Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A Dress for my Princess

Hi there!
My "baby" turned four a couple of months ago (where does the time go??) and I wanted to make her a princess dress that wasn't "scratchy", like most of the shop-bought dresses are. She and her sister have had a couple of beautiful dresses given to them over the years but refused to wear them due to their scratchy, stiff fabric used for the sleeves and skirt.

Seeing as Ariel is her favourite princess, I thought I'd have a go at making a dress similar to hers. (You know Ariel - she used to be a mermaid and then decided to be a human so her dad gave her a pair of legs.)

Anyway, I had no idea how to go about it so I googled "how to make a princess dress" and found an amazing blog called "Make It and Love It". It's creator, Ashley, is an incredibly talented lady who makes the most beautiful things for her home and children. If you want to take a look, you can find it here. (You should see the Mary Poppins costume she made for her daughter!)

On her blog I found some very simple, easy to follow instructions on how to make a Cinderella dress. I adapted it a little as I went and this is what I ended up with.

I don't think I could have chosen a more difficult fabric to work with! It's a silky stretchy material that feels really lovely but played havoc with my sewing machine.
Nevermind, I'm really happy with the result and, more importantly, my little princess loves her new dress!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Your Yesterday Doesn't Have to Determine Your Today

Morning all.
I just wanted to share something with you that the Lord revealed to me during my quiet time this morning.

Philippians 3:12-14
"I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us."

"Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead..."
Doesn't that sound great? Freeing? Exciting?
It does to me.
Do you realise what Paul is saying here?
Because of Christ within us we can live free of the past and be hopeful of what lies ahead of us in the future.
The past no longer has a hold on you, child of God. 

When I read this verse this morning I realised that so many of my thoughts and attitudes are based around events that happened in the past. My experiences - my past experiences - or, more accurately my perception of those past experiences have been shaping the way I live. That's not wrong or abnormal, in fact everybody does it, it's just that the negative memories hold me back, causing me to be ineffective and defeated. 

But do you see that those mindsets are just an illusion?
We are not ineffective! We are not defeated!
Romans 8:37 tells us that overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, and in 2 Peter 1:3 we are told that God has already given us everything we need for living a godly life.
You + God = VICTORY!

I know it's not just a matter of blocking out the past and being unwise - it's about deciding that the past doesn't have to determine your future.
Your yesterday doesn't have to determine your today.
When we allow the experiences of the past to affect us today we are taken hostage by DREAD.
Dread is a debilitating emotion based on fear and worry, and the reason why we dread (well, why I dread) is because we are calling on past experience.

We dread the dentist because of past experience.
We dread having awkward conversations with difficult people because of past conflict.
When I was pregnant with our second and third daughters I was over the moon except for the fact that I knew what I had to go through when it was time to give birth! I didn't have that dread with our first daughter's birth because I had no prior experience to call on.

Your future is so bright, don't tarnish it by prematurely deciding that there is no hope. 
Forget what negative lessons your past has taught you.
This is a fresh new day and God has great things planned for you!

Please come again soon.
A bientot,

Sunday, 11 December 2011

As You Walk Along

Psalm 40:1-3
"I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, 
and He turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground and
steadied me as I walked along.

He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see what He has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord." 

Here the Psalmist King David talks about waiting patiently and expectantly for the Lord to help: "He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire."

Have you been languishing in a pit of despair, feeling stuck in a pit of quicksand that is threatening to swallow you up?
Take heart my friend.

God will pull you out.
He will pull you out and place you on solid ground - He is safe, reliable and constant, our strength and hope.

Then David says, "...(God) steadied me as I walked along..." (verse 2b)
It is in the WALKING that we find strength and steadiness. As we walk - as we step out, one foot after the other - He will fill us with His strength.

But only as we step out in faith.
Hiding away from life doesn't help - it only causes you to sink deeper.
How do you know what the Lord will do if you just hide yourself away?
How do you know what can be achieved unless you get up and start "walking"?

Step by step.
One foot after the other.
Moment by moment He will lead you.

A bientot mes amis...

Friday, 9 December 2011

A Little Bit of Perspective Can Make a Big Difference

Just saw that August was the date of my last post.
August!? Yikes!
Nevermind, it's good to be back.

Today I want to tell you a little story.

Alex was a girl who didn't have a good start to life.
She was one of three siblings who had loving parents, but early on in her life her mother tragically died. Her father didn't cope well and struggled to care for his three children. Knowing that Alex was the oldest and strongest, the father fed and cared for only her, thus causing the others to die of starvation and neglect.

When she was barely a teenager, she and her father began an incestuous relationship. Together they tried to have children of their own, but none of them were born alive. Not long after they became foster parents to three abandoned babies, but because of her age Alex struggled to be an adequate mother. The babies were neglected and rarely fed, as Alex and her father became increasingly obsessed with each other, showing signs of mental agitation. Avoiding the children as often as they could, they would stay inside while the babies were left outside to fend for themselves, crying because they were so hungry.

It all came to a tragic end when, in a fit of rage, Alex and her father viciously attacked the oldest child, mauling it to death. The parents were found later, inside the house, with their faces covered in blood.

Now, I'm sure you are thinking "what a horrible story". And, yes it is.
But what if I were to tell you that Alex is a BUDGIE, and this whole account is something that happened in our aviary a few weeks ago?
(I bet you are re-reading the story with new eyes now!)

Isn't it interesting how perspective can affect the way we see things? Knowing that the story was about birds makes the whole thing much more innocent and acceptable (well, almost!).

The same is true in our real day to day lives.
Getting some perspective - seeing things through "different" eyes - can be helpful when we are going through a difficult or confusing time. As christians we need to maintain an eternal perspective - after all, our true home is in heaven with our Heavenly Father, and we are but "temporary residents and foriegners" (see 1 Peter 2:11). An eternal perspective means that we no longer see things on a superficial level. I don't mean we are to view life in a mystical way seeing the supernatural around every corner, but yes, God allows certain issues to touch our lives in order that we may grow spiritually and/or bring Him glory.

So the next time you are going through some "thing", ask God to show you what His purpose in it is.
He might surprise you and actually show you!

Thanks for dropping by,
Au Revoir!