Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Block 4 of Psalm 23 and some ideas...


I should never be surprised when God highlights a particular verse at just the right time.
Like this month's verse.
How very apt. How needful for so many. 




I am not fearful (especially after what I shared in this post) but that does not change the occasional moments when it threatens to rise in me after I've been out grocery shopping or when my husband returns from work at the school. 

I let myself acknowledge the threat in that moment and then I let it go. I offer it to God and continue on in my daily rhythms, each task measured and mindful in light of what has now touched so many lives, families, regions and economies of the globe.

Dear heart, do not let fear control you, cripple you or rob you of your peace. Do not let it frighten you into despair. Do not allow it to fill your heart with dread or steal your joy.




For most of us life has changed dramatically over the past month or two. In my country, and probably yours, we are in lockdown. We are to stay in our homes and only venture out for absolute essentials - food, medicine, work. There are heavy fines in place for any unnecessary movements out of doors or gatherings of more than two people.

This in itself can bring about a fearful heart, a despairing heart...indeed, a lonely heart.
But safe indoors, attending to our homes and gardens, accessing family through various internet measures, can offer it's own safety and genuine opportunities for creative avenues we may not have pursued under normal circumstances.

Consider today what you love about your home, consider the aspects you would like to change and what you can use on hand to bring that about. I was chatting with Blossom about the old tv series, The Waltons, and of their inventiveness, their frugality, their resilience during the depression of the 1930's to soldier on, make do and mend, use what they had on hand...and their faith in God. I wish those programs could be shown on television again...how deeply encouraging they would be now as we seem fairly certain a depression is coming again.




Late last year I watched an entire series on Youtube called Wartime Farm. There are eight episodes and they were brilliant in showing how Britain's farmers adapted to the food shortage and the extreme conditions of wartime.

Here is episode 1...



I'm going to start over with this series again because it was fascinating, informative, encouraging and in light of life amidst COVID-19 it also reminds me how the human spirit can lift in the darkest and most challenging of times.

Take your eyes off the news for a bit - let them rest on God's Word, do some stitching, prepare a garden, create a delicious meal or treat with simpler ingredients, write a letter or send a card to loved ones and friends who may be isolated and alone, download an audio book (many libraries have this option if you cannot afford to purchase books that way), dust the book shelves and brew a cuppa to sip while you reacquaint yourself with all those books you purchased many years ago but never had time to really enjoy. I have many home-based books and sewing books on my shelves just begging to be opened.




I know these are all small things in the big scheme of life, but honestly, sometimes we need to do the small things because there's a lot of big things happening around us that can tend to create a sense of overwhelm or lack of control.

But within your home, your God-given safe sanctuary, wherever that is, let peace and joy abound.
Set yourself some simple tasks and take your time as you work through them, being sure to add in a few thoroughly delightful tasks amidst the regular homemaker chores.

Put on some music, the kind that lifts YOUR spirit - dance...sing...or drive that vacuum cleaner around with a sassy sway (if you're like me!).




What feel-good movies are you drawn to on days when life is a bit much or you're full up with a head cold? Write a list and add them to your daily tasks because looking after mental health is very important right now and time out to just let the weariness or impact of our new daily lives drift way for a while is a healthy tonic.




The photos above are of this month's block + another bonus block in our Psalm 23 BOM for 2020.
Make another page just the way you made last month's page using the verse block and the comforter block (here)

You can also see my second version in the pastel blues and pinks. The fabric behind is what I've been using for the applique and it will also feature as borders when I make these new blocks into a wall quilt.

Use the link below to download the free pattern.


I had a wonderful chat with Blossom and the girls via Facetime this morning so my happy tank is nice and full again. Not seeing them, not cuddling up on the couch and being squished with toddler arms is difficult, but I praise God we have the technology today which allows us to see each other in our homes, read books to the children, share a cuppa, and feel far more connected than our daily phone conversations. What a blessing. 
It may be many months before the restrictions are lifted but let us not lose heart dear ones...this too shall pass, and I believe if we put our minds to the task we will come through it with a renewed sense of gratitude for what we once had, and a new sense of gratitude for the lessons of simpler living we are learning now. 

Before I go, if you or someone you love has been affected by COVID-19, please forgive me for not offering the comfort you need, for not being able to remove the sorrow or circumstances you face...but know that this day I am praying for you, and I ask everyone who is reading this post today to join me and pray also.

May He be your strength, comfort, hope, provision and truth.

Loving hugs


23 comments:

  1. Thank you for comforting words.

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  2. Jenny, that is lovely that you can see the girls on Facebook. Unfortunately my girl isn't techy at all and they also have a dreadful internet connection in their street as we tried to communicate via Skype months ago but it kept dropping outI have heard some people refer to their home as a 'Safehaven' at this time. That sums it up doesn't it? We are in the 'old' group and have been told not to go out unless absolutely necessary as we are over 70. Seriously I was only 21 just the other day 😂

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  3. Thanks for such a beautiful post, it reminds me of the blessing I have.

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  4. Fantastic post, thank you. I, too, am using FaceTime with my Grandies. It is great. We are doing Scavenger Hunts and other games, good fun and it is wonderful to see my babies. Thank you for the beautiful Blocks

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  5. Love and hugs to you Jenny. x

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  6. Thank you Jenny, thank you for your words of comfort and encouragement, and thank you for your beautiful pattern that I have been looking forward to all month!
    I know God is protecting you and your husband as he comes and goes.
    God bless you

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  7. Just watched the first episode of Wartime Farm! It's great, found the rest on utube to watch. Thanks for the recommendation

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  8. Dear Jenny, You truly have a heart of gold...you are a treasure! Some how you seem to know just the tone & the words that we need to hear. Thank you for the episode of Wartime Farm, one I've not heard about before. I think that will be my little escape when my home chores are done today, the vacuuming, transplanting seedlings & sewing of hospital masks. Thank you for reminder that we may need to turn away from the news at times, it doesn't mean we don't care but for our sanity it may be necessary. My sincere hope is that you & your family remain safe & healthy! - Diane from northern Minnesota, USA

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  9. Good Morning. Your words today have been soothing to my heart. I haven't been able to stay at home yet, I fear for my family and baby grandchildren who live with me. I'm afraid, but today you cherished my heart.

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  10. Take good care of yourself and your husband Jenny. Hopefully with Gods grace we will get through this hard time

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  11. This verse from the 23rd Psalm has been speaking to me a lot these past few weeks. Thank you always for your inspirational messages.

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  12. You have been preparing to become as independent as possible with your garden and chooks. I wish I was home now, but since that isn't possible, I'm working to get to the point to where I can go home. The state I am currently in is making everyone who comes to the state (except truck drivers)do self-isolation for 2 weeks, so I'm not even thinking about going to visit hubby!! The snow storms we are getting, both here and at home, add to the incentive to stay here!! Thank you for the reminder that He will never leave us, no matter what!! So comforting!!!

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  13. Jenny, so glad to hear you and your family are doing well. Here in Oregon, USA we are also home bound but your posts are definitely the highlight! You are so inspiring and uplifting.
    I do have one question: this pattern doesn't have the little bunch of flowers on the top right side. Would it be possible to get that?
    Stay healthy and in God's arms!
    Carla

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    1. Oh goodness, I did not realise that...I will update the pattern sheet today and give a new download link. Thank you, Carla!

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    2. Thank you Jenny! You are awesome. xoxo

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  14. A very apt quote Jenny. And yes, we have to look at the positives and give thanks for the internet that helps us kepp in touch with friends and family at this time. xx

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  15. Thank you Jenny for your encouragement and inspiration!

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  16. Thank you Jenny, that verse has been a constant prayer over the last few weeks. Love to you and your family and thank God that we have these ways of keeping in touch and sharing inspiration. xx

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  17. Like you, I can find all sorts of things to keep me occupied while at home. Still, the news each day can be overwhelming and depressing. That's when it's time to turn to God. Psalm 91 is proving helpful during these troubling days. Today our governor declared that Floridians stay at home. Well, my husband and I have done just that since March 16. We've been to the grocery store only once, on March 19, and just today were talking about all the things we'll start giving up as our food stock runs low. We're putting off a visit until it becomes necessary. I'm reading (well, listening to audiobooks), and have just begun "The Harbinger" by Jonathan Cahn, which is a fictitious religious accounting of why America has experienced disasters. It's believable enough to give me pause about the reason this pandemic has happened. Do continue to rest in the Lord, and find peace in your stay-a-home activities. I am.

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  18. I am constantly amazed how people are complaining because they have to stay at home. We are so lucky these days, unlike during the war years, because we can still speak to our loved ones on the phone, text, email or video chat. I know many do not have the internet or have the financial means to have Netflix, Stan, or any other such entertainment so we need to be grateful for what we have. Goodness knows what people will do if the internet shuts down! Your post will be very helpful to a lot of people reminding them to not be fearful.

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  19. So lovely, thank you dear heart - you give hope and comfort to so many. I've subscribed to those videos, can't wait to start watching, thank you!

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  20. Jenny thank you for this encouragement. Sweet blog, Beautifully said. I completely relate, not being able to snuggle my family ( in person) right now. Bless , you Blossom and your sweet family. Prayers Donna

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  21. I've just watched Part one of Wartime Farm...so interesting. Seeing this program is such a great glimpse into life in rural England during those years. Life on a farm is something so rarely seen, so thank you for the chance to see this program. I see that other parts of the program are available, so hope to do part 2 tomorrow. - Diane in northern Minnesota, USA

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It's always nice to receive feedback on a blog post, so *thank you* for taking time to comment!
I will try to reply via email unless you are a 'no reply blogger' which means you'll have to check for my reply in the comments. Of course, life is a rather hazardous activity, isn't it? So if I don't respond to your comment that's the reason why - life simply stepped in...
hugs
Jenny
x