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WHAT AM I AFRAID THEY WILL SEE IF I’M REALLY MYSELF?

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” – J.K Rowling

In most cases we are not fully aware of our deepest fears, the things that threatens to hold us down. Most of us are so afraid that we would go as far as sabotaging our relationships because we are so fearful of anything real, anything that can feel like security.

I used to cling so much into my comfort zone and for a very long time I couldn’t understand why I shouldn’t. Comfort zone feels great; in this space you avoid disappointments, you avoid failure, you avoid saying the wrong things, embarrassing yourself and just putting yourself in awkward positions. Comfort zone is safe, it’s warm and it’s easy…I get why it’s difficult for so many people to get out of it.

But on the other side, it limits you from progressing, growing or evolving. It deprives you of the joy and fulfillment of being engaged and totally present. It paralyses you, shrinks you and makes you so small to a point that you don’t recognize yourself. It also chops away parts of you until you find yourself intimidated to be around people of thought.

What I missed in the process was not that I enjoyed the comfort of the bubble but instead I was so afraid that I am actually the best thing.  The beginning of this journey starts with self-awareness, understanding your response to situations and analyzing your reactions. For me, it’s a spiritual practice of inviting the Holy Spirt to awaken my understanding and help reveal parts of myself I still need to deal with.

Hard work begins after this stage of awareness and understanding, this is the part where most people shrink back to their corners or boldly accept the great that is in them. Being the best version of yourself is not a walk in a park, it’s a lifetime learning, process of accepting small revelations and working towards them, it’s a journey of becoming and it’s also a responsibility. If you don’t like responsibilities, you’ll probably hate this part because here is where real work begins. When you know better, you have a responsibility to do better.

The enemy doesn’t need to put fires in your way to stop you from doing anything, he just needs to make you afraid enough for you to not even try. What this does to a human mind is cause too much confusion and frustration. Your imagination or vision for yourself is alive in the mind but the reality of your present moment is the opposite. That causes stress and frustration. It’s hard being productive when you’re frustrated because you are so focused on what you are lacking. See, that’s the circle the enemy uses; to get you feeling stuck which automatically leads to self-doubt and hesitation.

I was afraid of a lot of things growing up, especially in my teenage years. I agreed with things I wasn’t happy about, I pleased people who didn’t really care about me, I entertained bullies because I was afraid of losing friends, of being alone. I knew that having a voice and speaking your mind really makes your circle of friends small. I didn’t want that. I wanted to be loved, cared for, embraced, seen and noticed. I mean, do we not all just want that? I wanted a place to belong and be a part of something, a community or a home. So, I compromised in fact I did more than that…. I shrinked. And the gap between me and the people around me kept filling up with all the things we don’t say to each other.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting all of that. I mean, we are relational beings, created in the likeness of God who exist in relationships. We are born from love and for love. Wanting to belong and fit in is not necessarily wrong, it’s how you mute yourself, disqualify yourself and dim your light to make others comfortable that make its all wrong. And it took me a long time to understand that.

It’s really connected with self-worth and self-value when you think about it. I know this is kind of cliché but when you really discover who you are and get to experience the love of God shared for you in the cross, it changes your whole perceptive on life and how you see yourself. I know for me; it was a revelation I didn’t know I needed.

It is a scary place when you meet parts of yourself that you’re experiencing for the first time. You are allowed to feel some type of way and be surprised at how much you can stretch. You are allowed to share some tears and freak out, that’s what I do. But in the process of being in your feelings, do not ignore the joy and the sense of peace that comes with hugging yourself for the first time…. I love it!

Sitting in your comfort bubble will definitely make you miss moments and will make you miss your purpose. You cannot continue praying for something you don’t have the character for. We pray for marriages without the depth understanding that marriage is a ministry and not everyone is called to it. Everything begins with you, how you love yourself will determine how you love others, and how you treat others reflects the condition of your heart.

There is so much to learn about you, like how to face your fears and deal with your ego because if someone has more pride than vulnerability to show you, they really aren’t in the position to love you the healthy way. Your first step to healing, to being the best version of yourself and allowing growth to take part begins with self-awareness and taking ownership of your growth and also making the decision to challenge yourself to say yes to everything that makes you scared. Once you allow yourself to experience life that way, you get to feel this warmth in your heart, like the sun shining and glittering inside of you.

Maybe, also challenge yourself to speaking your whole truth and stop living as less than God has called you to be. Remember, you are the legacy… You are breathing rare air, embrace it and say yes to choosing yourself.

HEAL MOM

“You can quit a job. I can’t quit being a mother. I’m a mother forever. Mothers are never off the clock, mothers are never on vacation. Being a mother redefines us, reinvents us, destroys and rebuilds us. Being a mother brings us face-to-face with ourselves as children, with our mothers as human beings, with our darkest fears of who we really are.” – Shonda Rhimes

The most dangerous thing you can do as a parent is trying to raise a child when you haven’t healed from your own childhood traumas. It’s easy to project your insecurities when you raise a child from a place of lack, fear and pain. You end up obsessing over closing gaps and thinking you can control everything. I’ve heard the phrase “I don’t want my child to go through the same things I went through” so often and that’s okay. But Do not lose sight of who your child is in the process of trying to fix your past through them.

Kids are different and they come into the world with their own struggles and some of their hardships may be foreign to us but what makes a great mom is your ability to stretch and how far you can go to supporting your child. Trauma has a way of blinding us of the reality, which is why it’s important to get the help you need so you don’t miss precious moments of your child’s life trying to make sure that your pain doesn’t become their story.

My advice to parents is HEAL. Your child deserves a healthy parent. Raising kids is not an easy thing to do, especially when you didn’t have a great upbringing that can be a blueprint for you. Motherhood is a journey, it’s a process of learning and unlearning, it’s adapting and catching up. It’s a beautiful gift!

You don’t need to have it all figured out and I know that can be very frustrating. I think one of the lessons for me thus far is learning to be vulnerable with my daughter, to humble myself and meet her where she is. I’m afraid of the pedestal and I don’t ever want my child to feel like she can’t relate to me or that I can’t understand what she’s going through. She needs to know that I am human, and I make mistakes. Part of that requires me to humble myself and apologize to her when I’m wrong and keep myself as close to the ground as possible. Forgive yourself more….

“Being a mother requires us to get it together or risk messing up another person forever. Being a mother yanks our hearts out of our bodies and attaches them to our tiny humans and sends them out into the world, forever hostages.” – Shonda Rhimes

DELAYING INSTANT GRATIFICATION – MEANING NO SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE!

A journey to spiritual purity and choosing myself

I’ve been struggling to tell this story for a couple of weeks now. I realized If I said that, then it would make it easy for me write this. I have been on this journey for 3 years now and it has been rewarding in every way possible. The truth is sex is deeper than just physical and even deeper than most people want to admit. It’s an intimate experience that is meant to be shared by two people are who ready to be joined that way. When you say yes to sex, you are automatically saying yes to everything that the other person comes with spiritually, emotionally and physically.

This activity was created to join two people in becoming ONE, it is a spiritual act more than it is physical. This is how attachments are formed and soul ties are created – people who are connected emotionally & physically. This story begins with sex, but it is way complex than that. There’s so much clarity and discernment that happens when you practice waiting. Must I also add that this is a personal choice and a personal journey that you must embark on for yourself.

Celibacy has helped me unlock the power of patience, self-value and self-discovery which permeated in every other area of my life. This practice has also allowed me to be more disciplined, international and more specific about what I want. It was like I could breathe in a different way; I saw myself for who I am, and that perspective shift has helped enlighten me in ways unimaginable.

This kind of purity also helps God reveal things you could have missed; it has allowed me to become more aligned with the purpose and the vision that God has for my life. It gave me a different perspective and revealed so much about myself in a life changing way. This decision was more about choosing myself and finally putting myself in a position where I’ll be happy with the results. Whether in relationships, or at work and in my home.

It’s like everything else in life, whether you choose to wait or not, you need to work on yourself before allowing anyone to become a part of you that way. There’s a journey you need to walk alone – without your parents or your friends and I don’t know what that means for you but I know that you need to discover it and once you do, you’ll be glad you searched for it in the first place.

This doesn’t make me anti-sex; I love sex just like the next girl and walking this path has not been easy. I’m not a virgin which makes this even harder because I’ve lived on the other side. But it is worth preserving my integrity. And if somebody doesn’t see my worthy enough to wait then it’s a process of elimination and that means I’m getting closer to what God has planned for me. Anybody who doesn’t value me, doesn’t see that I am the prize.

Sex has kind of defined what a relationship is supposed to be. In a worldly perspective, it has become an important part in a relationship. We live in a society where messages that opposes this are not celebrated or even told enough. Most of the time good sex gets in the way of clarity. You start being okay with things you wouldn’t be okay with long term because you are physically dependent on this person, it gets messy.

I know there are many people who will say that celibacy is not a proven act for successful marriage, maybe that’s right. But a successful marriage as a Christian is based on God’s standard of love. In the end I have lived on the other side and God challenged me to do something different that has unlocked certain areas of my life in an incredible way.

God created us, he gave us the desires to want what we want, and he also knows when it should come into the world and when people will be able to receive it. I’ve never been married before so I’m not saying delaying sex is a guarantee for an easy union, relationships are not a walk in the park either. But this is more about you than it is about anyone else.

This is not about finding a perfect partner, it is more about you embarking on a journey of self-discovery. It is about you figuring things out for yourself, getting healing and working on being a healthy and happy individual. It is about seeking a whole life and committing to doing all the things that give you a sense of completeness. It’s about your relationship with Christ and being clear on the vision He has for you. It’s also about you understanding your value and worth outside of a person. It is about you!

“real love does not make you disobey your creator”

CALLED TO LOVE NOT JUDGE THEM

“You have no right to judge me if you’ve never walked a day in my shoes.” This is a phrase I hear quite a lot when people feel misunderstood or judged for certain choices they had to make in their lives. And I agree with it.

It is easy to judge something you do not know or understand. It’s the same way we judge one another for the having different beliefs. But understanding that we come from different backgrounds, raised differently, trained differently and basically lived separate lives that are foreign to somebody else is enough to show each other kindness, the Cross is enough to show each other compassion even if we don’t agree with the choices we make.

My friend and I were discussing how quickly we judged the Pharisees for what they did to our Saviour. As we matured into our faith, the Holy Spirit revealed some uncomfortable truths about ourselves that we never thought of; one is – we are both not different to the people that crucified our Lord Jesus Christ and this truth was a difficult pill to swallow. Maybe we wouldn’t go as far as crucifying Him but we were questioning whether if we lived in those days, would we believe?

We had to ask ourselves some really deep questions and honestly be transparent with God about who we are so that He can enlighten us in areas that needs understanding. Pastor Michael Todd often says “God cannot bless who you pretend to be, He can only bless who you are.” Honestly, if Jesus stood right in front of you right now, would you recognise Him? Would you accept Him, and would you follow Him? The Pharisees were teachers of the Word; they knew scripture all the way but couldn’t recognise the Messiah in front of them, they couldn’t see the fulfillment of the Word walking amongst them. That messed us up!

We judge situations with no understanding of the roots. The same way we probably would look at Jesus sitting opposite us and not see what we had imagined in our heads. Do you love people enough to see beyond their appearance? Because this is what God calls us to do when He asks us to love one another.

If you can’t do this simple act, how would you know who Jesus is if He would stand right in front of you right now? You would probably judge Him by how He looks, where He’s from, how much money He has? What kind of family He’s born into? And we think we are different. Come on saints! The Lord says “…for the man sees the outward appearance, but the Lord sees the heart.”

We look at a situation and completely decide on people with no understanding and then contradict ourselves by saying to them “you are not what you have done”. This sort of judgement blocks our hearts from receiving messages that are meant for us because we refuse to hear from the people we consider unworthy, forgetting that Jesus can use just about anything and anyone.

Understating this has been a journey of discovery for me and my friend. This enlightenment has pushed us to seek more, to know more, to dig deeper into the Word and see more of God’s heart. What scares us the most is the thought of one day sitting in front of a man we loved and served dearly and not identify Him.

Do you know the signs of the second coming of Jesus? What does the Word reveal to you, let’s discuss below….

THE ART OF GOODBYES

Like most people I have always struggled with letting go or moving on from relationships or certain moments in my life. As a result I have tolerated being treated as less than I deserve and positioned myself in so many situations that were uncomfortable. I think the thought of being alone scared me so much that I was willing to hold on to a little bit of what I thought I had which was basically nothing. You have got to know when people’s part in your story is over so you don’t keep trying to raise the dead.

I’m sure there are so many people like me who had to learn the hard way, who had to endure some pain of being pushed aside and taken for granted. I had to go through some difficulties to learn the simple and yet so hard lesson – letting it all go. As hurt as I was by the betrayals, I don’t think it was ever about them, I think it was about me, my insecurities, my lack of understanding my value and worth.

I had to learn that letting people go does not take away anything from the experiences or memories you guys shared together. And allowing them to move on does not invalidate your pain; you are allowed to grieve a relationship however you want to. Also, saying goodbye doesn’t make you bitter, it makes you matured because you understand better that you are no longer walking in the same path or same direction and that is okay.  It’s not an accident that you tried to make things work and they didn’t.

The problem begins when we make everything about ourselves. When people leave, most of the time it has nothing to do with you but more about them. You just need to learn to listen enough to understand. My point, it’s okay to miss people, it’s okay to love them even when they’re gone. But it’s not okay to hold on to things that are no longer there, you will be setting yourself up for disappointment and pain. It’s not okay to talk people into staying with you, loving and caring for you, let people go. Your destiny is not tied to people who left.

When I was 9 years, I was separated from my childhood best friend because of sudden difficult circumstances we faced at home; we had to move. This loss nearly broke me to the core; it was almost as though part of me was missing, at the time I really believed that. I remember growing up, I thought about her all the time like I carried her with me, the memories and the relationship we had, I carried it with me everywhere I go.  I believed that one day our paths would cross and we’d finally be together again and I would explain why I never had a chance to say goodbye.

When I engaged with people who live or lived in the same neighbourhood she lived in, I would ask about her all the time. I would ask strangers if they know her and tell them about all the crazy and childish stuff we used to do together. This went on until I was in high school when I found myself talking about her to my classmate who happened to know her very well. Can you believe what she said to me “But, she is also studying in the same school”, imagine my surprise when my childhood best friend, the person I have loved throughout my entire childhood was attending the same school as me and I didn’t even recognise her.

I asked my classmate to introduce us after school and she did. I was going through a lot of emotions in my heart at the time, I hugged her and I thought to myself ‘how did I miss this’. We didn’t really had time to talk but I could tell, she had moved on. Sometimes God presents us with second changes or opportunities for closure to take place. I didn’t know how much I needed it until at that moment.

It’s not easy moving on but it is a necessary part of life. When people want to go, set them free, let them go and when you want to leave a situation that no longer serves a purpose in your life, move on too. Things don’t have to end in a bitter way, a clean break up is possible even in friendships.

Ruth comes to the cross roads, she looks at Oprah who left and turns back to Naomi and says “Where you go, I will go and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God. Where you die, I will die and there I will be buried.” – Ruth 1:16-17. It doesn’t make Oprah a bad person for leaving, as painful as it is to be separated from people you love, but their story was over. Understanding that “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” will give you the willpower or strength to leave when it’s time because some things are seasonal and that is okay.

Maybe one day your story won’t end up like mine, maybe yours will end up in reconciliation. In the meantime, do yourself a favour and leave with your head held up high, put a lipstick on, play your favourite track and step into your new journey even with your knees trembling. It does the soul good to let the waters flow.

REVIEW: FEW PRODUCTS THAT HAVE WORKED FOR MY SKIN

I’ll begin by saying I’m not n expert in skin care or anything skin related for that matter, but I just wanted to share with you what has worked for me. I have always had a perfect skin; by perfect in my own way I mean I didn’t have to struggle with blemishes, pimples or any other related skin problems. I ate whatever I wanted, I didn’t even drink much water, in my own ignorant way, I didn’t see a need to.

For the past two years I have struggled with acne to a point that it impacted my self-esteem. The internet was my best friend, researching ways to make it better. It was frustrating, it still is. It started with the fine rush then extended to white head pimples that left stubborn black marks. Later I struggled with blemishes and extensive sensitive skin, everything I used on my face had bad side effects. My skin is not what it used to be, but it is better from where it was. I’ll just share some few products that have helped me in this journey.

This is good for people who struggle with stubborn pimples. Rub the cream in the affected areas and leave in for at least 30 minutes before it burns your skin. Then wash it and apply whatever cream you prefer that works for you. Repeat this routine daily or even twice a week depending on how strong your condition is.

I would recommend this to remove make-up or even cleanse your skin before bed. Apply a small potion of this on a cotton wool and gently apply it on your face for removal of any dirt.  I hardly wear make-up, but I use this most of the time before applying the ponds pimple clear.

I bought this because I was curious. I haven’t seen any review or any recommendations. I haven’t tried any other Korean mask, so I have nothing to compare it with. However, having used it already, I would recommend it for anyone with dry skin, it leaves your face feeling soft, keeps your skin hydrated and leaving a beautiful glow. I love the texture of the mask and it smells good, like fresh flowers.

I wash my face with this product before applying my masks. This is the best thing that has happened to my face this year. It’s gentle and effective. It deeply cleanses and purifies your skin gently. I’m a huge fan of body shop products, more specifically one’s with the tea tree oil.

This is my favourite mask, I love it so much. I was influenced by @MihlaliNdamase after watching her Atlanta YouTube vlog. I decided to try it out and it’s been amazing for me. I have sensitive skin so I’m very reluctant when it comes to what I put on my face but with this product, I have no regrets. It hydrates my skin, keeping it refreshed and soft and oh my gosh it removed my black spots after a week of using it. I apply it 2 times a week and it leaves my skin feeling deeply clean, like it can breathe.

I use different masks for different reasons. For me this mask can be used in 3 different ways, as a daily cleanser to clean pores and deeply clear skin of dirt, oil and impurities, as a face scrub to improve the skin texture to be softer & smoother and as face mask to reduce oil. Personally, I love it. I have a very oily skin but this mask has helped mattify my skin leaving it soft and silky.  

  • DRINK WATER & EAT CLEAN

This is very important for a healthy skin. Water is medicinal so drink at least 2L a day and consume clean food as well. We can talk about skin routines and review great products but if you’re not clean on the inside, it’s definitely going to come out on the outside. Our bodies use water every sec of the day. This is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle.

Also, Apple Cider Vinegar has some healthy benefits to it and purifying skin from the inside is one of them. Please do your research, it has been very helpful to me. I drink a mixture of hot water, apple cider, raw honey and lemon juice every night. It’s amazing and also, you’ll get used to the taste.

If you have really bad acne scars, it might be best to consult your dermatologist as some of these products might not work for your skin type. It’s important to also get a professional opinion and get to the bottom of the cause.

5 THINGS TO DO TO ENSURE A PRODUCTIVE DAY

This routine will help you use your time wisely and enjoy a peaceful, focused day. These steps do not guarantee a perfect day, but can ensure you a productive one.  The secret is in the morning; how you start your day sets the tone for the rest of it. It’s also not about waking up in the morning but what you do when you’re up.

  • WAKE UP EARLY

1st thing, I strongly suggest you do is exercise. It doesn’t matter what form or type of exercise you do, as long you’ll sweat. Research shows that exercising in the early hours of the day helps reduce stress and anxiety. It helps boost your confidence and allow you to take control of your day ahead. I live in one of the dangerous neighbourhoods in Cape Town, so I can’t jog. As much as that kills me but I found an alternative; I bought a skipping rope. I do that for 20 minutes and do sit ups for like 10 minutes.

2ndly, Pray or meditate. Whatever you do in your quiet time that keeps you centred, do that. This may include listening to a podcast, reading a book or spending time with God. I use this time studying the Word and growing in my relationship with Christ. It fulfills me and helps me stay grounded and rooted. Invest in something that feeds your soul, that gives you a sense of peace and a sense of completeness.

Take time to enjoy the beauty of nature; listen to the birds sing or watch the sun rise. Do what human beings are created to do; just be alive. This does not guarantee you a positive day, but it will definitely give you a positive start. This helps you plan your day instead of always rushing into it and you respond better to situations because you’re sort of prepared. Time is important; when you use it wisely, you’ll see the rewards.

Last one; write down your to do list. Planning and organising skills are essential to a productive day. Tackle one task at a time and keep track of where you are and how far you still have to go.

  • EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST

Most of the time it’s easy to let breakfast fall low in your list of priorities for the day but taking few minutes to prepare a healthy meal can go a long way.  Research shows that a healthy breakfast needs to have calcium, iron, vitamin B or protein and fibre.

Having a healthy breakfast will boost your concentration and energy levels and restores your glucose levels which is an essential carbohydrate that is needed for a brain to function.

Breakfast ideas: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/easy/g871/quick-breakfasts/

  • TAKE WALKS IN BETWEEN THE DAY

I cannot stress enough how important this is. I work at an advertising agency and it’s always crazy to a point that sometimes you forget that you need to eat. So, believe me when I say taking walks in between the day can be an almost impossible task.

This will take commitment and sacrifice. You must understand that you are important too; your work needs your attention, but you also matter. This is not just beneficial to your mental health only, but it helps you become more productive and focused. You are not a Robot, that’s not how you were created, that’s why when our bodies have had enough, they breakdown. You cannot allow this to happen.

Take care of yourself so you can do what you need to do.  We’ve all heard of the old cliché “self-care is self-love” and that’s real talk. Do not allow the busy schedule to take away your sanity. I know how difficult it is to think about yourself; I have a daughter in school. She needs help with homework, I must bathe her, prepare her food and make time to read her a story before bed time. My time doesn’t really belong to just me, but I had to challenge myself to master the art of taking care of myself.

I grew up in the generation where choosing yourself was always seen as a selfish act. We were taught to give ourselves to everyone before us and that’s not okay. These 5 -10 minute breaks will give you a sense of clarity and peace. It gives you some time to gather yourself before tackling another task or project or changing another diaper.

Research also shows that sometimes being around nature can inspire creativity. Maybe you next best idea will come from taking only a few minutes to walk, enjoy the sun, take all in everything that life has to offer and live enough for that moment. Give yourself a chance to breathe differently.

  • JOURNAL

Writing things down is real even though there are still people who believe that journaling is old-fashioned. This exercise has some healthy benefits to it both mentally and emotionally. I believe it is also a spiritual act that helps you visualise, clarify and put things into perspective. Journaling does more than helping you record your memories or find self-expression; Research shows that it’s also good for your health.

It’s a good idea to keep a journal or notebook for taking notes during our quiet times with God. Exodus 17:14 (NLT) says, “…the Lord instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder…”  Jeremiah 30:2 (AMP) says, “This says the Lord, the God of Israel: Write all the words that I have spoken to you in a book.” 

Record your growth and your expectations. This works perfectly well when you’re honest about your mistakes, your imperfections, your weaknesses, your strengths, achievements and everything that God whispers to you.

I recently opened a journal from my early teenage years when God whispered the vision he had and still has for my life. The funny thing about this story is that He whispered the same vision a month ago and told me that “It was time and that I am ready”. It was such a great feeling to open that notebook again to find the message and the purpose that God wrote in my heart when I was a young girl.

As I write this, I’m reminded of the scripture in the book of Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV) that says “… then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” There’s no formula to journaling but simple start where you are. Don’t preoccupy yourself with managing perfect punctuation, grammar or spelling. Just write and don’t censor yourself. This is for you.

  • NO TECHNOLOGY BEFORE BED & SLEEP EARLY

People believe that to sleep late means you’re productive. We live in a world that encourages this self-sabotaging behaviour. Do not fall for it. There are so many messages that opposes early sleep but sleeping late does not guarantee you great quality results. Some people may argue this by saying they can’t work during the day because of destructions and the busyness of their world around them. I get it but depriving yourself sleep in the name of “Grinding hard or working till you drop” is not an excuse to overwork yourself.

I’m saying work hard but learn time management skills.  When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress, anxiety, fatigue and high blood pressure which increases your risk for heart attack and stroke (Dr. Isaac O. Opole, 2019). You need at least 7 hours of sleep, not less than that.

I was advised to not sleep in the same room as my electronics, but I can’t because I use my phone to set an alarm like most of us do. But It is important to set up a time where you stop browsing in your feeds, you log off on all your social media networks and drink a cup on camomile tea for a good rest. I suggest that to be an hour before you sleep.

The more electronic devices that a person uses in the evening, the harder it is to fall asleep or stay asleep. Research shows that sleeping late suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone and makes it more difficult to fall asleep. This is largely due to the short-wavelength, artificial blue light that’s emitted by these devices. This is a habit that requires commitment in order to master it.

This applies to everyone, whether you are a stay at home mom, you work 9/5 or you’re an artist; you can take these principles and personalise them however you wish according to your schedule. The most important thing is getting the results desired. Remember that anything you want to achieve cannot happen unless you work for it. There are no guarantees and the world doesn’t owe you anything. We need to make the necessary changes or position ourselves in the direction we want to go.

This may or may not work for you, but it has however been of great help to me. As a result, I am clear in my vision and intentional with my time and the activities I choose to participate in. My days are not perfect, but they are better and healthier. It’s amazing how just a planned routine can improve beyond than just your day. Try it!

REFLECTION

2019 was a year of healing and a year of growth. So many times when we deal with internal battles, scars we can’t touch or see can be frustrating. It’s easy to heal a wound when it’s right in front of you, when you can also see and measure its healing progress.

I’ve suffered more than I can say the past year. I’ve been tormented, stripped, tested and sifted. I’ve sacrificed myself more than I can count. I was crushed completely in many ways than one. There was a moment when I wanted to give up, when I was done with life and all its challenges. I was tired of trying, of being positive and understanding, I wanted out.

I was dealing with black tax, expectations and pressure from my family who thought I would be the one. The attitudes that came with those disappointments put me in a very horrible shape. I didn’t really care about being on a pedestal before because I liked the attention, I was honoured. But to live up to those expectations was a different story. It was hard.

From a cancer scare, battling with anxiety and pressure, I remember being held at gunpoint and surviving what was meant to be a kidnapping. I had to let go of resentment and anger issues and start healing childhood traumas. I’ve relived moments in my life I thought were buried and long gone. I had to confront them in order to make space for planting new seeds and growing them. I still remember thinking it doesn’t get lower than this.

I had to put up a brave face and smile through the pain every day as I try to survive another day at work. Trying to survive being undervalued, underpaid, underestimated, unseen, and discriminated against. There were moments I wished I would escape, run or disappear. I walked in school meetings alone and parenting my daughter with grace without projecting. It was difficult to the core.

My life is all kinds of screwed up, I am far from perfection. My goal is wholeness, completeness, finding peace in the midst of storms and pressures of life. My goal is to be alive! This year has taken so much from me, starved me of moments of love, laughter and joy, and paralysed me with fear, hopelessness and unhappiness.

But I also think it has opened a window of putting the past to rest, an opportunity for me to find healing and letting go of things that were eating away my joy. I see things differently now, for the first in my entire life I feel like I can breathe, that it’s okay to exhale. I am more myself now that I have ever been in my entire life. There’s something liberating about rediscovering your own truth.

I am not immune to pain but now I am prepared. I am determined to bring all of myself to life; I would be doing an injustice to myself if I gave half of anything. I am not afraid anymore, I am content.

GOD HAS BEEN REAL in ways unimaginable. He taught me so much about being prepared before you are positioned, the process of planting new seeds, the growth and the joy that is found in Christ alone. There’s still so much I do not know but I know this; I don’t think I’m here to escape pain, run away or disappear, I’m not here to live my life moment to moment. I think I’m here just to be alive, to see it, hear it, and feel it even when it hurts.

A FATHERLESS HOME IS NOT A BROKEN HOME

I am a single mother raising a girl child in a society that says I am not enough. By the world’s standard, a child to be happy must be raised in a home where there are both parents. This mentality has pushed women to a point of desperation to settle with men who don’t want that responsibility.

The message about children being raised in a happy, loving and healthy home is not celebrated enough. Women have been raising children alone for generations with men present in the house. The idea that a women is cannot take on this responsibility by themselves is a work of patriarchy that says “Women cannot be without men”.

I understand the desperation in women, I understand the pressure and I get the part where we have to do this by ourselves, it’s hard. Believe me I know.  I believe that it is better for a child to be raised by a single parent in a nurturing environment than forcing a child to witness a painful situation of being around a man that still needs some growing up.

I was raised in a home without a man and of cause I don’t want that for my child. It’s still something I wouldn’t choose for her on any day but the reality is that I’m sitting in a place where she’s about to feel it, feel the absence, feel the abandonment and I can’t protect her from that. But what I can do is love her, support her, raise her with good values and hope that will be enough.

She’s growing up in a world where she will wake up almost every day and see messages about how perfect it is to grow up with two parents, how much she’s missing out, how broken it is to not have that completed puzzle and how screwed up she will be. It breaks my heart. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the complete picture but there’s everything wrong with assuming that a child is broken and damaged for a one piece of the puzzle missing.

I want us to get to a point where being raised by a single mother is normal, where it is not seen as a tragedy and celebrated as strength and light. A child comes into the world with both parents, that is how it’s supposed to be and that’s how God created it. I’m not saying women can replace a “father’s” place or can be everything and anything to a child. That’s not real.

I am saying that there’s nothing to shame and blame about women raising kids alone, there’s nothing embarrassing about women who had men walk out on them, there’s nothing bad about a woman showing up in school meetings alone and there’s definitely nothing broken about a child raised by a loving mother.

Now moms, understand that every decision you make as a parent; you are teaching your child something. When you stay in abusive relationships, you are teaching your child something and when you settle, you’re teaching them something.  You are teaching them by how you walk, how you carry yourself and how you speak. Everything that you do doesn’t just become a consequence that only you have to deal with but it becomes your child’s reality as well.

You are scared of being alone; you are terrified of walking into a marriage with a child that is not of your husband, you are most afraid of not being enough. I get it, trust me I know. Your insecurities are shaped by the society you grew up in, the environment you were exposed in. Understand that you were once a child too who was trained in the way you should be; you did not get here by yourself.

It’s not your fault that you are raising a child by yourself, It’s not your fault that he left, it’s not your fault that he didn’t choose or prioritised his family, it’s definitely not your fault that he is not the man for the job. You can’t raise a child and a man, you can’t fix him, and you can’t change him. It’s not your job.

I know this is not the life you had imagined for yourself but it is your reality now. Embrace it, I know you can. Your child will not be screwed up; you won’t damage him/her. Our children are imperfect, let go of the idea you have and embrace who they are. They will get to a point where they will be very confused and they will be searching for their own truth. Don’t take it personal, they are just trying to figure their own path in this life and that is something will all went through.

Just stay patient, loving and supportive, The God who has been pursuing them from the very beginning will become real to them and it will suddenly down on them that you have been a reflection of His love from the start. YOU ARE ENOUGH MOMMA!!!

Don’t worry about finding love or whether that man will find you worthy. It’s not about him, it’s about you understanding you are worthy of love and you are enough even in your imperfections. When you get to a certain level of self-love, of identity and healing, you will also be able to discern that a man who truly understands what love is will cherish you, respect you and love your babies as the blessing they are.

Momma, you are the light of the world, you have the power to influence change in your home, I hope you will realise your strength and your power so you can start walking in authority.

“Train up a child in the way that he should go and he will not depart from it” – Proverbs 22:6

HIS GRACE IS ENOUGH

In our own weaknesses we experience the Lord’s strength. Each one of us may recall a time when we were weak yet the Lord was strong. We may have been physically sick and not so inspired to let our light shine with the joy of our salvation. Or maybe there was a time of spiritual weakness when you were tormented with doubt and fear. At the depth of our weakness, we come to realise that God is a very present help, our light, our salvation and the stronghold of our lives.

But he said to me “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties, for when I am weak then I am strongApostle Paul (2 Corinthians 12:9-11)

Let’s do a simple challenge this week:

  • Whenever you are faced with a difficult situation – speak this scripture into your situation.
  • Write this verse in a post it note, hang it in your work desk or your school desk as a reminder.
  • In the face of persecution or hardship – speak it into your situation
  • When you’re hurt and experiencing pain – speak it into your situation
  • Anything and everything that count as a challenge or an obstacle in your life – speak this verse in your situation.
  • Speak it as many times as you want and believe that change and freedom are your inheritance.
  • Lastly, track it – write down everything you’ve learnt. Sometimes it’s good to see where you’ve started so you can be encouraged to move further to greatness.

This way, you will see the power of God in your life, whether is it to teach you something, to develop your character, to strengthen you or to discipline you; understand that everything has a purpose. Your experiences have a purpose not because of anything you did but because His grace is sufficient for you. Your situation cannot harm you, cannot define you and cannot own you, believe that!

Now walk in authority, in power because you are a child of God who has been pursued from the very beginning.