Vultures of Vulnerability

Vulture circles overhead. Victim unaware. Fatal attack. Read on, to discover how to avoid becoming a victim unawares to your own vulnerabilities.

Have you ever watched a hawk or eagle circle around the sky, before swooping down to attack it’s prey? The circling seems long, slow and ever so deliberate. The attack: swift, ferocious, deadly. 

I liken this to our experience of vulnerability. We, the prey. The vulture: our own thoughts, the hurtful words or actions of others (intentional or otherwise), particular dates on the calendar that leave us feeling weak or threatened, and of course, the devil himself. 

Each one of us has areas in our lives where we may be more vulnerable than we’d like to be. Often these come from insecurities, painful losses, grief, or unfulfilled longings/dreams. Generally, they speak of places where we need healing, hope, freedom and security.

It’s easy for an unprepared animal to fall victim to the bird circling overhead. It can’t defend itself against what it doesn’t realise is there. 

As people, we’re fortunate to have some ‘meerkats’ on the lookout to warn us of potential dangers (Have you seen how they look out for one another and send out an alert signal when danger is present? If not, go check them out at a zoo or jump online and find a video.  They’re pretty fabulous!). 

Back to us… You might recognise when your thoughts start spinning out of control, or when the words and actions of others have left you feeling vulnerable. You may know that particular dates on the calendar are hard for you (possibly a holiday or an anniversary of an event). You might know the voice of the devil who taunts you with his lies, telling you that you’re not enough, or that you deserve what you’re going through, or that you’re unloved and unworthy. 

So… be prepared. Have an action plan. This way, you’ll be ready to spot the vulture before it attacks, and you can be on the defense. 

Some simple ideas:

  • Pray for strength and comfort. Ask others to pray for you too. 
  • Read your Bible and study what God says about you, your worth and the good plans He has for your life. 
  • Turn off the lies and step away from the reminders (you might need some social media free time). 
  • Get with good people, rather than isolating yourself. Plan a celebration or gathering with loved ones, so that you can turn the painful into something beautiful, special and memorable. 
  • Give thanks! Count your blessings. Look to the good. Be grateful! 
  • For the longer term… seek help – consider how you can strengthen yourself, deal with issues from your past, and move into the future secure in who you are, healed and whole, and brimming with hope (a confident expectancy of the good things to come). 

I’m a girl growing more victorious in the midst of my vulnerabilities. 


Photo credits:

Photo by Ivan Cujic

Photo by Paul Daley

© Girl Growing. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author and owner, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Girl Growing,

Seen // Unseen

If you’ve ever felt that maybe, “He’s/She’s just not into you”, read on to discover just who does see, notice and love you, and what to do about it.

I spoke with a friend this week who has come to the realisation that the guy she likes is not interested in her. A couple of days later, I had to giggle to myself when she sent me a picture of a book she stumbled upon in an op shop. It’s title: “He’s Just Not That Into You”. I wasn’t laughing at her, but rather a knowing, ‘Yes, sometimes that guy just won’t be interested and there’s no point hoping he might be’.

Sometimes we cling to things that were never meant to be ours – the guy who ‘might’ one day like you; or some other thing (think of the comparison trap – wanting what another person has).

The truth is we’re to cling to Jesus! He is. Full-stop. He is the fulfillment of God’s promises to us, to give us a hope and a future. He is Victorious. King. Lover. Friend. Faithful. One who sees us.

That last one hit home for me when I heard from my friend of the guy who hasn’t pursued her. My heart ached for her. I know what it feels like to long to be loved and noticed. To wait… and… be overlooked…

Yet, God always notices us. Always chooses us (even when He knows and sees us at our worst). He created us, gifted us, set us apart for a holy calling.

He gave us hearts after His own. Hearts designed to love Him and others. Hearts that embrace grace and mercy. Hearts desiring justice. Hearts linked to Heaven, always longing for more. More of Him! Christ revealed in all His glorious splendour.

So lovely, while you’re waiting, you’re also not waiting – your Prince has come, riding on a white horse, clad in shining armour, scarred with wounds that tell of how He fought to protect you… Love him. Wait upon Him (dwell in His presence)…

And know that whether your earthly husband has arrived or not, you’ve already won the greatest prize (all of His doing too – a beautiful gift given freely to us). Embrace Him, as He does you. You are loved.

In Genesis 16 we read the story of Hagar. She felt unloved and unseen, yet in verse 13, we see how her perspective changed…

“The Lord talked to Hagar. She began to use a new name for God. She said to him, “You are ‘God Who Sees Me (El roi).’” She said this because she thought, “I see that even in this (wilderness) place God sees me and cares for me” (Easy Read Version) … with understanding and compassion! (Amplified version)””.

Hagar’s life was not what she had imagined it would be. Nevertheless, God was with her. He is with you too, ‘even in this place’ where you find yourself today. Whether it is what you’ve planned and dreamt of, or something entirely different. He is Immanuel/Emmanuel, God with us. God with you (and with me).


A girl growing more in love with the One who sees her…

Scripture references: The Holy Bible (several translations)

Photo credit: Skitterphoto

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Valentine’s Schmalentines

V Day is coming. How does the single girl/guy survive?

Feb 14th is nearly upon us once again. I’m not sure about you, but I’m still very much single.


It was a few weeks before Christmas last year, and I found myself feeling concerned about what the holiday season would bring and just how I’d cope with it. If you’ve been single for a while, you may be familiar with this.

I love Christmas – time with family and friends, carols, food, gifts etc. Yet, the festive season can also be really challenging to navigate. Derek Prince once said that holiday times can catch us at our weakest, as the devil knows our vulnerabilities and preys on them. I’ve experienced this before – the moments when I’ve been surrounded by people have sometimes been the loneliness times of my life, highlighting that everyone (seemingly!) has a family of their own except me. Watching other people delight in seeing their children’s faces light up with joy as they open their presents, can be heartbreaking for someone who’d love to be doing that themselves. Sigh…

As I said, I wasn’t overly looking forward to having these experiences and trying to paste a smile on my face (to hide the tears and pain I was feeling). I know from experience that it’s not easy to explain it to others, and generally they don’t get it, and just think you’re being a selfish drama queen. This is so far from the truth, but the grief you know all too well is foreign to them and often they just can’t understand.

“What happened?” you might ask. I prayed and prayed and prayed some more. I poured out my heart to God and let Him know that I just couldn’t face that pain again. I needed Him to do something!

The most beautiful grace was extended to me. He walked by my side in every situation which could have been so hurtful. He gave me strength when I had none of my own. And he brought me joy. (He even took care of the little things, like having others prepare Christmas lunch).

Back to the present…

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

I want you to know that while the world seems to be shouting out that only couples matter, you matter!

God cares for you in this moment, and He has grace for you during this time.

I’d encourage you to cry out to Him. Share everything that’s on your heart. Let Him speak love unto you.

He’s been showing me lately how He is jealous FOR me (We tend to get envious OF others and what they have, but He is jealous FOR us – He just wants us!) (Exodus 34:14). Lean into relationship with Him. Spend some one on one time with the one who knows everything about you and loves you more than you could ever dream of. Check out another of my blog posts, Focus!, for more on this.

Also… don’t do V Day alone. Get together with some single friends and just have fun together! (I’m thinking of doing something here. Send me your ideas for celebrating the beautiful singles in your world)


Scripture references: The Holy Bible

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He’s a good guy

“He’s a good guy, that one”. What comes to mind when you hear these words? Have people called you the ‘good guy/girl’? Does it inspire you? Our words matter. Be an encourager!

Yesterday, I reconnected with a friend from long ago. We got chatting, and he shared a little of his life. He told me about some plans he’d had, that fell through. He could see how God had stopped him from realising that goal, in order to set him up for something greater (Ever experienced that? I know I have! His plans and ways are higher than ours, right! 😁 Isaiah 55:9). My friend also shared about how another friend had been an encouragement to him, telling me that, “He’s a good guy”. I had to agree. And it got me thinking…

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

Proverbs 27:17 NLT

Firstly, I believe that we need to speak ‘goodness’ over the men in our world. That is, we should be those who look for the gold in them and appreciate it. Tell them. Tell others.

This is something God has really spoken to me over the years – that Godly men need women who back them. As women champion men, they submit appropriately to the headship that God has given them. This allows men to operate in the full authority and role that God’s given them. Also, I believe that this brings unity and strength. What man wouldn’t appreciate a woman who respects him and values the role God has called him to? Wouldn’t this man be secure and confident? Wouldn’t this lead to men and women being able to work together from a place of strength, rather than competitiveness?

Ephesians 2:10 states, For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Why not appreciate the masterpieces around us and encourage them to do the things God has called them to? Remember, we’re all different for a reason. Just as a body has lots of parts that function together, we need one another!

Secondly, should we not be seeing the good in everyone? (Male and female)

What a blessing to build another person up, to offer support and encouragement, to feed their talents and gifts, to honour where honour is due! I have never met a person who didn’t appreciate someone taking the time to let them know that they are valued and valuable.

I recall chatting with a particularly challenging child about his report card. When I made a big deal of his strengths, he tried to brush it off with, “Oh but yeah, my marks are rubbish”. Still I persevered to make more of his growth and successes. Try as he might (and he tried mighty hard!), he couldn’t help the grin that slowly crept onto his face. The truth is, we all like to know that someone has noticed something good in us – a character trait, something we’ve done, a positive and persistent attitude, our smile… or any of a million other things. A little encouragement tends to go a long way. Kids at school usually give a bit more effort after they’ve received some positive feedback. I’m sure you have your own memories of when someone spurred you on, with a kind word too. You would know the impact it had on you.

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT)

A simple challenge this week, be the person who can say, “He’s a good guy” or “She’s a great girl”. Let others know that you value them. Brighten the world with your words and a smile!


A girl growing in appreciation of others

Scripture references: The Holy Bible (several translations)

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The truth hurts

The truth hurts… or does it?

Hey there,

Just thought I’d share a little of what’s been on my heart lately.

In a word, I’d say that God has been speaking to me about submission.

He has been taking me on a journey to challenge some things in my life, and to shake my understanding of some things in order to speak His truth to me.


People say that the truth hurts, but that’s not true.

The truth may feel like it hurts, as in, it feels to our flesh that it’s hurting us, because it has offended us that we’ve heard that truth that says that something in our life is not right. But the truth heals.

Jesus is the truth – He heals – so He comes into those places and He redeems them (John 14:6). He frees us from those things.

To have that happen, we have to submit to Him and allow the flesh to be crucified; the flesh to be dealt with, so that we can actually walk in the truth of Christ and not be held captive by the lies of the devil.

So… the truth does not hurt. It heals. It sets the captives free.

Selah {Pause and think on that}

Are there areas in your life where perhaps you need God’s truth to invade?


For me, God has been showing me areas in my life where I’ve known the truth, but haven’t been living/experiencing it.

One example, is in healing. I’ve known for a long time that Jesus purchased our healing when He died on the cross. Yet, I’ve lived unwell.

Over the past few months He has shown me how to walk in my healing. His Word says that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Rev 12:11). I have been learning to declare this; learning to remind the devil that any ‘symptom’ he throws my way, is just a lie that I don’t have to accept, as he has no authority over my life. Learning to expect my body to be healed and whole, for this is what is rightfully mine as a daughter of the King, the Most High. Praise God! I’ve never known so much freedom. I am still *pinching myself* at the goodness of God that has been manifested in my life – so grateful for all He has done!


And the best is yet to come…

Living healed and whole is one area of change in my life, but that is just the beginning.

I mentioned earlier in this post the word submission. Well… God has placed on my heart a desire to be fully submitted to Him in every area of my life, and He is doing some interesting things in my world along those lines (more on that another time…).

I’m going to leave you with a song that has spoken to me about truth and being submitted unto it.

Ponder… listen… pray… Allow God to speak what is true to the inmost parts of your being. Expect Him to change you in exciting ways!

//Here’s my heart Lord//

Here’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Speak what is trueHere’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Speak what is true’Cause I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I’m made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am freeHere’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Speak what is true’Cause I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I’m made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free’Cause You are strong, You are sure
You are life, You endure
You are good, always true
You are light breaking throughHere’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Speak what is trueHere’s my life Lord
Here’s my life Lord
Here’s my life Lord
Speak what is true
Speak what is true
Speak what is trueI am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I’m made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free‘Cause You are strong, You are sure
You are life, You endure
You are good, always true
You are light breaking throughYou are more than enough
You are here, You are love
You are hope, You are grace
You’re all I have, You’re everythingHere’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Speak what is trueHere’s my life Lord
Here’s my life Lord
Here’s my life Lord
Speak what is true
Speak what is true
Speak what is true
Speak what is true

Here’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Speak what is trueHere’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Speak what is true’Cause I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I’m made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am freeHere’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Speak what is true’Cause I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I’m made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free’Cause You are strong, You are sure
You are life, You endure
You are good, always true
You are light breaking throughHere’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Speak what is trueHere’s my life Lord
Here’s my life Lord
Here’s my life Lord
Speak what is true
Speak what is true
Speak what is trueI am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I’m made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free‘Cause You are strong, You are sure
You are life, You endure
You are good, always true
You are light breaking throughYou are more than enough
You are here, You are love
You are hope, You are grace
You’re all I have, You’re everythingHere’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Here’s my heart Lord
Speak what is trueHere’s my life Lord
Here’s my life Lord
Here’s my life Lord
Speak what is true
Speak what is true
Speak what is true
Speak what is true

Xx A girl growing in lived out truth!

Scripture references: The Holy Bible (several translations)


Songwriters: Jason Ingram / Chris Tomlin / Louie Giglio
Here’s My Heart lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Capitol Christian Music Group

Photo credit:

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Hope//Be still

When I’m at the end of my rope, in God there’s still hope.


I have this hope
As an anchor for my soul
Through every storm
I will hold to You

With endless love
All my fear is swept away
In everything
I will trust in You

There is hope in the promise of the cross
You gave everything to save the world You love
And this hope is an anchor for my soul
Our God will stand

Unchanging One
You who was and is to come
Your promise sure
You will not let go

Your Name is higher
Your Name is greater
All my hope is in You

Your word unfailing
Your promise unshaken
All my hope is in You

(By Hillsong Live)

All my hope is in you…

These lyrics gets me every time. It’s my ‘I’m at the end of my rope, but in God there’s still hope’ song.

I’ve had something on my mind lately – reminders here and there – of a time long past, but not forgotten. I don’t know how to describe the magnitude of the situation/experience in just a few words, so I’ll suffice with a simple recap…

As an 18 year old, I got a knock on my door from my pastors, who were there to tell me that a friend (a young child) had been tragically killed in a truck accident. Our families were and are close. It seemed surreal. I handled it as any one would – with ups and downs.

One of the most difficult things was watching his mum grieve. She had lots of ‘why?’ questions on her mind, as did we all.

I didn’t have answers (for her or myself).

But God gave me an incredible assurance – the kind you don’t forget – that while we didn’t understand the reasons, nevertheless, God is good.





It’s a simple statement that holds immense truth.

It’s a revelation thing – you can say it, however you don’t really know and understand it until God shows you for yourself.

I know that right now many of you may be experiencing tough times and sadness over all sorts of things. I really encourage you to ask God to show you His goodness (in spite of whatever is going on).

And rest in it.

‘Be still and know that I am God…’ (Psalm 46:10).


Scripture references: The Holy Bible (several translations)

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Father, forgive them

“Father forgive them. They know not what they do.” Jesus’ words… My words… Yours?

I was woken one morning this week with a memory of a time when someone sent me a message to say that a friend of mine had died. It turned out that this was a ‘joke’. Naturally, I didn’t find it very funny. Not only did that immediate situation hurt me, but it dug up some extreme trauma I’d experienced years before {a long story for another time perhaps}. It took a bit for me to work through this situation and to forgive.

As I lay in bed the other day pondering why I’d remembered this, I thought about this verse:

Jesus said, “Father, forgive these people! They don’t know what they’re doing.”…
Luke 23:34‭ CEVUK

Jesus spoke these words to those involved in crucifying Him. He spoke them to us, as we too would deny Him. And I believe He spoke them as a lesson for us on forgiveness.

These words have been so valuable for me over the years, particularly when I was betrayed by someone who had once seemed a close friend. Her nasty, hateful treatment of me was undeserved. It didn’t make sense. And yet, in light of this verse, it did. This verse helped me realise that she didn’t understand that what she was doing was wrong. She couldn’t see it. She was blinded by pain in her own life, and I was just the scapegoat. So, as much as I copped it (and boy did I cop it!), I could forgive with that understanding – she knew not what she did.

Neither did the person who made the ‘joke’ about my friend’s death.

Nor do many others who’ve hurt me over the years, and those who’ll do so in the future.

I appreciate the grace and love that comes with this understanding. It helps me to pray blessing, not cursing, over their lives. It enables me to pray compassionately as I ‘see’ their struggles. It encourages me to pray that they’ll have a revelation of Christ and His love for them.

My pondering also made me reflect again on God’s mercy towards me. It’s abundance is immeasurable. So undeserved… yet given in LOVE. Thank you, Father.

Selah {Think on this}

A girl forgiven. A girl called to forgive. xxx

Scripture references: The Holy Bible (several translations)

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Maybe you don’t need a miracle 

Is it a miracle you need or something else?

A quick thought that has been on my mind for a while…

You might be praying ‘God make ______ (this) happen!

Perhaps you need to be obedient.

You, not your circumstances, might need to change. It may not be the ‘this’ that needs to change but you.

When you change, the right things will happen as you’ll be in God’s will, rather than fighting it.

A couple of weeks ago I was given a book which kind of follows along the same line of thought. It’s called, ‘Wait and see’, by Wendy Pope. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what I would find when I opened it’s pages, as I’ve encountered some doozies before, but having now read most of it, I can say it has some good stuff in it. Go ahead, check it out for yourself.

And as I head off… maybe you (and I!) DO need a miracle… maybe it’s just not quite what you thought, or maybe it needs to happen differently to how you’d plan it, and not maybe, but certainly, God knows. He is the miracle worker.

A girl growing {slowly but surely} in obedience xx

Scripture references: The Holy Bible (several translations)

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Treading water// Oceans deep

When you find yourself treading water, just hold tight to your mustard seed sized faith and remember that He loves you. Trust. He has you in oceans deep.

Recently I had a really rough week. It felt like I was treading water and at any moment I was going to go under and drown.

Tears flowed.

And frustration.

Sadness. Loneliness. Despair. Pain. Heartache. Grief.

I wished things were different.

They weren’t.

I’m sure you have been there too. When the oceans of life seem too deep to traverse. When all you know in your heart to be true, seems the opposite to what you experience. 

Perhaps you’ve felt bad when you’ve struggled to trust and hope. That’s the place I found myself in.  I know God doesn’t condemn, but I felt disappointed in myself. Why couldn’t I do better?

The answer, I feel, is that I am human. I hurt when my heart breaks. I don’t understand my suffering.

At one of my lowest points, I put worship radio on, trying to dig myself out of the deep pit I’d found myself floundering in. And this song came on…

Trust in you – Lauren Daigle

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see
I try to win this war
I confess, my hands are weary, I need Your rest
Mighty warrior, king of the fight
No matter what I face You’re by my side

When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So let all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You
I will trust in You

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation
The rock on which I stand
Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go
You’ve not already stood

When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You
I will trust in You
I will trust in You
I will trust in You

I fully understood those words about her struggle. I wanted to trust. I didn’t know how.

At this time, I heard God say to me, “You only need faith the size of a mustard seed to move a mountain (Matthew 17:20). The tiny bit of faith you feel like you have is enough”.

Wow. I knew He was right. Even at my lowest, I’ve always known that my hope is in Him.

So, if like me, you find yourself treading water, just hold tight to your mustard seed sized faith; remember that He loves you; remember that He works all things together for good for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28). And trust. He has you in oceans deep. He will move mountains for you.

A girl growing mustard seed sized faith xx

Scripture references: The Holy Bible (several translations)

Photo credit: Clem Onojeghuo

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Pride preys//Don’t invite the lion home

Pride comes before a fall. It roams around like a ravenous lion seeking whom it might devour… How can we avoid ending up as prey?

{Apologies – I have written a few posts over the past few months and not got to post them,  so here are some catch-ups}

I’m lying in bed, listening to rain on the roof, pondering pride.

A few years ago, I witnessed the destructive power of pride right in front of my eyes.

Someone I knew in a position of authority, like a landslide, moving slowly at first, before thundering down the hill in a muddy mess, became prey to pride and the devastation it wreaks upon one’s life.

This remains one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever seen, and at the same time a sobering lesson.

As 1 Peter 5:8 says, “The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone whom he might devour”. This is so true! In my own life, I’ve become very aware of just how sneaky he is, always looking for opportunity to trip us up. 

But ‘knowledge is power’, so to speak, and knowing his tactics can help us avoid the pitfalls he places about us, including the ugly monster of pride.

Lessons I’ve learnt…

☆ pride is competitive rather than rejoicing in the success of others

☆ pride wants validation from others rather than being content with the approval of God (know anyone who must be addressed by a title?)

☆ pride destroys relationship as jealousy invades (the tall poppy syndrome)

☆ pride controls rather than frees others (manipulation 101)

☆ pride says hateful and hurtful things to innocent people

☆ pride befriends those who agree with everything they say, rather than being teachable as humility is

☆ pride has huge (& at times unrealistic) expectations of others, but avoids personal responsibility

☆ pride is demanding

☆ pride fails to appreciate others assistance and generosity

☆ pride is two-faced, pretending to care about others in front of an audience, whilst stabbing them in the back in secret

☆ pride blames others when they fail or fall

☆ pride is fake (actions speak louder than words)

The devil will do his best to pull us down. In every challenge we have a choice to let him, or to allow God to work in us. I know I’ve learnt my own lessons about pride through different things that the devil has tried to trip me up with. 

I want to encourage you that we have the ultimate victory through Christ Jesus our Lord.

If you want to read more about this and how to safeguard yourself, check out James 4:7-11 and Ps 119:9.

A girl growing through His grace xx

Scripture references: The Holy Bible (several translations)

Photo credit: Tom Skarbek-Wazynski

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Goat’s what???

What do you think when you read, ‘Red roses and goat’s skin?’

What would you think if you read, ‘Red Roses and Goat’s Skin’? 

Curious?  You should be…

Amongst other things, Laura Hackett, of Grace Generation Church in Ireland, writes that Valentine’s Day, ‘has, since its very origins, attempted to fill our need for a perfect, heavenly and eternal love with imperfect human effort”.

Hmmm… worth a ponder…

But that’s not all.  There’s so much more!  (You can even brush up on some horrible history).  Go check it out and let me know what you think.

Thanks for sharing, Laura!  


Valentine’s Day … Not the most looked forward to day on a single’s calendar. Dreaded… perhaps more accurate? It doesn’t have to be…

Here we are… the 16th of February… two days on from Valentine’s Day. 

Singleness and Valentine’s don’t exactly go together.  In fact, if anything, it seems to only highlight that which you already knew … you are indeed single ;). 

This year I had the ‘joy’ of having a friend excitedly ask me, “What are your V Day plans?” …. Plans? Really??  You actually asked a single girl that question???  You seriously want to draw my focus to that day?

My point…  I think it can be so easy to lose our focus if we aren’t on guard.  I was given a choice after the conversation with my friend – I could wallow in self-pity or step up to the plate and continue to commit myself to God and entrust my future to Him (I’ve got to say, I could have done better!  It was a toughy).  But despite my human frailty, the better of the two choices is to be on guard!  It sounds very militant and strategic, because well… it has to be.  (Ever had a not-so-great single day?  Pretty easy to rapidly spiral downwards if we aren’t careful, hey)

The 14th Feb highlights all the incredible, gushy things about love that we’re apparently missing out on.  And if we let it, it can be a sad comparison-fest!

Comparison is the enemy of contentment.  We don’t want to go there.  We’re in a war.  We must be on guard.  We must fight.  Don’t fall for the lies so rampant around about us.  Believe God’s truth.

Truth: God is faithful, generous and kind-hearted, and He loves us (Psalm 45:11)!  He’s not holding out on us – He is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28) and He is doing it in the right timing (even when it feels like He is being oh so slow!).

Truth: He created us – we are beautiful and not forgotten (Isaiah 41:9). 

Truth: The greatest love we’ll ever know is the love of the Father.  Any earthly love we experience is but a trickle next to the gushing river of His love poured out.

Truth: The war is already won – we just have to live it out (Rom 8:31)

Truth: He has given us armour (His Word) to wield so that we can be victorious.  The Word of God is indeed living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and there is truth and encouragement in it for every season we find ourselves in.  Not only that, but we have the Holy Spirit who is able to ‘remind us of all things’ (that is, we can ask Him to help us to remember the truth of the Word so that we can stand firm and undefeated). 

So, we must focus!  Focus!! Focus!!! 

Singleness is a battle – I know, I experience it every day.  If it’s not someone speaking discouragement over me, it’s the ‘chatterbox’ who gets inside my head to try to make me believe the lies.  The struggle is real.  But the victory is too.

And, as we learn to find our contentment, support, encouragement and love in Him, we won’t just win this particular battle, but we’ll be equipped and strengthened to deal with all the others we will face in life (yes, unfortunately, there will be more ha ha).

We’re all a people growing – in our dependence upon, and trust in, God.  Stay strong! xx 

The Waiting Game: Myth Busting #3

Every single person loves to hear, “Oh, you’re so lucky to be single and have so much free time on your hands”. Not!

A few thoughts on the realities of our time and how we spend it…

So recently I was having lunch with a bunch of friends when one of them threw this myth into the conversation, “Oh, you’re so lucky being single.  You have so much free time on your hands”.  Um, yeah… sure… whatever… (Great thing to say to someone who works, studies, is involved in lots at church, spends a great deal of time with family and friends and does a whole lot of other stuff with her life)

The reality is singles and couples have as much time as one another – 24 hours every day – it’s just a matter of how we choose to spend it.

And that was what frustrated me.  You see, so many times I’ve had people in relationships tell me that they just don’t have time to help others, to assist with something at church, to give that little bit of time to make a difference in the world.  And, just as many times, I’ve had people tell me how singles have so much free time and therefore they can do everything for everyone (It’s incredible how often I have people ask me to do things for them!).  I can vividly remember a time when someone asked me to do something (adding yet another thing to my overfull schedule) and when I said no, I was met with a look of disgust and a response that was supposed to manipulate me into feeling bad, changing my mind and saying yes.  “Oh, you aren’t setting a good example for others if you don’t do this”.  “You really should be making use of all the free time God has given you in this season”…

Gosh!  How sad that people can be like that.

Thankfully, it’s only some people who behave like this.  I also know many people in relationships who balance life so well, giving time to God, their partner, and others, treating their single friends with the utmost respect, and living out their calling in the most brilliant ways.

Here it is… the truth about the crazy ‘all the time in the world’ myth…

Every one of us, regardless of our relationship status, has a purpose and calling in Christ and we should be using our time to fulfil it.  Each of us has a responsibility to manage our time in order to do so.  This is often a juggling act and it requires us setting boundaries around our lives.

This year, I’m stepping back from a few things in order to do other things better.  The things I’m going to do less of are good things, but they aren’t God things.  What do I mean by that… there are a million and one good things we could fill our lives with, but at the end of the day, we can’t do everything, so we should focus on the things that God has called us to do.  It’s better to do those things well, than to give a half-hearted effort to a whole lot of other things.  And what’s more, when we try to do everything, we simply burnout – a pretty useless place to find oneself.

Each of us should do ‘our things’ with a great attitude, and not be annoyed, mad or disappointed when others do the same.  It’s amazing to be generous with our serving and giving, and it’s also perfectly acceptable, in fact necessary, for us to say ‘no’ to some things.

Let’s take responsibility for ourselves and do what we’re called to with a willing and joyful heart.

I’m a girl growing a greater understanding of my calling and how I should live it …

Welcome to 2016

This past year was challenging to say the least. Yet there were silver linings too. How has yours been? Ready for the new year?

Firstly, apologies for disappearing off the face of the earth over the past few months.  2015 was, in a word, challenging.  I began the year feeling it was the year to live as if the things I hoped for had already come to fruition.  As we all know, anything worthwhile comes with a price-tag, and boy, did I pay!  The year was filled with immense trials to say the least!  {and ridiculous joys too! So important to not forget…}

So yes, a crazy year all in all, and somewhat quiet in the land of blogging, but I’m back…  and at some point, I’ll fill in some of the gaps from the year that I would have gladly wished away, yet am so blessed to have lived.  If every cloud has a silver lining, then the things I’ve learnt and the ways I have  grown along the way are my sparkles…

As we head into the new year, I want to share a song that has blessed me immensely, as I hope it will you…

It is well (Bethel)

Grand earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

And through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
And it is well with me

Far be it for me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see
And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

Through it all, through it all…

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name…

Know that this year, I’m a girl praying and believing that you will come to know our beautiful Saviour in a much deeper and more intimate way than you ever have before.  And as you grab a hold of Him, I know He will show you His faithfulness in a million and one ways, both big and small…

I’m a girl growing {putting one foot in front of the other, holding onto God’s hand, in order to finish what He has started in me}

Bridal Magazines

Bridal mags sell us a pic of the fairytale wedding… Where does reality fit with that? What about after the big day? More musings from a single gal…

A friend of mine got married last year and recently decided to get rid of her bridal magazines by passing them on to someone else to use.  After searching high and low for some excited and eager engaged girl and not really finding one in need of her stash, she half-suggested to me that I could have them.

Hmmm… I appreciated her thoughtfulness, but the idea just didn’t grab me.  Yes, I love seeing gorgeous dresses, beautiful bouquets, pretty fairy lights and all that jazz.  But, I just don’t have the passion for those magazines that you generally see in people who are busily planning their BIG DAY. 

You see, over time I’ve changed.  The fantasies of my childhood are now just memories (well, actually, I can’t even say that.  I really don’t remember what I dreamed of).  Over the years, my heart has grown up.

While little girls dream of fairy tale weddings, I believe that big girls have a vision for their marriage. 

Little girls picture a perfect prince.  Big girls know they’ll marry someone amazing, who is just as imperfect as they are themselves.  They understand that discovering how to encourage one another to do better in life, and learning to love each another despite your ‘faults’, is a part of married life.  Ultimately, marriage is about seeing the other person as God does and loving them with that same heart.

Little girls think about THEIR special day (it’s all about their own happiness).  Big girls see their wedding day as a wonderful beginning to their future journey as husband and wife.

Little girls want all the bells and whistles. Meringue-like dresses, the most impressive cake you’ve ever seen, an exquisite venue, a fabulous band…  Big girls know that at the end of the day, if you turn up to the wedding, and he does too, then you’re off to a great start.

Little girls want things to be just right, and nothing can possibly get in the way of their plan, or they know their whole day will be RUINED.  Big girls understand just how quickly a day passes, and know that however ‘magical’ it may be, it is just a day, a delightful day, but just a day nonetheless.  They know to enjoy the moment, but also to put their real focus on the many moments which will form their married life.  They know to invest in the long-haul stuff rather than getting distracted by the sparkles and sunshine of that one important, yet fleeting, day.

Little girls want a picture.  Big girls desire a life lived out with the one they’ve chosen to love.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not anti-wedding.  I absolutely believe we should get excited as we anticipate the celebration of our love.  And, I very-much look forward to my wedding day.  I know it will be amazing, and I’m sure I’ll look back on it with great happiness for the rest of my life. 

I just don’t want to be one of those girls who complains about how that one thing or one person spoilt her day.  I recognize that, ‘all that glitters isn’t gold’, and I hope that on my wedding day, I’ll look for the true gold, the real treasure – the one whom I’m deciding to do life with, the commitment we’re making to each other and the fun of sharing that with the world, the family and friends I’m blessed to have by my side, and the God who has answered my prayers and turned my impossible into a reality.

So, little and big girls (and guys), I pray you’ll find your ideal balance between the two!  Enjoy your dreaming… and best wishes for your future xxx

The List Maker

Do you have a list of what you want in your future husband/wife? What’s on your list? Are you list ready? Come explore the ‘list’ concept with me…

If you’re reading this, chances are you either know someone who has a list of attributes they want in a spouse/partner, or you have (or have had) such a list yourself…

This post isn’t about whether it’s right or wrong to have a list… you can decide that for yourself.  I just want to put some ideas and questions out there for you to ponder…

Why have a list?

It seems that those with lists use them as yardsticks to see whether potential girlfriends/boyfriends measure up to their expectations. 

On a basic level, they ask themselves, “Is this the kind of person I want to spend my life with?” and that seems like a reasonable thing to do. 

On a deeper level, though, it seems to say, “I know exactly what I want and need in a mate”, and “They must measure up.  They must tick all the boxes.  They must give me what I want”.  I wonder a little about that.  Do we really know what we want and need in a husband/wife?  I don’t know everything about my future, where my life will take me, or the challenges I will face.  So, how can I know what I need?  The first example of marriage in the Bible is Adam and Eve.  God saw Adam was alone, said that it wasn’t good, and so made him a helper, Eve.  Did he consult Adam and ask him what he wanted?  Would Adam have known? 

What’s on your list?

I find it intriguing hearing what people have on their lists…

He/she must…  fulfil these 100 very specific physical attributes, have a swagful of particular skills/talents/abilities, exhibit an array of lovely, well-developed character traits…

What difference will it make to your marriage if he/she is blond, can play the cello and sing the national anthem of Liechtenstein???

If we look at a few examples from the Bible and read between the lines a little, we could consider what may have been on people’s lists when they sought a spouse…

Noah (& Mrs Noah) – ‘She’ll have a good attitude (no-grumbler here please!) and stick by me no matter what’

Isaac (& Rebekah) – ‘She’ll be servant hearted and will go where God calls her’

Abraham (& Sarah) – ‘She’ll be patient’ and ‘He will trust God and be obedient and thankful’

Jacob (& Rachel) – ‘She will be beautiful’

Jacob (& Leah) – ‘She will be motherly’ (If he’d have bothered with a list for the wife he didn’t really want, that is!)

Boaz (& Ruth) ‘She’ll be faithful to God’ and ‘He’ll fulfil his responsibilities’

Elkanah (& Hannah) ‘She’ll be hopeful in the face of disappointment and tenacious in her prayers’ and ‘He’ll comfort me in tough times’

David (& Abigail) ‘She’ll speak wisdom to me when I need it’

Gomer (& Hosea) ‘He will be gracious and forgiving’

The King (& Esther) ‘She’ll stand up for what she believes in, and be a person of great influence and integrity’ and ‘He will show me favour’

Samson (& Delilah) ‘He will be strong and buff’

Aquila (& Priscilla) ‘She/He will be united with me and we’ll be a team to share the message of Christ’

Were these couples perfect?  How similar/different were their lists to ours today?  Did they always display their ‘list attributes’? 

It is pretty clear that there will be times when our partner fails to live up to our expectations (and we’ll fail to meet theirs).  And, I would suggest that marriage is far more about persistence than perfection!  Which makes me wonder…

Are you ‘list ready’?

Something I’m yet to hear, is someone sharing about their list of what THEY intend to BE for their future husband/spouse.  This constantly amazes me.  How selfish is it to have a long list of expectations of someone else, yet to fail to consider what you offer to them.  Marriage is a two-way street after all!

In light of this, I find the Proverbs 31 wife inspiring.  I know we can read about her and feel like we’ll never measure up, but I don’t think the proverb is to be a ‘to do list’ for us.  More, I think it points to perhaps her greatest attribute, her dependence upon God.  No woman (or man) could do all that she did without being empowered to do so by God.  I imagine her prayer life went something like this, ‘God show me your heart.  Teach me your ways.  Show me how to be a great wife and mother.  Help me to be moulded into the person you’ve created me to be.  Guide my steps.  Lead me unto obedience.  Let me never forget your goodness…’  And, I imagine her husband was similar, and together they’d have been a power couple! 

I don’t have a list for my future husband.  Sure I have things I’d like to see in Him.  I want him to be passionate about God, family-minded, servant hearted, fun to be with and attractive.  But above all that… I want to be a wife that is deserving of such a husband.  And I desire to be a ‘helper’ who will bring out the best in the one I do life with.  Most of all, I want us to be a great team, living wholeheartedly for our God and drawing our strength from Him.

Whether you’re a list maker or not, be encouraged to seek God’s heart for what He wants in your life and in your loving… 

The Prodigal’s Bro

So we always hear about the Prodigal’s son, but today I’m chatting about his bro and the lessons we can we learn from him… for life… and singleness…

The Prodigal Son is a story we’re pretty familiar with – cheeky younger son (the Prodigal) asks for his inheritance before he should… squanders his money… comes home hoping to be looked after just like a servant, but gets welcomed in and treated like a true son.  His big bro is pretty unimpressed and feels rather hard-done-by.

I can relate to having been the Prodigal’s bro, especially as an older single girl, but here are some fresh perspectives…

What’s in your hand?

Luke 15:12 (New Century Version) says, ‘The younger son said to his father, “Give me my share of the property”.  So the father divided the property between his two sons…”

Stop.Right.There!  Did you see that?  The father divided his property between his two sons.  Yeah, that’s right, they both got the property! 

Have you ever been that single person who’s looked around and felt just a tad annoyed at the ‘younger brothers’ in your world who have that relationship that you’re after?  Have you ever thought, why am I still waiting – don’t I deserve good things as much as, or more than, they do?  What’s going on, God?

I know I’ve been there, a few years back.  Wondering what God was up to and why He hadn’t brought my husband into my life in a ‘timely manner’.  Pff… how silly was I!  He showed me, that I was in my season of singleness for a reason, and He’d given me everything I needed to live it out well, just as the father had already given the Prodigal’s bro his inheritance (which he completely ignored, BTW!).  Sometimes, I think we need to take our ‘It’s all about me’ glasses off, and put our God-goggles on instead, so that we can start to appreciate what we’ve been given. 

Since I’ve surrendered to God and the things He’s called me to, He’s opened my eyes to new opportunities, and He’s made a way for me to pursue the things He has placed on my heart.  #satisfied – yes, that’s me now.  My desire to be a wife and mother haven’t changed, but my willingness to embrace my current season has enabled God to make room in my life for dream-chasing.  Even just this year, I’ve had my work schedule changed a couple of times, giving me extra time to do other things and I’ve had opportunities to learn skills which will make me a better mum when the time comes.  And that’s only the beginning… He has led me, grown me, and brought me into new things.  What I have ‘in my hand’ (that is, where I’m at in life right now) is good!

Where Attitude and Action Meet

After the Prodigal wasted his money, “The older son was angry… He said to his father, ‘I have served you like a slave… But you never gave me even a young goat to have at a feast with my friends …’ (Luke 15:28-29 NCV).

The Prodigal’s Bro had all he needed, yet he let his stinkin’-thinking hold him back.  Seriously, this guy whinged that he’d never had a party, even though no-one was stopping him.  I mean, really. C’mon! 

He got hooked up just as much as his little bro, and although he might not have spent his money on frivolous living, he did waste it just the same.  You see, when our father (God) gives us something, He expects us to use it.  In Matt 25:14-30, those who were faithful with the little they were given, received more, while the lazy one got nothing.  I think gift-blindness (failing to see what we’ve been given) and ungratefulness (that’s not what I wanted, God…) can be some of the greatest hindrances in our lives.  Sure, I’m single and wanting more, and I could curl up in a corner somewhere and whinge and complain, OR I could appreciate what I have and use it well with a good attitude, knowing that what is grown in my life now will only help me to be better later.  If I’d been married and had children years ago I would have done okay, but I am way more ready now that I ever would have been then.

So, you know what, I’m Single. Happy.  Fulfilled. Living An Amazing Life!  And yes, I’ve had my fair share of ‘young goats’! ;)🎈🎉 hee hee 

I’ve learnt so much through my journey. And, I feel so grateful to be able to share with others who are in this season of life too, for I know that with the right attitude we can use what’s in our hands to be blessed and bless others.

Let’s not squander everything, like the Prodigal and his bro did, but rather embrace what we have!

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

A little post about the Good, the Bad & the Ugly men in my world, the lessons they’ve taught me and the giggles they’ve brought me! 🙂

In my last post (Thanks guys!), I wrote about the ‘good’ guys who’ve blessed my life so much.  This post is about the bad boys and ugly ones (no rudeness intended!) – not a man-bashing message (I hate that kind of stuff), but a look at how they’ve shaped my life for good. 

So, here’s to

… that boy in High School who tried his best to destroy my beliefs – he helped me develop determination to always stand up for what I value and to not be shaken by the opinions of others.

… the guy who proposed and then threatened to commit suicide when I said no – although I didn’t sleep so well that night, I did learn that other people’s decisions are not my responsibility (and in case you’re wondering, no, he didn’t kill himself!). 

… the bloke who considered me to be his ‘flavour of the month’, then ran off with another chick – he reminded me that if a man doesn’t value me for who I am, then he is not the one for me.

… the ones who’ve wanted me to compromise on my values – they’ve helped me to take a step back to look at the bigger picture and make the decisions that would give me the life I really want.

… the stalker who hung about my workplace criticising my love of coloured popcorn.  He taught me to never date a man that bags out your food, and to steer clear of the cleaner (yep, that was his mum and she thought we’d make a great couple, vomit vomit)!  Just kidding, but seriously, that did happen and I am so grateful that I don’t have to settle for ‘average Joe’.

… those who I just didn’t find attractive, who’ve made me grateful that I have the freedom to choose whom I date and marry! Looks might not be everything, but it doesn’t hurt to find someone who’s at least a little pleasing to the eyes . 

Ah, yes, there’s been some doozies, but looking back I can laugh and appreciate so many things …

Hope you have some funny and ridiculous stories that you can reflect on too!  Life’s too short to take silly things too seriously – those randoms that just weren’t right shouldn’t hold you back or down – just glean the lessons and giggles you can, and move right along…

I’m a girl growing a backpack full of crazy stories hee hee,

Have an amazing day!

P.S. If you’re a girl or guy who’s had the misfortune of experiencing abuse at the hands of another person – someone who’s actions have been very Bad and whose heart has been Ugly, I’m truly sorry.  It’s never okay for someone to harm another like that.  You are worth far more than they will ever know, and I pray that you’ll be able to rise above the hurt they’ve caused you, so that you can live the incredible, purposeful life you’re truly designed for.  You have greatness and beauty within and so much to offer the world!  Hang in there!  Love you! xx

Thanks guys!

It’s a wonderful world we live in. I’m surrounded by inspiring men who’ve spoken love and value into my life. Come read along as I tell you how they’ve blessed my life! I wonder… who’s left their mark on you and your life?

I’m not married, engaged or even dating, but I’ve been thinking lately about how I’ve been so blessed to have had such inspiring guys in my life over the years. 

I actually wrote a big list of my ‘main men’ and their amazing traits, but after filling more than just a page or two, I thought I’d best just give you a summary!  (I’m guessing you’ll want to get to bed sometime tonight! Ha ha)

So… to each of those guys, who’ve impacted my world in a big way, I’d like to say, I appreciate your… respectfulness, listening ears, all-embracing hugs, help in my ‘damsel in distress’ moments, encouragement, romantic gestures and gentlemanly ways.

I’m grateful for: the life lessons you’ve taught me, the adventure and fun you’ve brought into my life, and the kindness and care you’ve shown me in my weakest moments.

I’m so thankful for: the ways in which you’ve made me laugh and smile, how you’ve valued me for who I am and seen my potential; and most of all, you’re encouragement of my walk with God.

And, just for fun… here’s a little gratitude for those who’ve liked me, whether I liked them in return or not 😉  For, “When anyone likes you it’s pretty fantastic, really, isn’t it” (Thanks ‘Nottinghill’! Tee hee).

It’s my wish that this post might remind you of some of the great men or lovely ladies that have tread the pages of your life story.  And if you’re ever stuck in a lonely moment, that you’ll look back and remember them.

For me, I know that while I’m technically ‘alone’, I never am.  I have an abundance of beautiful family members and friends, and a God who never leaves me nor forsakes me!

Stay tuned for my next post… I’ve got a little something about ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ men I’ve encountered…

From my happy, full-to-the-brim heart to yours,

Have a magnificent day!

xx A girl growing

The Waiting Game: Myth Busting #2

Ever been told that you’re just not marriage material? Let’s bust that myth…

Myth #2: You’re just not marriage material

Ever had someone throw that line at you?  Oh, you’re single… well, perhaps you’re just not marriage material…

Can I just say, that’s rubbish!  People don’t get married because they’re marriage material!  There are plenty of people out there who are married and not doing the greatest job of it.  And there are lots of people who seem to enter marriage on a whim, without any real thought of what it means or requires of them.

So, if you’re single, it’s not because you’re not marriage material.

Sure there’s some things that we can all do to make ourselves more ‘marriageable’ –taking care of ourselves a little, being diligent with our studies and work, caring for others, and not becoming a desperate, crazy stalker of every single guy/girl we know (not attractive, people, not attractive!).  But that’s where we singles are incredibly blessed… we’re uniquely positioned in a place where we can build confidence in who we are and actively develop our relationship skills completely ‘uninterrupted’ (that is, we can learn the stuff and let it become a part of who we are, before we’re ‘under the pump’ of living it within our marriage and family life). 

If you’re one of those people who’ve had someone deem you ‘not marriageable’, then make the most of the time you have now to become the person you’d like your future spouse to be married to!

Ask God to help you to see yourself as He does (beautiful, talented, valuable, unique…) and live that out boldly! When you’re comfortable in your own skin, then you are not going to look for a partner to ‘complete’ you, as you’ll already be 100% whole and secure.  Now, that’s attractive!

Also, grab hold of the opportunities to prepare yourself to be an incredible husband/wife and parent.  Dig deep to learn and develop your relationship skills.  Read books, listen to podcasts, watch DVD relationship series, learn from others who are doing marriage and parenting well (and discover what not to do from those who aren’t quite as successful)… 

And, be grateful – you’re in a learning season that many people never get to experience!  I’m so thankful for the journey God’s taken me on, and I know I’m far more ready for marriage and parenting now than I ever was in my 20’s. 

I’m a girl growing and I hope you’re all growing (rising up, gaining strength, becoming better and learning lots) too! 

Hope made real

If I hope to get fit, I put my joggers on and go to the gym. If I hope to be a wife and mum I… (come find out!)

For a long time, I’ve dreamt of having an amazing husband and beautiful children, and the joys (and trials) that would come from being a wife and mum.  But you see I’m not a pipe dream kind of girl.  I’m not happy to just sit back with a vague thought in the back of my mind, that maybe one day my dreams will come to pass. 
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is being sure of the things we hope for…  and convicted of their reality” (New Century and Amplified Versions). 

I know that when we’re sure of something, we take action.  For example, if we’re sure it’s going to rain, we take our umbrella out with us.  If we’re sure we’re going camping, we take a tent.  If we’re sure we’re going to the gym, we take our joggers.
So doesn’t it make sense when we are sure of our dreams to follow through with some appropriate action?  I think so!

And that is why, in January, I wrote a list of monthly goals for 2015 – things to do to cement and make real my dreams – evidence of the fabulous future that’s ahead of me.  Just one example is that I’m sewing and crocheting some nursery items and clothes for my future babies!  I’m excited to plan and pray for these little ones, to prepare my heart and my home for their footsteps, and to let my dreams well up within me as an assurance that one day, I’m going to be Mum to some gorgeous bubs!

Check out the picture of my latest project – aren’t these pants just the cutest!!!  They remind me of my Grandad who has always worn suspenders.


No doubt some people will tell me that my plan will make me look like a ‘crazy cat lady’ (no I don’t own any cats!) and they’ll warn me that I’ll scare away all potential husbands (because clearly guys meeting girls who are in their 30s wouldn’t already assume that they may want kids one day… um, yeah, that’s totally crazy and unexpected). 

Yet others will stand with me and cheer me on. 

Either way, I don’t care. 

I’m a girl on a mission, a person with a plan!  A girl who believes that God is faithful and will provide a way for the hopes and dreams He has placed in my heart, to come to pass.  I’m not sitting back waiting for life to fall in my lap; I’m actively pursuing it.

I’m a girl growing the hope within me! 

I’d love to hear your stories and see your photos of how you’re putting action to your hopes and dreams!  Feel free to share …

You are loved

Dear Singles,

Today is Valentine’s Day and I pray that on this day you will know that you are loved beyond measure, by the One who created love and made it such a sought after thing.

It gets me every time when I hear 1 Corinthians 13 read out in the movie, ‘A Walk to Remember’.  God’s love for us is so immense, so far beyond what we can imagine.

Know today, that you are valued, beautiful/handsome, talented, gifted, amazing and full of purpose.  Know that He pursues you every day, longing to be close to you.

Be confident – You.Are.His! He loves you enough to die for you.  He loves you enough to care about every detail of your life.

Let today be all about love.  The best.  His.

Love from your friend,
A girl who’s grown to know that God’s got this – this moment and every one hereafter.

Happy Valentines! xxx


The Waiting Game: Myth Busting #1

singleness vs. marriage?

In one of my previous posts (The Waiting Game: Don’t Ask Why), I mentioned how some married people say dumb things to me about my singleness.  They may have good intentions, but because they’ve never been an older single, they just don’t understand that what they are saying really isn’t helpful.  I know I’m not alone in this experience, because I’ve had many conversations with other single friends who say the same things.

So, in this series of posts, I’d like to bust a few myths and bring a better understanding of singleness to both singles and marrieds alike.  For the truth is, singleness can be both one of life’s greatest joys and biggest challenges.

Myth #1: Marriage trumps singleness.

If you’re single and not 21 anymore, then you’ve no doubt had at least a billion people (okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration) make comments to you along the lines that your life hasn’t really started yet… or that you really need someone to take care of you… or even that you will make a really great wife/husband one day (and they just can’t understand why someone hasn’t ‘snapped you up already’).  All these comments seem to send a pretty clear message – that marriage is better than singleness, and you’re somehow lacking because you’re not there yet.

Well, here’s the reality: Jesus, the only perfect man to have ever walked on this earth, was single.  Enough said…

Still wanting more… the only time in the Bible when marriage and singleness are ‘ranked’ (that is, compared to one another), is when Paul speaks, and he talks of how he feels it can be better to be single!  And even then, he doesn’t say that one is actually better than the other, he just notes that you have different roles and opportunities in each of these different seasons of life (1 Corinthians 7).  Every other mention of marriage and singleness in the Word is simply instructional – ‘If you’re single/married, here’s how to live life well’…  God created us as whole, complete singles, and He also designed marriage, so clearly both are great options and one is not better than the other!

Singles: You are amazing… just the way you are! (Yes, 1D are on to something there).  So, grab hold of the amazing opportunities and freedoms that Paul talks about, and make the most of where you are at right now…

make peace with your past and don’t hold grudges, forgive, stop worrying and comparing, pray, spend time with family and friends, hug someone and tell them how special they are, laugh, choose to be happy and to appreciate all the good things in life, enjoy each day (take time to ‘smell the roses’ and use the fancy plates, like that ad on t.v. told us to), travel and enjoy the great outdoors, go to the gym or out for a run, read good books, volunteer, invest yourself and your money in things that matter, create good work-life balance, take care of yourself and have some ‘me’ time, say ‘no’ sometimes, put aside how you feel and pursue your passions and dreams, take risks, be real and honest, live in the moment and for the future, trust the plan God has for your life,  and remember that the best is yet to come…

Married people: Do you believe, as Christine Caine says that, ‘Singleness is not a disease’?  When was the last time you encouraged a single friend that they were in a great stage of life?  (And really meant it?  No, I’m not talking about a whinge, ‘Well, my lazy husband wouldn’t even take out the garbage today.  You’re so lucky you don’t have to deal with that’.  ‘Oh yes, I get to do ALL the jobs myself, all the time. I’m SO lucky [Insert rolling of the eyes from all the singles in the world who’ve ever been subjected to one of these frustrating conversations]).
What’s one thing you could start to say or do differently to be more accepting and encouraging of the single people in your world, and the life God’s called them to live right now?  (Up for a challenge?  Write a sticky note for yourself of your ‘one thing’ and pop it on your mirror or someplace where you’ll see it often, do it, and let me know how it goes – I’d love to hear from you!).

If you want to delve into this a little more, I’d really encourage you to download the Elevation Church app on your phone, iPad or tablet, and have a listen to one of Pastor Steven Furtick’s podcast series, ‘Meant to Be’ which goes through 1 Corinthians 7 in lots of detail for both singles and marrieds.

Heartbreak High

I’m writing this post as I travel back from a youth camp. It was a great experience in many ways, but it also left me feeling heartbroken and humbled.

My heart aches for the teenagers who don’t know what it means to be loved.  And for those who experience neglect and abuse as part of their daily lives. It saddens me that you can no longer ask them about their parents, and that instead, you have to ask, “Who lives in your house?”, because all too often mum and dad aren’t around.

And probably most of all, I find it devastating that so many of them don’t know their worth. One night at camp we held a formal dinner, with everyone dressing up, the girls being pampered with hair and makeup, and the boys decorating the ‘restaurant’ (camp dining hall) and waiting on the girls with their meals. The male camp leaders picked the girls up, gave them a rose (yes, think The Bachelor ha ha), and escorted them to dinner, where the guys all cheered and clapped for them.

What amazed me was that this beautiful event was initially quite traumatic for some of the girls. They were exceptionally nervous at being picked up and presented to the guys, with some even in tears. They questioned their beauty and felt undeserving of attention and care. 

Yet, some of my favourite camp moments came from this night. I loved hearing the girls tell me how special the night had been. It made me smile when they decorated our cabin with their roses and carefully packed them up to take home. And, it brought a tear to my eye as we had conversations about how they deserved to be treated well by a guy – that he should recognise and value their beauty, and do things to make them feel special. And, it seemed, they got it. I know they’ll take home lots of memories from camp, but above all else I hope they remember how precious they are.

And, this was what humbled me… I am no more deserving of love than any of them. I didn’t earn a place in a loving family. I was just incredibly blessed to be born in the family I was. Especially, to have a dad who showed me love, taught me to look for love in the right places, and showed me that I deserved to be ‘romanced’ (Yes, my Dad brought me roses. And, was the perfect ‘I love walks on the beach and picnics in the park’ newspaper ad for love ha ha – do you ever read those?  Well… as I was growing up, my Dad and I often went for such walks, chatting about life and eating Cherry Ripes).

Camp also made me realise how disconnected I can be, at times, from those around me who need a little loving. I feel like my own teenage years are a zillion light-years past. I don’t speak the lingo of youth today (although I have learnt this week what a twelvie is). And I quite often feel like I can’t relate to their lives. But, this week, I saw how much the same we are – we all want to be loved, appreciated, valued, acknowledged and made to feel special. And, I rediscovered how easy it is to give that to someone – to just give them some of my time, to hangout and have fun, to listen and talk, to comfort someone as they cry, and to share a little of what I know with those who’ve not yet journeyed as far as I have in life.

I find it interesting when people question why God allows pain and suffering (I’m not going to go into that right now). More so, though, I wonder… why do we?

So, that’s my challenge for myself at the moment, to try and be more consciously aware of those around me, and to go out of my comfort zone to show love to those who may otherwise never experience it.

The Waiting Game: Don’t Ask Why

Why am I still single? Does God not see or care about my pain and disappointment? Should I even be asking these questions?

When I was younger being single was easy and carefree. And then, I got a little older and suddenly, every Tom, Dick and Harry felt like they had the right to question everything about me and to give their unsolicited opinions and advice on how I should live my life.

99% of the time, I’d laugh off their ridiculous statements and questions, but occasionally, I’d rather foolishly take on board the things they said, and begin to ponder…

Why AM I still single?

Is there something wrong with me?

Am I not {prayerful, attractive, wise, faithful, Godly, financial…} enough?

Have I missed the boat?

Will I have to settle for marrying my friend’s cousin (the one that he/she wanted to set me up on a blind date with, the one that I have nothing in common with, the one I find unattractive in every way, the one who’s about a billion years too old for me, the one who has no ambition or dreams…)? And, if that’s the case, why does everyone else get to be with someone amazing, whilst I get left with the dregs?

How is it fair that I am still single, yet Mr and Mrs Crazyface are happily married? (They’re that couple we all know who seem to defy gravity – living in a self-absorbed way, never showing any wisdom in a single life decision, always taking advantage of others etc.; yet also seeming to constantly win at life)

Does God not see or care about my pain, frustration and disappointment?

These questions would swirl around my mind like a whirlpool (or more accurately – a cesspool) on those tough days. They spoke negativity. They stripped me of hope. They never made me feel good about myself or my future, or even God for that matter. They were dumb questions!

And then one day, a little while back, I read Lamentations 3:25-29 (The Message version). It says,

‘God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times. When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions. Wait for hope to appear.’

I thought about these words and heartily agreed… with most of them… This was my mindset, my belief, on all of my good days. But… ‘Don’t ask questions’??? When I read those words, I felt somewhat offended and got a little angry with God. Don’t ask questions – You (God) make me wait for all these years, with no answers, and then you’re like, ‘Don’t ask questions’! You’ve seen my faithfulness, even when it was the last thing I felt like giving, and you don’t think I deserve to ask a few questions? What????

And in that moment, I knew I had to decide, would I do what I knew was right even if it went against everything I felt? (Sigh… why can’t obedience be easy! Ha ha)

That day, I stopped asking why. I replaced my questions with trust.

Don’t get me wrong, I still get annoyed at the dumb things people say. But now, I don’t let their questions lead me to questioning who I am or who God is, and the plans He has for me life. When bombarded with their questions and thoughts… I anchor myself in Christ.

Like a young child will jump off the edge of the pool into his/her dad’s arms, with complete trust that he will catch them, I now remember that as I jump into the life God has for me in this moment, He will catch me and lead me forward into my tomorrows and whatever they hold.

I maintain hope as I remember that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139:14), and He has good plans for my life (Ps 139:16, Jer 29:11). And furthermore, if I want good things for my life, how much more must He (Mt 7:9-11, Is 55:9)!

Whatever stage of life you’re at today, you no doubt have a few questions swirling around your own mind. Perhaps they are similar to those I had. Or perhaps you’re asking, Why don’t I seem to be able to get ahead? How will we survive financially? Have I missed my calling? Why can’t we get pregnant? Why are the kids being so challenging right now? How will I ever be enough (for my marriage, job, parenting role…)?

For me, not asking questions hasn’t meant throwing all common sense to the wind. If I was asking how I’d pay my bills, then that would be a reasonable thing if it was what was motivating me to go to work each day. I guess, I now seek answers to the things that I can do something about, but I trust God with the ‘unknowns’.

What about you and your questions?

I’m not okay

A friend committed suicide yesterday… I’m not okay… We can all lend someone support when they’re not okay…

I’m writing today’s blog entry through tears.  This week has been full of shock factor moments  – earlier in the week we learnt that Robin Williams, the guy who made us all laugh, committed suicide, then a few days later a friend let me know he’s struggling with depression, and just this morning I received a phone call telling me that one of my friends hung herself last night. 

All of this makes me think of ‘Are you okay?’ day which was held earlier in the year to bring awareness to depression and the need for checking in on our family and friends to see that they’re coping with life, and to support them if they are not.  At the time that this day was held, I thought it was a little bit tokenistic – we shouldn’t have just one day on our calendar each year when we care about the welfare of those we love.  Our ‘radars’ for this should always be switched on.

And also, it made me wonder, how many people would actually say, ‘I’m not okay’, if we asked them.  I find that all too often we live in a world where we wear our masks to hide the truth about how we’re really going.  I know myself, I’ve answered the, ‘How are you?’ question with, ‘Well, thanks’, on many occasions when I’ve been anything but. 

Fortunately for me, I have a couple of friends who pick me like a dirty nose (their words ha ha).  I’m so grateful that when I tell them I’m fine/okay, when I’m really not, they know better and they make me talk.  They are the people that I can burst into tears with and share the pain of whatever I’m struggling with at that moment, and they will show me love and give me fresh perspective, and help me know that better days are yet to come.  They don’t pretend that everything is rosy when it isn’t, but nor do they let me wallow.  They just let me express how I’m feeling, before they encourage me to take steps to walk through the pain and the difficult circumstance, and into the good future that is ahead.  I love that about them. 

On the other hand, I hate that my friend took her own life last night – that she didn’t cry out for help when she was overwhelmed with life.  I hate that our world’s mask wearing ways leave people silently hurting, fearing judgement, feeling like they are out of options.  I hate that I am going to miss my friend and all the beautiful things about her that I loved so much.  And I hate that I can’t change what she’s done.

Which is why I decided to write this blog entry – I realised that I could lay on my couch crying, or I could do something positive with my pain by talking about an issue that we all know about, but maybe should give a little more thought to.

I want to be the girl that people can come to with all their rawness, knowing that when they say, “I’m not okay”, I’ll tell them that that’s okay, and that I’m there for them and that I love them.  That I’ll walk with them through their struggles and onto the other side.  That I’ll acknowledge that life is incredibly hard sometimes.  That we all have those times when life seems like one big, black storm cloud and we wonder how we’ll ever get through it.  And, most of all, I want to be the one that helps them to discover the rainbow on the other side of the storm. 

I want to tell them that I know and understand because I’ve been there myself.  My Dad often tells me that God only gives us as much as we can handle – I hate hearing those words – yet they are about the truest words I’ve ever heard.  As I look back on my life, I know that there have been many crazy-beyond-belief storms that I really didn’t know how I’d survive.  Yet, I have.  And we all can – not on our own, but with God’s help and His strength, and some good family and friends around us who we can be real with, knowing that they’ll love and support us.

So, today I want you to think, whose nose are you picking? That is, do people know they can be real with you?  And, how are you offering hope and support to those in your world who are doing it tough? 

Also, when you are facing life’s greatest challenges, what do you do about it?  Do you have people that you can go to?  If you do, that’s amazing, and if you don’t then you need to find some.  For you are so incredibly valuable and precious.  You are loved more than you might ever imagine – even if you don’t always feel it.  And your life has incredible meaning – God created you with great purpose and if your life was to be cut short the world would be so much worse off for it.   

What I’ve written today is raw and unpolished – and I’m leaving it that way on purpose – because my life is better today for having exposed my rawest and most unpolished state/ways to those that ‘pick my nose’ – because in these vulnerable moments, I’ve gained renewed hope, had my batteries re-charged and gained strength to continue to fight my battles and conquer them.  

If today, you’re saying, “I’m not okay”, then I want you to know that admitting that makes you strong and not weak.  I want you to know you are not alone.  And I want to encourage you to get help – talk to a trusted family member or friend, someone at a local church, a counsellor, or another professional.  While you might not be okay today, with some help you can be. 

Here’s some resources that may be helpful if you or someone you know is in a hard place …


Just Dance!

I guess the, ‘Just Dance’ philosophy is how I want to live my life. Embracing it, living the dream, and loving it, regardless of the crazy and tough things that might be going on around me, or what others might think of me.

I’m a teacher at a beautiful primary school, in an area that can get quite bitterly cold on snowy, or even just wet and windy, days. These are some of my favourite days… especially if it happens to be sports day.
You see, it’s on these occasions that I can put ‘Just Dance’ on the interactive whiteboard and we can have a dance party for P.E. There’s really nothing much cuter than watching little ones proving that they’ve, ‘got moves like Jagger’. 🙂  Not to mention the excitement that, ‘Ghostbusters’, ‘Gangnam style’ and ‘What does the fox say?’ (That song never gets old, right ;)) brings out in them.

I love that the child who was feeling sick, or the shy one of the class, is soon up dancing; leaving their troubles behind and just having fun. Unless they’ve hit the, ‘I’m too cool (read, embarrassed) for this’ stage of life, that is. When I see the struggle going on inside these kids minds as they try to decide, ‘Do I do what makes me happy or do I fit in with the crowd?’, it makes me a little sad.

I guess the, ‘Just Dance’ philosophy is how I want to live my life. Embracing it, living the dream, and loving it, regardless of the crazy and tough things that might be going on around me, or what others might think of me.

I want, like Paul, to celebrate God all day every day, to not worry, to think on lovely things, to be happy, and to be content in every situation, rather than becoming a grumbler (Philippians 4:13-14). 

I want to appreciate every good thing in my life…

I want to make the most of the opportunities I have, and to be bold enough to chase my dreams. 

I want to go against the grain, being me and not just another sheep.

I want to ‘shoosh’ the nay-sayers who tell me I’m incomplete or not enough, that my calling is dumb, or that I don’t have what it takes to fulfill my God-given purpose.

Yes, I want to be a mould-breaker, a ‘road less travelled’ kind of girl, a dancer!…

I’m not naive.  I don’t believe that life is a picnic, and I have plenty of battle wounds and scars to prove it.  I don’t want this life because it’s easy… but because it’s worth it.

How about you? 

Will you silence your critics, dream big, and,
‘Just dance.
[Knowing you’re] gonna be okay…
Dance.  Dance.  Dance. 
Just dance!’?
(Thanks, Lady Gaga!)