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I am exhausted.

But a good exhausted.

I just wanted to fill you in on my week, because I’ve been all over the place, and had some important thoughts (at least I think they’re important), and had some family milestones.

So I thought we could just chat, with no real agenda in mind.

Here, then, are some random thoughts I’ve had lately:

Hobbies are Wonderful Things

My mother and I went to Schaumburg, Illinois (just north of Chicago) for the Stitches knitting convention. I know that sounds really bizarre, but it’s where a bunch of knitters get together, and you take classes to learn new techniques, and go to a fashion show, and drool over all the yarns in the market (and maybe buy some, even though you already have way too much at home!).

While walking around the market drooling at yarns, someone called out my name. Turns out Lori had recognized me. She and her women’s group had done a study of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex a few years ago and loved it! So that was a ton of fun. (By the way, I do have a FREE Bible study up that you can use in your group, and a video Bible study for 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage! Find them here.) It’s always cool when people recognize me!

My point, though, is that for the last week I’ve knit nonstop. It’s been HEAVEN. And it makes me remember that I really need to knit everyday to keep myself grounded.

Want to see a few things I’m doing? I’m covering some pillows in my TV room so that they all coordinate.

Knitted Pillows

Two pillows aren’t done yet. (The whole white one behind the green circle one is actually a top I made when I was 16, when bulky was all the rage. I couldn’t wear it anymore so I cut it up and made it into a pillow!).

Here’s what it looks like with this vintage 1960s rug we got from my mom, which is what anchors everything:

Knitted Pillows with Rug

Anyway, I was so much fun to just knit and knit. I need that sometimes.

We’re thinking of leading another missions trip to the children’s home we visit in Kenya periodically (Mom’s been there 8 times; we’ve been there 3 times). While the medical personnel run a big medical clinic, Mom and I are thinking of taking enough yarn and needles so all the kids can learn to knit. We’ve taught them periodically when we’ve gone, but they have no supplies. Last time Mom was there, she found that many of the young girls had taken the ballpoint inserts out of pens and taken string and were knitting that for fun. I just want to give these girls something to do! It’s amazing what a difference having a productive hobby can make in your life.

Need a hobby? Here’s a list of 79! And many of them are productive like this.

Grief is Not a Wonderful Thing

Sunday my son would have turned 21. He passed away when he was a baby.

I actually got into writing because of Christopher. My first few magazine articles were on grief. I published one of them yesterday, on 7 ways to help a grieving friend, and if you haven’t read it, I hope you will. It’s important. And this one on grief tries to explain how the typical way we understand grief (it gets better with time) is simplistic and not really true. It’s more complicated than that.

I was thinking about how couples handle grief, though. I tend to be one of these people that talks a lot. I’m extroverted, I’m always having conversations, and people would definitely NOT describe me as quiet. But with the really important hurts in my life, I don’t like to talk about them. My husband and I may mention things a bit (“Today’s a tough day, eh?”) (We’re Canadian. That’s where the eh comes in). But we don’t really delve into how we’re actually feeling, even though we’re extroverts.

That’s quite common for people who in general are thinking types, rather than feeling types (if you understand the Myers Briggs personality type indicator). Even if we’re extroverts and we talk a ton (as my husband and I both are), when it comes to the deep feelings in life, we just don’t. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. But if you’re married to someone who is a feeling type, they may have a great need to talk about it. And that’s where a couple can run into trouble. In the day to day things you can make adjustments, but with really, really important things, it’s hard when there’s a mismatch. I’m not sure what the solution is, but I thought I may mention it, just so that if you’re going through something like that in your marriage, you may have a frame of reference. (I’ve written before about personality types in marriage, too).

Sometimes You Can’t Logic Your Way out of It

Not only do I talk about everything; I like to solve everything. If one of my girls has a conundrum, I listen to the situation, we analyze it together, and then we formulate a plan. Same with friends. Give me an issue and I can likely find a solution.

But something happened in my circle recently where no amount of logic was helping. A friend was just overwhelmed with confusion all the time, and felt so discouraged, and couldn’t be quiet with herself (even though she really loved solitude). She couldn’t read anymore. She couldn’t go for walks without her mind racing with negative thoughts. And no amount of logic or trying to talk herself out of it would work.

So we had a bit of a prayer session, and it turned out that she was really being spiritually attacked (and I do believe that happens). We prayed for quite a while, and she felt such a great lifting. And she felt free and actually slept well!

We didn’t do any elaborate prayers, just looked at lies she’d been believing, and spoke truth out loud, and sent away any evil. And she’s so peaceful.

My default is to logic. But sometimes there’s something else going on. And it reminded me that I am so proud often. I think I can solve anything just using my brain. The problem, though, is not always in the brain. So I’d just recommend–if you’re constantly confused for no good reason; if you can’t focus (where you used to be able to focus easily); if you constantly feel like a failure–then make sure it’s not a spiritual root. Here’s a great article I found on the signs of spiritual warfare, and I hope it helps someone.

Want a Winner? Okay!

Last Wednesday I challenged you all to share your marriage mission statement, and in return I’d mail you a scarf I knit! And the winner is…

Lori Ferguson! Thanks, Lori! Here’s what she shared:

Rob and I have chosen three Values. (It’s easy to remember 3 words). Loyalty. Optimism. Discovery. They’re rank-ordered Values that define what makes us unique. (Every couple will have different Values.)

We use them when we’re making decisions, and we often say that they’re like “rumble strips” to keep us focused in life.

Here’s how we use them: If there’s a decision or opportunity we first look at Loyalty – is this decision/opportunity/idea/action going to support our Loyalty to God, to each other and those we love? If we can say “yes”… then we check it out using the next Value – Optimism. If the decision/opportunity/idea/action is something that supports an Optimistic or Positive direction for our life, then we move onto Discovery. Rob and I love to learn and grow, so if the decision/opportunity/idea/action will provide a chance to learn and grow then our answer is a great big, “YES”!

Using Values in this way takes longer to explain than it does to actually do…

Love it!

So that’s what I’ve been up to. It’s been a little emotionally exhausting and exhilirating, and physically tiring but really satisfying.

What’s up with you for the summer? Or have you ever really felt a spiritual attack? Let’s talk in the comments!

 

 

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