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Rebecca Lisa

Things that I like & think & spend my time on…

Read This Book! A Severe Mercy (And Some Thoughts On God)

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I read this book for one of my classes in college. I hated it at first. It was so sappy and romantic and really not my thing at all. But then he started talking about God, and it got interesting. Then his wife died and it was heart-wrenching. And as he wrote about grieving her he also talked about the idea of a severe mercy.

“It was death—Davy’s death—that was the severe mercy. There is no doubt at all that Lewis is saying precisely that. That death, so full of suffering for us both, suffering that still overwhelmed my life, was yet a severe mercy. A mercy as severe as death, a severity as merciful as love.”

He explains his realization that he was jealous of God. His love for his wife was greater than his love for God, but her love for God had grown greater than her love for him. Lewis explained to him that an early death preserved their love for each other, and released him from his jealousy in order to make right his relationship with God.

C.S. Lewis believes that natural love has to die, one way or another. In another book he explains that the natural loves, when worshiped before God, become a kind of evil. For example, mothers who love their children to the point of not allowing them to grow up, because they will not be without them. In A Severe Mercy he states, “I sometimes wonder whether bereavement is not, at bottom, the easiest and least perilous of the ways in which men lose the happiness of youthful love. For I believe it must always be lost in some way: every merely natural love has to be crucified before it can achieve resurrection and the happy old couples have come through a difficult death and re-birth. But far more have missed the re-birth.”

The concept of a severe mercy is that God loves us so much he will put us through any kind of pain necessary to achieve our best good. In this story that mercy was death, in my childhood it was divorce. Twice.

I know that sounds horrible. I have so many scars and so much pain in my heart from those wounds, but I can see now how God was working through it all to shape me. Each divorce drastically changed the course of my life and brought me to God. Through that turmoil I met the people who taught me some of my deepest values. I learned important lessons about what kind of person I want to be. I learned empathy and compassion and not to compare pain. He brought me to Bible camp, where I finally found Him, and learned so much about him from so many people. My experiences at camp led me to Bible college, where I met my husband. He has helped me so much. And God gave us our son. Being his mom has saved my life. So many days the only reason I kept going, kept fighting, was for him. His needs–his autism and his peanut allergy (of all things)–brought us to our church, where God keeps speaking to me, healing me, and shaping me. God showed me this today—the severe mercies in my own life—and it actually helped to finally understand my seemingly needless pain as a part of His plan for my best good. It wasn’t what I wanted. He knew what I needed. He could have left me alone with my family, instead He chose to break me and make me His. A severe mercy.

Cabled Baby Hat – Pattern

I made this hat for my friend’s baby, because she’s super adorable and babies need cute hats…

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And the pattern:

For a 16″ circumference, Cast on 120

gauge: 20sts = 3″

I don’t remember my needle size, but it’s a worsted weight yarn and I tend to use smaller needles than recommended…

do a k2p2 ribbing for 3″ to make the brim

repeat the first section until you’ve got most of the head knit (I don’t remember how long, sorry.)

follow the second section to decrease.

Pull yarn through remaining sts & make a large pom pom to attach.

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It’s a little big on her (she’s about 6 months in the photo) but it looks cute like that anyway, and she can grow into it.

It’s been about three months since I finished it, and my notes are lacking a couple details so it’s not my most informative pattern unfortunately…

P.S. – Photography credit goes to her mom! I was so excited to give it to her I forgot about taking pictures!

Photography Mittens – Pattern

I haven’t been spending as much time knitting lately, but I was motivated to make these after my snowshoeing photography trip with my dad. Because it was really cold and I couldn’t work my camera with my mitts on… I made up my own pattern, but the idea is something I saw online a few years ago.

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I have plenty of that green wool, I just made them different colours for fun.

 

PATTERN:

3.25mm double pointed needles

worsted weight yarn (wool is better)

 

Cast on 40sts

knit a cuff (k2, p2) 1-2 inches

knit 1 round

Increase 1per 4 (48 sts)

knit 1 round

increase 8 evenly (56sts)

knit 1 round and place thumb markers (3 sts each end)

Start thumb shaping – increase 1 stitch per thumb section every other round until there are 18 thumb stitches

slip thumb sts to holders

knit 1.5 inches

Cast off 8 to make hole for index finger

next round cast on 8 to cover hole

knit in round 2.25 inches

decrease every 4th

knit a round

decrease every 3rd

knit a round

decrease every 2nd

knit a round

k2tog around

pull yard through remaining sts.

slip thumb sts to needles

pick up additional 5 to fill gap

over 3 needles, 7,9,7sts

knit in round until 1/4 inch is left to finish thumb

decrease at end of each needle

knit 1 round

k1, k2tog 1 round

k2tog 1 round

pull yarn through

turn mitten inside out

pick up 10 sts above index hole

knit straight patch to cover hole

secure sides leaving bottom open

weave in ends.

Pictures from Camp, New Years Day 2016

We went out to Ness Lake for the annual Polar Bear Dip, just for something to do…

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I’ve loved this camp since I first went when I was fourteen. It’s always gorgeous out there…

Snow Shoeing with Dad

I went snow shoeing my first time today! Husband bought them for me for Christmas, and Dad took me out on a trail with our cameras…

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I’ve wanted snow shoes for a while. They’re part of my learning to not hate winter kick I’ve been on for the past few years. It started with buying a warm enough jacket, then setting up a fish tank to give me something to keep alive while my garden is sleeping, then actually driving in the horrible driving conditions and learning not to fear it, now learning to go play outside in the cold and the snow… It’s working anyway. All I really need is a bit of beauty or adventure to make life worth living while I wait for spring to bring me growing things again :)

Snowy Trails

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

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I needed this walk today. I’ve been home for hours and still feel the chill, but I’d do it again :)

Frost

The cold wind blows, and it shows, as it goes through my soul…

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I’ve been loving the white ice gathering on everything outside. I had to take a few pictures in the yard this morning. I wish I had time today to go out and photograph the white trees against the blue sky…

A Sketch, Because I Wanted To…

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There is so much subtlety in creating a likeness. I was a bit off on the jawline and it changes the look of the whole face. My husband thinks he looks familiar, so I’ve managed to capture a bit of a likeness at least. I just felt like sketching though, I haven’t done it much since high school. I’ve spent most of my creative energy knitting for the last decade. But I have no inspiration for it lately. All I want to do is draw and paint. And photography, but I haven’t used my camera much in the last while…

To Kill A Mockingbird

I love To Kill A Mockingbird. It has been my favourite book since I first read it in school. So when I saw Go Set A Watchman in the bookstore I was really excited to read it. I bought it brand new (I rarely buy new books) and went home and reread my old favourite so I’d have it fresh in my mind before I started the new one. Unfortunately that was a lot like reading Lord of the Rings and immediately watching the movies — inconsistent and frustrating.

I loved To Kill A Mockingbird initially because I related so much with Scout. A little girl who didn’t care to be one, raised by her father, following around her older brother, and living half in her head. When I read it again when I was a little older I realized that book had really captured the essence of childhood. The book is funny, has lots of truths and morals, and has Atticus Finch, a quiet hero with infallible character. And Dill…

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I don’t hate Go Set A Watchman, I think I liked it, but I really didn’t until almost the end.

The first annoyance was the switch from first person to third… Then there was the lack of previous major characters… I’m sure there are reasons for those things. I still hated it. The thing that really bored me about the early chapters was the seeming plagiarism from the first book for character and location descriptions. I think it was word for word in some places. It’s like when TV shows have recap episodes where they mostly keep showing clips from old episodes, in case you forgot or something. But the weirdest part was the retelling of Atticus’s black vs. white rape case. A case Calpurnia had brought to him about a 14 year old white girl accusing a one armed black man who Atticus managed to get acquitted? Tom Robinson was a court appointed case, Atticus didn’t have a choice except whether or not to do a good job. The girl was 19, Tom had a mangled arm, was found guilty, and was shot trying to escape from prison. Maybe Atticus had a similar case after the events of To Kill A Mockingbird, but that wasn’t clarified and the similarity was just weird.

Although I did not enjoy one of my oldest heroes being torn down, I do appreciate that the book did a good job of discussing the hero-worship of seemingly perfect parents and the need to see them as people and separate our identity from them as part of growing up.

I think it was worth reading, even it falls short of the first book (in my opinion.) And I still love Atticus :)

November Flowers

We’re expecting snow soon, so I cleaned my garden up today. I still had a lot of flowers…

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