In which I squeal over a trailer (!!!)



0:03 -- I already love this. Look at the London-esque-ness
0:09 -- Guys the costumes in this movie are going to slay, just look at that yellow silk dress. And her red lipstick. And her hair. Ahh, post WW2 costumes are my favourite. *heart eyes*
0:14 -- IT'S HIM!!!! He literally makes the best Sidney ever; he looks just like Sidney should look. (Ohhh, and that's two Dowton Abbey actors in it already!)
 0:19 -- YES. I Like The Way He Looks
0:20 -- ahhhhhh the letters ahh I love this story so stinkin much guys there's a movie :-)
0:34 -- "I'll finally have something serious to write" (Reminding me that this is a movie all about a writer and it's gonna be so good)
0:39 -- She arrives at Guernsey!! It's so beautiful.
0:42 -- Penelope Wilson! FOUR DOWNTON ACTORS (yes haha. The more there are, the more I am excited to watch this.)
0:48 -- "I have yet to meet him" *knock on the door* *Mr Adams comes in* I LOVE THESE TWO
1:07 -- "There's more to that story"... DUN DUN DUNNNNNN
1:19 -- Sybil makes the best Elizabeth. AMEN.
1:27 -- "I've seen things I never thought could happen - happen" *chills*
1:36 -- I like this couple. Just fyi.
1:45 -- He's holding a pig and they're smiling at each other #GUYS 
1:53 -- This outfit 
1:56 -- "Books do have the power to bring people together" *yesyes*
2:08 -- Enjoying a slice of potato peel pie... LOL
2:20 -- "Gosh, quite a mouthful" <<< Our thoughts exactly, but that's why we love the title. She went for it.


7 things not worth arguing about

I get it, everyone is different. We have different tastes, opinions, views, beliefs, ideas, mindsets, hobbies, likes and brains. And I get it, it's fun to talk about these. And sometimes important. 

But there are some things on which we should not bother getting heated about. Like, JUST NO. You are childish if this makes your blood cook because arguing about these kind of things is a complete, utter waste of your precious God-given time amen. Of course, it's fun now and then to talk about these things. Like I'm not saying you can't have a laugh and a good ol' fun gibber about who is handsomer, Tom or Matthew, but... don't let it be an important discussion in which you put tons of emotion and in which you try to 'convert' the other to having your opinion. (Cuz it will NOT work, with these subjects.)

So here, my fellow human beings, are ten things not worth arguing about.

1. What food is delicious and what is disgusting

Me: What's something about me that annoys you?
Emma: You don't like fruitcake
(back in the June of 2016)

Once I had a 10 minute discussion with my sister about what kind of spaghetti is better, thin spaghetti or fat spaghetti. And one I tried to convince my brother verbally that tortilla wraps with chicken is a gift from heaven to the tastebuds. Did I change their minds in the slightest? Of course not. One can't change a persons tastebuds by proclaiming words of praise about the food said tastebuds despise. You can go 'ahhh bananas is THE BEST' in the comment section, but will I go 'ahhh really? ok, totally convinced'. nope. So stop getting heated up when someone says they love tomatoes. Let them love tomatoes. (I love tomatoes.)

2. What actor/actress is handsomer

Need I say more. Again, tooootal personal preference and it does not matter. All the "what????!!?"s and "nooooo!!!"s will not change a thing. (Also if you discuss this subject a lot maybe you should stop discussing this so much. It's not exactly the most productive thing you could be doing with your time.)

3. What movie version of Pride and Prejudice is the best

Ok I sometimes enjoy a hearty P&P discussion but when it becomes arguing I'm like what the heck guys. We are literally investing energy and heated emotion into the fact that our brains do not adhere to the same level of passion about a made up story acted out by celebrities. Do you ever stop and think how pointless this is. Has someone ever converted from a P&P05 lover to a P&P95 lover through a comment war? Vice versa? No. So lets quit getting all panicky about each others differing opinions on these two movies. Wow, how old are we. :-P (It's fine to state your opinions. I love stating my opinion about the P&P movies. But I don't care a jot if yours are a polar opposite mine. And why should I care?!)

P.S. P&P95 is the best ;-)

4. What singer sings the nicest

Me: I loooove Micheal Buble
Johan: Eh no he's --
Me: What?! How can you not like Michael Buble?!
Johan: His voice is bland and boring
Johan: It's bland and boring

Some people like croaky, raspy voices. Others like it classic. Other fancy a husky whispery voice. Some just want rap and metal. Others like opera. Other fortunate people appreciate a bit of everything. (These are matters on which it is SO OK to AGREE TO DISAGREE)

5. That X looks good on the picture

Me: Ah, that's such a good picture of you
Hannah: WHAT??!!! EUGHHHHH

When someone tells you she (or he) (probably she) thinks she doesn't look good on a certain picture, YOU CANNOT ARGUE HER OUT OF THAT. You may convince her to believe that you think she looks good on the picture but she herself will not be like 'oh ok now you put it like that I look GOOD on that pic.' No use arguing, just delete the picture; or bury it in an old box. Never ever post it on instagram.

6. That it's hot or cold

Sometimes I'm freezing while my sister is in shorts. Sometimes I'm in shorts and my dad reaches to take his coat. Me saying "Come on! it's hot!" will not stop him from taking his coat.

7. That a book is good or not

Personal opinion bla bla bla. And that's ok bla bla bla. You get the point of this post. ;-P (Seriously though, younger me freaked out when a friend gave back a Lynn Austin book I found my heart and soul in with the words, 'nah, it's not my kinda book.' This is older me telling younger me that that was stupid. To care that much about whether or not another human being who God made different shared my racing love and vehement passion for a story that a human made.)

Goodbye. ✌

*leaves quick bc I actually didn't have time to write this*

Tiny Bible study

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. (John 11:5-6)

I'll rephrase:

Now Jesus loved Martha, Mary and Lazarus.
So, because He loved them He stayed two days longer in the place where He was.

I'll rephrase again:

Martha and Mary were begging Jesus to come to them because their brother was dying. Now Jesus loved them SO he stayed two days longer in the place where He was and didn't come.
Jesus 'ignored' their plea for two days because He loved them.

When we feel like God is not answering our prayer that is because He loves us. I am sure that for Martha and Mary those two days when Jesus didn't come were the two longest days of their lives. When Lazarus died they were probably overwhelmed with sorrow, questions and doubts. Why hadn't Jesus come? Why didn't He come to heal Lazarus before it was too late?

Because it wasn't too late. And that is what Jesus wanted to show.

“This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” - Jesus

So when you feel like you are waiting, waiting, waiting, without any answer from God... know that He knows and that He is waiting with you. Know that He does this just because of His love. It is for the glory of God.

(And here ends my little Bible study for the day.)

why I love being single

I have no idea why I am writing this post. Probably because I'm single and people often say being single is like 'the most worst and most terrible thing ever' while I honestly don't see anything bad about it at all. Single people. Grow up. And non-single people. GROW UP. Don't make your single friends feel like their lack of relationship status makes them 'less' than you. (Not that anyone has made me feel like that, actually, my friends-who-are-in-a-relationship are super kind about everything and actually also enjoyed being single.) (And also, I love getting to hear about friends being in relationships. I love shipping them. :-P)

I am only 19, but I've been a legal adult for over a year now and I've been a teenager for what feels like a decade and all this I have lived through without once having a guy in my life that I called 'boyfriend' rather than 'boy friend' (that space is what we call the friendzone) so I think it is fair to say that I am single. And here's why I love it and why I literally couldn't care less that I don't have a boyfriend.

1. If you can't be happy on your own, you can't be happy with a significant other
I am happy on my 'own' (says the girl who has five brothers and four sisters and a ginormous youth group of friends lol) therefore I consider that a fine mark of maturity in myself. Well done Naomi.

2. Less drama in my life
Not saying you can't have a romantic relationship without a little bit of drama... ok I am saying that you can't have a romantic relationship without a little bit of drama.

3. You can 'ship' yourself with fictional characters
I would feel bad doing this if I had a boyfriend, but I think this is fun so I am glad I can still do this. (Although normally my fictional boyfriends already have fictional girlfriends. But then I can imagine I am that fictional girlfriend. #Walterblytheandme)

4. You can make 'single jokes'
They're lame, but I love them. (Stuff like 'chocolate is my boyfriend' and 'I'm a professional third-wheeler' and 'oops sorry I spilled the milk, you know I'm single for a reason'...) Making these jokes with other single people is especially fun. 

"I don't know what I would do with a boyfriend. What do you do with them? Take them out for a walk??"
--- A friend of mine

5. More time
I guess if I ever have a boyfriend I'll be like, that's worth the investment of time, old-young-and-single-Naomi. But still. I have more time to watch blimey cow on youtube.

6. You learn to value the beauty of other relationships
Not being in a romantic relationship doesn't mean 'alone' and 'sad' and 'relationship-less'. Friendship is one of the most beautiful things there is in life. And yes you can be friends with the opposite sex. People who say you can't are my biggest pet peeve. The friendship love is amazing and words cannot describe how lucky I am to have such good friends. Also, family. Best thing ever.
(Not saying couples don't value friendship etc. But just, being single makes you focus on these other kinds of relationships more.)

7. It is easier to focus on Jesus
I know no boyfriend will ever get between me and Jesus but it's true, being single does make it easier to prioritise your relationship with God. It's why Paul is like 'guys, it's better to be single.'

8. You realise (hopefully) that it's no big deal to be single
I hope you do. Ultimately it's no big deal at all unless you make it one. I hope you are not single as in 'waiting.' Don't WAIT. LIVE. (Watch this youtube video about this subject, it's really good.)

There you go. Would I like a boyfriend? Yes. Are there times when I'm like ok, I could do with a romance right now? Yes. Am I fine without one? Yes. (Would I like pizza right now? Yes. Are there times when I'm like ok, I could do with 10 pizza's right now? Yes. Am I fine without pizza right now? Yes.) (Whoops, I did not compare pizza to a boyfriend just then, did I? If I did I promise I did not do that disrespectfully; you should know I have the highest regard for pizza.)

Do you know what I love about Christianity? (well, one of the things. :-)) It's like the only religion/belief system in the world that really celebrates singleness. The world is all about exploring your sex life as quick as possible - you're a complete failure if you haven't mastered the art of tongue kissing by the age of sixteen, etc. etc. - and in so many cultures your status goes up if you're married. But the Bible is like nope, being single is actually better cuz you can keep your focus better on Jesus - STAY SINGLE! (Not that the Bible doesn't condone relationships. duh. But it does definitely celebrate singleness. And I love that.)

Happy Valentine's day everyone! 💕
(sorry to say this, but if you're single, you're pathetic. ew.) (#sarcasm)

A small story with a Moral.

Enjoy this short story if you wish to enjoy it. This is the introduction of this post. I put it in pink to make it look like I put a lot of effort into it. Actually this introduction only took like 15 seconds to write. Now you can read the short story. Go.

Once there was a young man who thought his life was important.

"It is," said he to his girlfriend Darrell, "Life is important."

"Yes and no but more no," his girlfriend said, after swallowing down her bite of apple. (Of course. Darrell was a sophisticated girl who never had second thoughts about speaking while having nutrition located in her mouth.)

"Why on earth no?!" the boy said. "Life is nothing but important."

She thought for a moment."Well... it is only important because it's not."

"Why am I dating you?" The boy rolled his eyes. "You speak such gibberish sometimes that I sometimes find myself talking gibberish to the people around me. Last night I had a dream about a four-headed-giraffe. Probably your fancies rubbing off on me." But he smiled, because Darrell was his favourite.

"I stand my case," Darrell said.

For a moment it was quiet. Only the bluebirds, the wind and the dry leaves created sound waves that unconcsiously penetrated the eardrums of the young, budding philosophers.

"I am quite serious," Darrell repeated.

"I know. I can hear from the tone of your voice. You meant what you said. Which is why I am quiet. I cannot make it out."

"Yes," Darrell said. She popped the core of her apple into her mouth. She did not believe in wasting food.

"You say that life is only important because it's not. And that makes sense?" The boy looked at his girlfriend with a confused look on his face.

"Absolutely," she insisted. "Because a life is only a life. It is a vapour in the wind and a wave in an ocean; it is completely useless really."

"So... life is useless. Great. Way to cheer me up."

Darrell laughed. "You are the one that says you like it when people speak their mind. It's true, isn't it? Why, I am working my socks off to become a teacher so I can work my socks off even more once I get a job. That's absolutely absurd, isn't it? What's the bally point? Why, people go through lengths and lengths of drama to finally get a boyfriend or a girlfriend only to break it off after a few weeks. Quite comical. And why, one day we weep, the other day we laugh, and then we moan, and then we smile, and then we complain. We are the most hilarious creatures in existence. How pathetic!"

"No, I don't like this," The boy said sadly. "Life... life isn't... that."

Darrell sighed. "It is the single most pathetic thing there is."

Once again it was silent for a moment. Darrell broke it. "But then I didn't say life wasn't important."

The boy lifted an eyebrow. "I don't like not understanding things my girlfriend says."

"The thing is this. What if we didn't sugarcoat life but what if we found life beyond this one? Because honestly, I'm giving up on trying to make this one sound that good. It's mostly miserable."

"How can you say that?" The boy asked. "I have never seen you this negative. You are literally the most life-loving person I know. It stuns me to see you this way."

"Yet I have never been this joyful," Darrell was quick to say. "I did not say I hated this life; I do love it. But I don't love this life because of this life. This life isn't that great. End of story. It sucks. So I went on a mission to find another life. And that's the one I'm living for and that's why I love this life that would otherwise suck. The more I live this life the more I am intent on not living for it. Yet the more I am intent on not living for it the more I find myself living this life." 

"So..." said the boy, "Paradox is the key to life?"

"Not living for this life makes you live and love this life. Yes."

The boy frowned and then suddenly smiled. "Oh, I think I know what you're talking about."

"It was about time," said Darrell.

"Jesus," said the boy softly. "You're talking about Jesus."

"Yes. How did you guess?"

"Because He's the guy that said that whoever wants to save his life will lose it. And whoever loses his life will find it."

"Correct," Darrell said, her eyes shining with deep love for her Maker; such love that no poet nor artist could ever put into words, shape or picture. "He is correct."

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it." 

(-- God aka your biggest fan; He loves you crazy much. Do this.)

3 Mini-Reviews of the 3 Movies I have seen in January

The Light Between the Oceans

Okay... so first off, I am not sure if I recommend this? On the one hand it left me with chills and in awe (and I went to amazon straightaway to order the book because I cannot get enough of this story), but on the other hand... IT IS SO MUCH. Like, the emotional turmoil this movie put me through was not okay. I went in it, knowing it was going to be dramatic and knowing that I was going to cry (and I put it on because I felt like a crying movie) (and because I'd seen the trailer so many times it was becoming pathetic), but man when I mean crying movie I didn't mean SOBBING LIKE A BABY MOVIE.

So warning: It is a very dramatic movie. Intense. Drama. Packed with it. Amen. The end.

But it's beautiful. So so so beautiful. The actors, the scenery (man, that little island with the sand dunes and the dry grass and the grey clouds and the pink, pink sunsets... it reminded me of Lucy Maud Montgomery's novel 'The Blue Castle'. Isabelle and Tom also kinda look like how I imagine Barney and Valancy, so that made it even better.), the characters (TOM. 😍 That man has a heart of gold.), the love story (Isabelle's "Well, then marry me" was epic),the storylines, the stories behind it, the music... ahh twas good dangit.

(Still not sure if I recommend it though. :-))

The Greatest Showman

(I chose this poster because I love these two together and I loved that scene. And the moon and the pink dress.)

AHHH THIS MUSICAL. (This is the greatest show!!!!) (I sung that.) (That's what happens with musicals. One listens to the soundtrack and one sprouts out lyrics randomly.) I went with not-so-high-expectations, I left singing and dancing out of the cinema. My sister and I went to watch it for my birthday, in a small cinema room with comfy chairs and a bag of sweet popcorn between us. It started. We got chills. It went on. We loved it.

Personally, I think it is lacking slightly in plot. There could have been more to the storyline? I don't know. Maybe it was me being picky. But it was definitely a very spectacular movie. The best thing was obviously, the songs. "Tightrope", for instance (*insert HEART EMOJI*), and "The Other Side" (love that scene so so much haha) and "Reach out the stars" (yeah yeah Zendaya and Zach y'all have mad skillz. That scene was amazing) and, one of the best songs in my opinion, "This is Me." Oh and that opening song and scene. When they all stamp and sing and suddenly the Amazing Hugh Jackman goes, smooth and soft as ever, "Ladies and Gents this is the moment you've waited for." YES. THAT IS A GOOD MUSICAL INTRODUCTION.

If you get the chance, watch it. (Although it bugs me that Hugh Jackman's wife walks around in town with her hair loose. And the elephants are toootally fake.)


I saw this yesterday evening and it was so good! It's a family movie (unlike 'The Light between the Oceans' haha) and it really pleasantly surprised me. I didn't expect it to be so good, but it really was. It made me laugh and cry and left me wanting for more. (Also, it's all about people who are slightly nerdy and want to make things and I love that. This movie has a girls obsessed with books, a clock making boy with big dreams, a film maker, an actress, etc. Can't you sense how good this movie is? Smell it.)

Also it's set in the 1930's and it's in Paris so the scenes are all so pretty. (ALTHOUGH. That blue policeman dude with the ghastly moustache should leave. Him and his dog. NOW. Ugh. I do not like the man. The flower lady must know better.) (The way he talked was hilarious though.)

Asa Butterfield's acting is superb. I mean wow. That boy has talent. When his gorgeous blue eyes well up in tears, you just feel it. And then he lives in a clock. I mean, I kinda want to live in a clock.

Would I watch this again? I would.
Should you watch this? You should.

And with that I end this post. Go hence and spend thine hours watching these three movies. (Although maybe not the first. :-P)

wait what, I'm 19?

{things I learnt when I was 18}

I learnt that it's worth being tired if it means you get life-long memories
I learnt that it's not worth being tired if not
I learnt how to properly pluck my eyebrows so they look good
I learnt that the Bible is one big unified storyline about Jesus
I learnt how to sing a solo without feeling nervous
I learnt how to pray aloud for a group of people
I learnt that polaroid pictures are worth the money
I learnt that it's impossible for me to make close friends if we don't have Jesus as our mutual friend
I learnt that I can spend a month without Pinterest
I learnt that it is possible for me to read twenty-nine books in a year. Only. Twenty. Nine. (*cries*)
I learnt that God is too loving for us to even come close to understanding
I learnt that instagram was fun till it became an idol.
I learnt that deleting the instagram app isn't that big of a deal + I can survive perfectly well without it.
I learnt that writing down prayers brings me closer to God
I learnt that there a lot of stupid people in the world
I learnt that God loves all those stupid people
I learnt that my homeschooling life was not stressful next to my college life
I learnt that it's always a good time with good friends, no matter what you're doing
I learnt that my mum is the best encourager for me in my studies
I learnt that I LOVE to encourage people
I learnt that I have become one of those bloggers that rarely posts because of a busy schedule
I learnt a lot of things because this has been a truly blessed year.

Now I'm nineteen and I can't believe being eighteen is over already. There were ups and downs and laughs and tears and in the end, there was always God's love, there whether or not I always trusted or took complete hold of it. In the end, I have a solid rock to lean upon. My age is going up faster than I want sometimes - the people and the life around me are always slowly changing. But there is always a foundation in my life. I'm God's daughter and that will never change. I pray that we can all share that foundation.

Oh, Happy National Hugging Day :-)
*virtual hug*

Christmas, New Year, and Exams

Before I write this blog post, I should acknowledge the fact that I should not, in fact, be writing this blog post. I should be studying my socks off for my dreaded exam on Monday.

Just For Your Interest.

Christmas Eve was nice. We had my mum's side of the family over and we ordered 20-something thick, zizzly-with-fat pizza's. I love that we did pizza for Christmas Eve. Sometimes you don't need the whole spiced-potatoe-and-rich-homemade-gravy-deal. Sometimes you just gotta go for a fancy version of junk food. And it was awesome. I had four huge (like, almost American-kinda-huge) slices of pepperoni pizza. After the third slice, I told my aunt (and friend) (meaning my aunt is not only my aunt, she also my friend) (not meaning I asked my aunt and my friend, aka two people) (sidetrackkk), I told her, "My head says I shouldn't have another but my heart says I should." She told me to follow my heart. So I did.

Christmas Day was short and sweet. It was sisters and brothers and mum and dad. It was singing songs and Queen Elizabeth's speech and going to Church and opening presents. It was feeling thankful. But it ended with me returning to my room, where there were (and are, albeit slightly messier than then) 11 neat piles of paper with STUFF.

My dear readers, Belgium has a thing. It has a thing for placing exams in January, after the Christmas break. And it has a thing for making 'em (the exams) nice and difficult. Especially difficult. (Especially not nice.) In other words, I did not have a Christmas break. But that's okay. You're only a college-kid once. (#yoacko) (#?)

So every day these past two weeks, my day has gone as follows:

6:30 am - my phone buzzez. I grab it and read whatsapp messages and scroll through instagram (which I've now decided to delete because I scrolled through it too much) (and it's 2018, so I'm bettering my life! Of course!) and check inboxs' and BBC news and I do my Bible devotion on the app.
6:45 - I get out of bed and wrap my white fluffy blanket around me and go downstairs. Make tea. Have breakfast. Take tea up to my bedroom. While the house is dark and my family is enjoying their holiday hours of sleep. (Actually, I quite enjoyed doing that. There is a sense of great pride in myself at my accomplishment in waking up early to study. I felt pretty legit.)
7:00-12:00 - Work (sometimes good days, sometimes disappointing days) (but all in all, I was at my desk with books and papers)
12:00 - Time to get out of my cave and eat
12:30 - The hermit returns to her cave to freak out and study. Now and then the hermit gets interrupted by her loving mother who gives her nice things like mints and chocolate and - yesterday - a cute brand-new sweater. (LITERALLY COULDN'T LIVE WITHOUT MY MUM.) (+chocolate)
17:00 - Dinner. Sometimes I had it on a plateau in my bedroom so I could study some more. Sometimes I went down to interact with humans.
19:00-21:00 - work. Sometimes I worked on till 10 pm. Not because I was enjoying myself, but because there were eleven piles to get through.
22:15 - sleep cuz I need it too (+ set alarm for tomorrow at 6:30)

So there you go. Now it's 21:25. Today I finally feel ready for the exams. They start on Monday and will go on till the 19th. I am ready for the 20th of January.

On New Years' Eve/New Year I did take some time off to welcome myself and my dear friends into the New Year. We had the best time. I love my friends so much, sometimes I just can't believe I'm lucky enough to be part of such an amazing, loving, God-honouring group of friends. When we went outside to listen (and try to see...) the fireworks me and Julia were just like, 'gah, thank you Jesus. Thank you for 2017. Thank you for 2018.'

I am so excited for this year, even though I know there's a very busy semester ahead, and even though I know it will be stressful for me at college because of all the work. But God is good and there is so much room inside of me for growth in His direction. I'm excited about growing deeper in faith and finding more and more possibilities for me to serve Him.

Here is a random picture of some of our feet. (Picture credit: Erik)

(guess what socks are mine)

I guess I don't need to explain further why I haven't been blogging much. Or emailing. Or writing. Or reading books For Pleasure. But you know, it's okay. It really is. Yes, I don't like exams, but do I have a loving family and loving friends and warm clothes and tea and chocolate and food and a room? Yes. I don't have time to reread Gone with the Wind or to watch Titanic with my family, but do I have an amazing Saviour who loves me and fills me with joy? Yes.

So all is well.

And I shall leave you now to go to bed. Happy New Year, loyal readers.

I shall leave you with my favourite song I discovered in 2017. (IT'S LITERALLY SO BEAUTIFUL + makes me sob.) (LISTEN TO IT.) (thx)

Never forget that you are worth more than words can express! x

My Life in Books (Tag)

Hannah from Books, Cameras and Succulents (adorable blog name, by the way) tagged me with the My Life in Books Tag! Thank you girl, this looks just like the kind of blog post I will make time for on a Sunday morning. 

The picture above is, indeed, a picture of my own dear bookcase. And indeed, it is decked with coloured fairy lights because, indeed, it is now December and indeed, it will be Christmas in no less than three weeks. And indeed, that fact makes me happy indeed. Indeed. (I do not know why I am using that word so much. It is just a fun word to write and hear inside my brain. It is like the words 'What-ho' and 'crumbs' and 'dude'; once you say them once you like to put them all over the place in your daily vocabulary. At least, for me. I cannot speak for you. Indeed.)


Find a book for each of your initials.
Is this a crafty little way to find out the first letter of my last name? Cruel! Haha, just kidding; what is in a letter, I'll be fine. A P could stand for Parkinson, Pratt, Pendleton and hundreds of others. I shall leave it up to your imagination and hope that you will not guess.
N - Northanger Abbey
S - Sense and Sensibility
P - Pride and Prejudice (oh yas)
(Dude, my initials in Jane Austen books. Never have I been more proud to be called Naomi Sarah Pringlelingle.)

Count your age along your bookshelf. What book is it?
The eighteenth book on my top bookshelf (which I consider 'the first bookshelf' for some reason) is 'The Luckiest Girl in School' by Angela Brazil. Would not recommend; it is not very interesting. :-P

Pick a book set in your country.
The only book I have that is set in Belgium is Valentine Joe and it's beautiful ahhh. It's very unrealistic and yes two teens fall in love but I love it so much. It's about WW1. And it's set in Belgium.

Pick a book that represents a destination you'd love to travel to.
Any book by Lucy Maud Montgomery, but especially Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Rilla of Ingleside, The Story Girl, The Golden Road, the Blue castle and all the other ones.

Pick a book that is your favourite colour.
It is Christmas season so currently I'm all about colour of deep red. I have the beautifullest copy of Great Expectations in that red. You should come over to my house to admire it. I shall serve you tea and biscuits on top of it. Do not say that is not tempting.

Which book do you have fondest memories of?
My mum reading Anne of Green Gables ahhhhhhhhhh. THAT BOOK WAS MY FAVOURITE SOURCE OF PLEASURE. Those evenings when my mum read that aloud to us first were a little bit of story magic to me. I also have good memories of discovering other LMM books, especially The Story Girl and The Golden Road - I LOVED those - and of course I have tons of good memories rereading the Little House books over and over.

Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?
On my bookshelf? Probably those boring Amish fiction sagas which I haven't finished yet and I got it for my fourteenth birthday. :-P

Which book on your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you read it?
A Charles Dickens book. I still haven't read any properly to my satisfaction.

OK, I have to go now and my questions are finished so I shall say adieu. Hope you are all fine and dandy and I hope you don't forget to give Jesus priority today. Have a blessed week!


Sounds of life

{sounds right now}
my brother playing the piano
celtic women singing old ballads on spotify
the violin accompanying them
the tapping of my fingers on the keyboard
a cough from the other room
footsteps on the staircase

{sounds on a train}
the train announcements in the roboty, nasally voice
the guy on the phone with his buddy
the lady on the phone with her husband
the teenage girls gossiping about their teachers at school
doors opening with hisses and cracks
a sigh, a sneeze, a cough
and then the small crackle of a page turn in the middle of an exciting novel

{sounds in a quiet exam room}
the teacher walking around; her heels clicking the floor like an execution drum
little stifled coughs
creaking door handles opened by latecomers
groups of boys joking on the hallway; booming laughter
the determined sound of pen on paper
the sighs of those who know they'll fail

{sounds in a forest}
stones and twigs crunching and snapping underneath sturdy boots or flying bike wheels
Sunday afternoon conversations
the hum of a song
which is drowned in the mass of bird whistling; bird chirping
the scuffling sound of dead leaves being hurled to corners
by the gentle whoosh of the winds
the croaking of dark clouds
then... the pitter patter of light raindrops sprinkling the trees

{sounds at youth group}
the crackling of a bonfire
guitar chords and worship songs like King of Kings and Good Good Father
encouragement and prayer
"It's good to see you"s during hugs
high fives
buzz of teenagers stumbling indoors, playing table football, talking about the week
the crunch of crisps, the fizz of coke and the crumble of cake
oh and laughter; always

I'm thankful for my ears right now. :-)

8 Mini Stories

Hello readers. I hope you are well on this rainy, haily (if that's not a word now it is :-P), dark, autumn day here in Belgium. I feel like some creative writing challenge, so I'm going to challenge myself and write tiny mini stories based on pictures I found on pinterest. Stories don't have to be long; you can often fit a whole story in just a few words. They're stories. Mini stories. Hope you like them.

Mini Story 1

Her name was Millie and she was my sister. She died when I was seven; she was seventeen. She died falling off her motorbike when she was on holiday with her boyfriend and his sister. She died wearing her favourite summer frock; the white one Mama didn't like her to wear because it was see through if the sun shone from behind her. Mama cried when she died; Daddy sobbed and sobbed. My brother ran away from home for a week because he didn't want me to see him cry. I went to Millie's bedroom and I hugged her pillowcase. It was green with purple flowers. I took it to my bedroom and slept with it.

Mini Story 2

"Why, Sarah, why," Jonie asked. Only, she didn't really ask it. She said it, like she wasn't expecting a solid answer.

"Why what?"

"Why do you want to sit down and eat with me? Why did you buy me food? I literally took your boyfriend away from you."

"I didn't own him," Sarah said. "And it's just chips."

Jonie smiled her beautiful smile. "Chips are good, though."

"And so is Jonathan," Sarah nodded. "I am not blaming you for wanting him. Besides, he prefers you. That is not your fault either."

Suddenly Jonie hated Jonathan for leaving this sweet girl to be with her.

Mini Story 3

Mama always told me I shouldn't pass notes to people in school, but when someone passes you a note, what else can you do but except it? Especially when it's specially written for you. It's not every day that you get a note written for you. The teacher was explaining about African tribes and Christopher Columbus but I stopped listening to her to open the note. 

You're stupid and ugly, it said.

It was the first time someone had written it instead of saying it. Now it was written down, it became a fact.

Mini Story 4

Dear Diary, 

We are married. We got married in the mountains; it was just us two, and Bets and Dorian, and the pastor. Bets took pictures, Dorian played guitar, the pastor married us. Joe and I, we just smiled and smiled. Our cheeks hurt from happiness. Maybe when our parents see how happy we are, they will give in. Maybe they will be okay with us being husband and wife. Maybe one day. But even if they never do, we have each other. And we have these mountains and we have Michael Jackson cd's and a Bible. We will be okay. I am so happy my heart could burst. I must leave; my husband awaits. 

Yours truly, a wife.

Mini Story 5

When you have a crush on your brothers' roommate, you visit your brother often.

"Oh, hey sis," my brother would say.

"Oh, hey bro," I would say, but I would look over his shoulder and look at him. He was always at his desk, writing. Poems, books, pieces of future classic literature. He had a cup of coffee next to him and the radio played orchestral music he couldn't hear because he was so absorbed into his writing. Oh, but he looked so good in his brown waistcoat and messy hair. I was sure I could stare at him for ages.

"You're too obvious," my brother whispered.

"Apparently not," I whispered back. He didn't even look up when I came in anymore.

My brothers' roommate put his pen down and looked at me. "Yes, you are," he said. He was smiling.

Mini Story 6

Where there are large families, there are messy halls. Where there are messy halls, there are plenty of shoes. Where there are halls with plenty of shoes, there are large families. Or, of course, a single lady with an unhealthy obsession with buying shoes.

But when such a single lady comes to live with a large family; then, and only then, things get offhand. If you think your house contains too many shoes, you have not visited the Pickfords. The Pickfords' house was ninety percent shoes, ten percent other. The Pickfords had nine children, their two parents, and now, their jolly aunt Priscilla Pickford. She had two hundred and thirty two pairs of shoes and counting, and Mr Pickford felt suicidal whenever he looked at any single one of them. So one evening, when Priscilla Pickford went out to buy another pair, he held a huge bonfire in the garden with his children. 

They couldn't find any wood for the bonfire, so they elaborated with two hundred and thirty two objects they found lying around in the house. Objects they didn't think they really needed.

Mini Story 7

It had been six years ago since I'd seen her. She had put me out of the house when I was sixteen. "You don't need me to feed ya anymore," she had said. I had asked her, what do I do on my own, and she had said, go find your father. And she had closed the door in my face. I went to my Grandma. My mother didn't even know who my father was; how would I know? I was now both fatherless and motherless. Both didn't want to know me; and that was how it stayed for six long years.

But here she was. I saw her, she was standing at the side of the music floor, looking at the ground in deep thought. I stared at her through all the couples slow dancing between us. My heart beat wild and fast. It was her. The same curly hair. The same thin, white arms. The same dark eyes. Only, she was older; she was sadder. She looked weary.

"Jesus." I prayed. "Jesus, you forgave me. I am going to go to my mum and forgive her."

Mini Story 8

"You know grandma, I've always loved your fridge," Annie smiled.

"You mean all the magnets?" Phoebe asked.

"Yes, they're cool. I mean, it looks cool."

"When I was a young girl," Phoebe said, her old hands wrapped around her cup of coffee. "I once made a long journey around the world. I was hopelessly in love with this guy, but because I thought I would never have a chance with him, I went on this journey to try to forget him. Well, every country I was in, some stranger randomly came up to me and gave me a magnet. When I came back home the next year, it turned out he had given them all to me."

"That is so cute,"Annie gushed.

"It was the sweetest thing someone ever did to me."

"Did you date him?"

"Darling, he's grandpa."

Which Mini Story is your favourite?
(For the record this is so much fun to do. My favourite is 5, because he looks like Gilbert Blythe and you can't go wrong there.)


Days to remember

picture by a friend back when we had the amazing lil' trip to Germany. Good, good memories.

A week off college is what I needed. Yes, I have heaps of things to do, but it's so much different when you don't get woken up by the alarm on your phone, when you don't have to catch a train in the cold morning, when you don't have to sit through not-always-very-interesting classes, and when you don't have to be sociable with people when all you want to do is listen to the soundtrack of Grease while taking a long bath. 

Last weekend was a whirlwind of emotions. First, a productive Saturday in which I went driving on the road, which was freaking scary and wow I am so grown-up gosh, and then a Sunday which was filled with emotions - happy and sad, so closely linked it is hard to describe. Happy because I spent it with a darling group of friends - a group of friends I never thought I would ever be lucky enough to be part of. A group of friends in which I always find myself encouraged, motivated, laughing till my belly hurts, and comfortable enough to share practically anything. Us 13-something folk crammed around a table for dinner; we played unorganised games drowned with inside jokes; we opened 6 bars of chocolate simultaneously; we listened to random music pieces.

And sad - because two dear friends of this group had to leave. They came to Belgium a year ago; and today they leave back to the States. And it was so sad to say goodbye. I hate goodbyes - they're like closing off a chapter and as much as I like the sweet wording of that, I hate closing chapters. It won't be the same without our "Mum and Dad" of the group; they bought something so special and colourful and Jesus-centred into all our lives. But I know we'll see each other again and I know they are needed in other places as well.

Anyway. That was last weekend, and it was a beautiful weekend. I have so much (so much) to be thankful for. It hits me every evening - I am a lucky girl.

Now I am enjoying my busy yet relaxing week, filling in any gaps between the hours I spend (or should spend) on homework with trying to learn how to do the Moonwalk, listening to Grease is the word and Hopelessly Devoted, making videos for myself so that I'll always remember good memories, reading 1 John because gah, ordering photos to be printed, and... and well yes, I've been listening to Christmas music a good while now. You? You should too.

The Little Things ❤

::: Hazelnut Milk Chocolate ::: Misty mornings ::: Horses in fields in misty mornings ::: Red sunsets casting a spell over an already magical field in a misty morning ::: The Palace in Brussels ::: Olly Murs songs ::: Michael Buble songs are better though ::: When you catch an earlier train ::: having a nice conversation with a stranger on the train (she was Finnish. explains it. Belgians wouldn't dream of having a nice conversation with a stranger.) ::: Babies giving you high fives ::: this good post ::: and also this good post ::: the moon in the early morning ::: the dark blue and purple sky in the morning ::: leaves ::: killing a mosquito (MWUHAHA) ::: Spying on strangers in railway stations ::: There was a man yesterday that looked like Avi Kaplan ::: And two best friends with dreadlocks talking about teen pregnancy rates in different countries ::: making plans for an exciting weekend ::: Scrapping off things on a to-do list (it's so so satisfying) ::: White goats ::: John. I mean the book of the Bible. Not just a random dude called John. ::: SMILES ::: kindness. there is truly nothing so beautiful ::: John Crist's instagram stories. If you're on insta, you should follow him just for his stories. that man is a comedy genius. ::: This was another 10 minute blog post ::: (The sunset in the picture above was my view from my window a few days ago. Gah.) :::

let's see if I can write this in ten minutes

... this is a very short, quick blog post I am writing before hopping on a bike to hop on a train to go to college. Also this is a blog post I should not be writing as I have a to-do list the length of the Nile. (Is the Nile long? See, I should know this if I'm going to be a primary school teacher.) Also this is a blog post to let readers know that I'm alive albeit busy. I miss blogging and this kind of blog post only takes like, ten minutes to write... right? right? (I guess I'll see because I'm writing it. ;-P)

So currently, for all those who are (and for those who aren't) interested, I am...

Reading - Schoolbooks do NOT count but they're pretty much all my literature at present. The only non-schoolbook I read is the Bible. (And I also have Radical by Platt under my bed which looks amazing, but I haven't even touched it yet.)

Singing - Anything because my voice was gone and now it is found again. #theprodigalvoice? (OK, but mainly Micheal Buble songs.)

Listening - To Michael Buble songs. All day every day. His songs are my jam and he's just the best singer in the world okay no buts. I WILL NEVER TIRE OF HIM. And yes, I listened to his Christmas songs the other day. K don't judge. (My new favourite Buble song is his version with Elvis Presley of Fever. IT IS EVERYTHING SMOOTH AND SNAPPY.)

I'm also listening to teachers giving lessons. Oh yes.

Walking - Around in Brussels to get to said teachers who give said lessons. (By the way, YESTERDAY THE KING DROVE PAST ME. The actual king of Belgium.)

Running - No no no I don't do running. (Unless I see there's a train waiting and I need to get on it and I'm not on it yet. Then I run.)

Laughing - With my siblings and because of funny whatsapp group messages. (Me: "The king drove past me today!" Someone else on a group chat: "Oh I'm sorry. Didn't see you. Would've waved.")

Smiling - Because of that sunset yesterday. IT WAS SO PINK. Sunsets always remind me again and again of who is and always will be the best artist in the world.

Praying - For the world and all it's tribulations. For the victims of Las Vegas shootings, for persecuted Christians.

Accepting - That I ain't got no time to watch movies and read books and write books. One must accept things when one wants to get a degree. (Do I even want this degree? :-P) (Yes, I do want it but I do miss my free times.)

Looking forward to - Youth group this evening; and going to Germany for the weekend next weekend with some friends it's going to be so much fun I'd BETTER not have too much homework. *eyes homework* DON'T YOU DARE COME WITH ME TO GERMANY.

Learning - Over and over again, every day - that without God as a friend I am ultimately alone. Learning also that He is Great and Merciful. These are lessons we can always relearn.

Writing - School stuff. And this blog post. #socrazyright

Finishing - This blog post. Bam. END.

A post on trains

I don't know about the USA and Australia and all you guys' places, but here in Belgium students like me take the train to go to university every day. At first that kind of freaked me out because trains are risky things.

10 reasons why trains are risky things

1. You're stuffed into a narrow, metal snake with people you have never met before. That's the basic explanation of a train. And it does not necessarily sound very attractive.
2. This can therefore include being seated next to a potential murderer or drug dealer.
3. You could get your handbag nicked. A handbag contains important cards and passports and in the case of some stories, babies. (Little Importance of Being Earnest reference there; before you get wierded out.)
4. You can miss your train. Think of how stressful it is; you have to get in that thing before it whizzes away again - and if you don't it won't care; you'll just have to wait fifteen minutes or more for the next metal snake.  It does not care about your feelings. 
5. There is a small gap between the train and the platform. This is ok, but just don't fall. Death may occur and that death may be yours.
6. Sometimes trains are very stuffed. I have been on two trains today - one so stuffy a man was standing right in front of my face, a girl was sitting next to me, another girl was standing next to me, another man was sitting right behind the man standing in front of me; a lady sitting right next to the man standing in front of me (I was trying to concentrate on C.S.Lewis' The Problem of Pain) - and another nice and calm one where I had a little table and bench to myself and I could edit my story in peace. The latter is somewhat more of a rare specimen in school hours, let's just say that.
7. You can accidentally sit in the 1st class passengers and get a ticking off from the conductor.
8. You can accidentally lose your train ticket and get a ticking off from the conductor (+fine.)
9. You can accidentally get on the wrong train and find yourself landing in some weird-sounding place you have never heard of. Guys, train timetables are the most complicated dang things there are. Just make sure you have your phone with you so you can phone Mum whilst weeping. Like, there's 23 platforms. How am I supposed to know which one might potentially have a train that will bring me closer to my home?
10. Underground train stations are super creepy. Forget about the Matthew and Mary romantic train station scene in Downton Abbey. I'm talking black walls with graffiti.

... basically, my life is a play between life and death.

All right, I am obviously being overly pessimistic for dramatic reasons (;-P) and I have to say, I have already noticed some of its positive sides. I did not think I would find a lot of them, but I have found that travelling by train has its quaint, storybook sides. 

Such as:

1. Yesterday I was walking in the big grand train station, and outside there was this jazz band playing on the pavement - with saxophones and everything. As I went inside, and down the steps into the underground world of train platforms, the jolly jazzy sound intermingled with the sound of trains, announcements, and endless footsteps of people rushed to get on with their own life. With all those sounds drowning into each other, I felt like I was in one of those slow motion, soundtrack-y scenes in a movie. You know, one of those scenes where the main character feels all numb and struck and where he or she is reanalysing life and everything about it? YOU know. Anyway. I felt like I was in that kind of scene for a few minutes and it was cool. :-P
2. When there's a sunset shining through the train windows. Guys. Purty.
3. When I spot someone reading a book I like. Ok, that hasn't happened yet, but I'm happy to say that people are still reading books. Granted, more people are on their phones, but I have spotted many noses between book covers and that makes me happy.
4. Some of the landscapes I pass are very picturesque indeed.
5. Sometimes there are good looking people on the train. There was a guy dressed like Wooster this morning. And a girl with a nice handbag. There is always something to observe.
6. The rattle of the train is quite satisfying - not a bad sound.
7. Now and then us cold Belgian strangers will dare smile to each other. But never longer than half a second. Oh no; heaven forbid. That is far to familiar.

There was my little anecdote on trains. I'm training myself to get used to them. You'd better keep track of my process and station assignments on my way so I can improve. I'll keep a to-do list with boxes of things I have to do to improve, so that when I get the things done I can ticket.