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Finding the bigger picture: how to fight fair.

Fighting Fair

One of the hardest things to do in the midst of intense conflict is to find the bigger picture.

Albeit difficult, those who have the capacity to find perspective in the midst of confusion, misunderstanding and difficulty are the ones who end up with satisfying relationships. Those who can’t find the bigger picture, go around the fighting ferris wheel over and over, never finding what they are desperately looking for.

Every conflict has the capacity to create deeper and long lasting relationships or wound every person in the story.

None of us want conflict in our lives. Even those who are confrontational in their style of communication, will walk away wishing that that conversation went down differently.

What if we were empowered with some tools that helped us find perspective quickly in the midst of conflict?

Lately, I have found three simple ways to help find the bigger picture in the midst of conflict and these have been helping me so much in the midst of my difficult conversations.

Finding my voice

Imagine your life right now was a movie and every movie story line is soaked in conflict. Without conflict the story has no movement and shape. The difference between a movie though and real life, the emotions we feel in the midst of conflict are very, very real.

Most conflict happens in a movie when the protagonist (the lead character) looses their voice in some way. When they feel they are not being heard, when they are being silenced, when they are being misunderstood, when they are facing injustice or when they are hurt.

These are the same reasons why conflict occurs in our everyday lives. Most fights in our everyday, are actually about what is happening inside of us, not the circumstance that is causing the difficult conversation.

When I became a first time Mum, one of the greatest difficulties and also greatest opportunities was when I gave up full time work. I realised this season silenced me. It was like when I lost my job, that I also lost my voice. I was defined so much by my work, that when I no longer had a position any more, I realised that I had built my confidence around what I did, rather than who I was.

In this year, I made a decision to write on my blog every single day. It was through writing that I started to find my voice again. I dug deep, I delved into the greater story. I found perspective. I realised that writing was an important tool in helping me find internally the parts of my story, that I felt had been taken away.

My first thought is this…In the midst of the conflict, one of the reasons the fight gets dirty, when we feel like we are not being heard and not able to express properly what we are truly feeling.

“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” Malala Yousafzai

You will constantly be fighting with people and you will not be satisfied by any of your relationships, if you are not finding a way to express yourself healthily. Learning deeply what you are trying to say and finding peace internally before the conflict even starts. Most conflicts have nothing to do with the actual circumstance but everything to do with our internal peace.

Step back and think “What am I actually trying to say?”

Find the pause button

Our greatest regrets are the things we have said in the heat of the moment that we wish we had never said. There are moments in the midst of destructive conversations, that we need to press pause.

Im not saying stop the conversation, because when we stop communicating, when we become passive aggressive, we loose our voice and we all know what happens when people stop communicating, something small happens and they erupt.

The thing about pausing a movie, is we come back and press play again.

We need to find the bigger picture in the midst of the conflict, press pause, find the grace, find the bigger picture and then find a way to process the first point of what we are really trying to say.

“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”Brené Brown

We all get it wrong, we are designed to struggle, but when we press pause and when we gain perspective we remember we are worthy of love and belonging. In that place of strength we communicate with so much more clarity and peace.

Step back and find perspective in the pause.

Find the best possible reason

Lately I have been doing this little thing which is honestly changing the conflict in the midst of my life. Conflict with my toddler, conflict with my husband, conflict with my family.

I ask myself this question.

What is the best possible reason I can find for this behaviour?

Instead of going crazy in my head before the conflict starts, or in response to something really nasty that has happened, I get creative and I ask myself to come up with the best possible reason for the behaviour.

Honestly us humans are not great at this. Often we think things about what other people are thinking and we so often get it totally wrong. The depth of emotion that flies out mid conflict is all in direct association to the way we think about the person and the circumstance in the days post or pre conflict.

We are our worst enemies in this battle zone.

What if when something annoying happens, we find the best possible answer rather than the worst.

Step back and ask what is the very best possible explanation for this behaviour?

It actually starts to become fun. Try it sometime.

I hope these three thoughts on conflict resolution help you find some more peace in your relational worlds and help you to fight and communicate a little fairer.

Speak again soon,


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Life is short, love what you do…

Print, love, wins
Print, love, wins
Whiteman Park Print Shop.

One of my closest friends, lost her husband suddenly. It was the most terrible of times. The last letter he ever wrote to her finished with this profound prophetic statement;

Life is short, love what you do

To watch my friend walk bravely out her days without her amazing partner has been the most deeply moving journey. She has grieved, she has stamped her feet, she has waited, she has questioned, but at the same time she has moved into days where she is living out the legacy of his vision for her days.

She shifted from New Zealand to Cambodia alone in her fifties, starting again, to live a life sown. It has been a hard journey, as she was robbed near her new home, watched the people she has been serving loose their life. Sickness, tragedy and heart ache has filled her days. She has not allowed the depths of these stories to shrink her though, she has stepped forward, felt the fear and brought her broken hallelujah.

She is living bravely in her moment, using the depth of her grief to minister and help a generation of young people in another country to live the life of their dreams.

I know her man would be immensely proud of her.

I know he would be watching with a gentle, quiet smile, a raise of his quirky eyebrows that quietly said “Look at my girl go…”

A life of serenity is not necessarily a quiet, retiring one.

Serenity is a place of peace, found in the midst of living a life of purpose.

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;

One day at a time, having the courage to live the life you have always dreamed of. When we stay stuck in holding patterns of the past, we are unable to live one day at a time, understanding that life is short.

It is short.

We just don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

What if we spent our today stuck in the pain of yesterday and missed out on the absolute sheer brilliance of living a life sown in our today?

What would you do, if you embraced the messy moments of fear, grief, disappointment and shifted forward into your unknown anyway?

My lovely friend Annie inspires me so much.

She hasn’t just moved on, she has dug deep into the very recesses of her soul and determined that she will live a life of purpose today.

Yes, living in her brave, courageous, today.

She is not sure about what the next five years will bring, but she knows in her today, that she needs to bring hope and courage to teenagers in Cambodia. A courage that despite the very hard parts of our story, that Love wins.

Loving People.

Loving Stories.

Loving Humanity.

Loving the hard parts.

Loving the mess of people and transition and change and living beyond ourselves.

What can you bravely do today, to live in this moment?

Take that step,

Make that phone call,

Book that appointment,

Write that piece,

Live surrendered in your today.





After 6 months of being in Cambodia, Annie knows she can’t go home to New Zealand, her work is not done yet, so if you want to help her stay, you can transfer funds to:

With the name Annie Cambodia.

New Zealand Accounts:


ANZ: 06 0383

0164749 04

Australian Accounts:

ANZ: 016141



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finding your song

inspiration creativity and christian

“A poem begins with a lump in the throat; a homesickness or a love sickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfilment. A complete poem is one where an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”

Robert Frost

Imagine if your life was a poem for one moment.

What words would flood its structure?

What themes parade its page?

In the in-between seasons we can lose our voice because of the ambiguity of the journey. We can feel unsure, we question, we over think and we doubt.

What if we unearth a voice in this ‘season of change’ that we never knew existed?

What if there was a song in your heart, that is desperate to be released and it just needed the space of your season to rise to your throat?

I love Robert’s strength in his thoughts above.

I remember someone amazing saying to me once, “whatever makes you angry Amanda, that is the thing you are called to change”.

What causes your emotion to rise,

A lump in your throat, causing words to spill into your subconscious,

What makes you mad?

Take time today to express that emotion. Draw, write, dream or speak up.

This could be your poem,

This could be your symphony,

It could be your legacy,

your thesis,

your gift to the world.

I am not afraid of my emotions any more, I know they have been gifted to help me communicate that which burdens my soul, but I have learnt to be the master of them.

I have learnt that the way I feel does not determine the theme of my day, it is just a vehicle to express my thoughts and voice, my emotions have become my muse.

Your new could be one expression away.

A release of what is deep within your soul, that you have been do scared to admit to anyone, someone, anything.

Say that dream you have been scared to express before.

Speak out that potential that is deep within your heart.

Let go of the “what if I fail?” and step into the “what was I designed to bring?”

You were created with purpose.

There is a song that only you can sing.

Bring it forth my wandering friend.

Let the poem rise from the depth of your heart.

Start with a whisper and let it develop into a roar.

The in-between is giving you space to find it.

Look for the lump in your throat.

The homesickness calling you home in your heart.

The love that compels you to action.

Your purpose is palpable in this place of expression.



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She is more precious than jewels

Shoalwater, WA

It is quite easy to look at the innocence of a young child and see their naive beauty. 

Their perspective, their lack of cynicism and the profound view they hold on the world around them.

Something shifts however, they grow into teenagers, then adults and we stop seeing people as humans and our expectations grow beyond the beauty and simplicity of the connection we once shared.

Yes maturity asks that we grow, learn and change.

And compassion asks that we treat people with respect and grace.

But sometimes we forget the gift of mercy that can be extended to all in times of stretch and strain.

The definition of mercy is this;

“To be kind or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”

A woman of wisdom bestows mercy often when it just does not make sense.

She does this because she recognises that she too is not without fault and someone also saw the innocent beauty of her humanity once.

It is a gift that continues to give long after the circumstance has faded.

Proverbs 11: 17 says it this way;

The merciful man does himself good, But the cruel man does himself harm.

When we are merciful and forgiving toward someone vulnerable, we see the person as a human being, rather than someone in whom it is our right to make ourselves superior. Mercy lets us set aside questions of equity, justice, vengeance, or even blame; it asks not what a person deserves, but what they need.

Understanding the brokenness of other people and the pressures they experience makes it easier to be merciful.

I love this proverb 3: 15 how it describes this wisdom and gaining a heart of understanding…

She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

It shows the beauty that is available to everyone of us, outside of possessions, outside of looks, outside of jewels, gold and finery.

Without mercy, the world would be a harsh, exacting place. When we recognize the grace we have received, all of the times that we have, mercifully, not gotten what we deserved, perspective shifts and we find in ourselves a desire to give others the same gift.

Are you struggling to give mercy or forgiveness to someone?

Are your expectations so high, that no one will ever meet them?

Proverbs 17: 9 says this

Whoever covers an offence seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

Reframing your view of someone and seeing them as a child. See them as someone who so desperately needs a break. See them as human, broken, confused, impacted by other humans, someone who is just having a go. Yes someone that may have done the wrong thing, but never the less is seeking mercy.

You are more precious than jewels.

Wisdom decorates your heart and soul with indescribable beauty.

Every time we extend our hearts and lives to lift another, something deeply profound happens. An innocence awakens, a return to a place where we are not superior than another, we remember where we have come from, how many times we have got things so deeply wrong and an equilibrium shift occurs.

Let’s keep forgiving extending grace in situations that don’t necessarily deserve it.

Let’s keep finding ways to extend mercy and care to those who don’t thank us for it.

Let’s keep digging deep the well of wisdom, to find ways to bestow respect and honour on humanity once again.

We are not each others judges, we are fellow companions on the journey.

We were designed for community and every time we accept each others differences, we shift the balance back a little more to neutral.

Wisdom is not a call for the weak, it is a call for the very brave. Those who are willing to go to places than many do not have the courage to go.

Tomorrows post can be found here: She is honest


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Daring and disruptive


I feel like I’m super late to the party but I have a new creative, entrepreneurial crush and her name is Lisa Messenger. With a freshly baked banana bread and a bottomless flat white, I have spent the morning reading her words from her book full of foundations for leadership, life and creativity.

fail fast

take risks

push the boundaries

start before you’re ready

just go

This book Daring and Disruptive has been my companion over the last few days and I have been riveted. Inspired to live on purpose, inspired to step outside of the boxes that contain my ideas and possibilities for tomorrow.

As a woman who is also a leader, I am often perplexed by what is appropriate in my response to opportunities that avail. Do I seek after the opportunities? Do I rest and see what comes my way? Is too much confidence considered arrogance? Am I too much? Does my passion put people off? Do I think too much? What dream is unattainable?

To find someone who explores these topics with authenticity and grace.

Who says it like it is.

Who is not afraid to fail.

Who has faced her fears front on is a deep breath of reality.

I feel like I have been sitting with a cup of coffee with a long lost friend. A mentor from a distance and it has been the most delightful of encounters.

If you want your live your life on purpose and make a difference globally, you will not be disappointed in this read.

Dare to be disruptive and challenge the status quo.