How do you do it?

I have been asked this question a few times recently and to be honest, most of the time, I feel like I don’t!

I have many hats… I work part time as a Personal Assistant to the Network Leader of the incredible Ivy Church in Manchester, part of the NewThing Network. I’m also currently planning an international conference for church leaders from across Europe to look at how we start a movement of multiplying churches in our nations with Exponential growth.

We have two incredible little boys. Our eldest is 5 and has the most vivid imagination, and our youngest is the cutest & cheekiest little 20 month old. I serve and lead alongside my husband, Ben at Ivy Kingsway, a church meeting in a Cinema here in Manchester. We are passionate about helping people to find their way back to God and I feel like my brain rarely switches off from thinking about ways we can share Jesus in a generation who has no reference for him at all. God has put on my heart to really Encourage and Empower young leaders within our church. Challenging them to find their place and fulfil their purpose within church as well as in their workplaces and with family & friends.

I love my family. I love my church. I love my work.

I have been challenged this week by a visiting speaker Phil Cooke to start to share my story, to share my struggles and successes, to be real and not insta-perfect (which is a much easier thing to do). I’m a photographer and am good at creating an image of life through rose-tinted filters. The picture below is of a beautiful moment on holiday with my boys, but it was after a week of illness for my eldest boy which had followed a series of little family illnesses which went on for months. It was a big celebration after a hard and intense time for our little family unit.


Life can be CRAZY – juggling deadlines, nappies, meetings, homework, babysitters & church events. I often feel like I should just pack some part of it in, but I know that this is just a season where it is particularly bonkers. I don’t do well as a Stay At Home Mum (you guys are awesome by the way), but I find that wearing many hats can be very tricky to do!

As I navigate the day to day juggle, I have to watch that I don’t wish the years away to a day where my children are less dependent on me. I am learning to savour these moments with my youngest before he goes off to nursery in a couple of years, and to go on adventures with my pirate fanatic before Mum is no longer quite as cool.

I can do this, because I am not on my own…

I am immensely fortunate as we live in close proximity of my side of the family. My Father is also my Boss and my Sister, Mum and Nan care for our kids beautifully while I am in the office. I also work with my amazingly supportive husband and with an incredible team of people who are sold out to see this world changed for the Kingdom. I have a few beautiful friends who I know I can always count on if needed for anything – even just to splurge at! I could not do life like this without these phenomenal people. They are my support; my rocks. So I guess a big part the reason I’m able to do any of this is due to them! If you’re one of those people, please know that we could not be more grateful for all the sacrifices you make and love that you show week in-week out to us as a family.


My eldest son has always loved to dress up (it comes from his Mother’s side!). He can be 5 different characters in one day, and often he can be dressed as one character but say he’s being someone else. Similarly, I can feel like I am wearing many outfits and struggle juggling them all. This wardrobe of personas often leaves me with feelings of guilt, frustration and doubt. I know that if I allow them to these feelings will breed into resentment, bitterness and pain.

So I don’t let them.

Instead, I need to claim daily portions of grace, wisdom, peace and patience. I frequently need to remind myself to lean on the one who is the source of these much more beautiful gifts, God. The intentional Creator who made me this way and who has called me according to His purposes. The Father who loves and cares for me so much that He sent His Son to save me.

He is the reason I CAN DO THIS. Even when I don’t feel like it, even when I feel like I’m not doing anything well, even when giving up seems like the best option. He is more than enough for me. I don’t need to do this in my strength but can do all things in Him.

This blog is designed to be a journey of me working some of this stuff through and I hope it helps some of you who can relate to this any way to know you’re not alone!


Keep Your Head

Today I want to explore a little about our words, the language we use, the heart behind it and how keeping your head is not just about protecting yourself but protecting others.

My husband, Ben has been working really hard this week on his vision talk for Ivy Kingsway as well as his final essay of the year for WTC (his part-time theology degree course). Essay weeks are always a crazy one for us as the completion of an essay takes up every remaining minute in a week. It is fantastic to see him thriving and loving studying theology and I wouldn’t want him to stop, but there is an unfortunate understanding in our house that essay week is a write off for family time. Disappointingly, essay week can bring out the Queen of Hearts in me.

Emotions like anger are funny things and can take over very speedily if you let them (and no I’m not pregnant!) Earlier this week I let that anger and frustration out. It all got too much and I really snapped at my eldest son. As I looked at my boy’s fearful face after a speedy & unnecessarily harsh response it completely broke my heart. I need to get better at keeping my head… taking a moment… just to breathe. But there must also be more I can do to help prevent this from happening, and ways to stop when I feel the old red monarch rise up inside.

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)

We’re into drama as a generation – there’s a whole movie genre dedicated to it. We are entertained by seeing people fight, row & ultimately become wounded in some way by the words they’ve spoken or that have been spoken over them. For me, it’s ‘Made In Chelsea‘ or ‘Grey’s Anatomy‘ but for others it could be an intense action movie or high school rom-com. Why do we like the drama? Maybe it is because watching people fly off the handle makes us feel better about ourselves, because surely we’re not that bad!? The Bible says: “What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (Luke 6:45). Words are vessels for power. How’s my mouth been this week, how’s my heart? Seemingly, not too great!

Changing the way you talk will change your heart.” Joyce Meyer

This challenge is a little bit of a chicken and egg situation though, as we need to keep both mouth and heart in check because they directly impact each other. If my mouth speaks words of life then that will affect my heart – and if my heart is aligned with Jesus’ then that will have a direct impact on the words I speak.

So how do we balance these?

  • Speak the language of our Creator, God. He made us in His image and loves us no matter what; whether we return that love or not. He sees us as His children and says we are beautiful, strong, courageous, capable of anything. Are we reading, believing and speaking His life giving words or do we ?
  • Be grateful. We say this to children, but do we say it over ourselves? Are we full of thanks? For our families, our spouses, our work, our homes, our friends? When we start believing and speaking out our thanks we can change the condition of our heart.
  • Read & recite until it goes in. If you’re struggling with something; anger, unforgiveness, pain, insecurity… speaking a better word over your situation, God’s truth can literally be life changing.
  • Spend time with the one who seeks out your heart. Talk to God, read His word, stick on some worship music and just be. He’s in the business of mending hearts!

I guess what my challenge to myself this week is to keep my head… and my heart!


Eternal Purses

Provide Purses for yourself that will not wear out, a treasure in Heaven that will never fail.
Luke 12:33

What am I doing that provides & fills eternal purses?

What even is an eternal purse? A purse that doesn’t wear out, get old, fall apart? A life impacted, strengthened by the weight of the treasure inside that doesn’t corrode or rust?

So often I focus on our family finances and how God will provide for our needs, our treasures. I’ve looked through Luke 12 in the past and I often focus on this challenging passage that comes before the purse reference:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (vs. 22-26)

These words are often such a great comfort as they remind me again & again that God will provide and that I have nothing to worry about… but how often do I go past that comfort of mydirect needs, and look to fill the purse of another.

I can so often hope and pray for “random blessings” – cash in envelopes, bills paid, spontaneous gifts left on our doorstep, but how often am I looking to be the one giving them? Years ago we set up a ‘blessings budget’ as part of our monthly envelope system, but I can’t remember the last time I used it for anything other than regular birthday presents.

What is my ‘much’?

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded.” (vs. 48)

The obvious answer would be just my treasure, my money- the pennies and pounds that go in and out of our account every month. Generosity through finance is an incredible thing to do – literally putting your money where your mouth is, even when you don’t feel like you can do it. We tithe to our church and love supporting some incredible charities, but I feel like my “much” is my finances and some! The pounds automatically go out of our account and get put into a bucket on a Sunday, but what about the rest of the “much”?

When I think about the other “much” I have been blessed with, I think about:

  • My Time
  • My Home
  • My Children
  • My Marriage
  • My Friends & Family
  • My Faith, Grace, Hope, Peace, Freedom in Jesus

It can be easy to focus how those things serve me… like walking around with a great collection of colourful balloons. I enjoy them looking pretty all tied together, holding them tightly in my hand – but what would happen if I let go and passed them on? Have you ever seen a child’s face light up when you pass them a balloon?

Am I doing much with my ‘much’?

I know that I can get five more minutes of peace in an evening if I skip story time with the boys. Having no one over for dinner is a lot less effort than cooking (which is not my strong suit anyway!) Sitting playing on my phone instead of talking to my husband about his busy day is often a welcome distraction. Saying “I’ll pray for you” is a lot more convenient than turning up and actually being there for someone in their time of need & walking it with them. Keeping shtum about the incredible Saviour who I know loves me more than anything is much easier than being bold and sharing that phenomenal message with my friends & colleagues.

How can I create indestructible purses that will make a difference to another’s pocket for eternity?