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A matter of faith

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Fireflys Gracious Parcels Knitting ProjectThe first two squares for the Gracious Parcels 2006 project were hand-delivered to me last night by my husband. Winnie of The Buttons (my new nick name for her) made two in a pretty rust color. Winnie is moving away to be closer to her daughters in a couple of weeks, and yet she took the time to knit two squares ... what a sweet and dear woman she is. Several fellow bloggers have mentioned and linked to Gracious Parcels on their websites, and to each of you ... thank you so much. The help is very appreciated. This morning while I was having my tea I finished up the knitted drawstring gift bag for my niece's Christmas gift ... designed especially to match and accomodate one pair of Knitty.com's "Fetching" fingerless gloves. (Photos further down in today's blog.) Anyone familiar with that pattern will recognize the 4x1 ribbing and cables. I added buttons as embellishments, and accented the bag with a touch of the blue from the gloves. All in all, a very fetching gift ... if I do say so myself. I will share and post the pattern this coming Friday (the pattern for the bag, not the gloves as the gloves pattern doesn't belong to me). Fireflys Blue Enamel Amish BowlI have a thing for little bowls. When my husband and I were in the Finger Lakes region a couple weeks back for a three-day mini-vacation, we stopped at what was promoted as being the largest Amish market in New York. There were four or five large "barns" filled with all kinds of goods and products. I imagine some were Amish made and some were not, but I am not certain. I saw this cute little white speckled deep blue enameled bowl there ... and bought it.. Late every morning I have a scrambled egg sandwich on a whole wheat english muffin and I use my pretty little bowl to whip them up. I baked some yams in the oven last night because later today I plan to experiment with a soup I have in mind using yams (or sweet potatoes), banana, and ginger. My daughter had some incredible soup in the Sonoma Valley in California several years ago made of those three key ingredients and I've wanted to experiment with the concept ever since she told me about it. Today is the day ... I'll let you know the results on Friday. I was thinking this morning about the role faith played in my husband and I getting to know each other and accepting the idea of marriage rather quickly. I don't know if I have mentioned it before, but he and I had agreed to marry and knew we would go through with it before we ever met face-to-face. It was wild, but not. You see, we were going on a profound sense of faith that could not be shaken. It began on Valentine's Day last year, or just a day or two before. I was feeling hurt and confused about whatever was or wasn't going on with the Viking. When the Viking and I were getting to know each other, even then faith was the driving force behind my actions. The feeling of knowing what to do and the natural rightness of my actions was huge and unwavering. When I drove to Nebraska after Christmas to meet the Viking, it was faith that gave me confidence. After New Year's when he went out of communication bit by bit, because my faith was so strong I continued to hold on to the idea that things would turn out okay in the end. The feelings, the knowledge, the sense of rightness, was all much too powerful, clear, and serene to ignore. So, I went with it. Fireflys Hand Knit Fetching Fingerless Gloves Gift BagNonetheless, when the Viking went out of communication it was very disturbing. I struggled with many feelings and did not understand how such a feeling of faith could be met with such evidence that faith was leading me in the wrong direction. For me, it became a personal and somewhat valiant effort to continue to have unwavering faith no matter the evidence to the contrary. I held close to my sense of faith and coached myself a number of times into being faith, accepting faith throughout my very being. Everything in my life for at least ten years had led me to the conclusion that my lack of faith at times was what caused me the most difficulty and suffering in life. To go with the flow of the river me was an ultimate act of faith and goodwill. I felt that I was on the precipice of the most crucial point in my life, when a calm sense of complete faith would make the difference and that I must not falter. When sadness or confusion tried to set in on me and settle into my bones, I went outside and took a walk. It was a beautiful time in Los Angeles as we were having a warm and clear winter. Everything was green and fresh, the sun was golden and healing. There was a huge park near where I was living; there was a dam with a walking path that stretched about two miles. I could go there and walk the breadth of the dam and back and get in a four-mile walk. No matter what I felt like when I started one of my walks, no matter what troubles I might be struggling with, sometime during the walk I would feel a powerful connection with God. It actually felt as if I was having conversations with God at times, examining the subject of faith and having many realizations about the role faith played in life or could play if you let if flourish. (When I speak of God and faith, I am not speaking of the God of any particular religion, or the faith of any particular set of beliefs. Just God ... my own understanding of what God is to me and what my relationship to God is. A non-denominational and universal concept. The struggle on our little blue planet between religions is odd, I believe. That man strikes down man (or woman or child) in the name of God, and faith, and religion is so counter-intuitive it is hard to believe such actions can exist in a society so seemingly advanced as ours.) Many things were on my mind as I walked my four miles day after day on top of that dam. It was a beautiful, wonderful, fulfilling time for me. Fireflys Hand Knit Fetching Fingerless Gloves and Gift BagDuring the transition between when I met my husband at the end of January (met him only via email) and when I finally let go of the idea that the Viking was the direction I was headed, I resolved quite a few issues with myself having to do with what my real intentions are in life, regarding marriage, the future I would like to strive toward, etc. One afternoon right around Valentine's Day I was washing dishes and felt awash with a fantastic sense of well-being. It seemed odd to me, because I was feeling also let down by the crumbling of the Viking reality. Somehow, though, I couldn't help but smile. It seemed rather silly, but I smiled anyway. Looking out the window into the warmth of a sunny day I had a clear and distinct thought enter my mind that I would be married by spring, by the end of April specifically. My next thought was, "Well, that just doesn't make any kind of sense." How could that timing work out? The Viking was all but gone, and the only other prospect was this really interesting man I was sharing emails with who lived on a farm in upstate western New York, a place I certainly would never agree to move to. I reminded myself that faith is knowing what you know inspite of any evidence to the contrary or lack of evidence supporting whatever it is you know. So I thought, "Okay. This will be the perfect act of faith. I have no reason to believe it could possibly be true that I will be married by the end of April. Therefore, for that very reason I will have faith in the accuracy of that knowledge." When I made that decision, I felt even more serene and happy. My heart was light and I knew it was a right action to completely let go of the Viking and to not feel that anything I had been believing in or any of my actions had been wrong. I decided that even though he was not the direction I was headed in, he had been key in keeping me walking down the right road to where I was going, and where I wanted to go. Another point of liberation. Liberation so sweet, and so divine. The following Saturday was when my husband and I first spoke on the phone and time seemed to stand still. That is where today's part of the story ends. May your day be divine. ~firefly Copyright © 2006 J.L. Fleckenstein ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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