Abide with me

Abide with me

A few months ago, I was offered the opportunity to go from four days a week to fulltime. I was hesitant, I loved my extra day off in the middle of the week, but agreed that in this season of ministry it was a good thing to do. I’ll be the first to admit it’s been hard, but I am learning how to handle the extra responsibilities at work, and the more limited time at home.

The word abide has been resonating in my heart. I have seen it around in random places, coming up in my Instagram feed, books I am reading, my Bible reading plan. I’ve enjoyed sitting with this word and pondering the depths of its meaning. 

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How to have a great relationship with your adult kids

How to have a great relationship with your adult kids

Just over two years ago my two eldest kids left home within months of each other. We went from a busy family of five to a quiet family of three virtually overnight. My girls were 21 and 22 at the time.

I have great children, great parents and parents-in-law. We all love each other dearly and we enjoy a wonderful relationship. I am asked fairly often by mothers of teenagers on the edge of adulthood how to navigate the season of letting go. Here is my very best encouragement and advice.

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How to slow down when life is too fast

How to slow down when life is too fast

It’s early; way too early. I will for my brain to stop thinking so that I can drift off once again for a few precious moments, but that rarely happens. I’m awake.

And once I'm up I love this early hour. The city sounds are different. The river is still quiet; the ferries don't start their zigzag up and down the river until after 5:30 am, and I am awake far too early. It's beautiful. The early sunlight is clear and yellow. The traffic on the bridge nearby is usually drowned out by the construction of the slowing growing building nearby and the general city buzz, but every sound is more defined in the early morning.

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10 Books I loved reading in 2018

10 Books I loved reading in 2018

I love a good reading list, and I put one together at the beginning of every year. I never stick to my plan! Friends recommend books, I go to conferences and hear interesting speakers and just have to buy the book, I read recommendations from Facebook groups and blogging colleagues.

This year I read a fairly eclectic mix of books on ministry, leadership, faith and family. Some written by well known authors who I know I love, some by authors who were unknown to me until now, and even a couple that were written by friends who I know. I hope you find something that interests you enough to add to your reading list this year.

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8 new things I discovered in 2018

 8 new things I discovered in 2018

It's coming to the end of another amazing year. Once again, our family has gone through big changes, moving into our apartment in the city, but there has been a lot of little things along the way that has made this year great. There is always something new to discover! I’m not a huge risk taker, but I’m often willing to give new ideas a go. This year I have found a few products and ideas that have in some cases quite literally changed my life. 

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How to Simplify Christmas

How to Simplify Christmas

Enjoy a simple Christmas without being a Scrooge

I know Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most stressful time of the year. Extra commitments, tricky relationships and unrealistic expectations coupled with years of family traditions and memories can create a melting-pot of emotions and pressures. Add to that the additional financial pressure of purchasing gifts, expensive food and impressive decorations and the ‘wonderful’ can start to melt away.

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What to buy a minimalist for Christmas

What to buy a minimalist for Christmas

We love our friends. We love our family. The way they traditionally show that love at Christmas time is to buy presents. But for the minimalist, or even just a regular person with a house full of clutter they are trying to get under control, the idea of acquiring a whole lot more stuff doesn't feel like something to celebrate at all.

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Footprints

Footprints

My holiday at the beach is over for another year. We had a wonderful time, slowing down. But, one of my absolute favourite things to do is walk on the sand.

The amazing thing about walking on the beach is that fact that you leave your mark clearly behind. You can’t walk without leaving footprints. I tried. No matter how gently or carefully I tread, there was evidence of my presence to anyone who walked behind.

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Running on empty

Running on empty

Ever felt like you were running on empty? I know I sure have. I get to the point where it just feels like everyone wants something, and I have nothing left to give. The hardest part is that often the people I love the most, my family, get the left-over dregs of me after I have exhausted myself caring for others during the day.

I have learned I have a limited capacity in four key areas of my life. Some things drain energy out, other things pour energy in.

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Don't worry

Don't worry

I’m a first-class worrier! Ask me how I’m going, and I can prattle off a long list of problems I’m facing, the challenges I’m tackling, how busy I am, tired I am, overwhelmed I am… Poor me, poor me.

I was having one of my ‘I can’t cope with this; the world is falling apart; how will I survive' moments, when a very wise and loving friend offered to pray for me. At the end of the prayer, she said that God had given her a word for me…

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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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