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Inspiration Motivation

To New Beginnings…

It’s the second week of 2019 and I must confess am still secretly excited about the New Year. Am one of those peeps who’ll still say a hello with a ‘Happy New Year’…yes, don’t judge. For me this feels like a clean slate where all my 2018 shortcomings and failures have been wiped clean and I get a do-over. It’s like being handed a blank canvas and I get to write my story and create a beautiful master piece.

Severally I’ve sat and stared at the canvas wondering what I want my 2019 story to be. There are many bits and pieces of what I want but am utterly clueless on how the story line will flow. I have goals, desires, dreams, wish lists etc. but I don’t control my destiny, my Creator does.

“Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word. Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good. Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.” Proverbs 16:1-3 MSG

As I was meditating about my goals and successes I needed to achieve this year, the Spirit was keen on reminding me key lessons from the above scriptures;

  1. The What:

What  goals do I want to achieve in 2019?

Lord knows I have a whole list written down detailing all spheres of life (Spiritual, Emotional, Intellectual, Financial, Social, Physical and Career) and the specific goals I have in mind and at heart lol.

I love writing down my vision and game plan because it puts my mind in focus and helps align all my thoughts, words and actions towards that direction. It sort of becomes my compass to guide me and walk intentionally throughout the year. For me writing it down becomes an act of faith that am trusting God with all these dreams and am putting it down because I know He is faithful to bring it to fruition. Nothing scares Him and nothing is off limits to Him, He is limitless and the God of all impossibilities.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do and He will establish your plans”

  1. The Why:

Why do I want to achieve those goals?

God is very intentional about the motives behind our plans, the ‘why we do what we do’. As I list my goals, am very sensitive in asking the Spirit to reveal to me my heart and the motives behind wanting to achieve these successes. At times we want things for very selfish reasons and I must confess am a victim of this. We want material wealth so we can slay, look good and appear successful to the world; we put ourselves first on the list.

Am not saying wanting wealth for ourselves is bad because we have our needs as humans but if that’s all we will do with it, if our blessings will not bless other people, make a difference in the lives of people around us, then what makes us believe that God will give us in excess? “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. Luke 16:10

This is clearly highlighted in James 4:3 “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures”

My prayer is that I set my goals, my heart and motives will be aligned to God’s will and my mind-set will shift to being Eternity driven and Kingdom focused.

  1. The How:

How do I intend to achieve those goals?

We make our plans but God always has the final say because He orders our steps. It’s fruitless to start anything without asking God what His direction and purpose is. That can be likened to walking around blindfolded helplessly groping in the dark for direction yet we can ask for help and guidance from God. He promised to give us a helper and He kept His word. We have the Holy Spirit to be our guide, our teacher, our counsellor, our comforter and our all in this journey. What I love most, about the Holy Spirit, among many other things, is that He is such a gentleman, He will not force Himself on us. He patiently waits for us to invite Him in our lives, in our hearts, in our daily walk.

I don’t intend to do anything this year without the Spirit guiding me and my prayer is that I will not place anything or anyone above God. It’s His way, His will. God of all or nothing at all.

Am totally clueless on how the future will be but who’s worried about that? Not me, lol. God doesn’t ask us to know the way, He just asks that we trust that He already knows and He’s the one leading us. I don’t want to get so caught up in the destination that I miss out on what God will do along the journey. God is literally the ONLY THING am sure of and am intentional about allowing Him to guide my every step so am confident that am exactly where I need to be. With every day I know am inching closer to my destination and most importantly closer to Him.

This morning I received a great insight on Genesis 6-8 from a friend who is walking with me in the journey of reading the entire bible in one year. He said” God asked Noah to build the ark. He gave him the plan, the resources, brought in the animals and shut them in. All Noah had to do was obey and walk in faith.” This hit home hard, many are the times God calls us to do something big and we cower in fear, our carnal mind trying to figure out how to do. We forget that if God calls you to something, He funds it 100% and provides everything we need. All that is required from us is trusting and obeying.

In 2019, may we not burden ourselves with the worries of how to do it but may we boldly walk with confidence in God knowing that all things are working for our good..

Happy New Year beloveds and cheers to new beginnings!

Inspiration Motivation

2018 REFLECTIONS

33 days till the end of 2018…just thinking about that gives me chills down my spine. Indeed time flies and 2018 credits are almost about to roll up. I haven’t posted in a while and part of me wants to delve into how and why that’s been the case, lol, because who’s not good at coming up with excuses. Can’t say am not. So I won’t justify a thing. But I woke up this morning in a thankful and reflective spirit, excited that God has been super faithful and gracious to carry me through this far. Indeed if it was not for God, I wouldn’t be standing let alone breathing.

I can’t help but look back at my 2018 journey and part of me wants to secretly break down and cry because God has come through for me exceedingly, abundantly and above all I ever could think, ask or imagine. There are prayers I didn’t make but still He opened doors. There are prayers I made and He faithfully answered. There are prayers I’ve made and still am making and He hasn’t said No, He’s working out things I believe in my favour and for His glory so am patiently waiting in the hallway as I praise Him for His goodness.

If there’s a main lesson God has taught me this year, it’s knowing, believing, confessing and living in the confidence that God is still God at all times, good and bad, He still remains to be a good God. This isn’t one of the lessons you learn in class while sitted and smiling, heaven no, lol. I’ve had to learn this while sinking into low valleys, crawling in lonely deserts, burning out from the scorching sun, hitting rock bottom moments that leave you broken, bruised and hurting.

Those moments you have no else to turn to but God. Those moments you try praying but can’t make a sound, you can only whimper and cry, moments you try journaling but instead of ink, tears become your pen. And my biggest challenge was, would I still trust in God? Would I still cling onto Him? Would I still praise Him in the darkest of nights? Would I still sing that He is a good good Father? Would I still decree that He is good all the times and all the times He is good?

I have to be honest, I didn’t learn that lesson the first time He took me out of the class. I confidently flopped like a pro, lol. There’s no shame in admitting that at first I couldn’t fathom why God had to allow or watch my heart break and go through such pain. I doubted Him. I doubted my walk of faith. I couldn’t get myself to praise Him. I walked in bitterness. The funny bit was that was just the first test which was mildly a first grade level but still this girl failed.

All along the year, there are tests I aced and there are those I failed, which in my mind the latter seem to be the most, fortunately or unfortunately but am glad because out of the failures and mistakes were lessons to be cherished and experiences to grow and groom me. I can confidently say am not the girl I was at the beginning of the year. She’s blossoming bit by bit. I don’t look like the masterpiece I desire but as long as I keep walking with my Master, what won’t He do? He is faithful to complete the good work He began in me and am confident that all things will be beautiful in His timing.

God has taught me to walk in forgiveness by bringing back people in my life who we had fallen out so terribly in 2017. At first it was painful reliving the hurt and pain but it was necessary as a starting point for the healing process. It was hard getting to trust them and open up myself to them again. Initially it was a make believe walk, I was putting up behind a mask, making myself believe I didn’t have to do this intentionally but God sees through our hearts and the motives behind our actions. He saw through me and deeply convicted me that I was only lying to myself and hindering Him from working in me. I had to be vulnerable, had to let them in and let the façade slowly fade out. And true to His word God came through in ways I could never imagine, He not only brought healing and restoration, He answered a prayer I had been making for so long, a prayer that every lil girl dreams and prays about and am excited about this journey (who knew the blessing would come through my obedience.)

I had to learn to forgive and let go of some aspects so that God would lead me to new areas of faith. This called for some changes which initially were scary, just the thought of starting all over again made my heart skip some beats but looking back at the place I am currently, am glad I made the move. Moving churches was a decision I struggled with but it led me home, a place I had been searching for all along. The change brought in new people, new circles, and new levels of faith. It gave me a chance to start building my faith all over again, to be intentional about my walk by undertaking a discipleship class – Mizizi-plugging into your God give purpose. God had already being teaching me about opening up to people who can hold me accountable so I didn’t struggle with that. The journey has been beautiful, to say the least, bonding with my plug in team (amazing group), a fun but fruitful retreat. Completing the class and joining ministry has got to be the highlight of the season, that plus going for my first mission out of town (Positioned for impact) I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store.

God taught me to leap out in faith, to pursue my passion and the calling that had been burning in me for so long, to step out from fear and walk in confidence, reminding me that the righteous are bold like lions. After struggling with it for a while, I was convicted and made my move and the blog was born, my walk of faith. I remember the fears I harbored, fear that I would have nothing to write, fear that I would fail and stop, fears that I wasn’t perfect enough and was still learning to trust and walk in faith, fears that I was broken and there was nothing to be learned. But God, who is like you on this earth, He completely, totally and still utterly continues to amaze me. The lesson I’ve learnt is if it comes from God, if He provides then He surely will fund it and sustain it. In all the fears and weaknesses I had, He shines His light and graces me with His strength. I have learned to surrender every part of me, broken or not and allow Him to tell the story and use it for His glory.

The journey hasn’t been perfect, there are days I haven’t written in ages, days I haven’t been intentional in my walk of faith, days I’ve neglected to tap to my source of strength resulting in my crumbling down. Those days when I thought of giving up, God would send people to remind me why I write, to share the testimonies of how God had spoken to them through the blog and how they were praying for me. I am blown away at how God works and how He connects people divinely. Special thanks to all the angels out there who have been standing by my side and encouraging me, pouring into me when I was running low, motivating me to still write.

2018 hasn’t been all smooth, it’s been ups and downs, mountains and valleys but am glad I didn’t have to walk alone. I’ve crushed and bounced back, I’ve pushed people away, people I cared about and who meant a lot to me but we are slowly reconciling back. I’ve depended on my strength, failed miserably and run back to God to lead me on. I’ve had my fair share of doubts if things were going to work out, watching people receive miracles am praying for but I’ve learnt to be patient and rest in God’s timing. I’ve failed to count my blessings and  ended up whining about what I didn’t have but my gratitude jar is now intentionally being filled up as I remind myself of how loved I am by God.

It’s been quite the ride, am learning, am growing, am blooming and evolving. My humble prayer is that as I continue this journey of faith, may I never forget where God has brought me from, may I never fail to be ever thankful for all the answered prayers and blessings He pours so graciously, may I never stop believing in God, believing in who He is in my life and who I am to Him. May I never stop confidently speaking to the dry bones in my life and the lives of those around me and those we’ll meet up with because the power of life and death is in my tongue. Above all, may I never stop walking in faith, walking in confidence for what I hope for and assurance for what I do not see.

All in all I thank God for everything He has done, everything He is doing and everything He is going to do. To God be the glory.

Motivation

REMEMBERING HIM!

Father’s day is here once again with us…long sigh! When you have lost a dad, you are torn between the emotions; be sad that there is a vacuum left and nothing will ever replace him or be grateful for the days you had together. This was my dilemma the entire week.

I remember taking my girl shopping for her dad’s gift and as we passed by the shoes aisle, I saw an awesome pair of boots that would have looked amazing on my dad. I froze there for a moment and could not get my legs to move because my thoughts were running all over my mind. I felt this huge wave of emotion wash over me and I stood there remembering my dad. And as much as I could feel the tears well up in my eyes, I smiled, recalling his great taste of fashion and how much he loved looking on point all the time. He would have looked classy as always in those boots.

I had a choice to break down at that moment or find my sunshine and smile my way through it so I choose the later. I choose to rejoice and I was reminded of Thessalonians 5:16-18 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I know celebrating father’s day without him is difficult but I choose to make it light, happy and cheerful because truth be told, despite the ups and downs life throws, I have infinite blessings to be grateful for.

Like for starters am grateful I had more than a quarter a century (yes, we are aging gracefully, lol) to share with my dad, a blessing I don’t take for granted. I know friends who have lost their dads at a young tender age, I know there are kids who will grow up without their parents. So I count myself blessed to have enjoyed a close relationship with him all throughout my life and am blessed to still have my mum by my side.

I am grateful that in so many ways I am my father’s child. I am a complete replica of him, I have his eyes, his smile, his forehead (hehe). His height? naah, my siblings took that away from me. I am grateful that when I look at myself in the mirror, am reminded so much of him and it comforts me.

I am grateful I have his sense of humour. My dad was one fun loving humorous guy, he’d walk in a room and light it up with his presence. He was the life of the party, always pulled people towards his radiance and in so many ways; I am the sanguine he was.

He loved helping out. He was the one guy you would call at 1am with a need and you’d be certain he would come rushing to your aid. He loved giving back to community. I remember after we laid him to rest and I was at his office clearing up stuff when two street boys came asking for him. They used to meet every Saturday and he would allow them to help out. It broke my heart watching their faces when I told them about what had happened, they were crushed. Funny thing no one knew he was helping them out, it was his own lil secret. Am glad that I have the same big generous heart he had and am passionate about charity work. The prayer of my heart is to submit myself to God for Him to use me as His vessel, to touch lives in the best way I possibly can, to live a fruitful life, a purpose driven life that brings glory and honor to God.

The more I remember my dad, the more I lift my hands up in praise and thanksgiving because am reminded that God loves me unconditionally, in good and bad times, through the valleys and the mountains, He still remains God, sited on the throne, unchangeable. Nothing catches Him by surprise and He has a purpose for our pain. Job 5:18 For He wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal. He never lets our pain go to waste, if we allow Him, He will use it for His glory and all things will work out for good.

As I write this am reminded of a song I love by Group 1 crew ft Chris August He said

So your life feels like it doesn’t make sense
And you think to yourself, ‘I’m a good person’
So why do these things keep happening?
Why you gotta deal with them?

You may be knocked down now
But don’t forget what He said, He said

I won’t give you more, more than you can take
And I might let you bend, but I won’t let you break
And No-o-o-o-o, I’ll never ever let you go-o-o-o-o
Don’t you forget what He said

Who you are ain’t what you are going through
So don’t let it get the best of you
Cause God knows everything you need,
So you ain’t gotta worry

You may be knocked down now
But just believe what He said, He said

Whatever valley you are going through, be encouraged that God never leaves us and He’s promised to be with us till the very end. For those who are blessed to have their dads around, treasure every day with them, call them, take them out, buy them gifts, appreciate them every chance you get. Say you love them and make it count. Because when they are gone, you’ll wish for one more chance to do this but it will be late.

For the dads out there, always remember your kids are looking up to you and will carry your legacy in their hearts and lives. Be the king in their lives; let them learn how to build an empire from watching yours.

For those who are not yet dads, don’t fret, at the right time, you will be one and how I pray that you’ll start preparing yourself to be the world’s greatest dad, regardless of whether you experienced it yourself or not, but trusting in the one example we know best, our Heavenly Father.

Happy father’s day to my all time hero, my first love, my dad and to all the men out there striving every day to be the best they can be.

Motivation

ACE THAT TEST

It’s Friday but we are going to have a little “TBT”; a throwback all the way to our high school days. I know for some of us, this may not be a pleasant memory, depending on where you schooled at, who was your deputy head teacher, what the menu looked like (what’s a high school memory without the food) but this will be good, trust me!

Do you remember what was your most difficult subject? (and no it can’t be all of them, pick one)

Who was your teacher? (if you can’t recall their name then it probably wasn’t your difficult subject)

What was your final grade?

Now imagine if you had to take that exam one more time. You are settled in the exam hall, all set with your stationery and clip board, ready for the paper. The invigilator walks in followed closely by two armed police men. They walk around the hall ensuring that everything is in place, books are kept away, no trace of any irregularities. You know you’ve prepared for the paper the best you could but still there are butterflies swarming and churning in your stomach. That plus the fact that guns are not the friendliest sight on a day your nerves are all over the place.

Once they finish the inspection, the guards assume their position at the end of the hall and the invigilator steps to the front. He reminds you of what is expected and the time the paper will take. By this time the exam paper has been placed on your desk and you’ve whispered your prayers. But just before he lets you start the paper, he says he has an announcement to make so you all look up in anticipation. He opens up a letter from the Ministry of Education and reads out the content.

Your subject teacher has been permitted to be in the exam hall with you and assist you in any way possible. You can ask him anything, he can help you with any question, you two can discuss the paper as you note down the answers, he can remind you what he taught you, he can advise you when he sees you’re writing the wrong answers…he can do anything possible you request to ensure you pass your exam. All you have to do is ask him.

Now if this was the case; would you still struggle in that exam? Would you sit by yourself sweating it out while he stands in the room willing to assist you? Would you let yourself drown? Would you be too proud to ask for help? Would you willingly fail the exam when you knew you had all the chance to ace it? I know I would not hesitate to call him to my side, possibly offer him my seat and let him do the exam for me as I stand and watch him in awe. (I know most of us would)

This is pretty much how our walk of faith is. We are on this journey, most of the times we don’t know where it leads and which paths we are to take so there are chances we will stumble as we find our way. Some of us are too proud to ask for help and we would rather get lost in the endless maze of life. Some of us are blind, we don’t know where we are going but we would rather grope around in the dark by ourselves. Some of us are too scared to make any move so we would rather stagnate in our place tied down by the fear of the great unknown. But some of us have reached to the teacher to guide our steps and lead us to success.

Every believer has a great treasure living within us, the gift of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.) and through Him, God’s love has been poured out into our hearts. (Romans 5:5)

The Holy Spirit is our helper, our teacher, our guide, our counselor as we journey through this life. John 14: 16 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

The Holy spirit makes all the difference in living a victorious life and through His power, we don’t need to struggle in our own inadequacies. He gives us daily, hourly and constant victory over the flesh and over sin. On our own, left to ourselves, if we try to take a step in our strength, we are helpless and we fail. It’s no wonder that most believers claim salvation yet still struggle with sin because we have not allowed the Holy Spirit to set us free from the law of sin and death. So we end up living a lie, we wear masks in churches and public spaces but when left alone we are drowning in the guilt and shame of our secret sins, our chains and bondages of addictions.

I know this well because I have been there, I’ve lived the lie, I’ve lifted my hands to praise in the presence of others but when alone I bitterly came crushing down, utterly broken and desperate. I know because I’ve had my fair share of smiling in the public and struggling by myself. But that was before I admitted that on my own I couldn’t hack it, I was a mess and I had failed enough times to know that it was not working and I needed a break through. I needed to tap in the power that lived within me all this time but I was ignorant to acknowledge His presence.

It’s been two years down the line since I truly accepted Christ in my heart and I am living testimony that through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can live victoriously, that we have been set free but it is our choice to walk in the freedom. That in this life, we can ace the test if we walk with the teacher and allow Him to guide us to the destiny that God has set for us.

He is ever present, ever willing and the best part, He is a gentleman; He’ll never force His way. All you have to do is ask Him to help and that will mark the beginning of a beautiful victorious life.

It all boils down to; how bad do you want to ace the test?

Motivation

FLAWS AND ALL

Am writing this on my way home from a long tiring crazy day at work and am in such a grouchy mood I can’t even afford a smile. And yes I know Christians should “rejoice and again I say rejoice”, lol. But hey, there are these days if we are honest enough to admit.

I can tell the day’s fatigue is the major reason for my foul mood but isn’t it funny how when we are kicked down that the devil starts whispering lies in your ears? Lies you ordinarily wouldn’t believe but now they all sound and seem so surreal. Father of all lies indeed.

So now am looking at my life with his magnifying glass and all my flaws have been illuminated so brightly it’s making me kick myself harder. Looking at ladies walking in the streets with perfect makeup, flawless skin and am reminded how am here struggling with acne and it agitates me. Watching slim fit models wearing out their curves proudly and am reminded how I am struggling with a lil fat here and a lil fat there and a lil fat everywhere in the wrong places. A chic passes by with such a long dark beautiful mane of natural hair and am reminded how am struggling with my kinky curls and coils that just won’t budge.

Then he takes it a notch higher and reminds me of the inner struggles am battling. Days I wake up too tired and lazy to have my devotions so I quickly mumble a few words and start off my day. Days I struggle to consistently read the Bible so I skim over a couple of verses and am good to go. Days I wake up and I don’t want to go to church, I want to chill in my pajamas and attend church from my couch. Days I’ve looked back at prayer requests I made and they’re yet to be answered so I doubt whether I was heard from above. He reminds me of my failures, areas I messed up, things I did, mistakes I made, tests am still falling and the list goes on and on…struggle after struggle and by the time he gets to the end, I am so drained emotionally I want to run to a corner, bury myself and weep bitterly.

But I thank God that my helper, the Holy Spirit, never leaves my side no matter how much the boat is rocked. And while I am feeling helpless and drowning in self pity, He stands by my side and gently whispers the truth that is buried underneath all the lies. That my mild acne is actually clearing up (victory dance), I‘ve lost two kgs, my hair has really grown despite the snail pace and above all, there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.( Romans 8:1 )

He points me to the cross and reminds me all my iniquities and transgressions were left there when Christ took my sins upon Himself so I could take on His righteousness and therefore I am justified. No one has the right legally to accuse me. He reminds me that daily He walks with me, sanctifies me, setting me apart and washing me in His word that He may present me as glorious, not having spots or wrinkles but that I should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5: 26-27). That in the eyes of Christ I am forgiven, beautiful, deeply loved, perfect and He would die for me on the cross all over again if He had to.

So yes I am flawed and broken but am broken in the hands of a Master who delights in molding me to perfection; the image of Christ. Now that doesn’t guarantee I won’t have my bad days but when I do, all I have to do is view myself in His eyes, not my eyes which may fail me, not the devil’s lies which will always condemn me, but in the eyes of the man who proved to the world that I am worth dying for and definitely worth coming back for; my eternal love- Christ!

Happy New Month and remember; decide on the truth you’ll stand on, embrace yourself as you are then wake up, get out and get moving to your destiny!

Motivation

Why I stopped!

Growing up, there so many things I used to do, some which I still do but most I stopped.

I stopped doubting myself,

I stopped blaming my past,

I stopped magnifying my flaws and acting blind to the beautiful blessing I was,

I stopped beating myself hard for setting up unrealistic goals,

I stopped looking for adventures that were elusive and left me veered off on wrong paths,

I stopped entertaining people who only needed me because they thought they were better than me and my woes,

I stopped looking for validation from people who gave it at a price that costed me more than I gave,

I stopped giving first priority to people who made me feel like I was always an option to them,

I stopped expecting perfection from people,

I stopped looking for happiness everywhere else other than within,

I stopped waiting for perfect moments instead of creating them myself,

I stopped looking for so many things because I was tired of constantly feeling inadequate,

I was tired of feeling broken and messed up. I was tired of placing my worth in the hands of those who could not see past my imperfections.

I was tired of feeling I could never measure up to anything other than what the world dictated,

I was tired of carrying the heavy burdens and feeling the darkness slowly creep in on me, like a stealth hunter ganging down on his prey.

I am happy I got tired. I am happy I reached my breaking point and hit the ground hard because I didn’t have any other way than back up on my feet. And I needed to do things a different way.

I am happy I found the one thing no one could give me and it finally dawned on me that all I was looking for was not a mirage; it was something I could find in one place.

I stopped my constant search when I found more than what I ever knew I needed.

I stopped looking when I found Christ.