It's the last day of winter in the tropics of Northern Australia, a winter that didn't really arrive.
Every year around late April my anticipation builds towards that much needed cooling which normally arrives mid May, and there were indeed a few short days where it seemed my longing would be fulfilled...but nay, the winter months have came and gone with a warmth that most of you experience in late spring or indeed early summer.
Some locals here, those who have grown up in the stifling humid heat of tropical life, don't really understand the longing I have for a genuine cold change. Having been born and bred elsewhere, in a state and town that experiences all four seasons in their natural order, I deeply miss the months of wearing woolly ugg boots inside; layers of cardigans, socks, coats and scarves; tasty stews, casseroles and large bowls of steaming soup served with thick chunks of buttered bread every night; endless mugs of hot chocolate or tea; flannelette sheets, blankets and a soft snuggly comforter; open fires and plenty of cuddles.
I suppose this may have been the reason I've thought recently about how to live life satisfied even amidst seasons of dissatisfaction or disappointment. Admittedly some days this absent winter affected my mood badly, and then there were the many nights, with the ceiling fan whirring above my head, that I cried out to God for relief from the endless sun, pleading with Him to send an artic blast of winter chill all the way to the tropics. But it did not come.
Seasons. They come and go, and are never quite the same. Seasons aren't just spring, summer, autumn and winter...they are chapters in life which we walk through, relationships we fall into and out of, times of health and times of sickness, living in poverty and plenty, walking close to God and straying away.
"To every thing there is a season; and a time for every purpose under heaven."
Even though my winter didn't arrive as I'd expected, this season did bring good things - I just didn't recognise them until now. The past couple of months I allowed life to intentionally slow down, drawing back and investing myself more in family, friendship, the Word, and rest.
How lovely it has been to step away from the hamster wheel of a home based business for a season and reacquaint myself with life-before-Elefantz.
It's as though for the past few years I was running so hard that my eyes could not adjust to the beautiful view around me. A goal oriented woman, the way I approached life in general has always been with a list to complete, a deadline to meet and a fresh idea each day to work on. I don't remember ever being different...and to a certain extent, this is the way God made my mind to work.
The problem, though, is that in my flesh the tendency to push the envelope further than I needed in order to achieve more each day became a standard which I'd set for myself, a standard which had a limited life span...and that life span is closing. Thank goodness!
The garden this winter has been parched, yet the bugs multiplied to such a degree that almost every vegetable we grew was decimated and plant after plant was pulled up and destroyed (due to all the bugs/eggs/larvae we could not add them to compost). This too, contributed to days of dissatisfaction and disappointment.
But yesterday, the rain came. Not usual for this time of year, but it's good solid rain and as I walked through the garden this morning and saw the water droplets lingering on leaves between rain storms, my heart lifted and felt immensely refreshed.
Being washed in the bountiful showers of heaven, things came alive and I gave thanks for the lemon tree which promises to be full of fruit, the struggling tomatoes we've worked hard to save, the chives in bloom and the reminder that "Yes, Jennifer, to every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven." HIS purpose.
If you've also been in a season of dissatisfaction or disappointment, dear one, wait on the Lord. No season, hard or full, is wasted, for the Father teaches us through them and allows us to find His path anew that we may be refreshed and renewed for another season yet to arrive.
I'm very grateful to learn at the feet of the Father, and though the lessons may at first be uncomfortable, they always reveal attitudes in my character which need to be adjusted or tossed on the compost. If I allow Him free reign, He changes me for the better.
Now, I know it's a day early but I have the next Posies block for you to download.
A bucket of roses for September, and how very close to my heart this is because one joy that stood out in the garden over winter was our roses. They have bloomed and bloomed, and being able to tend them carefully just outside the back door each day, pluck stems and bring them inside, or gift a beautiful long stemmed red rose to Blossom to enjoy, brought immense delight to my soul!
POSIES was free until January 1st 2022.
The complete 2021 POSIES quilt is now available from my ETSY Shop.
For those who are purchasing my Simple Days blocks through Etsy, the latest one is ready for you (here)...
There's only one more block of Simple Days to come, on September 25th, and next week I'll show you the completed quilt top.
I hear the rain bucketing down so loud now, and that always makes me want to brew a pot of tea and make sandwiches, with a sweet treat on the side, so that's exactly what I shall do.
May your next season be one of refreshment, renewal, strength of faith, hope in Jesus, and slowing to the pace which God would have you live.
I can so understand your unease with the season not meeting expectations. Here in northern Minnesota, it has been a summer of severe drought. Where we normally have a lush green summer but instead the yard has been burnt, brown & brittle dead grass. Finally some rain has come & like you I feel more hopeful. It hasn't been enough rain, at least not yet, to end the drought but the fire danger is down to moderate & some of the grass is greening up. Yes, feeling more hopeful than during the unusually hot dry months. Just maybe next summer there will be more flowers & less watering to grow vegetables. Wishing you some cool days...cold enough for a sweater! - Diane from Minnesota
A beautiful post Jennifer, thankyou for those very timely thoughts.
Thanks you for this beautifully, well written, full of garden photo's and stitcheries, rings a bell post :)
Posies block 9 ! Thanks you for sharing !
Enjoy your tea and sandwhiches :)
Simple days is such a fun and creative block to make each month !
hugs, take care,
Everyone seems to be experiencing unusual weather this year - sadly in places extremes of heat or rain. Our summer has been cooler and wetter than we have become used to - a blessing in that everywhere has stayed green and we have not had to lock ourselves indoors away from the heat, but the damp did nothing for our tomatoes which all got blight! How blissful your rain must be and how happy your gaarden. Thank you for a lovely post. xx
OH how I love the rain - even during our wet seasons when it seems like it will never stop, and my bones are aching. I too have loved this season of slowing down, living intentionally, although I'm struggling to get away from my daily to-do lists.....I'd love to care for my home from a place of joy and caring for comfort, but I have this insatiable need to tick boxes, lol. Your roses are just gorgeous. Love love love this block, the handle of the bucket just charms my socks off. Praying for you today, my precious friend!!! Love you!
Your parched garden must be soaking up the wonderful rain! We are in a drought here, with huge (over 500,000 acres with two of them) fires burning our beautiful forested mountains and small mountain communities. As things become more chaotic in the world, I feel the need to draw closer to the Lord, keeping Him as my center. I'm struggling to be patient as I await the results of the test to see if I have covid or something else. I'm praying for you and yours as we move into our next season! We have another month of summer here before autumn arrives.
This post came just when I needed it. Everything you wrote touched my heart, thank you.
Here in Texas it has been a summer of rain and cooler than usual days. So much rain and so much growth of the grass and weeds in my flower beds. Lots of compost made this summer. But hot and humid days make it hard to work outside.
I truly believe that Global Warming is very real. With the increased in major storms, in Florida of course we worry about hurricanes, which has increased along with the severity. The heat in the summer has increased noticably and our change of seasons, yes we do have seasons but not like they do even in North FL. Our seasons are longer in coming and are milder while the rest of the US gets terrible winter storms. This all affects how we feel both mentally and physically. Our bodies are conditioned throughout our years to expect certain temps at certain times. This doesn't happen. Some people can adjust to anything, their bodies don't rebel but many bodies can't take so much change along with all the chemical changes that one normally goes through.
We've had a much milder weather season but we've had a hard season of life to go through. I have been embarrassingly weepy and whiny over things that I might have taken in stride but a season of disappointments is hard hard hard to go through. And I don't like that I succumb so easily to my emotions when God is so good in so many ways. And still I struggle with every one big and small!
I thought you might be having a trial. We are about to enter Fall here in the States. Seasons naturally changing, also tells me that the spiritual season is about to change for God's people. It has been difficult for so many. Covid still hanging around. So many passing on from it. Things in the Middle East are changing. Just global things happening with weather. It really is amazing to watch as life unfolds differently than has been. Things in the earth are changing. Spiritually, can you perecieve it? I think we grew accustomed to ways always being how they have been. But, that pandemic opened a door to different on many levels. Changes are happening in everyone's lives. We all are aging. Empty nesters. Retiring. It's as if we are seeing through different eyes, I think. But there is One who never changes. In Him is our confidence. We in Him, will be carried through what is coming. Blessed are we in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Be well, Jennifer.
Jennifer, I love all your posts. They bring me joy! I live in North Carolina in the states and it is also a hot sticky climate in the summer that seems to drag on. But luckily we do get fall and winter about Oct. but like you I find myself longing for cool days even winter. I guess I am surprised that you have stayed there after all your travels over the years. But I know that your reasons are solid for you and that God will see you through this time as he sees us all through the difficult days. And we are all living through very difficult days. Bless you and go well!
We've had rain, too, and it delights the soul after a long drought. When it comes every day, it's an annoyance. Many things are that way for we humans. I needed to read your message today as I was letting myself slide downhill now that the fight is over and it's all waiting, waiting, waiting for results. Thank you for the reminder that each day has joy, if I look for it.
Dearest Jennifer, So happy to receive the blog post update today. Love the new posies block. Thank you very much for sharing it. Life has been very crazy the entire summer here for husband and I. It has rained so very much.... Mildew is growing on the vinyl exterior of our home yet again. I am looking forward to Fall's arrival here. And things cooling off and less rain .
Hi Jennifer, it's wonderful to hear from you again. 😊 We are experiencing humid days here as summer turns to fall. I get very sad as the days grow shorter. I love the daylight and taking after dinner walks.
The newest poise is beautiful. I love the pail and the handle on it. These little blocks have been such a joy to me. I sit on my deck in the evening once it cools off out there and work on my stitching. Thank you for making them available to us. 💞
I completely understand what you mean about the heat. I've never experienced extreme heat but my southern, summer climate is so hot & humid. I just can't enjoy a hot cup of tea in the summer. I hope you'll begin to desire the comforts of hot weather soon.
I've always lived in a "four seasons" region of the U.S. and was amazed to see the chives, tomatoes, and other assorted "winter" vegetables from your garden! The part of the country I live in usually has very dry months from July through October, but this year it's been hurricane after hurricane heading for the north from slamming the Louisiana coast (currently) or up the East coast a couple of weeks ago. My house is in the woods, down a good hill from the road, so all the water seems to find us. It comes in the front door, which is level with the driveway and leaks through the roof in one bedroom... (That happens with a 60+ year old trailer that's only meant to last maybe 25-30 years.) I'm just saying..."Enjoy your rain... You can have it!) We've had more than our share recently, at least 2 inches today already with rain coming most of the night, and I'd pass on a bunch of it to you if I could! :-) I'd about give my eye teeth for a dry house, but it is what it is, so I just keep sewing! :-)
Bobbie, we have stayed here and settled because this is where Blossom has made her home and is raising her children. Regardless of the weather, being near family and being able to lend a hand is far more important. :-)
That rain must be so refreshing and a beautiful sound. Down here we have had cool cloudy weather but today was a beautiful sunny day with a warmer day expected tomorrow. Alas, back to cold weather after that. Love your bucket of roses. Hope the weather improves and you can enjoy your vegie garden again,
I am so sorry your winter has been so hard. Winter has always been my favourite season for the same reasons you mentioned. I find it so cosy, my favourite thing being to snuggle in front of the fire with a good book! Unfortunately our winter this year has been quite the opposite to you. I really wish I could have sent some of the bitter cold and the relentless rain your way. It ended up being even a bit much for me to enjoy! Our winter started with an epic storm. My neighbour recorded 117mm of rain in one night. We live right near a river so many of our neighbour's homes were flooded or others had trees fall on their homes. We were so blessed to have no damage at all. God was really protecting us. It gave as a really wonderful opportunity to reach out to help and bless our neighbours, which finally broke the ice of us trying to get to know them. As hard as it was, God really did bring so much good out of it! I hope the Spring can bring you much joy as you mourn the loss of having no true winter and that you continue to see the beauty and love of God pouring down on you no matter the weather. Love Em xox
Block 9 is adorable! Look at that tiny little bucket . . . so cute. Thank you!
Kathleen - kakingsbury at verizon dot net
Thank you for the September block. I love roses. Blue roses are my favorite, but I love them all.
Jennifer, thank you for the new Posies block and all the beautiful garden photos. I'm sorry this season has been so hard on you. Here in the US it's almost time for our winter season. That means cold and snow and ice. I don't like our winter at all. Since I've gotten older I seem to be cold all the time. I have to get in bed under an electric blanket just to warm up most days. Summer is my favorite season. Take care of yourself and I hope this new season is a good one for you. Blessings from Sherry in NC< USA.
I love cold and hot. I understand you perfecly. I need the four season. Thank you very much for the block. A big hug.
I've just read this blog post and so grateful I'm back in the loop so to speak. I so enjoy your wisdom and words of Biblical encouragement. God's Word never returns void and He is using you in a unique way to share His Gospel of love, joy, peace, and redemption. I have definitely experienced a "season of sickness" during my Alabama summer. As difficult as it has been, I'm grateful for the lessons learned, blessings given, and a closer walk with the Lord. Seasons in life are often like the changing seasons of Spring, Summer. Fall, and Winter in that we can't always know what each season will ultimately bring but we can Always know WHO brings the seasons and WHO will walk with us regardless!
I'm hoping that my future eye surgery in November will improve my vision to the extent I can regain my ability to stitch the lovely embroidery patterns you share with us.
I also grow roses and mine have bloomed prolifically this summer. MY cutting garden has also produced the most beautiful Zinnias! My sweet husband has picked a posie for me every few days as a gesture to brighten my days of recovery! Another blessing!
Jane in Alabama, USA
Post a Comment