I'm finally getting back to stitching the blocks for Phyllis May's Kitchen.
I'd hoped to have this ready by March but a Craftsy curve ball right before Christmas and then the monsoon in late January/early February slowed my stitches to barely a few each week.
Then there was my birthday. Yesterday. A big one. 60.
Truly, I like to drive right on past my birthdays because it's more fun to celebrate someone else's but this week I had a precious daughter and her two precious daughters fill two whole days with love, laughter, prayer, food, song and hair brushing.
Being climbed over, cuddled, kissed, snuggled into, sung to, chased and talked to non-stop on Wednesday and Thursday wore this Nana out, but it's the kind of wearing out I love more than anything.
Yesterday morning while Cully May sat behind me and brushed my hair, and Rafaella sat on my lap playing with the long string of bright red beads around my neck, Blossom read John 14 out loud...prompted by God.
I cried. We both cried actually, because for the five days previous God had been prompting me to read John 14 and every time I went to move on to the next chapter He'd steer me back again.
When the Lord has something to tell you, something important, He'll put it before you in many ways until you take notice.
So I'm taking notice.
And then of course there's my beloved, who took me out to our favourite Indian restaurant where we were the only people there and received 'extra' special attention.
Afterwards we drove along the beach and listened to a few albums from around the time we met, singing the lyrics and laughing at how absurd they were.
Every birthday I spend some quiet time alone to think about my mother who died at just 21.
So young, and yet from what I've been told she adored me and loved being a mummy, so I cherish that thought.
Then Nana took over and became the mummy I needed at age three.
With each year that passes I am more and more in awe of my Nana - Phyllis May - because small children are a handful and can sap all available energy, sometimes quite considerably.
Cully May (named after Nana) has no on/off button - she just goes and goes and goes all day long until bedtime. At two and half she leaves us all (including Blossom) behind in the energy stakes!
So the older I get, the more I appreciate Nana and the many sacrifices she made to raise me.
The more I consider what her and Pop went without.
One of those things was pearls. Nana loved pearls but never owned any.
Because of this I've always loved them too, but more interesting is how much Blossom loves pearls - in fact that's all she wanted for her 13th birthday (though I made her a quilt as well).
On Wednesday when Bloss was here all day with Cully May and Rafaella the little ones wore pearl necklaces and truly it was the most beautiful thing to see! Little Raf broke one of her double strings late in the afternoon but as they were a $1 op-shop purchase we did not mind, just gathered them together and popped them in a bowl to restring another time. We might wait another year before we repeat our 'pearling' but next time we'll serve a tea party on the floor with the littlies too. Doesn't that sound like the most wonderful birthday to look forward to?!
I used pearls in these photos.
Phyllis May's Kitchen tea towel and the pearls I wish I could have given her.
I drew the winner of my February giveaway yesterday and am happy to tell you that
in Colorado, USA is the blessed winner of a bundle of vintage loveliness.
There'll be another giveaway in March (which is all too soon approaching) so perhaps you'll be the blessed winner then. You never know!
If you weren't a part of my original Stitchery Club during 2015-16 you might like to join the Rewind Club.
It runs for 12 months, with 12 issues containing at least five stitchery patterns.
No matter when you join you will receive all twelve issues by the time your membership ends.
The March issue has now been put together and on the 5th I'll email it off to all Rewind members...
For a closer look at all the patterns you will receive pop over here to the Rewind Stitchery Club page.
Once you become a member I'll send you my "You've Got Mail" gift pattern so you have something sweet to stitch while you wait for March 5th to arrive!
Included with the stitchery instructions is a tutorial for making this into a cover for a large writing pad but you could turn the design into anything you fancy!
One of my Rewind Club members, Joanne, made hers into a gorgeous wall hanging...
She's inspired me to stitch my pastel version again in bright spring colours!
You can visit Joanne's blog to see more pics.
Before I sign off today I must show you the bundle of hand made pretties my friend Fee sent for my birthday because if you head over here to to her blog she has tutorials for making some of them.
This little pear was especially dear because inside the card Blossom gave me (actually, she gave me two!) were two passages of Scripture and one was Jeremiah 29:11 - the very first verse the Lord gave me when I became a Christian in 1991.
"For I know the thoughts I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Back then He wanted to assure me that I must never lose HOPE because life was quite heartbreaking at the time and ever since that day, when things are causing me distress of any kind, it is that verse which draws my eyes heavenward and my heart forward in hope.
So when I opened Fee's gift and saw the HOPE pear I was assured once again that God is on the throne and He's got my life covered. I can hold on to hope and trust Him always.
I'm reminded that having blogged here for over a decade much of my life has become an open book, and yet there's always another side of me, another side of life, which stays very personal and not open to others...it's where God meets me in the valley and where He comforts me with HOPE.
Maybe you need comfort, maybe you have lost your hope?
Reach out to God for He promises that if you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you.
Just call on Him - quietly, loudly, without words, or through your tears...let Him fill your precious heart with HOPE too.