A couple of weeks ago, when I knew Blossom was about to open her Etsy Shop and would have a Lucy & May page on Instagram, I rejoined Instagram.
A lot of prayer went in to that decision, and the Lord responded with a deep understanding of why I needed to break away from it a couple of months back, and the changes which must be made in the birth of a new and fresh account.
Years ago, when I began setting up Elefantz on social media, it was about promoting my designs, building a small home-based online pattern enterprise. Part of my purpose when opening the old Gentle Domesticity group on FB was to expand into the simple joys of home life...because my heart needed that nourishment and I wanted to offer that same nourishment to other women.
When I closed the Elefantz instagram account a couple of months ago new life flooded into my heart, and after closing Gentle Domesticity the same thing happened. You see, sometimes we're ingrained along one path, one circle, one repeating sequence, because where we began is where we find ourselves constantly returning...it comes from the initial purpose of such pursuits being the roots and where we go after that is branches and hopefully good fruit.
There was indeed branches and good fruit from where I began, but the Lord needed those roots to die off for a season in order to change my focus, refine my purpose and draw me ever so nearer to His voice and His Word and His path so that I could open the gate and take a confident step in this next season of life.
The nationwide lockdown which is in place here in Australia, though at first restrictive and challenging with regards to not seeing beloved family nor visiting the usual haunts on weekends with my husband, became a hidden blessing after a while as I discovered 'extra' time to dwell alone with Christ. For though He was always beside me, I needed to be reminded that walking beside Him moment by moment is still a daily lesson to live. And increasingly this lesson is becoming rhythmic and natural and life-giving, multiplying what I have previously experienced and practiced.
With this freshening of my faith and daily walk with Jesus, and an increasing desire to share His Word and a love for homemaking among women of all ages, I began a new Instagram page - Faith In Hand (you'll find it here) - where my focus is no longer based on building a home-business but on celebrating and encouraging women to live out their lives with JOY and GRACE and LIFE and HOPE and CHRIST; to be the atmosphere of their homes by exhibiting a gentle, humble and kind and purposeful spirit as they go about their days and interact with those who dwell within their walls.
I feel inspired to offer inspiration and words of life to those who need it, and also share my own humanity which fails often - yet is forgiven and lifted with regularity by the strong arms of my Lord.
Stitchery will still be seen there because it's a very real part of me, a huge gift the Lord gave over a decade ago and which He continues to refine to HIS glory, but its no longer the focus, no longer the root...it's where it needs to be, one simple branch growing from the tree of Jesus who by His shed blood lives in me.
If you'd like to follow along with Faith In Hand on instagram you'll find me HERE.
And this brings me to Amazing Grace, the design above which features in the next issue of Faith In Hand Stitchery Club. I am always a couple of months ahead with patterns for the club so this was stitched back in February, but the other day I watched Andrea Bocelli sing this most beautiful, real, raw hymn alone atop stone steps in Italy, and was reminded of that phrase "an audience of One".
For though Ondrea seemingly stood alone singing with all his heart he was not alone at all.
God was right there with him watching, loving, listening, embracing and I am sure, deeply moved by the voice He had gifted this man, which rose heavenward in praise and honour and truth...God was there, the perfect and all encompassing audience of One.
In his natural blindness, I believe Ondrea saw more than we that day.
Brings me to tears.
Stirs a response so very deep that all I want to do is fall before the Cross and worship He who died and rose again to offer me that perfect gift of Amazing Grace.
Dear hearts, do you need encouragement today?
Let me leave you with this beautiful thought I found by Heather Farrell...
Have you ever noticed how in the scriptures men are always going up into the mountains to commune with the Lord?
Yet in the scriptures we hardly ever
hear of women going to the mountains,
and we know why — right?
Because the women were too busy
keeping life going;
they couldn’t abandon babies,
and a thousand responsibilities to make the climb into the mountains!
I was talking to a friend the other day,
saying that as modern woman
I feel like I’m never “free” enough
from my responsibilities,
never in a quiet enough,
or holy enough spot
to have the type of communion
I want with God.
Her response floored me,
“That is why God comes to women.
Men have to climb the mountain to meet God, but God comes to women where ever they are.”
I have been pondering on her words for weeks and have searched my scriptures
to see that what she said is true.
God does in deed come to women
where they are,
when they are doing their ordinary,
He meets them at the wells
where they draw water for their families,
in their homes,
in their kitchens,
in their gardens.
He comes to them
as they sit beside sickbeds,
as they give birth,
care for the elderly,
and perform necessary mourning and burial rites.
Even at the empty tomb,
Mary was the first to witness Christ’s resurrection,
She was there because she was doing the womanly chore of properly preparing Christ’s body for burial.
In these seemingly mundane
and ordinary tasks,
these women of the scriptures found themselves face to face with divinity.
So if — like me — you ever start to bemoan the fact that you don’t have as much time to spend in the mountains with God as you would like. Remember, God comes to women. He knows where we are and the burdens we carry. He sees us, and if we open our eyes and our hearts we will see Him, even in the most ordinary places and in the most ordinary things.
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