A Little Knit Doll (With A Nice Hat)

I knit a doll. My friend has been crocheting dolls for a while now, and they’re awesome, and it’s made me want to make one… I know how to crochet but I prefer to knit. So I decided to knit this doll just for fun. I haven’t been knitting for a little while because I got bored of it. I started making rules for myself like, “You have to finish the sweater and slippers you started before you can start new projects.” And all that’s ever done is make me procrastinate and not knit at all… So I ditched that rule and made a useless thing for fun.

IMG_7545IMG_7548I like his hat the most. His head really reminds me of the little kleenex ghosts I used to make when I was a kid. And before I got the hat on I thought it looked really creepy. There seems to be a fine line between cute or creepy with dolls…

It got me knitting again anyway. I’m not sure that’s a good thing because I stayed up way later than I should have because I wanted to keep knitting, and it keeps me distracted from useful things like mending clothes and actual housework… But now my son gets a new toy. He’ll love it for a few days at most. :)

A New Fish Tank & Some New Fish

I’ve had a 10 gallon fish tank for a while. It was my dad’s old one, so I got it for free. I’ve kept guppies, swordtails, and recently platies. A lot of them have died, mostly the swordtails… None of the platies have died though. So I had the three of them, and one guppy still surviving.

Last week my husband asked me if I wanted a fish tank his coworker was giving away. It came with six tetras and two plecos. He didn’t say how big it was, just that it was “big.” I thought it might be an upgrade so I said yes. Turns out it was only a 10 gallon, like mine, but I got free fish out of it. I really liked the color of the light on his tank, so I kept that one and gave my old one to my friend. I also gave away the plecos because they were really big (6-8 inches.) My dad took the big one and I gave the smaller one away on kijiji.

So now I have 3 platies, my guppy plus 2 I just bought to keep him company, 4 black neon tetras, and 2 pristilla tetras.

blog.IMG_7507I name all my fish. It’s fun for me…

The guppies:guppies

Tetras:tetrasPlaties:platiesThe guppies are all males, so they have boy names. The platies are females, and I have no idea about the tetras. All four of the black neons are named Nina, because I can’t tell them apart and Nina Dobrev played 4 different characters on the same show (doppelgangers.) Klaus, Elijah, Kol, Cami, and Rebekah are all characters on the Originals. Jana, Rhydian, and Maddy are from Wolfblood. I can’t tell Rhydian and Maddy apart either… Klaus was my only guppy I had left. He’s been surviving for a while. I’ve already gone through 2 other Elijahs and 2 Kols, so I hope these ones live.

I was having a problem with my filter before. I didn’t realize it was slowly dying so there wasn’t a lot of oxygen in the water and a lot of my fish were dying… I bought a new one and it solved the problem. I have 12 fish in my tank now, so I’m over the 1 inch of fish per gallon rule. But if I maintain 50% water changes every week it should be okay.

Charles Spurgeon; Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered. -Hebrews 5:8

My husband and I have talked a lot about suffering and Christianity. It’s a huge part of the faith that is not often spoken about today, leading many Christians to question God or themselves when hardships come their way. It’s important to talk about it, and this devotional does it well:

Is it any wonder that if the Captain of our salvation was “made perfect” (Heb. 5:9) through suffering that we who are sinful and far from perfect should be called to suffer as well? If the Head was crowned with thorns, should the other parts of the body continually be bounced on the lap of luxury and ease? If Christ had to walk through seas of His own blood to win the crown, should we easily walk to heaven with totally dry feet in soft silver slippers?

Certainly not! Our Master’s experience teaches us suffering is necessary, and a truly born-again child of God must not escape it — and would not escape it, even if he could. But one very comforting thought in the fact that Christ was “made perfect” through suffering is that He now has complete sympathy with us. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses” (Heb. 4:15), and it is through His sympathy we find the power to sustain us when we suffer. In fact, one of the early Christian martyrs said, “I can bear it all, because Jesus suffered, and He suffers in me now. He sympathizes with me and this makes me strong.”

Dear believer, take hold of that thought in your times of agony. Allow the thought of Jesus’ sympathy to strengthen you as you follow in His steps. Find loving support in His sympathy, and remember: to suffer is an honorable thing, but to suffer for Christ is glory!

“The apostles left… rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering” (Acts 5:41). And as much as God gives us His grace to suffer for Christ, and with Christ, He equally graces us with honor. The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions, and the royal finery of the kings whom God has anointed is their troubles, sorrows, and heartbreaks.

Therefore, may we not shun being honored, nor turn away from being exalted, for troubles lift us up and sorrows exalt us. Remember –“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him” (2 Tim. 2:12 KJV).

Charles Spurgeon 1834-1892

From the devotional Morning by Morning.

Ripped & Stitched

IMG_6923I love ripped jeans, and patched jeans. My son is 5 now and it’s the first time he’s had a pair of pants long enough to wear them out. These ones wouldn’t be that bad, except when he sees a small hole he starts picking and pulling until he’s ripped his pant leg in half. That’s why I reinforced the holes that are left.

IMG_6960I think they look cute on him, and more interesting.

I was thinking a bit about ripped jeans though, as I was stitching them up. I’ve always loved the look of worn out clothes. When I was a little girl I wanted to dress up as a hobo for Halloween, because I thought they looked cool. So I’ve worn a lot of ripped jeans in my life. I’ve also received a lot of flack for wearing ripped jeans. Mostly by people in my parents’ generation, and worse in my grandparents’ generation, and especially at church. I won’t wear ripped jeans to church unless I have no other clean clothes, and I dread it, and inevitably someone says something.

So it got me wondering, since ripped jeans are apparently offensive in church, I wonder what Jesus would say about it? Clothing isn’t simple for me. Aside from expressing a bit of my personality, it’s become an ethical thing. Turns out most of our clothing is made in countries where people are ill treated and underpaid, to put it mildly. Fair trade clothing exists, but it’s expensive and mostly out of my price range, and is spending loads of money on it being responsible with the resources God has given me? So I’ve started trying to find what I need at thrift stores, because it’s “recycling.” But thrift store clothing has already been worn, so it’s likely to wear out faster, which leads to more ripped jeans. So I wonder, is Jesus really offended by them? Of course not, if you can’t afford better. But if you can afford a perfect wardrobe? Would Jesus be more offended by me choosing to wear ratty clothing to church, or by me choosing to conform to a vane and self-indulgent culture? When did we start owning so many clothes anyway? (And so much stuff?) Why is it looked down on to wear the ones we have until they’ve truly seen their last days? And  do Christians really think it’s acceptable to tease people about the state of their clothing? Especially in a church. We’re supposed to be evangelizing, it’s no wonder people are hesitant to come to church when they’re likely to be met with judgement over such a stupid little thing.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” – Matthew 23:27

The moon socks…

IMG_6206

I made these for my step-mom. She picked the pattern. They’re cute and cool looking and stuff. The pattern was not enjoyable to follow however… (so it took me weeks to complete.) It took that long for the buttons to arrive from Etsy though, so that worked out. I’m glad she likes them, but I wouldn’t make this pattern again. I might make up my own, similar looking pattern someday…

A Tree for Dad

IMG_6471

I wanted to paint something for my dad.

Painting is patient and impulsive and intuitive and frustrating… I wish I was a better painter, so I keep practicing and hoping that I’ll learn something. What I’ve learned from looking at paintings is it doesn’t seem to matter how you paint it. The brushstrokes or the colors specifically. Personally I don’t think a painting is worthwhile if it doesn’t make you feel something…

Charles Spurgeon; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. -Jeremiah 31:3

A beautiful devotional I read recently:

The roaring thunder of the law and the fear of the terror of judgement are both used to bring us to Christ, but the final victory culminating in our salvation is won through God’s loving-kindness. The prodigal son finally decided to return to his father’s house out of his sense of need, “but while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). Thus, his last few steps to his father’s house were with that kiss still warm on his face and with his father’s gracious welcome still resounding as music in his ears.

Law and terror do but harden

All the while they work alone,

But a sense of blood-bought pardon

Will dissolve a heart of stone.

                       Joseph Hart, 1712-1768

The Master came one night and knocked on a man’s door with the iron hand of the law. The door shook, trembling on its hinges, but the man piled every piece of furniture he had against the door and said to himself, “I will not let Him in.” So the Master turned away, yet sometime later He returned, this time knocking with His own gentle hand. Using the very part of His hand the nail had pierced, He knocked again – oh, so very softly and tenderly.

  This time the door did not shake, but strangely enough, it opened. And there on his knees was the once unwilling host now rejoicing to receive his guest. In humbleness he said, “Come in, come in, for Your knocking has turned my soul toward You. As You knocked I could not bear to think of Your pierced hand leaving the stain of Your precious blood on my door, and then of turning You away without a house in which to reside. I could not bear for You to have to say, ‘Open to me…. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night’ (Song 5:2). I surrender! I surrender! Your love has won my heart.”

  Thus, in every case loving-kindness wins the day. What Moses’ stone tablets of law could never do, Christ does with his pierced hands. This is what so aptly characterizes the doctrine of God’s powerful and effectual calling. Can I say, however, that I understand this and have truly experienced it? Can I say:

He drew me, and I followed on,

Glad to confess the voice divine.

     Philip Doddridge, 1702-1751

If so, may He continue to draw me until at last I will sit down at “the wedding supper of the Lamb!” (Rev. 19:9).

Charles Spurgeon 1834-1892

From the devotional Morning by Morning.