Monday, June 30, 2008

Do you not perceive it?

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
- Isaiah 43:19

Last Friday at our discipleship triad, we had a chance to talk about how we were doing and what to pray for. The same things keep coming up for me; the main one being inconsistent prayer time, which does bother me. However, I'm not doing anything to change it. What was once really going well for me (and I think God too), wasn't quite the same.

As we were talking about this, N said that she had read through my Peach Tree posts here and it seemed to her that God was showing me or preparing me for something new. We also all three had a powerful time of confirmation of hearing "wait" before this and it also seemed to apply to me in prayer as well.

We went into prayer and as A was praying for me, she said she saw a well tended orchard, that God wanted to show it to me. I was too busy grieving over the Peach Tree and wasn't able to see the Orchard that I was already in. N confirmed this, saying that she saw the same thing as A was praying. That God had his hand out high as if wanting to show me this orchard that we were already in. God was right next to me, He has been next to me.

Now, I don't know about you, but this sort of thing doesn't happen to me every day. I wasn't sure what to do, I knew it was real but I didn't have the vision of the Orchard. I think I prayed that God would show me, and that I did want to see it and see his goodness.

That's about it. I've been puzzling ever since on what it all means. How do I see the Orchard too? What am I to do to be able to look up and see this carefully tended Orchard? I've asked God, but I need more time to seek Him on this. Even tonight, as I tried to pray the way I have before (and where He's met me), I felt the need to come and journal this.

While I was typing this out, I was comforted by recalling that they said that God was right by my side all along. I know He is. He comes especially when I pray, mostly when I pray for other people.

When I close my eyes to pray and seek Him, it feels as if I've left the room or the place that I was and am in partly same place, but partly something different. The walls are gone, normal sensations are minimalized and I rest in the presence of...prayer. It's hard to explain. Sometimes, I don't hear the prayers in words, they become a sort of background noise. Sometimes I feel guilty about that, but I only do this when someone is on a roll, where they've hit at the heart of the issue and are pressing at it. Other times, I listen carefully for the words people use when they ask for their prayer requests and what pops up in prayer. I rarely go first or second for that reason, so I can hear what is highlighted for them. Sometimes, when I feel as if I'm on a roll and pressing at the root of an issue, I don't remember what I prayed at all.

The amazing part of all of this, is that even when my personal prayer life hasn't been great lately, God still lets me go to this deep place of prayer. I don't know why, but it's comforting to know that he has always been by my side.

Where are we going next?

As I was editing this, I was wondering, maybe God is speaking to me in my writings. Writing has always been a passion of mine and I am working on that novel. It also seems that things get clarified when I write. Also, that both A and N got impressions when they read my blog.

Hmmm...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Spy Dream

Last night I dreamt that I was in this building where there was some shady dealings going on. It was kind of a bar or gangster hang out. The owner of the building built over the walls with new sheet rock, hiding what was inside. There was also this storage room with shelves up to a high ceiling of stored things. In the storage room, there were all sorts of toys, like in Toy Story, that were alive. The owner was concealing some things, and someone had also been murdered.

I had found a clue by going on top of the roof of the front overhang of the place. There, in the crevice where one joint of the roof met the other, was a business card and a couple other things that incriminated the owner. Luckily, there were multiple pieces of each, but I only needed one set.

Meanwhile, the investigation was underway. Something happened to the evidence and we needed to get another set. A few policemen went up to look for it, but instead found a note to the affect that they were dead men. We all (there were 3 women) ran for it. We were all in one car. But at a stoplight, I got out and got into the car behind me. This car contained someone I knew, and I pretended to be a disguised girl holding a little baby. The car that I had originally been in had been captured, I was now the only one left free.

I came back to the place with an army of police. They needed to find evidence of stolen goods so we could rescue the people. They started by discovering the sheet rock was covering doors to hidden rooms. The main policeman in charge insisted that the owner was hiding a large stock of fruit. I've no idea why this was so important and by this time, the fruit had probably spoiled.

We went into the storage room and it was filled with stuff, how could we ever find the fruit? Then, I had an idea. I shouted out to the toys, to ask if anyone knew where the fruit was. There was some murmuring and then a voice said that he had some! I then vaguely recalled a toy truck with a crane and basket attached to it. The basket had hauled some fruit in it. We located the toy and then we found the rest of the fruit.

The stock of the room was our plunder, and while the gangsters waited to be led away, I was on a ladder, throwing down some things to keep. My husband was on kind of standing in another shelf, catching what I was throwing. Some things I threw wrong and it broke or got ruined. But it didn't matter, it was all bonus stuff. What we were after most was wine, round crusty breads wrapped in waxed bags and chocolate. A six pack of wine didn't make it, but the other did. Most of the bread made it. I don't recall much about the chocolate now, but I'm pretty sure I'd try my hardest to get to that down safely.

~ * ~ * ~

As I was writing this dream out, part of the meaning came to me.

The search and finding of fruit.

The three women

Gangsters vs. police - possibly spiritual battles

That I am influenced by the movies I watch.

More on the fruit and the three women thing in my next post (hopefully).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything...but Party


Pirates need transportation...and a little coordination to get them going.



Pirates in their colorful (motley) transports, off on another adventure.

Meanwhile...the pirates left behind may be up to something.


Pirates need knives. Butter knives.

Pirates need friends, especially those that pull out their non-butter knives when you've covered both your eyes with patches. Argh!

Pirates need to see. But not this pirate.

Pirates need sustenance.
Pirates can have their birthday ice cream cake and eat it too.

Just add Water




\

Friday, June 20, 2008

Peach Tree Revisited

We had our regular discipleship triad today with a new schedule to help us manage our time better. It really seemed to help; we covered what we needed to cover and kept some things shorter than normal. This also left us with more time to talk about SAGA's and praying.

During our prayer time, I felt as if it was time for us to be quiet and just listen to God and the Holy Spirit. we did that for about 15-20 minutes. During that time I tried to push away all the normal junk that fills my mind and prayed about what God wanted to show me. The Peach Tree kept coming up.

I imagined that empty space where the peach tree was. There was no way that it would come back, it was gone. There was no possibility of planting a new one, it would only be cut down as well. A fruit tree could not be planted there again. Should I go down the road and find somewhere else to plant? After all, it was my childhood home, was it time to move on? I don't know for sure. But I kept being brought back to the image of the empty spot where the Peach Tree was.

Let go of the Peach Tree. Let it all (scrub brush, weeds, vines, etc.) be pulled up and brought away. Let it all be re-landscaped into something different, something that you had not envisioned. Give up and let go of your vision of what it should have looked like.

Do I move on? Stay and watch? That is yet to be determined.

A & N shared what was going on with them during that time. A wasn't sure of what she heard. N said that God was saying that he wants us to let him seep into us more and more, into every crevice. They thought that my experience was saying "wait."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Project Avalance Update

Finished projects
1. I've decided to frog my fidget, so that's no longer a WIP.
2. Storm Shawl is done, it only needs some blocking. It could be worn as is, though.
= 10 Projects

Started Project
1. Sock Scarf
= 11 Projects

Finished Projects
1. Sock Scarf
= 10 Projects

Next up, I need to finish the Froot Loop socks so I can start my prayer socks.

It's kind of working for me. I had a moment of weakness when I started another clapotis. No idea why I suddenly wanted to make one of those. As I said, it was a moment of weakness. It's frogged back and all is nicely or not so nicely wound as it was.

I also added my first free pattern! See the previous post or the sidebar to find it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Random Sock Scarf

Random Sock Scarf


I made this over a weekend using up some small balls of sock yarn, leftover from the mitered square sock blanket. The original balls were on average, 10 grams each.

This is fun for those of us who love surprises and more artsy type designs. It's a quick knit as well and can be addicting. For those of you who aren't random and have to match and have things pre-planned, choose your yarn in the same color families or pre-plan your rows. But seriously, most of the fun of this project is seeing how random odd color balls work together! And another bonus, there is no sewing in ends.

Materials
Yarn:
About 10 small balls of sock yarn, 10 grams each, in various colors. Put these in an opaque bag so you can't see the yarn.
Larger ball, about 20 grams of sock yarn as an "anchor color" for the edges and to work in throughout the scarf.
Needles: Size 5
Gauge - doesn't matter

Scarf Pattern
Using the anchor color, cast on 250 stitches loosely. If you'd like, you can go up a needle size or two to in order to make the cast on more loose. Leave a 6" tail.

Knit 3 rows with the anchor color. Break yarn, leaving a 6" tail. Put the anchor color into your bag of random yarn.

With each yarn that you use, leave a 6" tail on each side, this will be your fringe.

Pull a random ball out of your bag and knit a row, break yarn.
Continue pulling random balls of yarn and knit 27 more rows. There is one "rule" - don't knit 2 of the same yarns next to each other.

Knit 3 rows of the anchor color.

Cast off loosely. Use a size 7 needle if your cast on is too tight.

Fringe
Starting on one edge, take 4 strands of yarn and knot them together. Continue across each edge of scarf. Trim to a uniform length if desired.

Wear your scarf and enjoy!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Peach Tree

At my childhood home, we lived on a country road. Along the road but on our property, my dad had planted a peach tree. It took many years for blossoms to start and then finally one year, there was one large delicious peach that dangled from a limb near the road. I walked by it every day after school, waiting for it to be just ripe. Unfortunately, a neighbor picked it before I had a chance.

The next year, the blossoms were more abundant and the tree promised to have more fruit. The trunk was thicker, the branches almost over the road, but not quite. I watched the blossoms drop and the saw the starting of the fruit. Then one day, the tree was gone.

The township had a new ordinance that a tree so many feet from the road was to be cut down. The Peach Tree was chopped down and chipped.

If a tree bears only one fruit in its lifetime, was it a good fruitbearing tree? Even though it was ready to bear more fruit, it was never given the chance. Because of its location and a new law, it would never bear branches full of peaches.

I've thought about this Peach Tree lately and I wasn't sure why until this last week. I feel like that Peach Tree right now. Just when I was about to be in the season of giving fruit and giving it more abundantly, a new law came into place and chopped it away. I've been grieving the loss of the opportunities, freedom, growth and seeing the Spirit move.

But I won't let that stop my growth.

I'll plant another seedling.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Project Avalanche & the Prodigal Sock

Awhile ago, I had maybe 3 projects at a time going. Perhaps a pair of socks, a simple scarf, a prayer shawl. Then, I heard Kelly Petkun on her podcast saying that we should have 7 projects at once. There was some reasoning behind this, each of them were different. Eureka! Permission to start more projects.

I now have 11 projects going and just signed up to do one more.

!?

Here's the plan and I'm sticking to it. To the best of my ability, at least.
Finish 2 projects before I can start 1 more, until I get down to 7 projects.

My plan of taking over my life instead of being ruled by UFO's may be working.

1. Finish Storm Shawl, then I think I'll finish the 30 year sweater. When those are done, I can start my prayer socks = 10 projects.

2. Finish Printed Silk Cardi & Nicole's Prayer Shawl. Start another sweater or shawl = 9 projects

3. Finish Froot Loops and Fidget. Start something TBD = 8 projects

4. Finish Prayer Socks & something else. Start something TBD = 7 projects.

Celebrate!

In other knitting news, I found my other Texas sock. I wore them once or twice, and put them in the wash (or so I thought). When I was deep cleaning under the bed, around all the things we store there, I found it! What joy, what elation, what a loud shout I gave. What was lost, was now found. What was incomplete, was now complete. What was warm and wooly in the winter, is now hot and itchy in the summer.

Oh well, I'll have them for fall.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Creative Writing 101

Tonight, I go to my first real life writing group. A friend of mine (who has already published a book) and I thought this up a while ago, but had to wait until both our schedules cleared. I've had online friends do some casual critiquing, but it hasn't really been since college that I've had a critique group which was really a class.

Yesterday I sent off my first chapter so the women could look it over beforehand. I had to scramble and put it together in order for it to be presentable, and it barely is. Hopefully, they'll be kind. I no longer think that I have any chance at the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. I'd just be happy to earn enough back to pay for all the paper and ink.

Well, not really. The Prize comes with a lot of cash, too.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Stash Poll Closed

With 15 votes, the stash poll is now closed. The results are in! It was a neck and neck race, but one of them managed to pull in a few more delegates...oops, wrong poll.

Anyway, I was surprised to get 15 votes. I thought maybe I'd get 5, including mine and a couple of relatives. Especially since it's such an arbitrary poll, how many people have really seen my stash in all it's overabundant glory? Not even I have the heart to pull it all out at once. It might make me swear of yarn shops for awhile, something I'd regret afterwards.

This one won: Bulging around the edges.

I'd agree with that, to me it bulges. But also keep in mind that I'm storing some charity crafting yarn and have been knitting for about 20 years.

I'm thinking that next up might be a contest here where I give away some of that overabundance. Anyone up for that?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I went to Slovakia, why?

Last night I dreamt that I was going on these mission trips. Some were short-term. My first one, we were able to come home after a few days for a weekend break, I remember calling hubby to tell him I'd be home. The second time, we went to Slovakia.

We somehow arrived there so that no one really saw us. We were in enclosed transportation, so no one around knew that Americans were visiting. The team included the pastor, Patty, another young girl and myself. On our first day, Patty made a big deal about needing to know what the pastor wanted to have for desert. She said it was the top priority question. When the girl came in from working with him (he was working on some electronic machine), she had forgotten. Patty pulled out a white board with the question clearly on it, pointed to it, how important it was, and said not a word. The girl looked dumfounded but went out to ask.

I was bored. I had nothing to do all day but work on the knitting projects that I brought with. I couldn't go out and meet the people because they didn't know I was here and it wouldn't be safe. Patty had the cooking down, the pastor had the machine work down and the girl was the assistant. I finally found the bathroom and worked for awhile on how to make it lock. That's how bored I was. For this, I came to Slovakia? On a missions trip?

When I woke up, I realized I had overslept for church. Somehow the alarm got turned off! Such a bummer because it's senior recognition Sunday.