How have you changed in 2021?

When we spend quality time with our spouse, fiancée or boyfriend/girlfriend, we learn more about ourselves and about each other. Sometimes we are amazed by our own discoveries.

In a relationship with God it is no different. As we sit and communicate with Him, mediate on His words and just tune our ear to listen to His voice, we are enlightened about His character and about ourselves. We are then able to clearly see the undeniable attitudes or behaviours that must change.

As I thought about 2021 and the fact that it is almost over, I reflected on me, asking myself, “How did I grow in 2021?”, “How am I different?” “How did I change?”. It is an introspection that would continue as I dig deeper for evidence that God is still working on me.

I choose to embrace these discoveries as gifts.

Happy Monday to all and may you be inspired to always allow God to align your character to His and don’t be hesitant to look for those changes. We all need to grow?

How have you grown in 2021?

Be strong in mind

There are some endeavours that would require a lot more grit than others. Some dreams take you on a lonely journey because many times those closest to you do not support your vision. You can also find yourself along a road that is steep and rugged, filled with unexpected risks; it is the reality of perseverance.

We must not however forget the positive side; the opportunities that would more than likely present themselves as we experience new territories or new pathways. Just think about the people you would meet and the rich relationships to be developed. The lessons to be learnt and the rewards to be enjoyed as a result of your sacrifices and hard work.

Critics would come but be of a strong mind and train yourself to quickly analyse what is being said casting aside words that have no bearing on your mission. Some criticisms are emerging from a place of fear, failure, jealousy and scorn. Watch out and stand clear! Do not fool yourself to think that your mind is strong enough to bear it. Run from the very appearance of evil, don’t even consider slowing down. Your mind is vulnerable and the god of this world (Satan), knows it too well.

Let the positive vibes rise, let your faith soar. Remember, faith without works is dead. Don’t talk about having faith and have nothing to show for it. Reach for the unreachable if you know the God of the impossible.

Ephesians 6:11-18 is so fitting for this article. It reminds us that we are provided with the necessary protection to win, to achieve and to conquer new territory.

“Put on the whole Armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole Armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand; stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

For the believer, there is no area of our lives exempted from spiritual warfare. None, 100% Zero. Whether you are called to be a Pastor or a Bishop or you are called to be a market vendor, you need to walk garbed in the Armour of God to experience success. Wake up and stop living a life of defeat and blaming the Devil for it. Let your hands and feet follow your preaching.

Remember, the Armour of God exists for our benefit. The one who lives in you is greater. In other words, the battles of the mind, when coming to achieving your purpose, can be won. Walk in your true identity towards your destiny!

Cherishing the moments

I am extremely grateful to be at a juncture in my life where I can choose how I wish to spend the precious hours of the day as God permits. It is a new season and it feels like freedom. With this new blessing comes the opportunity to cherish the moments or rather “THE” moments. In other words, the opportunity to cherish the moments that really matters is now here.

I have too many memories of times when I was too busy, too tired, too distracted and too stressed to direct the required energy and time towards my children’s emotional and social development. While I can probably give myself a fair rating for my parental skills, I know in my earlier days of motherhood, my job and my involvement in church activities were given priority too often.

Today, it is different, I am now in a wonderful space of independence. This space allows me to make decisions that would promote a work-life balance. This space allows me to have control of my calendar and my clock, as God permits of course. This wonderful space allows me to slow down and become a better listener. This valuable space presents opportunities to nourish and support my family in every way possible. This valuable space presents opportunities to practice better self care and to invest into the lives of others.

I fully anticipate the working of the Holy Spirit during this season because I know he has a plan and I know his plan for me is perfect.

Today, I inspire you to work towards creating that lifestyle of balance. You may not be able to achieve it in one or two months, it may take a year, but it is worth your efforts to try and create boundaries.

Here are some possible boundaries you can create to keep you in check:

Avoid working on weekends unless it is totally necessary in which case do not work two weekends in a row.

Take a lunch break and seek to have lunch the same time every day.

Plan a family outing or outdoor adventure at least every other month.

Go out on dates with your spouse.

Have mother-daughter days or father-son days, etc.

Create realistic time slots during the day for every task and be disciplined about keeping the time limits.

Invest in programmes or projects geared towards helping others to develop.

These are just some suggestions for maintaining a lifestyle of balance. Feel free to share your tips as well in our comments section.

Delayed gratification

Robert T. Kiyosaki, well known Author and Financial coach, teaches about delayed gratification. The principle here is that as one seeks to grow financially there is a process that must be understood. It’s the process whereby we learn to resist the temptation of an immediate reward in preference for a larger or more enduring reward later.

For example; a young man graduates from University with his first degree. He lands a job as a Project Co-ordinator at a Civil Engineering Company. He lives in New York where public transportation can be easily accessed. He can choose to purchase a vehicle immediately through a bank loan or he can choose to save his money. If he is currently servicing a student loan it means that he will be further extending his debt once he pursues a second loan to obtain a car. He assesses his options and realizes that he can only afford a second hand vehicle. He also realises if he waits another four years he should be able to buy a new vehicle without a bank loan. He decides to discipline himself and he waits, saving consistently as he does. This young man has delayed his opportunity to enjoy the comfort, privacy and convenience of owning his own vehicle now so later it would be easier to obtain and he would be able to afford a better quality car.

As I pondered on the term, I thought to myself, so many of us have delayed gratification simply because we had no choice. We were poor; seriously in lack of basic needs, and had to learn how to be content, how to do without and how to wait. We learnt how to appreciate the little that we had. For others, our parents were wise enough to explain to us that because of our co-operation as kids, when we became adults we would experience a better life. We were then taught how to take a little and “stretch” it, how to maximise the available resources around us and avoid spending and the importance of saving a penny.

This term can be extended to so many aspects of our lives, relationship and sex, a job promotion, our own house, improved health and the list goes on. As we seek to pursue God’s purpose for our lives, let’s keep in mind the importance of practicing restraint, contentment, patience, gratefulness, giving, and faith.

Almighty God, Creator of all things, admonishes us to stay away from all the attitudes and behaviours that can draw us away from the principles of delayed gratification and the degrading qualities mentioned hereunder. He warns us against greed, filthy lucre, reveling, wastage, fornication, robbing others, envy, covetousness, and anxiety.

We are encouraged 100% to invest and to seek to grow our wealth. We are encouraged to be good stewards with what we have been given. However, it is paramount for us to understand that pure success comes when it is obtained through the application of godly principles. May we be disciplined enough, may our faith be strong enough to pursue success only in alignment with God’s will. In God’s will and in his timing, the waiting is always worth it.

When the realisation of your dream is closer than ever stay humble

The beauty about persevering and pursuing a dream is that moment when you realise that it is closer than ever. Excitement springs at you from every angle. You can feel the skip in your step. Life suddenly has renewed purpose and everything seems possible. It is a wonderful moment to live in, to embrace and to value. If you are there now or when you get to that place, please remember to slow down and ensure you are carefully approaching each step. On the other hand it is important not to let fear and doubt to sneak up on you. Many times when we are about to launch that initiative or plan we experience “cold feet”. Be aware that it can happen and be ready to keep those feet protected. Remind yourself that the only direction you will be taken is forward.

As the dream unfolds and takes root, be careful not to become prideful, remain humble, submitting yourself to learning. As the dream unfolds, be careful to document every stage, every milestone and every set back. Put pen to paper and right your story as you go along the way. These insignificant notes may later become a bestseller, the book that makes you proud. As the dream unfolds it is quite o.k. to feel the need to pinch yourself; maybe that’s the reason our most valuable goals are called dreams. When the dream becomes a reality we often wonder if we are dreaming.

As the dream unfolds remember to inspire others along the way and remain focused on sound spiritual principles. Almighty God loves when our dreams open doors for others, He loves when our dreams are that intentional. So keep dreaming within a heavenly context, ensuring your aspirations are inline with biblical principles. If your context is healthy your success is sure.

Enjoy the journey and remain grateful every step of the way. A grateful attitude would help you to ride over the humps and bumps easily. Finally, keep in view Proverbs 3:5 & 6 which says “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.”

Feel free to inspire our readers by sharing your experience achieving your dreams.

The cycle of learning and the beauty of giving.

Today is a good day to count my many blessings. They are so many, maybe I would count them two by two instead of one by one. As I reflect on my life and where I am now, I can’t help but think, I must be grateful.

After being in the work force for thirty-one years, after learning, growing and advancing, I am at the stage where the cycle of learning has begun anew and it reminds me of the importance of being teachable and continually demonstrating a hunger for knowledge.

As I listened to one of Nicole Walters’ presentations (Nicole is an Income Strategist and Entrepreneur) one thing jumped out at me; that many have failed to truly impact their world because they cease to share their knowledge with others with the intention of uplifting them and making them better.” She spoke about taking their valuable knowledge and experience to the grave where it can benefit no one.

This resonated with me immediately as I reflected on my life. The most fulfilling periods of my life was when I had the opportunity to invest into the lives of others, whether through counselling, training, coaching or just inspiring through my writing. Nothing compares to that feeling of sharing your knowledge and experience to make someone better.

Life is so much better when we are giving rather than hoarding our expertise for ourselves.

As we travel this road, let’s remember to live each day intentionally, keeping others in view. After all without the people who invested into our lives, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

May your years of experience and attained knowledge be an avenue for positively impacting the life of others so that they too can achieve their God-given purpose on this planet.

Remember their is joy in giving!

Feel free to check out Nicole Walters on YouTube or Facebook or on her website.

Here is a link to one of her presentations I really enjoyed and found enlightening.

Why Excuses Are the #1 Thing Keeping You From Your Goals – Nicole Walters at Craft & Commerce 2017 – YouTube

How to embrace a new stage in your life? Gratefully!

Very soon I will no longer be with my current employer (it has been 3 years) and while I feel a bit anxious about the future, I cannot deny the excitement I also feel. This excitement is mainly present because many of my suppressed or delayed dreams and ideas are now racing in at first gear and I am bubbling to explore the million and one opportunities that I see ahead. For the first time in my life, I am going to have a real shot at pursuing the life I have been envisioning for a long time and for me and my family this is a big deal.

I am so grateful to God for these years of learning. My experiences at work have taught me immensely and this wealth of information cannot be valued by any means. It is amazing to look back and realize how resourceful these job engagements have made me.

Years ago, I started becoming disinterested in traditional jobs; I became extremely bored and unfulfilled by the hectic and demanding cycles and schedules. Most of the positions I held over my career journey were middle to senior/management positions and they were quite demanding. It has been years since my body has been able to fully relax; I have been constantly tense, stretched and drained. I am longing to see what real rest would feel like. The rejuvenation that I enjoyed during a short holiday was often short-lived. For the sake of my employers, I sacrificed quality time with my family and friends and often placed my need for self-care at the bottom of the list. This is life in the corporate world where the most important pursuit is the pursuit to achieve the company’s objectives.

Despite all this, I am extremely grateful for the positives (they are many) that I can walk away with today. It has been 31 years in total. One of my greatest joys was seeing employees grow from being timid to assertive from lacking confidence in their role to influencing others to be more effective. I have seen and tasted what success looks like; what it means to persevere and to experience change as a result of not giving up. Those 31 years have afforded me experiences that would support me as long as I live.

As time passed by however, I began to feel lost, very limited and restricted. I began mentally preparing for my exit out of this cycle and into a life that would allow me to truly express my God-given gifts and abilities. As I sought to prepare, a part of me was reluctant to let go and I continued to hold on even while I was experiencing situations at work that had become unhealthy for me, mentally and emotionally.

But God! I felt uncertain about how and when to proceed and God took all that under control. He finally allowed it to happen by forcing me into the unknown. He majestically closed the door and immediately began showing me the doors that were opening ahead. I knew something different was about to happen and told God that “I would trust Him.” Yes, again, I will trust Him.

When I did not know how to let go of the known and what felt “comfortable” even though I was drowning more and more daily, God thrusted me forward into what I always desired and longed for.

Now, today, with great anticipation and hope in my lungs, I prepare to start a new episode of my life’s journey. I am lost for words except to say, “To God be the Glory”.

I do not know your story but I do know that we all experience hesitancy when moving from a “comfortable” space to completely new territory. I say to you be strong and take it one step at a time, one day at a time, moment by moment. I say to you that having a relationship with God, makes everything make sense and with Him you are never truly alone or lost; He guides you every minute providing that you are willing to listen.

Pursue purpose always!

Persistence – Getting it done and achieving success

(Featured pic: Me at Mt. Gazo, St. George, Grenada)

Today I found out that my body lacks magnesium and as a result I am experiencing certain symptoms and conditions. To aid in correcting this lack or insufficiency, I must be determined and willing to persist towards my goal of a healthier me. I learned that magnesium supports our bodies by:

Maintaining healthy brain functions

Maintaining a healthy heartbeat

Helping to regulate muscle contractions

Improving Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms

Lowering blood pressure

and fighting depression. 

So, I have started taking my supplements but I am also learning anew about the foods that are rich in magnesium so I can adjust my diet accordingly.

Apart from the magnesium revelation, I was able to receive a full assessment of my health and the conditions that are developing or could be developed in the future. It is now critical for me to take the necessary steps to correct them. This got me thinking about “Persistence” and “Perseverance”; they are both similar in meaning.

“Persistence” speaks of continuing in a course of action in spite of obstacles or difficulties or even opposition. “Perseverance” is persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success; both words basically mean the same thing.

As I rested and reflected today I brainstormed what I would need to do differently to achieve better health. It was clear to me that persistence and perseverance would need to be very evident in my journey going forward. Some behaviours I would need to increase, others should be ceased while there will be new habits to be formed.

I must put in the work. It would require me to be more intentional with my time. It would demand that I face certain fears and it would require some selfishness on my part. Yes, there will be times when I would need to say “no” in the interest of my health.

As my fingers touched the letters on my keyboard and the words formed on my screen, I felt inspired as I read what was written. It reminded me of the importance of encouraging ourselves. While community and the support of family and friends are essential, it is important that we do not depend on others to the extent that they are given the power to determine whether we sink or float, or achieve our desired goals.

As you face your crossroads, mountains and valleys, resolve to persevere and to persist no matter what comes your way, no matter the punches that land in the face, no matter the set backs and disappointments. Keep in mind that THIS IS LIFE! Life is filled with the need to press on, to push and to fight. Don’t be a quitter, don’t buckle to the pressure. You will be extremely pleased with yourself when you succeed. Persistence and perseverance is the key!

My Prayer Journal

About two or three months ago I received a new journal from one of my dear friends. I immediately fell in love with it and started thinking, how could I possibly best utilise this beautiful journal. Then the perfect idea hit me; I can use it as a prayer journal. Yes! That’s it! Settled!.

My dear friends, let me tell you of the wonderful benefits of a prayer journal. First I would explain how it is used. At the end of this article I do hope you will be inspired to start a prayer journal.

Whenever I feel the need to talk to God about something really dear to my heart, I would go to my Prayer Journal and write my prayer, clearly expressing myself on its pages. Because I am seeking to be specific or “to-the-point”, many times my prayer could be as short as three to four lines. Each prayer or entry is dated.

In addition to the entry, mentally I release myself from whatever it was I just prayed about placing myself in a vulnerable posture of trust. I say vulnerable because I am saying to God whatever the outcome, I trust that you are doing what is best for me and others.

Now here are the wonderful benefits of having a prayer journal, benefits I currently enjoy.

Benefit one (1) – I am more excited about talking to God because when I record my prayer I am creating excitement around how God may answer or work on my behalf or on the behalf of others.

Benefit two (2) – I tend to talk to God about everything, minor as well as major issues, that’s just how dependent I have become. The thing is however, I tend to forget what he has done for me in the past. Now, with my prayer journal, with a flip of the pages, I can be instantly reminded.

Benefit three (3) – My prayer life feels more intentional or purposeful, because I am valuing it to the point where I desire to record it. I find myself wanting to record ONLY prayers that are in line with God’s will. It forces me to examine the quality of my prayers and my motives. I desire always to look back at my prayers and feel that they were honorable to God.

Benefit four (4) – Generally I have been feeling more connected to God, more enriched and more peaceful. I think this is because when I write my prayer, I feel like I am mentally releasing the matter to God. Physically I write it, close my journal and walk away. Mentally, it is the same process.

I am embarking on this journey wishing that I started years ago. But that’s o.k., life is complexed enough for me to find a million and more things to pray about. I have no doubt that my prayer journal will be thoroughly utilised. As I continue to enjoy this journey I anticipate having much more to share.

Would you be willing to start a prayer journal?

Featured picture – My actual Journal

It is o.k. not to be able to cope at times

It is not o.k. to pressure ourselves when someone on the very last minute asks us a favor and because we are not Superman or Superwoman we find ourselves having to say “I am sorry, I can’t.” Many times we would like to but it is just difficult to meet their need at the time. It is not o.k. to pressure yourself when something went wrong and you are blamed for it but you had no idea what was going on. Maybe if you had the information your accuser had, you could’ve done something earlier. It is not o.k. to pressure yourself when your boss is disorganised and your work day is negatively impacted as a result and somehow she or he finds a way to make you responsible for a missed deadline. It is not o.k. to pressure yourself when sickness consumes your body and you are “under-the-weather” and all your body desires is rest. You have no choice but to leave some things undone or to hope they can be accomplished later when your health is restored. It is not o.k. to pressure yourself when your children are experiencing extreme pressure at school created by a failure of Teachers to teach the entire syllabus. It is not o.k. to pressure yourself when your church leaders are not converted and are lacking the spiritual depth to lead you, to inspire you and to lift you up through the Word. You have no desire to be in their presence as the hypocrisy is stifling your growth. It is not o.k. to pressure yourself about bills and taxes when you are expected to be subject to your Government and to adhere to the Law of the Land once it does not contradict God’s Laws.

It is o.k. to feel that you just cannot cope at times. It is o.k. not to be Superwoman or Superman.

These days, I am wearing the phrase “Do not be anxious about anything” on my forehead and I am experiencing wonderful benefits from doing so. I have grown to the point where I can quickly recognise when I am beginning to shift my focus from the phrase imprinted on my forehead to the situation at hand, the situation that I cannot handle on my own.

Here are some things I normally do to keep practicing the phrase above.

I began a relationship with Almighty God when I was 11 years old. I met Him while having breakfast; He came and sat at my table and we talked. I made a commitment to Him then, and since that day we have been in touch. So when I feel like I cannot cope with life’s challenges, I call Him and I tell him exactly how I feel. I have been giving Him more and more intimate details lately. Sometimes I would remind Him of His sweet promises, just to make sure He remembers. The truth is He cannot forget as He is perfect, but I do it anyhow.

As part of my communication with Him I would ask for wisdom. He has endless wisdom; there is no limit and because of that truth I would always receive from Him. I then try to apply it to my situation and whenever I do, it works wonders. His Wisdom comes in the simplest of ways, like “Do not respond” or “Walk away” or “Call her/him now” or “Have this discussion later”, or “Confirm this conversation with an e-mail”……..These are just some of the many examples.

After we have spoken I try not to worry about the matter, instead I would trust Him to sort it out for me. I try not to discuss it with others or fret about it. Instead, when it seems to be sneaking up on me, I would make an effort to think of the many things I am grateful for or to just appreciate who God is through verbal expressions.

Because we have kept in touch all these years, I have learnt a great deal from Him. I am much more quipped now to deal with problems, fears and anxieties. He is truly an expert on these matters. I am glad He is always available! HE is an awesome friend and companion.