Friday, June 30, 2017

Changes and Gratefulness




















The little photo book-card above has lived on my husband's work desk for the last 10 years but now it has a place at home. We are very grateful for the 14 years which my husband was well enough to work and had full-time employment, even though his health was a constant struggle. This month, after three years of mostly being on sick leave without pay, his employer made the hard yet fair decision to release/retire/fire my husband from his work position on medical grounds. My husband's complex and seemingly unending mental and physical health issues are worsened by any level of stress. So there have been even more medical appointments and many forms for me to fill out for him along with the gathering of medical details etc etc. We are hoping and praying that over time, and with ongoing treatments, his outlook and conditions will improve so he will enjoy living each day and consistently participate in family life in a more meaningful way.

Having five children still living at home is a wonderful blessing - each one adds much to the fun and creative dynamic of our days. The younger three (15, 13 and 9) are still being homeschooled, and as they are all rather independent learners now, our school days tend to roll along without too many hiccups.

Our friends and church family have been very thoughtful and caring as we look to a future of many uncertainties. God has blessed us in many ways and we know that we are not alone. There is a precious peace to rest in, knowing that it's God who ultimately controls our futures and knows everything we go through. Choosing to trust Him and enjoy the blessings of each day while trying to make wise decisions about our future. The beautiful mauve and pink roses (above) from a friend's garden are a lingering reminder of many good things.

The other flowers above are from a visit to Flowers by Bonnie, a local florist shop. Stepping inside Bonnie's always boosts your mood and is a banquet for the senses. So pleased I am welcome there anytime.

Walks over our infamous crooked road, rail, water pipes and pedestrian bridge have the added bonus of observing the beginning stages of the construction of a much needed second bridge - a straight one! Being winter here, the days are mostly more pleasant for walking than during our summer heat.

I have thoroughly enjoyed stitching a few more Ice Cream Soda quilt blocks (design and papers by Jodi Godfrey of Tales of Cloth). I love having a small hand stitching project to work on. This month I also finished a queen size quilt I have been working on for our son and his beautiful wife (delayed due to my shoulder dislocation which continues to heal slowly but surely). Last night I finished stitching a quilt label and plan to attach it tonight. I hope to gift the quilt to them in the next few days, and will share about it soon.  :)

There is much to be grateful for, always.


* If you hover your mouse/cursor over the photos above, some will have text details to accompany. *** You can read more details about most of these photos on my Instagram feed which I add to several times a week. You don't have to join Instagram to view either - just click on the little blue square camera logo under my blog profile (top right hand corner). 

Sharing at Skywatch Friday.

25 comments:

Julie said...

Your beautiful photos are always such a joy to see whether on your blog or on my IG feed. Wish you and your family best wishes and fingers crossed for better health for your husband.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Thank you Julie. :)

✿ chica said...

Melhoras ao teu marido e tudo de bom pra tidos vocês nessa nova etapa de vida. Que tudo fique o melhor possível. Tuas fotos sempre maravilhosas! Desejo que a vida tão linda assim seja! bjs, chica

s.c said...

I wish you, your husband and your family strength in the coming times but don't stop photographing. Such colorful pictures looks just out of paradise.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Thank you S.C.- I very much appreciate your thoughts and encouragements. I’ve always loved taking photos and have no plans to stop. :)

Are you on Instagram? I really enjoy sharing my photos there too, very easy to use and fun to follow different # for similar photos.

Karen

Esha said...

Such lovely photos...I'm so glad I discovered your amazing blog today. I'm going to pray that things start looking up very soon for you, your husband and the entire family! Keep posting and sharing your thoughts and the photos that document your lives. And I absolutely share in your belief that there is so much to be grateful always! Always, always!!

Penelope Puddlisms said...

Contentment does seem to come in bits and pieces, doesn't it? Grabbing it whenever you can is the ticket, especially when health issues are at play. :)

Joyful said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you through this time. I think being let go from a job will "free" up the minds (your husband's and yours)though I realize it comes with many uncertainties too. I pray the next months and years will be healing times for all of you and especially for your husband. You are right about there always being things to be grateful for and recognizing that will help everyone continue to move forward in a positive way. Hugs. xx

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Best wishes to you and your husband. Sounds like you really have your hands full! That sure is a cute little red-head on the cover of the photo book. Your daughter? Beautiful photography, and I really like the sky shot.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Thank you for your kind thoughts and encouraging words Esha.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

So true Penelope. Thank you for stopping by.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Thank you Joyful - you understand the situation very well. :)

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Thank you Spare Parts and Pics. Yes, you are right - the red head is one of my daughters - about 10 years ago. We have two red heads amongst our eight children.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dear Karen ~ Lovely photos as always. Your faith encourages me, thank you for sharing your trust in God.

Love, hugs & prayers for you, your dear husband and dear family.

FlowerLady

Felicia said...

love the pinks in your sky images. your quilt blocks are wonderful.

O'Quilts said...

You always make me happy with your photos...Hang tight with the illness...there is always light..I find it in the strangest places..xxoo

Lady Fi said...

Here's hoping your husband will grow stronger and healthier!

Your photos are just lovely!

Lisa Gordon said...

Your outlook and positivity are truly such an inspiration, Karen.
Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for sharing these wonderful photographs.
xo.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Lovely to hear form you Lisa and thank you for your thoughts and prayers and encouraging words.

I hope you are enjoying your summer months.

Karen

christine said...

I always enjoy seeing your posts. Your eye for beauty and seeing the positive in so many challenges is always such an inspiration for me. You & your husband have a tough road but your faith will make those paths as straight as your new bridge.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Thank you Christine - this is a wonderful way of thinking of our road ahead, straight like our new bridge.

:)
Karen

Liz said...

Wow, Karen! What a challenging time for you and Jim. I continue to pray for you all as a family, as a couple and for Jim. It is very difficult for a man to be unable to work as it is a huge part of their self worth and their lives.

I can understand very well the inability to work, the emotional, physical and financial toll it takes on the family! I have now been off on disability for 7 years and have just been through a Centrelink review which has again been approved due to the extensive physical issues & injuries I have and the psychological fall back. I continue to draw on gratitude every day which has been my saving grace. Without pressing in to see the positives beyond my chronic pain, I know I would not be here.

Those roses are divine and your quilting looks lovely. I always enjoy seeing what you are working on! I am hoping to purchase some of your moody blues from your Etsy store. I just have to pay a few large bills first! Hoping they remain available for a month or so. :)

Your walks look so peaceful and refreshing. We are hoping to head down your way for a few days soonish. Continue sharing the beauty around you... it always bring back so many fond memories!

Anita Johnson said...

Dear Karen,
In case I forget to say this....your photos and quilting has blown me away since the first time I visited here. Just stunning. My prayers will continue for you, your husband and family. Brain damage for me from some unknown auto immune attack has changed everything for my family. So much medical stuff and adjustments adds stress to everyone. We daily seek God's peace. My prayer will be that you find contentment and peace in God's promises too.

Erin said...

As always my dear friend, know you continue to be in our prayers xx

Let's Get Sewing said...

Beautiful photos as usual. Your EPP blocks in particular are coming along wonderfully

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