Living in wonder…

portrait of beautiful young woman over white background

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“Jesus you are all that I want, for out of you flows the wellspring of life. Lead me to you, show me your love. Show me how not to be selfish and self-focused. Show me your heart for other people. Show me what your purpose for my day is. My life. I trust you, even though I don’t always feel like it. Deep down I know you’re so trustworthy, because all good things come from you. Without love what do we have? You are love. You are truth. Open my eyes to see more of you. Lord I want to come to you with an open heart. An open mind to understand your scripture, your word. 
Thank you for being who you are, and making me who I am.
Thank you for my life and guiding me in it! 
I appreciate you, I love you and I want to follow you all my life. Show me how to be dedicated to you because some times I find it so hard to know what choices to make.
Thank you father for never giving up on me! You’re incredible X”

This is a prayer I wrote some time ago. I just found it in my notes and it encouraged me re-reading through it. It may be because I sometimes feel quite guilty about how much time I spend thinking about myself. Worrying about finances or relationships, what I’m wearing, where my life is going or how clean my house is. It brought to mind that lately I’ve been feeling convicted about how I see and pray to God.
My friend Sam asked me one day “What would it look like to live in awe of God?” It really stuck with me. After talking more about it, we both agreed that being in awe of God is how we want to live. But what does it look like to live in awe of God?

I’ve decided to ask you a few questions and tell you a story to prompt your imagination and knowledge because I’m still working these things out for myself too. We’re all at different stages in our journey. We all view life from a unique perspective. So let these questions sink in, and challenge yourself along with me to see how we might view God in a more wonderful way!

What do I believe about God?
What is God, energy, a person, a spirit, love, a feeling, hope?
Is He good?
Is He a ‘He’?

How does God see me?
What do His words say about me and His promises for my life?
What does God say about how we as people were created?
What does God want me to know?
Does God really know what I need?

Do I believe what people say over what God says?
Do I listen to the implications of the worlds media that if I haven’t reached a certain point in my career, family, hobbies, life, I’m a failure?
If I haven’t got what the adverts and shops say I need, can I be content?
Is sex naughty or good? Is it just for creating babies or is it for pleasure too?
Do I need a romantic relationship to be happy?
Am I unable just because I haven’t had training?
Is money really what’s important?
Is it really best to be independent?
Is life really all about me?

Would I like to feel more excitement and joy?
When was the last time I did something fun?
Do I put time aside to rest my brain and my body?
Do I share my authentic self with others, or do I hide parts of myself around certain people?
Do I focus on what’s in my head or what’s around me?
What’s the most awesome story I’ve ever heard?
Do I focus on sharing my woes or my joys with my friends?
Do I let myself feel the ups and downs in life or do I find ways to numb out?
What’s the possibility of miracles?
Do I dismiss or suppress the unexplainable things that happen to me because others might think I’m weird?

Do I challenge myself in my imagination?
What did God creating the heavens, universe, earth, animals, and us really look like?
What could heaven be like?
Could dragons really exist?
Can I see myself completing my dreams/ideas, what would it look like?
Do rocks really hold energy in them or have some sort of spiritual significance?
What is a spirit? Is anything spiritual real?
Can the technology we see in movies really be made?
Where am I when I’m the happiest?

What testimonies have I heard recently?
How often do I chat about the things that I find odd, amazing, curious, unbelievable or my own sometimes unexplainable experiences?

For me, I often notice that people don’t like to bring up these topics because we’re afraid of what people might think or say, or spread, or we’re afraid of offending someone or being shut down.
I know I often choose my words in conversation very carefully when it comes to who I’m sharing with, but I think fear shuts us in a box and stops us from experiencing the fullness of life.
I remember once having a group conversation with some friends and the question got asked, “Have you ever experienced something freaky, or had a spiritual encounter?”
I thought I was the only one who’d had these hyperrealistic dreams of things that occasionally came true or felt heavy presences in my bedroom. But the more people who decided to be open and share, the more I realized I wasn’t alone in my experiences. Nearly everyone had experienced something unusual.

Now here comes the story!
I’d like to share this recent testimony with you because I want to encourage you that God has been working amongst us! It’s not just some far off story you hear about from friends of friends, or from a pastor, or on a podcast. God can use any one of us for His kingdom and you don’t have to be perfect for Him to do so! I’m so excited because He’s answering so many of my prayers in this!

So to begin, I got given a car! For free! A lovely couple who are dear friends felt that God had told them their car would be useful to me, so they obeyed (ooh sorry, is that a scary word? haha) and gave it to me! They reminded me that God was behind this and asked that I would go on to bless others out of what God had given me.
This was interesting because I have a car, it’s old and it did have some issues, however, I was happy with it. I drove the new car a bit and had lent it to a lady in need, and Pete my fiancee was able to use it when his car broke down! Eventually, I decided I needed the money more than the car and proceeded to sell it. I’d been contacted by many interested people and some of them organized to meet up and didn’t show. I was discouraged. Eventually I was contacted by a guy called Tom who asked a few questions and then decided he wanted to buy the car without having seen it! He kept his word and showed up to buy the car. He asked if I was willing to give a further discount and I actually felt prompted to do so, but I reasoned that I needed the money and I said no. Afterwards I felt convicted and felt I’d done the wrong thing.
Later when Pete and I went to bank the money, we had deep discussion which resulted in me feeling more convicted. Pete gently brought to my attention that I was holding on to my money very tightly and not being very generous and loving with my finances. I 100% believe God has been preparing me to receive this well and not be offended as before this I had been praying that God would help me use my resources well. I had been feeling trapped by my low bank balance and holding back on giving and doing so many things. I was operating from a mindset of poverty, not having much and so held on to every little bit I could.
I rang mum after this conversation and after a while she asked me if God asked me to give all my money away, would I do it? My response was “Yeah, but I wouldn’t be happy about it. And I’d have to know it was definitely God.”

A few days later I was awoken at 4am feeling uncomfortable. I couldn’t get back to sleep and felt prompted to pray. This meant I migrated to the lounge where I could pray aloud without waking my housemates. I wasn’t happy as I was tired and cold. Stroppily I sat in my desk chair wrapped in a coat, scarf and blanket. I prayed about the things that popped into mind. After about 20 minutes a verse came into mind which was John 2:5, I had to look it up and it said ‘But Jesus’ mother told the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Which is from the story where Jesus turns water into wine. I thought to myself That’s very direct! What haven’t I done that Jesus has asked me to do? And what is He asking me now? Straight away Tom came to mind and that I hadn’t given him the discount on the car. Then in my mind God showed me the number $3,500… I just knew God was going to ask me to give my money away!
I checked my bank balances because I wasn’t even sure I had that much and it added up to $3,080. I asked God, why is the amount you showed me different? And I suddenly remembered I had $500 in my bedroom as money I’d taken out to pay for my next dental treatment. So I grudgingly added the $500 to the rest and by this time I was feeling that God was asking me to give all my money away every cent. After all, I said I would if I definitely knew it was God. So including my coin jar, it added up to $3,638.08! I reasoned that it wasn’t matching the number God first gave me so maybe it was just a test to see if I was willing. Or maybe God was letting me keep the $138.08 at least. So I prayed and asked, but the answer came as “What does it matter the amount of money if I’ve asked you to give it all away?” I prayed again and went to sleep.
In the morning I messaged Pete and told him the story and asked him to pray as I wasn’t yet completely convinced. He responded with I have prayed and believe that God is asking you to give it all away, every cent. And that it’s not about you just giving this money to Tom now, it’s about your heart and mindest about money and God wants you to give your money to Him for the rest of your life! I was gobsmacked! And it confirmed what I believe God had told me.
Later I found out Pete was initially very resistant to agree that God was asking me to do this and was going to say back “No way, don’t give you money away” but he’d said he would pray so he knew he should, and God showed him what he told me.
All these fears flooded my mind about how I was going to survive. Would I have to move back to South Australia with my parents or would Pete have to look after me? And then God revealed the whole lesson He was teaching me. It was a massive lesson!

He showed me that ‘my’ money is not mine, it’s God’s to use as a tool to bless people. It’s a blessing and an extra that I’ve been given and that I can survive without it. Money is not a life source, Jesus is. Money is not my security, Jesus is. If I went back to my parents or to Pete, I would be putting my security in them, but God wanted me to see that it is He that is my provider, my source of life. It is He that makes a way for me to live and that everything I own is an extra, an added blessing, a tool for His kingdom to aid in showing me and others we are loved. WOW what a wake-up call!

I cried… I felt as if I was losing someone I cared about. It was as if I was mourning at a funeral for my money. How wrongly I had been holding onto money as a source of life!

When I messaged Tom to share what God had asked me to do, he was blown away. Pete and I had agreed that I needed to write to him in such a way that pointed to God’s goodness and that the money was coming from God’s goodness and not my own. I shared with Tom that God knows who he is and sees his struggles. God cares about him and that he is worth it and that he can ask God anything!
Tom shared that he’s been having a tough time in Australia since he’d moved here and that my message about what God was giving him gave him hope!

Later after sending through the money, I sent Tom Psalm 23 and asked if He’d read it before. He said he’s never read the bible before in his life but he wanted to share something interesting with me… He proceeded to tell me that on the night I told him what the Lord wanted me to do for him, he dreamed that Jesus came to him with a bright light on his hand and said “You don’t have to worry about anything. The best is yet to come.” How cool is that?!!!!!
Tom told me he and his family believed in Hindu god’s and that the Hindu gods had never come to him in his dreams before! He thanked me from the bottom of his heart. and told me he would never forget this.
I invited him to church and he said he really wanted to come! So on that Sunday, he came, and the Sunday after, and after!!

What an amazing story hey?! What an important lesson for me to learn! I am in awe of God! This series of events just ignited my excitement for life and the future, knowing God is helping me and using me to help others. Which is an answer to my prayers!
Things aren’t always as they seem, at first I was horrified at the task and now I’m so glad it happened! Even if it was just because Tom got to experience the goodness of God. but not only did that happen; since that day people have been blessing me randomly with cash, belongings, paying for my meals, helping out with their time and love and I feel so blessed!! I haven’t lost anything and have gained so much!

God is SO GOOD!

Thanks for reading this fellow quirky souls.
Let’s stay excited and lets share our stories!
Jace

Relationship & Experience

backlit dawn foggy friendship

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

Having seen and having experienced, helps us to understand a beautiful more full picture of not simply the world but the different dimensions of it.

There are so many things we don’t understand! And we need people! We need each other in this journey of life to help us find fuller truths about all sorts of things! Nature, thought, words, spirit, soul, consciousness, subconscious, dreams and so much more! And when I say we need people, I don’t just mean we need each other as in our close friends and family, our colleges, our fellow church goers, people in our sports teams or interest groups, I mean we might not even know who we might need! A day can be changed by that warm smile the lady who weighs your baggage gave you at the airport, or the little gift your housemate leaves you on the kitchen counter. A life can be changed through that boy who pestered you in school to meet his friend, or that new employer who decides to give you a chance even though your not the least bit qualified! A motto can be made based on a fleeting comment the lady at the counter made when scanning your broccoli, or that soul searching journey the young woman told you about in Vietnam.
We need others we haven’t even met yet! We might not ever get to know a person very well but something they say reaches within our soul and breaks down a barrier of thought or understanding we may never have known we built there! Never underestimate the importance of another person! How ever annoying, untrustworthy, skilled, joyful, angry, passionate, understanding, crazy or whatever they may seem to be! They all are valuable in the walk of understanding life!

Genesis 2:18 And the Lord God said “It is not good that man should be alone, I will make him a helper comparable to him.” And then in verse 19 and 20 it goes on accounting all the animals that God made to keep Adam company. And there was not yet a companion suitable for Adam to share his life with fully so in Genesis 2:22 God continued creating and made a woman, Eve who would be a worthy companion for Adam to share and appreciate life with. Doing together, being together, seeing together. Many other forms of relationships come from that initial man and woman. Mother, son, uncle, niece, friend, work companion, helper. You get it, we’re made for relationship! And most importantly they had a relationship with the one who created them from the dust of the earth. The one who breathed life into their lungs! In Gen 3:8 they heard the Lord walking in the garden and they spoke with Him, Adam had heard God speak to him before, God had relationship with Adam and Eve.
God was the one who created relationships and He still is! I believe He leads us into so many meaningful relationships! Even the hard ones we can glean from, the heartbreaking ones, the ones that seem to tear our life apart, if we trust Him, He will always show us something we can learn. Something that strengthens our character, and gives us understanding or empathy. We need relationships to be able to love.

I think travelling has helped me understand so much more about the ways of life! It seems to me that staying in one place and experiencing life from only one point of view, the same kinds of teachings and influences, we cut ourselves off from learning more. I’m not saying travelling is a must, I love it, but let’s do things a little out of the ordinary. Let’s encourage each other to experience the richness life has to offer! Give something a chance! Have a conversation with someone on a train, learn from the past, join a workshop! Let’s give ourselves opportunities to live a fuller more experienced life. We may or may not be right in what we think or what we believe from what we have learned and experienced. But we might not have a full picture! You know? There is so much to learn guys! It’s overwhelming! It’s beautiful! It’s astonishing! And it’s there for us to explore together!!!

It’s like reading one verse of the bible and saying well this is definitely right so I’m going to stay here and read this over and over again. Sure you can talk about it and learn from that one scripture about context and metaphors and the people of the era, but your understanding will be limited! There are so many other verses and chapters and stories and accounts that are also right and they add up to a whole beautiful truth!
This is my revelation, I was just sitting thinking about the experiences I’ve had and the tender hearts of other believers in Jesus I’ve met from different parts of the world. Other people from different cultures, and ages and fields of work that have taught me so much through the last months and years! Our understandings on our own can be so limited! The more we learn the more questions there are! The more we open up and want to explore what’s next?! What comes after?!
As an example, different cultures not only have different languages and traditions and beliefs, they have different perspectives, different ways of understanding life! Our ways are not the only ways. Once we can see that, a whole weath of knowledge and wisdom awaits us! God is incredible! I cannot grasp the vast, mind blowing beauty of His character and His creation whom He wants to be a part of and whom He has invited to be a part of Him! Through His Holy Spirit! How cool is that?!

I hope this gives us something worthwhile to think about and hopefully put into action. I know we all need a little encouragement, or a lot! I know I thrive on it haha

Blessings as always and embrace your quirks!

 

Jace

Thought Mines- The Battlefield

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“What you think is more important than what you do.”
A statement (from this motivational video) that challenges me to take action in making sure my thoughts are pure, edifying, considered, purposeful and loving.

We all know what the battlefield is like in our minds, wrestling with decisions and self-discipline. What we think shapes our actions. It shapes how we see the world. It affects our relationships, our work, our purpose, our self- esteem, how we see others and how we see ourselves! Much of what we think about is visible through how we live our lives.

Why do we think what we think?
It is important to pay attention to what’s influencing our thought life and whether it’s helpful OR just hindering our happiness! Let’s say we’re exposed to much more positive people and environments, than negative ones. Those are likely to overtake the effects of the lesser or negative influences because we’ve been conditioned to think positively. We are greatly influenced by what we’re exposed to the most!

‘Self Discipline,’ scary words?!
Applying self-discipline to our thoughts and our actions isn’t a punishment. It’s a platform for building a successful life upon! To help us step forwards, creating good habits. It might not be easy or comfortable, I don’t think it’s supposed to be either, which is why it helps us grow! It defines our character and shows us worthwhile moments of reward and accomplishment!
Self-discipline in my thought life seems like an endless fight to think clearly. To be positive. To make decisions. To stay motivated. Thoughts pop into my mind and it is my choice what I do with them. Do I push it out? Distract myself with something else? Do I continue to think about it, delving into every little detail, every possible outcome? Do we control our thought life or does it control us? Thinking is important. But so is what we’re thinking about! It seems so complicated sometimes doesn’t it! But you know what, we’re in this together, and we can support each other in refining our thought lives!
There is a source of encouragement, love, strength and joy much grander, deeper and more forgiving than each of us can fully understand. His name is Jesus and He has some pretty worthwhile advice for us!

What does the bible say?
The words written in the bible have guided and advised us long throughout the past. They are there as a documentation of what happened, what helped and what didn’t. So, therefore, we can read these happenings and decide for ourselves whether it’s helpful information to us. And whether the words are good guidelines for our present lives and decisions too. Here’s what I’ve found helpful!

The bible says in Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Here Paul and Timothy are giving advice to the church at Philippi.)
I think this is helpful because the more we think good thoughts, it actually creates a habitual pathway in our brain! It’s just like a default setting for a happier healthier thought life! Whoohoo!

In Proverbs 17:22 it says a joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
This one speaks for its self. When we are filled with joy, we are more inspired, motivated and good things come from that perspective. It’s a more vibrant and encouraging lifestyle in so many ways! And with a crushed spirit (Who knows we can’t help that sometimes! But we can choose to keep moving forward and not dwell in that hindersome place!) comes sad, or depressing thoughts of worthlessness, shame and helplessness. It’s safe to say it does the very opposite of motivating us!

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
I’ll let you think about this one. I’m still learning and so are we all! But it’s interesting that there is a lot of corruption in the way things are advertised or even a lot of common ground in the way people think negatively about themselves and where they’re at in their lives. Often we choose to focus on the things we don’t like about ourselves over the attributes we have. That’s why I find it hard to write out a job resume! It’s so counter-cultural to praise ourselves or encourage ourselves for fear of being too prideful or arrogant. But We’re allowed to be confident! Hey, YOU are allowed to be confident in what makes up you and all the good things about who you are!

Let us endeavour to transform our minds together and bring being happy in who we are back into our culture! Let us choose to control our thought life instead of our thought life controlling us!
Blessings to you all,

Love Jace x

Ship on unknown waters

image1 (1)~STS Leeuwin~

As the new year has come I feel this ship is symbolic of my journey. Representing my life and the adventures I’ve been having, the learning and self discipline and joy that continuously shapes my character and how I relate to people.

To sail through life we need relationships, support, encouragement, direction and self discipline! Learning to communicate through conflict and work with others. To even out the weight of each others troubles to support each other through the rough and the calm. To embrace our differences and to use them to our advantage! Make the most of who we are! Encourage one another to try new things! To not be limited by what we know, but to sail into unknown waters and let the one whom knows the best way to steer the ship, guide it through the still or the raging seas! Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.

When we learn to trust our captain and work well with our crew, even the treacherous waters in life don’t seem so lonely or rough!

Have a happy and blessed 2018!

My love to all you quirky readers! x

Refining The Clay

Hello quirky readers, It’s been some time since I’ve written! I’ve been going through a process of growth and intentional time to look to God and learn to trust Him. To rely on Him for my needs. I’ve been feeling stuck, frustrated and confused. (I’m not trying to be dramatic, just honest.) You may relate to some of the situations I’ve been in over several past months. I hope that this encourages you!

Here’s a picture my friend drew for me about a year ago to emphasise a vision he had:
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This is what he wrote along with it, “The gist and what I saw was a clay pot on a conveyor belt and it was heading into the fire filled kiln. The vision was very specific about not being in the kiln, because its very important to go through significant stages before your clay enters the kiln for curing. I saw the clay pot as one that was very beautiful, but as I said to you after we prayed, there were certain markings on the clay pot that had shown that the Father had been doing some work to remove the cuts and the scars. My interpretation was that God was doing some final preparation to either you and or your future life.”

RELEVANT! It seems I can closely relate this picture to my process over the past year! Here’s why!

When I returned from my 6 month YWAM (Youth With A Mission) Discipleship Training School in New Zealand and South East Asia, I’d felt like God wanted me to set aside an intentional period of time to refrain from working. I set aside the first month to make room for reconnecting with the life I’d once been used to. After the month passed I thought, okay that must be enough time surely, and actively started looking for work. Eight months and four unsuccessful or shortly lived jobs later, I wondered if perhaps I’d overlooked what God meant by not working. And there began a hard and unemployed 6 months of surrender!

There is a process God has been taking me through over the past year and intensely over the past 6 months. Just like the clay pot, I believe He wants to refine me, to prune me back ready for new growth, renew and open my mind, to teach me truthful perspectives about love, relationship and what it means to be successful. And so in taking one day at a time, I learned to pray more, to rely on God for provision, trust He was with me. I tried to find things to make my day purposeful and to define what it might be that I’d like to spend my future doing. (I still don’t know, but believe God is preparing me for a future that will glorify Him.) I read, researched, baked, drew, painted, tried to invest into relationships, checked Facebook Messenger more times that I’d like to admit, tried to help where I could, exercised, rested, prayed, worshipped, started this blog. In many ways it’s been the most challenging time of my life!
What God has done for me through this time however, has been incredible! I was down to my last $14 and God brought people along who approached me and offered me work when they didn’t even know I needed it! One job occurring only once a fortnight and the other lasted 3 weeks (even fitting perfectly into the time I planned to visit other friends in that area, as it was a long way from home!). However short or small, these jobs helped get me through the last few months with enough money to live by, (also thanks to my kind hearted parents whom let me live at home!) and I was able to bless the people I was working for in providing help in their times of need! It was a perfect way for God to show His love and provision to all involved! Isn’t that awesome?! See God knows our needs, Matthew 6:7-8 (ESV) “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
It felt like God was saying to me, “Jacia, you can rely on me and I will provide for your every need.” In Matthew 6:25-30 (ESV) Jesus says:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” 

What I didn’t realise until I went for a stroll this morning.. rather yesterday morning, (as it’s now past 12am) down our lovely long, tree laden driveway, was that the peace I had about not working was gone, and that once it had left it was likely time to step out in something new and know that Jesus would help me through it. I didn’t notice that recently I had been limiting God in my thoughts and fears! Conviction alert!! I realised that I’d become afraid to step out incase I failed, and perhaps even though it pains me to say so, lazy! I’ve been waiting for God to open a door of opportunity when I think He wants me to go after something He’s already given me passion for. To be bold and make a decision. To trust Him and step out on the water. I’d forgotten that what ever I choose to do, He guides me in and works together for good. (Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.) And so far this has been true for all my choices. Even when I’ve been hurt and doors have closed, if I’m willing, there is always something good God can teach me through it. We can’t limit Him! So if I really trust God I’ll choose something and He’ll bless it and work through closing and opening doors as I continue to take steps of faith.

In this journey I have been at no loss, because all the way through God has been with me, shaping and refining my character. Preparing me for what’s to come (whatever that may be!). I see that He’s giving me strength in knowing I can rely on Him wholly. These experiences will never leave me!

So lets be bold together! What step of faith can we take today? God’s peace is the best guide in making decisions, so peace to you my friends and may you be encouraged and continue to embrace who you are in every circumstance!

Stay Quirky!

x Jace

Sleeping Train

Bangkok train stationBangkok Train Station

Long and full your body of precious cargo trails along, guided by tracks of alloy stretching simultaneously into the distance.
The destination draws nearer as the progression onward is slow but sure, crawling steadily closer hour by hour.
Swaying gently your rhythm giving a sense of comfort, the soft lull of your engine in the ears of those on board.


Written by Jacia Hopton

{I wrote this whilst on a 12 hour train journey from Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, to Bangkok.}

Let go and let God

image.jpegWhat’s holding you back?
~Selah, pause and reflect~

Do you find yourself wanting to control your circumstances? Struggling to let go, to take a risk and live wholly?
Has fear got its grip on you? Do you worry about almost everything?
I understand these feelings! Don’t worry.. (Seriously don’t worry, it won’t do add a moment to your life!)

And what does it look like to have a little faith, to step into the unknown and let something beautiful unfold? To step out of your comfort zone and be out of control of your circumstances? The unknown seems scary!
The funny thing is, even when we try to control what happens in our lives, we still don’t know what’s going to happen! We can only control our own actions, thoughts and attitudes. We can’t control what others think or do, we can’t control the opportunities that come by us or how fast time goes. We can however choose how we respond to these circumstances and choose to make the most of what’s presented to us.

Are you aware one who is greater knows us deeply? Knows our needs, knows our desires and died for us so that we can complete the fulfilling promises declared for us to be a part of through eternity?!
We can catch a glimpse of our amazing futures! The events, moments, relationships and hold on to that excitement and hope! But we aren’t able to see the fullness of the goodness prepared for us! What our future looks like exactly, we can’t comprehend in full! Even so closely as what happens in a single day or hour! We don’t know what happens before the evening or the next year or twenty! But how willing we are to grow and risk and step out of the ordinary, shapes the journey we live.

I challenge you! In the most friendly and encouraging way of course; to take a step into the unknown, to trust that something good will become of that step, to make memories that exceed the ordinary!
Do something you don’t usually do, try something new! Grow and embrace the quirkiness of your own dreams and decisions, even your mistakes shape you!

In challenging you I’m also challenging myself! We’re in this together, I’m not here to tell you how to live but to encourage you to grow along with me!

Bless you all and I hope you had a happy long weekend!

Embrace the quirky parts of life!

Peace

X Jacia

 

P.s. A special thank you to Trek, my loving brother who encourages and inspires me to be myself. I love you! And I’m blessed to be a part of your journey too!

Ready Set Herbs!

Isn’t it a good feeling to get outside in the glorious sunshine, breathe in some fresh air and feel the earth… between your fingers?
I did just that! I planted some Herbs! Mint, parsley, chives and oregano. These were the ones I felt sure I’d use often.
I recorded the process to share with you, not because it’s hard to plant a plant! But because sometimes, seeing a process inspires me. So for what it’s worth, I thought, well why not! If it inspires someone else to spend some quality time amongst the foliage in the garden, soaking up some vitamin D, I’ve done my part! There’s really nothing quite like taking some time to tend to something, to look after or create something!

I had four lovely terracotta pots to start with, three of which my thoughtful boyfriend gave to me. (Thank you Jono. You know you are quite extraordinary! x). And I am blessed because I believe he didn’t even know I wanted to start a herb garden of my very own, yet he helped me on my way and brought along the inspiration I needed to get started!

Here’s my planting process:

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1. Drainage- I checked to make sure all my pots had holes in the bottom so that they are able to drain well when watered. The pebbles go in as the first layer so the hole in the bottom of the pot doesn’t get too clogged up with dirt and allows the water to drain. We don’t want the water to collect in the bottom and cause the roots to rot from excess moisture. I sourced my pebbles from… my driveway!

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2. Sand- This was my next layer, it’s not necessary, but it does help save on cost of compost if you don’t have your own compost bin at home. Unfortunately, the soil around my house isn’t stocked full of nutrients! Well.. maybe for a cactus!

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3. Compost- Ah, plant food! Some good potting compost makes up my third layer.

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4. Water- I found it best to dampen the soil enough to permeate all the way through before hollowing out a hole to plant in. This is a good starting point for the roots to settle in their new home and grow quickly, getting the drink they need with out getting completely waterlogged by their next watering.

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5. Hollow- Time to get your hands earthy! Poke a hole in the soil about 2.5cm/1 inch deep (depth may differ depending on the size/stage of plant growth). If you make a hollow too deep, it may cause the stem base of your herb to rot as it would be covered in damp soil. Depending on how big your chosen herb grows and spreads, you may want to plant a few seedlings next to each other in the same pot.

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6. Transplant- I’ve carefully separated this section of mint from dad’s mint plant, keeping the majority of the roots intact! Don’t worry too much if you break a few, as mint is very hardy and will still take off well when transplanted.

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7. Trim- To give a boost to the smaller plant I’ve just transplanted, I cut off the larger stem. This helps the plants energy and nutrients go into growing the lower and smaller leaves so it can spread and grow bigger.
I get to use the leaves now! Bonus! Mmm don’t you just love the smell of fresh mint?! I do!

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8. Grow! And here are the four pots I planted! I’m very happy to have started my very own herb garden! I’m looking forward to watching them grow! And of course being able to use their delicious and beneficial flavours!

So there we have 8 steps to transplanting! Is this a coincidence as 8 is the number of new beginnings?! Happy new beginning my little herbs!

I hope you’re inspired to drink in some of your own fresh air and sunshine! Don’t pass up a chance to get your hands earthy!

Enjoy your week,

and stay quirky!

This is where it starts

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Self Portrait 

‘Embrace the Quirks’ has now become a life motto…

Hello! I’m excited to write to you in my very first blog post! I’ve been making mental notes over the last week now, trying to think of a good way to kick off my blog! I came to the conclusion that starting from the start is a good place to start! Am I right?!

To begin with I’ll tell you, my life in the past has been a series of ups and downs. I mean, there was never anything particularly major that happened to me, good or bad, but I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster, mostly welling up from within my own mind!
I think we significantly underestimate the power of the mind. I mean we think every waking hour right? (I know, I know, men have a ‘nothing box’ where apparently they can think of.. that’s right, NOTHING! Beats me how that’s possible, but men, if it’s true, you are blessed!) It seems there’s never a passing moment where theres not one thought or another breezing through my mind and demanding my attention. If you’re like me and we think this much, how does it affect the way we live? The way we interact? Whilst I don’t propose to have in depth knowledge about this, I can share my perspective with you. And that is what I plan to do, so please forgive me if you disagree.

I know that it’s a struggle to think positively sometimes, even a lot of the time or all the time! I know this quite as well as anyone! But just realise, if negative thoughts are going through our minds about our selves, our lives and our situations, it’s no wonder that we see so many cases of mental illness! Or even struggle with it ourselves. Unfortunately it’s not uncommon.
Again I don’t profess to know in detail the specifics about mental illnesses and depression, but I do know my own battlefield and thinking negatively is not an easy habit to break!
Our thoughts are like pathways in our brain. If we travel one often enough, wearing it down, it becomes the easiest route to take. To change this requires commitment and hard work to divert and start digging out a new and improved path to take. One which leads to a more joyful and peaceful outcome!

Self-control: The ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behaviour, especially in difficult situations.
Self-control is a word people seem to cower away from. It’s almost a dirty word. Yuck, who want’s to have to control themselves when it comes to chocolate, or spending money, or sex, or thinking what we want to think. Right? We seem to want what we want, when we want it. Instant gratification. But what if that isn’t good for us?
In lacking self-control, I think we don’t learn how to love ourselves and the people around us well. With out self-control, we become selfish or greedy. We take take take and forget that it’s actually a good feeling to give a little. A little time. A little gift. A little word of encouragement. With out self-control we become open to temptation and giving into something which although we might want it, might actually be unhelpful to us. If we eat too much, we feel sick right? If we buy too much, we run out of money. If we don’t rest, we burn out. It’s the same in our minds. If we think negatively too much, there are consequences and it’s not helpful to us.

So how do we practise self-control? Well here’s a few tips I’ve tried and proved helpful. 1. Don’t let your mood or feelings dictate your decisions. 2. If a negative thought pops into your head, push it out again, replacing it with a positive truth. 3. If negative thoughts keep entering your mind, check what might be influencing you. 4. Let negative comments towards you roll off your back, like a duck! Choose carefully who’s advice you listen to. 5. Think before you act. 6. Choose not to dwell on your flaws. What you focus on you magnify. 7. Start your day in a positive way! Set the foundation for your day. Tell yourself you are successful, watch an encouraging TED talk, tell someone else something you appreciate about them. These all help in making that new pathway accessible in your brain, to a more joyful thought life. And who doesn’t want to have a truthful appearance of Joy? It’s attractive right?!

So for me, this process started one day when my artistically talented and inspiring friend Chelsea and I visited the Robert Hannaford portrait exhibition at the Adelaide Art Gallery. This was where I had an epiphany… 24 weeks ago I posted this on Instagram:

“Embracing the quirks in life, this is a very helpful reminder for me, that nothing is perfect, yet we as people are wonderful just the way we are. You are Loved just the way YOU are. Forget comparison! Each person is unique and we can embrace the things that make us different! That make us who we are! Imagine you’re a portrait painting of which a famous and brilliant artist has painted. The artist spent time and energy making sure you were just right. Just think; the artist painted you that way because the artist liked the details that make you you! You looked right to the artist. You were inspiring to the artist. The idea of you made the artist want to paint you! Tuck this picture away in your mind, in your heart and pull it out to look at when ever you begin to compare yourself to something or someone else.”

I encourage you to do just that, tuck away that unique picture of yourself which has immeasurable value, for safe keeping! Remember it when you start to think destructive thoughts. You are made beautifully how you are because the artist loves every quirk about you. Your picture was worth painting!

Stay positive!
And stay Quirky!