Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Ten-Item Wardrobe

This is brilliant and so worth watching! Sometimes, less is really more as Jennifer demonstrates here! A sense of style and class within a budget can sometimes be reflected better through a smaller wardrobe that is more carefully thought through. At least, I've found this to be the case with me! Any thoughts on this? :)



From,

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Dressing Classy!

I have decided to take a deep breath and write a post on an area I've always felt too intimidated to blog about. It's also felt like there are already countless numbers of people far, far more informed in matters of fashion than I am (or ever will be) who already blog about this subject. However, I do feel that the Lord has taken me on a journey over the last few years in this area, which may be worth sharing for anyone out there who (like me!) is in the process of learning what it means to dress femininely, modestly and classy! :D By no means do I claim to be an expert in this, after all, it is a grey area with a mix of personal convictions and tastes, and God by His grace is teaching me more every day! It's my prayer that this post will prompt you to investigate further and find ways to dress in an elegant, classy, fashionable and modest way! :)

From Pinterest

So, here are a few tips I have learned in my quest to dress in a more classy way!


1. Dress with modesty

From Pinterest
This one really should go without saying, but it is something all of us young ladies struggle with to some degree - there seem to be so many disagreements and "dos" and "don'ts" in this area among Christian circles. I've written a post about this here which you can look at, and there are many great articles avaliable online which go into more detail as to why we need to dress modestly. A truly classy woman is always modestly dressed! :) If you look at fashion icons both past and present (think Audrey Hepburn and Kate Middleton among others) who have a classy style it quickly becomes clear that they generally dress or dressed in a modest way which draws more attention to their face and inner beauty than mere outward appearance. Our dress should draw others (especially guys) to Christ, not just ourselves.
"Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." ~ 1 Peter 3:3-4 ~
From Pinterest
Important as this issue is, I think we also have to remember grace: if you are a girl who is a new believer, while I would encourage you to look into this further, do remember that "the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). If you dress modestly (great as that is and I would encourage you to!) but your motive in doing so is "because my parents told me to" or "because I want to look really godly to everyone and earn God's favour", then I really urge you to go to God's word and see how this thinking is wrong. Our hearts have to be right with God before we can truly be dressing our character modestly as well as our outer appearance.  No matter how outwardly modest you may appear, God looks at our hearts, and modest dress will naturally flow out from a heart that wants to honour and serve Him! :)

From Pinterest
Guys, I'm going to put a note in here for you too (if any of you happen to be reading this)! When the topic of modesty comes up, it's easy to focus on what we as young ladies need to be doing. But really, we are only 50% of the equation. Some guy friends once asked me and some of my girl friends what we percieve to be immodest in guys. That one had me stumped for a long while but after thinking about it lately I think I have an answer based on this passage:  "But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:28)

Yes, we ladies have a responsibility to make things easier for you and to not cause you to stumble, but when you give us the attention that we are seeking when we dress provocatively, you reafirm in our eyes that in order to get your attention we need to dress that way and you can send the same message to girls in the room who are making an effort to dress modestly and not to cause you to stumble, tempting them to lower their standards. This creates a vicious cycle on both your side and ours. I want to challenge you that if you look around and feel tempted to complain that all the girls of your acquantince dress immodestly that you also examine your own heart and actions and see whether you or your guy friends also are contributing to the issue in this way, and are sending girls the message that you will only notice them based on how much skin they are willing to reveal. For you to be modest means to take this verse in Matthew as seriously as God takes it and to see it as applying even at this level. Instead, try to see all girls, modestly dressed or not, as your sisters in Christ and treat them respectfully as such. I'm sure it'll make a world of difference! :)


2. Research!

Whewf, now that the tricky and most controversial one is out of the way, we can move on to some more practical ideas! :-)

http://www.pinterest.com/violetnz/Create a Pinterest page and start researching the different styles, eras and famous people that you wish to base your classy "look" upon. I have a Pinterest page where I put all my ideas (http://www.pinterest.com/violetnz/). I tend to focus on what is most important to me (that something looks and is modest) and work out from there. This means that some outfits on my page I would never personally wear or match a certian way, but I do love the way the person has created a modest outfit, and wish to integrate these ideas in the way I wear my clothing. You may prefer to stick to pinning styles that are quintesentally you (especially if you don't use Pinterest much): just do whatever works best for you. :-)

Audrey Hepburn style! From Pinterest
Over time as you do this, you will generally find a pattern emerging as to exactly what kinds of clothing items you prefer. For myself personally, I have discovered that I lean towards knee-length (or midi) skirts and dresses rather than floor-length ones, I prefer dresses/skirts over more casual items like jeans, I love bygone eras (most particularly the '50s!) to be reflected in some way through my clothing, and I do like the classy style of women such as Audrey Hepburn and Kate Middleton. It is through creating a pin board of clothing that I have come to recognise these preferences that I have. A word of caution about doing this however: be careful not to let this make you envious of what other people have (it's easy to covet that $500 coat which is well beyond your budget!) and don't get addicted to spending too much time on Pinterest (haha I'm more than guilty of this one)! ;-) Feel free to check out my Pinterest boards devoted specifically to dressing or a Facebook page, Dressing to the Glory of God, I have started on the subject to get you started! :-)

3. Find local (and affordable!) options

In many ways, this is the hardest step. It's easy to want to create a Kate Middleton look, but let's face it, not many of us have quite as big a budget as she does for clothing! Especially if you are a student (like me) it is necessary to find ways to dress classy without spending lots and lots of money. It becomes even worse when you are in a small country like New Zealand where there are not as many options (I still don't entirely like buying clothing online when I can help it). Many people are under the illusion that to dress well it costs a lot, but from personal experience, I think it is more about being strategic and taking a bit of time to find affordable solutions. It has probably been said many times before but op shops/second hand stores are absolutely amazing when it comes to finding items that would normally not be affordable. For those in New Zealand, Save Mart is my personal favourite. :-) They have a massive selection and virtually every time I manage to find what I need. Most of my favourite skirts are from there. :)

Other great New Zealand stores that I have found have a lot of modest clothing (that is not to say that everything on these sites is modest, use your own discretion!) are:

However, even more mainstream and cheaper clothing shops can potentially be used to dress modestly if you are strategic and put a bit of extra effort into it such as by using layering (camisoles are a lifesaver!)
From Pinterest


4.  Buy several staple classy items 

I'd recommend buying several classy items and working your way up from there. If you have a small budget and are starting pretty much from scratch as I did, maybe buy some staple items that are good and brand new quality from on sale at one of the above stores and then to use second hand shops like Save Mart to widen your selection of items such as skirts in order to keep costs down. It's worked for me. :) Some of my own favourite staple items (aka items I wear frequently and use as a base to add with other things) are as follows: 

  • Coats (my latest favourite!) :D
  • Bootcut/bootleg jeans 
  • Camisoles (for wearing under most of my shirts to stop things being too transparent or revealing clevage etc.)
  • White top (goes with virtually anything!)
  • Cardigans (one black and one white, as those colours go with almost anything)
  • Skirts - especially blue/black ones in winter and pink/white ones in summer.
  • Dresses, some formal, some more casual - especially for church/special occasions.
  • Bolero/little cardi - for wearing over dresses for extra warmth
  • Black boots with a small heel (again, goes with just about anything, I wear them all the time in winter!)
  • Heels
  • Ballet flats

 

5. Final tips

To finish this post, here are some final tips that have helped me:
  •  Simple is often best - dressing classy means you often feel over-dressed if you are not careful! Many a time, I have turned up to something in heels and a dress or skirt only to suddenly feel out of place. Dress classy but get to know ways to tone down an otherwise dressy outfit (e.g. less accessories, the use of a coat over a dress, less make-up, ballet flats instead of heels etc.)
  • Wear for the weather and circumstances - tempting as it is to dress up fancy every day (well, at least it is for me!) sometimes wearing a floaty skirt on a gusty day is simply not a good idea and will put you in a place of perpetual discomfit all day long! :P Similarly if you are going to be doing running around activities or rock climbing, wearing those heeled boots may not be the greatest idea (yes, I am guilty of this too!). :-/ Save yourself unnecesssary stress by thinking carefully about what the weather is like and what you will be doing throughout the day. 
  • Find your own unique style - despite these factors don't be intimidated or afraid of dressing in a way that flatters the body God has given you, and that suits your personality and personal preferences. Your style will probably look a lot different from mine and it's not wrong to favour a more casual approach (I have loads of friends who much prefer jeans over a skirt any day!) But what I want to encourage you is that it is possible even through dressing casually to have an element of classiness and to be able to express your femininity and be modest. We will always slip up at some points (I know I still have a long way to go in this area as my friends who are fellow authors on this blog will be able to testify!) but God can and does help us to honour Him in the way we present ourselves, no matter how many times we slip up! :)
God bless - you are in my prayers today! :)

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Thoughts on Facebook...

 Hi all!

I posted this on my Facebook page the other day, and thought it was worth sharing. Praying it blesses you and gives you some food for thought about this and other social media. :)

From: Google Images
(Some thoughts on Facebook...I hope it doesn't come across as a rant and I do ramble on, but I genuinely think this is something needing to be discussed more. So bear with me and I'd love to hear your thoughts!) 

I've been thinking a bit about Facebook tonight. It's a curious tool really: simultaneously a really useful and really unhelpful tool. There are so many positives to it: staying in touch with friends better being at the top of the list and time wasting being most certianly at the other end! 

To add to this there are so many conflicting views as to how we should take the online "personna" (if you want to call it that) which we create through Facebook. I've heard it said over and over (and this seems to be reiterated on blogs a lot too) that Facebook only portrays the positive side of our lives, the highlights and happy and sunshiney and moments we experience. This leaves one with the inevitable conclusion that perhaps we should be more frank and honest online, sharing both the good and the bad? And yet, (and rightly so, I believe) we hesitate realising that no matter how fool-proof our privacy settings, words once written can not be so easily taken back and that the plethora of "friends" we have and the ease of using "sharing" and "liking" mechanisms mean that what we may consider private is, once posted online, really public information. 

It's made me wonder, what is a young Christian lady to make of all this as she navigates this precarious territory of honesty and caution? I can't pretend to have the answers to these or any other questions (that's why I'm writing this post haha)! But I will say that the Bible has sufficent wisdom for ALL areas of our lives (you have only to read some of Proverbs to see that!) even though this quite likely is a grey area. As it says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."
Evidently there are precedents in scripture to help guide us in making wise decisions in this area (even if Facebook wasn't around in Bible times!), so I think this is going to be my own personal research challenge for myself over the next wee while! 

Our impressions of both ourselves and others can be so easily formed based on what we see on our computer screens, when really this should not be so. It's easy for me to either be judgemental and view you based on what I see you "like" or "post" or to turn a complete blind eye at something when I should speak to you and pray for you out of concern and love. Likewise, it is easy for you to base your opinion of me through what you see online. 

I shudder sometimes to think that my online "personna" may be a very condescending "better than thou" appearance to the extent that those who don't know me well may see me as the "perfect Christian girl" and those who know me well enough to see my numerous sins and sinful attitudes on a daily basis (haha my mum would be top of this list! :P) would feel it is a superficial facade. It is truly my prayer tonight that that is NOT what you see of me on Facebook. In fact, I pray that is not ME that my Facebook page would be about at all! I hope that you would see that it is all about a girl who, imperfect as she is, has One who is greater than her, who sent His very Son to die for her! That it would be focussed on the One whose grace is all-sufficent to cover every nasty comment I post, every horrible thought I think, every wrong action I do. I write about Him a lot here perhaps, but that is only because I can never express my gratitude and love towards Him enough! In my quiet way, I don't speak about Him as much as I should out there when I see you in the real world, but in this space and by His grace, and with my love of writing I am able to share a little of what He is teaching me along the narrow way. 

Maybe I'm far too honest on Facebook. Maybe even tomorrow I will regret posting this and will want to hide my head under my pillow in shame (it has happened multiple times before)! Maybe I hide far too many of the tearful moments, the questioning God moments and instead I only show you the lace and frills, the victorious moments. But, if any of you see beyond these faults, beyond my often judging and condescending ways and get to glimpse, see, or even better KNOW the Lord as your Saviour than I will say that any ugly moments I have on Facebook will be worth it.

In short: despite my misgivings with it, as long as Facebook can be used to serve the Lord I'll be sticking with it. And maybe more addicted to it than I should be ..... but that's a whole other post in itself! 

Okay, so this has turned into a REALLY long ramble. I'm VERY impressed if you have read right to the end! God bless and have a lovely evening! Feel free to put your own thoughts on this. 

 

Friday, 12 September 2014

To be in the World, but not of the World

From Pinterest

"I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth." ~ John 17:14-19 ~


 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." ~ John 15:18-19

"Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." ~ Romans 12:2


I read this article today, and thought it'd be great to get a discussion going on this topic, as it's been on my mind for quite some time now. In fact, I wrote a blog post on this kind of issue about a year ago (here). As a "grey area" this one has posed great difficulty for me as a Christian. I know fellow believers who have all sorts of different beliefs on this: from some who would insist that listening to music outside of classical music and old hymns is pretty much "sinning", to those who will happily go so far as to sing along to lyrics which are not God-honouring in their content (either implicitly or explicitly), or watching sexually-charged music videos that seem a perversion of the purity God wants us to pursue, all in the name of "engaging with our culture", or because "[the artist] says they are a Christian, therefore it must be okay" (which often can be a contridiction even in the world's eyes as this article on Beyonce shows: http://www.examiner.com/article/beyonce-on-60-minutes-videos-steve-kroft-calls-beyonce-seductress). The same kinds of issues relate to movies too. I know I may be opening a can of worms here, but the Lord has really been challenging my thinking on this a lot lately, and I'd love to hear all your thoughts on this issue. 

God bless!
 
 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Happy Birthday Hyacinth! :D

To my dear friend Hyacinth,


 I just wanted to come on here and wish you a very happy and blessed birthday! Thanks so much for your gentle and quiet spirit which I know must be very special in the Lord's eyes as well as ours. :) Thanks for your continual faithfulness to Him and the way that you quietly but steadfastly live out your life to His glory! You are an example of a godly woman that I hope to be more like! :) 

Haha, I saw this quote the other day, and it made me think of you and Lily and all the fun times we have at games nights and on birthdays at your place! :D

 
God bless you very much, Hyacinth, this day and always!

From your friend,


Kindred Spirit Award



No, I wasn't actually awarded this, but I thought it sounded like fun, especially considering the fact that I recently had an Anne of Green Gables themed tea party! So I decided to give my answers to it here. :) Here is a photo of the way we had the table set at the tea party! :)


Award Rules:

1. Answer the questions you are given.
2. Nominate anyone you'd like.
3. Give 10 questions for others to answer (you can use my questions if you'd like).
4. Share the picture above^ with the post you make and link it back to Eve's blog.


1. Who is your favourite character in Anne of Green Gables?
 Probably Anne. After all, it is her vibrant personality that simply leaps off the pages!

2. Are you more like Anne or Diana?
 Definitely Diana. In fact, Daisy loves to tease me by saying how much I am like Diana and how much she is like Anne! :) 


3. What is your favourite quote from the book/movie?
"It wasn’t luck; it was Providence. He knew we needed her." ~ Marilla Cuthbert. 


4. What was the funniest moment in it?
 Ooh, that's hard! There are several really that come to mind: the incident with the mouse, Diana and the raspberry cordial, the green hair-dye, the Lady of Shalott and Anne breaking the slate over Gilbert's head. :) There are too many to choose just one. :)

5. Would you rather have Diana's raven black hair or Anne's carrot red hair?
It doesn't bother me what colour hair I have as much as it does Anne, but if I choose I probably would go with black hair as it's more similar in colour to my own natural hair colour and would therefore suit me better . :)



6. What do you think of Gilbert?
 I must say that though he does have plenty of his own faults, he is an admirable hero for the way he continues to be a friend to Anne despite how unforgiving she is towards him. A gentleman with a sense of humour, he ends up being the perfect friend for Anne, despite their rocky start. ;)
7. What are your thoughts on puffed sleeves?
 Hehe, unfortunately I will never be able to agree with Anne on this one! The only word that comes to mind to describe my opinion on them is that they are ridiculous (said in Marilla's disapproving voice)! ;) A little cute sleeve on a dress is good, but puffed sleeves (especially the flamboyant kind that Anne likes) are just too much.


8. Have you ever been to Canada?
Nope! Can't say I've ever been desperate to go there either (although I would love to see Prince Edward Island!)

  

10. Favourite word Anne uses in the book/movie?
Hmm...that's a hard one. Probably the words "kindred spirits": what a good way to describe best friends! :)



Of course, I nominate my own "kindred spirits", Daisy, Hyacinth and Lily! I'd love to hear your answers to these questions! :)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Happy (belated) Birthday, Violet!! :)

Sorry that this is a day late, Violet! :(  But I hope you had a really lovely day yesterday! :)

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for the so many years of friendship that we have had! Each new year is so exciting and so much can change in an instant, but our friendship has lasted for many years (and I hope it will for many more) and for that I am thankful! :) 



You are a beautiful, loving, and godly young woman! I'm so grateful to God that I can call you my friend and sister-in-Christ! 



Thank you for everything, Violet!  
God bless you in the year ahead! 

Love from


Thursday, 7 August 2014

An Award! :) (And yes, it's the Leibster Award again...) :P

Hi all,
Yes, we've been award the Leibster Award again by Heather Bingham at God's Creations! Thanks Heather! :) I must confess this time I broke the rules a little due to time constraints (after all, it is quite tricky coming up with 11 facts about yourself multiple times!). You're more than welcome to go to earlier awards to see my answers about them but for this time I will just answer the questions Heather has asked, and tag a few people. :)
Rules: 
1) Each person must list 11 things about themselves. 
2) Answer the 11 questions that the tagger has set for you PLUS you MUST create 11 questions of your own for the 11 people you will nominate with this award.  
3) Choose up to 11 bloggers linking them to your post.
4) Go to their page and inform them of the nomination.  
5) Absolutely NO tag backs (no awarding who awarded you).  
6) Remember to ONLY award bloggers with less than 200 followers

1. Do you believe in God?

Yes! :D
 
2. Are you saved, If not what stops you?

 I am saved (praise the Lord)! :D
 
3. If you could travel some where (other then your own country) where would it be?

 Britain! Especially London! :) I've always wanted to see that country because of all of its history. :)
 
4. What are you most afraid of..?

 Hmm... that's a tricky one! :-/ Lately though I've been realising that the most awful and wasted life is one which is not spent in loving and serving the Lord ('Don't Waste Your Life' by John Piper is a really challenging read on this subject!). So I guess my greatest fear is to come to the end of my life having used little of it glorifying God and drawing others to Him: essentially having "wasted" it.
 
5. What do you love to do with your time (besides work/school)? 

Blogging (haha, that goes without saying really)! :P Also reading, encouraging others, spending time with friends, going to Church and Bible studies. :)
 
6. What is your favorite color/colors?

Yellow! It's so bright and sunshiney! :D

7. What are you wanting in you future spouse..?
Haha, this one I left to answer last as it's quite a personal one that I'm not entirely comfortable spilling out on this blog while I am still a single young lady! ;-) What I will say is that above anything else he must have a heart that loves and serves the Lord and puts Him first.
 
8. What is you favorite bible verse?

There are many verses the Lord uses to challenge and encourage me at different points during my life, but the one I find myself consistantly returning to is Philippians 4:4-7: "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
 
9. How often do you pray and if less then 1 hr a day could you spare more time..?

That's a tricky one! In terms of a time set aside especially for prayer, I confess it falls well short of an hour! But in terms of seeing prayer as an ongoing conversation between me and the Lord, I find myself praying at random times during the day, so it is hard for me to know exactly how much time spend in prayer as most of it arises as things to pray about surface in my mind. This is definitely an area that the Lord has been challenging me on lately, though, and because my memory is terrible, I've begun to jot down prayer requests in a notebook I carry around with me so that I can remember to pray about different things.
 
10. What are you most thankful for..?

 The Lord and that He sent His Son to die for me!
 
11. What do you want to do with your life?

Serve the Lord wherever He has me! At the moment that is at home, church and university. :)

Okay, and now I'm nominating the following people to answer the same questions:
Lily 

Of course it's optional, and if you are a regular reader of this blog feel free to do this award too. :)

 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Magical Music Moment

Today a friend shared with me a short story she'd written about playing music and the wonder and joy it brings, and it reminded me of this story I wrote for a uni writing excercise (which wasn't graded) so I thought I'd share it with you all! Take the time today, perhaps, to thank the Lord for the wonderful gift of music He has given us and to encourage those you know who share their abilities in this area with us (thanks so much Daisy!) I'm so thankful to the Lord for music and friends! :D

~~~

I gently closed my eyes, a sense of utter peace and tranquillity filling me. I, the lone audience member sat in awed silence as if in a trance, spellbound by the magic the music seemed to cast. The music began to fill the old church building, reverberating off its curved ceiling and red brick walls. Over a century in age, it must have had music played inside it countless times before, but surely never as beautiful as this! My best friend's voice reached a crescendo, a violin passionately weaving its away around her melody and a piano lilting soothingly in the background. As Saint-SaĆ«ns “Violons dans le soir” slowly drew to a close, I felt tears forming in my eyes – a rare occurrence. Now I finally understood what it meant to be truly moved by music, and if I could have held onto that moment forever than I would have.

Just moments before, we had been laughing, distracting each other, already having faced hours of practice required to perfect the piece. Somewhat mortified by a cold invoked by the incoming winter chills and the fact that I'd already had to borrow my best friend's jacket for the evening, I'd opted for a pew and played a mock “annoying audience member” in order to pass the time. Mischievously dropping a hymnal every few minutes, I managed to coax smiles from my friends. Friends I'd had for years alongside a friend I'd formed that evening and yet it felt like we could have all been a group together for a lifetime. As we prayed together, I was awed at how the Lord had brought me alongside a group of such gifted and yet like-minded people. After a brief break, and with our eyes starting to droop from tiredness, we decided to play it through just one more time...

The silence at the end of the tune only heightened the beauty of what we had just heard. All the frivolity of earlier in the evening seemed to have vanished as we looked at each other, speechless. Every other time we had played now paled in comparison. I exhaled and realised I must have been holding my breath.
“That was so beautiful, the best music I've ever heard, if you do that tomorrow you'll be bound to win!” Even as I said them, the words sounded so shallow compared to what I'd just heard. Moments later, we were chatting happily again, but something had changed. Deep in our souls was delight at the wonder of music the Lord had created.

Now whenever I hear that tune I feel a tinge of sadness, for the magic of that moment will never be repeated, and yet joy that the Lord gave me a chance to experience it. 


God bless!

 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A Picture of what God Looks Like

Hi everyone! :)

I was looking through my cupboard today and I found a quote that I just had to share with you all. :)


"Through our words and deeds, 
our everyday conversations, 
our attitudes and actions, 
we are sketching an illustration of God for all to see.  
Our lives should be a portrayal, 
a rendering, 
a picture of what God looks like." 
Joni Eareckson Tada 

It really made me think about my life and whether or not people can see God through me.  My question for you is "can others see God through you, through your actions?" This question is very much for me too, and I find it very challenging.
Even as the creation shows God's glory to those around it, we too need to be a picture of what God looks like to those around us.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." Psalm 19:1

God bless! 


Monday, 21 July 2014

To Want to Write

From Pinterest
I have a confession to make dear readers. I sit here, longing to write something, anything! The Lord definitely made me someone with a love for writing, and so I desperately want to be able to bless others through it. Though my writing skills are far from perfect and I will never be ambitious enough to write a book, this blog does give me an outlet to express myself through writing, for which I am really thankful, and I truly love it! Thus, my lack of writing lately is entirely without excuse, particularly as I have not been any more busy than I usually am.

The truth of the matter is, readers, I have reached a "blank". These days it seems as my thoughts come at me rapid fire, far too fast for me to write them down in coherant sentences. Maybe this is part and parcel of being a university student and frequently writing essays and reading academic books and articles throughout the day so being tired of it the rest of the time? Whatever the case, it seems I am struggling to write anything on the blog these days. :( Interestingly enough, when I do think of something worthwhile to write, it often relates more to my other blog Rejoice in the Lord always! which I never intended to be posting on any more frequently than this blog. Ah well, the Lord will still be able to use it, I am sure! :) 

The sad thing is, this does not only relate to blogging, but also journalling and similar writing endeavours. Another blogger expresses how I am feeling so accurately here: http://hisprincesswarrior.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/filled-to-be-emptied.html To cut to the heart of the matter, I think I am in the midst of a spiritual battle where I struggle even to spend time with my Heavenly Father in a meaningful way. So please be praying for me, dear readers!

I will leave it there as it is getting late, but hopefully I will write a proper post soon! :) I will leave you with this verse I read the other day from Psalm 61:

"From the end of the earth I call to you, when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy." ~ Psalm 61:2-3

This is my prayer both for myself and you, dear readers, that the Lord would help us to turn, nay run, to Him no matter how faint or weak in our faith we may feel!

God bless!





Friday, 20 June 2014

The World ~ Beautiful!

Hi all!

I feel that this blog has been rather neglected of late. I never know whether or not to apologise for that as it does mean that I am more busy actually living life, rather than just sitting in front of a computer screen. Still it does let down all of you, and my commitment to blogging, and when I get lazy with blogging ironically I can get lazy in other areas of life too (blogging is really helpful when it comes to self-discipline)!

I came across this lovely song the other day by one of my favourite classical crossover singers, Sisca. Some of you may remember that I posted some of my favourite songs by her a while back, which you can find here. Well, I loved those, but I must say this is now my absolute favourite one, and I've listened to it so many times that I thought I should share it with you all! I think this is an example of a song that can inspire us to worship God. It is interesting how a song doesn't  necessiarily have to be "Christian" or even mention God in order to be upbuilding and remind us of Him! This song inspired me to take the time to look around and appreciate the beauty of the earth God has created for us. I hope it touches you the same way! 

"The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims His handiwork." ~ Psalm 19:1

Beautiful ~ by Sisca


See the blue up in the open sky
Feel the wind carry the birds in flight
It is beautiful

See the leaves fall as the seasons change
Fields of gold move like the ocean waves
It is beautiful...

All because of the rain fall
The days and the nights
Whenever the wind blows
All…the flower face the sun…
It’s beautiful 


See the stars brightly shine in the dark
Rivers flow into the seas below
It is beautiful

Little drops color the rainbow
Trees they grow to cover the animals
It is beautiful...

Chorus

Aaa…

Chorus

God bless!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Happy Mothers Day to Mums everywhere (but especially my mum)! <3

Thanks so much Mum for always being there for me, for always being such a godly role-model. Thank you for the self-sacrifical way you live and the many little ways you show you love me. :) I love how you are not only my mother but also my sister in Christ, and honestly one of the greatest examples in my life of what it means to live for Him. I can never thank you enough. <3

Tonight I'll be praying as well for all of you who, for whatever reason, are motherless today. This article here was a good reminder to me of how blessed indeed I am to have a mother in my life!

I saw these two videos and it reminds me so much of all my mum is to me, so I thought I would share them with you all. :)

May the Lord be with you all (and especially mothers)! :)


  

 

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Happy Birthday Daisy!

~ Dear Daisy ~


It's crazy but another year has whizzed by and now I am saying happy birthday to you again! :D That seems bizzare when I consider that I can hardly remember what it was like before I had you as a friend and how it feels like I've known you forever!


I love the way that you have a personality that radiates the Lord without sliding into a legalistic or judgemental attitude that many like me do. You take the Lord and His word seriously and yet aren't afraid to laugh, have fun and use your gifts to their full potential along the way! It amazes me how much you have grown from a child into a young woman and yet your faith has never wavered, only deepened and grown. You are a friend who constantly challenges me by your own walk with the Lord to take my walk with Him to a whole new level and for this I can't thank the Lord enough for you! :) Seriously, the world needs more daisies! :)


When I look back on my life, I can see the Lord's fingerprints all over our friendship! :) He took two girls who were opposite in so many ways, with such different struggles with sin, and yet with the same love of Him and His word, and made them friends at just the right time. :) You have been such a fundamental person the Lord has used to mould me into someone who is more like Him, and this is why I treasure our friendship so much. <3


I am so, so blessed to be able to call you my friend!<3

Now we are both growing up and our paths are slowly diverging as we both try to navigate the slippery road of adulthood, but I know that no matter where the Lord takes us or what road He places us on, we will never stop being friends! :)

And ... just because I could, I thought I'd attach a short video I stumbled across that I know you will love! :) Of course, we both wouldn't agree with the theology of "destiny", "fate" etc. in it (haha, I can imagine that this is one of those videos that would provoke us into having a long, drawn out theological discussion!) but still I know it's one of those videos that would make you go "Awww, cute!" :) And I do like how it shows how much random acts of kindness can mean for someone. So I hope you enjoy it! :)



With much love and prayers from your friend,


Monday, 28 April 2014

Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy

Hi all! 
Hope you have all had a very blessed Easter! In celebration of our Saviour I thought I'd post a modern take on this old hymn, which has such wonderful words! I especially love the refrain - it is so true that in the midst of the trials and cares of this world, the best and safest place to be is in the arms of our Saviour! :)



The truth of verse three also struck me: it's so true that many of us, particularly those of us who grow up in Christian homes feel that we will try and fix all of todays problems and sins in our own strength and come to Christ when we are "older", "understand more" or are more "good" and "godly". I know to my shame that this was my attitude before I was saved, despite all that I was being taught to the contrary. Friends, readers of this blog, do not make the same mistake that I did and spend years in self-service trying to attain salvation in your own strength but rather repent and humbly come before the Lord. This hymn is so right that if you try and delay this you may never be saved as it is impossible to meet God's standard of righteousness by our own efforts. So my prayer is that as you listen to this hymn, you would seriously ask yourself whether you are indeed relying wholly upon God's grace in sending His son in your place to save you. If not, it is never too late to turn to Him! Please do not leave this matter another day for we do not know when He will come again and it will be too late.



I am praying for you! And for any of my brothers and sisters in Christ who may be reading this, what a cause for rejoicing this hymn gives us!

Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy



Come, ye sinners, poor and needy, 
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you, 
Full of pity, love and pow’r. 

Refrain:
I will arise and go to Jesus, 
He will embrace me in His arms; 
 In the arms of my dear Savior, 
 Oh, there are ten thousand charms. 

 Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome, 
God’s free bounty glorify; 
True belief and true repentance, 
Every grace that brings you nigh. 

Come, ye weary, heavy-laden, 
Lost and ruined by the fall; 
If you tarry till you’re better, 
You will never come at all. 

Refrain

View Him prostrate in the garden;
 On the ground your Maker lies; 
On the bloody tree behold Him; 
Sinner, will this not suffice? 

Lo! th’ incarnate God ascended, 
Pleads the merit of His blood: 
Venture on Him, venture wholly, 
Let no other trust intrude.

Refrain

God bless!

With prayers,



Friday, 25 April 2014

Cantabile Trio

I'm sorry Violets and Daisies - its been a while...again :P Partly because I've been off the Internet the last 40 days (during Lent, but not really for it), as I needed a break, and partly because I haven't really had anything I have felt like posting. Which is sad! 

But anyway, I thought I might tell you what I had been up to with my vocal trio, Cantabile. I don't know if I have mentioned the girls or my singing with them before, but if not, allow me to introduce you to Cantabile Trio. We are a vocal trio who perform all sorts of music, from Andrews' Sisters style to classical and jazz. I sing soprano, my friend Kirstin sings mezzo-soprano and Darryl sings alto. 
http://cantabiletrio.weebly.com
We first started singing together for a competition, and it went so well we decided to continue to sing together. We love it! 
We've worked up a full hour's worth of repertoire, and we're working on more, but now we're just starting to do some proper performing, which is keeping us all very busy!
Singing at St Andrews Church earlier this year
But anyway, that's enough about Cantabile for now, I just thought I'd give you a little peak into what I've been busy with :) I'm working on writing some proper posts, so hopefully I'll share some of them soon.

Feel free to like Cantabile Trio on Facebook too, for updates and some of our other music :)


God bless, 

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Marching Orders

I read this amazing quote this morning by R.J. Rushdoony on the Bible:      
our marching orders

"Too often, the modern theologian and churchman (or churchwoman) goes to the Bible seeking insight, not orders. Indeed, I may go to Calvin, Luther, Augustine, and others, to scholars Christian and non-Christian, for insights, for data, and for learned studies, but when I go to the Bible I must go to hear God's marching orders for my life. I cannot treat the Bible as a devotional manual designed to give me peace of mind or a "higher plane" of living; it is a command book which can disturb my peace with its orders, and it tells me that I can only find peace in obeying the Almighty. 
The Bible is not an inspirational book for my personal edification, nor a book of beautiful thoughts and insights for my pleasure. It is the word of the sovereign and Almighty God: I must hear and obey, I must believe and be faithful, because God requires it. I am His property, and His absolute possession. There can be nothing better than that." 

Interesting thoughts! How do we treat our Bibles? Do we treat it as the Word of God? God speaks to us directly through His Word - do we look for His instructions for us when we read the Bible? Or do we just read little bits here and there to make us feel better about ourselves, or to cheer us up, or just because we have to? I know that I personally find it a challenge to sit down and actually study my Bible - to meditate on it, learn from it, and memorize it. Let me encourage you to make the time, make the effort, and get to know your Bible from start to finish. Everything that you need to know in life is in this Book. Find a reading plan that guides you through the entire Bible in a year. Memorize passages, start with one you are familiar with and once you're confident, challenge yourself. My brother is currently memorizing the book of Philippians (a very practical and encouraging book to have memorized!).

  "I seek you with all my heart;
   do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to youLord;
    teach me your decrees."

Psalm 119:10-12

Not sure what you're supposed to do with your life? The Bible is God's marching orders for you - read His Word, pray for guidance, hear what the Scripture speaks to you, and obey. You are God's possession, and there is nothing better than that :)

Love in Christ,