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.
SEWING & STITCHING
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.
READING & HOMEMAKING
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.
CRAFTING & COOKING
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.
HOMEMAKING IN GENERAL
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.
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.
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