Lately I've thought daily about the need for women to rally behind each other, encouraging one another in our homemaker journey, whether that be full-time homemaking or a balancing act between outside employment/commitments and home life.
In a world where there appears to be less and less enthusiasm for women to nurture their homes in the old ways, the tried and true ways, the roll up your sleeves and get to work ways, many of us are pushing back in order to assert our deep desire for the delight of creating a beautiful, welcoming sanctuary within our own walls. Many of us are choosing to live fulfilling lives of gentle domesticity once again.
So just as I did back in 2015 when I first launched A Year of Gentle Domesticity, I am once more going to rally behind each of you precious home-hearted women, and embark on a new year of living the gentle domestic life in 2023...
And just because the calendar has not yet turned a page into the coming new year, doesn't mean we can't dust ourselves off right now, reflect on what has been missing in our homes, and plan for bringing renewed and refreshing life into our living spaces right now.
In my last post I wrote about sharing with you my plans for 2023, and the first and most important desire is to lift high the role of homemaker, to extol the blessings of what it means to be the woman of the house, and to look for as many ways as possible to encourage all of you who are journeying this path, whether it has been for many decades, or just a few months.
I have two brand new block of the month quilts, one of them a paid membership program, and the other a month-by-month free pattern which will also include a bible study (shared here on the blog).
Today I shall give you a peek at The Virtuous Wife, as this will be the free BOM, and the very first block will start on November 1st this year. Each block will be free for the entire 14-months of the project. x
Here's a peek...
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Do you think you'll be joining in with The Virtuous Wife BOM? There's a lot of blocks so it will run either 14 or 16 months, and I encourage you to gather your favourite fabric scraps to sew along. I chose four fabrics for the entire quilt. Each bordered block measures 10.5" square, and I've used the Bright Hopes patchwork pattern for them. I'll have more instructions, photos, and the 1st block for you to download, on Tuesday November 1st.
Now, let's catch up on what happened this week around home, shall we?
I tend to make a few salads every Sunday afternoon, the kind that will serve me well for lunches when hubby's at work, or can be served on the side of a main meal in the evenings. This week I made a Burgul salad with roasted carrots and tomatoes, cranberries, pine nuts, and various other salad vegetables.
I find with slowing down our lives that meals especially need to be simplified, and that's why we use the same salad dressing for most things...besides, it is delicious! I shake together 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup maple syrup, and 1/3 cup olive oil in a jar and store it in the fridge, only mixing it into a salad when I'm ready to serve it. This amount will do us all week long, often longer, as we don't like too much dressing on our salads, but as long as you keep equal measures of the three ingredients you can make as much or as little as you need.
Our washing machine died a painful death this week so my husband quickly sourced another of the same brand we've always used (LG) and within 48 hours I was reading through the paperwork while waiting for the delivery man to install it.
And of course, as I now have a new washing machine, one which we're praying will last the rest of our life here on earth, it was time to finally sew a new peg apron as my old one was beginning to perish from multiple everyday use. This pretty pink tulip fabric is linen, and I bought it about eight or nine years ago on sale, knowing that one day it had the potential to become something lovely and useful...and now it is.
Truth be told, I do not use these wooden pegs when hanging up the washing each day as I'm gradually moving on to stainless steel ones from the plastic type I've used for many years. I am just buying a pack every so often in my grocery order and soon I'll be able to ditch the plastic pegs, which constantly crumble in out extremely hot tropical climate anyhow - but the old wooden pegs, such as nana always used, really did look lovely photographed with my apron.
Two new books arrived. This one is a reference for using my garden produce and herbs to make medicines and salves, a needful skill indeed.
The other book is simply a delight. Dorcas Smucker was raised Amish, and then married a Mennonite minister. She has written a number of books, taken mostly from her blog posts over many, many years, and they are thoughtful, hilarious, and very down to earth. This book is a trilogy of her first three books...and I love it!
My book budget is emptied now, so no more buying for quite a while, and that's fine because every book I have purchased this year has been purposefully considered, and not once have I regretted any of them.
The rains came, two afternoons in a row, with thunder and lightning, and joy for my part as it meant God was watering the parched gardens for me.
Harry-dog and Sophie-cat did what many pets do in thunderstorms, running inside to whine and meow and declare their protests. Sophie went and hid under our bed, whilst Harry had a cuddle and then escaped to his bed for a nice long nap.
Whilst the rain brought relief to the garden, I had time to begin work on the pattern instructions and graphs for my other new block of the month. As I said earlier, there'll be a whole blog post with photos of this project next week, and you may enjoy the story behind it...
The roses love the rain, far more than water from the tap, and my vases are always full to bring beauty and colour to our home...
As I was taking these photos during the week, my heart really bubbled over with thankfulness to God for all we have, for all He has provided, whether in valleys or upon the mountain tops of life - and He does all this because of love, even when sometimes our own attitudes aren't as loving as they should be.
Just near my desk, perched above the quilt stand, is this little pillow I designed years ago, with the gentle and true words of Mother Teresa...
It reminded once again that this is what homemaking is all about. The small things, the often overlooked and insignificant-to-others tasks, the quiet day to day rhythms we follow within our homes that don't seem, even to us, to be significantly important, and yet they are...when done with love.
Precious woman, dear friend, even when nobody can see you tending, washing, baking, scrubbing...your Father watches, and His heart is overjoyed when you go about your day doing what needs to be done with a loving and willing heart. God is our 'audience of One', our constant companion, our help in times of trouble, the lifter of our weary heads, the provider of all our needs, and the ear which hears every prayer and answers in the way He alone knows is best.
If you'd like to stitch your own little "Great Love" pillow, the pattern is my free gift to you. Use the link below to download it.
Until next week, be blessed, and perhaps pray and ponder the things you would like to pursue in the next year of Gentle Domesticity. If you have some thoughts or ideas to share, I'd love to read them...pop them in the comments below. You never know how your own thoughts may resonate with, or help someone else. Just like Terri did for me, writing this in the comments of my previous post...
"I too am thinking of 2023 already. I do this about this time each year. I always wondered why I felt compelled to think of the New Year ahead so early. It's because the Jewish calendar New Year occurs around this time! I am in sync with my Christian roots is all. You must be as well."
We'd only just been celebrating the Jewish new year (hubby and I), and her comment made me realise that's exactly why I was already preparing for a new year ahead! Thank for that Terri. x
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