Not a Bible verse as such but inspired by the beautiful teachings of Jesus, this old hymn has been playing softly in the background of my thoughts these past few days.
The knowing, a very deep knowing, that God was with us through some stressful days and nights of rain and flood these past couple of weeks, is also never far from my mind.
Gratitude swells like a wave and at times brings me to my knees.
Did we come away unscathed by the monsoon - no. There's repairs which have been done and more yet to do, but we are fine, we are blessed, and we have deep assurance that God's hand was upon us way before we even moved into our home in September last year.
Physically we are very tired and sore, but spiritually we are alive and overcome with joy.
I had these little bird shapes cut out to applique over three years ago but never got around to using them on anything (despite my plans for a tea towel at the time) and as I was clearing away water damaged items from the sewing room on Friday I came across them sealed tight in a clear zippered case. The threads were in the case as well and the shapes had already been fused to the check fabric.
That's just like God, don't you think?
He puts a song in my heart as a reminder of how He watches over us and then leads me to a simple set of brightly coloured sparrows to stitch during the rest times between cleaning.
Such simplicity in His love.
Never doubt it.
If you'd like to sew some sweet sparrows the free pattern sheet is here.
I'm hoping to slip back into ordinary blogging life next week and resume our book study on Tuesday.
We've scrubbed through almost 20 litres of vinegar and a bottle of clove oil, have filled the trailer twice with items for the rubbish tip, secured a tarpaulin over the missing ceiling, ripped up our bedroom and Mr E's study carpet, thrown away curtains from three rooms which were riddled with mould as well as some handmade items of mine which were also found to be growing.
Floors, walls, our dining chairs, the outdoor couches - black mould over them. The coffee table and bedroom side table which Mr E made for us while at university were green.
Some things we can save and some we cannot.
But they are just 'things' and apart from a few minor health reactions afterwards we ourselves are doing very well.
You know, I'm very proud to be living in this town. The people just get on with what needs to be done and in the midst of such an awful experience which will be felt for months to come they will find something to laugh about and ask if you need a hand. I don't think Mr E and I have ever met and talked to so many strangers in all our life. Crisis either draws people together or tears them apart. What I have seen most of in Townsville through this is the pulling together of neighbours, strangers, communities and family.
Mr E's school and most other schools in our town are still closed due to extensive flood damage. He, along with other teachers, will return to school on Monday and begin working on whatever areas they can in preparation for resuming lessons when buildings are safe enough for students to return.
Please continue to pray for those in Townsville and surrounding areas who have lost their homes, contents or livelihood as a result of the monsoonal floods which are now being declared a one-in-500 year catastrophe.
His eye is on the sparrow,
and even more so upon you.
Isaiah 43 promises that God will be with you "when you pass through the waters". May your community be rebuilt quickly and may your home soon feel like home again. God bless you - sending love and prayers x
God Bless you and the people of Townsville this Sunday morning. I once stitched this little verse on a cushion for an elderly lady. After her funeral her son was telling me a member of her church sang this song during the service, and he was able to tell her about the cushion. No coincidences in God's world. He has a plan.
God is so good. May the coming together of people in Townville long continue. May God continue to touch your hearts with this peace, hope, joy and love. Arohanui
Good to hear Mr E and you are okay and have got into getting back to normal ( as normal as can be) after your big cleanup.
So sad to see the devastation but it's amazing how great folks are at helping one another.
It was so sad to read that you are hit by floods. But then it is good that our God has taken care of you, and that you are safe. Sad that dear things are being destroyed, but then it's just things. Imagine you found the sparrows when you cleaned up after the devastation. Yes, I think it was a greeting and reminder that God is taking care of us. He does not leave us, no, even a small sparrow he cares for. I love that Bible verse and also the song. His eyes are on the sparrow! God bless you!
SO true, so true what you write today.
Thoughts are with you while you clean up and the town tries to rebuild.
So relieved you are both alright.
I agree with the other comments, your words are so very true. Take care xxx
Our thoughts and prayers are with you both and all the folk in Townsville and the surrounding areas. Take your time to get back to blogging. It’s just lovely to just know you are safe and we’ll all be here waiting when your time is right to send out your beautiful messages.
Glad to hear how people are coping with the disaster as you say it brings you together or tears you apart. Sad to hear about your losses but they are just things, things can be replaced or you decide you don't need them any longer. Thankfully you are all safe & that's what really matters.
Your strong faith is carrying you through this Jenny. Thanks for the little sparrows.
So pleased to hear that you and your family are safe. Was wondering over the past few days. Our God is a refuge and ever present help in time of need.......Blessings, Robyn S.A
Praying for you and all of Townsville, all those affected. I've seen horrific pictures of the cattle stations. So very, very thankful you and Mr. E are ok.
Praising God that you and yours are safe and relatively unscathed. The Lord does take care of us. Praying for continues strength through the rest of the recovery. Thank you for the sweet little "sparrows".
I'm so glad you and your husband made it through the flooding. In some places of the world people have lost their lives to flooding. God watched over you. Take care not to get sick from the mold that is growing and try not to over do. I will pray you are able to get everything done. Thank you so much for the sweet pattern.
Blessings dear Jenny.
Thinking about you and your husband, so often. I know you have weathered a terrible natural storm. How storms reek havoc on Townsville! Yet, you come through, and start where you are. I pray you and your husband get rest in the middle of all the work. So much to do. Pace yourself as well as you can. Those little bird appliques remind me of you. Always rising up like a Proverbs 31 woman! You and your husband be blessed. God send you everything you need and more. In my thoughts and my prayers.
God is good, all the time! Praying for you and Townsville.
After I commented on your last post that we here in the US had heard little about your monsoon, there was a lengthy article in the New York Times about Townsville and the effects of the storm. So I was not surprised by your absence from the blog and so glad to hear you and your family are okay. Things can be replaced. As others have said, watch out for your health as mold is nothing to fool around with. We look forward to your return when things calm down. Thank you for the update.
Will continue prayers for your community! Praise the Lord for His mercies and blessings in the midst of chaos. Strangers become acquaintances who become friends...neighbors reaching out to neighbors, opening their homes and hearts to those in need. The Lord will provide, we just need to trust Him and do what we can with what we have. I am so grateful that the damages to your home have not been as bad as they could have been. Makes me wonder at the other homes you considered buying...what happened to them and how did they fare? May the Lord's protection continue to be upon you, keeping you healthy and safe.
Hello Jenny, Bless you and my prayers will continue for you and all who still have much to do. Thank you for sharing and may the Lord continue to watch over you!
Jenny, I'm pleased to hear that you and and your family are safe. Thinking of you and your's. xoxo Dee
Dearest Jenny, You have once again brought me to my knees. Reading your post I thought of the very large plaque we have in our dining room, it says, The Most Important Things in Life...Aren't Things. I haven't been able to even look at it since January 20th. I did lose the most important thing in my life I thought. After reading your post though I went into the dining room and looked hard at the plaque. I have my Abba and he has been staying right by me during this. He never strays away. I have my two wonderful children. I have four beautiful grandchildren with another granddaughter on the way. All has not been stripped away. And now I know that my dear friend is alright who I have been so concerned about. I am blessed indeed. Yes I will be continuing to hold you and your town up in prayer. We sang All Is Well With My Soul at the memorial service. Look up the background of the Hymn and how it came to be written. If A man could write those words having been dealt the blow he had, then I can get through anything. I am sending love and hugs your way.
Jenny so sad to hear so many of your things and creations were ruined by the flood. The good news is your home is standing and you and your husband and Blossom and the girls are all ok. Weary and tired ....But alive and well.Things can be replaced but lives cannot. God has brought you all through this tragedy and disaster of a flood. Its good to know that the Neighbors and community members are pulling together and helping each other through these times. Hugs and love from afar my friend. Prayers will continue
Hi Jenny, so good to hear you are both coping with the clean up and not too badly affected.
One of the best things for mould and mildew is Dettol or any of the cheap substitutes, just dilute it a bit with water.A friend had a constant problem with his pop top caravan white vinyl and the Dettol is the only thing that works.
Brenda from Florida here. So glad to see you in my mailbox! You all remain in my thoughts and prayers as you continue to deal with the aftermath of this horrible flood. It seems after such horrific events there are fewer strangers. It's been a real blessing to witness total strangers come together to help other strangers in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. Take good care of yourselves and remember all the prayers going up on your behalf. xx
God is Good - all the time. All the time - God is good.
Hi Jenny, so pleased to hear that you and Mr E survived although tired and weary. It doesn't take much for total strangers to pull together does it (not that the floods etc are nothing but you know what I mean).
Take your time to get back to blogging, as long as we know you are safe we can wait for anything else.
Hopefully this week will be better. Take care.
Thankyou so much for sharing with us the goodness of our father God in the midst of severe trials. He is faithful. So good to know you are safe. Mavis
I was thinking you were probably in the middle of cleaning away the mould, Jenny. I saw on our local news that a local vinegar maker who makes the industrial strength vinegar was sending up four pallets for free to Townsville. I believer there are a few makeshift rubbish dumps up there at the moment including the Office Works car park. We see a lot on the news about the locals helping one another out. It is so inspiring.
Thinking of you all......onwards and upwards but boy - what a journey. Take care of yourselves.
I am sorry that you have been under so much stress! Trying to save furniture and sentimental things must be exhausting.Such an emotional and physical toll on everyone who has endured the floods. Yet, here you are sweet girl, thinking of others with your generosity offering your free birdie design. Sending you many angel healing hugs.
Your whole area has been in my thoughts and prayers, and I thank you for posting on IG, so that when I check there, I found you were still working on what you could. That song is one of my favorites, and these little birds to appliqué carry out your thoughts so well. I'm keeping you in my prayers, and I'm so glad that the people of Townsville are banding together to help one another. You are right, it is just stuff. I'm so glad the mold isn't getting you really sick. I worried about that. I would be sneezing my head off, because I'm allergic to it, and this has been such a wet year that even in the middle of winter, my allergies are going full bore. I would gladly deal with that to be able to come help you.
Oh Jenny I hope the worst is over for you. You and your town have been in my prayers! Thank you for posting so we know you are okay.
Glad you and Mr E are okay Jenny and survived a horrid time. You have my sympathy as we here in Canberra had a frightening firestorm back in 2003/ I feel for those who have lost their homes and belongings
What a lovely post of hoe and love. Your little Sparrows are precious and so are you and Mr. E. With hard work and your positive attitudes of getting it done you will both continue to be spared the worst. Blessings Dear and Healing Energy for your entire community.
We lived in Canberra in 2003 and remember well those fires. Devastating. We were also caught in bushfires on a mountain in Newcastle in 1991 and had to be rescued...that was the night my husband proposed - on that mountain!
Our precious Father's timing is always perfect as you & other lovely "commentors" know. That He should open the move for you & your hubby to Townsville before this torrential flooding to be part of the community's love in action and use you both to be blessings to so many - what an awesome plan.
Jenny thank you for your Encouragement and Faithfulness!Blessings to you all xxx♥♥🌸🌸🌸🎶🎶😄😄🎻🎸Psalm91
So thankful for God's hand of protection over you and Mr. E through the damage from the storm and all that you're doing to clean up after it. And what a blessing to live in Townsville where you do. may His light shine through all you do to those that you meet now an in the future as the town recovers.
Dear Jenny I have been praying for your husband and yourself. It is such a devastating thing to go through especially since you have only just moved in to your new home and new life. Try to find some time for yourself to recover and if you have any physical items you need you have a whole heap of lovely kind people who would love to help. Take Care Lorraine Cooper
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