It's a new day, and a new month, so I'm ready to move right on past the challenges of January and look forward in this year's blog theme of "Joy in the Ordinary". I hope you are too!
Today I'm sharing the second block of this year's free BOM, and the focus of the little stitchery is something we love, a place where we can rest from the busyness and chaos of the world around us, somewhere our creative skills can bloom, a sanctuary for those within to lay down their burdens and breathe in the heart restoring welcome of HOME.
Home should be our safe environment to grieve, to pray, to rejoice, to plan, to feed, to create, to hope, to bake, to plant, to harvest, to enjoy.
This past month, well, actually since before Christmas, life in our home has been challenging, sometimes topsy turvy, and other times requiring more energy than we thought we'd be able to muster...but all along it has been HOME.
It's walls surround us, offering refuge from the hard times, bouncing laughter from room to room, comfort from pain or loneliness, contentment with our lot in life, and stillness when we need to separate our minds (and ears) to hear God, and to ponder our own thoughts.
What is it that you love about your home?
Use the link below to download this month's free pattern
Missed block 1? Go HERE
I have a pile of books beside me at the moment, all with an emphasis on home, though in varying aspects. Each afternoon, and often in the evening, I read slowly from one or two, underlining thoughts which resonate with my homemaker heart, and occasionally making notes in the margins. This brings me peace, grows my confidence in the life choices being made, educates me in new skills, and inspires me to expand further my love for all things home and family.
(The books I am reading or studying at the moment, with one missing which was given to Blossom - I'm awaiting delivery of another copy for myself.)
I've also been making a lot of notes from a few good videos on natural health, assessing our dietary needs and making a few changes (which have brought about marvellous results already), and continuing to work on the recipe book I promised to share with you. The cyclone (before, during and after) put a stop to that for now, but as life has almost slipped back into normality I shall return to it next week.
Most afternoons I can be found in the kitchen, especially Sunday and Monday afternoons when I prepare things for the week ahead. This week I needed to make almond milk, coconut milk, coconut cream, almond biscuits, mayonnaise, hummus, pesto and satay sauce to use in or with meals. I'll have all these recipes for you later this month, if you're interested.
It is stone fruit season in Australia at the moment, so we are enjoying them immensely as snacks, in salads, baking, and soon as chutneys, jams and relishes - I just need to get everything prepared the night before and then spend a whole day on preserving them. Most exciting prospect! Stone fruit is very cheap right now, so the perfect time to buy up and get preserving.
The FEBRUARY theme...
Each month of this 'Joy in the Ordinary' year, I have chosen a sub-theme for the blog. January was 'gratitude', and it helped me enormously to focus on that mindset for a whole month, especially with a cyclone and heart trouble. What about you?
For February the theme will be 'Stillness'...
My friends, we shall chat quite a bit about this through February, but today I'll just share a quote from Emilie Barnes in her book Simple Secrets to a Beautiful Home, who 32 years ago - when life was not as chaotic, not stitched into social media, and when many women still had mothers, aunts, or older mentors to guide them - recognised the need for all women to have moments of stillness.
"Stillness is not a word than many of us even use anymore, let alone experience. Yet women today, perhaps more than at any other time in history, desperately need moments of stillness." Emilie Barnes 1992
This week, on Monday, Blossom came with the children after their swimming lessons for our regular brunch gathering. With a feast set before them all, we ate, laughed, heard the children's stories of the cyclone, and drank a pot of tea between us. Afterwards, I tidied the table and brought out some crafts for the children to work on, and sent my sweet exhausted daughter up to our pool for some calming, alone-time, 'stillness', in the water...for she never has time away from the children unless they are asleep.
About 40 minutes later she returned, refreshment evident in her eyes..."Mum, it was so quiet, so still. I didn't know how badly I needed this break."
That's when I knew the Lord was tapping on my heart to talk about stillness in all our lives during February. You know, later that day Blossom had some very difficult hours, but she told me that having her quiet time in the pool all alone with God in the stillness had prepared her for the trials afterwards. We have decided she will escape to the pool every Monday after brunch, and I shall have crafty things prepared for the children.
Dear one, do not underestimate the need for stillness in your life. Today, pray and consider how you can make time to be in the quiet stillness, and then let the presence of the Holy Spirit wash over you as you rest from every toil or trouble, just for a while.
"Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10
I'm working on a new embroidery pattern for you, a gift, which I shall share next week...for there's nothing better for stitching a message into your heart, than slowly and thoughtfully with needle and thread and prayer.
I also have an older pattern in my shop HERE if you'd like to stitch it as well.
God bless, and we shall chat again soon...
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