Something beautiful…

A dear friend of mine sent me this beautiful article this morning. Her Mum had sent it to her and I’m so thankful for her obedient heart in sending it to me.

I’ve struggled all my life with the idea of beauty. What it is, what it means. I’ve had so many voices, not just magazines and MTV but people in my life who have defined me as un-beautiful from a very young age.

Then when I moved into my early 20s, all of a sudden I was being praised left, right and centre for my outward beauty (please know I’m not meaning to come from a vain perspective here, I’m merely stating my experiences). And I have been praised a lot since then. Of course there have been rude remarks by people on my weight and so forth but I know why those particular women say those things – because they don’t believe they are beautiful. But, they are.

True beauty has been something I’ve looked into in the past; what does God define as beautiful? Holiness, praise, the feet of the people who spread the good news, the obedient heart. And yet I keep forgetting and focus on outward beauty to find validation of the heart.

It’s hard to unwire something that is so ingrained in us as children and young adults. But praise the Lord that it is in the untangling of the old and the restructuring of the new that deep, rich holiness is found.

I use to see holiness as this light bright air, but as I have fought battles, earned scars and felt the weight of my weapons that God has given me responsibility to, I now know that holiness is heavy, it’s ground work. Tilling and sweating and moving mountains for those who can’t or don’t know that they can. It’s also digging deep into the soil of your own heart and having the strength and humility to rip out every root, every deep planted weed buried inside – to rip it out with your own hands and give it to God in surrender.

“Holy places are dark places. It is life and strength, not knowledge and words, that we get in them. Holy wisdom is not clear and thin like water, but thick and dark like blood.” – C.S. Lewis

One of my favourite quotes. Anyway, I hope this brings light to someone’s life as Christ has brought life to mine. Please find the link to the article below. And thanks again to my friend for sending it to me!

Lots of love,

Laura xo

Link to article: https://annvoskamp.com/2021/06/dear-girl-how-to-stop-men-magazines-the-media-from-getting-to-decide-if-youre-beautiful-2/

Me, a while ago…

Neverland

“it’s ashame she can’t attain
Her minds imaginary career
Learning to surrender again to the One who made her from the dust for His will

Thought she was walking down
The yellow brick road
To only find

home wasn’t where she

wanted to go
It’s gone rogue
Heart broke

She stands waiting for someone to clear the smoke
Yoke
Its broken shattered shell
Displaced

Funny how we lose our pace
Thinking we are still on the path

To the great Oz land
To find that all along
It’s been Neverland
A sham
For adults who can’t configure
Reality

May as well stay here anyway
Lost boys and lost girls
Living in aging rind
Buried treasures

Are too hard to find.”

– L.A. MacDonald

South West rocks, NSW.

Sweet ripening of life

“Just want to wander in the golden light
Surrounded by colours of seasonal peaks
Richness and grace

Crystal reflections laced upon the floors of the skies
Ribbons of sheer syrup

Linen un-pressed, strands of fire flowing in the wild winds

Youthfulness – sweet ripening of life
What divination it is to be twenty-six.”

-L.A. MacDonald

35mm, shot by Tues.photography 2019, Melbourne VIC.

W.Cowper ‘The Solitude of Alexander Selkirk’ Read aloud (audio)

Flashback to a winter morning ☕

Hello beautiful people!

I thought it would be fun to try something new when it comes to the poem of the month here on belongingbylaura!

I have always loved being read to by the ones I love. When I was little I always wanted mum to read to me until I fell asleep. If not her then myself. I never lost that comforting need to be nurtured by the the sounds of people who intimately know you, listen to you and choose to love you despite what you say or do. Their voice resembles commitment, unconditional love, hardship, toil, personal tones and throngs of their story and parts of their inner selves that no one will ever truly know.

Before I get carried away, I have audio recorded myself reading the poem of the month! I hope it brings a few minutes of comfort and solace for your needing ears. As it is my first time, I do ask for forgiveness for any mishaps I may have done, mumbling, mispronunciation (is that how you spell it?).

Enjoy and happy Sabbath Sunday 💕🌟✨

I know how to use a vacuum cleaner…okay!

For the past about 5 years now, I’ve lived in numerous homes. Living in Melbourne and going back home for 3 months meant packing everything, trusting God for somewhere to store it all and starting the journey anew the next year.

Now, don’t get me wrong, people my age didn’t even question whether I knew how to use a vacuum cleaner. However, it seems those above 40 think I’m a niave invalid when it comes to household duties. If only they knew I’d be gleaming with joy if I was one of those 1960s housewives in the catalogue, with the perfect kitchen and a perfectly roasted stuffed turkey, effortlessly prepared for my husband’s breakfast every morning – I KNOW HOW TO USE A VACUUM CLEANER!

40 plus people, I don’t know what your assumptions are of us under 30s people are. I’m not sure if you’ve met many who don’t put the brush bit down on the vacuum cleaner and scratch your floorboards up to the ninth degree, but I assure you I’m not one of them!

However, when it comes to fang-dangly pieces to suck dirt off skirting boards, then I become somewhat inadequate. However, I know how to do it with the pipe and not scratch the walls…okay!

Yes, I understand everyone has their own OCD way of doing things and if one person washes their cups anti-clockwise, satan’s coming up the drain pipe. I just wish their was a little more ease and “trusting-assumption” that maybe, just maybe, this 25 year old country girl who’s lived in over 6 houses, dresses in aspiration of finding a husband to dote after by making house a home, who sings with birds in the morning who help her get dressed and ready for the day, just might know how to use a vacuum cleaner.

Please don’t get me wrong, these people who assume I don’t know how to use a vacuum cleaner are probably not aiming any invalid arrows specifically at me. It’s probably a “just-in-case” thought process, right? I hope. It just concerns me that if this is a common thought across the board, how many of us under 30s have never used a vacuum cleaner for this kind of thinking to be birthed?

Do you know how to use a vacuum cleaner?

What is your age bracket?

Do other age groups assume you’re an invalid too?

Let me know in the comments below and see if we can muster up any statistics.

God bless you and your vacuum cleaners. And I pray sanity over any young person who is shoved in the “she/he-may-not-know-how-to-use-a-vacuum box”. Peace be with you.

love from,

Laura xo

Christmas shopping: Prints for sale!

old bridge, South West Rocks 2019. Digital. ©Laura MacDonald Photography 2020.

Are you looking for the perfect gift for a love one or friend, whether they have been a close companion during this rollercoaster ride of a year or a distant loved one who is close to your heart, a beautiful print of the places you love might be a perfect way to share something special for a life time.

Street photography, nature, golden hour, crystal clear waters, the choice is yours! You can head over to my shop via the menu tab up on the top left hand corner or follow through the link below and take your pick!

My heart is that these images bring peace and joy into your home’s and will last as generational treasures for your family and friends.

I have so many stories behind these beautiful captures I don’t even know where to start. I hope they become a story of love and light to every receiver.

God bless and MERRY CHRISTMAS!🎄🎉💕

Love from,

Laura xo

P.s. if you have any questions or inquiries please feel free to contact me via the contact page! (Link in menu and below).

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Breath & Blood – Black Lives Matter

The name ‘Abel’ is Hebrew for ‘breath’ and ‘Cain’ means ‘spear; possessed’. The enemy has taken the breath of our brothers and sisters since the beginning of time. And unfortunately scripture tells us it will continue until Christ returns, Matthew 24:7. But until then, Christ has given us our breath back, the Holy Spirit, the breath of God through the death and resurrection of our LORD Jesus Christ.

The first event that took place between God and man, was God blowing His breath within Adam to bring Him to life “And the LORD God formed man of dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”- Genesis 2:7.

It’s our job as the church to seek the Breath-Giver so that we can give breath to those who are suffering. To feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give drink to the thirsty, and take in the stranger, Matthew 35:35-36. It’s our honour to act justly, live humbly and love deeply toward all nations and tongues. Before the LORD, we are all valuable the same. We are called to forgive, to set free the captives. To listen. So I encourage you at this time to seek the presence of God, our Lord and Saviour, receive His peace, be led in repentance and extend your hand to our brothers and sisters in our church, our backyard and all around the world.

Screenshot_2020-06-03 NURTURE 🌻 ( belongingbylaura) • Instagram photos and videos

Laura xo

What happens when you deactivate Instagram…

Hello fellow friends,

During October I felt lead to fast Instagram for a week and boy, how much happened in that week in my spiritual life and personal life, I can’t tell ya. So, I decided for 2020 I’d set the intention to get off Instagram for a week once a month and I started my second go-around midday today.

Already, I have completed multiple tasks, more than I usually ever do in a day. One, it’s not too hot today, I hate the heat, it drains me and my body will give me all signs that this is NOT okay! I love the cold! It makes me feel awake and alive, I can complete multiple tasks and I cannot wait to get outside. I miss the cold so much. However, I am thankful we have humid hot weather where we live and not dry heat. Humid is a lot nicer, you’re skin stays moist and supple and you don’t feel like your bones are disintegrating inside your body like dry heat. Anyway, I noticed last time I fasted off Instagram, I did so much throughout my day creatively, chores wise and just became more productive in general.  Even in my imagination!

Below, you will find pictures of proof that fasting from which ever social media platform has you by the neck, works. When I say fasting, I mean choosing to give up something to spend more time with God. It can be social media, food altogether or a food, idol or thing you use as a coping mechanism instead of relying on God (all things you rely on instead of God are idols). It requires a heart of sacrifice and humility and it to celebrate God in another way. I am still an amateur at fasting but it is another intention for 2020.

What did I get up to today you ask? Well, I made reusable tea bags out of scrap fabric that was given to me by a lovely and generous lady I met a few months ago. Next, I cleaned and cleared my room to take photos for the real estate as we are selling our house. AND I baked bagels for the first time!! When it comes to chores, which I have gotten a lot better at doing thanks to Melbourne, I did a load in the dishwasher (usually there’s more than one but today was a nice quiet day), a load of clothes washing and I even planned out my first week of January. This may not seem like much to some but the things I accomplished are creative things. When I’m consumed by other peoples creative images on Instagram (which are amazing and beautiful) all my creativity gets shoved to the edge of my brain, clogged up to the point of comparison to others lives. So unhealthy!! The Bible says not to envy others or other peoples’ things, because God is enough and what He has given us is enough. God is a present God and He is also a future thinking God but He wants us to be patient and trust Him in the present with the present and with the future.

“You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?

– 1 Corinthians 3:3

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”

– 1 Corinthians 13:4

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

– Exodus 20:17

God wants us as disciples of Christ to understand that what we have here on Earth is only temporary BUT we can use them for eternal purposes, such as our heart posture towards Jesus Christ and to others. Jesus wants us to understand His biblical economy which is to give and keep on giving.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

– Hebrews 13:5

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life”
– 1 Timothy 6:17-19
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.”
– Luke 12:33
“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
– Revelation 3:17
There are so many verses in both the New and Old Testament of the Bible about generosity and God’s economy I just can’t put them all into one post! I love how God thinks, He always challenges me to die to self and dwell completely in the Spirit and heart of Christ. I fail – often, but He knows and sees all and He knows my intentions and I love Him for being the safest being in the universe. There is no one else I would want to be vulnerable with, to lay my heart out on the table of sacrifice and beat merely for His eternal existence.
On that note, here are the pictures from today’s productivity! I hope it inspires you to sacrifice something that consumes you for something that fulfills you :).
Thank you all and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
God Bless.
Love From,
Laura
P.S. I also took pictures and uploaded this blog! How productive is that!
Bagel Recipe: I used multigrain bread flour, https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/homemade-bagels/
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Homemade Apple Crumble + Custard for Christmas!

Hello All,

I hope you had a wonderful, joy filled CHRISTmas day! I’m sorry this is a few days late but a plan of mine for 2020 is more blogs, more freuquently. Cooking is such a wonderful therapy the Lord has blessed us with the ability to do and here is some delicious homemade apple crumble (recipe below) and homemade custard (recipe from Paul West! Also below.)

The inspiration for apple crumble is from the beautiful Swedish women overflowing YouTube, well at least my YouTube feed anyway. There is Maria at ‘Northern Heart’, Joanna Jinton, Michelle at ‘Daughter of the Woods’ and ‘Fairyland Cottage’. I love their lifestyle and slow living, moving with the seasons and becoming one with nature. I dream of that life a lot. They inspire me creatively and to push boundaries and try new things. So, I baked my first apple crumble and it was delectable! Also, Paul West from ‘River Cottage Australia’ is a huge inspiration of mine. In his TV series ‘River Cottage Australia’ he lives off the land of our country in the Riverina area and does it beautifully. He is such an amazing cook and farmer and I followed his homemade custard recipe. I never want to go back to store bought custard, after tasting this rich, silky, lightly golden dessert, you’ll wonder how you have lived life for as long as you have without it. As soon as you pour the gold deliciousness over your crunchy, sweet apple crumble you’ll die. Right there. In your chair. And that will be the end of it.

Also, you will see below, I gathered up some native gum nuts and pine nuts and other aussie bush limbs to paint and decoration to dress our house in for Christmas. It was fun, and we did it all with the apple crumble and custard by our sides, slowly seeping in the richness of the dessert and splattering gold, silver, white and other Christmas colours everywhere.

Anyway, I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful weather and getting ready for a new decade!

God Bless!

Love from,

Laura xo

P.s. I apologise for the lack of photos! The internet isn’t letting me upload them properly. As soon as it lets me I’ll upload more 🙂

Recipes:

Custard, https://www.booktopia.com.au/the-river-cottage-australia-cookbook-paul-west/book/9781408858387.html

Apple Crumble, https://oldsaltfarm.com/best-apple-crisp/

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©lauraamy35mm2019

HOW TO: Make A Kite

Hello All!

Here is how to make a kite! The other morning I woke up singing “let’s go fly a kite..” from Mary Poppins and just had to make one.

So here below is HOW TO in picture format and I’ll add the method that I followed below as well.

Have fun and let’s hope for perfectly strong winds!

God Bless.

Love from,

Laura xo

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©lauraamy35mm2019