**Most of this blog is for girls only! Any boys, please only read the posts linked to in the "For Boys" page on the sidebar. Thank you.**

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Dear Future Husband: I'm learning to love you

Photo credit to Wim Mulder and Flickr Creative Commons

I wrote a post in the middle of last year called "Dear Future Husband: I don't love you." Well, not a lot has changed since then. I still don't think I can totally say with a clear conscience "I love my future husband."

But, as my last post indicated, I've learned a lot recently about selfless, true love. And recently a magnificent post popped up in my inbox that was a slap-in-the-face reminder that I need to be thinking about how I can love my future husband now, especially as I relate to guys in my life. I need to be thinking about how I can honour him, respect him, protect myself for him. (And yes, dear Bri, this is what you've hammered into me all along, but I think it actually, really truly struck me just the other day :P).

And now, I think, I hope, I can say - "Dear Future Husband: I don't know you yet, and honestly I am still a selfish little brat a lot of the time, but God's working on that. And I'm still proud too - yeh, there's a lot of work to go there. And way, way too often I forget about you, and I forget to remember that I need to be seeking your good all the days of my life (Prov 31:12). But, I'm trying. God's got His hands full training me, but I'm getting there. And with His power I will seek to love you right now. I know I make mistakes, and when we meet I'm sure you'll have a lot to forgive me for unfortunately. :/ But I'm learning to love you."

Cassie xoxoxo

P.S. Yes, glorifying God is the ultimate motivator for behaving correctly, but keeping in mind that we should be seeking to love our future husband is a helpful guideline. :)

P.P.S. What a fitting Valentines day post! :P

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Revelations about Love

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons and Artotem

Somehow I've been reading a lot lately about love.

God's crazy, insane, earth-shattering love for us.
How Jesus loves us despite our sin and messed-up-ness and unfaithfulness.
How worthy we are because He loves us.
What it looks like to really, truly love another human.
How loving God means serving Him. How serving God is loving Him.
How we can only be truly loved when we take of our masks and let it be the real us that is is loved, not the image we put forward.

It's especially interesting because I'm in a season of learning more of what it means to love others with real love. (Is God trying to get my attention and teach me something? Probably. :P)

To be completely honest, love is something I've never struggled with. From the moment I was born I have been surrounded with people who have shown me real love. Every moment of my life I've known that my family really, truly loved me. I've always accepted that God loved me. God has also given me with dozens of good friends through the years who have shown me love and not given up on me. While I've felt lonely, I've never felt a lack of deep, true love.

But I know so so many people have. And over the past... well, probably year really, God has been teaching me what it means to love with real love, His love, those who may have rarely felt that kind of love before.

And it's as I love that I am getting to experience love through a different lens, from a different angle. I will admit that to my shame I have been guilty of taking the love I have always known for granted. I have never really stopped to appreciate what it has meant to always feel loved and cared for. But God is opening my eyes to how great and powerful real love is when displayed through His people.

I see it in the grateful and slightly surprised look on a friend's face when I give her a shoulder massage.

I realise it when my sweet friend in hospital with anorexia breaks down as her friends who have faithfully visited her smother her in hugs.

It hits me when my friend, tears streaming down his face, says that before last year he'd never had a real friend. And now I am privileged to be that friend to him. I am one of a few who he can be real with, where he can take of that mask and experience genuine love and care. As he shows me the side he usually hides, the pain and brokenness, and I refuse to turn away, I hear in his words and see in his eyes the the wonder and thankfulness that goes beyond language.

Love is crazy!! When we offer it unconditionally, when we let it flow from Christ through us, oh it is then that walls are pulled down, wounds heal, hearts open, lives are changed! It is a beautiful, beautiful thing, and it's power is inexpressible.

That doesn't mean it's easy. It's often not. It's messy. It means listening to hard things and sacrificing time and being there constantly and persevering in Christ's strength even when the other person only drinks it in and doesn't give back, or doesn't thank you, or you feel like you'll collapse if you receive another prayer request.

But ultimately, to be able to love unconditionally with Christ's love, that is one of the greatest privileges I have! It's always, always worth it, and I thank God for showing me what love really is and does as I extend it to thirsty hearts.

Cassie xoxoxo

Friday, 5 February 2016

Sunshine Blogger Award

Helloooooo guys!!!! I'm sorry, I haven't blogged in ages!! It's good to be back. :D

So a few weeks ago I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Awards by both Laini and Sam! Thank you so much girls!!

As part of the award, I have to write seven facts about myself. So here goes! (Warning: they are very much random, just what's coming to me as I write!)

  1. Friends mean the world to me. Honestly, if I call you my friend, I'd do anything for you (within Biblical limits of course). I don't care how long we've known each other or even if we've drifted apart - if you need me I'm there. I'll drop pretty much anything to call, message, or drive over for a visit.
    This can be a curse too though - I have a tendency to let friends take first place over God. I need to be reminded that they aren't as important as God and that I can't be totally dependant on them. 
  2. I love dancing. I did ballet for 9 years, and though I don't do dance lessons any more, dancing is still very much in my blood. I love grooving to music or just dancing around the house... or friend's house... or shopping centre...
  3. I've been refined-sugar-free for a year! (So yes I can still have fruit and honey and coconut palm sugar, etc.) Yes of course there's been points I've been naughty and had a bit of desert or something, but mostly I've stuck to it pretty well I think! And yes after a few months it got to the point where it wasn't really that hard any more. 
  4. I never had a phone or Facebook until late last year. And looking back those are two of the best decisions I've made!
  5. Old books are some of my favourite things in the whole wide world. Lead me into a library of old books, copies of classics from a hundred years ago, and watch me wander round in awe, delicately drawing titles from the shelves, smelling their pages, relishing each word. A friend recently lent me his Literary Heritage Collection edition of Pride and Prejudice. Let's just say I'm kinda over the moon... :D 
  6. I'm starting a Bachelor of Psychology at uni in a few weeks! Yeppers, I've finally sorted out what the next few years will probably look like (subject to change of course)! I'm so keen, though I know it'll be a lot of work! 
  7. I've travelled the entire east coast of Australia (at least as far north as you can go without a 4-wheel-drive car). That crosses three states (Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria) which for those outside Australia might not sound like much, but it's actually roughly equal to the greatest hight of the US (most southern point of Texas through the North Dakota-Canada border). 

Now I'm supposed to nominate 5 bloggers... Well, to be honest, I haven't really kept up with blogs recently. :/ And of those I do keep up with, most have been nominated already. Like Lauren, from Defying Depravity. ;P BUT one blogger who I don't *think* has been nominated who is honestly one of my faves, is Rachel Joy from Noteworthy. :) 

So Rachel, the rules: You have to make a post like this, and…
1. Give your thanks to the blogger who gave the award to you
2. Include the picture – the bright yellow one – in your blog post
3. List 7 facts about yourself!
4. Nominate 5 other bloggers that you respect and let them know by posting a comment on their blog.

Anyway guys, I had a fun with this post! Thanks again Sam and Laini for nominating me! :D

Cassie xoxoxo

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Closing Thoughts for 2015


This has been an incredible year.

And it's almost over. SAYWHAAATTT?!!!!

I've learnt some amazing stuff from God, He's gotten me through some rough patches, and blessed me with awesome ones. I've made new friends and finished school and made plans for next year.

As I look back on this year and prepare for the one ahead, I think a spoken-word outro from the For King and Country song "O God Forgive Us" sums up my thoughts:

Run wild: To risk everything. To hold nothing back. To lay it all on the line- your reputation, your success, your comfort. It’s that moment when fear is overcome by faith.
Live free: It’s not the liberty to do whatever you want whenever and wherever you want. But rather it’s living in accordance with the Author of humanity, and finding freedom by connecting with the Creator who conceived you. Let the light flood into your eyes for the first time, feeling the blood course through your veins, finding the truest version of yourself by knowing the One who knows you even better than you know yourself.
Love strong: Because you were first loved. Because without love, we all perish. Because the earth and the stars can and will pass away, but love, love will always remain.″

Happy New Year and blessings for 2016!!
Cassie xoxoxo

Friday, 25 December 2015

Distraction on Christmas Day

Christmas was AWESOME at my house!!! I really, really enjoyed the day. I feel like we were able to remember the true meaning of Christmas, and celebrate well. It was so fun to have extended family together, eating and talking. It was so nice just to chill after Christmas lunch, take a nap with my brother, just relax.

However, there was a lot of little 'in-between' moments of time. You know, where there's no jobs to be done, and the adults are talking about something uninteresting, and the kids are all running around the yard. And in those moments, I felt... distracted. I wanted to be completely focused on God and the wonder of Christmas, and then focused on family, but my attention was being pulled away. By what, you ask? Take a guess... Yep, a guy. :/

We'd been in frequent contact, by messaging, and seeing each other at various things. Now I hadn't seen him for a few days, and we hadn't talked quite as much. However stupid it sounds, and was, I felt like I was going through withdrawal symptoms! I literally just wanted to sit down and message him all afternoon, but I knew that was both inappropriate, and rather disrespectful to my family!!

So I went to an upstairs bedroom with my Bible, and shut the door. I knew I had to sort this out or my heart would be in the wrong place all day. I confessed my feelings to God. And then I messaged my best friend/accountability partner, told her what was going on, and asked her to pray. Not seconds after I sent the message, it hit me.

This had to be spiritual attack to some degree at least!! Next to God, this guy was probably the thing that had the most hold on my heart and mind. So of course Satan would try to use him to tear God from first place! And especially on this day where Christ is supposed to be my special focus! Satan would do anything to destroy Christmas in my heart.

But I wasn't going to let him. I started praying.

Again I learnt that our Commander and the forces behind us are stronger than anything Satan can muster!! God worked in my heart, and refocused it on Him. All feelings of 'withdrawal' left, and I was honestly able spend time with my family without wanting to be talking to him. Praise the Lord!

For some of you sweet readers of my blog, Christmas day has been and gone for you. For some, it's still Christmas night. But even as this time of special remembrance winds down over the next few days, can I leave you a little reminder?

Don't get distracted. Yes, Satan will be chucking distractions at us left, right, and centre, but remember that you are free of his power!! Christ dwells in you, and He is stronger! Pray for focus in this time. Pray for a clear mind and an unbound heart. Pray for Christmas to be real to you.

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
John 1:5

Merry Christmas!!!
Cassie xoxoxo

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

A New Phase of Relationships // Part 3

So I'd decided to talk to this guy. I needed to apologise for my behaviour.

I thought long and hard about what to say, practised with Mum, etc. Basically I was first going to ask if he felt he'd been getting mixed signals, ask how that made him feel, then explain and apologise.

To cut a long story short, when I asked if he felt he'd been getting mixed signals, he quickly said "No." That threw me! I had this perfect spiel prepared, now what was I supposed to say? Well, I double checked, and said that I felt like I'd been sending mixed signals and needed to apologise. "No, you're fine." Ok... So I just said "Well, whatever I do is just in friendship, Ok?" "OK."

So that was very different to what I was expecting! I'm 99% sure his "no" was completely untrue, that he was just taken by surprise and wasn't ready to talk about it. It was kinda frustrating - I really felt I needed to say sorry, but he wasn't going to admit I'd done anything wrong, so there wasn't much I could do! But I guess the end result is the same - he knows I don't want a relationship or anything right now.

I'm very thankful things didn't stay awkward for long afterwards - we've had several good chat conversations since then, and I'm still comfortable driving him to church etc. Our friendship is growing, which is awesome. It's kind of annoying though - I still have to be especially careful since for all I know he still likes me.

I guess now comes the lessons I've learnt. Well, here's a list:

  • NEVER FLIRT unless you legitimately want a relationship. Ugh I thought I'd learnt this already - apparently not. :/ Hopefully I've learnt it now! 
  • If you feel something's up with your behaviour, actually take time out to evaluate what and why and how to fix it! If I'd done that this would have been sooooo much easier.
  • If you have something this complicated with a relationship of any kind, it's best to talk about it. Honestly, I'm glad I tried even though it didn't go exactly to plan. I feel we can still move on now, instead of wallowing in this what's-up-with-us-what-do-we-do-now tension. 
  • Always let your parents know everything that's happening and ask them for help! Oh gosh, I can't imagine trying to navigate this on my own. I'm soooooo thankful for my parents and how they helped me sort things out. 
  • Don't let backing up or an awkward situation stifle a friendship. Yes, I flirted, and had to tone down my behaviour. I've had to be way more careful with what I do or say. But that doesn't mean I have to stop being a friend, or being there for him like I would with anyone else. I don't have to stop talking to him or listening to him. Just because I had to cool my actions doesn't mean I have to be totally cold. I think that's a big mistake that can be made - letting repentance swing us too far the other way. Also - yes, we've just had a rather awkward time. But that doesn't need to be wallowed in. We kinda forced ourselves to get over it I think, which was good. 
  • As always, God is faithful. He's gotten me through this crash-course in different guy-girl relationships. ;) 

And now my story is all told. :)

Cassie xoxoxo

Saturday, 12 December 2015

A New Phase of Relationships // Part 2

The first half of these stories was quite chill really. A big deal, but over now, and OK, and not a huge amount to learn. This second half is different. Way different.

I guess I just start at the start, aye? Well, a bunch of us ex-grade 12s and our leaders went away for a few days. There were several guys going. I didn't 'like' any of them, but one I had gotten to know better recently, and had certainly started to admire a lot more. Well, over the course of the few days, I spent a lot of time with this guy - not particularly intentionally, but it happened. And... something awful happened.

I knew in my mind and heart that I didn't like this guy, that I definitely wouldn't date him at least for a few years, that he had many flaws. But there was a deep, more subconscious, almost 'lower level instinct' that was driving my behaviour. It took over, though I didn't fully realise it, and certainly didn't want it. Basically I ended up flirting with him the entire time. On the last night my leader asked if I thought he liked me... and that dragged everything into the light.

I realised I had been flirting, though not entirely deliberately, and even though a lot of things I'd done I would have done for and with any guy. And more than that... I realised that now he did like me. And that horrified me. I'd just been through this! How could another guy like me?! What if he asked me out? What do I do now?

More than that, I felt, and still feel, very guilty. I had pretty much just played with this guy's heart. I'd sent totally the wrong messages, and so when I realised I had to backtrack, cut back, tone down, be a bit colder, etc, which means now I've given him mixed signals. This guy is a precious child of God, and not only that, but probably one of His more fragile ones. He's been through a lot, and I'd promised to help him, and now I've gone and tampered with his heart. How could I?! I know it's not totally my fault - he probably did take some of my normal very-friendly-ness as flirting, etc. But honestly, when I face the facts, I am definitely majorly to blame. Which is awful. And I am more sorry than words can say.

So I wasn't quite sure what to do. Things weren't awkward, and I'd been working hard to send the right messages. But I wasn't sure whether to let things lie and cool down and hope we got through this well, or whether I needed to rip up those foundations, confess and explain to him and ask his forgiveness, and then start again.

After praying and talking to Mum and Dad, I decided to talk to him. I spent the morning sick with nerves while planning what to say.

How'd it go? I might save that for part 3. :)

Cassie xoxoxo