Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Unlocked Book Review

UnlockedUnlocked by Karen Kingsbury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Karen Kingsbury's "Unlocked" is one of the best books I have ever read by her. It tells the story of Holden Harris, and eighteen year old high school student. Sadly, he suffers from autism. Deep within himself, Holden is very happy, but the students from his school don't understand him, and he is often bullied. But things begin to change.

The change begins in the form of a girl from school called Ella, who reaches out to Holden. And slowly, Holden starts to come out from within his inner self. The journey you go in in this book is so beautiful, and just captures all the different emotions so well, and I ended up in tears at quite a few points (I often do in movies, but very rarely in books). More than anything else, it is a story of looking past our differences, of understanding and accommodating, it is a story of say "enough", of fighting for what is right, but more than anything, it is a story of hope.

It is a really eye-opening book, a brilliant read, one which I would highly recommend! I'll keep this review short and sweet so as to avoid any spoilers :)

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

When Icicles Hang on the Wall

Hi all!

Just thought I'd share with you all some videos of Daisy in some singing competitions she participated in recently! They are beautiful tunes, I can't help but hum along to the first one! :)

God bless, Daisy and may you keep serving Him with your talents! :D

From your friend,

Monday, 22 July 2013

In The Whispering Silence

"The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." 
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 
After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper." ~1 Kings 19:11-12~ And it was from the gentle whisper that God spoke.

Yesterday was just one of those days. Several things I've been finding hard recently decided it would be a good day to rise up to the surface and get in my face... You know how it goes :P

In some ways, it was a really good day - we had a great sermon at church and I had a wonderful time catching up with those very dear to me after the service. But when I got home, I just sat down on my bed with my journal and cried my heart out to God. 

"God, I know You have perfect plans for my life, but why? Why did it have to go like this? Why couldn't things have gone my way? I mean, I know Your plans are better than mine, but why?"
I went round and round in circles, feeling more and more upset. Normally, I'm a pretty upbeat and positive person, but last night, I was just really struggling with my emotions.

I finished up writing my prayer. "I know I'm blessed Lord, truly I do, but this just hurts. A lot. Lord, maybe it is presumptuous of me to ask, but please give me something to remind me of Your hand in all of this. Help me to trust You."

At the bottom of that very page in my journal was the first gentle whispering answer in the form of this quote.
"When we allow God the privilege of shaping our lives, we discover new depths of purpose and meaning." ~Joni Eareckson Tada~
As I read over those words, it just really reminded me that whilst God does not need our permission to shape our lives, once we put the pen back in His hands, instead of trying to snatch it away all the time, we will truly be blessed more than we could ever have dreamed, as I have seen so many times in my life. And yet, we still forget and need reminding :P
As I sat there contemplating this, my cell phone rang with a call from Violet. I hurriedly tried to sniff away my tears as she asked my advice on a matter close to her heart. Then her phone cut out (it must have done this 10 times during the entire conversation!). When she called back, she said: "Daisy, are you alright? I can just hear in your voice that something's up, isn't it? I know you hide it from others, but you can't hide it from me, I know you too well my friend!" 

Her kind words made me start my crying again, as I began to tell her what was upsetting me. As always, she listened sympathetically, then gave me some amazing advice! She reminded me that God uses everything to shape our character and that even things that really hurt, or bring us down, can be used to humble us and make us more empathetic, in order to better serve Him. She also reminded me that sometimes things don't go the way we want for ourselves, because it is God's plan for someone else. 
We talked for ages and ages, and eventually moved from my worries to Violet's, which really served to remind me that my own concerns weren't nearly as bad as I'd worked myself up to believe. And, like always, listening to her problems made me feel a lot better. In a bizarre way, we managed to cheer each other up! We rung off with promises to pray for one another. 

The conversation with Violet really changed my attitude about everything I'd been obsessing over. I knew her words were the answer to that prayer I'd prayed "please give me something to show me Your hand in this, Lord." God doesn't always answer in massive ways, but often in the whispering silence, we just have to listen carefully.

"Come and meet with me in the quiet place. I Am waiting for you. Even though the storm might be breaking all around you, come and meet with Me. I Am waiting for you.
It is in the meeting that I will comfort and fill you with hope.
I Am the Lord of the overflow and I Am waiting to give to you abundantly."

Hope you are all having a wonderful week!
Love from, 

Friday, 19 July 2013

A Dolphin Tale

A few nights ago, I saw one of the best movies I've ever seen - A Dolphin Tale. Not only was it a beautiful story of hope and never giving up, and an amazingly beautiful feature, it was also a true story!

Dolphin Tale tells the story of a young boy who's life is clouded by depression. His family try to make things better for him, but nothing seems to work. That is, until he finds an injured dolphin on the beach one day.

An injured dolphin that ends up changing his life. A dolphin called Winter (it is really cute that Winter plays herself). This movie is centred around the beautiful friendship between a young dolphin and a boy. I won't say anything more about it, as I don't want to ruin it for anyone :)

It had me in tears, laughing, and just overwhelmed by the beauty of it - highly recommended to all, and it is nice that it is completely clean! I think just about anyone would really enjoy it!

This second trailer has some behind the scenes things, so watch out for spoilers if you watch it! :)

God bless, 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

You Did it. You Hid it. Can you be rid of it?

Wow, what an amazing testimony this woman has! I heard it today and just had to share it with you all. Always remember that no matter how tainted with sin your past is, if you turn to the Lord in genuine repentence, He will always forgive you! What a cause for joy and celebration! Never think that your sin is too great for God to forgive you. He already has on the cross! It is so hard to remember this especially as time and time again we sin and fall short but I am forever thankful that He is there always, ensuring that my feet continue along the path of righteousness, however stumbingly!

God bless, and may you always seek to serve Him!

He Steadies My Heart (Daisy's Tahiti Adventure Part 2)

Outside the turtle sanctuary!
Alright, well I finally found enough time to post the second part of my Tahiti adventure! You can see part one here: Sorry (once again) for the overload of pictures!! The first few pictures are a continuation from the 5th day we were there (the day we did the dolphin encounter).

This actually isn't a selfie - my Mum took it haha :P 
Such gorgeous sunsets!!
We went to a beach banquet that night!
 The next day, we hired a car, and went for a drive around the beautiful island of Moorea! It was very strange for us, because the car was a left-hand drive, and you drive of the right side of the road there - it is the opposite here in New Zealand! :) But it was very exciting too.
There sure were some beautiful landscapes - it almost looked like the heights of Machu Picchu sometimes.
The highest point you can drive to on the island!
Then we went and visited some ruins of an ancient island temple - or marae. It was very interesting! It is one of the few remaining temples throughout French Polynesia, as most of them were destroyed by the early European settlers. It is a very strange feeling being somewhere where human sacrifices were once made... 
 But it sure is fascinating too!
Then we went to visit some local shops. This particular shop (below), the shop keeper only spoke French, so my Mum and I had to struggle through a conversation with her haha. But she was very kind!
Our purchase from the French speaking lady's shop!
Sunset again <3
The next day, there was a wedding on the beach a few doors down from our little house! I won't post any of the closer up photos (that'd be a bit stalker-y!) but it sure was exciting to witness a  traditional Tahitian wedding ceremony in such a beautiful place!

I did a second dolphin encounter that afternoon. This one was a proper swim with the dolphins - I even got an underwater ride :D Definitely one of my best ever memories <3
My new friend, Lokahi
Our last morning on Moorea Island 
My lovely mother in the breakfast room!
And me in the breakfast room :)
After breakfast, we went and made traditional Tahitian sarongs!! That was very cool :)

And then we caught the ferry back to Tahiti!
The one semi-good photo we managed to get of me and my
brother haha - it took ages to get one :P
And at that point, my camera ran out of battery! And it didn't really matter, because the next morning, we flew out of Tahiti early, and arrived back at our home before it was even dark! :D

It was a truly incredible holiday, and I know those memories will last a life-time. But aside from it being such a wonderful destination, and everything, our time away was such a blessing!! Early 2013 was a pretty stressful half-year for my family, with my brother being really sick, and just with lots of commitments. I had also been struggling with stress about my future, and where God was wanting me to go with my life. But those ten days were a complete respite from any worries or concerns, a time just to pray, and meditate on God's words and to praise His incredible name. And when I stopped worrying, things became much clearer. In Tahiti, I re-learnt an important lesson - we need to take time away from everything sometimes, to just spend time with God, and to focus on Him instead of our concerns. And often, our concerns will melt away entirely. Sometimes, like with our amazing Tahiti holiday, God will provide that time in an obvious way, other times, we have to make time for it.

Whilst we were in Tahiti, I was reading an amazing book called "In the Pursuit of God" by A.W. Tozer - I'll review it for you all at some point - which was a really good reminder of how we actually have to work on our relationships with the Lord, and seek Him. And if we seek Him, He will watch over us and guide us. When you turn to God for help and guidance, He will give you rest, He will steady your heart.

Love from

Monday, 15 July 2013

Another Show Done and Dusted

Well, it's finally over! After all the long weeks of working hard at rehearsals, and preparing sets, costumes and the theatre, we have completed our journey with the third show I've had the pleasure of directing. Grandma's Folk Tales is finished!!
One of my favourite pictures of Grandma and her granddaughter!
Our lovely Snow White! Doesn't she look sweet?
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves!
"She is dead!"
But then came the Prince!
The Pied Piper and the rats! 
"Hooray for the Pied Piper!"
This is one of my all-time favourite photos of me directing!
The Stone Soup
I was really rather freaking out the night before we opened, but the show actually went wonderfully well! I was also extremely surprised by the turn out we got - we had to put up nearly 30 extra seats! It was lovely to have Violet and Lily, along with lots of other friends in the audience watching!! Hyacinth, Sakura the rest of the crew and I had a pretty stressful time, but all in all, everything went really well, the audience loved it, and better yet, the kids did. It was a truly wonderful experience all around. 

I've given you the first sample of the raw photo shoot - I haven't prepared them to go on the website or anything yet, but I thought you might like a look at them anyway (thanks to Sakura's mum to taking them). I'll hopefully put some of the footage up on youtube sometime soon too!

God bless you all, 

Friday, 12 July 2013

One Day More!

Sorry I've been so absent from blog such a lot recently - things have been rather busy as we having been heading into the final stretch of our latest production - Grandma's Folk Tales. And here we are, finally, one day away from the performance!! Can't believe how fast time has flown! 
One of my favourite photos from last week's rehearsal!
"She is dead!"
Packing into the theatre today! So exciting!!
Hyacinth and I setting up the camera! It has been lovely
having Hyacinth helping me out in the crew!
My lovely backstage crew! Hyacinth is second from the
left, Sakura is 4th from the right, I am second from the right!
I can't wait for tomorrow! Today's rehearsal was a little bit hectic, but I'm sure things will a lot better tomorrow! Your prayers would be very much appreciated though! Can't wait to share some of the beautiful photos Sakura's mum took today with you all :) 

For any Les Mis fans... the song I've had stuck in my head all day ;)

I'll be back soon with real posts, but for now, I bid you adieu!