This new week began so cheery (especially after last week's run of awful migraines) with many things ticked off my to-do list, new designs stitched, more designs sketched and a much clearer vision of how to balance my family/home/work life.
I was out of balance you see. Perhaps it's my nature that I try to be all-in with every area of responsibility, but slowly this year that mental attitude has been changing - it's been gradually slowing, gradually sifting through a maze of too much or the idea of doing more than I'm personally able.
An early morning half-hour with God, sitting in the old brown leather recliner which is tucked into a corner of my sewing room, with Bible, cup of tea and usually Sophie-cat at my feet, has increasingly brought about lessons in the gentle art of balancing what is most important, then choosing to attend to those things first before pondering (counting the cost - Luke 14:28-30) of all my other ideas or pursuits, and making prayerfully wise decisions about whether to pursue them or let them go.
As I mentioned recently, a huge lesson learned this year has been that if I am going to add something into my life then I need to take something else out. Being weighed down by too many projects, responsibilities, ideals, relationships and plans leads to an unbalanced overwhelmed life and at 61 that's not good at all.
Whilst the Lord has me here, he has work for me to do. And it is that work above all else which must hold my attention and my heart.
My life verse for 2020 is Ephesians 2:10 and right before last New Year I stitched these two designs as a personal reminder, a reinforcement I suppose you'd say, of what the Lord had very clearly written across my heart for the year ahead.
I know many of us have the best of intentions when we do certain things, and those things of themselves are not bad at all, but how easy it is to be pulled away by the 'good' when the Lord is waiting to direct us differently - towards the 'better'.
Being content at home, being content to do what I'm able and to let go of that which would tax what was left of my precious time and energy is a lesson which ran into, and was illuminated by, frequent pondering on Ephesians 2:10.
Yesterday was a day of focusing on the home, on the chores that are too often overlooked and even forgotten - like washing windows. How lovely it was after a good scrub to see clearly through the kitchen window into the side garden, and to see most of the back garden through the glass sliding doors. I thought afterwards that this is a bit like life...over time so many things build up and we can't see or think as clearly as we would if the 'clutter' was removed and life was simpler.
Making conscious choices with regards to day to day life now, and also into the future, the view overall is much clearer than before and my clarity of thought is being refined. How wise is our Lord to remind us to live a quiet life, to be about our own business, to live in the land and befriend faithfulness. All of these directions resonate deeply within me and as I go about my days now they echo upon my thoughts.
Here at home...
This week I've been able to accompany Blossom and the little ones on a final shopping trip before she settles down at home to 'nest' before the baby arrives. Our weather is fiercely hot now and late pregnancy swelling is upon my girl, so with all things considered it's best for her to rest up and just do what needs to be done and not much more.
Our three chickens are settled in the new coop which is safely housed within the chicken enclosure beneath the large shady Guava tree. We got Penny a few weeks ago and she's a wonderful layer (she's around 2 years old) but the other two we got 11 days ago. They are almost 17 weeks old and growing fast. Such gentle girls, but sadly Penny is a real bully and we've had to watch her carefully. She's gone beyond hen pecking and can be quite savage if they even walk by her. One of our newbies has decided to fly to the top of the red hibiscus and sleep there of a night, perhaps to avoid her. We're considering rehoming Penny. She's been an only chicken most of her life and just can't seem to get accustomed to having friends live with her. If you have any suggestions please share them.
With the ghastly heat back with full force meals are mostly cold salads or laden with a side of salad. I made a big batch of cous cous salad on Sunday for lunches during the week, along with more French chicken salad to have on sandwiches during the in between days or for easy dinners.
We picked another garden bed of radishes on Monday and I decided to use the radish tops to make pesto.
I found this recipe in a library book about preserving vegetables. It made two large jars so I froze one and we're using the other, though I did make a few changes to the recipe as it was a little bit bitter.
I ended up doubling the parmesan and adding a large handful of fresh basil from the garden. In the end it was very tasty and tonight we shall have it with ravioli and salad.
One of our plans when we first moved into our home two years ago was to tear down the small shed and, as we're at the point now of needing more garden space for future vegetable beds, hubby began clearing the inside shelving and contents of the shed last week.
Yesterday he was about to begin dismantling the outside of the shed when he fell and badly sprained his ankle as well as injuring his knee in the process. The ankle swelled up like a balloon and he was in a lot of pain, wrapping it in ice for hours. Fortunately it's not broken but will take a while to mend. This morning I went and got him a walking cane so at least he can hobble from one room to the other a little easier now.
It's one of those things you really notice the older you get - healing is slower. And of course this frustrates him as he's quite active and prefers to be 'doing something' than just sitting, but time (and the Lord) is the healer and rest he must for now.
I've finished all the blocks for my free Christmas stitch-along and had intended sewing them together today and tomorrow in order to start the four-part project with you next week, but I shall delay it until the end of next week when hopefully Mr E will be recovered and back at work.
A little peek...
My next set of Faith In Hand patterns will be emailed to all club members on October 31st. I had meant to share photos with you on the blog this month but time and life redirected those plans - and that's okay. Truth is I often forget to show you, but as I'm so happy with the November designs, especially the Ephesians 2:10 sewing companion project (full pattern included with the November patterns) I'll leave you today with those pics...
Okay, I must be away as it's nearing lunch time and sandwiches are to be made, along with a nice cool drink and a sweet treat. I baked Raspberry Coconut Slice yesterday as Rosie was coming to visit today but after Mr E had his fall that catch-up had to be postponed so hubby will have a sweetly contented tummy this afternoon and more for dessert tonight.
God bless you all so very much, and may His generous provision, grace, mercy, hope and love be abundantly poured over your life in the days and weeks ahead.