Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Next year...

 Do you think about next year? Or do you still wonder about the plans you had for 2020 and lament that they did not come to pass as you'd hoped? 

When I look back now I think it's amazing that God led me to start Faith In Hand at just the right time, in just the right season, when we all needed reassurance, hope and comfort for what we were yet to face and eventually did face - how He brought truth into hearts and then into our hands as we stitched Scripture after Scripture as the months went by.

And because I can look back and see His hand directing the course of my personal designing and writing journey I have no doubts about the slight change in direction He's leading me along now - or should I say, a return to the previous path? 

For many years I have lived and written about the joy of simple things, living a gentle domestic life and nurturing a homemakers heart. This year though, much time was spent bringing together patterns and encouragement through my monthly Faith In Hand stitchery club and the welcome mat which leads to our virtual kitchen table wasn't as visible nor the door open as wide as in previous years. But all this was for a purpose, His purpose...and as I followed His path I discovered my own faith growing deeper, courage being tested, and character traits being challenged or refined until it was obvious to all who know me well that God had been at work in my heart. 

Next year the fruit of those changes are to be used in a fresh and yet familiar way because the focus once more is on home, family, friendships, faith and growth. 

I have already informed my Faith In Hand members that the final set of club patterns will be January (emailed out on December 31st) and that closes a rather memorable year which meant a great deal spiritually to me and hopefully them as well.

 Already I'm working on two new Block of the Month designs and loving the homeliness of both.


Above you can see a sneak peek of "Simple Days" which will be a paid monthly subscription over nine months. The quilt has nine large blocks, each with three small stitcheries and a bit of simple piecing. This will launch hopefully in February but I'll let you know the details closer to that date.

The second new block of the month is a freebie. "Posies" (sneak peek above) will be shared over twelve months, beginning at New Year and I hope many of you will enjoy stitching along. It's a very scrappy quilt so just dig into your fabric offcuts and favourite scraps for this one. The complete wall quilt measures just 20" square so not a lot of fabric is needed. I chose to raid my old Tilda pieces.


I've gathered together some of my favourite homemaker books and will slowly enjoy sharing many ideas and inspirations with you. The photo shows just a small selection because many more dwell within my walls, but little by little I'll introduce them to you over the course of 2021.

You may have some wonderful books that breathe fresh inspiration to the homemaker life as well so I encourage you to leave your thoughts often in the comments because there are tens of thousands of readers here each week who also love the gentle domestic life and your recommendation may be just what they need. It may be just what I need too. 

Let's make 2021 a new year of sharing, encouraging, lifting each other when we're down, praying for those in need, using what we have on hand and buying less, taking stock of what we need to change in our homes and in our hearts...let's go forth into January with a joyful attitude and a heart overflowing with hope.


I have a good supply of yarn in my stash now and intend to make a return to crochet, as well as knitting one small pullover for my soon-to-arrive grandson. Knitting is very hard on my hands but I am determined to knit one last 'wrap of love' just as I knitted for Cully May and Rafaella this year. 

As with all skills we need to practice and that's what I intend doing in 2021 - practice more crochet, learn new recipes and cooking techniques in a simplified and cost-effective way, learn to sew my own clothes, discover the joy of painting furniture (my husband's eyebrows shot up when I said this), grow more understanding and knowledge of gardening in our tropical climate and so much more.


I shall go through each room in our house and subdue it to our needs by removing what's no longer needed or liked and keeping just that which is useful and loved and brings delight. 

Routines will once again come in to play, but they shall be gentler than before because with each passing year we are aging, and we're discovering things which once seemed overly important really aren't anymore. 

I shall re-watch some of my favourite old shows, the ones like Darling Buds of May, which stoke the fires of my homemaker heart and inspire me to create happiness within our walls; and re-read more of the books which long ago lit the fire of domestic joy for me.


Next year I shall be having Cully May one day a week and together we shall do many fun and adventurous things. As the following year she will be going to school the family agreed special time spent out and about with Nana each week in 2021 would be time well spent for both of us. She's quite a character and makes me laugh so hard...but she's also very sweet and when I arrive and have bags of offerings to bring inside she runs to me and says "Nana, can I help you with some of that?" choosing the heaviest bag to try and carry. 

The year after I shall do the same with Rafaella. More and more I have come to realise the importance of grandparenting and the unique opportunity we have to invest in the young lives God has blessed us with. The girls are growing fast and time is precious when you're a Nana and Pop so making the time count is very important.


I am working on something else rather special to share with you but for now I shall let that be a surprise because we all like a bit of that at times, don't we?


There's more afoot and it all brings me joy, which is my heart's desire for YOU dear ones as well. Of course, one thing I need next year is something I need often, and that is grace. 

Grace to follow the Lord's lead, grace to be kind and thoughtful more than selfish and self-serving, grace to forgive and grace to acknowledge my wrongs and apologise, grace to let go of anything unnecessary and grace to turn away from things which tempt my heart (and bank balance) more than they should...grace to love more, grace to know when I need to stop and rest, grace to walk the extra mile and grace to simply be right where I am for a season. Grace comes in so many disguises but it's right at the root of who we are and waters who we need to become.

(This pattern is here is shop)

Well, I think that's enough today as I must go get dressed so I can pick up Blossom for her hospital appointment. The doctors will decide today whether to induce her or not - but of course, it's also her decision and right now she's not sure about that so a lot of prayer for wisdom and grace is being lifted to the Throne of Grace. 

I'll keep you posted on any news. 

May the Lord of Perfect Grace fill your heart and mind with His peace and love today, and may He also give you a personal vision for the direction He wants you to follow in the year ahead. 

Loving hugs

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Fab Feb said...

That sounds like a wonderful plan for 2021 Jenny. I am so grateful to receive your blogs with so much inspiration and I love the art of gentle domesticity which really resonates with me and how I was bought up. Please don’t overdo though as you are such a busy person....I wonder how you fit all you do into a day.!
My very best wishes to you and your Family. An exciting time with a new Bub about to come into the world. Warmest wishes and Seasons greetings Shena xx

Quiltingwiththefarmerswife said...

Love reading your blog and hearing about your latest project, sewing plan, planting, cooking, beautiful grand girls,chicken news, and mostly about our Lord. I came across a book that is perfect for me and others may benefit from it too. It is 'Extraordinary Hospitality for Ordinary Christians'. In years past, I've hosted 5 friends for sewing on Fridays with lunch included. I was feeling very burned out at the beginning of 2020. Since March, this pandemic has given me an excuse to not host but I wasn't overly excited to jump in and start next year. This book has given me a new outlook about hosting my friends and others in my home. It is an excellent read and good reference book.
Looking forward to hearing about Blossoms new 'little project'...aka baby. Bless you. Patty McDonald

Glimpses of My Heart said...

I have been thinking about Blossom the last few days and praying for her and the baby. I will continue to pray and look forward to an update!
Many blessings dear friend (and that is what I consider you even though we have never met and may not until we reach the other side but when we get there we will know each other and I look forward to getting to know you better. Also, I hope you still have your very sweet accent in glory!)
XOXO Michelle

Sarah said...

Roll on 2021!! I'm looking forward to all the loveliness you are planning to share with us!

Beth said...

Oooo! I have one of the books in your pile! Simple Secrets to a Beautiful Home.
To be honest I'm not making any plans for 2021. Right now I'm just feeling that I will roll with whatever happens because so often plans don't work out.
I am looking forward to what you will be sharing next year.

Debby said...

Thank you dear Jenny for being so prayerful and thoughtful of what to share with us each year. I look forward to time spent with you in 2021. Prayers for Blossom and her little one.

Joanne said...

Hi Jenny,
Your creative plans for 2021 are lovely and inspiring :) I might have to really see what selection of Tilda fabrics are at the quilt shop. I've seen them there but never really knew what to make with them. Something freah and new for 20201 ...2021.
...have to laugh at typing in a new year...always takes a few goes before the fingers pick it up the routine:)

Donna P. said...

I always enjoy reading your blog. Thank you so much for sharing your life and your thoughts with us.
I was curious about Darling Buds of May so I looked it up, never having heard of it before. I'm 66 and am now just discovering British tv. :-) Anyway, I see it is available at Amazon Prime in their IMDB section so I'm going to give it a look.
Praying for Blossom and all of you.

RBrown said...

All I can say again thank you for your inspiration and your sweet spirit. Your writing is always a blessing. It is very cold in Tennessee where I live. I don't mine it at all. I have plants in to winter over. I am finishing up embroideries for Christmas you gave. Today I will make some French Bread. Praying for your daughter.

sam said...

Your plan for 2021 sounds wonderful and is so inspiring. I love your idea for special time with your granddaughter. It will be so much fun. Thank you so much for your offerings to us. Your posts bring so much joy, peace, and harmony.

Lin said...

All that time with Cully May will be wonderful! Lots to look forward to next year Jenny. xx

Lori in Missouri said...

Dear Jenny,
May I email you personally?
I've been a reader quite some time and
would love to contact you...

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jenny for your inspiration! You mentioned the Darling Buds of May, they are one of our favorites too, as well as the James Herriot series ( All Creatures Great and Small)
I will look into your pile of books, they look very inspirational! Talking of books in general, have you ever heard or the books by Miss Read? They are all about the goings on of a teacher in the Cotswolds UK, again, just the day to day little things, from times gone by. They are so nice, I read them over and over again....
All the best, Nicoline

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Details on the contact me page. :-)

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Yes, I have known of them for many years. :-)

dwortman said...

Jenny, I always find inspiration in reading about your endeavors. I am also very home-centered, so I enjoy seeing what other like-minded people are up to. Thank you for sharing with your readers!

Allie said...

I love the idea of spending time with your girls - you have more influence on them than you know! Praying for you always!

Christine M said...

Both Simple Days and Posies are going to be gorgeous. Specials times are ahead for you and Cully May next year. xx