It's not just us humans who are feeling the heat in the tropics this summer, but the birds make their displeasure known as well.
When I water the fenced area which holds four raised garden beds, there are always little honeyeaters darting to and fro to drink from the leaves and even to sit under the shower of gentle water when I hold the trigger nozzle high above and let the spray fall over them.
I ran inside to get my camera when this sunbird arrived, yet found it difficult to get a good photo as it flitted to and fro from tree to tree, eventually settling on a water laden branch within one particularly bushy tree in order to drink. Of course, I did not mind as the scorching sun dries everything quickly and these dear little winged friends needed refreshment.
If you look closely you will notice that another feathered friend arrived to sip with the first sunbird.
They visited for about twenty minutes and I stood in the shade watching them, every so often turning the hose back on to cool them down with more fresh water.
Life can be parched like that sometimes, especially in challenging or wearying seasons. Our minds may long for those 'streams in the desert' described in Isaiah, to refresh our souls and keep us moving forward (Isaiah 43:19), but what if pushing forward is not what we always need?
I'm an introvert with a type A personality. Ideas come to me day in and day out, through the small hours of the night, and even when I'm in the middle of a conversation. If there were ten of me I still could not accomplish all the dreams and ideas which fill my mind with excitement and a desire to 'do', and for most of my life that bothered me, but just this past year I've been letting go of almost every one.
I'd definitely describe my personality as productive, perhaps even striving to be productive, and as a younger woman, especially with a family to care for, that was a real blessing. These days however, I am discovering the delights of letting go, smelling the roses (literally), considering what really matters at this stage of life, and making plans to close the door on most of my Elefantz design work by the end of the year. And you know what? Those plans excite me.
I have a longing for untethered blocks of time to really appreciate our home and bring to fruition many of the decorative ideas we've had for more than three years (since we bought the house) yet never gotten to. Things need to be painted, repairs must be done, new furnishings made, and a thoughtfully crafted plan for better use of the space our delightfully small abode holds is essential.
Continuing to strive as I rolled over into my early 60's, work was a habit, still a creative a joy (yes indeed!) and though I often pondered what life would be like 'after' Elefantz Designs, there was no end date in sight because we had acquired our first mortgage so late in life and I wanted to help my husband pay it off faster in order that he not work himself into the ground before his time.
Praise God we are now a few years ahead in that goal, so I am listening to my dearly beloved and his instruction to wind down my business over the next twelve months and spend more time homemaking; curating this house into the home we both imagined it would become when we first made an offer on it late in 2018.
Behind the scenes I've stitched all the blocks for a new Block of the Month, and just need to spend time piecing the 12 blocks, but there's no hurry. Just knowing one final quilt is stitched and that it can be enjoyed later in the year, as my last 'big' design project fills my heart with contentment for all that is ahead, and all I shall be letting go of.
The Let's Stitch Again Club will continue because it needs no work as all the patterns are done and it's a perpetual 12-month only club, where anyone can join whenever they like for one year.
The Faith, Heart and Home Club is different, as I'm still designing new patterns each month, so it will come to a close in October with the final set of designs.
The new block of the month I mentioned earlier will begin when I'm ready, and shall be my swan song to regular designing...and there's a sweet delight in my heart at that thought. I'm ready to turn my hands to different crafts and learn new things.
The blog? As long as I breathe blogging will probably be part of my life. The blog is not going anywhere, nor are the odd tutorials or little patterns I like to share...goodness, I have almost thirteen years of designs in my files and many, many to share with you every so often, so we'll always have something to make just for fun.
And of course...there's homemaking, faith, and family. They are the true anchors of this life I share with you, and I pray that God will continue to encourage me, as I encourage you, to hold fast to those things for they are treasures, priceless treasures, in life.
God bless you wonderful ladies and friends. Can't wait to see what else A Year of Contentment holds for you and for me...
Has it been three years in that house ! You have really accomplished a lot :)
A change is better than a rest. So happy that you are making joyous plans for a year of contentment and Elefantz !
Lovely bird photos :)
hugs, take care, stay cool !
I am selfishly grateful you will continue the blog. Your creations are amazing but your words are dearer ❤️
I agree with Diana. She expressed my feelings beautifully. I love reading your well written blog posts and especially, the prayers you share! Blessings to you and yours!
I love your blogs and look forward to seeing your name in my in-box. I did have to chuckle when i read your opening line today. At the moment it's 10* with a wind chill making it feel like -1*. Of course, that's F*, I don't know how to convert to C*. I'm in the Texas Panhandle and we have a tad bit of snow and still snowing. BRRR!
Thank you for all your lovely patterns and recipes. I enjoy reading about your life down under, your family, home, recipes and your lovely home and garden along with all the birds that visit you. Thank you for sharing them with us.
Life moves on and it's wonderful to read that you will continue to post about your life and faith. Yes it's time to smell the roses Jennifer. Enjoy & God bless!
I look forward to your blogs and so thankful you will continue them. I find so much peace and contentment when I read your softly spoken words and praises to our Lord for his many blessings. Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing so much with us. You and this blog are truly a treasure
I am so glad to know you will still be blogging. I enjoy your faith insights and how God is working in your life. Thanks for all you have shared--patterns, recipes, and your life. It is encouraging to follow someone who listens to God and follows His direction for their life. Godspeed.
Many happy adventures ahead!
That theme goes along with my current desires ... to be content with what God desire of me and for me. Thank you, Jennifer.
Congrats! How wonderful to know that you have this year to be able to wind down with all the busyness - thus making it indeed a year of contentment! While your business side winds down, I have no doubt the "personal" side with all the home repairs and changes will ramp up as you are both able to work on things that need doing around your home. I'm excited for you Jennifer - blessings to you. Hugs Sharm
Oh I must admit I was holding my breath as I read this post Jennifer & thinking inside my head "please keep blogging ... please keep blogging". So I was selfishly relieved to read that you plan to continue 😊 I have been slowly slowing as well & found it so hard to do initially as I kept thinking that I had to be busy & productive (& generating income) all the time. It definately is a mindset thing. I now turn down Orders without all the guilt that I used to have. We have certainly earnt this time in our lives dear Jen. xx
A slower work free pace is well earned but I am sure you will steer your creativity in other directions. A young family and home are the creative joys of younger days and then take a different course as we get older. I understand the need to work on your home as we also need to repaint and repair many things but need to employ others to do it all. Your blog and designs have brought great joy and comfort to many including myself. Just take things as they come. X
If I could somehow type clapping as applause I would do it. For several years now I have felt that everyone just tries to cram too much into their lives. I really saw that when I worked in an After School Care program and heard the children talking about all the things they would be doing once they were collected at the end of the day. For many of them there was no day of rest - or even a couple of hours. Their whole day, from waking up to going to bed, was packed with activity - sports, music, tutoring - and that was just the things that they were doing outside of school requirements.
I'm so glad for you that you are finally able to slow down and take the time that you need to be able to enjoy the things you want to do and to bless your home and family. And yes, I'm also glad you will still be blogging, because through that you have also been a blessing and encourager for me.
Darling girl, I'm so excited for you, time to finally appreciate and slow down - it's HARD, I won't lie, even though I was never as productive as you are! Just getting over the mindset that everything I did had to be "for pay"...but I am very pleased to hear you'll still be blogging, you are a respite in any day. May the Lord bless you abundantly in all that you do!!!!! Love you so much!
Thank you for sharing your life and wisdom with us here on the blog. I've said it before, I'll say it again, you are a treasure! 💞😘
Hi Jennifer oh I am so excited for you ,I love your designs but 8 am more excited that you will have time to smell the roses . I look forward to getting some tips of you for my garden ,take care lovely lady and I will see you soon xx
I'm glad you will continue blogging Jennifer. I always enjoy reading your posts. xx
Thank you so much for all that you do. I love both your designs and your blog.
Always so encouraging to read your emails. I have not stitched actually but feel.inspired. One day! Wishing you all the very best!
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