Friday, 28 June 2013

First blog post for blog series 'Sunshine Behind the Storm'! :D

Hi all!


Just letting you all know that the first blog post for this series is now up on my blog Rejoice in the Lord always!  It can be found at the link: 


It is the testimony of Megan and Abby, two blogging sisters from the US. Their testimony is an AMAZING illustration of how God helps us through major trials, and I highly reccomend you read it! Thank you so much Megan and Abby for sharing and my prayer is that many people would be blessed by it as I was!

God bless!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

I'm Baaaack (Daisy's Tahiti Adventure Part 1)

Hi everyone!! I'm back home now, after an absolutely amazing ten days! I've got so many memories and so many photos I'd love to share with you all, but I'll just a share a few top favourites :) For those of you who haven't heard the story behind how our trip to Tahiti and Moorea came about, please go here:

We left New Zealand on Sunday the 16th of June...
The view out our plane window as we soared over the
Pacific!
And arrived on Saturday the 15th! A most interesting experience, and very confusing too xD My brother and I decided that, whilst it is cool to be able to say we'd time-traveled, it is much easier not to! 
My mum and brother at the international airport entrance -
tiny, isn't it?!
The hotel lobby where we were staying!
Our hotel room - so pretty!!
We woke up the next morning to the sound of drums in the distance... We hurried outside into the heat (which was a real shock to the system after our New Zealand winter weather - but a good shock for sure!) to find that there was a Sunday breakfast banquet on the beach, and some traditional dances were being performed! 
A small part of the beautiful breakfast feast!
After breakfast we set out to explore the hotel...
I wish the lighting had been better for photos - it was
so much better than this in reality!! 
It's almost paradise in some ways :D
A pool with a bar you could swim up to, and buy drinks
from!!
One of the gorgeous swimming pools
A beautiful sunset, after a long, hard day of relaxing and
doing almost nothing but swim, sunbathe, read and pray!
Believe it or not, it's the first time either my Mum or I have
spent a day doing nothing in over 4 years - such a blessing
from the Lord!!
The next day, we left the island of Tahiti and headed over to Moorea. We weren't too keen to leave, as we were loving Tahiti so much, but all the hotel staff assured us Moorea was better - I'll admit we didn't at first believe it possible.... Moorea is also (for those who have seen the musical South Pacific) the mythical island of Bali Hai. It is just incredible!!
After a half an hour-ish boat trip, we arrived. 
Then we had a half an hour bus ride to the resort itself
The resort we were staying in was a 5-star resort!!! How incredible is that?! We could never have afforded that if it wasn't for God's incredible providence - the way He had worked everything out perfectly was just amazing, and so moving - that He even cares about the little, seemingly unimportant-ish things - can't get over it :D 
They give you a fruit juice to drink while you wait to
get checked in!! The service is so good, and the staff all
speak English really well :) 
Welcome to paradise on earth!
There is a dolphin reserve as part of the hotel :D :D
The next day, we had the incredible privilege of visiting the dolphins up close and personal :D
Meet Kuokoa <3 
He is so beautiful!!
My family, plus our new friend! 
Watching him jump in the distance!
That sure was an amaaaaazing experience!! I've swum with dolphins before, but in freezing cold water in New Zealand, and we couldn't really touch them like we were able to at the Moorea Dolphin centre. I will never forget that special half an hour! <3
Well, that's a very brief summary of the first 5 days we spent in French Polynesia! I thought I had better split the post in two, else you'd all get very bored haha :P But I'll be back with more about our adventure soon!

Lots of love and God bless, 

Monday, 24 June 2013

Book Review: Authentic Beauty: The Shaping of a Set-Apart Young Woman

Authentic Beauty: The Shaping of a Set-Apart Young WomanAuthentic Beauty: The Shaping of a Set-Apart Young Woman by Leslie Ludy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Inside Every Young Woman is a Princess…In Search of her Prince. In a culture that mocks our longing for tender romance, in a world where fairy tales never seem to come true — do we dare hope for more? For every young woman asking that question, this book is an invitation. With refreshing candor and vulnerability, bestselling author Leslie Ludy reveals how, starting today, you can experience the passion and intimacy you long for. You can begin a never-ending love story with your true Prince. Discover the authentic beauty of a life fully set-apart for Him. Experience a romance that will transform every part of your existence and fulfill the deepest longings of your feminine heart.

My Opinion: 
This was an amazing read, and easily makes it onto my favourites list! I had already read a book called Romance God's Way co-authored by Leslie Ludy along with her husband, Eric, and so I knew that this was bound to be a good read too. And my guess proved to be more than correct!

Leslie Ludy critiques common issues facing many young women today - particularly in the areas of relationships. She urges us to focus more on our Prince - our heavenly Father - and being "set-apart" for Him than on simply fitting in with the standards society sets for us. She really challenged me to live a life wholly devoted to loving and serving Him above everything - and everyone - else. I highly recommend you read this and may the Lord use it to help us to become women who are "set-apart" for Him!

However, for younger readers, I would recommend parental guidence in reading this book, as Leslie Ludy is very honest about the issues facing us today, and therefore it is the kind of book that would be good for a parent to read first and then read with their teenage daughter and have a discussion together on the points it raises. Everyone is different, and depending on age and circumstance, some issues dealt with in it will be more appropriate for some than others. So just a word of caution, as Leslie Ludy certianly does not shy away from being honest about the gravity of not following our Prince's standards in relationships. That said, her honesty did help me to really take things more seriously and desire to follow the Lord rather than going along with what society says is okay.

So worth a read? Definately!!!

Brave Soldiers

Years ago I heard a song/story about 40 brave soldiers, and I've never been able to forget it! So, I wanted to share the song with you, and I'm sure you'll never forget it either :) I cry every time I hear this song, and I pray that God will grant me faith as strong as the faith these men had.

https://myspace.com/tomandcandygreen/music/song/40-brave-soldiers-for-jesus-6002661

The song is about 40 brave soldiers who do not bow under pressure to worship their emperor instead of their God. Not even under the threat of torture and death do they give in. May this song encourage you to serve your Lord, to love Him, with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and NEVER to give in, not even under pain of death. Be a brave soldier for Christ!

(I apologise that I could only supply the audio for this song, I couldn't find a suitable video. Also, let me know what you think of the song! Please leave a comment below) :) 

Your sister in the Lord,


Thursday, 20 June 2013

Blog Series: Sunshine Behind the Storm



Hello everyone! :D

I am really excited to announce that I will be starting a blog series on my other blog, Rejoice in the Lord always! The series is called Sunshine Behind the Storm and is aimed at helping encourage Christians who encounter trials in their lives. Over the next wee while I will be asking a lot of Christians I know personally to share what has helped them overcome the trials in their lives, such as particular Bible verses and so on. I will also be asking some fellow bloggers to share as well - and I invite you, dear reader, to be a part of this too! If you have something like a verse that really encouraged you during a difficult time that you feel would help others who are suffering, please write a comment and I can post it on Rejoice in the Lord always! as a blog post. I am happy to publish anonymous comments too if I do feel they will be helpful to others. :)

I really want this series to be a way of us all building each other up in our faith and encouraging those who may be struggling through various trials at the moment. So please do not shy away from contributing.

God bless, and my prayer is that this blog series would really help and encourage you!

Your sister in Christ,


This is why I love Libraries...!

I saw this video by BoredShortsTV the other day and it summed up so well why I love libraries (and why I want to be a librarian! :P) that I couldn't resist sharing it with you all. So enjoy, and don't be afraid to laugh! 



I'm afraid that I have been rather neglecting this blog of late - though I don't feel too guilty about it as it's a sign that I have been getting on with other things and there have been so many interesting posts by the other blog authors! However, now that my exams are safely out of the way, I have no more excuses and so I have some upcoming blog posts that I hope you will find interesting. Also, another reason why I have been neglecting this blog is that I have been busy posting on my other blog, Rejoice in the Lord always! so please feel free to check it out. I'm in the process of trying to fix up the design there, so any suggestions would be more than welcome. Also, I'm thinking of starting a blog series over there very soon (but more on that at a later date)!

For now, I hope you enjoyed the video and found it as funny as I did!


Monday, 17 June 2013

Our Trip to Auckland and a Conference :D

Last weekend Hyacinth and I, along with our father and oldest brother, travelled up to Auckland for a conference. We spent all day Saturday travelling, taking 8 hours to get from our home to our relatives home in Auckland (including breaks along the way for food, rest room, and op-shopping/thrift stores!!) It was a nice trip, the perfect day for travelling.

When we were leaving our home city, there was an incredible rainbow – a full arc clearly showing all of the colours – we had fun trying to take clear photos of it from the backseat of our car, although our panorama photos didn’t quite work out! :) 
Failed attempt at a panorama :)
 The sky was fairly cloudy until we were about half way up the island, just approaching Mount Ruapehu on the Desert Road. From the southern side of the mountain, the sky was quite cloudy and grey, but as soon as we passed the mountain and were further along the Desert Road, all of a sudden the sky was clear and it was a magnificent sight! Mount Ruapehu and Mount Taranaki (both volcanoes) had a fair bit of snow on them after the cold snap the week before, and it was amazingly beautiful.
Mount Ruapehu
Lily, Dad, and Hyacinth :)
Mount Taranaki
Once the mountain was out of sight, we were approaching Lake Taupo, which is often another beautiful sight on a sunny, clear day, and this day was no different! Clear, blue water shimmering in the afternoon sunshine, looking refreshingly cool and inviting (deceptively inviting – in winter!)
Lake Taupo
 And as we drove around Lake Taupo, Mount Ruapehu could be seen behind the beautiful lake, white and majestic in the background. Yellows, oranges, and reds of all kinds coloured the trees throughout the country, some fiery reds and the brightest yellows you could imagine. It’s only just winter here, and many trees are still stubbornly holding onto their leaves after a long, hot summer. Oh, how we love the beauty of God’s creation! :)
Upon our arrival into Auckland City, we spent the remainder of Saturday and Sunday spending time with our relatives in Auckland – Aunts, Uncles, grandparents, cousins, and their children – it was a really nice time catching up with our family. The only downside was that our mother couldn’t have come up with us (as this was her immediate family that we were visiting with). She was unable to get the time off her work as a caregiver, so sadly had to stay behind.
Monday was the day of the conference, “Building a God-Centered Family”. Registration was at 8:30am, so we left our Aunt and Uncle’s home bright and early to get there on time. There were a few familiar faces at the conference, which was nice, as we had no idea who might be going or if we would know many people there. Most of the people there (of which there were approx. 150) were home-schooling families from the upper North Island. We weren’t the only family who had travelled far for it, though! One family drove up from Wellington (the capital) – a good 9-10 hour trip!
On the way home again :) 

 The speakers were Pastor Scott Brown, Pastor Kevin Swanson, and Mr. Anthony Courter. They alternated throughout the day, speaking on topics such as home-schooling, family economics, raising godly sons and daughters, and more. It was very edifying, and Hyacinth and I tried to take notes so that we could remember it all afterwards! They were all very good speakers, and we especially enjoyed Kevin Swansons’ talks – he’s an amazing speaker to listen to! We also got to meet the speakers, and their daughters as well. It was neat to meet their girls, and we felt like we had made instant friends :) 
Us and one of the speakers' daughters :)
One of my (Lily’s) favourite points from the talks was in the talk on homeschooling, and how important it is to teach your children the Proverbs. The book of Proverbs teaches you everything that you need to know in life – economics, values, character, wisdom, etc. It’s all there. So amazing to be shown again that God has given us everything we need to learn in the Scriptures (not that we don’t need to learn other things as well, but as God Himself says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man (this includes women, girls, and boys too) of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Another point I really liked was in Pastor Scott Brown’s talk on Raising Daughters. He made the statement, “Visionary daughters are secret weapons in the church of Christ.” He encouraged fathers to teach their daughters how to be godly women, and encouraged daughters to be daughters of Zion, not of the world. We should be reading good books that will help us form biblical worldviews that we will one day pass on to our children. The books we read, the music we listen to, the movies we watch – we were created to pattern what we see and hear, and we will do this with movies and tv and music, so we need to be careful what we let our eyes see and our ears hear.
These talks that we heard were really, really upbuilding, encouraging, and insightful. Everything we heard spoken on was Biblical, and shown to us from Scripture. If it’s in God’s Word, we can’t ignore it :)
The conference finished at around 8:30pm (about 12 hours after it started), and we really enjoyed it! It was a lot to take in, and I wish it could’ve been spread out over a few days, but we really enjoyed what we got :)
Autumn! :D
We stayed the night in a motel nearby, and left the next morning to return home. The trip back was wet and grey the entire way! And on the Desert Road again you could almost think that there were no mountains behind the thick cloud/mist that was all around. 
See the mountain in the background? 
Although we were happy to be back in our own homes again, it was a really enjoyable, up-building weekend, and we highly recommend that if you ever get the chance to hear any of these speakers that we heard, take it! :) There’s always more to learn, and more people to meet.






With love,

and


Saturday, 15 June 2013

An Adventure

Hello everyone! <3

So, I told you the other day that I'm up to something exciting once the chamber music competitions are over on Saturday (today)... *drum roll* 
I'M GOING TO TAHITI!!!!!!

Yep, you heard me right - my family and I are off to that beautiful little country, tucked away in French Polynesia, tomorrow morning :D We are all SO excited! It will be our first real holiday in over 8 years!! It is amazing how it came about too...
For as long as I can remember, my Mum, brother and I have said we'd go to Tahiti in my senior year - no particular reason, it was just a dream we all had. We knew it would probably never happen, and after my dad left us, and money was extremely tight, we knew it almost definitely wouldn't. I had actually forgotten all about that dream...

However, at the beginning of this year, we had an anonymous gift of money - the exact amount of a package deal to Tahiti. We prayed about it all, but it soon became very clear that that was what we were meant to do. And so God has granted our long-time dream - He has provided for that to come true  when it wouldn't have even been conceivable otherwise. We are going to spend 10 days in Tahiti in my senior year!! :D
They speak French there, which is super exciting :) We are going to be spending a few days on the main island, Papeete, then 6 days on Moorea, a truly beautiful, smaller island complete with a dolphin reserve, where we can swim with the dolphins - it is going to be absolutely wonderful!

The internet is really expensive over there, this is probably the last you'll hear from me for a little while... But I promise to take loads of photos, and to share the best ones with you all when I return!

Much love, and have a great next 2 weeks, 
xxx

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

That "forever" kind of love

Happy 62nd anniversary to my incredible Grandparents, for the 9th of June! 62 years and still going strong <3

My mum and I were able to spend the evening of their anniversary with them, which was really special! They told us all sorts of stories from all those years ago, all about their wedding day - the dramas, the special moments, who was there, where they were married....
Pity my grandpa wasn't looking... but aren't they lovely?!
The day they were married on was over-cast and one of the rainiest South African days my grandma can remember, but, as one of the wedding guests said, it was a sign of "showers of blessings", which, my grandpa said, looking tenderly at Gran, have continued over the years. The wedding day started off dramatically, with Gran's aunty being rushed to hospital with a terrible nose bleed. It continued to follow that pattern with a missing marriage license, and champagne spilt on the wedding dress... But they still say it was the best day of their lives :D

It hasn't all been smooth sailing - they've had some real hardships along the way, and they've had to work extremely hard for all they have now. But through it all, they've stuck by each other. They became Christians at the same time, after about 10 years of marriage. They struggled through my Grandma's years of ill health, and, in latter years, my Grandpa's as well. They brought up two beautiful daughters, and have seen their four grandchildren growing up, and now their 4 great-grandchildren too.  They've had moments when they weren't each other's favourite people, but they've fought through it - divorce has never even been an option. They've learned to love each other more and more as they grow older together. 
My grandparents are honestly the sweetest couple I know. They still hold hands and tease each other, Grandpa still winks and Gran still giggles. Grandpa still calls Gran his "pin-up" girl, and Gran still says Grandpa is the most handsome man she knows. They still look out for each other all the time, and put the other before themselves. My grandpa still looks after my gran - if she's at our house and he's at home, he will often ring, just to see how she's doing. They work hard together, and love hard together. They've fought for their love, through thick and thin, and it has just grown.
True love is definitely worth waiting for! I hope, one day, to have a love like my grandparents do <3. And true love is worth fighting for, once God brings it into your life. Feelings will only get you so far - true love takes work, commitment, and dedication. But it is so, so worth the fight! 

And just to close, here is one of the most touching love stories I have ever seen...


Allow God to write you a love story based around Him. Don't settle for anything less than His best for your life <3

God bless,