Faith is not a feeling

Love is not a feeling. I've heard that said many times; at youth group, in marriage books (ok I've only read one marriage book, but still), in deep blog posts, and by people with lots of wisdom and insight. It's true. Love is not simply the feeling of passion, bursting, admiration and affection. It is more; it goes further than the simple thrill. It isn't an illusion; it is SOMETHING with deeper base and grounded foundation. It can't just shift depending on characteristic moods and sleep deprivation. It is commitment, sacrifice and all that Jesus embodied.

So. I was thinking about faith. Isn't it the same with faith? Our faith in God is more than a feeling. It is not just the personal conviction we feel when we hear, read and feel the presence of the Lord. It is (or should; cus yes, we're fallable human beings with tonsa flaws) - it is THERE. Believing, trusting, hoping; despite doubts, jostles or whatever may toss about the feeling of yes I believe.

This past month I have really learnt that. Like NO, I don't always get you God. And I don't always feel you. But I have faith in you because I remember your faithfulness, I remember how you have shown yourself to me and other people around me. I have faith even though I sometimes feel the "This Is Why I Believe" list I sometimes have so clearly and boldly in my head sagging loose. We can't let our faith be dimmed by our mood; our tiredness; our situation; our mental state of mind and clarity. That's not how faith or love work. They are more than feelings; they are almost a holy ground of basis and continuity and commitment. (If that makes any sense, lol :-P)

It is human to have feelings. And I do think it's important to work on them and give them credit. (*Hears Mr Collins say "your feelings do you credit my dear cousin"* *Tells brain to not let Mr Collins interrupt a serious blog post. ugh. creep.*) Like, yes feelings are so important and we got them for a reason. We are creatures who feel and think and connect emotionally. HOWEVER also so so so important to know that there is more to love, faith, forgiveness, peace than what we feel. I mean, think about Jesus, when he was sweating drops of blood as He prayed to His Father intensely anxious on His knees. I'm sure He felt no gooey sense of love; no overwhelming fuzzy presence of God... yet He embarked on what He was called for; the greatest act of all time.

One of the saddest things for me is seeing teens doubt their obvious faith in God because they feel like they can't say they have faith because they haven't had this 'experience' yet. I get that but I find it so sad. Like, God is just as much your God when you are trembling, overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit and crying than He is when you feel numb and sweaty after a long day of placid schoolwork. You don't have to wait for overwhelming 'faith-feelings' in order to proclaim that you have faith. Faith is more than feeling. It is knowing and doing and believing what you stand for; no matter what. Faith is.


Three British people in a Belgian bus

I had just finished my maths exam, had taken the train from Brussels to Waterloo and now had just stepped into my dear yellow local bus which would take me from the station to the tiny bus stop five houses away from my house. This is a free bus, which always thrills any new bus-costumer. Normally all the people in this bus are the same ones, ones who live nearby and ones that take its freeness for granted. But now and then a new person pops his or her head inside and asks the bus driver if this bus goes to - insert a street name - and then proceeds to go inside, ready to pay. Then the bus driver goes, 'c'est gratuit' ("it's free") and they repeat, surprised, 'C'est gratuit?!' ('it's free?!'). And they're always so pleasantly pleased. It always makes me smile haha.

Anyway, that day after my maths exam, three English young people - two young men and one young lady - went into this bus, asking the same. They went 'oh it's free' to each other. And I heard them say 'wow that's cool, a free bus.'

Ok, so these three British people it seems thought two things:
- Most people only speak 1 language
- These people only speak French and maybe Dutch but definitely not English

So they proceeded to go ahead and gossip about Belgium, the country they were visiting. (Their bags had badges with LONDON on them, and they just came from the station so they definitely were on a visit.) Belgium is such a badly organised, untidy country, they said. The roads are terrible, etc etc. I thought this was extremely funny. I was amused. And indeed Belgium may not be the best country but don't talk about bad roads. England has the worst roads, you hyprocrite. :-P

Anyway, what I wanted to do is just show them hey dudes and dudette; I too am British and I understand every syllable you utter. So what I did is when they said 'we need to get off, can someone press the button' (to each other), I turned around, and said, 'Oh don't worry I'll do it' - obviously stressing the fact that I SPEAK ENGLISH - (also I was sitting right next to the button so it worked out well). The girl said 'Oh, merci' (French for thank you) and I thought 'no no you don't get it' so I said, 'You're welcome'. SO I WAS SURE THEY KNEW I SPOKE ENGLISH.

I turned back to face frontward and I heard the guy said the s-word as in 'whoooopppsss'. The girl was like OPSIIIEEE, you should've seen her face.

Twas hilarious.

And the eerie thing is. I have this feeling I recognised them from somewhere? Like really, that woman especially and the man who said the s-word. I KNOW I'VE SEEN THEM BEFORE.

And thus the plot thickens.


The dark truth behind Wonderland Creek (clickbait)

I want to have a chat about something very insignificant.

Back in 2014, when I was 15, I started my blog, Wonderland Creek. It was March, I was the first in my un-technical-no-biggies-with-Internet-stuff-family to do this; I was excited as a three year old Laura getting that rag doll for Christmas. You most likely know this story, because I have posted about it before. I was the homeschooled Period Drama fanatic who only listened to the Andrew Sisters and who thought the other Period Drama bloggers back in the day were Royalty. Pride and Prejudice was my lifestyle and making headers was my greatest ideal of earthly bliss.

Obviously, I am exaggerating for entertainment's sake, but I am not exaggerating when I say that my blog was my golden nugget of pride - and for a moment, my favourite thing in my life. It was my hobby, The Thing I thought about first when I woke up. I was excited, excited about it. I love that I was excited about it. If I could go back four (4! gosh!) years and sit on my bed with my fifteen-year-old self I would tell her, yes, go Naomi, do it. I am proud of my younger self for embarking on the blogging journey, on doing what she loved, pursuing her small but big dream of running a no-big-deal-blog and making it a nice place. It's a good thing for a teenage girl to do. To write about innocent stuff and to make friends with people who sit in similar-shaped boats.

(I do have to admit, I would tell my younger self one thing. Don't make something not-God your god. Not that I did, but I think 15-yr-old me could have dealt with a deep thought about that. You know, a gentle reminder now and then that it's not the most important thing to do.)

I was fifteen, venturing in my years of adulthood, walking out of my awkward preeteen years. I had learnt so much about avoiding awkwardness, Jesus, and how I thought of deep subjects. The first two years of blogging I learnt so much more about those three things. Especially avoiding awkwardness and Jesus. Especially Jesus. Oh man, the crying-crumbling-down-because-of-Jesus'-love happened around when I sixteen. I had always known Jesus' love but around when I was sixteen it was like it hit me. Fifteen year old me loved God. Nineteen year old me loves God more. I know I still don't know the extent of it though. And that's what makes life worth living. We have a living Love to discover, explore and follow. And I want that love from me to my Maker to grow deeper and deeper till I get to hug Jesus in person.

Anyway, back to blogging. Sheesh, we don't want to get distracted talking about Jesus. :-P

By the way, if you are waiting for a climax to this post, stop waiting. This is literally just a discombobulated chat like it would be me and you sitting on the weeds in the little field at the youth group, with boys playing football behind us, God's Not Dead (the song not the movie) playing on the speaker, and the sun setting down to say hello to the Australian folks. But then without saying 'like' and thinking about sentence structure and an interesting word now and then. (Like that word 'discombobulated.' Emma taught me that word, back in the early days.)

So yes, 15 year old me. More about her. Honestly, she is me and we're still very much the same person. (lol wow obvs). It would be interesting to make two lists. One of how we've changed, and one of how we're the same still. And then make such lists every four or five years. I am still the same person, still single (heh), only I have elaborated thoughts, I have grown spiritually (not sure about mentally haha; sometimes I feel like used to be more wise), I have adapted new attitudes about life and I have learnt more things. I have gotten so much more experience. And independence. Which is pretty normal, but there's no waste in pointing out the obvious. I think I have also gained a little wit. I used to have awkward wit. Now it's so awkward it's funny. I think I've also become 100 times more extrovert and passionate about people.

Interestingly, as I have ventured closer to twenty I have cared less to act twenty. I have heard other people say this too; I think that's a common thing. Younger teenagers want to be taken seriously, so they try hard to act like the person they want to be taken as. Which is completely understandable and also actually kind of sad because I hate it that people label anyone between 12 and 18 as a phone-addicted parent-hating moron. But then when you reach 'adulthood' (what even is that) people are less likely to 'judge' (although I still look 16 so yay) and you can finally be 'un-adult' because you are one anyway, so it's up to you to define what adult is to you. If that makes any sense.

Also wow, my writing. It is by NO means a polished piece of English art now - I often read other bloggers and I drool at their simplistic and classy way of sharing experiences through their words - but man haven't I come a long way. Read any post from 2014 and you can just feel the lack of life behind the sentences; not because I wasn't enthusiastic but because I lacked practice in word crafting. If there's one thing I am thankful about for my blog, it's the way it's helped me develop a better writing style. Improved my English and all that.

No, that's not true. I am most thankful for the people I've met through this blogging jour ---no, I can't say the word 'journey' that just sounds way too cliché. Can't do it. Just can't. But seriously, I have met the best gals whom I can truly call friends I trust and love. Emma Jane, the girl who let me write a guest post about Period Drama underwear on her blog before I even had mine is now my darling wise and loyal American side-kick I phone to ask her to tell me to get schoolwork done. Gabby, the anonymous commenter who told me her brother was visiting my home town, Waterloo, is now my steady pen friend and my sweet encourager. Natalie, whose blog I stalked from the age of like 13 onwards, is now my email pal and on my list of favourite redheads. I could go on. Point made: Thank you Jesus.

Now it's your turn to talk.

You asked about my blogging life now. You say the enthusiasm has drooped out of my posts. You say that I am embarrassed of my blog because I didn't put the link in my instagram bio (that proves it.) That's not true. I love this blog. It is simply not my pride and glory. Don't bite me; that's ok and that's normal. One can't always have the same rush of adrenaline about a hobby. I guess I feel continually unsatisfied with what I post online; and that's not my favourite feeling. But I'm not going to overdramatise this unnecessarily. Nothing is happening, I am not officially dropping off the face of the interwebs, I'm simply stating a little fact. The first thing I think about when I wake up is not Wonderland Creek. And that's a-okay. Don't be silly and say otherwise.

I should do this more. Just TELL. This has been fun. Would you like to hear a funny little story that happened to me on the bus the day before yesterday?

Also what do you think of my new blog look? Don't it look lit... can't you feel the sunrays? (That's the look I went for. haha.)


Things you can do

Things you can do this summer/whenever

- Learn how to play the guitar (if you can't yet)
- Go visit a place nearby in your country (or state) where you haven't been yet
- Wake up at 4 or 5am and go on a sunrise walk
- Make pizza + Eat it (of course eat it duh)
- Write a book and illustrate it. Like even a short book for kids. Give it a go!
- Try writing a song. You may have an inner Ed Sheeran.
- Set phone-use rules. That way you don't waste away your summer.
- Make some cold beverage. IDK. Some kind of unique coloured lemonade.
- Sew something
- Do something sweet for your mum; like make a video or pick a bouquet.
- Write freakin cool letters to around the world
- Draw lil' imaginary people
- Read the Bible. all of it
- Make waffles + eat it (of course eat it)
- Rewatch Fiddler on the Roof (or *insert your favourite musical*)
- Watch an epic series. Like Poldark. (yeah, watched season 1 and man, I love it I love it)
- Learn something new. for ex. learn all the countries and capital cities of the world. (My sister did it in three days. I know. She is freaking fantastic.)
- Play the piano for 2 hrs
- Have deep talks with friends and also laugh a lot with friends. Plz don't gossip with friends. don't go there.
- Rant online. jk. Encourage people.
- Whatever ya do, don't waste yo precious God-given time.

This is a short post, I know. But I have exams coming up and a short post is better than nothing! Just wanted to encourage you that YOU CAN DO GREAT THINGS WITH YOUR LIFE! Try new things. Retry old things in a new way. Smile and don't compain about whatever it is that isn't perfect. Strive for perfection but while you strive, fix your hope on what is above cuz that's the only thing that truly is perfect.

Life is an adventure if you make it one. That made me cringe. :-P but it's true.

God is good. And he loves you.
That ^ wowowowow.