Tag Archives: growth

What interests you?

What hobbies or special interests do you have? After being involved in Shed Happens over the past 3 years we have often spoken about what interests we all have. Not only hobbies but things you take a special interest in.

The first time I was asked this question I thought well my interests are cricket and footy. If you grow up in the Aussie country these are two sports which are played by most people. In my early years it was off to footy in the winter and cricket in the summer. Everyone played footy but during summer there were a few options of tennis, basketball and cricket.

Cricket trumped the others because we grew up watching the old man stand at first slip and open the batting in the A4 grade. I won’t go into too many of his career stats other than he always reminds us of his 100 he made in a grand final! Your Dad can have a huge influence on your upbringing both negatively and positively.

I’d have to say it was positive in this sense with all us boys going onto love and play this great sport. As kids we always had the afternoon sleep then off to watch Dad at the cricket later on. This was great for community. There were plenty of other families there as well so we as kids all grew up together.

As time has passed and I’ve grown older this question of my special interests got me thinking that there has got to be more out there that I haven’t tried yet.

do something differentNot long after being asked this I started trying a few different things. One lazy Sunday afternoon I grabbed the many cook books Lisa had in the cupboard and decided to cook something a bit fancier than a McCain’s pizza in the oven. I cooked some Cider glazed pork cutlets and a Creme Brulee for dessert. I got the thumbs up from Lisa, so as she’s a great cook I must have done alright. This has now become one of my special interests.

Another interest I’ve taken up is reading books. I remember it wasn’t that long ago I used to lie in bed staring at the ceiling while Lisa was reading her books. It used to annoy the heck out of me because we were both there not talking but she was enjoying what she was doing.

I think this reading book thing came about a lot more after the 2010 Better Blokes conference. Being brought up with a Christian faith was fine as long as I didn’t have to read the Bible. I found it that boring and irrelevant to my day-to-day life. But hearing a speaker at this conference just encourage you to pick it up and read it like a book changed my thought process.

I believed in the stuff coming from the Good Book but never read it myself. Which may sound contradictory but I just let the pastor at church read it out to me each Sunday. I never actively did it myself.

Well after this conference I thought I’d give it a go. The first morning back I picked it up and started reading it. I think this freaked Lisa out and I was very fearful of her reaction to this because it was never done in our house before. Three years later it has become normal and I still get many gems and promises from the God I believe in. I would have to say that the Chapters of Proverbs was a great place to start for me because it was so relevant to my day to day living.

This was really the start of reading for me. I reckon my old english teachers at school would freak out if they knew this had become an interest of mine. I started picking up more and more books that were to help me grow as a person. I think a lot about life and how we live. Some would say I think about things too much but they are the cards I’ve been dealt so I’ll continue to be who I am. This interest of reading is continuing because I love learning more and more from the minds and hearts of different authors.

Writing has also become something I’ve enjoyed doing. It’s helped me get stuff out my mind and onto the screen or paper.

I’ve found that as I write there is another little part that I’ve learnt about myself. Another side to the once one-dimensional cricket and footy bloke.

As this blog continues to evolve I will from time to time give book reviews of the stuff I’m reading. I might even let you in on a few fancy dishes I’m having a crack at. I won’t tell you of the stuff ups though. But then again I will because we have to tell the stuff ups as well because it’s the only way we learn.

Anyway there are many more new interests I’m taking up but that will be for another post. Leave a comment to what your special interests or hobbies are? Doesn’t matter what they are as long as you enjoy it. It could be one I may have a crack at.

If you want to follow me on Twitter then click here because the ‘tweet-tweet’ is becoming a little side interest!


My story.

We all have a story to tell. Proverbs 27:17 says, ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person learns from another.’ The best way we can help each other through life is to tell our story. Your story can be good, bad, happy or sad. Whatever it is we need to share it with others. 

This is my story.

A spanner was thrown in the works a few years ago when we had our first child Oliver. The comfortable husband and wife set up was thrown into craziness when Ollie arrived. Don’t get me wrong, I love that boy and he is a little champion, but the dynamics changed in the house. Lisa, my wife, was spending a lot of time with him and I was working and keeping a business running.

It was through this time, Lisa struggled with the change and so did I.  The life I was living was pretty normal, as if nothing had ever changed. I was having a great time at the cricket and footy clubs, getting home when I liked, full of more than one or two beers. This wore very thin after a while and pushed my wife to the limits. As a bloke, I was in my own little world, unaware of the struggles a new baby can give.

Now, as I’ve grown up, my faith has been a big part of my life. I was brought up in a Christian family with two awesome parents, two brothers and a sister. This gave me a good foundation on how to live my life. In those days we hung out at a youth group and a lot of my mates went to church also. Along with this, was the weekend sport. In winter it was dodging horizontal hail at footy and on the hot summer days it was smashing sixes at cricket. (Well, okay, it was maybe nicking fours to the boundary!)

As I came into adulthood, I started making my own choices about God and whether or not I attended church. I became slack in attending and felt I didn’t need God in all parts of my life. I didn’t really know where He was at all. I believed if I went to church every now and again, all will be okay. As time wore on, life seemed to be going on as normal, until about three months after becoming a dad.

I often lived my life on other people’s terms. In my mind, I felt I had to go along with the crowd to feel accepted by them. This led me into trouble on a number of occasions. The final straw was when I came home absolutely out of my mind drunk. Ollie was dealing with silent reflux as a baby and Lisa was at a wit’s end. Coming home in this state was no way to live and be responsible for my family. I had to change the way I treated others. Especially those closest to me.

Thankfully, Lisa said, “This has to stop.”

Now this isn’t about a wife nagging at you or me being perceived as under the thumb. I’ve heard the discussions in the pubs amongst a group of blokes. “Oh that bloke, he’s under the thumb and she’s a pain and all she does is nag.” No those comments are crap and us men have to stop it.

I needed to take the responsibility of a new baby seriously and put my wife and baby first before anything else. I wasn’t doing this.

Not long after these events, I spent a week-end in Canberra at an event called Better Blokes. It’s for ordinary blokes wanting to become better husbands, better dads, better mates and ultimately a better bloke.

It was at Better Blokes that something changed. It’s very hard to explain, but something changed deep inside me. Identity was the topic of the first session. The speaker said, “That no matter who you are, where you’ve been, what stupid things you’ve done, there is a God… a Heavenly Father that loves you unconditionally just the way you are.” Someone turned the lights on in my heart and in my mind. I was trying to be accepted by others, but I realised God was the only person that matters. He loves every part of me. Even the silly dry jokes I make and the incorrect words I sing to Cold Chisels, Khe Sanh. I didn’t need to succumb to others, to be accepted.

My heart changed that weekend and I entered a real relationship with the Creator of the universe. I came home a better husband and dad than the one who left. I came home and put all my trust in God. I trusted Him with my life. Three years later, He hasn’t let me down once.

Today, I live my life with contentment and peace, knowing where I sit in God’s eyes. He has changed my heart to be accepting and loving to all people.

My family is now the number one priority. I now prioritise having dinner together, bathing the kids and reading bed time stories. Such simple things, but they are what I value most.

Throughout my story were some tough times. I struggled for a while. But those tough times are long gone. I’m thankful now that I’ve come through the other side a better person. We’re no different to a knife being sharpened on a steel. It goes through hard abrasive times to become a sharp useful tool. It can now do it’s job properly. We’re the same.

So can I encourage you to share your story. Whatever it is. Share it below if you feel. We’re here to learn from each other.

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