A few of you have wondered lately whether I've stopped blogging (after thirteen years of it being a regular part of my life) as even after returning on August 1st from my first 'real' break' through most of July, I've barely been seen or heard from. Not even emails. I haven't even answered comments. In fact my email inbox is so overflowing that I don't even know where to start.
So I decided it was best to not start, but tell everyone here today who has left comments and sent private emails "thank you for caring" as I have read them all and sometimes shed a tear from the kindness offered, and to those who were sharing their struggles know that I prayed immediately, trusting the Father who hears when we cry out to Him for help or strength, and knowing He will surely respond.
Now my inbox is almost empty, a weight has lifted from my mind, and like the entrance to my home when I open the door at dawn, all is clean and tidy, ready for a fresh start.
The word "simple" has taken on a very clear meaning of late, one which is encouraging me to plan those easy, ordinary meals which Nana made; recipes with few ingredients, yet so very tasty and comforting; made not with a list of expensive or numerous ingredients, and not requiring special equipment or many hours standing at the kitchen bench working through a long list of steps.
I've swung back to this style of meal planning in the past but then been enticed to follow recipes full of 'superfoods' and found my days over-full due to the time needed for this lifestyle. But after this time of intentional slowing at home and being away from the computer and blog, I've considered the days of old when we were only able to eat locally, and could not walk into a supermarket to buy food items from all across the globe. I do believe there was much more contentment in those days when using what was readily available and not having to shop very often.
Once a week Rosie and I get together for morning tea and sewing, though to be honest not much sewing gets done because we linger over a second cup of tea, a second slice of cake or another passionfruit melting moment biscuit (she makes the best ones you ever tried!), and we talk about so many things that the time passes before we know it and it's time for one of us to go home. But these weekly catch-ups have been almost medicinal for the soul, and it's not just the sweet treats and tea, but the slowing...the lingering...the sharing of life, hearts and hopes; the remembering together of simpler times and a desire to step back in our own lives to recapture some of what we knew growing up and as young mothers - before the hustle and bustle of a global connection became normal.
We've reflected on the lack of manners these days, especially online and even with regards to online businesses; and made decisions not to maintain relationships or purchase from certain places for that very reason.
I'm so glad I left Facebook six months ago. It was a life-changer for me and not once have I regretted that decision. I rarely even look at Pinterest these days unless I'm specifically after something I cannot find elsewhere (such as a free pattern to make children's aprons or for a particular tutorial). Instagram is hit or miss and I am usually missing, but I do check there every few days to see what my daughters or friends are up to, and to share a little encouragement or glimpses of the garden, new patterns, or life in general...but even that has lost it's glow lately.
You know what I have loved about slowing, especially slowing far more than I have in the past?
There's time to breathe.
There's time to value what I have right before me.
There's time to sit in the quiet and hear myself think.
I have more creativity and am able to make things unhurried.
There's not as many distractions, just a rhythm of routine which I follow as the week progresses, and if something doesn't get done I don't worry about it because there's always tomorrow.
There's time to listen, and far more time to pray.
I sleep better.
You know how cooking a meal in a crock pot (slow cooker) all through the day, gives the ingredients time to come together and merge into a wonderfully tasty dinner later that night? That's how I see this slowing of a simpler life. Everything I do, each conversation, every meal, all my ideas, come together slowly and intentionally, and this always proves beneficial to my life and the lives of those around me.