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?
Joyous ordinary days are wonderful ! I so appreciate them now more than ever before. Life experiences, health, well being, living conditions and situations and people I meet are all adding up to making me me :)
So glad you saw a new doctor. Enjoy this Winter while stitches and fun creative projects pass through your hands :)
hugs, take care and thanks for strating off my Sunday with such a lovely post
I am so glad that doctor had the Godgiven inspiration to recognise the problem and adjust your meds. We are learning a different pace of life since retiring from full time ministry in April 2021. We have had the space and time to be available to support family members coping with illness and bereavement and new babies. And this past month my husband has started as a volunteer chaplain at the Hospice. I've finally had time - and my own plot - to learn gardening skills. God is so good, the lines have fallen in pleasant places, as the psalmist said. May your days be as blessed. 🙏🙏❤️❤️😉😉
It is wonderful to read that your hand worries have improved so very much. What a blessing. Modern medicine is an amazing healing art but I thoroughly that God is behind so many of th routine things in our life and we just forget how dependant we are on His wisdom,
This is so great about your hand! What a wonderful Doctor! What relief! Lovely post Jenny.xx
Wonderful news about your lessening pain and ability to stitch again. I don’t stop by often enough, but please know your blog posts and pictures are a blessing to see! Your work is beautiful and your stories inspiring! God bless you and keep you and your loved ones near!
So very glad you have started to feel better. I have Hashimoto's and know how hard it is on your body, mind and spirit. I must admit when you first said you had no heart for stitching, my heart dropped a bit as I love your work and patterns! Finding balance in all things of our life is key and when we find it, it is bliss. This was such a beautiful, heartfelt post and I just loved it. Keep taking care of you.
What a wonderful post. I so look forward to your emails as I get to learn things about living “down under”! I relate to so much that you are experiencing as I’m 66 now, retired and loving every minute of it. I can finally be the homemaker that I always wanted to be. I also bought my first home a couple of years ago, so I understand how it’s harder to make things the way you would like them considering budget and physical limitations. You are such an inspiration to me and I wish you and your family many more healthy years.
Praise God for that doctor - and the healing in your hands! You are very wise, dear Jenny-girl, that slowing down doesn't mean eliminating and then adding more. Just eliminate, and enjoy the freedom. There are lessons throughout our lives, and we need to embrace them. Your garden is looking just lovely!!!!
You have a beautiful blog; filled with beautiful words, photo's and craft times. I so enjoy visiting with you here.
I'm so looking forward to your progress on this lovely Hometown quilt pattern! So happy your hand is better again, and you now can go about your usual activities - slowly and happily! Love seeing how your garden grows and those lovely birds - always so exciting to see their gorgeous colouring. Enjoy all your lovely homemaking :)!
God is good all the time! It was a miracle you were blessed with. If Mr. E hadn't taken you to the Doctor on his day off, you might not have seen the new doctor and gotten the change in meds. Yes, I am slowing down. Gave up my 11 year position as president of our Church's quilting group. That has opened more time for other things. Little by little I'm letting go of items and passing them on to my children. That's decluttering space here at home.
I had a little miracle of my own. Forever I've wanted a kneeler for my sacred space, but they are so dear! What was keeping them out of my price range actually was the shipping. It was almost as much as the cost of the kneeler. At one of our quilt group meetings, I went early to set up the space we use, and saw that there was a kneeler with a sign on it saying - do not move - for Parish Council Mtg. Then I notice that the cushion was in terrible shape. It sat there for several months. So I approach our Pastor and asked him if I could have it. He said yes! My husband and I recovered the cushion. I touched up some gouges in the wood, and it now resides in my prayer space. Of course I send Father a thank you check for the church.
As I said - God is good!
Many blessings, Jenny,
Angie in SoCal
What wonderful news about your hand. I had an accident in March requiring surgery and was unable to use my dominant hand at all until this month and even now my actions are limited. It makes us really appreciate things we took for granted and also makes it very easy to prioritise life. Take care and enjoy doing whatever you wish to do. X
Thank goodness for the new Dr who diagnosed your problem and solved it. So pleased that your hands are now better. Lovely burgeoning garden. xx
What a blessing that your hand is no longer giving you trouble. I am taking note of your thoughts, as Friday will be my last day in paid work. Having just completed 20 years in my job and with Mick (supposedly) retired, it is now time for us to slow down and enjoy spending quality time at home and in our travels, without the constant time restraints. I wish you well as you continue with your slower paced life.
Dearest Jennifer, What a lovely blog post. Such wonderful news about your hands resulting from the change in medication dosages. That was a huge blessing. I am so happy for you. Your gardens look amazing and so productive. Our daughter Savannah moved back home a couple weeks or so back. This is freeing up our weekends and saving gas money too. By not having to travel close to 2 hours 1 way to visit her. She is very happy to be home full time. And we are happy to have her. The cats are very happy to have her giving pets and cuddles all day . We have added another raised bed in the garden. Husband finally put up the new curtain rods and curtains in our bedroom. That we bought 4 years ago.... He's decided it will help on the electric bill by putting up the darker curtains. I'm just so happy to finally have them up. Be blessed Jennifer
Hi Jennifer thank you again for a lovely blog, which again via my neighbor Sharon, again I did put my name in the wee box and got my husband to check!. I am glad you found out about how low your thyroxine was!! Lots of love Mary-Lou
Lo primero felicitarte por tu recuperación en las manos, para personas tan activas es una frustración no poder seguir el ritmo. Pero si, en la vida nos vienen a todos rachas que nos hacen pensar y reorganizarse de nuevo. Mi marido tuvo una necrosis ósea en la rodilla, no puede trabajar y estamos dos años pensando mucho en nuestra vida.
Hasta la naturaleza descansa para luego continuar. Porque no vamos a pensar que habrá un tiempo mejor??
Relax and enjoy
Since comment saved I'll try again. Glad new doctor found your problem. My tomatoes, two plants as 1 was eaten by rabbit, are just blooming as it my cucumber. Very small garden. Age has slowed me down.
Enjoy and relax
I was so pleased to read your email updating us. I'm glad to hear that you are healing and able to enjoy the beauty of God's world even more than you were.
Blessings on you and your family
I have been so busy that I just now took the time to read your post. First, I am so pleased that yo have found relieve for your hands. Who say's prayer doesn't work even for friends halfway around the globe whom you have never met? Second, your pictures of your garden are beautiful and fill me with envy. My garden was an abject failure. Thought we had done everything right--raised beds, fresh dirt and natural fertilizer. The only thing that grew was spinach. Everything else grew about 6 inches and then died. Finally, we called the county agent and he diagnosed the problem. Our house had been the doctor's house with an office in the back. My garden plot had been his parking lot covered in gravel and topped with asphalt. Poor roots could not break through the leftovers of that parking lot--so I grew a new garage instead. Nice garage but I do miss the fresh vegetables.
Please take care of you! Prayers to all. Mary P
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