**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.**

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Lessons, joys, etc // 2

 ~ God is the only truly effective antidote to stress.
 ~ A minute in the presence of God is never wasted.
 ~ I'm not perfect (wow, surprise surprise!).
 ~ I know (again) why emotional attachment isn't a good idea: it hurts.
 ~ Hurts and mistakes aren't good. But if they happen, God always, always, teaches us stuff through them.
 ~ A life of purity CANNOT be lived in my strength. No way, no how.
 ~ "The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)
 ~ Stress - is it not, at least in part, fear? Fear of not meeting a deadline? Fear of being unorganised? Fear that God will not help you get done all your school when you've entrusted your day to Him? Isn't it? But, as long as you have committed your day/deadline/whatever to God (and if you haven't, you should), why stress? I can say from experience that God works supernaturally when we lay our rising stress aside to come before God and give it to Him. I've done a full day's school in four hours when I let God take my stress/fear. And that kind of thing has happened over, and over, and over.

 ~ "The Grey Havens" music.
 ~ Full water bottles.
 ~ Holding books in my hands, excitement washing over me.
 ~ "Beowulf" = awesome.
 ~ To rest content.
 ~ John Dreamer music.
 ~ Cool lunch box.
 ~ Loom-band owls.
 ~ First co-op of the year.
 ~ 'The Art of Argument.'
 ~ Forgiveness.
 ~ Peace that transcendeth all understanding.
 ~ Psalm 62.
 ~ God giving me a flower via our sweet little neighbour.
 ~ iPhone photos.
 ~ Finding God's plan for an earlier task I thought I'd done in vain.
 ~ Holding on for dear life while tubing down the river.
 ~ Grinning in the water while I wait for the boat to pick me up.
 ~ Almost no mozzie bites.
 ~ Four photographers x trigger-happy-ness = a flood of glorious captured memories.
 ~ Rude, but good, spiritual awakening.
 ~ Tinned fruit.
 ~ Bus ride with my brother.
 ~ Becoming fairly confident with First Aid.
 ~ New orthodic shoes.

Cassie xoxoxo

Sunday, 15 February 2015

When I fail...

This is a drawing of what I'm feeling at the moment. My heart is rough and bleak....
but a seed is growing, a flower is starting to flourish.

It's Valentine's (or ish; I'm not sure when I'll post this). All Christian bloggers are ordered by an unwritten law to post something about love during this week. :P What it really means. Why we singles shouldn't take sulk by ourselves, but take advantage of the day to live and celebrate our singleness. Etc. And I say, yes. All well and good. But this Valentine's, I'm going to shake it up a little. (Which is kinda cliché in itself, but let's move on.)

So there's this boy. I've been attracted to him for a while. (Nothing amiss there.) We have chemistry (we click really well). (Which is fine.) I have to watch my actions and words very carefully around him. (Knowing to be careful is good.) Anyways, I was around him recently, and the following day was evaluating my actions and reactions, watching my heart, monitoring my feelings, praying, the usual post-being-with-him gig. And, while I felt that I had acted OK, I became increasingly frustrated with the way that my attraction tainted my relationship with him, if just in my mind and heart. I was feeling rather overwhelmed by it. In fact, the more I thought about the attraction, the more swallowed by it I realised I was. It was there, always there. It clung to me, and I hated it.


Part of me was despising it, crying to God to take it away, desperate for it to go, sick and tired of it.

And part of me was resisting harder than I've ever felt it before. It was screaming to hold on, it wanted that warm-fuzzy feeling, it didn't want to risk this connection disappearing. I was in the deepest conflict I've ever been in when dealing with these feelings. My new self was leaping toward God, and my old self was shrieking "NO!!!! Hold on!!!!" harder than ever before.

"God!" I cried, "this is going deep! There are heart-strings there that don't want to be cut!"

It dawned on me slowly. And with it came horror.

There are deeper heart-strings there than I've ever had before... I feel emotionally tied to him, and part of me doesn't want to tear away... One simple question: why? God was knocking hard on my heart. Why, Cassie, does this hurt so bad? Why, Cassie, is part of you desperately holding on more than has happened before?

Why? Because I had let it happen. I realised that I had been secretly, almost subconsciously, been fostering these heart-strings, this emotional attachment. I had let heart-guard down. I had used 'we have chemistry' as an excuse to let that warm-fuzzy feeling stay, instead of seeing it as potentially dangerous (let it stay, and it will mellow and grow) and being on my guard like I usually do.

And now came another question: how? How had I not seen this? How had I shoved away the quiet warnings of God when I asked myself to define for the millionth time how I saw him, when I already knew the answer (therefore rendering it an excuse to think about him)? How had I not realised that this depth was too deep? How had I used the words 'our hearts are bonded' a hundred times in my mind without seeing that I wasn't talking about chemistry, I was talking about one of the very things I speak against - emotional attachment!?

I was shocked. And deeply sorry. And at the same time thanking God for smacking me over the head before it got worse. Oh, but it hurt. It still does.

This Valentine's, I could have exhorted you to rejoice in singleness and in purity. I could have shown you through Scripture what love means and reminded you to follow that. I could have tapped you on the shoulder and told you to keep in mind that your heart belongs first and foremost to God. But I'm not.

Because today, I wanted to tell you that I fail at purity too. I, who exhort you to purity, who is passionate about it, who's been on this journey many years and is pretty apt at catching herself. Yes, me. I fail. And here is a particularly poignant example.

I've also re-leant for myself what I always tell others - that failing isn't the end. That, thanks to God's almighty grace, He picks me up, dusts me off, and sets me on the path again. That "if we forgive our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9.) That godly sorrow and repentance is wonderful, but guilt is not. And also (this is huge), that a life of purity must not be lived in my strength, but GOD'S! It is only His power that (1) declares me clean through Christ's death, and (2) enables me to actively live out a life of purity. When I am weak, then He is strong. It's all been a huge lesson, and while it is painful, I am thankful for it.

This Valentine's, remember that all us bloggers aren't super-humans. We aren't excessively spiritual. And we certainly aren't perfect. Me included.

And also remember - when I fail, when you fail... our Father swoops to our rescue!

Your sister, and fellow flawed human,
Cassie xoxoxo

Friday, 6 February 2015

Poem of Peace

I wake, lie still.
I look into myself, watching, feeling.
Has sleep done me good? Washed away the tears
and torture of last night?
No, for I am as disquiet and depressed as
I was coming home last night from that 
youth party that sullied my heart.
I want to sleep again, but I remember
my duties, my coming chores.
I get out of bed.

Two hours later, I wish I hadn't.
My morning has gone downhill,
my stresses piling up into a mountain.
I rush, my heart squeezed into an unforgiving ball.
 Brief respite I find at work, but when
my parents come late, again it crushes me.
I waste an hour on a task I did wrong. 
Another rock is tied to my heart.
I know I haven't spent time with my King,
my Prince of Peace, but still I press on
to complete a task.

And then I give up, collapse on the bed.
My heart is anguished enough to want
to shed tears, but not enough to
actually summon their relieving moisture.
I breath deep, quoting Philippians 4:7
to cover my heart in peace.
Well I know the beauty of that verse.
I cry to my King, my Prince of Peace,
and my mountain....
The rocks flee, the darkness is banished
I sigh with thanksgiving, open the pages
of that glorious Book to the words
of my ancient brother.
"Truly my soul finds rest in God..."
Ah, yes, brother David, how true ring those words.
I soak in Scripture as my heart rests, 
as my soul finds peace, as my mind quiets.
I smile, my heart pouring thanks.
I pick up my pen. Now, brother David,
I will join you in worship.

Cassie xoxoxo