29 July, 2015


Photos by my sister, Rachel

“Life isn't about having, it's about being.” 
Nick Vujicic

“I wasn't interested in in making a lot of money, but I was interested in making a lot of living.” 
Dale Carnegie

“I have always felt that one of the chief reasons for success in life is enthusiasm.” 
William Lyon Phelps

“You may go forth in search of happiness – but to find it you must return.” 
Timothy Crowley's mother

“Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness.” 
Anne Frank

“A mere man alone can easily be defeated, but a man alive with the power of God within him is invincible.” 
John Anthony

21 July, 2015


Well, for the first time since I begun this blog, I've been tagged - by Emily from Taking Dictation. It was weeks ago, but I was away for a couple of weeks, so you'll just have to excuse me...

1. Post a paragraph or a stanza of your latest writing project.
Well, here you go then: 
I can't remember a time when my Grandma did not have a house full of plants. Or a bathroom full of them anyway. Whenever we stayed over there when I was younger, and it came to bath-time, my Grandma would have to evacuate the bath of plants before we could even think about occupying it. There were maiden hair ferns in the bath, other ferns on a shelf next to the bath, and even some dangling in pots from the ceiling. Then there was always the peace lily that resided just inside the door, and a dozen or more specimens sheltering in the sunny closed-in-veranda.

No, I don't regularly write about plants, but I did just happen to write an article (as part of a course I'm doing) on the benefits of having plants in the house. I even submitted it to be published (or not).

2. Do you prefer writing with pens or pencils?
Pens. I guess I got into the habit because pencils fade so quickly. I still do schoolwork in pencil though.

3. What is one blog/blogger that inspires you to write? Please share why and provide a link!
Why do people ask all the hard questions?! Lots of people inspire me, like Emily from Taking Dictation because she's still a teen and she's almost published three books and she writes really good war short stories, and Emily from Entirely Bonkers because she often writes short flash fiction and she's also published two books, and Tane from Fifth Out of Ten inspires me to get my heart out whatever it takes, and Billy Coffey inspires me to learn to use stories to drive a point home to the reader. And I just looked and realized that question asked for one blogger. :( Sorry. I wasn't even finished either.

4. Are you scared of spiders or do you think they are fun pets?
Um, I'm not scared of spiders (unless they drop onto me, or something), but I never would've thought of having them as a pet. Put it this way: it's kind of entertaining to watch them capture flies and other unsuspecting insects, but I like them best dead.

5. Would you prefer to own a dog or a cat better (if any)?
I have to go with the "if any" option. I'm not a lover of cats or dogs, but I think if I had to have one, I'd probably end up with a cat. They're more my style - lazy, and happy to lounge around. And, they do nothing, and still look like they know everything.

6. Do you know any languages besides English and are there any other languages you would like to learn?
No, just English. I would like to learn another language some day; I think it would be fun. But I've no idea what.

7. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Guess! :) No, I'm an introvert. Although, having just had two weeks with people all the time, I can't say it was all that bad. 

8. What’s your favorite part about today so far?
The fact that it's almost over, and I'm going to bed. And, I actually got some stuff done today, so that's pretty good.

9. What's one place and time in history that you'd love to travel back to?
I've never actually thought of that before. I don't know. Sometime back in the good old days when life was much slower pace and people were genuine. Any age had its difficulties and its benefits, though, and I suppose one day we'll be looking back on 2015 and calling it the good old days, so I shan't complain.

10. Which do you like better: Tea, Coffee, or Hot Chocolate?
Well, guess what? I drink none of those... I did however invent a little concoction which I quite enjoy. It's basically Nature's Cuppa (a cereal coffee substitute) with milk and honey, and a Orange Cinnamon and Rooibos tea bag. So it's the spicy orange flavour of the tea with the creamy texture of cereal coffee and milk... Whatever, I like it. 

And then, Janie from The Aspiring Bard also tagged me! So here goes her questions:

1. What's one thing that you're good at?
Procrastinating. Why else do you think I'm writing a blog post when I could be working on my assignment? Also, overeating.

2. What color would you choose to describe your personality? Why?
Let me just say that this is a really good, thought-provoking question. As for the answer though... :P Maybe grey. I'm fairly boring and unobvious, a blend of good and bad.

3. Dream job/occupation?
Starting my own cozy book shop. But really, I'd like to have a job that I can see impacts and changes lives for the better. I want to share hope and save lives.

4. List three of your current favorite books/movies.
Um, A Young Woman After God's Own Heart, The Bronze Bow, and Fierce Beauty, probably have been my last three favourites. But seriously, I'm enjoying the Bible right now. At this music camp I just went to, they had Deep Bible Studies each morning, only these weren't just Bible studies, they were Bible studies on how to study the Bible. And that's exciting. I learned so much, and now I'm excited to study, read, and really dig into the Bible. I know that should be normal, but it wasn't.
5. List three of your all-time favorite books/movies. Unspoken Love, and most books by Christmas Carol Kuaffman, really. I've also enjoyed Spotted Boy and the Comanches each and every time I've read it. And Just Thirteen is another old favourite. Those last two are children/young adult books, but I enjoy them all the same, and because I first read them years ago, rereading them now brings back memories. But you know, I enjoy a lot of books, and I've read a lot of books that were so good, and it's very very hard to pick all-time favourites.  

6.What plot elements/themes/characters endeared those six to you? Now that I think about it, it's the characters that make each of those books what they are. It's the characters that draw me in, and make me feel their emotions, and that leave me with that that-was-a-really-good-book feeling. I've never noticed that before. And of course, A Young Woman After God's Own Heart and Fierce Beauty are more inspirational books. They were good because they shared truth, and drew me closer to God.

7. List three of your favorite bloggers. Three of my favourite bloggers (because I don't really have favourites, and I read all the blogs I follow): Niv at For Yah's Glory, Rosi at Everyday Joy, and my friend Sarah's brand new blog, Wynvale Coloured Sheep (go and leave her some love!). 

8. What specific elements/content motivated you to follow and engage with those blogs?
 Some blogs I follow for writing inspiration, some for photography inspiration, some for spiritual inspiration, some because I find the author's general life inspiring. But For Yah's Glory is pretty special, because she was the one who first inspired me to blog, she was the first blogger I followed, and she was the first one to tag me, way back here.

9. Frequent, short blog posts or less frequent, more in-depth posts?
Both. :) And, the deeper and more meaningful the better. I see blogging as a community, to share and draw closer to each other and God.

10. What is one Bible verse or quote that has encouraged or challenged you recently?
The whole chapter of Isaiah 58 has been really challenging me lately. It's like a call, and it makes me want to answer. Here's the main part of the chapter, but I'd really encourage you to read the whole lot. It's powerful. 

"Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: and the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in." Isaiah 58:6-12 

And that's it, for a very long post. I'm going to tag Niv, Janie, Emily, Tane, Rosi, Joy, Hannah, and anybody else who wants to participate. I want to read your answers too, so leave me a link in the comments! Here's my (totally random) questions for you:

1. What's the best thing that has come out of blogging for you?
2. What's one thing you've learned recently?
3. Describe yourself in five words.
4. Where is your favourite place to write?
5. Do you have a favourite flower? What is it?
6. Tell us about a book you feel like talking about - any book.
7.What are you top three tips on how to enjoy life to the fullest?
8. Share something that's inspired you lately - anything: a photo, post, blog, article, book, etc.
9. Do you prefer rainy winter days by the fire, or warm summer days at the pool or beach?
10. What's been the best part of your day so far?

Have a great day & I'm looking forward to hearing your answers! 

Jessica xxx

02 July, 2015

So Much to Learn

a study of the universe

 a study of the moon 

a study of colour

a study of the stars

a study of God

Sometimes I stand outside and look at the clouds, the sunset, the stars, the moon, and contemplate my God and my life. 
There's so much to learn.

“The weight of God's glory, not illusory or ephemeral, but daily and everywhere, punctures earth's lid and heaven falls through the holes.” 
Ann Voskamp