Monthly Archives: December 2010

What I’ve Learned for Sure

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I am so excited! 2010 is drawing to a close and I am here to witness it. I started to write this post about 2 weeks ago when I was gripped by fear, what if you don’t make it? Thankfully the Lord reminded me that premature death is not his plan for His creation, and that my future is in His hands. And if pre-mature death does occur, like it sometimes does, there is more to the story- a bigger picture and it is well with me. So here I am!

The start of a new year has got to be my favorite time of the year. I look back on the past year and reflect on it. This year, however is very different. I am genuinely pleased that we are in the last week of 2010. This time last year I couldn’t wait to get into the new year. My attitude was more of hope, hope that the new year held better things than the previous. I was eager to say goodbye to the year as it had been a challenging one.

It is not the same today. I am excited because I still have a few days to finish up unfinished projects. I want to finish strong and start next year right. I usually write out resolutions and goals. My goals are the same, but my resolutions have altered. This time I actually have a working strategy.

What I have learned for sure:

That the challenges that  I encountered were not meant to trip me up, but to make me stronger. Instead of being afraid when trials come, I have learned to embrace them and look for the lessons in them. Sometimes the lessons are obvious like the consequence of not being careful or exercising poor judgment as a result of not educating myself prior to making a decision. Other times the lessons are subtle, like the Lord teaching and training me to rely on him and put my confidence in him. I also learned to embrace and accept my weaknesses, mistakes and failures. My weaknesses are a part of who I am. I was created with those weaknesses so really I have nothing to be ashamed of. God is made strong in my weaknesses. I have friends who support me in particular areas. For example I wasn’t born organized but I have two amazing friends, Tola and Tiwana who are natural-born organizers. I remember once when Tola visited me at the store, she got to work and sorted absolutely everything out- dishevelled desk, files, and even invoicing without having any knowledge of the business. Tiwana and I stayed at the same hotel once and I of course was unpacked and unprepared for my early morning flight the next day. When I don’t get enough sleep I generally can’t get anything done, let alone sort out suitcases. She got in there and packed all our suitcases in no time and without breaking any sweat. It was like the fairy godmother of cleaning sprinkled some magic dust in my hotel room!

I have learned gratitude.  I used to wait for great things to happen before being thankful. Now I know that there are at least 206 bones to thank God for daily, 2 lungs, one heart, a brain, and then there are the body functions. I sleep and I awake- daily. I eat and enjoy my food. I can speak, I can hear, I have a functioning sense of taste, need I go on? Then there are relationships. My husband and sons, my parents, brothers, in-laws, cousins, friends, Facebook. Lets not forget work. I have an income. I work in an area I am gifted in so work always feels like play. I look forward to Monday mornings I don’t dread it.  There is also God. I actually have a relationship with the one who created me. Not only do I speak to Him, He actually loves my company. I once worked at McDonald’s and didn’t even know the regional manager. But I know the one who created him. I start and end my day now with 10 things I am grateful for and that keeps my eyes of the things that I want but don’t yet have.

I am glad that for the first time ever, I look back on the year without any regrets whatsoever. Yes there cringe-worthy moments I won’t forget ever like when I messed up an order with a VIP client, or when I wasted my time on unproductive activities, but I have no regrets because I can now guard against them and won’t be making many of those mistakes again.

Death. We lost a loved one this year. I learned that death is certain, sometimes it happens prematurely sometimes not. It is always so sad when a young person dies but in our case we take solace in the fact that he is in heaven.  He really is with the Lord and we are thankful that God made a way for mankind not to die an eternal death. I have learned that it is far better to live and die in Christ than to live for yourself- or anyone else for that matter.

I challenge you to make a list of the things you are thankful for that happened this year, the lessons you learned, the lessons you don’t want to re-learn and close the door on the past and move forward with joy and expectation into the new year!

Happy New Year!

It’s all in the Mind

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This was my mum’s response to us if we had a headache, leg-ache, any type of ache that resulted from climbing trees too quickly or riding our bikes too long. Very annoying at the time as she always said it with a smile (she does most things with a smile) but on hindsight it worked. The ailing child skipped away and forgot their pain. Following my last post I have taken things to another level and now completely expel any thoughts- rational or irrational that is negative from my mind. By that I mean doubt, fear, hate, anger, gossip, jesting, etc. It’s been hard! So often I catch myself dwelling on a negative thought that I didn’t even invite. It’s funny how we wake up in the morning and uninvited thoughts start filtering in ever so gradually, too often we let them stay there in the name of ignoring them. We need to be active and expel those thoughts.

I recently had a running with fear. That can be so gripping if you have dealt with anxiety before. It overwhelms you and clouds your every judgment. It becomes the bane of your very existence until the issue goes away. The Lord showed me that perfect love drives out all fear. And he who fears is not made perfect in Love 1John1v18.  That became my ammunition against fear. It didn’t go away immediately but eventually it did. Every time I felt fear come upon me -which by the way masquerades itself in many forms- worry, anxiety, uneasiness, dread, doubt. Sometimes the Lord will have you go through something you absolutely hate so you can learn to deal with it. Deal with it, not live with it. Fear was one of the issues the Lord led me to identify when I went through my soul- searching exercise and after He gave me that scripture, I began to meditate on it and speak it out loud. I turned it into a prayer of thanks (thank you that I am made perfect in love) I turned it into a prayer request (Lord help me feel your perfect love, wrap your  big, loving arms around me; cause me to know you love me perfectly and that I have your perfect love inside me), turned it into a praise song (God you are so perfect, even your love sef is perfect…). I did all that I could with this scripture and even alphabetized it (only kidding!) At that precise moment I was out of town and driving on the highway, and  missed my exit. And I needed gas. And I was praying. My worship song changed tones and sounded more like “Why would God let me miss my exit when I’m talking to him?” There was no service station in sight and the Lord led me to one. If I hadn’t missed my exit I would not have found the service station. That’s perfect love exemplified!

Convinced I was now “cured” of this issue, I was very surprised when I went on to experience two more typical situations where dread would rise up within me, I seriously couldn’t understand why having prayed and experienced God’s love I should be faced with it again and so soon after. I was certain praying against an issue meant never having to face the issue again, wrong! The Lord dropped me right in the middle of it and I had to deal with it. How do you know your strength if you don’t fight? So I had to come head on with this enemy and deal with it- and it is well and truly dealt with all glory to God.

When we go through trials we do ourselves a great disservice by allowing the trials to go by us, but standing by and not actually going through the fire. The word of  God says the fire will not burn you and the waters will not overflow over you- (Isaiah 43 vs 2). The Lord showed me that standing by for the trial to pass only invites it back at a later time. Unless you face it head-on and deal with and overcome it, you will not grow past that point.  Are you going through a tough time? I urge you to ask the Lord to teach you, show you the lesson. Trials are meant to be useful, remember God causes all things to work together for our good. If you don’t keep a journal I recommend keeping one. Writing your trials and the lessons learned helps to remind you that there is a purpose.

I LOVE this song by Marvin Sapp!

On Being Negative…

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I used to have this really nice hairdresser that lived not too far from me. It all began precisely the day I went to get my hair done at her home the very first time. She was watching Jerry Springer. And I unfortunately had chosen to have micro-braids done which takes looong! The first question that popped into my mind was how anyone could spend 4 or more hours watching peoples’ trash and pain. I felt it was bound to have an effect on one-and I was right. I did leave feeling rather like crap.

Years later I was at a small gathering with some friends. Someone began speaking about the challenges of raising children in the UK, on and on she went, one sad tale after another and no, the names of the characters were not changed to protect their identities. I who had no issues suddenly started to feel very disturbed. My peace dropped down and was well and truly yanked from beneath my feet like a rug.

Another year or so later I went on a 4 hour journey with another acquaintance. This one was bad. 4 long hours of gist that mainly consisted of who was breaking up with who, the woman getting divorced that also found out she had cancer, the one who lost her children to social services, the man who couldn’t understand why permission wasn’t granted by his wife to cheat on her. Then there were the car accidents. One left a 9 year old paralyzed and a mother of 4 that died in the middle of the M25. These were all unrelated incidents. By the time we arrived at our destination I was exhausted, It was like this person had been hired to pull me down from my position of bliss. I mean every iota of peace was gone as I wondered which of these fates will befall me. The lady usually ended each story with “God will never let us see that o!” To which I wanted to shout “Amen and shut-up biyatch!”

That was when I really began to understand the power of words and the role words and thoughts play in our day to day lives. It has been a journey but I finally arrived at the point where God says if anything is true, noble, admirable or praiseworthy, think on those things. Philipians 4:8.  Back to small gathering, an older lady decided as she was leaving and that we pray. She said the most memorable, beautiful prayer I can remember ever hearing. Her words were…Lord, we have heard a lot of things tonight, but your word says that none will come near our dwelling. Friend, that restored my peace, fast!

I then began to watch the words I hear. I don’t go OTT by rebuking every joke my friends crack, no that’s not what I mean. I was with a friend once and cracked a joke about both our kids getting married and the roles each will play. She wasn’t pleased about the role I had accorded her daughter so by the time she finished binding and losing and confessing the word over her children’s lives, I regretted even imagining that our children would eventually marry! I believe in the power of words but don’t think my destiny so lies in the mouth of another person that everything they pronounce over my life will in fact come to pass if I don’t quickly plead the blood. I do believe in the power of the blood and yes I regularly plead the blood! What I mean is the spoken words that can actually have an effect on your thoughts and then your life. Sometimes the effect is immediate, like in the examples I gave and at other times the effect is long-term. Like the parent that tells their child they are no good and “will be a failure from the look of their last test results“. That poor child has a smaller chance at success as he’ll be walking uphill from a backdrop of failure.

In order to guard your ears from harmful words you even have to tune out everything negative- even the news. The news is rife with bad information- stabbings, murders, earthquakes, tsunamis and economic horror stories and if we are lucky, we get one small token piece of good news. We thrive on sensational news- ask any celebrity tabloids that constantly spew out stories of couples’ cheating, fights and break-ups. Bear in mind that there are millions of wonderful stories that occur on that same day all around us. Now the fact that the negative info of Tiger Wood’s divorce does not directly relate to me does not make it healthy to absorb.

When you allow such negativity into your heart you see life from a negative stand point, which will in turn have an effect on the effort you put into life and consequently what you get out of it. Also the word of God says guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23.  My son recently said to me that we were having the worst winter for 30 years. I corrected him and changed the operative word to coldest. Why does it have to be described as bad?

So on I go on my spiritual and mental detox, staying well away from negative information. It’s sad that John Edward’s wife died but I seriously am not about to begin researching the cause of pancreatic cancer.

I urge you to simply listen to what you hear throughout the week. You’ll be very surprised! And then filter out the negative.

Thanks for stopping by InspireMe, do share your thoughts and come back soon.

At last!

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I have wanted to start an inspirational, Christ-centered blog for a while and I am so excited that now I have! Thank you so much for stopping by, I sincerely cannot remember typing and smiling at the same time!

I decided to write InspireMe because I know that Life is a journey. I used to think success was a destination you arrive at- for instance, “when I start my business”, “when I get married”, e.t.c. Now I know for sure that success is defined by the road traveled. How you travel, what happens on that road, what you learn and how you use your new knowledge.

I love to talk to people, I really believe that life is meant to be enjoyed and not simply for existence So when I meet people my conversation inadvertently is stirred towards what they do for a living. Are they happy? Do they know Jesus? I mean like actually know Him?

It is my heartfelt prayer that InspireMe becomes a source of blessing to you. I pray that you will be encouraged by the posts and that you will share and come back often! God bless!