Monday, January 11, 2021

Rain, garden, goodness...


Since Christmas the rain has continued to fall with just two short morning breaks where I was relieved to hang sheets and towels on the clothesline and have them dry. One thing about the tropics and the wet season, it's still hot. A break in the weather will dry your washing rather quickly.

 The ground is a mushy well of decaying grass and water which cannot drain away as the clay soil is beyond saturation and cannot take any more.

For so long this year our city was dry and parched, our gardens struggling to manage with limited town water...and we grumbled about that. A lot. The forecast was for a wetter than usual summer, an earlier wet season - but it did not arrive and we waited and we grumbled a bit more.

Then December 25th arrived and surprisingly it was the coolest Christmas day anyone I spoke to could remember. And then, the rains came. And the grumbling ceased.

But the rain kept coming.
And it rained day after day after day.
It's still raining. 
A different grumble.

But then Psalm 103:2 came to life for me over the weekend and the grumbling ceased.
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits."

You see we really needed the rain and it's better to have this weather than no rain at all. I'd rather wake again to another grey wet dawn than lament the parched ground, shrivelling garden and the intense burn of the sun all season. 

This morning we gave thanks and marvelled at how tall the trees have grown since Christmas and how spectacular are the multiplying Ixora, Murraya, Bougainvillea, Roses and Euphorbia blooms.

The only vegetables coping now are the spring (green) onions and the kale. Everything else rotted on the vines or were completely infested with bugs - but you know, in a climate where we grow summer vegetables in the winter it was an extraordinary blessing late in 2020 to be growing right up to summer and eating cucumber, tomatoes, capsicum and rockmelon for so long!

All the herbs are hanging in, in fact the chives, sage, tarragon, oregano and rosemary are thriving.

At night as the rain falls we listen to a choir of hundreds of green-tree frogs and the sound is deafening - but it is also incredibly beautiful. I often drift off the sleep with their loud song acting as a white noise which ushers me along into slumber. A hidden 'benefit' I did not consider.

I think it's easy to focus on what's uncomfortable, inconvenient or overdone in life. The things which weigh on us for a period of time can easily cloud out the blessings which come alongside the trials.

In our life we have many trials, many challenges which exhaust and overwhelm, and those experiences faced day after day can leave us empty both emotionally and physically if we're not given some reprieve. Those seasons may also be so consuming that we forget to look outside our line of sight at the goodness and beauty and hope which can often be found in the smallest things. We forget to bless the Lord and remember all His benefits.

The word benefits in Psalm 103:2 means a bounty bestowed, and when we consider the countless times our Father in Heaven has bestowed upon us the bounty of His love, the bounty of His provision, the bounty of His healing, the bounty of His forgiveness, the bounty of His comfort and numerous other bounties which are as unique to our situations as we are to God - surely our souls will indeed bless the Lord.

Yes, I'd like the rain to move on for a while and quite possibly our feathered girls would enjoy that too, but until that happens I shall endeavour to consider each day the blessed benefits my Father has poured over my life - in this and all other seasons.

In case you weren't aware, you are a blessing to who drop by the blog to read my wordy thoughts, share yours, encourage me and pray for our family, offer some ideas and teach me things zi did not know.
I love that you are here and do not take that lightly.
((thank you))

I'll leave you today with photos of my second tag for the #52tagshannemade challenge this year. The theme was 'heart' this week and once again I turned to my stash of vintage linens and lace...

For the base I covered the tag in cream linen, then covered the linen with very old lace.
The heart was chain stitched onto the corner of a damaged napkin and I added some little cross stitches.
The final embellishments were a piece of cardboard measuring tape, a small crochet flower cut from a very damaged tablecloth and a couple of cream glass seed beads.
A satin ribbon and my week 2 tag was complete.

If you want to see the tags each Saturday as I make them pop over HERE to my Instagram page. The theme is shared by Anne (she is running the #52tagshannemade project) on Fridays but as I'm in Australia and a day ahead I don't find out till Saturday morning so with hubby working till 1.30pm each Saturday I have decided to make my tags that day.

For those who have emailed and asked how Blossom is doing now, she's much improved but not yet recovered. In fact, Ross came down with the same nasty head cold so your prayers are treasured. 
I haven't seen them for two weeks and am praying healing is soon so that I can visit again and lend a hand with the girls. 

Let us remember all His benefits today, and become a blessing to those who are walking in dark seasons by shining the Light of Christ in all we do and say.



Joanne said...

Good morning Jenny,
Rainy garden flower photo's are always more intense with colour and raindrops :)
Is there a mosquito season there where you live ?
I enjoy watching the creative process as you make the tags.
Monday morning is off to a good start !

Kay said...

I needed this today, the finding the good in the harder times. I am struggling with the lockdown in England. I saw my youngest daughter for a couple of hours on Christmas day, before that it was October, I haven't seen my eldest daughter in over a year now as she lives abroad and has been unable to fly over to England since the previous Christmas. When we first went into lockdown the previous March it was easier because the weather was good and we could get outside into the garden, now it is dark for about 16 hours a day, and cold with some days the weather not getting above freezing. This really is the long haul and it is only getting worse each day over here. I am feeling down and need to try to find the good. I am safe at home, I am warm, I have food, I have a large crafting supply, I am allowed out once per day to walk the dog for exercise. I know we will get through this. Thank you for your cheerfulness. x

Unknown said...

I think God's whispers are so loud when we hear them. Thank you for listening and writing to remind us again what we know but forget. To abide.
Thank you for your faithfulness.

Wilna said...

Thanks for your inspiring words. I am still jobless writing this and surely needs prayers as my previous company is deciding today on a contract for me. Going through this difficult uncertain past few weeks have been excruciatingly difficult leaving me depressed and filled with so much anxiety. But still, we have so much to be thankful for if we just open our hearts and minds.

Winifred said...

Morning Jenny
I know what you mean about winter's grey wet mornings we are used to them in winter in the UK as you know but sometimes we get beautiful golden ones and are grateful for them. I'm sorry to hear about your lost crops, that's sad but the rain has brought you some beautiful flowers.
Like Kay I'm grateful for what we have and count my blessings every night. I'm sad for those who are lonely, have lost family and friends and for those are unable to see family in hospital and in care homes. I pray every night for family and friends including you and your family, I know we'll get through this awful time. God bless xxxxx

Little Quiltsong said...

I always so enjoy this peek into your life - hearing how the weather is at your end - and how your garden is doing. So thankful Blossom is doing better, but will pray for Russ and that all of you stay healthy. We have been having a milder winter so far, and are really enjoying this blessing. Love seeing your cute tags and looking forward to your progress on them each week.

Diane Garton said...

Thank you for your ray of sunshine blog, very timely as life can be quite difficult - especially now in UK. We have not seen our son and family for over a year now and although we have face time, zoom etc it is not the same as holding your grandchild in your arms so I appreciate your comments. Yes, although life can be tough at times let’s take time to remember that our Heavenly Father is always looking over us & won’t allow anything to touch us that we can’t handle with his guidance. We are safe & warm, with enough food to keep us going until the next supermarket delivery. We do enjoy sunny mornings occasionally and can see the buds appearing on the trees which gives us hope that Spring will come and with it hope, that this year will be easier than last. I pray a blessing over you and your family Jenny, for good health, financial issues to be smoothed over & mental well-being to be satisfied as you read & meditate on His word. Also that you may continue to prompt and provoke us to see His goodness around us wherever we are in the world. Your garden looks beautiful in the rain, thank you for sharing with us xx

kshackabq said...

Hello Jenny - Thank you for the reminders and this encouragement this morning. Just what I needed to hear to turn from my own grumbling. The photo of Charlie with the girls is so precious. And good to read that Blossom is improving. Thank you always reminding us to focus on Him! Karen S - US

Tammy said...

Good morning Dear Jenny. Loved seeing your beautiful pictures of your wet garden. And the beautiful vintage tag you made. That is great news that Blossom has recovered and is doing well. It is winter where I live at and it is cold... And most things are dead right now. I still have parsley and green onions alive. And My Camellia trees are abloom .... They are so beautiful and such a contrast to all the other dead things. I will start praying again for the migraines to disappear. Thank you so much for sharing his word with us. And relating it to our days. Love you my Friend.

MaureenHP said...

Jenny, I always appreciate the words you share from Scripture. And also the lovely photos from your garden. It's a bit of spring when I'm looking out on a snowy back yard. Last week we had ice and snow covering the trees and it was quite beautiful.

Donna P. said...

I love your words for today. I have a tendency to forget His many blessings when I look at a problem of the day. A problem so easily solved or at least will be solved eventually. I am reminded of the Israelites how they grumbled after being set free. I'd probably be the same. Fortunately, we serve a merciful and loving God who, when we ask forgiveness, grants us mercy beyond all imagining.
Blessings to you and yours

Bobbie said...

I think we all tend to forget His blessings especially when things aren’t going the way we’d like. Everyday I am trying to remember in the midst of being quarantined in COVID that our family is healthy and has a wealth of things to do even if the only place we seem to go is the grocery store. So I get it. And it’s so hard to be positive when it rains endlessly even when the alternative is scorching heat, there is just something about sunshine that picks us up isn’t there. Glad for the rain that is nourishing your earth and wishes for more temperate days soon!

Hardin County Keepsakes said...

Jenny,You are on my blog list.I have rediscovered blogs. I am so glad to find this 52tag challenge.I am behind but will catch up soon. Here in North central Iowa we are cold and snowy. It was 36 degrees today ,---which is a heat wave for January.I am going to love going through all the vintage laces and trims I once used for making doll clothes. Blessings for you all. Judith said...

Thank you for the beautiful words a very images, Jenny. I’m praying for you and your family & thanking the Lord for the blessing that you are. ❤️

Lin said...

Such a pretty tag Jenny. Thank goodness for seasons I say! Currently it is grey and damp here but the frosty mornigngs last week were beautiful and we are so fortunate that facing south, when the sun has shone I have been able to sit outside. Stay safe and well Jenny and Blossom and family. xx

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Thanks know, I really understand now how depression through lack of Vitamin D (sunshine) is so prevalent in the UK during winter. We're up to day 18 with only dark skies and rain and in the tropics (even in the wet season) you really notice that much lack of sunshine. But today it hit me just how down I was and falling fast all due to the lack of sun. Praying it returns soon.

Sharm said...

Finally, finally I've just made a start on coming back to visiting the blogs of dear friends and such a delight to drop in on you Jenny..... how your garden has grown since I was there visiting a couple of years ago! I thank you for the reminder of Gods blessings - it has truelly been a most difficult year but I pray things will improve now! We have moved back to our home in Maryborough and have the house in Hervey Bay up for sale - hopeful of it selling soon!! Love your tag and I pray Blossom and her family are well very soon xo

Carla said...

Amen and Amen!!

Nanna Chel said...

Jenny, I am sorry to hear that your girl and her hubby have been unwell. My grandchildren are enjoying their holiday up there despite the rain as it is a respite from the Outback heat. I think there have been lots of walks along the Strand. I would love to be joining them.