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APRIL - JUNE 2014 • $11.00 Inc GST.

spirit | soul | body

Happy Mother’s Day Women who...

Shine Bright

Dianne Minnaar / Tania Harris / Bel Thomson / Aarksara Foo / Anna Barnes Indulge m a g a z i n e


Editor’s Note A

diamond cannot shine by itself. If placed in a dark room, its environment dominates it; it does not create its own power source that will dispel the darkness. In this surrounding its true nature, beauty and purpose are lost. It is only when light touches the diamond that its true brilliance is revealed. The diamond ‘shines’ as light passes within the gem and then is dispersed in glorious rainbow colours that delight onlookers. For the diamond to be at its most beautiful light must be present. The same can be said for us. For us to reveal our true nature, beauty and purpose, Jesus, the true light, must be present. When we reflect Jesus to the world around us, we are at our best.


Matthew 5:14-16 (MSG) puts it so well… “You’re here to be light, bringing out the GOD-COLOURS in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you LIGHT-BEARERS, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—SHINE! Keep open house; BE GENEROUS with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” SHINE bright girls, shine BRIGHT!

Charissa Magazine

is part of the ILTS Project which seeks to empower women in their journey through life by resourcing them, spirit, soul, and body.

Empower = make more confident; to give authority Resource = source of help; solutions to problems. Publisher Editor-in-Chief Chief Photographer Technical Director Communications & Marketing Website Development Senior Editors Proofing Fashion Editor Food Editor Contributors

ILTS Project Pty Ltd Charissa Steffens Natasha Smith David Steffens Anita Henderson Dan Harding Nicky Hurle • Catherine Johnsen Nicky Hurle • Catherine Johnsen • Anita Henderson Tanya Epis Angela Frost Dr Cris Beer • Aarksara Foo • Gina Hamilton • Tania Harris • Nicky Hurle • Catherine Johnsen • Rebecca McLean • Dianne Minnaar • Candice Schmidt • Bel Thomson • Shannon Upton


Catherine & Alex Johnsen • Photography Natasha Smith Hair & Makeup Erina Merriweather




P: 0405 066 116 E:





Indulge Magazine is published quarterly by the ILTS Project Pty Ltd (ACN 147832906). All rights are reserved and the contents are copyright and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. ILTS Project (“the Publisher”), their related companies and officers herby disclaim, to the full extent permitted by law, all liability, damages, costs and expenses whatsoever arising from or in connection with copy information or other material in this magazine, any negligence of the publisher, or any person’s actions in reliance therein. Any dispute or complaint regarding placed advertisements must be made within seven days of publication. Inclusion of any copy must not be taken as any endorsement of the Publisher. Views expressed by contributors are personal views and they are not necessarily endorsed by the Publisher. All reasonable efforts have been made to trace copyright holders by the Publisher. The Publisher and the authors do not accept any liability whatsoever in respect of any action taken by readers in reliance on the recommendation set out in this magazine. Indulge m a g a z i n e


“You’re here to be light...”

shine! #indulgemagazine #shinebright @indulgemag

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Spirit Two Worlds


Dianne Minnaar

It Started With a Conversation






Tania Harris


Nicky Hurle

I Lift My Eyes


Bel Thomson




Mummy. Mum. Mother


Gina Hamilton

22 38






Aarksara Foo

Candice Schmidt

Organising You



Book Reviews



Gina Hamilton

Body Anna’s Jewels


Catherine Johnsen

A Woman’s Journie




Make An Entrance! Rebecca McLean

Too Tired To Shine?



Mum’s Treat



Dr. Cris Beer

Angela Frost

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Fashion Special



More Than You Could Ever Dream

Shannon Upton





#change your world

5 ways to shine bright

Be Grateful

When we are grateful, it shifts our perspective from lack to fullness. We focus less on what is missing and we look at what we have. Start a gratitude journal, instagram challenge or write some thank you notes to those you love. Psalm 103:2

Be Passionate

Stir up that passion for what is important in your life. God, family, career, creativity, people! Passion brings excitement, joy, pleasure to our days. Remember why you do what you do! Revel in the moment and make today count. Titus 2:14

Be Forgiving

Don’t let people or situations get the most of you. Release your hurts and disappointments to God and allow Him to bring healing. There is no situation He cannot walk you through. Matthew 18

Be You

You are fearfully and wonderfully made! You are not an accident, you are designed and created with love and for a purpose. You are unique and you bring a special flavour to the world you live in. Be you! Psalm 139:14

Be Unified

We are made for connection. Work with those in your world, church, family to make a difference. We are women of influence and together we can change the world. Ephesians 4:4

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Spirit The gift of creativity belongs to God


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Dianne Minnaar Indulge m a g a z i n e


Two Worlds Captivating, contrasting, and contemplative, Dianne Minnaar’s creativity shines bright. Dianne has been a professional artist and calligrapher for over 30 years. Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Dianne and her family immigrated to Australia in 2001. As a migrant, Dianne is conscious of duality; living between two worlds. As you gaze at her work, the Christian journey is told through the imagery and symbolism that Dianne uses. Her resplendent love for art and God is inspiring. Article: Courtesy of Dianne Minnaar Photography: NSP Studio Photography Hair & Make-up: Erina Merriweather

ART HAS LONG BEEN AN INTEGRAL PART of Dianne’s life. For much of the past 30 years, she has spent her days using pencils, brushes, paint and canvas to create images that reflect the glory of God. She grew up in the picturesque harbour city of Cape Town, South Africa. “My love for all things creative was intense from a very young age,” she says. Her interest in art arose from numerous engaging discussions with her father. “He was a creative man. He gave me my first drawing board, palette and easel. It was our back-and-forth conversations about colour, the mystery of God and living a life that was honouring to God that deeply etched and influenced my journey in life and art. He also instilled a strong work ethic in me.” Dianne’s gift of creativity and interest in painting led to an early career in art. She completed her qualifications in Biblical studies and graphic fine art in 1982, majoring in drawing, printmaking and painting. Part of her art study was an intensive on ancient calligraphic text, bookbinding and illustration. “It was this exposure to ancient, illuminated Scripture and early Christian imagery that drew me in,” she shares. In 1984, Dianne married Andre and they settled in Johannesburg. There was ample opportunity to immerse herself in a world of teaching, book illustration and publishing her first two art books while their children were very young. “These busy and creative years were made so much easier by the loving support of my husband, Andre,” she says.


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In 2001 Dianne and Andre made the decision to move to Australia. “It was a big shift in gears, a challenging journey for me and a change in lifestyle for our young family. We immersed ourselves in the Australian lifestyle, waking up each morning with a deep sense of gratitude to God for our safe environment and a new and beautiful country. For me, the journey to a new country sharpened my senses. New surroundings have a way of focusing our attention on areas that may have become blurred or even slightly ordinary, making the world a more illuminated place. My paintings began to be influenced by an awareness of difference, the constant interaction of two worlds: the past — the future, things lost — things found, the old — the new, the familiar — the unfamiliar, the visible — the invisible.” Dianne’s artwork evolved from large canvases depicting Australian landscapes, its flora and fauna, to more sacred Christian imagery. Using ancient Byzantine icons as a reference, Dianne combines ancient Christian symbolism, Scripture, paint, brush and palette to encompass the spiritual and emotional longings that she most wants to express. Her artworks are contemporary interpretations of early Christian art. They are painted in great detail on wooden panels and canvas, using gold leaf and mixed media. The paintings tell deep spiritual stories that evoke a response where words fail. “My greatest joy is to work with colour. Colour overcomes the limits of language and the use of a vibrant palette has

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helped me to become a stronger communicator. I also use an assemblage of torn and broken paper in my artworks. The use of these fragmented papers is symbolic of our brokenness before God. I have always been interested in the discarded, the forgotten and the meanings that cling to the disused,� Dianne explains. These spiritual portraits are contemplative, almost abstract in their design. The hands often carry a natural object as a metaphor for human or spiritual virtues (a lantern for guidance, a lily for hope, an open hand for gratitude). “I want to create art that will enhance, search out and enrich the lives of the people around me. For me, art is a joyous and a sacred thing. It is not only a celebration and tribute to life, but also an expression of praise and gratitude to God. The gift of creativity belongs to God. He calls us to imagine, notice the smells and the sounds, reflect on His majesty and then embed ourselves, with joy and humility, into the work we are creating.�

A lily for hope A lantern for guidance An open hand for gratitude 10

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Dianne spends much of her time in her studio. “I love the stillness of the studio space. It is the place where I can be prayerful and reflective. The studio is where I immerse myself in uninterrupted hours of research and creativity. From the very first line, to the final brush stroke on the most intricate detail, each sacred image is a story formed through layers of vivid translucent colour glazes and contemplative prayer. While books, research and workshops have certainly been useful to me as an artist, the prayerful reflection that I do while working on my own easel is what really shows the way.” “I feel immensely blessed as an artist because I know that the work I do has a lasting significance. These painted stories on wooden panels will continue to speak to many lives about the love of God long after I am gone.” * To see more of Dianne’s work, visit

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Started With a Conversation... Life would have turned out differently for Tania Harris if not for a two-way conversation with God. From sports teacher to pastor; missions worker to homeless youth advocate, church planter to academic dean, there has never been a dull moment. Her ministry, God Conversations, aims to take others on the God-adventure. When not travelling, she is most likely to be found kayaking on Sydney Harbour or climbing a really high mountain and skiing down it! Hillsong is her church home in Sydney, Australia.

Article: Tania Harris Photography: Courtesy of Tania Harris and God Conversations

YOU READ THE STORY like a list of achievements on a resume. The certificates on a wall, the introductions made on a platform, the line given at parties… But that’s not where it begins. They’re rarely shared, those hidden sacred words. Whispers made in tucked away café corners, tearful prayers in shadowed corners, scribbles on the pages of a journal. The God conversations that change it all. A Call It was 1993. I was standing on a football field dressed in one of those rainbow-coloured parachute tracksuits and blowing my whistle at a group of raucous ten-year-olds when I was struck with a disturbing thought: I don’t want to do this anymore. Satisfying as it had been for four years, an uncomfortable itch told me I wasn’t born to be a PE teacher. God, what am I here for? The itch grew into a prayer; the prayer into a conversation that led me away from school teaching to Bible College; the last place I ever imagined I would be. A Crisis I ran out of the church offices, eyes flaring, tears spilling down my cheeks. How dare she say that? My pastor had just given me a brutal appraisal of my performance as leader of the Young Adults ministry. Apparently I was not doing my best. A ‘C plus’ she called it, “You can do so much better.”

It was weeks before the scourge of pain and anger uncovered a truth that was almost impossible to face. My pastor was right. I had not been giving it my all. But why? God, what is wrong with me? Deep within the core of my being, I truly believed a man could do a better job. I was just filling the spot until he came along. It was a conversation that initiated a long search to discover what it meant to be a woman and a leader. An Argument There was only the briefest flash of excitement when I heard his call to plant a church. He spoke of ‘destiny’ and ‘purpose’, but I was filled with overwhelming dread. I’d seen church-plants before. A bedraggled handful of people in a musty community hall putting out chairs week after week that no-one would sit in. This was no romantic ideal. “Take time to prepare” He said. I comforted myself knowing God would never ask me to do this without my husband. After all, single women don’t plant churches! It was a year later when sovereign events propelled God’s words into motion and I was officially commissioned as the pastor of a new church. To my horror I realised there would be no dashing husband riding over the horizon to rescue me from my call. But God, why would you ask me to do this on my own? Indulge m a g a z i n e


The vision came while I was driving home from work one afternoon. It was of a penny farthing - one of those bicycles from the 19th Century with an enormous front wheel. “That’s the old-fashioned way,” He said. “You’re the small wheel at the back, but I’m calling you to a partnership of equal wheels. That means you need to grow - and that can only happen on your own.” As appalled by his answer as I was, I knew He was right. A Revelation The chairs were packed away, the last of the congregation had left and I was alone. That night I had experimented with the sermon. Each small group in our cafe-style setting had been assigned a character to play from the story of the Good Samaritan. Noel’s rendition of the priest had been the best. Who ever thought he could be so funny? We laughed out loud as Jesus’ message of compassion took on 21st century form. It had been a hit with our growing church. It came suddenly. This deep whoop-whoop of joy that exploded inside, filling me with the realisation; I love my calling. I like myself! The journey of surrender and sacrifice had led me to this moment of deep fulfillment. I had come to know who I was. A Preview The dream came just weeks before starting my two new jobs as church pastor and Bible College lecturer... A vision of a place called Hillsong College in Sydney. A secret preview of heaven’s plans. I was being shown through the classrooms. People were studying. A man called my name from inside the staffroom. Somehow he knew me. But why would I be dreaming of a place that (I thought) didn’t exist? “I will bring it to pass before your very eyes”, God said through a scripture while on a trip to Sydney a year and a half later. That same day I was shown around the classrooms of Hillsong College. People were studying. A man called my name and he knew me.

Five years after moving to Sydney where I worked as Academic Dean of Hillsong College, I pioneered a ministry called God Conversations that equips people to have the same sorts of conversations that have shaped my own life. Jesus said his people would recognise his voice, and having heard it, they’d be able to follow it (John 10:27). Six years on I am blessed to receive feedback that my ministry around the world is helping thousands to do just that. Through seminars, church events, and multimedia resources we aim to train everyone to recognise His voice and respond to it! God does nothing without first speaking it (Amos 3:7, Genesis 1:3, John 1:14). When He wants to perform His plans on earth, He looks for those who are listening. Then He speaks. Words of life and power. Words that initiate miracles; that change us from the inside out and take us to places we could never have dreamed. It all starts with a conversation. *


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Be equipped to recognise God’s voice! For the new DVD Study series; The Other Side of the Conversation (seen on FOXTEL), God Conversations podcasts, weekly blog and free new release eBook, The Easy Way to Hear God’s Voice, go to: Follow Tania on and

with special guests

Janine Kubala



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Article: Nicky Hurle Photography: NSP Studio Photography Art:Dianne Minnaar

WE ARE OFTEN ENCOURAGED to dance like no one is watching, to bloom where we are planted, to shine like a beacon; these are just some of the ways in which we can subtly or explicitly direct seekers to our Lord Jesus Christ. There are mountains of books and DVDs, tapes and courses that instruct and inform us on how we can be contagious, purposeful, and friendly in our attempts to grow in Christ and influence those in our sphere into the kingdom. We are surrounded by the presence of God at all times, in a world created and sustained by Him. He is only a prayer away; His plan and covenant available in most bookstores and in all churches. We can read His promises, sing His praises, and petition His mercy to enable us in our daily life as we seek to be Christ to those with whom we come into contact. “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.” Ephesians 2:10 But in the midst of our efforts and evangelism, how aware are we that none of this would be possible if our Lord had not faced, and then entered, a darkness, so thick and black and resonating with evil intent, that He was separated from the Father and abandoned for a three day eternity from which escape must have seemed hopeless. After an ignoble birth in Bethlehem and early years in the country of his parent’s asylum, heralded by angels, attended by shepherds, and visited by wise men, He was brought up in the tiny town of Nazareth, the son of a carpenter, in a family of limited means. We hear little of the life of Jesus between his late childhood and his early ministry, but we assume He was attending temple and learning his craft, laying down the foundations for his itinerant future. An amazing, action-packed, three years of travelling, healing, preaching, teaching, casting out demons, and suspending normality in miracles, is followed by His arrest and trial on trumped up charges before He is sentenced to death by crucifixion at the hands of the Romans. We know of His tortured walk through the streets to the hill, Golgotha… Calvary; the cruel and unusual nails that fixed Him to the cross, then hoisted into the air, hung between two thieves, left to suffer for sins He didn’t commit. It should have been you… me… taking the consequences of our actions, our sinful, selfish, thoughtless actions… but instead HE took our place, receiving in His body the penalties for our sin. “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) And unto the darkness He surrendered… “It is finished!” He cried and into the pit He descended and the whole of creation joined Him as the sky dimmed and “from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.” (Matthew 27:45) At the ninth hour the light returned for humankind, but for Jesus, He knew a


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darkness that we have never experienced; a darkness that not only surrounded, but permeated and pierced Him ensuring true separation from the Father; from that which was three in one, He was one… alone, abandoned, forsaken. What did our Lord endure that He might reconcile us to the Father? What horrors did He experience as He gave His life voluntarily, as He lay down His glory, and took upon Himself the shroud of our iniquity? What did He see, experience, feel, taste, hear? Through the gift of His grace and mercy we will never know; that is our hope and our assurance in God. And on the third day, light filled the tomb and the stone rolled back revealing an empty grave… He is risen! “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55) “In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5) He is risen… He is risen indeed! Knowing this, that Jesus Christ has taken our place, received our punishment, reconciled us to the Father, and is interceding for us even now at His right hand, should we not then urgently desire to be a light to our family, neighbours, friends, and acquaintances? Should we not desire to dance like no one is watching, bloom where we are planted, shine like a beacon, with the love of the Lord so richly extended to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? What might at times seem to be a trial, a narrow path, a difficult road to tread, should be made so much easier as we understand what, in Jesus, our Father has done for us. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16) As Easter draws near once again, I encourage you to meditate on the biblical passages about the crucifixion and resurrection and bring your humble thanks to God; that because of His great sacrifice we can indeed shine brightly in the knowledge of his forgiveness and mercy; that we can go forth and do good deeds, shining a light for those who have yet to receive his grace. * “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Nicky Hurle is currently teaching religion and humanities part-time in Canberra. In between classes, she is studying a degree in Professional Publishing and Writing, through Curtin University in Perth, and enjoying life in the nation’s capital. She enjoys reading, movies, music, and surfing the net and has been married to husband, David, for 31 years. Indulge m a g a z i n e


I Lift My Eyes STORIES FROM THE ROAD; A TRAVELLING MUSICIAN SHARES HER JOURNEY… Article: Bel Thomson Photography: NSP Studio Photography Model: Renee Sampson

As a full time travelling musician and speaker, the scenery and people around me can change a lot. One evening I might be singing on a farm outreach in the countrythe stage being a shed with a tractor next to me, with wonderful, friendly people sitting on bales of hay. The next evening I am a world away in a comfortable city auditorium, with lights, sound and stage. I love getting to know people in these different places and seeing God’s grace displayed in different forms. But sometimes it does seem like things change around me a lot, and I reach for something that will be constant and solid amidst the chaos. Isn’t life just like that? Change is our constant companion. Whether you are travelling like me, or just navigating the seasons of life, we are all on a journey through change. What a relief that the word of God assures us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). I’ve found my faith keeps me grounded and steady, because God is constant in my life, even when everything else may change.


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I have a little travel bible I take with me everywhere, and I have learned that God’s word speaks wherever I am. A couple years ago I was backpacking in Switzerland,

“I lift my eyes to the mountains - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2

when a difficult situation arose at my home in Australia. I felt concerned, worried and upset. I was in a tiny village and home seemed so far away, and I felt helpless to do anything. I knew I needed to connect with God so one morning I walked by myself to find a quiet place to unburden my heart. I sat down at the edge of a small river, and as I looked around me I realised on every side I was surrounded by magnificent Swiss Alps, still covered in snow. It was a breathtaking sight. I’d been reading through the book of Psalms on that trip, and I was up to Psalm 121. That morning I read these words: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2). As I read those words beneath the Swiss Alps, I thought of the One who created the mountains. It was like He was saying “C’mon Bel, look at what I’ve made, don’t you think I can handle the burdens of your heart, and the things going on back in Australia?” I was profoundly reminded that I could trust God. I love that no matter where we are in the world, no matter what issues we’re dealing with, or how far we go, we can find God there. His word is alive, active, and constant in an ever changing world.

Beneath the Swiss Alps that morning I learned to say “I lift my eyes” …above the circumstances, above the worries, above the people and stresses that draw my attention and fuel anxiety. “I lift my eyes”….onto the truth of who God is, choosing to believe His promises and rely on His word. “I lift my eyes”…for “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2). *

Bel Thomson is an award-winning Australian singer, songwriter, and speaker whose ministry takes her to conferences, schools, camps, outreach events, and Christian churches of all denominations. To listen to her music or enquire about bookings visit To connect with Bel’s ministry: and Indulge m a g a z i n e



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how much fun can you take? mainly music is a fun, interactive music session for families with young children that can be convened with a small financial investment and a committed team. No one needs to be musical or have a teaching background. Each mainly music is accountable to their local church who establish the group as part of their community outreach structure. The mainly music concept saves reinventing the wheel and helps to keep focus on the deliberate goal of church to community connection.

a story A mum, who identified herself as ‘atheist’, sat with tears streaming down her cheeks as we sang ‘God Made Me’ this week, with her children participating alongside. Her partner has walked out. She’s grappling with ‘who loves me now?’ UPDATE: You know our ‘atheist’ mum … She came up to me at our carols’ event and told me that she’s decided that she and the kids will come to church from the start of 2014!!! Praise God! He’s doing something awesome in this girl.

what is mainly music for a church? • • • •

It’s the side door into the church. It’s the place for community to be created. Families don’t find authentic community through Facebook. Families can be cared for and find real friendship through their involvement in the group. Families find life hardest when they have toddlers and teens – mainly music provides a connection point for families with toddlers! The church connects, so easily, with the community through mainly music. It’s not a daunting proposal. It’s a place where faith can be explored. For many churches, it’s a starting point for the church to connect with families who have young children.

don’t miss out – contact us for more information today In Australia, phone 1300 668 496 or email for our information package. In New Zealand, phone 0800 424 552. Elsewhere in the world – Indulge m a g a z i n e




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Mummy. Mum. Mother. Article: Gina Hamilton Photography: NSP Studio Photography Hair&Make-up: Erina Merriweather Special thanks to the Johnsen, Hamilton, Henderson and Merriweather Families.

“YOU WILL HAVE CHILDREN” were the sweet and unambiguous words breathed by the Holy Spirit into my ears in mid-2008 while in attendance at my church’s weekend retreat for women. At the time we were viewing a Priscilla Shirer teaching DVD on hearing God’s voice. That same breath dispelled the enemy’s lies that filtered through the doctors who told me about my supposed fertility difficulty and threatened to put me through an emotionally arduous IVF journey if I so desperately wanted to have a baby. That same breath carried a promise of birthing healthy and whole children so that when my obstetrician asked me during one of my weekly first trimester scans whether I was anxious about my growing baby’s survival, given that I had two previous miscarriages, I answered him, “This child belongs to God. It’s up to Him what happens to it.” God’s faithfulness to His promise came in the form of three blessings; Jesse (2010), Angus (2011) and Susannah (2013). And I am a mother. Motherhood. It’s a privileged club that one joins with child/ren in tow. We find any excuse to get together: play dates, playgroups, Mainly Music, ballet, and any kind of sport. Really, any activity that involves interaction for the children and coffee for the mothers. For the stay-at-home mum, often it’s the lifeline to getting out of the house to socialise with other mums. There is something therapeutic about getting together as a community of mothers. I coordinate a mothers’ book club in my local area with the idea that we somehow, amidst the intermittent distractions of our


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young children in our shared space, huddle in my lounge room with the sole purpose being to discuss the novel we’ve all just read. On one such book club occasion, my husband, who conveniently stashed himself away so us mums could talk, reemerged after everyone had departed to ask me, “So do you actually talk about the novel? It seems that you talk about everything else but [the novel]”. That is probably true. There is something that comes naturally to mothers who have that common interest of our children. We talk about them – our challenges, our successes; what works, what doesn’t. For the record, my book club does discuss the novels we read (for at least 40 per cent of the time anyway!). I often have a little chuckle to myself at the TV ads where an obviously “busy mum” starts her promotion of whatever product she’s selling by saying, “as a busy mum...” Surely this is a cliché because what mum is never busy? We do household chores, run errands, taxi our children around and, additionally, some of us undertake paid work. Other mothers I meet for the first time, upon learning that I have three children under the age of four, will often comment on how busy my life must be. Sure, some days are more hectic than others but I wouldn’t swap the privilege of being a mother to three beautiful children for all the tea in China (personally I prefer coffee, but you still get the idea!). Motherhood has taught me a great deal about myself and my insufficiencies. I have had to work on becoming more patient with my children and to just let go of the things that don’t get done in my day, despite my efforts with efficiency and organisation. So what if the ironing doesn’t get done today? It will still be there tomorrow and just maybe, the day after that! Any perfectionist tendencies I may have once had have long since gone and I have learnt not to “sweat the small stuff”. My home is far from being in a state of “designer house” order, the evening meal is typically a “one pot wonder” and there is definitely some mould growing in my shower! The memories of the carefree life I had before children are slowly fading and being replaced by


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moments that are now predominantly guided by kid-friendly experiences. To be considered are such things as where are the best local parks to visit, how long can I spend at the shopping centre before my children become restless, what take-away options contain the least amount of saturated fats and sugar, and which programs on ABC 4 Kids are of any personal benefit to my children? Yes indeed, my life has significantly changed since having children. Becoming a mother has stretched me outside my comfort zones and given me a perspective of what’s really important. In the Godordained role of a mother I believe it is my duty to raise children who will know God by loving and serving Him in their lives. My husband and I have dedicated all three of our children to the Lord. At each of their dedications they received a profound prophetic word spoken over their lives. I look ahead with great anticipation to see my children grow in their identity in Christ and as each activates the spiritual gifts that God has already placed within them. “Her children rise up and call her blessed” (Prov 31:28a) - such is the mother of Proverbs 31! When the Holy Spirit very deliberately and vividly imparted His promise of children to me less than six years ago, I did not yet know that the role of a mother, despite its daily challenges, would be one that is adding to my life a sense of fulfilment, achievement, gratitude and, of course, a constant revelation that I am a very blessed woman. Mummy, Mum, Mother - whatever you may be called by your children, know that you are loved and valued this Mother’s Day for, as a Proverbs 31 mother, you are called blessed. *

Happy Mother’s Day!

We have three books from Author & Mum Suzie Botross to giveaway for Mother’s Day.

TO ENTER EMAIL us at and tell us one of your great mum moments. Entries close Friday 9th May 2014 5pm (AEST). Winners will be notified by return email.

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You are called blessed.

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Designing women conference s at u r Day 2 5 t h o c t o b e r 2 0 1 4

“lIvInG lIfE GOD’S wAY, h Av I n G f u n I n T h E m I D S T O f I T… ” OuR 2014 InSpIRInG GuEST SpEAkERS




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More Than You Could Ever

Dream Singer/Songwriter Aarksara shares her journey of stepping out of the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Article: Aarksara Photography: Courtesy of Integrity Media Australiasia, Anastasiia Photography Š

MY MOTHER NEARLY MISCARRIED ME and doctors thought I was born deaf; but by the grace of God, I am alive and healthy. I was born in Singapore, lived in Bangkok, Thailand, for a few years, and migrated to Perth at the age of eight. I have also spent a few months living in Manhattan, New York City as well as Calgary, Canada. I was raised in a Christian home and was taken to church and Sunday school as a child growing up. It was always fun singing and listening to Bible stories. However, my impression of Jesus was that He was just a tall man with a beard in a white robe. It was not until my final year of high school that I had my first encounter with Jesus, in the middle of crying out to Him to help me break out of the condemnation and guilt I was feeling.


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From that day on, I knew God had not given up on me and never will. The Word of God became alive and active in my life giving me a fresh hunger for God every time I read it. Ever since that encounter, my life has never been the same. Every page of God’s word I read brought fresh revelations and I could not help but to keep reading and allowing the Word to renew my mind. I knew I had a purpose living on this earth. I have always loved music and writing songs and had performed at various fundraising concerts and musicals all throughout my school years. However, I always thought it would be impossible to ever live out the dream of producing and writing songs that would inspire and encourage people across the world. Above all, my biggest desire was to write songs that would glorify God and spread His love and good news.

I have always loved helping people in need and I knew that this was just one way of sharing God’s love. In 2011, I went on a mission trip to an orphanage in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which changed my perspective on several issues. Something stirred within me, and my heart yearned to show these children that there is still hope and that nothing is impossible with God. All it takes is belief and faith. I continued serving in various ministries back in Perth, which included singing at a beautiful nursing home nestled on the Indian Ocean coastline. Honestly, it wasn’t always easy to sing weekly to an audience who were half asleep most of the time, but I knew it was one way where God could use me to minister to these precious aged people. I’ve also visited Ronald McDonald House in Perth a few times. Seeing the children’s faces light up with joy when I sang to them was very rewarding. I was enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Western Australia. Despite studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship at university, I never really enjoyed the course, but nevertheless, by the grace of God I pulled through and graduated in 2012. Upon graduation, I went on to complete an external Songwriting Course with Berklee College of Music, Boston, USA. It was during my final year of university when the loss of a loved one stirred me to write a song: my first independent single entitled ‘Unshakeable’. I remember being so blessed with the support of the local Christian radio station in Perth when I first released that single. Shortly after releasing that single, I went through an operation on my back, from which I took nine months to fully recover. During those nine months I had many dark nights. I was physically and emotionally weak and it was in those moments where I began to write more and more songs. I thank God for His healing power. Following on from that point, I was offered an opportunity to partner with Integrity Music Australasia as one of their artists, which has been such an honour and privilege. I was very blessed to have recorded and produced my debut album ‘Made It Through’, alongside Grammynominated and Dove Award winning producer Rusty Varenkamp as well as Colin Mills from Closet Audio Productions Australia. Many of the musicians that played on the album were people that I have grown up listening to and who have played on some of my favorite records. After recording and production in Franklin, I flew over to Manhattan, New York City to do the album photo shoot. I have faced many obstacles on my journey so far. Firstly, several people had doubted my choice in pursuing music. Some did not think I had the ability to write and produce a full-length album. But in my heart, I knew this was my passion and my calling. There was even a snow storm in Nashville at the time I was there, which made it seem impossible for me to fly into New York City. However, praise God, He calmed the storm, which allowed me to fly over to Manhattan and complete the photo shoot! As the word of God says: “If God is for me then who can be against me?” That has really helped me persist on this journey, knowing that I do have God on my side and everything will be ok.

I must say that one of the biggest obstacles on this journey was entering into the music scene as a virtual “unknown”. Another obstacle has been the costs of embarking on this journey, not only financially, but also emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Despite the challenges, and trying to count the costs, I just could not ignore the call of God upon my life. I knew I needed to take this step of faith. I believe that when you are faithful with what God has given you, He can do more than you can imagine. Fast forward a few months on and as I sit and reflect, I cannot help but be grateful for my journey so far. I have had the opportunity of guest worship leading, and launching my album at the “Just For Her Conference” in Perth, Western Australia, with guest speakers Pastor Darlene Zschech and Pastor Maree Dejong. It was amazing to sit under their teaching and to serve at the same conference with two mighty women of God. It was surreal to see the congregation at the conference sing along with the songs off my album. All glory and praise to Jesus! I have also recently partnered with Compassion Australia as one of their artiste ambassadors. I am excited to join them in helping children and participating in their vision of “seeing children released from poverty in Jesus’ name!” I’m still on this journey and I know there are many lessons yet to be learnt and experiences yet to be enjoyed. But I do want to encourage you that if you just dare to step out in faith and have the courage to live out God’s calling upon your life, He will do exceedingly and abundantly more than you could ever dream or hope. * For more information about Aarksara you can visit her website at


We have two copies of Aarksara’s debut album “Made It Through” to give away. TO ENTER EMAIL and tell us the name of Aarksara’s first single. Entries close Friday 30th May 5pm (AEST). Winners will be notified by return email.

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r! a e y r u o y be r a e y s i h t Let Article: Candice Schmidt Photography: NSP Studio Photography Model: Renee Sampson

“Shine brightly, so you can help those who have not found their way through the darkness.” J. Fry


“Do all things without grumbling and fault-finding and complaining; so that you will show yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights in the dark world.” Philippians 2:14-15 God in us shines bright in a dark world. Living for God looks different to how the world lives. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

THE POPULAR SONG “SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND” resonates through the airwaves and tugs at my heart’s desire to shine and reflect God’s light; to live freely and flourishing in heaven’s purposes. Then there are the tough days, challenging moments, when life feels hard and I am tempted to shrink back into the shadows.

Dr Seuss asks “why fit in when you were born to stand out?” You are needed! This world is full of hopeless, despairing, desperately lonely and unhappy people chasing after things to relieve their pain and meet their needs. With God we have answers. We are supernaturally empowered to live life well.

There is an internal struggle as the enemy of my soul relentlessly tells me I am inadequate, reminds me of past failures, and magnifies my fears and insecurities. Yet the gentle whisper of God speaks to my identity, calls me daughter, warrior and friend. He reminds me of how powerful He is and invites me to trust Him, to rest in His eternal plan, to receive His love and power. I can choose to believe the lies and shrink back or believe God. Time in His presence infuses a heavenly perspective that enables me to rise up and shine.

Let your light shine

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1. Live above the atmosphere around you: We can either come under the influence of the darkness around us, letting culture affect our thoughts and feelings or we can be people who shift the atmosphere. We can release God’s presence wherever we go, bringing joy and hope. We lead in His strength and wisdom and we live loved, able to love others. We have access to God’s power, wisdom and all of who He is.

2. Rise up:

10. Be Real:

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. We will face challenges; it is how we live in the storm that sets us apart from others. God’s plan is for us to be overcomers! In Him we can “Arise, shine, for your light has come…” Isaiah 60:1. Our tests become our testimony that not only glorify God but build our faith and character.

We don’t have to be perfect to shine. It is our authenticity, our vulnerability, and our faith that shines. Find your passion, live your dreams. Do what replenishes your soul. Have a vision that includes investing into the lives of others. *

3. Let God restore: We were not saved simply to get to heaven. We were created to live whole, healed and free. Encountering a holy, powerful, loving God transforms and empowers us to live lives that honour Him and bring heaven to earth. Living by God’s design brings an abundant life filled with the fruits of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and selfcontrol.

“Your life has PURPOSE Your story is IMPORTANT Your dreams COUNT Your voice MATTERS You were born to make an IMPACT” Christine Caine

4. Take responsibility: We need to manage ourselves well. Be honest about the problems in your life, take responsibility and get help where needed. Denial and fear keep you from victory. If the cycle has been going a while, it might be bigger than you but it is never bigger than God. 5. Be an encourager: People need courage. Look for the good in others. Ask God to show you how He sees them. Believe the best and speak words of life over yourself and others. 6. Persevere: Don’t give up! Our spiritual enemy fights us every step. Trust in God who makes the impossible possible. The miraculous is His specialty. The great bible stories are about ordinary people who dared to believe in what God could accomplish through them. 7. Choose your friends wisely: Who is speaking into your life? We usually choose friends who are similar to us but to grow we need people who have strengths where we struggle. Bad at finances? Find someone who saves and invests their money well. Struggle with sexual sin? Be around those who walk in purity and integrity. Some battles we face are generational. Winning the battle means not only freedom for us but for the generations to come. 8. Smile: Smile, it brightens your face and the room; laugh, it is medicine for the soul. In a world of grumpiness and stress, a friendly face is refreshing and creates a bridge connecting us to the hearts of others. “Joy comes from Jesus, happiness comes from happenings.” K. Vallotton 9. Shine, don’t whine: It is so hard not to fall into the complaining trap. Choose to notice the blessings. Take time to be thankful. Notice the beauty around you, savour that latte, and choose to be fun to be with.

Candice desires to see people thrive in every area of life. She has a Degree in Psychology and a Diploma in Counselling. She has been married for 18 years to a Paediatrician and they have lived in several countries but have called the Gold Coast, Australia home for the past five years. They have four children between the ages of 6 and 14. Her passion is to “Live well, laugh often, love much”. She loves to help people live to their full God-given potential: spirit, soul, and body. She is a trained facilitator of ‘Toolbox Parenting’ . Indulge m a g a z i n e


What to Wear? Clearing the Spiritual Clutter Out of Your Wardrobe Article: Shannon Upton Photography:


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“Have you worn it in the past year?”

Fill It Out

That’s the question we’re supposed to ask when weeding out our old clothes, right? Unfortunately, it’s a pretty easy question to get around: “No, but I didn’t have a reason to wear something that dressy. No, but I’m still losing a little pregnancy weight. No, but I still like it…” And so we find ways to keep our wardrobes chock full of things we’re not actually wearing—things that cause us spiritual clutter.

Next, take a look at those things you really love but don’t wear, and ask yourself, why not? It’s time to fill out your wardrobe by going shopping for the things you need so you can wear the things you love.

When you look in your closet and think, I don’t have anything to wear!, that frustration clutters your spirit. So do your guilty feelings about clothing that’s too small (I’ve got to drop those five kilos) or too expensive (I never should have bought that). Worse, you’re setting yourself up for spiritual clutter all day long when you’re “ready” for the day but feeling frumpy, or under-dressed for an event, or feeling just plain, plain. God loves us dearly no matter what we’re wearing, but the Bible shows us that He understands how our outer appearance can reflect our spiritual wellbeing. Whole chapters in Exodus describe the priestly robes made for Aaron to “give him dignity and honor” (Exodus 28:2). Proverbs 31:22 describes the Wife of Noble Character as “clothed in fine linen and purple” to reflect her competence as a woman, wife, and mother. Jesus himself is described as wearing purple as our King, white as our sinless example, and red as our Savior and Redeemer. When you get dressed in the morning, you are clothing a beloved daughter of God, one who deserves to look and feel great! So, when you organise your wardrobe, I want you to have one question in mind, and it’s not “Have I worn it in the past year?” When you clear out, fill out, and lay out your wardrobe, challenge yourself with this question instead:

“Do I feel great in this?” Clear It Out

Maybe you have a fabulous blouse that just needs a super dark wash pair of jeans to go with it. Or a dress that you could still wear out for fun if you had a more casual pair of matching shoes. Maybe a bright pair of pants needs a simple white top and fun chunky necklace to make it work. Make an actual shopping list and fill out your wardrobe with a few wonderful, complementary pieces.

Lay It Out Finally, you’re ready to organise your wardrobe! Try organising your closet in a slightly untraditional way: store everything that’s out of season (even shoes, accessories, and clothing you would normally leave hanging on the rod) in your dresser, under your bed, or up high in your closet; then place some inexpensive shelving under your newfound extra rod space. This way, you can arrange everything that you have to wear this season in that one location, completely visible. Now that you’ve reduced your wardrobe to only your best options, you won’t have to squeeze everything in, making it hard to view and even harder to access. You’ll be able to lay out your wardrobe in such a way that you’ll be overwhelmed with your great choices for the day! Your clothing truly can help you to shine bright for Christ as His ambassador! When you dress yourself as a beloved daughter of God, you’ll be clothed in dignity and honour each day. You’ll be in outfits that make you feel so great you’ll forget what you’re wearing and remember Whose you are! * *If you’d like a more detailed list of things to ponder when you’re cleaning out your closet, check out “The Closet Clean-Out” on

First, pull everything out of your closet and drawers: shoes, jewellery, scarves, and all those clothes. Spend some time in prayer and get ready to let go of anything that doesn’t make you feel like the special, loved, beautiful woman of God you truly are. Decide that God created you to be beautiful and you deserve to feel that way! Emotionally attached? Journal about it or hang a picture of you wearing it, then let the actual item go. Spent too much? Forgive yourself and give it away so another daughter of God can look great in it. Too small? Pack it away if you must, but don’t leave it out where it will get you down. Worn out? It’s had a good run, but it’s time for you to shine in other things. Just not quite right for you? Let it go. Clear out anything that’s going to block your view of the great options you do have.

Shannon Upton is a public speaker, writer, and author of Organizing You: Finding Your Spiritual Clutter and Using Organization to Clear it Out. A former high school math teacher, she now teaches women how to clear out the clutter in their schedules, homes, and spirits. For more information about Shannon’s ministry, check out

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Books Reviews by Gina Hamilton

The Language of Flowers VANESSA DIFFENBAUGH

Victoria Jones is 18 and has just been emancipated from a lifetime spent in foster care, leaving her traumatised and lacking self-esteem. Now homeless and without any real motivation to make something of her life, Victoria’s talent for understanding the language and meaning of flowers is discovered by a local florist. She uses her gift for helping clients express their emotions through the flowers she selects for them. While gaining this newfound selfconfidence in her abilities, Victoria is continually grappling with her past regrets, feelings of inadequacy and her lack of connectedness to any one person. The Language of Flowers is a page-turner which draws readers from its very beginning into a tale that is both heartbreaking and redemptive. Victoria’s story alternates between her past experience as a foster child with her present, which becomes complicated when she reunites with a flower market vendor who shares her knowledge of flowers and puts her feelings of mistrust and rejection to the test. Victoria’s past eventually catches up with her present and she must learn to forgive and be forgiven so that new beginnings can be made. The novel presents very likeable characters who engage with Victoria in encouraging her to make promising choices in her life. At the end of the novel readers may be left with a lingering feeling of hopefulness as this story will stay with them long after it’s been read.

Hosting the Presence: Unveiling Heaven’s Agenda Bill Johnson

One of Bill Johnson’s more recently written books, Hosting the Presence is sure to cause its readers to awaken to the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives and aim to become deliberate in responding to His manifestations. The overall impression of this book is that God endears us to have His presence and that we should be grateful towards the Holy Spirit for dwelling in us. Johnson makes an example of Old Testament figures that had life-changing encounters with God. It is evident that God simply wanted to be with them and make a profound impact. Johnson shares some of his own extraordinary Holy Spirit encounters and has also designated the final chapter of the book to sharing the stories of some notable revivalists such as Smith Wigglesworth and Charles Wesley. Evidently, Johnson advocates that the magnitude and impact of the Holy Spirit’s activity is not restricted to time or place. Hosting the Presence is a “pick up, read and put down regularly over the space of a month” kind of book. It is not an overly heavy read but is one that requires undivided attention in order to absorb its content. Bill Johnson’s doctrine is indeed very powerful as he teaches concepts in such a concise and poignant fashion. His book is destined to expand his readers’ spiritual minds and make them hunger for more of the Holy Spirit’s presence in their lives.


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If I should write a story about myself, what would I write? Shall I write about the person people see me for? Or, the person they know me for? Or, the person I know me for? Or, the

person I think I am? Or, the person I know I am? Or, the person who has done all those “things� I still get accused of? Or, the one who God sees? The one He sees through Jesus? The old life is gone, a new life burgeons! Look at it! So I will write my story and I will start right here where I live.

Anna Schonfrucht Indulge m a g a z i n e


The Business of Fashion 38

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Anna’s Jewels Article: Catherine Johnsen Photography of Anna Barnes: NSP Studio Photography Anna Nova Photography courtesy of Anna Barnes

MEET ANNA BARNES: former lawyer turned fashion designer and mother of four. Her energy is contagious, and her story is inspiring, as Catherine Johnsen writes…

Anna Barnes opens the door with gusto and greets me with a big smile and a barrage of words. “Sorry! I didn’t hear you knocking. I’ve dropped the twins at school and now Harrison [her toddler] is off to playgroup with Nanna. Come upstairs!” She trots up the stairs, her long, dark pony tail bobbing in time with her steps and her bohemian style pink earrings, which she designed herself, swinging merrily. Upstairs, her newborn baby is happily bouncing in a jolly jumper while Anna serves me potted tea and cake. All the while she enthusiastically shares about how she left a successful career as a lawyer to follow her creative heart to fashion design. “I worked in medical defence law for eight years, after doing a law degree at uni,’ Anna explains. “But I felt like I was dying.


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“Having to bill the client every six minutes, being stuck in an office reading case after case, working weekends; it just didn’t suit my personality. I knew I wasn’t going to do law forever, but it meant I had something to fall back on, if I needed it.

“Do I miss it? No. Although I did love getting dressed up and going to court,” she laughs. Since walking out of the courtroom, Anna has been an industrious woman. She has designed 19 seasons worth of jewellery, handbags, scarves, and other fashion accessories, which can be found at stockists across Australia and New Zealand. She has also had four children, including a set of twins, to her husband and business partner, John. “I don’t need much sleep,” Anna admits. “That’s my secret.” “Lots of my ideas come when it’s really quiet and I can just sit there in the silence when everyone’s in bed, including John. I can’t switch off at night, so after I’ve prepared the lunches, school uniforms, and everything for the next day, that’s when I do my best work and am the most productive.” Initially, Anna and John ran their business from home – beginning with an affordable range of jewellery and accessories under the label Anna Nova. Just eight years later, Anna employs six staff and has moved the business to a warehouse. She has also added two more boutique fashion labels featuring her unique designs – Journie handbags and Ella Grace jewellery and accessories. “I’m constantly taking photos on my phone for inspiration,” she shares. “A pattern or a design or a print might catch my eye. I also look into what’s in season and on trend, but you’ve got to get the timing right.

seasons, what’s done really well for us is the gold and silver matt plating. Another season we embraced the bohemian look. There’s so many different looks that we can do; but we’ll reflect on what did really well and what our customers liked. Then we’ll expand on that. “If I just designed items that I liked, we’d probably be broke. You’ve got to get those ideas out of your head about what you like and what you want – it’s about what the stores want and what the people want.” As Anna stops to feed her baby, I flick through the glossy catalogues of Anna Nova, Journie, and Ella Grace designs. I have to ask her something that’s been on my mind since the interview began: how do you do it all? Her answer is refreshingly honest. “I don’t. I prioritise, because I know I can’t do everything. Thanks to my law background, I’m good at managing my time, and so I delegate those things that I don’t have time to do, otherwise they simply don’t happen,” she confesses. “For example, I don’t want to spend all my time at home cleaning, because that’s a waste of my time when I could be doing something more important. And so I do a small amount of cleaning and tidying every day, but I don’t go crazy shining the stainless steel or polishing the wood grain. “I think to myself, ok – what are my priorities? And for me it’s God, my family, and the business. Those are the things that I want to do really well.”

“I’ve always loved colours and prints and designs and I try to find unique fabrics each season. I’d like to go to Japan to look at new fabrics, but I keep having children so there hasn’t been time!” Anna says the design process takes a considerable amount of time and sometimes she needs the pressure of a deadline to make sure it all comes together. “I often leave things to the last possible minute because I work best under pressure. I’m always thinking about the designs, but in terms of actually knuckling down and putting pen to paper... I quite like stress, I don’t crumble under it. I produce better results when I’m under stress than not.” Each season Anna begins with an inspiration board, a sketchbook, and a desire to create something truly unique. “My aim is to design something special that people can’t find in Diva or one of those accessory shops. It’s about creating a totally unique item… something that will set us apart from everyone else,” Anna says. “I look at what sold well last time, keep that in mind and then build on that. So for a few seasons it was the antique, rustic style accessories. But for the past two

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I tell Anna she should be very proud of all that she has achieved, but she humbly brushes my compliment aside with a wave of her hand. “When you’re doing something you’re passionate about, it doesn’t feel like work,” she says. “The best part is walking past someone, like at the movies or on holidays, and seeing one of our accessories on them and thinking, ‘That’s one of ours!’. But it doesn’t really sink in for the most part. You’re just doing your thing and living your life.” Anna also acknowledges that God’s favour and guidance has always been part of their business success, and that the Holy Spirit leads them to new ideas. “I’m always asking God for ideas. Is there anything we could do better? Where should we go from here?” Anna says. “One of my short term goals is to design some clutches to go with our evening jewellery. That’s the one thing that I think we’re missing from our range.” Our pot of tea is empty, but before we finish, I ask Anna for some advice for women who are wanting to live out God’s unique calling on their lives. “My advice would be to stay focused on what it is that God has asked you to do. Don’t compare yourself with other women; it steals your joy. When we’re constantly comparing, we lose sight of our visions and goals,” Anna answers. “I’m not going to be the best gardener, and I’m not going to be the super fit mum, so I don’t put that pressure on myself. I don’t compare with other people. I don’t say, ‘I wish I was good at that’ or ‘maybe I should do that’? I don’t take on that guilt. I’m running my race here and I’m not worried about what everybody else is doing or not doing.” “But it is important to be encouraging of other people and their journey; be happy for them, rather than feeling guilty because you’re not doing the same thing. Be content with where you are. And if others are being blessed or going on a holiday or starting a new venture, get behind them!” I get up to leave, thanking Anna for her time, but she won’t let me go without a sample of her beautiful jewellery, and a new handbag. I am overwhelmed by her generosity and I find out that she regularly donates both products and money to a variety of charities, including the Hope Foundation. “Giving is a priority for us, especially when it’s to help women, as that is the industry that we’re in. We want to give something back.” *


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Are you considering a new venture? Here’s Anna’s tips for successfully taking the plunge: • Understand your target market. • Know what your skill is and what you want to achieve. • Be consistent – stay true to your unique product or service. • Grow organically – expand in a measured way, and always make decisions in line with your vision. • Be unique and know what your point of difference is. To view some of Anna’s designs online, visit

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A WOMAN’S JOURNIE Anna Nova Accessories


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“This season’s Journie handbags and Anna Nova accessories are bursting with beautiful vivid berry hues with loads of pinks and purples. Other exciting colours to expect will be tangerine, raspberry, aubergine, olive, and even brandy wine,” says owner and designer Anna Barnes. Here is a glimpse of the Anna Nova Autumn ‘14 collection favourites. For more information go to

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Anna Nova Accessories Indulge m a g a z i n e

citywomen BRISBANE

unity action change

Together we can make our city a better place for women and girls. Find out more at


PARTNERS Australian Christian Lobby • Bella Magazine • Cherish Life Queensland • Churches of Christ Care City Women Toowoomba • Daughters of Promise • Emily’s Voice • Hope Foundation Indulge Magazine • Priceless Life Centre • Teen Challenge Queensland Indulge m a g a z i n e 47


EN T RANCE! Article: Rebecca McLean Photography NSP Photography & istock

OVER CHRISTMAS, I HAD THE PLEASURE of holidaying in the UK and Paris. Experiencing another part of the world can be truly inspirational; partaking of a different history, culture, architecture and way of life is wondrous. Now, I need to say that I am naturally a sticky beak. I don’t just walk past a home. I take it all in. It quickly struck me how well they do entrances over there; from the beautiful symmetry of pots by a front door, to welcoming light fixtures illuminating the way, the confident use of bold colours and the sheer quaintness of shop fronts. It all looked incredibly inviting and made me think about how important first impressions are in our homes. Now there is a battle going on in my home for supremacy... we have in one corner the image in my head of a beautiful, welcoming entry, where you are engulfed with a wonderful warm feeling of being ‘home’ when you walk in the door. Then we have in the other corner the reality of three children, (and their endless amount of school and sport paraphernalia), husband’s muddy boots, a shopping bag with a shirt to be returned, opened and unopened mail, a blown light bulb and wasps determined to take up residence by my front door! Does any of this sound familiar? There are a few ideas to keep in mind to curb the chaos and create an entry with impact. I think the key to creating a fabulous front entry is balancing both function and meaningful décor. By function I mean a few carefully selected pieces that can help hide and organise all those necessities of family life. There are many beautiful furnishings that also offer practical storage solutions. Bench seats with built in baskets are a fantastic idea,


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giving you a place to fasten shoes, while neatly hiding those multiplying bits and pieces. A collection of hooks hung at different heights can look whimsical and fun and makes hats and a shopping basket easy to grab on the way out. A hall table (preferably with draws to hide keys and phones) and a mirror work beautifully in an entry as they define the space and provide structure to build a meaningful display. I just love those deep, natural fibre baskets, slotted under hall tables for storage. A quick tip is not to make them too small, do a measure up before you go shopping and aim to make them almost the length of the table itself. A large mirror bounces light around a small entry, enhances your table vignette and is also great for a quick check of the hair as you race out the door. A large mirror or a collection of mirrors will make the most impact. The effect of an oversized piece in a smaller space can be fabulous! I love a faux orchid or a huge glass lantern, but be careful not to replicate the foyer of your favourite hotel too much. Instead opt for treasures that give your guest a glimpse of you and your loved ones. Pray for a Scripture to claim as a family and use beautiful scrapbook card and a frame to display it either on a hall table or hung by the front door. A collection of photos in similar black or white frames makes a delightful front entry display. Be creative in the layout of your frames. It is a good idea to experiment first with sheets of paper cut to the size of your frames and Blu-Tack them on the wall, looking at the overall balance of the collection. Finally stand back and take it all in. Imagine yourself as a guest walking up to your front door and look at the finer details. Remember to replace your front door mat before it gets too tatty and invest in some lovely greenery or potted colour. Another idea I have picked up in my recent travels is to think of a meaningful name for your home and have a plaque specially made. If you don’t have an entry and your home opens into your living spaces, why not try an accent wall with a stunning wallpaper? Think about the choice of colour, furniture and décor and consider what sort of overall impression you are making.*

“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures” Proverbs 24:3-4.

Rebecca is a wife, mother of three girls, and business owner of Signature Homewares. Her love of home making came into its own after completing an Arts degree and marrying her husband, a structural engineer... design and style runs in the family! Rebecca fine-tuned her style after renovating several homes, drawing inspiration from classic French and English interiors and the relaxed Hampton’s lifestyle. Rebecca has always had an eye for beautiful things, and derives great pleasure from creating warm family spaces that are both stylish and liveable. Signature Homewares was birthed with a desire to source unique and affordable products, with a strong emphasis on personalised service, encouraging women to be confident in their own ‘signature’ style. Indulge m a g a z i n e


Too Tired To Shine


I MEET SO MANY WOMEN who suffer from debilitating fatigue. This fatigue makes doing daily tasks a huge feat. Often these women are just getting through the grind of every day and not living their best life. Having been there myself, I can truly say that there is no place more frustrating and depressing than living tired all the time. Through a process of self-discovery, as well as time spent in study and clinical experience, I finally realised my healing from my state of overwhelming fatigue. The truths that I discovered about curing fatigue are outlined below. My hope in sharing them is that you too will find freedom from your exhaustion so that you can once again, or for the first time, let your best light shine. FATIGUE CURE #1 – SLEEP WELL. This might seem obvious but I am surprised by how many women do not get enough good quality sleep. The average amount of sleep is 6 hours a night whilst studies indicate that for optimum health and quality of life 7-9 hours is needed1.


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Some tips to ensure you have an undisturbed night’s sleep include making sure you go to bed and wake up at around the same time each night. This strengthens your body clock and signals your body to wind down at night. Another tip is to avoid exposure to bright artificial lighting thirty minutes before bed. Dim down ceiling lights if you can during this period to signal the sleep hormone melatonin. FATIGUE CURE #2 – MOVE MORE. This might seem counterintuitive, but the more you move the more energy you seem to have. Interestingly that is how the body works – you need to use energy to create energy. Try starting with a low intensity activity such as walking and build up to a moderate intensity exercise such as jogging as your fitness improves. There is no rule on how much exercise you need to do each week as everyone is different in their health goals, but an appropriate aim may be thirty minutes a day, 3-5 days a week.

FATIGUE CURE #3 – REDUCE CAFFEINE. Aside from the typical belief that a cup of tea or coffee provides energy in a cup this is simply not the case. The caffeine found in these drinks squeezes out whatever energy you have left so often you are left feeling more drained when the caffeine has worn off (about 6-12 hours). Try reducing cups of coffee and/or tea to no more than 2-3 a day and try to limit these after about 3pm in the afternoon to avoid disrupting sleep. FATIGUE CURE #4 – CLEAN UP YOUR EATING. There are a few culprits in our modern-day diet that can quite noticeably contribute to fatigue. These include eating too much refined carbohydrates and sugar. Refined carbohydrates are foods like white bread, pastries, biscuits and white rice. Sugars include refined cane sugar such as that found in lollies, desserts, breakfast cereals, soft drinks, sauces, and muesli bars; as well as natural sugars found in high glycaemic index fruits (examples are watermelon, mangoes, and grapes). Consuming these items in excess and on a daily basis can lead to spiking of blood sugar levels, inability to loose weight, sugar cravings, and fatigue in the afternoons. Try limiting these items to just a few times per week at most.

your experience. What better way to impact our families, our workplaces, and ultimately our worlds than to have enough energy to let our true lights shine bright. *

1 – Mayo Clinic, How many hours of sleep are enough? (accessed 02/02/2014).

Dr Cris MBBS (hons), BBMedSci, ACNEM Primary Course, P.T. As an expert in nutritional medicine Dr Cris specialises not just in the prevention and treatment of illnesses, but in the attaining of optimum health. She believes that this state is achievable for anyone and passionately shares this message as a media personality. Dr Cris believes a person can develop resistance to illnesses by employing simple strategies. Dr Cris has compiled these simple strategies from her broad studies in medicine, biomedical science, integrative and nutritional medicine, health coaching, as well as personal fitness training. She holds recognised qualifications in all these areas. For more information visit

FATIGUE CURE #5 – CHECK YOUR STRESS Hormone Levels. Stress is a huge contributing factor causing fatigue in Western society. It is often overlooked as the cause of fatigue but when you understand the biochemistry of stress hormone production you can easily see why long-term stress can lead to exhaustion as well as a range of other health concerns. The main symptom that your stress hormone levels have been running on overdrive for too long is feeling tired all the time no matter how much sleep you get. It can take anywhere from 3-18 months to replenish stress hormone levels once you make a decision to reduce the stress in your life. The above strategies to curing fatigue may seem too simplistic to be effective but in reality they are difficult to put into practice; especially if you are juggling many roles and responsibilities and do not have the time to invest into your health. But given serious consideration and effort to try and put them into practice will see great benefits in terms of energy in abundance. This has been the experience of many of my patients and hopefully it too will be Indulge m a g a z i n e


Mum’s Treat Angela Frost

24 Large cooked Tiger prawns peeled and cut into 3-4 pieces each 2 avocados - peeled and cubed For Dressing 1 cup egg mayonnaise 1/2 cup sour cream juice from 1/2 a lime 1 x red chilli - deseeded and thinly sliced 1/2 cup fresh corriander   For the dressing, mix all ingredients in a medium  bowl. Season, then add prawn pieces. To serve, plate some of the avocado and top with the prawn mixture. Garnish. 52

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SERVES 4 • Prep 20 minutes


200 g Creme Fraiche 2 tbsp fresh dill - chopped 4-5 slices of smoked salmon 3 large potatoes - peeled 1 egg 2 tbsp plain flour 2 tbsp olive oil oil for frying Place Creme Fraiche and dill into a small bowl and combine - refrigerate. Coarsley grate 3 potatoes and place into a colander and squeeze out all moisture. Transfer to a bowl and add egg, flour and oil. Season, then mix to combine. Heat a frying pan over medium heat with oil, add 4 lots of 1/4 cups of potato mixture to pan and flatten slightly. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden and crisp. Drain on a paper towel. Top each rosti with a dollop of dill Creme Fraiche and a slice of smoked salmon.  Season and serve.

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53 53

•RICOTTA HOTCAKES WITH BERRY COMPOTE• SERVES 4-6 • Prep 10 minutes • Cook 20 minutes

For Compote 2 cups frozen mixed berries 2 tbs brown sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract knob of butter For Hotcakes 2 eggs 2 tbs brown sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup buttermilk 2 cups self-raising flour 2/3 cup lite ricotta 54 Indulge m a g a z i n e

In a saucepan place the berries, sugar, vanilla extract and butter. Heat over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stir occasionally. In a bowl, place the eggs, sugar, vanilla, buttermilk and ricotta - whisk until combined. Add flour to mixture and combine. Heat a non-stick pan over a meduim heat, add a knob of butter. When sizzling spoon 1/3 cups of batter into pan and cook, turning when bubbles appear, 2-3 minutes each side. Repeat with remaining mixture. Makes around 12. Stack hotcakes on a plate and spoon over warm berries.

An Invitation to Come as You Are...

Dear Jesus, I believe in you. I believe that you died on the cross for me. Thank you for your love. I confess that I have sinned and I wish to turn away from sin, please forgive me. Please come into my heart and change me from the inside out. Make me a new creation and let me know that I am your child. Help me to live my life for you from this day forward. Amen

If you have prayed this prayer, we would encourage you to find a local church and speak to a pastor. We would also love to hear from you here at Indulge Magazine by emailing us at

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Profile for Indulge Magazine

Indulge Magazine - Shine Bright  

(Apr-Jun 2014) For christian women empowering them, spirit, soul, and body

Indulge Magazine - Shine Bright  

(Apr-Jun 2014) For christian women empowering them, spirit, soul, and body