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Grand Design 6

5. Serving increases our faith.

Serving allows us to experience His power first-hand. We see God step in as we step out.

When my daughter was in year 3 she asked… no she began to pray in family prayers, that I would be her bible in schools teacher.  Now, to be honest, children scare me.  Even though they’re shorter than me, kids are scary!  So she prayed and then she told her bible in schools teacher that I am a Christian… so while dropping her off one Friday I was accosted by the bible in schools head.  So you’re a Christian… we need BIS teachers.  I told him I would pray about it.  Aka this is my polite Christian way of saying no thankyou.  God, bless his heart, right in that moment said WILL YOU REALLY?  Talk about convicted.  So yes I prayed.  I was chatting to a friend and she told me to make a list of not the pros and cons but the pros and pros.  Pros to do it and pros not to.

You know, pro for doing it – kids could get saved, pros revival could break out.  Pro for not doing it…. Crickets.

So I became her bible in schools teacher.  For 3 years.  And yes, kids are still scary but God was with me.   Even when you walk through the shadow of the valley… just kidding…. But God was with me and I felt Holy Spirit empowering me and giving me creative ways to communicate the gospel.

Serving increases our faith that as we step out God will step in.

Often we feel unqualified to serve or lead.  But it is as we serve that God empowers us.



Costumes of the 1960's Batman TV series starring Adam West

I’ve always loved batman.  the old Adam West batman, not the ripped darkness of Ben Affleck or Christian Bale.

One thing that always intrigued me, apart from those gloves, was his bat belt, his utility belt, packed full of tools for any occasion, any emergency, any situation.

batarang’s, Grapple gun, Smoke pellets, Concussion mines, Sonic devastator – you name it.  its in there.

Batman was prepared.

the bat belt even has its own wikipedia page!


But it reminds me that as a dreamer i need to tool up.  I need to strap on my own utility belt.

I need to have tools at my fingertips that are keeping me accountable, that help me step forward, that are inspiring me.

And I need to keep on collecting tools, up skilling, growing.

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Have you seen the movie The Bucket List?

Two elderly men create a list of adventures to have before they die.  It’s become a phenomena with people all around the world writing their own list of goals and inspirations.

Ryan Eller and Jerrod Murr have taken it to a whole new level though.  They have a fabulous podcast / blog / facebook group appropriately named #LiveYourList which empowers and challenges people to look beyond day to day living and to discover purpose and passion, to become more.

A bucket list isnt just about goals and a glorified to do list, but its about making intentional choices to be who you are and seizing the opportunities life opens before you.

“We are what we repeatedly do. I am a firm believer in aspiring to Live Your List everyday. It’s not about doing crazy stuff for the sake of adrenaline.  It’s about living to your full potential every day. It’s about being the best possible version of you.” Ryan Eller

So here is my list:

1.  Visit friends far off (particularly my Leading and Loving It ConnectLIVE women!)

2.  Be published again

3.  Host a neighbours table afternoon event for my neighbours

4.  Watch Krull with my kids (it was the first video I ever watched!  Ever!)

5.  Speak at a women’s conference or event

6.  Holiday on a tropical island

7. Buy a dining table & chairs (that fit all our growing legs!)

8.  Be at a live cd recording

9.  Have a family photo shoot

10.  Speak at a kids conference

11.  Become a  life coach

12.  Visit times square

13.  Holiday away with antonio (and no kids!)

14.  Have a girls weekend away with my friends at a bach – that has cafe’s close by!

15.  See Star Wars 7 in the theatre

16.  Watch a movie “in the flash seats”

17.  Eat a Mrs Higgins cookie

18. Do a 5k

19.  Be at an All Black game at Eden Park

20.   Go to Armageddon

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Start is one of those loaded words in my life.

Like CONSTANT.  and OTHERS.  (think LOST)


Start is a book by Jon Acuff that revolutionised the way I live and think about living.  

I loved it so much that I made it required reading for our SAS course at The River.  


There are only two paths in life: average and awesome. The average path is easy because all you have to do is nothing. The awesome path is more challenging, because things like fear only bother you when you do work that matters. The good news is Start gives readers practical, honest, actionable insights to be more awesome, more often.

It’s time to punch fear in the face, escape average, and do work that matters. // Jon Acuff


Start is a bit like a travel guide into the unknown lands of adventure.  

It gives you scaffolds as you step out into new seasons and reminds you over and over again that to grow we must start.

It kicks fear and passiveness in the butt and ignites a spark for more.


More begins today.

When we start anything is possible.


I love the ad above.  Its for a telecommunications company here in New Zealand going through a rebrand.  Starting again.

It almost mirrors some of the stages Jon talks about in START.  Learning.  Editing.  Mastering.


Starting is the single most greatest force in the universe.

Start your big bang.



i saw this on my lovely friend amarias’ fb page… and loved it! had to share!

what are your rules for being amazing?


be intentional


Are you ‘ready to go’ in the morning?

Are you able to maintain high levels of energy during the day?

Do you rely a lot on caffeine or energy drinks to keep you going?

Do you have energy left in reserve at the end of the day?

When we start to pursue our dreams and to live our life to the max the best thing to have is an abundance of personal energy, to have all our tanks full and to go forward in high gear and at full speed! What good is it to have great personal goals if there is simply not enough energy to follow through with them? If we have that extra energy everything will become easier to do.

We are often obsessed with time, and there never seems to be enough of it.

We try to squeeze more into every minute of every day.

We eat fast food on the run and chat on our cell phone while driving, eating, or exercising. We get drive through coffee and watch TV “on demand”. At the end of the day, we fall into bed exhausted, but sleep doesn’t come easily because we’re constantly thinking about the next day.

We want more hours in the day so that we can do more. But there are only 24 hours in each day, 168 hours in the week.

There are two problems with time. The first one is that after a certain number of hours fatigue inevitably sets in. There is only so much we can do.

The second problem with time is that it’s finite, and most of us don’t have any of it left to invest. Our dance cards are full and yet we’re never finished.

There is a strong case that energy management can save you more time than time management.

The way we’re working isn’t working.

We need to manage our energy vs managing our time.

Though time is finite, energy can be expanded, renewed and used more efficiently.

We need to be intentional about energy management.


What do you to to make time work for you?

What are your energy management strategies?



(see the post tomorrow to find out HOW!)


i loved Jon Acuffs  30 Days of Hustle month 5 email today – its been my story. 

Patience and pressing on, building the dream and being faithful with the today. 

My big dream involves preaching and I remember driving home from church one day – 8 months pregnant – and kinda miffed at the situation. I had recently completed a preaching course through my church and all the guys in the class were out itinerant preaching and living the dream… but here I was. 

Pregnant as.  And then i was going to be feeding and mothering. 

Doors were closed because of life was happening to me. Good life nonetheless, but life that seemed be putting the brakes on me living out my dream, or even making progress on living my dream! 

They were going from A – B on the journey, having the adventures. 

As I was driving, feeling miffed, I felt God remind me that He made me a woman. 

I was like, yeah… but then He said it again. 

And it hit me. 

He made me a mother and a woman and a wife and knew the journey I would take. 

I am blessed that i now preach regularly in my church.  I’m so blessed and grateful for the opportunities I have and have had.  I have spoken at 3 women’s conferences and teach in our SAS programme.  We lead the best housegroup in the world of amazing young adults and I’m a Leading and Loving It ConnectLIVE leader.  So blessed.  So grateful.

Have patience.  dreams do come true. 

Keep hustling and preparing. 

Even when pregnant I wrote messages and journalled and blogged.  Prepared.  Patiently. 

God is the dream giver and the dream fulfiller.



sometimes we have to push pause

remembering that sometimes saying NO to one thing means we’re actually saying YES to something else, something potentially greater


often the conflict can be between, so we think, our dreams and our doing

between dreaming and what we give our actual minutes, hours and days to

forgetting however

that our PRESENT is so vital and that TODAY impacts TOMRROW

in both good and bad ways

how much i give today has consequences on how much i can give tomorrow


When we are completely stretched too thin, we’re  essentially missing out on being used to the capacity that God intends. ~ Corie Clark


i don’t want to look back at my life and see i’ve gained my dream, but lost my family on the journey or sacrificed my health on the altar of success

being stretched too thin reduces our capacity to give and to continue giving

i’m a hustler.  i love to dream and to do.

i’m a high output person and have a full week and a full life that i love.

i rarely read just one book and read a diverse range of subjects.  just because.

and i’m learning to rest.  learning to pause.  learning to prioritize.



pushing pause and saying no isn’t about choosing a lifestyle of laziness, it isn’t about sitting back and doing nothing

its about prioritizing excellence in ALL areas of our life

its about making that space for dreams to fully mature and most importantly, for relationships to mature and be rich along the journey



when i say YES to everything, its my family that miss out on that vital time with me, present and engaged

when i say YES to everything, its my husband that gets the leftovers of my energy instead of my generosity

when i say YES to everything, the things that are my real heart dreams get pushed aside for the doing instead of the dreaming


when i choose REST, when i push pause, i am creating a sustainable lifestyle and healthy emotional framework to live my life to the fullest


so how do we push pause and learn what to say no to?

  1. does it line up with your priority and vision? knowing what your life vision and priorities are creates a framework to evaluate the opportunities and requests
  2. is it for a season?  sometimes we become more stretched in a season, but its just for a season and not a sustainable future
  3. is it sustainable?  what will have to give for you to say YES to this opportunity or request
  4. who loses?  if it takes too much time and energy away from those that should win – your family – then the cost is too great
  5. what does God say?  God has it all under control and He doesn’t need you or me to do everything… let God be God


Chase Scroggins shares his own experience of evaluating his priorities and values, allowing them to determine his schedule and activity levels

The pressure to be it all,
to do it all,
to know it all,
to have it all together,
to not let anyone down,
to meet the needs of everyone around me,
I quit it all.
And the funny thing is, quitting is exactly what freed me up to do what matters most, better than ever.

I made 4 columns and labelled them “What’s Most Important”, “What’s Next”, “Maybe Someday” and “I Quit!”. Then, one by one, I filed each of my previous obligations in their rightful places. There were some obvious choices, of course, but many more subtle moments of clarity when I realized I’d have to let go of one thing (maybe even something great) to take hold of another.

It was profound and personal, forcing me to a new level of honesty with myself. At times, it was difficult – like when I came to a dream I’d dreamed long enough to know that if it was going to happen, I’d have done it by now. I had to place it under “I Quit” along with the other distractions. But there were at least as many moments of excitement and intrigue, when I realized an idea or hope that had been floating in the back of mind was worthy of chasing to see where it would lead.

In the end, I’d identified everything from what will always remain most important to me – to what will never be important enough to actually pursue. I traded keeping all my options open for clarity, direction and focus on what matters most – a good trade if you ask me.

from Chase Scoggiins – I QUIT




So what do i do to rest?

  • early nights – twice a week i go to bed earlier… it helps my body cope!
  • we invest in dvd tv series (or record them on our dvr) so that we can have relational time together (currently we’re watching fringe!)
  • sunday dance parties and board games – this is a bit of an organic new thing we’ve done as a family
  • reading for joy not job – sometimes i just need to read a story, just for fun
  • exercise – who would have thought eh?
  • down time – i have a block of time in the week, usually friday mornings, where i have nothing scheduled and no one needing my time
  • google calendar is my friend – keeping organised helps me to keep the flow going so that i’m not creating an unsustainable lifestyle
  • regular worship/prayer times – Isaiah 40:28-31




do you see REST as a good trade?

how do you balance dreaming and doing?

what do you need to say YES to?



i live in the NOW

acutely aware that my NOW grows into my tomorrows

i am intentional about how i live today, in my NOW

knowing that my NOW opens doors and makes way for tomorrows opportunties

but part of my heart is afraid to speak out about my big dreams

is it because they’re always there?  lingering? calling me forward?

or is it because i am afraid that i don’t have it, that they will only be wishes, not reality?

if i say it, will people stare at me? 


i feel God calling me out of the boat

i AM stepping onto the water in my NOW

and loving the advancement and fulfilment


i lay down my life

any fear, and insecurity

i lay it at His feet





Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6



in today’s email for the 30 Days of Hustle challenge Jon Acuff shared how he was reading a Rolling Stone’s article about Drake and Drake mentioned how he was obsessed with residential pools.  the phrase jumped out at Jon and he went on to ask us “what is our residential pool?” what is the thing in the distance, the goal, the vision, the accomplishment?  what does it look like when you are “there”?


i have a marriage residential pool.  a picture that it etched in our heart that we direct our life towards.

my marriage residential pool is an old couple who walk up our street every thursday at 4.15. she has a walker and he holds her hand on the walker.

our street is a hill and they walk slowly together.

she is very frail. its beautiful.

i’m totally buying flowers for them this week and have been semi stalking them to find out where they live.

but that’s what me and my hubby want to be like. old and together.

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Worship Wednesday

1000 Things

June 2020
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