Hi guys! Hope you’re having a good start to your week. So, in warning, this is one of my deeper posts, so proceed with caution. The past few weeks have been some of the most… More
Reading is one of my absolute favorite pastimes, so I figured that each month I would share a few book recommendations, and start a Princess Warrior: The Blog book club! Here are my picks for February!
1. The heart warmer: A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks
This was the book that really caused me to be a die-hard Sparks fan, and for good reason. It hits the spot with young love, friendship and tragedy. The characters are true and tangible. I mean, I’m still harbouring my crush on Landon after 12 years.
2. The murder mystery: The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins
This recently got a lot of attention when the movie adaption released, but the book is riveting on its own. Part murder mystery, part drama and part thriller, the book will have you struggling to stop, even for food or bathroom breaks.
3. The classic: Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
The long awaited sequel to the classic To Kill A Mockingbird, this book takes us into the life of an adult Jean Louise Finch. It questions everything you thought you believed from the initial book, and teaches us that the innocence of childhood is still carried within us, even when we grow up.
4. The heart breaker: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
I truly believe that this is a book every woman should read. It delves into the reality of relationships and generational patterns. It Ends With Us explores love, limits, choice and friendship.
5. The Biography: Madeleine by Kate McCann
The disappearance of Madeleine McCann from a resort in Portugal in 2007 shocked the world, to say the least. So many stories and accounts have been told by the media, and this book fully explores the disappearance from the mum who lost her little girl that fateful day. A sad, but awareness raising account on the realities of missing and exploited children worldwide.
So thats it for our very first book club! Give these a read, and let me know what you think!
You can comment on this post, or email us at email@example.com!
Tot Mon Amour,
Hey guys! I’ve been a bit MIA for a while, but I promise I’m back for good now! I hope 2017 has been everything you expected and more so far, I mean how crazy is it that we’re already hitting the end of January??
So, today I thought I would speak to my fellow Princess Warriors who, like me, are a bit too hard on themselves. I have always loved the concept of grace, and truth be told, it was one of the first qualities of God that I really learned to love. I guess you could say that I do pretty well at being aware of God’s grace, and even showing grace to others. You know what I suck at, though? Showing myself grace.
When I was in the midst of depression, I passed the buck a lot. Sure, at the time there were a lot of negative circumstances in my life, but I sought of hid behind the identity of victim. I didn’t think I was to blame for any of my unhappiness. Fast forward a couple of years, I’d overcome depression, and reached the polar opposite of blamelessness. I looked into my fault in every situation. Whilst that is far from a bad thing, it resulted in me being a little too hard on myself.
To say that I am my greatest critic is an understatement. I tend to beat myself up a lot over the tiniest of failures, until I realised that I was actually being quite mean to myself! This past month has been the ideal example. My plan for January was to set the pace for the year ahead. I was gonna wake early, get in some meditation, go for a run, eat well, and blog often (sorry!). Instead, I slept in most days, ran only as far as the fridge and blogged….once. Needless to say, I was pretty mad at Chey.
But here’s the gist of it, I had a crazy busy December working in retail and being with family. I worked while everyone went to beach parties and got tans. So what if I used this month to refuel, relax and have Harry Potter and Quantico marathons? I had to learn that its OK to go easy on myself at times. Relaxation and quality time with loved ones is as integral to life as exercise, careers and success.
The moment I accepted this, I started to feel lighter and just enjoy what was in front of me, instead of watching Harry open the Chamber of Secrets whilst inwardly beating myself up about not doing everything I set out to do.
My point in this guys, is be kind to yourself. Cut yourself some slack, be kind to yourself, and more importantly, show grace to you before you practice it on someone else. I guarantee you’ll feel a little better about each day.
Tot Mon Amour,
For those of you expecting this to be a goody-girl post, soppy with motivational kumbaya and a cheesy tale about how one should be celibate until marriage, stop right there. The matters of the heart go so much deeper than pep talks and instructional writings.
Let me tell you a bit about myself. I began my spiritual journey at a young age, craving God and biblical teachings for as long as I can remember. I had this idealistic perspective of how life ought to be. Sure, I “served” at my local church so God would give me a utopia of a life, right? My idea of true love and romance was shaped by pop culture and those around me. All those love songs and Twilight movies have given us the idea that when “true love” comes along, the person would validate and beautify everything in our paths. I waited for a happily ever after. And waited I did. And waited and waited a little more.
Along the way, I gave attention to people that I knew I shouldn’t be giving attention to. Even though I knew that the particular guy wasn’t my idea of Prince Charming, the feeling of being alone and sandwiched between teenagers who were dating and adults that were getting married drove me to seek solace in people that were broken themselves. You see, it all comes down to the law of attraction. Like attracts like. Broken attracts broken. Fear attracts more fear. If you settle, you attract someone who is also compromising.
Here I was, Miss Lady-in-waiting, sharpening my domestic skills and being broken by disappointment and failure. I kept attracting brokenness in the form of awkward friendships and imaginary courtships which lead me straight to the graveyard of hearts. I realized that the God of my youth group years wasn’t working out. I began to accept what was in front of me. It’s amazing what a tainted view of God can do to oneself. Every human being reaches a point where enough is enough.
Powerful women in the Bible such as Ruth, Esther, Rachel and Rebekah did so much more than wait. The parable of the sower speaks of “good soil” having the ability to receive the sowed word. I began to question the term “good soil”.
As an avid gardener, my mind began to wander along the process of successfully germinating a seed and bam! there it was, the ideal word that I was searching for was “compost” . Compost is basically sand that has been fortified with organic matter, giving it the ability to enrich seeds and plants to grow to its full potential. The process of manufacturing compost is quite gross and an eyesore, I might add. Waste from fresh produce is added to sand and the heap rots and decomposes until the batch of compost is ready for use. The process stinks, but when the compost is used, the results are fabulous. Likewise, becoming you, the full and whole version of you isn’t the most visually stimulating process. The trials and tribulation that was intended to hurt and break you can be used to shape you to become who you supposed to be.
At the end, it’s so worth it. Your compost of a mess becomes the optimal place to receive what God has in store for you. Embrace the situation you are in, smile throughout it, believing that you are being refined. Holy living isn’t about receiving a reward, let alone gaining a perfect husband. Marriage is a fabulous goal but there is a much greater goal. Instead of being someone’s other half, work on being a complete you, the best version of yourself. Having God is everything, not means to a life that we think He would want us to have. As for me, I find myself being prepared for marriage. My feminist mindset has been softened into an egalitarian one. I have learned to respect men and authority across both genders, something that was nearly impossible for me.
I found that while broken attracts broken, strong attracts strong. Love attracts more love. For that reason, I find myself ready for God’s plans more than ever.
Today I celebrate my 23rd birthday. Wow. 23. Not bad for a girl who didn’t think she would see 18. So, anyway, in the midst of all this birthday madness, I’m taking a quiet minute to write to you, my readers. I’ll start of by saying thank you. Thank you for every well wish this year. And thank you for simply visiting this blog in 2016 and allowing me to share my thoughts with you.
When my family asked me what I wanted today, all I asked for was two things. One, I wanted helium filled balloons. Why? Because they make me happy, and shouldn’t we all do a little more to make ourselves happy? And secondly, I wanted a picture at a graffitied wall. I can’t explain this one, but I just wanted to. Well, long story short, my superhero family made it happen! That, and they got me the tastiest beef and bacon burger (diet on my birthday? I don’t think so).
In the midst of taking my colourful pictures, it occurred to me that it was so representative of what God had done in my life in 2016. If you read my previous post on contentment, you would know what a transforming year it has been. But where I was once a blank canvas, now my life is a colorful mural of power, strength and determination. The major transformation God performed in me this year was a shift in priorities. I’m not ashamed to say that for most of my life, my dream was marriage. Marriage and a family. A career was just a means to fund that life. But in the midst of all that dreaming, I forgot that God’s plans could possibly involve more than marriage and family for me at a young age. Whilst that is perfect for many amazing women, it wasn’t for me. How do you belong to a husband and children if you don’t even know who you are?
It took that mindset change to lead me to so many exciting career changes and lifestyle advancements that I will share with you guys in the months to come.
The reason I’ve shared this with you all is to ask that you question your goals and dreams for 2017. Is it in line for God’s amazing plans? Or maybe you’re simply putting yourself in a box. If that’s the case, stop! Choose differently, and this year ahead will see you advance in ways you can’t even imagine.
So, once again, thank you,my fellow Princess Warriors. Thank you for all your support in 2016, and I look forward to seeing all God has in store for us in 2017! Love you all! Keep shining!
Tot Mon amour,
Contentment. Easy enough word. Not so easy to achieve though, huh? As I look back on 2016( which has been a crazy year, to say the least), I see that a lack of contentment has been my biggest struggle.
So let’s start with this: what is contentment?
The English dictionary defines it as a state of happiness or satisfaction. Wikipedia (yeah, I’m a wiki girl), says that it is a mental or emotional state of satisfaction drawn from being at ease in ones situation, body and mind. Furthermore, this Princess Warrior defines it as being at peace, in body, mind and spirit despite any outward circumstance or position.
This year has been one of tremendous change for me personally. I distinctly remember on new years Eve of last year, thinking that the year ahead would bring so much progress and change, and that my life was about to transform. And it did. Just not in the way I planned. By March I found myself anticipating the year ending simply so that I could move onto new things. Here I was, a 22 year old first year student, living at home with mum and dad, with barely any true friends and without the relationship I would have liked to have. I was pretty restless, to say the least.
In the midst of all of this discontentment, I began to lose track of who I was and what God was doing for me. Until I came across this verse:
“For I have learnt, in whatever situation, I am to be content”- Philippians 4:11
I started to question if that lack of contentment and peace was the thing keeping me up at night, and leading me to grumble and complain all day. And so, I began to make a conscious effort to change it. I saw that God had given me so many reasons to thank Him, yet my dissatisfaction was completely blinding me.
To say that actively choosing contentment is a struggle is an absolute understatement. Its hard and the process is ugly. Why? Because instead of moaning and complaining, I had to sit down, have faith in God showing up, and being at peace. Perhaps that seems simple to you, but for a control freak such as myself, it can be torture. But there’s a silver lining, I swear. Suddenly I sleep better, I smile more and I find God in situations I would have overlooked a few months ago. It comes down to a simple principle. Like attracts like. Inner peace and satisfaction will attract outer peace and satisfaction.
My hope for you when reading this is that you will begin to question the year that has passed. Have you been content and at peace with all situations and circumstances? If you have, continue on this road. Its a great one! But, if by any chance, you have struggled like me, I hope you will begin to intentionally choose contentment. Make 2017 your year of peace. It is an action, a very possible and achievable one.
Tot Mon amour,
There are very few things I love in life more than books. To me, books are treasures, and this work by Jenny Han is a particular jewel.
Despite the fact that I am 22(for one more month),I still very much enjoy certain young adult series. To all the boys I’ve loved before by Jenny Han has truly etched itself into the list of my very favorite books. Considering the fact that I read close to 60 books a year, possibly more, you know this book must be good. And that it is. Centering around Lara Jean Covey, the story tells of a teenage girl who’s been in love various times but never actually pursued any relationship. She writes letters to the respective boys when she does not want to love them any longer and tucks those letters away in her teal hatbox, for no one else to see, her little secret. Until one day, when all are mysteriously sent to each boy. Thus emerges a playful, young and heartfelt piece of literature from Han.
I found that I could relate so much to Lara Jean’s character and those of her family, because she is your typical teenage girl. She loves the idea of love, values the beauty of it, and that’s something I truly relate to. The sisters, and the love and sense of responsibility she feels toward them also spoke to me, for obvious reasons.
More than anything, its a must read simply for the innocence of it all. Also, you will definitely feel an urge to whip out the old bag of flour when you’re done reading this.
Once you’ve read To all the boys I’ve loved before, be sure to pick up the sequel, P.S I still love you and keep an eye out for the final book of the series, Always and forever Lara Jean, set to release next April.
“Love is scary, it can go away. That’s part of the risk. I don’t want to be afraid. I want to be brave.”- Lara Jean
All my love,
The moment I set my eyes on this dress, i knew i had to have it. Every detail from the scallop trims,the length and the gorgeous V-neckline caught my eye and I knew that the material of the dress would allow it to flatter my figure and make me look taller. Of course, the color is my favorite part about it. Coral is one of few bright shades I like. It just screams summer to me, and since I’m finding it diffcult to wait out the month left until summer, I decided to start early with the summer fashion.
This was my look for church yesterday, so I decided to make it a little modest by covering up the side cutouts by layering on a simple white blazer. I chose white to still allow the coral shade of the dress to pop. A pair of white pointed stilettos and plain gold and white stud earrings finished off the look.
- Coral dress: MRP Fashion
- White Blazer: Legit
- White Heels: MRP Fashion
- Earrings: MRP Fashion
For the makeup, I decided simple was best. Im not a huge fan of bright eyeshadows and blushes, preferring to keep the color to my lips.
As a base, I first slathered on some Garnier BB cream, and then I finished it with a dusting of MAC Studio Fix press powder.
Next came my eyes. I polished off my eyebrows with a few strokes of Avon Brow Definer Glimmerstick in soft black, and used an Avon dark brown eye shadow for a darker eye. MAC liquid liner and Avon Supershock Mascara finished off my natural eye.
For my lips, I abandoned my usual red lips and went instead for a nude, combining Avon Lip Liner GLimmerstick in Spicy Rum and Essence Lip Liner in nude. I absolutely love coloring in my entire lip with lip liner. It gives my lips and extra plumpness and of course, stays on my lips all day, so I never really need a touchup.
Finally, my nails were painted in Avon Gel Finish nail polish in Wine Red.
- Garnier BB Cream: Medium shade
- MAC Studio Fix: NC45
- Avon Brow Definer Glimmerstick: Soft black
- Avon Eyeshadow: Natural brown quad
- MAC liquid liner: Black
- Avon Supershock Mascara: Black
- Avon Lip Liner Glimmerstick: Spicy Rum
- Essence Lip Liner: Nude
- Avon Gel Finish Nail Polish: Wine me and Dine me
Here’s the thing that most people don’t realise about suicide and depression. If you somehow survive a suicide attempt, the urge to die doesn’t simply disappear. It becomes an addiction, a little monster that keeps you in a dark place that is almost impossible to climb out of. A monster that you nurture by entertaining it as an option every time life becomes too hard to bear.
Five years ago, I was a lost 17 year old who had finally had enough. On the 14 September 2010, on a day very much like today, I overdosed and sat waiting for the pills to send me into a sleep that I was convinced I would not wake up from, on a cold school toilet floor. As I waited, I tried to convince myself that this was best. I felt punished by God for the life I had been given. I could’nt see why this life was worth living. I had tried for 17 years to fit in, to find my place in the world, but all I felt was rejection and loss. I had failed at this thing called life, so it only made sense to give up. To die.
A few hours later, I woke up in an emergency room, being injected in my arms and having my stomach pumped, which is a horrible experience, by the way. All I felt like doing was screaming, and so that’s what I did. I had been screaming on the inside for so long, that letting it out felt pretty good. I was alive, even though I really didn’t want to be at the time.
After a few hours in the emergency room, I was taken to the intensive care unit, and would spend the week there. With the exception of a few hours in which my family could visit me, I spent that time in the hospital isolated and surrounded by death. That was when the questions began. I questioned God over and over again about why He had let me live when it was so obvious that I had no desire to be alive.
The journey to a so-called recovery is not an easy one. As per hospital rules, a suicide attempter is obliged to see either a psychologist or psychiatrist. I chose a psychologist and truly dreaded the meeting. It was as horrible as I had imagined because he asked the questions I didn’t want to answer. I wanted to blame my circumstances and the people around me for my breakdown. He wanted me to look in the mirror for answers. That did not sit well with me.
Aside from the psychologist, I now had to answer to a pastor. Something his wife told me would always stick in my mind. She told me that life is given by God and should be taken away by God and that there is no room for heaven for those that try to play God. Having lost many friends and peers to suicide, I find it hard to swallow that they don’t have a space in heaven, but that really is up to God.
The year that followed was a tumultuous one, filled with a lot of depression, another attempt on my life, and also being put under the microscope by my family. While I understand their reasons, and love them all the more for it, at the time it felt suffocating. My sister, Alyssa, was a hero in it all. How?, you may ask. She became a bit of reality in it all by being the only person who chose to be real with me. My parents chose to approach the situation by showering me with love, perhaps due to the fact that they had come so close to losing me or perhaps they felt that by showing me love, I would find the willpower to stay alive. Alyssa, however, chose to show me anger, and lots of it. She called me out for being selfish and trying to play God, and while I didn’t particularly want to hear it, I needed to hear it.
Flash forward a couple of months, I was done with high school with no plans for the future. My parents suggested Theology school, or bible college, but I was completely against the idea. It seemed monotonous and stifling, and so not “me”, so I ignored the suggestions and continued to pet that little monstrous companion I was carrying called depression. Deep down I knew that my life was saved for a reason, and that God was calling me, but I simply wasn’t ready to answer just yet. I was too busy running from Him. After spending three months in bed, basically just wallowing in sadness and very much waiting for death, I finally caved and decided to give Bible college a try, and enrolled in Durban Bible College. Despite my reservations about it being stifling and boring, it ended up being quite the opposite. I met people who brought joy into my dark life. People who began to help me heal through constant prayer, encouragement and friendship.
My true turning point came the night before I left for missionary work with the college. My intention was to get a lot of sleep that night because I knew it was going to be a rough week ahead. God had other plans. He felt enough was enough. I needed to listen and answer to His call, and I needed to do it that night. I learnt that night what it was like to truly be a vessel of God, because that is what my sister was. I fought back when God used her to point out what a failure I was being, and I used my words to hurt as best I could. That is something I am still ashamed off three years later. But she kept going, and both her and God moulded a warrior that night. A prophetess, a soldier and a princess was born that night, on 2nd June 2012.
Today marks exactly five years since that morning I spent waiting for death on that cold toilet floor. Five years later, God and I have conquered suicide and depression. Five years later, I can’t stop thanking God for saving me even when I didn’t want to be saved. Life isn’t perfect, I am not the perfect child of God I wish I was, but I am alive for His purpose today.
This was a story that I wasn’t entirely comfortable sharing, but I chose to do it for two reasons. The first is to give God glory. My family should have been laying flowers on my grave today, thinking about how fast five years have passed since my death. Instead, we are all spending today in awe of this God that pulled me from the jaws of death for His purpose and for His glory. He really is a wonderful Father.
Lastly, I am sharing this story for the one person who has given up today and is ready for death. I hope these words have inspired you to give life another try. Take it from me, life is never as hard as you think it is. You are a soldier, and soldiers fight. So get up, and fight, you warrior! Look to God and together with Him, find joy in living! And remember, this fellow warrior will always be backing you up in prayer
All my love;