Learn to fill your tank in peacetime so you might have provision in war.

Here’s the truth; the battle is INEVITABLE.

If you are alive and breathing, there are going to be times when things don’t go to plan.

Jesus himself said to his friends in John 16:33 that in this world, they will have trouble.

And like us, they had a bit of a hard time believing that, because, actually, up until that point, things seemed to be going pretty well.

That’s why Jesus spent time ensuring they were taking in his teachings and his words before he left them.

Jesus spent three years teaching his disciples all about himself and the kingdom before leaving them to carry on the work of the gospel.

Can you imagine what would have happened if they had not been paying attention?

How would they have handled the opposition they encountered after Jesus’ resurrection?

But they had FILLED up on His WORDS AND His TRUTH enough to withstand persecution.

When the battle came, it found them ready.

And friends, no matter how it feels right now in your life, we ARE in a battle. We have a REAL enemy piling our days and our lives with all sorts of unpleasant things.

His plan is to hit us hard at our lowest. And if we’re not careful, we may lose the battle; why?

Because when hard times hit, they found us running on EMPTY.

No soldier in his right mind would step

Onto a battle field unprepared, and running on empty so why do we?

This is why is it VITAL that we spend time with Jesus in His Word and on our knees especially while things are good.

We have a lot more time to stock up in peacetime than we will when we are squeezed in battle.

So hey, let me encourage you today to grab that Bible and spend time with God.

Because when you’re enjoying times of peace and victory, THAT is the perfect time to be filling your heart and mind with the words of life and the promises that will carry you through your next hard season.

Songs in the storm (a new perspective)

9780A8D7-0626-49A6-AC28-9D98FE52A02FYesterday was one of the most beautiful days I’ve had with my little family and our friends. It’s probably the first time I’ve properly belly laughed in about two months and it was wonderful. You see, like most people, we’ve been going through a storm; probably one of the worst storms of my life so far and there have been times when, honestly, I thought it would swallow me up. Have you ever felt that? Like you’re stuck in a deep hole of despair that feels so deep that you don’t know whether you can ever climb out of it? Sounds dramatic if you’ve never been there but honestly, that’s how it’s felt at times. My mother, whom I talk about often, taught me years ago, the importance of having a song that you sing to your soul when things go wrong. A song in a storm, if you will. When I was younger, I used to think she was mad when I’d catch her in the kitchen, tears streaming down her face, humming a tune over and over again, because, probably, she was too sad to sing yet. And she has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard, but I’m probably biased! And she’d hum and hum for days, sometimes. And then, almost out of nowhere, it would seem, she’d find her voice and she’d sing out a beautiful tune. And over time I got to learn her song. And I’d wait for the words to come; because then I’d know that my mother was no longer sad. I didn’t realise this until a couple of months ago that my soul, too, like hers, needed a song. Except, unlike her, I didn’t know what mine really was! I love singing, I’m not the best singer but I love nothing more than singing at the top of my lungs, be it in church or in the shower. But the past couple of months, I really found it hard to sing- especially in church. And that’s when I learned how hard it is to sing when your heart is breaking. And that I have never really understood why my mum had to hum. So I began to pray and ask God to give me a song or to remind me of my soul’s song. And then something remarkable happened; this hum came over me and I began to hum and hum over and over again a song that My heart knew but the words of which, my mind had temporarily forgotten. But as I hummed, the lump in my throat got smaller and smaller. You see, I’d forgotten that when we had the car accident a few years ago, God gave me a song to sing; and the time before that, when I was lying in hospital, pregnant with our now four year old son, vomiting for eight months, hooked up to an I.V with only the sound of the beeping machines for company in the middle of the night, not knowing whether our son would be healthy or whether I’d make it through the pregnancy strong enough to actually deliver him, God gave me the same song. In fact, every time we’ve faced a health challenge, like the threat of cancer or a really hard diagnosis about my daughter, the Holy Spirit would, ever so gently, put a song in my heart. And it’d be stuck in my head for days like a broken record, except more often than not, I wouldn’t have the courage to voice it out. But it was there; reminding me that He’s always there. Moving mountains for me. He was there when my mum first went into labour 30-odd years ago, at home, with no one around and had to deliver me by herself, in her bedroom. He was there to supervise my first intake of breath and to knit together my belly button as my mum, only a few years younger than I am now, had to learn to cut the umbilical cord by herself, with scissors that were never meant for that. He was there when I took my first steps and there when those little legs, only ten years old at the time, had to learn to run away from the sounds of bullets and the scary feat of fleeing from home. He was there in the refugee camps and the days ahead to provide shelter and food for me and my family. He was there actually, not just through the lows but also through the highs. I think we are really quick to recognise him in the storm because honestly, that’s when most of us scream for help. But we fail to recognise him when our table is spread, our bellies are full and our hearts overflowing. And yet there he is, with his robe tied around his waist, serving us. In every sunrise, every sunset, in every single moment of joy, serving us with love. He’s there in every breathtaking view of the mountains or the sea or the beautiful sight and sound of the crashing waves. It was him, today, in that photo you took where you felt like the world could stand still. It’s him in nature and in the sound of the birds and the laughter of our children. It’s him when your heart is bursting with love and it is racing like it’s going to fall out of your chest. He is the breath in your lungs and the taste in your buds and the blood that flows through your veins, it is ELOHIM. And sadly, most of us never seem to recognise him in the sun. We only seem to blame him for the rain. Yet he never fails us, ever. You may be like, ‘really? Well I can think of a few times!’ And honestly, I’ve felt that, too. But I’m learning the importance of seeing life, not from the perspective of my heartbreak but from the vantage view of eternity. Because so often my perspective gets so murky. And I can’t see clearly. And I’m probably mixing metaphors but please bear with me. Because ALL I can see in front of me is the giant mountain I’ve got to climb that I really can’t see the way to anything else. Or if we go back to the analogy of the giant hole, it’s the same idea; will I ever make it out of this alive? A couple of months ago, while in New York, on the 102nd floor of the new World Trace Centre, I had a really good picture of this. There I was, fresh in the middle of my heartbreak, the pain of it still stinging, staring at the breathtaking views of Manhattan and I remember going ‘wow’ because I was SO impressed by what I was seeing. And then I heard a voice say to me, ‘ my view is better than this; I see every detail in every life on every single street that you can see there below and more- come and stand with me’. And that’s when I recognised it as his invitation to his table. And the reason why the Psalmist says that God prepares a table before us is because he wants us to join him where he is, not to be stuck where we are. Because our view is SO limited. Well, mine definitely is! And I forget easily and even if I remembered, I do not have the vantage view of eternity to be able to see things from the perspective of the one who made it all. Who made me. Who supervised by very first breath. Who breathed it there in the first place. Who knitted me with his own two hands. And the song is a reminder for my soul to go higher and to join him where he is, right there, waiting, at the table. Inviting me to eat of the goodness he has for me, even with a lump in my throat. And even if I need to hum until I can sing, that’s ok; if I never sing or can’t even sing for a while, that’s ok, too. But the song in the storm reminds me that he has been there, moving mountains to set tables right in the middle of my circumstances. And if he did it then, he can do it now. So if, like me, you’re in the place where it’s really hard to sing, can I share with you a couple of songs in the storm that have given me the courage to come to the table? And as you hum or sing, or not, I hope your soul begins to remember all the ways he has been there before, moving mountains, setting tables, making things beautiful again, little by little. And as it does, I hope you, too, hear the invitation to come up higher and to stand next to the one who sees it all, from beginning to the end. And may you then feel such peace, my friend, that allows you to catch your breath again, even in the middle of your storm.

With love,



“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭23:1-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬









Begin to challenge your “I can’t”.

Here’s a question for you; what “I can’t ” do you regularly say to yourself?

Well, if  you’re anything like me, you probably have a list of things that you’ve convinced yourself that you can’t do. One of my biggest ones to date has been that I simply can’t ride a bike. And the saddest thing has been that because I have believed that for so long, I simply haven’t tried; until today.

Over the past few months, I have embarked on a challenge that has literally began to transform nearly everything in my life. Through this challenge I have seen my personal journey with God impacted in a way i could never have imagined. This challenge has even began to have an effect on my emotional and physical well being, which has spilled over into my parenting and has even positively affected my marriage.
It is a challenge that I am hoping that by the end of this blog, you, too, will take up with me.
Over the past few months, I have simply began to consciously challenged my long list of “I can’t”.

And as I did so, I have began to grow in courage, in confidence and in fearlessness. And while I’m still on this journey, because for me, it’s probably one that I’m going to be on for  a little a lwhile longer, I thought I’d share with you what I’ve learned so far.
For me, it began when one night I felt really challenged to begin ordering my home. I have always really struggled to stay on top of this throughout juggling home, full time work and a young family and would admire friends who could find time to keep on top of their houses but I had began to accept that for me, It probably wasn’t ever going to happen without the help of a regular cleaner.

But as I prayed with my husband one night, I really felt strongly that I should challenge that in me. Why had I been so ready to accept that I could never do it? so armed with a good book about how to have an orderly house and a week off work, my husband, children and I finally sorted out house out. It was the first time in a long time that I was happy with everything about my house. And I had shifted a huge mindset in my life that I had never thought would ever be possible. And even though I  was slightly doubtful about how long this change would last, I was nevertheless proud of myself for making a start. Six months later and our home is still well ordered, and the standards have stuck. The belief system I held about myself and my ability to be tidy at home was simply not true. Nor were the many excuses that I gave over the years, including being busy or having young children. When I began to challenge that mindset, so too, came the ideas to help me in tackling the obstacles.

Now you might be reading this and for you, this has never been an issue that you’ve struggled with- but perhaps there’s another like it- perhaps yours is that you have said to yourself that you could never lose weight- or that you could never get up early in the morning- or that you might never be able to eat healthily or exercise- the list is endless- but the issues are the same.

Let me ask you this- who told you that you can’t? Is that really the truth?

In the Bible, there is a similar scenario right at the beginning when Adam and Eve, the original man and woman are approached in the garden of Eden by the devil in the form of a serpent, questioning the truth of what God had told them. God had given Adam and eve full authority over everything in the garden and they could come and go as they pleased and could eat from any tree in there except from one- the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God had kept them from eating from it because he knew that it wouldn’t be good for them. But when the serpent questions them about it, they swallow the lie that they are actually being kept from the tree by God for a sinister reason and as a result they end up in a whole lot of trouble. They end up losing their place in the garden of Eden, sin enters the world And humankind begin a war with an enemy whose primary weapon against us is lies. And he loves nothing more than to tell you that you can’t do anything. That you are powerless and that you will always be the way you are now, without question.

The good news is that he is nothing but a liar and actually, the truth is, that through Jesus, who fought and won against this liar of an enemy, you can do ALL things; because unlike the devil, who is here to question whether you really can do it- I mean, you? Really? Jesus came, not only to help you to do anything that you were unable to do, including to turn your life around and begin to live a full life, which you absolutely CAN, he came to lend you a hand, to give you his strength and to help you to turn whatever you feel you can’t into “I can”.

After my success with the house I began to make a list of things that I have told myself that I couldn’t do and began to work through it. And little by little, I have seen some huge mountains begin to move. I have began to recover my voice and regain my confidence. And as I began to filter this list through the lenses of truth, the truth being that actually, I can do ALL things through Christ, it began to positively affect my marriage, my parenting and my self worth. So armed with that truth, today I went to learn how to ride a bike for the first time. It was beautiful- and although I am not fully there, I no longer believe that I can’t do it. And that goes for many things still on my list.

My question to you now is, what have you believed for so long that you simply cannot do? What would you attempt if you simply couldn’t fail? And finally, what is stopping you? Today, make a decision to challenge the lie that you can’t. because the truth is- that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. And if you don’t know Jesus, make a decision today to get to know him. Because He is waiting to give you strength today to begin to say, I can.

Want to know God?

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

James 4:7 – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Mark 9:23- What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

To the girl with the big destiny- don’t be afraid to be great. 

I want to speak directly to the girls who right now are fighting an internal battle. They know they are destined for greatness. They know they have more inside them. They have no problem believing that they are strong enough, pretty enough, worthy, even.when they close their eyes, their minds soar as they imagine more for themselves and their future. They are visionaries. Dreamers. Hope seekers and future world changers. But they are fighting an internal battle because they are afraid. They are afraid that they will be found out. That someone will find out how clever they are or how confident they truly are or how they truly think about themselves. That someone will discover their dreams for the world around them or that they actually haven’t got a low self image. That they look in the mirror and like themselves. That they eat what they want when they want without guilt of gaining weight. That they actually believe that the sky IS the limit and they can change the world. Like in the film “Coach Carter”, their greatest fear isn’t that they are inadequate, but that they are powerful beyond measure. And that their world around them currently has created very little space for girls like that.

Perhaps you know girls like this. They are part of your world. Perhaps you’re the girl currently hiding her talents and abilities in order to blend in and be acceptable. I get it. I understand. But if you are that girl or maybe you know a girl like that i want to speak directly to you. The world needs you. Your undiluted, unapologetic and outspoken you. Your clever, capable, unashamed you. We desperately need to know that girls like you are out there and that it is possible to be like that. For too long girls have dumbed down their abilities in order to fit in. If you’ve found yourself tempted to do the same, make a decision that you are no longer going to do that anymore. Because we are desperate to know girls like you. And that you are possible.fight the fear you feel and come forward. Speak up and say you have big dreams. And when you’re doing something great that you are truly winning at, please don’t excuse it. Begin to own it.Begin occupy your space without shame or fear. Be GREAT. Be amazing. And don’t apologise for it. The world we live in needs to know girls like you. And that YOU are possible.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”-Marriane Williamson 

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.“- 2 Tim 1:6-9

I’m so close

Today was the start of the Ascension festival for orthodox Greeks in Crete and we had the unexpected pleasure of hosting said festival at our hotel,  which incidentally happens to have the oldest Greek orthodox church right on its grounds. Even now as the kids sleep they are being serenaded by the beautiful melodies of Greek worship,said to go on, on this particular night, into the early hours of the night. We don’t mind, it sounds lovely. And the kids are snoring soundly through it.

The festival happens each year here. 40 days after Easter, hundreds of worshippers descend on this church that is smaller than my children’s bedroom to gather and celebrate Ascension. 

Priests in their colourful garments together with dedicated nuns from the various monasteries and convents emerge and converge here, ready to lead travellers from near and far into communion with God. The stage is prepared early; the day before decorators come and repaint the white church and everything else around it; banners bearing the cross go up, bunting is hung and the statue of the virgin Mary is brought out by the gate. 

On ceremony day as the doors of the littlest church fling wide, the priests begin to take centre stage in their impressive attire, singing in latin to the spiritually hungry congregation gathering quickly around them with barely enough room to make the sign of the cross, which seems to be necessary every so few minutes..as we stand among the worshippers, it’s hard not to appreciate the beauty in this type if devoted worship. People seeking after God with reverence. Men, women and children sign the cross as they arrive, then line up towards the offering box and pick up a candle, or two and enter the small church to light them and say a prayer, perhaps for themselves or for loved ones.

 We watch in awe as somber faces emerge, no doubt  contemplating the seriousness in the act of their worship. It is beautiful and moving. But it is all completely unnecessary. As i watch these wonderful people my heart is moved deeply by the spirit and by the sight of Jesus who is so desperately close to them, right now in their rituals. I wonder; do they see him? In the ceremonies of robes and intonated songs- of lost Latin tongues and beautifully laid tables- where is Jesus?

I close my eyes and i can feel him so so close. And yet here, in this place, he feels so far away. I wonder, when did it get like this? When did we move from a Jesus who walked with the disciples hand in hand, who sat and ate with people, who touched theur ailing bodies and washed their feet, to a Jesus who we worship like THIS- dressed in special robes and using languages no one can understand? Have we done that? Have we overcomplicated the simple gospel? Would Jesus walk into our beautifully decorated churches and feel welcome? I’m not at all criticising the authenticity of the worshippers hearts.

 Far from it. I see hearts desperately searching to connect with God and to have Him smiling down on them in approval. Like beautiful children longing for the gentle touch of their estranged father. Except he’s not estranged..he’s desperately close, so much so in fact that he became man so that we could finally relate to him.

 To see him and touch him. To know that he LOVES us. In our ritualistic worship- how close  is he? My prayer tonight as i listen to the dwindling voices of dedicated worship is that each heart here, my own included, will remember that Jesus so loved us first. He us not angry or in need of our veiled worship he wants us to come as we are and see him. May we remember to worship that Jesus. Because he’s not too far away. He’s so close. 

Make a connection 

I am more and more convinced that one of the enemy’s greatest tactic is isolation. There’s nothing he loves more than getting us on our own and once in that isolated state, reinforce how alone we are.

It’s the classic tactic found in the story of Adam and Eve. The serpent approaches Eve on her own, maybe because he knew there would be strength in numbers. It is always so much easier to say yes to temptation on your own.

And yet by complete contrast,Jesus is in the business of connection. Of unity. Of togetherness. Even long before Jesus’ birth, the prophets speak of a time when Heaven will send us an ‘Emmanuel‘- “God with us”. Because God’s intention was never for man- people- his people, to ever be alone.

So it’s no surprise that oftentimes we’ll find ourselves feeling alone. It’s a tactic the enemy will try and use against people in order to strip us of our effectiveness. And if successful, this tactic can remove you prematurely from the very space you were made to occupy.

And it starts so subtly, too. With a whisper telling you that your friends aren’t really your friends. That your church isn’t really the place you belong; that you have no business responding to THAT call from God to THAT big vision he’s giving you- i mean, who ARE you, really? You?

And on and on the battle rages, trying to isolate you into a thought pattern that is designed to get you feeling doubtful,disconnected and alone. And once in that place, you begin to talk yourself out of God’s promises. Maybeit’s just me. But if, like me, you’ve felt that way, i want to encourage you- it’s not God’s intention for us to be alone. We were made for  connection. First with our creator God and then to others.

Over the past few weeks I’ve felt disconnected. As a family we’re in a transitional place in many ways. We’ve found ourselves in a  strange place where some older connections that were once very strong, through no fault  of their own,  are naturally fading, while new ones that are forming aren’t perhaps as strong yet in the same manner but are worth investing into, which, we accept will grow with time. And so we’ve found ourselves feeling disconnected in many ways in terms of relationships and it’s left us feeling lonely, which is a strange and new feeling for me as I’m so used to being connected to lots and lots of people.

But in this very strange place, God has been teaching us afresh the importance of connection.

1) I  am strong when I’m connected to God.

When people go to the gym wanting Peter Andre abs  (still a thing?), they’re first of all taught the importance of strengthening their core. First their core stability, which are the deep internal muscles closest to your spine upon which stronger muscles that effectively build the outward abs depend on. Our relationship with God is like the hidden core stability. When that is strong, the stronger and more connected i feel. Ironically, the key to staying more connected starts first and foremost in alone time- but not with any human being, myself included- but alone time with God. From here I strengthen from the inside out and i am less susceptible to emotional injury.

2) I am strong when I’m connected to others.

Carrying on from the analogy of the gym, in order for me to get strong, i need some core strength. This is found in the the outer muscles that protect the spine and limit movement so as to prevent injury. Building core strength is like getting a support system of people around you that won’t be detrimental to your relationship with God but will work together to strengthen it.My core friends are few. But they are people who ALWAYS point me back home to Jesus. And i am strong when i allow these connections to strengthen.

3) I am strong when i choose to connect

The best way to combat disconnect is to choose to make a connection. I may not have as many friends as i used to have but all that means is that I’m perfectly placed to be a friend- because i know what it’s like to be lonely. So this month we chose to sign up to our church’s #100Homes initiative, which is all about getting to know people across the dinner table. It’s a great way to combat disconnect. In the times whenfriends are few around me, i choose to be a friend.

So with that in mind then, how is your core stability? How’s your relationship with God?

What about your core strength? Are the people in your life pointing you back to the Jesus?

Are there people in your world who are lonely? Could someone you know use some friendship?

This week, I’d love to encourage us all to make a connection. First with God, who is our everything. And then with others, who, like us, could use a little community.

John 14-16-18

I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth … I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 

Matthew 28: 20

I am with you always, even to the end of the age. 

Deuteronomy 31: 6

Be strong and of good courage … for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.

Cuddle time

I love cuddle time. In our house the best cuddles are almost always spontaneous. But life is busy, so more often than not, cuddle time has to be intentional. We have to, as a family, intentionally decide to stop everything and make time for a cuddle. So sometimes my kids will hear me say to them ‘it’s cuddle time!’. And even though these cuddle times are planned, they are no less precious than the spontaneous ones.

Cuddle time is definitely my favourite time of day. Sometimes it is only a few moments  stolen in between others as we pass each other by, but other times, we sit and cuddle for lengthy periods of time,  while we watch a movie or simply just be, tucked safely under the covers, doing absolutely nothing at all. These moments are very precious to me. Even though sometimes, these moments come at the expense of something else. So today’s cuddle time was sponsored by my wonderful husband, who stepped in to make dinner when I suddenly decided that cuddle time would coincide with make dinner time.

But as I sat with my beautiful son on the sofa, Martharing while my husband Mary-ed- (actual, Biblical  terms, look them up here) but not complaining about it, I really felt a heavy presence of the Holy Spirit in that moment. In the last few days, I have been challenged to action in so many ways, and I am a doer so action I get, action I understand. Sign me up, please, YES! but I am not so good at resting. I struggle to rest. So much so that I have to have a ‘cuddle time’. But as I sat with my son in my arms, I realised anew the importance of rest. Of literally taking moments out just to breathe, and just to be. As I sat with my son, I wasn’t doing anything extraordinary, but my heart was being filled with fresh love for him that I literally felt like my heart could burst.

A few moments before our spontaneous cuddle time, my son was tired – and I mean, shattered. You know the type? When they are so unbelievably beyond tired that nothing, not even ice cream can comfort? yeah, that kind of tired. But it was 4:30pm – and too early for him to go to bed; but he was exhausted. And his way for coping with this type of tiredness is to lash out, at the end of which he lifts up his arms and says, ‘I want mummy’. I, of course, always lift him up into me and he calms instantly. But today, as I did so, he said to me ‘I want a big hug, mummy’. Awww…

And then I knew why God invites us to sit with Him like this. Because when I make time to sit with God in whatever state of mind I’m in, whether I am tired or weary or ready for action, he gives me rest – real rest. Rest, from which I can really feel his heart. Rest that comes from a position of his arms lifting mine and placing me right back on his chest. Rest that comes from a place of connectedness, closeness and peace.

I loved what happened today when my tired son sat on me for 30 minutes. I was so sure that he was going to fall asleep on me, which is getting rarer as he’s growing older. But instead he used that time to draw strength from our chill time. And when that time was done, I put him back down and off he ran, ready to play again. Ready for the rest of his evening. And like him, I must learn to draw my strength first from my father’s heart. To learn to sit and hear his heart beat as He restores my soul. To know when it is time to come to Him so he can give me rest. And to know that when he sets me back on my feet again I will be fully ready to run. And run, I will. But first, cuddle time.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”





“Selah” is  a word that appears in two books of the Bible- Psalm and Habbakuk up to 74 times. Despite its frequency, there is a great deal of confusion over what it is supposed to mean.  One thought is that it derives from two Hebrew words: s_lah, “to praise”; and s_lal, “to lift up.”

Another possibility is that it comes from another word: salah, meaning “to pause.” As a result, there is a belief that because of these two words that“selah” is therefore a musical direction to the singers and/or instrumentalists who performed the Psalms, which was the hymnbook of the Israelites.

If this is true, then each time “selah” appears in a psalm, the musicians paused, either to take a breath, or to sing a cappella or let the instruments play alone. Perhaps they were pausing to praise Him about whom the song was speaking, perhaps even lifting their hands in worship.

This would encompass all these meanings—praise, lift up, and pause.

When we consider the three verses in Habakkuk, we also see how “selah” could mean “to pause and praise.”

This is perhaps my favourite meaning, mostly because right now, I have so many reasons to pause and praise.

A year ago in May, my husband, children and I  moved from a home that we had lived in and loved for over 5 years. We had stayed in it, hoping to buy it and despite prayer and promises that this was to be our home, we were unable to secure it and lost it. I was devastated. But I have to trust that God is in control. Despite not knowing what His plan is for a home for us even now, I choose, with all my heart to pause in this- still very painful -time and say: ‘thank you Jesus’, whose plan is bigger than me, whether I see it or not. Selah

Two months after moving out of our much loved house, we were involved in a very serious car accident. The driver who hit us was drunk and careless and nearly took the lives of my beautiful little babies. It felt as though things were going from bad to worse for us and I didn’t understand why. But I remember very clearly as friends and family gathered around us, allowing to mourn and cry and be upset in that moment. And God, in his never ending kindness giving us real moments of rest during that terrible time; to heal, to recover and recharge. To this very day I cannot find the right words to express how held I felt during that very difficult period. All glory to Him. Selah

But as I lay on my hospital bed, unable to walk without the help of a zimmer frame (true story), I began to find healing in writing again. As I recounted the story of my family’s search for home as we fled from a very violent outbreak in our beloved country of Rwanda, God began to heal me from more than the physical wounds that were keeping me immobilised. Selah.

I set out to write the story for my daughter so that she will always know of God’s kindness to her mummy when her mummy was a little girl. It is an honest account of God’s protection and provision in the most unlikely places. I also wrote it in part to escape the devastation that I was feeling, when i realised that I couldn’t walk now or go for a run even, which i’d previously taken for granted or do most of the things that I was previously able to do without help- like being able to pick up my son for a cuddle or cook a meal for my family or jump in the car and drive. I wasn’t even sure that I was going to be able to ever get back behind the wheel- I was that filled with fear.  As doctors told me, one after the other, how long my recovery was likely to take, I could see very few reasons then to hope, let alone praise. But I do nowSelah.

When my mind was crumbling under the pressure of post traumatic disorder (PTSD) and I was reliving the scenes of the car accident each time I closed my eyes, Jesus powerfully walked into my room one night when I couldn’t sleep and began to heal me from anxiety, and spoke over me in a way that only He can and afterwards I was able to sleep again after nearly a month of insomnia. I now know Him powerfully as Healer. Thank you Jesus. Selah. 

Afterwards a friend began to read my story and loved it- the story that was intended for my daughter and not at all for the public-or so I thought!  Miraculously, my friend fell in love with my scribblings and so did a publisher, who rang me shorty after reading it, and while I was still recovering from the effects of the car accident,  offered me a contract to publish my story into a book. It is, to this day, the most surreal thing ever. One that I still struggle to process. But nevertheless it is part of this most incredible story that God is writing for me. Giving me beauty for ashes. Selah

In March, as I sat in the surgeons’ room of the Manchester Royal Infirmary’s fracture clinic to hear the words ‘we can now, with confidence, discharge you’, followed by the words ‘you may jog if you wish, but try not to run any marathons’- as I tried, with every fibre of my being to suppress jumping up and down in joy, it was God who had accelerated my healing process. Who was allowing me to run again. On the 22nd May, less than a year after I almost didn’t run again, I was able to take part in the Manchester 10k for the Boaz Trust, and I genuinely felt God run beside me with every step as He reminded me of the miracle of my healing. Selah. 

It is from a place of rest that Jesus was able to heal the sick and feed the hungry. he often went away to a quiet place to pray. We don’t read about Jesus being so overtired that He dropped the ball; and yet we so often do it in life, without really stopping and resting with him, before moving on to the next thing.

Lately I feel really challenged, especially for a many heart wearer like me, to learn what it  truly means to rest in God. To find times where I pause and calmly think about all that He  has done. And I know that there is strength waiting to lift me up when I finally do that. I wonder, what can you pause and be thankful about today?










Even though Habakkuk was not written to be sung, Habakkuk’s prayer in chapter 3 inspires the reader to pause and praise God for His mercy, power, sustaining grace and sufficiency.

Elmer Towns, a Bible commentator and renowned professor in all things Bible in his book ‘Bible answers for almost all your questions’ put it like this:

“Perhaps the best way to think of “selah” is a combination of all these meanings. The Amplified Bible adds “pause and calmly think about that” to each verse where “selah” appears. When we see the word in a psalm or in Habakkuk 3, we should pause to carefully weigh the meaning of what we have just read or heard, lifting up our hearts in praise to God for His great truths. “All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name.” 


Heart made whole

God is in the business of fixing our hearts. True story. He really doesn’t like it when our hearts are broken, or sad or indifferent to injustice or worse. He made us to be wholehearted. And if we could only let him in- oh the wonders he could do!

I’m not speaking in parables- over the past year, I have had the opportunity to witness this for myself, first hand. Last year, God began the process of mending my heart from years of heartbreak that I didn’t even know I had. I was born in Rwanda, you see,  and I was unfortunate enough to be around when the genocide happened and so had been carrying around years of trauma that I wasn’t even aware of.

Without realising, this had affected my identity and the way I related to the idea of home in every sense. Every time someone asked me where I came from, it was like they were asking me to solve the square root of Pi- it was complicated.

But God cares about the condition of our hearts and so, when I was most willing, he began to help me realise that I needed healing. But in a way, this was an easy one to work through. It was years ago so less ouch- you know?

But the real test, that came last November. I’m a mum of two. I am a mum of one strong determined, 6 year old world changer and one equally world changing, but slightly more compliant 2 year old boy. Back in November, I had the incident every parent dreads- the one where you and another mum disagree on parenting methods, resulting in lost friendships. Anyone been there?

Well, needless to say, my heart was broken for a while. Having gone through all the classic stages of grief, the last thing I expected was for a text, seven months later from my friend, asking to meet up and talk about November. And suddenly my heart beat raised higher than it medically should, indicating that it wasn’t entirely whole. A great opportunity for God to come in and work.

I love what Jesus does though. He fixes our hearts. Like I said, he cares about the condition of our hearts. And i will tell you why; in the Bible, in Matthew 22:37,  Jesus asks us to love God with ‘all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”- bit tricky, when your heart is in pieces!

So I have worked out that God mends my heart so that I can love him and others better. Broken hearts may love, but they can’t do it wholeheartedly. Whole hearts love wholeheartedly. So that is why my issue with my friend was of great concern for God; so that He can heal my heart, and i can love people and God better.

Today was a good day. I went and met with my friend. We had an awkward coffee at first- it wasn’t easy. But I also had people praying for me to be strong, so I was able to handle the chat better. And as we talked through things as mums, God brought healing to us both. And I can honestly say that when I left today, i felt whole.

And that is what He wants to do with all of us. So I ask you now, do you have a broken heart? Good news, God wants to make your heart whole. Maybe it is broken over the political state of our nation or a broken friendship- or maybe it’s your kids…whatever it might be. God can and wants to heal it so you can love better. So I can love better…and that’s got to be good, right?

Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Here is a prayer for those who have suffered a broken heart:

God, you care deeply for broken-hearted people.  This is a promise you make: You are close.  We pray for all those who are crippled by broken relationships.  Our hearts take the blow of disappointment.  We feel crushed because our hopes are dashed.  God, heal broken hearts.  We cannot fix our own wounds.  But you can.  If pieces of our heart have been lost, or are held captive by another, recover them and bring them back to us and miraculously “put us back together” so that our heart is whole again.  You are a mender of broken hearts.  We ask for this miracle, in the name of Jesus.

Fearless (in the hands of a good father)

This evening on our last day in Crete i’m stood by the beach watching my amazing husband teach our two children how to skim stones. Nothing extraordinary about that-except this is the scene that almost wasn’t as almost this time last year we were all taken out by a pretty horrific car accident. Thanking God for his healing power, which restores both body and mind.

One of my favourite things this holiday apart from literally the holiday itself- which has been heaven on a plate- has been watching my little son conquer his fear of the sea.  When we first arrived here he screamed each time he was put in the middle of the waves- ever  the lover if order and structure, his little heart couldn’t understand why it would be fun for him to be put in the middle of such unpredictable waters that almost always knocked him right back in his backside as soon as he was able to stand.

And yet tonight, here he is,  confident  as ever, screaming right in the face if the raging waves. If ever there was a picture to illustrate  wgat restoration looks like, THIS is it..right  now. In THIS moment. But he didn’t get to this moment on his own. Behind THIS moment has been  a patient  father who  has encouraged him every  time  he made it close  to the waters and held him close each time the fear became too overwhelming. Who  cheered his every progress  no matter  how small  and high fived each show of bravery.

Little by little he’s been coached into strength, moving  closer to courage. and  as he stands here now, fearless in the face of  what used to make him  crippled with fear, this victory is his. But as much as it is his, it is mostly his father’s. You see his father knows something that my little boy is yet to learn; with every agonising step he took, he was never once on his own.

Whenever he fell, there were the strong arms of his father, ready to catch him should he fail or fall. And catch him they did. Time and time again. Just like they caught me. And just like they can catch you. It’s ok to be afraid. But if you lean into him as you try, your father God will begin to make you stronger. Before long you’ll even begin to feel brave enough to show courage where you had none. And eventually you, too, will become fearless. Today, whatever your circumstances, dare to trust in these arms. They Will catch you. Even if you fall.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10