Monthly Archives: May 2013

God’s Design in Detours

I read a great devotion yesterday that really struck a chord with me. When you’re in the midst of a period of life full of trials it’s often easy to use that as the lens through which you view and interpret almost everything. I try not to let the last 2 years affect my view of
the world but it’s almost impossible not to and sometimes it’s really helpful to apply a certain sermon, verse, or devotion directly to this season in our life. John Piper really spoke to me through this devotion.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)

Have you ever wondered what God is doing while you are looking in the wrong place for something you lost and needed very badly? He knows exactly where it is, and he is letting you look in the wrong place.

I once needed a quote for a new edition of my book Desiring God. I knew I had read it in Richard Wurmbrand. I thought it was in his devotional book, Reaching Toward the Heights. I could almost see it on the right hand side of the facing pages. But I couldn’t find it.

But while I was looking, I was riveted on one page, the devotional for November 30. As I read it, I said, “This is one of the reasons I have had to keep looking for my quote.” Here was a story, not for me, but for parents of broken children.

Having broken children is like looking in the wrong place for what you have lost and cannot find. Why? Why? Why? This was the unplanned reward of “wasted” moments.

In a home for retarded children, Catherine was nurtured twenty years. The child had been [mentally handicapped] from the beginning and had never spoken a word, but only vegetated. She either gazed quietly at the walls or made distorted movements. To eat, to drink, to sleep, were her whole life. She seemed not to participate at all in what happened around her. A leg had to be amputated. The staff wished Cathy well and hoped that the Lord would soon take her to Himself.

One day the doctor called the director to come quickly. Catherine was dying. When both entered the room, they could not believe their senses. Catherine was singing Christian hymns she had heard and had picked up, just those suitable for death beds. She repeated over and over again the German song, “Where does the soul find its fatherland, its rest?” She sang for half an hour with transfigured face, then she passed away quietly. (Taken from The Best Is Still to Come, Wuppertal: Sonne und Shild)

Is anything that is done in the name of Christ really wasted?

My frustrated, futile search for what I thought I needed was not wasted. Singing to this disabled child was not wasted. And your agonizing, unplanned detour is not a waste — not if you look to the Lord for his unexpected work, and do what you must do in his name (Colossians 3:17). The Lord works for those who wait for him (Isaiah 64:4).

This detour in my life is not a waste. In fact, as agonizing as it is to wait and wait and wait for a pregnancy that will make it out of the first trimester, God has shown me that blessings can come out of even the most painful experiences. If I had never experienced loss (and may very well continue to experience) how would I ever be able to see that the gain is something he has gifted me? So as I continue to take the detour from my carefully planned life, as I travel down this road of complete faith and trust I can know that whatever I find at the end is a gift from him. And the process to get there is a way for me to grow in immeasurable ways.

Then and Now



I just love these two pictures! Well except for the funny look Dieter is giving Nana in the top pic. So both the sweater and the vest were knit using the same yarns.  My mom made the sweater and hat set for Dieter when he was a newborn and then she gave me the leftover yarn. I was planning on making a scarf for myself but never got around to it.  Thankfully I didn’t because I much preferred knitting this cute vest for Dieter. You can click on the pictures to find the patterns for each project.  They were both knit using Spud & Chloe fine yarn.

My obsession with boxes

I’m not always a super organized person but I do like the idea of being super organized. So when an urge comes over me to do some organizing in our home I have to run with it! After doing our kitchen remodel we didn’t have quite as much pantry space so I had to get a little creative with good storage. I love the cabinets Jeremiah installed but they weren’t perfect as-is for food storage. Enter in my storage solution, sorry for the poor quality photos.

I found the best boxes for spices were baby/toddler shoeboxes. And really any box can be cut down to the right size. It may not be the cutest way to organize but it’s easy, cheap and you can put them in the recycling when you don’t need them anymore!

The bottom of a popcorn box was perfect for measuring spoons that would usually be a disorganized mess in the drawer.

And in the bathroom I used the bottom of oatmeal containers.

I love recycling!

And the winners are…

Thank you to all who wrote lovely comments in my first ever giveaway.  It was really fun to know what you have enjoyed on the blog and the answers were quite varied.  Hopefully I’ll have more giveaways in the future but for this one the winners are….

Leslie C. who won the scarf


Angie L. who won the yarn

I hope you both enjoy! (and since you both are pretty easy to find in my real life I’ll get you your goods soon 🙂 )

What Boys Love

Since Dieter was born I’ve always thought he was definitely all boy. He always looked really “boyish” to me but also has never say still for long, is essentially fearless, and started walking too early for his own good. And of course he loves trains, balls, cars, and any sort of physical activity. Lately, he has also been into construction vehicles of all types. This is especially wonderful since they are tearing up the streets in our neighborhood and replacing them. I was actually really excited when they put up the “road closed” signs because I knew D would have a great time watching all those big construction vehicles at work. And what’s a little inconvenience for a toddler’s amusement. So that’s one great way we’ve stayed occupied.

Another was this morning when I took him to a local high school for vehicle day. This is a simply genius idea…have a bunch of local businesses bring their cool vehicles for kids to sit in and explore. We saw a race car, mail truck, tow truck, school bus, commercial lawn mower, fire truck, ambulance…the list goes on! It was freezing cold but still so much fun and we’ll definitely go next year.



The highlight was the Geek Squad truck that had a tv in the back!

Vehicle Day was a great way to spend the morning for my little boy!

and just a friendly reminder to post a comment here if you haven’t yet. Giveaway ends Wednesday!

How to Make T-shirt Yarn (And a Giveaway!)

It’s my 100th blog post!!! This means almost nothing except that I can’t believe I have stuck with this blog long enough to create 100 posts. It’s been a lot of fun and a great outlet for my thoughts and projects. In order to celebrate I’m going to do a giveaway that I’ll explain at the end of the post.

Before that, though, I have a little tutorial to share.  My mom and her friends have been very busy making lots of t-shirt yarn because they are going on a mission’s trip to Haiti really soon.  Our church has been part of setting up a child sponsorship program in Haiti as well as creating opportunities for groups to travel there and do mission’s work.  So that is why my mom is going with a group of ladies.  They are going to be teaching a group of women how to knit and since yarn won’t be an easy thing for them to find in Haiti they are going to teach them how to make yarn out of t-shirts. They are hoping to teach them so that eventually the women can start selling what they create and earn some money to support their families.

My mom and I took some pictures so that she can make a booklet to leave with the women. That way they have something to reference when they make their own yarn.  I thought I’d put it on here too…I know there are other tutorials out there, this is just how we figured out it works best for us.  Hopefully you like it too!  Here is something that you can make with that yarn (you’ll need about 4-6 shirts).

Important: When choosing t-shirts to make yarn out of make sure they don’t have any graphics below the armpits and no seams on the side.


Start with this.IMG_0938

Chop off the bottom hem and everything from the armpit up.


Position the tube you now have so that the cut edges are on the sides. Fold the tube almost in half…leaving a 1″ space at the top.


Now you are going to cut notches through 4 layers of the t-shirt. You don’t want to cut them too thin or you’re going to break your yarn as you pull it. We cut ours 2 cm thick, don’t cut smaller than 1.5 cm.


Continue cutting those notches all the way through that first fold at the top.  Don’t cut through the way top!


This is what it should look like.


Now unfold it.


This is the important part! To make the yarn you need to cut from the bottom of the first slit to the top of the second slit.  This will be a diagonal cut, if you cut straight up for your first cut you will end up with a bunch of individual pieces of yarn.  After you make this first cut you’ll cut from one slit to the next until you reach the end.


Pile of yarn…almost!  As you roll your yarn into a ball gently pull it so it becomes a rolled tube.


Snip the beginning of the yarn where it is still joined (from that first cut you made a few steps ago)

IMG_0953And there you have it!

Now, I also said that I was doing a giveaway since this is my 100th post.  Maybe you remember me doing a little scarf made from a skein of scrap-yarn.  Well I’m giving away a finished scarf similar to that one as well as a skein of scrap-yarn with which you can knit your own something! Included in the skein of yarn will be instructions for the scarf, it won’t look exactly like the finished one though because every skein of scrap-yarn is unique, which is what makes it so awesome!  Here’s a picture of both…I know the scarf isn’t really appropriate for May (unless you live in MN and then it’s not only appropriate but necessary!!) but I was planning on doing this giveaway in February, so my bad.


 So two people will win something.  All you have to do is comment below with (a)what was your favorite post from the last 2+ years on “My Life: Inspired” and (b) whether you would prefer the finished scarf or the skein of yarn.  I’ll be doing two separate drawings but you can only enter your name for one of the prizes.  The giveaway will end on Wednesday, May 8th, 2013.