I've had a number of blog posts planned recently that just never got written. The days seems to pass by swiftly at the moment and even though spring school holidays are over and my husband is back to teaching I've not had much free time as there's always quite a bit of catch-up to do with regards to my work whenever holidays pass.
A sense of overwhelm, or perhaps a weight of too many uncompleted tasks, felt heavy on my mind these past few days and whilst trying to get through that long to-do list and respond to too many emails I realised the most important thing needed was to stop everything, draw away and sit quietly at the feet of Jesus.
Drawing away takes time, it needs full attention given over to He who holds the answers and direction we so truly and deeply need. Sometimes this means an hour, other times it may be days or weeks. What the Lord chooses to readjust in our lives may be minor or it might require a prolonged season of change, much like removing a rootbound plant from an old pot and replanting it in rich fertile soil with room to grow deeper and stronger, room to flourish and no longer wither.
In my garden I see every day the dying back and withering of old blooms which are past their prime and right beside them the first buds of new growth holding a promise of beauty, quiet simplicity and delight to my eyes in the days ahead.
I wonder if I sometimes try to hold on to what is comfortable, the rhythms that most suit my nature and desires, instead of letting things go, allowing them to fall away in order to create time and space for something new to grow...for when we add more to our life without first letting go of something no longer important, essential or needful, we overburden our days. First we must make available a space, a fresh opening, with no crowding or squeezing - then that new thing has a fresh place to dwell.
There's a decluttering happening within me now, not just the spring cleaning type, but in my thoughts, plans, business, designs, emails, social media, relationships...every area of my mind and the daily routines I follow are under scrutiny. I've become aware that the very impersonal nature of social media, the one dimensional momentary snapshot of another's life, really tells me nothing about them and I wonder today why I give it time in my life.
The days of blogs, of bloggers actually sharing stories and every day life in such a way that you get to know them, is becoming rare. Is this because our attention span is less today? Have we adjusted to scrolling, looking at the pictures and not really reading? Not being genuinely engaged?
I find this even on the blog. Emails arrive asking questions about 'where' and 'how' that were explained clearly in the very blog post they refer to. Did they just want the free pattern or the recipe or some other thing and didn't bother to read the post?
My own blog reading has fallen by the wayside, I should add. I think that's another consequence of social media...it takes time there to run a business, it takes time to be involved with a group, it just takes time...time which would be better spent on rediscovering some favourite blogs and truly getting to know a handful of people well.
So this current time of processing my everyday life, decluttering my mind, considering what to let go of and what to keep, what to embark on and what must draw to a close, fills my prayers and draws me into many wonderful quiet times at the feet of Jesus. He's not done with me yet, nor will He ever be until we meet face to face. He's not done with you either, sweet child.
How long since you stopped everything and gave Him your full attention?
How long has it been since you sat at His feet and really listened?
This morning I wandered the garden and took these photos, amazed at how just when we imagined our harvests were over, a new crop of vegetables my beloved planted in rich well composted soil, is flourishing. Our previous backyard garden crops this season did not fare as well as we'd hoped, and he realised that the soil we'd used wasn't fertile enough, it hadn't been cared for as it should...so in faith he planted again very late in our tropical growing season, using far superior soil and gathering more knowledge of how to grow well in this climate and then implementing what he'd learned.
The results have been quite astounding. And those results brought me right back to the message I'm sharing today.
The soil of our life needs to be developed well. It requires time in prayer and at the feet of Jesus, a nourishing watering from the Word, repentance towards God and turning from the things that pull our attention away from Him, knowledge of the Scriptures to identify the weeds in our life, Christ-given strength to pull those weeds out, and renewed seeds of faithful hope for the Christ-like blooms which will then begin to flourish in our character.
Today is a fresh beginning dear one...wipe the slate clean, let go of the things which bind and overwhelm you, discard the excesses which rob your peace. Seek gentleness, pursue righteousness, choose to be uncluttered by the distractions of worldly media which is almost always negative and mostly false, cut back on social media and seek deeper relationships with fewer people.
Take time to examine your heart, your needs, your not-so-nice character traits...and ask the Lord's help in identifying what roots need to be removed and what He would like to plant in their place.
Be kind to yourself so you can be kind to others. Give yourself permission to not be perfect, to not be the answer to everyone's problem, to not have to participate in online discussions because you feel an obligation to do so...seek the Lord's desire for YOU.
I have a long way to go with where He's leading me, but I have all confidence in Him and know without doubt that His way will be the best because He knows me, He called me, He can equip me and He can correct my journey gently when I stray. Which is exactly what He's been doing this week.
Pray for me? I'm praying for you. xxx
This is our new hen, Penny, whom I affectionately call Penny-Pen.
On Sunday our dear Daphne-hen died. She'd mourned the passing of her sister Bess quite deeply and just never recovered as they'd been inseparable for years (we got them a year ago but they were already old) and I don't think she coped being alone. Just as Mr E planted a tree over Bess last month, he planted a tree over Daphne as well.
Penny was a surprise find on Monday as a couple nearby were moving house and needed someone to take their hen. She's got quite a strong feisty character but over these past few days has become quite affectionate. Hubby has two new hens arriving soon, young ones, and he's also got a new coop to build. I said I wouldn't get attached to any more chickens as we keep them for eggs and not as pets...but within 48 hours dear Penny-Pen changed all that.
Anyhow, I'd best be off now as I need to get some groceries and post a parcel before lunch.
I look on today as a fresh beginning, and there's excitement, relief and peace within me. I hope and pray that if you've had need of these thoughts today that you also will be able to renew, refresh, start over...and flourish.