Thursday, 18 January 2018

Quiet Moments...




 "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but those that bring simple pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."
 
 ~ L.M. Montgomery

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

My Cup Overflows...

It is a beautiful December afternoon and as I sit here pondering the many twists and turns our lives have taken in the year of 2017, I feel incredibly humbled...
The Lord has been so gracious to us in keeping us from harm in the face of danger and providing for our family every step of the way...
Truly, my cup overflows with joy and my heart is filled with thanksgiving...

This Christmas was somewhat different to those of previous years with our dad being in China till the end of January.
Praise the Lord for technology...we were able to video chat with him whilst opening gifts and again after Christmas dinner. 
I was delighted to have a much simpler meal to prepare this year as we chose to have a quiet day by ourselves...

On Christmas morning I decided to ask my mom about moving into the little outside flat.  This room was first our schoolroom and more recently, our sewing room.  However, having my bedroom inside and my sewing room outside wasn't working too well...  My mom readily agreed, thinking it would be lovely for Nancy as well as she would have her own room and a place to work too.  We also moved the piano into her room so that she can practice without disturbance...{{winks}}

Thus, Christmas day was spent moving my things into the flat and organising myself which was wonderful as it took my mind off the fact that Dad wasn't here to celebrate with us.  I love my new little ''house'' and it appears to be working out very well for everyone - Caleb loves to come over for some special sister time and I am already planning some fun things to do with my sisters over the next few weeks...  Sometime I will do a little house tour for you...I am hoping to decorate a bit first...
I intend to grow my sewing business in 2018, so having a workspace all to myself will be fantastic!  {{smiles}}

 This week I allowed my mind to drift back over the things I used to love so much... 
There are so many aspects  of country life that I greatly miss...
The space and freedom of living on a farm...my big vegetable garden and literally having free rein to do whatsoever I wished with it, provided I did in fact grow vegetables for my family!  {{Smiles}}
Tea parties under the trees...hours spent in the kitchen preserving fresh produce...  Taking photographs of the beauty surrounding me...very little to no distractions...
Old fashioned simplicity...

I miss those things...I realise that in an attempt to block out the pain of losing our simple way of life, I became distracted with various social activities...outings...anything to keep my focus off the things I used to love and hold so dear to my heart.

I lost sight of who I was and what was most important to me...
My family...
My home...
And serving my Jesus in the small things...
The girl who used to delight in the simple things got caught up in the hustle and bustle of town life...

I have allowed my tears to bottle up for months upon months, but now they are beginning to well over...slowly but surely I am allowing the memories to come flooding back, allowing the Lord to minister to my hurting heart.

This week I have been reminded of the importance of my role as a daughter at home...the blessing that comes with submitting to the Lord in His plan for my life and seeking to serve Him each day in the small things.
Washing dishes...folding washing...reading a story to the toddler...
Lately I have been resentful of these precious things, thinking there were much more exciting, gratifying things for me to be doing with my time.

I believe that there is a time and a place for enjoyment outside the home...but this should not take the place of my family and the pivotal role the Lord has given me to play in the lives of my sisters.
Surely they are the most important people in my world? 

Dear friends...I am learning a great many things at present.  The Lord is working in His quite way in my heart.  It has been painful indeed to have to reflect on certain things I have allowed to take precedence if my life, even if they are good. 

I have come to the conclusion that I am still a country girl at heart and even though it broke my heart to leave the farm, I realise that this is a season of new beginnings and that the Lord has a special plan for us as a family.  I know I can trust Him to reveal this plan to us in His perfect time.
I also have come to realise that I need to be more intentional in delighting in the simple things in life...it is still possible to enjoy a quiet life whilst dwelling in the city! 
And hopefully with this change of focus, I will have more inspiration for writing about the things I love once again! 

"O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.  Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways..."

~ Psalm 139:1-3

Dear friends, thank you for being such faithful readers throughout this year...each of you have been a precious blessing to me and I cannot thank you enough for your prayers, love and support...

I pray that this next year will be a truly blessed one for each of you and that we will all continue to grow closer in our relationship with the Lord and trust Him wherever He leads us.
You are all very close to my heart and I praise the Lord for His grace in allowing me the incredible privilege of sharing this journey with you...

With love and blessings in Christ,
Kelly-Anne

"For I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

~ Jeremiah 29:11


Saturday, 16 December 2017

An Update at Christmas...

Hello dear friends...
I am enjoying some peace and quiet this overcast December afternoon and thought it would be the perfect time to write a little update, seeing as it has been almost two months since I last wrote...

Let's see...so much has happened since my last update - sadly, it would seem regular writing is not something I can keep up with quite yet...

Something I have yet to share with you is that my dad is currently working in China. 
He flew out on August 23rd and will be coming home for a month's holiday at the end of January.  He was offered a position as a teacher at an international school shortly before the fire in June...

We knew he would have to go, especially after we had to move to a house in town and begin all over again...  Even though it has been quite challenging not having our dad around and having to adjust not only to life on our own, but into a new home, town, etc., the Lord has been so faithful and we give Him praise for His goodness and grace!

At first living in town was difficult for me...having lived on a farm for so many years, I got used to the delights of a quiet life in the country.  I missed my garden...the scenery...daily walks on the farm roads with the dogs...  And then the Lord led me to begin attending a monthly Bible study for young adults and through that, I was blessed to make a few new friends...
Recently I also started going to a small Baptist church and weekly Bible study and met other wonderful people... 
Suddenly life in town is not quite as bad as I thought it was.  It is such a blessing to fellowship with other believers each week and enjoy time spent with new friends! 

I have also been able to continue with my sewing.  Even though I no longer trade at a craft market each Saturday, I still supply shops and have been kept pretty busy with orders.  The Lord provides just enough work for me - I have just enough work to keep me busy, but not so much that I am stressed and can't spend time with my family...

Certainly, life has settled down a lot over the past while.  Those initial few months following the fire will forever be something of a blur for me.  All I can say is that it is only by the grace of God we made it through smiling...  His grace is indeed sufficient for us and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. 

Every day is a gift from the Lord.  Despite the fact that we are eagerly counting the days till Dad comes home for a visit, we are not wishing the time away.  We keep very busy with the things the Lord has given us to do and endeavour to cherish every moment together. 

Well, dear friends...before I sign off, I would like to share a few photographs from a recent walk in the forest.  We are enjoying exploring new places each week and making new memories!

Please excuse the poor quality of the photographs...they are simply snapshots taken on my very handy phone!  {{smiles}}

 ^  A piece of Paradise...

^  Five of my favourite little people...

 ^ Such beautiful scenery...

 ^ Happy explorers...



 ^  Gabrielle, Rebekah and Sofia...

 ^My buddy and I...


...And now I must be off, dear friends...we will be attending a Christmas concert this evening given by the orchestra Nancy plays in...{{smiles}}

I hope to stop in again very soon...

With love and blessings in Christ!
Kelly-Anne


Thursday, 26 October 2017

A Morning of Memory Making...

 Let us take a delightful trip to the strawberry farm, dear friends...


^Precious siblings...Caleb (18 months), Beth (13), Gabrielle (10), Sofia (6) and Rebekah (8).

What a beautiful place to take a few photographs of some precious little people...
  
^Beth and Caleb... 

 
^Gabrielle...

^Rebekah...

^Sofia...

 ^Rebekah and I...

^Sofia and Caleb...

^Beth...

^Caleb munches a banana...
Don't forget to pause for a snack...{{Smiles}}
...And now let us pick some juicy red strawberries...

^The happy berry pickers...

 
 
 ...And now let us enjoy the fruits of our labour...  {{smiles}}

 ...And thus ends a most delightful morning at the strawberry farm...

Thank you for stopping by, dear readers...

May Your Thursday be blessed!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

My Top 6 Faith Based/Inspirational Films

I confess...I do enjoy a good, wholesome movie every now and again...  My preferred genre is drama...especially time period dramas...but you probably already know that if you have been a reader of The Diary of a Country Girl for awhile...{{winks}}

However, I do enjoy a good inspirational/Christian film too...I love a deep, well thought out story with good acting, and would love to share a few of my more recent favourites with you...

~

Do You Believe? {See Dove Review}
5/5 Stars

A dozen different souls—all moving in different directions, all longing for something more. As their lives unexpectedly intersect, they each are about to discover there is power in the Cross of Christ, even if they don’t yet believe it. When a local pastor is shaken to the core by the visible faith of an old street-corner preacher, he is reminded that true belief always requires action. His response ignites a faith-fueled journey that powerfully impacts everyone it touches in ways that only God could orchestrate. 

This is definitely the best faith-based film I have ever seen and would highly recommend it!

~
The Ultimate Gift {See Dove Review}
5/5 Stars
Jason thought his inheritance was going to be a gift of money and lots of it. Was he ever in for a big surprise. Based on the best-selling book “The Ultimate Gift” by Jim Stovall, the story sends trust fund baby Jason Stevens on an improbable journey of discovery, having to answer the ultimate question: “What is the relationship between wealth and happiness?” Jason had a very simple relationship with his impossibly wealthy grandfather, Howard “Red” Stevens. He hated him. No heart-to-heart talks, no warm fuzzies. So of course he figured that when Red died, the whole “reading of the will” thing would be another simple cash transaction, that his grandfather’s money would allow him to continue living in the lifestyle to which he had become accustomed. But what Red left him was anything but simple. Red instead devised a plan for Jason to experience a crash course on life. Twelve tasks, which Red calls “gifts,” each challenging Jason in an improbable way, the accumulation of which would change him forever.

This is one of my absolute favourite films and it comes highly recommended!
You will laugh and cry...a beautiful, inspirational story...

~

The Ultimate Life {See Dove Review}
5/5 Stars 
Between the pressure of running a foundation started by his late grandfather, being sued by his greedy extended family, and seeing his beloved Alexia leave on an extended mission trip to Haiti, Jason Stevens’ world is unraveling. But when Jason discovers the lifelong journal his grandfather began as a Depression-era lad, Red Stevens’ writings transport Jason to a front-row seat on an incredible rags-to-riches ride. With everything he loves hanging in the balance, Jason hopes he can discover THE ULTIMATE LIFE.

This is the sequel to The Ultimate Gift and just as good...  Again, there are many humorous moments throughout this film and yet there is also an element of sadness...this is a film that everyone should see...

~
October Baby {See Dove Review}
4/5 Stars 
Not long after Hannah, a college student, experienced increasing anxiety and a sudden collapse, all signs point to the surprising circumstances of her birth. Hannah soon learns from her parents that she was adopted and is the survivor of a failed abortion attempt.
Bewildered, angry, and confused, she turns to her oldest friend, Jason, for support. Encouraged by his adventurous spirit, Hannah joins his friends on a road trip, embarking on a journey to discover her hidden past and find hope for the unknown future.
Along the way, Hannah finds that every life is beautiful, and that life itself can be so much more than what we might have planned.
October Baby brings to life powerful themes of hope, love, forgiveness, and redemption.

This beautiful movie is one every Believer should see... For a more mature audience.

~
Woodlawn {See Dove Review}
4/5 Stars
 A gifted high school football player must learn to boldly embrace his talent and his faith as he battles racial tensions on and off the field in WOODLAWN, a moving and inspirational new film based on the true story of how love and unity overcame hate and division in early 1970s Birmingham, Ala.

This is another fantastic film by the Erwin brothers and one we greatly enjoyed...

~
4/5 Stars
 Follows the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius, a powerful Roman military tribune, and his aide Lucius, are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.

This faith-based film is one I would highly recommend for a more mature audience...

~
*Synopsis taken from The Dove Foundation.  I refer to The Dove Foundation for all the movies we choose to watch...  I have found them to be extremely helpful in finding wholesome films for us to watch!

Have you seen any of these faith-based films?  Your thoughts?
Do you have any recommendations you'd like to share?

Blessings and joy to you, dear readers...
Kelly-Anne

Sunday, 17 September 2017

For the Beauty...

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.
 ~  Folliott S. Pierpoint

 One Saturday morning, not too long ago, we decided upon a simple picnic at the Botanical Gardens… 

What a delightful time in the Lord’s marvelous creation it was!   
In the chaos of the last while, we had quite forgotten that Spring had in fact arrived in all her splendour…

What a sweet blessing it was to bask in the glory of the new life surrounding us…

...Cheerful yellow Weavers weaving their precarious looking nests…

 
 


Beautiful buds…





 
And of course, happy children delighting in the beauty of their Master’s handiwork!

 
^Mr Caleb....

 ^Miss Sofia...

 
^Caleb loved walking and exploring...

 
 
^Miss Beth 

 ^Miss Gabrielle...

 
^Mr Caleb getting started on his picnic lunch...{{Smiles}}

Of course I took my ever faithful camera along and enjoyed a slow-paced walk around the gardens, capturing bits of beauty and splendour through my lens…{{smiles}}

How good it was to be reminded that we serve a majestic and powerful God who takes delight in beauty and loves to see His precious children glorying in the beautiful earth He lovingly created for them…
 Blessings and joy in Christ,
Kelly-Anne