Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thoughts on Thoughtfulness.

Each day, I see evidence of our Heavenly Father’s thoughtfulness. Even when there are difficulties, He provides solace and blessings in the midst of those difficulties. Every single day, He is sending us “gifts” that reveal His great love toward us. Are we paying attention? 

In my life currently, one of these pieces of evidence is some flowers right outside my house. Every morning when I step outside for a busy day, bright yellow flowers greet me. It puts a smile on my face each morning. Another way I know His presence is when I’m feeling overwhelmed at how much I must get done at work and school, and then an appointment gets cancelled and some time opens up unexpectedly. I know my Father is looking out for me, and He’s giving me little signs that He’s right there and won’t let me be overwhelmed. 

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Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

My thoughtful friend, who is also in graduate school, continually expresses her concern for me. She makes it clear that her door is open anytime for a cup of (real) chai or a meal. So many times, I’ve been able to take a respite from my crazy schedule of school and work for great discussions and delicious Indian food. I’m so thankful to have a friend like her. Her thoughtful gestures fill me with peace. When someone notices a need you have, or something you may benefit from, it is a wonderful experience. Thoughtfulness empowers you to feel supported and receive more strength to continue fighting your battles.

Any thoughtful gesture reveals that you are seen to that person. You are not invisible. Your interests, needs, and wants have been noticed. Not only that, but these thoughtful gestures reveal that you are important. You are valuable.

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Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash

Let’s pay more attention to the ways our Heavenly Father is looking out for us. Even more, let’s be on the lookout for ways that we can thoughtfully serve others. You never know the difference that your thoughtfulness could make for them.

When have you been on the receiving end of thoughtfulness? What are some ways that you exhibit thoughtfulness toward others?

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I’ve Been Nominated: Awesome Blogger Award.

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I must thank the prolific Mr. Peter Adewumi of LifeBlog for nominating me for the Awesome Blogger Award! It’s always a blessing to read LifeBlog! Each time I leave encouraged and feeling motivated to live a better life! Please, do go check him out if you have not already.

What is the Awesome Blogger Award? This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.

RULES FOR THIS AWARD

• Thank the person who nominated you

• Include the reason for this award

• Include the banner in your post

• Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the reader

• Answer the question which the nominator gave you

• Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers

• Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer

• Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated

Mr. Adewumi’s Questions

1. Do you think blogging is easy? This is a yes and a no. My thoughts flow easily and normally I have much inspiration. However, the upkeep of a blog can be time-consuming.

2. Do you support monetizing one’s blog? I do not see a problem with monetizing a blog. Bloggers invest time, talent, and energy. All of these are valuable. If one desires to try and make an income through blogging, all the best to them!

3. How do you get inspiration for your posts? Inspiration usually comes randomly as I go about my day. Sometimes I’m inspired by an event in my life or a conversation or sermon.

4. Which day of the week does your blog receive highest traffic? My blog receives the highest traffic on Fridays.

5. Which category garners likes and comments most on your blog? Faith-based posts appear to receive the most likes and comments. Of course, I try to weave this into the majority of my posts.

6. What is one thing you’re thinking of to grow your blog? I would like to change my blog layout and font to be more “catchy.” Honestly, I would also love to post more and to post more series. However, school is demanding much of my time.

7. What is your opinion of leaving one’s blog for like one month before posting again? I have been guilty of this. I believe that there are bigger priorities in life than blogging, including the people you are given in your life to love and the job you support them with. Life happens, and sometimes blogging is far from one’s mind. One must keep their priorities in order.

8. If you’re ‘unfollowed’, how would you react? I might be a bit sad initially, but realize that the person has a reason for doing so. That reason could be lack of time to read. Perhaps my blog just isn’t offering what they are looking for at this time. I understand.

9. What is your idea on full time blogging? I think full-time blogging would be a wonderful endeavor, if one can truly afford to do so. Blogging is a wonderful way to provoke one to think more deeply while also inspiring others. It is a great way to express one’s self. Some can even make an income doing so, which may make full time blogging a reality.

10. Three advantages of blogging please? 1) Blogging is a wonderful way to connect with like-minded individuals, locally and globally. Through blogging, I even met a dear friend who became a housemate! 2) Blogging is a way to expand one’s mind. For example, I’ve read some blogs with great book recommendations.  3) Blogging can increase one’s writing skills. It’s a great way to practice. For an aspiring author such as myself, it may also be a way to garner readers for my (future) books.

My Nominations for The Awesome Blogger Award

1. Katelyn Skye Bennet

2.  Scribbling Minds

3. Afrotastic Lady

4. Better Than Wine

5.  Larry Kotz Affairs

6. Sacrifice of Love

My Questions

  1. What led you to create your blog?

2. What is the biggest benefit you have found through blogging?

3. What is your dream location to live?

4. Who is your favorite musical artist?

5. What is your favorite topic to blog on?

6. What blogger has inspired you?

7. Did you ever consider quitting your blog?

8. What is your dream job?

9. Ideally, how often would you like to post on your blog?

10. What is one interesting fact about you?

 

Life In Christ=No Limits.

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”~Luke 1:37

A decade ago, I would never have dreamed of the places I’ve been and the opportunities I’ve been blessed with in life. You see, I had a picture in my head of how God “normally” worked in people’s lives. Because of this picture, I placed limits on my life. I expected my life to follow a similar trajectory. I based my vision for the future based on what I saw in other people’s lives, and even what society expected. Very sadly, I was putting God in a box and limiting an all-powerful, limitless God!

As I began to be more open to God’s work in my heart, mind, and each aspect of my life, amazing things began to happen. My Heavenly Father placed people beside me that lived with purpose and did not follow societal expectations. Miracles happened. I was presented with opportunities that cannot be explained except through the eyes of faith.  My mindset shifted. My eyes were opened, along with my mind. I began to see that the only limits on life are those that we place upon ourselves. Yes, you read right–the only limits on your life are those that you allow yourself to believe.     

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Photo by Katerina Radvanska on Unsplash

I have crazy dreams for my future. Or should I say, I don’t have the “American dream.” (Thank God!) Other people sometimes find it difficult to understand when I tell of my dreams for the future or to understand why. I know that God has placed these dreams within me, and has confirmed them over and over again. The reactions of others and the practicalities could easily sway me from striving from these dreams. But, would God be pleased? Would I achieve what God put me on this earth for? NO. Does God want me to live within my comfort zone and let those gifts He has placed within my heart to languish? NO. In fulfilling our purpose and coming to better know our Creator, we find joy.

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Photo by Luca Zanon on Unsplash

Thank You Jesus, that these lives You have given us are limitless in YOU! Show us the limits we have set on ourselves for whatever reason, and show us the dreams that YOU have for us and the path You have set before us to attain them. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen!

“Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir.”~Galatians 4:6-7

Self-Care Isn’t Selfish.

Nowadays, self-care is “in.” However, some in Christian circles believe that the idea of “self-care” is equivalent with being selfish. Let me put that myth to rest for you right away. There are many accounts in the Bible of Jesus going off on His own for prayer and respite. (The crowds still tried to follow Him.) He was fully Divine, yet also fully human. Jesus needed that time alone to connect with His Father and to be empowered for ministry. 

“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:15-16

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Photo by Nick Agus Arya on Unsplash

So if the One that we follow also needed time to refresh, how can we say that we’re above Him? Being fully human, we need to make a priority of our self-care. Every single day, we need to make time for God. We need to also be aware of the unique way that we are wired and to make time for those forms of self-care most fitting for us. Once we start making time for our needs, we’ll find ourselves better able to nurture and care for the people we’ve been gifted with in our lives. We cannot pour from an empty vessel.

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Photo by ilya gorborukov on Unsplash

There are seasons of life where we need to be firm & speak up about our needs. This is especially true of moms of young children. Moms of young children may need to let their husband know how depleted she feels. Single moms must pray for loving support and people they can count on.  There is no shame in asking a family member or another trusted person to take over for a few hours once in awhile to tend to yourself.  Every person has their own limits. It’s important to recognize yours and to take the steps to care for you before reaching your limit. Burnout comes after a person has given & given to others without fulfillment of their own needs. This state often leads to depression, resentment toward those one cares for, and tremendous fatigue. For most people, burnout isn’t a “quick fix,” so it’s important to be continually mindful of self-care. 

Every person is the “expert” on what works for them for regular self-care routines. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Prayer
  • Reading Scripture, especially in the context of a Bible study
  • Journal
  • Exercise
  • Therapy
  • Painting, drawing, sculpting
  • Finding a new hobby
  • Quality time with supportive & encouraging people
  • Support groups or “moms” groups
  • Reading “fun” books, such as novels
  • Time in a peaceful nature setting
  • Going out to eat (to a place that offers nourishing foods) instead of cooking
  • Make dates or intentional times to reconnect with your significant other a priority
  • Attend a concert, museum, play, or comedy show
  • Short weekend getaways or retreats

Importantly, don’t feel guilty about taking the time you need for self-care! There are people counting on you. Remember how Jesus told us that the second greatest commandment (after loving the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, strength) is to love your neighbor as yourself? (Mark 12:30-31) Jesus’ command assumes that we love ourselves! When you recognize that you were created in the Divine image, you will love yourself because you recognize WHO you belong to! When you take care of yourself, you will be much better able to care for others, and to do it well!

What is your favorite form of self-care?

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Photo by Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash

 

It’s All About Moments.

Life is made up of moments. Some people don’t give much power to a moment. “It’s only one.” This gives them an excuse to create destructive habits or to live life without intention or purpose. Each moment is adding up to a future, whether we realize it or not. It is moments that change our lives!

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
  • Moments of choosing to believe lies from the Enemy or the lies that others have told us about ourselves.
  • Moments of choosing to love when you don’t “feel like it.”
  • The moment you choose to respond with peace instead of losing your temper.
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    Photo by Leo Rivas on Unsplash
  • The moment you meet your spouse, whether something dramatic takes place within you or not.
  • The moment when your child is placed into your arms for the very first time.
  • The moment you forgive and let go of what happened years ago, or even a few months ago. You release yourself and release that person.
  • A moment in which you choose to communicate with the other person rather than assume the worst about their motives.
  • The moment a person chooses to reach for the phone and seek authentic relationship instead of porn, alcohol, or drugs.
  • The moment your perspective forever changes due to an experience or a sickness that could have taken your life–but you’re still here.
  • The moment in which you choose love over fear.

It is in each moment that we choose to become a lesser version of ourselves, or to become the image that our Creator had in mind when He lovingly molded us in our mother’s womb.

Moments are what add up to make a life! Be open to each moment and what it has to teach you. Live each moment fully present. God is working through all of them. And in the moments you never expect, He will do miracles!

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Photo by Austin Schmid on Unsplash

Battling Insomnia & Getting a Good Night’s Sleep.

Lately I’ve heard many people mention their inability to sleep at night. This is a

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

frustrating problem! Sleep is crucial to our physical and mental well-being, as well as our ability to fulfill our daily tasks. Insomnia isn’t normally something I struggle with, but unfortunately I’ve also had my recent bouts of it. There are a few key things that I’ve found helpful for myself, and I will share a few of those tips, as well as some others. Did you know that the journey to falling asleep more easily actually starts long before your head hits the pillow? Here are a few tips that may be useful in battling insomnia and falling asleep more easily:

 

Exercise regularly. There are actually studies which have found that exercise promotes falling asleep easier. Exercise may even help your Circadian rhythm to harmonize itself.

Write a to-do list for the next day. If you find yourself worried about all that has been left undone, write it down. That way you can relax a bit more while also not being stressed out about forgetting what you need to do the next day.

Limit your screen time before bed. It’s best to cut out screens a few hours before you go to bed. If you do find yourself needing to using screens, there are actually glasses you can wear which will help to block out some of the light and allow you to use screens without disrupting your body’s clock. There are also apps that you can download for your phone or computer, including Twilight, which will cut out some of the unnecessary brightness after a certain hour.

Make sure that light isn’t interfering with your ability to sleep. For those living in big cities, streetlights filtering in through the windows can make it very difficult to sleep. When there is light, your body has difficulty falling asleep because light normally means daytime! There is something called “blackout blinds” which are very effective in making a room dark and promoting better sleep. Make sure that any alarm clocks or other electronics aren’t shining where you can see them.

Watch your caffeine intake. Some people need to cut out caffeine after a certain hour of the day, or else they will have great difficulty falling asleep. You may need to limit caffeine throughout the day. Figure out your body’s unique makeup. For myself, I’ve had to cut out caffeine completely. I’m a huge tea-drinker, but after some terrible nights of not being able to fall asleep and feeling wired, I realized that it’s just not worth it. I stick to caffeine-free herbal teas now.

Drink a cup of chamomile tea before bed. I’ve definitely found this to be calming and helping me to wind down. There are many varieties of chamomile tea at the store. At one point I was drinking chamomile tea with lavender, which I really enjoyed. I think a cup of chamomile tea actually helps me to sleep more deeply and get a better night’s sleep as well.

Journal. If you are finding yourself going through a lot, this can be especially helpful. Journal is a relaxing and meditative practice. If you have a lot on your mind, journaling can help you to process this, and to possibly feel less stressed out.

Pray. I’ve written before about the Examen. This prayer is a great way to wind down and wrap up your day. The prayer consists of different parts, but basically you are processing your day before your Creator, including how you are feeling God’s presence, as well as ways that you can do better in life. Any way that you can connect with God at the end of the day can be relaxing and bring more contentment to your life in general.

Are you anxious? Everyone has troubles and challenges. If you are finding that anxiety is having effects on your life, including your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep, please talk to a counselor. There is no shame in doing so! Not only will you find yourself better able to sleep as your anxiety improves, but you’ll also find yourself living a life of greater freedom in all areas!

I hope that you find some or all of these tips helpful! Happy sleeping!

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Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

To Be Alive.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.~Ephesians 2:10

I celebrated my birthday recently. I’m not going to tell you how old I am…Most people are shocked at my age anyway, since youthful genes run in my family. Additionally, I’m quite petite. Put simply, the number doesn’t matter. These days, I’m pondering life and the lessons I’ve gained more than before.

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Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

I no longer put societal expectations about age and the timeline for God’s plan for my life together. God has given us each a different story to write. It’s refreshing that none of us is exactly the same. We can always learn from one another and the different ways that God works in each our lives. It can be difficult to understand why the Father gifts one person in a certain way and not another person, but He is sovereign. Only He knows why, as tough as that can be for us to swallow.

In the past year, I had many opportunities to actually “walk in faith.” By the world’s standards, I went about a lot of things in a way that isn’t normally recommended. I think some people think I’m crazy for the peace I’ve gained from Christ about certain areas of my life. But you know what? We serve a faithful, all-powerful God. He has never let me down, and I know that same faithfulness will continue this year and forever.

I am astounded when I think upon the gift of life. Earthly life is definitely not perfect and there are always struggles of various types. Yet when I ponder that this life is a gift, and I could have never existed at all, or even not been given the chance to live…It puts it into a whole new perspective! What a tremendous gift, to live, learn, and love.

I was an idea of the God of the universe! So were you, and every other person in existence at any time. I don’t think our minds can fully comprehend it. What is also profound is that each of us were created for a specific & unique purpose!

I can’t wait to grow closer to Jesus Christ during this next year of my life and to see how He leads me further into the purpose I was created for…

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Photo by Rob Bye on Unsplash