Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Any May a Beautiful Change

Nothing for a week, and two posts in one day? Life is crazy :) 

My friend Katherine Willis Pershey wrote a gorgeous, fantastic book called Any Day a Beautiful Change. You can buy it here. To celebrate and lift up this amazing book, I am participating in a blog carnival about beautiful changes in my life. This one is about soap.

I have always wanted to make soap. About 10 years ago I bought a gorgeous book on soapmaking that, no joke, took you from ashes in the fireplace to soap. That was a little more than I was ready for. But then things got crazy at home and work and the world, and I did what I always do: research new craft projects.

I am totally fearless when it comes to making things for the home. I began my research into soapmaking on the web, of course, and found a sweet little book which made it sound easy. And it was! Or at least, my husband reminds me, it was easy for me. I can follow a recipe, thanks to learning to sew at a formative age.

As the soap cured, I read up more about the process. I'm simplifying, but basically it goes like this:

Add lye to water. The lye will dissolve in the water having a chemical reaction and get very hot.
Melt oils. Add lye water to oils. Mix like the dickens, or use a stick blender. This makes your oils saponify, which is a really fun word to say. Try it. Saponify.

Then you wrap your soap which you've poured into a mold in a towel for about a day, sometimes as much as 3 days, sometimes as little as 8 hours. You want it to get really freaking hot before it can be safe. It has to undergo pressure and a chemical reaction and other science stuff.

And then you unwrap it, slice it, and put it back in the closet for at least a month. Because while it's soap, it's not ready. You can use it, but it will possibly hurt you and will definitely be soft and mushy. I assume you aren't looking for mushy soap.

You can see where I'm going with this right? This is how change works for me far too often. I identify a problem or area I need to make a change, I research, I make the steps of the change, then I sit in the closet (kidding), then I wait and see what God is going to do to me and with me. And usually it smells good.

We're going through about six huge transitions in our family right now, and it helps me to remember that the good stuff is coming, possibly not how we think it should look, but it is coming. Our life isn't always easy, and right now it is very very hard, but through it all I trust that God is with me. Sometimes I remember to thank God for that, other times I trust that God knows my heart.

May has been full of beautiful changes. I'm thinking the rest of the summer is going to be all right too.

Now go buy Katherine's book :)


  1. Amen. This post is right on time.

  2. Amen. This post is right on time.

  3. Every time I try to write a comment, I'm kind of undone again by how beautiful this is. (And also the word saponify, which may well have edged it's way onto my top ten words list.)

    Thank you for writing about soap and hard changes and good stuff and God.


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