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…

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…

 

And we are back!

doorThere was no week that passed without my thinking about my abandoned blog and how I need to get back to writing. I even have a Facebook page dedicated to this blog and at least once every 2 weeks I get notified about people that keep reading, sharing and loving my blog posts; and it makes me realise that God is going to let his word be heard with or without me.

I could sit here and give a ton of reasonable excuses as to why I have not kept up but I have been doing a bit of self-reflection and I know in my heart that I had not continued because I was ashamed.

You see my blog posts are primarily to encourage people to strengthen their walk with God and inspire through my own stories. Stories that are real and raw for you all to see that regardless of how messy we get; God remains faithful.

However, I couldn’t get myself to that place anymore because I had been feeling like a hypocrite for quite a long time. I didn’t want to preach what I didn’t practise and so I unconsciously stopped it all. I know when I write these, God uses them to also speak to me and for some reason I wasn’t ready to face the truth.

And that’s when I realised that sin withholds you.

I heard a statement last month that resonated so strongly in my heart- ‘a guilty conscience blocks boldness and we need boldness to come before the throne of grace’. And I thought to myself that’s it. I couldn’t  get the grace I needed for doing the very thing God has called me to do; why because I was not ready to surrender my guilt and get the help I needed.

I did come around and that’s not because I feel self-righteous and ‘worthy’ enough to write these posts. It was because God gave me boldness to come to Him by reminding me that His Love never changes.

I began to realise that whatever convictions God kept laying in my heart, I needed to adhere to it strictly be it big or small because the minute I don’t, I start to feel insecure especially about my faith; and I don’t thrive very well with insecurity. I like to be sure that even though I’m not perfect, I am taking active and consistent steps to follow Christ’s lead.

So I am back…  and I have come to the realisation that when God has placed a purpose on your life, it’s in that you find fulfilment.

The devil will try hard to distract and even give you reasonable rationale for stepping out of purpose. You however have to be completely honest with yourself and wholeheartedly ask God for help; and He will come to your rescue.

I am excited to start writing again and gosh do I have lots of experiences and lessons to share. So I am going to challenge myself to put out at least one post every week. Now pray for me because I need every help I can get.

 

Love and Blessings…

 

 

Finding My Balance in life

balanceI’ve been meaning to write a blog for ages now and the very topic for which I am writing this is the driving force behind my infrequent posts. Being the person that I am, I find I’m always looking for something to do, never easily getting bored, nor allowing time to be wasted.

So much so that I maybe find solace in accomplishing every possible task I can. However, I am still struggling with getting to a point where I think I’ve got ‘it’ covered- whatever that is.

So I think at some point, I stopped making the effort to get every single thing done and focused on just a few; and sadly that meant my spiritual life had to suffer a bit. I was not making the effort to have the time to pray and truly fellowship with my maker; and was whizzing through life with just daily devotional points from an app on my phone. After all God understands my hectic schedule.

In this same time frame, I also realised that it is true what they say that- regardless of how busy life gets, you do make time for the things and those you Love the most.  Did that mean I didn’t love and value my relationship with God? I don’t think so. I think my life had to head in that direction for me to learn how and the importance of making the time for the ‘things’ that mean the most to me.

I thankfully learnt and truly believed early on, that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. And this helped me not allow convictions in my heart turn into condemnation because God is a loving father who truly cares and watches out for us.

I realised that underneath my consistent dissatisfaction and feeling quite heavy at the time, was my not allowing the opportunity to bare my soul and let it all out- which is usually done in my time of prayer and worship.

It is in this time of prayer and worship that I find the most balance in my life. Because it is true what the bible says that- in the presence of the Lord there is LIBERTY.

There’s nothing like innermost harmony and peace with who you are and where you’re at; at every given point in life. It does not mean I settle for less than or be content with mediocrity, but it means I am okay with the fact I am on a journey and all I need to do is keep engaging in it with everything that I am.

I’ll leave you with this, be willing to accommodate the things that you find are vital to your life journey at the slightest opportunity you get. Sometimes this may mean you don’t get to do things in the order which is considered the norm but what is important is that you do them anyway.

Try as much as possible to reflect at different points in your life and see why things are the way they are and how they can be changed; and ultimately trust God that just like the one sheep out of 99 who got lost, Jesus is ever willing to come find you.

 

Love and blessings…

 

The Promise to Love

blog -loveIt is a new year, and for many it signifies a clean slate, a fresh start and hence new year resolutions are all over the place.

For the few new year resolutions I’ve seen and heard, it has been somewhat inspiring. However this year I’ve not really sat down to think about a list of resolutions because as I grow I’m learning to go with the flow.

May sound somewhat reckless but I’ve quickly learned to trust more in what God has in store for my life than what I have in store for myself and as a result, I learn to relax more knowing that I’m in his will for my life.

That being said I do have one quote that keeps ringing at the back of my mind since I started praying and seeking God’s heart for this new year and that is –

To love my neighbour as myself

It sounds so simple but the more I think about it, it is much more than meets the eye. Growing up as a Christian I have been taught this time and time again and only recently am I beginning to understand how important it is to God that we imbibe in us this willingness to truly open up our hearts and minds to love.

Now before this, did I not love my neighbours (i.e those around me)? and this leads me to question what exactly God meant by loving my neighbours as myself; because honestly with the amount of gravity placed on the idea of what ‘love’ is, it’s safe to think that saying I love a random person who is not somewhat close to me is a bit too much.

There are so many definitions of love out there. Some have described it as a feeling/emotion of some sort, some have described it as a choice, some have described it to be certain actions taken, and some have even placed love in different categories. All these descriptions may well be right and while I’m not here to knock any of them down, I’m beginning to understand that it is more important to learn about love by purposefully immersing our lives in it rather than decoding the meaning.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV) says “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”.

Above, is a very famous scripture and chapter in the bible  that shows that love is not narrowed down to being just an action, a feeling  or a choice; its so much more that one may even infer that it transcends the physical.

So this year since I don’t have any list of resolutions as such (although I have a bucket list that is not stringent), I have decided to dedicate my life into truly loving people the best way I know how while learning even more about it, to not become complacent in the process and to continue in it even after 2016; in hopes that I am one step closer to God’s will and purpose for my life.

I’d love to hear your resolutions for this year if you don’t mind sharing and if you don’t have any, feel free to jump on the wagon with me… I think it’s simple but not the easiest, but remember God’s grace abounds.

 

Love and blessings….

Knowing Myself

When you go through the waters, I will be with you

When you go through the waters, I will be with you

I have been thinking about this topic a lot lately. We are in a world where we are constantly figuring out who we really are, either as individuals, as a brother, a sister, a mother, a father, a wife, a husband, a friend or even as a unit.

With consistently changing circumstances, we are forced to redefine our priorities, our likes and dislikes, and how to respond to these circumstances in a way we believe will yield the best possible outcomes not just for ourselves but also for the world we live in.

To be honest it can be hard sometimes; because the thing with constantly evolving is that we may find ourselves trying to play catch up while at the same time trying to grasp on to the very things we tie our identities to.

I for one have had to go through heavy transition phases within the past year and it required a lot of adjusting, re-prioritizing, and adapting to leading life in a different way; and in the heat of it all, I became worried that I was now only going through the motions but at the same time, missing a vital part of the equation… myself.

As a result, I realised quickly the importance of re-evaluating my deepest values, desires and goals in life- the things in general that make me- me; so that I don’t loose sight of what they are and what they mean to me.

Someone told me recently that as I grow older, I am entrusted with more responsibilities especially as a result of the roles I take on as life progresses. So the question is how do I juggle it all and at the same time consistently remain true to myself.

To be honest? I’m still figuring it out.

I will however leave you with a few pointers that has been helping me so far. I’ve had to learn to purposefully relax and trust that with time, things will fall into place.

As a Christian I believe it when the bible says that – “All things will work together for the good of those that Love God and are called according to his purpose”. I also bank on the verse where God promises us that “He will never leave us nor forsake us”. So I have to trust that a lot of the times when I have not got myself altogether, God has got me.

I could sit here and give keys and pointers concerning how to be true to yourself and know yourself but I really can’t because everyone’s journey is unique.  We have to all remember that as human beings we are dynamic and are constantly being affected and changed either subtly or significantly by the environments we live in, the events that happen in and around our lives, and time.

I am beginning to understand that God is and needs to be at the centre of my life. His love for me especially through his son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, gives me the peace and assurance that I don’t have to figure this thing called life on my own; because He is always with me. So I urge you all today to dare to make him the priority in your life and you may well be on your way to figuring out who your creator has made you to be.

 

Love and Blessings…