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My husband is unemployed once again and this time he will not receive any help from the government. He quit the job he took just a few weeks ago. We’re having a seasonal slump at work, too, so I’m feeling somewhat imperiled.

I’m trying to remain compassionate and supportive, but the effort is stressful. I’m not sleeping well, and I’m spending too much time worrying.

At the church elders retreat yesterday we had “centering prayer” practice, and basically as soon as the three minute meditation time was announced, I felt tears sliding down my face. Apparently, it is only by keeping my mind full of stuff that I am able to maintain equilibrium.

Does this mean that I should take up daily centering prayer, however uncentering I may find it, or that I should make sure to keep my mind busy in order to avoid wallowing in misery?

I haven’t decided.

One thing that was excellent about the retreat — apart from the things that were actual goals — was seeing so many of the women and men who have been heroes to me. Saints for me to look up to and learn from. Of course, I see them most Sundays, but we were reminded of “formative leadership”: providing an example and encouragement and support to others. So many members of my church family have done that for me, wittingly or unwittingly. Nearly all the people that, as a young woman, I wanted to grow up to be like are members of this church.

I knitted during the retreat, as did the Christian Education minister, who was sitting at the same table with me. Knitting in public is somewhat controversial, so we plotted to support one another, and I got a good bit done on the fronts of the Delish Cardigan, as shown at the top of the post. I’m doing both together at the same time, in hopes of getting a good match. I would like to finish both the Sports Quilt and the Delish Cardigan before I begin making Christmas gift. Oh, and the Fall SWAP as well, or at least all the knit pants and tops.

This may be an unrealistic goal. Or, let’s rephrase that, obviously is an unrealistic goal. However, I am planning to get back to quilting as soon as I get home from church.

As for the difficulties I’m facing, I honestly don’t know what to do about them. Retreat? I keep seeing, everywhere I look, messages about not giving up. But maybe I should let my husband make his own choices and quit trying to help. We might still face some hardship and I will surely still be unhappy with some of the outcomes,but it might be better for our marriage if I just step away, praying rather than jumping in and trying to fix things.