The moment when there wasn’t room

We’ve all heard the expression, ‘too many cooks spoil the broth,’ right?

Zoë broke my heart one afternoon. Two of her wee friends had decided that she wasn’t worth including that day.

‘Lucy and Emily* said I was boring,’ she told me, in a defiant tone, but with eyes that searched for reassurance, and her upper lip still quivering with rejection.

It felt like someone was stabbing my heart (I’m sure all you parents have been there!), but I tried to keep my response lighthearted.

‘Well, what do you think? Were they right? 
‘No, because I’m not boring.’
‘Ah. Well that’s that sorted then! It didn’t feel nice, but you know it’s not true, right? So you don’t need to worry about it anymore.’

That seemed to satisfy her, and off she bounded, her happy self again. But she still relives that moment every so often, with the same sadness filling her expression as she remembers. 

The moment when there wasn’t room.

Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Have you ever felt or been told there wasn’t room for you? That people didn’t know what to do with you? That no one noticed you? That no one thought you were worth inviting?

Zoë’s wonderful teacher has a great rule for her class that I think we could all do with living by. 

‘We are all friends here. We don’t have to play together, but there’s space for everyone to play.’

There’s space for everyone to play. 

What a great rule for all of life’s classrooms: our families, our communities, our churches, our organisations and our workplaces. 

What if there was always room?

  • Room to develop
  • Room to grow
  • Room to celebrate each other’s strengths
  • Room to allow for mistakes and weaknesses
  • Room to be real without being judged

I often dream of a world where there’s always room. Where there’s always space to play. 

Image by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

A world where another person’s beauty and talent does not mean an absence or lessening of your own. 

A world where no one feels threatened, belittled, compared, left out, or rejected. 

A world where everyone is friends; not in a claustrophobic, possessive way, but in the sense of a willingness to welcome others into the space we inhabit.

That world we will see someday in full colour. Jesus said, ‘In my father’s house, there are many rooms.’ There’ll be room in heaven for all of us to live, laugh, love, worship and serve. 

But for now, let’s look around. 

  • Who can we give space to grow?
  • Who can we encourage?
  • Who can we invite in?
  • Who can we include?
  • Who can we celebrate?

I know I’m an idealist. But maybe it’s realistic to hope to witness fewer moments in this life where there isn’t room. 

H x

*The names used above are substitutes for the real ones.

Image by Luke Porter on Unsplash

The dinosaur in my freezer: dealing with panic in a pandemic

Today I found a dinosaur in my freezer.

We’d left the freezer to defrost (for the first time in about two years – no joke!)

When I opened the door there it was, staring back at me.

It looked totally out of place.

Well, in a toddler’s mind, a freezer was the perfect world for it to live in. But I knew it didn’t belong there. Not that I’m a palaeontologist or anything, but you’d never logically associate dinosaurs with thriving in icy conditions, would you?

Some people think the ice age killed off the dinosaurs, some say it was Noah’s flood, and others think that they just died out over time. Whatever option you choose, it was an environmental change that made living conditions impossible.

I don’t know about you, but at the moment I feel a bit like that dinosaur in my freezer.

Suddenly people are telling us that the environment we’ve always lived in, laughed in and loved in is now hostile and threatening. Everything feels a bit surreal at the moment; it’s as if we’ve been been plunged into the pages of some apocalyptic novel.

The truth is, if I hadn’t rescued that poor little guy from the cold and ice, he would have been frozen solid. And it got me thinking, what positive actions are needed in the midst of this pandemic? What steps can we take to stop the surrounding panic from paralysing us?

If you’ve ever had a panic attack, or been with someone who’s having one, you’ll know of a technique called ‘grounding.’ Put simply, it’s focusing on what is right in front of you – on what you can see, hear, taste, smell and touch – to draw back from multiple potential futures and experience more deeply what’s happening in the present.

Image by D. Tsellobenok on Unsplash

So here’s some useful questions to ask yourself when you begin to feel fear frosting you over at this time:

#1 What can I see?

If you’re anything like me, you’re spending a lot of your time these days worrying about the safety of those you love.

When I find myself worrying about others, instead of allowing myself to catastrophize or go down a rabbit hole of anxious thoughts, I’ve found it really helpful to connect with them in some way. Whether it be in conversation or in writing, I tell them how much I love them and are thankful for them. Either that, or I say a prayer of thanks for the warmth and richness they bring to my life.

This has a double benefit; not only does it bless the person you encourage, but it brings you back into the present and allows you to experience the joy of knowing them in that moment.

The same goes for nature. Its beauty is all around us. It hasn’t gone away, and it won’t anytime soon. Stop and take a look at what you can see and experience the wonder again. Be thankful for what you see.

#2 What do I know?

There’s a lot of uncertainty as to what’s ahead. What will happen with schools? How will businesses survive? How will we worship together again? When can I hug my mum?

Let me say that projections and predictions will not help you any, they will just feed your fears. Limit how many news reports you watch or read, and focus each day on what you do know!

  • As a Christian, I do know God is always close and that He has promised never to leave me.
  • I know I have friends and family who love me.
  • I know that right now I have breath in my lungs and my heart is beating.
  • I know I have a new day to fill with love, life, learning and laughter.

Yes, I might not know what tomorrow will bring. But I do have today. I have people who love me, and I have a God who walks with me this very moment, in every moment.

Image by Derek Sears on Unsplash

#3 What can I do?

There’s a lot of things about this situation that we can’t control.

We have no way of knowing how the virus will spread and who will be affected by it. We can’t prevent widespread loss of jobs, relationships or life. We can’t go wherever we want or see who we normally see.

But why not focus on the things we can do?

  • We can follow the government guidelines
  • We can eat as much nutritional food as possible to boost immunity
  • We can do exercise to help our mood
  • We can limit our screen time
  • We can finish that little project we’ve been meaning to do for ages
  • We can connect with family and friends
  • We can talk to our neighbours
  • We can collect for our local food bank
  • We can reach out to those who are isolated and let them know we care.

We have the gift of time. Let’s focus on what we can do with it.

Focus on what you can see, right now

Focus on what you do know, each day

Focus on what you can do, in this time.

Don’t let fear freeze you solid. Instead, let the gifts you have right in front of you thaw your heart and open the door of your life to thankfulness and gratitude.

H x

Image by Markus Lederer on Unsplash

A Four Year Old’s Guide to Confidence

It’s incredible what life can do to your confidence.

How many of you remember the hurtful comments said to you at school as if it were yesterday? I’ll never forget people pointing out my lanky legs, pale complexion, weird accent, and total absence of sporting ability.

As an adult, every time someone draws attention to a weakness of mine in a group of people, I feel the same twinge inside.

Perhaps like me, although you’ve learned to laugh it off, you still can’t help but feel small and self conscious inwardly. 

Sometimes I wish I could be four again, or seven, or even ten. 

At four years of age I was fearless – the epitome of confidence.

I used to chase wild boars out of our garden with not a thought for dangerous they were. I would collect frogs and spiders and hide them in my suitcase at boarding school. I navigated the daily risk of accidentally stepping on a snake with total nonchalance.

My mind was overflowing with ideas, and always full of faith that I could carry them out. I went on a flight alone at the age of seven, and had no qualms about taking the bus around the country as early as ten years old. I wrote fierce letters of complaint to local officials as a teenager and was the first person in our family to buy a suitcase with wheels and purchase a mobile phone.

Isn’t it sad though, that by the time we are adults, many of us are better at dwelling on our imperfections than our potential?

One day a few years back, I got up and looked in the mirror. I did not like what I saw… Dark circles, freckles, wrinkles, jeans too tight. I was feeling sorry for myself. Fast forward to getting Zoë dressed for the day; she looks in the mirror, she beams and she says, ‘Yes, I am beautiful, because God MADE me beautiful.’

When a four year old says this, it doesn’t sound like conceit or pride. So what happens between the age of four and fourteen? What comes about between the ages of fourteen and forty?

Could it be that as the world and its warped ways wear on us over the years, we begin to forget that we are not made to have confidence in ourselves; we are designed to have confidence in the competence of the One who made us. If you know that God himself is your Creator, then you know He has made you well and designed you with a particular purpose in mind. How often we dwell on what’s missing from us, instead of what God has put into us!

So the next time someone points out a weakness in you, if it’s true, acknowledge it. But don’t let it affect your confidence. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You were made with a purpose in mind. Trust that the One who made you did a perfect job.

And walk it out like a four year old!

H x

Three chimps and a turtle: What’s your stress animal?

Three chimps and a turtle live in our house. 

Not literally, of course [though wouldn’t that be fun!]

I’m talking about my family and our stress styles.

Eden is our adorable wee turtle. Today, she was upset by an altercation she’d had with Zoë. She ran off to the playroom, hid under a blanket and point blank refused to come out. When I finally persuaded her to emerge, she just cuddled me in silence for what seemed like a VERY long time. When she was ready, she hopped down and off she went. Not a word said. 

You see, if you’re a turtle and you’re put under stress … your first instinct is to hide. When you’re threatened, your natural impulse is to withdraw from the situation altogether. Faced with confrontation, you bury your head in your shell for a while until you’re ready to come out. If you’re a turtle, instead of talking about how you feel, you’ll have a tendency to internalise emotions in your body. For you, stress might manifest in physical, rather than emotional symptoms; headaches, digestive issues, palpitations and so on. 

The other three members of our household, on the other hand, are always a little too ready to vocalise our opinion in an animated fashion. 

The first day Bill and I met, we had an argument.

You could say it was love at first fight. 

I strongly disagreed with a theological viewpoint he held. And clearly that passion had a major wooing effect, because he just had to get my number to apologise. We’ve been arguing ever since, but we are more in love than we’ve ever been. 

When Zoë came along, though, it seems we met our match. Two strong-willed adults versus one of her, and yet somehow the four year old often still seems to win. She could ‘buy and sell ye,’ as they say here in Northern Ireland. Her determination is fiery, her passion is impressive, and her negotiation skills are something else altogether. 

You see, if you’re a chimp, stress or conflict brings out the inner monkey in you

You gesticulate 

You give off

You have extreme emotions

You can become a bit defensive and moody

You might even screech when something annoys you! 

The reality is that during this time of lockdown, all of us are under prolonged stress. It’s having a major impact on all of us, whether we want to recognise it or not. Work pressures, financial uncertainties, missing loved ones and constraints on our freedoms will at times feel like too much to bear. 

How are you responding to the stress?

Some of us will internalise it, process it inwardly, and get uncomfortably quiet. Others need to vent, complain and moan dramatically every now again.

Both are completely normal. 

But here’s the deal. 

Those of us who are chimps need to take a leaf out of the turtle’s book every now and then. When I feel ready to snap at whoever is unfortunate enough to come my direction next, maybe I should try hiding under a blanket for a while instead. It might just calm me down. 

Same goes for the turtles. Believe it or not, sometimes it is actually good to talk about how you feel. Why not emerge from the safety of your shell every now and then and share that heavy load you’ve been carrying around? ‘Cause sometimes your shell can also become your burden. 

What’s your stress animal? And how can you tame it to serve you better during this time?

H. x

Cultivating courage: Becoming your own kind of brave

I love the Pixar movie ‘Brave’, and most especially its main character. ‘Merida,’ a Scottish highland royal, is a spunky princess with a fiery spirit. She questions everything and she resists restrictions of every kind. Yet as the plot unfolds, Merida discovers what real bravery is, and owns it in a way that’s true to her story. Along the way, she realises that – contrary to what she first thought – courage is not escaping the realities of her life but rather facing them head on – learning compromise and contentment on the journey.

The women I see all around me are all kinds of brave. All kinds of strong. All kinds of courageous.

  • Bravely longing 

Im thinking first of those who quietly carry the weighty burden of unfulfilled longings. 

… a soul mate to live life with 

… a child of your own

… a friend to open your heart to

… a body free of pain

For now, it seems like all around you people are celebrating their attainment of what seems so far out of your reach. 

Some of you sob silently in the car, in the shower, after every wedding, social occasion, a dedication service you attend. Longing yawns at your soul like an ever widening chasm that you can’t escape. 

You want to hide away. But the majority of the time you don’t. You attend that engagement party, wedding, baby shower, choosing to shower your friends with gifts, meals and love.

Even in the depths of deep longing, you continue to cultivate contentment and grow in gratitude. 

You are your own gracious and generous kind of brave, even when you don’t feel it. 

  • Bravely Misunderstood  

I’m thinking here of those of you who are ambitious, gifted in leadership, and career-minded. You have been painted as hard-nosed, cold, detached, or as having a hidden agenda. You’re the threat in the boardroom, the butt of chauvinistic jokes, the brunt-bearer of laddish humour. You laugh it off as you smart inside. You hold it together there and then and cry your tears later. 

It hurts, but it won’t stop you striving for excellence, growing in your gifts and getting those promotions. 

You are your own delightfully determined kind of brave, even when you don’t feel it. 

  • Bravely Battling 

We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.’ The fact is, some of you are fighting private battles we will never ever know about. 

Whether it’s hormonal issues, digestive problems, anxiety, depression, abuse, or traumatic childhood memories … you drag yourself up and out, go to work, smile, serve others or tend to little ones’ needs. You do your best work. Every single day. Even on the days when your best is simply lying in bed, crippled with pain.

Even those days.

You are your own tenaciously tender kind of brave, even when you don’t feel it.

  • Bravely exhausted 

Some of you caregivers are living bravely in the midst of your exhaustion. Whether it’s looking after multiple babies and toddlers, partners with depression, parents with dementia, or children with complex needs; you pour yourself out day on day, year on year, for the dignity and flourishing of others – often with very little support or respite.

You are bravely exhausted. But you’re effervescently courageous, even when you don’t feel it. 

The women I see all around me are all kinds of brave. 

Courage comes in all shapes and sizes. It looks different for every person. But it always involves facing facts, summoning strength to persevere, having the humility to make changes, and cultivating a sweet spirit along the way. 

Let’s remember, though, that bravery is not something that needs to happen alone. 

If you are experiencing complex challenges in life, you may feel invisible to the world. But you are not. You are seen by God. And you are cared for by so many. 

Reach out. 

Join a ‘strong girls club’ near you today. Reach out to other courageous women you see around you. Because when you are your own kind of brave before others, they will catch your courage, and they will pass it on.

Be your own kind of brave, but don’t be brave alone. 

 H x

Hemmed in or spaced out? Could lockdown cure our FOMO?

My husband and I often joke that our two girls have had a serious case of FOMO (the fear of missing out) ever since the moment they entered this world. 

Such is their level of dread about being excluded from any kind of action, that for a very long time in our house sleep featured only as an optional extra. 

Up until the age of two and a half, if they did go to sleep, they didn’t stay asleep for long. And even when they did sleep, they still didn’t let you off the hook. Number one sneaked into our bed, only to twitch, flip and kick continually, while number two felt compelled to hold on to my hair and stroke my face. ALL NIGHT. (Always mine, by the way – daddy’s face was too scratchy. That’s why daddy didn’t shave.)

Image by Simon Ratzinger [Unsplash]

All this meant little rest for them, no rest for us. Until four months ago. 

Four glorious months. 

Finally – after five relentless years of broken nights – we are all sleeping! And they are playing so well together. We have some healthy space from one another during the day and overnight.


That’s what’s quarantine has gifted some of us with, hasn’t it? Yes, we’ve had the frustration of confined living. Yes, we are missing family, friends and church dreadfully. Yes, we are worrying about the welfare and safety of our communities and loved ones. Yes, we are grieving for lost livelihoods and mourning over excruciating loss of life.

But while lockdown has hemmed us in, in many ways it has paradoxically also offered us space.

  • Wiggle room in our timetables. 
  • Rest from the rat race
  • Time off the hamster wheel
  • Time to think
  • Time to create
  • Time to dream.

Experts suggest that children now have 12 hours less free time a week than they did only two decades ago. And adults are as bad; we are constantly looking for ways to squeeze more efficiency out of ourselves. 

People are saying the time is going faster year on year. Maybe it’s not. Maybe because of our fear of empty space in our lives, we are constantly plugged in, living life on fast-forward and in the process missing half of it. 

I spent some of my early years at boarding school in the west African jungle. 

Sounds exciting, right? Not really. 

Well, it depends on your definition. 

Did I go to ballet, or speech and drama, or hockey club, or zoo trips? No, I didn’t. 

But did I spend hours playing in a treehouse, nestled high up in a beautiful flame tree that blossomed a fiery red in the dry season? Yes, I did. 

Flame tree at my boarding school in Ivory Coast

Did I curl up in a hammock in the shade of the baking noonday sun and devour one Nancy Drew mystery and Babysitters club novel after another? Yes, I did.

Did I cuddle chickens and make worm soup and chase pigs out of my garden with a broom held high over my head? Yes, I did.

I remember the power of the empty space. Because when you don’t have endless entertainment options, you make your own. When you have nothing to miss out on, you don’t feel the need to fill your calendar to bursting. You realise that what you have right in front of you is as magical as anything else. 

Me, 3 years old, in our back garden

Some of us will be struggling with the lack of structure to our lives during lockdown.But what if this empty space could in one offer us an opportunity to take a long, leisurely look at what’s right in front of us? What if with a slow down in pace comes a vision of grace and an attitude of thankfulness? 

What will quarantine teach us here in the Western world? 

It might teach us that margin in our lives is not evidence of missing out but rather a worthy path to chilling out. It might show us that there is creative power to be found in an empty space. It might teach us that quality time and contentment can be found there too. 

It should teach us to respect and cherish those who work tirelessly on the front line, sacrificing their quality of life on a daily basis so that we might keep ours. Their calendar isn’t empty in these times, but fuller than ever. 

Are you feeling hemmed in today? It might help to think of yourself as ‘spaced out’ instead. Because it might sound Irish, but sometimes there’s no gift like an empty present. 

H x

Image by Lina Trochez [Unsplash]

You are not an Octopus!!: the limitations of homeschooling, parenting and working from home.

Some of you parents, grandparents or carers might recognise the following scenario:

You sit down with a freshly percolated, steaming hot cup of coffee… and breathe in the delicious scent with satisfaction. You’ve earned this! Do your first delectable dip of chocolate chip cookie, then –

‘Mummmmmyyyyyy! I’m done!’

You fly [almost literally] to the aid of a preschooler, who is prone to slide off the toilet prematurely in her enthusiasm …


You deposit the three year old somewhere ‘safe,’ then dash to the next room, only to find the next sheepish culprit, who looks like she’s just finished a colour run.

‘I’m so sorry mummy, it was an excellent’ [she means accident.]

Accident of excellent proportions, more like.

As you begin scrubbing a rainbow of colour from your kitchen chairs, the five year old who spilt the paint suddenly decides she is as thirsty as a camel.

‘Mummy, I’m absolutely parched. I need a drink. I need a drink of water NOW. I’ll die without a drink. I can’t wait for a drink. I just CAN’T. Waiting is so hard.’

Operation clean up suspended. You pour said glass of water with a smi – no, let’s be honest – you do it with gritted teeth.

‘Mummmmyyyyyy. I’m stuck!’

Now it seems the little one has got herself firmly wedged behind the sofa. Emerge from Operation Rescue red-faced but triumphant: you found Skye from Paw Patrol while you were in there!

Five year old: ‘Mummy, can we make a castle out of toilet rolls, paint it pink and cover it with glitter like -‘

‘ I AM NOT AN OCTOPUS!!!!!!!!!’

Stunned silence. The first there has been all day.

It’s bittersweet, of course. You shouldn’t have raised your voice. But it’s strangely beautiful all the same. You bask in it for the five seconds before the mummy guilt inevitably kicks in.

Then you remember your coffee.

Ah. Stone cold.

Do you ever feel like shouting this at the top of your lungs?

I am not an octopus!

… I am one person

… with one pair of hands.

… I have a limited attention span

… and a finite capacity for interaction.

… My patience is running thin

… and my creativity is running out!’

I simply cannot be enthusiastic teacher, patient parent, happy housecleaner, caring counsellor, faithful friend, fitness fanatic, bonafide baker and insta-influencer ALL IN ONE DAY.’

Life can feel like that sometimes, can’t it? Some moments in ‘lockdown’ have certainly felt like that for me.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves, and others, that we have limits.

You are not an octopus! You are human. You just have one pair of hands. And sometimes those hands just need to hold a warm cup of coffee in peace and quiet.

Stick on some soothing music and have that cuppa today, if you can – even if it means putting your headphones on and escaping outside for two minutes, while the kids stare wide-eyed through the window at you.

You might just emerge refreshed enough to complete your next mission.

H x

A letter to my ten year old self

My parents did a major clear out recently. They called by the other day with a file full of my primary school work, which up until this point had been gathering dust in their attic. It made for interesting reading – for me, at least! These are what my grand life goals were at the tender age of ten:

‘I’m going to get 10 A*s in my GCSES, have four children and a dog, and live in a big house.’

Wow. Short and to the point, but very revealing all the same.

My tenth birthday

So far, I haven’t achieved any of these lofty goals. But here’s ten little pieces of advice I would offer that wee girl now, over twenty years later:

  • Grades on a sheet are no reflection of the grade of character formation in your life.’ Do your best in everything, but most importantly, do your best to be kind. Kindness trumps achievement, always.
  • ‘Doing something you love imperfectly, but passionately, is much more admirable than doing something you hate to perfection.’ Do what makes your heart sing, not just what others expect you to do, because it might just be what you were created for.
  • Getting something wrong is not a disaster.’ Really, it isn’t. You might believe that lie right now, but you will learn that the real catastrophe in those moments is punishing yourself and talking yourself out of another attempt. How much you will miss out on if you do that! Put your best foot forward and try again. Learn to fail forward. 
  • Being right isn’t the most important thing in life.‘ Eating a slice of humble pie now and again will make you all the sweeter, and you’ll be a much nicer person to be around.
  • Sure, a big house and a fancy car would be nice‘ (no kidding!) But there is far more significance in taking whatever resources you have, and filling them to bursting with love, life, laughter and guests.
  • At times it is useful to be independent and self-sufficient, but it’s equally good to know what is like to receive love and care in times of need.’ Learning to receive others’ generosity requires you to let down your guard and acknowledge that you need support. Not only does this grow you as a person, but it allows others to be blessed as they give to you. Don’t rob them of that blessing by being too proud to accept help.
  • ‘Comparison is the thief of joy.’ I wish I could repeat this a thousand times over! Learn to celebrate the beauty and achievement in others: out loud and on purpose. Make a decision that their joy will be your joy.
  • Think of your life like the perfect recipe, put together by the Master Chef himself.’ God has given you the list of ingredients; He has chosen talents and abilities in specific measures on purpose – all to create something exquisite. Throughout the cooking process, don’t doubt he will rustle up something gorgeous. He’s the expert, after all.
  • There’s a time for everything.‘ A time for tears to fall, and a time for laughter to bubble up from deep places. A time to say goodbye to friendships, and a time to build new ones. A time to lose those you love, and a time to hold them tight. Don’t run from the hard times. They may sting unbearably, but they will also shape you for the better – if you let them.
  • Don’t let your words and actions be governed by how other people will perceive them.‘ Instead of the question, ‘What will they think about me?’ ask yourself, ‘Is this the right thing to do?’ And if in doubt, always do the right thing.

Dear ten year old self, you are much stronger than you could ever know, and more blessed than you could ever appreciate. Seize life with all you’ve got, never stop dreaming, and always be unapologetically yourself.

H x

P.s What advice would you give your younger self today? It might just change the way you think about your life.

Looking for Eden, Finding Home

Finding paradise right where you are

A ubiquitous phrase in our family’s vocabulary is, “Where’s Eden?” My second-born has a habit of rapidly disappearing just out of sight; just out of earshot and just out of view. Her life is a perpetual game of hide-and-seek. I spend a large part of my day just looking for her.

Isn’t it so often the case that as women, parents, partners, relatives, employees or homemakers, we expend huge amounts of our time and energy searching for how we might make:

  • Our image more presentable?
  • Our home more beautiful?
  • Our finances more comfortable?
  • Our family life more peaceful?
  • Our relationships more secure?
  • Our work more fulfilling?

… And yet why does that perfect life always seem just out of our grasp, just beyond our reach?

Here’s the thing: often I’ve chased Eden the whole way around the house, only to find her right back where I began the search.

I think there’s something in that.

Maybe a little piece of paradise is to be found right where you are – in the beautifully imperfect, messy reality of image imperfections, family squabbles, cluttered living spaces and work frustrations.

Whatever it looks like for you, on your search for Eden, try standing still for a moment. You might just find your little piece of heaven right where you are.

H xx

About me

Hello from Northern Ireland, the land of beautiful coastlines, green fields, Tayto crisps, soda farls and potato bread!

I’m Hilary, wife to Bill; mum of two precious girls; follower of Jesus; teacher; lover of books, coffee and all things chocolate.

Who am I?

A 30-something working mum

… who spins too many plates and never fails to smash a few along the way.

A recovering perfectionist 

… who is now ok with smashing the plates (sometimes!)

A (messy) minister’s wife 

… with a disorganised car, house and life. Come into our home and you’ll never once find finesse, but you will always find friendship.

A ditzy ‘doctor.’

… Think Alice in Wonderland … down the rabbit hole … ‘Curiouser and curiouser.’ Well that’s me! I’m short on common sense, a bit quirky, a perpetual over-thinker, a relentless researcher, and a restless wanderer with a woeful sense of direction.

A quintessential people person

… I spent my early childhood in a real life ‘Eden’ – an African jungle to be exact. Not idyllic by any means, but beautifully enriching all the same. I am still a little wild on the inside, though. I don’t like to follow the crowd. But I do love to get to know the people in the crowd. One of my biggest passions in life is people, of every variety. How they tick … how they love … how they live. Separate me from other humans for too long, and I shrivel up. Any day, hour or minute of the week, I would choose people over animals or nature. My friends are paramount to me.

A determined daydreamer

… When it comes to housework, the motivation is simply not there (sorry if that disappoints you!) I do it when I have to, but honestly, I never desire to do it. I’d rather be a scruffy old sage telling a good story than a sparkly ‘Hincher’ doing her laundry. Dreams, on the other hand – nothing seems to stop me pursuing those. My most pressing goal right now is to write down words that are ‘good to think.’ Words that go beyond small talk. Words that matter. Words that interrupt ingrained assumptions and thought patterns. Words that affect how we feel about ourselves and others, and how we see our situations in the light of faith and wisdom.

Whether thought, read, written or sung, words matter. And here are some words that matter to me. A lot

We are all uniquely designed by a perfect Creator. 

We all have something beautiful to bring to those around us.

We are not alone, but there is a contribution we alone can make to this world.

What (or who) am I here for?

I’m here for me

When I became a mum in 2015, I kept myself (relatively!) sane during sleepless nights and endless feeding sessions by scribbling down new things I was learning about life, health, parenting and my faith. From painful moments of realisation, to funny scenarios, to interesting observations – this blog is made up of little snippets from this journal, which began five years ago and continues to this day.

So I’m here for me (because writing makes my heart sing).

But I’m here for you, too (because writing wouldn’t mean a thing if it wasn’t for someone). This blog is for:

  • Those of you who are trying to carve a piece of paradise in the midst of your daily chaos.
  • Those of you who at times feel ordinary, overwhelmed and inadequate in life, and are looking for a way to think differently in those moments.
  • Those of you who walk a tightrope of countless demands, but are still looking for a place where you can be fully, wholly and unashamedly yourself.

I am all those people too, and I’m so glad you found your way here.

I’d love your company. Make yourself at home.

Whether you’re a trail blazer, a rule follower, or someone who just likes to mess about in the grass, there’s a journey of discovery to go on, together.

H x