Your Summer Memories | Christmases in Blenheim by Angela

Your Summer Memories | Christmases in Blenheim by Angela

Hello everyone! Welcome to Part Two of the Summer Memories series.

Just as a quick refresher, I asked you guys on June 1st to send me your favorite summer memories. As I expressed in the post, those memories could be about whatever stands out most to you when you think of summer – and the range of stories that all of you sent me is so cool! Each one is completely unique, and while I’d like to tell you more about each one, you’ll have to see for yourself over the next couple of days what they wrote. ❤

I will be sharing each story in the order that they were sent to me – just to make that clear!

For today’s wonderful story, we have an awesome description of what Angela’s (from lifeofangela) summer memories were growing up in New Zealand! Enjoy!


Christmases in Blenheim

For us in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas is in Summer! Every two years growing up, we would head down on the ferry to the South Island, and visit my grandparents in Blenheim. This became a tradition of sorts, every two years, we would have a big Christmas celebration with our extended family. I always loved that trip.

We would stay down there for over a week, we would always visit Rarangi Beach, go cherry picking, drive down for day trips in Kaikoura or Nelson, play catch in the front yard, watch the trains pass by… and then on Christmas, we would get up early for presents, have a big Christmas lunch, and always end it on pavlova for dessert (a classic Kiwi dessert!).

Then we’d head down to my Dad’s old school down the road and play there!

I have endless summer memories down in Blenheim, and as they connect with Christmas, they are definitely where my favourite summer memories are 🙂

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Wasn’t that awesome?? Thank you so much for sharing your memories with us, Angela! Up until now, I really didn’t realize that other parts of the world experience seasons so much differently, and at different times of the year, than we do here in the US. I truly can’t imagine a warm Christmas, but then again, those who are used to warm Christmases wouldn’t think of a white Christmas as being normal, hahaha! We get so used to what it’s like in one part of the world that we (or at least I) forget that the world is such a HUGE place, and that there are tons of differences across the globe, in culture, climate, and especially the people themselves. ❤

Thanks for reading! How about you?

What are YOUR favorite summer memories? Let us know in the comments below!

— Maggie

Becoming a Big Sister For the Fourth Time

FeaturedBecoming a Big Sister For the Fourth Time

On Friday afternoon, I found out something that I’d really like to share with you guys!

My mom is going to have another baby. ❤

I wanted to write a post about this, not only to let you guys know, but also because … well … I have mixed feelings on it.

I wish I could say that I'm excited, and joyful, and really happy about this beautiful news … but because of some deep-rooted fears that I have, I feel way more worried than I do happy.

Here's why.

I'm scared that my mom will have to go through a lot of pain. When she had my little sister Elizabeth last summer, Elizabeth was born via c-section. It took my mom weeks to heal from that, and that time was hard on our whole family, especially me, as we did our best to take care of her and comfort her when she was hurting so much.

I'm scared that others will think we're weird. When people see big families, they tend to put them in a certain category, and that makes me feel so awkward.

I'm scared that others will think I'm a teen mom. I'm not usually the only one caring for Elizabeth when we're out and about, but when I do, people have gotten the wrong impression before. I love having younger siblings – especially babies! – but because I'm afraid of others' opinions, that has taken away my joy.

I'm looking forward to this baby. I can't wait to meet him or her … but that excitement is drowned out for the time being by the worries that are filling my heart.

It will take time to heal from how that hospital stay last June drained me. I'll have to write a post on that sometime soon. And it will take me time to learn that others' opinions aren't what matter. One day, I'll feel better about this, and over the next weeks and months, I will get to the point where I will eagerly anticipate the arrival of my new little sibling.

But for now … I am thinking things through. I am praying. I am giving myself room to heal.

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Throughout my mom's pregnancy, I will be writing more posts about how I'm feeling, how her pregnancy with Elizabeth went, and other life updates. I would deeply appreciate all of your encouragement, support, and prayers.

Thank you so much for reading. ❤

— Maggie

Experiencing This Change

Experiencing This Change

Today is a new day.

I have spent nearly the past year of my life (at least!) living in the belief that past mistakes must dictate my actions for the new day. For the last twelve months especially, I have held things against myself – and my family, too, really struggling with being able to forgive, to let go and exhibit grace. It’s been a bumpy journey, trying to figure out why I’ve felt like this for so long.

The day I realized I was shackled to these sins was the day I could let them go.

I have prayed about this problem often, and now I can see that on my hardest day, at my lowest point, the Lord was still there for me. I’m always unable to see His hand at work until I take a step back – and what I can now see is absolutely breathtaking.

He is able to use every problem, sin, mistake, and shortcoming to lead me back to where I need to be – and He already has.

He has taught me about grace, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, and love.

For the past year of my life, I was too focused on taking care of me, of dealing with my own issues … and I no longer took the time necessary to nurture the beautiful relationships I had with my family. I left them behind in my own despair … and even then, nothing changed. The friendships I had with them were going downhill, as well as my self-esteem – and self-control. Focusing on “taking care” of myself didn’t help at all.

Because I wasn’t looking to the right Person.

The moment I laid all of this baggage, these burdens and worries and past mistakes, all down at the feet of my Lord and Savior, I felt a release. A literal weight was off my shoulders as He took them onto His own.

I had been carrying them for too long.

The pit of despair will take quite a bit of time to get myself out of … but I now know that the Lord and my family are waiting for me at the top. I know that they all long for the moment of my return, when I can finally be the loving person I once was, the caring person I often am, but can definitely be at all times. I’ll no longer have anger, impatience, and problems with forgiveness; they have all shown me the important thing I had left behind these past twelve months.

LOVE.

Love for my family, love for the Lord, and very importantly, love for myself. When I stop judging myself and give it all to Him, it is then that I’m able to love and care for others – not before.

It starts here – in my heart. And the new days that come, including today, will not continue to carry yesterday’s burdens.

I am learning to give, to let go, to learn, and to love.

Today is a new day.

— Maggie