For quite a while my mind has pondered the choices which need to be made in order to live a quiet life, and also what that would look like in our home and marriage. Over time I also considered how differently the perception of what makes up a quiet life would be to each of us in our individual and unique lives.
These 'quiet life' thoughts intensified in March when our state went in to lockdown and the longing within my heart to step back even further than I already had the past six or seven years came to be more profoundly important than before.
I'll tell you truthfully, I enjoyed being confined to home during the months of lockdown.
I enjoyed not having to leave home, relieved at not needing to shop so much, inspired to use what was in my pantry, garden and freezer. I slept better and got more done than is usual around the house and yard even though life was being lived at a slower pace.
A sweet and unexpected bonus was that I found myself more fully present in the moments each day offered and the knots in my neck were disappearing as my body naturally relaxed.
Within those moments a fresh stirring of my heart's desire for a quieter life came forth by God's still small voice, so in the background of these past months I have sought to understand what can be put aside and what can be given more space in the gentle daily rhythms of an ordinary life like mine.
Being a homemaker means the world to me. But being a calm, joy-filled, peaceful and productive homemaker means even more because when I have those attributes determining my daily actions and plans the atmosphere of our home environment reaps the benefits.
I asked myself last week, "Why do you need a lockdown in order to live a quieter life? Why can't you simply choose to continue with that gentler rhythm?"
It may seem an easy question to answer but it's not because I need first to write down the comings and goings, the responsibilities and expenditures of this ordinary life, the expectations and the over-commitments. Which is what I'm beginning to do...praying all the while for wisdom, understanding, and a knowledge of what to let go of and what to keep (and not just things, but habits, routines etc).
You know, having the desire for 'a quiet life' so deeply etched upon my heart the inspiration for a project to share with you came to mind. I was tidying the sewing room last week and whilst stacking my smaller pieces of fabric into colour piles I put the soft blues and whites aside. Their humble and subdued shades and patterns looked so calm and safe that my thoughts began to fill with peaceful pictures of home. Soon I had pencil and paper on the cutting table which now stands right in front of the sewing room window and by the fading light of our late afternoon sun I had two simple designs drawn and couldn't wait for the next morning to begin preparing nine blocks which would hopefully become a small wall quilt.
Next week I'm going to share my free "A Quiet Life" pattern with you...
Each night I stitch a bit more, but mostly my creative time has been taken up completing Rafaella's cardigan as we near mid-winter already. The final stitches were knitted on Sunday evening and everything sewn together on Monday. Yesterday I took it over to Blossom's and Raf's little arms lifted high when I showed it to her and immediately her 2yo body was wrapped in warmth and Nana's love. She is always cuddly but during my visit she constantly came and curled herself up on my lap and insisted we share her jam tarts. Bliss. Blessed.
I'll write more about living a quiet life over the remainder of this year as I journey along this lovely path, weeding the unnecessary and planting what matters. In fact it will be my focus - just as the lessons of gentle domesticity and embracing a homemaker heart undergirded the blog for many years.
You see, when a lesson is learned I've come to appreciate that God wants me to use it like a step to stand on before calling me to climb higher in this quite privileged 'keeper of the home' calling.
Are you living a quiet life already? What can you share of it?
Perhaps some of you are weary from busyness and too many responsibilities? What would you like to change in order to usher in a quieter life?
Do you look at how much others seem to achieve, feel like a failure, and then try too hard to emulate them? Social media can magnify this and many beautiful souls fall into the trap of comparing their lives and (perceived lack of) achievements to others. You dear heart, need to turn your eyes away and discover the beauty of where God has you this day, the people He's put in your life, and the very unique-to-you calling He created you to walk in.
God bless your precious hearts! Each of you reading my blog mean a great deal to me and to quote Paul in his letter to the Philippian church - I thank my God in all remembrance of you.
You bless me often and the encouragement you offer through your comments many times will pick me up when the day has been hard or my body has been given over to pain. I cannot thank you enough for the kindness I so often receive from you, it is a gentle balm from one woman to another.
Before signing off today I thought I'd share something lovely to watch. I came across it the other day when I was delving further afield for aspects of living a quiet life. The wife and her husband live in Ireland and though just a short video I found it soothing, gentle and exactly what I needed.
Tomorrow Blossom and the girls will be here and the new/old cubby house will come alive again with the hustle and bustle of little women playing house. There is much joy in sitting outside with a large mug of coffee or a cup of tea watching the simplicity of children at play. Much joy indeed.
Till next time,