Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Truth about New Years Resolutions!

Last year was a good year. Highlights were Samson's arrival and we purchased an investment property, our first property.
But coming out of 2013 I was feeling greatly discouraged by how the year had gone. The goals and desires we had been working towards just didn't come about and there was nothing we could have done to make them happen either. 

So when 2014 dawned I was not in high spirits, I was still frustrated from the previous year and, in fact, I was not done with 2013! "Come back here you year 13, I've got unfinished business with you!" Life does go on though and yes I was now in 2014 but I was sure to not make any new years resolutions or goals. I didn't want to make goals only to be let down by them. Oh but wait I did have one goal (that I was only willing to share with hubby) and that was to give less of myself to others. I'd felt somewhat hurt by relationships in 2013 that I'd decided to just look after me and care only for myself.

Then February came along and I found myself with my first 'productive' goal for the year. I decided to invest in building stronger relationships with a few people. Hang on, hang on.... what?! All of January I had decided to throw the towel in on investing in others and now, now I was wanting to do the complete opposite! "God, you softened my heart"!
My goal was to pull back from Facebook a little and to get personal. I have many Facebook friends but know few closely. I feel that there is a lot to see about others on social media but few people are interested in getting to know you well. 'Friends' want to know what you're up to but not interested in building a friendship/relationship with you. Its 'nosy' at its best. 
I picked 2 friends who I knew of well (but not closely) and had met and, I wrote to them asking if they'd be interested in corresponding via snail mail or even email. They both live in other parts of the country so having a coffee date isn't an option (at this stage) but that writing to these beautiful women might overtime develop a strong friendship and we'd become encouragers. 

So okay, God softened my heart enough to make one positive goal in 2013 but that was all he was getting out of me.
Apparently not so. A few weeks ago my husband and I were feeling a bit blah about being able (or rather not being able) to connect in our church. We decided to do something about it but we're not moving churches, we're staying at our post! We're "Embracing Our Place" which by the way, is a fantastic talk. I only came across this video last week. Anyway, we're holding our post and we've decided make a conscious effort to try and connect better with the people in our church family.
Sundays are mostly about child wrangling and creche for us so, its often difficult to hold a conversation that doesn't involve running after a wee little man trying to a) eat all the donuts, b) getting drenched at the water bubbler or c) rearranging the music equipment. So we've committed to having people over weekly for a meal. We've moved our date nights to Tuesday evenings and have created 'hospitality Mondays'. Our small abode and my mediocre cooking have always put me off having people over so I'm overcoming that in 2014.  We've been doing 'hospitality Mondays' for 3 weeks now and we've certainly adopted a more positive vibe for being able to connect with others.
God really did change my heart!

I have one more new years goal and that is to find the best coffee in Darwin! Once a week (finances permitting) I want to buy and try a coffee from a different cafe in Darwin. I will be making small reviews on the cafes/restaurants using 'Yelp'. And if you ever want to share in my search than I'd love to take you on my date!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Fashion Challenge

Okay, so my recent blog post 'My storyboard. My dreams' was really meant to be this post! I started writing and found myself off track and didn't have a clue how to bring it back to what I was originally going to write about! So if it sounded like a whole lot of fluff, it possibly was a little!
What I WAS going to blog about was on how I was scrolling through pinterest and came across a  pin that was Kendi's 30 for 30 fashion challenge. You can read about it HERE.

In short, Kendi started a fashion blog and found herself a little broke after spending many $$$ on putting together her outfits. So, she came up with the '30 for 30' challenge where she selected 30 items from her wardrobe and then created 30 different outfits with those items. And the catch was that she wasn't to purchase any new clothing during the challenge. The 30 (or what ever number you choose) items include shoes but not accessories or coats. 

I thought this was a great idea to help me get more creative with my wardrobe, and to not feel so bored with what I already have. I've decided to start with a '15 for 15' - 15 items of clothing (including shoes) and 15 different outfits. 
Anyone else up for a fashion challenge? If you'd like to follow my challenge and check out my outfits along the way then be sure to follow me on Instagram.

ta ta!


My Storyboard. My Dreams.

I am a huge fan of Pinterest! It takes me back to the days when I was studying for my diploma in fashion and, I among other students, sat around flicking through magazines [of any kind] in search of inspiration for our next clothing design. We cut, we pasted, and voila… a storyboard that represented a theme. The theme represented our own taste, thoughts, emotions and likes. They may have been someone else’s pictures but we ‘chose’ them.
One of the very first storyboards I created was one that had to represent who I was as a person. I was 15 when I created it and it has hung above our bed for a long time, it reminds me of the person that I am supposed to be. I think back to when I was 15 and I remember how young I was, having completed my schooling and now an emerging fashion student at TAFE. I was so raw and so pure in my thoughts and style. I drew from the current trends but I was never ruled by them. I wore what I liked! I also giggle a little because there were hairstyles and outfits where I now think “what on earth was I thinking?!” but I was my own.

Sometimes I feel so far from who I am. I get caught up in wondering what I ‘should’ be, and the person people want to see. My clothing style is still all mine, I feel no pressure there but my personality, my job status and my dreams all feel stretched and tormented. Will people like me for the person I am?
I look at my storyboard and I see that 15 year old Jessica was a girl with classic and feminine taste, she dreamed of being a wife and the story says she wanted to be a mother also. 15 year old Jessica wanted to represent womanhood and she stood for the sisterhood. She wanted the pretty things of the world to be appreciated. She wanted to have love all around her but, most of all she wanted to generate and radiate that love. 15 year old Jessica tells me that good friendships were incredibly hard to find and build. But as I glance at her board she says that she’ll still be the person she is and the person God created her to be, no matter what. No compromises.

Whilst I may have changed a little over the past 10 years I am no less the girl represented in that storyboard.
I can learn many things by looking back at that board but I know I could teach her a few things too. I would tell 15 year old Jessica that a pearl ring is an impractical engagement ring. I would tell her that age would not make friendships easier to build, and that flower crowns and flowing white dresses would not make a sisterhood. I would tell her that marriage wasn’t all about French kissing and skipping through fields. I would tell her that childbirth isn’t that scary after all but that childrearing is incredibly challenging. I would tell her flowers wither and that almonds are really expensive to buy, and books aren’t something you ‘just’ write. Bet you’re all wondering what this board looks like aye?!

Girls, women, ladies – be sisters! I encourage you to reach out to each other. Mothers, have a girl to girl coffee date without your children. Wives, embrace the unattached women, you were once there. And the single ladies, experience fun with mothers, wiping bottoms isn't the only way they find fun! In 2014 let’s create unity among women from all walks of life. Let’s be the change and radiate love. Accept one another for who they are and let’s appreciate our differences, be it age, taste in fashion or career.

This year I am taking back the dreams that 15 year old Jessica dreamed in that board. 25 year old Jessica wonders if she’s a friend worthy likable character but 15 year old Jessica knows that she is exactly who God wanted her to be. 

Let’s be the sisterhood.


Monday, February 3, 2014

February Date Nights

Its been both a busy and somewhat laid back couple of months. The holiday festivities kept us busy over Christmas and New Years, including a 3 week trip back home to NSW.  We've had random dates over the past few months but have otherwise not 'dated' weekly as we were. This month we resume our weekly date nights and continue to build on our marriage. 

Ideas have not been flowing easily but we've got a few things lined up. If you have any great date night ideas I'd love to hear them.

Week 1 - Watch a marriage DVD by Paul David Tripp "What did you Expect", redeeming the realities of marriage. 

Week 2 - Compose a song. Thinking praise or worship.

Week 3 - Play chess. I will beat my husband one of these days!

Week 4 - Write/draw a rough family tree of our families, going as far back as we can remember and adding all family members that we can recall. Matt and I haven't grown up knowing the others family so it will be a good exercise and challenge.