I am going to miss my GDB family but I am taking valuable lessons with me. (Featured pic done by Jinaele Douglas)

One of the beautiful things about life is that it offers you continuous opportunities to learn, once you are breathing, you can learn something new and exciting.  Whether simple or great, lessons cannot be overrated, for they enrich us for better living, empower us for making informed and wise decisions, and prepare us for our journeys ahead.

During my years at GDB, every conflict, every discussion, every crisis and every turbulence, worked as tools rubbing against my character; with every friction came pain, discomfort, fear of the unknown, doubt and at the same time, faith, hope and determination.

I am now one day old as a non-employee of the GDB (feel a little sadness here)  and honestly, I have no regrets.   Instead I have cherished memories and lessons that I would always hold dear to my heart.

I can say a lot, but I need to focus on just enough, allowing you to digest quickly as you read.   May you be encouraged to keep pushing against the tide, when all odds seem to be against you.  Remember your success requires perseverance!

Real pic of me. I believe this is the pic used by Jinaele. She did a wonderful job!!

Lessons learnt;

  1. As a youth, in the early years of your career, seek to associate yourself with experienced and accomplished persons who are willing teach you unconditionally.  In life we need sincere mentors who would not seek to exploit us or help us expecting something in return.  I pray that you will be able to know the difference.  I was blessed to meet some great professionals as a “just-starting” professional.  These relationships helped to steer me in the direction of advancement and eventually success.
  2. Don’t ever let others’ incorrect perception of you mar you or define you.  There have been times when I doubted the core of who I am.  After some wavering, I found my balance and started to believe again in who I was.  My solid upbringing as a child and my godly foundation was in tact after all.   I had to know me and believe in me, even in the times when no-one else did.
  3. Think the best of others first (always).   Be very careful when your colleagues at work come to you with complaints about others.   Remember, as much as we try to be good, as human beings we have sinful tendencies.  It takes practice and discipline to report a matter correctly and objectively when you are offended, experiencing jealousy, fearful, angry or even in a state of un-forgiveness or bitterness.  It seriously blurs your vision and hinders your ability to think clearly.  So when your work-mates approach you in such a manner, seek to listen carefully and remember many times there’s more to the story or even less.
  4. Despite how many times you feel put down, rise up to the challenge ahead; you need to ensure your energy is being well spent.  I was foolish enough sometimes to give-in to the occasions when I felt put down; I was wrong to give in.   I eventually learned how to direct my energies to positive thoughts, despite the temptation to slump in self-pity, and focus on the work I had to do on my desk, my annual goals and my personal achievements.
  5. When you are able to receive criticisms gracefully, whether the motive is to build you up or break you down, you have achieved greatness, especially when you are able to see value in the criticism and value in the person criticizing you.   We can choose to complaint about what others are saying or how they are saying it,  or we can choose to accept that there are some things we cannot change and instead look for gold and silver among the junk.   Look deeper! Look pass the faces and the sound of the voice.
  6. If you have started the process towards achieving a particular goal, don’t dwell on the process, focus on the prize.  I love focusing on the goal, the result, it always looks good and inspires me to keep moving.  We can choose to whine about the spills, the sleepless nights, the seemingly difficult people, the exams, the need to practice, the need to study,  our supervisor or our boss, or we can keep our eyes on what looks really good, the prize, the goal.  I know it is easier said than done but it really keeps us focused and moving.
  7. Listen to others even when they do not listen to you, do it sincerely.  If you are patient, change will eventually come.   I expect that this lesson would not make sense to some of you and you may have good reason to think that way.  I have practiced it however and it has worked.  Life is about building relationships, it is about denying ourselves the first word, the last word or any word at all.  In building relationships we must learn how to control our emotions and just be still.  I think there are three main reasons why someone may not listen to you but just want to be heard;  1)  They feel that they have not been heard; your body language suggests that you are not interested or have not been giving them undivided attention.  2) They do not think what you have to say is of any value to them and 3) They have come to you in protection mode (their defense is up), they are seeking to protect themselves from something about themselves that they prefer not to have explored or exposed.  Patience and understanding is required here.
  8. Finally,  when the stressful moment comes and the seemingly impossible situation comes your way, remember that this too shall pass.    Breathe and think about the time when it will be all over.   Seek help when you need it, but never give up as if it is the end, because it is not.   It is up to you to dig deep and find ways to survive the tossing waves.  You can still learn to swim.

I do hope these eight lessons would inspire you to face life more positively, especially at work.   Don’t let the negative forces influence you, see every moment as an opportunity to grow, to shine and to build a legacy of pure loyalty and commitment.

I write this article with special thoughts of Jinaele Douglas,  my former assistant, who has had to whether many personal storms.  May this article give you strength.

Featured picture is a drawing of me, done by Jinaele Douglas.  What talent!!

 

My son inspires me to exercise.

I think it is really, really important, the way two pieces of bread is necessary for a sandwich, the way two hands must come together to make a clapping sound, the way the wind is needed to disperse the cotton seeds; I think in the same way, family success can only happen if every member of the family sees himself as a key component to making it happen.

I have been struggling to exercise consistently, I would start then stop, start then pause, start then……nothing……:).    But the lovely and interesting fact is, I really love to exercise.  Once I get started, I feel alive, renewed and invincible.  Interestingly, I always feel like the Holy Spirit is nudging me to exercise.  Is he trying to show me that I need to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle?  But he does not have to keep reminding me right?  It just makes sense to exercise; results of research bombards us of that fact.  But still…..I struggle.

Well, I publicly confess, I need to be motivated from time to time to keep doing it.

Today, I am motivated. How come? Why?  Jonathan.    His passion to work out has finally rubbed of on me and when he invited me again to work out with him this week, I finally caved in.

I really appreciate his interest in getting him mama “moving”.  I allowed him to instruct me through the warm up routines, watched him select a suitable work-out set for me and listened to his wise instructions.   God is using my son to get me moving :).

The end result was good!   I did the routine again for a second time this week without him nudging me, and I feel really accomplished.

We really need each other as family. 

As our children grow older, we need not to resist the fact that they are growing very knowledgeable and eager to teach us a thing or two or even three.   They exhibit responsible behaviours that sometimes leaves us as parents with mental confusion :);  “Where did my baby go?”.

Well my babies are still with me, but they no longer need my wet kisses, they need me to respect the fact that they can teach me a thing or two or even three.

So I have decided I would stick with my son as my Keep-fit trainer, at least for now.

Treasure each member of your family as that second hand that is needed to produce the beautiful clapping sound.

 

 

Faith affirmations for personal transitions

It was April 15th, 1991, I stepped into my current employer’s office ready to start my first day on the job.  It was my second real job after College.  The doors of the Grenada Development Bank opened to me in so many ways.  I did not know then what I know now, I was green, not even twenty yet, a bit naive but eager to excel.  I count it a great blessing to be employed consistently at the same place for such a long time; I have heard others talk about experiencing depression as a result of not being able to find a job for up to one year or suddenly losing the one they had.  In some cases these persons were treated unfairly by their former employers.  This was not my experienced, God blessed me with economical stability.

Twenty-seven years later and I am exiting the place I spent thousands of hours, the place where I dedicated most of my work life.  Yes, I am moving on, transitioning from one job to another.  I have been there for so long, it feels strange to leave.   I feel so indebted, grateful, touched, honoured and so much more, to have been part of this Institution’s amazing journey through life, 20 years plus.  After being a part of an organisation’s transformation from a doubtful future to bright hopes and vision, I cannot be any less but grateful.  As an employee moving through the ranks,  I  had great moments, not so great moments and those in between but every experience taught me something valuable.

What warms me the most is the fact that I saw God walk with me through all these years, teaching me how to listen, showing me where I need to develop, drawing me to the company I need to keep and planting in my heart the desire for excellence.   It was a desire that kept my eyes fixed on the fact that my job was a gift from God and He was worthy to receive the recognition for every little bitty witty of success I achieve.  He walked with me and I sought to let him hold my hand and lead me, most of the times.

As I sat on my bed this morning, I felt a bit overwhelmed and disturbed to a lesser extent;  I believe it was a combination of the fact that I need to get a number of tasks completed before I depart and that there is a need to be extra careful about allowing anxiety in others to distort my calm demeanor.  There is an extra urge to allow God to influence my planning, doing and saying; I am concerned about leaving right and leaving tall.  My journey ends at my current work-home on November 9th, 2018.  I need my Lord to continue walking with me.

So this extra thrust is being matched with a desire to lean on the everlasting arms of  God, to rest on his shoulder, and to listen closely to every prompt, every cautionary note, and every empowering word.

In seeking God to take me through the last few days, I received affirming words of faith in my heart and I started to write.  The outcome was six affirmations, all of which are shared below for your encouragement:

  1. He (God) will never leave me, never, never.
  2. I can speak with Him (God) when I want to.
  3. He promises to keep me in a peaceful state when I trust him to work it out.
  4. There is no weapon so powerful that he (God) cannot stop it from harming me.
  5. He (God) promises to give me wisdom, there is no limitation to the amount.
  6. When I need to be comforted He extends his love to remind me that I am His.

These six statements did it for me!   I felt empowered.  You see while they are not actual verses  quoted they all come directly from the Word of God where immense power lies.

Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God  who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations”

These six affirmations are my testimony.  God does it for real friends!

Care to comment, would love if you would share what God’s word means to you.

Preparing the room when planning Events

I have had opportunities during my church life as a youth and young adult, to plan activities at church, whether for the children, the youth or women’s department.  It allowed me to explore my abilities to plan, co-ordinate and lead others towards the successful execution of these activities.   From a simple outdoor Sunday School Class to Youth Weeks, Christmas Programmes, Retreats, Camps and most recently Conferences.  Opportunities at work brought the business perspective as  activities planned was of a “Customer” focus ensuring we kept customers happy and desirous of returning, to get access to more of our services.

All these activities have one thing in common however; there is a room, a space, or a location, where it all goes down.  There is “The spot” where the magic unfolds.

“The Christian Writers’ Meet-up” was no different, my first Event outside of the bounds of my local church or my workplace.

The chosen location was the “Allamanda Beach Resort” Conference Room.    I knew from experience that the “Room” was important; it mattered how it looked, the first impression created, its ability to keep you awake to the end  and its ability  to create a pleasant and unforgettable moment.   Never under-estimate the power of “the room”.

If you attended our first Event,  you may want to comment on “The Room”.    However, here are a few things I considered when preparing “the room”.

  1. The walls of the Conference Room were all white, the table cloths were all white, in other words there was  quite a bit of white space.  I could’ve chosen to add dark colours, may be a straight colour scheme like black against the white or blue against the white or some other colour.  However, InspireMe and Inspirational Events are about just that “inspiration” and I felt I was on the safe path with colour, bright and present colours.    This is one thing white space allows in an almost unlimited fashion, colour and a variety of it.  I chose bright green, orange and purple as the theme against the white background, with slight variations here and there.
  2. I chose to use white table-cloths because I was going to run a risk trying to get the right shade to match the colour-scheme selected.  So, I played it safe but still took little risk.   The head table to the front and the table on which the water was placed, at the back, were covered with green table cloths, while all other tables were covered with white.
  3. I chose to have large letters plotted because they clearly communicated “it was all about writing”, it was appropriate in my view.
  4. I also used foam boards covered with fabric (I have found that soft fabric adds class and elegance) to give it a unique and different look, applying innovation and creativity.   I stayed away from what was familiar to me and launched out putting new ideas to the test.  Note, that it was important for me to stick to the three main colours as much as possible, notwithstanding, getting uniformed shades was not possible in all cases, but the difference was not significant.
  5. Then there was the need for flowers;  the room needed either a really large floral arrangements or a number of small ones.  I went with the first option as I thought, less hassle; I would just need to find one focal point as against finding a number of focal points.   Note that it is important to focus your decorative pieces at key focal points; the areas that will be mostly seen. I chose a large bouquet and placed it in-front of the podium.
  6. Finally was my favourite decorative piece that added the final touch, in my view; the “Pen Prop”.  Oh how I loved that pink pen!  It was designed and created by Nahshon Jeremiah, Visual Artist and Entrepreneur.  The “Pen Prop” was “pink”, yes, pink in colour but it “blended in quite well”.

From feedback received, it seems that we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish with the “Room” and that is to make sure the environment created an inspirational memorable moment that fully complimented all the activities that unfolded as part of the “Meet-up”.  Despite the positive feedback however, I have asked myself, “What could’ve been better?”

How did I feel about the room!   95% Satisfied!!  I think that is pretty good for a hard self-marker.

The atmosphere in the room must also be credited to Nahshon Jeremiah (Pen Prop), “This&That Grenada” (Advice, Ideas, physical support),  Colleen Edwards (beautiful floral arrangement) and my beautiful, helpful daughter (prepared the writers’ folders).

I wish to add the projector screen, it was also creatively used to share our logo and inspirational pics; made possible by Quasim Joseph and my son Jonathan Jeremiah.

I also wish to Add music.   Music played softly as participants entered the room and at intervals when appropriate. Music chosen for the Evening was “Jonathan Mc Reynolds” Album “Make Room”.

We must admit that “The Room” is important to the execution of “The Vision”.   It is important that we put some serious thought into it, plan and execute well.

Hope you enjoyed this!  Feel free to send in your comments!

Faith in the “Vision”

Recently, I held a Christian Writers’ Meet-up and from the responses I have received thus far, I would say it was a success.  The success realised is due to God being allowed to have his way, sponsors who were willing to support and  most importantly Participants who trusted “The Vision”.

I have given some serious thought to the word “Vision”.  I have no doubt that the Vision for this Event descended from God himself.   Here is why:

  1.  The Vision came out of spiritual growth after personally experiencing a spiritual drought, failure and discouragement.  In other words, it represented a revival in my heart following days, weeks and months of searching the mind of God as it relates to what he thinks of me and desires of me in terms of service to humanity.
  2. The Vision was timely; It came after I was inspired to start writing in a big way, right after I started my blog and added to that, when other writers were contacted and the vision was shared with them, they were ready to jump in.  The discussion was not about “if” but “when”.
  3. The Vision did not die, even when I placed it on pause for a while because I wanted to be sure, it did not die; it expanded, added extensions and branches as it took root.  I had no choice but to add water to the roots and embrace the green leaves.
  4. The Vision became reality and has the potential to bear lasting fruit. When God gives us a vision, he uses our experiences to create it, marrying it with his word and his plan for us and for others.  When he gives us a vision, our finite minds are not able to grasp the full extent of it and so we must trust Him that our efforts, sacrifice and risk-taking will be worth it; fruit will come.

Be mindful that we must be first concerned about connecting with God and allowing him to feed us through his word, to build us up and to equip us to the task ahead.  He cannot give us a vision to carry out if we are distracted and unstable in our devotion towards him.   Pursuing purpose is really about pursuing God.

Everyone should be chasing after God’s peace!

Have you ever noticed how many verses in the Bible speak about Peace?

You see, in order to pursue God’s purpose in your life, you need stability, confidence, a sound mind and a clear vision and healthy relationships.   God’s Peace allows us to have all these and more.

Tap into God’s peace daily by reading and meditating on God’s word and talking to him through-out the day about everything that concerns you.

Here are some verses to get you hooked on God’s peace:

Proverbs 16:7

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

Psalm 37:11

“But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

Psalm 119:165

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”

Romans 5: 1-5

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”

Philippians  4: 6&7

“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

These are just some of the verses that would wake you up and help you realise that choosing a healthy relationship with God has awesome benefits.

Real, lasting, peace can be yours today, but you must be willing to let go of the unhealthy practices, habits and relationships that are feeding you conflict, torment and fear.  Instead embrace God’s word daily and allow him to guide you towards a life of true peace that even when storms arise, you would confidently walk through it, knowing that the Master of the sea is by your side.

You can’t pursue God’s purpose for your life if you do not know his Peace!.

Know God, Know Peace!

Article By Denisha Daniel

While visiting Facebook today and scrolling through my feeds, this article caught my attention.   I did not feel like reading at first but then something about the title captivated me and I got turned on.  The article was full, colourful and engaging.   It is the kind of article that would make you think, shake yourself and decide to persevere no matter the challenges that come your way.   I immediately wanted to share with others and sought the Writers’ permission to do so.   Thank you Denisha!  Do enjoy!

Written by Denisha Daniel

Grow through what you go through!

Situations in life arise that are tough. With the progressive style life takes, each challenge you overcome, ushers an even more challenging one in tow. Challenges foster growth and bring out the best in you…. here’s the clincher… “IF YOU ALLOW IT TO”.

I’ll be the first to admit, there are times I just don’t care enough to see it… the silver lining.😒

You can become bitter, calloused, cold, isolated and distrustful, in character, due to the things you face in life. Or, here’s another option courage offers, you can become BETTER and you can GROW.

There are times I’ve clung with lifeline tenacity to the scripture in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (MSG) “We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles…. we’re not sure what to do… we’ve been spiritually terrorized… we’ve been thrown down…” specifically leaving out the hope portions the verses offered simply because these parts resonated with me and I preferred to sulk.🤔
The hope parts of the verses say, however, “BUT we’re not demoralized… BUT God knows what to do… BUT God hasn’t left our side… BUT we haven’t been broken… “

When embracing of this, hope and courage, you can GROW through what you GO through. Purpose to see that hopeful side and push through, maybe even drag through… but just keep moving with a vision of “betterness”, not bitterness

Be triumphant in life! 
WIN! 
And succeed at the best “YOU”, you can be.

GROW THROUGH WHAT YOU GO THROUGH.

Happy anniversary to my blog and happy birthday to me…

God has given the gift of life to many, but today I felt as if I was getting all his attention.  I am sure there are thousands who celebrated their birthday today, but yet I felt it was just me.  I felt loved, special, valued and considered.

I woke up with pleasant thoughts, I was just so happy to be alive!  I was excited about reading my bible, I wanted to find a passage appropriate for my day.   I got my wish; Psalm 34 was my passage; I read the most of the psalm (22 verses), soaking in its relevance and comforting declarations.

The verses I really love are verses 1 to 4; This is how I chose to capture them;

  1. I declare – I will bless the Lord always and his praise shall continually be in my mouth
  2. I shall not boast of myself but only about what the Lord has done through me and for me.
  3. I desire for others to magnify the Lord with me. I love good spiritual companionship.
  4. I have sought the Lord many times when I was in desperate situations and he has always heard me and delivered me.

Today is also special because It is the first anniversary of this blog.  Happy birthday day to “InspireMe – the Blog”.   When I started to blog, it created an opportunity for me to breathe into others, inspirational thoughts and considerations, as I expressed my inward yearnings, thoughts and promptings from the Holy Spirit, I too found myself exhaling, releasing virtue and wealth.  As I gave through writing, I gained intimacy with God and a growing bond with the unseen and unmet readers across the world.

Today, I celebrate good success and I offer up a sacrifice of praise to my Enabler, the Holy Spirit himself.

I sincerely say thank you to those of you who subscribed.  Thank you to those who provided constructive feedback which allowed me to get a sense of how you were ministered to, inspired or touched.  Without readers of my blog, all I would have is a conversation with myself.

Thank you for allowing me to touch your lives.

As a new year begins, I can only expect better, further, higher and greater!!

You may be wondering why the guitar.  Here is this, during the past year, I recommitted myself to learning to play the guitar better, to becoming more confident, to practicing regularly.    My relationship with this six string wooden instrument has been renewed and my success with the guitar thus far (though small) has proven that “nothing is impossible with God”.

I shared this story to inspire you to live purposefully!

 

The Health Journal Idea

About a month ago, I received a gift from a friend.  It was a lovely rectangular notebook with a beautiful painting of flowers on the bottom half of the front cover.    As you can see from the featured picture, the upper half carried the letter “J”.   “J” means a lot to me and to my family.  My first and last name begins with “J”, my daughters’ name begins with “J” and my son’s name begins with “J”.

Some people call me “Jay” others “JJ”; some prefer to call me by my official first name “Janel”.

The point is, this note-book is special to me because, I count the giver a genuine friend and as stated before, because of the cover.   I wanted to use it for something really meaningful to me and while I received it about a month ago, more like two months ago, only one week ago, I finally knew how I wanted to put it to use.

My pretty, most valued notebook is now my health journal.  I have fought to start a healthier lifestyle, internally motivating myself to take small steps towards this goal, but it has not been easy.    I do not intend to give up however.

Two days ago, I started my health journal as a  further push to myself to go big.  I must say that it has helped me thus far.  As I embark on this journey, I am seeking to apply things that work for me and not others.   I cannot achieve the success I want by wishing I can do what others are doing.   I must find ways to meet “me” where I am at, understanding that I can only be “me”.

For me lifestyle changes has and would continue to include, better planning of my meals, healthier choices, healthier methods of preparation.

Progress thus far (note that my journey started a while back but I have just been struggling with consistency:

Nutrition:

  • I limit “milk” in my diet – not good for my sinuses and allergies –  I do have milk now and then, maybe once every three weeks.
  • The sugar content in my juices and teas are limited and sometimes none.
  • I enjoy (not often enough) blended smoothies, one of my favourites is beet root with bananas and spices with Almond milk;  I add anything I wish to add to that, eg: carrots.
  • I seek to have a portion of vegetables everyday.
  • I use whole grain rice and not white rice.
  • I try to limit the use of other oils, sticking to “Olive Oil”

This is progress and listing them makes me feel really good.

I am currently doing a water therapy, meaning I am rehydrating myself with lots of water, more than usual, and I already feel the effects of its cool refreshing properties.

For me, constantly telling myself to keep pressing and imagining a body that is more awake and alert is my motivation.  Now that I have started the journal, I have taken it a step further.

I would share more next time.

Let this little experience inspire you to keep working towards “the start” or the “re-start”.

Remember, to live out God’s purpose, we need to feel well!