Commonplace {Walking on Water}

Notes from Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle:

  • That which is impossible and probable is better than that which is possible and improbable. ~ Aristotle p.15
  • Generally what is more important than getting water-tight answers is learning to ask the right questions. p.15
  • God is always calling on us to do the impossible. It helps me to remember that anything Jesus did during his life here on earth is something we should be able to do, too…If Jesus of Nazareth was God become truly man for us, as I believe he was, then we should be able to walk on water, to heal the sick, even to accept the Father’s answer to our prayers when it is not the answer that we hope for, when it is No. p.19
  • …as though faith were something which lay within the realm of verification. If it can be verified, we don’t need faith. p.22
  • But a God who allows no pain, no grief, also allows no choice…We human beings have been given the terrible gift of free will and this ability to make choices, to help write our own story, is what makes us human, even when we make the wrong choices, abusing our freedom and the freedom of others. p.25-26
  • You must once and for all give up being worried about successes and failures. Don’t let that concern you. It’s your duty to go on working steadily day by day, quite quietly, to be prepared for mistakes, which are inevitable and for failures. ~ Tchekov p.33
  • In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work, to bear his glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there’s no danger that we will confuse God’s work with our own, or God’s glory with our own. p.62
  • All of life is a story, story unraveling and revealing meaning. Despite our inability to control circumstances, we are given the gift of being free to respond to them in our own way, creatively or destructively. p.105
  • We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it. If our our lives are truly ‘hid with Christ in God,’ the astounding thing is that this hiddenness is revealed in all that we do and say and write. p. 122
  • Far too often today children are taught, both in school and at home, to equate truth with fact. If we can’t understand something and dissect it with our conscious minds, then it isn’t true. In our anxiety to limit ourselves to that which we can comprehend definitively, we are losing all that is above, beyond, below, through, past, over that small area encompassed by our conscious minds. p.139
  • To pray is to listen also, to move through my own chattering to God, to that place where I can be silent and listen to what god may have to say. But, if I pray only when I feel like it, God may now choose to speak. The greatest moments of prayer come in the midst of fumbling and faltering prayer, rather than the odd moment when one decides to turn to God. p.149
  • One act of thanksgiving made when things go wrong is worth a thousand when things go well. ~ John of the Cross p.156

Reading: June 2017

Currently:

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by P. Patrick
So far this is probably one of the most clever storylines I’ve ever read. It is a bit sad (reminds me of the movie Up!) in the first few chapters, but I’m super intrigued to see where this story goes.

Walking on Water by M. L’Engle
Still plugging along and doing a horrible job journaling about this book – as in I’m not. But I do love it.

A Girl of the Limberlost by G. Stratton-Porter
Still plugging along on this one in between other reads. I’m still not sure if I like it or not.

The Core by L. Bortins
This is the handbook to get your started with classical education; especially Classical Conversations. I finally started reading it last week and honestly I need to get busy and set aside time during the day to focus on it…instead of Pinterest.

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by L. Terkeurst
I picked this one up from the library and while I’m slowly reading through it, I’m still not sure if I’ll read it cover to cover. I feel like this subject has been beaten to death lately when it comes to blogs and books for women and moms.

Abandoned:

I decided to start a new category this month…

The Fringe Hours by J. Turner
I wanted to read this book for years, finally found it at a used bookstore and started reading it a few months ago. I got about half way through it and realized that this was exactly the book a friend needed to read. So I abandoned it and gifted it to her.

I’ll Take You There by W. Lamb
I love Wally Lamb and have poured through some of this other books in years past, but I didn’t make it 2 chapters in with this one before I was done. The story was silly and the language was awful.

Finished:

The One in a Million Boy by M. Wood
This was a sweet book. I feel like there was so much I missed because it took me so long to get through it. It would be a great book club discussion book.

The Handmaid’s Tale by M. Atwood
I got this on Overdrive as an e-book and poured through it in like 2 days. It is the second time I’ve read it and I still love it but seriously hate, hate the ending. Once I got towards the end of the book I started remembering why this book frustrated me so much the first time I read it. I wish we had Hulu though because I would love to watch the show.

Commonwealth by A. Patchett
This was great, but I can’t even remember now what it was about. So…maybe it wasn’t great.

When Hitler Stole the Pink Rabbit
This was a great book. My daughter and I have been reading this aloud for a few months and it’s a great story from the perspective of an 11 year old girl of what it was like to be a refugee. It’s a sweet story about family and making due. We both loved it.

What’s Next?

We start school in 1 month and I’ve got loads of pre-reading I need to start in order to get ahead of both my kids. Yep, I said both. We are homeschooling both children next year so that’s double the words I need to choke down and double the boxes of wine I probably need to invest in 😉

Design Team: A Patriotic Post

I’m on a new design team for the next few months with Buttons Galore. It’s a pretty great gig for me – I receive some great products and get to design a product with what I get. 🙂 Not a bad way to spend a summer.

Here’s a peek at my first project.

Head on over to the Buttons Galore blog for full details on how to make a patriotic hoop yourself – including a free pattern download.

Reading: May 2017

Currently

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
This book was nowhere on my radar, but if the author is Ann Patchett then I’ll just grab it and read. It’s a family drama with the amazing character development that Patchett is so good at. So far, so good.

When Hitler Stole the Pick Rabbit by J. Kerr
This is a leftover book from our school book list and it really is the sweetest (if that word can be used when talking about WWII and Nazi’s) book. It follows a family that has been forced out of their home in Germany. The father is an author that is very unsympathetic to the Nazi’s and obviously they don’t like that. It doesn’t help that the family is Jewish. It’s a super read aloud.

A Girl of the Limberlost by G. Stratton-Porter
I’m about half way through this book and put it down for another read and I haven’t yet picked it back up again. It’s been on my to-read list for ages and it’s a bit reminiscent of Anne of Green Gables (strong willed young girl, unappreciated, dreamy and lover of the outdoors).

Moths of the Limberlost by G. Stratton-Porter
This is a coordinating book with the fiction story and describes all the moth life in the Limberlost. It’s actually been a fairly interesting read. I’m becoming a bit of a lepidopterist and I’m slowly researching moths and butterflies for a couple of different reasons. This book is a great introduction to my study.

Walking on Water by M. L’Engle
I’m still plugging along slowly this book and falling more and more in love with L’Engle. I never read any of her books growing up and just read a Wrinkle in Time this past year. The next in the series is on our read aloud list for this summer and I can’t wait. I’ve loved this book in so many ways and when I’m finally finished will be worth of it’s own post.

Finished

Olive Kitteridge by E. Strout
This book was on so many “must-read” lists that I quickly added it to my 2017 master list. The whole layout and voice of this book was so different. It wasn’t until I was finished that I realized she approached this book as a collection of short stories all about this one character. Basically giving you a different perspective from all these different people while telling a whole collection of stories from characters in this small town. From the beginning I really didn’t like Olive and so it was hard for me to keep going when the titled character was just so frustrating to me. But I plugged through and honestly I think the further away I am from this book, the more I realize Strout is a brilliant writer (clearly – she won the Pulitzer) and I’m glad I pushed through and finished it. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite book, but I am glad I read it.

Upstream by M. Oliver
Finally finished. It was good and I’m glad I read it. I’m not a big memoir person.

Atonement by I. McEwan
Another one from my list. It was a bit of a slow read. Another one I kind of had to push through and another one where I wasn’t totally fond of the main characters and the writing style.

Hind’s Feet on High Places
Truly one of my favorite allegorical stories ever. I’ve read it twice on my own and my daughter and I just finished reading it aloud together. There’s not a time I’ve read this where I haven’t gleaned something new.

Up Next

I had great plans to read through (or at least start) The Making of a Story this summer and work on some writing goals, but I’m honestly not sure that’s going to happen. My mind is so fractured with so many other things I just don’t know that I can take on another goal. Right now I just want to finish the books I’ve started and then I’ll figure out where to go next.

Reading: April 2017

Currently

Atonement by Ian McEwan
This book is off. I can’t figure it out. It switches between narrators which is hard for me to follow sometimes. And the way he writes is just really different. I’m entrenched in the story now so I can’t put it down, but it’s a slow read.

Walking On Water by M. L’Engle
I’m only a chapter and a half in and this book is amazing. Here’s a favorite quote so far:

God is always calling on us to do the impossible. It helps me to remember that anything Jesus did during his life here on earth is something we should be able to do too…Sometimes I will sit on a sun-warmed rock to dry and think of Peter walking across water to meet Jesus. As long as he didn’t remember that we human beings have forgotten how to walk on water, he was able to do it. If Jesus of Nazareth was God become truly man for us, as I believe he was, then we should be able to walk on water, to heal the sick, even to accept the Father’s answer to our prayers when it is not he answer that we hope for, when it is No.”

Hinds Feet on High Places
My daughter and I are still plugging along on this book and I’m loving sharing it with her and she’s enjoying listening to it!

I’m still pushing through On Being a Writer. I have to admit I’m not working on my writing as much as I wanted too. Life just keeps getting in the way and I’ve got so many other commitments it’s hard to set aside that time to work on it…or work on anything really. I’m just trying to keep up and make deadlines.

I also purchased second hand a copy of The Making of a Story and I’m hoping to start working on that this summer while we take a little break from school.

Finished

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
This book ended up being pretty good. I’m glad I read it – although I would probably be selective about who I recommended it to. It’s a pretty brainy sort of sci-fi book, which makes it less like a sci-fi book I guess?

Goodbye, Vietnam
Eh. It was good. Not our best historical fiction this year.

The Living Page
A little hard to read and follow, but I’m glad I gave it another try. It really did clarify some things I was wanting to maybe try out in our homeschool next year.

Upstream by Mary Oliver
This was a great read. I loved it and I loved how it stretched me. There were a few sections on a few authors (Wordsworth?) that I’ve never read before so that was hard to follow. I loved how she described things – makes sense because she is a poet! 🙂

Loved Walked Among Us by Paul Miller
This was an excellent book. I do think it’s one that I would love to read as a Bible study or with a book club and definitely should read again and do a better job of journaling through it.

Hillbilly Elegy
I loved it, would love to read it again and maybe discuss it and I’ve passed it off to my husband who I hope will read it!

What’s Next?

Not sure! Finishing Atonement is a huge goal (especially before it’s due back to the library) and then I don’t know. We are finishing up with our school year reading. The chick and I are starting Hitler Stole the Pink Rabbit and I’m sure that will carry on into the summer a little bit and I have a few others I’d like to read aloud this summer too. We have a big road trip in the next few weeks so I need to start searching for some good audiobooks for the car ride. Keeps the natives less restless in the backseat!

What are you reading?

Pattern Review: Julia Cardigan

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I want to like this pattern so much, but I’m just not sure. I’m still trying to figure out if I did something wrong in the construction or if it’s just a flaw.
The pattern is the Julia Women’s cardigan by Welcome to the Mouse House. The fabric is a made by rae print by cloud 9. This knit is divine feeling and in the end I’m wondering if my issues have more to do with the type and heaviness of this knit. It’s not sweatshirt thick, but it is a bit heftier and possibly this pattern is best with a lighter weight knit.

Overall this was a super simple pattern to put together. The directions are pretty darn good and there are photos all along the way to help. It’s not the most “professional” looking pattern, but after spending so many hours this year on adobe illustrator/indesign I’ve become sort of a graphic design snob. You have a couple of different options for the collar and I opted for the rolled collar without a hem. There again, with this thicker knit I’m wondering if that was the right choice?

My issue with the pattern is really just the fit and how it lays. I think if I made it again I would go a size down, a lighter weight knit and then maybe it would help with this bulge that seems to be in the hips area. I also think I would half the width of the collar – it just seems a little bit big when you get down the the back waist band.

It is a pattern that I would love another go at before I totally give it up.