Monthly Archives: July 2016

Chocolate Faces

Summer and Sarah chocolate facesWe have some great carers that help us with our girls!! Jenny does cooking with the girls  once or twice a week and today I’m pretty sure they made something with chocolate in it. Hoping some of it made it to the oven for us to eat later! 🙂

We have a range of carers on different days, to help with getting the girls ready in the morning and after school. Mary comes six mornings a week plus one afternoon plus is employed by our church. Truly a legend. Not all carers have worked out – it’s not an easy job – not for everyone. Knowing this makes us appreciate the support all the more. And especially we appreciate their love and care for the girls and the family. Their help makes a massive difference!

Ten Scriptures For Freedom

Brussel sprouts 2One of my absolute smashing favourite Scriptures is “I will walk about in freedom for I have sought your commands”. Haha. It seems like a crazy juxtaposition. Like saying I will be in raptures eating brussel sprouts! Are you kidding me?

But that’s what the Bible is. Crazy when you have no revelation. Well much of it.

But when you have revelation, it is gold and it is life and it turns everything on its head!

Here’s ten Scripture commands off the top of my head that bring freedom…

  1. Forgive seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22). Unlimited forgiveness means unlimited freedom. You’re not bound in bitterness. And your body doesn’t suffer as a result.
  1. Pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:28). Switches your focus to wanting your enemies good and their highest good, instead of ruminating on how awful they are. Path to freedom.
  1. Confess your sins (James 5:16). Aaaah. Get that guilt out. Get that load off your shoulders. Give it to the one who died for all of that dark stuff. Jesus can handle it. FREEDOM!!!
  1. Consider trials joy (James 1:2-4). Oh yeah. This one’s inspiring. Change your focus off the pain of the pain, to the gain of the pain. You get perseverance, maturity, completeness. Stuff that isn’t formed any other way.
  1. Remember the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8). Then you your body and mind will be rested, your spirit rejuvenated and you will function at a higher, more free level. God created us and wrote the manual for how we function best.
  1. Love the Lord your God (Matthew 22:37). Don’t just respect him. Don’t just obey him. Hahaha. LOVE him. Totally different. And not just the lipservice love. This is heart stuff. What do you really love? What gets you in the core of your being? What prompts your love? Now you know the answer to that, then learn to love God like this and then more and more and more. And as it happens more and more, God will give you grace to experience more of his love, and then you will love him a whole lot more. This is unlimited peoples. Wherever you are at, there is so much more. So much freedom in true love. Different motivation for EVERYTHING!
  1. Don’t commit adultery. Don’t look at a woman lustfully (Matthew 5:27-28). Oh man. So much pain, hurt, suffering, chains, bondage down that pathway. Looks great. So enticing. But so many lies from the enemy in baiting people here. Not the path for freedom. Heed the Scripture and you can walk in freedom. Flee from all this darkness and junk!
  1. Don’t lie (Colossians 3:9). Ooh yucky awful stuff here. Trust is eroded by lies. Trust of others, trust of yourself. No honour or freedom here. Heed the Scripture and let your lips speak truth. Freedom here.
  1. Don’t be anxious (Philippians 4:6). What did you say? You mean I have a choice? Yup! Not easy at first. But when you realise the power of your own will to boss your thoughts, there is liberation coming your way. Keep practicing. Imagine freedom of anxiety. Hahahaha!
  1. Worship the Lord your God and serve only him (Luke 4:8). Nothing greater than to express your adoration of the greatest. Single eyed, not compromised, all for one. 100% Jesus. When I was worshipping God during Sunday service this morning I imagined being in heaven and then I unleashed even more exuberance. Cos there is no shame there in giving him our utmost. What delight to worship him with everything. Freedom unsurpassed in this place. The only miserable thing about writing this, is reading back over it again and realising that unless you experience this it just sounds like an excited fan. How lousy to not be able to use words to describe the heights of intimate communion with God himself. Personal connection at the deepest place in our spirit and soul. It goes way beyond mental acknowledgment. Here I’m not only legally free but my whole being FEELS free!

An Open Letter to You

Gold FrameI often say to my kids, ‘how come you’re so gorgeous’. Sometimes they remember the answer… ‘because God made me’. Then I like to say, ‘God did a good job when he made you!’

And that’s what I want to say to YOU – ‘God did a good job when he made you!’ He didn’t stuff up. You’re not a half attempt. He’s the expert at making people. He’s the ultra creator, the masterpiece maker. And that’s what you are – a masterpiece.

So why hide? So why look down on yourself? Why try and fit in with everyone else. You are unique. You are amazing. You reflect the extravagance and amazing mind of the greatest being EVER.

Be who you have been made to be. Be all of it. Don’t hold back. Don’t let fear hold you back.

Unleash you. Hahahaha! YES!!!!!

Personally I find myself most free and most authentic in God. When I live and breathe in him, I get free. I become myself. Because God is my source, my creator and my enabler.

Why not draw from the life source. Connect with him. That’s where true freedom is! That’s where you find out who you really are.

*Lovely gold frame picture from 

It’s Still Here!!

Vine arch

A miracle has happened in our home. I bravely or foolishly put up a fake vine around the arch of the loungeroom entrance while Summer and Sarah were at a respite house. And I am very pleased and excited to announce that after 14 days IT IS STILL THERE!!!

No-one has pulled on it. No-one has tugged it. There has been no meltdown from Summer in that area and subsequent destructive behaviour. No curious dismantling.

Wow. I am delighted and relieved.

And so the decorating continues! Plants and birds upstairs. Paintings covered by glass on coffee tables. It’s fun being creative!

Refusing Fear

angry cat

I’ve got an attitude towards fear. I’m cross with it.

Fear robs people of joy and robs people of peace. That’s very, very destructive. What a miserable party pooper!

I’ve observed something about fear. It starts with something that is true or partially true and it builds on it. This gets the person in agreement. And from this point it can build a nice little castle in the person’s heart. It gets bigger and bigger, bit by bit, slowly by slowly. Until eventually the fear can be quite irrational and overpowering.

I got cross with this fear. It’s not from God. It’s from his archenemy the devil, who actually exists and who wants to rob our lives of everything precious and wonderful. He twists truth and seeks our agreement.

ENOUGH!!! I’ve decided to stop agreeing with the fear. Hahahaha. This has been wonderful and part of my liberating process. So now what happens is… I see a fear… and then I think, but but but… it’s possible… this could happen… so I’m worried about it. And then I see – I’M GETTING ROBBED OF MY FREEDOM!!!!

Cos I realised something really powerful. Hahahaha. I DON’T HAVE TO AGREE with that fear ANYMORE!!! So I get an attitude. I get stubborn. I say NOOOOOOO!

Sometimes a conversation may go on in my head. I refuse the fear. Then it might pester me. At this point it actually gets fun, because I get like a little kid who is digging their heals in. “NUP. NUP. NUP. I don’t care what ‘truth’ you are telling me fear. You are not from God. And you are robbing me. So I don’t want A BAR OF IT.”

When I persist in my disagreement, the fear weakens and eventually goes away. And then I am FREE!

And the next time fear comes, I am stronger to face it. My fear refusal muscle is growing.

Abortion – Make The World A Better Place

Sitting in my chair I had a moment. And decided to record it…

Kudos to Candace Payne for recording such a beautiful version of ‘Heal the World’. I played the song on my iPhone as I spoke, as it set the atmosphere for what I wanted to convey. This world can be healed. This world can be a better place. We can approach the abortion issue with compassion and love, with value for all.

No Guilt

Jesus baggageIt’s a lovely feeling – the absence of guilt. Instead there’s freedom. And therefore joy. And relief.

Guilt is a horrible plague. It sucks the life away and keeps one in misery land. You can never achieve perfection and the guilt just rubs it in and rubs it in endlessly.

The guilty thoughts are based on truth so they are easy to embrace and believe. I should be a better parent, a better wife, a better friend, a better citizen. And so you should! Hahaha what a miserable answer! But you won’t be able to live up to your ideals no matter how hard you try.

Sometimes a perfect day appears. I’ve had them. I’m the perfect mother, responding with grace, wisdom, love, joy. Soothing everyone’s pain and dissolving arguments, cooking a great meal, perfecting household cleanliness and even managing sex at 11pm at night. So the standard is set and this must be maintained.


The next day you’re tired. You’re grumpy. You start off patient, but one of the kids tips you over too far and you yell. Then you feel guilty and so you act a bit kinder. But then later you feel guilty because you were too soft. You remember all the parenting rules you’re breaking and you feel guilty for that too.

I have a secret to tell. I’ve had God helping me he he he. And he’s an expert at taking away guilt. He’s been rather intent recently on bringing me to a place of freedom. It’s a really nice place to be. He gently challenges my ideals and teaches me to trust him and let stuff go. One thing at a time. He is pretty patient and very loving.

When I trust him to grow me I don’t have to feel guilty about how I am or am not being. I just focus on trusting him to bring me to where I need to be. He’s responsible. I just work with him and understand he has immense patience with me. I trust in his patience and in his love.

When I trust him to grow my kids, the pressure is off me. I’m not the ‘be all and end all’. Lots of people contribute to my kids’ development. And I see God’s hand directing things in their lives. Without this guilt, I’m a better and more loving mum. Still not perfect, but free. And I’m happy for my kids to have a free mum.

When I trust him to take care of my husband, I’m free from a lot of stress. Hahaha. That sounds really bad. But my interference never amounts to good anyway. My husband is way too free spirited and independent and very resistant of my attempts to bring him to my standards of perfection. And a good thing too. Hey, sounds like I’m talking from experience haha. Trusting God helps a lot.

When I trust him to direct me, I don’t have to feel guilty about what I am or am not doing. I’m free. And I know he directs and prompts me, so I can relax knowing I can trust him to steer the ship. My heart is set on him and walking in his ways. And I pray that he will keep me from falling. And I trust him and I don’t trust myself.

Perfect Scripture about guilt is this one: “Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). All our guilt has been wiped away. It got put on Jesus. That’s why he died. He did mighty thing in that moment so we could be free. When I put my trust in him, the guilt dissolves. He’s big enough to take it all. He’s big enough to handle my trust. So I am free.

20 Simple Mummy Helps


  1. Headphones

Why get stressed out by ongoing kid noise when you can wear headphones? It took me a while to cotton onto this one. I was too afraid that I would miss hearing something important, e.g. a safety issue. But the kids are old enough now to come to me if needed. And I can still hear noise, it’s just everything is muffled. Most of the time I don’t wear them, but when I need a break, or I need energy to go a little longer, they make all the difference.

  1. iPads

Thanks to Anglicare we got two iPads for Summer and Sarah. I’m not a fan of too much screen-time. My ideal is about half an hour a day during the week, and maybe an hour on each day of the weekend. I don’t live up to this ideal when I am overtired. And especially with Summer, if I don’t have carer support, the iPad is a big help for her and for me and for the rest of the family. Not feeling guilty, just accepting the season is not ideal.

  1. Rules

Kiara, Josiah and Micah love screen-time. But they’re not allowed their quota unless their jobs are done and their room is tidy. I love this rule. In the holidays I get to hear them having conversations – let’s tidy our rooms and do our jobs and then let’s play Minecraft. Hahaha. No intervention from me. Sorted! During term, there’s not so much free time, so they care less about screen-time and rooms can get messy. And I can get grumpy.

  1. 20 things

Micah can get overwhelmed with a messy room. After all he is only five. I caught onto a good thing again the other day. Recycling strategies that worked for the older two. “Just pick up twenty things then have a break. Then do another twenty things.” So every now and then during the day I’d say, do another twenty. He was pretty happy with this after seeing how easy the first twenty was. And then he became pretty quick. In the end he sped up as he wanted screen-time.

  1. Music

In the mornings I put on my favourite songs. For me it is a Youtube mix of Hillsong, Bethel and some other worship songs. Love it. It sets the atmosphere and helps me stay nicer.

  1. Chocolate

A couple of pieces of chocolate in the afternoon make me feel happy. But not too much, or they make my body feel depressed. Note to self.

  1. Nanna nap

I used to rest for 15 minutes every four hours. That was a life-line when the kids were pre-school age. Even if they were crawling on me I lay horizontal for 15 minutes. I set the timer. The only reason I did it was because God told me too and I love him so I obeyed. Now I have 20-30 minutes rest in the afternoon. Lovely, lovely, lovely. No guilts. Good for me. Good for everyone.

  1. Down time

Basic for some. It wasn’t for me. I used to work all the time, except for my scheduled rests (as above). I hated wasting time. This year I’ve learned to have down time. iPad game, puzzles, sitting and staring, eating, chilling, dancing, cuddling kids. The only reason I learned this, was because I felt God impressing on my heart that he wanted me to learn this, and I felt his pleasure at my freedom in this. Otherwise I would have written it off as time wasting and felt guilty. It took a while, but now I feel free and happy. Sometimes I have a LOT of down time.

  1. Checking in with God

I regularly check in with the Holy Spirit to see if he’s saying something, or to feel how he’s reacting. He often gives me ideas or promptings or confidence. Or if I feel unease, I wait and don’t do what I was thinking. This helps me more than anything else. He has knowledge and awareness that is way beyond me and my capabilities. It saves a lot of problems checking in with him.

  1. Lovely things

I’m gathering more and more things that I LOVE around the house. Hanging fake vines around our arch entrance, a big sky sticker on the ceiling, red chair in my office, beautiful pictures on the wall. I’ve found a new freedom in decorating. Instead of wondering what is stylish or culturally acceptable, I’m asking a different question – do I LOVE it? Now I feel happy every time I walk into each room. Joy producing.

  1. Sex with the husband

Definitely not with anyone else. That would wreck things. My friend describes sex as the glue for relationships. It eases tensions and fosters connection. Fun too 🙂

  1. Blue sky and white clouds

Imagine if it was grey all day, every day. Nope. We get ever changing sky scapes of exquisite artistry. Better than pictures on the wall. Now my kids have got the sky joy bug, pointing them out to me on car trips! I pulled over to take photos, but alas the pictures were lousy.

  1. After school care

I didn’t want to put any of my kids in after school care. That was for those who had to, because they worked. My attitude was that my kids need to be home after a full day at school. They need to be with me. This year I gave after school care a go for my two boys, Micah and Josiah in term 2. I only did it because if felt prompted to try it out, and wondered if it was the Holy Spirit prompting me. I was pleased to discover it was really cheap after the rebates were applied. And I was even happier to discover that the boys LOVED it! Way more than I expected. They got upset when I picked them up too early, so I worked out the best time so they were happy. This made a huge difference to my afternoon routine. Summer and Sarah are now able to come home to a quieter house and settle in with the carer. The boys get to have fun with other kids and don’t have to endure the stress of Summer’s entrance to the home. And I get longer to rest and recover from the adrenal crash I had last year. And my husband can work longer if needed and not stress about coming home to help with the kids. Wow. So simple, but making a big difference.

  1. The tuna meal.

One time when preparing to cook dinner I didn’t know what to do. I checked in with the Holy Spirit and got an idea for some ingredients. I didn’t think it sounded very nice, but thought I’d try it, as I’ve learned to trust Holy Spirit more than myself. Can of tuna, homebrand packet of chicken noodle soup, curry powder, coconut cream, frozen peas, frozen corn. Thrown in frypan together and heated. Served with cooked pasta. Five minutes to prepare and cook. HEALTHY. CHEAP. Actually VERY YUMMY. Well for me and the kids. (Kristin not so keen). In fact the kids REALLY like it! (Maybe your family won’t). But this has been a lifesaver when I’m over it and realise OH NO I HAVE TO COOK DINNER!!!

  1. Hot showers

LONG hot shower. No guilt. My Father God owns and supplies the water and pays the bills. Big sigh of relief for number 15!

  1. The Library

Three of my kids love reading. The older two get 40 books each and then disappear. More peace in the house hooray! Good for them. Good for everyone.

  1. The Salvos

Guilt free clothes shopping. More for your money. Half price on certain things on certain days. Today I found the perfect picture frame for a print I was going to have to get custom framed. $6 instead of $60? Lots of joy over that one!

  1. Divide and conquer

On the weekend Kristin takes Summer out with him in the car. I stay home with the other four. Or we swap it around. Changing it up gives everyone space and variety and definitely helps keep the peace.

  1. Buffer time

We used to be late most of the time. Now we are not perfect, but we are significantly improved. My maths is a little different. Instead of deciding the time we leave based on the best case scenario, I add in 5-15 minutes of buffer time. It makes all the difference.

  1. Twaddle

I get a bit silly sometimes, especially with the kids. I remember reading somewhere that playfulness is not friends with anxiety. As God has been cultivating more and more freedom in me, it is spilling out in fun stuff. Writing twaddle, dancing silly, pulling faces with the kids, just having fun. Definitely need and want more of this!

Love, Freedom, Truth


Musings mum and Summer outsideThere’s so much wrestling going on in my mind. Love, freedom, truth. Over and over.

God is love. His love is SO good. It’s beyond our human experience. The Scripture oozes with examples and direct conveyances of his love. “How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:18); “this love that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19); “this is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us (1 John 3:16). Etc, etc. Just google and you will find a GOLD MINE.

It hurts to know even a smidgeon of this love, and to know that so many have ABSOLUTELY no idea of the depth and the richness and the spiritually overwhelming goodness of this. It’s actually upsetting!

And the life giving Scriptures tell us that the world will know who Jesus’ disciples are by their love for one another (John 13:35).

That one upsets me too. Even though God has placed his love in our hearts, we often do a really lousy job of conveying this love. When we are in his presence it is easy. But then we can so easily slip into our old bad habits. We get cross, we get grumpy, we are not loving. SO frustrating!!!

But then we get his love dose. And when this happens, the outcome can be amazing. We can overlook the judgments, the insults, the kids’ bad behaviour, the stress. And love conquers all. It actually does. In moments like these, our soul is deepened in God’s strength. We become mighty overcomers.

I remember when my three youngest children were milling around me in the kitchen. Summer (the one with microcephaly and autism) was agitated, Sarah was whinging. They were all noisy and demanding. I felt pulled, I felt stressed. And it was after a really stressful car trip with all five kids, having to sit next to Summer and manage her behaviour full-time for about 50 minutes. I was really stretched! I felt like I was about to snap, like a war was going on inside me. And then something rose up from deep within me. Something erupted that shocked me. A groan came from my inner being and I unleashed the words, “I LOVE YOU SUMMER!” The kids looked at me shocked. And then I swiftly moved and embraced Summer and poured out love from my heart all over her. It just oozed from every pore of my being. There was such joy and freedom. And I knew this was the place that I wanted to live life every day. I had energy to move forward. I didn’t want to escape anymore. It transformed that moment for me and the kids.

If only we could live in this zone 24/7. How different life would be! I believe God gives tastes of heaven, of his goodness of his love. And then he teaches us how to live like this more and more.

And then I think of truth. God’s truth. Not the twaddle of relativism that we’ve been spoon-fed by our culture over the last few decades. I love God’s truth. It is liberating. God’s ways are the ways of freedom. If only I could shout from the city’s billboards how amazing truth is. Some luscious Scriptures come to mind… “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6); “then you will know the truth and truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

But truth on its own can often come across so weakly for those who do not agree. There is so much variety of opinion in the world, that to talk about truth from the one who made it, is not received so well. And it can come across as hateful, especially when you quote verses on homosexuality, etc. It makes me sad that what is so precious and so life-giving, can seem so corrupt. And it is not!

I wrestle with how do we present this truth. I see Christians who just tell it like it is, straight as an arrow. And I see Christians who despise this approach and emphasise the need to come from love and no judgment. I look at the Scripture and I see a loving God who is straight down the line with his speech. But he oozes love 24/7 and so when it comes, it comes from a place of love.

One thing I have learnt from being married, is that skill is important to some extent. I can learn relationship skills, I can learn better ways to phrase things so that conflict goes down better. This is hard but can be worthwhile. But what is SO much more effective is when my heart is in the right place. When I ooze God’s love and I’ve been in his presence and my heart is wanting freedom for my husband as well as myself, without condemnation or judgment or unrighteous anger, THEN IT IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT and it doesn’t matter how I say it, because what is read is far beyond words. Maybe not all of the time. But even if it is not received, I am still free. I am not fuming. I am full of love and joy. And it is certainly a lot easier for the other person to hear.

This seems all wonderfully ideal and there is lots of truth here. But I’m not 24/7 living out Jesus. And so I wrestle, with love, truth and freedom.

One thing I will finish with. When I have spoken hard stuff to people and it’s come from my own sense of timing, it hasn’t worked very well. I’ve not seen good fruit. But when the Holy Spirit has prompted me to speak hard stuff, and even though I’m scared I do it, it’s completely different. It’s been received, not necessarily followed, but seen as love.

At the end of the day, I conclude I trust God and I want him to grow me. And I want him to direct me. Because his way works. And mine doesn’t. And I want to speak his truth with love and power. That I hunger for so much!

I’m Not Ideal

A+I’ve been a chaser of the ideal. A lover of perfection. But I have discovered multiple times that I am considerably lacking in ideal. Haha it’s so funny. And I keep forgetting this lesson which is even funnier. And tiring!

Fortunately for me, God is ideal. Well – in His book, maybe not ours. (He’s out of the box!)

I remember the first big lesson was in the year 2000. I had finished my music and teaching degree and was in my first year of teaching full-time, secondary music and psychology. It must have been in the second half of the year, as I was tired. I was feeling worn down. It was a full-on year getting used to full-time work, but what was worse, was I was frustrated with my growth as a Christian.

I was always passionate about growing in God. As a teenager I used to have charts to tick off my Bible reading, Bible memorisation and time spend with God (TWG for short). I would set goals and pursue them for a few days or a week, then I would get distracted or lack the will and give up. Then I’d feel guilty and bad and horrible and far from God and miserable. Then after a few months, I’d connect with God wonderfully, have a big cry and write letters to my future self about how awesome it was to be in His presence, and how I needed to press through in future and not give up.

But in the future I would keep not pressing in. I would get bored. I would get tired. Then the guilt, etc, etc. Cycle after cycle.

By the year 2000 I had done this cycle lots and lots of times. And I was tired. I felt like a failure. I tried so hard but couldn’t win. Aaarrggh!!!!

Well I sat down in my loungeroom in Boronia and I decided to quit. I decided to tell God that I wasn’t giving up on him, but I was giving up on trying to grow myself, because it wasn’t working. I told God that he had to grow me, as I was giving up.

Hahahahaha. I think that’s what God was WAITING FOR!!!! He must have been shouting HALLELUJAH!

Well, later that week, a light came on in my soul. I had felt dead for a long time, so I noticed the difference. I didn’t put the light on, it just came there, and I knew God had done it in answer to my prayer. Then he put an idea in my heart to connect with a fellow teacher at the school, to ask her to mentor me in prayer. So I did what I was told, and that was great. My life started to build.

And time and time again, I watched God take the initiative. He would put something on my mind or heart and I would hear and just do it. And then life would come, then growth would come. And it was SO much easier. He led me to breakthroughs and overcoming and winning. Well not everything all at once, unfortunately for my poor impatience. But fortunately for my patience, he did things at his pace, some slow, some fast. His choice, his timing.

I learnt (and am still learning) to not worry about my imperfections, as I knew God would take care of it eventually. There was no point on me improving myself in that area, until God decided it was time to work on it. Cos then there would be grace. I learnt to trust the Holy Spirit that he knows the right timing. He’s the master craftsmen. He knows what to do and when. So delicate an operation sometimes. He’s seriously brilliant. I have watched him over and over in amazement!

I do pray and ask God’s intervention in stuff. I don’t just sit back and stare. But then I trust (or I need to trust) that he’s heard and will tackle it when he sees best. Often he does a little bit of tackling some time within that week, I think just to encourage me and let me know he’s onto it. And the more I press in with prayer, the more active he gets. So it’s definitely two way street. But without him, I may as well pick up my bat and ball and go home. Cos there will be no winning, no real life change, just a little rat going around and around the improvement wheel and getting tired!