Monday, October 29, 2012


Today is the day that the secret is out!

There were a few people I had to let know before I could just tell the world that I AM GOING TO KOREA.

I don't know exactly when, but it'll probably be February to teach for a year, and at the end of it I can decide my next step.

This is the most peace and joy I have ever felt in my life about anything. I know that God has been preparing the way for this over many years, especially in the past few months.

I've still got to work out what programme I'm going with and all the details, but after speaking to someone today who said I'm pretty much guaranteed a placement, I'm confident.

I just can't believe that the time is now, and something I want so bad is in God's plan for me. He is so good!


Today I picked up my guitar and played a few things.

I surprised myself by being better than yesterday!

It was a small thing, but very exciting. I even got the timing right changing from Bm to A.

It was all very cool. Fame, here I come!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


I have reallyreally appreciated people's empathy the last few days. Not sharing in my pain, but rejoicing with me.

It's annoying to not be able to tell everyone at once what's going on because I just want to declare it to the world!

But it is quite fun to tell people one by one and see how they react. Being on the receiving end of their selfless joy is humbling. I'm learning how it feels so I can be good at it when the roles are switched.


Red wine, chocolate, and chips are a great companion to chats about church, life, love, and Embarrassing Bodies (seriously, why would anyone go on that show? And why do people watch it?!).

But most remarkable was the swelling feeling that took captive my heart throughout the day. Like a balloon being filled with so much goodness that it could burst at any moment. I kept having thoughts like, "How can anyone be this happy?" and, "Why do I deserve to be blessed this much?" It was almost more than I could bear.

Friday, October 26, 2012


The sun this evening was huge! It was bright, and it really did turn everything it fell on into a beautiful shade of gold.

It was like a reflection of my life over the last couple of days. When you have so much joy, it really doesn't matter what happens during the day, you can overcome it with a smile.

Even those little things that used to make me so mad, like a vaccuum cleaner that leaves a trail of dirt instead of sucking it up, or a broken door handle just to make life awkward, become insignificant details in a day full of smiles.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I found Katie again!

She was hidden underneath this pile of frustration, worry, and negativity but now, after that dreaded conversation, she is free!

I have not felt so elated or so full of joy in a very long time. I want to hug everyone.

What a release. What a relief.

What a Saviour who could bless me with so much peace and joy. Thank you!

Monday, October 22, 2012


Today I found out I've grown!! About 2cm in a year! How exciting.

But also, I've been this kind of nervous/excited/anxious mess since about 2:30pm this afternoon. I've bitten off three fingernails, a habit I thought I had broken long ago, and had to cut down the rest to prevent it happening again.

I'm going crazy with all these nerves about a conversation I've got to have tomorrow. I wish I could be more straightforward but I can't.

In due time.


Tonight was such a good temperature. It was warm enough outside and the rain calmed for long enought to tempt us to walk down to the beach after brushing our teeth.

We sat there watching the waves for a while. It's strange how something so uncontrollable as water being tossed onto the shore can have such a calming effect. The rhythmic crashing brought peace and contentment.

I even felt the water and could have been tempted to swim. Possibly.


Today there are two particularly remarkable things.

The first was sitting on the same giant rock I wrote about three years ago and looking out over that same ocean. It was the same colour blue, and just as beautiful. The moment wasn't nearly as profound or private, but I just loved that the rock hadn't moved and I could come back to it and ponder. That part of the world just kept on keeping on and each year when I visit, I can depend on it to be the same.

The second is more a memory I don't want to forget. A quality that I am coming to appreciate a lot in people is general cheekiness and the ability to produce fun. Sarah is one such person, and proceeded to cause many giggles tonight at Jessi's 21st. At the door, each guest was handed a card. One person had the word, 'murderer' written on theirs. The aim was to get that card by swapping with people over the course of the night. Sarah got the great idea to start writing messages on the card. Things escalated and the cards made the rounds and various people were demanding the kisses, promised by the cards. Some had Jessi's name, and others had Dan, Lucy, mine, and even Sarah as I got her back. It was a huge laugh, made funnier by the fact that we all had to disappear during speeches. As Lucy said, "It was all part of the illusion."


There is an amazing crescent moon out tonight. It's almost unreal the way the stars are scattered around it.

It's difficult to focus on conversation or where I am walking because all I want to do is look up.


After arriving at Tawharanui, setting up, and getting cosy over dinner, I thought Dad was crazy to venture out into the freezing wind to catch a fish down the other end of the beach. Not long after he left, Mum and I were the crazy ones to follow him.

I did not end up regretting the 20minute walk at all because the stars were out in full splendor, reflected in the water as phosphorescence washed up with each wave. It is amazing to watch the particles glow in the moonlight.

To make it even better, Dad caught three fish and was very chuffed with himself.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


The little kids at Mainly Music are adorable and they brighten my day like nothing else.

One boy bounded in this morning holding a Vegemite sandwich. I commented about Marmite and a whole conversation ensued about how terrible it is that, "there's no Marmite in the supermarket anywhere!"


Today Melinda bought an iPhone! She wasn't sure, but after some persuasion she clicked that little "Buy Now" button on Trademe and it was done.

We picked it up this afternoon from the most amazing place on earth. Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration.

As we drove into this place, it looked like a big factory up ahead. I thought that this would be a place to murder someone and hide them. We were a bit worried.

The concrete walls were covered in grafitti art and there was a wall made of rusted bike wheels. Up the curving driveway there were other strange art pieces scattered in odd places. Old villas with verandahs had benches and fountains covered in crochet. It was like we had driven into an art commune.

That's actually kinda accurate, except much less scary.

It was an old winery, turned into an art estate with artist studios, performance places, galleries, theatres, and a beautiful old church.

It was so weird and wonderful.


I have had three big conversations today.

Getting out a years worth of frustration felt really really good.

I came to some decisions and felt peace from God for the first time in a long time.

It's good to pray about things that matter again and know that I need an answer.


Productivity always feels good. I had a very busy day, at work from 8:30am until 9:00pm, but at the end of it I could say I was prepared for the week.

What a boring remarkable thing. I'll do better next time.


The combination of black jeans and the warm sun is usually a good one, and this afternoon it did not disappoint.

Perhaps my lack of sleep had something to do with the comfort it bought me as I drove along the motorway.

Outside, the wind was making the world go crazy, but there was nothing but calm in my car.


It was Dan's party tonight.

All the hard work paid off. People had a good time I think and enjoyed the videos. Phew! Dan did anyway, and that's the main thing.

My own 21st was a bit overwhelming because there were all the people there to talk to and make feel welcome. But this was a whole lot of people I know and could talk to without that added pressure. It was great.

I love dancing! We danced for a long time and loved every moment.

Dancing brings people together. Or can have the opposite effect I suppose if it was inappropriate. But this was great.


Watching yourself in videos from your childhood is the craziest thing.

As I saw this little blonde girl potter around the house, putting buckets on her head, riding around in the driveway, and getting excited about using the potty, it was a strange sort of nostalgia.

I couldn't remember doing those things, but somehow there was a vague recollection of the places and props.

It was a weird experience, feeling so disconnected from my own life.


Oh wow I have not laughed so much in a long time.

It was dance practice this afternoon for Dan's birthday and it was a complete mess.

We kept making mistakes and cracking each other up.

It's so refreshing to be completely silly sometimes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


It's my brother's birthday today. I have written him a speech:

"I was one and a half when Daniel came into the world. As soon as I saw him two realizations came to me.

Firstly, I would have to work at retaining the affection and attention of mum and dad. He was quite a cute baby and all if a sudden I had to fight for the spot of favourite. There is evidence of this in our home videos. I tried so hard to be the star and photo bombed a lot of his screen time.

The second realization was that I had gained a blind follower, an innocent victim to manipulate into playing with me, letting me dress him up (never nailpolish!), and getting me things I couldn't reach. He did very well under my instruction, even stealing the spatula, mums discipline device from the kitchen one day and hiding it under the bed.
He also was quite handy as a scapegoat. I think quite a few of my tellings off went to him. He would bawl and mum would give him a big hug and tell him she loved him. I used to hate that so much. I wanted justice... for him.

I did actually realize a third thing later on. I may have upstaged Dan in the home videos, but he really did upstage me in life. He is so smart, helping me with homework when I was two years above him at school, he lived my 7th form dream of being a student rep and a lead in the musical, and I don't know a single person who doesn't like him. Somehow Dan charms his way into making us all pick him up, buy him food, lend him assignments... He's got us all around his little finger.

It's not all take and no give though. He is one of the kindest, most caring people I know. Most brothers wouldn't bring their sister a glass of water after she hollers up the stairs at him, or dance like fool with her around the kitchen, or practice her worship set with her for ages even if he's not playing it that Sunday.

Dan and I have always been good friends. Over the years there has only been on habit of his that has really got on my nerves. I've only come to appreciate his constant, confident, and extremely loud singing recently. I think mainly because his taste in music has improved a bit from Nickelback.

Each week there was a new theme song which we heard screamed down the hall or up the stairs or over the top of the radio in the car. There were songs for the shower (the neighbours love him for that),songs for dancing, songs for when he got home, songs for sound checks, and songs for driving. He is always singing.

Everyone knows it, so we are going to watch this video mashup of all his favourites, but first, Dan I am so proud that you're mu brother. You are becoming a young man and it's so exciting to see you take more responsibility, and grow in integrity and all those things a man should be. 

Happy birthday. Love you."


Oh my word I have danced so much today.

It's been fun planning my brother's birthday party and this dance is one of the final pieces to come together. Unfortunately it is mighty difficult.

Dan is pretty talented when it comes to pretty much everything, but especially dancing. He can shuffle faster than most, shake his hips like Shakira, and coordinate his hands, feet and face at the same time.

Aaaaand Mum gave me the task of putting together a dance of all his moves to perform at his 21st.

Meg, Reece, and I got together this afternoon to turn it into one dance. Elliot came too but gave up when we got to the shuffling section. I don't blame him either. Those moves are difficult.

There is no way we'll ever look as good as Dan doing it all but I hope people can at least recognize some parts and recall him doing them on the dancefloor.

But honestly, I've never exercised so much in one day.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I had to move out of the Collins' house today. It was a very sad time because I have loved the past three weeks. They have been exactly the right amount of change I needed to stay on track with life.

I was sorry to say goodbye to chats before bedtime over cups of tea, my double bed with the sun streaming on, playing games and getting cuddles with Tui, baking and cooking whatever we liked, and of course the company of Wiz and Lucy and other guests.


I love anticipating eating something delicious when I know exactly how it is going to taste. You dream about it all day and then you take that first mouthful and it is exactly as it should be.

Jeyukbokkeum, you never disappoint.


Today I caught up with school friends for dinner. It was quite refreshing to see them.

Somehow the topic of human trafficking and sexual slavery came up and we talked about how upsetting it all is. We've never really talked about things as real as that in the world so it was really good to chat.

I also appreciated the input of my non-Christian friends and seeing their reaction. I'm so used to hearing Christian answers and comments that it's easy to lose touch with how the majority of people hate to see these things just as much. How could you not??

Friday, October 5, 2012


When Alysha arrived tonight to Cindy's house I got all excited and gave her a pretty good welcome.

I could tell she was pleased to be greeted with surprising enthusiasm. She smiled sheepishly and accepted my hug.

I guess it was good on both the giving and receiving ends.

It was just one of those momentary encounters that are easy to forget, but worth noting.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


I made lots of small talk again tonight! It was fun getting to know more about this particular girl because she's always been in the peripheries of my friendship circles, but I've never had a conversation with her.

Along with all the small talk, there was a lot of deep conversation. When we got home, Lucy and I talked for a very long time and I really needed it. Her advice and perspective has helped me so much. Sometimes it's difficult to speak about real life things, but we all need to do it. It's part of friendship and general humanness.


Tonight I did something scary. I went into the elder's meeting to share about what it is I do at church, my limitations, pressures, and workload.

I was pretty terrified. I feel like I was ok beforehand, but during it, I just started shivering. I wasn't sure what was happening, but it made it difficult to look confident and to speak with a clear voice.

The shaking happened all the way home, and was only cured by a nice cup of tea.

Sometimes tea is the best cure.


Last night I set my alarm as usual.

This morning my alarm went off at 7am as usual on a Sunday, but I felt so tired. I put it down to being up so late the night before and got on with my day.

The morning passed by as usual, besides my car clock being an hour behind for some reason. I figured the battery must have done something weird when I turned it on. My car is slowly dying after all.

At Nana and Poppa's this afternoon, Dan remarked about their clock being an hour behind. I was surprised and shared about my car as well, laughing that the clocks must have had a conspiracy and stolen an hour from us overnight.

It was banter as usual.


Fast forward to 10pm, Lucy asks, "does anyone have any good daylight savings stories?"

The penny drops.

We all laughed at my ignorance and I thanked God for my phone which changed automatically.


Tonight I went to a party I didn't particularly want to go to. Mainly because I've liked staying home a lot recently, and there would be a lot of people there that I only sort of knew.

These days I doubt myself a lot in social situations, especially making small talk and not being too weird. But I am starting to have more evenings like this one that I walk away from the party feeling excited and energized by meeting new people.

I am so glad I went, not only for the confidence boost and great conversation, but because a couple of girls prayed for me and it was much needed.

To make it even better, one of the girls I had never met, and the other I had only spoken to a few times before.