I've intentionally been quiet this week, choosing to distance myself from as much of Elefantz and outside-the-home activity as was possible.
And what a good week it has been. No schedules, no sense of urgency to accomplish, nothing to give and no-one to be but my homemaker self.
Each day began and ended with time in the Lord's presence, whilst the remaining hours were a blank page I did not rush to fill nor feel obliged to plan. I simply soaked in the calm rest this week was gifting me, re-acquainting myself with the slow and simple moments of home-making, undisturbed by any thought of business or designs or emails.
New recipes found their way to the evening table and old books were lifted from their shelves for a casual browse over coffee and mini date muffins. The garden was watered by hand in the warm sunshine of the early afternoon with Bob-the-dog right by my side and Sophie cat curled up on the old blue couch watching us.
Our bird friends visited for breakfast and lunch, and I laughed at their constant juggling to fit as many as they could around the feeder whilst four or five more cockatoos sat in the trees nearby waiting their turn.
The little pansies I planted in various pots around the garden had begun to bloom and that leap of joy and excitement each time a bud opened continued to take my breath away. I never tire of watching flowers open wide to welcome the sun.
Tomatoes are thriving and there are hundreds of them, green and glowing dripping from the vines.
We picked the first handful of ripened cherry tomatoes and tossed them through a salad the other night - a satisfied smile over both our faces.
When you intentionally close the door on everything but the life within your walls for a period of time, you gradually become aware of what's been missing (peace, simplicity, clarity of thought) and can identify the time-robbers which make each day seem as though it's not long enough to fit in all you believe needs to be done or achieved.
Each slow and deliberate day this week has been a gift in itself, but the Lord also gave me extra gifts in the form of wisdom and understanding about the life I'm living, the path ahead, and how to be released from the overwhelm which too often crowds my mind.
He drew my attention to the personal tasks which I'd longed to do all year but had continued to put aside when my time was distracted elsewhere...and He showed me that by putting them aside I'd robbed myself of a delight and robbed others of a possible blessing.
The very simple task of sewing a gift for a friend who moved earlier this year had been postponed too often and guilt would flood my heart when the weekly reminder popped up on my calendar every Monday. There was always something else that day to rob my attention and squash my plans...but this week, this wonderfully slow and thoughtful week, this intentional week of soaking in the rest, I delighted in completing her gift and gave it the time such a gift deserves.
A while ago you saw how I used one of these little bird hangers on a mini quilt for myself, but I'd also purchased a few more for future gifts and this little trio of hearts and tulips suited it perfectly.
I believe you'll see and read a more relaxed me in future as I seek to lay aside the superfluous, the needless and the unbalanced self expectations which have grown upon my existence these many decades past.
Buying this home, our very first, so late in life, triggered a change in how I view myself, my work and my relationships. But it's also grown me out of some things and into better things - and the sense gratitude I've always had for what God has given into my life has deepened immeasurably and with it now is the greatest sense of peace and contentment I've ever known.
Life still has it's challenges, of course. Nobody has a perfect life. But my eyes look Higher than the challenge to the One who can walk beside me through them. My heart rests in the Love of my heavenly Father, and my hope abounds in Christ Jesus, my Saviour.
I truly pray for everyone reading my blog, that your own life may be blessed by the favour and wisdom God has to give, and that you find peace and rest in the days ahead. I also pray that when you come visit me here you will be encouraged, blessed and never leave here without a sense of peace in your soul.
Till next time,