**Most of this blog is for girls only! Any boys, please only read the posts linked to in the "For Boys" page on the sidebar. Thank you.**

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Lessons, joys, etc // 1

Not the best photo I've taken, but it has a special joy attached to it -
bush-wacking to pretty much the edge of a cliff to try and capture the sunset.

Yep. I forgot again. Actually, I think I'll stop doing these on a weekly basis. I've enjoyed writing them, and from what I hear, you enjoy reading them. But it's getting to the point where it's more of a 'just a habit' thing. So I might do them every so often, but I won't be deliberately putting them out each week. And when I do, I'll just number them form one again (as seen in this title). I'll leave you with some recent lessons and joys. :)

 ~ The Holy Spirit must guide every relationship I am in. He must be given free reign to work and lead within them. #convicted
 ~ Speak life! Our words can hurt, our words can heal. Will we choose to bless our curse mankind who is made in the image of God? (James 3:9-10.)

 ~ Umbrellas in the fog.
 ~ New friends becoming old friends.
 ~ King Mau (you who know how to play will know what I'm talking about :P).
 ~ Replacement sugar.
 ~ Lying on couches with an old friend and a new, simply singing worship songs softly.
 ~ Sneakers squelching on damp soil.
 ~ Rock Deli chips.
 ~ Sleep (always good, especially after a week of little).
 ~ Paleo recipes.*
 ~ Almond pancakes.
 ~ Our family being invited to something.
 ~ First draft of my re-vamped blog page complete.
 ~ Patting rays (slimy, but soft and gorgeous).
 ~ Dolphin show (simply stunning).

Cassie xoxoxo

* I do not agree with the idea that the paleo diet is the way to go 'because our primal ancestors ate that way.' It's a diet I'm trying for health reasons, and I know many people have benefited from it, but I do not hold to the evolutionary ideas it's based upon.  

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Lessons, joys, etc // Weeks 8 & 9

{Realised at the start of this week that I had forgotten to do my 'Lessons, joys, etc' post for last week! So here is a special-edition two-weeks-in-one post. :P}

 ~ With some friends, they are so awesome that you put them on a pedestal. You admire them, a lot. Then, something happens. Be it an off-hand (and not even gossiping) comment from another mutual friend, or the observation of a certain action, you suddenly see the friend in question in a different light. They fall from the pedestal. Or rather, you bring them down. And it is after this 'disenchantment' that the quality of a friend is truly tested. When the rose-coloured glasses come off... what are they really like? (Thankful to say many people I've gone through this process with have 'passed.' I'm so blessed to have many true friends.)
 ~ Age is no limit for excellence. 
 ~ Is it OK to do something with one guy? My 'draft' answer: yes, if it is conducted with decency and discretion in a public place. (I ran up against this question in real life for the first time last week. Feel free to comment on this.)
 ~ Pray, pray, PRAY!
 ~ Being pushed hard is actually quite thrilling.
 ~ Ultimate antidote to stress - spending time with GOD and HIS WORD!!! 

 ~ Friends from age 11 - 21.
 ~ Realising I've seen the dreams of three friends realised within three months.
 ~ Blimey Cow fans on The Rebelution.
 ~ Shiny new hinges.
 ~ Going to the hardware store with Dad. 
 ~ Decked out it mask and goggles, hair up under a wrap, spray-painting.
 ~ Mould wiping off wicker.
 ~ Writing encouragement for a friend leaving the county to follow his dream.
 ~ Bible on one knee, journal on the other.
 ~ Brothers cracking bad 'dad' jokes.
 ~ God's comfort alleviating the stress of a full schedule and tumbling emotions. 
 ~ Perfect Colin Buchanan songs.
 ~ Waking just before my alarm rings.
 ~ Quite Times with God becoming a necessity for my day.
 ~ My discussion question on The Rebelution!
 ~ Utterly perfect frangipanis - ripe for photographing.
 ~ Subsequent gorgeous photos (see above).
 ~ Planing. Lots of planing.
 ~ Reasonable organisational skills.
 ~ Catching up with friends who have been overseas for the last 2 years.
 ~ Project finished after days of hard work.
 ~ Having friends I'll miss seeing weekly this year over to dinner.
 ~ Youth filling our house.
 ~ Choc-penut-butter Ice Magic.
 ~ Almost-melted ice-cream.
 ~ The Balloon Game.
 ~ Balderdash with 11 people.
 ~ Friends staying an hour late.
 ~ First 'professional' driving lesson going well.
 ~ Gluten-free toast (because it tastes like crumpets).

Cassie xoxoxo

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The life, the light, the joy: Emmanuel

"Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel!"
~ O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; 
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest,ī
as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder."
~ Isaiah 9:2-3

"In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
~ John 1:4-5

"And now I'm singing along to amazing grace,
can't nobody wipe this smile off my face!
Got joy in my heart, angels on my side;
thank God almighty, I saw the light!
Gonna look ahead, no turning back;
live every day, give it all that I have.
Trust in someone bigger than me,
Ever since the day that I believed..."
~ 'Something in the Water' by Carrie Underwood

In the past month or so, all these snippets had caught my attention. 'O Come, O Come, Emmanuel' was my favourite carol this last year, and it fascinated my spirit for the month of December (and still does). My uncle preached on Isaiah 8 and 9 on Christmas Eve. I 'found' John 1:4-5 on Christmas morning. 'Something in the Water' has been in my worship playlist since Anthem Lights covered it in October, and recently I have especially rejoiced in the bridge (above quote). Christ: our Emmanuel, our light, our life, our joy. What a glorious thought. 

I'm not sure exactly what this post is all about... I just wanted to share these snippets. Mayhap they will gladden your heart and provide encouragement for you day.

Cassie xoxoxo

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Ways my Mum can improve

{Credit to Flickr Creative Commons and Fabienne Wassermann}

My Mum sometimes asks me if there's anything she can do to be a better mother to us kids. Usually, I can't think of anything off the top of my head. But her birthday's coming up around this time of year, and so I thought I'd put in some effort to think of ways she can improve as her birthday present. So here goes: ways my mother can improve.

  1. Stop disciplining us. Let's get this straight, Mum - it hurts when you discipline us. Only a sadist would want to bring temporary discomfort to anyone. I can only believe you don't know that discipline of all kinds is uncomfortable, or you wouldn't do it. Sheesh, Mum, anyone would think you thought it was worth it because it leads to good results in the end!
  2. Enough with the life advice. Life is meant to be lived. That means mistakes sometimes. I don't need you giving me bucket-loads of advice so I can avoid some of them. Emotions, relationships, what my future should look like, etc - I can navigate them on my own, thanks. Some would argue that your advice helps me live life to the fullest, avoid negative consequences, have peace and joy... But really Mum? Cummon.
  3. I don't need you creating opportunities for me. I know you spend hours and hours of work to open doors and give me 'great experiences.' You've figured out how I could get into Uni most easily, if I want to. You've gotten me into special courses for this year's school. You've asked me if I wanted to a photography workshop, or a pottery workshop, and a myriad of other things. That's nice and all, but don't you think I can do all that for myself? I don't really need you taking that load off my plate to allow me some margin in my crazy schedule. I can create my own opportunities, open my own doors. Besides, why don't we just let things happen? And if they don't, well, that's too bad.
  4. Start pushing me in one direction. You've made a point of allowing me to discover my strengths and weaknesses and exploring how I could use them in the future in a variety of ways. You're OK if I go to Uni; you're easy if I don't. You want me to 'be happy,' do what I love. Honestly, Mum, that can be frustrating. I wish you would just push me in a certain direction, pressure me into something. It would be easier for me than trying to figure out what I really want to do.
  5. No more stewardship lessons. I'm tired of hearing (or seeing from you and Dad) how I should be wise with money - 'God's money,' no less. I shouldn't have to be able to 'justify' ever expense I make. I want to do what I want with the money I have.  So quit drilling into me by lesson and example how I should steward it well.
  6. Don't worry about my spiritual life. You want to see me grow. You want me to have the joy that comes from a close relationship with Christ. You're always asking me how my walk with God is going, and praying for me. I'd rather you not. What's between me and God is between me and God. 

There you have it, Mum. Here's six ways you can improve. Happy birthday. 
Love, Cassie.


Well. If you haven't already guessed, this is written in utter sarcasm. If you look hard enough, you can pick out what I'm really saying. 

Mum: THANKS. Thanks for doing all those things I've just pretended to dis you for. Happy birthday. I love you. 

All you other readers: I could have just printed this to show Mum. But I wanted to post it here, because I want to make you think (wow, how unusual! :P). What does your Mum do for you? How does she serve you? Bless you? Why don't you tell her how much you appreciate her - be it her birthday or unbirthday. 

Cassie xoxoxo

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Lessons, joys, etc // Week 7

 ~ In this fallen world, death, while awful for those left behind, is necessary. Stop and think for a second what would actually happen if YOU didn't die. You would be stuck, standing still in a changing world. What would happen if NO-ONE died? Hitler would still be alive. There would be practically no newness, no fresh starts. And for Christians... death is gain (Philippians 1:21).
 ~ Emotions are fleeting (I really think I learn this again ever week...).
 ~ Goals are a good idea. Not to mention better than 'resolutions.' 

 ~ "Tuck Everlasting" by Natalie Babbit. (This is where I learnt some of the above stuff about death/immortality.)
 ~ Finishing my Learner driving hours!
 ~ Arranging nail polish bottles.
 ~ NYE plans.
 ~ Cousins playing 'Marco-Polo' in the pool.
 ~ SodaStream drinks (e.g. green creaming soda - psychologically deifying, but good).
 ~ Dutch 'oil balls' dipped in icing sugar.
 ~ Jumping in the pool on midnight.
 ~ Mango + raspberry sorbet.
 ~ Lasagne.
 ~ Awesome tripod.
 ~ Ping-pong games on our new ping-pong table.
 ~ Being asked to stay back at work.
 ~ Making snickerdoodles (see picture) with siblings.
 ~ Mango + banana + a few mulberries smoothie.
 ~ Photographing snickerdoodles.
 ~ Colossians. 
 ~ "This Present Darkness" waiting for me to read it.

Cassie xoxoxo