How did you come to Christ?
I first heard about Jesus through my Scripture teacher at school when I was five years old. My parents weren't Christians, but were happy for me to attend Scripture, and even started sending me along to Sunday school (at the local Baptist church) at about the same time. I decided when I was about six that I wanted to follow the example of my Scripture teacher and become a Christian. I don't think I understood everything at the time, but I know my decision to love and follow Jesus was genuine. By God's incredible grace, it was only a couple of months after that that my parents were invited along to a Sunday school service at church. (They used to just drop me off and leave, so they hadn't attended the church up to that point.) My father was an atheist, but miraculously God used a verse quoted from the Bible during the sermon to convict him of his sin and need for Jesus. There was a complete turnaround for him from that day on. My mother wasn't sure what was going on at first, but a friend (who had originally invited us along to playgroup, Sunday school, church, etc) followed her up by dropping a Bible off at our house one day and telling her to read John's Gospel. She became a Christian as she read through it. From that point, my faith grew as I was raised in a Christian family, with my parents discipling me and teaching me how to follow Jesus.
How do you occupy your time?
Many different ways! My focus is on helping my husband and raising our three children aged six, four and (almost) two. I spend my weekdays at home with the two littlest ones, and I try to get involved in our local school where I can. I help lead a Bible study for Morling College wives, and try to build relationships with them outside the group as well and help them prepare for the life of a pastor's wife. We attend Macquarie Baptist Church (on the grounds of Morling) where I'm involved in playgroup and leading a women's Bible study. One of the highlights of my week is teaching Sunday school to the preschool class there.
I spend a lot of my spare time writing and reading and ‘thinking out loud’ on my blog 168 hours.
Tell us a bit about your background or other interests.
I grew up in country New South Wales, then moved to the Blue Mountains as a teenager. After high school, I did an Arts/Law degree, then worked for a couple of years as a legal editor before having our first child.
What are some books that really helped you grow as a Christian?
- Knowing God by JI Packer—the first serious Christian book I ever read. It encouraged me profoundly at the time, and helped expand and deepen my understanding of who God is.
- Desiring God and When I Don't Desire God—both by John Piper. His books have helped me enormously in setting my heart on the things that are most important, and learning to live life in the light of the incomparable preciousness of Christ.
- Women and the Word of God: A response to biblical feminism by Susan Foh. This was the first book that put some cracks in the fortress of my youthful ‘evangelical feminism’, and it started me on the process of rethinking what the Bible says about men and women.
What are you reading now?
- Beyond Greed by Brian Rosner: this is a must-read, especially at Christmas time!
- No Ordinary View by Naomi Reed.
- The World According to Bertie by Alexander McCall Smith
Which websites do you check ‘religiously’?
- Desiring God
- EQUIP Book Club
- In all honesty
- The Best Book Co-op
- Storian smol
- Sola Panel (of course!)
- I also check The Sydney Morning Herald Online pretty regularly.
What would your friends say are your hobbyhorses?
- The preciousness of small children (including unborn children) in the eyes of God; the need to take children seriously in teaching them about God, Christ, sin and salvation; and the value of children's ministry as ‘real’ ministry.
- The importance of application in preaching. (I say this as a listener and armchair critic, not as a preacher!)
- The need for Christian families to be outward-looking and hospitable.
- The importance of encouraging ministers' wives.
What's something that makes you angry?
When people despise unpaid and unglamorous work and ministry
Who is someone who inspires you?
My mum inspires me because of her willingness to serve so many people, quietly and faithfully behind the scenes.
I'm also inspired by who have left home, their extended family and the comforts of Australia to serve God (and in some cases, raise a family) in Russia, Vanuatu, the Middle East, Slovenia, India, Madagascar, south-east Asia, and so on.
What is your ideal day off?
Spending time with Dave and the kids, being flexible on the activities! (Sometimes we visit a zoo or a museum with the kids, pull out a few weeds in the garden, read a good book with Dave or maybe watch a couple of The West Wing episodes together in the evening.)
Give us your top five mockumentaries.
- People Like Us
- Best in Show (or anything by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy!)
- Summer Heights High
- The Office
Many thanks to you, Nicole.