Life is a journey. Some days you are riding on a smooth freeway and other days you are on what some would call a trail; but if you look closer, it's a trail that is covered with rocks to trip you as you go along. Well, for the last couple of years, I seem to be stepping on lots of rocks. I sometimes think I'm Charlie Brown( "...All I got was a rock.") At the beginning of the summer, a friend of mine started a blog called a Journey to a Shawl. The idea was to spend the summer spinning and then knitting a shawl. Well, I just loved the idea, but I took mine a bit further. My journey took me to a different path. This year I turned 40 and in a couple of days I will celebrate my 20th anniversary. As I began to think about this shawl, I also thought about my life. Somewhere along the way I seemed to have lost my joy. A couple of years ago I had a couple of friends hurt me pretty badly, but they didn't just stop at causing me pain, but they made sure others were involved and in the end it really hurt me and my family. Well, I got to thinking back in June that I really had had enough. So my journey started with some time of reflection on what was causing my pain, self doubt and just general feelings of gloom. I have spent lots and lots of time reading the Bible, praying and also reading a very life changing books called "Get out of that Pit" by Beth Moore. By the way, I highly recommend the book. Now I'm not all put together (not sure if I every will be) but like a journey, you haven't arrived until you are done. So I'm still working on a lot of the areas in my life that need help, but I am getting there. So as I was working several areas in my life, I worked on this shawl. I first set some goals. Now I have not reached them all, but I do feel that I'm at a place to do so. My goals that I set, in no particular order, were: 1. find my joy again. 2. have fun with the girls. 3. grow in Christ. 4. find a place of service. 5. loose 40 pounds, and finally 6. spin and knit the shawl. Like I have said, I haven't reached all of them, but I think I am ready. First, I think my joy is coming back. This summer my two youngest daughters painted their room, we had such fun with that. My oldest is planning a girls weekend soon to paint hers. Third, if you spend any time reading the Bible you will get closer to Christ, so I did. Now for the hardest one. I learned this summer in all of this heat that we have been having, I just can't loose weight. My plan is to get going in earnest in September when the girls are back in school, so I can work out with out passing out from the heat. Now for the shawl, I first had to choose a fiber that would suit the project. I chose a three tone purple with bits of olive green. The color was a very important part of the shawl I chose purple because when you feel like a failure in life you need to remember that if you are in Christ then you are part of royalty. What a better color than purple to remind myself that I am of value and that God loves me. Once you get that not only in your heart but in your head too, your joy will come back. After I chose the fiber, I had to choose the pattern so that I could figure out how much yarn I needed. I chose Sivia Harding's Diamond Fantasy. I first saw this pattern on Cat Bordi. She wears the scarf version just about everyday. She called it her comfort blanket, so I knew this was the pattern for me. I started to spin for the shawl, the pattern calls for sport weight at about 750 yards. Well after about a month of spinning (had to stop when it was really hot), I ended up with 695 yards. Not having enough I decided to knit until I ran out. I ended up knitting 8 repeats instead of 10. When I blocked out it ended up being 37 inches long anyway, so I'm happy. I have knit and spun many many projects, but I have say this ones really holds my heart. The spinning isn't perfect, there are thin spots and thick spots, but life isn't perfect either, so I think this shawl is a true reflection of life and all its trails that we take. Some are smooth and others are full of rocks, but really the journey is beautiful. By the way, the yellow dots in the picture are pins not beads. Enjoy your journey; stop and look at the view once in a while and you just might find it's beautiful too!