Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The God of Jacob

Today, I just wanted to share a simple lesson that I learnt from a message that wasn't about the lesson that I learnt.

I recently downloaded the Elevation church app on my phone, and I love the convenience of it, how I can sit and listen to a message any time and anywhere.

This week, I've been listening to a series of messages by Pastor Steven Furtick called death to selfie. Interesting title, but that's not what I want to share with you today. In this series, we're learning a lot about Jacob, his heart, and his walk with God.

Let's be honest - Jacob was shady. He was the trick of all tricksters, but what's amazing for me is, how God used this man even though his heart was so materialistic and self consumed. It made me think a bit, about his brother Esau. I mean, Esau wasn't a bad guy. He did what he had to do, hunted, provided for his family, he seems like a pretty stand up (and hairy) guy. But when I read this scripture, I realised why God used Jacob, and not him.

Genesis 25: 17

27  The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. 28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29  Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country,famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.[d])
31  Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
32  “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
33  But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
34  Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.
So Esau despised his birthright.

Esau was foolish enough to give up his birthright for a a bowl of lentil soup. For those of us who don't know what lentils are, it's those brown round things that you find in your breyani - hardly worth giving up an inheritance for.

Esau gave into his flesh - he made a permanent decision based on a temporary feeling. Foolish, yet so many of us do this, daily! We give into that chocolate because the craving has spoken, in spite of the fast that we committed to when we woke up that very same morning. We swear and shout at loved ones in the heat of the moment because of our temporary feelings.

Thank you to Darren August for these pics.
The difference between Jacob and Esau was, that Jacob was so desperate for hope, for a touch from God, and God met him there, in his time of desperation, in his nowhere. - That's the kind of people that God uses to perform His will - the kind that, no matter how messed up, conceited or hopeless you may be, you are hungry for Him. He uses those that are willing to be used.

In Matthew 22: 32, Jesus says reminds the people of what God has said. "I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob". He didn't mention Esau though, interesting.

Top: Woolworths. Pants: picked up at clothing swop. Shoes: Mr Price. Specs: Michael Kors.
Today I'd like to encourage you to avail yourself to Him today. Tell Him that you're ready, willing and able to be used to make His will come to pass, not the will of your own, failing flesh.

I'd also like to encourage you to download the Elevation church app if you do have a smart phone, there are some rich teachings there, just waiting to impact your life.

I hope you enjoyed this post. I love hearing from you, please leave a comment!

- Arlene

Friday, 5 September 2014

5 things we did while dating

This past April, Darren and I celebrated a whole year of marriage. It went by so quickly. I remember being on honeymoon, and Darren and I discussing a few of the things that we’d like to get started on once we got back home, that’s the thing about a plan that comes from God, when it’s His will, there will always be something(s) that will come against it.

To be quite honest, we had a tough first year because of the “road blocks” that we came across, and still continue to show up every so often, but we got through it, we always get through it. Looking back now, Darren and I were really blessed to have gone through this time without being at each other’s necks, if anything, this time brought us closer.

When we were planning our wedding, we felt what was the most important thing was to plan more for our marriage, and we did. We did silly 10 page quizzes, read a few books and did a premarital counselling course with some amazing people. I am the first of my circle of friends to get married, and often I feel as though they look at Darren and I and think that things are easy because I got “the last of the good ones.” As much as my husband is amazing, he’s just man like any other, and he has his bad days just like everyone else.

I am by no means an expert on marriage, but I do think that Darren and I were good at dating (if that makes any sense). I thought it would be a good idea to point out a few good habits to develop while dating – this is what worked for us:

 No hanky panky:
I had a friend that asked me how I got Darren to propose to me after 13 months, it was so funny to hear that, because I had never felt like I purposefully did anything to get him to propose, but in my heart, I knew why he didn’t wait a whole 6 years to ask me to be his wife.

When we started dating, we made the decision to not have sex before we got married – we wanted to honour God. I know that lots of people are of the opinion that the law of fornication is in the old testament, and that we’re all under the covenant of the new testament, but I do believe that even though we are redeemed from the curse of the law, that the law is basically a standard for us to measure our lives up to. Just because it says “thou shalt not murder” in the old testament, it doesn’t mean that I can go out killing people, even though I know that God will forgive me, there are always consequences to our actions. If you kill someone, you’re most likely to end up spending some good time in jail, and it’s the same with sex.

When you’re intimate with someone, there are doors that will open, and all kinds of spiritual ties will walk through, into your life and it’s just not worth it. Count the cost, and honour God, there is a huge blessing that lies behind the door labelled “God”. It’s worth waiting for, and anyone that thinks that you are worth it will wait with you. If you aren’t a virgin, make a decision and start waiting from today.

We set boundaries, and did our best to never cross them. I lived alone, and wasn’t really accountable to anyone, so when Darren did visit, it would mostly be during the day, and if the visit did go on into the evening, he wouldn’t stay too late. Boundaries are a must when the deal of no hanky panky has been made.

Boundaries aren’t only for the physical though, there may be boundaries about not speaking about a past experience because it’s not a nice feeling for the other person, or the boundary of “I don’t want to speak right now because I’m angry”, or in my case “I need to speak now because I’m angry!”. The thing about those kind of boundaries though, is that you have to know yourself well enough to know what boundaries to set – but don’t be too hard on yourself, there’s a lot of things that we have to go through first to know that it’s a boundary that needs to be set.

    Be vulnerable:
I used to be the kind of girl that wouldn’t allow myself to be vulnerable because I wasn’t any bodies wife yet, but the truth is, how could he know that I could be his wife, if I didn’t allow myself to be vulnerable with him? I wasn’t about to throw on an apron and be barefooted in the kitchen, or available in the bedroom, but I had to make myself emotionally available, so that he could see my heart, and I could see his. We had to know each other’s hearts and dreams if we were sure that we were ready to sign up for forever.

One thing that I had learnt and have now experienced in our marriage is that I am not only under my own vision, but also the vision that God has given Darren. I know that if I had married a man that wasn’t running with a vision that was given to him by God, I would have over taken him and played that role myself, firstly because I can be slightly (ok very) over powering, but also because I believe that that’s how women are wired – if you won’t do it for me, I can do it for myself, without your help. But that’s not of God, and we need to be careful not to overpower our men. When you’re choosing the man that you’d like to spend your life with, ask yourself: is he led by the Spirit of God, is he submitted to God? And are you willing to marry him the way that he is as you know him right now? If you aren’t, you may be wasting your time, as well as his.

   Stay accountable:
I firmly believe that we all need to stay accountable to someone. For me, it wasn’t easy because my parents weren’t around when Darren and I were dating, and I never had anyone to tell me right from wrong. We are fortunate that his parents were around and his mom would always check up on him when it got a little too late and he still wasn’t home – that SMS or phone call was enough to sober us both up and get him out the house by 8 o clock, it made it just a little easier for us to not over step any boundaries.

I have a friend that once told me, that a week before her wedding, she started taking her belongings to the place that her and her husband would be sharing once they were married, but her dad was sort of outraged that this was happening, and told her that she would only move her stuff once they were married. As drastic as that may sound, many times these kinds of actions are needed to protect you from temptation. Also, this father was sending a message to the future husband – this woman is precious, and would not be treated like cheap plastic when she is in fact precious gold. To this day her husband treats her as though she were more precious than gold.

     Stay sober:
I get it, we all need that one on one time to get to know each other a little better, and that’s ok. However I do believe that going out with a group of friends is a great way to get to know each other as well, and a great way of checking out the person’s character.

Going out with friends could be a fun way of staying within your boundaries and getting to know your person and how they interact with others. Often times its easier to keep a mask on when there aren’t many people around, but if you have a good friend that’s connected to the Spirit, they may be able to see what you are not able to see in this person, if you are dating with the intent to get married, you aren’t looking to spend your time with someone who’s playing games. It’s easy to get drunk in love, but stay sober and alert.

These are the things that I had learnt while my husband and I were dating, and they worked well for us, we were by no means perfect, but we did our best to stick to the commitments that we made. I hope that this helps you too. 

I'd love to hear from you, did you enjoy this post? Leave a comment below :) 

- Arlene 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The modest blogs

I've been looking for a good, Christian fashion blog for a while now, and let me tell you, they're scarce. I've come across a few that say that they're Christian, but don't mention much about God or anything like that.

The ones that I have found are categorized as "Modest Blogs". I stopped and thought for a minute, what does modest mean really? Having a look at the modest blogs on the net, modest includes short wedges, wooden clogs, make up less faces and loose fitting pants.

I believe that a woman could be modest and modern at the same time. You don't need to cover every inch of your body to dress modestly, but there is a line that needs to be drawn, there should always be much left to the imagination.

I believe in understated sexy, and individualism. I know that God created me, and no one knows me quite as well as He does. He knows my love for clothes and shoes, and He knows how I feel when I think that I look good.

Jacket: Identity. Neck piece: Lovisa. Peplum and skirt: Mr Price. Bag: Gift. Shoes: Melissa.

He knows that I'm more obsessed with Him than I'd ever be over a pair of shoes or cupboard full of great pieces or even a perfect selfie. That being said, He made me the way that I am, He gave me a creative mind that thinks of some of the outfits you find up here (others I may steal from Pintrest or another blogger :) ), and I am unashamed of the desires that I have to dress up and feel good, and you shouldn't either - He knows your heart, He did make it, after all.

A huge thank you to Nastassja for these beautiful pictures.
I'll leave you with this - dress for yourself. Don't dress for anyone else's approval or attention, and before you step out of the house, take a moment to think about how you're representing your Daddy by walking out looking the way you do, you know, your Daddy up There. Whether it's walking out in those slippers and rollers, or that skirt that might just show a little too much when you walk, take a moment to think about how you're representing Him.

Thank you for reading, I love hearing from you! I hope you've enjoyed this post.

- Arlene 

Friday, 29 August 2014

The thing about friends.

I have to be honest; this is a personal post, very personal.

If I had to be completely honest, I've been hungry for a real, true friend for some time now. You know, the kind of friend that would tell you when you’re out of line, or give you an encouraging word when they can sense that you’re a bit down. The kind of friend that would actually make the time and effort to meet with you or call, instead of saying “I was just thinking about you yesterday” conveniently when they bump into you at the store. The kind of friend that would come around to your place and make some tea and a meal in your kitchen, without it feeling like an invasion. The kind of friend that you could sit around with, without your eyebrows on, and just be.

I’ve learnt quite a bit about friendships over the past year, and the truth is that not everyone wants to be your friend, and it’s not easy finding someone that would be genuinely happy for you when that big breakthrough comes. In fact, many people will speak against the manifestation of the blessing in your life, and be secretly delighted when things don’t go well for you, and that’s the truth.

The thing about a friend is, when you find that friend, the one you really connect with, and have the liberty to share your heart with them, it’s a deep thing. In fact, this is what the Word describes as covenant. Let’s just define that really quickly – according to Google, covenant is:

A verb: agree by lease, deed, or other legal contract.

A few decades ago, a covenant was a serious thing. So serious that it was legally binding. You wouldn't take out a large home loan if you knew that you couldn't afford it, because if you couldn't afford it, you couldn't pay for it, and if you couldn't pay for it, pretty much everything that you own would be in jeopardy. To me, friendship is the same – it's expensive, and if you can’t afford it, you probably shouldn't be signing the agreement.

As much as I've learnt about the downs and hurts of friendships, I've been blessed to be witness a pure, Godly friendship over the past few months. My husband and his friend have an amazing bond, and a great friendship, but what’s so amazing (and unique) about this friendship is how selfless it is. They put little expectation on each other, but they pour out from their souls when giving out of their own. It’s evident how much they value each other, and their friendship is a phenomenal example of how a friend sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18: 14). Witnessing their friendship and how it grows on a daily basis has created a desire in me to have this kind of friend, and to be it.

A friend that I can be accountable to, and someone that would be accountable to me. Someone that would pray for me, and sow into me in a way that they feel led to do, someone that would tell me the truth, no matter how difficult it may be to accept or hear. Someone that would ask me about me, and how things are going with me, and someone that I could listen to, just as easily as I could talk with, someone that I could shopping with or have a spontaneous coffee date with just to unwind a bit.

I want a friend that’s led by the Spirit of God.

The truth is, finding this kind of friend isn't easy, but what I've realised is more difficult than finding this friend, is maintaining this kind of friendship once it's discovered. Because the truth is, when you sign up for this kind of friendship, it isn't all about what you can get out of it, or what the next person could do for you, it’s about sacrifice, and being the kind of friend that that person needs.

As much as I desire a Godly friend, I have a greater desire to be that kind of friend to someone else. I've had so many people see me and say “Hey my friend”, when the truth is, we actually aren't that close, could I really call you a friend? To me it seems like the world has cheapened something that is so precious, and so expensive. In the old testament, Abraham paid a high price to be called a friend of God - the title of friend is not an insignificant one. 

Today I’d like to challenge you to reflect on those closest to you, and the people that you call friends. Are you being that best kind of friend that you could possibly be? If you aren't, it's not to late to start now. 

Thank you for allowing me to share what's been on my heart for sometime now, and for reading! I'd love to hear from you, please leave your thoughts below.

- Arlene 

Monday, 12 May 2014

Mothers Day


So yesterday was mothers day, and it was surprisingly good, and long, which was great because Sundays usually feel like the shortest day of the week for me.

Mother's day used to be a painful day for me. I always felt like I was the only person in the world without a mom (I get melancholic like that sometimes). I'd sit in church and cry under cover while all the mothers day tributes were being done, and leave after the service like I'd never shed a tear.

This year was different. This year was good. I felt honored to be able to share it with my "new" family, and just to be able to sit in the presence of my new mom and dad was amazing for me.

This year, on mothers day, there was hope, there was break though, there was love!

Lace Jersey and Clutch: Mr Price. Peplum skirt: Miss Boss Couture. Shoes: Forever New.

Thanks for dropping by! How was your mothers day?

- Arlene 

Friday, 14 March 2014

Life lately

Hi there,

Lately, things have crazy in South Africa. Crazy weather, crazy Oscar trial, crazy piled up washing baskets. Crazy, crazy, crazy.

What's crazier is  how long I had hunted for these All Stars. I've been hunting since like, last year. Apparently finding a size 3 is near impossible, but I found one eventually, and I am happy.

Jacket: Mr Price. Jeans: Woolworths. Scarf: Gift. Shoes: Sportscene

With all the heaviness of the Oscar Trial going around everyday, I thought I'd poke some fun at his lawyer, Barry Roux. This guy is tearing apart just about every witness that takes the stand. Hard to the core.

Are you following the trial? What are your thoughts so far?

Thank you for coming by!
- Arlene

Thursday, 27 February 2014



There are few things more comfortable than a maxi dress. This dress was really made for Summer, its comfortable, cool and it looks pretty good too.

So, apparently the end of February marks the end of Summer, really?! And we can feel it already. Cooler evenings and mornings. I'm so sad though, feels like summer just arrived!

Maxi Dress: Mrs Price. Scarf: Gifted. Shoes: Mr Price.

In other news, Darren and I will be addressing a group of youth tomorrow evening, to speak a bit about our testimonies, and share on the topic of identitiy. Wish us luck, this will be my first time speaking in front of a group of people. 

Anyhoo, thanks for reading! 

- Arlene