This past week I slowed, enjoyed my family, pondered new things, and decided I still need more time away from the blog, away from expectations and being fully present in planning the steps forward.
I tend to take a week off every few months and within those seven days I quieten my soul, but only to a certain degree. Now I want to go deeper, to be mentally restful as a way of life.
This current time of rest and separation has taught me that the first week is about the unwind.
It is a time to breathe and ponder with clarity which things matter most in my life, and to have that set in my mind before opening the doors of business and blogging again, because when those doors are flung wide once more much of this newly acquired peace and resolution can quickly evaporate in the needs of the moment.
So I'm taking a second week of retreat, seven days with purpose. Seven days of building on the direction my heart wants to take, direction which needs a plan and definite application tools. I wish I'd realised this years ago...but perhaps, as in all things with God, now is the right time to grow in such understanding. This is my season to learn and apply and take more steps forward than I do back.
Having no car at my disposal this past month has kept me predominately home bound during the working week. At first it was nice, then it was a tad frustrating, but over the last seven days or so I've found my peace with it and even embraced the freedom it has offered me. Peace to go about my home duties and work to a relaxed rhythm.
This made me think of growing up with Nana.
We never owned a car nor had a telephone, so being at home each day was the most natural thing. On our once a week trip to buy groceries she'd hang up her apron, put on her 'going-out' dress, apply face powder and bright pink lipstick, clip on a pair of earrings, trade her scuffs for pretty sandals, remove the hair rollers to style her hair, and dress me up just as fine before we headed out the door and to the bus stop.
I've reflected on how times have changed and to what extent I changed with them.
It's such a blessing to own a car, to be able to call or text my children and stay in touch, to see moment by moment photos of my grandchildren - those changes are a beautiful benefit.
Frankie Juliette in my daughter Aisha's glasses just the other day. A moment we shared even though she's 2,400 klms away...
But there are other changes I'd like to release myself from.
Like the hustle and bustle of expediency in day to day life, social media contacts that I really don't know much about, a lack of face to face time with real people I care about, juggling business and private emails so as not to fall behind, optioning fast food a little too often when work has overwhelmed...among other things.
With progress comes good, and also bad.
Finding a balance which allows you to be true to self and not appear ungracious or aloof requires (for me) prayer, family support and confidence that the path you choose is one which breathes life and does not extinguish it, nor overwhelm it.
That indeed is where my ponderings and plans lay at present.
Choosing the good, adapting to what cannot be changed, and eliminating the bad.
This past week:
I watched my husband's azalea bloom and our potted greenery begin to revive after some overdue care...
...and gave my body (as well as my mind) a rest by eating only fruit and vegetables, drinking only fresh water with lemon juice, and inspiring my creative mind to try new recipes.
A new sewing machine arrived...
...and some pretty fabrics which will be used for aprons and many other ideas.
We were blessed with a few garage sale finds on our regular Saturday morning adventure...
...and time was spent sorting through my quilts for three to display on the stand Mr E painted last month.
A new book arrived in the mail, one I believe will hold many ideas for sewing with those new fabrics...
...and I'm also planning a simple way to display this design from a few months back on a cream metal stand Mr E refashioned for me recently because the message is one I need reminding of often.
Making any house a home requires a heart with purpose to decorate accordingly, a desire to infuse an atmosphere of welcome for those who cross it's threshold, and a plan to create a sense of sanctuary for those who live under it's roof so that they long to come home.
Merging this desire with a home business in play requires balance so I'm adding that to my ponderings and plans next week.
Living the gentle domestic life hand in hand with the creativity of a homemaker as well as a textile designer - without the business once again swamping the 'living' side - can be done, but it requires a good plan and plenty of prayer.
It requires letting some things go and gathering better things to my heart.
And that dear friend is the balance I hope to find in this next week of 'rest'.
Sweet Cully May and Blossom have been to visit a few times and the popover apron I made for her birthday looks adorable so I'm sewing a few more.
Unfortunately our little girl has been sick again.
We discovered she did not have Roseola (baby measles) last month after all, but it was in fact Scarlet Fever. Her hands and feet are still peeling and she's been teething molars as well. Whilst being hopeful she would soon recover and be able to enjoy good health once more Cully May has now come down with chicken pox.
What a month it has been for her and for Blossom, yet she still laughs, smiles, hugs you so tight you lose your breath - all in between bouts of pain, fever and itchiness.
To top all this off, on Thursday our precious angel was bitten on the face by one of Blossom and Ross's small dogs, Elmo. They adopted the 9 year old Pomeranian about six months before Cully May was born and since her birth he's never really taken to her, keeping his distance. This week he made an unprovoked attack on her face. She has three puncture marks on her nose, one which may scar, but has bounced back very well considering the shock and trauma.
Acting swiftly Blossom called our local dog facility who assessed Elmo and took him in to doggy foster care.
So about now some good news would lift our spirits don't you think?
Cully May is going to be a big sister!
Blossom and Ross are expecting their second child early next year, around my birthday in late February.
We'd love you to pray for this young family that their season of trial has now drawn to an end and that a time of peace and health and blessing shall abundantly fall upon them.
I shall be back in another week and during that time I pray that the Lord would abundantly bless you and draw you closer to Him than ever before.
There is no greater joy than to sit at the Saviour's feet and worship Him with a thankful heart.