Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Balancing life in storms and seasons...

When I was little it seemed the days would drag on forever if I was waiting for something special to happen. Christmas may have been only two weeks away but it felt like two months. 

Now I'm all grown up and find the opposite happens. Two months feels like two weeks. 

Time passes faster than I can keep up most days, and right now, with a house to pack up and applying myself to getting at least six weeks ahead with my business and The Stitchery Club, I feel as though I'm trying to catch the wind. And we know that's not about to happen.  

Ah well, life really can only be fully lived one step, one moment, one experience, one conversation at a time. So rather than be anxious about everything I settle my mind by reminding myself of this. 

Normal every day tasks are still in play and I find their rhythm helps during times of change, just the routine mechanics of doing what you know without much thought required is in itself very settling.

Each morning the washing basket greets me with a new load for the machine, lunch is packed for my husband, the table is set and breakfast served with fruit and coffee. These small rituals usher in stability.

The Monday morning review of my refrigerator to see what I need at the supermarket or fruit shop may not be exciting to you, but it's a task I thoroughly enjoy.

And as weary or tired as I may feel at the moment, strolling the aisles of our local supermarket and being mindful of what we need for a week of healthy meals, soothes me. Again, it's the comfortable ritual of doing things that come naturally which helps me balance the new with the old, the immediate with the non-essential, the stress of our packing/moving dates with a delight for the day at hand.

Restocking the fridge, writing a menu plan of what to make on certain days, whilst also 'shopping' from the pantry so we don't have much to move with us, offers great satisfaction to my homemaker heart, a sense of being in control even within a whirlwind of change.

Another thing I'm doing during this season of change is to keep meals simple and to stretch them out so there's less cooking time needed during these full weeks of September. The other day we had a roast dinner with lamb, veggies and lashings of gravy. The leftover roast lamb then became sandwich filling for a few day's lunches (with a generous spread of mustard or pickles) as well as the base of a family favourite, Shepherd's Pie, which we enjoyed over two nights. 
The lamb bones would normally have become base for a broth but as we're emptying and not filling the freezer right now it was dear Bob-the-dog who made the most of them.

Still making time to bake for Blossom and her little girls brings more joy, as do the snatched hours here and there I spend with them. 

Blossom and I may be eye to eye deep in conversation about motherhood, good books, simple meals, what's the best vacuum cleaner to buy or which Bible verse touched our hearts lately, but chubby little arms are never far away and often find themselves wrapped around this happy Nana's neck vying for my attention. 

You can never underestimate the gift of a moment in time given to the people you love. I'm so grateful to have learned this lesson because I'm daily reaping the blessings which flow from it. 

During my morning tea break I sit out on the back verandah and either catch up on some embroidery or do a little crochet whilst listening to an inspiring podcast. At the moment I'm working on a dishcloth in a lovely purpley/blue which will be bordered in either tangerine or lime. 

The other day I shared a number of links for dishcloth patterns and had decided to knit a few myself, but after beginning one I was quickly reminded how painful knitting is to the arthritis in one of my fingers - yet embroidery is soothing to my finger and crochet causes no pain. 

Discovering there are ways to balance daily routine with stressful activities, and in doing so finding myself able to cope better than I have during similar times in the past, has been such a blessing. I hope you didn't mind me sharing about that? 
I'm just so at peace in my heart, mind and thoughts, despite having a number of new stressors to face each day, that I wanted to share how it had come about.
Through prayer.

"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7

Thank you for your prayers over our family as we've traversed this often rocky road to finding and then purchasing our first home. I believe it was your precious prayer covering which helped me look beyond the overwhelming onslaught of so many unexpected legalities during this house purchase and all the anxieties which came with it, to what matters most in our everyday life.

Time each morning in the Psalms has also helped my sense of peace to increase, guiding me to attend to the tasks which must be done day by day, the balancing of a comfortable homemaker rhythm with the unexpected things I had no previous experience of. 

If your own life has become a series of new or unexpected events which are wearing you down and robbing your peace, is there a natural routine at home which you can follow to restore some gentle rhythm to your day and add balance to your emotions?

I'm sure as time goes by I'll learn more ways to manage living each day with peace even during seasons that may rock my boat in stormy seas, but for now, this epiphany is my lifeline - to continue being a homemaker who confidently goes about her daily tasks in peaceful rhythm, and learns new and sometimes overwhelming things as the need arises.

Well, I hear the kettle about to boil which means my beloved is making us an evening cuppa to have with a few pieces of the strawberry jam filled matrimony slice I baked yesterday, so I'd best be off here and go sup with him. It's those moments, you know...don't want to miss them.

bless you heaps,


  1. Jenny, I know how you feel with having so much to do but at least I don't have to pack up a whole house! It can all become so overwhelming but, as you say, going through the daily routine and having quiet times during the day really helps. That is interesting about your problem with knitting. Crochet is so much faster anyway not that I am an expert. I can't wait to see your finished dishcloths. I am sure they will look very colourful.

  2. I too enjoy the 'little' everyday things, that bring routine into each day. It balances and comforts me. Hope all goes well with your move. It is hard to move so soon after your last move, but soon you will be settled in to enjoy 'your own' place :)!! Enjoy your cute grandchildren - yes, they melt our hearts!

  3. My Grandmother explained to me how the passing of time seems to quicken as we get older. She said that when we are 5 and are waiting for our next birthday, we are reflecting back on 1/5th of our life. When we are 50 we are reflecting back on one year, which is now 1/50th of our life. She was about 80 when she told me this and I couldn't imagine how fast one year would go when we are reflecting on 1/80th of our life. It was such a simple thought, but it made so much sense.

  4. I have thoroughly enjoyed this post. I wish our fridge looked so good. It is stuffed with so many condiments.

    I have hands that are very sore. At present I need carpal tunnel releases and I learned long ago that Clover Amour crochet hooks let me work more comfortably for longer.

  5. I often miss those long endless days as a child. I love keeping my grandchildren because it is a good excuse for me to play games, make mud pies and color. This long holiday weekend was spent with several of my grandchildren and I had a glorious time teaching the 4 years olds how to make dried grass noodle soup, onion seed soup and whatever else was close by in the garden kind of soup all mixed with a healthy dose of ditch water and garden soil.

    I am really looking forward to reading about your new journey, to see your home and gardens and how it becomes "home" for you and yours.
    God Bless you on this exciting time in your life!!

  6. I recently found your blog. I'm in a season where I feel weary and I find your blog soothing. I'm very thankful that I found you!

    As you enter your new home owning chapter I'm looking forward to following along.

  7. I had 3 of my grandchildren with me one day last week, unplanned, and it was a great blessing just playing and talking with them. Thank you for the reminder of the important things in life. I am always saying to others, don't miss what the day has to offer, this was another good reminder for me.

  8. Summer was an eon when I was a I blink and it is gone! Stay centered in the Lord, do what you can and know that He will pick up the slack. May I ask you to add a family to your prayer list? My ex-husband's girlfriend's 18 year old grandson had been missing since August 31 and was found yesterday off a nearby cliff. He had apparently committed suicide and I'm sure the family is devastated and desperately seeking answers, as I don't think they have any religious belief. The young man's name is Robert and his grandmother is Mindy. Thank you, dear prayer warrior!

  9. Beautiful post. I was mildly surprised to see some of your groceries familiar to my eyes (Chobani, Campbells, etc). Getting ready to plan the shopping list for my weekly grocery trip tomorrow...

  10. Hello Jenny; Your posts always inspire. Having moved more times than I can remember, I understand some of what you are facing and think you are handling the entire process in a very positive and productive way. It can be very difficult to hold onto this scenario, so I will be continuing to pray for you and Mr. E. I do believe though that this move is going to be a very special memorable time for all of you. Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts and messages with us. You spread so much love, kindness, hope, learning and the list grows especially spiritually in all you do. Have a spectacular day!

  11. This is another lovely post Jenny. It is so true what you said about time, a week seemed like a year to you when you are young. I wish I could be more like you and enjoy shopping I'm just not really interested in food, my husband is the better cook & he enjoys the shopping & the cooking. I try not to bake too much now as he is diabetic & I need to keep my weight down. The Nanna moments are so special as they grow up much too quickly so you're right to enjoy them.
    Best of luck with the packing & the move to your new home.

  12. I so enjoy visiting with you...

  13. Your post could not have come at a more appropriate time for me.... I have a few things looming in the next few months. I am a widow, and have an orchard, and a bit of acreage to maintain. I have a lot of financial responsibilities. that include wages, taxes, insurance and cost of a home remodel. I totally agree with you on having a stable routine, as it gives one a knowing that all the stress will pass, and some norms will come. I enjoy your blog and your faith in God. Without that faith, I know I would not have the strength that only He has given me.
    Best wishes on your new adventure, and I am looking forward to your move and seeing your new home.
    God's richest blessings to you and your hubby!

  14. such a peaceful and restorative post you have shared with us. Thank you.

  15. It's so easy to let events overwhelm us, but I think you're right about routines being a great help. Prayer and scripture study are also right up there, and I need to learn to say no to things when I feel myself being over-taxed. =)

  16. Your posts are a calm moment in my day for me. Keeping up with your news and projects bring me joy. I, too, crochet as a stress reliever, especially a simple and repetitive pattern. Our ladies Bible Study is about to begin again after a summer break. I enjoy it so much. Still praying for your strength during your move and preparing for your move. Love to you and Mr. E, dear Jenny.

  17. Lovely post Jenny, I remember reading about a lady whose husband was in the twin towers and she was beside herself with fear and worry waiting to hear if he had gotten out, she had to put on a brave face for her two young boys, so she kept them away from the tv and went about her cleaning routine with gusto. She said the sight of her going about her normal routine comforted the boys who went on to play and her keeping busy was the only thing that kept her sane that day (thankfully her husband was fine, he was in the 2nd building but had gotten out). Just goes to show that little routines can bring comfort and rhythm even during times of big upheaval. God bless, Lisa xo

  18. I enjoy the daily routine as well - but sometimes I get so restless, and that's where my job helps a LOT. On days I work, I do nothing else - get dinner out, and read a book after work. It's a lovely break. Enjoy those moments, sweetheart!

  19. Lovely post...relaxing and enjoyable reading....thank you.

  20. Thanks Jenny,I always find your posts so comforting it's always such a blessing I am so delighted about your new home and I save your posts for when I need a break GOD bless you and much love

  21. Your words have been a comfort, blessing and encouragement to me. My sweet husband of 53 years went home to heaven two years ago and I still find myself floundering, wondering what God has in store for me and trying to find my way!Thanks!

  22. Awe thats so sad and hard for you,I am married almost27years and would be lost if Mark would be taken home to heaven.Bless you .Mary-Lou

  23. Thank You Sweet Jenny for writing what I need to read and heed. Breathe and Balance...xo

  24. Thank you for this post. We are in the middle of many new and often unsetteling things. Holding on to whatever normal I can get, is helping a lot. An operation for my son coming up (no date yet, but within 5 weeks), building a new and accessible home, next to children that bring home news that shocked them ( mother of a 14-yo classmate died of cancer this week, how do I comfort her?) , working hard to get this home in selling condition. It is a lot and I bring it to Him to help me through and grant me wisdom. Wishing you all the best and all the serenity throughout your move from the other side of the world. I started following your instagram. Love the calm and beautiful photos.


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