29 March 2011

Oh, Dear...

Was the last time I posted really March 23rd?!

That can't be. Time is going by too fast. 

But, sadly it is the truth. I haven't posted for nearly a week. *insert gasp here* I know, I know. My break is over, right? So I should be posting with more regularity, right?

Apparently, I was wrong. 

The English country dance is on the 31st of March--Thursday. And I haven't finished my gown yet. I think I'm the biggest procrastinator ever. It's probably my worst habit--I often wait until the last minute to get things done. :( 

But, I know we will get these gowns done. By the grace of God, we will complete them in time. Except... that means I don't have time to blog. :(

I know, this is horribly unfair to you, especially since I JUST got back from a 2 week break. Apparently, I should have extended that break to include the time I would need to finish my regency gown, because even though I've been posting, my posts have been few and far between. I haven't had time to upload the photos I took of my regency undergarments (not on me, ladies, don't worry), because if I sit down and use that time at the computer, I have LESS time to sew. And I'm already losing time faster than I would wish.

My letter-writing has been put on hold. All reading outside of schoolwork has been put on hold. And now, even posting must be put on hold because I have to get this dress finished. It all has to stop until Friday, at which point you can expect me to be back at my usual posting schedule. 

I will still be posting photos of my gown in the process, only those posts won't be posted until after Friday.

I hope you understand. I barely have a moment to type this up, only I didn't want you to worry where I have been and what I've been up to. 

Goodbye, ladies. I'll see you Friday! :)

23 March 2011

The Word "Waiting" Doesn't Mean "Do Nothing"

Oftentimes, we seem to think that when we are told to "wait," it means "do nothing." For example, several ladies I know through blogs are of marriagable age, but most of us are not, and we have quite a bit of time until we will be going down the aisle, dressed in white.



Does that mean we have nothing to do until God brings our knight in shining armor into our lives, and therefore we must sit around twiddling our thumbs?

Not a bit of it! Part of waiting actually means DOING. God only gives us so much time on this earth--how can we bear to waste a minute of it?



Whether you be 13 or 30, it is a well-known fact that if you are unmarried, you have more time on your hands than you will when you are married. Take advantage of that time! Learn to cook and/or bake, and make a habit of trying one new recipe each month at least. Teach yourself how to cross-stitch. Do some housework and cleaning for young mother with little children simply to bless her. Learn a new language, and practice speaking it as regularly as you can.



There are SO many valuable ways in which we can invest our time! And through them, the LORD actually brings wonderful things into our life. For example, was Rebekah sitting around just waiting for her future husband to come into her life? No, she was going about her evening chores, drawing water from the well, when Abraham's servant approached her. And simply by offering to draw water for this stranger's camels, she was opening the door to a whole new stage of her life. 
By doing what God called her to do TODAY, she set the stage for all He wanted to do in her life TOMORROW. 
Chores may not seem that important; cooking may not seem that important; cleaning bathrooms certainly doesn't seem important! But when you do what God wants you to do TODAY, instead of idling away the time daydreaming, you would be surprised at all the wonderful things that come of it. 

20 March 2011

Sunday Blessings

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Jesus I am resting, resting
In the Joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power
Thou hast made me whole.

Jesus, I am resting, resting
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.

O how great Thy loving kindness.
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O how marvellous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings;
Thine is love indeed!

Ever lift Thy face upon me,
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting 'neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth's dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father's glory,
Sunshine of my Father's face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting;
Fill me with Thy grace.

I hope you all have a blessed Sunday, ladies!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." ~Matthew 11:28

16 March 2011

Book Review: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Number the Stars was recommended to my sister and I by a friend of ours'. The friend (who shall remain unnamed, for privacy reasons) was enamored with the book, as was her sister. They both insisted that Bree and I should read it. It's a very quick read; I think it only took me a day to finish it, and although I normally prefer long books (it gives me more time to really get to know the characters), I still liked NTS very much. 

Number the Stars
By Lois Lowry
*Summary taken from the back of the book

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her Jewish best friend, Ellen Rosen, often think about life before the war. But it's now 1943, and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching in their town.

The Nazis won't stop. The Jews of Denmark are being "relocated," so Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be part of the family.

Then Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission. Somehow she must find the strength and courage to save her best friend's life. There's no turning back now.

Like I said before, this book is a quick read, and for many avid readers, it may seem very easy, especially if you're used to reading the classics by authors such as Austen or Dickens, where the language is much harder. I also found the "dangerous mission" to be, while still very dangerous, very brief, so it wasn't quite as climactic as the summary makes it seem. But, considering that Annemarie was only ten (sometimes she seems a lot older), the mission was extremely age-appropriate. 

One reason I liked this story is because you can get a taste of what it was like to be a young girl who was not Jewish, but had a friend who was a Jew. I've read Anne Frank's diary and other books from the point of view of the Jewish people, and while they are very interesting, it was nice to read Number the Stars, which took a new twist on the story. The history is the same--it's just told a different way.

And of course we cannot conclude this book review without mentioning Kirsti, Annemarie's little sister. As the oldest in a large family, I have a natural love for the youngest characters that I encounter in books, and I found her quite the most entertaining character in the whole story. For instance, because of the war, there is a shortage of leather in Copenhagen. But Kirsti needs new shoes, so Mrs. Johansen finds shoes made of fish skin. And, as you can probably imagine, Kirsti is not thrilled by her new "fish shoes." To quote her, "I won't ever, ever wear them! Not if you chain me in a prison and beat me with sticks!" That is, until Ellen offers to use her father's ink to paint the shoes black, which cheers Kirsti up quickly. :)

If you enjoy a quick, easy read that still manages to convey a good deal of the emotion a 300+ page novel would contain, read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 A BIT O' READING FOR THE DAY

"Kirsti sighed as Annemarie went to the breadbox in the kitchen. 'I wish I could have a cupcake,' she said. 'A big yellow cupcake, with pink frosting.'
"Her mother laughed. 'For a little girl, you have a long memory,' she told Kirsti. 'There hasn't been any butter, or sugar for cupcakes, for a long time. A year, at least.'
"'When will there be cupcakes again?'
"'When the war ends,' Mrs. Johansen said. She glanced through the window, down to the street corner where the soldiers stood, their faces impassive beneath the metal helmets. 'When the soldiers leave.'" ~Number the Stars, Chapter 1: "Why Are You Running?"

14 March 2011

Book Review: I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris

I received this book for Christmas from my parents, and let me just say that it has been one of the most influential books in shaping my views on the problems with "the dating game," saving yourself completely for marriage, and so much more. I read it cover to cover and loved it!

I Kissed Dating Goodbye
By Joshua Harris
*Summary taken from the back of the book

Going out? Been dumped? Waiting for a call that doesn't come? Have you tasted pain in dating, drifted through one romance or, possibly, several of them? 

Ever wondered, Isn't there a better way?

I Kissed Dating Goodbye shows what it means to entrust your love life to God. Joshua Harris shares his story of giving up dating and discovering that God has something even better--a life of sincere love, true purity, and purposeful singleness. 

Wow. This book is stunning. I can't admire it more. I think what makes it even more credible is the fact that Mr. Harris is now happily married with three little children--real proof that there is another way. We don't have to play "the dating game." God has a better plan for us. And it starts when you kiss dating goodbye. 

Another good point is the fact that Mr. Harris uses real life stories of his friends and relations to back up what he's saying. I really enjoyed that part, because I could "see" the results of the choices they made in their lives, such as whether or not to guard their hearts, keep themselves pure, etc. It really makes you look over your life and rethink what you always assumed was right. 

One of the main messages in IKDG is the fact that there is no set "rule" that all Christians have to follow.  Courtship does not have one definition, and neither does dating. You could court, and yet go about the process not guarding your heart anymore than you would if you were dating. On the other hand, you could date, but that wouldn't neccesarily mean you were taking part in what the world defines as "dating." It's not about whether you use the term "dating" or "courtship"--it's about your heart.

Have you noticed that in our modern day life many guys and girls date (and hug and kiss), but they would laugh if you mentioned anything concerning marriage? They want the fun of dating and feeling "loved," but they're not ready for the sacrifice of marriage. And thus, they are giving their hearts away to every guy or girl they date. Mr. Harris has what he calls his Little Relationship Principle, and that is "The joy of intimacy is the reward of commitment." If you're not ready to commit, you certainly aren't ready to be intimate. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. 

QUITE A BIT O' READING FOR THE DAY

There are so many excellent quotes that I couldn't possibly choose a favorite, and because the content of this book is so much better described through Mr. Harris' own words, I decided to include... er, many more quotes than I normally do. :)

"I want to help you examine the aspects of your life that dating touches--the way you treat others, the way you prepare for your future mate, your personal purity--and look at what it means to bring these areas in line with God's Word." ~I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Introduction

"Every relationship for a Christian is an opportunity to love another person like God has loved us. To lay down our desires and do what's in his or her best interest. To care for him or her even when there's nothing in it for us. To want that person's purity and holiness because it pleases God and protects him or her." ~I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Chapter 1: "So This Is Love?"

"A relationship based solely on physical attraction will only last as long as the feelings last." ~I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Chapter 3: "The Seven Habits of Highly Defective Dating"

"Until you realize God's gift of your singleness, you'll probably miss out on the incredible opportunities it holds." ~I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Chapter 4: "Counterculture Romance" 

"Like a fruit picked green or a flower plucked before it blossoms, our attemps to rush God's timing can spoil the beauty of His plan for our lives." ~I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Chapter 6: "The Right Thing at the Wrong Time Is the Wrong Thing"

"Purity doesn't happen by accident; it requires obedience to God." ~I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Chapter 7: "The Direction of Purity"

"We need to take our focus off of ourselves and look for ways to serve those around us." ~I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Chapter 10: "Just Friends in a Just-Do-It-World"

Read this book. Seriously. It will change your opinion on dating forever.

12 March 2011

I've Returned!

Yes, you read right, ladies. I am back from my 2 week vacation from posting on this little blog o' mine. It was restful, to say the least, to step away from the pressure of posting. But, at the same time, I missed all of my lovely readers dearly. So, even though the break was nice, I'm *very* glad to be back!

This will just be a short note, as I have little time to spend on the computer at the moment, but I wanted to alert you to the fact that yes, I have returned to "blog world." Be expecting PLENTY of books reviews in the very near future (I've got so many book reviews saved in my Drafts section--I've got to start sorting through and posting them). Also, regency gown updates will be posted frequently, as the English Country Dance is rapidly approaching. And of course, we can't forget Violets Are Blue. *wink*

Well, sadly that's all I have time to say for now. :( Have a good night, ladies!


P.S. Thank you all SO much for praying for Violets Are Blue on March 9th! You don't know how much that meant to me. Please, have a cup of chai tea on me. :)
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