Two wings lift a person up from earthy concerns: simplicity and purity. Simplicity should be in intention, purity in feelings. Simplicity reaches out after God, purity catches hold and tastes. ~ Thomas A’Kempis

Monday, 3 January 2022

A Safe Place


Hello dear friends and quiet readers,

It's been on my heart to write something, so here goes...

I want this place, my little spot here in blog land to be a safe haven. Surely we need that right now. I want it to be a place where if you are burdened or feel you have no one to listen to you, you can share here or send me a private message (ladies only). What I don't want is this place to be used for gossip,  or any divisive talk.


If your like me, your a Keeper of the Home and this is what fills your day. You may have family to care for, children still at home and or grandchildren. This all requires a lot of work, love and commitment. Our minds and hearts need to be peaceful to do this well, and if our hearts are heavy because of different things then frankly it make life very hard indeed. I would say emotionally, the last year has been my hardest ever. With losing my Dad and sister + all the scares about covid and other things happening in the world....but even more than that. What's caused me the most pain and sadness to the point of tears many times is the division that vaccine issues has caused within families and my own. I want to share this scripture: 

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. 

 This scripture is dear to my heart and is a measuring rod for me to hold myself accountable in my daily walk. These days it seems vaccine issues have drawn new 'lines in the sand'. I just see the enemy having a field day. He loves nothing more than Christians criticising and judging each other and pitting one end time world view against another. So what if your eschatology is slightly different to mine? God's interested in the heart and whether or not we're growing in the fruits of the spirit. If I'm loving my neighbour and giving God the glory by the way I live my life each day. I'm not seeing much of that around me right now. These are surely dark days and it makes me so sad. 


My heart goes out to people who are backed into a corner, like we are. Our government leaves no option for most people. If you don't have the vaccine, you will lose your job. This applies to nearly all jobs. Some people have a lot of money/property investments behind them and have the option to make a choice that will not affect their livelihood, but most people do not.  I really don't think voluntarily leaving your job and going on the unemployment benefit is an option either? or having to sell your home and go where? Some people forced to take the vaccine have become ill because of it, that saddens me terribly too. I feel we are like guinea pigs. I do not trust our govt in this country. They lie, quite blatantly. They leave no freedom of choice. I am pro choice. 


Many people because of compromised health have taken the vaccine....because they feared getting a bad case of covid.  If you've had the vaccine I don't judge you, we had to take it too. I didn't want to, I was frightened and wrestled with the whole thing and now the endless boosters. I haven't had the booster and don't want to...Oh Lord help us. Even if your pro the vaccine I don't judge you. Maybe you think me a fool for my opinions? When I spent countless hours praying about this situation, I felt the Lord impress upon my heart to choose the narrow way, to walk in it and to have compassion and mercy for people on all sides..in all situations. That's where I stand.


As I look ahead to 2022 I have no idea if it will be as difficult as 2021. I've never suffered loneliness and rejection like I have this past year. My heart has been so torn and I've felt so confused at times I thought I might lose my mind. People who I love acted in ways I would never have imagined. But what I do know is GOD WAS AND IS MY ANCHOR. My faith did not waver, not even one little bit. Many nights when I couldn't sleep, I would repeat scripture verses over in my head or repeat the name of Jesus over and over to dispel the darkness that tried to swamp me..and it worked every time. 


I truly feel like a pilgrim. I think I shared here 2 years ago that we had to leave the church we attended as we found out that they were connected with ungodly/unscriptural practices. It's too much to go into and I don't intend to. We had worshipped there for 10 years. I live in a very small town in a country area and because of our Christian values there is no where else to attend; so there again we are on our own. Yet we are still faithful. We have daily morning and night devotionals, bible reading and prayer. We have to make the best of the circumstances we find ourselves in. We are faithful and committed to the Lord. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

So if you read this, and feel alone many days too,
then know I am here for you.
Let's stick together and walk in love as believers in Jesus,
supporting each other through our struggles.
May we still shine our little lights
and show love where we can.
May the Lord bless you,
~ Linda ~










Saturday, 1 January 2022

New Year, Same Hope

 


Hello everyone,

I'm back..sorry for my long absence. It was grief, pure, tough and simple and just needing a little space while I went through it and processed some things...but my heart has mended and I feel more peaceful again. I wanted this post to be a little update on what's been happening around our little homestead and in my heart...sort of reflections of 2021 and goals for 2022. The title is New Year, same hope. My hope is always in the Lord !!! :) 

Hebrews 10:23 'Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful' Amen

Plus a ton of pictures, please feel free to scroll through or whizz through it all if it's all a load of waffle to you. We've also had wonderful grandies days with little ones visiting :)


 

 
2021 October: We extended our vegetable garden - exponentially !!! and I'm thrilled with the results. We have a total of  16 - 17 total vegetable beds now and I probably still need a large spare one to have room for successive plantings of things like lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage etc. We have plans to make a proper screened in area for raspberries and boysenberries and a couple of small cloche style boxes fitted with old windows, to act as little hot houses for Spring & late Autumn/Winter use. 

We planted some more fruit trees too: 1 x Cherry, 2 x Nashi Pears, 1 x Prune Plum, 1 Dwarf Pear tree and a Feijoa Hedge. I'll make a little video/tour and upload to You tube and then put here for the next post.

 



I also wanted the garden space to be filled with pretty flowers, so we planted Sunflowers, Cosmos, Nasturtium, Marigolds, Poppies and 'O' how pretty they look !! How majestic soaring up towards the sun. Every time I go out there, whether its just to walk and talk with the Lord, or to go out purposefully to harvest something, I come back feeling in my heart happy, thankful and with an overarching sense of blessed peace. 

We've been eating fresh salads from the garden daily plus harvesting cabbage, cauliflower, beetroot, spring onions, red onions, zucchini, lettuce, spinach, kale, silverbeet, a few carrots and herbs - which is fantastic for our budget. I've been making sauerkraut, grating, freezing and dehydrating zucchini, and making Relish from zucchini. I bottled some Beetroot, plus froze and vacuum sealed a whole lot of celery. The tomatoes are yet to ripen, so no doubt then I will be up to my eyeballs in produce :) We have Apricots and Plums ripening..so plenty of bottling coming up soon too.









So that pretty much covers what we did and have been busy with in the garden. It amazes me over and over again the vast quantities of food that can be produced from a simple suburban property !!! With hard work and a couple working as a team, all this is possible.








2021  R E F L E C T I O N S

1. Always put the Lord first. Even if its tough at times, we must prefer God over the affections of people. This is easier said than done and I fail in this area at times, because like most of us we don't want to hurt people, especially when we have to take a stand as a Christian. Being a Christian isn't always easy. If we desire to walk in holiness with the Lord, we need to make sacrifices, tough choices and be prepared to walk the narrow way with Him alone. This is relevant to so many situations and struggles from the past year...and I see more on the horizon, more challenges and hard choices. We need to be ever so close to the Lord, keeping short accounts and seeking to hear the Holy Spirits quiet voice. So often we don't need to give an answer, and silence is best. Keeping our opinions to our self is best. Sometimes when asked for my opinion about an issue, (and aren't their so many 'controversial issues' out there today), my response is often: "I don't have an opinion. As a Christian my life is lived in submission to God and to His Word. My will, my thoughts, my desires must come into alignment and into submission to what the Word says." (even when it may be hard).

2. Sometimes people will just not like us, often just because we are a Christian. There is nothing I can do to make it any different. I can pray for them, ask God for strength to not get down about there opinion and attitude and still purpose in my heart to love them and be kind. Otherwise I am no different.


3. Achieving goals brings joy: In my heart for a long time I had wanted to focus more on the garden, eating from it, preserve more food from it, have successive plantings of lettuce/cabbage etc, sow my own seeds, save seeds, plant a bigger medicinal garden to create a home herbal apothecary. I am well on my way towards this goal :) 

4.Stay out of debt. Its a good feeling when you pay off the credit card !!! I know - happy dance... even though we still have a mortgage. Be vary careful about incurring anymore debt, whether that be getting a new car etc. Can we go without or wait longer? Living a frugal life makes me feel like I'm not wasting what the Lord blesses us with. Drawing up goals for the year holds me accountable. Planning/praying about it all is wise and invites God into all choices.

5. Busyness can often unravel goal no.4 (its true). If my life is out of control and too busy I don't stick to budgets or meal plans. I impulse shop, Vegetables go to waste in the fridge, I eat more takeaways, I wind up gaining a few pounds and I also end up with unfinished projects all over the house. It makes me feel defeated. Balance in life for me is KEY!!!!! I took my Heart & Hand products out of a local shop that stocked them as it was a big contributor to the 'busyness' and constant need to have to make more stock. If I was 20 years younger I might have enjoyed all that, but at my stage of life I need more simplicity and peace. I now only sell my products online and feel more in control :)

that's about it for reflections.


2022  G O A L S (for me)

1. Complete and add to the home apothecary. Plant more medicinal herbs that we will actually use. Make salves from the infused herbs and a herbal cough mixture so it will be ready for Winter.

2. Plan a small vacation. We never do this :)

3. SEW MY WINTER NIGHT GOWNS. I started this project last Autumn and still haven't finished..sigh

4. Finish painting the house (Hubby mostly).

5. Have more extended family dinners :)

6. Save more, continue with goals.

7. Strive to walk in the spirit each day, seek the Lord at all times and draw closer to His presence.

8. Try not to get completely overwhelmed and discouraged with the state of the world/covid & the division it's causing within families, churches and Christians. I must admit at times it's a daily struggle for me.

~  ~ ~

Bye for now everyone. Thank you for those who said they had missed me, it warmed my heart and encouraged me xox love you ~ Linda

Final Pic: Me joyfully holding this book. Mrs White if you read this, it gave me a little thrill to know that I own a book you published and recommended. It is so charming. Thank you. My husband purchased it for me for Christmas :)

Psalm 105: 4

'Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually'


 



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