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Trusting Jesus with my self-worth is a daily decision

This article is part of the #flamfaces series. Say hello to Sarah Haberle of Launceston. My life is a tapestry of God’s love – He has been present throughout every challenge, hardship and joy. I have experienced miracles and bear testimony to the truth that Jesus is alive. My early and late teenage years were up and down times – one minute Jesus was my everything, the next I was enjoying a life spent completely on myself and on whatever I wanted to do. One night, I was out at a pub. It was around 1am and I suddenly felt myself snap into the sober. I looked around the room and realised I hardly knew these ‘friends’ and just as suddenly I knew I was done with a life of emptiness without Jesus. I drove to a friend’s house at 2am and they welcomed me, clothed me and held me as I cried and made the decision to leave that life behind for good and choose Jesus and His love. God is always, always, with me I grew up …

What is #FLAMfaces?

Hello. I just want to let you in on something that’s about to come to fruition in this space in coming weeks. It’s based on this verse: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15. God has been whispering, nudging and hip-and-shouldering me lately towards this project that gives ordinary, everyday people a platform to share about their faith; about their extraordinary God. When I’ve read that verse in the past, I’ve felt somewhat overwhelmed. I’m much better with the written word than the spoken word! But the verse doesn’t specify, does it? It just says, be ready! And anyway, writing helps to cement new thoughts and learnings in the brain, so it comes to mind more readily in conversation. So, I have started asking local folk who live with Jesus as their saviour to do this: to speak  (write!) gently and respectfully about the reason …

My fashion faux pas

I nearly dislocated my shoulder in the fitting room at Vinnie’s. There was this top, you see. Cropped. Long-sleeved. Deep blue. BNWT (that’s Brand New With Tags for the novice used clothing shoppers among you). I plucked it off the rack and flounced into the change room, pulling that curtain fair off its plastic runners. Halfway through I realised things were going badly. Arms were in, but head was not. To push on, or to retreat? Well, I pushed on, didn’t I? Yes, I did. Until, with much grunting and jiggling, I saw light from out of that toddler-sized top, even if my arms were cantilevered from my earholes. I didn’t need to so much as glance in the mirror to know that this was not a keeper. My shoulders were screaming by now… and did I mention I had an audience? Miss Three was looking at me with a mix of bewilderment and fear. Is mummy ok? her wonky eyebrows queried. I was about to holler for scissors when the blasted top let go …

Turning dizzy into delight

She’s spinning. Spinning faster and faster. Red tulle flounces and tubby pink arms are flung wide with abandon. She is squealing. A bubbling, gurgling, ecstatic noise that begins to rumble in me too. We are laughing together. Her spinning. Me laughing, but not. Laughing and cringing at her freedom. She is slowing. Tussled hair settles on shoulders. Tulle lights on knees. Arms drop to sides. And she staggers. “Me so busy, mummy,” she says. “You mean dizzy?” I laugh. Busy. Dizzy. Same difference. I’ve just spun out of a Megasaurus week where events and responsibilities merged one into another into another. There was a fair whack of troubleshooting, of costume changes, of finding a replacement here and a stand-in there. When people asked, “How’s your week been?” it would have been perfectly appropriate to reply “dizzy” instead of “busy”. Same difference. Lately God has pressed a word into my mind. Stamp into wax. Finger into clay. Cutter into cookie dough. The word is DELIGHT. “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the …

A poem. About God. And I’m no poet.

I wrote a poem this morning. I did it during my quiet time. And this is no brag, friends, because I’ve been absent from daily hangouts with my Maker lately. Confession is liberating hey. So I was perusing the scriptures and there was this compulsion to pull out my journal and write. So I did. Interrupted somewhat by a little person who wanted to be on my lap. Then off. Then on. Then crying because I said no. Anyway. This is what resulted. I’m sharing it – not because I think it’s any rival to the likes of Tennyson or Keats – but because it was a creative act of worship, of honesty and oneness that you might like to try. For me, it was just a matter of picking up the pen and letting it lead me somewhere. How do I describe you? You are vapour, whiff, mirage, question mark apparition, something my head so swiftly calculates as void. Sometimes you are here, deep in the core, flame, heat searing outward, flushed face, scalding …

My girly girl, pay parity and other thoughts on being a woman.

As the proud mum of a two-year-old girl, I am privy to the whimsical workings of her sweet little head. She is the personification of joy and we have such fun doing girly things together, like dancing around the dining table to the Frozen soundtrack, picking flower petals for a fresh batch of perfume and making “wiggly worms” from pink play doh. Every night as I tuck her into bed, she insists I tell a story with a “princess in pink dress, pink shoes, pink lipstick, riding a pink neigh.” For the record, I’m allergic to pink, so this has been quite a journey and proof that girly girls are born, not bred. So, as we come around to another International Women’s Day awareness campaign, it is her I think of first. “Be bold for change” is this year’s battle cry to achieve equality with men and, in particular, pay parity. And when I think of my daughter as she flits through the room in a tutu with fairy wand waving, I do want that …

6 Things I want to remember when I’m mum to a teen

I have seven years until I can say that I’m mum to a teenager. I shall relish those years; relish the toddler tantrums, the toilet training and shoelace tying. Because people keep telling me that when kids hit their teens, the rules change. Everything changes. Dark clouds form and the light and shade of parenting becomes more shade than light. Well, I don’t know if you’re all being a little bit melodramatic. To be honest, I’m not the sort to worry in advance about these things. I’ll let tomorrow worry about that. But as I engage with you parents of teens, and you tell me what is working for you, there are so many nuggets of wisdom that I’m desperately trying to retain, to file away somewhere in this lackadaisical brain so that seven years from now, on my son’s 13th birthday, I can pull out that file marked, Useful Tips & Tricks for Mums of Teenagers. I won’t rely on my brain, I’ll rely on my blog. Here is the start of a file …

The Year in Books (2016)

This post is more a personal record than anything else. A look back at the books I’ve read in 2016, the learnings from them, and the way God has used them to expand my Christian worldview. I’ve explained before that I am part of a book club. We call ourselves The Romans 12:2 Project, meet every five weeks or so, and read books that will expand our understanding of God, faith and what it is to be a Christian today. These are the books we read this year… of course, I did read beyond this selection, a few leisure reads (Maeve Binchy, Paullina Simons and even Lee Childs!) and additional recommendations from friends and family (Annette Mace’s book, and I can highly recommend The Grace Outpouring too, by David Roberts and Roy Godwin). But these are the books we discussed: The Gift of Being Yourself by David G. Benner Love, Tears and Autism by Cecily Paterson The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller Farewell Four Waters by Kate …