I should never be surprised when God highlights a particular verse at just the right time.
Like this month's verse.
How very apt. How needful for so many.
I am not fearful (especially after what I shared in this post) but that does not change the occasional moments when it threatens to rise in me after I've been out grocery shopping or when my husband returns from work at the school.
I let myself acknowledge the threat in that moment and then I let it go. I offer it to God and continue on in my daily rhythms, each task measured and mindful in light of what has now touched so many lives, families, regions and economies of the globe.
Dear heart, do not let fear control you, cripple you or rob you of your peace. Do not let it frighten you into despair. Do not allow it to fill your heart with dread or steal your joy.
For most of us life has changed dramatically over the past month or two. In my country, and probably yours, we are in lockdown. We are to stay in our homes and only venture out for absolute essentials - food, medicine, work. There are heavy fines in place for any unnecessary movements out of doors or gatherings of more than two people.
This in itself can bring about a fearful heart, a despairing heart...indeed, a lonely heart.
But safe indoors, attending to our homes and gardens, accessing family through various internet measures, can offer it's own safety and genuine opportunities for creative avenues we may not have pursued under normal circumstances.
Consider today what you love about your home, consider the aspects you would like to change and what you can use on hand to bring that about. I was chatting with Blossom about the old tv series, The Waltons, and of their inventiveness, their frugality, their resilience during the depression of the 1930's to soldier on, make do and mend, use what they had on hand...and their faith in God. I wish those programs could be shown on television again...how deeply encouraging they would be now as we seem fairly certain a depression is coming again.
Late last year I watched an entire series on Youtube called Wartime Farm. There are eight episodes and they were brilliant in showing how Britain's farmers adapted to the food shortage and the extreme conditions of wartime.
Here is episode 1...
I'm going to start over with this series again because it was fascinating, informative, encouraging and in light of life amidst COVID-19 it also reminds me how the human spirit can lift in the darkest and most challenging of times.
Take your eyes off the news for a bit - let them rest on God's Word, do some stitching, prepare a garden, create a delicious meal or treat with simpler ingredients, write a letter or send a card to loved ones and friends who may be isolated and alone, download an audio book (many libraries have this option if you cannot afford to purchase books that way), dust the book shelves and brew a cuppa to sip while you reacquaint yourself with all those books you purchased many years ago but never had time to really enjoy. I have many home-based books and sewing books on my shelves just begging to be opened.
I know these are all small things in the big scheme of life, but honestly, sometimes we need to do the small things because there's a lot of big things happening around us that can tend to create a sense of overwhelm or lack of control.
But within your home, your God-given safe sanctuary, wherever that is, let peace and joy abound.
Set yourself some simple tasks and take your time as you work through them, being sure to add in a few thoroughly delightful tasks amidst the regular homemaker chores.
Put on some music, the kind that lifts YOUR spirit - dance...sing...or drive that vacuum cleaner around with a sassy sway (if you're like me!).
What feel-good movies are you drawn to on days when life is a bit much or you're full up with a head cold? Write a list and add them to your daily tasks because looking after mental health is very important right now and time out to just let the weariness or impact of our new daily lives drift way for a while is a healthy tonic.
The photos above are of this month's block + another bonus block in our Psalm 23 BOM for 2020.
Make another page just the way you made last month's page using the verse block and the comforter block (here)
You can also see my second version in the pastel blues and pinks. The fabric behind is what I've been using for the applique and it will also feature as borders when I make these new blocks into a wall quilt.
I had a wonderful chat with Blossom and the girls via Facetime this morning so my happy tank is nice and full again. Not seeing them, not cuddling up on the couch and being squished with toddler arms is difficult, but I praise God we have the technology today which allows us to see each other in our homes, read books to the children, share a cuppa, and feel far more connected than our daily phone conversations. What a blessing.
It may be many months before the restrictions are lifted but let us not lose heart dear ones...this too shall pass, and I believe if we put our minds to the task we will come through it with a renewed sense of gratitude for what we once had, and a new sense of gratitude for the lessons of simpler living we are learning now.
Before I go, if you or someone you love has been affected by COVID-19, please forgive me for not offering the comfort you need, for not being able to remove the sorrow or circumstances you face...but know that this day I am praying for you, and I ask everyone who is reading this post today to join me and pray also.
May He be your strength, comfort, hope, provision and truth.