**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.**

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Closing Thoughts for 2015

Wow.

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

Thursday, 10 December 2015

A New Phase of Relationships // Part 1



So school ends. Schoolies happens. And, in quick succession, I have two boy dramas. Like Someone decided to say "Guess what, you're out of school now, you'll have to start bracing for different guy problems. Oh, and here's a slap-in-the-face introduction to this new phase. You're welcome."
Me: *deep glare at said Person*
Said Person: *innocent grin*
Me: *sigh*

Well, I figured I would tell you about what's been happening, and what I've learnt from it all. So here we go - part 1.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It finally happened.

A guy told me he likes me for the first time.

And I had to reject him. For several reasons, key-est being that I'm nowhere near ready for a relationship at this stage.

Ug, I hated it. It made me sick all that afternoon and even the following morning. Honestly, it went down probably as well as it could. We're still friends, and now it's not awkward. But that doesn't make it easy in the slightest.

The worst thing? Knowing I'll have to do it again in the future, to other guys. I'm not looking forward to that.

I don't actually have a very spiritual lesson to draw from this... Though prayer support was VERY helpful. If I could give any advice, I guess it would have to be, be prepared. I've been thinking about how to let a guy down when it happens for years. Ok you don't have to think about it that long, but do plan. What are you reasons, or what could be? What's a gentle, yet firm, way to say it? Etc. Don't stress, but have a few ideas. It didn't fail me. :)

Cassie xoxoxo

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Giving || The Basics



Yes, this is finally one of those promised posts! Thanks for you patience! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was one of those books where you don’t stop saying ‘yes, yes, oh yes.’  To be completely honest, "Money, Possessions and Eternity" by Randy Alcorn was one of the most challenging books I've ever read. Where, as every chapter ends, you feel a convicting pinch in your heart and know you have an application to put into practice. Where every page has a new amazing point or an old concept phrased perfectly. Put simply, I loved it, and DEFINITELY recommend it to every Christian, especially us teens who are just venturing into the big wide world of money and possessions.
One of the things in the book that most struck me was Randy's teaching on tithing. I've always heard of tithing and believed it’s important - my parents taught me to tithe ever since I was old enough to know what 'money' meant. But Randy didn’t just remind me of the ‘what’ of tithing, but also the ‘why.' Where before it had been just a practice I knew had some sort of good reason for it, now the motivations behind it came very much alive to me.
Perhaps I should clarify the ‘what’ first though. Tithing is giving 10% of all income back to God. It’s an Old Testament precept (first commanded in Leviticus 27:30) that carries through to New Testament believers, firstly because it is not specifically fulfilled or negated by the coming of Christ (unlike things such as sacrifices, not eating pork, etc), and secondly because Jesus endorsed it (Matthew 23:23).
That’s the ‘what.’ What did I learn about the ‘why?’ Well, quite a few things.
  1. The Biblical backing for the ‘why tithe?’ question is answered by what I mentioned above about Christ affirming it and it not being overridden by the NT. That is definitely something I learnt – where it came from Biblically, and why it’s still important now.
  2. Probably the biggest ‘why’ I discovered is that it teaches us that 'our' money is not ours but God's. And that's a HUGELY important lesson nowadays, with an increasingly materialistic world surrounding us. Randy consistently reminded me that our money is God's - we are just His temporary managers! We will answer to God for every decision we make. Giving back a tenth of our money to God is one of the best things we can do to remind us of this wonderful and solemn privilege. It just... does something. It reminds us, even subconsciously, that money is not permanently ours. Pushing some money constantly out of our hands it reminds us reminds us that we never had a hold on any of it in the first place and never will. 
  3. Promised rewards in this life is another reason to tithe. No, no, tithing does not mean that God will make us rich. It does not mean that suddenly everything will be smooth. Randy was very clear that he was not preaching prosperity gospel. But Malachi 3:10 and 12 does say this: ' "Bring the whole tithe... Test Me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there is not be room enough to store it. Then all nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the Lord Almighty.' God blesses those who tithe! And blessings come in many forms, not just money, and not just material.
  4. For the joy of it! As I can attest to, it is an utter joy to tithe, not a burden! There is such freedom that comes when tithing teaches us that our money is not ours! And I love musing over the wonder that God is using our tithe to bless others more than we can know, and more than we can imagine! Plus just think of the blessing tithing brings upon the remainder of ‘our’ (God’s) money! Tithing is a joy! It can only be a burden if we forget the promises of God and the fact that it’s all His money.
  5. Why not? To be honest, I cannot think of a single reason not to tithe (and yes, I’ve tried to think of one!). Most arguments can be refuted by two facts: (1) our money is God's not ours, and (2) He promises to provide for those who honour Him with everything they have, and to bless everything sacrificed to Him.

So that’s what I’ve learnt about tithing. While my practice has remained the same, the heart and head behind it is all the better for knowing why I’m doing it.
What are your thoughts on tithing? Is it important?



Cassie xoxoxo

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Yes, hello.

Ug, I know I haven't posted in a while. Now's not a time of post-writing motivation and a million and one thoughts I need to get down, unfortunately. There has been stuff going on... a lot of stuff. Lots of lessons happening, and thing's I'm trying to work out. Contentment (yeh, that's a big one). Intimacy with Christ. Trust. Faithfulness. Quiet times. Friendship. Repentance. Distraction. Contentment (oh, did I say that? :P). And 'outside' too, there's been quite a bit happening. I'm trying to submit scholarship applications (prayers I get them in on time appreciated!!) and apply for a passport and finish a Uni subject and work and keep on top of year 12 and not get distracted by social media and YouTube (I swear that thing can be as awful as Netflix is for other people) and visit my friend in hospital and make time for other friends. I guess I should just sit down one Sunday and spill a few thoughts, even if they're not neat. But anyway, yes I'm still here and I am working out what to write. So, hello again. :) Do feel free to comment with what's been happening in your world, inside or out.

Much love,
Cassie

Monday, 12 October 2015

Blogiversary!

Photo credit: Kevin D and Flickr Creative Commons


Well, today marks 4 years since I started this blog! (And a week or so back marked 6 years since I truly decided to live for God.) 

(To be honest, I feel like I'm going to repeat what I said last year. Oh well. :D)

All glory to God. Seriously, I am so crazy thankful for how far He has brought me, even just in the past year. None of this (*sweeps hand towards myself and my tiny corner of the internet*) happens without Him.

A gazillion thanks to everyone who has walked by me over the past 4 years, 6 years... and, well, my whole life. You are such an encouragement and inspiration to me. Thanks to those who have given my intellect a good workout, been a sounding-board, let me dump my feelings, struggles, and joys on you, offered advice, and/or just encouraged me to keep pursing Christ.

Well, I think I shall also do what I did last year: pick some fave posts from the year past. So here you go (in chronological order). Enjoy!



Cassie xoxoxo

Thursday, 8 October 2015

I am not sufficient

Photo credit: George Samuel and Flickr Creative Commons

This past week has honestly been a hard one. A week of an aching heart and many tears and prayer battles. A weak where I have heard pain upon pain, most of which I have little power to heal.

A dear friend is struggling with her family situation and navigating a relationship.

Another dear friend wants a relationship but is going about it all wrong, and I can't help but read deeper hurt and longings underneath.

And a gorgeous, sweet, amazing young girl I know was hospitalised this week with a severe eating disorder.


The worst thing about it all? I am helpless. I cannot wave a wand and change families. I cannot break the power of a deep psychological and spiritual chain. I cannot force a dependence on God in someone else. That hurts me. My nature is to fix. And sometimes I can. But this week, I have come face to face with the realisation that often, I can't.

I can't.

I am not sufficient.

There are only four things I can do in these situations.


  1. Pray my heart out. I can petition the One who can heal, do miracles, change hearts, break chains, to do just that. I can wrestle in prayer.
  2. Support. Love, encourage, challenge, speak life, and just be there. Be there when my friend needs to cry. Be there to play games with my friend in hospital. Just be there. I refuse to be a fair-weather friend. With God's power, I will stay and love.
  3. Point others to God, not me. Like I said, I am not sufficient. Not nearly. So I am not the answer. God is. I am not the fount of answers. God is. Yes, I can support. I will not pull away when a friend needs to lean on me. But ultimately, the solution is God, not me. That's where I need to be pointing.
  4. Lean on God myself. These are burdens beyond my power to carry. But praise Jesus, I need not carry them! My Good Shepard is there, willing to carry me as I support others. He is my strength. Psalm 59:16-17 is my anthem through this season:  

"But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely."


I am not sufficient. But God is my strength, my sufficiency, my everything.

And, as my piano teacher said, at least I'm not at a loss for prayer points. :P


Cassie xoxoxo


P.S. If anyone has advice on how to support a friend with an eating disorder, please please please comment, or email me (link in the 'Contact Me' page on the sidebar). 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Fairy Floss

{All credit to Dale Mastin and Flickr Creative Commons}

 Mmm... fairy floss. Floaty, filmy, sticky, sweet. Yum. I do like the occasional fairy floss at  a féte or Exhibition. There is, however, another kind of fairy floss I find myself partaking of much more frequently....

Thought fairy floss.

Ah yes. How often does my mind wander to things that might feel nice, but in reality do me no good? How often do my thoughts linger on that wishy-washy TV show I paused to watch? Or that rubbish song I heard on the radio at the shopping centre? Or (most commonly for me) that special smile with a guy across the room, or the look into his eyes as you talked, or the funny comment he made in an online chat. I think there are a few kinds of fairy floss,  but the one I want to focus on is romantic fluff.

 Now, often these kinds of things we end up thinking about are perfectly normal and innocent in reality. Making eye contact with a guy when you talk is not something to be avoided (it's a way of showing respect). Funny comments naturally bring joy to our days, and a smile across the room is nothing big. Oh, or is it? This is where the problem comes in: not in reality, but in our brains and imaginations. We take some normal part of our day, and we dwell on it. We blow it up, we extrapolate on it, we take it further than it went. We instantly infuse it with way too much meaning, and our imaginations flick to what could have happened. Is that not true, at least for some things?

Don't get me wrong here. I'm not against processing your day.  But I don't think indulging in mental fairy floss, dragging simple reality into the dream world just for pleasure, is a good idea. How is it constructive?  Does it bring glory to God?  Is it not just like fairy floss - nice at the time,  but ultimately not good for us?

Also keep in mind that we can't stop thoughts coming. They come, OK. It's what we do with them that counts. Do we entertain them, or throw them away? Do we lingeringly lick our fairy floss thoughts, or do we dump them in the bin?

Yeh, I guess this is yet another post about guarding your thoughts. But it's important!! Let's make sure we are filling our minds with nutritious thoughts (sweet is still OK though, as long as they build up!) instead of fairy floss fluff. 


Cassie xoxoxo


P.S. If you're wondering about the posts I promised, you have every right to! I'm afraid I've had to put them on hold for a while. I asked for feedback on the first one from a friend, and he gave me some great advice, so I'm going to re-work it. I'm kinda busy at the moment though. I do have holidays next week, but I'm not quite sure how much I'll be able to work on it. So the first one is still quite a few weeks away. I'm really sorry, I probably shouldn't have promised what I wasn't absolutely certain I could deliver! I will have the up as soon as I can, but it will probably be a while. 

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Relationship Series

Hey guys! A fellow Rebelutionary teen, the wonderful Nathan Tasker, has done a post series on Relationships, covering things like dating, courtship, marriage, and purity. They are SO GOOD!!! Honestly, I can't praise them enough. I really wanted you guys to be able to read and glean from them, so I though I'd post the links here. Have fun reading them! (And be sure to leave a comment letting him know you enjoyed them!)

Part 1// The Purpose of Marriage

Part 2// Husbands and Wives

Part 3// Let's Talk about Dating

Part 4// The 'How' of Courtship (Personally, I LOVED this post. Getting towards the older end of my teen years, questions about courtship etc become more important. And it was especially cool since my parents and I had been having a talk about a guy going to the girl's dad first, and Nathan offered a really cool perspective on that.)

Part 5// The Heart of the Matter (If you read any post out of the 6, make it this one! I think we can get caught up in the ideal of 'getting ready for marriage' or the idea of 'not being ready for marriage' that we forget what getting ready looks like. And this is what Nathan addresses! Plus it's focus is strongly on 'holistic' purity (all of you, not just physical), which is awesome.)

Part 6// Now What? (A short, sweet, and practical conclusion to the series.)


Go check them out guys!

Cassie xoxoxo

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Is that what I really want?

Photo credit: Sam Caplat and Flickr Creative Commons


I want to get married.

Or do I?

Sure, it'd be nice. I'd have tangible love. I'd be treated like a princess. I'd be honoured and served and romanced and loved like crazy. 

But hang on a second. That's not really what marriage is about, is it?

Why do we look at the romance side and neglect the pure hard work it takes? We read the sentence above and love the idea, all the while forgetting that we have to love unconditionally, treat someone specially, honour, serve, and romance our husband! We forget that we have to give too! Good gosh peoples, let's face it - this is gonna be hard work! And I'd venture to say quite a bit harder than if we were single! 

Do I really want that? Do I really want to throw myself into the crazy effort it will be to cultivate a relationship? I'm not saying it's not worth the trouble, but let's be realistic here! 

Is marriage what I really want? It's hard to face that question. I'm not sure I have an answer. I know marriage can be very much worth it. But it's not easy! So I guess we'll just have to wait and see. 



Cassie xoxox


(P.S. No, this is not one of the posts I announced recently. Those are still in the works. I should have one out soon hopefully!)

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Info tidbit

Hey guys! Just thought I'd let you know that I've got a full-on blog post series in the works, hence the lack of posts for a week or so. Depending on... a few things, I may post something else before them, we'll see. But look forward to them! I'm very excited. :)


Cassie xoxoxo

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Lonely, But Not Alone

Photo credit: Jaume Escofet

I am so lonely.

You wouldn't think it from my email contact list - it's very full. But nevertheless, my heart is aching from the emptiness. I long for intimate friendships, for people who open wide their hearts and take the time to pour into my soul, and let me pour into theirs. Who will make time for me in their life and room for me in their hearts.

And you know what? That's OK. God created us for communion with each other, and so it's only natural for me to feel lonely when deprived of close and constant friendships. It's not some sort of spiritual weakness.

What would be not OK is if I believed the simple, subtle lie that I am awfully tempted to believe in this time: you're alone.

But that is not true. Oh, praise God it isn't! God is here with me, always with me!! And this is what I've come to know deeper during this season of loneliness. There have been many times I've fallen to my knees in joy and worship as the reality of God's nearness and comfort sweeps over me.


You rescued me and I believe
that God is Love and He is all I need,
from this day forward, for all eternity.
I'll never wander on my own, 
for I am Yours until You call me home.
I close my eyes and I can hear You say
"You're not alone."

~ Owl City, You're Not Alone'


I'm not alone. I'm not alone.



Cassie xoxoxo

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Why I Don't Have Instagram



Ah, Instagram.

As the title suggests, I don't have it. That doesn't mean I don't use it though. I do look at the pictures of my friends. Some have jokingly protested that I should just get Insta, so it looks less like stalking. Fair enough. *cough* Entirely *cough* false, though. I would *cough* never stalk. *cough cough* :P Anyway, despite the 'pressures,' I do have my reasons for not having Insta. Here they are.

  1. I'm distracted enough already. No, I don't have Insta. Or Facebook. Or Twitter. But I have email. And what I 'Christian Facebook' - Revive. And I follow a few dozen blogs. And so on. Honestly, I struggle enough with distractions, and I know me well enough to know that getting Insta would only lead to further distractions. And I consume enough media already without adding something else potentially harmful and unnecessary, at least just yet. 
  2. It would encourage my pride and selfishness. First thing I have to say is, this is just about me! I'm NOT commending anyone here. That aside, I am going to say, I think that having Instagram would bolster my pride and selfishness, the very things I struggle daily with. It would... highlight my achievements, my beauty, my skills, my life, my ministry. Sure, I'd caption with the obligatory Bible verses and praise God, but I think deep in my heart it would foster me-centredness. I don't want that. Honestly, I've got enough to worry about without adding to struggles.
  3. I don't have an iPhone. This is an entirely practical point. I don't have an smartphone, or even an iPod touch any more. And there's not much insta about downloading pics from my DSLR, editing them, and then posting them from my computer. I'd do that, sure, but if I got it I'd like to be able to actually post things like grainy campfire shots and the crazy sign I saw and my messy desk. Etc.


Gosh, this was meant to be a light-hearted post, and I feel like I've turned it into a school assignment on persuasive writing. :/ Honestly, I'm not trying to persuade anyone. If I do, cool, but I'm also cool with others choosing to use Insta! And I'll probably get it at some point. (Maybe when I travel Europe - jks, I wish. :P) I just don't need it yet. I don't want it yet, and there are reasons behind that. And there let the issue lie for now. :P 


Cassie xoxoxo

Thursday, 30 July 2015

How to Compliment the Other Gender



(Above pics from Messy Mondays' videos. I do not claim any credit for these images.)


Hey guys! I had the privilege of writing a blog post for my beautiful friend Lauren, over at Defying Depravity. It's about How to Compliment the Other Gender (who doesn't get frustrated about that sometimes!?) so go check it out! And I'd really encourage you to look around her blog too, she's an awesome writer with a knack of challenging and inspiring in every post. :)

Cassie xoxoxo

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Dear Future Husband: I don't love you

Photo credit: martinak15

"Dear darling,
 I don't love you."


That's how I started my latest letter to my future husband. (I hope he has a good shock when he reads it. That would be funny. :P)

It's OK, I'm really not as heartless as this might seem. I clarified that I didn't mean I didn't love him 'now' as in when he reads it, but 'now' as in as I write it. 

You see, I recently read a great blog post. It was a young woman's letter to her future husband. And in it, she professes multiple times that she loves him already. (Which, as you continue to read, please note that I do not wish to discredit this in the slightest.) "Aww," I thought, "that's so sweet an romantic. I should write something like that." 

But something deep inside me squirmed at the idea. And I realised, it's because I cannot say with honesty "I love you now" to my future husband. 

Not if you define love how I define love. To me, love is sacrificial. It's selfless. It's Christ-like. It's humble. It will seek the good of my future husband. And none of that describes me well right now. I'm selfish. I hate sacrifice. I have a long way to go with being Christ-like. I'm ridiculously prideful. Yes, I'm saving myself for my future husband, but if I can't seek the good of my family and friends, what makes me think I'd seek his good continually? Do I love him now? No way.

But I'm getting there. This isn't the end. The story still goes on. I'm learning. Always will be. And God willing, by the time a guy reads those letters, I will be able to say "yes, I love you." 


Cassie xoxoxo



P.S. Yes, I am well aware that God's plan for me might be singleness. I am not taking for granted that I will have a husband. But if I do get married, I think these letters will be very special. 

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

How Boring

Photo credit: Yasser Alghofily

I was sitting it church when it hit me.

I don't remember what could have triggered the thought. I don't remember what the pastor was saying at the time (it's OK, I still remember the message of the sermon!). I just remember it coming crashing down out of nowhere.


My goodness, how boring it would be to be a non-Christian!


See, pretty much the majority of my day, something it going around my head that God is using to teach me. Be it not yelling at my siblings, working hard, or fighting off a crush, God is consistently, persistently, teaching me something. Like, all the time. And even when I'm aware I've kinda got a 'breather' in between bigger lessons, there's always day-to-day principals to learn to follow. Not to mention talking to God often...

What do non-Christians do with no constant learning, training, connection? No wonder so many think they have nothing to live for! I wouldn't give up those for anything! To have boring, menial, futile thoughts all day every day instead of constantly growing, being moulded? No thank you! 

Thank You, God, for such an awesome, exciting journey! With You, life is never boring! To be under your loving instruction so often is a treasure greater than I can comprehend. May I help others come to know it too. 


Cassie xoxoxo

P.S. Please note I am not saying the non-Christians themselves are boring. But I think it's far more exciting to be a Christian!

Monday, 20 July 2015

A magnificent poem



I did not write this. A friend of mine, fellow Rebelutionary teen Samuel G, wrote it. Isn't it just glorious?!


From the depths of shallow feelings,
From the highs that leave you low, 
From the dullness of excitement 
And the facelessness of show; 
From the poverty of riches, 
The obscurity of fame,
From the anguish of a "happiness" 
That glories in its shame; 
From the narrow-minded "tolerance" 
That knows no deeper truth, 
From the childishness of old age 
And the tiredness of youth,
From the foolishness of "wisdom" 
And the depths of "higher thought", 
From the dark of the "enlightenment" 
May your own mind be brought. 

May you find God's joy in sadness 
And His life within your pain;
Crucify yourself to selfishness 
And, dying, live again; 
May you choose the "harder" path
(The yoke that's easy and that's light),
May you love your enemies, and find 
True peace within your fight; 
May your treasure be in jars of clay –
O greatest, be the least! – 
May your strength be in your weakness 
And on God's word may you feast. 

So reject your knowing ignorance, 
Humiliated pride –
And follow in the life He lived 
And trust the death He died;
For, much higher than the heavens 
And much deeper than the sea 
Is the love He gives to sinners 
Such as you, and such as me.




Sunday, 19 July 2015

A Note on Guilt

Photo credit: anna gutermuth

Yeh, I realised that in my 5 Minute Devotions post I'd mentioned that I'd say something about guilt regarding devotions. And I never did. Oops. Oh well, here it is now. :)

I'm sure you know the feeling. You slept in instead of waking up to have a QT. The day was crazy. You told yourself you'd have one at lunch time... after dinner... before bed... And then you crash into bed, and as you're about to drift off to sleep, you realise. You never had a quiet time. And you feel guilty. You let God down. He missed you. You aren't a good Christian. Etc.

Now, that guilty feeling can be good. It reminds you that QTs are important.

But it's also not so great. Because Satan can use it to plague us, and make us feel worth less than God sees us. When we beat ourselves up over missing a QT, that is Satan's work. When we tell ourselves we're not good Christians because we missed it, that's him too. It's all lies. And the wrong sort of guilt.

You see, there are two kinds of guilt. The first is conviction guilt. It's the Holy Spirit using our conscience to tell us that we've erred, and need to repent or act differently. That’s what happens, on a small scale, when we miss a quiet time (at least for not-quite-legitimate reasons). It’s conviction – we shouldn't have brushed it aside. Fair enough. We know we have to act differently. It’s constructive.

Then there’s destructive guilt. That’s when we've been convicted, repented, and determined, with God’s help, to act differently, but we still feel guilty. That’s not right. God says that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9.) Any further guilt is no longer for conviction, but is Satan trying to tear us down. So after being convicted about QTs, we should not continue to feel guilty. If we do, we should pray that God will make His truth clear in our hearts.

Here endeth my not on guilt. *firm nod* :) 

Cassie xoxoxo

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Of a beautiful moment in LOTR

To LOTR fans, yes, I know this picture isn't of the sceneI describe below, but I think it represents it well enough.

**Warning: if you have not read/watched LOTR, this is a bit of a spoiler. Not crucial or central to the main conflict, but a spoiler none the less.**


I was reading The Lord of the Rings yesterday (for the second time; I don't think I'll ever tire of that book). And I saw something that I had never really noticed before. Something that brought me to tears.

If you've read/watched all of LOTR, you'll know that Éowyn eventually marries Faramir. She realises that she really only loved Aragorn because of his nobility and valiance, and the chance he could have given her to rise above the drudgery of court life and win renown. As Aragorn says to Éomer, "In me she loves only a shadow and a thought: a hope of glory and great deeds, and lands far from the fields of Rohan."

Anyway, after wrestling through pain over her love for Aragorn, and realising finally what her heart really desires, she falls in love with and marries Faramir. In the scene where their wedding is announced, Tolkien writes this:

"Then Éowyn looked in the eyes of Aragorn, and she said: 'Wish me joy, my liege-lord and healer!'
And he answered: 'I have wished you joy ever since first I saw thee. It heals my heart to see thee now in bliss.' "

At this, I willingly admit I burst into tears. Why? Because this beautiful, beautiful scene is very similar to something that has happened in my life, and I would guess in the lives of many other girls.

You see, I once loved an Aragorn.

OK, not loved. Liked. My first crush. While I did know him fairly well, I think I at least in part liked "in him only a shadow and a thought." And do we not do this often? Don't we construct an image of the 'perfect husband' or 'dreamy boyfriend' and then when we find a guy slightly like that, we paste his face onto our image and 'like him,' when we don't really like him for him, we just like the image we have put his face on? And so we wrestle with a crush, and through pain.

And then we get over it. Which is what happened to me. (You can read a bit more about that here.) And we move on, and learn, and years down the track we realise how much we've learnt from that experience. Which is what happened to me.

Near the start of this year, I had a scene somewhat similar to the one above. Different, but in essence the same. I saw that guy I'd had a crush on over 6 years ago. He's still awesome. And as we talked, inside, I was just looking at him and marvelling. Marvelling over how much God taught me through this one boy. As far as I know, he still doesn't know it, but my crush on him is what started all this. This learning curve. My new convictions. This blog.

And (I'm going to start crying again) just as Éowyn looked into Aragorn's eyes and knew that her heart was healed, the past was the past, a new journey had begun, and she could say with freedom and without hesitation "Wish me joy!" so I suddenly realised that I could look into this boys eyes with clear vision, a whole heart, on a new journey, and with freedom and without hesitation say "I love you as a brother, God has used you in my life mightily, an I am so very, very thankful." (I didn't say it out loud, but my heart knew it.)

Oh, God be thanked for that moment, and for those moments you have experienced! God shows up in them. Suddenly the veil is rent and we see His work, His perfect timing, His abundant grace, his never-failing love.


I'm not going to turn this into a post with a lesson. I know it's not as elegant or as tightly connected as I might like. Honestly, it is just flowing from the joy in my heart. Those two lines in LOTR made me wonder afresh and literally cry for joy at the almighty sovereignty and grace and love of our Lord.



Cassie xoxoxo

Friday, 3 July 2015

How to change the '5-Minute-Devotions' attitude

**If you didn't read my last post, you probably should, because this one will make a bit more sense afterwards.**

So if we want to change our God-only-deserves-5-minutes-of-my-time (or something along those lines) attitudes, we need to do two things: tackle the root, and change our behaviour.

First, let's address the root. (Note: yes, I did not say anything about this in my last post. Why? I forgot about it, and only re-learnt this concept a few days ago (thank you Lord!).) As with any sin or wrong attitude, we can change behaviour all we like, but if the heart-root remains, we will slip back into wrong behaviours and attitudes. So we need to ask ourselves, "What is the heart-root of this problem? What lie am I believing about myself or God that is giving rise to these behaviours?" I'm not going to directly answer that for you, but (hint!) it's pretty clear. My last post pretty much described it, and it's easy to find with a quick heart-search. Bring it before God, confess it, ask Him to heal you from it, and replace it with Biblical truth.

ONLY after that is dealt with do we move on to behaviour. Here's some tips for changing the behaviour:

1) Deliberately set aside a longer time for quiet times (QTs). When I was first challenged to get serious about QTs, I committed to half an hour, and I found that a good amount. Now I find it isn't enough. Whatever your case, if you feel that the time you've put aside now fosters an attitude of selfishness instead of worship, extend it a bit. Sacrifice. That'll look different for different people. Don't fall into the trap of trying to 'beat' someone else's commitment, or feeling guilty because you only brought your time up 10 minutes instead of 20. This is NOT about earning God's pleasure. It's about doing what it takes to tackle a selfish attitude, and seeking to place our priorities correctly.

2) Set a specific time of day. This habit reduces the temptation of procrastination. Set a time, and stick to it. I heartily recommend first thing in the morning.

3) Seek some accountability. Let a trusted friend or family member know that you're trying to keep time with God as a top priority, and ask them to keep you accountable.

4) If you find yourself rushing your QT, pause, and just take those few extra minutes. Slow down and choose to prioritise.

5) Pray. Ask God to help you! Prayer is powerful, and praying will also remind you to carry out your intentions.


Do you have any more thoughts on how we can work at destroying the '5-Minute Devotions' attitude?

Cassie xoxoxo

Friday, 26 June 2015

5-Minute Devotions for Busy Teens



Or not.

I hope you cringed when you saw that title.

Why? What could be wrong with mini-devotions that allow today's teens (or mums, or business-men, or whoever) who lead crazy lives to get their fix of God?

Um, a lot. Here's the key reason:

They promote the idea that 5 minutes is all God deserves from your busy life. Think about it. God created you and loves you personally, so much that He gave His Son for you. But unfortunately, your busyness means you can only give up 5 minutes of your day to spend with Him. WHAT???!!!!! How is that honouring Him, loving Him? Why does your job, your school, your friends, deserve to be first priority, while He is only worthy of being pushed to the back-burner, the '5-minutes-if-I-get-time' slot?

This post isn't really about devotion books. It's about our attitudes. I know I'm guilty of this. When we're snowed under with school, we'd rather catch up on that essay than read our Bibles and pray. When we promise ourselves we'll have our devotion at night, but then our friend rings with a last-minute invite to dinner and board games, we jump right in. What does that reflect about our priorities, our value of God?


So the good news? We can change our behaviour until our attitude changes. (I don't think this has been tested directly, but it would be based of the scientifically-backed theory of cognitive dissonance - if our attitudes and behaviour are mis-matched, we want to change one to be in line with the other. So if we keep behaving against our attitudes, they'll probably eventually line up. Just don't forget prayer - it helps too. :D)

My next post will be about how we can change our behaviour so that it reflects better priorities. If you have any thoughts on how to remain consistent in devotions, please comment!


Cassie xoxoxo

P.S. I do think that there are cases where we legitimately might not be able to set aside a chunk of time to focus on God. And if we can't or forget till the next day, or something, it should not be a cause of guilt. I'll talk a bit more about this next post.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Poured Out




A few nights ago in family devotions, we read the story of Mary pouring the jar of perfume over Jesus' feet (Mark 14:3-9; John 11:2). And something jumped out at me.

Mary could have just given the perfume to Jesus. It was worth a lot of money, and surely it would have been a precious gift as it was.

But no. She didn't just give it to him.

She broke it, poured it on his feet and head.

Yes, the Bible explicitly states the symbolism of this act - "She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial" (Mark 14:8). But I think it relates to other things too.

Like our lives.

How often do we wrap our life, our heart, carefully, and 'give' it to Jesus? "Here, Lord. See, this is my life, neatly packaged. Isn't it precious? There, go put it on your shelf and look at it with pride and pat me on the head for being so sacrificial."

How rarely are we like Mary, actually cracking our life, pouring it out in repentance, awe, adoration, true sacrifice? How rarely are we willing to really let Jesus have our lives, use them as He wishes? How rarely do we let to fragrance of our sacrifice drift throughout wherever we are, until people say "What are you doing?!" How rarely do we proclaim Christ's burial (and resurrection) with our lives?


"But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God."
{Philippians 2:27}


Cassie xoxoxo

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Blessings

Just one of God's incredible blessings


1.5 thousand.

15 hundred.

1,500.

That's how many blessings are documented in my gratitude journal, recorded in just over a year.

Wow. That is a LOT. I never knew I'd get so far.

I'm still kinda shocked at how many that is.

Isn't God awesome!? I know He has given me 1.5 thousand blessings in the past year - and that's just the ones I've recorded!!! There are literally thousands more.

Sometimes keeping a blessings journal has been awesome in the moment. It can draw my focus to what God has given me that day, that hour. And sometimes it's kinda.... meh. But when I hit a number like 1.5 thousand it really hits home how wonderful and gracious our God is. He doesn't have to give me those blessings, but He does.

Wow.



Cassie xoxoxo

Monday, 18 May 2015

The Liebster Award



Hey guys! I was nominated for the Liebster (loved) Award by Rachel Shaus over at Notes from My Corner of Creation! (Actually, it's nothing that special, considering that she nominated everyone who read her post. :P) But I thought, hey, why not take the challenge! So here goes:


1.   What is your favourite colour? PURPLE! (Can you tell?)
2.    If you where to travel anywhere on earth where would it be? Oh gosh. Everywhere! I must say though, America is high on that list, considering that I have a stack of awesome internet-friends (including Rachel Shaus!) over there. Scandinavia would be awesome too... and around the Mediterranean... 
3.    Favourite season? Winter, hands down. It used to be autumn when I lived in a colder climate, but it's winter now that we've moved.
4.    What is the most adventurous thing you've ever done? Umm... I've been on a number of crazy bushwalks with family, I've given a talk on purity to young women half a decade older than me. But I guess the most adventurous thing was choosing to live life for God and submit to Him. It's crazy, but so worth it. :D
5.    Can you pick just one favorite song? If so, what is it? The simple answer is 'no.' :P Faves at the moment include 'Matter' by for King and Country, 'For You' by Josh Garrels, and anything by The Gray Havens.
6.    Do you have any hobbies? What are they? Reading, when I get time! And blogging, of course. And dancing, if you count around the house all day. And other creative things that capture me for a season - crocheting, hand-lettering in Chinese ink, drawing, etc.
7.    What did you eat for breakfast? (Ah, random, Rachel!) I had scrambled eggs with cheese.
8.    Your opinion on mismatching socks is… If you wear them, wear them with pride! I don't personally wear mismatched socks, probably cause the only socks I really wear are black ones. But I don't mind if others wear them! Go crazy! Just no socks, and sandals. Ick.
9.    What is the wildest pet you have ever owned? Well, we have a green tree-frog living in our drain pipe that we've named Bob. That doesn't really count though. The only other pets we've owned are chickens. (No pet kangaroos, you Americans! :P)
10.  Your favourite bible verse is?? At the moment, probably all of Psalm 62, or 2 Corinthians 5:15: "And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."


Now I'm supposed to tag a bunch of other bloggers to give them the award and challenge. Here's who I nominate:

Raquel from "It's Just Raquel."

Katie from "His Princess Warrior."

Lauren from "Defying Depravity." (Although you've probably been tagged by Rachel.)

Rachel Shaus again, just because she wanted to get asked some questions. :)


Here are your 10 questions:

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. Who are the most supportive people in your life?
  3. How many siblings do you have (feel free to skip this if you'd rather not say)?
  4. What is your favourite board/card game?
  5. If you could have dinner with one person, past or present, who would it be?
  6. What are the three top things you'd look for in a spouse (BESIDES being a strong Christian)?
  7. What do you want to be when you grow up?
  8. What is a good book you've read recently?
  9. What is your (very brief) opinion on crushes?
  10. Does your family have a TV?


Cassie xoxoxo

Monday, 11 May 2015

Live Life.

Today is crazy. I'm sitting here with a yoghurt-y ramekin and spoon sitting on my psychology textbook to my right, and a to-do list sitting on top of my Art of Argument homework book to the left. The bench is sitting un-cleared from lunch. I'm semi-stressing about a huge assignment that is due early next week and oh-my-gosh-I've-got-babysitting-in-two-hours-and-a-work-shift-tomorrow-and-most-of-Thursday-taken-up-with-co-op-and-Uni-on-Friday-and-youth-and-volunteering-on-Saturday-and-Sunday-is-a-Sabbath-and-aaaahhhhh!!!! Yep. Exactly.

So why am I writing this if I have so much to do?

Because a to-do list and deadlines is not life. Life is more than that.

Life is still taking time to drive to my friend's house (yes, I can do that now!!) and spend an hour on a rug with tea and paleo cake and schoolwork.

Life is saying yes to volunteering and babysitting. (Note: I am careful not to say yes to EVERYTHING though.)

Life is listening to your little brother sing along to your friends' CD.

Life is taking a few minutes to pray and write encouragement for a friend on the other side of the world who I've never met but is going through depression and is asking for prayer.

Life is letting that yoghurt-y ramekin sit there for another minute while you relax, trust, and form the experience of the haven of rest that God is into the words of a blog post.

Life is life in Christ.

Live life.


Now, back to that assignment...
Cassie xoxoxo

Thursday, 7 May 2015

"Do you like working with kids?"

Photo credit to David Guyler and Flickr Creative Commons

That was the question I got asked all. the. time. as a young teen. I think it's because I was seen as being 'good with kids.' - after all, I do have 4 siblings. However, despite being 'good with kids,' I would always answer that question with a "NO!" (OK, I put it more gently than that, but that's what I felt like saying.) I'm not exactly sure why this was - maybe having 4 siblings already made me avoid any more kids than I had to be around (no offence to my siblings, you're all awesome). But whatever caused it, I did not enjoy child-minding or anything else that involved interacting heavily with kidos. Put it this way - for multiple years, I chose to work in the kitchen with all the old ladies during out Kids Holiday Club, rather than lead a kids group.

Now, however, if you asked me the same question, I would nod and say "Yeh, I do!" I babysit sometimes for an family in our suburb, I lead Kid's Church for a term last year, I've spent a week child-minding at a conference, there are two little girls at church I absolutely adore and who come and give me hug every week, etc etc. 

So what changed? I hated working with kids; now I enjoy it. What happened to change my attitude? The answer is simple.

A prayer.

A few years ago, we had 5 young kids stay at our place for about a week while their mum had cancer treatment. Now, we've known these kids for quite a while, and they were definitely included in my 'I don't like kids' attitude. So when I heard they would be constantly with us for a week, I knew something had to be done. I couldn't spend a week loathing them. That would not be helpful to anyone.

So, I came to God, and prayed. "God, you know I don't really like kids. But this week, I kinda have to. Lord, please help me love these kids like You love them. I can't muster up the love or kindness. Only You can change my attitude."

That week, I saw one of the more dramatic answers to prayer I've seen. My attitude was completely changed. I switched from resenting the kids to truly loving them. Even Mum noticed. 

And as I said before, it wasn't me. It couldn't have been. Only God could have worked that kind of change. The only thing I did was send a request - a prayer. And boom. God worked heart-change. 

I think this change illustrates what can happen when we stop complaining about something, or assuming a certain attitude is 'OK,' and decide to do something about it - to pray. For me in the circumstance, it was a single prayer. Other times, both for me and others, it might take months of continual prayer. One of my best friends can tell many stories about this. She is one of the best people I know for praying about something, or for someone, until it/they change. Every time I talk to her, I come away challenged again to pray about stuff, and, if necessary, to keep praying faithfully until I see change.

What could be changed in your life if you chose to pray about it?


Cassie xoxoxo