September 21, 2011

Settled In

I can't believe it's been a week. 
And a long week at that.
I'm living in a place where twenty-four hours feels much more akin to twenty-four days.
This is a feeling that is emphasized on the weekends, when we have no real planned groups or activities to fill our hours. The hectic, scheduled moments of the weekdays bring everything into a balance, though, and even the feelings out considerably.
And speaking of feelings, I don't think it's possible to spend any more time and energy on and in emotion than we do here. Everything seems to be about exploring feelings, analyzing them, understanding them, overcoming them...it's emotionally exhausting!
And yet, at the same time, it's fantastically encouraging and eye-opening. I can hardly believe some of the things I've learned about myself, my disorder, other people, even my faith. It's astounding! And the progress I've made is already becoming apparent to me, at least.
As it has been a week for me, I am officially allowed to request a pass to the "next level" (Level III) in which I am permitted to go accompanied off the unit. I also, today, had my first calorie increase. Surprisingly enough, I've hardly noticed and have actually been excited about it. Thus far I've had the sensation that I've been hanging in a limbo- not making any significant food changes (although making a lot of psychological progress) and not involved in any researches- and thus kind of just...floating.
But I did start a  research, and I am starting to eat more. This hardly signifies anything, as even on the lower count I've gained some weight, a fact that has made me ecstatically excited and happy.
The research I'm currently doing involves my being hooked up to an activity monitor for 48 hours. The monitor is a little square box from which extends several wires that have little tab-like things attached. I have to have the wires and tabs taped to me in several spots, including the bottoms of my feet, and I have to wear an arm-band. The monitor is calibrated to my specific body, and will keep a sort of log, I suppose, on my energy levels, how much activity and movement I do, etc. I have to wear it, even during my sleep, until Friday, then I'm going to be doing a test at some point that involves my making choices between physical exercise or an equal amount of time spent doing an activity of leisure, and then a similar one involving choices between exercise and monetary gain. It's really difficult to explain, but the gist of it is that they are trying to understand how anorexia affects our choices and our minds.
The one similarity between all the tests and all of the research that they do here, as far as I can tell, are that they all seem to involve drawing exasperating amounts of blood.
I feel like every time I turn around someone is sticking a needle in my arm and filling little tubes with the red liquid which helps keep me alive. I'm pretty sure by the time I've left here I'll have had enough blood drawn to start a blood bank, and there will be a series of small, semi-permanent bruises in the crook of my arm.
The one greatest delight of the week, however, was yesterday's mail delivery.
In it were two very unexpected letters from friends in the outside world.
I can't even describe in words how wonderful it was to see my name printed on an envelope, to receive mail, to read the precious and uplifting notes therein. Thank you to those who are sending letters! You don't know how much they mean to me, and the way they brighten my day!
I've begun to try and get all of my things settled in, and my room organised. In a way, it's almost like being in a college dorm. I finally got my brain to grasp the fact that I'm going to be here for a couple of months, not weeks, and I'm now wishing I had things like pictures, books, and little knick-knacks (even though I'm not really a knick-knack person) to put up, to make it more comfortable, to make it more...me.
The one thing I really wish I had right now, for some reason, are stickers.
I'd forgotten how much I love stickers, and now all of the sudden, all I want is a big bunch of them to put on my board, on my folder, on my wall, on papers.
I really wish I had a lot of stickers.
I'm probably going to have to add this to the list of things I want my mom to ship me...
Speaking of mothers, please pray for mine and my family as we are all facing stressful times right now. I know that a lot of things are happening back home that are hard on everyone, and I wish that there was some way I could be there to help. The next few days are going to be rather hard, I believe, but I am trusting in God, as always, to keep us afloat, protect, and lead us.
He never fails, and I know He never will. What a confidence booster that thought is!
I think that sometimes God throws all of these curve balls at once- those times where every time you turn around there is a new trouble or strain waiting to swallow you whole- to remind us how dependent on Him we truly are. Every breath, every moment, we are nothing without Him. Yet how easily we forget Him and look to ourselves for help: how quickly we uplift and esteem our own plans and opinions above that of the God of the Universe, our own King and Father!
To be honest, I don't have too much to ramble about today. I feel so drained of meditations and philosophies and deep thoughts, merely because that's all I seem to have spent every second of the past week dwelling and musing over.
My spare moments in between sessions and meals are spent writing, reflecting, praying, and reading my Bible.
One great joy of this past week was learning that my roommate is saved, and then my roommate's leading another one of the girls here to the Lord.
There will be triumphs here indeed!
I have to rush off to a group in a little bit -"Interpersonal Effectiveness"- so I will bid cheerio to all of you, my lovely readers and followers, and once again hint at how much I love receiving snail mail (Hint hint hint!) and how much I appreciate the prayers and comments.
Be strong in the Lord.
And have a wonderful Wednesday!

September 18, 2011

In Which She Goes Off On A Tangent

Let me start by saying how much I love, adore, value your comments.
I know it may not seem that way because I don't seem to comment back too often, or even comment on your blogs, but it's so important for each of you who take the time to follow my ramblings, and then proceed to comment on them, that I do read every single one.
And they not only make my day, but they give me some of the greatest encouragement and the biggest smiles.
And as to my lack of commenting on other blogs: know that if I'm following you, then I'm reading nearly all of your posts. I seem to be a failure at posting my thoughts or comments about them on the blog, but I do read the posts, and they do affect me in so many ways.
So thank you.
Now let me say how thankful I am to be in this place.
It's not easy (Well, meals have actually been one of the easiest parts so far, as eating regular portions was a battle I'd begun to triumph over shortly before coming), and it's definitely going to get harder as I get into the next stage-weight gain- and beyond.
But it is such a beautiful, growing kind of pain and struggle.
It is one that I can, because of the atmosphere and focus, hand over to God and really focus on correcting and overcoming.
It's rather ironic: all of the things I do here are considered "obsessive" outside: constantly thinking about food, always working and focusing on my eating disorder and ways to overcome it.
But in here, it is what I'm supposed to do.
I'm here to focus on getting better, and it's such a relief to find that it's okay to spend large chunks of time writing about my thoughts, exploring my feelings and motives, and designing and creating ways in which to overcome Vanity.
I already feel like I've made progress, and even though I'm in the medical stabilization (which doesn't mean a whole lot, it's just the first week you're here and getting settled in before they start chucking large amounts of food into you), I've already gained a little weight each day.
And I'm actually extremely excited and-dare I say happy?- about it!
What I also love about being here is the amount of time I have to spend in God's word: studying it, praying, memorizing it, learning about Him.
I've even caught myself occasionally thinking of this as a vacation with Christ.
Now, my main point of writing today was to touch on the last comment I made in my previous post.
About hugging your mother and thanking God for her.
Well, I can't emphasize this enough.
I was aware before I came in just how important and fantastic my own mum has been through this all, but as I witness the lives of those around me, catch bits of their phone conversations as they speak with their mothers, and talk to them about family, I am truly coming to see how blessed I am.
My mother has been one of my greatest sources and motivation throughout all of this.
She has been the perfect blend of understanding, sound advice, motivation, and has almost instinctively known what to say and not say, how and when to push and how and when not to.
I am in awe at how fantastic she is, and how much I love her.
I also miss her terribly, and flatter myself that-surrounded by a houseful of my brothers- misses me too.
So as I cannot turn around and give my mum a hug right now, I wish that you would turn around and hug yours instead.
I should probably get off the computer now and let someone else have a turn, even if the entire unit isn't awake yet and breakfast is in a half an hour. I look forward to today- I'm going to get a recording in my inbox at some point today, from my church of today's sermon- and I especially look forward to this coming week: on Wednesday I'm officially allowed to go up to level three (weight gain) and end this sort of limbo I've felt I've been floating in the past few days. I'm admittedly anxious- maybe overly- to truly start getting better in as many forms and actions as possible. Nervous as I may be about facing larger meals, I'm confident that Christ will carry me through it and that I will get better.
Love to you all, thank you for the many many prayers, and have a fantabulous Sunday.
Cheerio!

September 15, 2011

Embarrassment

I am embarrassed.
No, this is no new sensation for me:
Seems like most of my life I've been embarrassed about something.
In fact, as number four of eight kids, I kind of believe it comes with the territory:
If I'm not embarrassing myself, there's about seven other people (not including parents) who can do it for me.
But if there's one thing I've learned today, it's that embarrassment isn't necessarily a bad thing, nor is it something you should be feeling either.
Here I am, blessed enough to have arrived at this hospital facility safely and with hardly any hitches to speak of, I'm all checked in a settled, and I am ridiculous enough to feel embarrassed.
About what?
Well, about things that every other person (all nine or ten of them) are all dealing with, or have likely dealt or will deal with, and are overcoming.
The greatest feelings of embarrassment have come from my feeling absolutely clueless about the way things work here, being here at all (I lie: this hasn't been a huge problem. I am genuinely relieved, happy even, to be here.), getting adjusted. Honestly, I should be spending less time and energy on being embarrassed and more on getting better, paying attention to the therapists, and trying to work out this funny thing called my head (not to mention the ultimate goal: defeating and permanently evicting Vanity from my mind).
But the greatest embarrassment was today after a very emotional lunch and "processing session" (a few minutes after each meal in which we discuss how it went, what we thought and felt, any obstacles we faced, and how we dealt with or overcame them), I was struck with a sudden, gut-wrenching dose of home-sickness.
I have no idea where it came from- I had a small cry-out last night and thought, at the time, "Well, that was that and I should be fine now."
But it wasn't.
So I sat in the group room, while everyone else was doing yoga (it's only my first real day here so I'm not permitted to take that class until I've cleared medical stability level), and bawled like a baby. I pretended, because of this embarrassment, that it was from the book I was reading. At the time, it seemed a plausible excuse.
Looking back, anyone who had seen me would never have been fooled.
But why was it embarrassing?
Why was I feeling humiliated for missing my home, my loved ones, especially my mother, who has been my greatest support in all this?
What was there to feel silly about?
Missing home, missing family: these are all signs that I come from a loving house and environment, as annoying as my siblings can be. This is something that I am so very lucky to have.
So embarrassed?
No.
Now I am ashamed.
There is nothing to feel humiliated over when it comes to missing and loving your family.
It's a feeling that will pass or simply become easier to bear.
But for now, I suddenly don't mind crying in front of the others.
It reminds me that I am human, and that I am loved.
And both of those are important.
What's more important is remembering that I am not completely without family here: I have a wonderful and loving heavenly Father watching over me, holding my hand, cheering and strengthening me along the way.
He is all I could and ever will need, and He has put me here for a reason.
So I will no longer feel lonely.
Instead, I will channel all of my thoughts and energy into getting better so that I can get back home where there is comfort, and love, and familiarity.
I will continue to eat all of my meals, and listen (through ears screened by scripture and with a mind screened by prayer) to what the therapists say, what the other girls discuss, and try to be helpful and be healed.
I think what will really help most of all is reaching that level where I am allowed to go out into the city, or even outside, accompanied by an attendant, for fresh air (I think I get to do that tomorrow! I've eaten 100% of my meals today, which is the requirement for that pass). I kind of feel like a cooped up bunny in here, which I believe is the point: a sort of motivation to do well that way you can get the heck outside to breathe a little.
Anyways, everything is going smoothly here, and I already feel- although 24 hours feels like three days- that I've learned some things. It's only the beginning of what is going to be a very long journey, but I think that if I look at it as an adventure and not as a walk to the gallows, I'll find myself improving vastly and quickly.
I miss so many people already, but I'm determined to "stay strong in the Lord and in the power of His might."
Cheerio, all, and goodnight!
Also, dont' forget to hug your mother.
She's an amazing person.

September 13, 2011

Touching Down, Checking In

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I'm here.
Well, for the most part.
I'm here at the end of the first leg of my journey: a hotel in New Jersey.
I guess it's really just the beginning.
Either way, I flew a couple thousand miles without a hitch, and have made it to my hotel room in safety.
You know, for someone who sat on her butt in a plane and in terminals all day, I am one exhausted puppy. 
Even between three cups of Earl Grey tea and four cups of coffee (all evenly dispersed throughout the day, and most of them "complimentary" on the plane flight. I tell ya, you pay a few hundred dollars for a plain ticket and call the peanuts and drinks "complimentary." That's the most I've ever had to pay for a complimentary cup of dirt coffee and low-grade, salted peanuts! I digress.), I'm still flat-out shot. 
However, despite my exhaustion, I'm still conscious enough to be extremely grateful to God for getting me safely and uneventfully here, and I'm hoping the placebo that this decaf coffee (this time "complimentary" from the hotel) plays on my brain telling me to wake up will get me going long enough for a shower and some scripture reading and prayer. 
I'll be sure to update you all on my impressions of the Big Apple as soon as I have enough cognitive power to even have an impression. So far all I can comment on is my sheer joy at the amount of greenery and trees here- I almost sobbed for joy when we began our descent and I could see the trees that carpeted the world below me- as well as the wonderful, salty, humidity. 
Oh, how I've missed both of these things!
And I also understand what New Yorkers mean when they say "The Jersey side" with a sneer. It's certainly not Utopia. 
By the way, thank you all for the verses and the prayers you've sent my way: just thinking about them has been a huge encouragement today! Please keep praying especially hard tomorrow as I check in to the hospital and begin my recovery!
Cheerio and goodnight!
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September 12, 2011

And Her New Address Is...

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...Drumroll, please...

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Grace Doolittle
NYSPI Four Center
1051 Riverside Dr.
New York, NY 10032
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P.S. I love me some snail mail (Hint hint)!

P.P.S. I am officially allowed to blog my merry heart out while at the facility, so expect to hear from me often! What, you didn't think you could get rid of me that easily, did you? 
Cheerio!

Busy Bee

It's early.
6:22 AM, to be exact.
And I'm already on a roll.
As I leave early tomorrow, I'm sitting at the kitchen table, prepping and already knee-deep in To-Dos before the day is done, the most current of which is checking in for tomorrow's flight.
I'm sipping on an Ensure- breakfast isn't for another half an hour, I suppose- and trying to manage time in the wisest way possible. This invariably includes a blog post; just as I can't imagine leaving home for an indefinable amount of time and not packing two bags full of stuff, I can't fathom leaving my blog for who-knows-how-long and not doing a last post, however scatter-brained it may be. 
I do have a last assignment and request of everyone, though.
I would like, love, adore it if you could all, in the lovely comment box, post your favorite verse reference or even verse that has to do with trusting God. It can be more than one, if you like, but I'm trying to compile a good list of trust verses before I head out, and as you have all been so supportive and wonderful this entire journey, it would mean so much to me if I could include some of your favorites as well.
They don't even have to have anything to do with directly trusting per say, either: whatever verses have and do, for whatever reason, help you to trust and encourage you in Christ you can post. 
I really look forward to seeing what you come up with!
I've still yet to call and ask about whether or not I'm allowed to blog: I have to wait a little while yet this morning before their clinic is open to phone calls, and the social worker I'm in contact with is in her office. I have an entire list approximately a mile or so long of questions I need to have answered before I can truly get the bulk of my packing completed. So far, everything has been tentatively placed in the bag, and my room is currently one big mess. 
Alrighty: I'm all checked in for my flight! It's now time to attack the breakfast beast (and, on a bigger scale, Vanity) and sink my teeth into the day as well. 
I look forward to seeing all of your verses, and I promise to come back later today and at the very least post my new address: I happen to be very fond of receiving and sending snail mail (Hint hint!). 
Cheery-eerio!

September 9, 2011

Dizzy

The past two or three days I've felt a good deal like a chicken that's lost is head yet still running around.
This feeling of chaotic panic stems from some very good news, though:
I am officially leaving for New York on Tuesday!
I received a phone call Wednesday afternoon informing me that a bed would be available in the clinic next Wednesday, and that I was next in line for it.
Chaos has since, invariably, ensued. 
I now have less than a week (three days, to be exact) to be packed, have plane flights all planned and purchased, and ready to spend who-knows-how-long in a hospital facility in New York. 
So you'll have to forgive me for both my lack of blog updates, and my general current case of scatterbrained consciousness. I'm not really sure where I put my brain, but I set it down somewhere and can't seem to find it.
If you happen to stumble across it, could you please let me know? I rather like having it around, and it is a bit imperative that I recover it as soon as possible.
Yesterday was spent mostly wandering about in a daze. When faced with pressing times and matters like this, I usually tend to go into a state of the most frustrating procrastination that is tinged by a willful refusal to care. Thankfully (and only by God's grace) I've been able to shake that off today, and have been facilitating the use of the empty house, my ample free time, and a huge legal pad of paper to plan my packing list and start cleaning and putting things away.
In my fondest wish and dream, I recover quickly and find myself home on Thanksgiving, ready and willing to partake of turkey goodness (even though I hate turkey) surrounded by the love of my family and enjoying my favorite holiday and season where everyone should: at home.
However, in reality, it will probably be sheer luck if I'm home in time for Christmas.
Wait, I lie: there is no luck involved here. God knows exactly what is happening, and how long I shall remain there. And it is this thought that brings me the greatest comfort and peace. It is knowing that God's hand is in this that uplifts me as I'm tempted to worry about plane tickets and their prices, what to bring, what to pack up in boxes that's being left at home, and how to prepare myself as a witness of Christ for this journey. 
I do like to think of this as stepping out in faith, not only because I have no clue what' going to happen, but because I am going into a place where I will be surrounded by people who don't know Christ, and are struggling with the same thing I am. I have a Savior who has helped me and will continue doing so, and I want to show others the Strength and Peace that they need to truly overcome not only an eating disorder, but all of the sins and troubles of life. 
Right now there are but a few things that trouble me:
1. What on earth am I going to do about all those Sundays? There is no church I can and could go to; the facility is not only locked-door for the patients (me!), but I don't know of any even if I could get out. What I think I will do is have my pastor send the recording of his sermons each Sunday, that way I can still be under solid teaching. I refuse to let Satan use this time as a means to drive me further from God than I already am. 
2. Books. I can only take so many! I mean, depending on the airline I fly with, each bag will be $30 or more, so I should be taking only the essentials. But good literature is an essential! I've told myself I'm allowed to bring two novels, but then I keep trying to sneak around that rule by picking two of poetry, a couple non-fiction, a handful of historical fiction...you get the idea. This could be a nightmare.
3. Yarn and knitting needle limitations. 
See above note about lack of bag space, room space, and impending, nightmarish, doom. 
4. Blogging. Although I'm allowed to bring and use my laptop and the internet, I don't know what all is allowed blog and social networking wise. I'm not allowed to use my webcam for things like Skype (unless off the site), and that is mostly to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the other patients. So will blogging be out too? That's my next question to the social worker I've been put in contact with there. 
All of the other big problems- and even these little ones as well- are resting in God's hands, though. I trust him completely and utterly, and I know He has some grand design and scheme. He loves to show us how great His mercy and how clever and perfect His designs are, so if I let go and trust then I am sure to be amazed.
Well, on that note, I don't think I ever cease to amazed by Christ.
Everything about Him is spectacular and wonderful!
So I had better now stop rambling, and get back to the chaotic drudgery (How's that for a paradox!) of planning and packing up.
Thank you again and again and again for your prayers and comments during this whole process of getting in to this facility!
I honestly don't think any of you can ever know how uplifting it is to know that there are others praying for you and willing you on in Christ until you've had the great privilege of experiencing it. 
I promise to post my new address on here as soon as I confirm it, that way anyone who wants to can snail mail me, and I shall be more than delighted to snail mail back.
(If there's one thing I'm leaving room for it's stationary and stamps!) 
I fervently hope that you all are able to find great encouragement in Christ through these words and the things I post here. The entire point of my deciding the put my struggle on here for others to read- scary though it is- is so that maybe I can be a light for Christ, a living story of my failures and frustrations as I deal with Vanity and Satan, as well as a book of the great successes and joys that come through leaning on Christ. It's never easy to trust Him fully- I often fail and find myself trying to follow my own "wisdom"- but there is one verse in particular that has been capturing my thoughts again and again.
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There is something so comforting and yet so challenging in this verse. 
And it is a comfort that I claim and a challenge I daily rise to meet.
Walk by faith, dear friends, and never by sight.
Lots of hugs and a great dose of excitement:
Cheerio!

September 5, 2011

The Good Life

Wowee! 
What a week, what a weekend, what a crazy, busy, wonderful life!
I have not seemed to have had a second in which to think, these past few days! 
Although the hectic pace never seemed obvious at the time (what a blessing!), looking back I was just going and going and going, without so much as a pause for breath! 
But a holiday is upon us, and although every day for the past several months of Summer has been pretty much a "holiday", I somehow managed to use the official title given to us all and set apart on our calenders as an excuse to be excessively dissipated, yet at the same time get more things done that I've been procrastinating on for a long time than I ever thought possible. 
But I'm getting far too much ahead of myself. 
As today is Monday (holiday or no), I'm going to make good on my promise and join Rachel at Dramatic Elegance as she counts up her blessings each week. I think there ought to be some sort of blog sticker created for this that we can pass around, so more people can count their blessings each Monday, and maybe find in it the same beauty and charm that I do. Mr. Monday and I are on very good terms indeed. 
My blessings today (to name but a few) are:
1. My fellow bloggers. All of you are so fantastic. I love each and every one of my followers, as well as the people I follow who don't even know my blog exists. I've been especially blessed by three in particular this past week, as these kind ladies have bestowed upon me the following blog awards:
Thank you ladies so much for blessing me (and making me blush)! I'm sorry to say I don't have the time at the moment to be able to fill out the questionnaires and pass them on, but know that I am extremely flattered and thankful!
2. Lovely neighborhoods, and the ability to explore them. When I mentioned above about getting things done that I've procrastinated on, this is one of them. Repeatedly for the past year or so, I've meandered past a certain neighborhood on my ways to and from work and the library, and often yearned to walk through them. I have a thing for beautiful houses, architecture, gardens, and yards. This neighborhood has caught my particular attention because, unlike all of the other subdivisions around here, it is older. The houses are one-of-a-kind and stately, the yards spacious, well-tended, and tasteful, lots of room in between lots and yards (our subdivision is just one example of the hundreds in which the houses are smooshed together like sardines. It's atrocious!), and-most importantly- there are trees
Living in a desert area where all of the divisions are newer and they plant these tiny twigs in the front yard, I am infatuated with any neighborhood where the houses are lovely, older (even if only by ten years), and adjoined by beautiful gardens and established trees. So many of the houses in this particular division were surrounded by veritable havens of green and dappled light. I was utterly enchanted as I meandered through it and admired them all. I was even able to adopt a park bench for a while and do some writing (Yes, I carry writing implements with me in my messenger bag when I go exploring. There's also a sketchpad and some pencils too. Don't judge). It was a perfect morning.
3. Fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly the kind that are free. There are many people at our church who have vegetables and fruit growing in their gardens, and come Summer and Fall there is always a back table laden with produce free for the taking. Yesterday's finds included fresh-off-the-plant green beans, some bell peppers, a carton of blackberries, and some squash varieties. I think my mother grabbed some vine-fresh tomatoes and pickling cucumbers as well. I seem to have nabbed some okra somehow, so now I'm looking into cooking methods.
There is also a fantastic farmers market happening daily outside our local Albertsons, where a few of the nearby farms have banded together to sell their produce gathered fresh almost daily. The greatest find this past week has been red pears of the juiciest flavor at only $0.58 a pound, and this year's first pick of gala apples- Oh! Heavenly, juicy, crisp, sweet, flavorful apples!- at a mere $0.99 a pound. All organic, unsprayed, and delicious. I could just about die of happiness.
4. Picnics. I adore picnics. I've been having them more and more in my backyard at lunch time, especially as the kids are in school and there is a sense of utter peace over the house and neighborhood. Another two blessings that tie in here are...
5. The cooling weather (Rather sudden and seemingly arrived the same moments as September. Mostly apparent in the cooling off at night- down to 40 degrees- and a pleasant breeze that makes the still-hot days much lighter, and, thus, outdoor picnics far more enjoyable), and...
6. My new-found strength to eat. 
And strength it is indeed. I'm still struggling daily, obsessing over meals and food, constantly thinking about it, and hearing Vanity worry every other moment, but through God's grace and strength I am eating far more normally. I'm learning to ignore Vanity, having finally figured out that I can't get her to shut up at the moment, I can just instead contradict, disobey, and laugh at her. She hates to be laughed at. Which makes me laugh even harder (whilst I nom away on a sandwich). My latest triumph being today's picnic outside. I made up a new sandwich that is definitely going down into my recipe book: it's a PLT- Pear, lettuce, tomato- sandwich. It's constructed the same way I normally make a BLT (Note: I use cream cheese, not mayo.), only I replace the bacon with some slices of red pear. Oh, sweet Jehoshaphat, is this sandwich an absolute delicious dream. Make one- just be sure to use whole wheat, toasted bread, cream cheese, and the freshest, ripest produce you can get your hungry hands on. 
7. The ideas and inspiration that God continually gives me. I was worrying yesterday afternoon about the state of my Winter boots. At six years old and having been in a state of wet disrepair all of last Winter, I've been fretting about what I'm going to tromp around a cold New York in, as I can't currently spend money on things like boots (Saturday was my last work day, remember? And I have to buy expensive plane tickets and support myself- jobless- while at the facility. In New York City. Which is an exceedingly expensive place). But inspiration struck while I was- of course- knitting!
Why not make a pair of boot toppers for my much-beloved pair of galoshes! Then I can wear fuzzy socks as well and not have to worry about buying new boots! Brilliant! 
(In case you're wondering what boot toppers are exactly, they resemble wide legwarmers that fit inside of boots and fold over the top to keep your legs warm in galoshes/wellies. Below is a pictorial example.)
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I'm now making boot toppers and wool socks like crazy as the days of expected departure draw ever-nearer. I'm still praying that with my new-found success and strength I will be able to stay at home and improve here, but I'm trusting this completely to God's care. He knows exactly what I need. 
8. My church, my Pastor, and the sermons I hear there. 
The past few weeks and the coming ones have been focusing on trust: an area in which I am finding myself more and more lacking. Trusting God. It is so easy to speak of, yet so hard to do! The past two weeks of sermons have been both hugely convicting and exceedingly helpful. I can't thank God enough for knowing exactly what I need to hear and then using my pastor to speak the words.
Well, I did intend to post a fantastic recipe for some marvelous pumpkin scones on here today, but I think that could and should wait for tomorrow. In the meantime, how are all of you spending your Labor Day?
This brings me to an excellent question: Why is such a holiday- one that I, at least, spend in laziness and nonchalant dissipation- referred to as "Labor Day?" I ask ya!
Have any of you been experiencing even the teensiest bit of Fall weather yet? Any changing leaves? 
What are some of your blessings? 
I'm off to go knit my boot toppers some more, meander around the neighborhood, and then enjoy a classic film with a pot of Earl Grey tea and a pear-ginger-raisin muffin (The latter occurs somewhere around 4:30, though). 
Cheerio, all!