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when life is heavy


I have struggled to write lately. No matter how much I have been milking my knitting muse, no matter the deep breath’s and long walks, the words have been slow to come.

Oh, they are raging hard and fast in my heart and head, they just haven’t made their way to my fingers and mouth, until today. Over the last few years a scripture from the book of lamentations has resounded so strongly in my life. It is a little nugget of wisdom that feeds my life when I surrender to its discipline.

When life is heavy.

When life is unfair.

When the burden becomes to hard to carry.

This is what the writer says;

“When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst.” 

What an amazing grouping of words. What a beautiful picture of a life sown.

Man would say fight hard and strong, God would say wait on me and breathe deep.

Man would say get justice, get revenge, seek any retribution you can, God would say trust in me, I am bringing all things together for good.

Man would say shrink back, protect your family, hate and despise, God would say “Stand still and see what I will do before your eyes.”

I wrote in the midst of my heart heavy chaos this week on instagram…

“In the midst of so much chaos and confusion. I refuse to hate. I refuse to cast my opinions strong and hard. I choose to love. I choose to hold those dearest to me closer. I choose to take time to thank. I choose love. Light will always win over darkness. The world is aching for hope to be revealed. In the end I believe love wins. It’s the only thing that ever has. Goodbye competition, comparison, fear and harsh judgement. Hello friendship, mercy, grace and truth.”

Life continues to unfold with the greatest insecurities and challenge, yet I refuse to give in and allow the heaviness to overtake. See every opinion that is thrashed about hard and strong, has another perspective that proves to be so valid.

There is no quick fix formula to respond in the midst of crisis, death, breakdown and fear. We want formula, we want quick fix, we want to build our fences higher and higher, trying to make our worlds simpler and smaller. Yet the problem is we are the ones who remain inside, as we try to escape the drama in the world, we realise the filter with which we have seen everything through is our own eyes, our own experiences, our own failure and weakness.

When we see our opinions through the lens of the man in the mirror, when we ask ourselves what would it be like to walk in this person’s shoes before we speak, when we face our own insecurities, then our heaviness will be transformed by the perspective of the greater story.





Each time we reflect, we find perspective and reframe, we resist harsh judgement, we renew our sense of hope and promise.

Our heaviness eventually lifts and hope rises again.


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The year is not over, what did you promise to yourself.


Three years ago in the midst of the crazy aftermath of giving birth to my first child, I pulled out five note cards and wrote down intentions for five areas of my life.

  1. My Family
  2. My Purpose
  3. My Community
  4. Womankind
  5. Those who don’t have much

They were pinned up on my vision board above my computer and I muddled through the massive life change of leaving my job, my vocation and picking up the Job of Novice Mum.

I was terrified. I wrote big, audacious intentions that I wanted to do something with my years at home with little babies. I didn’t want to fade away, lost in a pile of nappies and wipes but at the same time I wanted to be present as much as possible to the fulfilment of my miracle of Motherhood being realised.

One of those big ideas on my intentions list for “My Purpose” was to run a creative retreat for women just like me. To have the courage to step out and create an event, that I would want to go to. An event that I needed.

A few days after I came home from this event realised, I was overwhelmed. I was scared, I was full of fear, “was it enough”, “did people like it”, “was it safe, was it welcoming, was it okay.” Questions that we all ask ourselves about most things in life, but when we step out and create something that you haven’t seen before, something that is original and full of your heart and personality, it is deeply vulnerable stuff. I had people asking for next years dates, I had sponsors offering to fund the next one. It was actually really scary.

As I sat there thinking about the most amazing stories that had transpired, I looked up on my dream board and pulled down those five cards. One by one, I put a line through all the things that had actually come to pass over the last few years.

I had intentions and I put them into action. They were focussed on a bigger purpose and I just had a go. I gathered a team, I looked for like hearts, I prayed, I worked hard. Together a group of like minded women, created a space were there was little competition and comparison, there was huge amounts of grace and it was breathtaking.

The funny thing is as I sat and looked at this dream realised, I thought deeply about my intentions for this year. I had just two things that were my big goals for this year. The first one to lose the weight I have gained with two babies in three years and also to publish my manuscript “Dear Single Self” for women over 25 who are single.

I sat there very soberly thinking even though this amazing event had transpired, the year was not finished yet, I haven’t achieved my two big goals for this year.

Then on Sunday the message at church that said this;

“Turn good intentions into great actions by having a big purpose, giving a big effort & serving a big God. Just do it.” Haydn Nelson. (here is the podcast of this message)

Monday morning hit and I was out exercising again, I have cut sugar and wheat out of my diet once again. I have opened up my manuscript and am ready to send it nervously out to more publishers.

Both of these big intentions are such vulnerable parts of my life. My hands are shaking as I write this blog. This year is not over though and I will keep moving towards the promises I made myself in my Change Reflection Pages.

What did you promise yourself this year?

What did you say that you would do?

I am here to tell you that the year is not over yet.

It is not too late to have another go and to rise again strong. If you wrote out your Change Reflection Pages, pull them out and have another read.

Just do it!


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When I realised I was using shame to try and change people

Eagles Rest Farm, Dwellingyup

Yesterday I had a little moment. It was just a subtle little comment but as I walked away I thought “Why did I even say that?”

The comment was about a little baby girl and my baby girl, the comment was a comparison to something so silly, small and insignificant but I knew that my passive aggression was coming from a place of shame not freedom.

Then this morning I wrote an email, started a conversation about something for next year and the dialogue was so positive.

Then a last little line I threw in at the end was a strike made in word form that was so unnecessary. A sly comment, a shy little dig, something so beige that you would miss it if you weren’t looking for it.

But I remembered.

Post email guilt.

I went back and wrote an email to readjust my judgement.

I tried to make it right again.

The truth is though once words are spoken, we cannot eat them up and take them back inside. In fact, they are not birthed as they escape our lips, they are seeded in our minds when we think thoughts of injustice, pride, shame and malice.

Lately I have been so aware though of old shame patterns that I used to use to try and change people. You see I worked previously in a work culture that was full of passive aggressive behaviours and patterns.

People would say yes, but then really mean no and go and tell other people why they said yes, but they wanted to say no and how annoyed they are with the person, because why did they make me say yes, when I should have said no. You know what I’m talking about. A culture that is supposed to be so honest, vulnerable and forgiving. That is actually the complete opposite. Quiet meetings, whispered words, untruths, email wars, digs, “she said, he said”.

Have you been surrounded by that culture?

Quiet corridor conversations that we justified in the name of processing and freedom of speech, but in actuality they were just gossip and should have been said in the meeting that the topic had been raised in.

Shame culture,

Passive Aggression.

They follow companies and cultures through seasons of great growth and seasons of great grief.

I have made a decision of late however, that I will not continue this pattern or behaviour in my life anymore and I refuse to make it a culture in my family.

Last night watching a TV show that I have been devouring lately Madam Secretary she quoted St Augustine

” The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it, just let it loose; it will defend itself.”

I refuse to micro manage my family to the point where they are shamed into thinking that if they just keep me happy then peace can be maintained in our abode.

I refuse to spend my days with careless comments that make people feel internally beaten by my comparison and competition.

I refuse to be someone who believes these patterns of shaming people and trying to control them with words is something that is okay, because it is not.

The greatest lesson in change, is acknowledgement and as hard as it is to publicly say what I am saying, the power of honesty brings great change and opportunity for accountability.

“We cannot grow when we are in shame, and we can’t use shame to change ourselves or others.” Brené Brown, I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame

The funny thing about shaming people through passive aggressive communication patterns, is that it honestly sounds so nice. We don’t want to have a confrontation, we don’t want to say the truth, so we just nod our heads and then go and talk to someone in a hidden corner about how frustrated we are.

Passive Aggression, the urban dictionary describes it this way;

A defence mechanism that allows people who aren’t comfortable being openly aggressive get what they want under the guise of still trying to please others. They want their way, but they also want everyone to still like them.

Shame, is about how we feel in a certain situation and the way we shame people is through words such as should, why haven’t you, couldn’t you, why not?

It is a fine line between being honest and what is the intention behind our words and the way we wield them.

I am not a counsellor, a psychologist, but I am a Mum, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a worker who is on a mission to grow into every part of my purpose that is available to me.

I long to live a whole hearted, connected life, that I own up to my behaviours and my stuff. I want to be a leader who is fully aware of her faults and is living a life that is changing, growing and maturing.

I am not afraid to own up to my stuff.

I am not afraid any more of failure.

I am so ready to let a lot of stuff go.

How about you?

What communication patterns do you struggle with?



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How to disagree with friends well.



I really struggle to disagree with people. I have differences of opinions often and I am not shy to speak my mind but I always walk away shaking.

I really don’t like having hard conversations with people. At the same time though, I am also completely convinced that authenticity and honesty go hand in hand, so hard conversations follow this philosophy I live by.

Does this make it easy though?

Absolutely not.

If I tell someone I disagree with them, if I have to tell someone “no”, if I have to have a hard conversation, my heart quakes for days. I may look hard on the outside, but I am honestly soft real close by. It’s like I was created like Creme Caramel. I look like Im tough to break, but a quick tap and the custard flows fast and thick.

Maybe it is because I care deeply for people and struggle with the uneasy place in our relationship. I don’t know, but lately I have been feeling the weight of hard conversations more than ever before.

I wish I could just keep my mouth shut.

I wish I could stop the conversation before it gets awkward.

But I really don’t want to spend time in shallow relationships, keeping things nice and clean, just so it doesn’t ever get awkward.

I want to keep things real. Super real and that is not an easy path.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.

Finding peace and serenity in the area of relationships is not about brushing over wrongs quickly, it is having courage to live reasonably happy in the midst of difference.

Ghandi was well known to be a person who often spoke his mind but was a constant advocate for peace. He wrote this about friendship;

friends quote

Honest difference.

What a fabulous thought. We do not need to be the same to be deep spirited friends. It is okay to have differences between friendships and hold onto that which created the union in the first place.

Just like the beginning of this poetic prayer states, in friendship to find a way to let go that which we cannot change and have courage to change which we can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Imagine if we applied this wisdom to our realm of friendships.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about who I call my friends and I am more determined than ever to engage my heart and life with those who are on the journey with me but also to hold people lighter than ever before.

In the past I was known to be someone who cared deeply for my friends.

In fact a lot of them with a heart that was so in the right place, would try to change my friends for the better.

These days I am learning that this is not my place or right. I want to be someone who is honest. I want to be a friend that accepts difference. Someone who speaks life and truth, but doesn’t own the result of those changes.

It is not our place to change people.

It is not our place to change friends.

However honest difference means that we speak the truth with care and love, holding people lightly, allowing them to transition seasons with grace and know that sometimes, some friends don’t shift into the season you are now in.

It doesn’t change the beauty of what you experienced together though.

It doesn’t change the past.

What if we engaged healthily in the movement and changing tides of people’s lives and helped them to be released into light and love?

What if we loved deeply, but held on lightly?

I totally believe it is possible.

In the area of friendships and relationships I am learning to not insist that friends think the same as me, I am learning to accept difference, but at the same time speak the truth in love.

What a crazy, audacious plan in the area of our friends and family. Can we love people enough to allow them to make their own decisions and live differently to us but create opportunities where we can be so honest that it doesn’t break the fragile place between us.

Some big thoughts this Sunday Eve,

Sleep well truth seekers,

Talk tomorrow


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Finding strength for your today.

kitchen, flowers, everyday
kitchen, flowers, everyday
My window flowers.

In my kitchen, we built a planter box, to try and convince my eyes away from the ugly fence that stares at me, multiple times a day washing dishes in my little beach shack.

In the last two days, flowers have unveiled gloriously in that little piece of windowsill green. My inspiration garden brings the outdoors, indoors as the water and bubbles fill my sink over and over.

I remember the days, when cooking and washing up was the most delightful of tasks, because it meant I was home. A rarity in the life of corporate hustler. I would open a cookbook, breathe deep and cook all day, so excited to be in my casual clothes and leaning into my home day.

Today, I struggle to find the inspiration for dinner, I roll my eyes at another sink full of dishes and I dream of days escaping my home, when I can leave the house without any cares or responsibility.

These thoughts shame me though, because I see photos of young children washed up on shores, I hear stories of people desperately wanting that pink line to appear, I know that the lot I have been served in life is indeed on the blessed side of my ugly fence.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;

Enjoy one moment at a time…

How do I enjoy my moments, when they are filled with so many dreams and desires and the weight of my own expectations overwhelm?






Plans falling over,

Opportunities not taken,


Every time I think about more than my moments in my day, my serenity fades and I start to feel stuck in my apartment for the rest of my days.

Every time I think about the little moments, the laugh in his smile, the glint when she see’s, the new awakening of a season, an unexpected sleep in; it is in these precious moments that I regain my strength.

You see the way I used to live, I was always planning, I was always hustling, I was always being drawn into greater days, with even greater expectations. I am learning in my today, to find the white flowers that are opening, noticing what is right within my reach, rather than weighted expectations for tomorrow?

Do I believe we should stop dreaming?

No, but as a great friend said to me the other day “Amanda, what is so wrong with God surprising us in our future, rather than spending our days desperately trying to control the outcomes and the details”

Finding strength for my today, is revelling in the messy moments, picking up my knitting and letting things go that just don’t belong anymore. It is having conversations that matter, but keeping my relational accounts short.

It is kissing my husband passionately when he steps in the door, rather than telling him the list of unmet expectations and the struggles that overwhelm my soul.

It is playing a little as I wash those dishes, being grateful for the moments that are present and the duty that is my privilege.

The true story is that I have prayed desperately for the moments I have been graced with, yet when they arrive I can be so desperate to reach into the new, that I lose sight of the beauty in the realisation of my dreams.

Our strength for today is found in the messy moments, when we release and let go. When we smile and forgive, when we attend to the little details that often are forgotten. When we look heavenward with gratitude, when we take a deep breath and feel the sheer brilliance of the sun on our backs. When we walk a little slower, pick up one more toy smiling at their innovation and we live our lives breathing in moments that we might have just missed.

So for today, even though I’d love to fly away and search out hidden wonders on distant shores, as I dream of building orphanages and publishing books, I will surrender my will to this beautiful season and keep smiling as I watch the white flowers on my kitchen window sill bloom.

I will embrace my little inspiration moments in my today, knowing that suddenly it will be tomorrow and my season will have once again moved onward again.

What moments are you missing in your today, because you are desperate for your tomorrow?


One moment at a time.



But overwhelmingly