Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I am broken.. last year the walls that I had carefully placed around me to protect myself from the world came crashing down and I returned to Australia broken. When the walls first came down I didn't know what to do so I threw myself back into my life or slept or cried or did something self-destructive and unhealthy but at some point I realised that the walls hadn't just protected me from the world they protected me from myself and that without them I got to see me. It's scary when you see yourself for the first time in years.  

So now I am here and the person I am behind the walls is still broken but I am me and it is wonderful. Yes sometimes I feel raw and exposed and fragile but I felt that way before.. the difference is that now when I feel raw it's because I've had the courage to look at MY heart, when I feel exposed it's because I have bared my soul for something that has meaning to me and when I feel fragile it's because I've allowed myself to be vulnerable and have shown someone me.

It is only now that I can heal what needs to heal because I can see the actual wound, it's only now that I can move towards living my life's purpose because I can see what has been written on my soul but most importantly it is only now that I can release my heart to it's greatest desire because it is only now that I can clearly see my heart and loudly hear what it wants needs..

I have come to realise that if it feels like something is breaking me that's because it probably is and more importantly it probably needs to break so that whatever it is doesn't hold me back any longer. I actually enjoy allowing whatever it is to break. Recently I allowed my pride to fall to the ground and shatter into little pieces and it was hard and being truly honest left me feeling raw, exposed and fragile but it was real and it was me and it was worth it.

The people in your world deserve to see the real you, you deserve to know the real you.. I encourage you to embrace being broken, allow whatever it is to break off and fall away, at first you might be confused but eventually you will see you and that will make it all worth it. I pray that we have the courage to be broken so that we may eventually heal, to allow ourselves to be fragile and to show the world our hearts x

Friday, June 25, 2010

Beacons of hope

I often wonder if we realise how much we mean to the people around us? And how little we need to do to make a difference? I wonder if we fully appreciate how the smallest gesture of love and encouragement can make the biggest difference to the people in our lives.. How we have the potential to be a beacon of hope for those who are weak..

When I look at my life and the moments when I was broken, I mean even when it was at it's absolute worst and I was laying in bed crying out to God to save me from the choices I had made. When everything I thought I knew about who I was had been shattered and for the first time in my life I found myself completely broken.. In those moments I had forgotten how to have hope and I felt so far from the person I was inside that I didn't know how to encourage myself anymore. It was in that moment and the moments that followed that I began to see the beacons of hope which had been placed around me. It wasn't a light from within me that lifted me up out of that dark place and lit the path moving forward, it was the light of those around me. I call them my beacons of hope.

My path to this point has been lit by the encouragement and hope spoken into me and my life by my family, my friends and the women in my life who had been there before. Sometimes it was something as simple as a loving smile or hug, other times it was a mammoth conversation over coffee or too many glasses of wine but each of the moments had one thing in common; they were always filled with love, encouragement and hope for my future. It was in those moments that the path was lit. I will never forget the beacons of hope who provided me with light in my darkest hour because I am here in this moment because of them. I now look for the moments in life where I can be a beacon of hope for the people in my life and I encourage you to do the same.

People are hurting, our world is full of deep dark places, there are paths that desperately need our light and it's not hard to be a beacon of hope in this darkness. Smile at a person on the bus, tell your friend she's beautiful, praise your children/husband/co-worker, encourage the people in your life to dream... When someone tells you their problem don't agree that it is insurmountable (even if it is that doesn't help!) instead give them hope that it will all work out, encourage them to push through, you can be the light in their darkness.

Each of us is full of smiles, hugs, love, words of hope and encouragement and it costs nothing to give these things away.. in fact I don't think we could give away all of the smiles and hugs we had even if we tried!  So give them away. Become a beacon of light for the people in your world because what costs you nothing could be a glimpse of light in the world of someone who is living in a deep dark place.. Light up your world :) 

I pray that each of us takes the time to be a beacon of hope and light the darkness around us and for those who are in deep dark places, I pray you can open your eyes to the beacons of hope in your world and allow them to light the path out of the darkness. You are beautiful, loved and believed in xx

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Even runners need to take time to rest

I am a runner.. I love to run and I'm not talking about the physical act of running. I'm talking about running into life! Once I know in my heart that something is for me I don't sit around thinking about it and talking about it, I RUN! I can honestly say that running is my default position in every situation.

My desire to run has led to my leading a very full and happy life with lots of adventure but it also allowed me to run away from the emptiness of not knowing myself. I don't think I actually know how to do anything except run. Ordinarily this would not be a problem because as I said I LOVE RUNNING! Except that in this season of life I haven't been called to run, I've been called to a stop.

I currently find myself in a place of rest, a place where I am to sit and learn to be still. Anyone who knows me knows that I am many things but still is not one of them. For the first time in my life I have a purpose but the path to that purpose is unclear, I can't see the path which means I can't run down it at full speed. I find this incredibly frustrating but I recognise that these moments are defining moments, it is here in this stillness that the foundations will be laid for the rest of my life and if I don't take time to find out who I am now then I will spend my life running into things that aren't important in a bid to fill the void created by not knowing myself. So right now I find myself navigating a season of stillness but how do I learn to be still when I am used to running at full speed? When I live in a culture that encourages people to run?

I think we are a society of runners. We spend our lives racing from here to there, frantically checking items off lists, we make ourselves busy because it's easier to run into all the stuff than it is to sit in the stillness. Because when you rest in the stillness you have no choice but to get to know yourself and God. I also think that most of us have been running so fast for so long that we have no idea who we are inside anymore.. and that makes us afraid.

I have discovered that in the stillness you question the life you find yourself leading and discover those things which truly nourish your soul. I wonder what would happen if each of us set aside a moment each week to just be still? Not to spend time with God or to write in your journal or do yoga or whatever else it is that you think peace looks like (those things are important too and we should totally keep doing them), what I'm talking about is taking a moment of pure stillness. A moment where you stop and do nothing. After the fear of actually getting to know ourselves has subsided and the awkwardness of the silence is gone, I wonder if we would hear the voice that we push aside during the day because we are just too busy. I wonder if we would get to know ourselves a little better and if we knew ourselves better would we still make the choices we make?

I pray that each of us takes time out to be still, to listen to the voice that is deep inside, if we are going to be a society of runners each of us needs to know ourselves enough to know that we are running in the right direction, that we are running towards the things that matter to each of us. I pray that as we run through this life, we run towards our God given destiny xo

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Priscilla Shirer's interview with her brother Anthony Evans

So I love Priscilla Shirer, I saw her at Colour Conference this year and was inspired by the remarkable woman of faith she is. Those of you who aren't familiar with her should become familiar with her! I am addicted to her wisdom and since Colour I have been following her blog. She is currently running an awesome series on her blog about being a single woman. As part of this series she is interviewing people she knows and asking them some interesting questions.

One of the interviews is with her brother Anthony Evans, you can watch it here: http://www.goingbeyond.com/blog/interview-single-anthony-evans

I am a single girl who loves being single and I can totally relate to Anthony's comments about focusing on things other than marriage and not being ready to commit. I'm sure God will mend those issues when the time is right but regardless of where I'm at I still think it's important for single women to have conversation about being single.

Anthony makes some interesting comments about having standards in terms of what you are looking for (assuming you are looking) and holding true to those standards. Whilst overall I agree with these comments and that you shouldn't compromise who you are and what's important to you, I do think that before you go holding onto your standards with iron grip that you should take some time and ensure that they are your standards, things that are actually important to you and not standards you think you should have. I guess this is another area of our lives where it's important to take time out to know yourself. Ultimately, I think that the season of singleness has a purpose, it's a period in your life where you get to explore yourself and the world, it's the season where you lay the foundations for the rest of your life and I love every second of it.

For some of us the season of singleness is short, for others it's long, no matter which season you are in I pray that you can take time out to appreciate where you are and love each precious moment x

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What if the things you're wishing for aren't your wishes..

I am a dreamer, the kind who wish on the first star they see in the sky and capture moments in the day to daydream about the future. I've always made wishes and I've always had this unwavering belief that any wish I have could come true at any moment. I'm the sort of person who once I had a goal, I worked hard, prayed to God and took all the opportunities that came my way.. Last year I was very blessed to have most of the major wishes I had to that point come true and that's when I realised that not all of the wishes were actually my wishes..

Don't get me wrong at the time of making them I thought they were but when I look back now I realise that many of them were dreams I thought I should have, items I should cross of my list of things to do, many of them came from the media and popular culture, from family history. I was a lawyer working for a company I was excited to be a part of, with people I loved, I had a loving and supportive family, I lived in the inner city of Sydney, I spent my weeknights in fancy restaurants and my weekends in bars and nightclubs, I got to wear pretty dresses, my friends were amazing and I was going to Church and bible study (when I could fit it in).. others looked at my life and saw a women who's dreams had come true but for me something was missing, something was very wrong yet for over 12 months I kept pushing the feeling away and filling my life with more stuff that would make me happy - during this time I fell in love with Sydney Dance Company Classes and V Club Gym. I was living the dream for crying out loud and I would be happy even if it killed me!

I remember the moment I realised that many of my dreams, the ones that had come true, weren't actually my dreams. I remember looking at my life and all that I had achieved and feeling lost in the stuff I looked in the mirror and I didn't recognise myself anymore and I wasn't ok with the person I had become. I was lost, overwhelmed and incredibly sad. Somehow I got caught up in life, in the dreams you should want, in the things that make you successful, in other peoples definitions of a good life and I spent the first 25 years of my life making those dreams my dreams and then achieving them. 

By 26 I had everything I thought I wanted and then I realised that I never actually asked myself, my real self (the one that lives deep inside us all) what I really wanted and what actually makes me happy not what I thought should make me happy. Once I asked those questions I realised that at that point all I knew was that I loved spending time with my family (but didn't see them enough), that I felt like a lawyer as opposed to a whole person and I wanted to feel like myself again, I wanted my job to be something I did and enjoyed but not who I was. I realised that God and being in His Church gave me peace and I wanted to explore that more, that I am a sunflower who needs sun to flourish and that the cold Sydney winters withered me, that I loved children and dogs (this surprised me more than anyone in the world I thought I was a cat person), that I love to run and finally that the thing I wanted most of all that I wanted to find out who I was and what my dreams were. This level of self-knowledge seems simple but it took me a while to get there, at one point it was impossible to even find the time to consider these things.

So I walked away, away from the dream life. I spent a month resting in the country with my parents and then I moved to Brisbane, a place that felt more like home than anywhere else, a place full of good friends who knew me well enough to guide me back to myself when I had forgotten who I was and who now patiently love me as I figure out what's next. This circle of friends has grown and I feel incredibly blessed by all the wonderful people I get to do life with. I've also planted myself in a Church and committed myself to exploring the peace that I feel when I'm in the presence of God. Already through this experience I have grown and healed in ways that I didn't even know were possible. I sit here now not knowing what my future holds and I feel alive and happy! I still daydream and wish upon the first evening star but now the dreams are my dreams because for the first time in a long time I'm allowing myself to just be me :)

I pray for everyone reading this that we all have the courage to ask ourselves the hard questions that help us determine what happiness looks like for us and that we have the grace to accept the answer in spite of what the world might think. May each of us become the person God created us to be and live a life that is full of all of the things that make each of us happy no matter how simple or complex those things might be xx

Friday, June 4, 2010

You can't run out of love to give

I think we make love hard, I think we make it much more difficult than it needs to be.  I think we treat our love like this commodity that is going to run out, like if we love too much then one day we'll wake up and we'll be empty and the love that was once in us will be gone.. it's almost like we feel it's ours and we want to hold onto it tightly, to store it up and dish it out little by little to those who deserve it but if there is one thing I have learnt this last year it's that love doesn't work like that.

I think I learnt how to love, I mean really love the kind where you just give what you have inside and don't expect anything back, in Cambodia last year.. the people of Cambodia are easy to love, they invite you into their lives and they are content with you just showing up. That's what love is, it's showing up, being there and listening to the other person. Love is simple and love is easy and it's something that is desperately needed in our lives and the lives of those around us.

During church news I recently heard the statement that "the greatest poverty facing the western world is loneliness".. it made me sad to think that there are so many people who are lonely and facing this poverty when the solution is simple and is inside each and every one of us if we only let ourselves love. If we only opened our eyes to our world and looked for ways to love the people in it then each of us could make the people in our lives rich.

I am trying to make sure that whenever I can I try (I don't succeed anywhere near as much as I would like) to make the people whom God has placed in my life rich simply by showing up and loving them as best I can in each moment. I am finding that it's actually quite easy to do this loving the people in my life thing and I honestly believe it's because love is not about what we can get, it's about what we can give.

Love is not a commodity that will run out, there is more love inside each of us than we could ever give away and it is only when you start giving you love away that the love inside of you grows and fills your life.

I pray that each of us will open our eyes to the people in our world and look for ways to love them, may we be "gentle; be patient, bearing with each other in love" (Ephesians 4:2).