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…

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…

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…

How To Find Wisdom

Jessica, Amanda and Sarah—the most popular baby names for girls born in 1986. Sophia, a favourite choice of today’s parents, barely even featured on lists. My mum and dad met at Bible college in the 80s: a pair of Daniel-dieting Christian hippies. Inspired by their radical faith, they named me Sophia. Whenever I met someone…

A response to Kings: new blog series

How To Find Wisdom, What Two Weird Prophets Taught Me About God and When Good Worship Goes Bad are three comment pieces in a series of blog posts written in response to the books of 1 and 2 Kings. These three pieces of writing seek to communicate the inner turmoil of a wayward heart struggling…

God wants you to be miserable–and other lies

I moved to beautiful Sydney just over a year ago, and let me tell you—there is a lot to like about this city! Beautiful warm days, gorgeous beaches, great food, and the people are pretty friendly too. And yet I get the distinct feeling the city is out to get me. Last year I heard…

How to write a faith-inspired opinion piece

I work with a fantastic group of young writers who are pros at mining their everyday lives for inspiration for comment pieces. It can sometimes be tricky to strike the right balance with a faith-based opinion piece. The most common pitfall is resisting the temptation to turn your piece into a devotional or a sermon….

How to parent in public

Cucumber, lettuce, tomato… with effortless repetition the teenage boy at the checkout scans my groceries, the bleep bleep punctuating the bustling of a busy supermarket. Suddenly the tantruming wails of a small child echo loudly from the next checkout, and pained cries drown out the bleep bleeps and rustling of plastic bags. The checkout boy…