Monday, June 12, 2023

Blog post number 2502...

 Well, that's an awful lot of blog posts, even if they have been spread across almost 15 years. Some of you reading today have been here since I began this online journal of life, and some have only recently dropped by, so whoever you are, and from wherever you have come, welcome.

In those almost fifteen years, the blog has been viewed nearly ten million times...and when I saw that number a couple of weeks ago, I kind of retreated, or perhaps hibernated is a better description, within my mind so that I could pray and deeply consider whether or not it was time to sign off on the Elefantz blog and close it's door. 

Mmmm...some days I thought 'yes' it's time to wave goodbye, and other days I thought the complete opposite because sharing about God, homemaking, and sewing still feels so important, and I genuinely love to encourage women in those areas. So here I am back today after an intentional break, inspired also by Jesus, who often went away to pray and separate Himself from the world, having decided to leave the door of Elefantz open a while longer. 

You may have noticed many of your favourite bloggers closing their doors these past few years? I sorely miss a few which spoke deeply into my heart, writers who broadened my homemaker eyes, and threw the  light of Christ into more than few dark valleys - however, I understand why some quit blogging as they needed more time for family and responsibilities, and then I discovered a few others chose to go the route of social media instead, which is not my thing so I soon lost touch with them. Life is a series of seasons, and though I seriously considered saying farewell, now is not that season for me. But one day it will be, and that's fine. 

SOOO...here at home it's winter, but it's a very warm one still. I'm continuing to wear cotton shifts and sandals, swimming at least one kilometre a day in our pool, using the ceiling fans in the afternoon (but yay, not needing the air conditioner), gardening every day, eating salads with each meal, sitting out under the poinciana tree in the late afternoon with a book and a cuppa before staring dinner, stitching a little here and there, playing with new bread recipes, enjoying the odd day with Blossom and the children through the week, catching up with Rosie every few weeks, and pondering whether or not to start a crochet rug or wait a couple more weeks and see if the weather cools. 

Remember the Garden commonplace book I began? The free cover pattern is HERE if you missed it...


I listed everything we have in the garden as of this month, and will begin to write notes on the individual plants this week...








Our garden at this time of year keeps me very busy, but it's a real joyful busyness. I'd dearly love a normal cold winter like most of you have, so I can sit by a fire, cook soups and stews, and sip on hot chocolate...but a tropical winter just isn't like that. It is though, much cooler than our spring, summer and autumn, so it's quite natural to want to be outdoors a lot in the fresh air and sunshine without experiencing the "melt". ;-)

Here's some pics from around the garden...































Some things are fruiting now, and others are just beginning. We planted some vegies in the first week of April, and others were only planted last week, so there's a staggering of maturity. There are a few more raised beds and lots of pots with plants that are growing along fences, which I haven't photographed, but I think in another month the gardens will all look abundant and inviting. 

When my husband had a couple of weeks off work in March we were able to drive around a few garage sales. He got ten long wood palings for a few dollars, and he insisted we buy this wooden island for the kitchen. You know, as long as we've been married (in our 32nd year now) I've wanted one of these, but long ago accepted it was not to be. Yet, there it was, quite cheap, and beautifully hand-crafted, at a moving sale. 



It may look like it takes up a lot of space in the kitchen, but that's the angle of the photo. It's actually a perfect centrepiece, holding fruit and veg, a tea towel (hanging on the opposite side) and that deep drawer you can see at the front contains all my pretty tea cups and saucers. 
The top really needs a lovely covering, but I didn't want to just make 'anything'...I took time to consider the design, the fabrics, and the layout. Two weeks ago, when my hand was in recovery mode from the burn, I drew up a sketch and decided yes, this is what I'll make. 

These triangular stitcheries will feature on all four corners, and all are identical. The rest of the topper will be made from 3" squares of some lovely Anni Downs fabrics from my stash. 



I'm not rushing this, and to be honest, I'm not rushing anything 'stitchy' because those days are behind me. Sewing and stitching at a gentle pace, in fact living life at a gentle pace, is normal here. I have lots of delightful projects partially made or preparing to be made, but they'll be enjoyed when time allows...right now my hands are full, in a wonderful way, because there's always something to do around home, in the garden, with family, or in the sewing room. 

I do enjoy my afternoons reading under the poinciana tree, and especially my morning Bible times with hubby after breakfast, but I also listen to audio books or sermons while I'm in the kitchen cooking, cleaning, and prepping for the days ahead. 

Here's my book reading at the moment...



A couple of cookbooks for simple meal ideas (loving the new library at the end of my street!), an evening re-read of an older book by Mrs White, Sally Clarkson's wonderfully encouraging Teatime Discipleship book, which I first read on my Scribd subscription app but later decided to buy my own hard copy...



...and my new Spurgeon Study Bible (bought in March) which ministers in ways that poke and prod me to continue growing more like Christ, shaving away that which must go from my character. As you can tell, highlighting and underlining are part of how I read and study God's Word. Every Bible I own is full of notes in margins, underlining, and highlights. 




I'm still marinating in this thought (above) - that I cannot make something of myself, not if I want to live in the fullness of what Jesus wants to make me. There can be nothing more honouring to God than allowing Him to make me what He needs me to be...all to His glory. 


I shall sign off for today, my dear ones, and pray that you open your hearts wide to the Lord, and allow Him to make *you* into the person He needs you to be. I am reminded of a verse which I stitched a couple of years ago, one that still makes me stop and question my decisions as to whether they are God's choice or my own....

Ephesians 2:10

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."




(pattern is here)

Have a wonderful week, and be sure to count your blessings, for even in hard times, there are blessings to be found. I'm going to bake an apricot cake now, as I re-discovered my own recipe when looking for something in an  old blog post! If you'd like to make it, the recipe is HERE. This cake will be dessert for a few nights, and is especially nice with custard or ice-cream. 


Bless you heaps!


Don't miss out on any Elefantz news or free patterns. 

Subscribe to my blog posts HERE and receive them direct to your email inbox.  

Or sign up HERE for my free newsletter which often has extra benefits, freebies & tutorials!


20 comments:

Joanne said...

2502 ! Congratulations for sharing all those memories, experiences, patterns, recipies, photo's, family moments, ups and downs, inspiring verses, downloads, magazines, stitcheries and love in every post you write, edit and publish !
2502 spread over almost 15 years ! What a beautiful way to record those special moments you captured on " film" :)
Coffee, macadamia and ginger are a few of the plants you recorded in your new garden book that I am looking forward to seeing the results. I just planted nasturtiums yesterday. I love their bright colours and they are edible. Looking forward to trying that !
Your new wooden kitchen island looks good ! Using the drawer for cups and saucers is a great idea ! Thanks for the tip :)
Apricot cake ! Another great post from the " back issues" of Elefantz ! Thank you for the garden tour today!
Hugs, take care,
Joanne

Ondrea said...

Wow! That is awesome! So many people have enjoyed your blog . I am not a fan of social media and do not have Facebook, Instagram, or any other fangled thing. I don't know how you manage to tend to your abundant garden, we hardly grow anything at the moment as it does require committment. Yours is certainly an inspiration. Love the little design you are doing.

Lin said...

Congratulations - so many posts! I always feel sad when people say they are closing their blog - it seems so final. Very often they pop back up a few months later having discovered they miss it. Some people just seem to fade away blogging less and less as other commitments take over their time and this I find less sad somehow. Anyway, as long as you dont feel pressured to continue blogging it will always be lovely to hear from you and catch up with your news. Especially your garden pictures! xx

Mrs. White said...

I hope you are able to continue blogging for a long time. Your posts are inspiring and encouraging to many. I enjoyed seeing the pictures of your garden and the lovely things you are making. Living life at a gentle pace is wonderful.
God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Your blog is one of my very favorites. It is so peaceful.

Anonymous said...

Although I fail to comment on your blog much at all, (so sorry), I very much love coming here and reading about your peaceful life that you have worked hard to create! It is a breath of fresh air in today's world especially.

I'm grateful to hear that you will be continuing posting. I have found encouragement here many, many times over the years. I've printed some of the things and keep them close-by for when I need a "pick-me-up" when life gets tough.

Thanks so much Jennifer! You are truly an amazing person and I appreciate you very much.

Many blessings to you and yours!

Julie said...

Gosh Jennifer ... 2502!!! What an achievement my friend ... we should all be giving you a Gift! To thank you for all that you share with us out here in blogland. Your blog is one of my absolute favourites & I am so pleased you are going to continue with it for now. I know I've said this before but I always want a cuppa when I see you have a new post up. It feels like you are chatting to me. I answer you back but you don't hear me ๐Ÿ˜‰

Your garden is looking wonderful & productive - I have watched all the hard work you & Mr E have put into it since you moved in. I am envious of your kitchen island as I would SO love one but in my small galley kitchen there is no room. I think yours is absolute treasure dear Jen. Many blessings to you my dear friend xxx

Susan said...

That is already my goal - to become who He will make me. I work toward that every day, with more or less success, and pray to find myself closer at the end of each day. Your life sounds peaceful, and I love that for you - finding the rhythm that fits you. Bless you, Jennifer, for all you bring into my life, and all you share of yours.

Carol in Texas said...

I am so glad you are not giving up blogging right now. I look forward to your blog entries so very much. I know they are time consuming and your life is filled with many other activities, but your words reach out across the globe to me and I’m sure to so many others. Do take good care of yourself and your family, but when possible, take care of your blog family too! Blessings to you Jennifer!

Quilting Babcia said...

I am so happy that you decided against closing Elefantz just yet, it is so important to share Jesus, home and our womanly home pursuits with each other. And you do just that so very well!
I'm constantly amazed at the amount of produce you and your husband harvest from your quarter acre!

Rosie said...

Thanks for the recipe, it looks delicious! I find we appreciate the raised garden beds as we age! So much easier to continue what doing what we love! It certainly is lovely to potter in the garden at this time of year!

mom2three said...

I hope that you never stop blogging : )
I've been reading for many years now, and there is so much to learn about homemaking, and walking with Christ, and the beautiful things that you make... it's always a delight to read your posts.
Wishing you all the best!

Tammy said...

Dearest Jennifer Congratulations on so many blog posts. That's amazing! Please don't stop posting to your blog. I would be lost without you in my life. Seriously my friend. Your photos of the gardens are gorgeous. You have a green thumb for sure. My blueberry daily harvests are getting less each day. I am actually beginning to look forward to them to stop fruiting. It will free up some of my early morning time. For more garden weeding and herb harvesting and dehydrating. And my great niece wants me to teach her to crochet a dish cloth. And Mom has decided she wants to learn too. And now we just need everyone to come over at the same time so we can begin. I also need to clean out 2 of my raised beds and get more things planted in them.

Allie said...

Oh my, that's a lot to say! I'm glad you're not giving up yet, you are one of the few blogs I read anymore. Always encouragement and beauty to be found in your posts.
Love you!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Congrats. I miss you on social media but I understand. I love visiting you here. I miss doing my blog. It was my first love. YouTube and Facebook keeps me pretty busy. But I often consider coming back to my blog. Please don’t stop. You are amazing.

Jill said...

I’m so very thankful you’ve decided to keep your blog open. Yours is one of my favorites and I look to you for inspiration. I understand if it takes up too much time but please know you are such a blessing to me!!! Hugs from Tennessee…

Mary-Louise Parker said...

Thank you Jennifer for a very lovely Blog as always. And tour of your lovely garden and books. Much appreciated Love Mary-Lou

Elvira said...

Me ha encantado el paseo por tu huerto, siempre son apacible mis paseos por tu blog.
Besos

Kay said...

I do count my blessings and your blog is among them. I find joy and peace in your blog as well as inspiration and kindness. Thank you for continuing to share your life with us all. X

Anonymous said...

I am glad you are still here blogging. God uses you in so many ways to bless so many people through your words of encouragement and example of a beautiful, godly and inspiring life. Thank you and keep drawing your strength from Him each day. Much love, Em xox