The prettiest smiles hide the deepest secrets. The prettiest eyes have cried the most tears and the kindest hearts have felt the most pain. – Author unknown


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Breaking the Chains in Your Mind

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Long before the ‘law of attraction’ was a trendy way to think and create your world, the same ‘law’ was written in the Word of God. The law of attraction is scriptural. “For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is…” Proverbs 23:7, NKJV. Scripture has a power and wisdom beyond our intellectual comprehension.

In a profound manner, our thinking can impose limitations or chains in our mind simply through meditating on the lies that you have been told, either by others or your own self-belief. If you believe a lie long enough it will manifest as being truth to you, a chain in your mind that keeps you from living the life you were created to live. Such chains bind up your thinking. Chains of fear, chains of unworthiness, chains of addiction, chains of guilt and whatever other chain you might choose to think into existence to bind you.

It is easy to become comfortable in these chains, accustomed to the limitations they impose. Before long, your reality becomes the thoughts you have been meditating on.
Allow me to illustrate what I believe Proverbs 23:7 “looks like.”

In some countries baby elephants are taken captive and trained to believe they are weak and unable to escape their captor. As a visitor to India you will often observe a chain staked to the ground and then wrapped around the ankle of a full-grown adult elephant. The chain is used to discipline and control the elephant, training her to believe she cannot break free. From the birth of the elephant, they periodically chain the elephant to the stake. As an infant elephant, the chain is strong enough to hold the animal in place. It is obvious that as an adult, the elephant is strong enough to pull the stake out of the ground to achieve freedom. Most amazing is the fact that even when the chain is wrapped around her ankle and not staked into the ground, she will remain as if she is restrained. How is it so that such a small chain could hold such a large elephant?

As an adult elephant, the chain is not strong enough to hold the animal in place; however, because the elephant has grown accustomed to the limitation of the chain, it never tries to escape. Ironically if the adult elephant had knowledge of her power, strength and ability she could crush her captors and everything else around her. Sadly, this beautiful, powerful animal has not been given the wisdom or understanding of her potential.The chain has her believe the lie that she is weak and a captive.

This example is a perfect metaphor of how, much like the chain, and often at a very young age, Satan takes us captive and we remain in bondage to lies and deception about our true worth, our true strength, and our true courage, power and beauty. Ask the Lord to show you what lies are you believing? What script are you playing since childhood? Now ask Him to erase this script and re-write a script of Truth on your heart and in your mind. x


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Does Jesus Sit on His Hands?

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“What God can prevent in His power, He permits in His wisdom” – Arthur Burt.

Childlike faith, it would seem, does not just happen for everyone. Like me, you may have many unanswered questions. Why didn’t God prevent this from happening? Why hasn’t He changed this situation? Sure enough, we have questioned why our path has led us through pain and sorrow, why should we have to suffer this way? After all, my husband and I have honoured and served God in all the ways we know possible, so how come things worked out this way? Did Jesus sit on His hands and let our babies death top the broken heart charts for my husband and I?

Many times people are perplexed that I choose to glorify God, they have questioned how I can still believe in God, let alone trust in His goodness? They perceive that when I was trusting in Him, He let me down?! I have grappled in my mind with these arguments for the past five years. Is God good? Does He love me? Why do bad things happen to good people? In fact, why do bad things happen at all? Finally, I grew tired of trying to figure it all out and made the choice to trust in the Word of God and as a result, my faith has been renewed and I have entered His rest. I rest in Him and choose to believe that God holds all of my tomorrow’s and come what may, He is good all the time… and all the time He is good. x


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To Forgive THEM… Feels like death!

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Recently, I implored a good friend of mine to forgive someone that had wronged her, betrayed her and still continues to stomp on her heart. Furiously she responded ‘that would feel like death to forgive him’!

Ahh yes to offer forgiveness upon our enemies would appear to be weak, backing down and death to our soul. In my experience it is this death that leads to a beautiful resurrection, my Bible assures me that in the Kingdom of God ‘to lose our life is to gain it’! How do we gain life? Extend forgiveness to our enemies.

Forgiveness will bring healing to your body and your broken heart, do your part and truly forgive them and God will do His part to help you heal from the emotional pain that has held you captive to the past. Like me, you may forgive a person but still have ill feeling towards him or her, the truth is you cannot truly forgive without the Holy Spirit’s help, no amount of self-determination or strong will can achieve complete love and forgiveness.

Our human nature is to be led by our feelings, some of my well-meaning friends retort, ‘be strong, don’t let him get away with that… it’s a dog eat dog world’, even at the mention of forgiveness! I readily admit that forgiveness is unfair. However, if we do not forgive we will become resentful, The word resentment literally means ‘to feel again’, as Philip Yancey, author of  What’s So Amazing About Grace, succinctly put it: “… resentment clings to the past, relives it over and over, picks each fresh scab so that the wound never heals”.

Despite what the world says, a strong courageous woman is a forgiving woman. Granting forgiveness doesn’t feel natural, but if we do not transcend nature, we remain in bondage to the past, held captive to the people we cannot forgive. Author and Pastor, Timothy Keller refers to the act of forgiveness , as feeling like a death initially but it is a death that leads to resurrection “Forgiveness must be granted before it can be felt, but it does come eventually. It leads to a new peace, a resurrection”. Although a most unnatural act, forgiveness offers a way out and as you choose to forgive, I assure you, faith will carry you beyond your feelings and by His spirit, God will give you the courage and strength to forgive your enemies, wish them well and let them go their way.

Who do you need to forgive? Release your grip on them today and you will be set free to soar high above the circumstances which have held you back for so long now. x

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Kintsugi : Perfectionism, Mastery, Self-Compassion and Creativity

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“When a plate or a vase is damaged, it undergoes a special repair process whereby cracks and fractures are filled in with gold. In effect the repaired object becomes stronger and more beautiful than it originally was because it was broken.”

Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

Kintsugi : Perfectionism, Mastery, Self-Compassion and Creativity

by Tim TimmiKintsugiA musing on creativity and the seeking of mastery and self-compassion through the embracing of beauty through imperfection.

The Japanese practice of Kintsugi (金 継ぎ — golden joinery) embraces the beauty of things by the brokenness of things. When a plate or a vase is damaged, it undergoes a special repair process whereby cracks and fractures are filled in with gold. In effect the repaired object becomes stronger and more beautiful than it originally was because it was broken.

I have always found this to be a simple, beautiful yet profound concept.

Relating to creativity, there is something makes me happy about the idea that we could be add more richness and authenticity to what we make and do because of our flaws.

When we attempt things, from time to time we might succeed. But often we do not, and yet we…

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‘Quietly Awake’ for Better Sleep

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So many people I talk with are sleep deprived and seldom get a sound nights sleep, if prolonged, lack of sleep can lead to anxiety, depression and many other poor health factors. For many years I suffered terribly with insomnia nowadays I sleep soundly with minimal waking. Here’s a few tips that work for me and I am sure they will work for you also ;-).

Generally getting to bed before 9pm is ideal, as the quality of sleep is greater; my mum has always said ‘every hour before midnight is equal to two hours sleep’… I use to think this was just her way of having a quite house by early evening but there is a science behind it. The “Sleep Health Foundation” concurs with mum’s advice:

Your best quality of sleep is obtained when your circadian rhythm is at its lowest point (usually between 10 pm – 5 am). Therefore even if you obtain a good amount of sleep (7-9 hours), going to bed late is likely to lead to a large amount of your sleep being highly inefficient. To take advantage of this plan your evening so that you have nothing to do but relax from 9 pm. Then go to bed when you feel the sleep wave: a period where you will feel highly drowsy (for most people this will occur between 9-10 pm).

*http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleep-newzzz/201309/better-sleep-found-exercising-regular-basis-0

In this case, I must admit… mum really does know best!

On the topic of sleep, I cannot over emphasise the need for good quality & quantity of time in slumberland. While pulling an all-nighter completing work, up with sick kids etc. can bring a feeling of temporary euphoria, running on adrenalin the following day, long-term sleep deprivation is detrimental for the mind and body. On the other hand, balanced circadian rhythms can contribute to good mental health.

Throughout depression I tried many sleep enhancement techniques, herbal teas, deep breathing and listening to soft worship. All were very helpful but the most effective was ‘quite awake time’. Where we live, often we lose power, when this happens we have no artificial light, no screens (computer or television) and no loud disruptive noise (with the exception of a toddler tantrum) . In this quite wakefulness, we will read by candlelight or nightlight, play a board game, watch the storm (often why the power is out) and go to bed much earlier than usual. What would result by morning is a deep peace and calm in our home, somehow the combination of being fully caught up on sleep, as well as quite awake time the  previous evening, tilted our moods towards happiness. Give it a go… no screens, no bright lighting before bed and you’ll be counting zzz’s instead of sheep! x


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A Reputation of Uptight Joylessness

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I find as often as the seasons change so to does my reading genre. As Spring is upon us I am drawn to the life in the air… flowers in bloom, bees are buzzing and resurrection life is apparent as buds of life burst forth from the barren winter branch of the old Wattle tree in our front yard.

The thought of new life, of resurrection life, has me seeking a deeper heart revelation of His resurrection… what does it look like to live on the resurrection side of the cross? Why is it that many Christians have a reputation of living their  lives as though He isn’t risen, lives that are joy-less, hope-less, grace-less? Pondering these thoughts has led me to re-read Philip Yancey’s “What’s So Amazing About Grace” , in the first chapter I am captivated by a quote that Yancey has cited, rather it is a column written by humourist Erma Bombeck:

In church the other Sunday I was intent on a small child who was turning around smiling at everyone. He wasn’t gurgling, spitting, humming or rummaging through his mother’s handbag. He was just smiling. Finally, his mother jerked him about and in a stage whisper that could be heard in a little theatre off Broadway said, “Stop that grinning! You’re in church!” With that, she gave him a belt and as the tears rolled down his cheeks she added, “That’s better,” and returned to her prayers…

Suddenly I was angry. It occurred to me the entire world is in tears, and if your not, then you’d better get with it. I wanted to grab this child with the tear-stained face close to me and tell him about my God. The happy God. The smiling God. The God who had to have a sense of humor to have created the likes of us… By tradition, one wears faith with solemnity of a mourner, the gravity of a mask of tragedy, and the dedication of a Rotary badge.

What a fool, I thought. Here was a woman sitting next to the only light left in our civilisation – the only hope, our only miracle – our only promise of infinity. If he couldn’t smile in church, where was there left to go?

On that note… time to go be with my children (they leak joy all over the place)! x


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Prayer vs. Long Winded Babble

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Most of us, at some point in our lives, find difficulty in believing our prayers or more so even just making time for prayer. Life is busy, we hurry through our prayers (when we remember to pray), our minds drift to thoughts of what’s for dinner etc. our focus is scattered and everywhere but on God. Prayer is simply conversation with God, no set time or location and minimal effort required and yet so many believers  struggle  with taking time to talk with God.

Lay aside all prayer formulas and simply be yourself with God. He has uniquely created each one of us to interact with Him as individuals and your prayer style should be consistent with the way He designed you.

Be yourself, approach Him with your own personality, your strengths, weaknesses and everything that is you. In the book of  1 Samuel we read a story of Hannah heartbroken and grief stricken as she was childless in a society that considered not having a child the ultimate failure. When Hannah cried out to God I imagine, she wasn’t on her knees with head bowed and whispering her petitions, rather the Word says she was ‘in bitterness of soul and wept in anguish’ (chapter 1:12) . God wants to meet with you, He wants to take you just as you are.

I recall a time of desperate prayer on my knees in the pouring rain as I ‘wept in anguish’, God answered and my journey of healing began in that desperate moment. God loves that we come to Him with our emotions, our hurt, our true self, just as a parent does with his child. I want my children to feel they can come to me with all manner of problems, not hide their emotions under a veil of fear.

When my daughters come to me and show dependence on me as the role of a loving parent, I feel fulfilled, my heart bubbles with love in that they trust me with their deepest hurts.

In similar ways, the parent child relationship defines the attitude we ought to have in prayer an attitude that focuses on God and expresses absolute dependence on Him as Father, the One who gave us life and who loves, cares for, provides for, and protects us.

Sometimes at night I hear my little girl praying, not some mechanical script, but words that flow from a heart of thanksgiving and faith in a Heavenly Father that ‘makes everything okay because He loves me’. God is not manipulated by long-winded, rehearsed babbling, but rather He is moved by our heart attitude, an attitude that seeks His presence… not His presents. Give it a go, He is waiting to chat with you x

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