Sunday, 26 July 2015

Finding Inspiration

I write a lot. It's one of my favourite things to do, and one of the things that keeps me the most joy-filled. But in order to write successfully, there are several things I have to do:

- Have an uncluttered, tidy room. It is hard to have uncluttered thoughts if your life is full of clutter :) 
- Have a "to-do" list (I'm an ultimate list maker - can you tell?!) so that I don't get stressed by taking the time out of life. 
- Set aside the time to write, and stick to it! Otherwise it will never happen. 
- Have things of beauty around me. That's one of the best ways to get inspired. 
This is my Inspiration Wall above my bed - it has pictures
of some of my favourite events and memories. It brings me
so much joy! I've just recently updated it, so I'm sure you'll
recognise some of the photos. The paper letters are from a
Coldplay concert I went to in 2014 - SO cool!
- Listen to beautiful music - this Lord of the Rings compilation is one of my favourites at the moment. So is this piece from the 1989 Kenneth Branagh film "Henry V"! I'm currently studying Henry V for one of my papers - and I LOVE this song! Never fails to inspire me :D
- Light a candle. Enough said.
A new candle I recently acquired :D
- Read good literature that fuels your writing passion and builds on your writing style. 
- Daydream. 
- Drink tea. 

I'm sure there are many more, but those are my go-to writing tips. Do you have any things you do? Also, I'm thinking of posting some of my recent writings on here - what do you think? :D

Back soon, 
Nina xx

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Busy Days and Quiet Moments

Appreciating beauty - a little splash of colour from yesterday <3
Semester is back on the go, work is back and busier than ever, I'm working on exciting new projects and the wedding planning is really on the go now. Exciting. Busy. Vibrant. Beautiful. I'm so thankful for this life of mine.

Anyone who knows me (or even anyone who just reads my blog haha) probably knows I have a tendency to get over-committed and too busy... And I'm determined not to do that this semester. I've been making sure I take time to just sit and be and to do things that still my soul.
Pray.
Write stories.
Sing.
Play my Irish Whistle (haha).
Read.
Dance.
Just do nothing.
Think.

Taking these quiet moments makes a huge difference to my attitude about life. I value that. I am LOVING planning my wedding - my dress is currently being altered and the invitations are almost ready to send (eeee!!) - but if I don't take quiet moments, it just all becomes to much and my brain freaks out. I'm finally learning this.
Being busy is one of the things that we let happen in life that keeps us from God most. Well, not everyone, but I certainly do. This quote sums it up really well, I think.

"I hear a lot of people say that the fear of death and the fear of public speaking are two of the main fears of our generation, but I disagree. I think it's the fear of silence. We refuse to turn off our computers, turn off our phones, log off Facebook and just sit in silence. Because in those moments we might actually have to face up to who we really are." - Jefferson Bethke -

And one of my favourite passages in the Bible speaks into this too. It is the story in 1 Kings 19 where Elijah gets to witness the Lord's presence. There comes a strong wind, then an earthquake, then finally a fire. The Creator of the Universe could have come in any way He chose, but He didn't choose to come in one of those ways. Instead He came in the whisper. I just love that.

God's Word has SO many verses about waiting for Him in silence:

Psalm 62: 5 "For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him."
I'm learning, by His grace to do just that. And it is precious time, I promise you. 

Well, I have run out of words for now, but let me leave you with my current favourite song "Time in Between" by Francesca Battistelli. Such lovely lyrics. 

Have a lovely week!
Nina xx

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Stealing Back Moments

Hey lovelies! How are you all on this glorious winter morning? SO nice to have the sun out! It makes getting back into semester much better tehe :)

I mentioned a little while ago that one of my favourite ways to keep my focus on God is to listen to our local Christian radio station - LifeFM - when I'm driving to and from work and just around and about. And that is totally true - I love listening to LifeFM and I'm very thankful for what they offer. But I've recently found that I get sick of listening to "Christian music" pretty quickly.
I think part of it is being a musician myself - some of the music just isn't that good. And often the theological content isn't that great either. If you can replace the Name of God with that of your boyfriend or girlfriend and no one be any the wiser, that really isn't a good sign :P Now, don't think I'm criticising ALL Christian music - I love some modern worship songs, and bands like Anthem Lights are my fave. But as a genre, I often find it a little meh... A lot of the songs are pretty similar and don't really go as deep as I'd like them to. That may just be me being picky, but anyhow... 

Something else I've recently gotten into doing is downloading Christian audiobooks to my phone and listening to those when I drive around as well as listening to the radio - that makes it a little less monotonous. Two I have on the go at the moment are Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke (the title of that scared me a little, but this is a GREAT book!) and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Listening to books such as these (and lots, lots more) are a great way to keep my eyes on Jesus in everything I'm doing, and keeping me learning and growing as I go. I love it!

What little things do you use to "steal back" moments to spend time with Him? :)
Love, Nina xx

Monday, 13 July 2015

Chasing Sunsets

Psalm 27:4
"One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell
in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord
and to meditate in His temple."
Psalm 8:3-4
"When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the
moon and stars, which You have set in place, what is man that
You are mindful of Him, and the son of man that You care for him?"
Proverbs 31:30
"Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord,
she is to be praised." (SO thankful for these precious ladies!)
Isaiah 33:2
"O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for You. Be our arm every morning, our
salvation in the time of trouble."
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
"Two are better than one, for they have a good reward for their toil. If one falls
his friend will help him up."
Lamenations 3:22-24
'The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,'
says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in Him."
We had so much fun chasing the sunset over the river last night. Isn't God's creation glorious?!
Love and God bless, Nina xx

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Ballin'

It's been a busy week! I've got so much to share with y'all, but I'm too tired right now to share any properly haha :P

So in the meantime, here are some photos from the ball we went to last night. A group of instrumentalists put on a Jane Austen style ball with live music and my lovely maid-of-honour called the dancing! Such a great night! My photos aren't very good haha, but here are a few anyway:) I found some of the official photographs too.
Who is the crazy friend here?! ;)
Haha, I only have weird photos of Logan and me from
the ball, sadly - and about 10 of us laughing :P
Waltzin' around!

Love these people SO much!
Sisters of my heart <3
My lovely Mama!  
Love, Nina xx

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Bridesmaids' Partyyyy {Wedding Planning}

Sooo, on Monday night, I had my first pre-wedding party. It was a party with just my Maid of Honour and my bridesmaids! So I guess perhaps you would call it a Bridal Shower/Bachelorette Party/Hens' Party, but I think I'm gonna call it my Bridesmaids' Party! :) It was SO much fun! I had this plan for us to start making some decorations for our wedding reception. And we got HEAPS done! And had a lovely time doing so. 
Materials!
With my lovely Mama <3
I'm so thankful for these wonderful girls (have I mentioned that before?! ;)) and they gave me such a great night, one to remember for always. We did lots of decoration making, snacking, made pizzas for dinner and watched the old movie Father of the Bride. 
We took zillions of photos (of course!) so here are a selection for now - might post some more later hehe ;)
My wonderful Maid-of-Honour sewing!
My turn!
Who knows?!

One word... crazy!

Hard at work! What a mean bride I am - making my lovely bridesmaids work
so hard! I hope they enjoyed it though - I sure did :D haha
All 6 of us <3
Love this one!
Logan gave me the lovely present of a Polaroid camera as a random "just because" surprise earlier this year! We put it to good use this night! I'll treasure these photos forever!


Thanks for such a lovely night girls, and for working so hard on the decorations with me! I love you all so much! What a blessed lady I am!
Nina xx

P.S. I have LOADS of cool news to share soon! Keep an eye out for it ;)

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Wellness Day

Today, I'm doing something for the first time in my life: I'm taking a "Wellness Day". I have never done this before. I first got the idea from the Facebook page of an opera singer I know, who said she was taking a "Wellness Day" to just rest and get her focus back after being sick, busy and stressed.
I love the idea of a wellness day - a positive focused day, where your aim is to get yourself - body, spirit, soul and mind - back on track, rather than a sick day - which is a sort of negative day. I guess it doesn't really make much difference what you call it, but a positive out-look makes all the difference.
So today I've spent pretty much all day sitting on my bed reading inspirational books (Faith Like Potatoes), writing down my dreams, reading the Bible, listening to music and thinking. It's been really lovely. I'm still not feeling 100%, but I do feel lots better! I will definitely be taking Wellness Days more often now! :)

Hope you're all having a wonderful week!
Nina xx

Friday, 3 July 2015

Hold me


One of my favourite ways to keep God as my focus is to play one of our local Christian radio stations  (Life FM) as I drive around. 

As I was driving home from work this evening, a Jamie Grace song called Beautiful Day was playing. A couple of lyrics really jumped out at me:

"It's been like a whole day, since I stopped, so You could hold me".
That line really struck me. I've never really thought about it like that before. But we do need to stop, take time to spend a while in God's Word, and in His presence. And when we do, it is as if He is holding us. I love that.
It got me thinking, and I realised that, although I do spend time reading the Bible and praying, I don't really stop to do so. Really stop, I mean. Turn off my phone or my laptop, ignore what's going on around me or my worries about the day (as unimportant as they are) and just focus on Him. On drawing closer into His beautiful presence. And not only is that wrong of me, but I am missing out because of it. I'm missing out on being held in the hands of my Creator, my God and my loving King. I want to be more and more like Him, but how can I unless I take time to really be with Him? 

So this is my goal: To learn to spend more time really stopped and focused, so He can hold me. I want to hear the whispers of His heart, to be held close to Him and to know Him better than I know myself. Nothing else really matters. 

Nina xx

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

My Week in Pictures

Happy July!!
Sometimes, pictures speak a whole lot louder than words. I found that to be the case this week.
My Mama and my wonderful grandparents at my brother's birthday dinner <3
My crazy now 17-year old brother and Mama!
Driving home from work on Friday - gorgeous!
Journaling! Keeps me sane through the rough patches! <3
Over the weekend, my Dad took Logan and me out to a Winery in another town for lunch. It was SO lovely. Such good food - and this is the first time ever my dad, Logan and I have been able to spend time together with no issues - I am so thankful! My parents split up when I was 12, and although I still see quite a bit of Dad (which is good) we disagree on a fair bit as I'm a Christian and he isn't. Our worldviews differ a lot (for instance on the subject of marriage, and the need for it), which is hard, but we're learning to work through it. That lunch at the winery was a special memory I will definitely treasure forever. Two of the men closest to my heart <3 Thank You Lord!
Inside the winery
The best lunch ever (forgot to take photos of the starter and main -
obviously I'm not a very good hipster ;))
Getting really into my wedding planning now - eeeeek! SO excited!
Some of our dearest friends gave us a wedding planning journal -
SO handy - I'm loving using it!
Preparing to send invites to a bridal party :D
Talk again soon,
Nina xx