Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Zealand National Anthem

I went to this AMAZING carol service on Sunday night and we ended up singing our entire national anthem - all the verses. It is SUCH an amazing hymn, I wanted to share it with you. I think this prayer could be prayed over every nation :)

God of nations! at Thy feet
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our Free Land.
Guard Pacific's triple star,
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand

Men of ev'ry creed and race
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our Free Land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our State,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.

Peace, not war, shall be our boast,
But, should foes assail our coast,
Make us then a mighty host,
God defend our Free Land.
Lord of battles in thy might,
Put our enemies to flight,
Let our cause be just and right,
God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for Thee increase,
May Thy blessings never cease,
Give us plenty, give us peace,
God defend our Free Land.
From dishonour and from shame
Guard our country's spotless name
Crown her with immortal fame,
God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be
Freedom's ramparts on the sea,
Make us faithful unto Thee,
God defend our Free Land.
Guide her in the nations' van,
Preaching love and truth to man,
Working out Thy Glorious plan,
God defend New Zealand.

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/miscellaneouslyrics/nationalanthemslyrics/newzealandnationalanthemlyrics.html

Monday, December 12, 2011


My daily devotional was talking about prioritising your time... and it got me thinking. As a writer, I HAVE to prioritise my time. It slips away so easily and there is so much to get done, you really don't have the luxury of idling through your day. You have to be productive.

But how should I be prioritising the rest of my time? 

Because I am passionate about writing, it is so easy to let it engulf my day. When the kids are up and needing me I sometimes find it a real pain... I just want to get back to my work, but that's not the right attitude.

Jesus had two main prioritises that he wanted us to live by,

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:37-40

They are so simple, yet it is so easy to let the world distract us from this. 

How should I be prioritising my time... my life?

Firstly, I should be dedicating each day to the Lord and including him in every aspect.

Secondly, I should be thinking of those around me and I how I can love and serve them best.

Thirdly, I can think about my writing :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

O Holy Night

I LOVE Christmas Carols... and since it's December I've decided to post a few carols... the ones where the words are just so beautiful. I find it helps to read a song sometimes, makes me focus on what I'm actually singing.

O Holy Night is one of those carols that gets me every time. It's just so beautiful.

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
Oh night divine, oh night when Christ was born.

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Everlasting Life

"Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
John 11:25-26

Do you believe this?

I do - wholeheartedly - and I can safely say, that it makes life so much easier. I have no fear of death, because I know what comes after it. I do fear how I might die, but at least I don't fear the death part :)

It makes me so sad for people who don't live with this knowledge... or chose not to believe it. I don't know what it feels like for them. I know everyone has their own beliefs and I respect that. But part of me can't help wondering if there is a certain emptiness to their existence... or a small feeling of hopelessness.

Choosing to believe in his Christ and his everlasting gift gives me hope everyday, no matter what that day brings. It's a liberating feeling.

So - what do you believe?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Renewing My Strength

I have been having one of those weeks - you know, those weeks where you want to pull your hair because you're rushing from one place to the next, dragging children behind you, doing things for other people and almost resenting it.

I'm not sure if anyone else out there feels that way sometimes, but I have been really struggling.
It hasn't helped that my precious baby has started screaming this high pitched scream that makes my spine rattle.

I flopped into bed last night and just thought, "I can't do this anymore. It's too hard."

But what choice do I have? I have to keep being a good mother and wife. I have to keep looking after my family and I want to keep pursuing my dreams.

And then these verses came into my head...

"Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."

Isaiah 40: 28-31

A sense of peace wafted through me and I just knew that I needed to stop, take a breath and remember that God is with me. He is for me... and he will renew my strength if I just take the time to let him.

My day started out much better this morning... and even though I have a ton of stuff to do. I am not going to let it get on top of me. I'm going to keep my priorities straight and my focus on the one who will get me through.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

For God so loved us...

Christmas has got to be my favourite season of the year. My son and I set up the Christmas tree this afternoon. We listened to music, hung decorations, wrapped tinsel around EVERYTHING! Our stairwell looks ridiculous!

But we had fun. It was so awesome to see my son's excitement. Naturally he's most excited about getting presents and has been asking God to pass messages on to Santa for him. Funny :)

One of the things I do love about Christmas is giving gifts. I'm a real gifts person and always go overboard. My children so do not need all this stuff, but I find it hard to resist.

It got me thinking about God's ultimate gift to us at Christmas. Man - when you really break it down - it is AMAZING what he did for us.

He sent his only son (and himself too, I guess) down in the form of a baby... the most vulnerable thing on earth. He easily could have arrived as a full grown man, but he chose to grow up in this world, to put himself fully into our shoes.

That just blows my mind. His love for us is astounding. There are no words to describe how grateful I am for his ultimate sacrifice.

God, you are so good. Thank you for this Christmas gift. May we always be blown away by your grace and love.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Remembering Him

I wrote an article a couple of years ago entitled, "Everything Else Can Wait."

I was talking about how easy it is to get caught up in the busyness of life. I'd get to the end of my day and suddenly think, "Have I eve spoken to God today?"

I don't like being in that position, but I find myself here yet again. How can I put busyness before my maker? Why is it so easy to let everything else get in the way?

One of the reasons I started this blog, was to force myself to sit down each day and focus on God for a while before launching into everything else.

I want to remember him. I want to remember that he is there all day, sitting, walking, breathing, right beside me. I want to include him in everything I do. I want to build a strong relationship with the one who loves me more than anyone ever could.

Lord, I'm sorry for my distracted heart. Please forgive me and may I remember you each day and ask myself... "Have I spent anytime with the Lord today? Everything else can wait."

Do you ever struggle with this issue?
What do you do to combat it?

Monday, November 21, 2011

What is faith?

There are probably many aspects to faith, but one that I have been thinking about lately is this...


Life can suck, big time, and when it does, it is so easy to start questioning what God is doing.
I don't think he minds us doing that. David did it all the time in the Psalms.

I guess, what's important is that we remain true and solid.

We have to trust in God's character and the fact he loves. So even when he's not taking us out of our awful circumstances, we have to believe that there is a greater plan... a greater purpose that he has in mind. We have to allow him the opportunity to show his glory and his love.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

To Know Him...

I was listening to a song as I was driving this morning and for the first time, I REALLY listened to the lyrics.

Do you ever make that mistake of just singing along?

I thought I'd share them with you, so you could see how awesome they are.

Take care everyone :)

TO KNOW YOU - Casting Crowns

To know you is to never worry for my life, and
To know you is to never to give in or compromise
To know you is to want to tell the world about you
Cause I can't live without you

To know you is to hear your voice when you are calling
To know you is to catch my brother when he is falling
To know you is to feel the pain of the broken hearted
Cause they can't live with out you.

More than my next breath
More than life or death
All reaching for, I live my life to know you more
I leave it all behind, you are all that satisfies
To know you is to want to know you more
To know you is to want to know you more

To know you is to ache for more than ordinary
To know you is to look beyond the temporary
To know you is believing that you will be enough
Cause there is no life without you

More than my next breath
More than life or death
All I'm reaching for, I live my life to know you more
I leave it all behind, you are all that satisfies
To know you is to want to know you more
To know you is to want to know you more

All this life could offer me, could not compare to you
Compare to you
And I count it all as lost, compared to knowing you
Knowing you

More than my next breath
More than life or death
All I'm reaching for, I live my life to know you more
I leave it all behind, you are all that satisfies
To know you is to want to know you more
To know you is to want to know you more

Compared to you
Compared to you
And I count it all as lost, compared to knowing you
Knowing you
And I count it all as lost, compared to knowing you
Knowing you

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The daily devotional I read was talking about overcoming fear.
I am still amazed by how God is constantly giving me cuddles of encouragement each day. This devotional was just what I needed as I crawled into bed last night.

Here's what really got me the most...

Basically, it was saying that we need to overcome our fears, risk the possible failure and pursue our dreams. We need to remember that God wants us to succeed.

God wants us to succeed.

It doesn't mean he's going to take all the crapiness out of our lives, but it does mean that he is standing by us, pom poms in hand, and cheering as loud as he possibly can. He wants us to follow him. He wants us to have faith in him. He wants us to succeed.

"But those who want the best for me,
Let them have the last word—a glad shout!— and say, over and over and over,
God is great — everything works together for good for his servant.
I'll tell the world how great and good you are, I'll shout Hallelujah all day, every day."
Psalm 35:27-28

Thank you, Lord, for who you are. Thank you that you love us so much. I will praise you all my days.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I grew up on Psalty Kids Praise songs. I was playing them to my son this morning and "In His Time" came on.

It was a good reminder.

"He makes all things beautiful, in His time."

I find being patient REALLY hard... especially when it comes to my writing. But he will make all things beautiful in his time. I just need to keep doing what I'm doing and relax. I surrendered this dream to God and "he's got this." (Sorry - a little Rugby World Cup reference - I couldn't resist!)

Monday, November 14, 2011

On Behalf Of...

A friend of mine has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. She has some tough treatment ahead of her and it's going to be a hard journey. As you can imagine, I have been praying for her... A LOT!

As I was asking for all these things on her behalf the other day, I suddenly stopped and thought, "What if she doesn't actually need the things I'm asking for?"

God knows my friend better than I do. She might already feel brave going into this, she might feel certainty that God is by her side. On the other hand, she might be worried about her kids and how they'll handle this, or she might prefer prayer for her husband.

I realized that I don't actually know exactly what she needs, but God does.

So recently I have been praying, "Lord, give her what she needs the most to get her through this."

God knows best. I need to stop telling him what to do for the people I'm praying for and just ask that he provide them with what they need.

What do you think about praying for others?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I've been thinking about trust a lot over the last couple of days. I believe God told me I should step into this self-publishing river and now I need to trust him.

As much as I want to sell 1000 copies today, it doesn't work that way. All good things take time and I just need to trust that they will eventually come to fruition.

I was feeling pretty down about it yesterday as I looked as this mammoth task I have in front of me and wondering if I have what it takes, but God's amazing and giving you those little pats on the back when you need them the most.

The daily devotional I read each night before bed was talking about sowing seeds and watching them slowly grow. First the seed is in the ground, then the blades start to show, after that the head pops up and eventually you get the full grain and your harvest is ready.

I'm so grateful for this timely reminder.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I woke up this morning feeling a little down. I'm overtired from night after night of disrupted sleep and my husband is working extra long hours at the moment.

Things are gradually getting on top of me and today I'm really feeling it.

As my mind buzzed with everything I need to get done this week and all the things that are getting in the way of that, I felt my muscles grow taut with tension... and then a small voice ran through my brain.

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

It was enough to make my frantic thoughts and emotions pause for a second and put everything back in perspective. God knows me, he knows what I'm trying to do and he's on my side. I don't have to face this day alone, I just need to pause long enough to recognise his presence and invite him in.

Thank you that you are always there, Lord. I commit this day to you. Help me survive it with a smile on my face :)

Monday, November 7, 2011


I have just self-published my first novel. It's very exciting and I've had some great feedback so far. I received a five star review on the weekend and I floated around for the rest of the day. It got me thinking though... it would be SO easy to get a swelled head. I want to avoid that feeling at all costs.

So what is humility?

The dictionary says, "A modest or low view of one's own importance; humbleness."

The bible says, "Pride first, then the crash, but humility is precursor to honor." Proverbs 18:12

It also says, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves," Philippians 2:3

I want to be humble in this endeavour. I want God to keep me in check. As I submit this to him then I will succeed without thinking of myself as better than anybody else.

Is there any area of your life where you struggle with humility?

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I am about to self-publish my first book. I wasn't sure whether or not to take this path and so I started with prayer. I told God what I wanted and then put it in his hands. I said I'd pursue and if it was of him, then let it be a success... otherwise take it all away.

After praying this prayer, I got to thinking about taking a leap of faith, which then lead me to the story of the Israelites and how they had to step into the Jordan River before the water would stop flowing and they could pass.

"When the soles of the feet of the priests carrying the Chest of God, Master of all the earth, touch the Jordan's water, the flow of water will be stopped—the water coming from upstream will pile up in a heap." Joshua 3:13

As clear as a bell, I heard God say, "Step into the river. I want you to step into the river and see what I can do."

Over the past two months I've gone from elated excitement to total doubt in my ability. Mr. Realism taps me on the shoulder and reminds me that I'm going to sell nothing. Who am I to think that I can be successful in this? But every time that thought sneaks into my head it is followed swiftly by, "Step into the river."

So that's what I'm going to do. This weekend I'm uploading my book. I'm stepping into the river of self-publishing and I am absolutely terrified. My stomach has been a ball of knots in the last 24 hours... but I have to do this. I have to trust God and step into the river.

I guess this is a good example of what faith is all about.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Living He loved me,
Dying He saved me
Buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He's coming,
Oh, glorious day,
Oh, glorious day

Casting Crowns
Until the Whole World Hears album

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I struggle with prayer sometimes. It's not that I don't think God is listening, because I know he always is. It's just that he doesn't always answer. I'm not sure why he says yes to some prayers and no to others. My guess is, that he knows better than I do.

Over the last couple of years, I've started changing my prayer style. Rather than the "ask and you shall receive" (John 16:24) and "faith can move mountains" (Matthew 17:20) philosophy, I've begun to err towards the side of "YOUR kingdom come, YOUR will be done" (Matthew 6:10).

Surrender - it's a simple concept really. Rather than asking and expecting to receive, I've been telling God what I want and then saying, "But I know that your plans are better than mine, so Lord, I want to follow your will for my life. If this isn't of you, take away my desire."

I know God knows the desires of my heart. He loves me SO much and has the best possible life mapped out for me. If I follow his course, I am going to have a better life. It's not a guarantee that I won't hit heartache or disappointment, but it is a guarantee that I'm going to have a fulfilling life.

It's amazing how when I pray that prayer of surrender, a peace that transcends understanding always fills me. (Philippians 4:7)

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Between my two sons, I had to get up six times last night. Shattered was the best way to describe my state at six this morning when child numero uno decided to grace us with his presence.

I dragged myself out of bed half an hour later, blurry eyed and wondering how I was going to get through the day. The first thought that came to me was, "The joy of the Lord is my strength." It was a song I used to sing when I was a kid. I still haven't quite figured out exactly what it means, but I looked it up and it's from Nehemiah 8:10.

As I plodded through the early morning, preparing breakfast, feeding baby, making school lunches, I mulled over the idea. I finally decided that for today, it meant knowing God was beside me and more than happy to help. It was deciding to be grateful and rejoice in spite of my weariness and something good would come out of the day.

God came through with an energy boost way earlier than I expected. Just before we left for kindy, I checked my e-mail and was greeted with the sight of my first book cover. Talk about a buzz.

God you are good. Even if you hadn't supplied that timely cover for me this morning, you would walk this day with me, holding me up and giving me strength. I love you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Little Q.T.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to help me focus. It's so easy in this day and age for God to feel a million miles away. There are so many things out there distracting us from the important things and sometimes we need to take action and refocus.

Like building a good friendship, a relationship with your maker takes time and effort. If you think about all the people you are closest to, they are more often than not the ones you spend most of your time with. The ones you have regular contact with. If I want God to feel close then I need to be in regular contact with him.

I find this really hard to do sometimes... and God understands that. But I can't keep using all these distractions as an excuse. He's not asking for hours of my time, he's asking to be a part of my life. He wants regular contact with me. When I think about it, that's really not hard to do :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This is only the beginning

I was reading Hebrews Ch 10 last night and it was talking about the fact that our life on earth is just the beginning. If we choose to believe in, and accept, God, this life on earth is only the tip of the iceberg. He has so much more planned. It made me realize how trivial some of my stresses are. I worry about the day to day things that in the bigger picture, don't really matter.

Being reminded of this amazing concept of eternity helps me put things in perspective. I need to live this life to the fullest, love every moment that I can, learn from every mistake I make... but at the end of the day this is such a small part of my existence. How cool is that?

God you are amazing.