Enchanted Forest ~ An Inky Quest & Colouring Book (Johanna Basford)


Here’s my book review of Johanna Basford’s Enchanted Forest.


I cannot say enough good things about this book! It is amazing and I’m so glad to be able to review it for those that have yet to see it.


Those of you that follow my instagram account would have seen a few of my posts of the pages I’ve been colouring in this book. I first stumbled across this in Thailand. My hubby bought it for me as he could see how excited I was at the amazing intricate artwork inside of this book (and on the covers!). Possibly, he was seeing the similarities for the love of nature in the creative pen strokes. I fell in love with it and funnily enough, it has been such a soothing and relaxing addition to my handful of tools to combat anxiety and stress. This book is aimed at adults. It is part of the new ‘trend’ of adult colouring books worldwide. Johanna’s amazingly detailed work are wonderful to behold. It has definitely inspired me as an artist.


The book comes printed on thick, cardboard stock and good quality paper, suitable for colouring. There is gold foil detail on the front cover, but other than that, it is basically, ‘black and white’. The book is mainly for colouring, but there is an element of searching for items as you progress through the book. I personally enjoy the colouring, and not so much the other ‘activities’. Have yet to get my hands on Secret Garden (which was Johanna’s first book) and have nothing of hers to compare it to.


The coloured images are those that I’ve already worked on. I didn’t work through the book page by page, but whatever I felt like colouring, got coloured. I used Stabilo Point 88 0.4 fine markers, Faber-Castell Connector Pens and MasterArt Master Series Coloured Pencils in this book. The Stabilo’s can seep through to other pages if you have a heavy hand. The Connector Pens and pencils worked great on the paper. I would not suggest using Sharpie’s or alcohol-based markers (like Copic’s) to colour in this book as the pages are double-sided printed and will definitely leave a mark on the reverse side.



I thoroughly enjoyed colouring this book, and in fact, just looking at the pages of intricate artwork was very satisfying. Johanna has amazing talent and I look forward to exploring her first book – Secret Garden, and her new book that she is working on (snuck a peek on Instagram), Lost Ocean.

At $20 or less (in Australia), this is a great gift or item for you to admire artwork and add some relaxing creativity of your own.





June Faves 2015



It’s been awhile since I last blogged. But I’m back and hopefully with full steam ahead. I’m enjoying being back in Melbourne. July has begun! Crazy how time flies.

Anyway, let’s get onto my faves this month.

  1. Go Natural Berry Frugo’s:1Wanted a healthier snack than chocolate. And having this gluten free one available has been super yummy. Probably not super healthy, but at least it is preservative free, no added colours or artificial flavours. And made with real fruit! Honestly, they just taste good! Also available in Apricot. This 150g bag was $3 on sale at Woolies! Get on it!!!
  2. Thankyou Botonical Lime and Coriander Hand Wash:2

Needed a new handwash that would last awhile. Love foaming handwashes, but let’s be honest, they don’t last a long time, and before you know it, you need a new one. Hubby and I have been loving this cleansing and fragrant handwash that’s sale proceeds go towards projects in developing nations. Paraben free and smells amazing. Love it! Not the most inexpensive, but we see it as going to a good cause, and not just a company’s pocket.

3. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Roll-On:


Ok, so I’ve been gone for the country for around 2+ years and I’ve never seen this line from Neutrogena ever. It seems to be new. Well, I came back from overseas with some serious eye millia and it really does suck. Need to get rid of them, but been too lazy so far. Anyway, I am in serious need of an oil-free eye cream that soothes my problem eye area. Looked everywhere for one of those Garnier Caffiene rollers and found out they don’t sell them ANYWHERE anymore….. Sadness. Someone explain why they were discontinued. Every other eye cream has a decent amount of oil and that really does not do well for oily eyelids. Anyway, this eye roll-on is very soothing (as the metal ball is cold, especially since it is winter) and the tube squeezes product just right to give you a nice film of eye cream as you roll it. Loving it so far!

4. Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain – LA Exclusive:



Enjoying this beautiful lip stain/gloss that I got in Thailand. It was much cheaper and I think on sale at the time. In Australia, it’s not cheap, and I’d suggest waiting for a serious Revlon sale. Anyway, this Stain provides moisture and colour to your lips and does, ‘stain’ your lips a little once the gloss has worn off. I’m loving this colour for my skintone this month – 010 LA Exclusive

5. Tetley 100% Steamed Green Tea Pyramid Infusers:



These Pyramid shaped tea bags are really good at releasing flavour as your tea infuses in hot water. The tea seems to taste a little ‘greener’ or more ‘vege’ like because it is steamed and not roasted. More ‘fresh’?! Anyway, getting onto green teas this winter! So warming and healthy too. Yeah! And actually, I enjoy the whole range, Decaf too. The Pomegranate one and the Ginger one is pretty good too. Get them on sale too!

6. Banice Bazaar GOLDMINE 24k gold leaf polymer clay stud earrings:



One of my friends opened an Etsy store whilst I was gone and I love the products she produces and of course, the excellent cause behind it. I bought these triangular shaped clay earrings, with a little gold leaf for bling on her Etsy store. Aside from going with almost every outfit I’ve been wearing this winter (really into blue/purplish hues), a percentage of proceeds goes towards World Vision. Love what she is doing with her creativity! Go support her shop at: http://www.etsy.com.au/shop/BaniceBazaar

That’s pretty much it for this month’s faves, will be trying to update this blog often. Here’s hoping!



Love already won


What an interesting this turn of events over the weekend has been. On the 26th June 2015, there was a 5 – 4 decision, the Supreme Court of the US ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriage. Following this, our social media was bombarded with #lovewins and rainbow-minus-one-colour Facebook display picture changes. And this has opened up some sort of debate, and to be honest, an attack on Christians that no one truly expected. Why am I writing about this? Well, I was one of those that truly got caught in the firing line for not supporting “same-sex marriage”.

News Update: All Christians who believe the Bible as truth believe that homosexuality is a sin. Not just me and my husband. All sin has consequences, death. And Christians are NOT exempt.

It truly saddened me this weekend to see what society has become – not the supporting or lack of, for the ‘same-sex marriage’ issue, but the fact that those fighting for what they call ‘love’ and ‘equality’ can be so vindictive and unreasonable. All good to hate all those who oppose you, but expect to be showered with love and equality when you are fighting for your cause. What total double standards and such an immature take on life. Don’t you see that this only makes your community seem defensive and petty?

Anyway, how did this all start for me (or us – hubby and I, we share a Facebook account)? I was reading about this political change in the US and was reading some of my other friend’s feeds on Facebook as many were posting articles. A ridiculous spamming of articles from some pro-gay-marriage supporters (and I mean our entire feed was taken up by the same person posting shared articles at one point) caused me to be curious to see if any Christians had put their two cents in. And I was encouraged by an article my previous pastor’s wife had posted, a John Piper article called ‘So-Called Same-Sex Marriage: Lamenting the new calamity’. It talked about the sadness we feel as Christians to the legalisation of sin. Our hearts break, but we grieve with God. That we are sad because this is only going to be harder and sadder for all of us (Christians and the gay community). So, first time ever sharing an article of any sort really, I shared it to my Facebook feed.

And that is where it begins. Two friends, whom i’d say, since highschool days have not said more than 50 words to me in total, felt the need to put their points of view on my shared article, on my feed. Being pro – LGBTQI (everytime i look at this abbrieviation, it gets longer), both tried to put their views of love, equality and non-discrimination in a PC way, for all to read in their comments under the article. But in actual fact, they were just clearly wanting to start something with the Christians and all those who do not share their view. What a sad reality that this ‘so-called’ loving community has people who are just angry, rude, bitter, unreasonable and (dare I say it) Christian-haters. And they’re all about love? What a farce. Sad, because I have friends in this community who are the exact opposite. Who really do love, struggle with life, and treat all others as brothers and sisters. And yes, they are my real friends, who know me, know my views on my faith, know my beliefs on this issue and truly see that a real friend would never hurt another intentionally. And of course, on-top of this, a debate from many began.

Anyway, hubby and I were a bit troubled by this whole debacle and were really praying how to glorify God in this.

And then came today’s devotion – from ODB. WOW.

The passage: (Genesis 19 : 12 – 25) Lot flees Sodom and Gomorrah, just before the city is destroyed by God. I thought it was a bit much for the current haps, bit too intense, but coincidence? I think not. v.13 ‘The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he sent us to destroy it.’ It’s interesting to note that the article I read ended with ‘love for the name of God and compassion for the city of destruction.’ John Piper also quotes Psalm 119:136 in ending, ‘My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.’ That God would have to send his angels to destroy people He so loved and created. How heart-breaking, and probably what hit home with me today, to see people destroyed. And I think, knowing the reality of it going to be such a harder journey to get out of this.

In v.16 when there was hesitation or resistance to God, God sent the two angels to lead Lot and his family to safety because of God’s mercy. God is merciful.

In ODB, I was encouraged by this: ‘When we encounter people lashing out in spiritual desperation and fear, may we have God’s wisdom to show His love to them – and to every person who is reluctant to be rescued by Him. God’s mercy can overcome our resistance.’

So timely, as always. I’ve been saddened by the reactions that us sharing this article had on these people. It has really shown me that some of the LGBTQI community are unreasonable, talk about love and don’t show it, angry, bitter and basically, Christian-haters. I said it. I hope my small encounter with these two are not representative of the whole. And it is sad and frustrating that they may not have understood that all we wanted was to try and understand each other. Not that we ever will, we may never fully understand each other, but that is OK. Christians are also not out of the firing line. We have, as history (and recent) events have shown, not handled persecution or adversity well. But I don’t believe that hubby and I have ever been defensive, stubborn or unreasonable with our faith. We are firm in what we believe, but understand this is not to be forced on others. But hey, whilst doing devo I discovered, it is honestly not the Christians that people hate, but Christ himself. The realisation of this during my devo time really encouraged me.

This verse came to mind… (Galatians 2:20) ‘I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.’ And I truly believe that what people without Christ find offensive, is Christ. WOW. It also encourages me that I am showing enough of Christ that He is tangible. They can see Him and feel the need to oppose and attack. Or at least feel uncomfortable.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ (John 16 : 33)

I am so encouraged! So, instead of feeling upset and frustrated about the situation, and not sure how to respond, I was so full of comfort and peace! And it could only have come from God.

What a wonderful outcome to something that seemed sure to fall on its face. I do pray for the friends however, and anyone else in our circles who feels so bitter and anger from whatever life experiences they have endured to become this way (Christian and gay community alike). But something that I learnt from this is, I don’t know what they have gone through, and they do not know what I have gone through. Let’s not assume, but allow there to be open conversation. All this misunderstanding is coming from assumptions. You have no idea about someone else’s life, so why discriminate? What someone posts on their public social media, is up to them. I don’t get all up in their faces when they post what they perceive to be great news, but I don’t necessarily agree. And I don’t expect them to do the same to me. What they have done and continue to do is disrespectful and gives such a bad impression of the ‘rainbow’ community. So sad (and it looks like the Christian community is not much different – we don’t need you guys to argue the point for us. It is futile and we’d much rather our friends come and seek us out for discussion, as friends).

It’s quite ridiculous that things like this can get so blown out of proportion. But as a Christian, we can only expect more of this to occur, not less. I don’t feel like I need to hide my faith, or my beliefs. And to be honest, with the world the way it is, I’m glad that we get to look forward to God’s new kingdom. Where this #firstworldproblem is a tiny speck (if even) in eternity. So ridiculous. *sigh*

#lovewins? The reality is, #lovealreadywon a long time ago. And whatever your opinion, that is OK, we are all entitled to opinions.

John Piper’s article – So-Called Same-Sex Marriage

Asian Lasagne

A great gluten-free alternative to using pasta sheets. Looks ugly, but tastes hella good.




3 large sheets of 卷粉(Juan Fen) , that can be cut up to a total of 6 layers that fit your pan

250 gm grated cheddar cheese

2 tbs of dry sprinkle parmesan cheese

1 chilli, chopped

1 red capsicum (red bell pepper), chopped

1 tomato, chopped

¾ of an onion, diced

500 gm Beef Mince

1 large clove of garlic, chopped

1 large carrot, diced into small pieces

2 large shitake mushrooms, cut into small pieces

1 tsp Italian herbs

Bechamel Sauce (adapted from Taste.com.au)

60g chopped butter

1/3 cup plain flour

4 ½ cups milk

75g cheddar cheese, finely grated

½ tsp salt

Pinch of ground nutmeg

***Makes 4 servings.***


  1. Brown beef mince, garlic and onion together with a little cooking oil and pinch of salt (in a wok or pan).
  2. Add chopped shitake mushrooms and Italian herbs to the mixture.
  3. Cook until fragrant and beef mince is just done.
  4. Set aside to cool. (Also can be prepared the day before and just thrown into the pan to warm up when ready to make the lasagne.)
  5. Using the same wok or pan, add a small amount of cooking oil, and brown the diced onion.
  6. Add in capsicum, tomato and chilli. Cook until fragrant and the tomato has lost some of its moisture. Around 5 minutes.
  7. Mix into the beef mince mixture, ensure both mixtures are incorporated.
  8. Make béchamel sauce (white sauce) by heating milk over a medium heat and melting the butter in it. Make sure you constantly whisk the milk as you make this to stop it from burning.
  9. Stir in flour slowly, a little at a time. You will notice that it thickens.
  10. Add cheese, salt and nutmeg whilst stirring.
  11. Remove from heat once everything has incorporated.
  12. Line oven pan with foil (or not, up to you!)
  13. Start with the 卷粉 Juan Fen on the bottom, Layer in the following order: 卷粉Juanfen, Meat mixture, layer of cheddar cheese, sprinkle Italian herbs.
  14. Repeat layers until ingredients run out. The top layer should be 卷粉 Juan Fen

    The top layer is 卷粉 Juan Fen
  15. Top with shredded cheese, parmesan cheese and Italian herbs.
  16. Bake in oven at 180C for 30 minutes, or until top is brown and crispy.

Use a scoop or label to serve. Enjoy with garlic bread and/or salad.

Beautiful Beijing


We recently took a trip out to Beijing to see the sights and sounds the city had to offer. As it was not a long break, we had to decide what we wanted to do and see, and make a list of priorities. I was content with seeing Tianamen, the Forbidden Palace and the Great Wall (of course)! Coming to China would be incomplete without seeing the Great Wall. Now… onto seeing the other sight that is visible from the moon – the Great Barrier Reef! (one day!)

We arrived in the afternoon and boy what a change it was! It looked overcast and was far colder than the temperate climate we were used to in Yunnan.

Smoggy street when we first arrived
Smoggy street when we first arrived

The haze was something we were warned about and came prepared with 3M’s 9002V face masks (the ones with little vents). And almost immediately, we had to use them. It was like fog, but there was a distinct smell, like a mix between exhaust fumes and something burnt. Not a super strong odour, but definitely present.


It was actually really nice to experience cold weather. Autumn is my favourite season and it was very pretty.

Autumn leaves on the footpath
Autumn leaves on the footpath


On the 2nd day, we headed to Mao’s Mausoleum, Tianamen Square and the Forbidden Palace (all walkable distance from each other). It was a day for walking and we were both so sore afterwards. The haze had not lifted so all my photos turned out a little lifeless and grey. A bit depressing. Also, it did drizzle a little here and there.

Map of the Tianamen area
Map of the Tianamen area
Chairman Mao's Mausoleum
Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum

We didn’t go in…. super crowded and we weren’t that interested at seeing his resting place. Outside was fine.

The People's Monument
The People’s Monument
Giant flower basket display in the middle of the square.
Giant flower basket display in the middle of the square.
Cute grandma in traditional dress carrying her little princess.
Cute grandma in traditional dress carrying her little princess.
The entrance
The entrance
Inside the Forbidden Palace - it was too huge!
Inside the Forbidden Palace – it was too huge!
The back exit of the Forbidden Palace
The back exit of the Forbidden Palace

The following day, we decided to go to the Summer Palace. This was where the Royal families would come to retreat from the main palace. It was absolutely massive (290 ha). We caught the subway there to Bei Gong Men stop on Line 4. Even though this is the back entrance to the Palace area, it is a downhill journey from there to the lake.

Beijing Subway Map

One must pause here to dedicate a few words to the subway system in Beijing. One of the best underground railway systems I’ve experienced. Easy to navigate, English signs and easy ticketing system. 2 RMB from any one stop to the other (no matter how far you travel), aside from the Airport Express Line (which costs 25 RMB). Even the automated ticket machines were relatively easy to use. Super convenient and we didn’t get hassled at the airport with taxi drivers. Well done Beijing, well done.

Bridge Reflections
Bridge Reflections

Back to the Palace… It was originally built in 1750 to celebrate Emperor Qian Long’s mother’s birthday. The gardens are so peaceful and the lake (Kunming lake) is huge, taking up about half the garden area. If you visit here, I suggest you get those walking shoes on, because we made the mistake of thinking we could hire bikes inside the palace to ride around (read on Tripadvisor somewhere), but were mislead.

Autumn colours in the palace
Autumn colours in the palace
Kunming Lake with the Tower of Fragrance of Buddha in the backgound
Kunming Lake with the Tower of Fragrance of Buddha in the backrgound

While sitting at this spot, overlooking the lake, I was sketching in my sketchbook. This young boy, probably around 4, came and snuggled next to me (it was cold) and watched me sketch. He told me how he enjoyed drawing, and encouraged me whilst I was drawing. His embarrassed parents kept calling to him to leave, but he stayed for quite awhile. Such a cutie! Made my day for sure.

Pagoda ontop of stones in the Palace
Pagoda ontop of stones in the Palace
Nan Luo Gu XIang entrance - night markey street
Nan Luo Gu XIang entrance – night market street

The following day, we took it a little easier as the day after would be the Great Wall. So we visited San Li Tun village (Soho) and spotted the biggest Uniqlo I’ve seen.


And there were foreigners everywhere. Almost more than locals. To be honest, it wasn’t really our scene. Too modern and ‘high-roller’ for us. I thought when it was ‘village’ that it would be vintage with old buildings, but that was definitely not the case.

Tree lights display along the road to the Birds Nest Stadium and Water Cube

The Birds Nest Stadium was actually a bit difficult to get to. Due to the APEC summit in Beijing occurring during the time we were there, many of the main roads were blocked off. We couldn’t physically get to stand infront of the Stadium and Water Cube (Aquatics Center). We even climbed a raised highway area (like around 60 other people) to get the shot below. It was ridiculous.

The Bird's Nest Stadium
The Bird’s Nest Stadium

My favourite and most amazingly blessed day was definitely the Monday we went to the Great Wall. We hired a private driver who was recommended by a friend. We requested we go to the Mutianyu part of the wall. The Badaling wall section is supposedly more crowded, tour bus – ridden and expensive. I’m so glad we went to the Mutianyu section. It was such a great experience.

Map of the Mutianyu section
Map of the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall

We went to the right side. And ventured even past the end of this map. It was great. There were hardly any people around. We didn’t arrive super early, around 11am. The walk/climb wasn’t too bad. I was expecting worse. There were some hairy bits where I felt like the wall was in my face as I climbed (almost vertical).

The view of the left side of the Great Wall from the chairlift lookout
The view of the left side of the Great Wall from the chairlift lookout – it stretches away to the left!


Looking backwards after climbing this section. Scary stuff. The hand rail is there for a reason. Probably the steepest part we climbed.
Looking backwards after climbing this section. Scary stuff. The hand rail is there for a reason. Probably the steepest part we climbed.
The view of the 'left side' that goes towards the Badaling area over the hills.
The view of the ‘left side’ that goes towards the Badaling area over the hills.
My favourite part of the wall, the unrestored crumbly version. Amazing!
My favourite part of the wall, the unrestored crumbly version. Amazing!


It was lovely just being able to sit at one of the crumbling turrets on the unrestored part of the Great Wall and look out over 3 large sections that split off. It was amazing. I was able to sit there and sketch 3 points of view of the scenery. It was amazing. I loved the rolling, fading, misty hills, the crisp, but sunny weather and the contrast between the restored and ‘nature-reclaimed’ wall sections. We spent a few hours just up there. I sketched, whilst hubby went for a walk on the old section and ended up hiking a fair bit away. Amazing. Definitely a very memorable experience.

Coming down - a scarier experience than going up
Coming down – a scarier experience than going up

Also, we could see little villages settled into the hills on the ‘other side’ of the wall. I kept having the Intro Credits song from Mulan playing in my mind. It was beautiful. I tried to picture how they could have built this mammoth of a structure. Something man-made that can be seen from the Moon. WOW.

All up, this was definitely the highlight of my trip.

Street Food vendors
Street Food vendors

With all the heavy packed part of the trip over, we hit the street food that night. This is a street off Wang Fu Jing Da Jie (the main night scene street).

All kinds of skewers
All kinds of skewers
The 'traditional-looking' Wang Fu Jing Snack Street
The ‘traditional-looking’ Wang Fu Jing Snack Street
Really love how the man dressed like people used to
Really love how the man dressed like people used to
Live, yes, live and wriggling scorpions on sticks
Live, yes, live and wriggling scorpions on sticks
Hubby really ate 3 of the baby, deep fried scorpions.... He said they were crunchy o.O
Hubby really ate 3 of the baby, deep fried scorpions…. He said they were crunchy o.O

They sold all kinds of other delicacies on skewers – like Huntsmans, water snakes, lizards, starfish, silk work larvae, locusts, grasshoppers, beetles and seahorses. The scorpions in the picture above were 25 RMB a stick. Rip off! But… once in a lifetime for hubby – I hope! FYI, I didn’t eat them!


So all up, I really enjoyed my first taste of Beijing. I think it was a pretty enjoyable trip.

Thanks to hubby for organising the whole thing. I was very impressed by how smooth it went and all of Father’s amazing blessings along the way…. Including the 35 RMB cup of hot tea (tea bag and hot water) at the bottom of the Great Wall. o.O”

Love him
Love him

Anyway, that’s it. Leave any questions you have in the comments. Next post will be the video I made of our trip.

DnA Diaries 9 ~ Affliction and Hobbies


So I’ve not given a proper update in a long while. And was wondering what to do about it. Was actually going to vlog it, and still may, but wanted to write something first. To be honest, I’ve been taking a break from emails, blogs, etc. I think with the sudden influx of responses and support (which is all good to me), I was a little overwhelmed. But I think I’m about ready to get back to it!

Anyway, how’ve I been going? Well. I’ve since been back from a trip to Malaysia to visit family and most importantly, my parents. They actually arranged this for me which was such a blessing! I was a little nervous about the trip as a whole as I would be travelling alone, without my hubby. And I’d not done a solo trip overseas since I was 16. Which was a long…… time ago. So, I was a little emotional on the bus to the airport, and on the plane.

So, I was in Malaysia for 2 weeks and it was such a blessing to me in so many ways. Every family member, and friend who I met were so lovely and made me feel so welcome. Most probably did not know what I was going through necessarily, but were so hospitable anyway. My parents were very understanding, and I think them seeing me in the flesh also put their hearts at ease. It was a good time and at the time, definitely what I needed. I was also able to share with some extended family about my struggles and it was just so great. The reaction and support I received was very positive and I felt very encouraged. Thanks to my parents for being so generous and supportive of the rest and family comfortableness (?!) that I needed. Thanks to my dear cousin and husband for allowing me to stay with them whilst I was there. It was such a good break and a lovely home. Thanks also to my Aunt who was so lovely and accommodating at the beginning and end of our trip, as always!

It was a bit of a different trip for me. I felt like I was able to really talk and spend more time with my cousins and family. It was really such an uplifting time overall.

But, glad to be reunited with my hubby after 2.5 weeks. This was definitely the longest we’d been apart since getting married. But at the same time, good that I was able to do that too. To know that I can still do things on my own without freaking out.

So, how’ve been since coming back? I’ve been ok. Got sick almost immediately after arriving back. Flu, then got infections, then got allergic to the medication I was taking for the infections. Had cold sore attacks that I’ve never seen that extreme before. Seriously gross and recurred. Which was so so frustrating and discouraging. It was so uncomfortable and sore. So yeah, had a bit of a down period. I was thinking up how to discribe how I felt, but ‘afflicted’ is the best word for it. A friend sent me Lam 3. And I would encourage anyone going through afflictions to read this and be encouraged.

So yes, more bad days than good in the last month. But having all these allowed me to spend quality time at home. I picked up crochet, cross-stitch and of course, drawing. Love it! Couldn’t believe I could crochet a scarf in like two days… Cross stitch I chose was a huge one…. and it is taking some time to complete. Drawing has been such a fantastic activity and hobby for me. Wow. As Dr said, I need to spend a bit of time daily doing a hobby. It definitely de-stresses me and is actually quite fun. Helps when I have insomnia too. Was encouraged by a friend to do a blog post of my DnA doodles. Might do that, or a video of it next. Will see. I’ve also discovered certain forms of doodling create feelings of stress relief. So I might share that too. Not sure.

Been thinking of vlogging (video logging) my feelings and how the days go for me. Not too sure. But it would be alot easier to do that than to spend ages typing out what I’m wanting to say. Also, it may show people back home how we are going and how life is for us here. Anyway, any feedback on that would be appreciated. Not that there would be much to vlog on…. but still.

I’ll leave you with the encouraging passages I’ve drawn so much from, in Lam 3. The bolded section was especially helpful.

I am the man who has seen affliction
    by the rod of the Lord’s wrath.
He has driven me away and made me walk
    in darkness rather than light;
indeed, he has turned his hand against me
    again and again, all day long.

He has made my skin and my flesh grow old
    and has broken my bones.
He has besieged me and surrounded me
    with bitterness and hardship.
He has made me dwell in darkness
    like those long dead.

He has walled me in so I cannot escape;
    he has weighed me down with chains.
Even when I call out or cry for help,
    he shuts out my prayer.
He has barred my way with blocks of stone;
    he has made my paths crooked.

10 Like a bear lying in wait,
    like a lion in hiding,
11 he dragged me from the path and mangled me
    and left me without help.
12 He drew his bow
    and made me the target for his arrows.

13 He pierced my heart
    with arrows from his quiver.
14 I became the laughingstock of all my people;
    they mock me in song all day long.
15 He has filled me with bitter herbs
    and given me gall to drink.

16 He has broken my teeth with gravel;
    he has trampled me in the dust.
17 I have been deprived of peace;
    I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 So I say, “My splendor is gone
    and all that I had hoped from the Lord.”

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
    the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
    and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
    while he is young.

28 Let him sit alone in silence,
    for the Lord has laid it on him.
29 Let him bury his face in the dust—
    there may yet be hope.
30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
    and let him be filled with disgrace.

31 For no one is cast off
    by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
    so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
    or grief to anyone.

34 To crush underfoot
    all prisoners in the land,
35 to deny people their rights
    before the Most High,
36 to deprive them of justice—
    would not the Lord see such things?

37 Who can speak and have it happen
    if the Lord has not decreed it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
    that both calamities and good things come?
39 Why should the living complain
    when punished for their sins?

40 Let us examine our ways and test them,
    and let us return to the Lord.
41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands
    to God in heaven, and say:
42 “We have sinned and rebelled
    and you have not forgiven.

43 “You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us;
    you have slain without pity.
44 You have covered yourself with a cloud
    so that no prayer can get through.
45 You have made us scum and refuse
    among the nations.

46 “All our enemies have opened their mouths
    wide against us.
47 We have suffered terror and pitfalls,
    ruin and destruction.”
48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes
    because my people are destroyed.

49 My eyes will flow unceasingly,
    without relief,
50 until the Lord looks down
    from heaven and sees.
51 What I see brings grief to my soul
    because of all the women of my city.

52 Those who were my enemies without cause
    hunted me like a bird.
53 They tried to end my life in a pit
    and threw stones at me;
54 the waters closed over my head,
    and I thought I was about to perish.

55 I called on your name, Lord,
    from the depths of the pit.
56 You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears
    to my cry for relief.”
57 You came near when I called you,
    and you said, “Do not fear.”

58 You, Lord, took up my case;
    you redeemed my life.
59 Lord, you have seen the wrong done to me.
    Uphold my cause!
60 You have seen the depth of their vengeance,
    all their plots against me.

61 Lord, you have heard their insults,
    all their plots against me—
62 what my enemies whisper and mutter
    against me all day long.
63 Look at them! Sitting or standing,
    they mock me in their songs.

64 Pay them back what they deserve, Lord,
    for what their hands have done.
65 Put a veil over their hearts,
    and may your curse be on them!
66 Pursue them in anger and destroy them
    from under the heavens of the Lord.


DnA Diaries 8 ~ Changes…

2013-07-14 10.32.29

After things really started to look positive for me, whilst undergoing counselling in Chiang Mai, I was starting to be less emotional, more thoughtful and was able to really sit down and process where I was at.

It brought some things to my attention that disturbed me, but also gave me some discussion points for further sessions.

Journal Entry ~ 15.7.14

Just talking with hubby about how we are going with the sessions and how i’m feeling currently. He initiated this chat, which I thought was pretty great.

Three things that I’ve noticed for myself that are pretty big changes to my character/personality:

  1. I’ve become less extroverted and more introverted over the months. I avoid social gatherings at times. I don’t want to share with others. I avoid talking. Wanted to be at home (apartment) a lot.

  2. Becoming more unreasonable? Not sure how to explain this right. I guess, not being as flexible as I used to be. Worrying about things that don’t need to be worried about. Like getting very easily upset, angry or frustrated when things do not go the way I would want. Maybe getting more sensitive? Getting frustrated and upset with myself very often and quickly over trivial things.

  3. Not wanting to make decisions on things. Like dinner, or trivial small matters. Whereas in the past, I did not mind. I know that Hubby doesn’t like to make those decisions, so I feel like doing it would be OK for me as I don’t mind. Having someone else decide is easier. I feel like having to decide and plan something, like dinner, is too exhausting.

Dr said changes are normal in someone with depression. Personality changes can be very difficult to cope with, let alone the person going through it. Dr also said that depression can cause divorce in this way, because it remains undetected or not treated. So, I’m to look for big changes in my character and behaviour. But I also need to be careful to not put too much pressure on myself to return things to how they were, to not force myself to be back to my usual self right away.

Also, with my introverted current self, I need to try and attend good social gatherings that make me happy and if I don’t feel comfortable, or too stressed by the environment or situation, to not force it upon myself. It’s okay to not be doing all of the social events now. Dr also mentioned that a ‘healthy extrovert’ will exercise introversion at times. This was comforting to me.