So often we make our plans, dream our dreams, ponder new ideas...and then do what we can to bring them to pass. Along with prayer and trust in God, these have made up the common thread to my journey this past decade.
Looking back over this year thus far, it seems to have been sweeping by without me really noticing some of the events and moments which would normally have captured my attention.
Being diligent with details, attending to things which genuinely must be dealt with, stepping each day to the rhythm of a routine which works - much of this has been hit or miss for a while as we spend all our weekend time looking for a house to purchase before the end of September deadline.
And when you allow neglect to take hold there will always be ramifications you would rather not face, circumstances which can no longer be pushed aside, a reckoning and time of accountability.
This whirlwind year literally swept my beloved and I away from order and routine and we're not very good handling chaos so perhaps you can imagine our growing anxiety from this season of not getting things done, the wearying acknowledgement of falling behind and needing to catch up, our desire to think with clarity, and morning by morning prayers for help. Even our physical health has been a battle many times over due to lack of rest.
I mean, really, where else can we go when life has been shaken, stirred and poured out, but to God?
I'll be honest and say that I am not sure what part God played in events recently, but I do know nothing happens without His knowledge so I am trusting that the extra challenges will do me good and not harm.
First, the good news...
We bought a home. The right one this time. When we went through our list of heart's desires for our very first home most have a tick beside them. And then there were the things we forgot to ask for, the things which were personal and never spoken aloud, but kept deep within our hearts - like a front door with kookaburras...
Every step towards acquiring this home has been achieved in the past eight days, we only have the final hoop to jump through now - bank approval - and this should come through in a few days, God willing.
Secondly, we have a new grand baby on the way. Our dear middle daughter, Anita, is expecting her second bundle of joy in March, and of course I am planning a quilt already.
Now the not so good news...
Over a period of about six weeks my 'Jenny of Elefantz' instagram account has been hacked more times that I can say, and eventually it became a daily event. The final hack left me without any access at all, no way back in, no help from IG...all my avenues, the ones I'd previously used successfully to take back what was mine, were closed. Believe me, I tried all options but this time with no positive result.
If you follow me on IG you'll discover my page has a new name, a new persona, though all my photos are intact. Please unfollow that page. I have requested it be blocked due to impersonation of me but so far nothing has happened.
I was angry, felt violated deep down inside for many days, and the more I tried to rise above it the more I felt sick. And then my husband held me in his arms and I just cried and cried. Three years of building that account, following and customer base, gone. All I could think of was "what a waste".
But after that cry I laid it all at the feet of Jesus and took a fresh breath of hope...
Life is series of new beginnings, decluttering and fresh starts, yes?
So just as I closed my FB business page in July and began a lovely new page, so I have chosen to begin a fresh new Instagram page, one that encompasses what I love most...a gentle domestic life.
In fact that is what it's called...
If you've previously followed my old IG account please consider following along at my new IG address, and if you haven't followed before I'd love to have you drop by.
There will still be new designs to see and progress pics along the way, but there will also be much more about living the gentle domestic life because I do believe that's down the shaded tree strewn path I'm now meant to wander further along.
And my heart is no longer angry or upset, but excited, calm and expectant.
There truly is joy in the ordinary and I may have lost my way a bit in that regard as I panicked over lost business avenues, but ultimately God is in control and if I trust Him then I am to trust Him wholeheartedly with what life throws my way, even when at first it feels downright awful.
I'm wondering about you?
Have your nice neat plans recently had the carpet swept out from under them?
Is your heart anxious, are anger or disappointment creating shadows over your mind that block out hope?
God is for you.
When everyone else is against you, He is all for you.
I have seen this in my life for 27 years, and though some deep losses and griefs have never been resolved to my liking, HE IS THERE carrying me through the shadowlands with a love and compassion that no man can duplicate.
Are you ready for a fresh outlook on your situation?
Update on my FREE Alphabet Pincushions Stitch-a-long which begins here on the blog and in my weekly email newsletter:
In response to many questions...
1. There are no material requirements as I'm using my scrap basket to make each alphabet stitchery into a pincushion.
2. There are no actual pincushion patterns but I will discuss the basics of how I make each one.
3. Each free stitchery can be embroidered in colours of your choice. I'm choosing the thread colours to match the fabrics but will give you a list of threads used for each one just for your own reference.
4. The free weekly patterns will NOT be available from my shop. I will share a download link in the newsletters and here on on the blog.
5. I will not jump ahead for anyone so please do not ask. I am stitching along just like you are. We will begin at A and end with Z.
5. Each of the alphabet stitcheries will fit easily inside a 2 1/2" square.
5. Each of the alphabet stitcheries will fit easily inside a 2 1/2" square.
In case you wondered about the hooped HOPE design further up in the post, it's a free pattern and I encourage you to stitch it for yourself. xx
God bless the deepest parts of your soul today and fill you with joy that bubbles over...
Such a whirlwind for you!!! Thank you for the lovely alphabet! How fun to stitch!! The world can be so distracting... as you, I love making home home.... much joy and peace in Your new nest!!
Thank you, Matty. Home truly does warm the heart. ❤️
Your words are so encouraging. For the past 28 plus years our life has been nothing like we imagined and once again poor health and daily life has thrown us curveballs! Thanks for the reminder to keep trusting.
I just posted my finished version of Find Joy In The Ordinary in another group today and said I was going to be wrapping a hoop with fabric and getting it hung in my little laundry area. I hear your words about having the rug pulled out from underneath me and hope that there is a God out there listening. Thanks Jennifer.
There is a saying "Life is what happens while we are making other plans." Somehow that seems appropriate often in life, we get busy with the day-to-day, trying to plan but maybe not really living in the moment. Some time later we realize how much we have been missing, looking forward but not being present in the 'now'! I wish you well with the new house, may getting settled help so much in putting you at peace. - Diane from Minnesota
Jenny, this post really resonated with me. Three years ago I had to retire due to major health issues, gastroparesis. It took nearly a year but I finally started feeling good again. I started sewing, quilting, embroidering and gardening. Then 8 weeks ago I came down with a cold. Just a regular, run of the mill cold. It turned into a sinus infection. The doctor gave me antibiotics. After two days my gastroparesis flared up. I was unable to eat, rest or do much of anything. The doctor gave me a different antibiotic, this time I made it for 4 days before a flare up. I missed my birthday, haven’t been able to clean my house or weed the garden. I’m saying all of this because I know that the Lord has laid this on me for a reason and that he will heal me in his time. I’d started eating things on the forbidden list, not exercising, all the stuff I wasn’t supposed to do. Now I’m back on the path of healthy eating and as soon as I’m able will begin walking again every day. Hang in there Jenny. And congratulations on you new grand baby and Home. God bless!
Hey Jen! WOO! HOO! Congrats on finding your special house to move your home into. :0) All the best with the last hoop & then the packing & moving. Life here has been pretty turbulent this year, too, so I understand that 'swept along' feeling ... I can't believe it's September next week! We're hoping a much-anticipated & overdue holiday in October will be our chance to catch our breath, but in the meantime, in the wise words of a cartoon fish .. Just Keep Swimming! :0) Bear Hugs! KRIS xx
Congratulations on finding your perfect home! Wishing you all the best on the final hurdle and I hope that you're moving into your new home in the next 4-6 weeks xx
Congratulations on the new home Jenny. I hope 2019 is an extra wonderful year for you and your family.
I feel both sad and very angry for you with your social media situation. I've had my own struggles with SM this year and most days I just want to run away screaming, never to return.... but, when you are running a business you just have to rise above it keep on going. Well done you for doing just that ♥
I've done a little shout out in my Simply Shabbilicious group today to see if we can get a few people over to the new IG account for you. Hope it grows quickly, as your followers find your new location.
Congrats with the new home, may you spend many years of happiness in it!Thanks for sharing!
Love your new front door! Congratulations with your new home!
Thanks for sharing and encouraging and all what you do on this blog!
So happy you have found a new home. Sorry about he IG issues. Your strength will guide you and us.
Yay so many blessings mentioned in this post. I am sew happy for you and yours.
Congratulations Jenny and Mr Jenny on finding your 'forever home' - with kookaburras at your entry you can't help but have laughter within... And how lovely-a new little soul coming to the world... :)
Sharon - Melbourne
Thank you, Kerryanne...you're a dear blessing. xx
I prayed for you last night about the house. I love those pretty doors!!!
Thank you. Sweet Penny!! xx
Yayyyyyyy! You found the home that was waiting for you, love the kookaburras. Congratulations.......looking forward to the move.
My heart goes out to you about your instagram account! I can't find your old one to unfollow, but have accessed your new one. I am really struggling with making mine private. I love that non-IG people can peek in for inspiration - I know how I enjoyed that before joining IG, but all the behind scenes has me worried. So very happy you found your new home - praying all goes well with the bank, and you can 'settle' in and enjoy your new place soon!!
Jenny, I would hav bought your house for the front door alone. It’s so lovely. You are such a sweet person and I ache for all the trials you’ve been through this year. Hopefully with this home will come a new start that will bring days of peace to your heart. I am so sorry for you about the Instagram account. I have no dealings with it myself. The internet and all this technology annoys me more than helps me but without it I would not have found you and the other gentle ladies of gentle domesticity. What a loss that would have been for we are all truly soul mates. I so love all your posts and patterns. In a world that only seems to applaud the go getter and the woman who is all about her job and getting ahead, I have found friends who enjoy home and the home arts as much as I do. Thanks for putting yourself out there and giving grown up,girls like me a place to feel at home! The LORD bless you and keep you always!
Congratulations on the new Instagram and new Facebook social media sites, And a even bigger Congratulations on Anita's upcoming lil one. Lot's of fabulous news. And a new stitch along . Jenny you have so many things going on in your life all positive and all blessings. I do hope they are over shadowing the bad. I am so sorry about the social media fiasco. What a horrible terrible thing for someone to do to you. They will have to answer for this one day before it is over. The lord will deal with this. I love your new front door. It is gorgeous mine has cranes etched in the glass I will send you a pic via messenger. I like yours much better than mine. Mine came with the house too....Love you Sweet heart.
congratulations on your new home Jenny. I trust that this last hoop with the bank will go smooth as silk. Love your front door and although we encounter obstacles in our life, your perseverance to find your way again is so inspiring to me and to many. A new home, a new business path AND a new baby. My God does provide in such lovely and fitting ways to show us we have the strength if we trust Him. It's all a learning and growing process, no matter how old we get. Here on earth, we are never "there". Jesus is always there with his hand outstretched behind him for us to catch up and take it and we are once again reminded that we never have to walk alone.
I just "Followed" your new Instagram page. I'm praying that what the enemy intended for evil, God will use for good.
I know how frustrating life can be as I was just getting over not being able to see out of my right eye due to an allergic reaction from the medicine injected into my eyes each month when I developed the infection and was once again unable to see clearly (at firs I could not see out of that eye at all). My retinal specialists assistant asks me a series of questions at each appointment and one is how much the current situation affects my everyday life. "Well, I blog and I review books for publisher's and I cannot see clearly." I am glad that God works out our path and makes all clear again, even if it is in a different direction than we thought we were going.
The kookaburras were waiting just for you!!!! Love it! So sad about the IG account....not many listen, do they? Well, they're making great money. I hope it's resolved soon....and glad you were able to move on from the shock. How lovely that Anita is expecting, I'll be praying for her and baby!! Love the pincushion stitch-a-long!!
That front door is so you!!! The cheery color of the wood is one of the happy colors I picture when I think of you, along with cool, pale green. Why am I seeing you in those colors??!! Praying you over this last hurdle in the house purchase. Praise the Lord for the new grandbaby due in March! Be blessed, dear friend.
I was hoping that when you dropped a hint in a post last week that it meant you had found your"forever" home (for real this time). Hopefully it will all be smooth sailing now and you will have an uneventful move. Sorry about your Instagram issues. I avoid most social media and rely on blog reading to follow people, but I realize for someone "in business", it's a necessity. And congratulations on the new grandchild. So much to be thankful for.
Such wonderful news for you, doubly so, with your new home and new Grandbaby coming. Unfortunately, life does give us lemons, in the oddest formats. You certainly have found the recipe for the best lemonade!! Your new door is so "you" ... and now I have an ♪♫earworm♫♪ thanks to those delightful Kookaburras! Good Luck with the final step in securing your new home ... and happy packing!
Congratulations on your new home and grandchild. I just followed your new IG account and unfollowed the old one. At least all your pictures have your name on them. My daughter is an aspiring photographer and I've told her she should have her name on her photos so someone can't claim them as theirs.
Congratulations on finding your home and your new grandchild. I am so sorry you have had so much trouble with your instagram account.
Blessings on finding your forever home and knowing you and Mr. E will be saved from exhaustive searching. As for being hacked...I am so sorry there are those that ruin the good that wonderful people such as yourself feel compelled to do. Thank you for the upcoming alphabet pincushions which I shall try to sew. I have missed my creative muse through all of my terribly long months of moving. August Full Moon Glory Dear...<3
So happy for you. Is it far from where you live now?
Hope all works out for the house Jenny and I look forward to seeing pictures. Love and prayers for you both. xx
Wonderful that you found your new home and have another grandchild to look forward to.
God bless I know he will!
Grrr....to those un-nice people who stole your instagram account. Miss H has unfollowed the account and signed us up to the new one. She also complained about the impersonation. So frustrating! Love the door!! Congrats too!
Love the door, it's so perfect for you. Congratulations to Anita! New life is always uplifting, isn't it?
I've just gone to IG and reported the old site as spam, which blocks it from me and also lets IG know there is a problem, and I hope they will investigate. As well, I followed your new one.
I pray for your strength for all that is to come in the next few months. Even exciting, happy things can bring stress. Take care of you and Mr. E, and Jesus will help the rest work out.
Congratulations - finally you have the house!! Shame about your IG account. Technology is great - at times - not always though.
It really makes me feel angry when people go out of their way to make trouble for others. It must be absolutely devastating having your persona stolen. Unfortunately, all the laws and regulations pertaining to the internet have not caught up leaving us very vulnerable. I am so sorry to hear that you have felt so completely drained by it all. I completely understand that feeling and a good cry would have helped tremendously. It has been one of those weeks here too and I have lost my cool a few times feeling absolute despair with everything going on around me and no sense of peace. Sending you many angel healing hugs.
It's in the same town but at the opposite edge.
I'm so very pleased that you have found a home to buy; answered prayer! I have the same kookaburras on my front door - it is painted a dark green though. What fun you will have finding places for everything and arranging the rooms to your liking. Best though will be no more intrusive inspections for landlords, I think.
What a shame you have had such trauma with 'technology'. That is a part of 'the world' that I don't know much about, by choice. Something I have quoted to myself at difficult times is that God has promised not to give us more than we can bear. I pray for peace, contentment and good health for you and your husband.
Lyn in northern New South Wales.
Thank you, Lyn. Nothing quite like a kookaburra front door. 😊
I've been reading you for a long time, and I'm sorry for the hacking of your IG account. I've just unfollow your previous account, and I'm now following your new account.
I'm happy for your new home, and I love so much the design you do.
Sorry for mistakes, I live in the Loire Valley, in France
Congratulations on the new grandbaby on the way. So happy you have finally found a house you can make into your own home. God is good. I will continue keeping you in my prayers as you plan for your upcoming move as I know the stress involved in all of that.
It is such a breath of freash air and encouragement to pop in and read your posts. The encouragement is how you filter the hardships/dissapointments that happen in every earthly life and in your turning to God you find peace. Why is that so hard to do when it is so simple in that one always gets the same results when turning to God. May the Lord bless and keep you and yours.
So pleased you have your new home...that was my guess at your exciting news. However the exciting news of an expected new grandchild is special too. I am sorry you have had such a bad experience with social media. Unfortunately there is always someone out there who delights in trying to upset things. Thankfully we can always turn to Jesus. King of kings and Lord of lords. No one can take us out of His hands.xx
I hit the wrong button and lost my last comment to you, But I wanted you to know God used you today to give me a little peace and hope for my future walk with him. I have to let go of somethings, change some things and wait upon Him and His plan.
I'm so glad you found your new home. Know that I'm in prayer for a positive answer from the bank and all things necessary for a smooth move.
Congrats on the upcoming grandbaby. Yours are always so pretty.
I'm anxious to see the new home you will create.
Thank you for the pattern and the Alphabet pincushions. While I'm not able to rejoin the club yet, I will follow along with those.
It is no coincidence I came back for a visit today, I been on line rarely for the past months. You are one of the few I will be visiting now. I'm going to instagram now and apply the needed changes.
Praying for you and yours.
Thanks Jenny again,very sorry to hear you had trouble WITH Ig,I dont use it or Facebook just my Bible App.I love your new home and look forward to seeing you make it homely.God is in Control.Psalm 91.xx
Thank you Jenny. God seems to lead me to your posts when I need them.
I have a sad heart at the moment. No particular reason than the stresses of normal life but you're posts have lifted my spirit. Thank you x
Jenny, there's no waste with God. Hacking is a fruitless waste, annoying but I pity the small person who does it. I first came across you on Craftsy, then Bluprint and that all disappeared, then IG. I want to encourage you, we all have your beautiful stitcheries and are encouraged by them every day, along with those we gift them to - your words are far reaching and timeless, nothing wasted and no one can take that away, not even a hacker. Please continue with your beautiful gift and encouraging Kingdom words, we all need them.
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