Peace in our home is welcome, and so is peace in our heart.
I recently had a long encounter with God which began around 3.30 am one morning and continued for many hours and on into the next day as He began to peel away things in my life as one would peel away the layers of an onion.
It's been quite a wild ride in many ways since we bought our first home in September 2018. A new experience for us, these past 18 months have brought many surprises along the way - much joy, muscle-fulls of hard work, a flood, a productive food harvest during our tropical winter, a string of house repairs, health challenges, and many other highs and lows scattered in between.
To be honest, we never realised what owning a home of your own entailed, having previously been renters all our lives...and I doubt anyone could have adequately explained this to us as it's something which needs to be experienced to truly grasp. But we wouldn't have it any other way.
Sitting outside each morning to share breakfast before my husband leaves for work we marvel at the gift of having this small patch of earth to ourselves...though of course we do share it with a variety of feathered friends!
Yesterday we watched red backed parrots in the feeder, while a flock of cockatoos waited their turn.
The yard was full of over twenty cockatoos as one stage, the tree branches bent with their weight and the newly mown grass almost white with so many.
Once everyone had their turn at the bird feeder and filled their bellies the sky filled with the flapping of white wings and we bid them farewell for another day.
But I digress...back to my time with God that morning.
It was like watching a slow video of life, with all the responsibilities and exhaustion I sometimes feel becoming vivid in a different way...not the feeling of it, but the observance of it.
Little by little He led me to understand that it was time to peel away some of the things which have a hold on my time, time that for a homemaker and small business owner can be quite precious due to not having much of it to spare.
A number of things are already been removed from my every day and business life, and the sense of release and freedom which is settling in my heart is indeed peaceful.
On Sunday I deleted my Instagram account, and tomorrow I will be deleting my Facebook business page. Over the next week I will also be deleting the two groups I run on Facebook - these take time because I must delete each member individually before FB will allow me to properly delete the groups, and one group has 3000 members...sigh, they make things hard. And the last thing is to delete my personal FB page which will then leave me totally free from social media...and my heart is so joyous about that.
You see, even though these avenues have been how I promote my designs and earn a living from them, I've not enjoyed being on social media. Now that I am almost done with their hold, I will be placing my trust in the Lord to bring customers to my pattern shop or to the new stitchery club...and you know, there is such peace in that.
This 'new' season of life will free me up to do what I love most - blog regularly, encourage homemakers, design for God, and share tutorials for simple projects around the home.
I an excited to focus more on my Faith in Hand Stitchery Club, bringing more of the Word of God to life as needle and thread pictures...and very excited to have extra time each week to devote to this blog where I can share so many home-inspired ideas, projects and topics with you all.
I'll also cancel my regular free newsletter from Friday 6th March as with the $ exchange rate these days it's costing a whopping $72 AU per month and though I've enjoyed giving the 5000 subscribers who receive it every week or two an easier way to stay in touch with what's happening on the blog and access to my free patterns or tutorials, financially it's just not wise anymore.
You can always find me here on the blog should you want to continue following along, and in the blog sidebar there's a 'contact me' button if you genuinely need to email me.
(please note you cannot see the sidebar on a phone...you need to be at a computer or using a tablet)
The "Peace to our House" stitchery you've seen in photos above was completed as a door stop over the weekend, because I do love doorstops and once the sting of this long hot tropical summer passes around early May we'll have doors flung open until mid-October when it returns...and door stops are marvellous for avoiding door slams during the season of trade winds.
The stitchery is HERE in my Etsy Shop now, but I was wondering if you'd like me to share a tutorial for making a door stop?? Let me know in the comments.
How did you go with your task last week? Did you clean your washing machine?
I had a few people ask for the recipe to make the washing machine cleaner I showed in last week's post...
I fill a glass spray bottle with plain white vinegar and add 10-15 drops each of lavender and tea tree oil. That's all. Give it a shake before using. If you missed last week's Homemakers Heart post it is here.
This week around home I decided to tackle the pantry. I have one really great galley shaped walk in pantry and another simple white pantry cupboard. Both of them store slightly different things and once every six month I like to go through and check 'use-by' dates as well as wiping down shelves, emptying open packets in their proper containers, writing a list of items to stock up on, and generally freshening the organisation of everything.
I've purchased some large airtight glass jars recently as well as a set of small screw top jars for spices and over the next week a lot of my non-perishables will be transferred from plastic to glass.
When I first stocked the pantry after we moved here I chose cheap plastic containers because some of the shelves are quite high (I'm only 5'1") and I was worried that putting up and taking down heavy filled glass jars would be dangerous...but my husband got me a wonderful step-stool and after making sure I would be safe we've decided to switch to glass.
Tomorrow night Mr E and I will drop in to see little Rafaella for her 2nd birthday, and then we're going to do a store cupboard shop of non-perishables. With the corona virus crossing borders and oceans it never hurts to replenish a pantry with everyday staples which can be made into meals. Honestly, this is so much easier to do now that we don't eat meat or dairy.
A friend of mine in Canada put me on to an MD who shares recipes for natural remedies and one she recently had on her IG account (before I left) was a cough mixture made by placing springs of fresh thyme and sage into the base of a glass jar and then filling the jar right to the brim with local raw honey.
So I made up two jars, one for us and one for Blossom. You leave it in a cool dark place for a few weeks at least and use as needed.
Nana always had a jar of honey and lemon on her kitchen shelf for sore throats, which is what we have used all my life, but this is apparently wonderful for coughs so am happy to give it a try should winter coughs arise this year.
NOTE: Sage should never be used in pregnancy as it can trigger a miscarriage.
Blossom gave me a couple of new recipes last week. It's been fun for both of us trying new vegan recipes and if they are successful we share them!
Tomato Pesto... perfect tossed over hot pasta or gnocchi.
Also delicious as a large spoonful dropped into a bowl of hummus and served with rice cakes - Cully May and Rafaella 'love' this.
Banana Bread Cookies...these are soft, morish and a great way to use up very ripe bananas.
My recipe was tweaked because I chose to use rapadura sugar (you could use raw) and spelt flour (you could use white) because that's all I had and it's a healthier option.
These are not crispy, they are like little handfuls of yummy banana bread with plump and juicy raisins throughout.
Here's my altered recipe:
· 1/2 cup (112g) vegan butter (or dairy butter if you're not vegan)
· 1 cup (200g) Rapadura Sugar (raw, or white)
· 1 cup (250g) mashed banana (around 3 medium)
· 1 tsp vanilla extract
· 2 cups (250g) plain spelt flour (or plain white flour)
· 1 tsp Bi-carb (baking) soda
· 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
· 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
· 1 cup raisins or sultanas
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350 F) and line two cookie trays with baking paper.
2. Cream the sugar and butter together with a hand mixer, then gently stir in the mashed banana and vanilla.
3. Add the sifted flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins, stirring with a spoon until everything is mixed well. (don’t use the electric mixer for this part).
6. Spoon mounds onto the cookie trays. I made 24 of these cookies from the mix.
7. Bake for 15 minutes.
Shall you take up the challenge this week and give your pantry a good clean and re-order?
Next week I have a great project to share with you that may make this Homemakers Heart year even more fun and will simplify a lot of what we're doing within our homes.
Before I go, I wanted to leave you with another way to follow my blog if you've previously relied on FB posts, IG or my newsletter.
Go HERE and follow this blog on BlogLovin - it's free and you won't miss anything.
I pray you find your own peace of heart in the days and weeks ahead.
Letting go can often free up our hands and thoughts, allowing them to explore new and wonderful things, or simply giving us back the TIME we've been missing.