Marriage Tip #11 - Discuss Expectations

Marriages often start falling apart when the communication dies down.  While Eric & I  were dating we were eager to chat about all of our plans for the future and spent hours talking about how great out life would be.  After we were married these conversation became less and less and day-to-day real life kicked in.  One of the things I realised that we stop talking about was our expectations of each other.  I have an internal list of things that I would love Eric to do for me and ways I would like him to treat me.  This list can range from really small things like emptying the bin to very important things like how he treats me in public or in front of his parents.

As soon as we stop communicating our expectations, bitterness and disappointment sets in.  Bitterness and disappointment, if left unchecked can lead to a failed marriage and even divorce.  It's a scary thought, to think that our marriage could fail just because we stopped talking to each other.  Take time to remember where it all began and get chatting again like when you were first in love - I know Eric & I are going to :)

Once you have had a good trip down memory lane, sit down with your husband and lovingly discuss the expectations you have of him and any disappointments you may have.  The trip down memory lane is essential before you begin the conversation, to ensure that your heart is in the right place.  Be reasonable and explain to him that this is just a discussion about how you are feeling, it's not a list of criteria that he has to meet.  Once you have shared you feelings, allow him to respond about how he feels about it. Don't demand that he meets all your expectations but reasonable work out how you can come together in understanding.  Accept the things he says he can't meet right now and thank him for the things he is willing to work on.  Most importantly, allow him to share his expectations and disappointments and be willing to work on a few things yourself too.


Family Moments

Daniel's Christmas School Play
Daniel the singing shepherd
Getting ready to play in the snow
Eric being creative with the camera :)
Amy helping mommy start the snowman
It's a GIRL!  Meet Matlida the snowlady


My Little Thought on Sin

Did you know that there is only one sin that can send a person to hell?  It is fascinating when you think about it.  Check this out.

John 3:18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Unbelief - that is the only sin that can send you to hell. It's so simple yet so many of us completely miss it!

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

It's Christmas time and nearly time for a brand new year.  Why not celebrate this Christmas by truly believing John 3:16.  If you aren't in a local church, find a healthy one, and give Jesus a chance in your life this coming year.  Have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy new year.



My Top 3 Books for 2010

Classic Christianity by Bob George: This book completely blew my mind!  The simple thought that we have been preaching only half of the gospel has completely challenged me. Too often we think Jesus came to sort out our sin thought His death, and He did, but that is only half of it.  He also came to give us a new life through His resurrection.

One phrase section deeply impacted me. "If you were to see a butterfly, it would never occur to you to say, 'Hey, everybody! Come look at this good looking converted worm!'  Why not? After all, it was a worm.  And it was "converted."  No, now it is a new creature, and you don't think of it in terms of what it was.  You see it as it is now - a butterfly.  In exactly the same way, God sees you as His new creature in Christ. Although you might not always act like a good butterfly - you might land on things you shouldn't, or forget you are a butterfly and crawl around with your old worm buddies - the truth of the matter is, you are never going to be a worm again!"
I'll Have What She's Having by Bobbie Houston:  This woman is a legend. Her heart shines through in all of her books and whenever I have heard her speak my life has been changed!  This book is quite old now, which is why it impacted me this year.  In this book she shares her story from the early years of Hillsong Church, which greatly encourage me as our church is in it's very early years.

As I read I noticed how she spoke of all the lovely Hillsong ladies such as Christine Caine, Donna Crouch & Darlene Zschech. I found myself thinking that I would love to have an awesome circle of friends like that!  As soon as I realised how silly my thought was and that I do have amazing friends, I also realised something life changing.  When she wrote this book these ladies were not yet the high profile ministry leaders that we know them to be today.  This book was written ages ago and Bobby was friends with them before "it all happened!"  I heard what could have been the gentle voice of God, telling me that Bobby was friends with ordinary people but she invested in them which is why they have become the awesome women that they are today.  This lead me to a life changing conviction - I will invest whatever I can in the people I am doing life with because I just don't know what potential they have and what awesome things God has placed inside of them. Perhaps, just like Bobby, I will have the privilege of being a part of their awesome journey!

Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado: If you don't want to be challenged to the core and moved to action, DON'T read this book.  Rather go to Argos to pick up a catalogue and plan your Christmas shopping.  Seriously!  Even a person with the hardest heart imaginable will be moved to tears within minutes of reading  'Out Live Your Life'.  The first two and a half pages, before chapter one even begins, gave me goosebumps! The first chapter caused me to start the Human Trafficking section of my blog because I had no excuse not to. My selfishness has been challenged to the core and my excuses have been obliterated.  I don't know when last I read a book that has impacted me this much.

I have read quite a few books but these three have changed me.  Have you read a good book this year that has impacted you in any way?


Christmas Special Offer

Hey girls!  I thought it would be a great idea to give you a little gift for Christmas - A King's Daughters only special offer bundle - Hope's Journey & King's Square CD for just £15!  If you are stuck for a gift idea, why not give a gift that can change their life forever, some great uplifting music along with a nice book to read. You can buy them here :)

Have a wonderful Christmas xxx


You are... specifically designed

You are no accident - no matter what anyone has ever said to you - it's not true!  You were created specifically and intentionally by your creator.  He personal chose your hair colour, your eyes and you personality.  You were made with lots of love.  Not only were you made so specifically but so was your entire future.  You were made a certain way to live a certain life.  I recently heard a saying that you can't squash your foot into a size 2 shoe if you don't have a size 2 foot!  So simple yet so profound.  God made you just the way you are so that you can do exactly what you want to do.  Yes, this isn't a typing mistake, what you want to do.  You see, even the desires in your heart were put there by Him.  You don't need to wonder if the desires in your heart are His will, if you are a Christian and are living close to Jesus then I can quite certainly say that the desire of your heart are also the desires of His heart.

Psalm 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

If you don't know Jesus it is possible that you may be a little confused at the moment.  Don't worry, that is easily resolved, tell Jesus about your confusion and ask Him to help you find you who He truly made you to be.  This is what I did quite a few years ago and I can honestly say that now I am living all of my dreams and even so much more than I ever dared to dream.  It's a simple step, accept that you were designed specifically and intentionally by your creator and then go to Him and ask Him to show you His amazing plan.  There is a fantastic children's story about this very subject that has deeply impacted my life, it's so simple yet so powerful.


Small Beginnings

My very first signing

My wonderful mother-in-law buying 3 books!

"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin," Zechariah 4:10a 

Today I had the wonderful privilege of doing my very first book signing at Living Oasis. It was so much fun, thank you to everyone who has been supporting me on this incredible journey.  Firsts are always so special and so are the small beginnings.  I have set up a Facebook page for King's Daughters so you can keep up with all my news if you like. There is so much more to come and I am so excited about what's coming 2011!

Hope's Journey - Make up Your Mind

There may come a time when you think you are depressed! You know it is not a chemical thing in your brain and you’re sure it's not a form of burnout. If this is the case it could possibly be your mind! I have overcome so many nasty things in my life by fighting the battle in my mind. I am so passionate about this and love to preach on this subject too. Often we grow up seeing something in our family and because it is familiar to us and seems normal our mind accepts it. Depression can be one of those things. We think because one of our parents suffered with it we automatically will too. There are times when it is genuinely passed on either physically or spiritually. Many times though, it is all in your mind. 

When you become a Christian everything changes – some things change instantly and other things change over time. Most things take time to change and one of those things is our mind. Before we were Christians, we thought a certain way – we thought according to our selfish nature. The Bible calls this the carnal nature. When we get into the things of God we want to think differently because we have changed. However our mind doesn’t automatically change when we become Christians, we have to change our minds manually – one step at a time!

Romans 8:6-8
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is hostile to God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

I would really like to make it easy to understand the difference between our carnal mind and the mind of Christ. When we become a Christian we have access to the mind of Christ – a new way of thinking that we never had access to before.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Fear in the original Greek means timidity, which refers to nervousness, shyness or apprehension and spirit refers to the mind. Sound mind in the original Greek means discipline or self control. This is very interesting isn’t it! So what this verse is saying is that God didn’t give us the mind to be scared or timid but he made us to have power, love and self control over our mind.

Talk to Your Mind

When Lorah and Jordan were very little I used to tell them to talk to their mind – I used to tell them, to tell their mind what to think, by talking to it. This was my way of teaching them that their mind didn’t control them but they controlled their mind. When they felt scared at night, they would come to me and I said to them that they don’t need to be scared, they just need to talk to their mind and tell it that they are not scared, and then they won’t be scared any more. In a very child like way, this is what I was teaching Lorah and Jordan from a young age – take control of your mind – tell it you are not scared! I was teaching them in a very simple way what Timothy was saying in the Bible.

The same can apply to depression which starts in the carnal mind. If you truly believe that God has given you a sound mind, you need to start believing it and acting like it. When the thought comes into your mind that you are depressed, tell that thought exactly where to go! The best way to do this is to say 2 Timothy 1:7 out loud. Say it over and over again, until you really believe it. No matter what situation you are in or how deeply depressed you are, there is no harm in doing this exercise. The Word of God is very powerful and each time to confess it you are speaking life into your mind and soul. The battle is very often fought in the mind and the victory is won in the mind. You can choose to control your mind and not let your mind control you. This doesn’t come naturally, at first you need to intentionally choose to think this way. The best way to change your mind is to “program” it with the Word of God. God made it easy for us, He wrote it all down for us in the Bible, so to get to know the mind of Christ get to know your Bible.Depression and suicide starts in the mind. No one gets depressed or takes their life without first spending a lot of time wrestling in their mind. 

I will stop here but chapter 12 does continue with some tips from the Bible on how to get free if you struggle with your mind, for full details about this book, Hope's Journey, please go here


Jesus Birthday

This morning I was chatting to Jesus and found myself asking Him what He would like for His birthday this year.

"Jesus, what can I do to make You  happy, what would you like for Your birthday this year?"

My prayer was a simple one but I wanted to share it with you so that you can perhaps tell me what you think.  Please pray this prayer with me and ask Jesus what He wants for Christmas this year and share with me what you think He wants. I am so excited to see what we come up with together, I really think this Christmas is going to be the most special one ever, as we thoughtfully plan for Jesus birthday. 

I wrote a song not so long ago along similar lines, just expressing my desire to please Jesus, have a listen - it's called Smile.


My Little Thought on Audacious Faith

I think I have audacious faith figured out. It has nothing to do with how much faith you can muster, it has more to do with how much you have the audacity to ask for!

James 4:2
...You do not have because you do not ask God.

Matthew 17:20
.... Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

You don't need much faith (a mustard seed's worth will do) but you do however need to ask.


Hope's Journey - Rest

Depression is often caused by burnout. Simply put - you have overdone it! I am very prone to this as I tend to like to do a lot. Very often I only realise I have done too much when it is too late. Learning to rest has been a key for me to avoid getting depressed and burnt out.

Philippians 4:6-7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Paul summed it up nicely in this verse in Philippians. You will find this is a fascinating verse if you look into what hearts and mind means in the original text.

Rest Your Mind

Heart in the original Greek text is “kardia” as mentioned in the chapter on the mind, which is the thoughts or feelings of the mind.

Mind in the original Greek text is “noe ma” which means a perception, purpose, disposition or the intellect.

Would you agree with me that ‘the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,’ sounds like a great rest for your mind? Paul suggests that we can have this simply by ‘being anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God’. Not only will this give you peace but ‘will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’  Too often I get all stressed and agitated because my ‘ thoughts and feelings’ are filled with too much worry and so is my ‘perception, purpose, disposition or the intellect’.

The reason I am writing with so many quotation mark and italics is because I don’t want to dilute what this verse is actually saying. It’s so simple and the point could easily be missed or complicated. We can rest our minds by not worrying. Um... sounds familiar? Jesus said this too several times in the Bible and clearly stated that worry can achieve absolutely nothing in our life - so why worry? 

Paul brought it up again when instructing young Timothy, saying that God didn’t make us worriers but gave us a sound mind.  'Sound mind' in the original Greek means discipline or self control, so accessing this sound mind involves our will. God has not given us a worried mind, He has given us a mind that we have the ability to control so we must choose to rest our minds from worry. If we won’t rest our minds we can’t expect to rest in any other area of our life either. 

I am not going to give you a “how to” list because most of what I have written in this book will double up as a “how to rest you mind” list too. For example, if you apply the chapter on making lists to the area of resting your mind, you will see that it would be good to make a list of things that cause you to worry and stop you from worrying. When you find yourself worrying, you can yank out your list for some ideas of what to avoid of what to do to stop worrying.  The chapter on choosing your friends can help you rest your mind too because some friends will cause you worry and other friends will bring peace into your life. Eating well, exercising and sleeping affects your ability to unwind so you could use this chapter to find ways to rest your mind. I am sure you are getting the picture now. Most chapters can be applied to the area of resting your mind.

Rest Your Body

I have heard some people tell me not to be religious about the seventh day rest as we don’t live under the law anymore. Yes that’s true but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water! I believe God gave all the instructions to the Jews for their benefit, not to catch them out with laws. If we carefully examine every single law God gave in the Old Testament we can clearly see how they were for the Jews benefit and still today those “tips” that God gave them are totally relevant to us too.  Sure you don’t have to do what the Bible says, it certainly won’t send you to hell or anything, but why would you want to blatantly disregard God’s helpful tips on how to live on planet earth? He did create earth and us after all!   If I buy an appliance, I do like to read the manufacturers guide to understand how to use my appliance. It would be kind of silly to throw the handbook away and then sit and struggle for weeks trying to figure out how the silly thing works, wouldn’t it? In my humble opinion I view the Bible in a similar way, as life’s hand book written by the manufacturer of me.
OK enough waffle, back to resting our bodies... God made it a very serious offence to neglect the Sabbath. He really wanted people to understand that their bodies needed rest, so he added a death clause to it as a consequence.

Exodus 31:14-15
You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 

I will stop here but chapter 11 does continue, for full details about this book, Hope's Journey, please go here.       


Christmas Splendour

I am completely blown away by our plans for our upcoming Christmas Ball.  It started out as a small idea.  The idea, was to make the street people of Gloucester and the teenagers from our youth feel really special this Christmas.  We have had a fantastic year at our church and have seen many lives dramatically changed. People have come in off the street for the free sandwiches and coffee that we offer every Sunday.  Some of these people only come for the free stuff but some of them have lingered for church and have met Jesus!   

So we set a date, booked the venue, announced the party and started inviting these precious people.  I asked all of my professional musician friends to join us by providing live music for the event but no one was able to.  I had this nagging voice  in my mind (as you do) to ask one of UK's most amazing bands, [dweeb], to come and do the entertainment for the evening.  To my surprise and delight they agreed! I was amazed and thrilled and I knew that the teenagers would be too.
Since everything was coming together so nicely I thought I would invite the city mayor and the leader of the council.  We have been developing a lovely relationship with them and thought it would be appropriate.  Well what happened next blew my mind. We now have confirmation that the Right Worshipful The Mayor of Gloucester (Councillor Jan Lugg) and her Consort (Mr. Steve Lugg) will be joining us along with the Leader of the Council (Paul James) and his Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing and Health (Andrew Gravells). Talk about a guest list!

It wasn't long before I started panicking about this, the event is beginning to get huge and out of control.  It was then that I realised that God has set this whole thing up - I could not have brought this together even if I tried!  So I have invited one of the street people and one of the teenagers to share their testimony at the ball.  It will be a magnificent night with lovely food, formal dresses and tuxedos worn by street people and city leaders alike, great music with some carols by D7 Band too.  I am so excited and really looking forward to our Christmas Splendour.  There are a few tickets left, if you live nearby come and join us.


Hope's Journey - Highs and Lows

What goes up must come down! I learned this the hard way by crashing badly. This left me extremely frustrated as I felt that I was never allowed to experience joy or happiness. Many times Eric would warm me, saying, “Be careful! You are getting too high now”. He always knew that he would be the one suffering the next moment when I came crashing down from my high. Often I would be very annoyed by his comment, thinking that I wasn't allowed to be happy or excited EVER! This really bothered me and I asked God to help me with this. I have now learned to love the moments of perfect balance in my life. They are rare and they don't last for more than a few hours at a time and on a rare occasion I can enjoy it for a whole day, but I would have to be totally alone for that to happen. Yes, I know, this is one of those times when you probably think I am very strange indeed! I have learned though, even in the times of perfect balance, to watch that it doesn't cause me do spiral down. I have to channel myself into something positive during the contentment in order to keep some form of balance. With God's help and mercy, ha ha, I have learned to "watch" myself and if I see myself getting over excited about something, I force myself to think about something else. This stops me from getting too high and come crashing down. 

Lingering in Lows

Avoiding lows is just as important. I can spend time meditating on sad things or even imagine an entire sad scenario and end up crying about something that isn't even real! So I avoid that sort of silliness. If I notice my mind wondering off down an unnecessary path I quickly pull it back by getting busy with something or intentionally thinking of something else. Often hurt can take me to a low place and I really struggle with getting myself back on track when I am hurting. This is the one thing that can cause me to go really low and I am easily hurt by the people I love - I am getting better at this though!

Silly Sin!

Recently I have observed something very interesting! Many times when I lose my contentment or balance it is because I have allowed a bad attitude of some sort to creep in. At first it is very subtle and goes unnoticed but since I have become aware of this, I can quickly get back on track. It’s so frustrating to see how easily I can lose my peace and joy! With some effort I know I will get to a beautiful place of enjoying peace, contentment and joy as a norm and not only as the exception.

Let me give you some examples of what I mean. At the moment we are doing a couples evening based on the book The Love Dare at our Church. One of the evenings involved a discussion on being irritable. I was so uncomfortable when I realised that each and every word spoken was describing me. I heard how a loving wife is not sensitive or cranky but exercises self-control and how love is not irritable. When you are irritable, the heart of the problem is primarily a problem of the heart.

Matthew 12:34
Out of the abundance of the hearth the mouth speaks.

Being easily angered is an indicator that a hidden area of selfishness or insecurity is present where love is supposed to rule.

Well this totally caught me out and my selfishness was completely exposed as I often get irritable, cranky and sensitive with Eric. I felt so overwhelmed with my own selfishness and asked God to forgive me and help me not be that way.  Realising this helped me also realise that usually it is selfishness that causes me to lose my peace or contentment which can send me on a downward spiral. I can usually trace the cause of my downward spiral back to becoming irritable or to insecurity or a fear. Seeing this has greatly helped me hold onto my contentment for longer. Now when I start to feel myself slipping I try and trace all the way back to the cause. I could be sitting in the sunshine feeling nice and peaceful just pondering life, when slowly my mind might wonder and end up thinking about someone that has been annoying me lately. Gradually my thoughts turn to this person and the things that annoy me and begin to feel the negative, annoying feelings again. Before you know it I have either had an imaginary conversation with this person or gone off on some sort of journey in my mind and my contentment is gone. I can get up from my seat in the sunshine and get on with my day but the contentment is gone. Later on that day of perhaps even the next day I feel a bit down all because I allowed myself to get annoyed FOR NO REASON AT ALL! How absolutely ridiculous is this? Understanding how this all works has helped me either quickly catch this sort of thing before it robs me or if I have not caught it in time, I can quickly trace my steps back to the root cause of downward spiral. To get back on track I repent for thinking those thoughts about someone or I pray for that person. The Bible is crystal clear about what we should do when faced with difficult people.

Luke 6:27-28
"But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 

I will stop here but chapter 10 does continue, for full details about this book, Hope's Journey, please go here.      



Hope's Journey Launch & Signing

I am so excited I could pop! On 11th December I will be doing an official launch of Hope's Journey and a book signing at Living Oasis Bookshop in Cheltenham. I would love you to join me if you live locally. xxx


Home For The Holidays

As you know, I am a huge supported of the A21 Campaign.  Here is a great idea that they have running at the moment for Christmas.

The A21 Shelter is a safe place in Greece where many survivors of human trafficking will be calling "home" this holiday season, and we want to ensure that we help make this truly a time of love, joy and peace.
So, we came up with this idea...

Let's ALL help make this holiday unforgettable for the girls! Here's the plan:

1. Send a Christmas card to the shelter!
Hand-written letters have become a novelty these days. Because they take a bit more time and effort, they are not only special, they are personal, (nothing says love like taking the time to write something other than your signature). Please send your card or letter directly to Greece at:
PO Box 10218
TK 54110
(*Please only send cards and letters.)

2. Make Change with Pocket Change!
This is something easy that you can do right NOW! We have asked the girls what they would like for Christmas this year. The most common request has been for a new outfit, so let's pool our resources and get them some of the finest shoes, coats, scarves, jeans etc! Let's all give $12 – (about the price of one movie). Consider missing a movie this Christmas to make a BIG difference! Click here if you would like to donate now and help us put something special under the tree.

As you're starting to make your Christmas list this year, why not consider this something you can cross off right now? Together, our small acts of kindness and generosity can make a BIG difference.


Hope's Journey on my Bookshelf!

Click on image for full size
I know - ridiculous - but I have to! Take a look at my bookshelf... what do you see :)  I got the paperback version of my book this morning and I actually cried when I opened it.  It was as if I had given birth to a baby and was holding it for the first time.  I am so very excited and have had such lovely feedback already.  Sadly a lot of the feedback has been from people who are still struggling and need help.  Please pray that this book really does help people find hope and freedom from depression and suicide. 


Lorah's Blog

My wonderful daughter Lorah, has been putting loads of effort into her own blog lately!  I thought I would take a moment to share it with you as it is well worth subscribing to.  Lorah is the Creative Pastor at our church and is doing incredibly well with all that God has given her to do.  She is faithfully sharing the journey that she is on through her blog, take a look here.  This Sunday Samuel & Lorah preached for the first time and I am so proud of them, have a listen to their message here.   


Hope's Journey Paperback Release

I am thrilled to bits to announce that Hope's Journey has been published and is now available on Amazon both in paperback and ebook.  I would be extremely grateful for your comments both on Amazon and on this blog.


King's Square Songbook

Smile was played for the first time on BBC Radio last Saturday.  This is very exciting for our band and we are thrilled to bits to be getting Christian music onto the radio.

Our CD, King's Square, has been doing so well so I thought it would be good to produce a song book too.  It has been released today on Amazon and is also available at our church info table.  It's very exciting to be able to share our music with other people and other churches.  Enjoy!


Bad News

I am sitting at my computer hitting the refresh button over and over again at a local news report.  A woman has just jumped from the top story of a car park and I am watching the news and the comments that the readers are leaving.  My heart is grieved wondering who the woman is, do I know her, what drove her to jump?  Earlier this morning Eric walked into our church office (our living room with some desks in the corner) and I was sat at the phone crying.  I had just had a conversation with a woman who was going through a divorce.  This was her second divorce and she was not in a good place at all.  I was crying because I felt so helpless and was praying to God about what to do.  Now I am sitting here feeling very nauseous reading comments on the news website, wondering how to reach these precious people. Daily I am faced with bad news, should I stop crying and toughen up?  That is only the bad news from before 11am this morning.  Do I remind myself that this is just how the world is these days?  I can't bring myself to do that. I have to cry and feel the pain so that I remain in touch with God's heart.  The pain I feel drives me to find a solution.  Too many people have switched off the pain and stopped crying, they turn a blind eye because they feel helpless and they have resolved to do nothing.

I pray,  "What do you want me to do God?".  

"Tell them about Jesus Angela!"  is what I feel He is saying

I respond, "But God I can't.  They won't listen. They are hard. They think they don't need you!  I don't know HOW to tell them anymore.  It's not that I am not willing, I am so very willing but how.  God please show me how to show your love to the lost and dying world that I am living in.  Please teach me to tell people about you in a way that will reach their hearts."     

It's just not the same as it used to be.  I tell people about Jesus weekly and am always shocked when people don't want Him. If only they knew how real He is and how much He loves them.  If only they knew how amazing life could be if they just let Him into theirs.  What do you think King's Daughters?  How can we tell people that Jesus really loves them and cares about their hurting hearts?

Hope's Journey - Understand Hormones

I have had many horrible days or weeks which often leave me feeling like a ‘bad’ person. I have learned to understand these times as hormonal times! Before I understood this, I struggled really badly. Hurting someone could have been a real possibility! I screamed at the children and I drove my husband crazy. Not nice at all. Depression also hit me badly some of these times, and as a result of the hormonal depression, I got even more depressed. Condemnation was a huge factor for how I had behaved, which caused me to sink even deeper into depression. This nasty cycle left me completely exhausted.

When I was in my twenties I cried out to God as I didn’t understanding why I was so up and down. Why some days I was this evil woman that was out of control. I clearly remember crying my eyes out as a new Christians feeling so guilty for being so bad. At the time I was doing a lot of reading and came across a book where they author mentioned her struggle too. This really encouraged me as I realised that I wasn’t bad at all I was merely struggling with the effect of premenstrual hormones racing around my body. Sadly she didn’t offer any miracle solution. Her solution was to pray and ask God for help and to keep trying to work on self control. Although I was relieved to hear I was normal and wasn’t some evil person, I was discourage as there was no quick fix solution, and I could see the long journey ahead in trying to deal with this. 

Over the years I have found a few keys that you might also find helpful, but honestly if you suffer severely I would recommend seeing a doctor. You might need to do something like change your birth control or alter your diet. 

I will stop here but chapter 9 does continue with a whole bunch of tips in beating hormonal depression, for full details about this book please go here.     


WWC - Turn Off the Computer

I can't tell you how many times a week I complain that I have so little time to do anything!  At the same time I can tell you how many hours a week I spend on the computer.  Everything I do seems to revolve around the computer, I can't imagine not turning it on for a day.   I tacked the whole FaceBook Addiction thing a while ago but still there are so many other things I need to do that involve this little box sitting on my lap right now.  I have noticed too that the little details that I used to manage in our marriage have slipped away.  Neither Eric or I take time to set the table beautifully for a romantic dinner.  I don't make his favourite desert much and I know there are loads of other little details that I simply don't get around to any more.

May I say, that if your husband comes home from work and is greeted by the back of your head, as you are busy on the computer - he is not pleased. There is not a man alive that wouldn't love to come home to a clean house, the smell of food cooking and a happy wife to give him a big sloppy kiss.  When Eric worked away from home my whole day revolved around his arrival home in the evening.  Kids were bathed, the house was clean and dinner was ready.  On a really good day I even managed to have a shower and get dressed nicely.   Of course I had bad days too when I got it all wrong, but on the whole I aimed for the good day plan.  A man LOVE's to be the king of his castle and I can assure you that if he is greeted by you on the computer he is not pleased.

I would like to take the last Wonderful Wife Challenge, of starting with the small things, one step further.   Let's have a computer budget so that the rest of our time is computer free.  I have taken a realistic look at what I HAVE to do on the computer each week, then I have added a little extra for things I want to do - like writing this blog.  I have set a budget to the numbers of hours I will spend on the computer so that the computer doesn't control my life!  Some days I may not even turn it on.  It is too tempting just to quickly check emails or FaceBook if it's left on, so I will get my work done and then TURN IT OFF!  It's a trap and if you are not careful you won't even realise that you have fallen into it.  How many hours a week do you spend on the computer?  Have a careful tally up and be honest with yourself. 


What Do D7 Band And Bob Dylan Have In Common?

I was walking in town yesterday and spotted D7 Band's King's Square CD in the CD shop, so I did what anybody would do at such an exciting discovery -  I took a photo!  I got home and Eric put it on his blog right away.  Check out Eric's blog for the answer to the question... What Do D7 Band And Bob Dylan Have In Common?


Out Live Your Life

If you don't want to be challenged to the core and moved to action, DON'T read this book.  Rather go to Argos to pick up a catalogue and plan your Christmas shopping.  Seriously!  Even a person with the hardest heart imaginable will be moved to tears within minutes of reading  'Out Live Your Life'.  The first two and a half pages, before chapter one even begins, gave me goosebumps! The first chapter caused me to start the Human Trafficking section of my blog because I had no excuse not to. My selfishness has been challenged to the core and my excuses have been obliterated.  I don't know when last a read a book that has impacted me this much and so have decided not to tell you too much more about it, so that you will get a copy for yourself. 

Thank you very much Thomas Nelson, for providing me with this book to review.


Princess Jordan

My lovely 15 year old daughter got right on the case the second I Blogged about Human Trafficking!  She created this gorgeous picture for her FaceBook page and challenged all her friends to do the same.  It's amazing what can be done if people pull together - we really can make a difference one small step at a time.  Have you done something creative too to support this cause?  Let us know about it in the comment box below.


Saturday Morning - What If?

It's Saturday morning and I am at my computer in my pyjamas, quite tired as I only got to bed around 2am, thinking that I really should write a blog post.  I have loads of future posts planned but none of them feel quite right for this morning.  Saturday is our family day, it is the one day a week where we just hang out together as a family.  No computers allowed so I usually post my Saturday blog post in advance or simply don't have one.  Today is slightly different because I need to let Eric have a lie in as he is not well at the moment, so I thought I would steal a moment to chat to you.

OK I will come right out with it - something has been troubling me lately!  I am becoming very burdened with the state of families on the UK and the general state of the world.  Yes I know sounds silly.  Usually I ignore those feelings, I dismiss them instantly because they are too big and there is nothing I can do about it. I am doing the best I can with what God has given me to do and already that is taking up all of my time. This past week, however, I have allowed myself to feel a little more that I usually do. I have allowed myself to fantasise about "what if?".  What if I can do more, what if I can make a national or global difference in this world? Yesterday I read about 400 young girls that were rescued from the sex trade. What shocked me most were their ages - age two to age fifteen! Come on there has to be something I can do about that - that is too sad for words.  Amy is nearly two years old, I can't imagine her being in that position.  

I don't usually allow these feelings into my heart because I feel so helpless, I block them out, I ignore them, I turn a blind eye.  My aim has always been to build my life to a level of financial stability and influence so that I can THEN do something about it!  BUT... I allowed the thought of this two year old into my heart and now it has messed me up completely.  I can't wait until 'then' any more, I have to start doing something about it now.  God doesn't take people of wealth & influence and 'then' use them, he takes people that are available and uses them, providing whatever is needed along the way.  My excuses are disabled now, I know the truth and it's time to get on with fighting injustice.  Will you join me?

Small steps:
  1. I am going to stop waiting and stop saying I can't and I am going to see what I CAN do.
  2. I am going to see how many of A21's ways to help I can achieve.
  3. I am going to rewrite my finance book, Money Does Matter, and pitch it in a way that we have a responsibility to sort our finances out so we can make a difference in this world and then donate a percentage to the A21 campaign.
  4. I am going to trust God and pray.
  5. I am going to look at Amy every day and thank God for her precious life and intentionally remind myself that there are other little ones just like her out there suffering and I can do something about it.
  6. I am going to believe that my small steps along with your small steps can make a global difference to the world wide problem of human trafficking!
  7. As a Church we are going to direct our entire focus for 2011 on families.  Building the nation by building our families.
Will you join me?  Don't brush it off like I did, too many of us do that which is why the world is in the state it is in today.  If human trafficking is not something on your heart what is on your heart?  What injustice are you standing up for?  

To partner with me in these small steps and to share in the journey that lies ahead, add the image above to your blog and link it to the new Causes page here http://kingsdaughters21.blogspot.com/p/causes.html  This will be a work in progress and your feedback and ideas are very welcome, I can't do this alone but perhaps you and I together can!


Hope's Journey - Choose Your Friends

This is another sort of list really but it might be a bit weird if someone ever found it written down so perhaps memorise it! I have learned to understand that there are different types of people in my life; those that drain me and those that fill me, people who bring something to my life and people that take something from me and also people who divide or multiply in my life. I understand that I can't always avoid people that drain me, my job is to love everyone and my desire is to love everyone just as Jesus does. Equally I understand that life is seasonal and friends that bring something during this season might need to take things from me in the next season. Those are balanced friendships which are give and take. But there are other people that can be very draining ALL the time and intentionally take ALL the time. Over the years I have learned to limit my time with draining people and I have also learned to seek out people that fill me. Eric and I have one friend in particular that we have known for five years now and he is totally is AMAZING! No matter what is happening in his life or ours he manages to fill us EVERY time we see him. He is so very positive and so just totally amazing. If ever we are having one of 'those days' we pop over to see him and leave full! Even when we go to his home to give we still end up leaving full. I only hope we are not on his draining people list ha ha! We have been through all sorts of good and bad times together but no matter what he has never drained us only ever filled us.
Even when he has gone through hard times and we had to support him we still never got drained. Friends like this are rare gems, if you have one or two of them hold on to them.

Proverbs 13:20
He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.

This verse says it all – if you choose wise friends you will become wise but if you choose foolish friends you will be destroyed! You can’t get any simpler than that can you? 

Cut Off Negative People

If you spend lots of time around negative people the chances are you will become negative too and quite possibly start to lead a negative life. Depression often stems from some sort of negativity and if you are struggling with depression at the moment please carefully observe the people that you are doing life with. You might find one or two people who are constantly negative and who suck the life out of you. Cut them off! Seriously don’t feel bad, you may be depressed because of them and there is only one way to find out if this is your root cause.

We had a couple in our congregation who were struggling with all sorts of things. Once we had got to know them and their friends a little better we quickly noticed the common denominator between them all. They were all unhealthy, negative, sensationalist people. We really loved this family so poured my heart and soul into loving them and trying to help them find their way to freedom and health. One of the first things we recommended, as you can probably guess, was to cut certain people out of their life. This was a huge thing to suggest as most of their friends had been in their life for fifteen to twenty years. However we still strongly urged that they drastically limited their time with them but preferably cut them off completely, even if only for a season so they could get strong as a family. For a short season of about six months they planted themselves firmly in our Church, they got involved in everything which left very little time for their unhealthy friends. The growth was fantastic and Eric and I were really pleased with how far they had come in such a short space of time. Even their children showed immense growth and health. 

Sadly they had one other thing that they struggled to let go of and that was sensationalism. It was all about the latest move of God and the latest signs and wonders and they quickly got bored with good old fashioned hard work in Church. Sensationalism was also the thread that kept them connected to their circle of negative friends. Much damaged was caused through this family bringing many unhealthy Christians into our Church and many new believers in the faith were damaged. There is a vast difference between a sinner involved in sin and a Christian choosing to stay in sin. We expect sinners to sin, they don’t know any better but we expect Christians to move forward and grow and when they choose not to the whole apple cart is upset. After nearly two years of trying to win this family to us and begging them to let go of their unhealthy influences we lost them. I am one hundred percent confident that if they had cut their unhealthy friends out of their life for a season and grew strong in the things of God they would be flourishing today and perhaps even their unhealthy friends would have seen such a change in them that they would have grown healthy too.

Ask your friends

Friends and family often see things that you might miss. If you already have a circle of friend that you can trust then ask them about what they think may be your root cause of depression. You might be surprised at what they say and you might find it really helpful. It is worth having a great circle of friends as you will find that they will be essential in your reaching your full potential. 

I will stop here but chapter 8 does continue, for full details about this book please go here.    


Better the Devil You Know

Over the past three weeks we have been running a series at Church called The Naked Preacher.  The heart behind this series was that the leaders of D7 Church would be open and honest about  all sorts of things with the congregation.  Eric did two Q&A sessions where he answered all sorts of questions that people had sent in and I wrapped it up this Sunday with a messaged called Better the Devil You Know.  This message was based on my testimony from my recently released book, Hope's Journey.  I went into my struggle with depression & suicide and then took a look at the devil's strategy in our life.  I wrapped it up with my own victory story and the beautiful, awesome, incredible plan that God has for our life.  If you would like to have a listen you can do so here.    
Have a beautiful week.



Hopes Journey - Tell Someone

Eric is a wonderful support to me and I am thankful that I have him to remember what I need to stay full.  When I am unable to know what I need, He will know. Does this make sense? I have told him all the things that I do that fill me and also the things that drain me. I have shared my observations of who I am and who I am not. Many times when I am down he will ask what I need and usually I say I don't know because I genuinely don't know. In these times Eric knows what I need, he knows to take me for a walk even if I don't want to go for a walk as this always helps. He knows to encourage me to play my piano, or guitar, or work on a song. He knows that I might need some time alone, without the children. He knows that I might need him to tidy up the house a bit so I can find my strength to carry on. He knows all these little things because I have made a point of telling him what I need so that when I don't have to strength to figure out what I need he can help me. To tap into this is very easy too, when he asks what I need or what I want to do today I just say;

“Darling, I really don’t know what I want right now and don’t want to have to make a decision if that’s OK.”

This simple phrase activates my wonderful husband’s understanding of where I am at. Right away he knows that I really don’t know what is best for me so he needs to figure it out as well as make the decision as to what to do next. It’s so wonderful to be able to lean on him like that and to feel the blessing of being the weaker vessel. I love his strength in my weak times, I wish every woman alive could know and understand this simple principle. Too many women are trying so hard to be tough and independent without realising that they are only robbing themselves as well as those in their life that want to love them.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.

I Actually Do Understand

Sometimes we forget that other people have struggles too and might just understand what we are going through. When I was facing my final battle with suicide that I mentioned at the beginning of this book I felt totally alone. In my mind it seemed impossible that anyone would ever understand what I was wrestling with and so therefore there was no way at all that I could tell anyone about it. Most of all I am a leader, this immediately made the journey even more lonely as you have to be so careful who you share your struggles when you are leading. I was taught that a leader only shares the victories and only tells people about their own struggles once they have the answers. No one wants to hear about a leader struggling, it makes them look weak. This is what I have learned and tried to live by but I am seeing more and more that this isn’t always the case.  I think as leaders we need to have the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to judge the situation and each case individually.

James 5:16
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

I will stop here but chapter 7 does continue, for full details about this book please go here.    


WWC - Small Things

Wonderful Wife Challenge - Start with the Small Things

I love the comment Cheryn posted and this is the perfect place to start the Wonderful Wife Challenge.  In fact I have decided to honour her in this post as she is the most wonderful wife that I know.  This is what Cheryn said; "I think we should start with the small challenges, the things we think don't make a difference but actually make all the difference. Just saying thank you and showing appreciation for stuff we often overlook and take for granted (like my daily lifts to and from the train station), make his favourite dinner/dessert.  Put a little card with some nice words in it under his pillow." 

Cheryn has definitely hit the nail on the head, let's start with the small things.  Most importantly let's keep it up and not forget to always keep the small lovely details in our marriage, it's so easy not to bother. I challenge you this week to come up with lovely small things that you can do, let me know what you did and how it went :)


Book Reviewer Wanted

Every little girl wants to know that their daddy thinks they are beautiful! As we grow older that doesn’t change, our heart and souls still longs to hear the words, “You are beautiful”.  But what if your daddy didn't call you beautiful?  What if he hurt you or touched you in places that he shouldn't?  How can you feel beautiful or believe that your Father in heaven loves you when you have no idea what that means?  Secure on the Rock is an emotional roller coaster ride through my experiences with my earthly daddy and the security I finally found in the heart of my heavenly daddy.  

This is the second book in the three part series called Loving Life which I am working on.  I have completed the first draft and would like to invite you to have a proof read and to write a review too.  If you are interested please leave your email address in the comments box below and I will send you a copy to proof read. You can see the table of contents here.


Wonderful Wife Challenge

My heart still flutters when I hear his voice, my knees still feel week when I see him in a photo like the one here!  After six years of marriage I am still totally and utterly in love with my wonderful husband, Eric.  We have a wonderful marriage but it has taken work.  If we are not intentionally moving forward as a couple we are moving backwards.  Life is always moving in one direction or the other, it never stands still.  So in order to keep my marriage moving forward and so as not to become familiar with my wonderful husband I have decided to challenge you to join me in becoming a wonderful wife!  Over the next while I am going to post some challenges for us that will help us intentionally be even more amazing wives.  Before I begin though I would like to hear your suggestions for challenges. What area would like to intentionally work on in your marriage?


Hope's Journey - Make Lists

Yippee let's make a list - um... I guess not very exciting really! It's not that the list making is exciting, it is what the list can do for you when you feel down that is great. I have two lists; things that fill me and things that drain me. Every time I have found something that either fills me or drains me I write it on my list. This way when I am feeling drained and can remind myself of what fills me and force myself to do it. The list that drains me is a great tool too as it reminds me of what not to do too much of. Lists have really helped me over the years. I even have a list of who I am and who I am not. This has helped me so much too. On one occasion I was in an interview for a job I thought I would really like. I thought this job was a project manager role but half way through the interview I realised it was a personal assistant role. As soon as I realised this I said to the interviewer;

"I am sorry; I don't want to waste your time this job is not for me!"

It was such a liberating experience; I have never turned down a job in an interview before. The reason I was able to do that is because on my list one of the things it said was - I am NOT a personal assistant! I have done enough years of being an administrator and a personal assistant and moved into management roles to know that I really don't want to go back to being a PA.

On my list of things that fill me is playing my piano or learning to play the guitar, longs walks, long baths, writing songs, singing to God on top of my voice all alone in the living room, sitting on a bench in the garden when the sun is really hot, listening to live jazz or lighting candles and listening to jazz in my bedroom, walking on the beach, watching my babies sleep, staying in bed on Saturday morning and chatting to Eric about everything under the sun, etc. I am sure you get the picture. One of the verses I love in the Bible is in Isaiah.

Isaiah 61:3
To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."

Pleasures Forevermore

The last thing I feel like doing when I am down is praise but it WORKS! Every time I start to praise, this usually this means singing songs to get started, the spirit of heaviness goes. It could be a spiritual thing or it could be the fact that your mind is taken off the problem and is set on God. Either way I really do find that this is one of the biggest keys to my sanity! Praise takes me into God’s presence and that is the one place where I find peace, love, hope and joy.

Psalm 16:11
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Isn’t that such a beautiful verse? Not only does He promise to show me that path of life and offer me fullness of joy when I come into His presence but he offers me pleasures forevermore. Wow, yes please!  Our joy and pleasure is important to God so I feel quite comfortable with making a list of things that bring me pleasure. God’s will is not for me to be suffering with depression but it is that I enjoy life to the fullest. Depression is definitely the plan of Satan to rob me of my joy and steal my pleasures from me. One of the ways he can steal these pleasures is by blinding me to the fact that they even exist! 

New Things

I will stop here but chapter 6 does continue, for full details about this book please go here.   

PS.  Have you noticed that my book's covers have been designed, have a look here they are really cool!


Hope's Journey - Make Hope

This is a very simple suggestion but works wonders. In my own life and in other people's life I have observed that people struggling with depression often have nothing to look forward to. I often get down when all can see ahead of me is the mundane day to day routine of my life. Even though I love my life I can still get depressed by the routine of it all. Waking up in the morning, only to face yet another dirty nappy or a mountain of dishes that somehow seem to pile up - no matter how many times a day I stand at the sink washing up - somehow doesn't always excite me. Breakfast, lunch, supper - as usual! Then there’s people needing urgent assistance with something or other yet again. It's not that I don't care it's just that sometimes my heart does grow weary and cold.  The way I keep fresh and avoid getting really depressed is I make hope :) I put something in my near future that I will love doing, something that creates excitement and expectation. At least once a year it’s a holiday and then also occasionally a weekend away. Other times it's a visit with a friend I haven't seen in ages or perhaps even just a day out with my lovely daughters. This really helps keep my life more interesting. 


When suffering with depression, the last thing you have the energy for is planning something.  I have devised a plan to beat this.  What I have done is found a lovely place that we always go to for a rest.  Every year it's the same place and we all know that its purpose is for a good rest and we love it!  No need to scout for a new location, no need to spend hours trawling through spots on the Internet.  Outlook has the booking lady's email address and all I have to do is send one email and ask if the date is available and then it’s all done. No fuss and no hours or research and planning. Within minutes a nice restful holiday is booked and I can sit back and start thinking about how much fun it is going be so that the excitement and expectation can start building up! I do love exploring new places and when I am in a good place I might research somewhere new just for fun or something new to do, but if I am run down (which hopefully I can avoid now after reading these depression solutions in my book ha ha) I go somewhere or do something that doesn't take much energy or planning. Keeping something fun in the not too distant future always helps me.

It is essential to understand what makes you tick! Perhaps booking a hairdresser appointment on a regular basis gives you hope or having a manicure once a month. Explore new things to find out more about yourself, try an art class or join a kickboxing club. I don’t know you but you do and so do people close to you. If you really aren’t sure what to do ask your friends and family what they think – you might be surprised about what they suggest or even how they perceive you.

Date Night

Eric and I have weekly date night. No matter how hectic our weeks are we always have this night off to hope for. Usually it’s just a night at the cinema where we can switch off and escape into a fantasy world or a meal out where we can chat and have fun together. Other nights are nights at home where we sit by the fireplace and play scrabble. Our date nights are very simple and inexpensive but they are one of the things that we look forward to every week. I can’t tell you how much this has helped us through some very rough patches and also how this has helped us keep our marriage balanced. 

I will stop here but chapter 5 does continue, for full details about this book please go here.  


Lorah's Fancy Dress Party

Recently we celebrated Lorah's birthday party. I have shared the morning activities with you but have just come across the photos of the evening's celebrations - the fancy dress party!  So here are some snaps for you to have a chuckle at.  Have a great weekend.  xxx

I went as Lavender
Daniel & Amy went as Lions... ROAR
Max, Dave & Ewen were Lumberjacks