Isn't this a lovely quote?
When I first read it, the words described in perfect measure just what I believe about the joy of living a quiet, ordinary, and modest life.
These past few months since deciding to reduce my Elefantz Design commitments, have proved over and over that it was indeed the right decision for this season of life.
Hours were freed to slow down, not to fill with more pursuits or obligations.
The prompt for my decision to step back a bit this past March was increasingly painful nerve damage in my right hand which made hand embroidery a challenge most days, and therefore designing to a deadline was no longer viable.
But with God, there is always a bigger picture, often hidden from our view for a time. And such was this occasion.
My hand was very painful one Sunday, and as driving myself was a challenge due to the vibration of the steering wheel causing more discomfort, my husband thought it best we go see the doctor that day, his one day off work when he was home and could drive me himself.
My regular doctor was not on duty, but a new doctor had come onboard at our local medical practice and it was him I saw. When he inquired why I needed medical attention I showed him my hand and explained where the almost constant tingling and painful sensitivity was most bothersome and painful.
He thought for a moment and then asked, "Do you have Hashimotos?"
I replied, "Yes, I have had it since 1996. Why?"
His response was to arrange for two tests, the first an ultrasound on my hand, and secondly a blood test.
A few days later I returned for the test results and the doctor told me that the ultrasound was clear, but my thyroid levels were very bad (after being the same since beginning medication in 1996). He suspected all the issues with my hand were related to the Hashimotos and increased the dose of my medication, informing me to be patient and give it a few months for things to settle with my hand.
It has been almost three months since I began taking a higher dose of Thyroxine, and all the tingling, the sensitivity, the 'nerve damage', is gone. My hands are better than they have been in a long while, and I can stitch and drive without any discomfort.
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!
You may not see this a miracle, but from my own perspective it is - in two ways. Firstly, I am healed and that's so precious. Secondly, God used this to stop, step back and slow me down...and friends, I believe that is perhaps the greatest miracle.
Even though my hand is healed and I can stitch easily again, there is no desire in my heart to return back to the way things were before. This lovely slowing has been life changing - mentally, spiritually and physically.
There are still days when I have much to do around home or for family, but they are joyous, ordinary days...days common to the homemaker, mother and grandmother. There is still a garden to tend, baking from scratch, menus to plan and grocery lists carefully made to stay within the budget, but again - all joyous and ordinary to a life of gentle domesticity.
Even though I did all of that same homemaking before minimizing my business, these days I do it slowly, taking breaks throughout the day, and enjoying every small thing.
Reading (other than my Bible) was a rare thing for many years, but today I read inspiring books a little each morning and afternoon in my tea breaks, and also at night before bed. I choose true stories of ordinary life from godly women, and find they stoke the flame of my own homemaker heart, and remind me to always hope in the Lord no matter what my circumstance.
Many of us are decluttering our homes and lives these days, but I also hear of those who once they've removed an activity or item, quickly fill that gap of time or space with something else. This is not slowing our lives.
When something is taken out of a busy life, everything else has more time, more room...and therein lies a wonderful blessing. We no longer have to work so hard or as fast because we have more time to do what matters - and to do it joyfully without anxiety.
Of course it's good to keep up with all our homemaking tasks, as we should, but deciding what is important and needed, then bit by bit eliminating the burdens - that's wisdom, and will reap you a gentler domestic life.
The end of June winter garden (Tropical North Australia)
In the garden butternut pumpkins have begun to grow, both in the front and back yards. Tomatoes are starting to give us fruit, and the coriander and radish seeds I planted a week ago have sprouted. Many herbs, spring onions, and rocket (arugula) are harvested daily for salads and herbal teas, and after a wonderful lemon season which only ended about six weeks ago, the lemon tree is in bloom once more with a few small fruits already making an appearance. The lime tree is also fruiting, and the blackberry bush is thriving in the front yard, plus our new passionfruit has taken root well and is growing vigorously.
My freezer still has plenty of lemon quarters, which I take out and use as needed, but I am very happy to know we'll have more next season.
In the evenings I stitch or crochet and have almost completed the Attic 24 crochet Hydrangea blanket (it will be a gift for Cully May's 6th birthday in August), completed an applique cushion for daughter Kezzie, nearly finished a cushion for 14yo grandson Deegan, and completed a Bible stitchery for Blossom.
I have sensed the Lord telling me to 'finish what you started' these past couple of months, so that's exactly what I'm doing. You saw my completed Simple Days quilt in the previous blog post, and now I have other things added to the list. It all makes sense, doesn't it. Why begin something new when there are other projects left unfinished?
There's another quilt half completed for Rafaella's birthday next February, so I'll get back to that this coming week...and after that I'll be all caught up. Then I will start sketching little stitcheries again, whilst using scraps to make a lovely house quilt pattern recently released by Camille Roskelley - "Hometown". Have you seen it?
Such a cheerful quilt and I think it would look lovely in the living room, draped over the couch. I shall see what fabrics I have on hand for this one as it will be a scrappy palette.
God bless you all so very much, and thank you for dropping by!
Tell me, are you slowing your life? How are you accomplishing this and has it made a difference? In what ways?