You have probably noticed that I'm a day late sharing this month's Psalm 23 block.
Monday's are actually a busy day at home and I should probably take that into consideration when offering free patterns or writing blog posts. You know when hubby goes back to work on Monday morning my housecleaning energy kicks right in as the weekends are spent quietly on a Saturday (our sabbath rest day) and Sunday's are all about the garden and getting things done that require the two of us.
So when Monday rolls around and my beloved drives off to school I sit down and work methodically through a list of to-dos before heading out after lunch to do the week's grocery shop.
Yesterday I pulled everything out of the fridge and gave it a good scrub before assessing what could go back in, what needed using up that day and what was past it's use by but still suitable for the chickens. We don't have much wastage anymore but after some missed homecooked meals last week due to a rather dark few days of depression, there was indeed produce that found it's way into the chook pen yesterday. I also vacuumed, mopped, did many loads of washing, organised my workspace, and after doing the groceries I packed everything away and set about making fresh almond butter, corn fritters and marinated baby cauliflower for dinner.
After the cauilflower ('colettes' as they are labelled at the market) baked they had crunchy ends and soft juicy stems - seriously delicious. Of course I forgot to take the after photo!
Praise God my mind shifted to a much lighter place after a long sunset walk along the beach at Pallarenda with my husband on Sunday night, and time with Blossom and the girls at the park this morning brought me right back to normal.
The 23rd Psalm block of the month
This month we're stitching the first half of verse 6.
When I drew this block up last year I imagined how the Lord would set a table before me, because it's my belief that He takes very seriously our personal likes and dislikes as it's all part of our unique character, part of who He made us to be.
I love flowers on the table, gingham tablecloths, old wooden chairs...so that's what I drew and eventually what I stitched.
What would your table look like??
Last week I said that in June I could reveal my new pattern made from the next Tilda fabric range.
The fabrics are called Little Farm and are so cute with small floral sprays, farm animals, farm houses, garden tools and seed packs. Everything is very small, no big prints in this line of fabric, which is perfect for my kind of design...because my patterns are not large quilts, but mini quilts or wall hangings.
When I thought about the theme of the fabrics my mind turned to home and from there a verse that means a lot to my husband and I seemed just right - Joshua 24:15
I used to believe this was a beautifully sentimental yet faithful verse, one which all believers adhered to...and then I studied it. Joshua drew a line in the sand the day he spoke this to Israel (not long before he died) because he was warning them that they would stray. The people declared, "No, we will always serve the Lord!" but God's man Joshua knew better. You see the very next generation, the children of those to whom he spoke these spirit-given words, strayed from the Lord.
Judges 2:10 - And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that He had done for Israel.
Wow, that always hits my heart. The last generation of Israel in Joshua's life did not diligently instil the teachings of God to their children and in just that one generation they strayed away and 'did not know the Lord'.
So I take this statement, this declaration, very seriously these days...because it's not idle or simply a 'nice' heartwarming verse to quote. It carried with it a warning and because of that I searched my heart before bringing this from Bible to stitchery.
The embroidery design itself is styled as a plaque that would hang outside the front door or by the front gate of a home, and the borders are a double of my favourite 'homely' patchwork block, the churn dash. I've sat one block inside another and really love the cosiness they bring to the mini quilt.
The pattern will be included in July's set of Faith In Hand patterns (go HERE to find out more) along with two more designs that I love and have wanted to include for a while.
I suppose there are some reading this today who wonder 'how' I could find myself in seasons of depression? After all, I am strong in my faith and know without a single doubt that Jesus loves me and will always provide for me and offer me strength and comfort when a need is there.
Well, we live in a broken world and some of my life experiences dealt deep scars that when triggered by various dates, situations or even a passage of scripture can bring to the surface griefs, regrets, sorrows and emotional emptiness. Not for long, but for long enough that I feel the need to hide away for a bit and seek the arms of Jesus and His Word for the healing, correction or refreshment my heart, mind and soul require.
Designing with Biblical passages of Scripture as my inspiration brings me joy, but also a lesson, always a lesson, because in God's Word nothing is wasted and as it is alive and living (Hebrews 4:12) He speaks through scripture to encourage, assure, correct, comfort, strengthen and warn...and sometimes a particular passage will affect my life (or my character) more deeply than others because there's a lesson to learn or a healing which needs to take place. That's something which happened again recently and even though I felt hollow and unable to delight in my life for a few days I knew that 'this too shall pass' and He would bring me through with a greater understanding of my relationship with Him and His with me. And so it was.
I didn't really mean to go that heavy today, but then again, one thing God has clearly said to me lately is to be real. That doesn't mean my life is an open book, but it does mean that when He asks me to, I need to be open to share what He's doing with me, a woman who lived half her life without Him, and how walking beside Him and being open to where He leads has changed (and is still changing) me into someone I hope can one day say,
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
(2 Tim 4:7)
If you knew me thirty years ago you would not recognise me today. And that's as it should be. For the old me was not someone I would choose to be again...for when Christ came into my life He changed me for the better and since that day He has never let me go because I'm still a work in progress, still being refined.
My prayer for you right now is that you are able to experience the life changing love and mercy and grace of my Saviour, and that even if you are a believer, but struggle with darkness from the memories of the past, that you find your Light in the One who will never let you go - for He has borne the greatest sacrifice, the shame, and known the deepest betrayal and disappointment. And He carried all of that to the Cross for you and me because His love for us is deeper than we can ever understand or experience this side of heaven.
Bless you precious one, for you are indeed PRECIOUS in His sight.