Recently I have been…

Hello lovely readers! Today I’m back with a new type of post for this blog. The plan for this week’s post was going to be ‘my favourite books of November’. But life (aka school :D) happened and I ran out of time and inspiration to write up my reviews. So look for that post next week! Instead, this week I’m doing a ‘life-update-type’ post, except instead of covering my whole life, I’ll just cover the last week or so. 😀 I hope you enjoy this little snapshot into my life right now!

 

christmaaaas

(Here’s a random Christmasy picture courtesy of Pinterest :D)

 

Recently I have been…

Reading

~ Idylls of the King

~ Pleased to Dwell

~ The Killer Angels

~ Friends and Enemies

Writing

~ Not much for pleasure, unfortunately. Just a lot of stuff for school. I wrote a rhyming poem for school actually the other day – that was fun! 😀

Singing

~ Christmas songs of all size, shape and colour. 😀  Like this one and this one. Gahhhh, I LOVE Christmas music!

Wearing

~This Jumper

~ This Cardigan

Two words: SO WARM – ❤

Watching

~ Studio C – They’re hilarious 😀

~ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – I watched it just last night, and ohhhh it is good!

Thinking About

~ The future – I need to start applying to colleges in the near-ish future, and so I have to think about scary things like college options and college fees and degree choices. Time is going by so fast and I’m getting too old!

~ Getting a job – cause I gotta pay for driving lessons and college expenses somehow!

~ Christmas – of course! 😛

Buying

~ Christmas presents, of course! But they’re surprises, so no links here! 😉

Doing

~ Schoooooool. So. Much. School. High school is no joke guys.

~ Random stuff like cleaning the house and delivering flyers for my church’s carol service and staying up waayyy too late

~ A LOT of college research – gotta be prepared!

Listening to

~ Pentatonix Christmas music – Pentatonix do the BEST Christmas music!

~ Hamilton – Because I can’t go for long without listening to Hamilton, my one and only theatre obsession 😀

~ Prepare him Room – This Sovereign Grace album is SO beautiful and full of amazing truths and I definitely recommend it!

Laughing at

~ My hilarious younger siblings –  5 yo sis quote: “Mummy, if people didn’t hear Jesus’ name right, do you think they would think his name was Jamie?” 😀

~ My family’s attempt at playing a recently acquired didgeridoo (it literally sounds like a dying cow, lol).

Anticipating

~ CHRISTMASSSSS – only 16 days eeeeek!

~ My church’s live nativity play next weekend

~ Going to the National Gallery in London next week

~ Christmas break! – two blessed week of freeeeedoooommmm! 😀

~ Did I mention Christmas?! 😛

 

See you back here next week for the (by then long overdue) November book favourites post! 😉

Advertisements

Currently Reading Book Tag

Well hello there! Welcome back! 🙂 How was your week ? Mine has been pretty busy, what with celebrating Thanksgiving and lots of school work (what else is new :D). But it’s been good, and I’m starting to get really excited for Christmas! I suppose I should warn you all that I am slightly crazy when comes to Christmas. 😀 It’s my absolute favourite holiday, and I love to milk it for all it is worth. So bring it on – Thanksgiving is over, it’s time for Christmas!! 😀

So this week I was tagged by the lovely Ruqs over at Many Things Bookish to do the ‘Currently Reading Book’ tag. Thank you, Ruqs! 🙂 So without further ado, let’s get on to the questions:

  • How many books do you usually read at once? – It really depends. I normally have at least one school-related book and one pleasure-related book going at one time. But I often have more than that, so that’s just the bare minimum really. Right now I have probably about 4-5 books that I’m reading.
  • If you are reading more than one book at a time, how do you decide when to switch books? – Well ideally I read the books that I need to read for school first, leaving the pleasure books for when I’ve finished everything else. But that’s more of an ideal than anything else. 😀 I’ll normally switch between books either when I need to due to school deadlines, or when I’ve gotten tired of one and fancy a taste of the other. But to be honest, I read so fast that often I’ll have finished the book before I have a chance to put it down and read something else.
  • Do you ever switch bookmarks while you are partway through a book? – Is it terrible that I don’t really use bookmarks? I tend to either read so fast that I’ll finish the book in one sitting 😀 or I’ll just try to remember what chapter I’m on. Or, in a pinch I’ll grab a pencil or a piece of paper and stick it in so I don’t lose my place. But I would say 80% of the time I don’t use bookmarks.
  • Where do you keep the book(s) you are currently reading? – On my desk. I have a lined up stack of books I’m currently reading, are on my TBR, or I’ve just finished sitting in the corner. When I’m feeling organised, I put my school-related books in their related desk drawers. But I’ve got more books sitting on my desk than inside my desk. 😀
  • What time of day do you spend the most time reading? – Haha, I think the question would be better of as ‘what time of day don’t you spend reading?’ 😀 It varies hugely, depending on my schedule and what work I have to do. Ideally I’d do my school-related reading during the day, and my pleasure reading at night, but again, I’m afraid that’s just an ideal… I’ll grab any spare moment I can to squeeze in reading!
  • How long do you typically read in one sitting? – Again, it really varies. I can spend anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours straight reading. Last night I read for 90 minutes straight. It was lovely. 😀 But yeah, it really just depends on where and when I can find the time.
  • Do you read hardbacks with the dust jacket on or off? – Hmmm… Thinking about it, I don’t actually read that many hardbacks. But when I do, I think I just leave them on – unless they’re hampering my reading (aka. falling off). Then I take them off.
  • What position do you mainly use to read? – I’ve probably used pretty much every position you can think of. 😀 Lying face down/face up on my bed, curled up on the couch, perched in my desk chair, sitting on the trampoline, while walking, while vacuuming, up in a tree, hiding in a closet, upside down, in a car – you get the picture. 😀 But though my reading positions vary widely, I’d have to say the first three mentioned above are the ones I use the most.
  • Do you take the book you are currently reading with you everywhere? – If I know I’ll be in a position to read, then yes. So if I know I’m going to be in the car for 40 minutes, or babysitting for an evening, then yes I’ll definitely bring it. But if I’m driving 5 minutes to church, or popping out to the store, then I wouldn’t. It’s just not worth it to bring a book when you know you won’t be able to read it. 😀
  • How often do you update your Goodreads progress on the book you’re currently reading? – I’m afraid I must confess that I do not use Goodreads. :/ I know of it, but as of yet, I have not jumped into using it. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it though, so perhaps I’ll make the plunge one day! 😀

And I’m going to tag Bethany from The Treasure Within, Bethany from Behind the Pen, and Lydia from Noveltea.

I hope you enjoyed reading my answers to the questions! 🙂

See you back here next Saturday! 😉

 

A Place to Belong

* Apologies for this late post! I was gone all weekend, and only remembered after I’d left that I had forgotten to put a post up. 

This week I’m going to be sharing a sort of casual essay.  I wrote it as a school assignment, but it quickly turned into something much more personal than a simple essay. I hope your hearts are encouraged by this!

~

In this culture of vast variety, it is sometimes hard to find your niche. A place to fit in, a place to belong. You look around at everyone, seemingly so different from you, and wonder ‘Is it really possible to find a place to truly belong?’ I have struggled with those same feelings, and so I invite you to join me, as I explore just a little bit about finding ‘a place to belong’.

As a conservative Christian girl, my values are almost always the opposite of the world’s values. As I look around, I see sinful people who are bound and determined to do what they want, when they want and how they want. People who dismiss God and his Word the Bible, on the grounds that it is old-fashioned/irrelevant/not for them/flawed/etc. People who don’t care about others; they only care about themselves. People that have twisted love into a gross, lustful, self-gratifying thing that consumes their lives. People that only care about the next movie coming out, the new Instagram filter, their iPhone, their computer, or the new fashions on the runway. People who can’t fathom living without luxury, Wi-Fi, all their stuff. People who need entertainment 24/7, whether it comes from their phone or their computer, or their computer games or movies. People who have an insatiable drive to get to the top of the pyramid, whether it’s career or social or something else. They long to have the best car, house, family, wife, friends, or stuff. I see families being broken apart because of selfishness, lust, anger, greed, or just plain sinfulness. And as I look around at all this brokenness, at everyone who holds such different values and morals than me, I wonder ‘where do I belong?’

Because as I look at the world, I’m struck with the massive difference between their values and mine. I look at myself, and I see sinfulness. But I also see values and morals at a complete opposite end to the majority of the world. I hold God and his word the Bible in high respect. I believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation, and that I am a sinner saved by grace. I believe that the Bible is God’s inspired word to us, and should not be taken lightly, twisted, or dismissed. My whole life is completely changed because I am a Christian. I have conservative views on love, believing that marriage is something between one man and one woman, and that sex should be saved for after marriage. I believe that dating should have boundaries and goals, and that it is something that should not be taken lightly. I also believe that woman should dress modestly, so as to not make it hard for men to keep themselves pure. I have a high view of life, believing that children are a blessing from God, and that a baby is a person from the moment it is conceived. No child should be killed because it is unwanted or the wrong gender. I also take a high view of family, trying to honour God with the way I treat my parents and siblings, though I fail often. As for schooling, I am home-schooled which automatically makes me different and weird from the rest of my peers. Some of my peers look down on me because I am ‘sheltered’ and ‘enjoy learning,’ two things that are very different from their lifestyles. Even little things, that my internet is monitored and restricted sets me apart from the rest of the world that craves 24/7 entertainment. Pretty much everything in my life from school to personal values is completely different from the world.

And honestly, it’s hard. It’s hard not being able to fit in with the crowd, not to understand the inside jokes, not to be ‘one of them’. Though I know deep down in my heart that I am doing the right thing, sometimes you just want to belong somewhere.

And you know what? That longing is something that has been gnawing at the human heart for all of time. The longing to have that hole filled, that heart-longing satisfied, the desire to find a place that you can truly say you belong. But since sin entered the world, people have become lost. They don’t know where they belong or how to have that hole filled and that desire satisfied. They search and search, but never truly find.

Some go the way of love, trying to fill the hole in their heart with relationships and promises of love and all they find is that people are fickle and at the end of it, the holes in their hearts are deeper than ever before.

Some go the way of entertainment, trying desperately to satisfy that heart desire with movies and books and friends and phones and unlimited wifi. But there is always some unattainable ‘something’ that they can never quite get, and so that heart-desire is never quite satisfied.

And some try and find a place to belong in their work, striving to fit in, to achieve the goals, earn the money, and climb the pyramid. But then either something snaps and their carefully crafted lives come crashing around their ears and they’re left with nothing, or they come to the end of their carefully crafted lives and realize that everything they’ve built… means nothing.

At the end, their hearts still have un-filled holes, their deep desires for something more are unfulfilled, and that cry for some place to belong goes unanswered.

But that is where I am different. Because of one thing.

My heart has been filled with unspeakable love. My desire for something more has been fulfilled, and my heart-cry for a place to belong will ultimately come true.

Because of Jesus.

His life-changing, glorious, all-consuming, sacrificial and amazing love has come into my sin-filled, holey, desiring heart and turned it upside down and around and torn it apart and recreated it and… filled it. In him, all heart desires are satisfied, all the holes are filled, and he has promised that one day, people changed by him will no longer live in this sinful, messy, broken world where no one can truly belong, but will be with him in the most glorious place we could ever imagine. Heaven. And there we will no longer wish to be a part of the crowd, to have a place to belong. Because there  We. Will. Belong. There we will see Jesus face to face, and all our heart’s desires will be immediately and completely and utterly satisfied. There. With Him.

So, as I look around at this broken world that I live in, and wish that just once, I could be part of the crowd, to have a place to belong. I stop. And remember. That though this world has troubles, take heart, because Jesus has overcome this world. And he has overcome my sin on the cross in the most magnificently sacrificial love we could ever imagine, and he has filled my heart with his love. And because of this glorious truth, I no longer need to wish for a place to belong. Because I have the hope that I know, one day, I will have one. In Heaven. With Jesus. My ‘Place to Belong’.

 

c s lewis

Poem – What if?

Have you ever had something just write itself, and then you look back later and aren’t exactly sure how that came out of your brain? I’ve had a couple poems like that, and I’m going to be sharing one of them today. Re-reading it, I can’t remember under what circumstances I wrote it, and I’m not even sure if I fully agree with the message of it. But, it came out of my head, so I must have had some ideas about the subject before I wrote it! 😀 So let me know what you think – do you agree/disagree with it? Why?

question mark.jpg

WHAT IF?

‘What if?’

Is the great questioning shadow

Over humanity.

 

‘What if?’

Is the eternal question

That will never be answered.

 

‘What if?’

Tells the story

Of question marks.

 

‘What if

I had tried?’

‘What if

I had risked it?’

‘What if

I had taken the leap of faith?’

 

The nagging question

The haunting question

The question that lingers

In the dim corners of

Humanity’s brain

The question of

‘What if?’

 

The reminiscent question

The haunting question

That weakens the foundation

Of all our decisions

The question of

‘What if’?

 

Humanity seems unable

To always fully look forward

They always look behind

And the

‘What ifs’

Trail like shadows

In their wake

 

Doubts

Fears

Tremulous questions in the dimness of the night

Uncertainties

Suspicions

Nagging whispers piercing bubbles of happiness

 

‘What if?’

 

I wish I could remind people

In the moment of decision

That it is better

To say ‘oops’

Than ‘what if?’

It is better

To live with a lifetime of experience

Than a with lifetime of regret

A lifetime of asking ‘what if’?

 

Because

When you try

At least you know what happens

When you don’t try

You will never know

 

And you are left with

‘What if’

Ringing in your ears.

 

*Note: This is my 20th post on ‘The Way of Delight’, and this blog has been around for nearly 4 months now! Thank you all for sticking with me on this journey!

 

 

Liebster Award x2!

leibster award.png

This week I have another blog award post for you! I was nominated for the Liebster Award  by both Cora from  Cora’s Bits and Pieces and Anna from Northern Hearts Alaska . Thanks,  Cora and Anna!

Here are the rules for this award:

  • Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award on your blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
  • List 11 random fact about yourself.
  • Nominate up to 11 other bloggers who you think are deserving of this award (with less than 200 followers).
  • Let the bloggers know you nominated them.
  • Give them 11 questions to answer.

Okey-doke, here are the answers to the questions!

Cora’s Questions:

  1. Do you have a pet? – Yes, I do! I have two rabbits named Sandy and Sleepy that are very old, but still very cute. 😀
  2. Favourite topic to blog about? – It’s probably a tie between sharing my favourite books, and sharing my favourite pieces of writing. And since that is what my blog is about, it’s a good thing I like doing that! 😀
  3. What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Well if I’m in an unhealthy mood, I love a good cinnamon roll… Mmm! But if I’m trying to be healthy, I really like having fruit smoothies!
  4. What is your favorite school subject and why? – It’s a dead-on tie between History and English. I’ve loved history for as long as I can remember – something about all the stories hidden in the past just waiting to be discovered thrills me! But then I absolutely love putting those stories down into writing – i.e. English. Writing gives me a huge amount of joy, and learning how to write better is something that I’m trying to work at. So I guess I’ll just just leave it at that – History and English, my two favourite subjects. ❤
  5. What’s your favorite colour? – Blue, all the way! I love pretty much every shade and variation of that frabjous colour. 😀
  6. Favorite song? – Ok, now that’s hard!! Just one song?? I like so many different types of music! But I guess if I narrow it down to my favourite Christian song (since that is the genre I listen to most) and even further down to ones we sing at my Church, that leaves me with… still a very large pool of songs. 😀 I guess I’ll just go with one of my favourites. Which would be ‘This is Amazing Grace’ by Phil Wickham. I really love that song a lot! The message is so true and so encouraging!
  7. Do you like sports? If so which ones? – By  like, do you mean to play or to watch? I guess I’ll do both. I’m not really a hugely sporty girl, but to play, I enjoy swimming and martial arts. To watch, I love gymnastics and figure skating.
  8. What’s the strangest place you’ve ever been? – Strangest? Ummm… Strange situationally or strange geographically? I’ve been to lots of random places, but I’m not sure if they count as strange. But would the engine room of a ship count as strange? That was pretty interesting but in a randomly strange way. 😀
  9. Favorite fruit? – Oooh, again, that’s a hard one! I will have to say peaches. Because seriously, can any fruit be better than a warm-from-the-sun, juicy, sweet peach?? Mmmm…
  10. Do you like to be hot or cold better? – I would say hot. Because that means it’s more likely to be summer, and I love summer!! But not super-duper hot, and not humid. I like around 25 degrees Celcius (which is pretty hot for England) ( that would be 77 Fahrenheit for my American readers) with low humidity.
  11. Why did you start your blog? – Well, I wanted a place where I could share my writing with others, but also something that would keep me writing on a consistent basis. And a blog fit the bill!

Anna’s Questions:

  1. What is your favorite season? – SUMMER!!! I love the warmth and the sunshine and the freedom of cool dresses and bare feet. Plus the fact that everything is alive and that there is no school stress, just relaxing to be done!  I love pretty much everything about summer! ❤
  2. Coffee or tea? – Well I don’t drink either. But I love the smell of coffee, and I sometimes drink herbal teas. But that gets me to an even position again. Soooo… both..? 😛
  3. If you could go one place in the world where would it be? – This might seem kind of mundane, but I would absolutely love to travel around the East coast and down to the South of the US. There is so much history down there, and I would love to see all the places I’ve read about in my history textbooks. Especially all the places involved in the Civil War!
  4. What’s your best article/story you’ve ever written? –  I think a story that won honorable mention in a contest was probably one of my best. I might post it on here one day! 😉
  5. Dream vacation spot? – A beach in a warm place. Preferably with turquoise waters, pearly sands and shimmering sunshine.
  6. Why do you write? – Because I love it. Writing gives me joy and satisfaction, it poses a challenge and it draws me to it. It’s something that has become more and more a part of myself as the years have gone on. 
  7. Do you read mostly in the Old Testament or New Testament? – I try to read a good mixture of both! I’m aiming to read the Bible through at least once this year. I’ve been in the NT for the past couple months, but I’ve just recently come back into the OT for a nice dosage of some prophets – Isaiah to be precise!
  8. The Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit? (books or movies) – I know that probably most my readers are going to recoil in horror at my answer, but… neither. Because I haven’t read or watched either yet! It’s on my list of ‘things I will do someday in the future’. And I will do it… one day in the future. 😀
  9. ‘If you could make a cake in whatever flavor you wanted, what would it be? – Something peanut-buttery. My family is conflicted over the subject of peanut butter – some like it, some love it, and some vehemently hate it. So even though I love it, I’ve never made a peanut-butter-something cake because there are too many people to shout the idea down. But I have loads of recipes on Pinterest that I would love to try! That’s another thing on my ‘things I will do someday in the future’ list. 😀
  10. What’s your least favorite holiday, and why? – Probably Halloween. It saddens me to see people celebrating darkness and evil. (For you Americans – in England the dark side of it is a lot more pronounced here than over there.)
  11. Who is your hero? – Jesus. He is the one person who I would love to completely and utterly copy every action and thought from. And that’s what I’m trying to do, though I fail more often than not. It’s a good thing he is overflowing with grace and love for fallen people like us!

11 Facts About Me:

  1. I’ve read 122 books so far this year.
  2. I have never been to school in my life. (#homeschooled :D)
  3. I play guitar and bass guitar.
  4. One of my best friends lives over 4000 miles away from me.
  5. I’ve lived in 6 different houses in my 16 years.
  6. I witnessed the birth of my youngest sibling.
  7. I do not own a phone.
  8. I have two passports – one English, and one American!
  9. Chocolate chip cookie dough is one of the best things ever. 😛
  10. My current WIP story/book that I’ve been writing is just over 25,000 words long.
  11. I am going to Holland for two weeks tomorrow! (posts will be scheduled, but no comments will be moderated until I return.)

And now for the people to nominate… I’m going to nominate:

Anyone!

Due to lack of time to find people that haven’t done it yet, I’m opening this award to anyone who reads this post and wants to do it – either in the comments or on your blog! Have fun! 🙂

Here are your questions:

  1. What are your top 3 favourite books?
  2. How do you like your eggs – fried, scrambled, or other?
  3. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
  4. Would you rather live for the rest of your life without pillows or without blankets?
  5. If you could meet any author from any time – past or present, who would it be and why?
  6. What is your favourite joke?
  7. Introvert or Extrovert?
  8. What is your favourite thing to write (e.g. – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, etc)
  9. What is your dream job?
  10. If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future? Why?
  11. What is your favourite holiday, and why?

Okey-doke, that’s it for this week. Thanks for sticking with me through this very long post! 🙂