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 me...you 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.
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.