Issue 2, The Homemakers Heart. A simple digital magazine written and compiled to encourage and inspire the beautiful homemaker inside *you*.
No matter how long we've been keeping a home, we all need a dose of encouragement. Some of my readers are young, still living at home with their parents, patiently awaiting their own season of building a nest for a family to grow; some readers are retired and for the first time in many years able to step away from the 9-5 life and embrace the call of their heart to create a sanctuary within their own walls.
There are others who still need to work outside home, whether that be full or part time, yet long for those hours when they can relax within their own abode to potter around and bring beauty, nourishment and a welcome embrace to those they love.
Then there are those like me who have always been at home, who know the blessing of always being that smiling face who answers the door when loved ones arrive home hungry, weary, in need of an ear to hear and a cookie to nibble.
Though I do have a home-business, and that can bring challenges with regards to 'never being away from work', I find reasons each day to thank God for being where I am; for the comfort of working in well worn pyjamas in the winter; tending the garden and chickens between emails and spreadsheets; sketching a design while a load of sheets and towels tumbles amid soap suds in the washing machine and fresh bread bakes in the oven; tracing a pattern onto fabric for stitching that night while the freshly mopped floors dry under the circulating ceiling fans...I really have so much to be thankful for.
But one thing I have noticed over the past two years, since the flood actually, is a sense of feeling like "butter spread over too much toast" as Bilbo Baggins puts it. There's been an increase in the home-load since we stopped renting and bought our first home, and that increase happened again late last year when my beloved began his new employment and must work long hours six days a week.
In my mind it was important to keep up with everything, just as I always had, for being a very adrenaline driven woman it's hard for me to just sit and do nothing...and of course working from home as well as being a homemaker at home meant my eyes could always find some task to alert my time. I think for the longest time I wore this as a badge of honour, and then one day my opinion changed and as the months rolled on I came to see that 'this' was not the life God had for me.
You see, by balancing it all (or should I say juggling?) I was giving both aspects of my life equal importance. Home and business were level pegging for my time and attention. Given that I love being a homemaker and creating a beautifully calm and welcoming space within our quarter acre, as well as aiming to run my pattern design business with integrity, generosity and professionalism, I was using every ounce of energy I could to achieve the very best in all my endeavours.
Since December, with the extra responsibilities which needed to be carried now my husband was away so long, I found myself wearying more and more. I've said it often, when you add something into your life, you need to remove something at the same time for we are only allotted a set number of hours in the day, and a set portion of energy to achieve what should be done.
When I prayed over my life, my attitude, my requirements, and my abilities, what struck me loud and clear was that I needed to re-prioritise. You cannot serve two masters and for me this had become home and business. I was CEO of our home and of Elefantz Designs. Two positions which require a lot of hours and energy. And which one was suffering the most, my Father asked?
Home, I answered. Things are done, and I loved doing them, but they had become rushed and not enjoyed as they once were, because I had so much to cram into the hours available each day, running from here to there and back again.
Getting sick from various things this year and falling further behind due to days of covalescence, I could see an avalanche of 'catch-up' approaching which threatened to swallow me whole. I even stopped my daily swim in the pool, something which until Christmas last year was as regular as breathing, but was now 'more time' I did not have.
Over the past week or so I have sought to hear God, to invite His correction and direction for the years left to me that I may live them well and to His glory. I've shared and prayed with Blossom, and together we have discussed our lives in the reflection of God's Word, both of us becoming more intuitively aware of the changes needed in our hearts, lives and homes. Our hearts are open, our ears primed for that still small Voice, and a depth of humility and gratitude continues to grow deeply within our God-crafted lives.
For my life this means lifting my primary role of Homemaker to that high position it deserves, and to downsizing my business to part-time only. And friends, I have to tell you that getting on my knees and handing all this over to God, fully embracing the role I LOVE so much as wife, mother and nana, and not concerning myself with the extra income anymore because God always makes a way when there's a need, has been like a home swept of cobwebs and dust - the sun shines bright and the fresh air invigorates the soul.
I'm fortunate that things like the Simple Days BOM, Posies BOM and Let's Stitch Again 12-month stitchery club were already completed before I launched them this year - I'm only needing to manage them now (which is not too time consuming) and write a few more of the Simple Days patterns.
Apart from this I don't have to design if I don't want to or if I don't have time, nor even do the social media circus anymore. If I do design it will be from pure joy and this normal Jenny-desire to create, not for business deadlines or commitments.
My days from now will be home focused. Life focused. LIVING focused. God focused.
The home I imagined we'd create when we bought this house never really eventuated the way I'd dreamed, but part of that has been due to my time being pulled in two directions. Just lately, with these changes made, I've been doing a little each day to bring those practical dreams alive again, and the autumn wind of change this March in my corner of Australia is nurturing my desire to deep clean, refresh, relinquish what's not needed, and retain what matters. In the practical and the spiritual.
I'm beginning a new season of life and welcoming it with open arms.
After all that, which I had not really intended to elaborate so widely on, you may want to download Issue 2 of The Homemakers Heart magazine at last!? Use the link below and download the magazine to your computer or ipad/tablet. I showed how to do that here with the issue one blog post if you missed it.
DOWNLOAD the March/April issue of The Homemakers Heart
Back to normality....
Yesterday I tackled my stationary/papercraft/filing/postage cupboard which stands near the back door. I honestly don't think it's been done since the flood in February 2019, but I began one shelf at a time and after emptying everything out I wiped down the shelves with a lovely natural lemon myrtle cleaning spray Blossom put me on to recently.
You know, when you just keep adding to a cupboard and then one day decide to clean it out you may be very surprised at how much stuff can be tossed - and let me assure you that my paper shredder earned a gold medal because it had an Olympic workout from destroying the files I no longer needed. Now all those shredded files are lining the chicken coop.
Below is the 'before' photo with the top shelf contents emptied and on the table ready for me to sort through everything piece by piece.
It took about 90 minutes with all the shredding and sorting, but in the end I have only what is needed. Everything is organised in the right place and the clutter is gone. Bliss!
I re-discovered all my card-making bits and pieces, more Sellotape than I could use in five years (I keep buying it because I think we've run out), five new ink cartridges for the printer (I just bought a new one thinking I had none left), lots and lots of papercrafting treats I saved for Cully May when she was only two (she's five in August), and many more 'lost' items. All this from one cupboard.
This week I've also been pruning the trees inside the chicken coop, building a border for the small side garden where the lemon and lime trees are, and giving the girls' cubby house (the poppy house as they call it) a good scrub before they arrive tomorrow for Rafaella's 3rd birthday morning tea.
And that is a jolly good reason for me to sign off now, as I have a chocolate and strawberry cake to make for our little Miss.
Dear hearts, be brave in your own lives to address the things which overwhelm and to cut back on the 'too much'. Consider your first and most important role in life if you've lost your way, then pray to find a way you can bring it back to the top. Live your best life, embrace your calling, trust God with the details.
What a lovely way to start my morning, reading your blog and magazine has set me up for the day. I see a house sachet and some lavender bath salts in my future. Thank you for doing this, you probably touch people more than you know. x
Dearest Jenny, Thank you so much for this beautifully written and so thoughtfully put together magazine. It is such a blessing to read and I am inspired more than I can say from what you share. You are one of those wise women who share with such grace and gentleness...our world needs more of that.
Wishing you a most lovely day! ♥
And that’s why I enjoy your writings so very much Jenny. You are a very wise lady. I’m happy for you that the Lord has directed your path to more homemaking. Enjoy your new role and I know you’ll enjoy your destining more now you have no deadlines.
Many blessings to you dear friend,
Thank you so much for the magazine - downladed to my kindle and awaiting a time when I can sit and read it properly. It always amazes me how much you fit into your life Jenny - and I am sure that you do not share the half of it! Look after your health, your family and your home and tuck us in where you can. xx
Thank you ! Just " flipped through" the second issue of the Homemakers Heart. Such a beautifull creative inspiring publication full of ideas and wise words for life. It is soon to be enjoyed with a cup of tea and notes written in the thoughts and ideas book :) Lovely table runner !
Wishing you all a fun day with family. That chocolate strawberry cake sounds great :)
hugs, take care,
I would like to thank you for your newsletters and magazine. All your free patterns have really helped in a wet and cold English lockdown. I have enjoyed both your baking recipes and sewing. It is also lovely to read about how other people live, whilst you have too much sun at times, we would love some!!!
Thank you so much for your kindness and hard work.
Absolutely beautiful. This is so me right now. I don’t have a business except I have a cooking YouTube channel. It started out fun. Then I put pressure on myself. Now I’m taking time to do me. I can do both. I just have to prioritize. Thank you fir the gift of your heart.
I think a year at home has made an impact on many of us, we just don't need as much stuff.
Thank you, Jenny! I just flipped through the issue and it's lovely. Later today when I sit with a cup of tea, I will read it. Yesterday I traced off the new posies pattern. You are so generous and I thank the Lord for you and your kindness. XO
Thank you for this wonderful issue. I started cleaning my crafting area and have found some treasures which led to making more treasures/memories, which led to not getting any more cleaning done. Lol. Pray you are feeling better.
Thank you for the new issue of The Homemaker's Heart. I so enjoyed the first one. Your blog post today was so inspiring. Think I am ready to tackle my sewing room one area at a time as it certainly needs it. I look forward to each and every post from you. They always warm my heart. Thank you for your kindness.
Thank you so much for another lovely issue. Reading your words always warms my homemaker's heart.
Thank you, so much, for the lovely second issue of your magazine. It speaks to and feeds the heart and soul. God bless you and keep you and grant you good health going forward. Joy...from Canada
I love your magazine. Thank you.
Thank you, Jenny, I look forward to every post and treat it as a visit from a friend over tea. Blessings, Joni from Oregon
I'm so glad you have adjusted your priorities...something we all need to do more frequently!! I love the way Lin put it - "Look after your health, your family and your home and tuck us in where you can." We will be here whenever you write and we will be praying for you daily. You have so many praying readers all over the world that you are probably covered in prayer all the time!!
Thank you for this beautiful download. I can't wait to settle down with a cup of tea and read through this. You have been given many beautiful gifts that you share with us. Everything is appreciated. Take your time with things more important. We understand. ❤
Good reflections. Some of your thoughts are mirrored in mine and your deeds, as well, though I have much more to go through than you, because you've been cutting back for quite a while. =) That cabinet looks awesome! Three and Five. It seems impossible the girls have grown up so much. Have a wonderful birthday tea tomorrow with all your lovely girls and little David, too. Life is beautiful, and more so when we take the time to live it fully.
Oh Jenny you have done a beautiful job on Issue 2. I read it as fast as I could....And will reread it again and again I am sure. Happy Birthday to Lil Miss Rafaella. They are growing up very quickly...I hope the tea is absolutely a beautiful family fun time with the girls...You must tell them hello from me all the way across the globe... Your projects are very pretty in this issue... I grew lavender last year for the first time ever... It did ok...I think our humidity was too high or either it was the heat....I hope to try again with it this year. 1 died over winter the other 2 I am hoping will make it.
Thank You once again for a beautiful magazine Jenny - have just had "a quick flick" through & will wait til I can sit with a cuppa. I truly do not know my friend - how you fit in all that you do & all that you share with us out here in blogland. I am pleased to read you are thinking of yourself & lightening the load a little. Take good care dear Jenny xx
Jenny, thank you so much for the magazine and all you share with us. Your clean and organized cupboard look so pretty! That's what I need to do with my whole house. I have been slowly getting rid of things that I don't need but get distracted easily. There are so many things that I want and need to do. I have started quilting again which I love. I need to make time to sort and organize my photos and genealogy work so that they will be ready for my son if something should happen to me. We never know how much time the Lord will bless us with. Thank you so much for your encouragement.
Thank you for another lovely magazine. Appreciate all your hard work.
God bless you!
Thank you for sharing your refections and heart, as well as your talents. The Father has truly blessed you and us, through you.
Good words! They spurred some thinking on my part. Tomorrow's quiet time with the Lord will fill out said spurred thoughts.
Thank you your magazine is just beautiful
I have admired your work for so many years and just recently found your blog. I cannot thank you enough for the 2 beautiful issues of your magazine. I recently retired from spending years of working up to the point of exhaustion on a regular basis and have been battling an immune disorder and cancer. I am working on reordering my life and renewing my faith as a Christian. Thank you for putting into beautiful words that have eluded me. God bless you for the good you do and your generosity.
Thank you for your wonderful magazine, i have read just the first page, do not let anyone deter you from your God given gift, you have inspired us all so much with your posts, i find that when you are doing something good for God in the world we hit many snares, but God is always there directing our paths, and from your post and magazine God has been moving in your heart and it is so wonderful. The chemo my husband was having for lymphoma has stopped as the results were not getting better, we just hope and pray that he will have a long time now before the symptoms return and more treatment will be needed. God bless you. Sue
Well done cleaning out that cupboard. It is amazing how much stuff we store and forget about. A good clean up always makes me feel that I have achieved something and left room for better things to come. Thankyou for another beautiful issue of your magazine. I have scrolled through briefly and look forward to sitting down quietly with a cuppa and reading it at a gentle pace.
Dear Jenny thank you so much for your beautiful magazine! Like your blog, your words inspire me in every way. You bless me constantly and I always feel like you are “talking” to me 😊 May God bless you richly as you continue to follow His heart and seek to do His work here on earth. You really are a beautiful soul and a very real blessing to many.
I recently discovered your blog and really enjoyed the first edition of your "Homemakers Heart". I'm saving your second issue to savor later over tea this afternoon. Thank you so much for all your work and creativity. Best wishes from cold-but-turning-slowly-into-Spring Wisconsin!
Dear Jenny. Thank you for your wonderful designs and blogs. I have many many of your designs still waiting to be stitched one day soon which I got from one of your monthly stitching clubs years ago. I love your designs and love your blog and appreciate your sharing your life with me and your AMAZING designs and so much inspiration. Thank you so much. You have been such a BIG part of my daily life for years and love the stitcheries I have on the wall to inspire me daily. Thank you so so much. We are truly blessed to have you in our lives. Thank you.
I am also inclined to get too busy for our home! when I start a project I seem to forget that there are other more important things to be done! as you do, stop and reflect on if its that important to get a hobby project done! when reflecting God tells me no hobbies are not the main focus but being a homemaker first! We look after our grandson in the afternoon and when he is here I leave everything and just spend time with him. Grandkids grow so fast and before you know they get too busy with their own lives to visit as much as when they were small. Anyway ones health is more important to be able to take care of the family that God lent to you! Thank you for sharing your personal feelings with me! Also thanks for all the free designs that you share with us all!
Jenny, I am so grateful for your example of a life lived to serve the Lord and reflect His priorities. Taking time to deeply care for and enjoy our families (rather than spend our precious hours just herding them from place to place) has become a unique view. Thank you for sharing with us all, all over the world. I love your blog as much as your beautiful handwork! Your words carry the Father's love. Sweetest blessings from Seattle, Debbie
Thank you Jenny for your peaceful voice in my life a noise and chaos. I look forward to your magazine and your emails and your delicate handwork. I am glad you are finding peace in your home and life. Blessings to you and your family.
Thank you for the magazine. I'll make myself a cuppa later on and sit and enjoy both. Have a lovely weekend. Hugs, Christine xx
Thank you for words this week and the magazine. I was struggling hard with someone taking punches online at me this week and so your words spoke directly to me. Helped me clarify. This sweet magazine is a joy.
I've been away from the computer for a few days, and have just downloaded and enjoyed your latest magazine. How delightful it is, and I thank you so much for sharing yourself so freely with your readers. May God continue to bless and guide you.
Thank you so much! You have such a calming way of writing it really inspires me to tackle me home cleaning and organizing.
Thank you so much! You have such a calming way of writing, it inspires me to get cleaning and organizing and to focus more on the great Creator God. ❤️
Thank you for another lovely issue of The Homemaker's Heart. I learned a lot about lavender and appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experience with it. The project ideas and patterns are lovely. Take care!
I have gone back to catch up on reading your blog.
Thank you again for sharing so openly.
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