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Inspiration

CHOOSING DIFFERENT!

10th October 2020: Such a beautiful sunny Saturday morning, am seated at the balcony, basking & taking in as much sun as I can while enjoying the cool breeze, watching it ruffle the leaves of nearby trees and playing softly in the background is my favorite worship music. Today I’ve woken up (Thank you Jesus) and I am completely overwhelmed at how blessed I am, one of those days you take a deep breath and you don’t remember how tough the last couple of days/weeks/months have been, you don’t remember all the things that went wrong, you don’t remember all those prayers that remain unanswered; no, not today.

Today I woke up and allowed myself to be completely overwhelmed by all the good things that have happened, all the blessings I have, all the prayers that have been answered, all the miracles I’ve watched God perform… today I woke up and decided to soak in the goodness of Christ.

I haven’t blogged in a while and it’s not that I haven’t had time because if I wanted to I would have, it’s simply because I allowed myself to get caught up in the busyness of life and failed to prioritize silencing my mind enough to sit and listen to what God wants me to share. Today I decide that listening to God is my priority.

I haven’t been checking up on my loved ones as much as I should, maybe because I fashioned this comfortable cocoon that simply praying for them and seeing them online most times means they are okay. Today I choose to be intentional in reaching out and letting my love grow from a noun into verb- acting, doing and being present.

I haven’t been consistent in my T.A.G (Time Alone with God), waking up early in the morning to sit at the feet of the Master and order my steps and day according to His will, simply because fighting sleep has been such a mountain, lol. Today I choose to remember that faith as little as a mustard seed is enough to move any mountain and so in faith I commit to devoting the first thirty minutes of my morning to God.

I’ve finished reading the book of Psalms and it’s a bitter sweet moment: sweet because I’ve been consistent in my “Read the Bible in 1 year” goal and bitter because I realize how far I am from wholly adopting a spirit of gratitude and praise and constantly reflecting/meditating on God’s word at ALL TIMES, even in the midst of pain and suffering and attacks (my most profound lesson from the 150 Psalms). Today I choose to:

  1. Focus on the milestones I’ve made this far on this journey and not the long path that lies ahead. #CelebrateSmallWins.
  2. Fix my focus constantly on God and not on my world or the happenings around. I realize it’s so easy to get caught up and be flogged down my life but that happens when I magnify it over God. I choose to remind myself every day that I surrendered my life and the steering wheel to Him and my job is to keep Him at the Centre, allow Him to run the show and to not let my eyes stray away from Him.

Beginning of the year, as one of my traditions, I wrote my goals down, put up my vision board and drafted a game plan but Lord knows I haven’t been as zealous as I should have. Well for starters I was solely focused on planning my wedding, then the pandemic happened, psyche and drive went under, wedding was postponed, then settled for a Covid-19 wedding instead of the dream wedding (I’ll totally write about this someday). Seen a couple of jokes and memes how we shouldn’t count 2020 since the world came to a stop, lol and it would be so easy to blame the virus for unaccomplished goals and dreams. But truth of the matter is:

  1. There is some good that happened in the midst of it all, if you are open to learning.
  2. Despite the circumstances, the power to pursue what we wanted was in our hands and if we didn’t go after it, we only have ourselves to blame, not 2020.

So today I choose to get over my procrastination, dust my goals and dreams and focus on channeling my passion, my drive and all of my energy into the next 82 days and what I can achieve by God’s grace. How? Every day I will wake up and choose to make a small, easy and manageable 1% adjustment to a particular aspect of my life which will result in an 82% improvement at the end of the year. Life is all about the choices we make and I choose differently, I choose that:

  1. I will not be caught up mumbling and grumbling and lamenting about life; I will be more grateful for all I have.
  2. I will not blame circumstances around me when things don’t go right; I will take ownership and be responsible.
  3. I will not allow my priorities to be all mixed up; I will know what matters and live accordingly.
  4. I will not take for granted the people I love; I will be intentional in communicating and being present.
  5. I will not sit on my gifts, skills or talents; I will allow myself to be who God has called me to be and to let my light shine before men that they may see His good works and glorify God.

Prayer for Today

Dear Lord,

Always remind me that my joy comes from you and that I should always rejoice. Let the joy and rest I find in you be manifested in my life as a gentle and quiet spirit.

Always remind me to fight anxiety and worry by presenting my requests to you in prayer and petition with thanksgiving and to trust that You will work all things together for my good.

Always remind me that true peace that guards my heart and mind comes from you and you alone. Teach me to recognize and remain in peace even when my circumstances are anything but peaceful.

Always remind me to set my mind on things above, not on earthly things; whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—to think about such things.

Since that sums up to Jesus perfectly, all I really have to do is fix my eyes on you. Thank you for making it so simple, Lord.

Amen!

Inspiration

2020: Grace, Growth and Gratitude!

Today is the 199th day of the year and this is my very first blog post of the year.  Yep, I haven’t written in a couple of months and I feel like I need to set the record straight and share that am still very happily born again and crazily in love with Christ, lol. There is absolutely no way the devil will take away that testimony from my lips. Nothing I ever do or go through will surpass the great sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross for me and how am forever in awe that He loved me at my very worst and He has promised that nothing will ever separate me from His unconditional love. If that’s the only testimony I will ever have, then it’s absolutely more than enough for me.

It feels like it’s been 20 months already since we crossed over from 2019. I don’t know about you but this is definitely not how I envisioned the year would be because it’s certainly not playing out the way I planned it. And trust me, I had plans, small plans, big plans, all sort of plans, intricate planned details of how the first four months would be. I was excited going about implementing them until Corona quietly sneaked in the picture and sat smug right in the middle, bringing everything to a halt. I look back at how things changed in a snap and I can’t help but laugh out, of course now I can smile but back then, it was nothing but a bunch of broken dreams and crashed hopes reeking of devastation. In fact if I could give 2020 a name, it would be the roller coaster year.

“Man makes plans and God laughs”

2020 was going to be my year, that was what I started the year claiming in faith , I had focused on everything I desired and wanted from it then slowly God in His divine ways made the world stop and it dawned on me that my focus had been on everything else but HIM. It’s pretty amazing how He managed to “shut down” the entire world and turned our heads and hearts back to focusing on Him and His superiority over all. It’s amazing how the human race was forced on its knees and we acknowledged that it’s not our own wisdom or strength that keeps us going but it’s indeed His grace and mercies which sustain us. Science couldn’t give us answers, civilization, wealth; political stability wasn’t the solution either. Maybe the world needed a disease to make us realize how sick we were so we could turn our focus on God and be truly healed.

You can make many plans BUT the Lord’s purpose will prevail. Psalms 19:21

After spending the entire of April and a bit of May lamenting,lol..I stopped weeping and mourning the loss of what would have been, got up, washed my face and embraced the life I had. I realized I couldn’t dwell on what couldn’t be undone and that I still had God on my side, all I had to do was trust that He knew every single detail of my life, how it plays out, how nothing catches Him by surprise and ultimately how all things work together for my good. I mean He had never failed me before, why would He start now? Changing my mindset and focus towards God was such a welcoming breath of fresh air. Before you get to judging me, it’s not like I didn’t know from the onset that this was the correct posture for me, nope, on the contrary this was one of the lessons God has been trying to teach me since 2018. A lesson I thought I had been to enough classes and done quite well, exceptional if I must say but no one knows the heart more than God and oh what a deceitful lil sneaky organ it is.

Turns out I hadn’t grasped the lesson and needed a few remedial classes here and there to let it sink in. 2020 isn’t all that bad if am to now admit, after much hindsight and retrospection, I believe the year is playing out JUST EXACTLY how it was meant to be and its upon us to seize the moment, grab the lesson and run with it as bravely as we can. 2020 hasn’t been such a roller coaster as much as it has been a season of grace, growth and gratitude.

Grace:

A lot has happened in our lives and  in the world these past couple of months and there is a general sense of darkness and gloom everywhere making it so easy to get caught up in that wave of sadness and heaviness. I believe there is equally so much more to be grateful for and if we carefully think things through, you’ll find there is so much goodness that surpasses the gloom. At times the blessings are in the tiniest and simplest of things.

I don’t take for granted waking up every morning and being able to take in a deep breath, knowing there is someone out there depending on a ventilator. I don’t take it for granted that I have a place I can call home, a safe haven from the cold and darkness, a place glowing in love and joy. I don’t take it for granted that I have food to eat and I can get choosy on what I want to eat based on my hormones or mood at that particular moment, knowing very well that for someone out there, a choice is a luxury.

May I never be so blinded again, caught up in my world, my desires and needs that I fail to notice how God so lavishly pours His grace and mercies every morning in my life.

May I never forget that it should have been me hanging on that cross, shamed and cursed but His grace was sufficient.

May I never forget that it could have been me killed in that accident, dying from that illness, abandoned and alone in the world, betrayed and left with a broken heart, so many could have, should have been scenarios but God, things could have been worse but God…I don’t deserve to be alive but God.. These trials and tribulations could have broken me into pieces but God… The enemy would have crushed me and had the last laugh but God…

Growth

When I was a little girl growing up seemed so much fun and I couldn’t help fantasize about it and becoming like my big sisters, cool gang and all. Then it happened and after I was done growing physically, it dawned on me there was so much to growth and it wasn’t fun and games, some lessons were tough, cruel, some gut wrenching and heartbreaking. You can’t fight it, it’s inevitable, you can postpone it to your loss but the lessons are worth embracing.

2020 came with its fair share of pain and lessons. I lost friends who I thought were down for me but turns out it was a one sided entanglement, hehe and the detangling was dramatic to say the least. In the same breathe, I gained amazing friends who turned to be such a blessing and I’ve learned God never takes away something and fails to replace it with something better.

I’ve learned that at the end of the day if God and family is all I have left, then I am more than blessed.

I’ve learned that at times God will answer my prayers, not in the way I expected Him to, but in His own divine ways which always turns out way better than my imagination.

I’ve learned that when things don’t go my way, my energy and emotions should be spent thanking God for what He is doing beyond my understanding because many are the times He doesn’t let me witness the battles He is fighting for me.

Gratitude

Above all am learning how to always be deeply and truly grateful at all times, in all things and in all moments. Nothing beats a cold gloomy day more than a cheerful and grateful heart. When you learn to see the blessings in everything, big and small then you live a content, satisfied and fulfilled life. Why? Because you’re never waiting for a moment to feel alive, you are present and enjoying every second of it.

I believe no one can stand and claim they have nothing to give thanks for; God has blessed each and every one of us in our own unique ways. The challenge human beings face is we constantly look over the other person’s life, wanting and desiring what they have, forgetting that we are all blessed differently, our paths and stories are different and our seasons are never the same. Comparison robs you of the delight of enjoying the season you are in.

2020 has taught me there is so much I have and have been blessed with, some I never was conscious of but I’ve slowed down to appreciate it all. I am not perfect, I make my good share of goof ups and mistakes but am so grateful God never writes me off and He’s always there to hold my hand and lead me in His good perfect pleasing will.

If there’s anything that these last six months have heavily reinforced for me is that I would rather be in the storm with God than anywhere else alone. Being saved isn’t an assurance that things will sail smoothly always, far be from it. The weapons will be formed against us, the world will hate us, we will be mocked and laughed at, they will sarcastically ask where our God was when calamities hit the earth, we will always be misunderstood and they will be our sworn enemies. Our secret lies in keeping our eyes firmly on Christ, not looking to the right or left and wavering in faith but solely focusing on Jesus and being of great cheer at all times knowing we are assured of victory just like He overcame the world. And if this world becomes such a dread, am grateful I have an assurance of a better place, an eternity with Christ, now what could beat that??

Six months to the end of the year and am excited to see what God has in store. At this point I’ll admit I don’t know what that will be but you can never go wrong with God. Where He leads, I will follow. #Surrendered&Grounded

Amen!

Inspiration

My 2019 Reflections!

A couple of hours to the end of 2019: Breathe in ……exhale!

God is indeed faithful and being alive at this very moment is a testimony of His never ending goodness, a testimony of His never failing mercies with every dawn, a testimony of His endless, priceless, unconditional love and a testimony of His grace that covers and carries us every second of our lives.

2019 has had its ups and down without a doubt, its seasons of mountain tops and bottom valleys, its season of laughter and tears, seasons of rock staunch faith and waves of doubt and unbelief, its seasons of high end success and downright failures, you name it. But here we are standing, chin high up like the overcomers we are.

If the Lord was not on our side, we would have certainly never made this to this end. The fact that we are alive today is a blessing and an assurance that God is not done with us, He has a plan for our lives and His plans will be fulfilled, not because of who we are or what we have done or how deserving we are but simply because of who He is, He is God, period.

I don’t know how your year has been but if I could describe 2019 for me, it would be an year of overwhelming blessings, love and support against all odds, an year of losing & gaining ,an year of pain, loss and heartbreak and an year of growing, failing and learning. What have I learnt in 2019? A lot, lol but what really stood out for me was a couple of lessons am delighted to share so here’s my 2019 in a nutshell;

  1. Embrace your season:

If am to be honest, I have struggled to learn and accept this lesson because truth be told, it’s a tough one especially when I had tagged my hopes and expectations on my plans, desires and goals to run on my very own timeline forgetting that I am not in control of time. There are dreams I hoped by now would have come to fruition, get married at a certain age, buy a car at this time, travel to that destination by a certain month, buy that land and settle down, get that promotion by that year, build and run my business, write that book… the list is endless. Every morning I jumped out of bed, looked at my vision board and geared myself up armed with my dreams and passions but at the end of it all, I didn’t accomplish all I had wanted for myself. I ended up struggling with feelings of despair, feeling too little, feeling like I wasn’t fighting too hard or I was dreaming too big, beating myself up for not becoming who I thought I wanted to be.

“Every season is one of becoming but not always blooming. Be gracious with your ever evolving self.”

I thank God that as I reflect back on my 2019, I can confidently say that I’ve come to appreciate that there is a reason for every season and if am patient enough and armed with a teachable spirit, I’ll grow and be fruitful in and out of season. God never allows us to pass through a certain phase in life in vain because He has promised us that all things work together for good for those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. My circumstances may not look like I envisioned, I may not accomplish the goals I aspired and that’s perfectly okay because in its season, at His timing, He will make all things beautiful. God is not a man that He should lie, whatever He has promised me, though it may tarry, will come to pass.

I’ve learned to work in tandem with God’s season and not run around trying to achieve things outside His will. I’ve learned to hold on tight to the dreams He placed in my heart, knowing that one day, despite the heartbreaks in between, the fatigue and brokenness of waiting in season, He will keep His word because He is faithful and never goes back against it. I’ve learned to constantly seek His face, His voice and to hide myself in His word.

  1. Celebrating Milestones:

I don’t know if this happens to you but personally I have struggled with seeing the positive amidst disappointments. It’s almost as if my mind always zooms in on what went wrong, what didn’t go as expected, what would have been and I fail to look back and appreciate the progress I am making or count the numerous blessings that I already have. Yes 2019 didn’t entirely go the way I wanted but there are some beautiful turns it took that gave me the best moments I ever could wish for. Am learning that even the little steps in between count because they signify growth and at the end, am not where I wanted to be and thankfully am also not where I was in the beginning.

“It’s not happiness that brings us gratitude. It’s gratitude that brings happiness”

Count your blessings; Name them one by one.

Count your blessings; See what God has done.

Count your blessings; Name them one by one.

And you’ll be surprised to see what God has done.

 I’ve learned/still learning to choose what it is I focus on because ultimately it ends up being magnified. I choose to see the good in all my circumstances, I choose to appreciate each and every milestone I make, I choose to see the good in people and believe that deep down lies the best version of themselves, I choose to not be hard on myself all the time and to pause and laugh in between, to remember that one failure or delay doesn’t equate to my identity. I choose to be the one who defines what success means to me, and not allow the world to define me. If I try out and fall, I choose to stand, dust up, pat myself on the back for the courage displayed then hit the road and try again because I chose to not be crippled by fear but rather be empowered in faith.

  1. Grace in abundance:

If it wasn’t for God’s grace, I don’t know where I would have been today because a million times I’ve failed over and over & Still His mercy remains and I’m caught in His grace. I have had my seasons in 2019 where I doubted God’s plan for my life, where I wavered in unbelief and my faith was shaken to the core. Like Jonah, I too have tried running away from Him when things got too tough and needed to be as far away as possible. There are days I didn’t want to pray, read my bible, attend church service, days I even doubted if I was called to serve in ministry but looking back , boy am I glad that even in my moments of weaknesses and foolishness, God never turns His back against me. That despite what I do, my identity still remains intact in His sight, I am still His child and He loves me with such a pure unconditional love.

My walk of faith isn’t all roses and petals, I fail, I fall but I’ll tell you what it is for sure, the one constant that rests my heart and that is God’s unending grace. In the midst of it all. God covers me, He loves me, He gives me another chance, He rescues me and He saves me.

Salvation isn’t for the perfect ones, those who have life figured it out, nope…after all Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He doesn’t expect us to clean up and come to Him, He is calling us to come to Him as we are, in the thick of our mess and our weaknesses because that’s when His strength is best displayed.

“God does not need your strength: He has more than enough of power of His own. He asks for your weakness: He has none of that Himself, and He is longing, therefore, to take your weakness, and use it as the instrument in His own mighty hand. Will you not yield your weakness to Him, and receive His strength?”

  1. Loving Unconditionally:

Since I accepted Christ as my personal Savior back in 26th May 2016 (whew, see God) I came face to face with what unconditional love felt like, a love like none other I had ever experienced, a love I had been searching for all along in the wrong places and arms. I was a hot mess, all broken and hurt, carrying a tonne of baggage, heartbreak, bitterness and anger, battling rejection, covered in guilt and shame BUT He still embraced me as I was. He loved me, picked me up, cleansed me and gave me a new identity in Him, one that was no longer tied to where I had come from or what I had done. I grew to fall in love with Him more and more every day and it was beautiful until it dawned on me that I had to extend the same love back to other people.

To be honest, people aren’t all that kind and good all the time, lol…sometimes they hurt you, offend you, irk you, poke you and God still expects us to extend the same hand He did to us. This has been a tough lesson, living out God’s love practically: being patient, being kind, not being envious, not being boastful, not being prideful, not being rude, not being self-seeking, not being easily angered, not keeping a record of wrongs, not delighting in evil but rejoicing in truth.

This kind of love is impossible if you are not anchored in God because He is love. I have being hurt by people and I struggled with forgiving. I have watched people repeat offenses and I struggled with being patient and not keeping a record of their wrongs. I’ve had people treat me wrong, say mean things and I’ve struggled to keep silent and not lash out rude and unkind words. I’ve battled with pride and thinking am better than other people, I’ve secretly battled the green eyed monster called jealousy and envied other people’s journeys and successes.

It’s a journey and am learning that if Christ found me at my darkest, loved me at my worst and forgave all my transgressions, I need to do the same for others. That is what we call extended grace and is the journey of being transformed to become Christ like…more and more of Christ. If we can’t give to others what we have freely received, then I beg to ask, who are we looking up to, Christ or the world? If we can’t love people at their lowest, if we can’t embrace them, flaws and all, who are we reflecting? Do unto others as Christ has done for you.

  1. God’s will nonetheless:

Losing a loved one takes a toll on you and in 2019, my heart was broken twice and I struggled with grief and accepting loss. The first loss was watching my best friend lose her husband of four years. I remember receiving that phone call and wishing it was the death of someone else, a relative but not him. Life is very short, one morning you are with your loved one and the next they are no more, no warning, no hint or clue, no goodbye, nothing… just emptiness and heartaches and grief. His death was so sudden and cruel, a hit and run accident, the driver didn’t even stop to salvage the situation, rectify his mistake and save a life.

For a while I battled with being bitter at God, I had so many unanswered questions, Why him? Why now? How would she cope? Why did their two year old boy have to grow up without his dad? I hadn’t figured out the answers when my heart was broken again in a span of two months, another loss, same tragedy-a hit and run accident, rushed to hospital, taken to ICU. Difference with the second case is we had a chance to plead in prayer and ask God to save his life and restore him back, we took turns in praying round the clock, alternating every two hours but he still passed on. I wasn’t bitter anymore with God, I was raged and furious, I mean didn’t He hear our prayers? Was He unable to save him? Why did he have to die so young? I was so broken inside, for a month I didn’t step to church, I looked fine on the outside but deep down my heart was crying.

As I write this, am at peace with the loss and with God because He remains God and He does what is best for us, His thoughts are way above ours, and we’ll never grasp all He does. I’ve stopped fighting His will. I don’t have all the answers, but I trust Him and I know He knows what He is doing. I’ve accepted I don’t have to know or understand His plans, all I need is to trust in Him.

Do I know how to handle grief? No, I still haven’t grasped this but I rest in this simple truth, I can be real with Him because we have a relationship, I can bare my grief, my anger, my rage, my pain, my heartbreak and it will never surprise Him or make Him change the way He feels about me, what we have is an eternal love.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

As I bid goodbye to the year 2019, I look back at the year and all I can say is through it all my eyes are on God and it is well with me because my soul has learnt to let go and trust in God.

If 2019 has been the best year ever for you, we celebrate and give thanks to God.

If 2019 hit you the hardest, wounded you, kicked you down, be encouraged that ALL IS NOT LOST. You are still alive because God has a beautiful plan for your life. You may not see it now, you may not feel it now but rest in this: God’s not done with you!!

To God be the Glory!

Inspiration

Journey To Healing!

It’s four days to the end of the September 2019 and I haven’t blogged this entire month. It’s good to get that off my chest. I am certified procrastinator 🤣 but I assure you this wasn’t the case this time round. I’ve been torn between battling this out on my own privately or pouring out my heart here and every time I felt like cowering away, the Spirit kept reminding me gently that I’ve submitted myself fully to God, all the pieces, broken or whole and it didn’t matter which state I was in, He’d still work it out for good for His glory and honor.

At times we doubt ourselves, our journey, the situations that abound us, if this is not you, that’s perfectly fine, well done,cheers lol…but as for me, am in constant need of grace to get to that space.  God has to constantly remind me that He sees the beauty in my imperfections, that every lil part of me has a purpose in His plans, that He needs all of me, the whole SUM and not just SOME parts. And that if I turn it all over to Him, those broken parts, those lil pieces, those holes, He’ll shine His LIGHT right through them and set the world ablaze.

This has been a heavy month for me.

I was totally ecstatic when the month started, celebrating the last month of Quarter 3, gearing up to achieve the goals I’d set up, ticking off plans and targets, it was coming along great until that fateful morning, 4th September when I got that call early in the morning and my world stopped for a minute as I felt my heart heavily crushing down into a million pieces. We had lost a loved one.

I remember I was preparing to leave for work but I just crushed and sat down, dumb founded with no words to say back, I must have hung up the phone and called out to my mum who came rushing and I broke down in her arms, wailing and trying to explain what had just happened, and for a while we just sat there, crying and trying to come to terms with the devastating news.

For the next two weeks as we went about the burial preparations, I was running on autopilot…my body was up and about, playing different roles, being present and helping out, coordinating activities, smile on my face, being totally strong for my girls but deep down within me, everything was still at a standstill, I had almost become numb. I fought the tears, mustered all my strength and courage but if someone pricked me a lil, I was on the verge of a meltdown. It was so bad, I was struggling to pray, I had so many questions to ask God, I was mad, furious, saddened, broken, crushing.. I wanted Him to hold me so tight but still push Him far away because He allowed this to happen.

I carried my Bible with me, as if trying to get strength from poring through the scripture but nothing made sense, my world was grey skies and dark ugly clouds. It got so bad I found myself craving a hard drink, something I hadn’t done in years, whiskey, rum, tonic just anything to make me forget the pain. I thank God was constantly there, holding me and reminding me my strength only came from Him, no drink, and no human could possibly fill the void. I broke down twice and cried my heart out, the day we went to hospital to see him and the final day we laid him to rest.

It’s been 24 days but still my heart aches, grief has no manual and the journey is different for everyone. Days pass by and you regain your strength in bits, there are days you’ll smile, reminisce the beautiful memories you shared,  laugh again but the pain never goes away, it stays and sticks like glue, it will always be a part of your new life and you learn to share a room with in it your ‘house’. It won’t be the only room you’ll lock yourself in, but it will still be there.

And I think that’s the healthy way of dealing with the loss of a loved one. It’s accepting the pain and embracing it. It’s not rushing to chase it away. It’s making room for it and not fighting it or hiding it away from it. It’s allowing yourself to be in that dark cold room of your grief and also allowing yourself to step into other rooms of joy, happiness, peace and comfort. It’s allowing the grace of God to heal you and hold your hand until you learn to open the windows in the dark room, allow a little sunshine in, some fresh air to make the room alive and eventually, it will be a room you’ll step in and be flooded not with sadness and pain but beautiful memories you shared with them.

I bear my heart here because am not a perfect Christian…am just called by a Perfect Saviour. I have my moments of weaknesses, of failure, of doubt, moments I struggle to pray, read the word, fellowship. But in all these moments, my God never changes. He remains the same who loves me unconditionally, sees me through His lenses of love and grace, floods His mercies new every morning, leaves the throne to come embrace me and rock me like a little girl in His blossom. No am not perfect, am just loved perfectly.

And I’ve learned on the days I can’t run to the throne, or walk this faith out, I can crawl to Him, naked and vulnerable, broken and bruised and He’ll cover me, He’ll wipe away my tears, He’ll bind my broken heart, He is my balm of Gilead. I can always come to Him just the way I am. When I don’t have much to bring and am torn into pieces, that is my offering and I take it to Him. When am tired, churched out, hurt and abused, when I have no strength to fight, no tears to cry, I go to Him because I know one touch will change my life. When all I can do is lay there at the throne, when I can’t open my mouth to pray, I’ll still be at His throne. Because where else would I find my healing and grace??

I know so many of us are going through a rough patch, in one way or another, dealing with this life… And this morning I commit all of us in the able Hands of our heavenly Father, I pray for super natural healing, for comfort, for peace of our minds and hearts that only God can provide, I pray for His overwhelming love to drown us in His embrace, I pray for the strength to pick up ourselves and our pieces, I pray for your presence to walk with us through the valley of the shadows of death.

Lord on our own, we are unable to and we fail so miserably, teach us this morning and all the days of our lives to depend on you wholly and solely, to look up to you even on those days our shoulders are heavily burdened by the sorrow and weight of this world and to always remember that You are for us, You are with us and You are in us, now and always. You’ll never leave us nor forsake us and the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Teach us to hold on to you and cling desperately to your hem because our lives depend in it.

We love you and we adore you, in Jesus name we pray, trusting and believing, and all God’s children say AMEN.

 

Inspiration

Fighting to Become

A story is told of an eagle’s egg that found itself in a hen’s nest and the eaglet grew up all its life knowing and believing it was a chicken.

We all have something about ourselves that we’ve come to believe as our truth and if we are questioned why we believe in it, we really can’t tell. But if we’re honest, we’ll find out that once upon a time….it all started with a lie.

‘When every lie is destroyed then the dragon is defeated for it cannot control what it cannot deceive’

 Chip Brogden.

Why do you act the way you do? What happened to you? What words were spoken over you? What did you grow up witnessing? The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy and if he can blind you, if he can cover up your true identity, if he can make you believe lies about yourself then he knows it will affect how you think, how you feel and how you act. Ultimately he keeps you in chains, you walk around heavily burdened under the pressure to live up to the worldly standards, the lies, you live a conflicted life because deep within you the truth is fighting to be unveiled but the lies will not go down without a fight.

If Joseph wasn’t firmly rooted in his identity in God, he would have easily fallen prey for Potiphar’s wife, slept with her and destroyed his destiny to be used by God to rule over Egypt and bring salvation from famine.

Samson, the strongest man in the land ended up blind, shackled and using his strength as a slave, making wheat for his enemies… Simply because he revealed his true identity to the enemies, his source of strength and they ended up cutting his hair. What God had gifted him to use for His glory ended up being used to serve against him. Our identities in the hands of enemies will be turned against us and the Kingdom of God.

“When identity is affected, your purpose becomes corrupted and ultimately your destiny is aborted.”

The journey of becoming starts by finding the lies in our lives that we’ve grown up believing and embracing our identity, replacing them with the truths and taking back your power thus walking in freedom.

“You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” John 8: 32

To the child who grew up in an emotionally, psychologically and physically abusive environment, don’t ever blame yourself for what happened because it wasn’t your fault. You had no control over the circumstances. Don’t let it define you and turn you into who you are not. Don’t allow the bitterness to be part of your DNA such that you end up hurting those around you. You’ll heal if you allow the pain out.

To the lil boy/girl who was defiled, you are not to blame for what they did to you. You were innocent. You were faultless. You didn’t deserve it and you didn’t trigger it. You need to break away from the fears that have bound you. One day you’ll learn to trust and open again, the journey will be painful and you’ll need to be vulnerable in a safe space but it will be worth it.

To the girl who got pregnant outside marriage, the single mum, you’re not a mistake neither is your baby. Your child is a blessing from God and the mere fact that they are alive means God has a purpose for them and has predestined them for a great future. Forgive yourself and embrace your journey. Raise your baby in the best environment you can provide and watch their journey unveil.

To the boy who was rejected by his dad, you are worthy of love and attention. His walking away doesn’t have anything to do with you, it was entirely their decision. You are loved by a heavenly dad who is dying to pour out His love and grace upon you. He’ll provide father figures to hold your hand and walk with you through it all. You are brave and courageous, don’t stop fighting.

To the lover who was cheated on and heartbroken, you are not less of a person because of their poor choices. You are worthy of love. Don’t let their mistakes taint your heart and turn it into an icebox.

To the unwed, there is nothing wrong with your singleness, at the right time, God’s timing, and He will make all things beautiful. Enjoy your season, work on yourself, learn your flaws and perfect your strengths, discover your hobbies, your talents. Find friends who will push you to be the best version of you. Find God and base your identity on His word and His standards. Ask Him to reveal to you what He knows about you and you’ll be blown away.

To the jobless, having a job shouldn’t define you. There are so many professionals who are working but miserable in their jobs, every day they report to work they die a little bit inside. People with big titles end up taking their own lives because they are unhappy and the pressure is too much. Perfect your skills, find what you love doing, thrive in your passion, your talents. Find what you enjoy doing and chase after that. Find a problem in your community and work on getting the solution. Find ways of making a difference in your space and being positive impact. All these other things will fall in place.

To all those who are struggling, fighting a battle, you are not alone. We all have struggles in life, they vary but the pain, the hurt, the disappointment, and the heartbreak is something we’ve all felt. Be encouraged that God has promised He will not give us situations we cannot handle and His grace is indeed sufficient in our weaknesses. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you fail but change your mind set and pick the lessons, knowing that a mistake only remains if we fail to learn from it.

You are not your mistakes. You are not your struggle. Your addictions don’t define you. You are not your childhood experience. It doesn’t matter what they said to you, their words don’t define you. It doesn’t matter what they did to you, their actions are not a baseline of how you should define yourself neither is it the standard you should measure yourself up to. It doesn’t matter who left, I know it pains and hurts but don’t allow the pain to be your identity.

You need to stop looking at yourself via the eyes of your past, via the eyes of a broken world and start seeing yourself for who you really are, as your creator sees you. God sees past your imperfections and He loves you JUST THE WAY YOU ARE, flaws and all. You need to learn the truth about what God says about you and let that truth renew your mind and transform your life.  Read your bible, dig deep and understand who God is and what He says about you. Plug in to fellowships that teach the word of God, find friends who will point you to Christ, join communities of believers who you can share your faith with and will guide you in accountability. You need to do everything possible within your means to win the battle with your mind. Your mind is a battlefield, the enemy will seek to confuse you with wrong thoughts and ensnare you with lies but we have been commanded to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. Protect your mind by feeding it the word of God.

If the world, broken as it is, becomes your mirror, then without a doubt you will always see shattered pieces of yourself and you’ll never be whole. If Christ becomes your identity, then you’ll walk in the fullness of His grace, His love, His peace, His unconditional love. You will know the reason why you were created and the great plans He has in store for you. You will walk in your purpose and fulfil his good, perfect and pleasing will.

In the world’s eyes they think you’re doomed, in your eyes you think you’re the epic failure, but in His eyes, He sees His precious beloved heartbeat.

I love this song by Lauren Daigle, You Say

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough,
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up,
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know (ooh oh).
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing,
You say I am strong when I think I am weak,
You say I am held when I am falling short,
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours,
And I believe (I), oh I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
I believe!
The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me,
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity, (ooh oh),
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing,
You say I am strong when I think I am weak,
And You say I am held when I am falling short,
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours,
And I believe (I), oh I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
Oh, I believe!
Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet,
You have every failure God, and You’ll have every victory, (ooh oh)
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing,
You say I am strong when I think I am weak,
You say I am held when I am falling short,
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours,
And I believe (I), oh I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
I believe!
Oh I believe (I), yes I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
Oh I believe (oh)
Let God show you how He views you and that will be the starting point of a beautiful journey of embracing your purpose and walking to your destiny and I promise you that’s a journey worth fighting for.
Inspiration Motivation

My A to Z Gratitude List

Happy new month..yaaaay!! I can’t believe 2019 is seven months down the line, honestly that went by fast. I am in that space in my head and heart where I am looking back at how the year has been and taking stock of the milestones God has enabled me to attain so far. While at times this can be daunting because it hit me hard that there are only five months left in the year to achieve all the goals set up for this year, but it can equally be gratifying to just adopt a heart of gratitude, reflecting the far I’ve reached and to acknowledge that at least am not where I was when the year started.

Lately I’ve just been melting in gratitude, learning to trust God and give Him hallway-praises and am truly appreciating the lessons God is intentionally teaching me this year with the centre lesson: being grateful at every stage of life, appreciating the wins, big or small and remaining focused, not on my situations but on God at all times. Because if we are honest with ourselves, behind every anxiety, worry and fear is a child of God who momentarily took their eyes off Christ and magnified their situations. Forgetting that what got them through in the first place was not their strength, might or abilities but the grace God and that if He saved the day then, He is still able to do so again and again.

So here are a few things am entirely grateful to God for:

Animations.

Am not a big fan of movies or series but if I could, I’d binge watch on cartoons and animation all weekend long, lol..and it’s not because of my nephews or nieces, not at all, am just a child at heart. That plus if you watch them with a keen heart, there are plenty of lil nuggets of wisdom infused in the story line. I remember watching Finding Nemo for the first time and I cried, lol as I related to how God relentlessly pursues us until we are back home, Lion king taught me about identity and always remembering who I am and to whom I belong.. I could go on and on but am grateful that even as I continue to age gracefully, the child in me lives on.

Blogging.

I’ve been blogging for an year and a couple of months and it has been the most exhilarating journey in my walk of faith. What started out as a call to obedience has slowly evolved into a ministry where am witnessing God touching the lives of others through the words He puts in me. There are days I feel overwhelmed but I’ve come learn that it’s never been about me but about Him who enables me. All the glory goes back to Him, am just a vessel that’s humbled and honored to be used in His kingdom. Who knows, maybe we’ll write a book before we turn 30.

Christ.

Ever since I accepted Him in my life, I’ve never been the same.♥️♥️

Devotions.

I’ll be honest, for the longest time I’ve been struggling to be consistent in my QT (quiet time) with God. There are days I’ll wake up early and have my devotion then there those days I snooze the alarm a hundred times before waking up and dragging myself to start the day. Days I’ll attend the weekly services regularly then weeks I’ll be so caught up in my own world and fail to prioritize fellowship. But am grateful that the hunger and thirst to seek God never dies and am learning how to be intentional in pursuing and nurturing my relationship with God. I have a plan to finish reading the New Testament by end of Dec 2019 and am praying I’ll have a testimony to this.

Ecclesia group.

My amazing Egroup fellowship, you guys are absolutely awesome, full of grace, wisdom and love and am always assured of an edifying time every time we meet. A brief about Egroup. So I fellowship at Trinity Chapel Ruiru where our vision is growing deep to reach wide and become audacious agents of change. We strongly believe that we should be rooted in four core essentials which are: I choose to Grow, Belong, Serve and Go. There’s nothing like plugging in to a small community of believers who are authentic in their pursuit of Christ and always willing to be vulnerable to each other as we seek His righteousness.

Family.

Family is everything and am grateful I have one that’s full of love and laughter. Anytime we are together, whether it’s out and about or just chilling indoors drinking tea (we are tea lovers, all except one) it’s always a good time. Am grateful that we can be honest with each other about things we go through knowing that we’ll always have each other’s back. Grateful to have nieces and nephews to keep me on my toes.

Girlfriends.

‘Find your tribe and love them hard’. Am grateful for my tribemates and the journey we’ve shared this far. It’s a blessing to have a circle of friends who have seen you at your worst and still see the best in you, friends who cheer you through your wins and still be bold enough to lovingly correct you when you stray. We don’t talk 24/7 because of responsibilities but we know we have each other’s back and when we do catch up, it’s like we never were away. We sometimes cross each other because it’s not always rosy but we are committed to a lifetime of friendship.

Hugs.

Who doesn’t love hugs especially after a tough day.

Intentionality.

Am grateful that am learning how to be intentional in all things like my Heavenly Daddy.

Joy.

For a long time I searched for happiness in people, things, situations until I learned that I couldn’t find it out there because it was elusive. I’ve learnt to find my joy and delight in the Lord and it’s what keeps me going even though the storms.

Kindness.

A lil kindness goes a long away and we don’t need to have much to touch someone’s life. It’s all in the lil things we do and I love adding a smile to someone’s day.

Listening.

Am grateful that am slowly learning to listen to people and not just hear them, to absorb every word they say without thinking of what to say next. Being a great conversationalist isn’t always about what you say but how you make people feel.

My mum

I could write a whole piece and still words wouldn’t be enough. Am grateful for having an extremely supportive mum who understands me, loves me through all my craziness, who’s stood by me through thick and thin. It hasn’t been all rosy but she’s clothed with grace and strength. Am grateful for the times we spend together, talking, catching up, and watching action programs while shouting at the characters on screen, lol. She’s all I have and I pray that God will satisfy her with long life, that she’ll enjoy the fruits of her labour, witness the answers to her prayers, watch her children prosper, enjoy her grand kids and have the energy to run and play along.

Noodles.

My niece’s and I favorite easy go to snack especially on those lazy days we’re watching cartoons and don’t feel like putting effort in the kitchen.

Outdoors.

I love being outdoors, taking walks on nature trails and enjoying the clean crisp air, cycling or hiking. Nothing clears my mind and rejuvenates me more. Last weekend one of my girlfriend turned 30 (Happy Birthday Babes, it’s still your birthday week) and we went hiking with the girls. Oh the fun and excruciating pain. (You owe us a spa treat). That’s my kind of fun, picnics, road trips and I love it.

Purpose.

Initially I thought purpose was one big mystery that God would unravel at once, that one big thing I had to do which always led me to a moment of worry and anxiety trying to crack my head around it, walking around asking for clues. But I’ve learned that wherever God has freed you is the very area that He wants to use you. Seeking our purpose isn’t a big mystery any more, but rather sharing our victories with others and helping them overcome as we have through the power of Christ. It’s in making a difference and an impact in the areas that God has placed us at the moment.

Quest.

Quest is the children ministry at my home church, Trinity Chapel Ruiru where I get to serve most Sundays. Am passionate about children and getting to play a role in setting up the foundation of Christ from as early as 2 years. Kids are beautifully innocent, with big genuine smiles and pure loving hearts. Am so honored every moment I spend in their presence learning from them as well as pouring little seeds that will God willing blossom in later years. If you live along Thika Road, around Ruiru and it’s surrounding areas, please bring your children (aged between 4 years to 11 years) over to our church for the August Vacation Bible School.

 

Rique ♥️

Sunsets and sunrises.

Every morning I wake up to a sunrise my heart swells in sheer joy and I fall a little more in love with my creator. Nothing beats the beauty of a glistening sky. It’s our little secret code as His reminder of the beautiful infinite love He has for me.

Trials.

A few years ago I dreaded the trials because I was so focused on what was happening outside of me. But Christ has taught me that every trial and challenge has a purpose it’s working out in my life if only I take some time and see the lesson.

Unconditional love.

Where would I be without God’s love? I shudder to think or imagine. His love is the sole reason I stand tall every day, embracing my imperfections and resting confidently in the fact that He sees the beauty in my imperfections. Nothing can separate us from His love.

Vulnerability

For a very long time I was accustomed to building high walls around my heart to keep off people from hurting me more or from seeing the mess I was. Nowadays am unashamed to invite people in so they can see the brokenness and beauty of trusting in Christ who pieces us back together, like the masterpiece we were born to be.

Wait.

Am learning some beautiful lessons every time I’ve had to wait for something, a prayer, a desire, a dream, a confirmation of a vision.. Name it. And the lesson has been trusting God even when nothing seems to be working out because He never stops working behind the scenes.

X neXt hehehe.

Yielding.

Am grateful that as we continue to journey this walk of faith, am gradually learning to yield to God’s will, learning to let go and surrender to Him, learning to relinquish control back to the throne and walking in complete trust and obedience. It’s not easy, we still struggle but I remain teachable and He remains a good good father.

Zzz

Yes am grateful for every night I’ve had some good night sleep. I am not oblivious to the fact that there are people who struggle with insomnia. Am grateful that most nights I hit my bed tired, I black out almost instantly and the world would move beneath my bed and I’d still sleep on. Mental health is vital to a wholesome living and getting good sleep is a key component to ensuring we stay refreshed and rejuvenated. If you’re struggling to sleep, there are many ways to beat that including sleeping early, keeping your body healthy and most importantly, did you know you can pray and ask God to give you sleep?

***********

I know God is intentional and nothing He does is ever in vain so am learning to trust and obey His ways against mine. Am learning that it’s meant to be a walk of faith, not a sprint so am cherishing the slow moments, the waits and pauses in between and appreciating the milestones we, He and I, make day by day. Am learning to not be so caught up in seeking more that I forget to realize what I already have and count my blessings one by one. I must admit it’s a beautiful lesson and beautiful season to be in♥️

What are you grateful for?

 

Lots of Love.