Monday, 30 April 2012

A time of day...

It's transient, it's inbetween.
It smells tangible, yet it's not really present.
It looks like tommorow and it looks like today.
It's the line where they meet, it's the point where we fade.
Dusk creeps up, silently stilling the birdsong
It falls like a bridge... between now and then.
It tells us we're almost there.
It lulls us to sleep.
It's my favourite time of day. If in fact you can call it that-
-when 'day' is gone and night meets its match.
Dusk is a time for reflection, a time for preparation, a time to admit
that that's just it. You've had your hours.
The minutes are gone like the light.
Like a nesting bird, and a sleepy firefly, Dusk stills the heat and
brings the coolness of night.
Or infact of flight. In our dreams.
Dusk is neither here nor there.
It slips by unoticed.
It slips by.
It's vanished.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Faith Is How We See...

Gina and I were talking and I explained to her this idea that I'd had about faith. It's a cool sort of irony that faith should be our blindfold, shutting ourself off to a worldy view of life, and it should be how we see, looking through heavenly eyes. Faith is complete reliance on God, dependant that he will lead us where we need to go and never let us down.

Anyway, I had this idea that life is a in the world we're always surrounded by dangers, but because we're not of the world, God will lead us around the mines to reach the treasure at the centre. If we didn't have God we'd run straight towards the treasure and get blown to bits! The metaphor is clear: we need to rely on God to get through life and get to the ultimate treasure at the end.
So we decided to write a short story about it from Gods perspective:

I lace my fingers through her hand. She can't see me, yet she can feel My presence. Her timidity falters and a knowing smile breaks through. I give her hand a tender squeeze and her hold tightens. I don't have to look at the ground, though the mines are swarming around us like wasps on a hot day.

I see her swallow in apprehension and flick the hair from her eyes, wide and searching. I begin to imagine her without me, breaking into a sprint, without a backwards glance, eyes locked on the treasure, heart racing, lungs pounding, mind blindly charging forwards, not thinking. I shudder at the thought, sickened as I hear the explosion echo through my imagination. I grip her hand tighter, flooding her with my reassurance and love.

Bending down close to her ear I whisper quietly and gently. In obedience she starts to move, letting my Words and touch guide her. Her steps are tentative at first, her foot arching as she steps out, but as I put my arm securely round her shoulder, she begins to trust. Her steps come quicker as I guide and weave her around the mines. I spin her round and round, her dress billowing in a multitude of colours, the air around her shimmering. She opens her mouth and starts to laugh, the joy flying from her features. As she grips me tighter her laughter grows and I laugh with her, her joy increasing as she releases herself to me.

I delight in her joy and love. I lead her carefully and purposfully through the mines, our movement that of a dance, twirling and spinning and running and jumping! It's a long circuitous route, not as direct as she might have wanted or expected but we arrive breathlessly at the threshold to heaven. I watch as my Son comes out of the darkness around us, stretching out his hands and forming an archway.

My hand never leaves hers as she takes the leap of faith and jumps into his arms, burying her face into his hair.

She's home.

'I am the gate'

And on a slightly random note (you'll get the pun in a minute) there's a really great song that sort of matches this post. It's by Sanctus Real and called These Things Take Time, enjoy!
God bless,

Gina and Abbie x

Monday, 23 April 2012


Today has been an interesting day on many levels. There have been massive reasons to celebrate and be joyful (Kate's birthday, good cake, amazing friends, and an everlasting God) and whilst I wish these things dominated my day, I was affected by something in one of my classes that clouded the rest of my day a little. So I'm going to tell you the story of my day in emotions, as there was quite an unusual array today for me!

Bursting with happiness.
More joy.
Emotional. (Happy tears!)
In-tune again.
At ease.
Clinging onto what felt like the last threads of hope.
Glad for friends.
Uncontrollable laughter.
Overwhelming love and joy.
Pride towards my friends.
Overwhelming tiredness.
Choice to forgive.
Choice to love.
Choice to choose hope.
Flop (the sound of my body collapsing after an emotionally-packed day).

Hope is on the Horizon.
This has to be no coincidence - just as I was asking God what to do, a friend had this as his status - 
"You need to silence the song of the ruthless one over your life, and over the lives of those around you. Replace it with truth and 'the truth will set you free.' (John 8:32)"  
Thank you, Lord. I needed to remember that. I want to choose truth over ruthless lies. There has been so much to be grateful for today. I choose to silence the song of the evil one. And remember and be grateful for all the things that have made me feel emotion for the GOOD. 

Thank you for this day and all that you have taught me. And thank you for all there is to be grateful for, far beyond what my simple words can convey.

I challenge you too, to choose hope over pain, love over what seems like surrounding death and truth over the song of the ruthless. It will be SO worth it in the end. "I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13.

With much love,


I hurry down the road to my house, squinting my eyes against the flecks of rain that threaten to burst into torrents over my head. Milla and Becca walk behined me, chatting about what we'd just heard in church. I trample the steps and lift the latch, the familiar chink rippling through the air. I round the corner of my house and - "SURPRISE!"

Balloons, friends, voices, smiles, picnic, food!! All of it comes at once, rolling into one unbelieving mash of noise and exhiliaration. My first reaction - AAAH!
I thought I'd put them in a grid to emphasise how delightfully overwhelming it was! (Click to enlarge)

Ever had any surprises?

Gina x

Sunday, 22 April 2012

six word stories

So me and Megs were casually strolling through one of our favourite blogs and found this.
What a good idea?! 6 word stories.
So we thought we'd give it a go...

nowhere to go but the end.

all that's left is this locket.

time to face the oncoming wave.

birds fly out of the hills.

she swallowed the pill and, darkness.

she only found solace in books.

'happily ever after' was the dream.

when he left, her heart collapsed.

rebellion was only the last resort.

only he remained, she wasn't disapointed.

the locked door said it all.

the smile never left her face.

This is our first time at this, so they may not be amazing but it was really interesting to try and think in such a concise way. Each line really does hold so many possible stories.

Give it a try :)

Love Megan and Eve

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A Dedication to Good Music

I often find that when words fail but my heart still longs to speak, good music becomes it's voice.
You know that feeling when you hear a good song and just every part of you is singing 'yes!'
And then those other moments when you're listening to a song and its just so completely wrong.
Well from now on, I do not want to be caught listening to the music that unsettles my heart. Even if the tune is catchy, the words do not lift my spirits and feed my soul. There is nothing of God in those songs.

From now on, I am dedicated to finding the songs that sing the song my heart longs to speak. The words that surround me with truth and wash over me with beauty.
Today I liked to share with you a few of my all-time favourite songs. Some are sad, some are soppy, some are bouncy, some are contemplative, and some just make me smile and fill me with an overwhelming sense of contentment.

So, in no particular order...
1. Jenny & Tyler - Faint Not*
2. Switchfoot - In This Life*
3. Taylor Swift - Safe & Sound*
4. Laura Marling - Ghosts
5. Ross Copperman - Lucky Day*
6. Regina Spektor - The Call*
7. Lenka - The Show
8. Sara Bareilles - City*
9. Saticoy - Arethusa*
10. Benjamin Francis Leftwich - Shine*
11. Brooke Fraser - Betty
12. Charlene Soraia - Wherever you will go
13. Colbie Caillat - You Got me*
14. A Fine Frenzy - Whisper*
15. Ingrid Michaelson - You and I*
16. Jon Foreman - In My Arms*
17. Kelly CLarkson - My Life Would Suck Without You
18. Mumford & Sons - The Cave*
19. Newton Faulkner - People Should Smile More*
20. Owl CIty - If My Heart Was a House

I know I haven't linked them all on here, but they are ALL so worth looking up! Youtube, iTunes, whatever you do, DO IT!!

*When making this list is was impossible to choose just ONE good song from some artists. All the ones with stars next to are ones where the whole album, or actually just all their work is INSANE!

Have a blessed day <3

Saturday, 14 April 2012

The ultimate fish-pie

So, any of you who know me, know that one of my few hobbies (I don't have many hobbies!) is cooking!! I love love love cooking! I love the satisfaction in getting the raw ingredients and making a meal that tastes reeeally good and brings people joy! It's just brilliant!!! So - on Easter Sunday (yesss HE IS RISEN!!!) I cooked lunch - and I thought why not make a fish pie - Jamie Oliver style (legend - best cook EVER!) I love this recipie - it's quite layered - but not difficult - its also not pressured so you can take your time. Thought I'd blog about it so you can all cook it too and discover how delicious it is!! It's also great if you don't like fish - I hated fish - and still don't like it - but always always loved this recipe!

Step 1 - put the oven on - 230'C/480'F/gas 8

Step 2 - peel and cut up 5 large potatoes - so there in 2.5cm squares - put them in salted water to boil

Step 3 - 2 mins later - add 2 large free range eggs

Step 4 - put a packet of spinach in a steamer above your potatoes and eggs

Step 5 - 8 minutes later take our eggs and drain potatoes/spinach

Step 6 - cool the eggs under cold water de-shell the eggs and cut into quaters

Step 7 - in a frying pan fry a finely chopped onion and carrot (for about 5 minutes on a medium heat)

Step 8 - add 1/2 a pint of double cream (bring to the boil)

Step 9 - grate 2 handfuls of cheddar cheese

Step 10 - squeeze the juice out of one lemon

Step 11 - measure out a teaspoon of English mustard powder (or mustard) - don't worry if your not a fan of mustard - it doesn't give off a strong flavour - just balances well with the cheese and lemon :)

Step 12 - finely chop a handful of flat-leaf parsley

Step 13 - add the cheese, lemon juice, mustard and parsley to the creamy carrot/onions.

Step 14 - cut up your fish (I use salmon - but you could use a white fish - around 500g) and put it in the bottom of an oven-proof dish with your spinach - ontop layer the eggs

Step 16 - then pour over the cheesy, creamy veg mix

Step 17 - mash up your potatoes and season

Step 18 - layer the potato ontop of the veg mix

Step 19 - wack it in the oven for around 30 minutes - until potatoes are all golden

Step 20 - I like to serve mine with baked beans and tomato ketchup (and shloer!!)

YUM (I want some right now!)


I thank God for Mayonaise.
Just thought I'd share it's brilliance.

Friday, 13 April 2012

A Few of my Favourite Virtual Hangouts...

I'm going to admit this now. I have a MAJOR obsession with blogging! I really enjoy writing blog posts and sharing a little bit of my world with yours, but what I love most is reading blogs about other people who have the most beautiful little worlds I've ever seen. They have such genuine hearts and are obviously so in love with the world around me, that it inspires me and encourages me that there is still beauty in this world, amid the chaos and noise of darkness.

So, I thought I'd share a few of my favourite blogs that I visit daily, as promised in A Guide to Finding Yourself ~ Part 1.

1. A Beautiful Mess ~ This blog is primarily written be Elsie Larson and her sister Emma, with a few guest posts from their friends. They run a vintage shop in the US called Red Velvet, which looks adorable. If I'm ever going to visit the US then, trust me, their shop is on my hit-list! There are new posts everyday (which keeps this little girl very happy) and they have the coolest DIYs and outfit ideas around.

2. Aspire ~ This is written by a teenage girl, named Hannah, who has a real heart for God, appreciation for her family, and eye for beautiful photographs. I'd like to think that if we met, then we'd be friends. She just seems so down to earth like that. You can also find her blogging at Fernweh, which is coming up in a minute!

3. Creating Paper Dreams ~ One of the main attractions to this blog, is that it's written by an old school friend, so I really DO know the person who's writing, rather than just slightly creepily feeling like I do! Abi always astounds me with her creativity and ability to make everything seem sunnier! Check out her blog for some wonderful tutorials, as well as lots of pretty pictures and stories.

4.  Feathers and Freckles (While trying to link this blog I also found this one by the same name which looks pretty awesome, so I thought I'd add it in!) ~ This blog was a recent find, and I'm so happy I found it, because Megan has really inspired me to not give up on 'thrifting' or Charity Shopping, as we Brits call it! Her outfit posts also show how simple, chic elegance doesn't have to be expensive or showy, and a genuine smile is the most attractive item a girl can wear!

5. Fernweh Magazine ~ This is a blog that is actually run in a pretty similar way to ours, and I think I can say on all of our behalf, has inspired us no end. It is run by six girls who just have such an eye for the beautiful things in life, that often pass me by. I can't put into words just what their blog makes me feel. I think it might actually be 'Fernweh', which means 'Wanderlust' or 'farsickness'. It's a yearning for a time or a place that you haven't been but you just know is home. That's why I see this blog as a tiny piece of heaven.

6. Pastor's Girl's Ponderings ~ This blog is written by one of the Fernweh girls named Carlotta. As you can see from her header, she is just gorgeous, and once you start reading, you can't help but love her spirit. She blogs about her life, her loves, her outfits, her family, and documents it all with the most beautiful photographs.

Well I think that's all for now. There are SO many more blogs out there which are definite must-reads, but sadly they won't all fit in one blog post without overwhelming you with awesomeness! Maybe another post may be needed soon...

Happy blogging! xo

The Easter Thief

So, I begin: dust blown, pages turned, pen in hand, eyes squinting.
Time ticks, its toll brutally ripping away that first surge of incentive, then the motivation
Then there’s the sigh, the flipping of the pen, the doodling, the eyes straying.
Time tocks, its toll stealing the pen from my hand, the concentration from my head
I’m deceived by smooth thinking, beckoning guitar, open window, sun melting, head aching...
Time ticks, its toll swallowing a good intention, a promise of five minutes, five turns into sixty
Or more.
So here’s the end: book abandoned, pen lying destitute, revision cards vacant, timetable grieving. Gratification short. Remorse long. Self-punishment vicious. Work zero. Guilt 100%.
Fresh incentive: dust blown, pages turned, pen in hand, eyes squinting.

Time ticks...

Can you guess what this thief is called?
(Let me just clarify this was written in a break… a short, well-timed break between English lit and RS revision!)

Gina x

Rainbow Drops...

I would like to state right now that getting these photos for you took a TREMENDOUS amount of self-control! I *love* Rainbow Drops, as in, I had opened the packet before I even left the store! So trying to save enough to take pictures of was quite a challenge.

I did it though... Just for you ;)

Look how ridiculously grubby my lens has got... That's embarrassingly bad!

a twinkling of sunlight
a simple burst of bliss
colour against colour
layers of serenity
blessed by serendipity
swirling and touching
tempting and teasing

too playfully perfect
to last long.

I'm also going to be cheeky and put a little link here to my own blog so you can find out why I was restless today... Quite a few of us on here also have our own blogs, so please do follow us, and we'd love to follow you too!

I hope you're having a beautiful day <3

Thursday, 12 April 2012

A Guide to Finding Yourself ~ Part 1

This post could also be entitled 'How I'm going to get my life back on track', but I though that 'A Guide to Finding Yourself' sounded much more enchanting and less like a lot of hard work!!
First of all, I will be polite and ask how you are. How are you? Good, I hope, because the sun is shining here, even if its not wherever you are!
Now, despite Milla's best efforts (she was distracting me on Facebook!), I am determined to share this with you today!!
In the process of finding myself, and discovering who God is calling me to be, and calling me to do, there are few things that I'm going to start doing consistently, to help hear God and get things in order.

These may be no help whatsoever to you, but maybe there'll be a few ideas for things that you could do too...

Here goes...
1. Get into the word ~ oftentimes this is something that is literally the most obvious thing to do, but also the hardest. With life getting busier and busier in the run up to exams its so easy to think 'But I don't have time for that!', as I have done for a couple of months now. But I'm discovering that unless I'm drenching myself in the word every day, then nothing else matters, and the likelihood is that I won't survive the exams anyway!

Ephesians 2:10 ~ For we are God's Masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
2. Write things down ~ This bit comes in three parts (as all good messages do!)
          i) Get a notebook and write down what you are learning in bible study times. This makes it much easier to remember what God has said to you in these times, as it is often so easy to forget. Also, it focuses your mind to study the passage more in depth if you know that you're then taking notes.
          ii) Keep a notebook by your bed. My gorgeous friend Sarah showed me this wonderful podcast about how God speaks to us in dreams and its so true. I'm one of those people that has MAJORLY vivid dreams. A few examples... I was a toothbrush, I was a piece of cheese on a mousetrap, I was conducting the ceremony for Voldemort and Harry Potter's wedding, and Megan's mum got decapitated. There are also certain places in my dreams that I recognise, not because I've been there in real life, but because I've been there before in a dream. Often I know if I'm going to have a nightmare, because it will be a new place, so I don't have the security of the 'Familiar'. Maybe I should do a seperate blog post on this!! Anyways, back to the point... write down dreams as soon as you wake up, because God could be speaking to you through them, so you don't want to forget!
          iii) Write a priorities list. I feel like I need to do this and redo this every few months. It's so easy to lose focus of your priorities and what you're really working for, and a priorities list helps you to really reflect on what you are putting at the centre of your life, and what you're focusing on.

I have a slight obsession with notebooks...

3. Make time for things you love. For me, this is hanging out with my stunning friends, taking photos, using my grandma's sewing machine to make things (tutorial coming soon!), reading other wonderful blogs (list coming soon), reading Jane Austen novels etc etc... The more you do things that you love, the more God will lift your spirit through these things.

As the title suggests, there will be another section coming soon, but I don't want to overload you all in one hit! And I haven't got this all sorted yet, either, so we're journeying through this together!
If you want a teaser for Part 2, here it is...
It is nothing to do with Elephants. Or Anchovies.

Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions of things that are helpful in your life!

What courage is...

In my opinion, there's two types of it: Bravery and Bravado.
Sometimes we generate this 'home-made' courage inside of us, a dilute mixture of deep breaths and positive thinking. It'll be a familiar concoction to you I'm sure, it's when you walk with a lifted chin, shoulders back and try to appear mature, grown up or in-charge (when really we're just a bunch of floundering little girls who panic at the thought of flying the nest! Or at least some of us out there are.)

But I'm going to break some, perhaps welcome, news to you at this point:

That is not courage.

True courage is divine. It's when your soul says 'YES' but your head and heart shout 'NO!' (Or maybe, 'No way not in a million years, you'd have to drag me by the ankles and whip me with a garden spade.') It's approaching situations not with fleeting, momentary confidence- a sudden spark, a flood of adreneline- but with the wind of god on your cheeks and his breath on your lips. We can be confident when we know God's on our side. We can be brave when we know he's holding our hand. We can square up to fear when we know we're not alone. OR... we can embrace it all, every last terrifying risk life has to offer, every dagger it has to throw and abandon inhibition all together- stand on God's shoulders and be: fear-less.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear...
1 John 4:18

I'm Walking on Sunshine

So after my rather 'heart-pouring-out-into-the-public-domain' post yesterday, I thought I'd lighten the mood again!

I bought some new shoes. Summer wasn't coming fast enough, so here is my own bit of summer, which I can spread wherever I go...

They don't match my outfit but I'm going to wear them anyway...

I think that's it apart from... I have amazing friends!! And God is good, even when I'm not.

That is all.

Have a good day <3

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

A Long Absence

I would do a lovely introduction, but that would be beating around the bush and I've been doing that for far too long.

Do you ever have those days where you're just 'out of it'?
I've had several months like this.

I've never been drunk, so I'm not entirely sure what its like, but I'm guessing how I've felt is a bit like that. Everything is kind of real, but oh so very much not! You can hear and see and smell and know and think, but you can't really respond. Because you can't really feel.

Most of my friends know this already and they have been the most supportive Sisters in Christ a girl could ever wish for! They have prayed for me, comforted me, guided me, spoken Godly words of encouragement over me, and (most importantly of all) loved me!

Despite this, I haven't really had a truly emotional response to something in a very long while. It's just been a sort of sensational numbness.

And I've known what it is all along.

This is what its like to be distant from God. This is what its like to feel shame, and guilt, and hatred, and judgement, and loneliness, and fear, and self-consciousness, and worthlessness, and lies, and evil, and darkness and God-lessness. And I hate it.

'Just because you're present doesn't mean that you're here' ~ Switchfoot
I have become a shadow of myself. I'm the same shape as me but I'm hollow and empty. You and I may recognize me, but we can't know me. Not this me. This me is so absent from the me that God sees me as and the me that God is calling me to be that it hurts. It aches. Its tearing me apart. Its dangerous to know this me.

God is forgiving. If I want to feel absolution, then I have to seek God.
God is peace. If I want to feel contentment, then I have to seek God.
God is comfort. If I want to feel companionship, then I have to seek God.
God is beauty. If I want to feel worth loving, then I have to seek God.
God is truth. If I want to feel reality, then I have to seek God.
God is love. If I want to feel emotions, then I have to seek God.
God is my identity. If I want to find myself, then I have to seek God.

And I have been absent from myself for a long while.

A message to me: With His strength I will find my way back to you...

Monday, 9 April 2012

Jesus Christ is alive (and a story about throwing eggs down a hill)

Mona Lisa

Mr Potato Head

The whole motley crew :)

And the throwing commences...
An explanation: It's a tradition that my family has that on the night before Easter, we hard boil eggs and decorate them however we like. The next day, we hike up a hill and roll them down. The winner is the person whose egg survives the longest. Sound random? It is. But we have a lot of fun doing it! This year, we asked some of our friends to join in the festivities, so there was a whole group of us.

I love traditions like this, and I love that I can have a laugh with my family!

aaand... a half pyramid!

My sister's a gymnast... I think that's pretty cool :)

Don't ask!
Despite the fun that we had, the highlight of Easter Sunday for me was my brother's baptism. It was so amazing that his baptism coincided with the day on which Jesus rose! He gave an incredible (and very funny!) testimony in which he celebrated the impact that the truth of Jesus Christ has had on his life. I'm proud to have a brother like him! 

Dead to self...

Alive in Christ! :)

There was also this adorable 6 year old girl who was baptized in the same service. Instead of giving a testimony, her youth leader asked her a few questions:

Youth leader: So, L, why do you want to get baptized?

L: Because Jesus told me to.

Youth Leader: How do you know that he told you to?

L: Because I prayed and asked him.

Youth Leader: So what does it mean to you to be baptized?

L: I'm fulfilling what Jesus told me to do.

How amazing that she is so sure of her relationship with Jesus at her young age, and that she knows when he is speaking to her. Bearing in mind that she said all this with a lisp and a little smile on her face, it was incredibly cute!



P.S. What are your family traditions?