All The Little Girls…

I was never that fussed on having children. I know you’re not supposed to say that, but kids just never registered on my life’s ‘to do’ list.

As the years rolled by after our wedding day and we were unable to get pregnant, my concern was not that we would go through childless, but that my wife, Danelle, would go insane. She had so set her heart on being a mother, that to not be able to get pregnant was the worst fate she could imagine.

In the end we had 10 childless years as a married couple, which meant we had lots of holidays, lots of space in our lives and the chance to smash the mortgage a bit more than couples who did the ‘kid thing’ early. I enjoyed the freedom of those years and as a bloke who had never had much experience of children I quite literally didn’t know what I was missing.

It wasn’t that I was ‘anti-kids’. I was agnostic about children – unsure if they would add or subtract to our lives, or if I would even like being a father. If Danelle had given up the pursuit for children before we launched into the IVF process I think I would have been quite content to spend my life childless.

But we did go through the IVF process and became pregnant on our first attempt. Even then it still didn’t register for me in the way it did for Danelle. I knew that somewhere in the distant future we were going to have a child. I hoped that would be something I would enjoy, but it felt like anticipating a holiday in Mongolia. It could be good, but you never know…  Danelle moved from despair to elation as we prepared for this child while for me it was business as usual but with pre-natal classes thrown in.

Then it happened.

Around 8pm one night we rushed off to hospital and spent the night there before Ellie was born early the next morning. If ever there was a ‘before and after’ moment in my life then this was one of them. After the birth the nurses needed to take Danelle away for a bit of ‘after-care’ and they asked me if I’d like to hold her while they were gone.

‘Sure’ I said, but I was completely unprepared for what came next – for the torrent of emotion that stirred me, melted me and confused me all at the same time.

I had a daughter and now I was feeling things I’d never felt before. It was like someone had flicked a switch in me and suddenly activated ‘dad mode’. I didn’t even know I had a ‘dad mode’, but I knew now I was happy to be a dad and I wanted to be a good dad. I was glad my first child was a daughter as I grew up in a home where men shook hands and cuddling was for girls. I genuinely wasn’t sure how I would manage cuddling a newborn boy, so having a girl felt like a win.

I remember doing some random reading about the development of girls one day as part of my job as a youth worker and one of the pieces of research that left a mark on me was the finding that teenage girls will rarely go ‘looking for love’ in all the wrong places if they know without a doubt that they are loved by their father. I wanted her to know that anyway, but this information made me a little more intentional about it. I did not want her ever wondering if ‘daddy really loved her’.

And while this may sound simple and unspectacular, from the moment she could understand words of some form I began to tell her about ‘all the little girls’. I would go into her room at night, pray with her, cuddle her and then I’d look in her eyes and ask her a question:

‘Hey, have I ever told you about all the little girls?’

‘No?!’ she’d say, without fail every time (and often with a degree of mock surprise). This was my cue to tell her one more time.

‘Well… if I could have all the little girls in the whole wide world and put them in a big, big, big, long line, up and around the moon and back, and if I was only allowed to choose one little girl, to be my little girl, my best and my favourite, my kindest, bravest and most beautiful by far, do you know who I’d choose?’

‘No?’ she’d say (without fail every time) and then she would look directly into my eyes and wait for the answer – the same answer as every time.

‘I’d choose you – every single time.’ I’d see her eyes smile, and she’d hug me. I’d like to think that smile was from the security of knowing without doubt that her dad loves her – that he always has and always will.

As a child she would often ask me to tell her about all the little girls – sometimes several times a day. Over the years as Ellie got a little older and matured into a beautiful young woman, she didn’t ask as much to be told about ‘all the little girls’ and now as a teenager she doesn’t ask at all, which is fine and appropriate.

But there are evenings even now, when I will randomly wander into her room and ask her ‘Hey have I told you lately about all the little girls?’ and she will stop what she is doing and look me in the eye and say ‘I don’t think you have.’

And that’s my cue.

(published with Ellie’s permission)

Speaking, Being Heard & Bringing Change










Speaking, being heard and bringing change – these are three completely different things.

The big hope when communication is a major part of your life and work is that you will speak in such a way that you are not only ‘heard’, but that your words will provoke action and significant life change. Otherwise you simply add to the never ending din of white noise that pervades our world.

I’ve been speaking to groups of one sort or other for over 30 years now and as I’ve got better at it, I’ve noticed that I’ve changed in how I communicate. I once wanted to make sure I got the information across correctly and to do that I would sacrifice a degree of personal engagement and spontaneity. With that sacrifice also came a corresponding decrease in passion and energy.

Now any time I speak I’ve got the basic idea nailed – that’s important after that there’s a plan, but its not critical I adhere to it religiously. I am just as concerned – sometimes moreso for the energy I speak with and the feelings that are created as few people respond simply to information. Otherwise we could all read our sermons or even send them by email and the ‘information’ would have the same effect.

So with that in mind here are some quotes I came across that reflect some of my own priorities in communication these days:

‘Don’t memorise, internalise’. – David Brooks. 

If you’re preaching on Sunday and you can’t describe what you want to say in one short  sentence then you haven’t done enough work to clarify and internalise the message. Its the test I give myself each Friday when I prepare. If I can’t frame it in one sentence then there is more work to be done!

‘Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.’ – Dionysius Of Halicarnassus

Aint that the case hey? Ever been listening to someone that would have been better to call for 20 minutes of silent prayer? If it isn’t worth saying then just don’t say it.

‘Once you get people laughing, they’re listening and you can tell them almost anything’. – Herbert Gardner

Ok – a little dangerous. I’m sure this is in the kit bag of all aspiring cult leaders… but I think its a general rule that people will listen to you far more willingly if you have been kind enough to make them smile and laugh. I will always shoot for 3 minutes of funny story or jovial engagement before kicking you in the nuts.

Always be shorter than anybody dared to hope. – Lord Reading

It doesn’t seem to matter how many pages of notes I take with me, I always seem to speak for 25-30 minutes these days. That seems to be how long I can hold most people and not have them wanting to leave. If you’re a beginner then shorter is always better. No one will EVER criticise you for a short talk, but plenty will resent you for eternity if you blather on after they have stopped listening.

Grasp the subject, the words will follow. – Cato the Elder

In other words – know your stuff and you can talk about it in many & various ways. This Sunday I am speaking about how we have significant conversations with one another that will form us into Christlikeness and I could actually talk about that for an hour right now. The work I do between now and Sunday is to cull the unnecessary information, add the stories and make it concise and useful.

The eloquent man is he who is no beautiful speaker, but who is inwardly and desperately drunk with a certain belief. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ah… passion! I have heard some theologically correct and technically well ordered sermons in my time that have left me weeping with boredom. But passion anchored to knowledge is the recipe for some real life change. The recent Royal Wedding was an example of passion making people sit up and take notice, when ordinarily they would have zoned out and looked at their phones for 10 minutes.

And if I had two piece of advice from my own experience to share that have been critical I would say:

‘Tell stories. Tell stories. Tell stories.’ 

That’s not lame, shallow, and veering into Ophrah world. Its how people listen. Its how people see the world. If you want to be heard then tell stories – personal stories as much as possible – not those ‘canned illustrations’ from the preaching books. Of course your stories have to be relevant, potent and helpful otherwise they can be rants, time fillers or self indulgence. But if Jesus thought it was best to make his point with stories then I’m happy to trust his judgement on that one. If you live in exegetical world and feel the need to communicate the wisdom of 30 different theological scholars to the people in your community then its time to give that away and start telling stories. Seriously – no one cares.

Second piece of advice from the Hamo school of communication…

‘You have 30 seconds to get me listening or my mind is going walkabout – and probably not coming back.’

The opening of any talk is the most important part. Lose me here and you might lose me forever. That’s how it is for some folks. You simply HAVE TO get my attention within 30 seconds or I go ‘mind-surfing’ and I only come back if you begin telling another story.

Anyway – hope they are helpful whatever communication you are doing!

The Cheat









It was October of 1980 and I was in year 11 at Scarborough Senior High School. I was an A grade English student and had always done well at both assignments and exams. We were about 3 weeks away from the end of year exams when a friend approached me in the courtyard and said excitedly, ’Hamo, I was just in the English office and I found the exam papers sitting on Teacher X’s desk. No one was around, so I took one. Do you want to see it?!’

I couldn’t believe someone would be so bold – so stupid… If he got caught he was history.

But that question, ‘Do I want to see it?…’

What a question to ask a competitive and often unscrupulous 16 year old. I wish I could say that I hesitated, pondered his offer and declined, but I didn’t hesitate at all. Instead I just said ‘Show me!’

And he did… And it was the paper… the actual questions that we would all be facing in 3 weeks time. I had them in my hand and I now had the opportunity to absolutely blitz this exam! If I couldn’t get the top mark for the year group then there would be something wrong.

If it had happened today I would have taken a photo of the exam with my phone, but instead I had to borrow it, take it home and copy out the questions onto a piece of paper. Even photocopiers weren’t readily accessible in 1980. I wrote the questions down and returned the paper to my friend, Brian – yes his real name… The weeks that followed had me practicing my answers to this exam and literally memorising my responses to the questions. I wrote and rewrote my answers so many times that I could do it in my sleep. For one piece of descriptive writing I even ‘pre-wrote’ the answer on a sheet of paper of the same kind as would be used in the exam, slipped it up my jumper and took it in with me, dropping it out onto the table while no one was looking. That one answer got a 10/10 and a rave review from the teacher marking it.

I didn’t get caught. No one spilled the beans and we made a ‘clean getaway’.


I finished up with a 92% for the exam which I have to say was a tad disappointing all things considered. Worse though was that my nemesis Fiona Watson managed to get 95% without cheating. I think I wanted to beat her more than I wanted to get a good result, so I was utterly bummed. Still 92% was a decent outcome and with exams over the summer surf was beckoning.

We all farewelled school for another year, but in the back of my mind was a nagging voice saying ‘You cheated…’ It wasn’t loud, so I managed to ignore it, but it just kept on quietly tapping on my conscience. Much like a dripping tap, some days it was all I could hear.

You cheated. You cheated. You cheated. You cheated. You cheated. You cheated. You cheated. You cheated. You cheated.

You get the idea.

At this stage in my life I was a ‘fledgling Christian’, which is another way of saying I sucked at it. Sometimes I was driven by a desire to follow Jesus and his way, but equally often I was subject to my more base desires and unable to resist the lure of the temptations around me. This was one of my darker moments.

I did know that I needed to do something to make things right. But what?

As the holidays ended I decided I would go back and see the Head of English, tell him what I’d done and take whatever consequences there were. I wasn’t going to dob anyone else in. I’d just cop the heat for it and take whatever consequences came. Suddenly my 92% was looking very shaky but I knew I needed to do this.

So on day one of year 12 I went to the English office and asked to see Mr Nelson on his own.

‘Yes Andrew, what I can help you with?’

‘Well, I cheated on last year’s English exam.’ I thought it best to cut to the chase.

‘Right,’ he responded, waiting for me to continue. At this point I realise now that he had no idea at all what I meant when I said cheated. How do you cheat on an English exam anyway?!

‘You see, one day when there was no one in the English office a friend of mine went in and saw the exam papers sitting on the desk and he took one, and he showed it to me and we studied it before the exam.’

I was confessing this with fear and trepidation, just wanting to get it off my conscience and make things right. I hadn’t given a thought to what reaction this might evoke in him, other than anger at my cheating. He caught me off guard with his response.

‘Well Andrew, thanks for coming to see me and letting me know.’

‘What will happen now?’ I asked.

He shook his head, looking as if he didn’t care, but (as I later realised) actually because he was in a bind. If I were to lose marks people would know and would want to know why. And the answer would be simply that ‘someone’ was careless enough to leave a stack of English exams on a desk in an unlocked office and a bunch of year 11 boys now had inflated grades as a result. Explain that one to your boss… HIs silence was simply him digesting and processing where this could lead.

Eventually he said, ’Nothing Andrew. The marks will stand. Thanks for letting me know.’

‘Ok,’ I said and left, wondering what had just happened.

What had just happened? I had followed an inner prompt to set things right regardless of the consequences and I’d done it. At the time I didn’t understand why I wasn’t punished. Later, when I was working as an English teacher, in the exact same school, the moment came back to me and I smiled. The same principal was in office as would have been there 12 years previous and he would not have seen the funny side (if there was one) of the stolen English paper.

So while I walked away with my grade intact, what mattered more was that a teenage boy had taken one faltering step towards being a good, honest man. I had said ‘no – that’s not who I want to be’ and I had drawn a line in the sand. In years to come I would go through theological college with a bloke who was copying the papers of past students and handing them in as his own. I was bewildered, but I guess that’s where it leads if you don’t draw your own lines early.

I don’t want to hold myself up as some kind of overly virtous kinda bloke, because that’s not who I am, but I do know who I aspire to be and I also know that when I screw up I need to fix up, otherwise I will learn to overlook my flaws and accept them as normal.

Maybe you’ve got a load on your own mind, a weight of stuff that you need to repair. It takes a bit of courage to lean into that, but its also the first steps in becoming the person you want to be, rather than the person you will become if you allow cowardice and fear rule your life.

There is a Homeless Man in My Street

There’s a homeless man in my street.

He wasn’t always homeless but he is now. It’s winter and its cold and he’s homeless. And I wonder what I should do… We don’t see homeless people in our suburb. I don’t even know if there are any others, but to have one in your own street… well, its disturbing and unsettling.

He doesn’t ‘look’ homeless – not like the picture above. He is neat and tidy, he smiles at you and can be seen reading a book on a park bench often during the day. He could be someone’s dad, or grandad out for a quiet stroll.

I first met ‘Bert’ 5 years ago when white ants had attacked our timber floors and I needed someone to repair them. He lived in the next street, worked in timber flooring and I figured I would use a local guy. He came around to quote on the job and spent maybe 5 minutes on the quote, before producing a package he wanted me to look at – a CD and some documents.

Bert had an invention he was trying to get investors for and it wasn’t going well. He showed me his invention, told me all about it. I wasn’t interested as it seemed like a bizarre concept no one would ever be interested in. But he was convinced… obsessed… consumed by it.

I never did get the quote, or the floor fixed.

A couple of years later his house was on the market. The word around the neighbourhood was that he had invested all of his money in the invention and had lost the house as a result. It was a significant house and very sad as he had built it himself. But the invention needed to be pursued.

I heard nothing more of Bert for another 2 or 3 years. Then I got wind that he was living in a local share house with a young couple. He lasted a few months there, but drove them crazy with his constant badgering and salemanship. They had to kick him out to stay sane.

He went to another house in our own street, but after 3 weeks hadn’t paid his rent. Again he was asked to leave.

Now he spends his days on the street, lives under a tree at the top of the hill and when the weather hits he takes shelter in a half built house across the road from our home with the perrmission of the owner. He can be seen most evenings walking the beachfront and watching the sunset before walking past our home to the top of the hill, or the half built house.

I bumped into him again down the beach one evening as I was flying my drone and taking pictures. He introduced himself, unaware that I knew who he was, and asked the usual questions about the drone – how far it can fly, how much it cost and so on. I answered him and chatted for a few moments, but with an aircraft in the sky I needed to pay attention to what I was doing. It was then that he began his sales pitch.

I politely declined and told him I needed to concentrate. He mumbled under his breath and took off.

Then I left home yesterday with Lucy my dog to get a quick evening walk in before sun-down. He was already walking up our street. I said ‘Hello Bert’ and he stopped to talk. I didn’t want to talk as rain was pressing in and I needed to get the dogwalk in before getting drenched.

We chatted briefly and I asked him when he would be finding a home again. He told me he is waiting for the invention to be taken up and to become profitable. Then he will be rich. He launched into telling me again about the invention and his ideas for changing the world. In his Eastern European accent he is hard to follow, but I got the gist of what he was saying. I told him again that I wasn’t interested in his invention and I excused myself. By that point he was ranting and railing about the environment and ecological destruction etc etc… He continued at volume as I walked down the street.

Maybe he’s just eccentric. Maybe he’s a little crazy. I don’t know for sure and it seems no one can get past his obsessive talk to who he is. He has been rude to people, harsh and even a little aggressive at times.

He has evoked curiosity among some neighbours and nervousness among others.

At our local coffee shop last week he became a topic of conversations between an older lady and myself. She is also a Christian and lives at the top of our street. We both looked at one another and said ‘We have space in our homes… but… but…’

What would Jesus do? I’m really not sure. Sure – he’d want to help the man. He’d love him. I just don’t know what that looks like.

I left a $50 note at the local cafe last week to help with their food bill as he sometimes drops in there for a feed. But was that a way of ‘helping’, or just a way of appeasing a burdened conscience? I never know for sure.

As I drove home from church last week I felt disturbed that a man was walking the street – my street even – in winter weather, while we lived in homes with spare rooms.

And I wonder, will we be held responsible in some way for that callousness? If there are sheep and goats, am I a goat?…

I tell myself, there is a reason he is on the street and offering him a room in your house or a key to your caravan may band-aid his symptoms, but it won’t solve his real problem. I think thats true.

But I still dunno if Jesus would say that…

So there is still a homeless man in my street.

Putting it Out There


I’ve started writing a book.

I’ve been pondering / meaning to / thinking about compiling much of what is on this blog into a book of some shape or form for ages, but for various reasons it hasn’t happened.

Some of the struggle has just been plain laziness – writing takes effort – watching Netflix doesn’t. Some of it has been a health issue which has meant sitting still has been hard, but some of it has also been that each time I have sat down to try and do it I have felt blocked – stuck – and unable to ‘find my voice’ so to speak. I have literally slammed the lid of the laptop shut in frustration because I have been unable to get going.

Last week I had a brief text conversation with my mate Phil who produced the Dad Book and he suggested organising into sections of work. That helped. I started to frame my various posts in different categories and the wheels started to turn. Those sections have already morphed several times, but that was a catalyst to get me moving.

However the ‘aha’ moment came when I was able to describe the precise type of book I want to write and who I want to write for. The book is intended to be a collation of my existing blog thoughts (15 years worth…) and more recently talks from 98.5FM and big brekkie episodes. There will also be some new stuff that has been sparking as I’ve been writing. So it will be short reflective stories of 2-3 pages in length that can be read in 5 minutes over breakfast, on the train or in the toilet (if that’s your thing…)

When I started to mentally picture who I wanted to write for, the faces I saw weren’t the faces of people in my church community – or in any church community for that matter. I think those people may find the stuff useful, but I started to see faces of my friends who don’t have church connections, but with whom I have conversations about life and faith and spirituality. These are people who want to live life well, and who are open to considering the Christian story – if it is framed in a way that makes sense.

There are plenty of ‘apologetics’ books – the ones that provide evidence and reasons for faith, so that base is well and truly covered by people smarter than me. But what I’d like to do is tell stories like this one and this one and this one – that have their focus as the kingdom of God and what that looks like and give people a vision of what life looks like when lived Jesus’ way.  I’d also include a few like this one that is more pointed, deliberate and maybe even confronting.

When Jesus wanted to communicate with people and either develop understanding or provoke curiosity he told stories. I guess he did this because stories draw people in and stories are somewhat ambiguous at times (“The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed”… “A man had two sons”…) Stories are less directive and didactic but stories have power because they often appeal to the heart. So my hope is to write a collection of stories – some mine and some I have picked up over the years that all point towards the nature of the kingdom of God, but in a gentle and maybe even subversive way.

I have often thought that I’d like a book to give to friends who are open to faith, but who wouldn’t gel with the whole ‘evidence based’ approach, but they are hard to come by.  When Sheridan Voysey produced Unseen Footprints I finally felt I had a more narrative shaped book that I could hand to people who were asking faith questions, but I don’t know of many others. So I am hoping to add one more to (very small) collection

In ‘Christian world’ we have what we know of as ‘devotional books’, those books that we can use to help us connect with God thru a brief piece of writing and a reference to a section of the Bible.

I guess this is a ‘devotion book’ for people who don’t share our faith, a collection of short reflections, unashamedly written from a Christian worldview, that could be read each day and that would give food for thought as well as light for the road ahead. I’d like to finish each chapter with 2 or 3 helpful reflection questions as well as providing some relevant part of the Bible for people to explore if they wish.

My hope is that it could be something people could give to a friend or a neighbour confidently and without cringing, knowing that the content would be engaging and provocative as well as solid – that it would fuel further conversations and if people didn’t buy into the whole faith thing then they would at least have some common sense input for living life well.

One of the things Phil said to me was that part of actually getting his book completed was ‘putting it out there’ and making it public that it was happening. From that comes the drive to follow through and not look like a guy who can’t finish what he starts. So this is me doing the same… saying I have started and I intend to finish. If all goes to plan I hope to be finished by the end of winter – 3 months. I dunno if that is overly ambitious but as a retic and turf bloke who worked a whole 2 hours last week I reckon I have the time on hand if I can use it wisely.

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

In April we set off to Exmouth with some long term family friends hoping that the weather and swell would be kind to us and we would score some good waves together.

When I say ‘long term friends’ I’m talking 30 years of friendship – a mate I went to school with and a family we know really well. But its not just length of friendship that is significant but also the depth and quality – these are our ‘besties’ who we’d trust with our lives.

We arrived in Exmouth to good weather and even better surf, which was wonderful. Not all of our shared adventures in this town have turned out so well. We surfed morning and night for a few days straight, getting some great waves and generally coming home weary and stoked.

However on the afternoon of the third day there was a rather unfortunate mishap. Sam took off on a wave only to see my friend Stuart right in front of him. Each had just a split second to react in order to avoid a collision, but they chose to head in the same direction and the end result was a rather large gouge in Stuart’s fairly new board where Sam’s fins had cut across it.


Sam apologised and paddled back out. Stuart wasn’t enjoying the day a lot and after the collision he called it a day and paddled in.

Its what happened next that was interesting.

While I was sitting out the back waiting for my next wave Sam paddled over nervously and said ‘Oh Dad… I just put a ding in Stu’s board and he is so mad!’

I thought, ‘Really?…’ I couldn’t imagine Stuart getting really upset about a ding in a surfboard. So I asked Sam about what happened.

‘I took off and saw him there. I wasn’t sure which way he was going to go and then next thing BANG! He’s so angry with me dad. He’s gone in because he’s furious. He’s going to tell me I’m an idiot.’

Suddenly Sam was describing a person I didn’t know. I have seen Stuart get angry occasionally, but I couldn’t imagine this trivial situation was even going to register on his rage gauge, let alone evoke this kind of reaction Sam was describing.

‘What makes you say that Sam?’ I asked. I wanted to know why Sam was suddenly seeing Stuart in this way.

‘I can just tell,’ said Sam. ‘He was mad!’

I was listening, but I needed to push back. ‘Sam! This is Stuart! We know Stuart. Has he ever behaved like that before towards you? Has he ever given you reason to believe he would lose it over a ding in a surfboard?’

‘No… but…’ Sam wasn’t convinced.

I knew Stuart would never see a damaged surfboard as sufficient reason to vent anger on my son so I carried on. ‘Sam you are making up a story in your head about this situation and I don’t believe its true. In fact I think it’s coming from your own fears and anxieties.’

Sam still wasn’t convinced. ‘I dunno dad… I am saw the look on his face… and he’s paddled in…’

Ok – get that. From the look on his face and the fact that Stuart has stopped surfing, Sam concluded he was in trouble.

Such is the nature of our internal monolog that we sometimes create stories that we believe to be true when they are anything but and the more insecure we are as people, the more likely we are to do this.

We interpret body language, voice tone, text messages and emails in different ways depending on our own mood and state of mind, but our interpretations aren’t always accurate. And this is a problem because if our interpretations aren’t accurate then we start to believe lies and this is where relationships come unstuck or people get misunderstood.

Maybe you’ve invited a friend to the movies and got a short, curt text message reply.

‘No – can’t come.’

You can be offended that your friend didn’t gush regret at being unable to join you, or you can choose to believe the best about your friend and assume that you caught her in a busy moment and she managed to quickly get back to you but with minimal information.

The bottom line is that unless you have a face to face conversation you cannot know the tone and intent of the text. You cannot know with any certainty what was going on in her world and her mind when she sent the text.

But – you can believe the best about her. Based on the friendship you have you can assume the best, rather than assuming the worst.

As Sam and I discussed his own inner monolog in this situation he came to realise that he was creating a story in his own mind that was most likely untrue. When we got to the beach half an hour later and saw Stuart there was none of the animosity Sam had expected.

He went and apologised again for the incident and offered to pay for the repairs to the board. Stuart laughed and said, ‘Don’t worry – these things happen.’  There was no hostility – just a gracious, forgiving acceptance that when you go surfing you get dings.

One of the things I have attempted to do throughout life is to believe the best of every person I come across – to give them the benefit of the doubt, until its certain that we have a problem- and to recognise my own tendency to create stories in my mind.

The Bible speaks to this when it says that ‘love always looks for the best’ in the other person.

It’s the unhelpful stories we tell ourselves that unnecessarily destroy relationships – that portray other people poorly – that cause us to react with hostility rather than grace, but the stories actually say far more about us than they do about the other people in question.

If we can get to a place of choosing to believe the best about everyone all the time, then the world may just be a much happier and kinder place!

(And Sam read this before me going public with it)