How to prepare for baby no.2

I have noticed, with more than a hint of envy, that some women seem to be especially gifted at motherhood. Whether a breezy pregnancy and birth, outstanding confidence with babies and toddlers, or simply the possession of an otherworldly patience—I look upon the lives of these extraordinarily gifted mums with awe. And the disappointing feeling…

Finding contentment in parenting

‘Which age do you find the easiest/hardest?’ A mum recently posted on a Facebook forum. Hundreds of responses followed, with each mother listing the ages and stages she found most challenging or most delightful. There was great variation in the responses: ‘Newborn is easiest! They’re so sleepy and cuddly’ ‘I’d take toddlers over teenagers any…

How to Host a Welcoming Christmas Celebration

My sisters and I joke that we grew up with the Christmas Grinch. Our mum hates the commercial fuss of Christmas and has always tried to avoid the material focus: no tree, no decorations, and no fussy Yuletide crafting sessions. Occasionally my sisters and I would rally, decorating a bedraggled tree we found on the…

Keeping a bank of ideas

Do you ever find yourself facing a writing deadline with no ideas sitting in the forefront of your brain? I know I do! One way to prompt the creative juices to start flowing to is have an ideas bank on hand to draw inspiration from. What is an ideas bank? An ideas bank is my…

Don’t be a tosser…

While enjoying the view on one of my favourite walks in Sydney I am repulsed as I look more closely alone the edge of the path: plastic bags, empty bottles and general rubbish, all gathered among the mangroves. Amid the beauty this careless and disrespectful waste always makes me sad. Be a tidy Kiwi In…

The stories only you can tell

‘Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you.’ ― Neil Gaiman I often get caught up…

If church had marshmallows

A solitary marshmallow is nothing to get excited about, and yet I love it when my café-made drink is served with one on the side. A marshmallow, some chocolate-covered coffee beans, or maybe a piece of biscotti. That tiny bit on the side, the unexpected treat, brings me a disproportionate amount of joy. It resonates…

How your personality can make you a better writer

A few weeks ago I posted some tips about overcoming writer’s block. Several people responded with comments about how their personality influenced their writing habits and behaviour–particularly in the realm of procrastination. Understanding your personality can help make you a better writer. For example, do you think better in the morning (that’s me!), or are…

When Good Worship Goes Bad

What does it mean to worship God rightly? And why do we get it so wrong? King David’s dying plea to Solomon is to ensure his descendants follow the LORD with all their heart and soul. This, he promises, will ensure prosperity and an enduring kingdom. David—God’s ‘man after my own heart’—is by no means…

What Two Weird Prophets Taught Me About God

Elijah and Elisha: two Old Testament prophets with annoyingly similar names and a collection of weird stories. Epic battles with false prophets, receiving food from birds, administering healing by lying on top of dead people, delivering curses resulting in brutal bear-mauling, and going to heaven in whirlwind of fiery chariots and horses… Elijah and Elisha’s…