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.
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.