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she builds her life on firm foundations

Em Hazeldean, one of the lovely @secretsinthebay girls on a Rockingham Wild Three Island Tour.

Have you ever had a season when you felt like everything around you was crumbling?

I have.

That season was the most overwhelming time in my life. The funny thing is though, in the midst of the aftermath I realised that not everything had been taken away from me. What was left was my family, my faith and my closest friends. I found myself smiling, standing amongst this realisation, thinking I indeed was a very rich woman.

Just a few short months ago, my dear friends Aunty got the call that no one ever expects to get. She was called by her husband as he stood and watched their house burn to the ground. As my friend and her family searched through the wreckage of their home, they also had the most beautiful awakening moment. They realised although a million dollars worth of property and valuables had been lost, they still had these same things; Their family; everyone had survived the tragedy, they had their faith; which is now stronger than ever and they had the most beautiful sense of community as people gathered around them in their darkest moment.

At the end of the day, when all is lost, the only thing that remains is the foundation of what we have built our lives upon.

Would family, faith and friends be enough to sustain you if you lost everything?

What is of greatest value to you?

Your looks, personality, house, valuables?

What about your reputation, what others think of you or your online presence?

In the midst of tragedy or immense life change, none of these things will remain and when we build our lives around them, it is like building a mansion on top of shifting sands. The reason why builders require deep foundations of concrete, before any house is built, is because the weight of the life that is built can only withstand hardship and challenge, to the depth of its foundation. The higher the building, the deeper the foundations go.

If you thought of your life in terms of values, character or what is most important to you, how strong is your foundation?

If everything was taken away, what would you be left with?

A woman of wisdom builds her life around firm foundations. Values that are deeply ingrained in her character and life. Wherever she goes and whatever she does, she is congruent to the foundations that have been firmly dug in her life.

She values generosity.

She deeply appreciates and give precedence to her family.

She loves and pursues integrity.

These are the silent companions of wisdom that build strength in our lives.

Strength from a foundation that is firm, will always give us light and life to any path or season that comes our way.

Proverbs 4: 18

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.

Proverbs 11: 20

The Lord delights in those with integrity.

If you find yourself in a season where you feel as though you have lost everything, have a look around and see what your life was built upon.

The values that we build our lives upon are the things that will hold us and keep us in times of stretch and struggle.

These foundations are very different for a woman of wisdom, than what popular culture would tell us is important.

What is the very substance of your life?

Who and what do you live for?

What do you believe you were created to do on this earth?

These my friend are the very things that will be important when days of challenge come. When we build our life on silent values birthed from wisdom, no matter what tragedy may befall us, nothing can dig up the foundations of strength that remain.

To keep reading here is tomorrows post: She is patient in waiting


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she finds the rest she requires

finds rest

There is nothing inspiring about a stressed out, overwhelmed, tired woman. We live in a culture however that admires and promotes “busy equals success!”

In our family we have a colloquial saying that helps everyone around the stressed out person know to take it easy on them. We say ‘Donkey on the edge!’ Basically this saying says “I am not coping and need some time out.” Asking for grace and understanding in the little moments or seasons of stretch and stress.

The problem is, we cannot stay in the red zone and not hurt people.

Stressed, overwhelmed, tired people hurt people.

I worked for many years in event management and red lined most of them.

Eighty hour weeks, unmet expectations, holidays left accruing and never taking a full weekend off.

It had its toll. The toll is deep and far reaching, it has taken me years to recover.

These days however, I regularly take breaks and for the last twenty four hours, I turned off my phone, went to my aunty’s farm and retreated.

I didn’t write, I didn’t talk about work, I knitted in front of the fire and hung out with my family.

When was the last time you retreated?

When was the last time you rested, completely?

When was the last time you turned your phone and the internet off?

A rythmn of rest is an essential component of living a life of contribution and significance.

A woman of wisdom knows when she is on the edge and retreats.

At the beginning of this year I spent one day retreats with women, taking time out to refresh and recover, thinking about what twenty fifteen was to bring for them.

It was the most rewarding way to start the year, because I listened to women’s stories, mostly how they never take any time for themselves.

Stories of exhaustion, disappointment and discouragement.

We were designed for Sabbath.

We were created with rest as a part of our weekly output cycle.

We were made for silence.

“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” Augustine of Hippo, Confessions

Our world doesn’t place high value on these things, but wisdom does.

I loved staring at the trees, smelling the smoke and watching my children play without the television in the background.

The rest refreshes my soul, ready to once again work hard.

Proverbs 3:24

When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

It is no one else’s responsibility to create spaces of rest, except your own.

Go to bed early, turn off your phone, read a good book, have a cup of tea, take a long bath or walk the beach.


It is a significant part of your week.

To keep reading the series link here: She builds her life on firm foundations


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she faces her pain

Shoalwater Bay, Western Australia

Honestly if I can get away with not feeling pain, I will go to great lengths to escape it.

My little lady had her immunisations today and I had to leave the room, I could not handle hearing her pain.

You see when I was a little girl I spent a lot of time in hospital sick, Needles, IV drips and doctors offices carry a resounding place of fear deep in the memories of my heart. I hate physical pain. The memories of the vulnerability still send shivers up my spine.

The thing about immunisations is though, they are designed to protect us from a whole heap more pain, if we get the diseases they are protecting us against.

A bit of pain now, to save a whole lot of sickness in the future.

I find that wisdom is like an immunisation for the soul.

When we seek it, it protects, guides and keeps us away from places that could possibly end in great danger for the future.

Wisdom is an intuitive knowledge, that helps us make decisions that stop us from going down paths, that will lead to unsafe places.

Despite the protective nature of wisdom we each have pain from past experiences that needs to be processed and let go of, to move brilliantly into our new chapters.

What about the pain that lingers deep in our souls, that we desperately try to keep submerged?

Just like this proverb 14: 13 talks about…

Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.

We each carry around wounds and deep memories of pain that sometimes is just too hard to face.

“The marks humans leave are too often scars.”  John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

As hard as it is to face these places with care and in the right season, a woman of wisdom faces her pain.

She processes,

She asks for help,

She opens her heart to those who are safe,

She does not hide behind masks of confidence and pride, she finds a way to unpack the baggage that has tried so desperately to become her companion.

Proverbs 4: 20-22 encourages us to find ways to let go of the pain in our hearts and move forward into the future. Finding health for our whole being.

“My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.”

Proverb 3: 1-3 encourages us to reform and heal our hearts with words of life and promise.

“My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Imagine if the health of our heart was a window into our soul. Just like this proverb describes, a tablet that our life is written upon.

Has pain kept your heart contained?

Is there deep conversations, that are waiting to be released?

Every one of us have seasons and dialogues of pain, the problem is not discovering or finding where the wound is. They often rear their little heads around every corner, the problem is finding safe and valuable ways to release them.

A woman of wisdom finds safe ways to face her pain.

She let’s the past go, she forgives and she releases.

My prayer across this whole month of writing has been that the time I am giving to researching the depths of life found in the book of proverbs would bring transformation.

The greatest gift we can give to our families is finding ways to let the past go and to live fully in our present.

Do you need to find a counsellor?

Is there a story inside your heart that you need to write and reframe?

Has forgiveness been slow to rise in your heart for a person who hurt you deeply?

Facing those places of pain with health and in the right season can be the greatest release into a new season of hope for you.

Let go of that which is holding you down my friend.

Step out into new and broader horizons.

To keep reading here is tomorrows post: she finds the rest she requires


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she is a great friend

Maximus on the Three Island Cruise, with Rockingham Wild Encounters today

There is nothing like a good friend.

She is like a warm coat on a windy day, an easy pair of jeans when you have eaten a little too much or a big pair of gumboots when the weather has turned grey.

She is warm.

She is comfy.

She protects.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about friendship. Actually I think about friendship all the time, it is really important value that my husband and I hold dear, but lately I have been thinking about it more often than normal. The reason I have been thinking about it, is despite the shifts and changes in my season, I am determined to carry on being a good friend.

It takes effort to be a friend. To ring, to visit, to forgive, to hold lightly, to speak, to listen.

Charl and I were talking just yesterday in fact about something we want to do in the coming years and who we would want to do it with. It was a great conversation. We talked about who our closest friends were, we talked about who impacted us the most, who we respected.

We walked and talked for a good hour about friendship and how important it is to us.

How easy is it to lose sight of good friends?

It’s like our ship sails into a new season and our friends are kind of waiting on the shore doing their thing and we lose sight of them.

Some friendships and seasons change. In fact a lot do, but sometimes we need to make effort and priority to spend time with those people who are our comfy pair of jeans.

The ones that we could be at our very worst and they see us at our best. The ones whose voice we hear over the loud internal noise in our days. Wisdom is gained in company.

Proverbs 25: 11 says it this way;

Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.

or this one from proverb 24: 26

An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship

Friends are the greatest gift in seasons of change and transition and we are never too old to make another friend.

The best way to make a friend is to start a conversation and to ask them out for coffee. The best way to keep a friend is to forgive an offence and be generous with your words and life. The best way to have many friends is to keep growing and moving, holding your words and their time preciously.

The wisest of women spend their life in company of many different women, of all different ages, opinions, experiences and religions.

Proverbs 13: 20 also says this;

He who walks with the wise grows wise.

Friendship is the greatest proving ground for wisdom.

In this age of online, quick, nasty, debating, quick to unfriend culture, let’s make sure that we hold our friends closely and listen to their hearts for the future.

Friendship is the greatest of gifts.

It enriches our days, sharpening our acceptance of difference and makes us much deeper humans.

Make friends with someone who is very different to you.

It will usher wisdom into your days.

Tomorrows post: She faces her pain



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she seeks to learn…

Early this morning, on Liberty’s First Birthday.

My baby girl turned one today and she came so very close to taking her first steps to walk. One of the greatest lessons I have learnt from these last twelve months, is how much little people grow, learn and change in such a short space of time. The first three years of a child’s life are the most defining time of their whole human existence. The reason why, their brains, their emotions and their souls are developed by the measure of what they are exposed to.

Something I have been thinking about a lot though lately, is why do we stop growing and learning as adults. Maybe it has a little to do with what we spoke about yesterday, staying comfortable but in another I think it is because we loose the eyes to see new and wonderful adventures in the every day.

I remember a few years back, as I registered myself to study a Masters course in Leadership, I made a commitment that no matter my age, I was going to be ever learning.

I never want to think that I have arrived.

I never want to stop growing and I never want to be in an environment where I think I know more than every one in the room and through pride and arrogance stop having eyes to see.

I think this is one of the foundational calls of wisdom.

When we think we have arrived and cannot learn anything else in a situation, we immediately stop ourselves from the potential of the future.

A woman of wisdom is ever learning.

She accesses every environment thinking and saying “What is something I can learn today?”

She comes to every conversation listening with a heart that says “I can always learn something new, despite my knowledge”

A woman of wisdom is a serial absorber.

She reads scripture looking for insight, she watches people waiting for inspiration.

She lives open.

Open hearted.

Open spirited.

Awaiting the new.

Proverbs 24: 3 says this;

“A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense. Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables”

What a fabulous picture of our lives!

Are you open to new theories, new possibilities, new opportunities?

Have you stopped learning because you think you have arrived?

My friend, the call of wisdom is to be ever learning and this is why a twenty year old can be more mature than a fifty year old. This is why a thirty seven year old can possess more wisdom and knowledge than an eighty year old.

Our age does not equal our wisdom, our capacity to learn and grow does, no matter our past, no matter our environment and no matter our intellect.

This is what makes wisdom so utterly intriguing.

Tomorrows post: She is a great friend