The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday 17 May 2015

Rest for the Heart......Contentment.

Dear Friends,
It is always such a joy to pause in my day and to write to you.  Thanks to my dear friend Annabel, who has brought us all together in our circle through her blog.
Today I want to speak about having our hearts at rest.  How does that sound to you?  For me, it means not allowing anxiety and cares to set up camp in my thinking or talking.
My dear friend Lyn sent me this quote this morning from Jesus Calling" not give in to fear and worry, those robbers of abundant living."
These are nest raiders are they not?

This morning, I awoke to the fire lit in our lounge room.  It was such a beautiful surprise to greet me as I opened our bedroom door, and felt the warm air fan my cheeks.
I breakfasted in front of it and I thought of how happy, safe and loved I felt. It brought to my mind that we are meant to have our hearts at feel contentment.
I have recently had extensive dental work completed, and we have cash flowed the whole thing apart from the last couple of thousand dollars.  That came from our savings and I have been eager to replenish the account.
Last week, I surveyed our overgrown garden, and the thought flitted through my mind about getting a gardener in to give us a quote with tidying it up. It's easy to look at something not quite right and feel discontented isn't it?
I dismissed it immediately and thought that we would do what we could with it ourselves.  Glen gave it a mow, picked up all the sticks. With this encouragement, each day, I went out and cut back ferns and shoots with some scissors and filled the wheelie bin.  Bit by bit, our garden was being revealed, and we were getting some exercise.

This morning, while Glen was using the chain saw to cut up the sticks that we had gathered for our fire, I got him to trim back some foliage with it.

It's hard to believe that this one little bit of garden was so overgrown that we could hardly identify the plants!
Another joy that has added to my weeks delight is that Jane Goble from Posy Typepad wrote to me!
You can find Jane's boards on Pinterest or she is on instagram @janegoble.

Thanks to lovely Jane, she has inspired me to source a fair isle cardigan.  I love it!  And I'm trying not to act like a five year old and want to wear it every day.

Well worth the $8.12 I paid for it!  This label really says it all.....Quintessentially British.  This garment has been designed with you in mind.  Wear it with love. x
The sum total of my musing today dear friends, is that our hearts can truly find rest, once we find contentment.  It's not something that is linked with a certain salary, or house or family size, but it's being at rest, finding useful work to fill our days, and delighting over the beautiful components that bless our life.
I've shared a little of my world with you today, but Annabel and I would love to know....where is it your heart finds rest?  What's it a teacup that belonged to your grandmother, but now rests in your flour bin, is it the bunch of wildflowers that your children picked from your yard, is it the lilt of joy as your mother answers the phone and realises it's you ringing her?
Do share, we would love to know!
Love Helen x


  1. Thank you Helen- what a lovely post and reminder .
    My contentment today is with the lovely weather ,after a lot of rain and flooding, hanging washing on the line in the good breeze we have, and in between Ive been working like a busy beaver sorting my wardrobe and all that entails with what one wears.
    I started this process last week and the last 3 days it has been so much easier to put an outfit together and feel happy in what I wear.
    If anyone is interested Ive been reading the KonMari Method of tidying by Marie Kondo, and a lot is to do with thanking your clothes and what they do for you , even if you discard them (to op shop eg).It's changing my thinking about tidying :-)
    With love and thanks IK xx

  2. Thanks so much for the lovely post. It seems that as we tidy and organise things, it becomes so much clearer physically, emotionally and spiritually.
    I think there was a lot of truth when women used to say " I'm going to have a good clean out". It was good for us in so many ways.
    You have reminded me of the joy of washing flapping in the breeze. I even love photos of it!
    Have a beautiful day, and thank you for starting off the conversation for Annabel and I.
    Love Helen xxx

  3. Dear Helen,
    Thank you for your post! This was a big help to me. The "kids" are coming home today! So I am cooking Shepherds Pie and making creme caramel for desert and delivering it hot to them at dinner time.
    I love the sight of your kettle on the fire. That is a contented sight to me.
    My contentment comes from being at home as much as I can and getting things done. I feel really contented when things are all under control and then I have time to crochet or craft.I feel peaceful when Im organised. Dinner on, things looking and smelling good... snuggled up inside on a cold evening.
    I have some contentment killers too and the more I understand them the better. Over scheduling is one of them. This just does me no good.
    Thank you for a beautiful post, Love

  4. Dear Helen, That was such a lovely post to read. Thank-you for encouraging us to think about where our heart finds rest. My heart finds contentment in my children. They are so focused on the present, which in turn makes me more mindful. I love when they snuggle in for a cuddle, and even from when they were tiny babies, I always felt more settled when I knew they were close by. I always slept better if I could hear them breathing softly in the cot next to my bed. Must be a mother's instinct to feel better when her 'cubs' are safe. Stephanie. x

  5. Dearest Annabel,
    How exciting! I'm thrilled for you all....Little Harper will get to sleep in her own home tonight. It's such a big thing for Mum, Dad and Baby to make that trip home. My mum did the same thing for us as well, and I remember just being exhausted from the move. It's times like those, you just need that bit of extra care.
    I'm just the same with home Annabel, and the way you describe things, means that I have had a good day.
    I have the heart of Little Suzy Homemaker beating inside my chest!
    Over scheduling is a contentment killer for me as well. It makes me overtired, and things that would normally be a joy, become another job to get done before the day is finished. I'm sure that it is a contributor to married ladies struggling with feeling disconnected in their intimate life as well.
    Glen and I have done some more work on our yard today. A little more mowing, two wheelbarrows worth of trimming back and giving the grass a good rake to pick up the leaves. Small steps, but we can't believe the difference in a week.
    Love to everyone, Helen

  6. HI lovely post on contentment . I cannot feel it at this time, however, my memory of it was being at my gram's in Chicago on the South Side coloring in books on the front steps and she in the kitchen cooking osmething for us for supper. LOVED BEING there in that unvonditional love. Say could you tell me how to get a fair isle sweater for eight dollars. thank you...Merri

  7. Thank you for the reminder Helen of what is important and the acts of others that make us feel loved and safe. I am off to put on a surprise roast for DH who works so hard for us.

  8. Dear Stephanie, That was a sweet comment you wrote. I think every mother on here knows exactly what you mean. When my boys were little, they used to climb on my lap for a story before bed. In winter, I would wrap a blanket around them as we looked at our book together. Even now, I can still feel how their little bodies felt in their flannelette pyjamas. Such sweet memories!
    I'm so thankful for the time that I had to do that.

  9. Barb, how nice! Is there anything nicer than coming home and smelling a favourite meal. We used to open the door, and sniff the air, and call out to Mum....are you making....?
    The whoop of joy when it was confirmed.
    Such lovely things we can do for those that we love.
    Thank you for your encouragement to us all. Love Helen xxx

  10. Dear Helen. I love the look of your fire and the kettle simmering away there. Simple joys bring so much contentment to me.

    At this time of year dappled autumn sunlight, crispness in the evenings, soup or something else simmering in the crockpot! Ah! Bliss! :-)

    Gummy little smiles and excited vocalizing from my little 4 month old grand daughter.
    There are treasures abounding in the simple life and deep contentment to be found there. Gratefulness is a key to contentment.

    I wrote this excerpt in my journal yesterday actually! It came from "Learning contentment" by JR Miller in 1898. The wisdom is just as fresh today

    "Contentment is the spirit of restfulness and peace in whatever circumstances one may be placed"

    "I have learned, in whatever state I am, therein to be content" php 4:10

    1. Dear Kaye,
      What a beautiful quote and how fitting. I know that you and I are on the same page about the joys of a simple life. Thank you for your ongoing encouragement. Love Helen x

  11. A contented heart ... what a treasure, and it affects the whole family too! My heart is in my home and has always been ... I find the greatest contentment just being there and caring for it. Great post!

    1. Dear Patsy, It's evident from reading your wonderful blog, that your heart is in your home! And the joy is, that you bring us all along on the journey with you. Thanks so much Patsy, Helen

  12. A lovely post and the fire looks so inviting! I cleaned out our garden this weekend also. Pruned overgrown trees/bushes, weeded and pulled out a dead bush. It looks so nice that I keep admiring it! Why did it take me so long to do it???

    1. Me too Ellen! I think that things inside the house appear more urgent, so before we know it, time has slipped by and we have everything overgrown. Bit by bit we're clearing it though, and like you, are overjoyed at the transformation! Love Helen

  13. Dear Helen,

    This is such a lovely sweet post. Thank you for the gentle reminder to have a contented heart.

    My most favourite treasure is taking care of my home and family. I feel I am privileged to have been given this role and I have always taken much pleasure in caring for my home, preparing wholesome meals for my family and saving a simple dollar when I can. Even the simple task of baking biscuits today for my husband to enjoy at work brought me such contentment. I love taking care of him.

    I also love to hear rain falling on my tin roof. This is something that doesn’t happen too often here, and it is so lovely to open a window and listen to the raindrops. This happened just now as I was typing this post so I can go to bed smiling with the knowledge that my garden has been watered with a little life giving rain.

    Your fireplace looks so inviting Helen; I can imagine you sitting there in its warmth eating your breakfast and enjoying a nice cup of tea.

    God Bless,

    Love Tania xx

    1. Dear Tania, I do love your blog. And yes....I understand about the rain! We are on tank water, and we have a tin roof as well. I told Annabel a few years ago that when it was raining it was the same as money falling from the sky. She and I often remember that. I too just love being homemaker as well Tania. Annabel had a lovely link on the The Bluebirds Facebook from a lady who spoke about the joy of even making a bed nicely for her family.
      All these voices teach and encourage us for sure....Love Helenx

  14. I am back to finding contentment with all things 'home'. This is after 3 years of being pulled and pushed in a voluntary position that consumed all of me, it also cost a lot because we are not 'just around the corner'.

    Yesterday I made some scones, doesn't sound like anything amazing but with not having to race off and do something else I could enjoy the process completely. My husband loved them.

    Sunday we had our roast dinner at lunch time because our daughter was with us for the last time before she heads overseas for a few months. We have most of her belongings here so it has been an interesting exercise in making room for them in our small work in progress house.

    After she left I looked at the extra clothes in plastic shopping bags and decided that they can be packed into an old suitcase we have sitting here waiting to go to the tip, zips are not that great but they will do for storage here.

    I have also washed her bedding and that is here as well - it was nice to be able to just get in and get it done rather than leave things sit until I had time.

    That voluntary position had become a heart robber - a destroyer - it consumed so much of me that it is only now some weeks down the track since I left that I am learning just how much it had taken from me.

    I am enjoying the process of being home without interuption - I can plan for our daughter's return and organise an afternoon tea for her to celebrate her finishing her apprenticeship - she is now a 'lady tradie' - it has been a long winding road but she got there in the end.


    1. Dear Lynette, I know how dear your home is to you, because it is the place where your family is. I'm so glad to hear that you are able to find the value and joy of being back home full time again.
      Thanks so much for the beautiful comment Lynette, Love Helen x

  15. A lovely post Helen.

    I have found contentment easier to find as I have aged. Hopefully I will find some wisdom soon to go with it.

    I start my days contentedly in the cool silence of the morning, knowing that those that I love most dearly are safe and warm in their beds in our house. There is just something so very 'right' for me about standing in our quiet house with my husband asleep in our room and my cherubs asleep in their rooms. Usually I can see the dog upside down on her lounge (for she too is spoiled), legs akimbo because she too knows that she is safe and warm.

    My day continues with such contentedness as I go about doing things that you call 'house blessings' and I weave small treats into those days for my family to enjoy. It is easy to make things better with little effort. Shirts need ironing but you can iron them so that they are warm just as someone needs to get dressed so that they can slip into warm sleeves on cold mornings. The fire needs lighting so I make sure that it is lit in time to make the house cozy for everyone to come home to. The dog needs walking so I make sure she is walked so that none of us have to venture into the cold evening air or interrupt that time when we can all be together. There are so many things that can make everyday life more comfortable, make people feel cherished...and content...that requires absolutely no effort.

  16. Dear Lorax,
    I always think that any inhabitant of your home is very blessed to be there. I know what you mean when your eyes rest on those you love feeling totally relaxed knowing that you were able to meet some of their needs.
    Very often when our boys are home, I will do the dishes, even though I cooked, just so they can relax after a meal and take time talking to each other or my husband.
    They are small things, often treasured even more as time goes on.
    Thank you for the wonderful words you penned. I know that they will keep my thoughts company as I venture about my own house blessing.
    Love Helen xxx

  17. What a lovely read Helen! Thank you for sharing the quote about giving in to fear and worry. That is very helpful! :)

    1. Hi Jes, It's so nice to hear from you. I have been reading Strangers and Pilgrims three part series on working. What wonderful messages it contains. I'm outside and thinking of what you had to say about the benefits of sunlight!
      I think to evict fear and anxiety from our automatic thoughts, we need to replace them with hope. My hope is in my friend Jesus...and so I start thinking about things much I'm loved, how my needs are being met, how there are resources that I have that maybe I haven't considered and all those sorts of things. Have a lovely day, Helen x

  18. Helen, what a lovely post. As always home = contentment for me as well. My husband, daughter and I also like to leave love tokens in the house for each other. A cup of tea steaming on the bench the very minute you walk in the door, a single flower floating in a pretty teacup on the bedside table, a favourite meal after a particularly difficult day, an especially loved scented soap (for my husband no less!) to use in the shower. These things all say 'you're important to me'. Mimi xxx

    1. Mimi dear, how I enjoyed your resent posts on a Tray of Bliss. You have a lovely voice to us all through your blog. Glen also likes nice smelling soap! Daily things like having a meal ready...albeit sometimes it's a simple one, is always appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to share such lovely ideas with us. Love Helen x

  19. Helen thank you for this inspiring and encouraging post.
    For me I love it when I give a gift that is handmade and appreciated. I get the same enjoyment when I bake something nice for my family and they sit down to eat with sighs of contentment. The thrill when the girls are away and I do up their rooms making it all neat and organised, the big "Thank you Mum".
    The greatest joy is having all my children together with their partners and children.The chatter as they all talk and joke together is the most joyous sound there is.
    God Bless and everyone have a good week
    Melissa xxxxxxxx

    1. Hi Melissa, oh my! We're kindred spirits! I found myself nodding and smiling all the way through reading your comment. Thank you so much for just taking the time to pen those words. They will bless anyone who reads them.
      Love Helen

  20. Helen, I just wanted to tell you how nice your post is. Your fireplace/stove looks so inviting and warm! And the tea kettle! So cozy! Teri


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