Snakes & Ladders

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I love board games!
My family will attest to this. Ever since I was a kid I have loved playing games. And as the kids have grown, we have always played games as a family. Now I am not a competitive person (well, not all the time!) and I am not a strategic player, but I love to sit round the table with friends or family and spend time together….and most of the time this is accompanied with eating chocolate!

There is a great feeling when you have reached world domination, brought every property on the board or won all the cards in a hand. Yep, winning is definitely a good feeling! (I did say I wasn’t competitive didn’t I?)

But, there are a couple of games which I refuse to play. Last card is one of these. I really (really) can’t stand this game. I am not a mean player and so I hate making people pick up cards or changing direction when they are about to win. I also dislike when someone does that to me. The other game which I can’t stand is snakes and ladders! Again, I think this game is just mean and sliding down a snake when you are two squares away from winning is not my idea of a good time. And I have learned over the years, there are some people I won’t play games with. I don’t mind if they are strategic or out to win, but I can’t play with people who are sneaky, nasty or vindictive…..not that I have many friends like that!!

As I was thinking about all this game playing, and pondering life as I often do, I couldn’t help but think how much my life is like a game of snakes and ladders. So often I feel like I am winning at life! I feel like things are going on track and I am making progress, and then BAM! I land on a snake and somehow I end up where I was weeks ago, and I need to push forward again, covering ground I have already covered.

And so I pick myself up and I carry on…..only to find that just when I feel like I am winning again, somehow I have landed on a snake, and there I go, down that curly wurly tail to a place that is so familiar, but so frustrating.

It is a roller coaster ride of highs when we get to climb that ladder, and lows when we hit that snake.

Sometimes I look around at people I am doing life with or people I admire, and they seem to avoid the snakes, their life seems to be one ladder after another, climbing higher and higher while I seem to be heading in the opposite direction! Really God? Why is my life filled with so many snakes and theirs is so full of ladders? Can’t you just roll the dice so I can avoid the snakes and hit all the ladders? Why can’t my life be more like a game of candyland?

You know, all sweet and sticky with beautiful bright colours, and where it is easy to win? But even as I ask that question, I already know the answer……Who ever said life was going to be easy? Who told us that life was like a game of candyland where life is sweet and easy? Where is the growth in that? Where is the stretching where we grow in God and learn to trust in Him, when we fall down yet another snake?

How else will I learn perseverance, stamina, and grow my resilience? How will appreciate the good times if I don’t fall down a snake every once in a while?
And how will I learn to trust in God if I get to climb every ladder I come across?

So I am not sure where you are this week, I hope you are climbing a ladder, but if by some chance you feel like you are sliding down a snake, hang in there? There are seasons of snakes and there are seasons of ladders, but at the end of the day we will all end up at the finish line, where we will long to hear those words “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

What’s Your Best Feature?

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That’s a tough question.
Well, it is for me and for some other women I know!

We had a women’s event at Church the other night, and as you do at women’s events, we had some ice breaker questions. You know, those questions that we all love to hate! We had the usual ones, who would you like to have dinner with (Easy, Johnny Depp) who would you like to be for a day (Again, easy….Johnny Depp’s dog) and if you could be in a movie, which one would it be (easy-peasy….any movie with Johnny Depp in it!)

But then this was this one question that stumped all of us….what is your best feature?
As we went around our table each one of us took a deep breath and thought long and hard. In my head, I was going through all the things I can’t stand about myself…..This is too big, that’s too small, this is too long, and that’s not long enough. I worked my way down and could only come up with the negatives. Come on Kathy, this is not that hard! You don’t hate EVERY part of your body, surely there is something you love? Surely?

As I looked at the other women, I could see that I was not the only one struggling. When it came turn for us to speak out our best feature, all of us fumbled and struggled to speak out loud what we loved about ourselves!

Why is it so hard?
Why is it so hard to speak positive words about ourselves out loud?

Earlier that day I had been in a Pastors meeting and we talked about how each and every one of us is God’s masterpiece. We had to say it out loud, and to be honest, I had no trouble with this…..maybe it was because I didn’t fully believe it and maybe because I wasn’t being specific. But that night at the women’s event I struggled. This wasn’t a self-pity thing, for me it was just fact!

As we went around the group we shared what we loved about each person and what we thought their best feature was, and then we moved on with the night!

But I couldn’t let it go! If I am God’s masterpiece, and God does not make mistakes, then why do I struggle so much with the way he made me! Surely if I am a masterpiece I should be able to ramble on about my best features and be confident in the way I am made!

This is not a conceited thing, it’s about being ok with who you are, and for me, this is a constant battle. Some weeks I am like “I am awesome! I can conquer the world, God has great plans for me, I am fearfully and wonderfully made (as I tell my Daughters of the King girls every chance I get) but then there are other weeks when I look in the mirror and I just don’t get what other people see! I stand there and all I can say is “Really God?”

When did we start believing the lies of the enemy?
When did we lose the self-confidence and assurance we had as little girls?

And so this week I am trying hard to look in the mirror and not focus on all the bits I don’t like. I am trying to look through God’s lens and to be ok with all the bits that I wish were different. I am being ok with this outer shell, because ultimately I know, it really is whats on the inside that is the true beauty.

Kick Boxing, Sugar Free, Juicing & Other Fun Things!

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I know, I know!

It’s been a while since you have seen or heard from me. Life got a little crazy towards the end of last year and I just needed a bit of space to breathe and get things back into perspective. I love living a full life, but things kinda got out of kilter, and I needed some time to just figure it all out!

So I have started this new year with the intention of getting things back on track! And for me, that starts with my body! I know from past experiences that if I feel better about myself, so many other things just seem to fall into place. It’s not about weight or the way I look, but more of the way I feel about myself. Jackson has decided to go sugar-free this whole year, and so I thought I would join him for January. To be honest, it wasn’t that hard, but it also wasn’t that helpful! I didn’t really feel any different or notice a huge change in my health, and so now it’s February I am back on sugar (although I haven’t had any as of yet as I am not sure what I should break my fast with!)

So if being sugar-free wasn’t the answer, maybe juicing would be! I watched a documentary called “Fat, sick and nearly dead” and it really inspired me to give juicing a go to increase my micro-nutrients, along with various other health benefits.
I went and bought myself a juicer and away I went…..Now some juices were delicious, but those ones with kale, ginger, and everything green in them, were pretty yukky! But I persevered for 7 days and had nothing but micro-nutrient filled juices. Now, this time I did notice a difference! I felt less hungry, I had less cravings and generally felt healthier and happier! But let’s be realistic, I can’t live on a diet of just juice, so keeping everything in balance like you are meant to do, I am doing one day a week of just juicing. The good thing about doing this is that Gracie and Phil have joined me and I am also getting micro-nutrients into them as well!

So if I am being kinder to my body by fuelling it right, then I might as well go the full hog and exercise as well right? I am still running…..admittedly it is spasmodic but I am still doing it! So I decided I needed something else! For the last couple of years, I have always wanted to do kickboxing. But for one reason or another, I have never gotten around to it. But this year, this year it is different…..this year I am determined to do more of those things I normally just talk about, and kickboxing is one of those!

I managed to drag Gracie along with me and you know what? We had a blast! It was such hard work, but just so much fun and I cannot wait for next week! I have been online looking at getting gloves and some gear, but think I will wait a month or two to see how we go!

I have also started taking ACV (apple cider vinegar) twice a day to aid with digestion and overall wellness! That stuff is seriously foul but I am discovering that most things that are good for you are!

So my January may sound like a mish-mash of healthy fads and realistically who knows how long I will last with each thing. But what I am hoping to find at the start of 2017 is a healthy balance that will sustain me for the whole year. I am not wanting to burn out and I am not wanting to end 2017 like 2016 ended….wishing I could quit my life!

I am putting boundaries around my time and who I spend it with. I am exercising and I am eating better. I am making room for fun and I am being realistic about my goals. But most of all, I am setting my eyes on Jesus, and seeking Him as together we tackle another year!

Bring it on I say…..

Just Be Kind, People!

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There’s a saying that goes “Be kind, everyone you meet is facing a battle you know nothing about.”

The other day I was scrolling through facebook on my phone. I was in a bit of a hurry, and so I was scrolling through pretty fast! Gracie saw me and she said “Mum, aren’t you even going to “like” anything?”

Part of me was like, well no, I don’t really have time. And the other part of me got to thinking…..

And so, I slowed down and started to really look at what was going on on facebook.
There were people celebrating birthday’s, celebrating kids achievements, friends in hospital, others fighting battles and others having lost loved ones. And then there were the ones that I thought personally were just words for the sake of it, attention seeking even!

But regardless of what was being posted, these people obviously felt it was worthy enough to share with the world. Whether it was heartfelt, trivial or a desperate cry for attention, all of these friends needed something. Validation, sympathy or simple kindness.

And then I felt bad for scrolling through so fast and not liking or commenting on anything! Now, I am not going to go through and like absolutely everything, because the simple fact is I don’t! I don’t get into political debates, I don’t like or comment when people are being rude or inappropriate and I don’t condone putting people down on facebook.

But the majority of my friends are putting genuine things up about their life, whether good or bad and so if I am on facebook, then I need to participate. I know some people do it, but I am not into the whole facebook stalking thing! If I am on there, I will let you know I am on there.

And so I am making a conscience effort to be kind! I am liking things, commenting and participating in this whole social media world. I am not liking out of pity or obligation, but when friends share their world with me, I think it is rude of me to not acknowledge it. Now, I am not on social media all day every day, not everyone shows up on my newsfeed and so there are things I miss but when I am on there, you will see me!

Part of me was thinking, well why should I like their stuff when they never like any of mine, they didn’t wish me happy birthday and they didn’t even like my favourite photo! But again, this is not all about me, and it is super petty to only like for a like! I am bigger than that, and hopefully, I am kinder than that!

So, I am going to be kind this week! How about you?
I am going to get over whatever issues I am personally dealing with and make an effort to be kind. As the saying goes “Everyone you meet is facing a battle you know nothing about.”

If you are on social media, take the time to hit the like button, which takes all of 2 seconds. Take time to comment on the things you see, and take the time to really see what is going on with your friends, you never know what it could mean to that person!

You will never regret being kind!


Getting My Brave On…..

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This week I did something brave!

I didn’t save the world from famine, I didn’t rescue a kitten from a tree or save a drowning child. I didn’t skydive from a plane and I didn’t swim with sharks. But even though I did none of these things, I was still brave.

What I did do this week was be honest!
Now that is not something new to me! I do try and be honest in all I do, but this week my honesty was put out there for all the world to see!

I made a confession on social media that I don’t like cooking! I know, shocking right?

Now technically this is the truth, but it’s not something I generally go around telling everyone. In this day and age of Pinterest, facebook, and Instagram, it is easy to look at what everyone else is doing and try and keep up! To try hard at excelling at absolutely everything, and then feel like a failure when your souffle doesn’t quite look like it did on Pinterest!

And so I put myself out there, and I showed everyone that I am not the perfect housewife! I made my confession that actually, I don’t enjoy cooking and the less time I can spend in the kitchen, the happier I become! Just because my organized, beautifully labeled kitchen looks like it came out of the page in a magazine, doesn’t mean I know how to use everything in it!

But what I loved most about what came from my honesty, is the freedom it gave others to confess, that actually, it’s not their thing either! Now, I am not condoning that we women, never have to cook ever again, but it is freeing to know you are in the same boat as others. That you are not the only one who dislikes the kitchen, and it’s nice to know you are “normal” and you don’t have to be a Martha Stewart.

I had texts and messages from women thanking me for allowing them to feel ok about themselves. Thanking me for giving them permission to lose the high expectations they have placed on themselves. I also had women confessing that they too order food bags, and there is no shame in that! Just because you get some help, doesn’t make you any less of a housekeeper. I mean, we seek help in lots of other area’s of our lives, why not in the kitchen as well?

But the very reason I decided to try the food bag was not so I could avoid cooking but so I could give my family nutritional, wholesome meals, with a wider variety than we have had. I am not negating my responsibilities, just trying to make life a little easier on myself, and if a food bag can do that for me, then I am all for it? It just gives me more time to plan my Christmas theme and do the things I know I am good at and really enjoy!

And so as I look forward to getting another food bag this weekend (I get one every other week) with 5 new recipes and everything I need to cook them, I know my family is excited for meal times and I can rest easy knowing I am not failing in the kitchen but just finding ways to make life more enjoyable. And if along the way, I can help others to be brave as well, then I think I am winning all round!



Fiercely Independant…..Or Am I?

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I am quite an independent person really!
I don’t really like being told what to do and I can look after myself. I am fiercely strong-willed and would rather work things out on my own than ask for help……or so I thought?

I had lunch with a good friend yesterday and boy, did he turn my world upside down….in a good way……I think!

You see, this friend has a way of speaking right to my soul. Bypassing what my lips (and body language) are saying and getting straight to the heart of things! There are not many people in my life who can do that, or that I would even allow to do that! But with him, there is never condemnation, put downs or extreme reactions to what my heart is saying and there is always, always love and acceptance.

And so this is a safe place for me to explore who I really am. For me to figure out the crazy dreams and plans God has placed in my heart. For me to be honest about my fear of failure and to talk at length about the struggles I have living in my own skin.

Our friendship has grown over the years and I still blame (yes, I use the word blame!) him for who I am today. Many (many) years ago he spoke into my life and it honestly changed the direction I was taking and confirmed the plans God has for me. He see’s things in me that I am yet to see, and encourages me to not just be me, but the best version of me that I can be!

I use to get nervous meeting with him as I didn’t know where our conversations would take us, but now, well now I just get excited as I think I am finally embracing who God has called me to be, and he helps me to explore that. Sure, I still need a good kick every now and then, and a reminder to get rid of my negative self talk, but I welcome the challenge and encouragement to become the best me!

To be honest there are just some things that Phil can’t help me with. Bless his heart, he has tried! Boy, has he tried, but for various reasons, it takes someone outside our marriage to unlock certain things within me. Phil is very aware of our conversations and everything is out in the open. Be assured, everything is completely above board and I do share everything with Phil….once I have processed it through my internal processing mind! And you know what?  It is making me a better wife and Mum along the way, so Phil is fully supportive! I mean what guy wouldn’t be if he was getting a better version of his wife?

My mind was swirling a million miles an hour as I went to bed last night, processing everything we had talked about at lunch. As I spent time in prayer, again I was excited at where I am headed. Now I am under no illusions that this will be a cruisy ride. I know there will be ups and downs and I know it will require hard work, but when excitement takes over from fear, it changes your mindset and all things seem possible!

So as I ponder my path this week, I want to leave you with this question…….who is speaking into your life?

Who is it that you trust so explicitly that you would completely open up to? Who is it that you would let your guard down with, become vunerable with and dream bigger dreams than you ever thought possible?

Go and find that person, and become all God has called you to be! Go. Now. What are you waiting for? Seriously…..go!



Getting My Big Girl Panties On…..

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Boy, what a week!

It has been one of those weeks where life just seems to get crazy. Phil was off in India and Indonesia, Tuesday night saw me at the hospital with a friend for over 5 hours, ending with me getting 3 hours of sleep that night! The rest of the week was a combination of being taxi driver, meal maker, house tidy upper’er, sermon writer, assignment finisher, counselor, encourager, cheerleader, sermon preacher, event planner and not to mention, solo parent!

But you know what? I nailed it!
Now, I don’t often blow my own trumpet, in fact, I am the first person to put myself down and point out all my faults, but this week I was awesome! I don’t know what it is with Phil away but I just turn into superwoman! My house is even tidier than usual, meals are planned, washing up to date and my pantry is labeled and all the cans are in even rows! Yep, this week I have been awesome!

To be honest, it could have easily gone in the other direction! Any one of the above could have sent me off the rails, and made me crawl into bed with Netflix and a bag of chippies, never to surface again! If someone had warned me of all the things that would happen last week, I would have said “No way, there is no way I have the capacity to cope with all of that” but the thing is….I did! And I coped with dignity & grace and didn’t even yelled at the kids once!

God has me on a journey at the moment that I am (finally) ready and willing to embrace!

As most of you know, this whole “Pastor’s Wife” thing has been a struggle for me. If I was going to be honest, I have not embraced it and I have fought God a lot over the last year. But a couple of weeks ago something happened. I was in Church like I am every week, but this week God decided that He wanted to speak to me (loudly) during one of the services and I spent the whole service blubbering like a baby. I couldn’t stop the tears, and I don’t think I would have even if I could have. There’s something about humbling yourself and being real in front of your Church family!

God said to me VERY clearly that He has given me grace over the last year, but now, now it is time to get off my butt and lead the women like He has called me to do.

Now, this wasn’t a bad telling off, it was more of a gentle reminder of who He has called me to be!

He said to me “You need to teach my girls how to fight. You know what it’s like to fight for your life, fight for your marriage and to fight for your kids……so teach my girls.”


I guess I do know all those things, and I guess I can teach that to other women. Gosh, maybe this “Pastor’s Wife” thing doesn’t need to be as hard as I thought it would be. I can do those things and by golly, I will do them the best that I can.

And so as I head into this week, it’s another week without Phil, and still, so many things to do. But after last week, this week honestly feels like a walk in the park!



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So last time I wrote, I was being brave and making some big decisions!

I would love to tell you that I have nailed them and that everything is awesome, but in reality, life is not that simple!

On a positive note, I have completely removed the word “busy” from my vocabulary. It feels so good, and I wish I had done it earlier. Again, it doesn’t mean I don’t have stuff to do, it just means that I am learning to look at things differently and keep all things in perspective! It’s amazing how one small word can make such a big difference, but it can!

So that decision is going well. My other decision I made was to slow down and find my joy. I am determined that there is more to life than running a million miles an hour and running ourselves ragged, for really, no good reason at all!

How is that working for me you ask? Well, not so great this week! I am trying to make time in my busy full schedule but this week feel like I am drowning, and just trying to keep my head above water…..let alone find joy in it!

It is a busy full season at the moment with lots going on. I was trying to make plans with friends to have dinner with them and the earliest we could do it between our schedules was mid-November….now is that crazy or what?

As I survey my “to do” list I take a deep breath and let it out slowly. For every 1 tick, there are another 5 things left to do. Breathe Kathy, just breathe!

Again, please don’t hear me wrong! I LOVE my life and all we are doing, I wouldn’t change it for the world. But God is stretching my capacity and as we all know, that is not always easy!

So I continue to intentionally find the joy around me, and often it’s in the simplest of things: the kids hanging out with us when they don’t have to, the time I get to spend with Phil, just the two of us. Sitting on the deck with a hot chocolate and steering at our wee slice of paradise. Knowing I have friends and family praying for me. Getting a text out of the blue from a friend checking in on me. The fact that Christmas is only 108 sleeps away!!!

The best thing to do when you feel you are drowning is not panic! Panicking doesn’t help. At all. With anything.

So I am breathing, I am intentionally seeking joy and I am thanking God every day for my Blessed life. I am keeping things in perspective and I am enjoying (yes, I said enjoying, not enduring!) this season, knowing that it is just that. It’s a season, and we all know that a new season will follow.



I Made A Decision!

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This morning I made a decision. Actually, I made 2 decisions.
Now, I guess there’s nothing in that sentence that is outright life-shattering right? I mean we make decisions every day, don’t we?

What will I have for breakfast?
Will I make the bed or not (actually for me that not a choice, I can’t function if my bed is not made!)
Will I or won’t I have my quiet time with God?
What will I cook for dinner?
How many pieces of chocolate will I have at 4pm?

If you are any kind of grown up, you will make an average of 35,000 decisions every day (kids only have to make 3000 decisions a day… wonder I often wish I didn’t have to adult!) But that is a lot of decisions people, no wonder we are often so tired!

But this morning’s decisions were different.
As I sat on the couch with my smoothie after everyone had left the house, I was having some quiet time and just steering out the window. Sitting there steering, daydreaming and listening to worship music, I was contemplating the last couple of weeks.

Coming back from the States is always hard for me, the longing to be back there is something I can’t explain and something I have learnt to accept happens every time. As I sat and thought about all that is going on around me, I felt that dreaded familiar feeling rising up within me. I purposefully tried to slow my breathing down, but I found myself going to my default mode…….BUSY! I don’t have time to sit here….I am so busy!

Busy looking after my family.
Busy looking after other people.
Busy with Church work.
Busy with cooking and cleaning.
Busy with life.
Just busy, busy, busy!

busyBusy is not a new concept for me. I wrote a while back about being so busy I didn’t even have time to wait for some fries (you can read that here) or questioned if I would even slow down for a million dollars (you can read that here)

But to be honest, I have grown to really dislike the word. Busy:
1. actively and attentively engaged in work or a pastime:
busy with her work.
2. not at leisure; otherwise engaged:
He couldn’t see any visitors because he was busy.
3. full of or characterised by activity:
a busy life.
4. officious; meddlesome; prying.

As I read the dictionary definition it made me dislike it all the more. There is nothing good in that word…..well not for me anyway. So I came to my first decision……I am removing the word busy from my vocabulary!

I will not use it anymore, in any sense of the word. It is gone, removed, taken away from my world. Now it doesn’t mean that just because it’s gone, I won’t have things to do, I am not that naive, but it does mean that I cannot and will not use it as an excuse anymore.

I had someone ask me the other day if I had a busy day and I went to say yes, but stopped myself and told them I had a full day but it was all good!

I know it is going to be a conscious effort but if I am going to change my world then it is going to take some conscious decisions to do that! And I know without a doubt breaking busy will also help me find my joy again!

breaSo as I head off to a conference for the rest of the week, I am going to take a deep breath and enjoy it, not looking at all the things I could/should be doing instead, but enjoying the time away with my favourite Preacher Man and some uninterrupted time with God! (I am also taking my new book “Breaking Busy” by Alli Worthington)

As for my other decision, tune in next week to find out what that was……



Finding My Joy!

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I was having coffee with a close friend the other day and she asked how I was.

I gave my usual “I am good” and went to carry on our conversation, but she looked right past my words and into my heart and she asked me again “No, really, how are you?”

I fought back the tears and spoke the words I knew were inside of me but were holding them back for fear of it being real….”You know what, I think I have lost my joy.”

joy2There. I said it. Out loud for her to hear. I have lost my joy!
And as the words echoed out loud, I let myself feel the sadness that has been eating away at me for some time.
I let myself dwell on what that meant. I let myself think about when and where I lost my joy. I thought about what this meant not only for me but for those around me as well.

Now please don’t get me wrong. I love my life. I am beyond blessed and I am so grateful for where I am, everything I have and for the love of family and good friends. But somewhere along the way I have lost my joy.

Joy is not a word I would often use. I would say I am happy, I am content, I am excited (yep, I tend to use that one a lot!) I am grateful, but joy, well it’s not one I tend to use.

But the minute I spoke it out loud, I knew that joy was exactly what I was missing.

So I spent some time reflecting on this and I realised that joy and happiness are very different things. I can be happy without having joy. I can be happy because of outside influences, but joy, joy is true contentment that comes from internal factors like faith in Christ. True joy is everlasting and not dependent on our circumstances.

The Bible teaches that happiness is fleeting because it often depends on things outside of ourselves, but true joy is eternal because it is based on our relationship with Jesus Christ, which is itself an everlasting source of joy.

So back to me and my joy….or lack of it!
I need it back! I need to find my joy again. But as I’m learning, it is not something I can go and just find. It is not something that I can create, or conjure up. If only it was as easy as popping into K-Mart and getting some when I ran out! Nope, it is something that comes from within. It is something that I am only going to find when I spend time with my Creator. When I spend time with the One who knows me better than I know myself! When I take the time out of my ‘busy’ life to invest in what really matters. When I stop and listen….really listen to who He says I am.

So this week I am on a mission! I am determined to get the ‘joyful Kathy’ back that I once was. To rediscover who I am and what that looks like. To fill my soul with the only thing that can give me the joy I so desperately need!

Here I go, friends…….