High Impact Decluttering

High Impact Decluttering

A drawer full of undies and you reach for the same favourite pair every time. A pot full of pens and you reach for the same pen every time. A shelf full of mugs, but every morning you reach for the same tall white mug your best friend gave you. One set of favourite sheets, one pair of favourite jeans, one eyeshadow I use every day. So, why do I hang onto so much stuff so that I can have choices? 

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I Am a Family of Origin

I Am a Family of Origin

Parenting towards adulthood

There’s one thing in common with every marriage course I’ve been to and every marriage book I’ve read. Somewhere at the beginning, they talk about your family of origin.

What kind of marriage did your parents have? How did they make decisions? How did they resolve conflict? My husband and I have been through the conversation numerous times, exploring how the family each of us grew up in has influenced the people we are today and the way we relate to each other in our marriage.

The conversation has always been about us, examining and critiquing our parents.

Then the perspective changed for me, big time. As our children have grown into young adults and have left home to begin their own marriage and build their own lives, I realised that I was now the family of origin.

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The Mean Girl in my Head

The Mean Girl in my Head

Quieting the Voice of Self-Criticism

We are our own harshest critic. In fact, we are nastier to ourselves than we would ever be to others.

After my friend complimented me on what I was wearing one day, she commented, “I can’t wear t-shirts; they show my belly fat.” What? What belly fat? You have to understand, this lady is beautiful, she is not over-weight, and she always looks fantastic. And yet, she is always terribly self-critical. 

I’ve been reminded in several different ways lately how we are so much meaner to ourselves than we are to others. 

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Joy: An Indicator of Spiritual Health

Joy: An Indicator of Spiritual Health

I chose Joy as my ‘one word’ for this year because it is a spiritual health indicator for me. Let me explain...

At my obstetrician check-up six weeks after giving birth, the first question he asked was, “Have you had intercourse yet?” That was a confronting question. Then he explained why he was asking about my sex life. It was an indicator. If I had not healed physically from giving birth, if I were not coping with my role as a new mother, if I had severe sleep deprivation or post-natal depression, the answer would be ‘No.’

Aparently, sex is the first thing to disappear from a new mother’s life when she is not going well. It is an indicator of general health and well-being.

For me, joy is an indicator of spiritual health and well-being.

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The Benefits of Owning Less Clothes

The Benefits of Owning Less Clothes

I spent a few minutes going through my wardrobe again this morning and reflected on how different this process is two years after I first decided to get rid of most of my clothes.

I used to own a wardrobe overflowing with clothes. After spending 13 years as a stay at home mum, I enjoyed buying proper clothes when I went back into the workforce. I shopped the sales and grabbed some great bargains – pretty much anything that was cheap that fit me. I didn’t put an awful lot of thought into it. Buying lots of cheap clothes seemed smart at the time.

Then I found myself with a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing that I felt like wearing.

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My 2018 Resolution: To be UNPRODUCTIVE

My 2018 Resolution: To be UNPRODUCTIVE

My Facebook feed and inbox are full of resources and reminders of how to kick goals and be more productive than ever this new year. There are planners to buy, courses to do, worksheets and printables to break the goals down into manageable pieces, all to help make this year my most successful ever.

I am usually a big New Year’s Resolution setter. I love having big goals and plans for how to achieve them. While I don't always achieve everything I set out to, usually my goals have helped me to produce more than I would have without them.

I’m not sure why, but this new year, things feel different.

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Moving From Struggling Through to Abundant Life

Moving From Struggling Through to Abundant Life

I’m sick, but not THAT sick.  

I have a head cold. I did the right thing and had a sick day off work to rest and get well. That was on day 3. After a couple of days of taking things easy, I decided that the worst was over and re-emerged into my daily commitments, although at a reduced capacity. I was still sick, but not THAT sick.

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Dealing with Disappointment

Dealing with Disappointment

How to Persevere in the Wake of Failure 

I’m a failure. I’ve let people down. I’ve tried my best, and it wasn’t good enough. 

There have been a number of pastoral care situations at work lately where it just hasn’t gone well. Situations where people have come to me with needs, and have left disappointed. There are people who I tried to care for, tried to support, only to find out that they didn’t feel loved, didn’t feel supported, didn’t feel cared for, and it’s my fault.

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I Survived Being a Mother-of-the-Bride

I Survived Being a Mother-of-the-Bride

My eldest daughter got married last weekend. It was a wonderful day, with all of our closest friends and family, celebrating a beautiful couple as they declared their love for one another. All the plans came together and ran smoothly, the bride and her maids looked stunning, the groom was emotional, and I wore my shoes all day without getting blisters. Perfect.

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Making Friends With Monsters

Making Friends With Monsters

How I Use Gratitude to Defeat Stress

I haven’t been coping very well lately. There has just been too much to stress about: stuff going on at work, uncertainty around next year, changes with jobs for both my hubby and my son, not to mention my daughter’s wedding in two short weeks. It has just been all too much, and...

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The Day I Met the Queen

The Day I Met the Queen

I’ve been to London to visit the Queen

Yes, it’s true. On our visit to London we were sitting on our hop-on-hop-off tourist bus, listening to the guide chat about the city sights, and he mentioned that the following day was the annual Trooping the Colour. We could line up with the crowds along The Mall and see the Queen for her official birthday celebration. 

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Post-Holiday Debrief

Post-Holiday Debrief

The trip is all over. Done. We had an incredible time. All of the research and planning paid off, all of the destinations were wonderful, and we got to see something amazing every single day.

In London we saw the London Tower, including the Crown Jewels, Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral, the national museum and portrait gallery. We happened to be there for

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24 Days in a Carry On

24 Days in a Carry On

Murray and I go to Europe tomorrow. We booked this trip 9 months ago, but have dreaming of it for years. Literally, years. We’ve planned a leisurely schedule in just three countries, with only a few tours booked. All of our internal travel is by train, and all of our accomodation is Airbnb. To keep things super simple, we are just taking one small carry on size suitcase each.

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My Secret Double Life

My Secret Double Life

The Challenge of Authentic Private Faith

I went to a funeral a few weeks ago. I didn’t know the gentleman well, and it has been many years since I have seen him, but there was something in me that wanted to be at the service celebrating his life. I go to funerals regularly for work. I don’t like them, and it’s rare for me to choose to go out of my way to attend the funeral of someone I barely know, but this one felt different. 

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