a cute little yarn shop opened in my town, and my coworkers and I got together for two knitting lessons there. Our first project was small enough to get some instant gratification:

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We made a coffee cup cozy! I need to move the buttons on mine to make it fit the cup a little tighter. I decided to cast on fewer stitches on the second one I made, and to use only one button. Here’s how that one turned out:

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Finishing the first scarf was quite a learning experience. It took all my powers of concentration to keep the stitches even, to knit and not purl, and not to add extra stitches along the way. I messed up, pulled it all apart, and started over more times than I can say. But after some hairpulling and much sighing, I had a breakthrough when I finally figured out how to take stitches out, fix a mistake and move on. Undoing and redoing is instructive, and I’d argue that the same is often true in life. When you have to recognize a problem, figure out what’s going on, and then fix it and move on, you’ve usually learned something valuable.

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As I told Paul after I triumphantly admired my first scarf, I’m an old dog who has learned a new trick! And that trick is a relaxing and productive hobby that promises many projects and learning opportunities. When watching football or on the road (as a passenger, of course!), I can have something tangible to show for my time. It relaxes me, as well, and I’ve had less shoulder/neck tension as a result. It’s also been a fun bonding activity for some of the ladies at work, and we are avid supporters of our town’s new yarn shop.

So far I’ve made four infinity cowls. This is a recent one, and it’s also my first try at knitting a pattern:

sanibel cowl

Reading and photography have gone by the wayside as I’ve pursued this new hobby. If I could only figure out a way to combine all three, it would be perfect!

Any fellow knitters out there? I’ve joined ravelry. Let me know if you’re on there, and give me your best tips/tricks!

Still learning,

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