Monday, June 22, 2020

A fresh plan...

You may have noticed this has been a long blogging break for me. It was unplanned but in the big scheme of life quite needful. 

There has been much pondering of life to settle in my heart, muddled thoughts to clear a path through, plans to revisit and reassess, deep heartfelt prayers and more than a few sleepless nights for one reason and another.

It's difficult to believe we are almost at the middle of  2020, a year of unexpected hurdles and situations which spread from personal challenges here at home to far greater concerns which were felt around the world. When the New Year arrived I had hopes and plans before me that filled my heart with excitement and I couldn't wait to delve deeper into a year long examination of what it means to have a Homemakers Heart...and for a few months I wrote weekly about this on the blog and encouraged as many of you as had a similar desire to become involved. There were some simple home-based projects, recipes, a weekly cleaning or organising task...and for my part, a genuine delight about cherishing my home anew and 'polishing' my role inside these walls grew rapidly.
I did have a short detour when my heart problem surfaced but found my way back on track soon after. Then COVID 19 and the rapid decline in health, employment, economies and social distancing across the world rapidly took hold in most of our countries. In March, to offer some productive enterprise whilst we were all sequestered at home I shared a few weeks of simple projects you could make with me which I named the Creative Hands At Home initiative.

All of this to say, life just didn't follow the plans I had made, and I imagine this year has been a bit like that for you too?

I'm reminded of Jesus' teaching to His disciples - "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for today is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:34)

Certainly there has been troubles this year that we would never have imagined, some of it could have come direct from the pages of a fiction novel. And yet it really happened, and in many lives and countries it is still happening. In fact the long term effects will be like earthquake aftershocks for many years to come.

So over the past ten days I have travelled the valleys, mountains, plains and highways of my mind and my heart; pondered logic, common sense, dreams and desires; traversing an emotional and mental journey to find a new starting point, a fresh attitude and renewed enthusiasm for the latter half of this year. 
And in the midst of this I wondered, truly wondered, if you too have a longing to start over as July 1st draws near? Or at least to seek a fresh plan that is uplifting, encouraging, inspiring, joyous, productive, hopeful and life-renewing?

Before going any further with this train of thought I'm taking these Scriptures to heart, writing them in my journal and waiting on the Lord's 'nudge' in order to follow the right path He would have me walk along. I have an idea of what this fresh plan entails but still want to pray a little more and lean in to hear that still small voice in case He has something else to add - after all, waiting on the Lord will always lead to a better outcome than I could plan myself. 

"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

What about you?
Are you in need of a fresh plan for the second half of this year? 

Have a think about that, pray about it...and if you have a mind to, share your thoughts here in the comments because I do believe when we come together and open up about our hopes and dreams many will read and pray with us, and we shall pray for them.

Bless you lovely ones,
loving hugs,


Beth said...

No words - just sending you a great big HUG!

Helen said...

My favourite piece Footprints in the Sand. Sending big hugs.xx

julieQ said...

I too am pondering what is next and listening for those spiritual words of guidance. In the meantime, I continue my work in the ICU and CCU, nursing those very sick patients. And sewing when I get a moment!

Zonnebloemetje said...

God bring/give us miracles, you just need to see them. Sometimes they're small, sometimes they're big, sometimes your live changes in a way you couldn't imagine, sometimes your live just stay the same. Only God know what our path is and all we need to do is pray, listen, talk about it and try to follow that path. How strange or easy it may be. For the rest of the year, I hope that you (and we ��) will be blessed and be surprised.

diana said...

I have been reminding myself that we are “In this world but not of it” and to keep my eyes on the Lord. I look forward to your new posts as I am older but have concerns for my grandchildren. God Bless ��

Glimpses of My Heart said...

What an interesting idea.....I will join you in prayer. I too could use a fresh perspective on the rest of the year. Not my ideas but inspiration from the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Be blessed today, Jenny.

Unknown said...

Sim,como esse ano está difícil.Na verdade ,para nossa família o ano que passou já foi cheio de obstáculos,mas esse superou todas as espectativas.Tudo isso mexe muito com nossa saúde.Hoje mesmo,mais cedo,qdo lia seu tudo isso que vc postou,tive um breve desmaio.Felizmente estou melhor.Peco a Deus psra que tudo isso passe.Confio no Senhor Jesus.Obrigada por me ajudar,sendo tão gentil ontem ao enviar-me a foto da toalha que precisava.Bordar, produzir ...nos faz melhor.Saude !!!

Deanie said...

Mine too! said...

Thanks for the inspiration and beautiful words. God has given you a talent for spreading His words.

Tammy said...

So happy to see your post this morning Dear Jenny. I am convinced the world has gone insane.And we are in the end times.I am doing lots of praying. And now needing more prayer for me as the last scans now shows something in my thoracic spine that they think is more cancer that has metastasized . I am having insurance troubles trying to get an authorization to Oncology Radiation...Always craziness with my insurance company. Everything takes forever. Looking forward to your next post.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing how this situation is affecting you. Your words do seem to reflect how many of us are feeling, like the earth has shifted under our feet & things have changed so much they may never be the same again. I was wondering if those living through the flu pandemic in 1918-1919 felt this way too. Would it have been just a scary or worse, we know how the entire world is reeling which only makes us feel more uneasy. I'm hoping that somehow we make it through all this with some sense of sanity. Here in the United States, covid-19 is really on the rise in many states, especially in the south, & yet there seems to be little done on a national level or by individuals to do what they can to slow the spread, as if many are in denial of the severity. I live in a very rural part, far to the north of the country, where infections have been quite few & we continue doing everything we can to keep safe & healthy. I feel that somehow we are in a holding pattern just waiting for this strange year to be over! I keep you & your loved ones in my thoughts & wish you well as the second half of this year unfolds. - Diane from northern Minnesota

Lilac Joan said...

In January 2020 I reached my eight decade. I planned on doing items in groups of eight, such as eight big trips, 8 ufo's finished, etc. Well the UFO's are getting done but not much else, and I am weary. Thank you for your blog today. Refresh is what I need.

Joanne said...

Hi Jenny,
Thought provoking post ! Glad you took the time you needed.
A change is as good as a rest...what you write sounds encouraging...
" seek a fresh plan that is uplifting, encouraging, inspiring, joyous, productive, hopeful and life-renewing..."
music to my ears :)

Carolyn said...

These times are too difficult to understand or justify! I keep telling myself the Lord is in control and that was then and this is now! We cant live like we did before,we must live in the now as best we can with God's help. He knows the ending, we just need to trust!

Lorrie said...

As I approach the end of a very strange year of teaching, I am longing for refreshment and renewal. My Bible reading this morning was Psalm 84, and these verses spoke to me of refreshment.

"Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage,
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion."

I love the images of pilgrimage, of refreshing rains and pools of water, and of strength in God.

Blessings, dear Jenny. May you find strength and refreshment as you seek God's face.

Mandy Currie said...

Hello Jenny, you certainly do have a skill in challenging us with the Word. It's good to think about these things. This year really has been very strange. I too, look forward to a better second half with more achieved and some happy stitching and the love of my Lord. God bless you all. Love Mandy xx

Julie said...

Hello Jenny = I did notice you had been absent from blogland & I hoped all was okay & those dreaded migraines hadn't returned. I have always loved that Jeremiah 29:11 verse. Lately I have felt so much "in limbo" with what is happening in our world & I find it overwhelming & scary. I worry for my children & my grandchildren & what kind of a future they will face with all this unrest. When I feel like this I just keep putting one foot in front of the other each day & try to stick to established routines. This way it doesn't all feel so scary. I think a "new plan" sounds just fine my friend. xx

Winifred said...

It's a scary time Jenny and in some ways what has happened should be making the world reconsider the way we are living. Everything seems to be about greed, businesses making as much money as possible and people having things. Despite the brave folks who work in hospitals and carers it seems so many people just want to go back to the way things were. They're dashing out to shops, queueing for hours outside and crowds rushing to beaches and parks. Sometimes I think the world has gone mad.
My husband & I have been hibernating and trying to avoid contact with people & have been lucky enough to have shopping delivered so things have been OK. I don't mind not going out and about as I'm a homebird but I do miss seeing the family.
I'm waiting to get back to church it's OK watching the services on the laptop but I miss the people.
However I am just waiting, not planning anything, just having hope and faith that it will be OK eventually and the world may have learned something from this. God bless Jenny.

wendy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deborah said...

I definitely could use a fresh start for the last half of the year. I have one more week of work before school summer vacation and I am so looking forward to it. We have missed our family these past months of lockdown and also missed family events. Our vacation travel plans are cancelled as our border is closed so my husband is cutoff from his siblings and their families.

I started your BOM embroidery project shown in your first picture in 2012 and had finished three blocks. I dug it out at the first of June and I am working on the rest of the blocks and I really appreciate the encouragement of each bible verse. Blessings to you and your family.

Carrie Ando said...

I have missed you dear Jenny. In the meantime life has become a bit of a soap opera and challenges me in my spiritual growth. I would really love to sew that lovely verse from Jeramiah "For I know the plans I have for you" to encourage my daughters family. What a wonderful cushion on the couch it would make. Is it one of your designs??
Blissful ponderings with God be your blessing.

Águeda said...

I am not looking for a new plan. I'm looking for strength first. I pray a lot, I carry out my obligations, I try to make everything go well. But inside me, when I find an illusion at last, I feel selfish. And then I think I should be mourning all of our dead. A part of me wants and must find the way to happiness. Another part of me wants to remain sad out of respect for the dead, for those who suffer. This is not over and I'm afraid that people will forget quickly and everything will go back. I ask myself this question: If our dead were for the most part young people instead of old people, would I see the same attitude around me in the people I am seeing now?
I think I have to find a new plan. I ask God to show me the way to honor our dead and make the living happy at the same time.
Everything is better here. But I am very afraid that it is only a passing mirage. So, like a sheep, I look for my Shepherd and ask him to lead me on safe paths. May it lead us all to the right path.
Your blog is a great comfort to me. You give me hope and reasons for illusion. You are an example of kindness and strength. You are an example to follow. Thank you very much.

Sherri said...

Jenny, firstly I want to say thank for the heads up on Aunt Jane of Kentucky - I am enjoying it very much. I was surprised by your mention of Ps 37:4 as I had just posted on this verse on one of my blogs on Sunday. Matt 6:34 - I had been using this verse to encourage my sister earlier this evening during a phone call where she was telling me how her work roster has been slashed from around 11 days a fortnight including weekends, to six days a fortnight with no weekend work. I reminded her that all her bills were paid on time and she was well and able to get through each day. Like most of us she is battling the 'what ifs?" She is praying for a positive outcome regarding additional work. Psalm 119:105 is repeatedly on my mind and I pray it often with gratitude. My other go to scripture is Prov 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways and he will direct your paths. My grade 5 teacher used to make the class recite this each morning and it has always stayed with me. Jeremiah 29:11 was the verse God gave me just before I was to have my first PET scan after starting Chemo back in 2014. It has been precious to me ever since. At the moment I am very involved with my gardening projects. After the drought and the fires gardening had been the last thing on my mind but following the January rain my veggie garden 'providentially' restarted itself with pumpkins, tomatoes, garden peas and sugar snap peas so I just followed where I felt I was being led at this time. God bless you and your family Jenny.

Donna P. said...

Your latest blog post touched me deeply. This year has been odd, to say the least. Every time you turn around, there's something new. I realize this too shall pass but being in the middle is difficult. So I try to look forward.

A quote from St. Patrick will be in my morning thoughts for now on.

“Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.”

Blessings and thanks to you

Allie said...

We do live in interesting times. I'm looking for a re-set, as my club is finished along with my days as a designer. What's next? I want, and need, to be useful - but I'm using this down time to deep clean my house, I figure every four years is a doable goal, lol. The Lord has it in hand. We are the sheep of His pasture - He will lead us. And Jenny-girl, thank you for introducing me to Aunt Jane - I downloaded two books by the author that I could find, and have started Aunt Jane, so funny! Love it!

Susan said...

Definitely. The current plan is limping along! I'm holding on the Psalm 91:1-6 *a lot*. =) Like Allie, I've listened to some of Aunt Jane. It had been years since I read here old-fashioned, down-home common sense words. And studying the scriptures and our times. They do fit together. The Lord is my guide, your guide, and I trust him to lead me home.

Pink Rose said...

Hi Jenny hope you are well my friend. I don't think we will ever return back to normal as in what life was like before Covid,it's a worrying time for us all . Wow I love the size of those pumpkins they will sure come in handy for you all,I see lots of pumpkin soup happening. love your scripture block ,you always do such beautiful work my friend,stay safe and take care Jenny xx

Small Joys said...

Dear Jenny, I love your's like sitting with a friend and chatting. Your heart and words focused on Jesus are heart-warming in a world gone a bit mad. These crazy times have been growth time in the Lord for me. I loved the idea of a reset July 1st! Take care and stay safe.