At KML we love this Aussie girl. She is adventurous and not afraid to take risks. She is our hero because of her boldness and courage. She inspires us to take bolder steps because God is with us every step of the way. Her ability to touch the brokenhearted, discouraged, to the woman who feels invisible and worthless with the life words she speaks, inspires us to do the same. We know you will love her as much as we do. Enjoy!
1.Tell KML about yourself and your heart for women.
Hello! I’m an Aussie girl who loves Jesus and loves my family! I got radically saved at 19 years of age, and ever since then, I’ve lived with a resounding YES to the questions God asks. Btw, I’m 40 this year so do the math!!
It’s taken me down some interesting and fulfilling roads - primary school teaching, youth pastoring, leading women’s groups, having four kids (currently 14, 12, 8 and 5), leading a women’s ministry, building, renovating and subdividing houses, being an associate pastor, speaking at women’s events all around the place, and now, being the senior minister (alongside my amazing husband - married for 17 years this year!) of our 2.5 year old church: Oasis Church. Full hands and full heart.
My heart for women emerged later in life. My Pastor at the time challenged me to ‘do something’. He was worried my potential was going to waste. So I started out with a women’s retreat called, ‘Selah’ with an emphasis on spirit, soul and body. It was an amazing luxury experience with amazing speakers and ministry and great food in beautiful accommodation.
It was then I discovered that I actually did really love women, and found myself wanting to inspire them to rise into everything God has for them! I’m a great cheer leader and encourager of all people - but I especially love watching women rise to the front lines and taking hold of opportunities they never thought they could have.
2. Why is it important for every woman to feel valued and worthy of love?
One of women’s greatest weaknesses is insecurity. It’s such a soul killer. When I watch men, they just really have an overinflated sense of ego! Im generalizing - but I do love that about them! My husband always thinks he looks GOOD, and if I tell him he does, he just stands there for a while so I can admire him for longer!!
Women are much more inclined to be who God designed them to be when they feel secure. Safe. Loved. Treasured. Adored. We are at our best when we KNOW we are loved. The Bible even gives the command that husbands are to be submitted to, but wives are to be loved, the way Christ loves the Church. That’s because women blossom in a safe environment of knowing they are loved. When there is the safety of unquestionable and all encompassing love - the I will never leave you or abandon you kind of love - we can do anything! Anything!
Beth Moore wrote in her book on insecurities, ‘if I can’t be the most attractive, at least i can be the best at something and if I can’t be the best at something, at least I can be the hardest worker, and if I can’t be the hardest working, at least I can be the most congenial, and if I can’t be the most congenial, I can be the most noticeable, and if I can’t be the most noticeable, I can at least be the most religious, and if I can’t be the most religious, I can at least be the most exhausted!
I know we don’t want to be exhausted! What a joy it is for us to just learn the art form of following His loving lead.
3. How do you cultivate a sense of worthiness and value in your own life?
Before I knew God intimately, my self worth was fairly low! It took spending time with God and letting Him speak love and value to my heart and then I began to blossom! I remember once when I was around 25 I was coming to terms with the way God made me. I was crying and telling God all the things I didn’t like about my personality. He spoke so clearly to me, it was almost like a shout! He yelled, ‘you are a purpose built machine’. What a wonderful thing that God has called us all with a purpose, that only we can be and do! That brings my heart such worth and value - my Heavenly Father loves me so much, He has a special message for my life to carry.
Being a senior minister can be a tough gig. At times people’s mouths are full of praise for you, and at other times you become subject to the opposite. I’ve learned to not lean on either. Bill Johnson says, ‘if you rise on people’s praises, you’ll surely fall on their criticisms.’ Spending time with Jesus is definitely the number 1 way I cultivate value in my life. When the criticisms come, there is one who speaks worth and encouragement to my heart.
I also have good people in my corner. People who I trust and have my best interests at heart. Pastor friends who understand my journey, my pastors and I bring my family close too. They know me intimately and still love me! What a miracle! Their love brings me a great sense of value. My parents and siblings have become more and more important to me as I have gotten older.
4. Why do women need community and a place to belong?
Women are incredible beings! We have an innate desire to be in meaningful relationships and our lives are so much richer when we reach our verbal daily word count! Most of us don’t feel content until we’ve got a full run down of what’s happening in our family and friend’s lives.
We fly highest when we have a company of women who cheer us on and celebrate our success with us, or cry their eyes out with us in the midst of pain. Everybody needs a place to belong. It’s a basic need for every human soul - to be accepted and loved, to grow and to make a difference.
After my second baby, I fell pregnant again and lost the baby at 13 weeks. It was more painful than I could ever have imagined. My friends at the time rallied around me with flowers, food, kind words, hugs, tears, prayer, their presence and babysitting. Their kindness helped me process my grief and they were waiting for me when I was ready to start living life again.
I say often, ‘you’ve got to be a friend to make friends’. I literally stalked some women so they would be my friends. It was kinda creepy and some didn’t work out, but some did and I’m super grateful for my risky vulnerability as I have dear friends in my life through some of my creeper moments. So go on... be a stalker. Buy them flowers and food and tell them something you love about them. See where it takes you.
5. If you could give your 20 year old self any advice - what would it be?
I was a pretty insecure 20 year old. I’d probably say to myself, ‘your butt isn’t as big as you think’ and maybe ‘stop wearing track suit pants outside your house’ 😂. By the way, in Australia, we NEVER wear ugg boots outside our homes. It’s a fashion faux pas to the max.
On a more serious note, if I knew then, what I know now - I’d realize that God has a way of making everything work together in a beautiful way, and life has a lovely way of working itself out. I’d also say THANK YOU for the hours of prayer and passion that set a course for my future life.
6. How do you enjoy spending your free time?
Um, is this a trick question? What is free time! Ha. Literally I have to make a choice every week to intentionally step into free time. I’m a natural workaholic and need pretty firm self boundaries.
A great scripture that has meant a lot to me is Ecclesiastes 11:6:
Sow your seed in the morning, and don't stop working until evening, since you don't know which of your endeavors will do well, whether this one or that, or even if both will do equally well.
These days I don’t lock myself too much into just one thing, and therefore I have a lot to do! I try a variety of things to see what endeavor will do well! At the moment, my main work is pastoring, teaching at a primary school now and then, and subdividing a block and building an investment house. We all need to be careful of building an identity based on what we do - and doing lots of things helps me be only identified as a child of God (which is the best possible ‘title’ you could ever have!).
All that being said, whenever we have a night or two free we head to my parent’s holiday home so I can drive the party boat and play cards. Saturdays in the summer, is all about the beach. Oh, and puzzles - I love them!