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…

 

 

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…

 

 

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….

People won’t always be there for you but…

Ever had those moments when you really need to talk to someone because you are having such an overwhelming experience be it happy or sad ( most especially) and no one seem to be with their phone or available at the time? When I say no one, I don’t just mean anyone but those we regard as our nearest and blog pcture (expectations)dearest.   Then they call back, text back or become available when you’re probably done crying and don’t want to start crying again or when the euphoria of it all has died down abit and the high is not there for you to really shout in their ears as much you really wanted to? Yep! been there done that!

For me it was frustrating when I’m upset or emotional and need someone to talk some sense into me or comfort me; and they are not available at the exact time I need them to be. Don’t get me wrong I do consider myself blessed with such amazing friends and family and they have been great. But the thing is none of them (myself included) are omnipresent. Yes and no one can actually fill those shoes except for God.

I had to learn the hard way that no matter how much we try and we’d like it to be that way, we can’t make people always be there for us and we can’t always be there for people. You see I’m Christian and all for putting God as first and the centre of my life as is my prayer; but I never really actively practised it especially during my down times. I mean everyone remembers to thank God when they get a break and are having such a pleasant moment; but not everyone stops to pray/ talk to God FIRST when they are hit with life challenges. If you’re anything like me it’s after you’ve probably complained about it and talked about it to loved ones before you actually consider praying about it. And a lot of the time it is not done in that order intentionally.

You see it wasn’t after I had been disappointed time and time again did I realise that I needed to stop trying to fill God’s place in my life with people. There are great people in this life but people are people and the only perfect being we have the privilege of knowing and having a relationship with it and who will always… always be there for us, is God (Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit). I had to come to learn that instead of placing excessively high expectations on people, I should turn that hope and expectation towards Jesus. The Lord has blessed us with the Holy Spirit who has been described as being the greatest comforter, being able to teach us all things, as Love etc. and a lot of the time we need to genuinely believe that for ourselves in order to fully take advantage of what we have.

Now remember no man is created an island and we are created as a community on purpose; and this is not a post to downplay its importance. Rather the message I’m trying to relay is how about God actually be first in your life. How about He be the one in whom you find satisfaction, contentment and comfort; how about He be involved in our lives as much as our loved ones are; How about He actually be God in your life. Speaking from experience it will actually salvage relationships in your life because you’re learning to place your peace and joy on God and not on people.

For me it is a continuous learning curve with this one, and a lot of the time I am prompted even by people if I have actually prayed about the situation before speaking to them about it. And I’m learning to see for myself that every little variable in my life matters as much to God as much it does to me. God is not just interested in the big things but also in the small things and allowing Him get involved helps us to truly realise that we are never alone, and He never leaves nor forsakes His own.

 

Love and Blessings…

Finding my Feet

blog photo 3There are a bunch of curveball life throws at you and sometimes you barely get a breather before you’re forced to face yet another curveball. If you’re anything like me, you’d whine, cry, or even shutdown completely and live in denial until you have no choice but to deal.

I realise that life as we know it is definitely no eutopia. However with time you’ll get to see that life is beautiful if you don’t fail to see that its twists and turns are integral parts of its beauty. The beauty of being broken and made whole, the beauty of forsaking and gaining, the beauty of letting go and being accepted, the beauty of the pain that made your tender heart even stronger, the beauty of hatred being overshadowed by love, the beauty of pure friendship and companionship, the beauty of family no matter how many people are part of it, and so much more.

Now this is what it’s about; living and let live. Sometimes we are probably too scared to really live in the present and move forward because of past experiences that hunt us and most of the time you fall prey to the past repeating itself maybe because we fail to fully let go.

Until you realise that you have to find your feet and be confident in your existence as not just there to occupy space but to fulfil purpose (whether you know it or not) then you can really indulge life.

You may be at a pretty good space now or you may be at a one of the most daunting periods of your life or you may be in a neutral position whereas life is not that exciting but it’s not so bad either. Wherever you are in life, you have to learn to take command of the situation and deal with it.

There are times where I’ve found that I’ve prayed about a situation and just left it to God to manage it and not necessarily bother about it again. Whereas there are other times where I have to keep praying about a situation and constantly have to remind myself one way or another that God has got me and He will never leave nor forsake me and He will work things out the way He sees best at the right time.

I have therefore come to the realisation that finding my own feet is not necessarily about me but it is about the stability I have found in God the author of life and hence I am equipped to face life.

Love and Blessings…

 

photo credit: google images (in the midst of a storm)

Fear – (pt 4- the liberation)

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Perfect Love casts out fear

So if you have been following the fear series up until this point I want to say well done and I hope it has been somewhat beneficial to you as it has been to me.

Over the course of the series I have spoken about three major fears I have had to let God deal with in my life; and acknowledging those fears was the starting point of my healing. I read a book titled lost and found by Sarah Jakes and she said something that resonated with my spirit.

She said she gave her fears a voice so that they could no longer whisper to her destiny.

Now at first that didn’t make sense but after I pondered upon it I realise she was trying to convey the message that our fears thrive best in secrecy, bringing it out to the open and facing them head on meant stripping it off its power and hold on our lives.

The only difficulty I find in trying to let go of certain fears is the fear of having to face them. It’s a twisted cycle how fear works. However God helped me to understand that really there is nothing to be afraid of because his love has got it covered.

If you remember in the first part of the series I mentioned that fear made me set up walls in my heart to block out anyone or anything that had the potential of hurting me and the bad part is, I started blocking out even those dear to me. However when God had pointed it out to me that it needed dealing with I was scared that putting down those walls meant setting my heart up for disaster.

But God helped me to realise not until I let him take my fears will I be able to fully relish in the abundance of love available to me. So I had to trust God enough to hand over my fears to Him and leave it with Him.

I was able to grasp that God’s love for and in me had the power to protect my tender heart. So allowing myself to live in his love letting it exude through me to everyone I come in contact with was me saying I may get hurt but God love’s is enough to heal me back to life.

The same goes for the fear of rejection and failure as I had to fully realise and acknowledge that my security and identity was not in any one or any life circumstance but is in the one from whom I came. The one in whom I live, move and have my being. My source; and my only anchor in life is His assured everlasting love for me.

Yes I may get rejected again, yes I may fail numerous times and yes I may get hurt time and time again but it wouldn’t matter because those things are no longer what makes and defines me. I am assured daily that as long as God has set his love on me, I’m okay because His love is perfect without flaw and has got everything covered. Because He is the perfect love Himself.

And perfect love casts out fear.

Love and Blessings…