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The power of your story


I’m not sure whether it is because we go away in a few days on holidays or whether there is some subconscious message but I am obsessed with all things coconut right now.

Coconut water, coconut milk, coconut oil…

Fresh, summery, health conscious and clean.

You may be the complete opposite to me and coconut makes you reel or even indifferent.

That is one of the key strengths of finding and knowing our own story. Your story, your preferences, your lessons learned, your weaknesses, your seasons of success, your moments of brokenness, all combine to bring your story into your today.

My coconut obsession is just a small and silly example but it is my story. Underneath that foreground fruit crush, is a heart that has battled an eating disorder, someone who has gained weight, lost it and then somehow found it again. Underlying that story is a little girl ballerina who was told she had the skills but just needed to loose weight.

Layer upon layer. Moments of beauty, moments brokenness, moments of victory.

My story.

What is your story?

What is in your today that is layered by opportunities and disappointments in your yesterday?

One of my greatest privileges of the last few years were the trips I took Thailand with groups of creative teachers to teach kids in the slum of Bangkok. These moments were so vivid because I saw first hand the power of creativity to bring healing and amazing sense of self esteem to those who have very little.

Creativity and insight combined together in a powerful way to impact their stories. Young men who prostituted at night time hung out with hip hop dancers who wanted nothing but to see them thrive and have fun. Young girls who were exposed to drugs and gambling at very young ages pulled out canvas’ and painted. They got given cameras and took photos, they discovered the beauty in the midst of the ashes of their stories through creativity.

One if the greatest ways that my story has found perspective and life is through creativity. I have taken the time to process my years of disappointment and seasons of addiction through writing, painting, sewing, crochet, singing, dance…

My life has been healed day in and day out by the power of creativity and a romance with the Creator of all.

How about you?

Where is your story at today?

Do you need recovery and insight?

Keep expressing your story and find new ways to discover beauty amoungst ashes through the power of the arts. Find a new language to communicate what has you stuck.

Creatively discover your story and express it.

I am sure insight will follow.


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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