Saturday, August 12, 2017

A little more time...

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. 
(thank you)

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. 



  1. Praying for you, Blossom, Cully May that you will be blessed with peace and good health.

  2. Thanks Jenny. Praying for Blossom and Cully May.

  3. Prayers For Cully May. And I love my Janome. I hope you'll live yours also.

  4. Thank you for your sweet words...prayers for you and your family! Have a blessed weekend! 💖

  5. Glenise Magnano - Gold CoastAugust 12, 2017 at 1:53 PM

    Thank you so much Jenny. Enjoy your week. Poor little Cully May. She is certainly her mother's daughter. So very sweet and she will be an adorable big sister to the new arrival next year. Congratulations. More joy to fill your life. Prayers for you and your family Jenny.

  6. Praying for you and your family!

  7. Jenny it is great to relax and regroup our lives lovely news that Cully will become a big sister grandchildren are a blessing My son back 30 years ago came down with Scarlet fever I do remember all his extremities peeled Hope all goes well for you and your

  8. Have a good break! We all need time like this, so take however long you need. I'll be praying for your family too...

  9. Oh my gosh Jenny, a tough time for everyone but now a wonderful time to bless everyone. Wee Cully Mae is such a stalwart and nothing seems to faze her does it? She is such a poppet and such a blessing to everyone. But now a second blessing for Blossom and Ross. Gosh I so hope and pray Bloss will be okay through this pregnancy. I hope she doesn't have to go through the same ride that she went through whilst pregnant last time.
    Now is time for all of your family to be together and regroup. Forget your blog etc and enjoy being yourself.

  10. Oh dear Jenny, you and Cully May will be in my prayers. Lovely news about Blossom having another baby, very exciting happy times. Oh yes Cully May's apron pop over is so cute on her. I like the snippet of your new sewing machine. 12 months ago I bought a new Janome Skyline S5 - yours looks very similar of what I can see. Lots of fun sewing times ahead for you. I love my new Janome, it's so quiet and lovely to sew with. Hugs Kaylee

  11. Scarlet fever - goodness me. I can remember my mother fumigating my brothers room with sulphur alight on the end of a shovel after he had had scarlet fever....hmmm I wonder what that was all about? - Obviously an old remedy of some type.

  12. Lots going on! Nice to reflect on your special Nana, life is a speeding highway now..........our grandkids help us slow down and smell the roses. I have fabric bundle envy going on looking at that photo of hugsxx

  13. Congratulations to your family with the good news. Blessings to you and your family. Have a good rest and enjoy time wirh your family. Be blessed

  14. Those quiet moments with God are so important. He is the only one who can rejuvenate and fill my soul. I will be praying over your entire family. Thank you for asking and giving us the opportunity. I absolutely LOVE praying for others. :) God bless and keep you on your extended hiatus. We'll see you when you're ready. - PS - Super adorable grandbabies, and another on the way. What a blessing. <3

  15. Enjoyed the blog post today. I pray your rest will be restorative. Saying a prayer for you and yours.

  16. May Cully May heal fast and may the week ahead bring you simple joys and peaceful days.

  17. Darling girl, it amazes me sometimes how our minds run parallel so many miles apart. I pray you enjoy these peaceful days, and find healing for your mind and body. I adore Cully May's apron, and wow am I praying for that precious little girl [and her mum and dad]!! Really glad Blossom acted so quickly on the Elmo front. Love your new treasures!

  18. Such a beautiful heartfelt post. It is so good to know that you are looking after your own needs and giving yourself time to reflect on all sorts of things in your life. Such cute photos of the girls . So sorry that poor little Cully May had scarlet fever and now chicken pox. ( I had scarlet fever when I was a child..very rare back then) I have never had chicken pox despite all my friends and my brother having it. When my children got it I thought I would get it but never did. How awful poor little Cully being attacked by the dog. I hope she is not fearful of all dogs as a result. Such a difficult time for Blossom . Many angel hugs to you and your gorgeous family.

  19. Prayers for you and your family.

  20. Congratulations Jenny. Cully May will be a great sister I would think although her mum will be really busy with the children so close in age but they will also be good friends too. I hope her face heals up perfectly. What a time the little family has had recently. Take your time with regenerating. It will be worth it in the long run.

  21. Miss Jenny,

    Thank you for your wisdom and your love for the Lord, your family and even your blog readers. You are entering a precious place. Please take your time listening, resting, and meditating on His love. The Lord has used you to get my attention to remember simplicity and working quietly with my hands while surrounding my family with the things that mean the most and to know that choosing this way of life is God's choice. How wonderful is that?!!!

    Congratulation to Blossom and Ross and darling Cully May! Prayers for all of them and for you and your dear Mr. E.

    My DH just bought me a new machine last month after my machine died and its a Janome! I think you will love yours! I am thrilled with mine and am thankful to have a godly and loving husband who made a sacrifice to bless me. We are blessed ladies!

    The world tells us to go go go, but our Father tells us to 'be still and know Ge is God." Your obedience will be greatly rewarded. Take all the time He calls you to. Rest and heal. Come back to us when He says its time.

  22. Thank you, Jenny. For this line especially..." 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." You will probably never know how God has used your past trials and present reflections to encourage and bless others, but they have been a blessing to me during a really difficult period of my life, and I am grateful. I am praying for Blossom and Cully May the same prayer I am praying for you and for myself. That after we have suffered a little while, He will stablish and strengthen and settle us in His love. It is good to know that He knows the when and the how, and what we need to purify us and make us life Himself. I am so thankful. Hugs and prayers.

  23. Jenny, you are more of an inspiration than you know, and I sincerely hope that you find some peace. Spiritual retreats have long been a part of my life, and with all of the distractions in the world today, I sometimes need to withdraw from it all in order to re-direct myself. I do this through and prayer "gentle domesticity", thanks to you.

    My heartfelt congratulations to you and your family!

  24. Happy retreating time, Jenny. Balance takes a lot of planning. It has been a rough time for Cully May, but she is surrounded by people who love her dearly, and her little personality is so appealing. I will keep your family in my prayers, and especially you because you are the matriarch who keeps it all flowing smoothly. Your little Frankie Juliette is also adorable. I'm thankful for the tech we have. It can be terribly misused by those who wish to go that way, but it's also such a great force for good in the world.

  25. May God bless this time you have chosen to slow down and be still, to give your heart the time to listen.

  26. Jenny I sent congratulations to your sweet family and prayers for all may sweet Cully May heal to the perfect little angel that she is... so much happening to her yet she still smiles bless her x You have no idea Jenny how inspirational you are to us all.. you take as long as you need to feel completely at peace... we all need to step of the merry go round every so often Thanks to you Dear Jenny I have realized this is so important.. Take Care x x God Bless May x

  27. I do love your posts, they bring me peace and ideas of how to make my life happier and simpler. Many congratulations to your family and may you all be blessed with the new arrival. x

  28. I always find your thoughtful words so sweet and encouraging. The busyness of our culture sometimes steals our joy and I am determined, as well, to find my quiet spot in it all. Bless you and your family.

  29. I'm so glad you are taking time for you - we would all be better off if we did that! Poor Cully May! Prayers for her healing. So blessed that she is going to be a big sister - I'll be praying for the whole family! My youngest daughter is being induced on Sunday, August 13, so your prayers for her would be very much appreciated. I can't be with her because I can't leave my father. Joy and blessings rain down from heaven upon your beloved family.

  30. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Prayers will be said for Blossom and the new baby joining your family. Hope Cully May's nose injury will not leave scars. There are some meds now to help heal scars, which might help. My 5-y/o grandson had a case of scarlet fever about a year ago. Shocked me to hear it was still around. Frankie is adorable! All of us whose children and grandchildren live far away long for times to spend with them and wish we could reach through the phones and hug them.

  31. I have just discovered your blog and I have gone back as far as Feedly lets me and started reading your journal. I think it is 2015. Can I thank you. While I haven't done embroidery for a long time due to lack of time and arthritis your beautiful designs are stirring something in me and I want to try something - soon. I've put my name down for your newsletter so am looking forward to that. But more importantly your words are calming me and I feel peaceful and happy. So again thank you. Julie

  32. I am so sorry to hear about the horrible times Cully May has endured. I pray that Cully May is better soon and for the new baby to come. I will ask for Blossom to have a safe pregnancy. My daughter had her baby shower yesterday. After months of hyperemesis it is good to see her not vomiting all the time. I am now waiting anxiously for the baby to arrive.

    I pray that your time of stepping back and taking time to explore and retreat continues and blesses you and your family. I thoroughly enjoy the wisdom and beauty your share with us. In fact I wish I had found your blog earlier.

    God bless and keep you.

  33. Congrats! On the new baby news! My heart is calling me to a quieter life too, esp away from some of the social media. I just can't seem to make the break!

  34. I thought you were having a rest. My goodness you still seem to have been very busy.

    Poor little soul Cully May is catching everything going but at least once she goes to school she'll have already had everything! Awful about her being bitten but some lovely news for you all. Congratulations!

    A new sewing machine whoa!!!! Must seem like Christmas. I've still got my Singer that was my 21st birthday present, so it's very very old! Can't justify a new one now, where would I put it? Just can't let my old Singer go!

    Take care

  35. Jenny Dear your wise words always draw me in. I can so relate to your need for balance and more time, as do so many of us. Prayers and Healing Energy for your family as Cully May recovers once again. Being a mother never ends as my daughter who just turned 50 (yes it is hard for me to realize!) called in a panic of health crisis to ask me health history of my own. So many years and the details are fuzzy...where are those health records on tiny chips implanted into us?!! Congratulations on Grandbaby #...<3

  36. My prayers are with Blossom, Ross and Cully May. And how exciting that Cully May will be a big sister in 2018. I also pray that you will have a good week off.

  37. As always your words are an inspiration. God bless you and your family. Rest, relax, reflect and pray

  38. Hello Jenny, your family certainly has been in the wars, I hope little Cully May will soon be well again. Prayers for you all. I thoroughly enjoyed your blog post, I agree we need time to step back and assess things every so often. I hope you enjoy your rest and find some peace. I know the Lord will be watching over you and your family. Congratulations on a the expected new grandchild, what a pleasure that will be. God bless. Hugs Mandy

  39. Finally my friend, a chance to catch up on some blog reading. Gosh there has been alot going on in your world. Poor little Cully May ... I do hope things are coming right & such exciting news about her becoming a big sister!! Gosh Jenny, Frankie has grown !!! I hope you are taking good care my friend & indeed, taking the time you need to step back & assess. Just as I am doing. Sending love & blessings to you Xxxx

  40. Thank you for your sharing, I look forward to your blog post in my inbox each day. Congratulation to the new family member and I will be praying for all things to glorify God and may your family be blessed above and beyond that that you can even imagine.
    Huggs and Blessings ~ Judith


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