You don’t have to do this by yourself


There has been a stirring in my heart all week. And while I’d like to say its been a positive stirring- it hasn’t. Rather an uncontrollable nervousness. A battle of negative thoughts verses what I know to be Gods truth.


What is the root? Because I’ve been asked to use my voice to speak publicly about the story God has blessed me and my family with in recent months.


As I thought about speaking, something which I am not used to nor feel confident doing. I felt so alone.


I wished I was pregnant again just so I didn’t feel alone.

And in that moment, God promoted my heart to go back to one of the first blogs I ever wrote- Kicking on the inside.


In that blog, I likened the early movements of our pregnancy with Ava to the characteristics of the Holy Spirit. How you’re never alone- just like when pregnant. How when you’re pregnant, you carry that child with you and recognise its movements, so is the same with the Holy Spirit.


You carry him with you, therefore you carry God with you- but with the Holy Spirit it’s all the time, not just 9 months!


And so God so sweetly reminded me. One, that I am filled with the spirit. And two, that he is with me all the time, therefore, I am not alone. He is living inside of me and is my helper, my strength, my words when words fail me.


Thank you Jesus, that I don’t have to do life alone. 


Sometimes the simplest truths are the shortest and sweetest.






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A work of art



As I lay down at the lady’s feet, watching so intently, both intrigued and eagerly wanting to learn how she seamless and effortlessly weaved one loop of wool into another- I knew this moment was special. How with each mistake, she stayed calm and patient, helping me to see where I’d gone wrong or understand what had happened – unpicking my knitting and setting me back on the right track again.

As she encouraged and praised me each time I tried, I felt Jesus drop a golden nugget of treasure into my heart- this, is me and you.

I felt like I was sitting at the knees of Jesus, wanting so desperately to learn how he does things. Yet usually when I’ve done something wrong, I often feel condemned rather than convicted. This time I felt neither. I just felt loved.

It was ok to make a mistake, and I know I’ll make more learning how to knit. But my teacher will help me go back and unpick what went wrong, then put me in a position where I’m ready to go again. I found that when I made a mistake or I could feel myself losing rhythm and didn’t know what to do, I went straight back to my teacher, whose wisdom and knowledge was overflowing as she taught me about the wool, the needles, techniques and pitfalls to be aware of.

She knew what she was doing, could instantly see where I’d gone wrong. Likewise, she could see in advance what situations were going to come about if I was holding the wool to tight, catching other thread along the way. For each, she gently corrected me, empowering me to carry on and try again.

This is how I imagine a relationship with Jesus. Always turning to him when we’re unsure and when we’ve already messed up. But also to sit at his feet and just be. To listen, learn from all he has to teach. To be encouraged, supported as well as be proud to show him what we’ve accomplished- much like a child who excitedly runs up to their parents, arms stretched high holding out the painting they’ve just done, so desperately wanting their recognition and praise.

I believe He’ll help us and then set us back on the right track. He gives us a spirit of determination to go back and try again- this time, taking the teacher with you rather than thinking you know it all and can do it alone.

Sure, not every mistake is ok- I’m not condoning the mistakes we all make. But regardless, we have a Father who is not there to condemn. Instead, he’s there to help see how and why we messed up, what went wrong by unpicking our past, our actions, our experiences and so coming to a thereabouts conclusion of how we ended up where we find ourselves- usually in a spiritual pit.

And where there are no answers. Where our circumstances are through no fault of our own, like the loss of a child, the never ending ‘negative’ pregnancy results, the cancer, the fatal diagnosis- I believe he acts just as this lady did. He lovingly helps you to carry on. Encouraging you along the way and wanting you to take him with you every step of the journey.

And though going back, however far back you have to go, is hard. To unpick all those stitches and wrong loops, it’s to get back to a point where you can finish your pattern in life. If you don’t go right back to that missed loop- your tapestry will not finish as you’d hoped.

Rather it will be unrecognizable.

Sure, no tapestry will ever be perfect. Jesus loves all our imperfections despite what we might think.

But we don’t want to be unrecognizable. If I’ve made a jumper- I don’t want people to ask what is it?! But if I’ve never gone back and amended where I went wrong, the arm could be at the bottom of the jumper and no entrance point for the head!

People should be able to see Jesus in us. It’s hard though, for us to show our ‘God colours’ if we’ve ran out of emotional thread. If we’ve missed a key loop and now have no idea how to get back. If you’re tangled and in a mess. If you’ve picked up other threads along the way and it’s having a negative impact on your tapestry. If you’ve missed loops creating holes you never went back to fill with the right material. If you were discouraged along the way casuing you to abandon your dreams and self worth- all of that and more, is not irreversible.

You may not be able to take back your actions, the regretful words spoken or unspoken, the poor choices of relationships, the holes you tried to fill with short-term solutions- ultimately still leaving that hole empty. All of the above and more, Jesus can redeem and restore! He can walk with you right back to where it all went wrong. Not to put you through more pain, but to help you understand, to help you see what to avoid and receive victory from what needs conquering in your past. To deal with pain and hurt that you’ve buried creating an even deeper wedge between you and God.  Only then, can he set you back on the right path, and ask you to keep him with you daily.

He’s bought the best wool, has all the right tools needed to weave you together so intricately, with a good end result. A beautiful end that people will marvel at and say ‘how beautiful! ‘

That beautiful end is now. You are his finished masterpiece already, his work of art. You don’t have to have it altogether before you please him- he already created the most perfect tapestry in you and weaved you together so intricately- he already says, my sweet child- how beautiful you are.

It’s ok- I’ve been there.

ive been there

Whether you’re a new Mum just 3 days in or 30 years in, we’ve all experienced what it’s like to be sleep deprived. To feel low, exhausted, protective, nervous and body conscious…and then some.

Irrespective of your baby’s DNA, these areas are all common ground.

Then consider the Mum with more than one. Those with large age gaps and those close together. That’s a whole new turf, and it’s hard.

Recently, as a Mum to two girls with a 14 month age gap, and one month into being a Mum to my second, I entered my local park.

Sounds simple enough. But consider the effort and energy it took just to get out of the house. Having been up since 4.30 am (night feeds ey?!) I was understandably exhausted.

I’d sterilised all bottles, fed both children, wrestled with the toddler on the bathroom floor brushing her teeth, changed nappies (twice for the toddler as she likes to poo in a clean nappy!) dressed them, set up the double buggy, packed the bag, threw some clothes on myself, grabbed a banana, and did half a job of brushing my own teeth, and we were finally out!

I figured a secure, fenced off park was a safe idea. A gated area enabled the toddler to run off some steam without out me sending out a ‘missing child’ search party.

It would seem though, that a trip to the park, simple as it may sound, actually became a living nightmare!

In theory, the baby should have slept having just had a feed, meaning I could play with the toddler while baby slept in the pram.

But no.

Rather, baby wakes for a feed. So, I prepare a bottle in the most sheltered part of the park I could find (because I’d chosen the windiest day to venture out.) I had milk powder blowing in any direction other than the bottle, while balancing the bottle on any flat levelled surface I could find!

The toddler is in the swing and while I feed the baby, she decides she wants ‘OUT!’ And begins to pull up her legs.

Right before my eyes almost in slow mo like the movies, I watch as the overbearing weight as she leans over begins to tip the swing forward.

My mind and body couldn’t act quick enough. How do I put the baby down (whose currently gulping the milk and wasn’t for letting go!) while trying to rescue the toddler from falling head first out of the swing?!

Thankfully, a Mum saw my distress and ran to my rescue, saving the toddler just in time from a trip to A&E!

Determined not to be put off, we stayed, only for the toddler to run into the path of a swing being used and nearly being kicked in the face! Again, passers by saved my toddler  – thank goodness!

But it’s the unhelpful remarks made by onlookers close by that quickly became ingrained in my mind. With disapproving eyes and a stern look, they without hesitation hurled, ‘Control your child!’

That remark, coupled with what I felt were pity looks from other families in the park that day, was enough to send me straight back home with both children. Because home, seems safer, easier and far less judgemental than being outdoors.

Despite those cutting words, as I replay that remark and those looks over in my mind, I’m inspired and determined.


Because right now, I know how difficult it is.

I’m fresh enough having had such a small age gap, to remember how hard it is being a new Mum and now what it’s like to juggle more than one. Knowing how just merely seeing a Mum out and about means she’s probably had a hard morning just getting out of the house!

And I hope, that I retain those memories and experiences. So that in the future when my babies grow older and perhaps I become a grandparent, that instead of judgemental and pity looks, I will run to help without comment. Instead of unhelpful and cutting remarks, that I’ll be understanding and with a smile say ‘I’ve been there.’ Instead of looking on and secretly whispering to my neighbor, I’d offer a loving cuddle and encourage the socks off that Mum, praising her for how well she’s doing!

I hope I’ll always remember what it’s like, knowing that I’ve been where other Mums have been, are now and will be in the future, never forgetting with age.

So whatever your age, and that of your children, you’ve all been there and share at least some common ground with other Mums. Don’t forget what it’s like. And if you do forget, just praise any Mum you see. Because although you may forget the tiredness, the labour and the night feeds- you know for sure, that parenting is hard at times, getting out of the house is an achievement and most Mums feel like they aren’t measuring up and are failing daily!

So praise, encourage and jump into any opportunity to help, because you know what it’s like. You’ve been there.

Find YOUR Rhythm



‘I don’t know how you do it!’ I find myself saying. Any Mum I bump into with more than one child, this is what I find myself saying!

In the same breath though, I’m almost comparing myself, trying to measure up against them.

The reason I don’t know how they do it, is because I’m not them.

Some find it a breeze bringing up children. Some have 8 and could still keep going! Some find it incredibly difficult, and some take it all in their stride.

So just because I’m finding it hard right now, doesn’t mean I can’t do it. Instead, it will mean I do it differently. I find my OWN rhythm.

It’s the best way.

You know your children best, and so trying to walk in time with another Mums rhythm will mean you’re out of step. You might aswell have two left feet! You’ll fall out of rhythm trying to keep up with someone else.

It’s that comparison issue isn’t it? We see someone else doing it better or in such a ‘Mother Nature’ way that we only wish we could do the same.

But whose comparing? Your children certainly aren’t, and neither should you.

I’m just discovering my own rhythm and it differs to others. My routine with my girls in a day is different to how someone else might do it.
Regardless, I’ve found a rhythm that works for me. One I can keep up with, and more importantly, one that works best for my girls.

So find your OWN rhythm Mums! Praise those who walk in theirs, but don’t compare and don’t envy.

Their children are different to yours, and so their rhytham needs to be. They are different to you- their temperament, personality and circumstances. So don’t compare.

You’re doing an amazing job ladies! Don’t try to keep up or stay behind for someone else’s rhytham- that’s a pressure neither you or others need!

From a sleep deprived Mamma

sleep dperived

Tiredness- what’s your purpose, your plan?
To make me look more haggered than I already am?

Your results are domino or to that effect
Snappiness, impatient and so on to all the rest

Basic hygiene takes a back seat,
seems like days since I brushed my teeth

My hair looks like a birds nest
and I’m pretty sure smells like feet
Don’t even get me started on finding time to eat

Even going to the toilet is an effort and a chore
Dragging my arms and legs behind, then I step on that stupid creaky floor

Those cringeworthy floorboards you wished you hadn’t stepped on in the night,
For once you have, the other toddlers going to wake up with a fright!

Now they both need a feed and with a bottle in each hand
You wonder how long you’ll be up this time around

Tiredness you take all shapes and forms
Right now I’m turning into every zilla that there is… sensitive and prickly as thorns

Evidently you come as a sign we need to rest
But this form you take while parenting is not one where I feel blessed

Tiredness you build a wall around my heavy and weary head
One that seems unsurpassable
All I seem to want is my bed

Tiredness you’ve stolen any energy I have left
My children would be better off with their parents as pets

Tiredness you make everything feel like an effort and monotonous
I struggle to find the enthusiasm to even sing the wheels on the bus!

Tiredness I’ve decided that you will not win
I will not allow your scheming ways to waste ‘what could have beens’

For my babies will soon be teenagers and then adults too
This time I have is precious, it is not the time to DO

DO the washing and the ironing -the million and one things there seems to be All that stuff can wait, don’t tell my head ‘that’s all that people see’

Who cares what your house looks like or the state of your front room
Your kids certainly don’t that’s for sure
They just wish tiredness would go away so Mummy can come back soon

Yes I may be exhausted and prop my eyes open with matchsticks
But a family who spends time together… now that’s what really sticks!

So tiredness you can come and be a warning I need to rest
But as for stealing my joy of being a Mum
Then that’s the time you need to realise you should have left!

For I will not succumb to your robbing ways of the quality time I have
With my children who for not too very long
will be ready to leave Mum and Dad

Today I make a conscious decision despite my lack of energy
These bags under my eyes will not define my lethargy

No, these bags will bare resemblance like the scars on my tummy
Attribute to the darn hard work of bringing up my babies and being a good Mummy

For the bags and haggered look that’s obvious upon my face
Can be covered with concealer and every cosmetic that’s in place

But my heart will not recover if I lose these precious moments
All because you, tiredness, came to fill my world with lowness

Instead I will swallow my pride and accept all the help that there is,
Conserving all my energy to spend time with my beautiful kids

Tiredness, go bother someone else
Those self help books on how to battle can be left upon the shelf

For you make us feel like we cannot cope or even get through the day
But mums out there who feel this pain… don’t let tiredness have its way!

Don’t be afraid to say ‘yes’ to those offers you’ve previously turned down
People care and want to help turn that frown upside down

It doesn’t matter if your house is filled with a gigantic mess
If your washings over flowing and the pots have just been left

Tiredness would have you think you’ve got to clean them up
Before anyone sees them and wonders how on earth you ever cook!

Don’t worry if you haven’t showered in days or even weeks!
Two minutes in the shower will resurface those rosy cheeks

And as for your babies who you are conscious you’ve neglected
It’s never too late to start again before you worry they’ve been affected

Your grumpy attitude and lack of patience in the day
They won’t remember anything if you just sit down and play

Give tiredness it’s orders, it needs to go, it needs to leave!
For this is just a season
You will not take this precious time before my babes outgrow their sleeves

Don’t just tidy. Have a clear out.

clear out

I’m beginning to realise that I complain – A LOT.

We have rented numerous apartments/houses, each time upgrading in space and cleanliness.

We’ve lived in a grotty bedroom, then a one bedroom (if you can even call it that) flat, a lovely 2 bedroom house, and now a beautiful 3 bed.

And with each home, I’ve always moaned about the lack of space.


“When we buy a house of our own”… I would begin by saying… “we need more space. A utility, extra storage cupboards…something!”


Yet while on a ‘spring clean’ after Christmas (so not quite Spring!) I decided I would have to clear out some of my cupboards in order to make room for the Christmas presents. Big headed you might think- oh no, not presents for me, or even for Carl- for the kids! They have received so many toys- they are the ones taking over my storage space and my reason for needing more!


And so while attempting to empty two of my cupboards, I soon realised they were full of junk! Perhaps it’s not necessarily good having so many compartments and storage, as I have clearly had a tendency to fill them with useless items. The saying ‘less is more’ is ringing so loudly in it’s truest form right now.


Because, as I tidied, I found myself making room in one area, but after glancing around, realised I was just moving junk from one space to another- never actually getting rid of anything.

For a moment I felt tidy and accomplished. My living room was tidy and clutter free, but my stuff; my baggage, my collected stress and over consumption was now lying on my kitchen table (which regularly becomes our dumping ground- that, or any room upstairs that guests are not likely to enter!) Consequently, making that room look messy- and so naturally, I still felt cluttered and in a mess.


How often do we do that in life? We Just have a shift around of our stuff? Instead of having an effective clear-out? For a moment we feel clear and able to think, then the next second we feel stressed because actually, we never got rid of the stuff in the first place!


That cupboard? That draw or room you have that absolutely anything and everything goes in when guests visit? You know the one! The remnants of a quick tidy up end up in that cupboard- but, it’s not actually facing or solving the problem. You’re just shoving everything into a compartment for a while to give an ‘altogether’ appearance.


Why do we do it?

My theory is this.


Just as in our homes, we wouldn’t dream of letting anyone in that cupboard. It’s a mess-  full of things we don’t want people to see. That cupboard is looking- not only a mess, but overflowing and full of junk, so jam packed it’s far too difficult to open, and so it gets left. So is the same with the way we live our lives.


The cupboards and rooms become compartments of our lives that we over clutter and forget to maintain. They become pockets of stress, guilt, secrets, worries and unattained dreams. And instead of really dealing with the root of the issue. We put a plaster on it. We try to cover it up and shuffle things around a little. But it only creates a momentary solution.


In the end, those compartments, still remain full with the same issues. They may have moved further to the back of your thoughts, or indeed further forward. But they are not dealt with. Dreams are not realised, worries turn very quickly into anxiety and depression. Secrets become lies which dig you into a pit of guilt…and so on.


Causing you to instead of dealing with it, to hide. We have a temporary clear out before we come before church, God and other people. We shuffle it to the back of our minds, and for a moment can be who we would like to be- mess free, tidy, living in a world full of possibilities and in the relationship with God we wished we had. Then when it all gets too much, or when you’re on your own- you crumble. The mess you shifted is still there. Your stuff still needs to be dealt with, and it becomes the draw that’s overflowing and now so jam packed, that it seems easier to just leave left unopened.


But you can’t fool God. He knows. And not in a condemnation or creepy sort of way. But a loving ‘come to me and I’ll help you’ way. He wants to heal what has never been dealt with, rather than shove all your mess into a cupboard as a temporary solution, he wants to heal what you have deemed broken.

He wants you to be real and honest with Him, so you can be real and honest with those around you whom you trust, gaining their support and encouragement on the road to clearing out those cupboards once and for all!


Some of the contents of your drawers may be that it is just too full. Too full with an endless list of commitments. And so you now find that life has become a juggling act where youre actually struggling to keep all balls in the air! Maybe some of the things in your cupboard…need passing on to others.


Maybe your drawers are so full of unfulfilled potential and unattained dreams, that actually all you need is to give them a new lease of life? Perhaps instead of stashing them in drawers of your mind, you need to release them out on show. Hang them proudly on the wall of your life…whatever that dream is, ask God if it is His will and to help you realise that dream and set it free.


So I encourage you, just as I do myself. To have a good clear out. Of your home if you wish, but also of your mind, spirit and heart.

What have you crammed away hoping never to see again? What are you shuffling around and not dealing with? What drawers are you too afraid to open? What dreams have you put to rest thinking they’re impossible to attain?


Don’t just tidy up. Have a clear out.

It’s right there

its right there

At the age of 3 months, we’d noticed that Ava wasn’t taking her bottle as smoothly as she used to. Before, she would cry leading up to her feed and then once the teat was placed near her mouth she’d take it right out of our hands and immediately stop crying.

And so we’d noticed a change. When she was due a feed, she’d cry a little, but in the midst of her tears, she wouldn’t recognise the teat was inside her mouth, crying endlessly, even when it was resting on her tongue. She concentrated so much on crying, that she didn’t see the bottle was right there in front her. A few moments later, she’d finally latch on and begin feeding. We would chuckle, ‘Oh Ava, it was right there all along, you just couldn’t see it.’ And since having Rae, she too does the same!

Ping! Just as God does, He popped this thought into my head. How often do we not see what’s right in front of us?

So often we ask God for a sign, a bolt of lightening – something to show us the way or what decision to make. Often we can’t see it’s been right in front of us the whole time. Instead we’ve been too busy focusing on complaining, all the what ifs and busying ourselves so much that we’ve totally missed it.

Perhaps it’s Gods love that has been there for you to accept all along, but you’ve just not seen it. Your inundated questions, worries, unbelief and negative influences have got in the way and you’ve totally missed what was, and is right in front of you.

Perhaps you’ve been asking for a partner, but you’ve become so selective and consumed by the ideal person you’d like, that you’ve missed someone who God prepared and placed right in front of you. They were right there, but you just couldn’t see them?

Maybe it’s an opportunity, but you think up every which way excuse to not accept. Instead, you’re praying for sign after sign, praying and asking for an opportunity, and yet it’s right in front of you- but you just won’t take it.

I’m not saying we need to jump in head first with every opportunity, every person, or even stop praying for signs and guidance. Instead I feel we need to start tuning in more to God’s word. I honestly believe and can testify that the more we get to know God, the more you’ll recognise His loving voice. You’ll know what’s from Him, and what isn’t. Even when you slip up and make the wrong choice, God will help you learn from that and place you back on track.

So maybe, you’re praying for something right now; a job, a house, a baby, a partner, healing, to be debt free…? Whatever it may be, I feel you need to know that one thing you can be sure of, that’s right there in front of you- is God’s love. His strength, His unconditional love, mercy, grace and blessings are all there for you to take. He wants a relationship with you. He wants you to tell Him what’s on your heart and help guide you along the right path. I’m not saying all your prayers will be answered with the answer you want. Carl and I are living proof that sometimes God says no, then picks you up and places you back on the right path. Sometimes He says wait. You may make mistakes. But those mistakes or even the painful experiences you go through are never wasted. They are a learning curve which will help you make wiser choices in your future, be a comfort to someone else and empathise with others who have been where you have.

I believe once you enter into this relationship with Him- one where you work hard at it, rather than just when the waters are rough, that you will begin to see the other things He has placed right in front you to take and enjoy.

But without that relationship, I fear we will miss so many blessings, because we just can’t see they’re from God. We will continue to pray the same prayers, complaining and live feeling like God isn’t answering our prayers or isn’t listening, all because we don’t really know him. And so we miss the signs and opportunities we’re asking for. Perhaps because it seems to risky, its out of your comfort zone, you don’t feel you deserve it, it requires too much change for your liking, it seems to obvious and simple… or perhaps because we just can’t believe it could be from God?

Often there are things that He may ask you to do which are tough and require sacrifice, asking you to step out in faith, trusting that He’ll take your hand and wont let you fall. Do we miss those things, blatantly ignore them hoping they’ll go away?

I have. I did it on our calling here to Barrow. For 3 years I ignored the signs and gentle whispers from God. Until, those gentle whispers turned into a definite push in the right direction and I finally decided to listen and follow that calling.

That calling though, required sacrifice, massive changes and the uncertainty of what future lay ahead for us here.

And though I may never know why God called us here. It feels right. For some reason, God wanted us here- and that’s enough for me. It took me a while to see it and then act on it- but I believe anything God asks you to do, will be worth it! Perhaps not in the way you thought. Perhaps it wont benefit you in the way you thought – but my experience is that God will teach you numerous things in the process and will use you to impact and bless others! What an honour!

What is right in front of you but you just can’t see it? Are you really looking?…

Modelling: Part 2



A phrase we’re all far too familiar with.

Sadly, it’s a word with many negative connotations.

To model, in today’s society, is more commonly associated with models of the body, face, fashion- to model the way in which you look…

Girls, boys, men, women, even babies.

Sadly, many magazines, billboards and social media, use these models to portray a beautiful image of perfection. An idyllic body, skin and features. The perfect smile, photographic-ness!

It all seems to be how you look.

And if how you look isn’t quite right- you’re edited. Airbrushed, highlighted and polished to look desirable to all.

But what if modelling could mean something else?

Sure we can model clay, we can design and create a model, let’s say for an architect in designing a building.

But the modelling I’m talking about, if done well, could have a positive and long lasting effect on society.

And it all starts from the moment we’re born.

What if modelling, came from those around us?

Modelling good behaviour, a respectful yet unique style, a kind demeanour, a positive attitude, fearless, determined. One that is selfless and humble…

What if, we as parents, as friends, aunties, unlocked, husbands, wives- all modelled such things?

And what if it were real? Not polished and the mistakes covered up- but real. Transparent and honest?

I believe, Jesus- was and is today our model.

A model, not of looks or advertising the latest fashion item (though I’m sure he rocked a pair of brown sandals pretty well!). But a model of life.

He modelled, just by being himself- how to live this life.

Let me ask you this.

Those of you with children- how many of you worry at their exposure to high criticism of weight, looks, career, hair style?… And if they don’t fit in, then they force a way in which they can, which usually leads them down a path of destruction.

Perhaps you have a friend who thinks they are worthless and unattractive, an under achiever and a failure? Who do they have as models to look up to? Could you be Jesus to them? Or could you at least try?

After battling with an eating disorder, I am even more protective over my girls and how they see themselves. And the modelling has to come from me.

My language, the way in which I talk about myself. How I dress and what I speak over my children.

Even a slip of the tongue comment of being too fat or having to do a massive gym session after eating some cake- I know all too well, can become a trigger of a downward spiral.

Because if the person you love and look up to thinks and says that about themselves- then why shouldn’t you?

In which way are we modelling Jesus? Do we try to cover up the cracks of Christianity? The topics people like to skim over? Or do we portray a real Saviour?

One where we can be honest that we don’t have all the answers but He does. He wants to be real to people. He doesn’t go with the latest trend… He’s steadfast.

He’s not fake and polished to look like someone who’s perfect… He is perfect. He doesn’t need fillers and enhancements, because there is nothing to enhance.

Just as in Part 1- what you model your children will copy. How you live your life, will be watched by those around you. And so what is it they see?

Lets change the perception of modelling into so much more than society uses it for. Lets use it for good, to teach our kids well, to model behavior and a kind personality, rather than looks appearance and fashion.

Let us model our best- what flows from the heart! And allow Jesus to clean your heart from the inside out! What flows out of you is beautiful!

Excuse the mess


How many of you find that phrase quickly rolls off your tongue before guests even take a step into your home? That vey phrase acts like your ‘get out of jail free card.’ Whatever state your home is in at that point, because you’ve said ‘excuse the mess’ it creates an opportunity where you can relax once its said. No one can comment on anything, because you’ve said that single phrase.


The same perhaps if you walk out of the house looking slightly disheveled. Or if you’ve got young children- most likely feeling like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards after having flung together your greasy strewn hair into any bobble you can find, no makeup, probably a quick whip round teeth brushing (if at all) and you’ve grabbed the only clothes to hand which are probably the ones you wore yesterday, and the day before! And with all this, already feeling like a walking bin bag, you say ‘you’ll have to excuse me… I look a mess today.’ And with that phrase, you’ve covered yourself! Almost creating a protective barrier where no one can comment on your appearance, because you’ve already got in there first!

Since having children, I’ve found myself doing both of the above – ALOT! It’s like I’m embarrassed that my house may not appear to be clean and crisp, smelling like sweet heaven with freshly bouquet flowers and a bird tweeting garden. I’m embarrassed to not be looking well- dressed or appear clean and tidy. So I get in there first, and excuse myself. That way no one can make me feel any worse because I’ve already said all there is to say.

But you know, more often that not, I find the most popular response from people is something to the effect of ‘oh don’t apologise, my house is just as messy, I look a mess today too, I have those days.’ And all of a sudden it’s a relief to know that other people feel just like you. Other people don’t have it all together either like you might assume. Others all have mess.

And so it’s as I stood in the shower this morning, it dawned on me – we are all a mess. We are all gloriously ruined and broken. We all have things going on and we all feel a mess at times. Yet we also, excuse ourselves because of it.

We are embarrassed by our mess, be it our house, our work or the way we look that day because it’s not up to your own standards or to those you compare against.

It’s refreshing for me to remind myself, that my mess, and whatever that looks like for you- has been dealt with, it’s been forgiven. No condemnation and certainly no need to excuse myself or apologise any more.

And the same applies for you x

Modelling: Part 1



“Watch Mamma” I said to Ava.

“Now you do it. Copy me.”

These are the very phrases I have ever increasingly spoken to my daughter Ava. She’s so easy to teach and I am beyond privileged to be a ’stay at home Mum.’

But it’s only recently that I’ve noticed just how much responsibility lies beneath those very words- watch, now you copy.

It is clear on a daily basis now Ava has reached 20 months, that she has learned and soaked up many of the morals and behaviours we’ve taught her.

On many occasion I watch in awe and am so thankful as I catch a glimpse of Ava feeding her baby in the way I feed Rae. Or when she gently wipes away drool from Rae’s chin with the words “been a bit sick Rae? its ok!”

Or a torn favourite- cradling her baby and in a loving tone “hungry babba, yeah? want some milk? okay, milk coming!”



After dropping her baby “poor baby, bumped head mamma, its ok baby, ill kiss it better, all better now” (just to clarify- she hasn’t learned how to drop a baby from me!)

I have to pinch myself when I catch these moments. She melts my heart.

But what is it that’s really making me proud?

Is it that she has watched and learned from me? That I give me and Carl all the credit and smile knowing we’re doing a good job?

The selfish and human part of me- probably yes.

But the main reason I smile is because I see her being loving, kind and gentle. Learning how to love and take care of others. I watch as she shares her food, giving each of us a bite. Or a personal favourite, passing a toy to Rae when she’s dropped hers, and it melts my heart.

I observe her forming beautiful and kind ways coupled with good behaviour (mostly). I see her learning to apologise and be thankful for the things she has.

And so it’s seeing these positive formations of my child’s character that challenges me to question this…

‘How do I do things? When she watches me– what does she see?’

I ask of her these following questions on a daily basis without even consciously thinking about it…

Watch how I do things

Watch how I walk

watch how I place God first

Watch how I speak

Watch how I treat people

Watch how I forgive

Watch how I love

Watch how I help people

Watch how I give


And copy

But what is it that she is watching?

Does she see me quick to forgive my husband? Or witness me sulk, bear grudges and speak to him in a disrespectful manner? Does she witness that I treat my husband in a way that they should treat their future spouse, friends and family?

Does she see me give all that I can and love unreservedly, or hold everything back?

Does she see me insecure and fearful, or confident, bold, courageous and brave?

What sort of role model am I being?

I’m not saying of course that we need to be fake. If we are generally an insecure person then I’m not insinuating, you be someone you’re not. But perhaps you could try to let your children catch a glimpse of the positive side of you? How you would love to see yourself? It may even catalyst a change for your own healing.

I’m also not trying to lay a guilt trip either. There is no way we could be the best we can all the time around our children. I’m aware only too well of the stresses and strains of being a parent, wife, and every other hat we wear! And how that can impact how we walk daily. Unfortunately, my girls have witnessed Carl and I share the odd word or two! I have lost my temper and patience on more than one occasion, have done things, said and treated people in a way I’m not proud of. So this is in no way a blog to make you feel guilty. And I don’t believe God wants you to feel guilty either.

But what I’m more determined to do as the new year starts, especially as I notice Ava repeating words and actions quickly, is to look at me. To look at what I am modelling to my children- and whether I can change that-now.

I watch Ava and she watches me. I have a choice to show both my girls the right or wrong way of doing things., and they have a choice whether to copy them or not.

And so entangled in this question, is a gentle whisper from Jesus.

Walk in my ways

See how easy it is


Now you do it

When I find myself lost in the person I don’t want to be, entrapped in bad habits and fear I’ll never change- I am reminded that I have a daily example. And I find that what I teach my girls is the best of me- the best of Jesus.

Often, the things I teach her, are how I desire to be, how I wish I treated others. Yet I somehow can’t seem to teach it to myself.

But, I am not hopeless or unworthy of help. And neither are you.

Because Jesus offers for us to watch Him. When we get lost- to follow Him. To walk in His ways when we’ve strayed and can’t find our way back or ways to change.

I believe Jesus took on the responsibility in human flesh to teach others the right way, the perfect way, of treating people, of walking this earth, being in relationship with God and caring for the planet.

We have a choice whether we follow and copy the ways of Jesus or do it another way.

In my parenting, and indeed when it comes to homework for example, my way may not be the perfect way. But when it comes to people, morals, loving, caring, respect, helping….

It all starts with me.

First I have to make a choice whether to walk in the way Jesus did and does today, or not. I will be the first bible Ava and Rae ever read. They will watch and copy my actions before they understand and can read the bible.

What a responsibly it is then, to make sure first, I am walking in His ways.

My girls will not only watch me when I encourage them – like how to use a spoon, or how to put a shape in the shape sorter. But when I don’t even realise it.

She’ll watch how her Dad and I speak to each other. How I react in a moment of panic or worry, how I speak to others… they’ll watch and copy.

Therefore, as parents, particularly a parent who knows Jesus, we must first understand the concept of how to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. Living in His ways. Doing His will not ours.

We must not only understand but waste no time in getting on with the ‘doing.’

Jesus saw a need and dealt with it.

Far too often I think we over think it- should I shouldn’t I? Am I over stepping the mark? Will they think I’m weird? Will they even let me help? What if they freak out? Maybe I’ll talk it over with someone else first.

We just need to be doing it. Our children, our church, the people we pass in the street, the people we work with- everyone around us is watching how we walk. They may not necessarily copy but they are watching.

How much of a significant shift would there be if everyone who watched, saw something different? If what they saw, were characteristics that made us stand out in such an extraordinarily kind, calm and joyful way. And that maybe, just maybe they wanted to do the same. Or find out why it is we walk in the way we do. What have we got that they’re missing? What is it we know that they have yet to discover?

It would eliminate striving to get people to walk through church doors as their first experience and encounter with Jesus. Because how hard is it sometimes to get our unsaved loved ones to church?

Why not be the church to them? Be the bible they see?

Don’t misunderstand me, church is imperative and inviting people along is so important.

But we are the church- Monday to Sunday- not just on a Sunday morning service.

We are the church people need to encounter first. For them to see something different. Who knows, they may then want to come along to your church and meet with others to find out a little more.

So I ask you this, as I ask myself the same question. What is it that other people see when they watch the way you live your life? If you’re a parent, what is it your chidren see? What will they copy? After answering these, ask yourself- is there room for improvement? I have answered that myself and decided, that for me- YES! I want to be the best I can for God, for myself, for my children, my family, friends and the list goes on!

What about you?