grace…

To my dear friend,

Have a read of these humbling lyrics…

~Jesus’ Name~

“Have mercy on me, oh God,

For before me is all of my sin,

God, every transgression will stand,

My every sin exposed.

I have never been yours alone,

I have tried to live life on my own,

Don’t cast me away but renew,

The joy that I have known.

Oh Father, I need your grace,

I will never be perfect enough,

Lord, make me like white winter snow,

Cleanse me, make me whole.

King Jesus chose the cross,

I’m forgiven, his blood was the cost,

Your spirit has unlocked my heart,

And inspires me to sing…

We want to see Jesus magnified,

For the sake of your glory lifted high,

We want to hear every saint declare,

 Jesus’ name, Jesus’ name.

Lord, how can your grace extend to me?

Restore me and fill my mouth with praise

Lord, open my lips to sing aloud,

Jesus’ name, Jesus’ name.

 Where ever we go we worship still,

Let your word shape and guide our will,

Lord, strengthen our hands to do the work

For Jesus’ name, Jesus’ name.

Jesus, for your kingdom, let us burn,

For the sake of your name, see lost return,

We take up our cross with hearts on fire,

For Jesus’ name, amen.

– Nick Freestone, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Chatswood

I have been challenged so fiercely by the concept of grace, which is the idea that God loves us completely undeservedly. Nothing in our strength or struggle can restore our relationship with Him, only his arm of love reaching down to us. This song reminds me so clearly of that, my inability to earn salvation and dependence on God’s saving grace, of which I am so thankful for!

Til next time, love, Ally

https://m.soundcloud.com/nickfreestonemusic/jesus-name

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january…

To my dear friend,

Hi again, it has been a while and I do hope that you are well and thoroughly enjoying the new year!

I just wanted to tell you a little list of things that have been absolutely, mind-blowingly fantastic in January (and a few from December, its been too good).

  • painting with watercolours at Fingal Bay with Min
  • getting a job at the pharmacy
  • swimming in the paradise of Bruny island
  • hanging out with June and Marcia
  • helping out at summer camp as a part of the ninjas team #kotobah
  • visiting whiskey bars in Salamanca with Evie and Pete
  • planning a trivia night
  • starting my bible-in-a-year plan
  • berry picking
  • pumping the tunes and catching up in Lemon Tree with Steph, G, Jordan, Riley and Jess
  • having city adventures with Jess and Diana and going vinnies shopping
  • watching the Asian cup
  • working at church on a tuesday
  • celebrating Jonno’s 21st
  • learning how to make webster packs for the nursing homes
  • being accepted into sydney uni for 2016
  • growing my own petunias out my window
  • being a part of a murder mystery

Such fun!

I have missed this blog as an outlet to debrief, reflect and express my responses and feelings to what’s happening in my life, so I intend to be more regularly updating you and sharing some stories as 2015 rolls quickly on. Thanks for being pals!

Love, Ally

petals…

To my dear friend,

I’ve been quite sick for the last couple of days and wanted to just play with textiles again, after its abandonment on the 11th of August…

An artist named Lim Zhi Wei, who is from Malaysia has been creating absolutely beautiful artworks of petals and flowers used as dresses, with soft watercolours and elegant designs. Her blog is http://lovelimzy.blogspot.com.au, have a look at her amazing creativity!

Nowhere near compared, but I went around my garden and had a turn of creating some little flower dresses like hers, especially with the newly budded magnolias, sweet peas, camellias and clover flowers.  Hope you like them!DRESSS  DRESS DresDRESSSsLove, Ally xx 

zumba…

To my dear friend,

My plain old, monday night has now been transformed into a zumba rave with Mum, Holly and her friend Alex! It was my second week tonight and despite not having very latin-o moves or swinging hips, we had the best time partying in the hall. I don’t know what it is about it, maybe the music, or the fact that nobody can really do the moves or the over-the-top enthusiasm of the instructor, Michelle but we smiled and laughed through the whole session and cannot wait for next week!

On another note, I have just 15 days of school left before it is just prep for the HSC to go, which is wild. This year has flown and yet gone so slowly and before I know it, the whole thing will be done!

Hope you are well,

Love, Ally xx

finished!

To my dear friend,

Today, after hours and hours of designing, sewing, knitting, beading, couching, embroider-ing and felting, I have finally finished my textiles major work. The last few weeks have be huge for all the girls in my textiles class and I am so excited by the gorgeous projects they have made, a Victorian masquerade costume, a fairy dress, four seasonal girls dresses, an ‘under the sea’ quilt and a black and white dress exploring ‘inner beauty’. SO creative and great!

I wanted to share my dress with you,  I think it came together quite beautifully…
IMG_6401IMG_6381IMG_6399IMG_6400IMG_6390IMG_6359

A special thank you to a few people; Jess and Rosie for their help over the last year, Jess Hawes for lending me her textiles model, Minnie, Mum and Dad 🙂 I could not have done it without your help!

Love, Ally xx

tired…

To my dear friend,

I hope you are well and happy today.

I value honesty a lot and so I wanted to let you know that this week I am so tired. Every day I come home exhausted, from working hard and never being finished and chasing people up and committing to too much and just general busy-ness. There are so many good things that I have been given but at the moment, I feel entirely overwhelmed and out of control. I would pay someone to pretend to be me for a few days while I snuggle into a doona and sleep.

One point of encouragement though has been Jesus, who said,

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

When I am tired and frustrated, He promises to provide rest and peace to those who trust in Him and I need to remember this as I get through the next five months particularly.

Love, Ally xx

 

minnie…

To my dear friend,

At school, we have started our new module on belonging and I have been trying my very hardest to detach the topic from the bad connotations it has to Yr 12-ers and to reflect on what makes me feel I am accepted and that I belong.

An incredibly important woman in my life came to mind called Minnie. Her name is Beryl Forbes and I have no clue why we call her Min but nevertheless, that is what she is known to me as. She is my mum’s mum, grandmother to thirteen and is the strongest and most joyous woman I know. She is 85, lives independently with her darling cat Sooty and is an great painter, hand seamstress and grows the most incredible gardens with roses, pansies, lettuces, cucumbers, lavender and violets. She laughs a lot and has a wicked sense of humour. Her heart is full and warm, always popping over to make dinner or to help Dan and Lily with homework. Whenever I come over to her place, she welcomes me with a hug, a sloppy joe and conversation, as well as a potfull of stewed apples or custard to take home with me on the train.

I love her dearly and she has done such a wonderful job raising her family with my grandpa Brown. Through trials she has always shown her heart for others and last year was probably the greatest of her hard times. Brown needed renal dialysis multiple times a week because his kidneys hadn’t worked for the last couple of years and he became very sick at different points in the year. Minnie constantly cared for him with devotion and affection but around this time last year he grew extremely ill, his body was so frail and he stayed in hospital for many days before he passed away. It was incredible devastating for me, losing Brown who had such strength of character and gentle passion for us all. If I was sad, how much more distressed must Minnie have been, his wife of so many years. She was and still is terribly sad for Brown but has battled on from last year with our family holding her close and has chosen to fill her days with things she loves; her family, the Lantern Club, her art classes, her beautiful garden and her friends. Despite such awful circumstances, her warm, fun and compassionate spirit stays strong and she is cherished in our family.

In her hugs, I feel like I truly belong and so I wanted to share that with you.

Hope you are well,

Love Ally xx

 

major works…

To my dear friend,

Last week, the Year 11 and 12 sewing class went to the textiles show at the Rosehill racecourse, to see last year’s Major Works. It is always such a fun excursion to see what creations the students have dreamt up and created, so much time and love invested into each piece. Sarah, Georgia and I went together to see the pieces and were inspired by some, blown away by others and all hopeful that we can make something just as beautiful this year.

I also got to meet the inspiration for my dress, Prudence Mapstone who is an incredible freeform knitter and crochet-er. She was so sweet and encouraging when I told her about my dress and her influence!

I am only beginning to realise the hugeness of a major work, how much work is required, planning, designing, re-planning when your design isn’t going to work! At the moment, I am knitting seaweed for the skirt and trying to work out how to make a structured petticoat and it is coming along slowly but surely.

Hope you are well, talk to you soon,

Love Ally, xx

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katie…

Image

Katie Davis in Uganda

To my dear friend,

I’m so sorry I haven’t written for ages! The last few weeks of school were wild getting all my work in but holidays have finally begun, a break which I have been waiting for most of the year.

Holidays are wonderful. Oh my, they are one of my favourite things in the way that there is time to relax, time to see friends without thinking ‘What work do I need to squeeze in after we catch up?’, time to watch movies, time to go to the beach and watch the sunrise, time to breathe I guess.

In this last week, I have had the time to read a book I have been wanting to read since my birthday, called Kisses from Katie. My lovely cousins Bec and Jo were encouraged and loved this book and so they bought it for me to read as well! The story is written by a twenty-two year old girl from Tennessee called Katie Davis, who went to Uganda for a short term mission in 2006 and fell utterly in love with it’s people. In the book, the readers follow her experiences over 4 years as she moves back to a poverty stricken area called Jinja, where she follows God’s call for her to love the people unconditionally. Her servant heart and her joyful, humble attitude to working with the Ugandan people is what is so beautiful in this book,  focusing on God’s power, control and love which continues to work despite her own weakness and inability. She wrote in one part of the book…

“People from my first home say I’m brave. They tell me I’m strong… But the truth is, I am not really very brave; I am not really very strong; and I am not doing anything spectacular. I am simply doing what God has called me to do as a person who follows Him.”

I am so SO encouraged and challenged by her faith, her absolute devotion and abandonment for her God and the way she loves!

I want to just read the book over and over again, but she also has a blog from Uganda which she posts about her family of fourteen abandoned Ugandan girls, her struggles and her joys. Have a look! http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com.au

Hope you’re having a great holiday, my friend.

Love, Ally xx