**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