Encourage Yourself!

“Her smile was like armor and every day she went to war”

I am a talker, those closest to me know I can chat/blab for days and always have one story or the other to tell. So I find my way of trying to get over things is talking. I talk it out with people. People I believe can encourage and uplift my spirit and truly help me heal.

But what happens when everyone is so busy with doing life that you don’t have the people at the very moment you need them to be. Not because they have abandoned you or are anything of that sort but simply because everyone is on a different journey and sometimes their journey does not allow them the opportunity to be there every single time!

So what happens is, instead of wallowing in self-pity, you learn to Encourage Yourself and this is a principle worth imbibing.

Accepting that shocking events will occur in your life is one step in making life a little easier. I’m not saying to start living in fear but instead, start learning to build your strength from each shocking and challenging situation. Looking at how you have reacted, what has truly helped and what attitude to drop.

Now, this is not a call to lead a pretentious lifestyle and never be open about your struggles to those you trust. But to remember that even when we feel like we don’t have help around, we have an omnipresent God who is always…always watching.

Take a leaf off the great King David’s book. In first Samuel 30:1-6, a horrible thing had happened to David; and it had caused him great heart ache that he wept until he physically couldn’t anymore. It was bad enough that it also put his own life was at risk.

However after all this outburst of emotion, verse 6 ended with “but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God” (KJV).

That didn’t mean that suddenly everything got better, but it allowed him the strength to take the next step forward; which meant going to battle to contend for what belonged to him.

I’d leave you with this; whatever happens in life I’m learning is definitely for a purpose! but it’s up to you whether you let yourself get swallowed by it, or you get on top of it. There’s time for everything, time to laugh and time to cry. Just do not let one season set a negative tone for the rest of the other seasons in your life. Too much time is spent logging around baggage from the past that could instead have been setting stones in our lives.

And I get it, everyone has varying levels of strength emotionally, and that is where we need God! You pray, you cry, you pour your heart out, you study the word but ultimately you must be ready to move forward, whatever it takes!

 

Love and Blessings…

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I am writing again

Here I am in the dead of the night writing this. It has been a minute since I picked up my laptop to write and not for the lack of trying but I guess I am the typical case of what we Christians say to be ‘‘the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak’’. I haven’t really felt up to it and I would blame it on my feeling not good enough to write and encourage and inspire but who am I kidding. It is my pride that has stopped me and I’m only just realising it as I write this. I waited till I felt ‘‘good enough’’ to pick up and write something.

But lately that feeling never came back. I convinced myself that until I started to feel that way then maybe I should put a pause to this. A lie that has managed to become a stronghold in my mind. I always had that gnawing feeling that made me realise I was letting go a vital part of me and if I stopped, I may be closing somewhat of a treasury, who knows.

The most important thing is that I’m writing again and funny the background instrumental playing on my laptop right now is ‘‘came to my rescue’’ by hillsong and He has indeed come to my rescue and my writing this is evidence.

I waited to feel like the perfect Christian knowing fully well that there’s no such thing. Yet I couldn’t shake waiting for that feeling. I’m only now realising the perfect Christian is one broken enough to know that there’s beauty in the brokenness as long as Jesus is in it.

Maybe it is true after all; that we can’t fix ourselves even when we are in Christ because that is His job to do alone. And the moment we begin to take the reins, trying to play God, we dig a deeper hole for ourselves.

So I’m writing again and I committing to let Christ take the lead. It’s a little scary because I would normally only share after I’ve gone through it but I’m encouraged to put out real time thoughts so you see the journey and we all learn and grow together.

I’m going to have posts on what I’m learning from my personal bible study sessions, a weekly “what’s on my mind’’ and lots more exciting stories. Please pray for me as I try to live out my full God given potential.

 

Love and Blessings

3 IMPORTANT LESSONS I LEARNED IN 2016

fullsizerenderWell I’m not even sure where to start from with this one, as 2016 has indeed been quite a significant year but that is life as we know it.

There are always highs and lows  how we respond to them however, is what is important. Hence I have decided to make this post a simple one and just outline the few key lessons I would love to remember come 2017 in order to avoid falling into whatever muddle I did in this year.

 

  1. Pick your Battles– I used to always say this but when the time came to adhere to it I failed to respond accordingly. How I wish I listened to that still quiet voice to leave certain scenarios that eventually turned truly toxic on me. In trying to make a point about not letting anyone’s lack of self-control deter me I ended up being dragged into a mess. Making that point was no use, it wasn’t a battle I was supposed to fight, I knew way better than to respond but somehow my ego came into play and I ended up hurt. I have learnt that in order to maintain peace of mind; I’d have to physically take myself out the chaos than try to calm the storm myself because not every battle is yours. So, come 2017 I pray for a more discerning spirit and the will to rise above pride to strive for peace.

 

  1. Strive to maintain your inner confidence– the spring in our steps whether present or absent a lot of the time are an unconscious thing, reflecting where we are internally. So many things can happen that could make you feel ashamed or just want to crawl and hide in the corner. How well you manage and respond to those feelings of inadequacies will determine how quickly you rise above and beyond. I had become lax in certain areas of my life especially my spiritual life and I was not proud of it. In a sense, it made me a little insecure and thus thinking abit too hard about how others may perceive me. Thankfully in my case I had a conviction in my heart as to why that is; being as honest as possible with myself I responded. The minute I realised, I sought for whatever help I could- in my case was praying with church family, making practical changes in my life that indeed reflected that my heart was in the right direction. And this brought back my confidence not just in my inner self, but principally in my Faith in God. So whatever it is that gives you a true sense of joy and peace try as much as possible to maintain it come 2017.

 

  1. Take time to acknowledge and indulge in the Blessings/Testimonies in your life – 2016 was a year where I could have easily forgotten the blessings in my life because the challenges seemed to be overwhelming whatever sense of joy I had left. It was that bad that I had started worrying about problems that were yet to rise. Well thinking of it now, it was quite a silly thing to do and it would have done me a great deal of good if I had listened to the message Joyce Meyer keeps hammering- and that was until there’s an actual problem (not a preconceived one) to worry about then why are you wasting all that energy worrying on something that is yet to happen; reiterating Matthew 6:34. I know It is easier said than done but one thing that struck me this year was talking to a friend about the significant things God had done for me and my loved ones throughout our lives; and from that I drew so much strength realising if God came through for me in the past what’s stopping Him now. So come 2017 I’ll try to ensure I remind myself of God’s faithfulness in the face of any adversity.

 

So there it is my Lovelies. 2016 is almost gone and I’m sure there are lessons learned and resolutions flying all over the place but try not get caught in the hysteria of it all. Try aS much as possible to take note of what you can, release what you’re yet to figure out and ultimately have faith; that if you made it in one piece (whatever that may mean to you) up until now, then you’re not doing that bad.

Well I’m off now, till 2017- ya’ll pray I blog more haha. Anywhays have a blissful 2017.

 

Love and Blessings…

HOW TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN SOLID FRIENDSHIPS

img_6912One thing my mum would tease me about is my love for friends fearing that I might be a little too naïve; this would mostly be from her years of experience. And while I don’t take lightly what she warns I have also learnt that you don’t let people and bad experiences change the core of who you are in a negative light.

If you know me in person, you’ll agree I am quite the boisterous individual who may be tagged as a tad bit too loud sometimes (but in a good way I think). Hence I find I am very people centred, and absolutely love being around family and friends. I have been blessed with truly amazing individuals that I call friends. I have had my fair share of bad experiences but that’s life, we live and we learn.

I am aware that not many people can boast of solid and beautiful friendships and while I think to some level good friendships are a gift from God, to another extent we as individuals play a significant role in the kind of friendships we have in our lives.

So, I have decided to give little pointers I have picked along the way that I believe has helped me in gaining and maintaining beautiful friendships.

  1. Be friendly and kind– as cliché as it sounds its truly key. Now I know that we all have different personalities and not everyone is cheery and chatty from the get go but a lot of the time a smile and a welcoming demeanour will go a long way. Not every time guarded disposition. Also, little acts of kindness may provide the opportunity to meet and gain the trust of wonderful individuals.

 

  1. Know yourself and be confident in that – I used to fall into the trap of needing friends to reaffirm my worth and value because I didn’t know that for myself; and let me tell you I suffered the consequences. Growing up and learning to appreciate my value changed a lot in my thinking pattern. The scripture love your neighbour as yourself meant more because I learnt to love myself. Knowing and loving who you are triggers a sense of confidence from within that frees you from the mercy of what people may think of you.

 

  1. Be forgiving– some of us have let go of impactful friendships because our pride may have gotten in the way of making mends with the ones we love. We are all humans and are bound to make mistakes and hurt one another. However, a heart of forgiveness will give us the opportunity to see the good in people. Now it’s up to you to decide if the good far outweighs the bad or vice versa and make a judgement call.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid of letting people go– a lot of the time, personalities clash and not every individual will be best suited to you and that is okay. The fact that you may have known someone for a long time does not mean you must stay friends forever. A lot of the time growth and maturity may mean that you don’t mesh well with certain people and that’s okay as long as this is not done out of arrogance or pride. What I personally do is that in letting people go I try my best to ensure it is done in the most peaceful and loving way as possible (no need for drama) because you never know what tomorrow brings.

 

  1. Understand that friendships are an investment– a lot of people complain about losing touch with friends because they rarely have the time to catch up. It is hard work to maintain good friendships especially in this age where everyone is everywhere. So, my advice is pick the number of friends you can manage and pour yourself into it; as you grow older you realise that there’s only so much of yourself you can give so choose wisely.

 

  1. Be honest– you’ll be surprised how many people are not truly honest with those closest to them maybe because they are wary of conflict or ashamed or want everything to be perfect so badly that they just aren’t completely truthful. We are in real life and that may sometimes mean awkward and embarrassing moments as well as times of hurt. Part of what helps us rise above is how well we respond to these situations and alot of the time honesty is key to acknowledging what the problem is and dealing with it.

 

  1. Not everyone of your friend is your best friend– I have learnt that not all your friends will get you on the same level and vice versa. So, it is important that you learn about who your friends are, their strengths and weakness and flow with them that way. Whatever it is, you must learn to acknowledge people are different and not everyone can handle every part of yourself you present to them the same way. So be as discerning as possible.

 

  1. Finally I’d say be Selfless– our world today is a very selfish one with everyone looking out for their own interests not caring the impact it has on those next them. Even I have been guilty of this but one freeing thing I’ve learnt is that although friendship is a two-way street, it is not always balanced out the way most would prefer it. If you are a loving and caring person, you don’t  show it only because you’re getting it equally in return, you show it because that’s you staying true to who are regardless.

 

As a Christian my faith has helped build my confidence and I would also advise to pray for wisdom and discernment in picking the right friends and for the right people to come around. God is always looking out for His own and as a good father He does not withhold good gifts from those who ask him.

 

Love and Blessings…

 

 

Growth means making choices

climb-blogGrowing and gaining more and more responsibilities forces you to start prioritizing factors in your life. Making one remove and shorten time spent on the very things they consider as not important or less important in order to make room for those classed as the more trivial matters.

Sometimes it can feel like a trap because we get your identity from a lot of the things we give ourselves to. One can be mother, a wife, a counsellor, a student, a writer, head of a society etc. Yet at different points in our lives we are forced to choose between those characteristics that we consider to be true to our very nature and those that aren’t or those we don’t have the time to imbibe.

Well at some point in making those choices I started over- rationalising and in return my spiritual life suffered gravely. Not spending as much time in church gatherings and just doing as I please with my faith really. After all my faith is not centred upon how much religious practices I carry out but my heart for God. Which is well and true but little did I know that my actions just indicated where my heart was at.

And it was not as close to my maker as I would have liked it to be.

Jesus taught in the book of Matthew 6:21 that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The MSG version reiterated this message in a more current style stating that ‘the place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be and end up being’.

I mean when we think of it, we can have perfectly excusable reasons to not be as dedicated as we’d like in certain areas of our lives; but just like the MSG version stated, we’ll end up being where we most want to be. And this does not come by wishful thinking.

Growing up and maintaining your core values in an ever-changing world will require hard work and subjecting oneself to discipline. One thing however that has worked for me is occasionally reflecting honestly on where I am in life and what I’m about- checking if I’m being true to myself, If I’m genuinely happy with where I’m at, what I’m doing and ultimately if I’m growing and getting better or getting worse?

This is not to say that I do not acknowledge that life happens and hence sometimes I may not be my strongest or most dedicated.

But it is to ensure that weakness does not become a habit in a place where strength is supposed to thrive; and darkness does not overcome the light in our lives.

 

Love and Blessings…

 

 

Having the right Perspective

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You will keep in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because He trusts in you (Isaiah 26:3)

I and a friend were having a conversation and it got me thinking about the difference in our individual family dynamic. Up until then I hadn’t viewed my family dynamic from the perspective that was triggered by the chat. It reminded me of how blessed I was and I didn’t even recognise that blessing until that time.

It got me thinking about how we fail to recognise the positivities in our lives until we are presented with the idea or the experience that could indicate that we could easily have it worse. I never used to like using others people’s bad experiences in life to make myself feel better by saying it could be worse; because I always justified my complaints or anger towards certain situations in my life by saying we all have different paths in life, so everyone has their own cross to carry. It did mean that I was selfish because I refused to look away from my situations.

Although I realised that was a wrong mind-set to have, I did learn however, the importance of having the right perspective towards whatever situation we may find ourselves in, be it good or bad. As only then will we learn the importance of gratitude both in the good times and bad.

Now you would ask what exactly the ‘right attitude’ really is. For me it is coming to the realisation that in life there would consistently be high and low moments. Even the bible says there’s a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and time to dance… what caught me in that particular set of scriptures is that it also says that there is a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. And I realised that a lot of the time we don’t know when to embrace and when to stop embracing our situations because of a wrong mindset.

You see life is a constant journey of moving forward, never has there been a time where the calendars have been changed to the past giving us another opportunity to live a day we have already lived. Therefore, we need to always consistently reconsider what our perspectives might be;  if they are letting us progress or  regress. I am not saying to look away from whatever troubles you may be facing but to acknowledge it; doing whatever you can about it and making sure you’re not moving backwards. You don’t want to constantly remain in a place of loss, misery, confusion, sadness, emptiness, etc.

The scriptures tell us that Christ has come so we may have life and have it in ‘abundance’. So today I want you to keep checking your perspectives in and of life, understanding for yourself if it is in the right direction for you to lead a life of abundance or if it is one of deficiency.  Finally, we all need to remember that the bible says to look on to Jesus is the author and finisher of our Faith because in  life we need FAITH to carry on.

 

Love and Blessings…

In the thick of it…

bp3It had been an interesting couple of weeks and if I’m being honest, one heck of an emotional roller coaster. All sorts of emotion were felt; the highs and the lows.

Every now and then we all have those moments when we feel like we are definitely in the thick of it… especially with so many complexities surrounding every single situation that you begin to wonder that with so many pieces to the puzzle how is it going to work itself out.

So I found  myself shedding silent tears that really reflected the heaviness within. Silence became an avenue through which I was reminded of life’s complications. So I felt overwhelmed.

I was then reminded the only thing I could possibly do especially when things are beyond my control was to Pray.

Cliché isn’t it? But it was either that or I keep going the way I was, and feeling helpless. Now with praying, I knew someone was listening. Someone who got it and understands the depth of emotions I was feeling and that in itself is comforting. It didn’t mean that things automatically fell into place the minute I started praying but it did mean that I gave myself the opportunity to have FAITH.

Sometimes what keeps a lot of people (like myself) going in life especially with the constant challenges thrown at them, is not the fact that they are very strong or what have you. It’s really because you get to a point where the only thing you can actually do to help yourself is have faith.

Someone told me that whenever in rough times we need to remind ourselves that all things work together for the good of them that love God. Now before we come to see that ‘good’ may take a few years but at least something is in the works. We however must learn to remain in love with God. Understanding that separating yourself from God during the difficult times ends up worsening the case; because now you are definitely not sure if things are going to work out for your good.

Difficult I know; but you see with life, it’s a consistent learning process. I’m beginning to learn that you prepare for the worst while earnestly hoping for the best. Now this should not be done out of doubt but out of a place of peace that God’s will be done. Even Jesus Christ prayed to get out of dying on the cross but ultimately gave room for God’s will to be done. And His will is always best.

One final thing, I’ll leave you all with is that regardless of how murky life gets, you don’t stop living. If we let it, life has a way of sucking out all the joy we have; so we don’t. We learn to fight for our peace, focusing on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. We say no to depression, to heaviness, to hopelessness and to bitterness. And we say Yes to Joy, Peace and Hope.

 

Love and Blessings…