Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Growing in His Grace

This morning I was led back to Him. I'm learning to return back to Him and to run towards Him ferociously. I've learnt that I can barely do a day without Him and while dependence on someone is not encouraged, dependence on Him is not a weakness but something that gives you strength, rather than taking parts of you and then breaking them because people fail He keeps every part of You and in Him there's no better place to be.

Sometimes we can fool ourselves into thinking we can do life solely on our own but our hearts were made to love, to love people and it longs for community which means interaction which means getting to know people, loving their imperfections and being a reflection of what and who Jesus is all about.

I want to share a little bit of what's been on my heart lately and I love being candid with what I'm going through and although I am a little wary online and how different things can be interpreted this whole idea of being real with people, being honest with people is something I've really struggled with.

I don't know whether it's British culture (granted, that's a bit of an overgeneralisation) to not talk about your problems, your struggles or whether it's a pride thing. You see I've been really struggling with the idea of not being perfect. I used to view it in a way that I knew in my mind was unattainable but in my heart I longed so deperately after it. My longing to be spotless and without blemish in the Lord's eyes, there's no bad thing about it, if anything that's a great motivation to be ruthless with sin. However when my longing to be spotless and without blemish in man's eyes overrode that, that's when I realised that a God thing had become a bad thing.

I used to want people to get at least the impression that I didn't deal with anything when in reality there have been days where I've felt so ashamed in His presence that I couldn't even bring myself to come before Him with what I'd done. Now, cue the minds of you, the wonderful person reading this, to think "what are the sins that she goes through?" hopefully in not a bid to judge me, though our flesh may sometimes want to, but in a bid to understand my way of thinking and in a hope that maybe you can relate to my struggles and my failings because we're all going through something no matter how big or how small, we are always going through something, we will always struggle with something this side of heaven. Does this mean that we just give up? No, because He died for so much more than us giving up, if anything His death and resurrection should not be undermined by what we feel, what we want to do and how we ourselves perceive our own sin. 

Giving up is easy but only temporarily, to follow Jesus and to trust in Him to change you, to refine you on your walk with Him despite being wrecked by sin, when you come to a true understanding of just how important He is and should be in your life and how much of an incredible impact He has had on your life is even more of an incentive to give Him glory despite our failings. He is there in the process, He is there in your weakness, He is there when your shame feels greater than His presence, He is there when you think you've reached the end of yourself and when you don't feel like there's enough grace for Him to reach out to you. He is there and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is constant and unchanging. There has never been a moment in your God-breathed life that He has loved you less,  He has always loved you with an everlasting love, a steadfast love an incredible incomprehensible love that knows no bounds.

We can choose to step into His love or we can choose to stay drenched in shame, guilt and overcome by our sin.

It's a concept that can be really hard to accept, it can be a constant process of asking Him to remind us of His mercy and grace and how He died so that we may be free. To live for Him, to serve Him and to love Him with every fibre of our being. We are constantly growing in grace, growing in His love, growing in compassion what will your decision be?

"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." - 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Knowing Your Worth

I typed out the title of this blog post wordering whether or not I remembered my own worth. 

Sometimes we find our worth in things, vanity, relationships, friendships, likes on social media, our hobbies or our interests. For me I've tried to find my worth in the way I've looked, the way I've acted, the way I've interacted with people, I've based it in comparison to other people and I've tried time and time again to fix myself up in order to disguise the pain of feeling unworthy and guilty and shameful but time and time again I am led back to one thing that holds me altogether even when I feel like I'm falling apart, that one thing is Jesus.

Jesus who calls me worthy, Jesus who died hanging on the cross and still called me worthy, Jesus who looks straight into my soul, my spirit and all that I am drenched in sin and calls me worthy. 

I'm writing this post as a reminder to not only you, you beautiful soul but also to myself. You see my worth's taken a recent kick in my side and I've questioned every single part of my body, examined every part of my personality, done the whole, what have they got that I don't have and what have I got that they don't have. I've looked for affirmation laced in other peoples words and measured up my worth against them but you see the cycle keeps on going. There are on days and off days where I have to keep reminding myself of my worth and everything that Jesus calls me to be. It can be a constant monthly, weekly, daily, hourly reminder. Sometimes I can be so consumed in my own thoughts that I think myself sick, to the point of tears, to the further point of ugly crying into the sky (or a pillow) and pleading, begging the Lord to help me, mould me and change my unhealthy way of thinking. 

Normally I would write a conclusion to my blog posts, to recentre my own thoughts as I write them and gather them after having scrambled them all onto a page but today I just want to leave it at this: knowing my worth is a process, sometimes we can know it in our head and sometimes it doesn't reach our hearts. Head to heart knowledge is important and I'm in that process now. That process of being taught and disciplined by the Lord who knows exactly what is best for me. So after crying my eyes out to Alex G's song Everything and Alessia Cara's song Scars To Your Beautiful - I didn't have any words to say to the Lord, all I wanted to do was cry and that's all I had in me in that moment and maybe just maybe my tears, in that exact moment, spoke so much more louder than my words could ever say.

But I don't feel like I should end this blog post that way, a conclusion can be even more important than how I start this so let me try again. 

Your worth is not dependant on what a boy says to you, your worth is not dependant on what you see in the mirror, what you eat, what you wear, how you are, whether you have it all together or are crumbling and breaking inside - despite what you're feeling your worth is dependant on an eternal, most high King, a King fiercely and passionately in pursuit of your love and your attention. He sings your beauty over Him and our beauty is found solely in Him. He remains the same yesterday, today and forever, the only thing unchanging and knowing your worth in this way, well, it changes everything. 

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. ... " - Matthew 6:25-34

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. - 2 Corinthians 12:9

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:10

Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. - Isaiah 43:4

Sunday, 3 July 2016

TRAVEL: Escape and Pray - getting there

On the 17th of June I woke up at 4am, now normally I would protest to waking up this early in the day especially as I made the choice of going to sleep at 1am a few hours before but today I was waking up to embark on an unknown journey and I was so ready. So 4am, come at me. 

I dragged my sleeping body to the bathroom, washed, dressed and brushed my teeth. I wasn't as hungry as I thought I was, which is strange because I'm always hungry. After putting on a mascara, eyeliner, lipstick and eyebrow powder I put my glasses on slung my vibrant coloured and patterned Accessorize backpack over my shoulders and went outside to meet my mum at the glorious hour of 5:15am.

We drove all the way to London Stanstead Airport as the world was waking up, I glanced around wondering what all of these cars were doing up. Now I've only really been in airports in the last two years, in that time I've been in quite a few however the difference today was that I had no idea where I was going. 

Me and three other friends from my home church in Portsmouth were going to take part in something called Escape and Pray run by Fusion we were 1 of the 100 teams flying out in this month and our mission was simply this:  pray for the university, connect with the church and use our faith to improvise & be ready to be used by God.

I viewed it as a wonderful and exciting way to exercise my faith. In a situation that forces me to be used for His glory and to trust in Him completely. 

Now, in all honesty I hadn't really prepared, I wasn't sure what I was supposed to prepare I just wanted Him to use me and maybe reveal a few things in my heart, maybe some attitudes and actions that I'd been doing previously so that he could incite change into me. So in a place where I was protected by comfort and the noise but where it would be just me and Him and me discovering more about His character and His provision. This was to be an unforgettable adventure.

I arrived at the airport first, there weren’t many people there as I expected but there was still a bustle, an excited bustle that stag parties and families created. I was in search for breakfast and once we found a place that did a killer sausage sandwich and tea, I hugged goodbye to my mum and greeted Rhiannon with a huge hug. Together we ate breakfast, talked about our adventure and life up until now. Our excitement was tangible and as our group leader Naomi joined us with the envelope we waited for our fourth member Sabrina so that we could open it.

Naomi gave us our Escape and Pray t-shirts and no joke, mine was really small despite buying a large (sorry Fusion but your sizing’s are out a bit –still love you though).

I suppose by this point you’d want to ask me what on earth I would pack for such an adventure and not only am I queen of packing at the last minute (not a good thing) I’ll tell you that I actually over packed by a LOT.

Here’s what I brought with me:

·         A large sweater
·         Black long Bardot top
·         Escape and Pray T-shirt
·         A patterned dress
·         Red patterned skort
·         2 pairs of black leggings
·         3 pairs of socks, 4 pants
·         Roll-on deodorant
·         Toothbrush and toothpaste
·         Mascara, eyeliner, eyebrow powder, 1x Nyx lipgloss
·         Mini dove shower gel, mini Simple moisturiser
·         Make-up wipes
·         Bible
·         Notepad
·         Pen
·         Headphones
·         Raincoat
·         Trainers
·         Flip-flops
·         Towel

Yes, I over packed. I didn’t wear the patterned dress, I had knickers and socks left over and I didn’t even need my towel either. My bag was constantly heavily but I used everything else (justified).
So here it was, the shiny orange envelope that enveloped (get it) our destination, challenges and money. I filmed it, the video should be at the end of this blog post.


We had about an hour and a half to go until we had to board our flight so we prayed before we got in contact with people. We prayed that His will be done, for His provision, an increase in faith and thankfulness to be able to do this opportunity.

We made a Facebook status of our destination and we asked anyone with contacts if they could get in contact with us. I tweeted multiple churches in Aarhus and I came across a website called International Harvest Christian Center and e-mailed Pastor Frank who had a church in Aarhus. Naomi had recently watched a film entitled The Last Reformation and their church was located in Denmark also so we sent an e-mail out to them also.

This was my first time on a Ryanair flight although the plane was small it reminded me of the first plane I was on last year with Easyjet. The plane ride was short, admiring the clouds from above and watching the world wake up below was always wonderful and everything about our plane journey ran smoothly. An hour or so later, we arrived on Denmark soil...

To be continued...

Friday, 1 July 2016

TRAVEL: A few date Ideas for Summer!

Summer is officially here and although if you had told me that I would be in a relationship the summer after second year I would've been like "yeah, right". But here I am, writing a summer date ideas post. I apologise for my absence! If you're stuck for ideas of what to do, regardless of your relationship status, grab your girlfriends/boyriends and get to reading these activities that you can do! 

Sky Garden 

I had always heard of Sky Garden but seeing as I didn't really frequent London other activities seemed to surpass it. Finding the walkie talkie building was easy enough, we simply saw it and followed streets to get to it. We determined our proximity to it by glancing up into the sky to see if we could still see it. When we arrived we got confused about how to get in, completely ignoring the long line of people waiting to get in. This sky garden must be popular then? We went at around 1:15 and although the line looked long we were in the lift in no time. When I saw the lift number go up to floor 35 I was freaking out. So fast as well, my ears were popping all about the place! 

Upon walking out onto the sky garden you are captivated by the view. You see London does a pretty good job of making you feel really small but from up there, when your eyes adjust to the brightness London itself seems small. It's breathtaking looking upon such a renowned city laced with incredible history and having it seem so small.

Next stop, food. I'm telling you guys, everything is so Pinterest, it's great. But, as you may figure, expensive. I bought a chocolate doughnut and Tariq bought a chocolate Brownie. And oh my goodness, they were both so mouth-wateringly delicious, I salivated to the point of embarassment. When we finished up every last crumb of those beautiful baked goods we went outside to really grasp the windswept look and have a bit of a vertigo moment as we stared down the vastness of the building we were on. 

Inside you are able to view various plants and trees and wonderful green things that go up each side of the venue. You are able to walk up the stairs to see London from all sides. At the top of the stairs we found a bench to sit on opposite the beautiful cityscape and we played eye-spy like adults. 

So, you only get an hour but honestly an hour is enough, although it was easy to lose track of time with him, you're also concious that you might be breaking Sky Garden's law of the land by outstaying your welcome. So after admiring the views and eating pastries we left and explored London in search of affordable food. 

I understand that a picnic in a park can be done almost everywhere within England. But there was something about lying down in this particular park surrounded by streets and places which he called home, talking about life and basically everything while watching the sky. Something that I wasn't used to in this particular sky was vast amount of planes that passed by all at once. At most I saw about five at one time. Which was fascinating to me because where I live, I see at most one at a time and from a very long distance away. So grab a picnic blanket, some sandwiches, crisps, a frisbee, uno and brace yourself for conversation and plane watching. 

I have been so so very blessed this year to be introduced to the amazing world of musical theatre. After watching Wicked I wanted to see so many more. So while I was down in London this time we were able to see Guys and Dolls and it was incredible. I'm still captivated by the sheer determination that they have to go through to do shows back to back and still sing like it was the last show they'd ever do. I was hooked on the plotline, the songs, the love story throughout it all. I even got annoyed at the fact we had an interval!

One of my favourite things to look at when I go to the theatre is admire the band in the pit. The conductor of this particular band also played the keyboard..while conducting. A professional to say the least, and I was in awe. Like I always am with musical talent like that. So despite the theatre costing a lot of money, what you're paying for is so worth it. Help support them and their craft!

I have been here once before for Hillsong London's 10th Anniversary which was a while ago and I'm pretty sure they've done it up a lot since I was last here. We visited their cinema and watched the live action Jungle Book movie. We also noticed there was an offer on the back of our ticket for a burger place called Byron - Proper Hamburgers. Originally we planned to go to Gourmet Burger Kitchen but it was still so so yummy. Upon leaving Byron's we looked for other things to do, we noticed they had bowling but bowling as a show, a rock show. Which was awesome. However we decided to just head home. The surrounding areas of the O2 Arena are also wonderful to explore so I would suggest just roaming about the place and people-watching. 


I could never tire of exploring an area, His beauty can be seen in everything and sometimes it requires stepping out and searching for it. Plus walking grants a wonderful opportunity to talk and admire the God's creation together. 

The Beach

If you live near the beach this is perfect for a date idea because you can dip your toes in the sea, try and push each other into the sea, have sandcastle/fortress competitions, build sandcastles together and skim stones. All of these are exactly what we did, we've been to the beach everytime time he's come down to mine and we always end up doing just that. 

Whatever you end up doing with your boyfriend/girlfriend it's so important to spend that time cherishing one another, having conversations that are happy and that can also be tough. It's a time to get to know each other and see each other in different situations. Enjoy the blessing that a relationship can bring so that you create wonderful memories. Also thank the Lord that you are able to have this, to experience this and give everything to Him. When He is at the core of your being that is when you know that regardless, whatever happens between you and your relationships, life, its hardships you can lie firm in the fact that He holds you and calls you His love, first and foremost. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Catch the Sunset

I never realised how close freedom was until I asked the Lord for it. I had forgotten what true peace was until He granted me it. I remembered what joy felt like when I entered into His presence.

A few days ago Viki, Maddie and I decided to dress up in florals and watch the sunset. 

I'm such a sucker for a sunset I immediately agreed. We found the Southsea Rock Gardens in Portsmouth and explored around there before we went to the beach. As we climbed the bank up onto a space that overlooked our city we knew that we had to capture this moment. After running, tumbling, falling over, jumping and laughing until our faces hurt it made me really come to a place of appreciating the moment. Appreciating the fact that we're able to be spontaneous and joyful in moments where we're on the edge of breakthrough. On this day, I had gone from experiencing complete unrest, confusion and frustration to ending the day with joy. It made me think how, not only must I live in the moment but I must live in the moment that the Lord has given me and live freely in Him. 

I mustn't forget how He is moulding me even in my moments of despair. 

Choosing to step out of my door, into a taxi (don't judge), onto the seafront, in a place where my flesh just wanted to sit in a corner and sleep was a choice I made because I held onto the hope that this is not all that there is for me. And if I just appreciate His creation, His magnificent creation and be present and in the moment - it is there where I can physically experience the beauty He has enabled us to witness at the hands of His marvellous mastery.

"Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders . From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy." Psalm 65:8 (NLT)

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Overcoming Heartbreak

I want to be able to pour out of myself all that I learned in the times of heartbreak that I have experienced in the past. I think that heartbreak and getting through heartbreak is such an important thing to talk about because these experiences, they shape us and form us into who we are today. They are able to build us stronger, heal us or they can break us. It is ultimately our decision on how we allow it to define us. 

Hurt and pain are both things that we are sure to come across sometime in our lives and for some, you may be going through them right now but know that despite their regular appearances in our lives, they are temporary feelings and you will get past this.

When I think of the first time I got my heart broken, I could refer to my first crush. I could recall a time where someone’s words broke me or I could refer to a friendship that I lost. I could also recall a time where my family fell apart or when I lost someone I loved or when I didn’t get the exam result that I had longed for. The truth is, I probably wouldn’t be able to recall the first time that I got my heart broken because there are so many times that it has happened that they have all merged together and made it almost impossible for me to string them all into a timeline. 

Along with heartbreak comes tears and numbness, anger, frustration and sadness. Moments when you feel like your prayers hit a wall and when you feel like you're screaming into nowhere. It assumes its form in different ways each time my heart breaks, sometimes it's only one of those feelings and other times all of them at once.

Our heart, is an organ inside our bodies. Some say “follow your heart” when it comes to making big decisions in our lives but does this mean to seriously say they are saying “follow your organs”. Maybe following your heart means to follow what your spirit/your soul says. Maybe it’s an expression of the idea that if this vital organ was to actually break that it would mean a life would be lost? Either way, for some it can literally be a physical response to pain. Recent studies have actually come up in finding out whether heartbreak can occur literally and there is a connection between emotional pain and a literal form of heartbreak.  That pain and suffering that we experience in life would be so detrimental to our insides that it would stop giving us life and blood to all of the other important areas in our bodies enabling our bodies to go into shutdown mode. 

Heart break can be as simple as saying, something happened to me and now, in this moment, I feel broken. I feel like I can’t function, like I have nothing to live for. And I think the beauty of who the Lord is and the moment that He is able to step in for someone that is in that place and just simply meet them where they’re at is remarkable. 

For someone to look at you in your loneliness, abandonment, fear, pain, suffering, hurt and through the tears, the snotty noses, the smudged mascara and say, “I'm here, I'm with You” in such a way that allows us to surrender our own strength so that we are able to deal not with heartbreak on our own but because, how else are we supposed to deal with it effectively if it were not for the creator of our very being to wash it away? 

I think that the way the world would deal with such a thing as heartbreak, an experience so frequently met with all walks of life, all generations, is that time is the healer. Which in some ways is true, time is involved in overcoming heartbreak but time is also associated with all parts of our lives because that is what we determine our days with. It doesn’t stop when we experience heartbreak, it keeps going, just like it keeps going if you were experiencing a season over overwhelming joy or financial growth. Time is always going to be involved because it is what we measure our lives here on earth with. So taking that aspect of time and then flipping it into searching for the Creator of time itself and giving our heartbreak to Him, I mean, isn’t that a much better solution than just time itself? Is not His power so great and mighty and wonderful and freeing that we cannot give it all to Him straight away?

Through broken-hearts the Lord also has the ability to teach us. One thing He may teach us during these times are humility and being of a contrite heart. Contrite meaning “feeling or expressing remorse at the recognition that one has done wrong”. So without this feeling of our heart breaking we aren't able to appreciate the times in our lives where joy and laughter are found. These feelings that we go through are there to enable us to rely heavily upon the Lord to bring us through. To come to a place of, asking for forgiveness from an ex, from a family member, over a loss of friendship are we are able to come to a place of repenting and turning away from our sins and to be healed from it. 

“For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart – These, O God, You will not despise” Psalm 51:16-17.

I will simply say nothing more than the simple fact that the one thing that has helped me through every single kind of heartache/heartbreak there is and has been in my whole 21 years of living and beyond, is Jesus.

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9. 

In the moments where I delayed my heartbreak, I lost focus on Him. In the times where my heartbreak was healed the most, I took it straight to Him and never looked back. I think it’s important to be in the mind-set of having full faith in His healing power, it is not necessary to be in that place, but it sure does help. In moments where I know I have to bring something to the Lord, I tell Him outright exactly what I’m dealing with in as much detail as possible. I will probably cry the river Nile, sob, get frustrated and have deliverance and all of the pain and the hurt, I will give to Him. It can be a process and only I can make it a longer process than I need it to but it is a process worth going through, worth being refined through and worth experiencing. “The thing about pain. It demands to be felt” this Fault in Our Stars quote has been such a memorable string of words for me since the first time I heard it until now. It is true, it demands to be felt, so cry. Cry for as long as you like, yell, journal, scream into a pillow, take a long walk and pick at a tree bark. However long it takes, don’t try to keep it in. Pain is our body's response to something not being quite right within our bodies. So feel it, give it to the Lord, ask Him for healing.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:17-22.

Do not let heartbreak defeat you, define you or lie to you and tell you that things won’t get better and that this is all there is because I can tell you right now that it most certainly is not all that there is and if we are looking to step into who God has called us to be, we need to not be ruled by heartbreak, we need to not be ruled by our past, our struggles, our pain – everything that is in opposition to who God says you are has no place, has no authority, Jesus conquered it all on the cross. Pray and surround yourself in His presence.

“He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3. 

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

I long to know the specific timeframe of just how long your heartbreak will last but that is impossible. Time doesn’t tell us the exact moment our heartbreak will stop but its creator says “hold onto Me, and I will bring you through it”. The only thing we can quite possibly hang onto is the Lord, who pays no attention to a specific time frame, whose being is not restricted by hours, days, months or years but exists outside of time and pours out His love onto us and meets us where we are. He is One who knows you, knows your heart, what you’re going through and He is MORE than capable of taking on all that you are feeling because He has already paid for it on the cross.

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good work and work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

"You heard the voice of my supplications. When I cried out to You. Oh, love the Lord all you His saints' For the Lord preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord." - Psalm 31:22

Sunday, 1 May 2016


There are many things in life that have the ability to move you. A child interacting with their mother, bubbles on a warm summer's day, the final setting of the sun as it comes to a close. 

Different things move different people. 

For me, it is nature, God's creation is what moves me the most. The remains of how God intended His earth to be. 

Flowers, constellations, clear blue skies, fields of yellow, gold and green, cloud-watching, tumbling waves on the ocean, towering trees overhead, forrests of entangled branches, freshly cut grass, the intricacy of a flowerhead. 

It urges me to interact with it. I imagine running through the fields in floral dresses, brushing past the flowers, my breath catching on the breeze and my hair flying in each direction. It urges me to make daisy chains and flower crowns and drink iced caramel lattes with my body nuzzled into the earth's floor. It makes me want to read novels and His word and write down dreams in gold paged notebooks. To sing intricate melodies into the spaces around me and to worship Him from the depths of my soul. To listen to beautiful piano music through my headphones and to dip my toes in the sparkling sea. To run away from the foams and waves and to skim stones into the ocean and watch it jump the sea's surface. It urges me to dance upon the sand barefoot and gaze longingly into the horizon. To dream dreams and think lovely thoughts about the future, the past the present and to long for adventures throughout the world, searching for things that move me, that inspire me to be in awe of Him. To encounter moments that leave me speechless, breathless and in search of the right words to describe its beauty. Word that come back void because they cannot even compute or comprehend just how incredible the sights are. 

Lord, in everything, teach me to find its beauty. Teach me to look at the world through a lense of compassion and understanding. Teach me how to be like you, to have and experience the greatest love the world has ever known. You are my Father and You care for me. You are my Father who not only resides in heaven but also here on earth. There in the constellations, there in the spaces that they occupy, there in the ocean depths and below and there in the sky where I stare into when I talk to Him. There in the dry seasons, there when life gets too much to bear, there when I feel like my prayers hit a wall, when I feel alone, when I feel empty. 

He's as real to me as my hand is when it holds another that I love. Real as it is when I raise it in surrender to His will and His way. As I raise towards Him as I reach out for Him and as I long for more of Him. Oh to look at You, stained, drenched, dripping of my sin but you, there, staring right back at me and you define me as my sin, though my sin is there you wash me clean and I am unstained and You are perfect and I am in awe once again.

His creation captivates me. Leaves speechless, breathless for He has captured my heart once again.

I am not entitled to feel or wallow in my guilt nor my shame, I was born to be free, to express myself and who You are in me and through my life. To step into freedom and  to run headfirst into the unknown because with You I don't need to impress, I don't need to filter, I don't need to pretend. I long to be real, authentic and honest and gracious to You and to Your people. With You, I am so free and just like nature You call me beautiful and loved and Your opinion of me is the only one that matters. With You I am wanted, I am cherished, I am loved and I am known. And that is more than enough for me. 

Sunday, 3 April 2016

LET'S TALK: Get to know me :)

Hello, my name's Rosalind I get called Ros and Rozzie more often and I like that. I had been thinking about what to write in the About Me section of this blog for a while and as awesome as the list of questions that I took from a girly website was, I think it was way too cheesy and I wanted to be able to show you partly how my brain works when I want to write something. So here it goes. 

First and foremost, I love Jesus. Like, a lot. I my not get everything right a whole lot of the time but His love, grace and mercy knows no bounds. I love writing, I love how I can express and articulate my words in a more effective way. I love singing and I enjoy belting songs out by myself. I love fashion and expressing myself through clothing. My style is borderline formal, elements of bohemian, preppy and girly and it almost always something involving a skirt and tights. My favourite season is Autumn, I love the palette of colours it brings with it. I love music, any type of music and I appreciate a great soundtrack to a film more than the film at times. Give a song an infectious drum beat and I'm sold. I love playing in orchestras. I'm falling more in love with travelling, walking, getting to know new people and what moves them, what excites them and I love having deep, meaningful conversations. I thoroughly enjoy being kind to people, I feel like it doesn't take that much to be kind and I like to remember that everyone's going through something. 

I appreciate a good field, I'm a country girl at heart. God uses the country to move me and show me His glory. I also enjoy being by the sea, it's peaceful and I'm a huge fan of that.I love colours. My bedroom looks like a rainbow erupted inside it. Put anything with a colourful, floral pattern in my hand and I'll be guaranteed to love it. 

I'm a sucker for watching the stars at night. I once watched a meteor shower from the comfort of my back garden. It was beautiful. 

I love church, I love community, I love encouraging people. I love laughing, I love humour, I love making people laugh. I love finding things way to funny. You can normally measure it by whether I'm on the floor clutching my stomach or not. 

I'm pretty dang gullable. I get way too excited when it comes to shopping. I love Youtube, journalling, worshipping. 

Sunsets are my weakness. 

I'm prone to sit in coffee shops and drink tea and cake. I prefer a cosy night-in then a wild night out but I do enjoy the occasional party or two. I love going to the theatre. I've just recently discovered the West End and all its glory, I very much want to visit it again. 

I love studying His word, although I could do it more often. 

I love food. How have I written this much and only just started writing about food? I have a major sweet tooth. I'm a magazine hoarder. These sentences are probably structured wrong and everything that I have written thus far have been thoughts that I have made off the top of my head. 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

LET'S TALK: Hello April!

Dear April,

  You hold many days of revision and completing my final deadlines of year 2 at University but that's okay because I'm sure you hold many days of lounging in the sun, spending time at the beach, wearing floral dresses and having barbecues. I'm grateful that you bring flowers left right and centre. Flowers are my favourite. You can tell because I wear floral and have loads of floral things in my possession. I would also love for you to bring the sun more often, goodness knows England needs it. I hope you bring sunny days and long nights spent with good company, music and laughter. I hope you bring roadtrips to new places, adventures in forests and dancing in fields. Of eating ice-cream and exploring new places. Of walking until our feet hurt and gazing at His creation. I hope you bring new friendships and strengthen old ones. I hope you bring fellowship and community to our surroundings, I pray for impact and an outpouring of love in light of everyone we meet. I hope you bring nights spent singing into His atmosphere accompanied with a guitar. I pray you will captivate our hearts with your beauty and the beauty He made for us. I pray we see the good in everything that your days bring that we will appreciate every single moment, hours, second, minute that You bless us with. 

 I hope you bring change in your winds and revival in His streets that starts in our hearts. I'm praying that you will bring a season of rebirth, of remembering Whom we belong to. Of loving people even more ferociously than You have enabled us to before. I pray that we can worship Him in truth and that we fall in love with His word, more and more. That He will ignite that fresh, fiery, passion for Him and His people inside of our hearts. 

 Thank you for your change in season, thank you that we are able to do these things and thank you for the beauty that I know this month will bring because of Him. 

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Travel Photo Diary: A Day Out in London - Wicked, Covent Garden, Big Ben

On the 29th of March my beautiful Mama and I embarked on a journey to central London. For my mum it was an especially exciting time because it was essentially her first time since being pregnant with yours truly that she was able to actually explore London. I loved every single moment of it playing the part of a perfect tourist pretty well. Tourist essentials, the fancy camera (that I still don't know how to completely work out myself), the huge rucksack and the puzzled I-have-no-idea-where-I'm-going look on your face. I had all of these. A Grammy-winning performance.

No, but in all seriousness, I actually put us on the wrong train.

After walking from Charing Cross Station to The Grosvenor Hotel on Victoria Street we managed to stop by Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. My mum although not entirely appreciating the long, busy, buzzing walk through the hordes of Londoners and tourists appreciated the sights we were able to see on the way there.

I'll admit another thing, Google Maps saved our lives.

Walking along Victoria Street, I came to a halt, suddenly realising that I had my face nose-deep into following my sat-nav that I actually forgot that I didn't set it to our hotel. However, after stopping and lifting my eyes from my device I turned to my left and found that we had unknowingly stopped right outside our destination.

How handy.

The hotel door swivelled, you know, the ones that always become a key area of the hotel where guests and employees get stuck in, on television shows anyway. It was great and terrifying at the same time.

Our room was lush and so was the ability to finally sit down.

After getting dressed for the evening, after much deliberation, (or not, as it was the only additional outfit that I had actually packed) I decided to go for a black, 3/4 sleeve shift dress from Matalan, tights and black, patent, heeled brogues from Tesco’s as my outfit. For a pop of colour I added my red scarf that is also from Tesco’s.

At around 6 o'clock we left to explore Victoria Street before the show.

I also forgot my contact solution and these were a fresh pair of contacts. Rookie error. I was so thankful when I remembered that some shops in London don't close until late, Specsavers was one of these.

We struggled with killing time on this section of Victoria Street we found that Hotel Chocolat and Pret A Manger (they're everywhere) was the best we could do. At 6:36pm we made our way over to the Apollo Victoria Theatre. Roadworks were happening everywhere over the two days that we were in London and I mean crossing the street is just a struggle for me anyway let alone with five hundred roadworks going on!

We turned up just on time to the show and there was a bit of waiting time to kill until the doors opened at 7pm. I used this time to order popcorn in a bucket (a purchase that cost way too much), I then went to the counter to order a drink. A very sophisticated drink mind you.

A mixed slushie.

In a Wicked plastic cup.

I kid you not.

After leaving the counter, adamant that I would not spend any more money, I spotted a lady holding programmes and I just had to. When would I ever get this chance ever again anytime soon?

So as the doors opened, we ran through to the centre of the theatre and sat in the second row from the front with my expensive popcorn, Wicked mug and programme like a true 21 year old. It was my first time seeing a musical theatre production in the West End, what else was I supposed to do?

I remember, as the curtains opened and the first song opened, I thanked the Lord that I was able to experience this. It was a breath-taking performance, reeling me into the storyline from start to finish. I sat in awe of the vocal ability, the band in the pit's skill, the wonderful wardrobe and the mystifying element that the set brought. The combination of all of these was positively electrifying and I left so sad that it was all over and wanting to be in the West End.

After coming back to the hotel, I had a bath and then I crashed. Ready and rejuvenated for the next day. Breakfast and Jesus kept me going in the morning, I had a full English and chose what I thought was a cinnamon roll but was in fact not. We returned to the hotel room where me and mum listened to worship music and she prayed profusely on some thing's I was going through in my life and after feeling peaceful and joyous we finally checked out of the hotel and headed towards Big Ben.

Big Ben is our landmark, if you were given London in a game of Pictionary best believe you'll draw either Big Ben, the London Eye or the Queen. It's a building that even I, as a British citizen living an hour away from London still stand in awe of. It was built so intricately and at such a large scale. But yes, amazement aside, we walked along the Victorian Embankment for so long just talking. I loved spending time with my mum, she's basically a best friend of mine and I can honestly tell her anything. We talked for so long that we actually missed our route to Covent Garden that we had to walk 15 minutes back to get to it.

By this time Ma and I were getting a little weary, I found a Paperchase and surprisingly enough only bought one pen. Anyone who knows me knows that this is a miracle in itself! Covent Garden's Jubilee Market was our next stop and I bought a simple, gorgeous silver ring from a lovely lady's stall for £10.

Charing Cross Station is only a 3 minute walk away from Covent Garden and as we waved our last goodbye to London for treating us so well, it was a bittersweet ending and a London trip that I will not be so soon to forget. 

LET'S TALK: Without your face paint

About a week ago I left my house without face make-up.

For some this step may not seem the biggest greatest grandest revelation of all time but for me, it was a step into defeating a stronghold that I didn't even recognise I had in my life.

From as far back as I can remember I was able, I wore make-up. For Christmas I would get plastic make-up sets and really cheap eyeshadows. I don't particularly recall the influence of my obsession for make-up but I was enthralled by the transformation. Part of me, although hesitantly, wants to say that it was the influence of television that did it for I watched a lot of american television shows. The era when Mary-kate and Ashley and the Disney Channel graced our television screens.

I was fascinated by its ability to make me feel and look like a different person. 

However, there were times where I would view it as accentuating what God gave me and ultimately I thought that I just thoroughly enjoyed putting it on, like a painter placing brushes on the edge of a masterpiece. 

Of course all of this would end up with me having to spend money on products that I felt I needed. I didn't discover foundation/face makeup until secondary school so around 15/16 I was amazed at the fact that this liquid was able to hide that huge spot that invaded half of my head. 

I was a newbie to this side of the make-up world and made mistake after mistake and still am learning today. Finding the perfect shade is hard am I right ladies?! So by this time, I had really gotten into Youtube, I started a channel with one of my best friends Leyla. It was scary and exciting at the same time because we were putting ourselves out there but it also made me feel really conscious about how I looked. 

My obsession with Youtube was ever growing, 

I enjoyed watching drugstore hauls and make-up tutorial after make-up tutorial. I started working around 17 and the new found money in my pocket enabled me to buy whatever I wanted, so I did.

I can't even tell you how much money I spent on make-up, I'd probably return it all now but let's just say I enjoyed it so much, more than clothes shopping because in my head it was cheaper, but of course, these things add up. 

So fast forward to college years, 16 to 18 years old, I began to become dependent on make-up, it wasn't something I essentially hid behind, I felt comfortable in my skin and didn't lather it on like moisturiesr after a shower but enjoyed the process and soon after, I was unable to leave the house without it. The period between 14 years old through to around 19 were pivotal moments in life for me, I got into relationships, juggled my weight and dealt with body image issues. 

Don't get me wrong I still have those days where I'm like "bleurgh" but nowadays it's different and normally comes in the form of comparison, which is an unhealthy mindset to be in, and is something that I give to the Lord constantly. But those five years really was a time where the Lord was moulding me.I went from hurt to healing and freedom. It was a time when deliverance and prayer was needed and essential, I didn't know it then but the Lord had a purpose to it all.

So after my gap year I came to university. I was single and I was focused on making tight friendships, if I meet a guy that's great but I was not ready at all. the Lord was still dealing with things from my past and I was willing to go through it because I knew freedom was on the other side. Going through my first year I don't ever think I left halls without make-up, not one day at all. I was almost really self-conscious to be seen not wearing make-up in front of the close friends I made. Make-up gave me confidence. That and the combination of my new found contacts that I enjoyed wearing because I despised wearing glasses, my confidence would plummet when I wore them so I just wouldn't. 

So here I was, going through first year of university with a new found confidence and creating friendships, getting planted into a church, getting involved with the Christian Union, doing a degree in what I love to do most. The people in my life that I have managed to surround myself with have always been very complimentary. For ages I loved it, I almost thrived on it, but to an unhealthy point where if I didn't receive a compliment from someone and I had worked hard on looking good, I would get seriously upset, my mind would spiral and I would convince myself that I didn't try hard enough and I would try harder next time. As you can probably tell, this kind of mindset was not only unhealthy to be in but it was a very expensive thing to uphold and in my first year I racked up the debt, my overdraft became a regular and then a permanent friend of mine but I just kept going. Have you ever watched Confessions of a Shopaholic? Yeah, not as much, but very close.  

So this brings me to my second year of university. again that dependence on make-up still strong but in the second term, something shifted. My best friend Viki hit a point of breakthrough, she had already hit it in the summer when we went to a camp called Momentum, she realised it was an idol and didn't wear it. I was convicted because I couldn't not put makeup on especially with the fact that there were Christian guys around. 

In second term of university she saw her dependence and the time that it took to put make-up on as something she didn't want to deal with anymore. So she began to not wear it. For her it was daunting at first and she was convinced that everyone was looking at her but they weren't. This second term, although it took me a while to jump on the band wagon I began to see the freedom that she got from it. So one day I did it. I wore no foundation/concealer/bronzer/blush and I wore my glasses as well to a lecture and CU. I was petrified. Petrified of what everyone would think of me. I was self conscious and couldn't stop looking at all of my spots in my phones camera. It made me realise so many things about myself that I hadn't dealt with. Although it took years until I could actually walk out of the house without make-up it brought liberty and I had to constantly fight back the thoughts of my skin burning holes into peoples eyes. Viki and Maddie my best friends and sisters at university have been encouraging, inspiring and motivating not only I, but eachother and others to embrace our God given beauty. They have been nothing but supportive, their words have impacted my life and enabled me to view myself differently. Although I feel like I still have a long way to go, I'm not alone and I have full faith that the Lord is going to bring me through it.

If you related to anything that I wrote in this post, comment, I'd love to chat with you. I would also like to encourage you with this a facebook post that Viki wrote attached with a make-up less photo of us:

This morning as I sat down to put my make up on, I realised how uncomfortable I would be leaving the house without it, and how much it had become an idol in my life. In a world where outer beauty is appreciated more than inner beauty, I believe it is so important to realise where your identity really comes from. So instead of painting on layers of make up, I listened to this incredible song which made me realise that even though I may not look perfect, and don’t have the airbrushed look that we see everyday on instagram, God still sees me as beautiful and that’s all the confirmation of self worth that I need. I stand with the belief that all of us are made in His image and our self-worth comes completely from him, and with this belief comes bravery and courage, so here are me and two of my beautiful best friends, bare faced, imperfect and still courageous daughters of God!
"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