29 October 2013

Birthday Weekend Special ♡

Hey! It's been a while since my last blog post. I have had such a lovely weekend and wanted to share it with you all. My weekend, started on Friday, which was my 24th birthday!! Whoop Whoop!

My 24th birthday marked day number 8766 for me. That's how many days it has been since I arrived on Earth. I was inspired to find out how many days it has been following a movie I watched call 'The Encounter'--such a great movie, in seeing His word and how relevant it truly is to our lives. It reminded me of this verse:

Psalms 39: 4 "LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away. 5 My life is no longer than the width of my hand. An entire lifetime is just a moment to you; human existence is but a breath."

Lately, I have been convicted of not using my days to the fullest, really examining myself and if I am doing what He created me to do, because I want to hear 'well done my good and faithful servant', so I have to make sure, all I do is to His glory, according to His purpose for my life! 

Seeing the number of days I have been on earth, really helped me to marvel at God, and to ask, if I am at the same point in my life, as He foresaw for that specific day. I am realising more and more that GOD knows my end from my beginning, and knows exactly what He has prepared for my days. He formed me and knew me before I was even conceived and has many GOOD thoughts towards me. 

Now, at age 24, I am so grateful that He has revealed Himself to me, and is purifying me; as the perfect Husband. The tests have been real HARD, but the mission continues. By His grace, I will complete the mission I was sent on earth for & continue to grow in love with Him & His perfect will for me. May my life be surrendered to worshiping and serving Him; bringing Him glory! #MyFirstLove 

My Modest Outfits over the weekend and what I got up to-- believe it or not, I actually didn't get to capture my birthday outfit. I forgot to, in the midst of all the FUN, I was having with my friends. 

Day 1 of being 24: Friday; My Birthday #PerfectEvening

I am not really a make up person-- I normally keep it pretty simple, but I did try to do my eyes and I really like the outcome. For those special occasions, now I know I can hold it up a little. Whoop! 

REALLY like these heels and the colour...that bubblegum blue. Oh yes! 

Styled my kinky twists, into a BIG bun to the side. 

This Cake was absolutely BEAUTIFUL to look at and to eat!!! Thank you so much ShanShan! I LOVE YOU!!!! My wonderful birthday evening, was spent with friends over dinner. After dinner, everyone was put into teams and we played games...well they played and I laughed. The games were questions about me and I found it SO funny, how people were shaky in things they thought they were so confident in. Blaming other team members for getting the answers wrong. I am sure everyone learnt some things about me that evening. Big shout out to Jasneth for all her WONDERFUL assistance and leading the games and all. I loved it all! Thank you everyone that came!!! :D :D 

Day 2 of being 24: Saturday: Wedding and Be Woman Event: 

On Saturday, my lovely friend got married to her best friend! It was so nice to witness them exchange there vows and become Mr and MRS E. What a blessing!! 2 more wedding to attend this year, so I will try to capture my looks, in video, as I didn't this weekend. I forgot to do anything blog related, as I was really present in the places I was and also focusing on Sunday's event as I was running one of the workshops. 

Mr and Mrs E. ♡

With some GEMS at the weddings. 

Spent my evening with the lovely Miss J! Thank you for a lovely evening!! 
The Be women event was full of ladies, doing all different things, in business and their hobbies. A night of real inspiration! What I took from the night, was definately, the need to have Jesus at the centre of EVERY plan and to find out from Him, what HE would have me/us do. It's all good to plan, but what's all these plans without God being first in our lives. 

My notes and thoughts when Heather preached: 

~ All plans are to be fully with Christ and we should trust Him to lead us into what He has purposed for us. 
~ Whatever God has called us to do, HE will open doors for. 
~ Whatever you are doing, be consistent and integral--show God you can be trusted, so He can release you into more He has planned. 
~ Do not be led by emotions. You may not feel like working, but it needs to be done. 
~ PRAYER is everything. Without communicating with God, you are heading for confusion.
~ No matter where God elevates you to, DO not stop spending quality time with Him--remember your first love. 

Me with Heather Lindsey! So humble and such a sweet, with His Word in her heart and mouth!! The message she brought to the event was SO sobering and full of hope; just what we need!  Such a blessing to have her in London! What a blessing she is to the body of Christ! Check out her blog and material, I am sure you will not regret it! #GoogleHer #SoldOutForChrist #LindseysinLondon

Small small photoshoot. I really like photos, I am always taking them. 

I created this look that morning, after going through a few outfits that were not working for the weather and all. I REALLY liked this outfit and the material that rested on my shoulder! When I start sewing...by God's grace...I will be able to make this look into a dress--I will update you all on the development for that one--if it goes ahead. (",) 

I got to meet lovely ladies and also see some old faces; that was really nice. 

3 pieces made into 1. 

Me and my this pretty Lady, have been communicating via social media for about a year and only met each other on Saturday! It was great. We got to fellowship all the way home together! LOVE it! 

Purchased the purity ring from Pinky Promise and A Perfect Recipe book, both by Heather Lindsey. 

I got to see the collection by Lara Peters, that was really nice, this was my favorite look. I can definitely see myself styling someone in this! Please excuse the image quality--I haven't been using my camera much lately. This photo does not do the look justice, please check her out on her FB page. 

Day 3 of being 24: Sunday - Make it Glorious Event:

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of going to the Make It Glorious event, whereby I was running one of the workshops. The theme for the event was Passion and Purity and my session was focusing on us as the bride of Christ, being passionate about being pure. Finding out why God is so passionate about purity and how we can be pure. Ephesians 5:25-30 completely blew me away and raised my self worth and value, as I saw the level of attention God pays to His bride-- in order to present her to Himself--spotless and without blemish! WOW! Have a look at it!!

The session was really geared towards us as Christ followers, to know the heart of our Husband, towards purity and to be in agreement with Him so we can walk with Him --Amos 3:3 style. It also touched upon Modesty for women, as that is heavily linked with being pure from the heart, so that ALL our conduct reflects this believe and faith we have. Purity-Holiness-Faithfulness are so important to God and anyone professing Christ, should understand why, because if we do not, we rob ourselves of the blessings of being pure in HIS sight! 

Along with this session I led, Cornelius and Heather Lindsey, who came from the States, completely preached powerful, unashamed messages about Christ and His love towards us, displayed His standards! Cornelius' message on VALUE, brought SO much clarity to me and has raised my view on how He sees me/us all. If you would like to hear the powerful messages from Cornelius & Heather, from the Make it Glorious conference. here is the link to the audios are: http://t.co/xSRqIHuz1y

My Outfit of that day! Rocking the new bag my bessie got for me on Friday. So on point! 

During my Workshop. ♡ Just to be able to share what He has done with me and the lessons that have transformed me, is an awesome privilege. God is so amazing! Romans 8:28 Always!! 

I LOVE this collar less coat and the overall look. #Modesty is NOT boring! 

With Miss Kika! #PureHearts 

♡ This Bag!!! She knows me well! ♡

At my stall, selling New Beginnings T shirt's and Set Apart GEMS ♡ -- [Coming online soon] 

It was such a pleasure to meet Heather and her family, after reading her blogs for ages and seeing the passion her and her husband have for Christ. A passion which anyone can have, if they make the right decisions and are willing to die daily. I have learnt a lot about dying to self, through this ladies material , as well as being a women in Christ. I am really thankful, for the members in the body like her and her husband.. Unashamed to preach what needs to be addressed -- yet in such love and boldness. 

My weekend was so wonderful and I have learnt to much, that I need to apply into my life. Right now my mind is on VALUE- VALUE- VALUE!!!! 

I'm not for sale! and I praise God for that!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

With Love and Style
Nash Amber ♡

Some photography by A O Media. - Check them out, such great photography! I look forward to working with them again, in the future, God willing. 

12 October 2013

Ghana: Beautiful despite imperfections

One of the tests I had while out in Ghana was the beauty test! This is were the word in me gets tested, as to where do I believe my beauty comes from!

Now, before I left for Ghana I decided to do the big chop. It was a massive step for me to do, because it really did challenge the idea that Afro hair on ME wasn't as nice as relaxed...but it was another one of those things, of letting go of the old and moving into the new. I prayed about it before I did it and felt a peace to do so and so I did. I didn't ever think that going to Africa with natural hair would be such a problem but it seemed to be for the stylists that couldn't do my hair. 

One of the things I did while out in Ghana was a spa day with the bride and other bridesmaids. It was such a relaxing day, followed by our hair trials for the wedding day, which I was most excited for. I really like pretty hair and so I was looking forward to the end result. Only, all the stylists that tried to work with my hair, just had no idea! I knew this because they tried to dry flat twist my hair, without any oils or anything. I could see that it wasn't going well. At that point I started to feel so left out from the rest of the ladies, as I couldn't experience the girly fun of having my hair done...and plus the looks I was getting from people in the salon, just made it so much worse. It felt as though others were starring at me, like I had some abnormal hair. At one point in the holiday, one of the hair dressers jokerly asked me why don't I just relax it? *insert blank face*... I THANK GOD for the gift He has given me in knowing how to style hair and all, as I realised that evening, I will have to do it myself. 

To be completely honest with you, I felt sooo rejected and ugly at this point, because of my hair...Sounds crazy right?! and it's so not the truth, but this is how I felt. I am not suggesting that we live by or should allow our emotions to lead us, but we do have them and have to learn how to use them in a healthy way and not ignore them, without leaning on the Holy Spirit. On this occasion, I didn't get over this in a few hours, it took the next couple of days, as the test continued. 

 The Holy Spirit was reminding me that feelings are not final, and I had to ask God for help to shut down the lies, that 'I look ugly' etc. I had to cast down those imaginations and remind myself that hair doesn't define a person - my hair doesn't define me. Whether straight or Afro, it does not define what is beautiful. Some may say, straight hair looks better and would prefer it and for so long, I was one of those people too (we each have our preferences and this was one of mine). However I am finding that the more I expose myself to natural hair sisters, I have been encouraged to see the beauty in that type of hair also. Yet, even in that, I have quickly learnt, it is so important NOT to compare your Afro hair to others, because that will cause insecurities to grow. It is important to find the beauty in the portion you have been given; in the length or texture your hair is in, right now....or else you are the person that looses out on enjoying life. I learnt this one the hard way, so now, I am learning all the time to FIND THE BEAUTY in my portion or season! Some how, some where it is there and asking God, helps me to see that 'beyond the surface' beauty. 

Now back to the story...that evening I went home - cried a little - spoke to God, and asked Him to inspire me and help me to not feel so rubbish. The wedding was in two days, and at this point my confidence levels in styling my own hair was so slow, due to feeling rubbish. I knew I had to get out of that feeling place, because I had 2 days to be ready to serve at the wedding. This was not the time to be down about hair.

The next day, I woke up and my forehead was rather itchy...as the day continued, 5 lumps appeared on my forehead! Mosquito bites, the day before the wedding! Ah!!! Once I had a quick private moment to myself, I cried, again! 'Why me?!' I thought, not knowing I was going through a test at the time. I wish I realised sooner, especially as before going to Ghana, I was at a Love Limitless event and beauty was something that was discussed. I completely forgot that the truth I heard would get tested at some point! 

My thinking was 'so here I am the MOH - I love photos and MANY will be taken tomorrow! ...I've woken up with these things on my face! My hair isn't done yet and this is my first time styling completely natural hair. GREAT!' I had to just submit my emotions and thoughts to God and ask for divine grace and He heard me! God Inspired me and really helped me to do a creative style whereby I covered by forehead. It was so deep, because I had to KEEP reminding myself that my beauty is NOT surface level but its my character that either makes me beautiful  or not. Therefore my attitude in the situation had to be beautiful in order for me to remain and move in that God given beauty. You know them lessons, in life that really do stretch you. This was one! Ladies, I promise you, you can pass too, and with a better attitude then I started out with, just look to Jesus in all things and at all times. Apply His word. 

1 Thessalonians 5:18
'In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.'

'In every thing give thanks...' not FOR everything, but IN every thing give thanks, that's what scripture says. It's important to remember what God says! 

Philippians 4:6
'Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.'

Holy Spirit was reminding me 'beyond the surface, you are more than just your face. You may not look your physical best tomorrow in those photos but 1) It's not about you tomorrow. 2) Just work it and be you! You are the MOH but be thankful it's not happening to the bride!' This so comforted me! That and aftercare cream! Haha. I rubbed that cream so much and was praying, and asked my sisters in London to pray also, that it may disappear, and if not that God would give me such confidence to not be conscious about the lumps. 

On the day they didn't go away, but I didn't care! My mind was made up that I was going to still serve regardless and put myself aside because it really was not my day! And that helped me so much. To put the bride before myself.  It was SUCH a lovely day and a BEAUTIFUL wedding and I'm glad I didn't sulk and have a sour face about a situation. No other than God's grace, empowering me to fulfill what I am meant to do! I even forgot it was there until I was putting my headscarf on in the evening. 

God is good! He helped me to know and by His grace pass the test of where I believe my beauty comes from and truly have a heart that didn't dwell on the bites. My attitude was not perfect throughout the test, but I ended well and I thank Him for that!

'Better is the end of a thing than its beginning...' ~ Ecclesiastes 7:8
 I am beautiful because He makes me beautiful...and the journey continues. 

On the day of the wedding. The story through pictures below...

Washed and blow dried, just before the styling attempts begun. 
Gathering my thoughts in a chicken shop, hungry and just upset after leaving
the salon with blow dried hair alone.

Blow dried Afro hair. 
The next day. Asking for that joy to be present in my life and for inspiration!

When I discovered the bites! I wasn't even sure I was going to share the photo
but this is as real as it gets, so I shared.

After I had styled my hair, at the hotel.
On the day of the wedding, after the make up artist had finished my face.

If I wasn't sure before, I am sure today. I am more than my face and good skin, although I aim to be diligent in looking after my temple! 

God is still on the throne, He still loves me and HE still thinks I am precious and that is enough! I have come a long way but thanking God for the growth! Psalms 139 has been faithful. 

Hope you have enjoyed my Ghana posts.

With love and Style, 
Nash Amber 

6 October 2013

Ghana Holiday Part 4 ♡

More OOTD while in Ghana and some places I went to and things I experienced!

A dress and maxi skirt, used to create this look. ReStyling items you have saves you so much on buying new clothes.
These Strap sandals are so cute. I really like them, especially these blue ones. 

Another hair style I did with my natural hair. I have had to play with my hair, because I do get bored with the same style for too long. 

We followed the gentleman taking this kid to be slaughtered *hand over face*...to be honest, I couldn't watch, so I hid behind my brother, but I heard the poor kid crying! At that point I could understand why people fight for animals and become vegetarians. It was a sobering experience and so sad...I personally haven't made any decision to be a vegetarian, but I understand much more, how others do it.

I would like to start detailing where I get my items that I wear, but as I go to write, I tend to realise that a lot of them are gifts, or from random stores and boutiques, so it wouldn't help you much, in finding the same thing. Sorry! *covers face with hands* I will aim to detail the pieces I can and if I don't... now you know why. hehe. 

Madina Market 

Getting my hair done by 5 people. The pain was very real!

Last meal in Ghana :) 

Ok, so maybe I did tan while out there?! I didn't see it before, until this photo...

Outfit Details: (Yay, I can actually do it this time)

White Vest- H&M
Waistcoat - Zoe 
Necklace - Ghana
Bracelet - Ghana
Clutch - From my Mum
Culottes (French work for shorts) - ASOS
Sandals - Office
On our way to Madina Market

These roasted peanuts are so TASTY. I don't know what it is about the way they do it in Africa, it's just nice!

She was so pretty and cute, I can't remember what she was selling, but it was like maize or something.

I finally found some Chale wate's (Flipflops) in a type of Kente design but in the Ankara fabric. 

People selling things are so confident in approaching people and SO friendly with it too. 

Two of my favorite things to eat in Ghana! #Shito and #Kelewele which I showed in the others Ghana posts, check part 3. 

We found these two gentlemen, making Ankara Clutches and bags, while at Madina Market.

I finally got to ride on the bus in Ghana called a 'TroTro', as we used normally used Taxi's to get around. It was an experience, I would go on one again, next time I am back. Believe, I actually asked the driver for a seat belt when I sat at the front...he erm...politely laughed at me. Ha! Yeah, even though it's like a minibus there are no seat belts. #FaithInGod

Me and Thomas aka Mr Photographer. 

Back at the Hotel with the owner and his son. Such lovely people, they totally looked out for us, while we were there. Thank you Forest Gate! 
Ghana was truly a holiday that I will not forget! Although I went out there for the wedding, I also got to experience this beautiful ;and and I do hope to visit it again one day. Hopefully next time I can actually get more involved with a project or something out there...it would be so amazing to go work with the community, sharing Christ. 

With love and style,
Nash Amber