Let's begin today with the next two blocks in my free Joy to the World stitch-along.
If you missed the first two blocks they are HERE
We began this nativity story with the angel and Mary. Today we'll take the road to Bethlehem where this young mother will bring forth her first child, the Son of God, in a lowly manger...
Nowhere respectable or comfortable available, the inn keeper offers them an animal stall with manger for the night, and in that seemingly inhospitable birthing suite she brought forth her baby boy...
One of the many names or references made to Jesus over the centuries is the Rose of Sharon and that's why throughout this set of small stitcheries I've included roses. Also because despite the setting of a smelly unadorned manger for His birth, His very entry as a man into this world is beauty at it's most magnificent...and roses encapsulate just a glimpse of God's creative beauty.
Use the link below to download blocks 3 and 4.
There has been a growing sense of the need for change in my heart of late.
When we consider that there are only 24 hours in a given day, and one person alone can only do so much without burning themselves out, being found in a situation such as I am right now with that feeling of being stretched like 'butter spread across too much bread' (as Bilbo Baggins described) I knew that changes needed to be made. Prayerful changes, the kind of changes where (as the Lord instructed me recently) I needed to firstly count the cost.
It truly is a blessed gift to have had Him direct me to that passage of Scripture last month because more and more I'm applying it to my day by day choices and decisions and now I must apply it to what comes next year and how to make changes that still allow me to create and write and design, but without monthly deadlines to follow.
You see I'm about to enter a time of free flow, where I 'do' as I am able with only the occasional time restraint. God willing (and I think this is His idea to be honest) next year will allow me to be myself, all in, all there, in the moment or occupation or conversation as it presents itself, and not constrained with deadlines or business commitments.
As much as I love designing for my stitchery clubs, they have always required a great time and creative commitment, consuming much of my month for years on end. But now, having come to understand that I can no longer keep up that monthly and yearly momentum without sacrificing time needed for our expanding family and this ever evolving home and garden, I have decided to close Faith In Hand after the January 2021 issue.
The December and January issues (three patterns each) which are still to be published have already been stitched and most patterns are written. Once that door is closed (and what a wonderful time it has been designing so many faith based embroideries for my members!) I shall be 'free' to pursue a few other creative paths which have no set time frame per se but which I'll be able to bring to life in my sewing room, in writing and and here on the blog slowly and purposefully.
I did have plans for them anyway, but I realise now that they will not come to pass until I let go of what I'm currently holding on to - and that was very surely me 'counting the cost' of whether to be buried by a very time consuming locked-in commitment (a monthly stitchery club) and having no ability to 'drop everything' in order to be there for my family in times of need; or to let it go and just create and write when the time availed itself.
Having made this decision I can already feel a load off my shoulders.
You know, months ago I designed and stitched all the blocks for a new BOM but have had no free time to put them together or even consider a quilt layout for them...now I'll be able to do that, at my leisure. And that is a joyful thought.
Something else I'd like to do, something which resonates strongly within my nature and which I've written about here for many years, is a return to gentle domesticity blog posts. Next year, and maybe even next week, I'll slip right back in to my apron and extoll once more the virtues of homemaking, family and faith all rolled into one marvellous simply lived ordinary life. Would you like that?
Bless you my friends, and thanks for being here, being a listening ear when I need to chat...that's a precious gift you give me.
Now tell me, what do you think needs to change in your own life as this year draws to a close? And what would you like to focus on in 2021? I'm all ears...