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February/March 2013

spirit|soul|body Carolyn Donovan Dreaming in Stilettos Janine Mason Dream Makers

Natasha Smith Ordinary in His Extraordinary Michelle Mitchell Helping Your Teen Find Purpose *Fashion to Dream About *Sweet Treats

Dream Big!

*How to Reach Your Dreams

Indulge | February/March 2013 | 1

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Dr Cris Beer Melissa Geltch Catherine Johnsen Gina Hamilton Janine Mason Michelle Mitchell Cecily Paterson Candice Schmidt Natasha Smith Charissa Steffens


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From the Editor...


originated with God; God saw what He would create and then He spoke it into being. Throughout history He has used dreams to speak to, inspire and change men (and women).


In our busy lives it can be easy to forget to dream, and even easier to disregard our dreams as fantasies that cannot be fulfilled due to every day demands. BUT what if we stopped and made dreaming a priority? What could we achieve? How could we change the world? Amongst the pages of this issue you will find women who heard the call to dream and courageously stepped out into the unknown.


wanted to start the year with focus, purpose and a plan. A plan not to do life as I did it last year; not that there was anything wrong with last year, it was a great year in many ways. Of course there were some challenges, every year has them, but that was not where this desire for more came from. You see, I have a passion to be ever increasing, moving forward, growing. I don’t want to feel like I have lived the same year over and over again. I don’t believe that is what God wants for us either. I once heard a speaker ask the question “Have you been a Christian for 30 years? Or a Christian for one year, 30 times?” Our human frailty keeps us wanting to settle and find comfort in one spot in life. We constantly try to ‘arrive’ and find a comfortable position where we believe happiness exists. What we quickly discover is a status quo and a well-trodden path that makes us resistant to the adventure that God desires to enthrall us in. It was this desire for more; more with God, more for me, more for those around me that lead me to call this issue Dream Big. The Word talks about vision and dreams and the importance of them. Dreams

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Let their words entice you and draw you to new heights of imagining what could be. Allow yourself to dream big with God this year and step into your destiny. Your unique adventure is awaiting you.

Love Charissa xx “The


adverture you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” Oprah Winfrey







Dream Makers {06} Charissa Steffens

Let the Light Shine... {14}


Live the Dream {18}

Carolyn Donovan {42}


Ordinary in His Extraordinary {22}

The Small Changes that Lead To Big Results {54}

Understanding the YOLO Generation {34}

Fashion to Dream About {56}

Melissa Geltch

Candice Schmidt

Natasha Smith

Michelle Mitchell

A Mother’s Dream {32} Cecily Paterson

Book Reviews {41} Gina Hamilton

Catherine Johnsen

Dr Cris Beer Tanya Epis

Sweet Dreams {66} Angela Frost

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Dream Big

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Dream Makers bringing dreams to life Words: Charissa Steffens & Janine Mason Photography: Natasha Smith NSP Studio Photography

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anine Mason has a rather unusual occupation. On a daily basis, along with her husband Andy, Janine helps people to follow their dreams. This Kiwi girl is a long way from home as she leads the ‘Dream Culture Program’ at Bethel Church in Redding, California. Janine and Andy have a heart to help people be ‘encouraged and empowered to discover their destiny and live out their dreams’. Having recently released a book ‘Dream Culture – bringing dreams to life’ that seeks to enable people to activate their dreams, I caught up with Janine to chat about how we can learn to turn our dreams into reality.

How did you come to establish the “Dream Culture Program” at Bethel Church with your husband Andy?

Andy and I started Dream Culture working as interns under Danny Silk at Bethel Church. Danny had been preaching for years about the importance of following your dreams and he wanted to set up a program that would help people actually have tools and support to achieve their dreams. Dream Culture was birthed initially as a coaching program to mentor people as they pursued their dreams and to provide encouragement, accountability and a fresh perspective. For Andy it was a natural extension of what he had already been doing in his career as a Farm Consultant and Bank Manager; where he had been helping people realise their dreams for years. For me it was a harder transition. I was basically a stay-at-home mother of four and I’d had no formal training in coaching. But what I knew was that I had always had a heart for helping people reach their full potential and I had always naturally asked people the ‘hard questions.’ I quickly discovered that by asking people the right questions I could help them uncover their heart desires and come face-to-face with the things that were stopping them achieve those desires. Dream Culture now runs six week classes and workshops to inspire people to dream and to give them tools for the journey.

Why are dreams significant enough that you would spend your time teaching about this area? When we are talking about dreams, we are talking about the desires of your heart. In the Christian

world we tend to be taught that our desires are evil or, at the very least, that they need to be left at the foot of the cross. As a follower of Jesus, obviously I am called to lay all that I am at His feet and to surrender all that I have to Him. But once I have established His ownership over my life I can look at the desires that He has placed inside of me as a sign post to who He has called me to be. The pursuit of dreams is important mainly because it is the discovery of who He made me to be and how I am designed to affect the planet. Proverbs 13:12 says ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.’ When God’s kids walk in the fulfillment of dreams realised, they release life to all they come into contact with. I believe people who live their dreams are part of God’s ingenious plan to affect planet earth.

Are our dreams important to God?

1 John 3:1: How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called the children of God. I am the mother of four beautiful children ranging in age from 6 to 12. They have captured my heart and there is nothing I wouldn’t do to protect them and bless them. I love to give them treats and Christmas is my favourite time of year because I get to shower them with gifts and goodies. The only thing that stops me giving to them even more is that I don’t have endless resources and I don’t want to ‘spoil them.’ How much more is our Heavenly Father in love with us? He takes great delight in us and wants to shower favour and blessing on us and make our dreams come true. As much as you currently know of His goodness, His heart of goodness towards you is more than you know.

How do you define a dream?

We like to say that a dream is a picture of the future I want to live in some day. Dreams are the desires of your heart. They reflect who you are and what is important to you. While there are similarities between people, they are as unique as your fingerprints. God didn’t make anyone else quite like you and your dreams will reflect that.

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How can we activate our dreams?

I believe that dreams are best activated in His Presence. If you were to sit down with a small child and ask them to dream with you about all the cool things they want to be and do one day, they will come up with an extensive list. That’s because they don’t yet have an understanding of what is ‘possible.’ By the time we grow up we have been taught that many of the things we might have wanted are out of our reach. It’s time to believe for the impossible again and the best place to see what is possible is to be in God’s presence where we are aware of His greatness rather than our own lack. Spend time with Him and consciously choose not to think of what it will take to achieve the dream. Become aware of His greatness and of His extravagant love aimed at you. Then dream the dreams that He has placed in your heart.

Is dreaming for everyone? Or is it really only for leaders and visionaries? Dreaming is for everyone. God has placed dreams in each one of us. We don’t always recognise them as dreams but each of us has desires. If you look at kids, they all have big dreams. They want to be a superhero or a superstar. They want to rule the world. Then so often we get taught by those who love us that we should stop dreaming because they are scared that we will fail and that we will become disappointed. And in their love for us they want to protect us from the pain of disappointment so they teach us not to dream. But God designed us to dream, to tap into the desires inside of us and to actually live out those dreams.

How do you turn a dream into a reality?

You turn a dream into a reality by taking one step after another and by not giving up. My mother taught me that you eat an elephant one bite at a time. You achieve a dream the same way, by just simply taking the next step and then the next. And it takes having an honest look at what is holding you back and facing those challenges head on. It helps to have a ‘dream friend’ to encourage you on the way to hold you accountable and to ask the difficult questions that keep us focused.

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What are some solid foundations that will help our dream journey?

A foundation of believing that God is good and that He is good to you will set you up for your dream journey. If you don’t have that as your foundation then when the going gets tough you will revert to believing that God is not for you or for your dreams. You are a son/daughter of the King. He is crazy about you and wants to lavish His love on you and show you His goodness. Keep His goodness as the cornerstone of your dream journey and it will keep the focus where it should be.

What tools can help you succeed in seeing a dream realised?

Having a dream partner or friend can be a great help in going after a dream. There is nothing like knowing that a supportive friend is going to ask you if you followed through with your tasks to help you stay motivated. Set up regular times to meet and commit to asking each other about your progress on your dreams. Find a friend who has faith for the impossible and that loves you enough to be straight with you. Keeping the dream in front of you is one way to keep the motivation high. Create a dream board full of images that inspire you, put photos where you can see them or set up your screen saver or other technology with inspiring quotes or images. Do everything you can to keep the real reason that dream is important to you right in front of you. We all have seasons where progress towards the dream isn’t fun. If you hate filling out forms but you need to do that to open the youth centre that is on your heart, then put pictures of the young people in front of you to remind you why it is worth plowing through the forms. Be creative and do what works for you. We also have some resources to help you. Our book Dream Culture and our DVD series and workbook Dream Journey are designed to lead you through the process of living your dreams. Both are interactive; with questions and activities to guide you on your way. You can check these out at along with some blogs to inspire you.

What are two significant scriptures that encourage people to dream?

Ephesians 2:10: For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works that He prepared in advance for us to do. I love how this verse tells us that we were made by Him, specifically to do good works. He designed us to live the dreams that He placed in our hearts before we were even born (see Ps. 139). Romans 8:18-19: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. The version I learned growing up said, “All creation

groans and waits for the revelation of the sons of God.” This to me talks about how the whole world is looking for us, the sons of God to be revealed as who we really are. That’s a picture of each of us fully alive, living our dreams and doing what we were created to do.

How can people recover from a failed dream or set back in the dreaming process?

In the journey of pursuing your dreams there are nearly always setbacks and difficulties. So if you’ve fallen over while on the journey, you need to get back up and keep going. I know that’s a lot easier said than done but there is no other answer. At times when it feels like it is all going wrong, or it is just too hard,

“...God designed us to dream...”

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you get to reassess how much you want the dream and why it was important in the first place. Then you need to deal with the disappointment of the things that didn’t go as expected. Often we think we just need to soldier on and pretend like the setback didn’t happen. Instead, I believe that it is a time to ‘get real’ with God. Share your feelings with Him. Get beyond the good Christian response and say it how it is. Tell Him that you are disappointed then let Him show you His perspective on your dream. His perspective is so much higher than ours. Often it takes an adjustment in the “how” we will achieve the dream and a re-aligning with Him to continue the journey.

What mindsets exist that can hamper us from fulfilling a dream?

There are many mindsets that can hamper us in pursuing and ultimately achieving the dream. For many of us it is what we call the ‘grasshopper mindset.’ This comes from the scripture where the spies were sent into the land and came back to report to Moses on what they had seen. All twelve spies saw the same land but ten of them saw themselves as ‘grasshoppers’ and thus gave up on the dream before they even embarked on the journey (Numbers 13:33). Any time you ‘hit the wall’ in going after your dream it is a good time to question what you really believe. Many times what seems like a practical issue is really an issue of what we believe in disguise. A lady I was coaching once said she couldn’t pursue any of her dreams because she had no money as all her dreams required finance. As we began to talk we quickly realised that because of past financial mistakes she believed that God would not bless her with finance for her dreams. The lack of finance was not the obstacle, the wrong mindset was. I encourage you to ask the question of God, “What lie am I believing today that is stopping me pursuing my dream?” Then ask Him to reveal the truth so you can continue the journey.

Do dreams come with a price tag?

Some dreams don’t cost much but the ones that are closest to our hearts and the ones that will affect many other lives for good usually come with a steep price tag. Achieving a big, life-changing dream can cost you everything and you have to know what you are and are not willing to give. My husband 12 |

“It’s time to believe for the impossible again and the best place to see what is possible is to be in God’s presence where we are aware of His greatness rather than our own lack.”

Andy and I want to see churches across the world champion the dreams of people. Our dream is to see churches world-wide release God’s people into their dreams and their destinies. But we are not willing to pay for that with grief in our children’s hearts. So we are pursuing the dream a little slower and protecting our family on the way. Having said that, we are not giving up on a dream that sometimes feels overwhelming. On those days that the cost seems too high to pay, I try and keep in mind the people who my dream is meant to inspire. If I don’t get up and ‘do my thing’ today, maybe the next Martin Luther King or Mother Theresa won’t go after their dream and the world will be poorer for it. As with anything else, it is cost versus benefit. Sometimes the cost is high to you but the benefit is high for others. It pays to have that in mind as you consider whether or not it is worth it to keep going after the dream. You have to, so-to-speak, look into the eyes of those you are called to affect before you decide to abandon the dream.

For me, it has not been difficult to dream but to dream big. Should we dream big or be more realistic?

I believe we should dream big. There are dreams that I am living right now that once seemed too big to be possible. Nelson Mandela is quoted as saying, “It always seems impossible until it is done.” If we only dream about the things that seem possible for us then we will limit many of the things that God has for us. For sure we risk being disappointed, but the alternative is that I risk not living up to the potential inside of me. I’d rather give God the opportunity to show forth His greatness by believing for the impossible. V

To find out more about Janine and Andy’s resources and tour dates for Australia this year visit

You CAN help make a difference! Be a Hero and donate a can of food to Nexus Care’s Fresh Start Food Program in February to help Nexus Care feed our local community!

Please Indulge visit | February/March 2013 | 13 or call us on (07) 3353 7230 for more details

Let THE Light Shine...

Words: Melissa Geltch Photography: Natasha Smith - NSP Studio Photography

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have a dream to ‘let light shine out of darkness’. A dream to bring light into the lives of girls lost in the dark world of prostitution. It’s a dream that was planted in me when I was a teenager. I didn’t know then that it was the beginning of a life time adventure that would see me face challenges, fear, exhilaration and a faith beyond what I could have ever imagined. It began when my parents packed my brother, sister and myself up in the car on a Saturday afternoon and went for a ‘drive’ to Sydney. We were the family that went for ‘drives’ and we, well I, liked them! My siblings and I secretly hoped that we were going to the Dire Straits concert and the whole drive was filled with a quiet excitement, was this where we would end up!? The quiet excitement soon disappeared when we ended up at Kings Cross. My parents had different plans for us that night, and God had an even bigger plan for my life unbeknown to me! My dad drove us to Kings Cross to show us a side of life that existed in that place and still does today. He wanted us to see what life was like for people involved in prostitution and drugs so that we would never end up anywhere like that place or like the people there. I remember not being concerned about ending up there, because I considered myself to be a good girl. I took in all the sights of drug addicts passed out, the homeless, the drunk, the girls working and all the hustle and bustle that is Kings Cross. Honestly, I never gave it another thought until all these years later when I find myself in another country, language and culture, with a passion and a vision for girls lost to prostitution. I tell my dad now that all those years ago he wanted to show us a life that he never wanted his kids involved in, but that I am now involved, in a way we could never have imagined. While my parents wanted to protect their kids from the dark side of this world that so many souls are lost to, my Heavenley Father revealed His heart to me for the daughters of Indonesia. To show them that there is a life beyond prostitution. My parents felt the need to do something way back then to protect their children and I now have a deep need to do

“I have a deep need to do something for the many lost daughters...” something for the many lost daughters who don’t have anyone standing and fighting for their freedom. I didn’t know the Lord back then like I do now and I could never have imagined that what I saw that night planted a seed that would one day grow into a dream that would become a reality. My vision to ‘let light shine out of darkness’ for the daughters of Indonesia is one thing but in the words of Thomas Edison ‘Vision without execution is a hallucination’. With passion burning deep inside, my family had to make a big sacrifice; we sold all of our possessions and moved to Indonesia. We left behind our language, culture, family, friends and all that we knew. My dream required me to do something! These girls need someone to do something! “The something” has a beginning, a slow beginning, but it is a beginning. We are here to do life, it is real and it is raw. I have spent many hours researching the situation for girls in prostitution and pounding the pavement where they work. Now I am in the heart of the next step... an overwhelmingly big step... and that is to put pen to paper, to put the dream in my heart into a concrete commitment that brings accountability. As I begin to write the dream out into realistic steps with all that is required, I am overwhelmed and I can humbly say, ‘only with You God because I alone cannot do this’. I feel extremely unqualified as I face the enormity of my obedience to the Lord. A few years ago, I had a revelation from reading Isaiah 6. Before Isaiah heard the Lord say, ‘Who will I send?’, Isaiah had entered into the presence Indulge | February/March 2013 | 15

of the Lord. There is only one way we enter into the presence of the Lord and it is through worship and prayer. We have to get into the presence of the Lord, we have to be in prayer and worship of Him and it is only in this place that we can hear Him ask ‘Who shall I send?’ When we are in His presence we receive the most blessed of blessings and that is we get to see the heart of the Lord and what He feels and sees for the situations in our World. It is in His presence that we can then say, ‘Here I am, send me’. In His presence is where dreams begin and visions become reality. It is God’s desire and dream to see girls lost in prostitution given freedom, hope and a future. It was only in His presence that I said, ‘I will go and fight for the lost daughters and bring them Your hope and future’ and it is only in His presence that I can do this; seeing and hearing His plan and strategy. What are you seeing and hearing from His heart? What dream does He have for you? He does have one. You have to believe it. He is still saying, ‘Who shall I send?’ as the world is full of darkness. We all know the quote, ‘God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things’. But, honestly, do you really believe it, or is that saying only true for others? You know what? It is true for YOU. Yes, you! God has a dream for you; maybe you already know it but you haven’t dared to believe, you haven’t dared to begin. You have a story waiting, and He is longing to have the first page turn. All of heaven is waiting for you to begin. You have to believe God is who He says He is for you, and not just for others.

“I don’t have to be perfect or have reached a certain spiritual level to serve God” 16 |

I remember hearing stories from visiting missionaries and thinking ‘wow’, they are amazing and they have an incredible faith far from mine. Then I discovered that they were just like me; imperfect and fearful, they had character flaws, but they had a relationship with the Lord that I craved. You see, I am going to tell you a secret, the secret they all knew and that the enemy kept from me. I don’t have to be perfect or have reached a certain spiritual level to serve God. It is not about me or you, it is about what the Lord of Lords has done, will do and is doing. The second part of the secret is about our relationship with the Lord. I do what I do to know Him more, because I can not do this without Him, without His love, His mercy, His strength and without knowing fully who He is. Every step is taken with Him.

It is not easy to follow the dreams of God, He does not promise it will be easy, but He does promise to never leave or forsake us. The last year has been tough. My prayer as I walk this life with Him is that my faith would stand no matter what. You see, I have learnt that faith has to be tested to be real. Faith is not just a word we say we have; it is a verb. Faith requires action from us. We have to step out; we have to believe that God is who He says He is and that we are who He says we are. The other thing I have learnt is that I am courageous beyond what I ever thought I could be. I had, and still do have, so many fears, but I have discovered that it actually takes courage to do something with fear. It takes faith and courage to tread where the Lord asks me to tread. In looking back at our journey from Australia to Indonesia I can see the growth, this journey has stretched us beyond what we could have imagined, but as I look ahead I can see where He leads and choose to continue to answer, “Here I am, send me.�

Melissa is wife to a talented, creative graphic designer and mum to three boys. Melissa loves a cup of coffee, her bible and journal, and a sunny place to sit overlooking nature; this makes her smile. She believes that one person with God can change the World and this is the heritage she wants to leave her children, grandchildren and beyond. Melissa is currently living and working in Indonesia to establish the Night Butterflies ministry which seeks to support women caught in prostitution. She can be contacted at

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Words: Candice Schmidt Image: istock

Live the Dream Dreaming with God

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o you jump out of bed thinking of your “to do” list and feel busy but discontent? Have you felt that your responsibilities maintain your life and family but crowd out your dreams? You are living, but are you ALIVE? There are graveyards full of unrealised dreams - songs not sung, books not written, ideas not shared, inventions and designs never created. So long as breath remains in our lungs, untapped potential lies inside us, waiting to be released. The reason we are still alive is that we are carrying something inside us that this generation needs. That’s why we’re not yet in heaven. Wayne Cordeiro

We were created to live a life expressing the glory of God like Jesus did. Jesus says in John 14:12 “… whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these...” We are created to live a life bringing heaven to earth, nourished by the glory and presence of God. There are God-given dreams in each of our hearts. God believes in us and has plans to help us to succeed. Having a vision and a dream is what stirs the passion and faith within to breathe life and purpose into our current reality inspiring each day. Where to begin? 
“Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
 Psalm 37:4 Enter God’s presence with thanksgiving and worship. Read scripture and ask God what He wants to show you. Be still and listen. “Prayer in its simplest form is finding out what God wants to do and then asking Him to do it.” Graham Cooke. Ask yourself these questions: What do you want your life to look like in 10 years? What do you love doing or are passionate about? Growing up, what were your dreams as a child and what inspired your play? What are you good at? Write down 100 things you want to see or do in your lifetime. Some dreams are goals or hopes such as visiting New York, being a mum or swimming with dolphins. Other dreams connect us to our destiny. Dreams of writing a book, teaching, bringing hope and support to a community, being a Worship leader or a person who brings God’s justice and purposes to earth. Ask yourself if the dreams are big enough? Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”. Is the dream impossible unless God shows up? Dream killers: Fear Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” “You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.” Mary Manin Morrissey

God deposits a dream of what we can be for Him, a dream that acts as our internal honing device. – Wayne Cordeiro

Excuses Just do it! With God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26 Complaining and focusing on the “BUT” In Numbers 13, Moses sent 12 men to explore the Promised Land. They came back with samples and stories of the goodness of the land then 10 of the men said ‘BUT ... there are giants in the land and we are as grasshoppers in their sight.’ The other two, Joshua and Caleb, knew that God was with them and for them so they could overcome the giants. They had a different spirit and entered into the Promised Land and their descendants received God’s inheritance. Negative speech There is life or death, blessing or curses in the power of the words we speak. Proverbs 18:21 Learned helplessness Wounds and discouragement in our past can lead us to become cynical and negative over time. We don’t expect good things to happen so we won’t be disappointed. Ask God to reignite your dreams and passions and give you courage to reach for them. Matthew 25 tells the Story

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“Care more than others consider wise. Dream more than others consider practical. Expect more than others consider possible. Risk more than others consider safe. Cast off the bowlines, sail from the safe harbour, catch the winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover!” Claude Bissell

Prepare and enlarge for your dream What would life look like if your dream came true? What needs to change? What do you need? To make dreams come into reality, it takes determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort. There is mental, physical, financial and practical preparation. Comfort - Your big dream always lies outside your comfort zone…You have to choose between your dream Set aside time and finance to work toward your dreams. What is nourishing our life and dreams? & comfort. Bruce Wilkinson Read autobiographies and be around inspiring Your source of gifts, talents and charisma is from people who can mentor and encourage you. Spend heaven for a purpose. Dreams should pull greatness time with God and read the Bible. Proverbs 3:5-6 out of you and bring out the best of who you are. Remember to look at what God has done rather than says trust God and let Him lead the way. Position yourself and your dreams will find you. what he hasn’t done. When we are prepared and ready the opportunities will come our way. Live now as if who you desire to There is a God in heaven who wants to push and stretch us to bring us through the gap from where we be is a reality. Mark 9:23 “All things are possible with God, only believe. Nothing is impossible for Him.” are to where we dream to go. of the Talents – two of the men took what was given and multiplied it, but there was one man who out of a survival mentality buried his talent. We can cultivate our dreams or live a survival existence.

Tips to help you on your journey: Habakkuk 2 “Write the vision down...” Message Bible says, “Write it in big bold letters so you can read on the run”. Your dream needs to be visible as you do life. “Though it tarries, wait for it. It will come”. Write out your dreams and keep looking at them and adding to them.

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Expect problems Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams. Every problem we encounter comes with His provision attached to it. God has a plan and purpose and promises to work everything together for good for those who love Him. Whatever calamity

life throws at us, God can use it for our blessing and benefit (Romans 8:28).

Candice desires to see people thrive in every area of life. She has been married for 17 years to a Paediatrician and they have lived in South Africa, New Zealand and Canada but have called the Gold Coast, Australia home for the past five years. They have four children between the ages of five and 13. Her passion is to “Live well, laugh often, love much”. She has a Degree in Psychology and a Diploma in Counselling. She loves to help people live to their full God-given potential spirit, soul and body. She enjoys counselling and watching God bring healing and restoration. She is a trained facilitator of 'Toolbox Parenting' which offers families hot tips on parenting well.

As the ship leaves the harbour it will encounter amazing vistas and adventures but there will be storms. Let God be your compass and shelter and lead you through. “Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet revealed.” Hebrews 11:1 As daughters of God, we can live a life of significance when we tap into our God-given purpose. You are needed to bring all of who you are to make the world a better place for today and future generations. Dreams become miracles when you believe!







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+ 61 4 2 2 392 861 | e nqu i ri e s @er i ngal l i m | i ngal l i m

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Words: Natasha Smith Photography: Brendan Smith & David Steffens 24 |


am sitting on the floor up against the lounge, staring at the fluid that is in an enormous pile a metre and a half over from where I sit. This will be the fifth time I will have mopped and disinfected the floor today. Yes – the fifth! I have a two year old boy who is in the middle of toilet training. It has just been a very ‘real’ day for me in general. But that is how life goes. In the middle of the ordinary comes ‘an extrodinary adventure’. Flashback a few years and I am around 13 years of age. I am laying on my sister’s queen size bed in her room and staring at the collection of National Geographics she has lined up on her side cabinet. I decide I should read one to be ‘educated’. I am flicking through the semi gloss matte pages, seeing faces of amazing individuals from countries afar. I am swept up in the magic and wonder of the world that we live in. I am not professing to remember a particular article that stood out to me or that I even remember what type of images were in that edition at the time. However, what I do remember is sitting on that bed and making a whisper to God that this is what I want to do with my life. I want to photograph people to record their moments in time and their life stories. I don’t think I understood then what was beginning to be birthed in my life. I don’t believe that dreams come out of nowhere and just begin. I have a feeling that perhaps dreams are planted deep within us at the moment we are conceived, by the Creator of all. I have no scientific or biblical principles to confirm this is the truth but what a wonderful dream to believe – that the moment we begin to form His dreams and plans are intricately layered and molded into the very core of who we are; that they are intermingled with our heart, our mind and our soul. It is only in His timing that these little hidden jewels explode within our very inner beings. Sometimes like lightning and other times as a silent whisper from a 13 year old girl in her sister’s bedroom in Brisbane, Australia. It’s nothing profoundly erupting, just a moment with her God and his plan for her life beginning to unfold. Fast forward a few years. I have graduated from High School and did not entirely know where I wanted to go with my life. There were a few faint

ideas – law, acting and singing. Photography was not even a forerunner on my list. Life had happened. I had journeyed through my teen years relatively unscarred, met the most amazing young man who God had brought along for me and was just consumed with finally finishing school. I was unsure what to do so I applied for some jobs in law to see if I would enjoy this type of work and explore whether it was worth me pursuing it as a career. Six years at university and life-long continual study was a lot to commit to if I didn’t know for certain that I would enjoy this type of work, so I got a job in Personal Injuries and Professional Negligence. Not everything in life goes exactly to the plan we have in our head, right? To make things even more interesting I actually started as a junior in a small law firm owned by an antique lover. As part of my not-so-amazing job, I was to polish the antiques including the brass bells, silver tea sets and leather lounges that sat in the reception and boardrooms. Although it was law, it was a very humble beginning. A few months progressed and my employers saw potential in me so they asked if I wanted to be trained as a secretary like the other girls. I hesitated a little but after having a night to think and pray about it I decided it was an opportunity God had brought along for me to journey through so I went with it.

“I don’t think I understood then what was beginning to be birthed in my life. I don’t just believe that dreams come out of nowhere and just begin.” Indulge | February/March 2013 | 25

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fter a couple of years at this firm I found a new job for one of the most amazing law firms on the Gold Coast in the position of secretary for a Family Law Accredited Specialist. In my interview, the boss asked me what I aspired to do. I declared that I was still interested in a career in law – in particular family law. It was decided I was right for the job and a career in law looked set to be my chosen field of work. Isn’t it amazing how God moves you into exactly where He wants you? While I was working at this firm I met a beautiful young lady by the name of Lisa. She was truly one of those people who just shone – gorgeous, outgoing and the most amazing smile. When I look back at my journey thus far I can start to see how truly clever God was at gently moving me and guiding me to critical moments that will forever change my course in history – even in the ordinary moments of life. Lisa and I had become more than work colleagues. She was a true friend. A lot of amazing ups and detrimental downs occurred in our lives during the time we worked together. However, as He promises “I have a plan ….”. Brendan and I had become married during this time and Lisa had got engaged. In attendance at a mutual friend’s christening of her little girl, Lisa said she wanted Brendan to film her wedding and for me to photograph it. Hold up! For Brendan to film the wedding was not an uncommon thing, as he was the sound and audio engineer at church, but me photographing the wedding? I don’t take photographs professionally. Lisa disagreed. She said she had seen my work and she loved it. I couldn’t believe what she was suggesting. She asked me to think about it. No pressure but she believed in me and would really like me to do it.

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I was in a daze the entire drive home from the christening. Bren had been at our church that morning so when I arrived home first I couldn’t wait for him to get home. I paced the floors of our townhouse. Waiting … waiting. When he finally arrived home I basically jumped on him the moment he stepped foot inside. I explained what had transpired and I thought his reaction would be one of laughter at the thought of me doing that. How wrong I was.

practised, planned and practised some more. The big day came. It was the one God had been planning, not only for Lisa & Lee, but the part I had to play in it as well. I was so nervous and literally thought that if it’s not going to be today then it will be never. After the wedding was over, I ran through the collection I had taken. I was happy. God had molded and sculpted me. He had inspired and guided me and I just simply went for the ride with Him.

God not only placed my husband with me because he made me laugh or because he was gifted and intelligent or because we were crazy head over heels in love with each other. He also gave me a partner; one that He knew would stand by me, push me when I needed pushing, encourage me when I was flagging and motivate me into taking the craziest of steps. Brendan jumped at the photography idea! So I put aside my nerves, all my thoughts of self-doubt, my worries of what others would think, concerns that I was incapable of the job, and prayed. I knew it was right.

When I look back at that first collection, I could see God had placed something deep inside of me that he was just waiting to burst forth. I have come a long way since those humble beginnings. I have won multiple international awards for my work and have photographed the most amazing people worldwide. However, I still look back over these past years with absolute astonishment and humility at what God has done for me; the doors He has opened, the style He has cultivated and the people he has brought into my life. I understand that my journey is from Him. I never do a photo session without bringing it to him in prayer first. He ultimately is the creative director. I am just the vehicle he chooses to drive.

So I agreed. Lisa had given me 11 months to prepare and I took every one of those months to immerse myself into the world of wedding photography. I studied and researched photography with every waking hour that I had spare. Bren and I purchased two new professional cameras for the wedding and I

I do not profess to have it all or to even know it all. I know from my life experience that the journey from A to B is not always the way we had envisaged. It does get rocky and bumpy. People do push and

“God... gave me a partner, one that He knew would stand by me...”

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“ live a life of passion... this is my aspiration...�

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shove and scream at us and with us along the way. We are sometimes the people standing in our own way to get to our destination. What I do know is that if you go with God on His plan it all works out in the end. It may not always be the way we thought but in some ways it’s better. My journey, my story is only just beginning. In February I will be embarking on a family trip to Malaysia. Financially, I know God has made a way for us to go on this trip. I have a feeling and anticipation that He has something amazing in store for us. Although I am not sure exactly what that is. This is only part of my story. I am the ordinary in an extraordinary plan. Every story is incredible and intricately laced with love and adventure from the grand storyteller Himself. I encourage you to walk with God, in whatever steps he has planned for you to take. I found myself writing this for my photography blog the other week: “Perfection is a life pursuit - ever running constantly getting further out of our reach. Fame & fortune - as quickly to flee as it is to come. BUT to live a life of PASSION ... this is my aspiration - a life full of love, laughter & adventure ...” So dream big, love lavishly, take the road less travelled into the adventure that is our lives and always remember, ‘Laughter is the best medicine. Well, at least a lot more makeup friendly than tears!’V

Natasha Smith is an international award winning photographer and the owner of NSP Studio Photography. To find out more about Natasha you can visit her at www. or follow her blog www. She can also be found on facebook.

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w: b: m:

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Words: Michelle Mitchell Photography: Lou Lou

Understanding the YOLO Generation -

Helping your teen find purpose

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his generation of teenagers are worrying parents like never before. Throwing their talent out the door and accepting minimal wages to focus on a life of partying and binge drinking. Their motto - YOLO (You Only Live Once) - is plastered all over their social media pages and stands out as their anthem. Call me a genius but I don’t think lecturing is going to work. What we need to do is help them find purpose, purpose that becomes more consuming than a desire to party. Madeline finished Year 12 at a private school. You would expect her final year to be burdened with a schedule of study, but instead the main events on her calendar were the Mid-Year School Formal and Schoolies. Anything other than those two events, and a few ‘gathos’ and parties in between, just didn’t rate. After school finished she decided to have a ‘gap year’. Her parents hoped she would get herself together, destress and decide which direction she wanted her life to take. But her ‘gap year’ turned into one giant haze of drunken double vodkas, clubbing and one night stands. She had a part time job at a local fish and chippery that earned her $13 an hour. Unfortunately she spewed most of that money up each weekend.

photography, web design or building, especially when encouraged by mentors, can actually help them say no to reckless partying. Teenagers need to find a reason to say no to drugs, alcohol and sex for themselves. If they don’t find their own purpose, no amount of rules will end up keeping them on the straight and narrow. The well known adolescent psychologist Steve Biddolph once said that teenagers need a “spark” in order to get through their teenage years. Purpose is that “spark” that lights up a teenager’s life. A spark, that when fuelled by meaningful relationships at school and home, grows and becomes an anchor for their very existence. Purpose is the only thing that will consistently keep a teenager’s life moving forward. Unlike past generations today’s teenager is very much focussed on the here and now. They may be so focussed on the ping pong of their i-phones that they don’t consider saving money, settling down or choosing careers. This is why they need YOU to help them think about tomorrow.

“Most of my best nights out are when I am hammered,” Madeline says. “I don’t worry about anything and nothing gets me down.” As I flick through Madeline ‘s Facebook page she is ready to hit the town with the tag “slutties” under her group’s snap shot before the night even begins. Of course Madeline’s parents disapprove, but because Madeline doesn’t seem to respect their opinion they bring her to my office in a hope I can talk some sense into her. What I need to do with Madeline is help her find purpose - purpose that becomes more consuming than her desire to party all night. And that is a big task, especially since the adrenaline rush of clubbing has got into her system! Although Madeline is an extreme case, I meet many teenagers who have not found purpose in life. As a result they are losing their way, idly following the crowd or wasting their life away online. A passionate commitment to things like soccer, dance,

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6 ways to instill purpose in you 1 Keep them busy

The teenage years could possibly be the most vital time to keep kids moving. Remember that idle time is the devil’s playground. Keeping teenagers busy minimises the time they have to get into trouble. Hard work won’t kill them, even in the school holidays. Don’t accept, “I couldn’t be bothered”. Teenagers easily get stuck in a rut and accept second best for their lives. They won’t find their life purpose while they are sitting on the couch watching television and eating chips.

2 Search for mentors

Teenagers need positive role models to look up to. These role models will pull out purpose in our teenagers. They will teach them things about life that you and I don’t have a hope of teaching them! I search high and low for the right mentors for my children because they will become who they look up to.

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3 Remember routine

Routine may seem trivial. I mean why fight about what time a teenager goes to bed or what time they wake up? Let me explain it like this. Routine protects your teenager’s life purpose. It can even protect your teenager against a life of drugs, crime and promiscuity. Regular sleep patterns, going to school or work is often what stands between purposeful or unproductive living. At the first sign of your teenager wanting to discard routine, realise that it is routine that will keep them engaged in mainstream society.

4 Don’t rescue them

The sooner teenager’s feel the consequences of neglected responsibilities the better. Don’t do their homework, don’t do their washing, don’t pay their bills or bail them out of jail. You can help them by allowing them to feel the full weight of their actions as early as possible.

ur teenager 5 Win the little battles

If you say “no” to the little things and you lose those battles, what will happen when you say “no” to bigger things? What will happen when you say “no” to skipping school or “no” to going to a party where you know there will be drugs? Little battles are critical battles. They aren’t a waste of time. They give you the authority and confidence when you face the battles which really matter. You are the final authority in your home so you need to have the final say, for your teenager’s sake.

6 It’s not over at 18

I have heard many parents say that parenting doesn’t stop when your children turn 18. These days our children seem to be staying at home longer and we have a far more complex relationship with them because of this. Although our relationship with them certainly does change, realise they still need you as part of their lives. The decisions they are making in their 20s will impact their lives forever. They need you to be on their side all the way through their life.


Michelle lives on the cutting edge of teenage culture, working in schools and homes, meeting teenagers and their families at crossroads where their choices will impact their lives forever.   

Her passion for those less fortunate, combined with her life long interest in life skills education, led her to found the charity, Youth Excel in 2000.  This charity delivers highly effective small group programs and mentoring to hundreds of teenagers in Brisbane each year. 

Her newly released book “What Teenage Girls Don’t Tell their Parents” provides preventative strategies to help parents keep their kids on the straight and narrow as they journey towards adulthood.  

Michelle is married to husband Doc Mitchell and has two children, Benjamin and Matthew.  She lives in Brisbane, Australia. www.

We have two copies of Michelle’s book “What teenage girls don’t tell their parents” to give away to readers. To enter, send an email to Entries must be received by 5pm, Thursday 28 February 2013 (AEST), Winners will be notified by email.

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Words: Cecily Paterson Photography: Natasha Smith NSP Studio Photography

A Mother’s Dreams 38 |


t’s the end of Cameron’s first week at school. We’re all walking home together. “What did you do today?” I ask. “I did a great painting,” he says. “And then I played with two boys at recess. It was really fun.” We walk calmly through the front door and head in for afternoon tea. “Can I have an orange please Mum?” he asks. “Sorry, I don’t have any oranges left. Would you like a banana?” I say. “Ok,” he says. After they eat, Cameron says to his younger brother, “Let’s go ride our bikes. I’ll pull you in the wagon. Jemima, do you want to come too?” The three of them run off together to play quietly outside with no yelling. Yes, I know. It sounds like just a normal day for most families. But when I wrote it, this little paragraph was my fantasy, my dream and my desperate hope for my son Cameron, who had been diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder just six months earlier.

Our days were filled with trauma, difficulty and a whole lot of noise from multiple tantrums of frustration (all his) and long crying fits of despair (mostly mine). From the days when I had had a quiet, easy babe in arms, life had gone downhill pretty quickly since he turned two. By the time he was three, he was completely unmanageable. He threw tantrums when he got dressed, when he got undressed, when he got in the bath and when he got out of the bath. He didn’t talk except to say “Thomas the Tank Engine” over and over and over again, and he cried like he was dying when we accidentally lost one of the trains he carried around all day and night. He refused to go out, he refused to come in. He ran away in public places, including three times getting onto major roads. He screamed when I dropped him at preschool and he yelled and kicked when I picked him up. At meals he refused to eat anything but bread, pasta or sausages. And woe-betide if I forgot the tomato sauce. Even when I got the food right, sometimes I got the colour of the plate wrong and we’d have another tantrum. He wouldn’t say hello to anyone, he definitely didn’t have any manners, and he certainly didn’t have any friends. My heart was breaking for him, but also for me. Was this going to be his life? Was this going to be my life, dealing with a child on the edge all day every day? And what about the rest of the family? We were already walking around on eggshells 24/7 trying to keep things calm. I was hopeful that a diagnosis from a proper doctor might sort everything out and solve all the problems. Unfortunately, that was far from the case. The paediatrician only had three pieces of advice: get speech therapy (already did it and it didn’t help), make sure you have lots of support (easier said than done) and contact the autism association (they said: “Oh, it’s too bad you’re moving out of the city and into a small country town with no services.”) We were stuck in a hole and it was getting deeper and darker by the day. I really couldn’t see any way out. I couldn’t dream big. I could only shuffle through the long, long minutes, hoping against hope that something was going to change.

After a whole lot of research we began our son on the RDI (Relationship Development Intervention) therapy program and met up with a consultant for some initial sessions. To my surprise, one of the first things she wanted us to do was to write what she called a ‘mission statement’. “Pffft. How is this going to help?” I thought to myself. “Just help me fix today’s problem.” I begrudgingly wrote down five or six bullet points, listing some immediate things I wanted to see improve. “No, that’s not it,” she said. “I mean, write a story about how you’d ideally like to see your day go with Cameron – in about two years time. You’re supposed to be a writer. You can do this.” I rolled my eyes (internally of course) and sat down to write what sounded to me like a complete and utter fairy story – the little paragraph at the top of this article. To begin with, I thought it would be impossible that he would ever put together complete

“Our days were filled with trauma, difficulty and a whole lot of noise...”

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sentences, let alone get to school every day, let alone actually walk home without either running or just plain refusing to move. Would he ever eat something different? Naaah, come on! Would he ever be flexible enough to accept that he couldn’t have what he wanted? No way! Could he ever play with his siblings, let alone have sophisticated enough skills to invite them to join in? Forget it. This is a joke. Our consultant made me dream big. Personally, I didn’t believe it was possible and I filed the little story away with my papers and forgot about it while I got on with the hard daily grind of therapy and coping and caring for the rest of the family, while at the same time sorting out my grief and stress and pain. Progress came tiny step by tiny step and we felt like we were clawing our way up a never ending mountain with no safety ropes. It was so hard to see that we were getting anywhere.

I am so grateful that I was encouraged to ‘dream big’, even though it was through gritted, unhappy teeth. But what I thought was impossible took place. Now when I think of my son’s future, I can say, “I don’t know what will happen to him. But I know he’s already achieved more than I thought was possible, so I’m dreaming big and trusting God for the rest.” Cecily Paterson has four children and not a lot of spare time. She’s the author of the award winning memoir Love Tears & Autism and blogs at

It wasn’t two years later, but three years later, that I found the little piece of paper with my impossible dream scrawled reluctantly on it. When I saw it I gasped. Just that week I had written this piece in my blog: As I walked through the school playground at pick up time, Cameron spotted me out the classroom window. “Mum, mum! We’re doing art. Look at my pictures!” He raced up, very excited, to show me what he had done. Later, as we walked calmly through the front door, I asked him what else he did at school. “I played with Nathan and Kiri,” he said as we went into the kitchen.”We were heroes. Ash and Sarah were the villains. Hey, I’m hungry. Can I have an muesli bar?” “No,” I said, “but I have some pretzels and some watermelon.” “OK,” he replied. After he had eaten, I said to both boys, “You guys can go ride your bikes if you like.” “OK mum,” said Cameron. “Let’s go Max. Where’s Jasmine?” And they ran outside to play.

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Cecily with her children

Editor’s Pick! “This is a great story. One that every parent should read.”

Book Reviews Left Neglected Lisa Genova

Are you the kind of woman who wants to be and do it all? Then meet Sarah Nickerson, the career-driven supermum of Lisa Genova’s novel Left Neglected. The author creates a hectic imbalanced life for her protagonist where time is simply managed rather than enjoyed. We see Sarah struggle to uphold an 80 hour/week career managing the working lives of over 4000 employees while being a mother to three young children. Her crazy driven life comes to a crashing halt when she sustains a brain injury to the right side of her head as a result of a car accident. Although physically able, Sarah must now begin the arduous process of teaching her brain that a left side to everything exists, hence the condition known as left neglect. Through her rehabilitation, Sarah is forced to re-evaluate her life’s priorities and realise that achieving an affluent lifestyle was to the detriment of a potentially strong and unified family. In stating that “I’ve learned that my life can be fully lived with less” (p. 398), the author adequately surmises Sarah’s epiphany. The very essence of the novel’s message is that we should never take for granted those we love for the sake of personal gratification.

by Gina Hamilton One Thousand Gifts Ann Voskamp

Ann Voskamp shares her revelation about grace, joy and thanksgiving in a very honest and personal way. One Thousand Gifts is a memoir of her journey from grief-stricken witness of the death of her sister, self-mutilation, agoraphobia and deep emotional torment. The concept of eucharisteo (to give thanks) is at the crux of Ann’s “dare to live fully right where you are”. Through the act of chronicling 1000 of God’s gifts, even the daily mundane things, she is challenged to live with constant gratitude by whole-heartedly giving God thanks in all things, “because He knows that the feeling of joy begins in the action of thanksgiving” (p.176). Ann reveals a series of “aha” moments throughout her book as she gives her insight into what it means to communion with God. If you are looking for a matter-of-fact book then this is not it. Ann’s poetic style of writing meanders around concepts that have been intertwined with her narration of personal stories. This can frustrate readers as she doesn’t always make a point succinctly. Nevertheless, she offers a practical spirituality which encourages her readers to discover God’s grace and blessings for their lives in a transforming way. Ann has since produced a small group study and devotional birthed from the eucharisteo concepts explored and celebrated in her debut book. The final chapters of One Thousand Gifts exude Ann’s joy in God as ultimately her life of thanks-giving literally becomes thanks-living (p.193). Indulge | February/March 2013 | 41


Carolyn Donovan - Dreaming in Stilettos 42 |

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Words: Catherine Johnsen Photography: Natasha Smith NSP Studio Photography Hair & Make-up: Gemma Elaine 44 |


hen Carolyn Donovan - mother, international model and successful author - wrote Journey of a Princess - a collection of stories about inspiring Australian Women, she overlooked one exceptional woman: herself. “Books, reading and writing have long been a passion of mine,” Carolyn shares. “I always maintain that models should be the most intelligent, well-read, philosophical people on earth because with all the travel, transit, and waiting around for lighting to be adjusted and so on, there is so much opportunity to read and read… “I always got so much out of reading and learning about other women; their testimonies are so powerful; and I was always searching for books on inspiring Australian women but could never find any that I related to on the bookshelves…so I put together Journey of a Princess - a book on everyday Aussie girls doing amazing things in their little corner of the world.” After the success of her first book, Carolyn began working on another: Chooks in Stilletos, a light hearted look at Carolyn’s misadventures in the (not always) glamorous world of modelling, and the even less glamorous role of motherhood and married life. It is the type of book that will have you laughing out loud as you see yourself in some of the scenarios.

Someone has been where you are now. Someone has felt what you are feeling. Someone understands… ‘me too!’… ‘me too!’” More than a pretty face and a great storyteller, Carolyn is a passionate advocate for protecting the planet and liberating its oppressed people. She believes every woman (and man) can help make a difference in God’s world, without compromising on style, and without needing to don a pair of hemp sandals or live off bean sprouts!

“I always think of my ‘ministry’ – if you want to call it that – as the ministry of ‘me too’ - that moment when you realise you are not alone. Someone has been where you are now.”

“I couldn’t resist recording all the hilarious things that happen to you while you are trying to be this elegant, supposedly glamorous, model – with a couple of snotty-nosed kids hanging off your less than perfect and slightly hairy legs,” Carolyn laughs. “I love using words to bring things to life and I love speaking to people - so I’m going to use them with all my might. As much as I would love to be able to sing like Adele and cook like Nigella…I have made peace with the fact that they are not my giftings. “I always think of my ‘ministry’ – if you want to call it that – as the ministry of ‘me too’ - two of the most comforting words in the universe… ‘me too’ - that moment when you realise you are not alone. Indulge | February/March 2013 | 45

It was after having children that Carolyn first began to question her consumer choices and the impact that those decisions were having on the environment and on other people. “Becoming a mother was an awakening for me,” Carolyn says. “I went from thinking how little my life mattered, and what little impact I had on the world around me, to realising that every action causes a reaction, every choice has a consequence – even choosing not to choose has consequences. “At one time I thought caring about our planet was more suited to the slightly eccentric of the world… and anyway, how could something as huge and vast as our planet possibly be affected by my single little self? Surely the products I buy and consume couldn’t be creating even the slightest glitch on anyone else’s life?” After researching topics including water cleanliness, air pollution, pesticide residues, childhood diseases and human trafficking (currently the fastest growing trade in the world), Carolyn realised that consumer decisions hold immense power. “It is abhorrent when things like cost cutting measures allow people to force unthinkable acts of injustice on another human,” Carolyn says. “These are things I can no longer justify brushing aside. Our purchases and every day choices have the power to exploit, or empower. I decided that I wasn’t going to just hope that if I ignored it, it would all go away. “The more I searched, the more I discovered that there are many solutions available. I just had to start with one. And so, being a rather loud and excitable kind of person anyway, I grabbed a megaphone (my computer) and told everyone else about the information I had discovered.”

“It’s easy to think that the impact of what we do is just like 46 |

e a drop in a bucket. But enough drops make an ocean.�

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This was the impetus behind her latest book, Greenies in Stilletos, which offers thoroughly researched, practical advice on caring for the earth and its inhabitants, interwoven with humorous anecdotes and illustrations by Carolyn, minus any environmental jargon. “It has always surprised me how shocked people are when they discover how ‘green’ and environmentallyminded I am,” Carolyn says. “Being in an industry not usually renowned for natural practises, putting together a book jampacked with the simplest and most beautiful ways to save the earth and look gorgeous while doing it, was something I believed important to share. “Being ‘green’ immediately conjures up thoughts of how uncomfortable, difficult or unattractive that would make life – and there are so many negative facts and figures out there already on how we are poisoning ourselves, de-valuing life and destroying the Earth – but there are so many really easy and beautiful ways to balance, counteract and offset all the nasty ‘necessities’ we generate in this day and age. “It’s easy to think that the impact of what we do is just like a drop in a bucket. But enough drops make an ocean. That’s a powerful thought.” In her book, Carolyn shares her passion for thrifty recycling and upcycling - including instructions for turning a tank top into a handbag; and recipes for beauty products using ingredients you can find in the pantry.

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Carolyn’s “Greenie” Tips 1. Don’t have anything to wear? Reinvent something in your wardrobe or wear it a different way (wear it back-to-front, inside out, wear a skirt as a top, a long sleeve top as harem pants, a belt as a bracelet…the sky’s the limit!). 2. A dash of white vinegar is delicious in salad dressing…and it is also great as rinse-aid in the dishwasher, fabric softener in the wash, an air freshener, bathroom cleaner, hair conditioner, hair highlighter, sore throat remedy…while relieving stings and insect bites. 3.Indoor plants have the ability to remove harmful pollutants such as trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde from the air (which are used in things like carpeting, cleaners and building products like plywood, particle board and foam insulation). Indoor plants not only improve air quality, but also have a proven calming effect on people…and as any interior designer will tell you, they add a luxurious and clean feel to an interior space. Adopt an indoor plant. 4. Create less pollution. We know things like riding a bike, taking public transport and car pooling help cut down on the vehicle emissions contaminating our environment, but in this busy world, sometimes we just have to drive…so prevent excess pollution emissions (and save big dollars) by doing simple things like: •Driving at the speed limit – it can cost you up to 25% less in fuel usage than speeding. (Not that any of us do that!) •Avoid ‘idling’. Leaving your car running while you wait for someone, even for as much as 10 seconds, uses more petrol than it takes to restart. •Check your tyres are inflated to the correct tyre pressure (it’s in your user manual). Driving on under-inflated tyres requires the engine to work harder and chews up more fuel. 5. Don’t buy fakes. When you buy fake designer goods, you become the end of a chain that is supporting all manner of criminal behaviour from drug trafficking to terrorism, according to Interpol’s human trafficking research. As well as funding organised crime, chances are your fake will have been manufactured by women or children entrapped in slave labour. Set higher standards as a consumer.

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Carolyn credits her resourcefulness and love of DIY fashion and beauty products to her parents and large family upbringing. “It has been said that there are two ways of being unhappy: one is not getting want you want; the other is getting what you want. My parents provided everything I needed to create what I wanted in life,” she explains. In terms of teenage fashion, this came in the form of many bulging bags of hand-me-down clothes from Carolyn’s cousins. “My entire wardrobe was upcycled, remade outfits, pickings from my older cousin’s hand me downs that I had chopped and stitched and dyed and stretched into things I liked. The ideas came from the glossy magazines in my high school library,” she says.

Carolyn’s tips for looking and feeling great! 1. If you don’t feel good in what you are wearing – don’t leave the house in it. Regardless of how fashionable it is, how much it cost, or who gave it to you. Feeling comfortable and confident about what you are wearing allows you to take your mind off yourself and focus on others. 2. Laugh more. Research shows children laugh hundreds of times a day; adults, about 10. Laughter doth the soul good, like medicine. Laughing is infectious and healthy…and a great (and free!) anti-aging weapon. 3. Limit sugar. Sugar is known to seriously damage collagen which leads to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. Not to mention the sugar ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ that can leave you feeling exhausted and irritable. 4. Have lots of female friends (and remember to be the friend you would like to have). They will let you know when you look beautiful…or ridiculous!...and remind you that growing older is a blessing not a curse. 5.We are snared by the words of our mouth says Proverbs 6:2. Snare (catch) yourself speaking life, and truth, and God’s promises into situations. It will not only make you irresistible to be around, but will also give you a renewed passion for life; and as French designer Yves Saint Laurent once famously said, “The most beautiful makeup a woman can wear is passion, but cosmetics are easier to buy.”

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“When I entered modelling, I realised I was in an industry that so many would love to be in…being primped and preened and dressed in fabulous clothes and flown to exotic locations all over the world. I had this supposed ticket to all things glamorous – and I felt like a bit of a fraud. I was only this girl from the suburbs who really wasn’t half as glamorous as I was supposed to be. I felt like a sham.” Although initially uncertain, Carolyn was able to fan her tiny flames of childhood dreams into roaring fires of adult success; and she now encourages her own children to pursue their dreams with equal fervour. “A very wise friend once said, ‘Your children either inherit your fears, or God’s promises.’ That thought is foremost in my mind whenever I open my mouth to my kids. I don’t always get it right, mind you… sometimes the thought to mouth ratio gets mixed up! “I remind them to listen to the dreams and desires God has planted in their hearts…be thankful for it, nurture it, feed it good things and protect it… because if you are not mindful of what you allow in and you don’t purposefully shape your future, someone else’s view of the future will shape you.” Feeling inspired? Carolyn offers this advice for anyone that is wanting to pursue their dreams, but is unsure of where to begin: “Dreams are what get you out of bed in the morning... What inspires you? What could you talk about all day? If you could choose any job you wanted, what could you do all day…for free? That usually triggers something! Don’t waste another moment…because you have been given those talents for a reason. And the world is missing out until you dig them up and use them. You will not only inspire so many…but be more alive and passionate than you have ever thought possible, and that is simply irresistible.” V

Giveaway We have three copies of Carolyn’s latest book “Greenies in Stilettos” to give away to readers. To enter, send an email to and tell us why you would like to save the world. Entries must be received by 5pm, Thursday 28 February 2013 (AEST), Winners will be notified by email.

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“Your children either inherit your fears, or God’s promises.”

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The Small Changes that Lead to Big Results Words: Dr Cris Beer Photography: istock


nterestingly it’s often the small things in life that matter most. Whether it’s the thoughtful bunch of flowers received without reason, the tight squeeze of a loved one’s hug, the smell of a home-cooked meal, or the delight of a rainbow. Small things can make the greatest impact to our experience of life. The same is true for our health. Often we feel the need to make huge changes in order to see results when it comes to reaching our health goals. This approach can leave us weary and discouraged when we fail to make those changes. We can often, in turn, see ourselves as a failure rather than see the approach we’re taking as failing us. After all there has to be a reason why only an estimated eight percent of those who make New Year’s resolutions are able to keep them1. Often the

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approach we take is unachievable although the actual goal itself might be sound. For instance, if my goal was to lose 30kg in the next six months, I need to ask myself the following questions: Q1) Firstly, is this goal actually achievable in the next six months? Studies have shown that to ensure long-term weight maintenance a goal of no more than 0.5kg-1kg per week of weight loss is ideal2. To ensure that I am able to maintain my 30kg weight loss it would probably mean extending out my timeframe to 12 months. Q2) What in my life needs to change in order for me to lose this weight? After all, I didn’t get

here overnight. What small things have I allowed to creep in that may be preventing me from living a healthier lifestyle? For example, I remember a time when I rarely ate dessert. In fact, I hardly thought about eating dessert. It just wasn’t part of my lifestyle. Then I became busier at work, started neglecting my exercise regimen in place of working longer hours, and made less time to plan proper meals. I found myself grabbing whatever was easiest for dinner and coupled with sugar cravings (which is part of the stress-response) found that I was looking for something sweet after dinner. Before I knew it I was eating dessert every night. Over a period of several months, my shape started to change. I felt lethargic and heavy. Most of all, I felt like a failure. What I realise now through working with multitudes of patients is that this experience is a common one. Our lives are certainly busier than they were 50 years ago. Instead of looking at myself as a failure and ‘trying harder’, I needed to evaluate the poor habits I had allowed in my lifestyle. Once I evaluated my priorities, which for most people is their health, I realised I was not living by what I valued most and could not live without. I started to make small changes to my work schedule. I started to say ‘no’ more often to the endless tasks. I made it a priority to plan meals instead of spending hours on social media or doing some other mindless task. After a period of time, without too much effort or tears, I had lost the excess weight that had been accumulated through poor choices. Q3) Do I realise that achieving this goal may not lead to happiness? All too often I have witnessed people focussing so much on their need to change and their health goal that it becomes almost an obsession. I have been there myself and I can tell you, it’s not a nice place to find yourself in. What I’ve also witnessed is how disappointed people are when they achieve their goal. They thought they would be happier. But as we know, true happiness is not found in how we look or what we achieve in life. Sure we can be proud of our achievements and enjoy the process of change. But true happiness, often termed ‘joy’, should be a steady state in our lives.

Losing weight is a typical example. Often when people lose weight they are momentarily elated over the achievement of the goal and at the compliments they are now receiving. This quickly can turn to fear about gaining weight. Too often the obsession becomes all-consuming until the willpower needed to maintain their weight is too great and people succumb to temptations. Happiness soon turns to despair. So maybe a challenge for all of us in 2013 is to keep dreaming big but realise that the achievement of big dreams requires some serious considerations. Namely, is our big dream achievable and over what time-frame? Does it fit into our current lifestyle or does our lifestyle need to be altered to fit the achievement of our big dream? Lastly, am I relying on my big dream to bring me happiness or is my happiness found within? May 2013 bring us all the great satisfaction of seeing big dreams realised! 1 University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical Psychology excerpt. New Year’s Resolution Statistics. http://www. 2 Susie Burrell. The Weight Loss Journey. Body & Soul Online the+weight+loss+journey,8495

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 Indulge | February/March 2013 | 55

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Fashion to Dream About...

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Yellow cami $49.95 White basic capri pant $99.95


reaming comes in all shapes and sizes. It is fun and exciting!

Just the mere mention of the word put our fashion team in a ‘spin’ for this issue. This Blue Illusion collection is bursting with colour to get your creative juices flowing as you dream big dreams. Happy Dreaming!

Love Tanya xx

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Fashion Editor: Tanya Epis Photography & Design: Natasha Smith NSP Studio Photography Models:Linda Robinson & Inessa Ivascanin Hair: Tanya Epis Make-up: Erin Gallienne

Printed pant $ 129.95 Poppy t-shirt $39.95 | February/March Shoes and jewelleryIndulge from Blue Illusions (Robina) 2013 | 59

Lipstick linen dress $149.95 White basic capri pant $99.95 Blue print tunic top $69.95 Shoes and jewellery from Blue Illusions (Robina)

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“Dreams are seeds of possibility planted in your soul...” John Maxwell

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“Every great dream begins with a dreamer...� Harriet Tubman

Yellow contrast hem dress $159.95 White embroidered dress shirt $129.95 Shoes and jewellery from Blue Illusions (Robina) 62 |

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Sweet Dreams

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Cooking with Angela

Easy Passionfruit and Coconut Slice Makes 12 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 30 mins   1 cup (150g) self-raising flour 1 cup (80g) desiccated coconut 1/2 cup caster sugar 100g butter - melted 400g can sweetened condensed milk 1/2 cup lemon juice, plus 1 tsp lemon zest 4 tbsp passionfruit pulp  

1. Preheat oven to 1700c. Line base and side of a 17cm x 27cm slice pan with baking paper. 2. Combine flour, coconut, caster sugar and butter in a large bowl. Press mixture into slice pan. 3. Bake for 12 minutes, until just firm and golden. 4. Meanwhile, to make topping, whisk together condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and passionfruit pulp in a bowl until combined. Pour mixutre over hot slice base. 5. Bake slice for another 15 minutes, until just firm to the touch. Set aside to cool. 6. Cut slice into rectangles and serve.

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Makes 12 | Prep 15 mins | Cook 30mins 200g dark chocolate - broken into chunks 100g milk chocolate - broken into chunks 250g butter 400g dark brown sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 4 eggs 140g plain flour 50g cocoa powder 250g frozen raspberries   1. Heat oven to 1800c. Line a 18cm x 27cm baking tin with baking paper. 2. Put chocolate, butter, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan and gently melt while stirring. Remove from heat. 3. Stir the eggs one at a time into the melted chocolate mixture. Sieve over the flour and cocoa and stir well. 4. Add half the raspberries, mixing gently. Pour into prepared tray, then scatter over remaining raspberries. 5. Bake for 30min - cool before slicing.

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Makes 6 | Prep 15mins | Cook 15 mins 100g butter - melted 6 sheets of filo pastry 300mls pouring cream 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 30g butter (extra for toffee) 3 tsp vanilla extract 3 bananas - sliced   1. Preheat oven to 1800c. Lightly grease six holes of a non-stick muffin pan. 2. Brush one sheet of filo with butter and fold into quarters, then fold in half again. Press into muffin cups and repeat with remaining filo. 3. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Remove from oven to cool. 4. To make toffee sauce, place 60mls from the 300mls of cream into a saucepan with brown sugar and butter. Stir over a medium heat until butter has melted. Bring to the boil then simmer for about 3 minutes until thickened. 5. Whip cream in a bowl till soft peaks form then add vanilla extract, mix slightly. Divide cream among filo cases. Top with sliced banana and toffee sauce and serve.

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Profile for Indulge Magazine

Indulge eMagazine - Dream Big  

February/March 2013 Issue. Indulge is a Magazine for Christian Women, that desires to see women become whole – spirit, soul and body.

Indulge eMagazine - Dream Big  

February/March 2013 Issue. Indulge is a Magazine for Christian Women, that desires to see women become whole – spirit, soul and body.