Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Slowing the mind and thoughts...

 

These quieter days have given me a physical refreshment and mental soothing which I cannot describe adequately in mortal words. 

Letting go of the weights which previously held me down, many weights which I'd lain upon myself, and others which I'd not realised until recently could be let go, has allowed me to breathe slowly again, and opened the eyes of my understanding to pursue many wonderful and overlooked activities right here at home. 

There's a new rhythm to my weeks, a renewed sense of purpose, accomplishment and satisfaction - and all to do with home. Whether it be ironing garments straight off the clothesline, polishing the wooden bed frame, tending to my sour dough starter, cleaning away dust from under the bed, or slowly stirring delicious lemon curd until it thickens and coats the wooden spoon - everything brings a deepening sense of gratitude to my soul and I feel great delight giving attention to each task.

And then there are the moments of quiet reflection, gentle music playing softly in the background; brewing cups of delicious French Earl Grey tea and slicing pieces of date loaf for an afternoon repast whilst reading old magazines I've saved; slowly enjoying a book about womanhood, femininity and poise; or being delighted in a childhood novel which I always meant to read but never did. 






Just as the process of making sour dough requires patience, so these days of late have taken on that quality too. I feed the starter each morning and watch the fermentation process as bubbles grow and expand throughout the day and on through the night. Good things need not be rushed, but given time...




Making use of what I have on hand is how meals are being prepared now, even the treats. Instead of desiring what's not available, or heading off in the car to buy one or two ingredients, I just use what I have and be creative with it. This keeps me home, and allows me to use the abundance of creativity usually reserved for stitchery design in a fresh way. Though I mostly cook without recipes anyhow, now its about forgoing the purchase of what I do not have in the kitchen or pantry, but substituting with what is right before me. 

A little of the sour dough starter became the basis for blueberry and lemon muffins the other day, and as I made eighteen I was able to freeze a dozen for the future.




This slower, grateful and deeply calming way of living is not the way of the crowd, and that's what I like about the quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder (in the first photo), for she encourages us to step away from the crowd, to walk to the beat of our own drum, to seek out quiet times and think, ponder.

And pray.  Not quick prayers, though there are times for that, but slow, thoughtful, gracious, thankful, honest prayers to Our Father.

Become acquainted with your thoughts; turn off the television, turn off your phone and take a break from social media. Sit alone in your comfy chair with a cup of tea or your absolute favourite beverage (make it special), light a candle, play gentle music in the background, watch nature coming alive outside your window...be quiet and let your thoughts arrange themselves without the interruption of others or media.

If you're a believer, let the still small voice of God reach you in that quietness. Set yourself apart from the distractions, the rush, the to-do list...be fully at peace in your own skin, in your own home, in your own thoughts. 


May the God of all glory be right beside you today, dear friends, and show you how to create your own moments of peace and beauty and thoughtfulness in the weeks ahead.

Bless you,



15 comments:

  1. What a lovely start to the morning, thank you for this blog post. I think everyone could do with a bit more peace and calm in their lives. x

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  2. Hi Jennifer,
    Thank you for the encouraging words and beautiful photos :)
    hugs, take care,
    Joanne

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  3. What a lovely encouraging post today...A wonderful way to start my day. Love you Dear friend and love seeing pictures of your baking and cooking. Those muffins look divine.

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  4. Lovely post Jennifer, as ususal!

    Nice to read you're enjoying the cooler Autumn weather. On the other side of the world we're enjoying sunny warm spring weather. Just hope that people don't abuse the social distancing rules as they lift the restrictions. I know it's been a long winter but better to be safe.

    I'm off for my second vaccination in five minutes. Hope it's as easy as the first!

    Hope you and your family are safe Jennifer, God bless.

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  5. I'm in the process of mentally, emotionally and physically going through a metamorphosis and I'm embracing it all. I'm learning how to "detach" from those I was clinging to - this is good for me and for them.
    I've never 'needed' to be in social circles and yet I felt that maybe I did. I've figured out that I much prefer spending my days and time doing the things that make me happy and put a smile on my face. I had been turning on the TV simply for noise and I now know I don't need it. I could go on, Jennifer but I simply want you to know that you are inspiring me so much - thank you!!! Today's post spoke directly to my heart.

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  6. After nearly a week of trapped nerve and sciatica pain I finally felt well enough to pick up my sewing today, it's cross stitch but I was at the end and sewing the words in backstitch. I knew I'd need to unpick it, that was inevitable, but although I had to re-do parts several times your words about taking time and reflecting on His word kept going round my head so I didn't get cross with myself and instead my 'Sense & Sensibility' (Stitching Book Ckub) design is now finished. Thank you for your words and thoughts Jennifer.

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  7. Thank you for your peaceful and gentle reminder to slow down and enjoy life. As I sit watching it snow during the first week of spring you are reminding me to enjoy the moisture in the earth, be it snow or rain. When I receive notice of your latest post I take myself to a quiet place, physically and mentally, and enjoy your writings. Peace Be With You!

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  8. Love your thoughts today, Jennifer. So easy these days to get caught up in rush and bustle. I could certainly live without TV, however I really enjoy my iPad for the youtube instructional videos and lovely audio books whilst I knit, crochet or stitch. The slow and gentle life certainly is the life I choose. It doesn’t always happen but when it does it feels so good. It’s so very important these days not to slip into unhelpful habits. Also, not feeling as though you have to do everything or your just not measuring up. I’ve been guilty of this over my life. Thank you again for the gentle reminders of the important things of life.
    Blessings Gail..



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  9. Thanks, Jennifer. I'm making some physical changes in my environment so that by the end of summer, my backyard and decks will be places of refreshment for me. I'm excited about doing it, but I wasn't excited about what lumber costs this year. LOL The big deck had to be replaced as it was no longer safe to walk on, and it's second floor height. Now there's a smaller deck outside the kitchen and a balcony outside my bedroom door. I can hardly wait to find a good chair, a small table and some plants so I have a beautiful place to sit in the morning shade. I will think of you when I do. =)

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  10. This ministers to me so much, Jennifer! I have been packing up our library of books in anticipation of our move, and I see so many books that I had my dear children read but I never took the time to do so. I look forward to settling down to those slower, quieter days when I will be able to read more, think more, pray more. Thank you for the time you take to share your wisdom, among other things, with us! I print these off and read them in the quiet moments away from the computer.

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  11. I loved reading every bit of this 🤍

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  12. Thanks Jenny lovely,I ordered Madame Chic!fromABE books UK it my favourite second hand book storexxML

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  13. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thinks Hugs.

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  14. I love the jug in the first pic! A quiet read with a cuppa is always a relaxing time to escape from our everyday stresses . I love those English magazines but gave mine away and now I have decided to start buying them again I can't seem to find them lol. Period Living was another English mag I enjoyed. Some yummy baking there.

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  15. I love every word of this post. Also, I love your pitcher, jug, in your header. It reminds me of my sister-in-law's apple orchard where we pick apples and can apple sauce every fall. I think I'd put Azaleas in it at the moment. It's spring here in the US and I'm heading out with my cup of coffee and enjoy the many daffodils, azaleas, lilacs, columbine, dogwood trees and lily of the valley. The farmer's market opened yesterday and I love all the fresh fruits and veggies of the season. Your post sums it all up.

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It's always nice to receive feedback on a blog post, so *thank you* for taking time to comment!
I will try to reply via email unless you are a 'no reply blogger' which means you'll have to check for my reply in the comments. Of course, life is a rather hazardous activity, isn't it? So if I don't respond to your comment that's the reason why - life simply stepped in...
hugs
Jennifer
x