It Is Well With My Soul

lighthouseEver have those moments in life where you take a pause? Sometimes it’s for a moment, other times for a season, or two. You may have noticed that this space has been a little quiet on here lately. And that’s because I took a pause in life – to work on myself, and The Free Woman (launching in the coming weeks!).

The beautiful thing about a pause is that it allows you to focus on other things and take the time to simply look around and be captured by different things you otherwise wouldn’t have. The hymn ‘It Is Well’ has always been a favourite of mine, as a child and still as an adult. Earlier this month Bethel Music released their new album including a revamped version of this timeless anthem. It’s captured me and been constantly on repeat. The video and lyrics are below.

Whatever season you find yourself, I hope you find the time and courage to say, “It is well with my soul.

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see

And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul

[image: personal, taken somewhere between Melbourne and Tasmania]

Kindness Goes A Long Way

photo1-6ed[pic via Instagram @bethjae]

These days I try to live offline more than online. For me, part of this involves working in a coffee shop at least once a week instead of being cooped up in my home. Working outside of home also means no internet and time for more thinking and writing minus the distraction of, “ooo this YouTube video looks interesting” or “yay, so & so has a new blog post to read” or “I wonder what’s on Pinterest” type of thoughts (HA!).

The other part of this is the human interaction. Simply being in the presence of other humans does wonders for the soul – whether it’s with the waiter, barista, or people sitting at the table next to you.

Today’s coffee shop encounter was specifically notable.

While working away, sipping on latte and eating fruit toast, an older couple started chatting to me: “You’re such a lovely girl. We’ve been watching you working and being kind to the staff… it’s refreshing to see.” They’ve been married for nearly 50 years and were seriously cute.

Sitting on the table amongst my notebooks was an Adore Conference* brochure, which caught the lady’s eye. Upon looking through it she said, “this is something my granddaughters should go to!” So I told her to keep it and that “oh, you should definitely come too!”

They were warm, friendly, and when they left I was reminded that kindness goes a long way. It was through my kindness to the staff that had inspired and a opened a door for them to say a hello, leading to an invitation. I didn’t know that anyone was watching me, and yet they were.

You never really know who’s watching your example, or what seeds your sowing.

Kindness is always fashionable. Offline interaction is definitely more important than the online. And taking the time to talk and acknowledge another person is always valuable – to both people.

Kindness rules.

* Adore is an annual conference hosted by my local church for women. If you’re in Melbourne, definitely check it out! It’s a beauty and so much fun. Trust me, you’ll love it x

Our Lives are a Messy Yet Glorious Grace-Filled Story

photo_1ed[personal image]

Being in community is a wonderful thing. Regularly placing yourself in gatherings and conferences that equip, inspire, empower, provoke, encourage and cause you to grow larger are invaluable.

Last weekend my church, Enjoy Church, held their annual conference. It was an amazing couple of days and I learnt so much. Sometimes we mistake that in order to be “redirected” or refreshed in life we need to take a break and relax. And while that can be the case, and is definitely needed at times, I’ve learnt that it is often through our service and contribution to something greater than ourselves that we actually come alive. That’s what this past weekend was for me. It illuminated areas I need to be more strategic in, gave me a burst of encouragement, truth reigned, and it opened my mind and heart to the bigger picture.

As I stepped away from the weekend and into the new week, wholly reflective upon the monumental weekend that was, the following thought kept nudging…

Our lives are a messy yet glorious grace-filled story. Some people focus on getting the glory, others receiving the grace, and most try to hide their mess. But it’s when you decide to live an honest and vulnerable life before God and people that things change. And He puts a full stop in your story as to say, that chapter has ended and a  new has begun…

We need moments in our lives that define where we’ve been and where we’re going. To live completely in the moments, hopeful in the struggle, savouring the beauty, and expectant for the future. While our lives are not our own,  it is our choices that reveal where our heart is aligned. We may be messy, but through service and vulnerability, allow grace to cover your past and pave the way…

Instructions for a Bad Day

Earlier this month I stumbled across this video and knew I had to share it with you – Instructions for a Bad Day. Included below are the words to the poem. Be inspired, empowered, and calmed. x


“There will be bad days. Be calm. Loosen your grip, opening each palm slowly now. Let go. Be confident. Know that now is only a moment, and that if today is as bad as it gets, understand that by tomorrow, today will have ended.

Be gracious. Accept each extended hand offered, to pull you back from the somewhere you cannot escape.

Be diligent. Scrape the gray sky clean. Realize every dark cloud is a smoke screen meant to blind us from the truth, and the truth is whether we see them or not – the sun and moon are still there and always there is light.

Be forthright. Despite your instinct to say “it’s alright, I’m okay” – be honest. Say how you feel without fear or guilt, without remorse or complexity. Be lucid in your explanation, be sterling in your oppose.

If you think for one second no one knows what you’ve been going through; be accepting of the fact that you are wrong, that the long drawn and heavy breaths of despair have at times been felt by everyone – that pain is part of the human condition and that alone makes you a legion. We hungry underdogs, we risers with dawn, we dissmisser’s of odds, we blesser’s of on — we will station ourselves to the calm. We will hold ourselves to the steady, be ready player one.

Life is going to come at you armed with hard times and tough choices, your voice is your weapon, your thoughts ammunition — there are no free extra men, be aware that as the instant now passes, it exists now as then. So be a mirror reflecting yourself back, and remembering the times when you thought all of this was too hard and you’d never make it through.

Remember the times you could have pressed quit — but you hit continue.

Be forgiving. Living with the burden of anger, is not living. Giving your focus to wrath will leave your entire self absent of what you need. Love and hate are beasts and the one that grows is the one you feed.

Be persistent. Be the weed growing through the cracks in the cement, beautiful – because it doesn’t know it’s not supposed to grow there.

Be resolute. Declare what you accept as true in a way that envisions the resolve with which you accept it.

If you are having a good day, be considerate. A simple smile could be the first-aid kit that someone has been looking for. If you believe with absolute honesty that you are doing everything you can – do more.

There will be bad days, Times when the world weighs on you for so long it leaves you looking for an easy way out. There will be moments when the drought of joy seems unending. Instances spent pretending that everything is alright when it clearly is not, check your blind spot. See that love is still there, be patient.

Every nightmare has a beginning, but every bad day has an end. Ignore what others have called you. I am calling you friend.

Make us comprehend the urgency of your crisis. Silence left to its own devices, breed’s silence. So speak and be heard. One word after the next, express yourself and put your life in the context — if you find that no one is listening, be loud. Make noise. Stand in poise and be open. Hope in these situations is not enough and you will need someone to lean on. In the unlikely event that you have no one, look again.

Everyone is blessed with the ability to listen. The deaf will hear you with their eyes. The blind will see you with their hands. Let your heart fill their news-stands, Let them read all about it.

Admit to the bad days, the impossible nights. Listen to the insights of those who have been there, but come back. They will tell you; you can stack misery, you can pack disappear you can even wear your sorrow — but come tomorrow you must change your clothes. Everyone knows pain. We are not meant to carry it forever. We were never meant to hold it so closely, so be certain in the belief that what pain belongs to now will belong soon to then.

That when someone asks you how was your day, realize that for some of us — it’s the only way we know how to say, be calm. Loosen your grip, opening each palm, slowly now — let go.”

Thoughts on Self-Care & Loving Yourself


“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.” – Deborah Day

More than ever I’m learning the importance of self-care and learning to love myself.

What’s so important about self-care? It refreshes, nourishes, and even stops you from heading to a place of being overwhelmed or burnout. Looking after yourself should not be an afterthought, but rather a lifestyle.

Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent; it’s necessary in order to not only live, but live well. Self-care and loving yourself builds refined character, bold confidence, and causes you to focus on the important and purposeful instead of being distracted by the mundane because you value yourself.

Below are a list of some of the things implemented into my lifestyle since returning home from overseas. Although it may look like a lot, it’s actually not – this is simply the foundational parts. There’s a reason behind them all and more actions and creative flairs flow from each.

[Bethany's Personal Self-Care List]:

Body & Environment:

1. Waking up and going to bed earlier

2. Eating ‘right’

3. Be outside amongst nature, move your body and get that Vitamin D, girl!

4. Nourish and look after your skin

5. Minimising and simplifying belongings and bedroom

Mind & Heart:

6. Reading – current book of choice, “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin

7. Thinking and speaking positive or constructively

8. Being in community – regular coffee or dinner dates with new or already loved friends

9. Discover new music and podcasts

10. Carry a notebook and pen with me to capture thoughts, revelations

Are you purposeful in your self-care? What do you do?

PS: Been pondering this topic a lot lately so expect to see more posts/a series! xo

[image source]