Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Adjusting and choosing joy...


I'm adjusting to the slower state of days, the importance of not doing more than my heart can handle, longer periods of appreciation for who and what are right before me, and acceptance that though God holds my life (and yours) in His care, that I also have a part to play in doing what I can to breathe life, health and happiness into the years still to be lived.

Ordering my days is somewhat natural to me after all these decades of homemaking, and much of that order will not change, it just needs a little adjusting to suit the season I'm in right now. 

Simple things, like preparing and baking malted fruit bread early in the morning, draws satisfaction to the surface of my thoughts, and a sense of accomplishment. Preparing food for my family is a great delight, both for me and for them, and it also brings my blood pressure down to normal. 

The cardiologist listened as I described to him the activities which lower my blood pressure - being in the kitchen, the garden, swimming, cleaning the house, even vacuuming and mopping. He smiled, and then said "Obviously those activities are calming and enjoyable to you...keep doing them." :-)

The plump fruit within the honey drizzled loaf reminds me that my life can bring forth good and bountiful fruit if I use my time wisely, consider my words carefully, and live with holy purpose. I think it's marvellous the way God can teach us lessons through the motions of our every day life, don't you? Even in a malted fruit loaf.

"The way you keep your house, the way you organise your time, the care you take in your personal appearance, the things you spend your money on, all speak loudly about what you believe. The beauty of thy peace shines forth in an ordered life." Elisabeth Elliot

I've found that many things around home can be done without much effort on days when I'm too weary for heavy chores - like filling the dehydrator and letting it work on my behalf. 
Following Annabel's example a few weeks back I bought up on bags of frozen mixed vegetables, 100% Australian produce, and continued to fill the pantry with dehydrated veggies in large glass jars - stocking up while the prices and supply are still reasonable. 

During my rest times I am slowly re-stitching an older design in colours more suited to my preferred pastel palette as I watch a new mystery series on Britbox Australia - "Sister Boniface" - which I'm rather enjoying. 

Watering the garden in the shaded early morning before the humidity gets the better of me always brings calm to my soul and joy to my thoughts, especially with so many native bees darting in and out of the two huge Thai basil shrubs. We don't eat Thai basil as we're not keen on the flavour, but we grow the plants simply because they encourage native bees to visit.

It's hard to get good photos of the bees as they tend to move faster than the honey bee, but here's some of the lovely blue-banded bees that frequent the shrubs. I've added a circle around the bees so you can find them in the photos.

The quote "busy as a bee" was penned by Geoffrey Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales (1392), and he used it in reference to women, busy about their daily chores. 

Here's a great carpenter bee. They love the huge hands of elderflowers on our elder tree.

For a better photo here's one I took in the garden two years ago. These large bees are my favourites in the garden and I often just stand outside talking to them as they buzz around.

Day by day I am adjusting to an enforced slower life, and though at first I was (to be honest) rather rebellious about it, once the shock wore off and I spent time researching enlarged hearts, and especially their connection to Hashimoto's, then shed a few tears (oh woe is me, you know?), I did what most women do when faced with an adjustment to their lives...

I put my big-girl panties on and chose to be grateful for every new day, and to do all I am able to in order to regain health, energy and longevity for the years ahead. 

My plans are to keep trusting God with my heart and life, giving thanks for EVERYTHING He brings my way, plus - planning and eating a more heart-healthy diet, continuing to swim gentle laps in our pool every afternoon, learning new things because my time is now freer to do so (watercolour painting is top of that list), accepting help if I need it, blogging more regularly, trying a variety of crafts that take my fancy...and spending more time with my loved ones. Can you imagine the smile on my face? I'm beaming! 

Well, that's it for today. Hope you're doing well wherever you are, that you've got support if you need it, that you are supporting others if you're able, and that you are making time to step outside and appreciate the natural beauty which the Lord created for His pleasure and ours.

I shall sign off with this video, which really inspired me to explore things like natural dying, and using old clothes and fabric to create new things. Simply wonderful story of an 'old' Japanese lady!

You'll need to click on the 'Watch on YouTube' link below. 



Lorrie said...

I'm glad you are finding good ways to adapt to your heart condition. Time for creativity is important and fills the soul. I'm going to check out the video now.

Linda said...

Hi Jenny, thank you for this post. Your attitude is so inspiring. I feel blessed by your posts. Thank you also for sharing the video. It was really interesting. With love, Linda

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
Sister Boniface :) We're watching it here as well !
Cool photo's of the bees :)
Thanks for sharing your beautiful filled days in Townsville :)

julieQ said...

I am glad that your activities of cleaning and cooking and stitching are calming to you! I too have Hashimoto's and Grave's, as well...those thyroid problems!!

diana said...


Kim said...

Besides your uplifting attitude and words, one of the things that gives me delight is seeing my version of the pictured embroidery design (done in navy blues) on my daughter's wall when I visit her. She is a tea and book lover like her mom. Thanks again for the encouragement to rejoice in the ordinary. A quote I read on some time ago said "It doesn't take much to coax magic from the mundane." I agree, knowing that it's all in our attitude and perspective.

Miriam said...

Thank you for your post and for the video too.
Take care ,

Shelina (formerly known as Shasta) said...

It is worrisome to deal with health problems, but your great attitude and your calming hobbies seem like they are well suited for you.

Jenny said...

Sister Bonafice is on our to-watch list. I don't like to skip around shows....I want to watch a series from start to finish. I think we'll be watching it soon & I look forward to it.

The carpenter bees are so funny to me. They hover & seem so slow & lazy. We've had so much trouble with them boring into our old back porch but when we had the new porch built we used treated wood & they aren't interested in it.

terricheney said...

yes, I do know...The rebellion and then the 'putting my big girl panties on' is probably universal to most of us!

Lisa McCoy said...

You have been such a blessing to me!

Julie said...

I am catching up on blog reading dear Jen - after another trip to my Mums. I am so sorry to read of your ambulance trip & your heart issues ... but I am pleased to read you are finding ways to cope with it all. Of course you have an enlarged heart my friend ... you surely have one of the biggest & kindest hearts of anyone I know!! 💕 Take special care dear friend xx

Farm Quilter said...

Whilst your heart is as big as all outdoors, I pray your actual heart will respond to your new routine and not give you problems for decades to come! Have a blessed Easter with your family!

Dee said...

Jennifer, I'm glad that you are taking life easy. It's nice to stop every once in a while to smell the roses or in your case take pictures of bees. Hope you and your have a wonderful Easter! I loved the youtube video too. Take care. Dee

Jennifer said...

Each new day is a treasure and it's an inspiration to hear how you are adjusting and treasuring what you have.

Annabel said...

Im so happy seeing all those veggies going in the dehydrator Jenny! I am sorry you have this problem with your heart but glad you have a pace and rhythm you can work with. Every day is a blessing!xxx