Thursday, 4 December 2014


As some of you may know, I have a heart and a passion for working with girls on self-worth. The pressures placed on girls today seem higher than ever.

People have always said "oh it's the media's fault" and to be honest I brushed them statements under the carpet thinking - pffftt nah.

However, last week when researching, I came upon the TED talk by the model Cameron Russell. And it's been playing on my mind ever since. It completely angered me to be honest, and turned everything that I'd seen in the 'media' upside down. She proceeded to show the professional model shots compared with a photo taken of her the same day or a few days previous. Here's a couple examples;

It shocked me because I knew I looked at these pictures in the magazines thinking "damn I wish I looked like that...IF ONLY..." but, as Cameron puts it "these groups of professionals simply create constructions...that's not me". So - all these pictures that are bombarded at us in magazines, on the TV, in adverts (etc.) aren't necessarily real - they are literally constructions? 

It felt like everything I'd seen was a lie?! And maybe I'm being slightly dramatic but do you know what, I don't actually think I am.

What angers me is that companies chuck these images of perfection at us purposely to make us feel insecure so that we buy whatever product they're selling because that just might make us feel a bit better about ourselves. 

I proceeded to look into all this photoshopping stuff only to find heaps of videos of women completely transformed with many clicks of the cursor (they can even apply mascara, lipstick, you-name-it-they-do-it using photoshop!) It is unbelievable.

Returning back to Cameron's talk she goes on to say what models apparently never say on camera..."I'm insecure". That in the modelling industry, the women with the "skinniest thighs and shiniest hair" are insecure because "they have to think about how they look every day".

Now what's the biggest shocker there for you?

For me, it was that for so many years I've strived to be like these images of perfection that are bombarded onto the screens infront of me. I've put the bar of expectation of how I think I should look mega high. I've stressed over having them "skinniest thighs" - yet, even the models with the skinniest thighs still aren't content...they're life isn't now sussed...they're life isn't now perfect - how I thought mine would be. They're insecure? 

So do you know what? Girls all across the world are striving for these unattainable goals that ultimately won't even produce satisfaction. They're looking at themselves in the mirror and hating on what they see because it's not how so-and-so looks on the front of that magazine. Oh and if we do reach those slightly more attainable goals of, let's say - 'shredding that extra pound of weight' - we'll want more. The battle won't be over. That won't be enough. It's a never ending circle spiralling out of control.

Something has to be done.

The reflections we see in the mirror should not be distorted by "socially constructed ideas of beauty". They should be plastered in truth. 

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

'You are what you eat' apparently?

So. I don't know about you but I like food. So much so that whatever food you put in front of me I am most likely to demolish down to the last crumb. Yep but what can I say; no regrets. (Admittedly unless its the entire consumption of the unhealthy cupboard of food).

The foods I eat determine my physical health. I need food to survive, I need food to re-energise, I occasionally (maybe more than occasionally) look to food to raise my spirits (yes maybe it's sad but take me out for food and I'm sussed mate).

What exactly am I getting at?

On the whole: what are we feeding our 'spirits'? And how regularly are we feeding them?

Are we feeding our spirits junk? i.e. are we letting spiritual junk food feed our souls?
Are we feeding our spirits on a frequent basis?

Hold your horses - don't lose me yet! I will explain myself:

1. Are we feeding our spirits junk?

So what does it mean when we let spiritual junk food/unhealthy crappy stuff feed our soul?
I see spiritual junk food primarily as lies. And when we let lies feed our soul we live outside of truth. When spiritual junk food feeds us on a consistent basis we become spiritually malnourished; just as when we feed on literal junk food we put on the pounds (no disrespect) and our body becomes malnourished.

So what can we do?
For the spirit and soul I believe we need to be feeding on a diet of the "Word of God"; that is truth. We need to plant it in our hearts.
Whatever thoughts our heart feeds on our spirit becomes like. "You are what you eat"; i.e. you are what you (your thoughts) feed on. Our thoughts need to be planted in truth; we are chosen, loved, forgiven, special, family, unique, empowered etc, so that we are living lives built on truth. "...Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." (Philippians 4:8 NLT)

When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies. (Jeremiah 15:16 NLT)

2. Are we feeding our spirits on a daily basis?

Don't know if its just me, but I quite enjoy/need my food on a frequent basis?! Without food I can feel weak, incapable, flat, tired, grumpy etc.
But how often are we choosing to soak in God's word?
How often are we feeding our spirits?
Are we feeling spiritually weak, incapable, flat, tired, grumpy?
Just as we feed our bodies on a frequent basis; we should be feeding our spirits on a frequent basis.
The Word of God should be sustenance to our very being; to our survival.

And do you know what? Just as eating that bag of malteasers, devouring a packet of walkers salt and vinegar crisps or, of course, defeating the almighty bacon sandwich raises my spirits; as does feeding on the Word of God raise my spirits; "I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!" (John 15:11 NLT)

So I challenge you to live in the light of truth; feed frequently on God's truth and plant your hearts in 'what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable'.
If 'you are what you eat', eat the word of truth frequently.

"‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4 NLT)

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

The perception of value

We live in a rapidly evolving society. We are surrounded by people telling us we should ‘be like this’, ‘act like this’, ‘achieve this’, ‘look like this’ etc. The list is ever-growing.

‘If only’, and ‘what if’s’ are constant companions of our minds. ‘If only I could just have this, then things will be better’…’What if I’d have done that differently, then everything would've worked out.’

Self-criticism is the constant companion of the mirror. Many of us don’t embrace what we see (let alone accept it!)

It’s a trap - it’s suffocating - it’s a lie.

It decreases our perception of our value, our self-worth.

I used to place my value on my achievement – don’t get me wrong, getting ‘good’ grades is great. But when it takes over – it’s self-destructive. I thought I had to be better. I thought I’d be accepted if I did better. I thought my value derived from what I achieved – it became draining – it took over.

Another big killer for me was (and still can be!) physical appearance. Many of us hate what we see. We can’t stand our reflection in the mirror. We place our value on how we look – and boy oh boy it can be demoralising, frustrating, stressful. How we look cannot and will never sustain us.

Why do we do this to ourselves? To each other?

I am now on the journey of looking to my creator for my worth.
  • Our creator creates us as masterpieces. For we are God’s masterpiece...” (Ephesians 2:10)
  • We are a one-of-a-kind creation. “…He has created us anew in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:10)
  • We were created for a significant, unique purpose. “… so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10)

I take great comfort, peace, joy and freedom in soaking in God’s love – I don’t have to be anything but who he created me to be. You don’t have to be anything more than who you already are. EMBRACE who YOU are.

His love is present and he’s waiting to lavish his love on you.

We all have a deep soul hunger – we may try to fill the hole with earthly things – but the only satisfaction we will find for that is in the presence of God. Our value, our “wholesomeness” is found in him.

I love this quote from the book “becoming myself” by Stasi Eldredge ‘Our worth is not based on what we do, which life path we choose, or what we believe. Our worth is inherent in the fact that we are image bearers of the living God. Our worth is based on the fact that we are alive. We are human beings. Our worth is immeasurable.’

True freedom is flourishing in knowing and loving who you are.

I challenge you to journey into becoming yourself; see your immeasurable value and worth through the love of God.

I’ll keep you posted.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Where's Wally?

Yet again I have been inspired by books! This time: The Shack by William Paul Young and God is closer than you think by John Ortberg.

Where is God when I just want him to reveal himself to me so I will believe?
Where is God when I need him the most?
Why can’t I just see God?

They’re just some of the million dollar questions eyy!?

I want to start with HIDE AND SEEK.

And yes I am talking about that fantastic “child’s” (I don’t wish to offend you if you still like a cheeky game) game which we all know and love (debate-able yes).

Why do you think children play hide and seek?
What is so enjoyable for the “seeker”?

For me, what comes to mind is the joy of the seeker when he/she finds the hider. Such joyous wonder exists in finding something/someone which was once lost/hidden.
God’s choice to “hide” himself from us is an act of love. He wants us to want to seek him. He wants us to explore, discover and create. For any created being, autonomy is lunacy. Freedom involves trust and obedience inside a relationship of love. Freedom to discover for ourselves.

What about that split second of elation when we think we have found what we are looking for?  We live in a world that tells us if we own the latest electronics , if we wear the most fashionable clothes, if we are the most attractive we can be and achieve the best grades and qualifications then we will be SUSSED...we will “have it all”. I see these things as “split seconds of elation”.  However hard we try - they will never sustain us. “If only’s” will never sustain us.

So what are you seeking? And what is sustaining you?

Let’s now turn to WHERE’S WALLY.

Yes, that red and white striped, glasses and hat wearing man.

Developing the capacity to track him down is part of the point of the book. We have to look for Wally; he is hidden to the untrained eye. However when found, a sense of joy and accomplishment is achieved! (Can you see where I'm going with this!?)

If every page of Where’s Wally consisted of his giant face spread across the paper – would you buy the book? Would anyone buy the book? The difficulty of the task increases the power of discernment. He may not be absent but he is elusive. God is Wally. Yes I know that sounds nuts but hear me out - God is not absent – he is simply elusive, we have to seek him amongst the frenzy and busyness of life (amongst all the other things going on in the picture – in our picture).

It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of Kings is to search things out (Proverbs 25:2 NLT)

"If Gold was as common as dirt, it would have the same value as dirt"

God wants to be known, but not in a way that overwhelms us and takes away the possibility of love freely chosen.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Internship

September 16th 2013 must've been one of the most emotional goodbyes of my life - (sounds dramatic right) - I left my family and friends in order to fly some 8,000 miles to the other side of the world in order to do an internship for a few months and stay with strangers. Crazy. Nuts. Ludicrous.
Now here I am, nearly 9 months later on the last stretch of my stay here in Aus (after it having been extended a mere 4 times)!

I came to the land down under for an internship in kids ministry...I'm leaving with incredible memories, friends for life, a totally changed outlook and a "plan" for my future; a.k.a so much more than I could ever have imagined!

My eyes and my heart have been opened. I want to share the following with you:

~ Our lives are determined by every single choice we make - my choice to come out to Australia has changed my life for the better (and that's not a phrase I chuck around lightly). We can wait for something to happen or make something happen.

~ Adapting our mindset can make anything achievable - have faith, have belief, have a drive, then succeed.

~ Some things we may not understand because we are part of a much bigger plan. But the role we play is so significant. It's in these times that God wants us to lean into him.

~ We can't rely on how we look to sustain ourselves - we are worth so much more than that. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" - who is beholding you?

~ God wants us to be in relationship with Him - we have to know the author, not just the book (Bible). Being in relationship with God changes the desires of our heart.

~ We are valuable, have worth, are gifted, talented and each have a unique purpose on this Earth - we are each unique masterpieces.

~ True freedom comes from flourishing in knowing and loving who you are.

~ Who you have beside you in life truly matters - I've walked life with many amazing people who've shown me so much of who I am in God and who God is in me...I'm eternally grateful for that.

~ The longer we see ourselves through a distorted lens, the more likely we are to believe a distorted truth.

~ We shouldn't try to be the best in our world - we should try to be the best for our world.

~ Worry is the end of faith and faith is the end of worry.

~ A persons heart is more clearly seen by what they're willing to embrace without offence, than by their expression of faith only in what they already understand. We do not believe because we understand, we understand because we believe.

"Thought is the sculptor who can create the person you want to be" (Henry David Thoreau)

"When I stopped obsessing over my flaws and focused on His faithfulness, my life took on a new kind of beauty" (Alicia Bruxvoort)

"If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sun beams and you will always look lovely" (Roald Dahl)

"You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. Remember, fear doesn't exist anywhere but in the mind" (Dale Carnegie)

"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway" (John Wayne)

"Excellence is Kingdom. Perfectionism is religion. Poverty is demonic" (Bill Johnson)

Thursday, 8 May 2014


So when I started writing my blog posts, I received a message that went something like this:
"Your religion is a load of ********"
"If you believe in god doesnt that mean you are religious!?"
"Keep your **** religion to yourself"

Let me just say, I'm not religious.
I'm reading "Soul Detox" by Craig Groeschel and he puts it as follows, [and this is exactly what I'd say back to that person]:

•Religion is about me.
•The gospel is about Jesus.

•Religion highlights my efforts to do what is right.
•The gospel highlights what Christ has already done.

•Religion lures me to believe that if I obey God he will love me.
•The gospel shows me that because God loves me, I get to obey him.

•Religion puts the burden on us - we have to do what is right.
•A relationship with Christ puts the burden on him - because of what he did for us, we get     to do what is right.

I'll say again - following Jesus doesn't mean that I am religious, it wouldn't mean that you are religious. Religious focus on the external rather than the internal.

Jesus came to give us the good news of eternal life - not religion.
What do you want?

I'll keep you posted. 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Hey precious

I recently watched the following video of Max Lucado giving his perspective of The Last Supper which I absolutely loved - his take on it really hit home for me, so take just a few minutes to watch what he has to say or [because hey let's face it you probably won't go to that extreme!] read my brief summary of what he said which follows below:

Max Lucado's perspective: We break our promises and we make pledges that we don't keep but God has a seat for us at his table because he had a seat for all his disciples who had all made mistakes at The Last Supper. Even Judas though he is the one who hands Jesus over to be crucified.

Just like Judas we let Jesus down - we "break our promises" and "don't stick to our pledges" yet Jesus still has a place for us at his table despite all this - no matter how big or awful our mistakes are...just like he did for Judas even knowing that he was about to betray him - he was about to hand him over to death.

I think this is totally awesome.

We are so special and so precious to God that he has reserved a seat for us no matter what we've done in the past and no matter what we're going to do in the future. He loves us that much!!! We're that precious to Him because we're his creation! And we are perfectly made! "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14 ESV).

We are that significant to him. Every single one of us.

This reminded me of the book Max Lucado wrote called "You Are Special". I was given this book in secondary school when I was hurt by my "friends" at my birthday party - a lesson learnt after being so caught up on being in the right crew at school and reluctantly people pleasing my way through the friendships! It was a massive knock to my self confidence and consequently my faith was on rocky ground. The book really touched me and I read it over and over - the message is so beautiful and so poignant.

Video of the story:

The story:
A summary (for you lazy people): The main plot of the book takes place in a town of small wooden people. They are all carved and created by one man, Eli. The Wemmicks do the same thing all day every day; walk around and place gold star and brown dot stickers on one another. The wemmicks that have pretty smooth paint, pretty faces, fancy clothing, or extraordinary talents receive gold stars. However, the wemmicks with chipped paint, not so pretty faces, broken parts, or no special talent receive brown dot stickers. One wemmick in particular, Punchinello, receives lots and lots of brown dots every day. The moral of the story is that Eli explains to Punchinello that no matter what the other wemmicks think of him, EVERYONE is special in their own way in God’s eyes. After talking to his creator Eli, Punchinello has a new outlook on himself and his own life and gradually the dots stop sticking to him.

What I'm trying to say is that you are special and you are precious. No matter what has happened to you in the past or what will happen to you in the future and no matter what people have told you you are - no matter what things they've stuck on you emotionally.

The only way I've started to become more self-assured is to keep coming back to my "maker" and listening to what he says I am just like Punchinello did.
Last week I was privileged enough to serve at a Southern Cross Kids Camp and had a truly touching conversation with a 10 year old girl who recited her favourite bible verse to me to be, "everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life" (John 3:16 MSG). We went on to discuss how the most important opinion to us should be the one of the guy who made the whole universe and who is going to give us eternal life! Because hey - the girl at school who says you're ugly and useless isn't capable of doing that?! And probably only says it because of her own insecurities?! So consequently, if we gradually keep going back to what this guy - our maker - says about us [note the word choice - "gradually" - - it's not immediate] then we'll start to see ourselves in a whole new light because it's his opinion that truly counts and speaks truth, "I am the truth" (John 14:6 NLT). And hey the Bible says:
You are made in God’s image
You were chosen before the world was made
You were created and equipped for good works
You are adopted into His family
You are no longer condemned
You are truly loved by God
You are secure in your relationship with Him
You are free from everything that would hold you back.

Keep that in mind. You'll be amazed at how it'll change your perspective.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Fear vs. Destiny

I'm currently reading a book by Joyce Meyer that has really struck a cord with me so I felt the need to share with you what I'm learning from her words.

Many of us are living with a confidence deficiency - we are living in fear - fear of failure, fear of what people think about us, fear of change - meaning we will never know and experience true joy.

Do you know what the consequence is? The consequence is that we then can't seek out our destiny because we've let fear take control of our lives - we've let it "slam and lock the door in our life". We become afraid. We become filled with self hatred with fear of rejection, fear of failure and fear of others.

As victims of fear we are then people pleasers. I'm very guilty of this Aus family will definitely back me up on this fact - with my typical response to most questions being "I don't mind" or "I don't know" (which is now banned). I'm guilty of spending and wasting so much time trying to be what I think I ought to be in someone else's eyes - I try to be smart, I try to be loving and patient and kind...I pretty much try to be perfect. I guess I've been lucky to realise this now. I know it's not too late for me to change my outlook and encourage and build on God's power in me because "Even before he made the World, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes" (Ephesians 1:4 NLT)...without fault in his eyes...we don't have to try to be how we think others want us to be. That was never God's intention for us. 

In the words of Joyce Meyer - "fear does not mean you are a coward. It only means that you need to be willing to fear the fear and do what you need to do anyway." Or in the words of John Wayne - "courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway." So...when we become willing to fear the fear and press into the unknown - take a step of faith - then we can reach incredible heights. "I know that without Him I am nothing, but with Him, I can be a champion, because He brings out the best in me" (John 15:5).

With His help, His love, His patience, we can then seek out our destiny. 

As for us people-pleasers, when we know we are loved for ourselves, not just our accomplishments or performance (A level grades in my case!!) then we no longer need to fear failure. We can be free to explore, to find our own niche. We can find our destiny. In the words of John Maxwell - "we can fail forward." There's no need to let fear rule our lives because "God is with you in all that you do" (Genesis 21:22 NLT) even when we are fearful, "when you walk through deep waters, I am with you" (Isaiah 48:2).

To finish with a quote we all know so well, Sam Montgomery - "Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."

So, go and step out, let nothing stop you. Do the amazing things you were made to do.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

"Believing in God makes me a Christian, it's enough"

This is the trap I fell into. I thought for so long that believing in God would be enough...that I could still live my life how I wanted and go to this "heaven" place.

My plan for years was to do as well as I could in all my exams, get the best grades, get into the best university with an amazing course and go straight into a full-time, well-paid job...I wanted all this - for me.

I've found that God didn't just want us to believe in him, that's not what he intended for us. He wants us to be in relationship with him - he wants us to know him and he wants to know us. “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me" (John 10:14 NLT) - he wants to KNOW us, and he wants us to know his voice when he calls out to us.

So it was about a year into my A levels that I realised being successful isn't what life is all about...not for me anyway. I realised I wanted to do so much MORE with my life...make an something greater, be a part of something much bigger. I'd always gone to Sunday School and enjoyed it and learnt lots from the Bible...but as the children's pastor, Seth Dahl put it so well - we've got to know the author, aswell as the book. I fell into the trap of not knowing the author of the Bible, just knowing bits from the Bible.

And here I am, doing a kids ministry type internship in Australia, trying to find God's will for my life! Trying to be a part of something bigger. And I recently read a book handed to me by my mentor called Finding God's Will by Greg Matte...which highlights our need to discover the God of God's will, in order to discover his will for our life. So discovering God sounds pretty similar to us being in relationship with him right?
And he wants us to want to desire to be in relationship with him!

And you wanna know what I think the best thing is? When you properly start to know God and start to be in relationship with him...he's there. He's better than a best friend..he doesn't fail you, he knows you and he loves you and he died just for you. You're probably thinking I'm crazy right? I'll give you an example. Within my first couple of days of arriving in Australia I went to lead 5 children for a week at a kids camp and I was jet lagged, home-sick, scared and anxious, I had no idea what to expect. On the first night I spoke to my mum and we came across this Bible verse: "Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me" (Psalms 23:4 NLT). And believe it or not...this gave me complete peace...I wasn't alone, I remember perfectly a massive grin taking control of my face! I felt relaxed, totally at peace and hey "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13 NLT). Just so you know - I got through the week with minimal home-sickness and lots of energy - I absolutely loved it!!

It reminded me of the footprints in the sand story:    

        One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with God.
        Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
        In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
        Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
        other times there were one set of footprints.

        This bothered me because I noticed

        that during the low periods of my life,
        when I was suffering from
        anguish, sorrow or defeat,
        I could see only one set of footprints.

        So I said to the Lord,

        "You promised me Lord,
        that if I followed you,
        you would walk with me always.
        But I have noticed that during
        the most trying periods of my life
        there have only been one
        set of footprints in the sand      
        Why, when I needed you most,
        you have not been there for me?"

        The Lord replied,

        "The times when you have
        seen only one set of footprints,
        is when I carried you."

Anyway I'm probably getting side tracked a bit here...I do suck at writing so you'll have to bear with me haha.

All I'm trying to say is, just knowing of someone doesn't necessarily make you friends right? So maybe if we actually take time to get to know God rather than just know of God, and be in relationship with him then maybe that's what God actually intended for us...?

I'm not saying that just believing in God doesn't make you a Christian, I'm just challenging you to think about it.
Just something to ponder.

And here I am, still in Australia (having supposed to have flown home nearly a month ago now), taking time to get to know God, and bloody loving it. I don't yet have the big plan for my life...and finding that is not my intention, I just plan to take a step at a time. And amazingly, I have more of an idea of the direction I want to go. Getting to know God is most definitely the complete opposite of boring! I have been so very blessed.

I wonder what the next step is going to be?! I wonder where God's journey may take me...

I'll keep you posted.