26 Nov 2014

alone



So, if you lose it all, who are you going to turn to?
Who are you going to run to?

You think you're fine all by yourself, alone.
But you're wrong.
You need someone.
We all need someone.

24 Nov 2014

You're trying so hard.



"You work so hard, just to end up at
home crying yourself to sleep;
remember you're trying, you are
moving mountains that have plagued
you since you were young, and you're
trying so hard.

Keep fighting, fight until you have
won. Fight until you have found your
way home, until the sun comes back
and your heart learns to love the
mornings again."

- T.B. LaBerge // Go Now

| | |

I love that quote so much. 

23 Nov 2014

South Africa


{All images belong to me, please ask before taking}

I came up with the idea to show you bits and pieces of my country in a blog post, using photos. (or, at least, the part of Africa that I live in)
I thought about doing this long ago, so, in my mind, it is far overdue.
Some of my followers actually live in South Africa as well, but a lot of them don't. And this post was inspired by questions frequently asked by my oversea blogger friends, questions about South Africa. 

Sometimes I feel I take my country for granted, and I really shouldn't. You'll agree with me after the photos... (some of them were taken with my iPhone, so when you see a blurry or noisy image, please excuse it with my apologies)
Here goes.

 
a brilliant sunset was shining, and at the same time it was pouring. // the clouds...they like to play.

 
a late evening warm sunset breaking through the trees // every spring, these beautiful little faces are plentiful in our garden.

 
 rainbow leaves. (I did not modify their color at all when I was editing the photo) // another sunset. (even more are coming)

 
a sunny day. // a Pincushion Protea.

 
yes, again with the daisies. // we have quite an incredible view from our veranda. 

 
candyfloss clouds, don't you think? // our moon rises are pretty breathtaking. 

 
sunset on the beach. (told you more were coming) // stormy clouds on a gloomy day.

 

 
double rainbow. // the Helderberg mountain.

 
sunrise. // palm tree silhouettes.

 
more palm trees.

 
ice cream on the beach. // when the city lights come out.

 
the moon, high in the sky. // big, fluffy clouds.

 
daydream days.

The Blogger Recognition Award

I've been awarded by the wonderful Arushee. She's really lovely - you should go over to her blog and follow.

rules and regulations:
  • Select 15 blogs to nominate. 
  • Thank the person who nominated you, and give a brief story of how your blog got started and a piece or two of advice to new bloggers. 
  • Attach the award itself! I decided to not attach any images, but Arushee's image is beautiful and if you want to use it, you can get it here.
  • Comment on each nominee's blog and let them know that you've nominated them.
  • Provide a link to the original to the original post on Edge of Night. (sadly, I don't know how to get to this link, so I can't share it)

what sparked fifth out of ten:

I was eleven when I first started my blog.
If I'm going to be ruthlessly honest, I did not start my blog for some special or deep or beautiful meaning or reason. I started it because I was a bored, little girl on a sunny, Sunday afternoon.
It was a wonderful new world, full of excitement, ready for being explored. And explore I did. I cannot tell you how many amazing online friends I have made through blogging whom I love, love, love.
But as I grew as a blogger and learned more about everything there was to learn about, I realized what I loved most about having a blog. I have mentioned this before, so you probably won't be surprised.
I loved sparking more sparks, I loved inspiring. 

New beginnings are beautiful. I look back on my blog's beginning with fondness.

nominations:

OK, so, I am supposed to nominate 15. But I think I'll do what Arushee did and nominate 5 bloggers. If you haven't been nominated and you'd like to do this award, go ahead.

1. Jordy
3. Vanshi
5. Rachel

21 Nov 2014

Perfect Moments

Image my own, taken with my iPhone at our local beach, on a day when my family and I played and ran and teased each other and laughed and splashed in the ocean and watched the sunset.

Sometimes I want to cry because I will never be able to fix everything that so desperately needs repair, or tie all the loose ends that, trust me, need to be tied. Sometimes I want to cry because I, myself, am so beyond repair.
Sometimes I want to give up, on everything. It feels as though it might be easier.

But I'm not going to. I'm going to choose to live my life, the life Jesus has given me to honor and praise Him with.
I'm going to feel the cold splash as I jump into the blue pool water on a hot Summer day, I'm going to smile and close my eyes as a breeze lifts a strand of my hair and drops it again, I'm going to clutch my warm mug of tea, I'm going to feel paper beneath my hands as I draw or write, I'm going to try harder to become more like Jesus, I'm going to laugh as my little brother wraps his little arms around my neck, I'm going to feel the festive feeling in the air as Christmas nears, I'm going to shiver when I listen to beautiful music, I'm going to read books, I'm going to bake treats with my siblings, I'm going to flourish under my God's loving care, safely tucked under His wings, I'm going to look back on precious memories and hold them close and I'm going to look forward to all the beautiful things that I know will happen in the future.


My life isn't perfect, but it has perfect moments.
I'm going to live the perfect moments.


{via}

9 Nov 2014

The Battle

Growing up is learning how to fight.
Every day is like a battleground. Those of us, who are left alive at the end of the battle, leave wounded.
And it hurts. Boy, does it hurt.
But sometimes we win the battle. Some days are better.
And, we go on, we live for those days.
Because, that's what warriors do. We fight on.
And I want to be a warrior for my God.

31 Oct 2014

100 Followers

When I saw that I had reached one hundred followers (100!) I spoke out loud to myself: (yes, I speak to myself sometimes, no judging) "oh, awesome!" and then moved on to other things, commenting, replying to comments, editing somethings on my blog.
It only hit me awhile later.
This is kind of a big deal, guys.
100 people liked my blog enough to follow it. They like it. They like what I write and post.
They were inspired enough to follow it. 
Just. Wow.
Because, let me tell you all, that I want to inspire people so badly. I don't know when it entered me, but it's in me. When someone leaves my blog, I want them to leave inspired. When someone comes seeking inspiration (whether they know they are or not), I want them to go away, satisfied. I crave that. When I post, it is for me, but the whole time I'm typing, I'm also thinking of who's going to read it. What they'll think of it. If they'll like it.
And so, people, I want you to know. I am honored every time I gain another follower. It sparks off something inside of me that lights my face up in a smile. Every time you read one of my posts, or comment, or follow.
It means a lot to me.

Every single one of you are appreciated by me. Thank you. ♥

21 Oct 2014

every minute of it

{my own image, taken with my iPhone -I am going through a stage in which I am constantly obsessing over daisies}

It's October, October 2014. This month will never happen again. This day will never happen again.
Just the way I probably won't be able to pick up my younger brothers for much longer.
Or the way I won't always be able to tell the people I love that I really do love them.
Or the way I will never be the same person again, the same person that I am today.
Or even the way that the daisies that are blooming in our garden will die eventually and will never come back to life or be able to bloom again.
We live in a universe that is full of goodbyes and endings.

My advice? Savor it. Enjoy your life, every minute of it. It's a gift from God.

Jeremiah 29:11 
 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

16 Oct 2014

taking the chance

Hey. You know that you're an extraordinary, beautiful human being, shaped by God's very hands? So, let me rephrase my intro.

Hey, you extraordinary, beautiful people. 

I have been finding more and more that whoever said 'time flies' was utterly correct. Strange, isn't it, how you don't realize that time has spread it's wings and taken flight until awhile after? Or, at least, I make that mistake. Often. And now, I'm finding that I'm getting behind in so much, and there's so much I still need to do, and so much I've ruined, and it's all very messy and overwhelming. 
That's why I'm here. To clear my mind, by writing. 
And so, I hope you keep in mind as you read, that this piece of writing brought me joy, not because I think that it's well written, but because writing it did me well.
I hope that you enjoy it as well.

---

It's a yes or no question. Simple, right?
You're waiting patiently for my answer, which makes me think that maybe you know how hard it is for me to make this decision. 
Everything stops, and there I am, standing quietly and without movement. I wonder if you notice the battle I am fighting with myself inside of me. If you notice how the war rages on, with my greatest weapon being the way your green eyes hold my gaze steady.
Comfort zones, I was taught, weren't meant to be left. But who was it that taught me? I'd like to say I don't know. But I do. 
It was me.
And now I'm rebelling against myself, every fiber of my being wanting to break free of what's meant to be safe. What is the point of safe, when it causes you to not live?
And I want to live.
I turn away for a moment.
I can feel the wild air around me, and I breathe it in, absorbing the oxygen it offers. My head feels dizzy with a tender excitement. 
Could I..? Really...? Am I going to...?
I take a step forward. I stop. I look at you again. The green in your eyes is still just as intense.
Then, it becomes clear. So clear, like someone cleaned the window of my mind until it gleamed.

You're still waiting.
I say it. I almost whisper it, but I say it.
"Yes."
And you smile, causing fireworks in my heart.

8 Oct 2014

your song

{Every bit of you is a wonderful, incredible piece to the puzzle of your happening. Your quirks, your flaws, your ups and your downs, the way you look, all of it.
And so, I want to see you be you.}

---

Look at her.
I listen to myself and glance at her.
Look how perfect she is.
It's true. Everything about her is so...perfect.
Why can't I be like her?


---

No. Stop thinking like that. Darling, comparison is the thief of joy. No one is perfect. Not even her.
But, that is not the point. We were not made to be perfect.
You. You can be yourself. You must be yourself. Because you do not know how lovely you are when you start being yourself.
 You are a gorgeous package - your quirks, your flaws, your ups and your downs, the way you look, all of it. God knew exactly what He was doing, when He made you. Every bit of you is a wonderful, incredible piece to the puzzle of your happening.
If no one ever hears it, how are we going to learn your song?
So put it on and turn it up, because I haven't heard that tune in a long while and my ears are craving that beautiful melody. Let everyone hear it. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You have nothing to hide.

1 Oct 2014

Chapter Two | Kittens and Cupcakes Writing Challenge

Hey! I was tagged by June for this. The idea is that a whole bunch of different bloggers work together to write one story - each of them writing and posting their own chapter. It's wonderful, isn't it?
Firstly, I want to tell you where you can find the first chapter, written by June.
Wanna follow this story?
Find June's amazing chapter 1 here,
and Madeline's brilliant chapter 3 here.


So. Bree from Introducing Inspiration has created this lovely tag in which everyone takes turns to write a chapter, adding on to the previous one. June's chapter was amazing.
I'm gonna post the rules, but I suggest you pop over to Bree's original post, here, on this writing challenge, to really understand how this all works.

Rules:

1. If you agree to doing this challenge after being tagged, continue on the next chapter of the story (chapter 2, chapter 3, chapter 4, etc.). And tag the previous chapters.

2. Write the chapter, incorporating the challenge words and situations.
3. If you would rather not do it, pass it onto someone - but if you aren't going to do it, don't add your own challenges.

4. After writing your chapter, tag someone else and state your own challenges.
5. Add the picture above your post. (optional)
///

The next person I tag is Madeline, from In The Wind. I'm pretty sure that her blog was called In The Wind because of this reason: her writing blows me away. I'm sure if you pop over there and check it out, you'll be blown away as well.

The challenges I received to write this chapter:
Gratefulness
Former
Raven
Caught___ing
"I finally got to __"

My challenges for the next writer of the next chapter:

Include the words:
Galaxy
Friendly
Wild
Tears

Situations:
An accident

Here is my chapter:

CHAPTER TWO

I found the second note in the same place.
This time,

I know your secret, Emily. I know what you did.

I could not say that I was not intimidated after I read those words. Because, whoever this was, they knew my real name. The one I had begged my parents to allow me to change for months, before they finally gave in and let me. I finally got to get rid of Emily, and Francesca was born.
So how much more did this person know about me? About my life?

I was only nine when I changed my name. But I knew it was what I wanted.
Right after I became Francesca, I worked hard to lose all of my old friends, to hang out at different places, to build up the new character I wanted to be by the time I got to high school, where no one would ever know me as Emily. I was determined to be one of ‘popular’ girls, and now I was. No one at my high school had the faintest idea that I had ever swapped boring, plain, na├»ve Emily for flashy, glamorous, sassy Francesca.
I didn't even have any grandparents, let alone cousins and aunts and uncles.
My mom had died when I was eleven, and when my dad married again, we never told my step mom. Only my dad knew.

At least that was what I had thought. Until now.
-
-
-
My head was throbbing as I walked along the pavement. All the thoughts, swimming in my brain like fish in a pond. What was going on? Who was stalking me? 

Surely it had to be one of my former friends.

Stop! It’s nothing to worry about, Francesca. Just keep your cool.
Somehow calling myself Francesca in my head gave me comfort.

I let out a deep breath. I tipped my head to the sky, where I saw a raven in flight. Or was that a crow? I couldn't really tell.
I kicked an empty Coke can. I brushed a piece of my blonde hair behind my ear. I stopped. I looked down at my All Star sneakers. The right shoe had a splash of Coke on the tip – it appeared the can wasn’t empty. I sighed, slowly. I carried on walking.
Everything felt so surreal.

I finally got home, after the twenty minute walk that seemed to take forever. I went straight to the fridge to find a sugar free soft drink.
From the kitchen I could hear my step mom, Greta, ranting about something to my dad. I caught a few of her words.
“I’m just telling you, you should teach her something about gratefulness!” she was saying.
And my dad’s answer, steady as always, “Of course, dear.”

Greta came into the kitchen. She turned and caught me giving her a fake, sweet smile. She frowned and shook her head. Then she left to go to her den, her room, with a bar of chocolate.
I took my drink and went to my own room, where I flopped down on my bed.
I won’t be coming downstairs for supper. Besides, it’s probably leftovers or takeaways again, since our maid, Ella, is out tonight, and Greta can’t cook to save her life.

I fell asleep almost straight away.
_____

Thanks for reading. :)
Note to June: I hope you don't mind, but with your challenges, I compromised a wee bit. Do you think it's okay? I have put where I used the challenges in underlining. They're not exactly right, but, like I said, I compromised a little...is it fine?

27 Sep 2014

The Tribute To Writers Tag


(This image was created by Rose)

Rose @ Truly. Madly. Deeply. was tagged, and said that whoever would like to do the tag may. So, guess who wanted to?

RULES:
  1. Answer all the questions.
  2. Say what you love about writing (if you don't like writing, then there's no need for you to do this tag).
  3. Share one piece of your writing.
  4. Nominate 3 other writers/bloggers and make up 5 new questions for them to answer.
  5. Have fun!
Rose's questions:

Is writing your passion, or a hobby?
It is most definitely my passion. It has been since I was five years of age.

Do you set daily goals for yourself? (such as writing 1,000 words a day?)
No, I don't. I write whenever I get the sudden urge to. (as I talked about in my last post) I love it when I get those urges.

Do you like reading books or writing them?
If I'm being very honest, I just can't choose. I would like to say writing them, but I can't say that truthfully...it's a very hard decision.

Have any helpful writing tips for your readers?
One: Just keep writing no matter what. You will probably go through stages where you feel discouraged and you don't want to go on. I've been through those stages. But the best thing to do is not give up.
Two: Write about what you know. Feel your writing for yourself.

What's your favorite word?
Hmm...I think it depends whether we're going by sound, meaning or spelling. For sound: probably flawless. For meaning: probably laughter. For spelling: probably flamingo. (that counts, right?)

I loved her questions. ♥

WHY I LIKE WRITING:

It just takes me away. I am so indescribably and blissfully happy when I am writing. I feel like everything bad...everything I don't want to think about just vanishes.
Another thing is how creative I can be. I can write anything, anything I want. And there are so many words in this world with amazing meanings. I love putting them together and seeing the result. It's like chemistry, I guess.

A PIECE OF MY WRITING:

Every human is like a puzzle. Every piece counts, whether it be a fault or a quality, a good or bad memory, a smile or a tear, a hello or a goodbye. It adds to the picture and builds us up to who we are meant to be and will be in the end.

I TAG:

I'm going to take a page out of Rose's book and say- anyone who wants to do this tag.

THE QUESTIONS:

1. What genre of writing do you enjoy most?
2. How important is writing to you?
3. Do you have a favorite author? Who?
4. Do you prefer to write or to read?
5. What is your favorite quote? (This question is optional, since I know it is oh so hard to choose)

I really enjoyed this...thank you Rose, for tagging me. :) 

26 Sep 2014

that place

My breath swirls in white, pasty clouds whenever I blow out. The air is so cold and I can feel that my fingertips are stiff. A chilly breeze picks up a few strands of my dark brunette hair and then lets them drop again. My pale skin looks even paler than usual.
I used to mind being pale. But not out here. Here I blend in, because almost everything is white.
I can feel a racing thud in my chest. I breathe, in, out, in, out, gently, and my heart slows. Why it was beating so fast in the first place, I do not know.
Tiny snowflakes flutter to the ground. One lands on the tip of my nose and starts melting.
I am not that cold, then, if I can still cause snowflakes to melt. But it feels as though I have no warmth left.
I stare at the frozen lake that is a deep blue color, and wonder if it would the ice would be thick enough to hold me. I throw a rock onto the surface. It cracks and breaks with a shudder, leaving a hole in which the rock sinks.
Probably not.
I brush snow off my bare shoulders and off the top of my head. Most would call me crazy to come out here in only a white, sleeveless dress, but I don't care. It feels like tradition, because every time I come here, I wear the same thing.
 The dead log that I am sitting on is collecting small heaps of snow, on either side of me. The snowfall is getting thicker now, and soon I must go home. 
I do not mind going home so much. I know it is warm and cozy inside, and there will be hot chocolate to drink and books to read and a fire to sit by.
No, I wouldn't mind going home.
But I don't like to leave this place either.
"Hello," I call out, but only to hear the sound of my voice, because there is no sound out here except for the wind, and silence can sometimes be scary.
Time passes. I watch little brown birds come and drink from the hole I made in the lake. I want the birds to whistle or tweet, but they don't, and still, only the wind talks to me. I watch the bare-branched trees shake in a gust of wind.  I watch more snow fall from the vast, white sky.
Eventually I stand. I dust off my dress. I stomp a bit to get my blood flowing so that I am not so stiff and freezing.
I start to walk away.
Away from that place.
Maybe tomorrow, or the next day, or even next Winter, I will come back.
Because I like that place. Even if I cannot explain why.
But for now, I am going home.

Have you ever had...a certain place that you loved? Somewhere you felt you could just be alone, and be you? Somewhere where your troubles did not follow you?
I have.

---

Hey. ♥ I wrote that mostly because I was sparked with the occasional, sudden urge to write.
I enjoyed writing this so much. Drawing and writing and painting are three of my happy places, but I have physical happy places, too. Before my family and I moved, we lived in a house that had a roof that was easy to climb on. And so, since eight or nine, I started climbing up there whenever I was sad, or when the world felt chaotic. I climbed up there and cleared my head, talked to God- and when I climbed down, I felt better.
I could never explain why that place, on top of that roof, brought me peace. But it did.

Blog Design Complete (+ New Laptop)

I put my heart and soul into creating a new design for my blog...and even though I might still add other things in the future, I think it's safe to call it finished now. I'm not sure yet if I will be changing the "explore more of my blog" icon.
So, what do you think of the new design? I'll be putting up a poll today and you can vote whether you preferred this design or the old one. I personally prefer this one. :) Blue and purple are my two favorite colors. Oh, and don't even get me started on how much I love watercolor paint. (Hence the watercolor theme)
If you have any questions about or on how I did the blog design, feel free to ask.

But now...time for exciting news.
Some of you may know that I sell products online and earn money that way.
Well, recently, I reached my goal and earned enough to buy a laptop. I can't tell you how happy and blessed I am! My parents put some money towards the price even though I did have enough - so I am very thankful to them. ♥
I'm going to be able to do a lot more online now, since I'm not always competing with my many siblings for one of the two computers we have...in fact, I redesigned my whole blog using this wonderful Lenovo laptop.

{this is the only photo I have of it at the moment, taken with my iPhone}
All I can say, really, is thank you, God. Wow, He is generous.

He sends the rain to parched lands, God illuminates the darkness...These are the symbols of his sovereignty, his generosity, and his loving care. Job 36:27-33 #scripture
{via}
It's true. Everything screams, "He loves me!" when I look at my life. And so I must be thankful, and grateful and generous because He is generous.
And then, though, although I am so happy with my laptop, I remember something else-

{this one was made by me, feel free to pin or use}
So. I can be overjoyed with my laptop. Or with my iPhone. Or with my hair iron. Or so on. But I have to, have to, remember to set my mind on  things above, and not on these earthly and completely perishable things, when there are so many imperishable things to think of in heaven.
I believe that God loves to give, and He is happy when we ask. But I also feel like He is reminding me gently to set my mind on those things- by bringing up the verse over and over again.
I've resolved to do that.