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Dear Self, Am I treating you okay?

Each Thursday over on 98.5fm’s blog I am writing a series called Dear Self…

Here is the first installment originally published here.

Imagine if you filled up the kettle with water right now and sat down with your favourite tea and had a good old chat to yourself. What would you say?

What if the self you were speaking to, was you 20 years ago?

What did you look like? What were your favourite things and what emotion bombarded your days?

Recently I have been on a journey of discovery. I am a writer and I spend my days looking for inspiration. One of those days, when I was nursing my baby girl, I thought of this exact scenario. Imagine if I could tell Amanda from twenty years ago a few things. What if I could hug her and say it is all going to be OK?

What would I say to my former self?

Dear Amanda,

Have I been treating you OK lately? I’m sorry for those days I spoke things internally that no-one else heard but they impacted everything. Life is far from perfect but honestly, you are doing OK. The future has many days that are hard, but I promise you there are some that are brilliant and beautiful as well. Your dreams do come true, but the funny thing is this: they look nothing like you think they will.


The wisdom found in the retrospective is profound.

There is something deeply moving when we look back at the things we used to pray for and remind ourselves, that those prayers have been answered.

One of the hardest journeys I have found in my faith walk is realising life brings its ups and downs, but when I look behind at the traversed seasons God has walked beside me all along.

Even those days when I questioned deeply whether He was.

Psalm 18:19 says it this way:

He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.

In the midst of this season, I wrote a book, where I gathered 30 women and asked them to write a letter to their former self. With lessons they had learnt, with life’s wisdom gathered through the years and the regrets they wanted to lay to rest.

As these letters landed in my post box, I breathed deeply and felt an immense weight of responsibility carrying these stories of women.

Every time I read one of these letters, I am stunned by our collective wisdom as women.

Would you like to write a story to your former self?

What wisdom have you learnt across your years?

Each Thursday in October, I will be writing on this theme of collective wisdom written to our former selves. Every story, every lesson, and our voice together has power to change lives.

Send your letter to the private message inbox on Facebook or to — they will be kept anonymous — and I look forward to learning from your journeys and lessons as well.

Ernest Hemingway says it this way:


Join me on this journey on each Thursday in October.

Amanda’s book Dear Single Self is due out December 1.

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she finds focus


Just this last Sunday, my husband and I were sitting in church and as I listened (intently, of course) he leaned over and whispered, “I think we have both become a little ADHD.”

I smiled, but I knew what he was referring too. We were both sitting listening to the sermon, flicking between instagram, facebook, smiling at a friend three rows away, checking the news on twitter and of course listening to the speaker (intently, of course). My husband is in the midst of launching a new not for profit business, on top of his full time job, I have my hands in a few big, juicy pies and we live distracted.

We want to work hard and live a life of contribution but at the same time we just don’t want to be those people who are a bit of everything, but masters of none. I know that women are supposed to be better multi-taskers but I am realising I can do a few things okay or I can truly focus and do one thing well.

Proverb 4: 25 Keep your eyes focused on what is right, and look straight ahead to what is good.

How focused do you feel at the moment?

What helps you to decide what you need to give your attention to?

“You can do two things at once, but you can’t focus effectively on two things at once.” Gary Keller

Wisdom calls us to focus on that which is in our hand and look intently at the opportunities in the future. To live a life of influence, it means we do stretch and we do give significantly and there are seasons of carrying responsibility intensely but there are times that we need to actively focus on the now.

We can spend all our time in our head in the future, we can spend all our energy on the past, but a woman of wisdom focusses on the days in front of her and peacefully leans into their potential.

If you are sitting at the dinner table with a  group of friends or family, put your phone away.

If you are in an auditorium listening to a speaker, lean in and put your distractions away.

If you are in a conversation with someone listen to them before you spend time planning on what your reply is.


A woman of wisdom, learns to live focused.

Deep breath, this is the kind of person I want to become.

How about you?





To read Day Three click here: She can do hard things

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Make her laugh…



Today I wrote a new piece on “Make her laugh…it might just change everything”.

“Our hearts were not designed to be overwhelmed by a tide of words that pull down and tear apart.

Our souls were not created with a tenacity to overcome the bitterness and severity of opinions that are so freely shared.

We need to be determined in the nurture of the gentle parts of our inner world. We need to be intentional in the ways that we recover from seasons of intense sadness and conversations that tear us apart.

Words have power.

The power of life and death.”

Click here: Kinwomen to keep reading.

Happy May, lovelies…



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I’m the kind of girl who walks into a large setting, a big party, a massive event and wishes I could be anywhere else but there. Funny thing is, most of my life I have organised events, parties and big things. It’s like I get overwhelmed and don’t know who to talk to and what to say. The bigger the event, the more awkward you will find me. Until it is an event in it’s thousands, like tens of thousands. Then I float away in the midst of the crowd and love to be carried along.

We live at the beach, but for many years (like over a decade) I hated the beach. I have had to make peace with the beach and it took forever. One of my closest friends died at the beach when I was twenty one and it took years for me to recover. I have never been to the beach where he passed. Ever, and I’m pretty sure I never will.

I have a deep hunger for India, but I have never been there or know anyone there. I dream of travelling there and working, helping people to discover creativity and innovation. Help people discover their immense worth. Somedays from the minute I wake up, till the moment I close my eyes, I dream of distant far of places. This dream feels further away from becoming a reality than ever before in my life.

I love corn. One day after working hard in the slum of Thailand, I was completely overwhelmed from leading a team of creatives running a day camp for children, that I sat despondent just wanting to go home. Wanting to be as far away from that slum as possible. My husband (he was my boyfriend at that stage) went and bought me a corn on the cob and I started to cry. The corn made me feel like home. It made me remember Sunday roasts and corn fields of New Zealand. That one simple act of compassion, made me fall in love with him endlessly.

This is me. In less than five hundred short words.

I am awkward,

I am insecure,

I am brave,

I am colourful,

I am unique,

I am unsure,

I care way to deeply,

I am loyal to the core,

I hunger and dream of a generation who will rise up and advocate for the poor,

I sometimes cannot breathe because I am so invested in an idea and I have to give birth to it,

I am deeply spiritual,

I think way too much,

I hunger and thirst for righteousness,

I believe in love without borders, race, gender or religion,

I struggle with change, but also thrive in the midst of it,

I like to watch a television series, episode upon episode, day upon day, until it is finished,

I really suck at unresolved conflict,

I try desperately to please people,

I like to be alone but I love the company of a friend.

This is me.


five hundred


Who are you?


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Two clicks from the sea

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two clicks from the sea 2

two clicks from the seas

Even though we live two clicks from the sea, each and every day when I look out my kitchen window I stare at a grey, boring, ugly fence.

Good morning, hello fence.

Olive trees awash the sky behind it and each new day become my forecasting friends. Bendy trees equal ‘Stay inside weather’, swaying trees; ‘it’s perfect beach-combing weather’ or when stillness pervades, ‘I must rush outside as the weather is sublime.’

Washing dishes is my household nemesis. Maybe you struggle with laundry? The floor? or maybe making the bed.

If my sink is clean I am calm then I am too.

Back to my original thread though, my ugly fence. You see, if you take three paces to the right you are out of my kitchen and officially in the hallway/lounge-room/playroom/craft-room and general assembly hall.

If my kitchen sink was where my front door is located, (in an around the corner type of way) instead of seeing that ugly, grey fence as I fight with my nemesis, I would see the ocean.

Although we live two clicks from the sea and the only place where my little old Hawaiian beach flat can see our dear friend the ocean is from our front door. The only place when you are standing at it, you are leaving the space.

My body builder has given me a little remedy to delight my senses as I wash our tribes utensils. A beautiful window shelf, that I am able to dry dishes on, plant herbs in and currently swoon over little flowers from. It belongs more in a French kitchen than a Hawaiian beach flat, but anyway back to my little story.

I often stand as I am washing up wondering, who designed this flat and why didn’t they place the kitchen closer to the ocean and create a view? Retrospect is a wonderful and all-consuming disease. Those deep moments of ‘Why didn’t I’, ‘I should have’ and company.

It is not until life teaches us little lessons that we have the foresight to make these decisions. The bible calls it wisdom. The world calls it Karma. I call it life.

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Life teaches us a plethora of information if we are willing to slow down and breathe it in. I don’t believe any decision we make is unrepairable. I believe that all things are working together for good, for those who love and trust The Lord.

Mostly I meet people who are stuck because they are unwilling to make changes, afraid if they make a mistake.

The kitchen window overlooking the grey, ugly fence, is a monumental mistake in my books. The architect wouldn’t have known though that one day in 40 years time, a creative Mama would spend half her day at that sink, washing a whole families eating utensils. A Mama who loves to cook and is addicted to hospitality.

Foresight or wisdom.

However my dear internet friend, window sills can be built.

Heck! We are even contemplating shifting the front door, the windows and the kitchen sink, just so I can have my little ocean view.

Just make a decision to keep moving forward.

This coming New Year, why don’t you make time with me and download this change reflection pages and contemplate a little shift, two clicks to the right.

You may just find a whole new view.