Sunday, 30 June 2013


Sometimes I just wish time around me could just stop; that I could hit the pause button and everything froze, except me. With no agenda or a set time I have to be somewhere in front of me, I could just stop and breathe for a moment. I would then be able to take the time to read that book that is screaming my name, use my new Canon EOS 1100D that is sulking from lack of attention and attend to my writing and art that are weeping from neglect. And of course, there is my blog that has been almost completely abandoned. I am one of those people who, when they have a goal in mind, will over-work to reach that it. In my last year of school for instance, my goal was not only to pass my AS levels Cambridge exams, but also to do well in them. So I worked and worked and eventually accomplished my goal. Now, in my gap year, my aim was to work so I could not only go to Europe, but also have some spending/travelling money left over. So I have been juggling three part-time jobs and working nearly everyday to achieve my aim.

Yes, I am, I confess, what has been termed a workaholic. And workaholics never know when to slow down until they have what they were working for. Yet now, after months of it, I do want to slow down but my goal keeps me pushing forward. Not only am I flying to Europe at the end of July for a six week holiday in Salzburg, Austria at friends, I am moving cities around the same time. Thus I want time to just stop for a moment so I can process all this, spent quality time with God, family and friends and catch up on doing the things I love. A month is not enough time to do all I need and want to do. I wish I could balance work and leisure a bit better. But my brain keeps telling me that I need to keep making money because my trip is nearly upon me; it is just around the corner, I cannot stop now. Yet my heart for once won today and has taken the time now to just pause a moment, make myself a pot of tea, reflect on life and write. What bliss.

I have more news besides my workaholic condition and the Europe trip. I think, to some extent, I know what God wants me to do with my life: to help others and leave behind some good when I am gone. How? I am now considering either becoming a phycologist or a high school English teacher, though I am leaning more towards teaching. So, if all goes well, next year should find me studying a BA, with Phycology, English and perhaps French among my subjects, probably still pursuing my workaholic ways but, I hope, in a more balanced way. 

Monday, 10 June 2013

Should I say Goodbye?

I know. I know. This blog has been rather dead for awhile. I seldom post and seldom comment on your posts. Did I fall off the face of the earth? I will be honest with you; there are various reasons why I have not been much of a blogger these last few months and they include limited internet time, busyness and lack of inspiration. My life has been rather hectic. I have three part-time jobs and have been working and saving hard so I can go to Europe in August. I think I not only have writer's block, but inspiration and motivation block. When times are busy and difficult as they are now, I struggle to write and be creative. There are so many things that distract me. Sadly, lately, I have not even have much of an urge to write and do art (though I think and hope that is slowly changing). Planning for my Europe trip, stress over whether things will work out and whether I will have enough money (Europe-related), stress over when my family and I are moving cities and over what I am going to study and do with my life (Career-wise: I have to apply before the end of June) have also been taking up my time and my mind. I think I need to take a step back and breath in deep.

I wonder now if this blog is a waste of time. Maybe, since I do not even seem to have much time for blogging and not many bloggers out there read my posts any more, I should leave the blogging world. But then, I get this feeling inside that I am not ready to let go. I would, in a strange way, miss all of you, especially my favourite blogs/bloggers. And would miss writing my posts and reading about people from all over the world. Should I say goodbye? To answer my own question, I really don't want to. So just pretend I never mentioned it. I have decided that I will try to make more of an effort with my blogs. Whether this resolution will last a day, I do not know. But, hopefully, I will be "seeing" you all soon.

Yes that nut in the picture is me. ;)

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Snippets of South Africa

I have realised that, apart from what I have written on my About Me page, my followers and readers do not know much about me. Perhaps that is because I don’t speak about myself that much. I just think of a topic and write about it. Perhaps I have never thought my life interesting enough to share with you. However, I thought I might add a personal touch to this blog by telling you more about myself and the country (South Africa) that I live in. Let’s start with South Africa.

South Africa is like a wild botanical garden. It is perfectly civilised (contrary to what you o’er the seas might think) yet fill of conflict. We live in normal houses on normal streets and we have normal shops (though no Starbucks as of yet, which is really a misfortune). Some people think that the only white people here are missionaries which is ridiculously humorous. In some parts of South Africa it can rain for months and in others it snows and gets freezing cold. The only “wild” animals we see are in zoos, game parks and the like. It might not be as advanced as America in technology, but we do have apple computers, blackberries and every other form of technology you can think of. We even make movies (though, I’ll admit, most of them are not worth watching).

Wildlife and the scenery in South Africa vary from where you go. Where I currently live, we don’t get enough rain, the land is relatively flat and it’s not that pretty. Go somewhere else and you’ll find richly green-lands and huge mountains and the blue sea. Some places are desert-like, others flood. That’s something I love about South Africa; it has so much diversity; Diversity in weather, vegetation, culture and language. Though English is over-all the main language (as in most people can speak it, even if only a little), we have 11 official languages. And I can only speak two: English (my home language) and Afrikaans (it’s similar to Dutch, just much simpler).

As I said earlier, it’s also a country full of conflict. Politically unstable and crime extremely high, you may think it’s dangerous to live here. Which in a way is true, yet I generally feel perfectly safe. Of course, we cannot just walk around and go anywhere we like, as many in America do. Public taxis are not the safest and most people won’t just take a walk alone to town or at night (though it depends on where you live). The education system is deficient in many schools and the curriculum standard is low (thankfully, I did Cambridge AS Levels like they do in England), though the Universities are quite good. Striking is a big problem and poverty is all around, though perhaps not as much as you think.  So yes, this country has many problems; I have not even touched upon that many. Yet there is also good if you look for it. I am what we call proudly South African (though in terms of blood, I am half Portuguese, a quarter Irish and the other quarter is a mixture of British, French and who knows what else) and despite its setbacks, I do love my country. Anyway I hope you found these snippets of South Africa interesting and enlightening. 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Roads in the Wood

“All we have to do is decide what to do with the time  that is given to us ….” (Gandalf the Grey) Ah, if only that was as simple as it sounds. But how does one decide what to do with one’s life? How do you know what your purpose is, or what you love doing above all else? I have come to that difficult season in life where I have to choose a career. Yet it is so difficult for me to decide what I want to do for what could be the rest of my life. I want to do something that I love doing, but also something that impacts and helps others. But I have not found out what that something is yet.

We all eventually reach this stage in life. Some are fortunate enough to know exactly what they want to study and what career they want to pursue. Then there are those of us who have to strive and pray and pray, wondering and worrying about the future, hoping that there is a reason why we are this earth. Questions like “What is my role on this earth?”, “Why am I here?” and “What is it that God made me for?” stream through our minds and when they remain unanswered for so long, one can begin to feel a little lost and hopeless.

This post may seem just like ramblings of what is pressing on my mind. Yet I know that I am not the only one out there asking questions like mine. I want to encourage myself and you with the simple fact that God knows your future and that He is in control. There is a reason why He made you and He will reveal that reason in His own time. So as we continue to worry and seek and feel utterly frustrated, let us try to be patient: our time will come too.  

P.S Please vote on my poll! If you have any other suggestions, feel free to comment on this post.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Rain Fall Down

There is something so soothing and beautiful about rain falling from a cloudy sky. As I stare out my window, watching as the world before my eyes is being cleansed, I feel peace settling upon me from the inside out. And I feel happiness, as if I suddenly know that everything that is going wrong in my life will work out. Perhaps it is the cool air or the sound of rain as the drops splash gently against the window; Perhaps it is the knowledge that the tears of heaven are making the flowers and trees happy; Or maybe it is even how those small droplets can change scenery so drastically and beautifully that fills me with such serenity on a rainy day. 

The feel of rain on my bare skin gives me a child-like thrill of abandon and freedom.  God’s gift of water from the skies is not only for the plants, but it is also for me; it is a reminder of His everlasting goodness. Somehow, rain goes with all things creative. There’s nothing like writing, listening to classical music, doing art or reading good literature whilst there is a soft drizzle outside. And creativity is a core part of who am, so I love anything that inspires more of it into my soul. Rain is like peace coming straight out of the clouds of heaven, giving me a taste of God’s gloriousness.  I cherish each and every rare rainy day we have here, knowing that I will have to wait another while for my next day of soothing beauty. 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Yet Still I Will Praise Him

Sometimes life knocks us down and the last thing we feel like doing is rejoicing. We feel disappointed and drained, like we do not have the energy to carry on. In those moments when everything is going wrong, if we are completely honest, we do not want to praise God. When I am having a bad day or my life seems like one scary rollercoaster ride, I struggle to praise God; I struggle to find the words that describe what a wonderful God I serve. It is easy to worship God when you are happy and everything is going well. Yet in those moments of tribulation we need to worship Him the most, for He is still God.

Desert Song by Hillsong United has the lines: “All of my life/ In every season/ You are still God/ I have a reason to sing/ I have a reason to worship.” No matter what we are going through, He is still God; He is still worthy of our praise. Many things may change, but He remains the same. The beautiful thing about worship is that it takes our focus off ourselves and our hardships and onto the Creator of the Universe. It also helps us realise that God is still in control; that He is bigger than our problems and will bring us through them. Just because we are frustrated and in pain does not mean that God is no longer deserving of our adoration. When we win, we must praise Him and when we lose, still we must praise Him. Whatever you are going through, whatever season of your life you are in, He is Sovereign. Yet still should we praise Him.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Some Changes

Hi Everyone,
I am so sorry I haven't been posting regularly; I have been very busy with work.  Since I finished school last year, I have taken a gap year this year and am currently working so I can buy my ticket to Europe. But I will attempt to post every Saturday like I used to and will try to read your blog posts as much as I can. Please don't think that I am neglecting you all!

Anyway, so there are a few changes to my blog. First of all, I have a wonderful new header thanks to Britt at Encouragement for Daily Struggles. Thanks so much Britt, I love it! :) Second, I have updated my About, Quotes and Bucket List pages if you would like to check them out. You also may have noticed that I have been tweeking my blog design here and there. What do you think of it at the moment? Any suggestions or advice on how to better it? I really dislike my blog design at my other blog Scribblings of a Dreamer, but don't worry I will soon change it and am thinking of adding a header to it, though I'm not really sure how to make one. I also have a new profile picture; hope you like it. Let me know what you think about these small changes! :)

~Jess Leigh

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Learning To Be Selfless

If only I could remember that life is not about me, my wants and my will. If only I could look past myself at all times and think more of others. The human nature is so selfish. If we were to be completely honest we would admit that we are all naturally self-centred. Every unkind thing we have said, every time we have lost our tempers, got upset when things did not go our way; every wrong and thoughtless thing we have ever done is an act of selfishness.

Something I feel God is challenging me to do lately is to put Him and others first; to realise that I was not placed on this earth to live for myself. Oh, how I have failed this time and time again. Some days I set out with this strongly in mind: “life is not about me, put God and other people before yourself”, only for it to fade from my mind later on. As we get caught up in the busyness and troubles of our lives, we forget why we are here; we struggle to see past ourselves to those around us. So I challenge you, along with myself, to notice those around you who may be in need, to think before you say something that is actually insensitive, to not always let your day revolve around your own agenda. I challenge you to forget yourself and remember others and, in so doing, putting other people’s needs before your own. This is the challenge of learning to be selfless.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Lights of Impact

This world is an evil, hateful, lost place in dire need of goodness, love and hope. Our calling as believers in Christ is to make a difference on the earth and to shine like stars in the darkness. We were not meant to live ordinary, comfortable lives. Christians have sat in their comfort zones for long enough. It is time for the Church to arise and ignite a flame that could change those around us forever. There is supposed to be a distinct difference between believers and non-believers, but so many have been swept into the tide of this world. Life is too short to be wasted on things that do not last; things that, in the greater scheme of things, do not really matter. We were made to live a life completely sold out to Jesus; a life spent following His Will and striving daily to bring Him glory.

I challenge you today to not follow the crowd and try to “fit” in, but to make a difference while you can. God has gifted each one of us with different abilities and callings; we need to use them to impact those around us at school, University/College, work and in our social lives. God needs to be infused in every part of our daily lives. We cannot sit by while the world dies. I know that the problems of this world are so large that they can be exceptionally overwhelming. But that does nott mean that we do nothing to help others in need, to love those who we do not like, to serve selflessly and to give hope to the desperate. I will admit I fail in these things every day. But I am realising how important it is to live a godly life of integrity- a life that lives wholly for God- even though it may set us apart from the “in” crowd. Our time on earth was meant to be extraordinary. Each of us has a choice how we will spend our years. You have only one life to live, will you use it to love others or to work for your own gain? You may think that you are too small to make a difference; just one tiny drop of rain. But together, drops of rain can turn into a river. By yourself you may only be a tiny pinprick of light in the stark darkness, but together we shine like a city on a hill, visible for all those around us to see. 

Saturday, 12 January 2013

27 Million Voices

Picture drawn by Jess Leigh

Yesterday was National Human Trafficking Day. So I thought I would post this poem I wrote during the week to create awareness on modern-day slavery.

For the 27 million people held in slavery all over the world
Their cries resound all over the earth;
Cries of suffering, cries of hopelessness.
Yet few really hear them, nor are there many left to care.
They are like a vanishing wind;
Whispers of their fate are heard, yet they are left unseen.

They are bound like broods of animals,
Living a life they did not choose;
A life stolen by another.
They are forced to go where they do not want to go,
They are forced to do what they wish not to do.

Their time on earth is a living hell,
Imposed and controlled by heartless ones.
There is no escape, there is no freedom;
They are chained to their unwanted fate
While their souls cry out in agony.

Can you hear them?
Their silent cries are echoing
Against every corner of the earth,
Pleading to be set free
While sinister fingers grip them mercilessly.

Some heed the call and head into battle,
Striving to save the captive ones.
Others turn a deaf ear, a blind eye
And their hearts turn to stone,
While 27 million voices continue to scream in silence.