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I Learned Love Always Leaves a Scar

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I went into “missions” with the sole philosophy that I would not let it be about me.

“I am only here to serve them” was my personal mantra, and it sounds like a good one, doesn’t it?

But my attempt to wage war on my own narcissism was one of the most narcissistic moves I could have made.

I thought I could take my suburban middle class self into situations I had only ever seen in documentaries and come out unchanged.

I thought I was the only one with something to offer to the people I was serving. I thought it would be wrong to expect them to have anything to offer me.

But that’s not how human encounters work. Human encounters, the kind that change lives, they leave both parties affected.

And that is how you know you have crossed the line from charity to love.

Love always leaves a scar.

There was a homeless man who used to sit across the road from my work. Each day I would give him money when I passed and he would smile at me.

I thought I was doing a good thing, and maybe I was, but it was only charity.

I never sat down and got to know him.

I never heard his story.

I never learned from his hard lived life, because I assumed he had nothing to offer me.

I deemed him only worthy of my charity, not worthy of my love, not worthy of a real human interaction, not worthy of a scar.

I don’t know if altruism is possible, I don’t know if we are ever capable of being truly selfless, I don’t know if we will ever know because God designed giving releases endorphins.

But here is what I learned on the mission field:

Charity always feels good, love always leaves a scar.

I learned it piggybacking my shoeless friend after she gave her shoes to a prostitute in a brothel.

I learned it sitting across from a refugee as she swore she would return to her war torn country one day and change the government.

I learned it when a teacher from Pakistan on the Taliban’s most wanted list had to help me when teaching English class.


I learned it when we said no to buying a bracelet from Nigerian hawkers but came back later with lunch, invited them to an art exhibition and watched their whole demeanor change.

I learned it when I could not leave a country because a girl younger than me needed help for her and her three children.

I learned that the mission field is not about charity, it is about love.

And when you choose to love people, when you choose to be affected by their stories, when you choose to let their worlds permeate within your own, you realise how silly it is to think that you could leave unaffected.

Because love always leaves a scar.

Speak again next Saturday,

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Trust without borders

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One of my most memorable moments of the last six months, was when two blogs combined powers to help a woman in need in a small village half way across the globe.

During those few short days, the readers from this blog and people around the world were moved with compassion for a stranger. A young woman who we will never meet, is currently studying english, has a roof over her head and is taking steps towards life change.

Bethany Bracegirdle was the catalyst for this journey and I have asked her to write each Saturday about her recent experiences on the mission field and her clash of culture as she lands back in her home town for the summer.

Her series is called ‘Trust without borders; lessons I learnt on the mission field.’


She is an amazing writer, with a malleable heart, a raw honesty and a big future.

I couldn’t be more excited to have her write here on Capture life, during the month of August.

One more writer to introduce tomorrow and then our series begins.

#captureaugust with any photos or inspiration you are having along our journey together.

Thanks so much to all the contributors, you are all inspiring me already.

With love


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first day on earth


She is here.

All the waiting.

All the crochet.

All the worry.

And now the adventure actually begins.

This little video is perfect. I’m dedicating to my little girl, on her first day on earth.

Some of my favourite parts of this video…

There’s plenty of reasons to dance. You just got to look for them. Don’t worry though. You won’t be doing this alone. You’re going to meet lots of people here. Some of them will be really nice and some won’t be. It’s not that they can’t be. It’s just – maybe they’re just having a bad day.

Being a person is hard sometimes. You should give people high fives just for getting out of bed.

Just treat everybody like it’s their birthday even if they don’t deserve it, because we all mess up sometimes. The biggest mess up? Not forgiving each other’s mess ups.

Maybe you’ll be a teacher. Maybe you’ll be President. Maybe you’ll cure every disease ever. You might even see the Grand Canyon, swim in the ocean.

Try this, take a breath. Isn’t that amazing? It’s called breathing! You’re going to do it a lot. But nobody knows exactly how much. So enjoy it.

Pay attention. Take brain pictures, because amazing things will happen every day. You’re going to do so much. But it’s not about what you do. It’s about who you are.

You? You’re awesome. You were made that way.

You were made from love, to be love, to spread love. Love is always louder, no matter what. Even if hate has a bullhorn, love is louder. So let your life be loud. Let’s shout to the world.

Things can be better! It’s okay about all the mess ups!

I don’t think I told you this yet. We’re really glad you’re here. We don’t say that enough to each other here because, well, life gets busy.

You’re going to be important and you’re going to do a lot and you’re going to smell great. But don’t get too busy.

Remember to let everybody know you’re glad they’re here. You don’t have to remember all of this right now. You’re going to need a pep talk sometimes. And that’s okay.

For now, remember this:

You’re awake. You’re awesome. Live like it.


Her name means;

Liberty: Freedom

Elizabeth: God’s Promise

Viviers: Alive

Born: 22nd July 2014

She’s our miracle and God’s promise revealed.




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If I could say one word that has obsessed my thoughts over the last week, the word has been miracles.

I can’t explain it.

I’m not a over the top zealot, screaming from the rooftop but if our world needs more of something it is miracles.

I am so over hearing bad news.

I am over hearing about people who have waited year upon year for their dreams to surface.

I am declaring a season of miracles.

Story upon story of wins rather than losses.

Remember the story I wrote about last year, my dearest friend who got the worst news of her life back in November last year?

My dearest friend and her new husband have been through a valley, that no newly wed couple should ever have to go through.

Pregnant, in their first year of marriage, she received news of a brain tumour and a doctors report where they were not sure how the little baby would survive through the struggle of this magnitude.

We were in absolute shock.

We prayed, we gathered, we reflected and I flew to New Zealand in December.

We had the most amazing dinners together, walks along the beach, I went to radiation sessions with my dear friend and we regrouped.

Earlier this year our friends first miracle unfolded, as her little baby girl Abigail Rose Carnegie was born on this earth.

She came super early and fought hard. She was one of the smallest babies born in New Zealand, a tiny 520grams.

This amazing little treasure, fought so hard in the NICU unit of Auckland hospital for over 100 days and she has gone home to be with her Mummy and Daddy in the last few weeks.

What has kept this family stable through this season of intense fire?

Their faith.

My dear friends faith has been so inspiring, the people that have gathered around this family and supported them has been intensely beautiful.

Heaven has been stormed, a new story is being written and the miracle is present.


This little angel is so purposed, she is a miracle.

She is beyond perfect.

God is so gracious.

My dear friend, continues to wage this war, with courage and strength singing this anthem from Katy Perry with passion.

“I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar”

The miracle is still unfolding in my friends life and the details have so much colour and life than I can ever give justice too.

As I have prayed and watched my friend walk this journey I have been overwhelmed at her tenacity and her strength.

I ask you to continue with us in prayer, to see the next season unfold with tenacious, bold and courageous miracles.

Another dear friend of mine, spent the afternoon with me yesterday and her courage in the midst of outrageous misfortune has been so inspiring.

My dear friend had an accident with her printing press at her work, what has unfolded is a crazy 3 month ride of trying to save her hand. The initial surgery after her accident went for 13 hours strong and the surgeons lost count of the amount of stitches than went into the intricate rebuilding of her right hand.

As she sat with me yesterday, my heart cried all afternoon, ‘miracle, God, miracle’.

I can’t even explain other stories that are in my world right now, but my heart continues to pour forth.

call to me.

Miracle, Lord, Miracle.

I am sensing a season of change, a season of reaping, a season of miracles.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I am deeply contemplative and spiritual, but I am not overtly in your face about such things.

Today, I am stilled by the potential of miracles.

And I am praying for yours and mine, right now.




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36 weeks



I promised myself, I wouldn’t count down the weeks.

I promised myself, I wouldn’t get frustrated and wish the birth of our second child early.

I promised.

Two days ago I broke my promise.

Fat, swollen ankles, legs that feel like they can’t take another step, piles of washing that I am struggling to carry to the line, another dinner waiting to be cooked.

I just want this baby out!

In the midst of my 36 week complaining, I have found a quiet little annoying word that has been growing softly from a whisper to a roar in my heart.


The word resounds in a gentle sentence that settles me ‘Patience my dear child’


I hate this word.

I have never been good at it.

I have an idea, I want to make it straight away.

I have a thought and it bugs me till it is expressed.

All those years of singleness nearly killed me.

It is in the midst of the wait though, that patience is formed.

It is in the midst of the in-between that our character is tested.

It is in the place of stretch that we become.

Patience can only be developed by moments of storm that produce the new season.

Patience is painful, but worth every moment of it’s heavy load.

I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature. Paulo Coelho

When will I ever learn to be content in the wait.

How are you going with waiting?


Speak tomorrow