Saturday, January 27, 2018

Reminded of a dream...

In many of my designs you'll find little pops of applique.
Applique was one of the first things I taught myself to stitch in that tiny 1-bedroom cabin up in the freezing cold Highlands that our family shared for many months back in 2005. 

My husband had accepted a 6-month teaching post in Armidale, NSW, as there were no other positions available elsewhere in his subject at that time and the only accommodation we could find for such a short term was the local caravan park.

We had sold most of our belongings in a garage sale before moving there but were able to store a few boxes of necessities, plus our fridge, washer and beds in a friend's shed. After the Armidale posting we were hopeful of Mr E acquiring a permanent teaching job elsewhere and could send for our belongings then. 
(the following year he was blessed with a full time teaching post in Alice Springs)

I had been homeschooling the children for many years and continued to do so but now relied on the town's library and occasional loans from local homeschool families to help with curriculum as we had limited space for storing books in the cabin, and no internet access.

Mr E would read to us from the Bible each morning after breakfast, pray with us, and then with lunch box under his arm and lesson plans in his bag he'd drive off to school and leave us to begin our studies. 

Morning tea was very simple as I only had two hotplates to cook on, but pikelets and cinnamon toast served with pots of tea or hot chocolate were favourites. Once a week, though, I'd take the children into town and after a trip to the library but before I shopped for groceries, we'd treat ourselves to fancy cakes, milkshakes and cappuccinos at a local cafe.

Some afternoons we'd explore the countryside if the weather was warm enough, but if it was too cold or windy my son would paint his tiny Lord of the Rings models and young Blossom and I would practice embroidery, applique and patchwork with the few supplies purchased on weekend trips to the Spotlight store 100 klm away in Tamworth. 

Huddled side by side, my little girl and I honed our craft, never imagining we'd both be published designers with projects featured inside the craft magazines we were at that time using as our sewing and stitching 'textbooks' ... but that's exactly what happened. 

Blossom had three designs published in her teens and I was more proud of her than I have ever been about my own. 

Unlike me who eats, sleeps and breathes embroidery, Blossom now finds her delight in making children's clothes and my word, she makes them beautifully. 

When she was a little girl we dreamed of opening a vintage book shop, the walls lined with shelves brimming of old embossed copies of the classics, squishy bean bags and overstuffed ancient couches placed around thick rugs for customers to settle into as they read, large pots of tea, cocoa or coffee and a variety of homemade cakes and slices off to the side in a small cafe setting for those who'd like to purchase a sweet refreshment while they visited. 
After we learned to sew we decided it would be nice to have a corner set up for those who'd like to bring their hand stitching, crochet or knitting along, and we'd play gentle music to soothe the many weary souls we imagined coming there to rest from the hustle and bustle of the life outside.

For the longest time we lost hope in that dream as our lives went in their different directions - me with designing, she with travel overseas and then a young family - but lately we've talked about it again and decided it's still a lovely dream, in fact it's still our dream, our hope, and we're going to pray over it for no-one knows the future but God and if this dream was placed in our hearts from Him then we desire to pursue it...but all in His perfect timing. 

I wonder if you've had a dream that once filled your heart with hope but has since been forgotten and lain aside?
Perhaps, just perhaps, the timing wasn't right?

Ask God about it. He hears your prayers, He hears mine. 
In our family we pray that if it our requests are not in God's best interest for our lives that He removes the desire, and He is faithful to do just that. But unless we ask, unless we put our desires before Him, we will never know if that dream is one we should pursue.

"And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that,
if we ask any thing according to His will,
He heareth us."

1 John 5:14

May the Lord bless you and keep you, fill you with hope and grace, and answer your prayers in His most perfect and holy timing with the kindness and direction that only He can give.


The photos above are my new designs for the February issue of The Stitchery Club.


Allie-oops Designs said...

Jenny I am gobsmacked. My mom and I had that same dream, a cozy book shop with comfy chairs and a studio off to the side where she could sell her paintings. Tea and coffee on a vintage sideboard and it would be okay to sip while you perused a book. I think I might have to pray about this too. I swear we're sisters of another mother. Your new designs are glorious. God has given you such a gift. May he continue to richly bless the work of your hands, and give you the desires of your heart.

Águeda said...

I dreamed of becoming a writer. That was a very, very distant time.
Can you imagine my books in your bookstore - coffee? :)
Dreaming is beautiful. Your memories are much more precious. And they are so beautiful that my gratitude to you is very great. Thank you for sharing them. Hugs.

Unknown said...

Jenny, I just love reading your posts. Is it wrong to say I enjoy your fulfilment of life, something I am still striving for. All I seemd to have been is a competent office manager and a I hope Loving and caring daughter. I know changes are on my horizon, Maybe I should start wishing and having dreams now.
Bless you sewwt Jenny

Little Penpen said...

You write so beautifully and I love reading your memories and life stories. God has blessed you and your family so much and it's wonderful to see where your dreams have taken you. You just wait...... you and Blossom will have that store one day!

Tina said...

Rainbows & Mustard Seeds Creative Corner - a shop of shared creativity where supplies are donated from stashes and shared, where machines are available for those who might not have access to one, store credits given for the donations (seed money) for purchasing other supplies - books, fabric, notions, scrapbooking supplies. A corner for sitting, reading, stitching (just as you describe) and a childen's corner (or room with volunteer watching over them while mom feeds her creative soul). Oh, Jenny, we're all sisters. My blog is all I have from the dream for now, and the Creative Corner is my own sewing room, but the dream unites us. Thanks for saying what we keep in our hearts, afraid sharing will kill the dream by others' words of discouragement or scoff. Love your heart! Tina

Kim said...

Such a lovely dream. I have a couple of daughters who would join me in such a dream, and a husband who would build the winery attached to our bookstore.

beefi8 said...

You very much spoke right to my heart today! once again, I love your blog!

BJK said...

Jenny, If I was closer, I would so enjoy working in your shop!!

Farm Quilter said...

As we know, God's timing is always right for us. It always amazes me that when He closes one door, it's because He has another plan for us. My niece and her husband have been trying to adopt a baby and a friend of my daughter's was pregnant and not sure if she wanted to keep the baby or not. Two weeks ago she had a little girl and we were all praying hard that she would decide to give up her little girl to my niece. Well, she decided to keep the baby and we were so very sad, but knew that God had a plan and we needed to wait on His timing. Thursday a woman found out she was pregnant (she is in her early 40s and her husband is in his mid 50s)...her pregnancy was a total surprise and came with some medical issues with the age. She was induced yesterday and had the baby boy early this morning. He is my new greatnephew because his parents were not prepared to go through raising another child (they have kids ranging from 10 to 35). God knew that this little boy would need loving, God-fearing parents and He already had a plan in place. God is so very good to us and I just wanted to share this joy with you!!

Charito said...

Querida Jenny, creo que deberias escribir un libro con todas esas lindas historias de vida que nuestro Señor te ha permitido vivir, eres una inspiracion para muchas de nosotras, aunque estoy del otro lado del mundo, me gustaria ir algun dia a conocerte, tomar cafe y una torta rica hecha por ti, y aunque no se ingles, ni tu español, creo que solo con amar a Jesus y su palabra y los bordados, podriamos entendernos. Gracias por todo lo que compartes, nos anima, nos bendice. Que lindos los diseños de Febrero. son muy especiales. (aunque todos los que haces me gustan), un abrazo desde Guatemala.

Janice said...

Now that sounds like a perfect place to visit. You could nearly call it “Utopia”. Just remember that you must have the dream for it to have any chance of becoming a reality. Keep dreaming and planning.

Susie said...

so interesting and do hope your dreams come true (for your sake and mine when I come to visit! lol).

Ondrea said...

You have had such an interesting life which has clearly shaped you to the beautiful person you are. Have you thought about writing it all down, self publishing and giving it to your family before it is lost after another generation. I think you are amazing bringing up all your children , home schooling and keeping house. Your blog is an inspiration and those designs are so sweet. My hat off to you.

Createology said...

Daring to dream is one thing, while pursuing that dream is another thing. I like your way of putting it in God’s hands and if not to be then having him remove it from your heart. I was always too timid and afraid to ever pursue any dream. Blessings Dear Jenny...<3

KingsailK said...

Hello Jenny from Ireland ,I am so enjoying reading your blog!Praise the Lord!😊♥ for people like you!I have downloaded some of your embroidery photos to use for my Bible app.I love hearing about what you do!

Winifred said...

Thanks for this lovely post. I used to dream of havinga wool shop when I was young but just didn't dare take the risk.
I'd love to come to your book shop, I love libararies & book shops but it would be great to be able to have a coffee & sew or knit. Maybe a natter too!