Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It won't fit!

I still love the Fisherman's sweater pattern, and I am very sad to say that I will have to frog all of that knitting, because the sweater won't fit.  I know how important gauge is, I read the whole darn "The Principles of Knitting" and "Knitting Rules!" barely two months ago, both of them emphasizing the need to get gauge.  Yet I felt comfortable winging it.  Now I covet  a hank or 3 of Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool, because that would be a much safer yarn to try to wing it with, as it is more or less bulky, right?  If only I did not have too much yarn in my stash already.  Maybe if I knit size 10 it will fit the 4 year old?  ( I know how to do the math.  I just cannot get myself motivated to do it. Yet.)

About the books - I am not all that pious, I wish I were.

To be a transplant in all spheres of life, including your church, can cause some confusion.  Thus far we have been blessed with nurturing congregations, gifted pastors, and new points of view that challenge those that we grew up with, only to the extent that they are from a different angle.  It nevertheless requires some thought and study to bring my own thoughts and words in line with the words of the people around me, specifically those whom I trust.  (For clarity, I should perhaps say that we are now members of the  PCA)

I do not know exactly what I believed about prayer until now.  I think by nature I am a bit cynical; I also believe very firmly that everything is in the hands of God.  I did not grow up with specific prayer requests.  The Lord's Prayer was the example.  It never seemed necessary to be more specific.  Am I making sense, here?

In the 90's, a couple of tragedies struck in short succession.  My father and brother died, and my husband was diagnosed with cancer.  (He has been in remission for more than 10 years now)  I did not feel as if specific prayer was "effective" then, in any measurable way, apart from asking God to convince me that His mercy alone would be enough.  Actually having long internal debates, trying to convince God that it might not be, and then what?!  I know, it would still have been enough, but I was only 22 then.  As He promised, nothing could separate me from his love.

However, I fear that I might have become a bit cynical in terms of praying for anything specific.  This book, and I am only a few chapters into it,  may answer some questions.  I trust God to keep me safe, spiritually.  I just do not know how much more I should ask, since that seems to be enough.  So, in a nutshell, that is why I am reading "A Praying Life."

Once again, I am linking up with Ginny's yarn along.

(PS:  Yesterday it was 107 (41.6) degrees in Austin.  It is now after midnight and the temperature is 87 (30.5) degrees. Just sayin. It's not like I am trying to convince my whole family that this place is hotter than anything in South Africa. Really not.  Who would get involved in a debate about the weather?)


  1. Oh Emma, please send us some of your heat, we would love some here!
    Sorry for that frogging. I must admit I never made a real gauge yet either, mybe a few rows, but never the full square. And it could have saved me a few froggings...
    You are a strong woman Emma, I like the way you talk about your faith and your relationship to God. I am not very good at talkig about those issues, I somehow fear people might think I am some kind of freak so I keep it to myself and admire people like you who are so honest and not freakish at all :-) Do you know what I mean?
    Heading out now, to a church newsletter editorial meeting ;-)

    1. Dear Geshe - ironically, the year I spent in Germany, they had a "Jahrhunderdsommer" - I complained of the heat even when I lived in Germany ;) With no air conditioning and homes built to keep the heat inside, you perhaps want 5 degrees of this, no more! Your beautiful trees will all wilt and look very sorry for themselves, just like me.
      One of my favourite quotes from G.K. Chesterton: "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing — they believe in anything." It is strange how the pendulum swings, to not believe would have made you a "freak" in Europe 200 years ago. I certainly did not find any believers in my year in Europe, you are full of surprises.

    2. Melva pointed out: Gesche, not Geshe. Sorry!

    3. You insppired me to my latest post Emma! And thank you, the heat has arrived, just a few hours after I wrote my first comment. You are delivering fast ;-) Oh wait, which year was that, the Jahrhundertsommer, 2002 ? I remember that summer, it was CRAZY! And no, I don't need that again, just a few degrees will do, just enough for a pool outside for Aaron maybe ;-)
      Thank you for that quote, so true!

  2. The gauge thing! I'm afraid I rarely do it either, sometimes it works and sometimes it DOESN'T but I never seem to learn my lesson.
    I like the sound of A Praying Life, I think I would find it very useful. I am at present doing a bible study, alone, as there are no groups here. I'm finding the old testament very long, and am a little confused by prayer! This may come out sounding very 'wrong' but here goes - If God has a pre-written plan for all off us then why pray for anything specific? I just figured that prayer should be about giving thanks for his mercy? Please correct me if I am wrong! I would appreciated any 'help' I can get.
    41.6 are you sure, that's like HOT, my goodness how do you cope?

    1. Now I remember your snug shrug! I really liked it, for the record :)
      If I disagree with your conclusions, I would say something... I guess; not saying what I think is not what I'm good at. Neither is short sentences. You read Tim Keller. I think he is a very good teacher, so when Tim and I disagree, go with him :)
      The Old Testament is very long. I have not read every word, to be frank. (I keep reading bits that makes m think - now this, taken out of context, could be used to attack and distort Christianity!).
      As to prayer, I guess I am pretty much where you are. I think that is a good place to be. It's a mystery. As are most things good, true, and/or beautiful. Thanking God for His Mercy is a good place to start, yet people throughout the bible prayed, sometimes for specific things. Paul says we should pray incessantly. Jesus himself prayed that this cup would pass.
      Where else can you start, other than by, as you say, giving thanks for His mercy? Grace alone. As long as we think our salvation is something we have to do, could do, should do, will learn how to do, we miss the essence of the Gospel. We cannot save ourselves, we were dead, and He saved us. Unfortunately, that does not sit well with the self-esteem movement of the day.
      I must add that this does not mean that faith without any "good deeds" or fruits of the spirit is what we aim for. A tree without fruit is dead, or at the very least, sick. We know a tree by its fruit, Jesus was very clear about that. I hope you keep reading, I will too.

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    1. Thanks! Unfortunately, the locals say, and they know, that this is only going to get worse. The first year in Austin they tried to comfort me by saying that it cools off by the second half of September. It is like hearing that you will only be sick and tired for the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, when you are in week 5!

  4. oh dear emma, as far as gauge perhaps the heat is throwing you off? with knitting there is always something to learn. i hope your books bring you answers and comfort and a connection.

    1. Nope, I am afraid I cannot blame the heat for my knitting, only for my gardening! About comfort and connection - the books can help, I am sure. In a short time, your example has taught me much about the fruit bearing side of it all. With life, there is always something to learn.

  5. Oh it was looking gorgeous! Gauge, gauge, is almost a 4 letter
    Like some old teacher nagging at ya. I don't do it nearly as often as I should either. I cannot wait to see the new improved version. :) Be well