Finding Life’s Balance

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We are a few weeks into the new year new me season right? Lol. But it is not too late to wish you a Happy New Year, as usual I haven’t kept to my promise of posting more but that’s going to change definitely this year as I have made discipline and excellence among others, my core resolutions this year. I hope you won’t mind sharing some of your resolutions with me…

So I am coming your way with a few lessons from last year. I believe that our lives consists of an ongoing hand-off of tasks and juggling responsibilities that need strict precision to keep moving. There have been many times when I lived without a pause button, but last year tops them all. I took on four jobs, all with demanding and herculean tasks and that could be your story too. Where days ran into nights and weeks blurred into months without us having any time to relax and catch our breath. 

Thankfully, that season of busyness came to an end, but I declared that kind of overload would never, ever happen again. There was absolutely no margin for error or sickness. In the aftermath, I realized I had no non-negotiable boundaries set in place to protect me against that kind of crazy. Everything was secondary to cancel so I could get more done: I gave up family gatherings, leisure time, hangouts with friends and didn’t guard the Sabbath.

That season, and many others before it, proved that unless I put borders around my busyness, I will be a wreck, my family and relationships will too. But it also begs the question: Does life balance even exist?

 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12(NIV)

For most of us, there are few non-negotiable boundaries when it comes to busyness. We live without the built-in rhythms of the rising and setting sun that guided our parents just a few generations back. 

We could work 24 hours a day if our bodies and minds would let us. Hence, we get drawn into a nonstop lifestyle of work. Although I firmly believe the Bible honors hard work, the Bible does not say we need to be busy all the time. This is where we need wisdom to find a balance between work and rest.

I love how King David acknowledges God’s perfect plans:

LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places: surely I have a delightful inheritance” (Ps. 16:5-6).

Although David refers to property lines, this is a lovely image of God’s plan for balancing our lives. God has boundary lines established for us that are pleasant and manageable. He never meant for our lives to be a jumble of overcommitment. Rather, God’s plan is peaceful and ordered.

And in order to find that pleasant place, we need to have healthy boundaries on our time with lots of margin built in. Margin plays an important part with a boundary, whether it’s on our property or in our lives. Margin creates safe places, adding beauty, breathing room and balance for the eye and mind.

Did a little research on editing and publishing and learnt this. The beauty of “a well-designed page isn’t just what you see; it’s also what you don’t see. The un-designed area, called white space, carries as much, if not more, impact as the words or graphics.”

A significant value of white space is to make the page visually appealing so you want to read it. As our eyes scan a crowded page, our minds tell us it’s too much work and we disengage. But a page with lots of white space invites you in. It doesn’t feel overwhelming or chaotic. It feels simple, doable, calm. White space gives the reader a mental break while at the same time drawing your attention to what’s most important.

And this is what a life with margin around boundaries does for us. When our lives are overcrowded with “content” and lacking white space, we will feel cluttered and confused. It’s hard to identify what’s most important because it all runs together in a blur. But by creating balance in establishing boundaries for our busyness, we give ourselves breathing room. We give ourselves time to think, dream and plan. Busy gets seriously out-of-control without boundaries.

Finding balance is possible. Establishing healthy boundaries involves editing the content in our lives, carefully identifying what’s most important… what God is asking us to do today and this very season of our lives. Then as we remove what’s not ours to do, we can breathe a sigh of relief at the beauty that’s revealed in our lives.

Prayer

Lord, thank You that Your plan for me is pleasant and secure. Be with me today as I seek to find the blueprint for my life ahead. I ask often; help me to listen well. Help me see those areas of my life that are crowded and confusing, and give me the wisdom to create a balance… to set boundary lines that bring peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Stay Blessed, Always!

Hearing From the Lord.

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Just thought I should share this with you; I hope you’ll forgive me for going silent while you’re at it. Does God ever speak? Perhaps you and I need hearing aid…

Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls” James 1:21 (NLT).

We’ve all noticed that the reception quality on a cell phone varies widely. The same is true with you. You must be positioned correctly to hear God speak.

Sometimes we don’t give God a chance to talk to us. We’ve made up our minds. We want to do what we want to do, not what God wants us to do. Our hearts are hardened, and we’re unwilling to listen. I am definitely a culprit. 

When you have a closed mind, of course he’s not going to talk to you!

But if you really want to hear from God — and what believer doesn’t? — you have to understand what is keeping you from hearing from God. Sharing on three mental barriers that keeps our minds closed to God’s message.

  1. Pride. If you think you don’t need God in your life and you want to handle things yourself, you’re probably not listening for God to speak. Pride keeps you from being open to the possibility that God might want to say something to you.
  2. Fear. A lot of people can’t hear God because they’re afraid to hear God speak. Maybe you think that hearing God’s voice or sensing his leading makes you some kind of religious fanatic.
  3. Bitterness. When you hold on to hurt, resentment, or a grudge, you’re not going to be able to hear God, because your heart is hardened. It has grown cold and made you defensive, even to God’s love.

Perhaps you have been hurt badly, maybe this week or even years ago, and you’re still holding on to it. I want to tell you that you’ve got to let it go. Not for another person’s sake, but for your sake. The resentment is killing you! Resentment is a self-inflicted wound that allows people from your past to continue to hurt you today. You need to let it go, not because they deserve forgiveness but because you need to get on with your life. You need to get rid of the bitterness, fear, and pride that keep you from hearing God’s voice and living out his purpose for your life.

James 1:21 says, “Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls” (NLT).

“Humbly accept” means you let go of your pride and stop trying to figure it out on your own. This is the key to opening our minds and hearts so that we can hear from the Lord.

Think this through;

  •  How do you hear God’s voice or sense his leading? (John 8:47, John 10:27,28, Psalm 25:4-5)
  •  In what ways has he spoken to you? (Mark 4:27, Proverbs 2:1-5, Romans 10:17, John 10:2-4)
  •  What changes do you need to make in your life so that you can get rid of the “filth and evil” (distractions) and hear God’s voice? (Ezekiel 3:10, Deuteronomy 32:1-2)

 

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 28:1-2

Stay Blessed!

Can The Lord Just Hurry?

Impatience becomes our default trait when the promises of God seem to be sitting on a shelf without any sign of them getting fulfilled — at least the expected time on our calendar has already been crossed out! 

 I looked up again, but the scene before me hadn’t changed at all. Still behind this particular tractor. The traffic was obviously not moving and boy I was growing impatient. I desperately needed to get to this wedding and to make matters worse, I was one of the bridesmaids. Sigh.

Those of us who’ve lived in villages (rural areas) before know tractors on the road are a fact of life. However, just being “the norm” doesn’t make them any less irritating if you’re in a hurry. Some years back I remember I had to accompany my dad to one of His emergency cabinet meetings in the village, He was in a rush as our car followed a tractor down a narrow two-lane road. Once my dad’s patience was stretched to its limit, He completely lost it and started yelling, “Masa Hurry! Hurry! If you are not in a hurry move!” Amazingly, my dad’s impatience didn’t speed up the procession at all.

How many times have I approached God’s timing the same way? God rarely operates at a pace that pleases me, and I want Him to hurry, hurry, hurry! I’ve prayed impatient prayers for a job, for marriage, for ministry and even a greater understanding of His Word.

Just this week, I found myself reminding God that the year is ending and I’m fast approaching another significant birthday… as if He’d forgotten. There’s a dream in my heart that feels like it has an expiration date, so I was pleading with God to fulfill it quickly, before my bones are too creaky to do what I know He’s called me to do.

There was a woman in the Bible who also felt past her prime and had trouble with God’s timing. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, felt impatient just like I feel impatient. After waiting 10 years for the baby God had promised her (Genesis 12-21), Sarah decided to help God hurry. Surely 10 years was too long for anybody to wait, she likely reasoned.

So Sarah gave her maidservant Hagar to her husband, and the two of them had a child. Even our modern-day television dramas don’t hold a candle to what ensued! It turned out “helping” didn’t help, and the promise still wasn’t fulfilled.

Fourteen years later, Sarah and Abraham had a visitor who reminded them of God’s promise, causing Sarah to laugh out loud and say, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” (Genesis 18:12)

Do you hear your disbelief and questions about God’s timing echoed in Sarah’s? Well, I hear mine. Now, Lord? I thought this would happen years ago. Aren’t You just a little late?

God answered Sarah’s question in a way that answers ours, too. “Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son” (Genesis 18:14).

Less than a year later, Isaac, the child whom God had promised 25 years before, was born. God was not late. His timing was perfect. It was Sarah who had been in a hurry, but God called Isaac’s birthday the appointed time.”

According to the dictionary, “appointed” means “predetermined; arranged; set.” Isaac’s birth came at the exact time God had planned all along!

God may seem like a tractor in the road, slowing down our dreams, but He knows the entirety of our story from beginning to end. He also knows how our story weaves into the lives of others. We may be tapping our watches, but He is never late. He may seem slow, but He’s always right on time. He is never on the blindside of our challenges and storms – nothing takes Him by surprise. God Himself holds the appointed time in His hands.

Has God made a promise to you that seems delayed? Has He planted a dream in your heart that has not yet come to pass? You can see I’ve struggled with impatience too, but let’s stand together in confident hope! God is faithful, and we can rely on His perfect timing.

“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (Psalm 130:5)

Dear God,

Sometimes I don’t understand Your timing. It’s hard to wait, but I trust You. I want to rely on Your ways, Your thoughts and Your perfect timing. Help me learn what I need to learn as I wait, and help me resist rushing Your plan. May I wax stronger in you as I wait In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay Blessed, Always!

TILL I ALIGN – ORDER

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I didn’t think I’d be back here this soon —  considering the fact that I wanted to continue hiding my posts under my pillow — well let’s do this. This — blogging, writing… is personal. It puts me out there as an open book (Which I don’t enjoy, still trying to get used to), then the aspect where what I write are direct messages to myself, but also allows me to have a voice in different spaces and I love that — a lot.

I was doing a flashback a couple of months ago, on quite a number of events, especially the ones I talked myself into believing I would never overcome. I was wondering and asking why they happened? Guess what the Holy Spirit did — He whispered “For Order“. Why did Jesus come as the bleeding Lamb even though He had the power to come as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah? The Lamb redeems (He had to follow an order for our redemption) 

Whiles reading, I recently came across an article online about how the designs we see architects put up go through series of strategies and a planning phase of alignment which is one of the most important phase of their designs. This alignment process is what determines how that house or design is going to look, if the pillars of a building aren’t aligned then it will only be a matter of time before the building collapses. How would you feel living in a crooked house? I don’t know about you but personally I wouldn’t invite any friend to that house. 

Usually we have this long list coming to ask God for A-Z simply because the Bible says “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you(Matthew 7:7) yet there’s no order and probably behind closed doors there are still things you are struggling with. He is the only gap filler, I don’t know what challenges you may be facing currently (look God cares about all the wounds and scars you are hiding) tell Him about the wounds. Trust me everything you are experiencing now is for order — He is a God of order, look at the creation story for instance. God is bringing you to a place of alignment. Mind you the same bible says “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). So keep seeking even when it hurts, even when you don’t understand, keep pressing on and asking God to align you because once He aligns you every other thing will fall into place.

Truth is, this is the best prayer any Christian can be praying. I don’t see what else we can be praying for as Christians. If our lives are not in alignment with His will. Jeremiah 29:11 says For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Tell yourself the truth, I am telling myself the truth that if God should come today I am not aligned, I am still figuring out this walk of faith. I need God to align me. Be encouraged knowing that The steps of a good (righteous) man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” (Psalm 37 : 23) He is ordering your steps to a perfect end.

For as long as the Holy Spirit is inside of you and brooding — There will be light

Prayer
Precious Holy Spirit, thank you for being so merciful to me. I am in need of you, I realize my life is not in order, please keep brooding inside of me till there’s light. I admit that I am confused about a lot of things. I may not understand everything going on in my life right now but I believe you will perfect all that concerns me. I humbly ask that you keep arranging every phase of my life, Invade my heart till I align with your will and purpose for my life in Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

Stay Blessed!

EMBRACING MY TRUTH

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I didn’t quite choose the path of obedience, talking my way out of every situation especially when these little fears creep up. Walking into every gathering self consciously, wondering if that stare was for me, don’t be deceived I wasn’t so confident. I remember being in a rush to have a taste of what being a “grown up” was like — experimenting things that didn’t leave me chaste, bad decisions so I dealt with them by covering up.  A few boy issues that I didn’t quite deal with properly, carrying the luggage of verbal abuse as a reminder but on the contrary that is too burdensome.

Had my fair share of struggles and still growing through them just like going through the wilderness so I’m guessing all I need is endurance. Trying to be the light but the guilt from the past and insecurities stare at me in the face — and there is my circle of people with their huge “expectations” of me — seeking validation. Perceiving myself to be so broken why will God even use me? I’m so messed up He can’t use me. Grace? Yet in the midst of all this I am still battling with Trusting Him…How do I do it?

Then comes “Destiny” revealing God’s original intent for bringing me forth. That underlying question we all have deep down inside. The mystery that unfolds His purpose for my life. But didn’t they say faith comes with being CHOSEN; If He called me to it, He’s going to bring me through it right? Hence I can no longer live in my feelings anymore; to do or not to do things just because I feel or do not feel like respectively. How uncomfortable am I willing to be for God? Beyond Emotions?

Truth is it might just be me and Him in this season thus anything that threatens to drown me from hearing from God or distract me from what He’s doing I must be willing to do away with(cut off). I don’t want to be counting on people to give me something I know only God can give — I might as well endure the stretch that comes with growth. The confusion that comes with the process — it is all coming together.

I can’t meet everyone’s approval before igniting the flame that God is trying to spark up in my life. Perhaps I don’t necessarily need people’s validation in order to be authentic but I actually need God’s hand on my life and His voice so that I can be everything He wants me to be and all I need is my willingness to yield. I don’t need to live in the parameters of my insecurities any longer. I have all the strength it takes “He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29) So I’ll survive again, and again, and again — perhaps each time I survive, I may be teaching someone they can survive too by trusting God.

Willingly taking the path of being uncomfortable for God, to sacrifice, taking up that cross – without giving up to the end. Insights about my purpose will open through this stretch.

Hope of a Life Spent With You.

“New Year, New Me”


…indeed time does fly, 7 days down 2017 already. I have been quite observant about the festive season and also asked a few friends about their resolutions and expectations for 2017. The usual excitement about the new year, it’s fascinating phrase “New Year, New Me” and the idea of Cutting people off seems to be on the lips of most people. Why don’t we see the new year as a continual progress of our journey here on earth? Rather we set out so many unrealistic ideas about the new year. We want our lives to be like everything we see on TV and social media and in the process living out on purpose.

So every single year, with a new year approaching, you hear most people say “New Year, New Me” and I’m wondering how come you’re a new person each year yet there’s still no visible progress in your life? Is there really a new you every new year? Honestly, this is not a phrase that I want to live by. I don’t see the need to go and start changing everything about myself just because we’re entering a new year. Not that I am perfect, because by no means am I. But I actually like the person that I am, and I don’t have the desire to ‘change’ myself. Entering this new year I don’t want to change myself, I want to better myself. My ultimate new years resolution for 2017, is to become the best possible version of myself (according to God’s will) that I can be aside it being My Year of Divine Manifestation.

Although it really wouldn’t hurt to include getting a gym membership (which I already started a few days ago let’s hope I don’t give up on it), expanding my savings account, and ditching some old habits for my resolutions this year, those are not my main focus. I want to dig below the surface and focus on something that really is important, and that is myself. If I have learnt anything over this past year it is that the only person you can truly count on aside God, is yourself. I learned just how important it is to take care of yourself in 2016 (To constantly pick up yourself after every low moment pressing on and holding on to Christ). You are in control of your happiness, the way your life ends up, and the ultimate person that you are. 

I’m at a good place in my life, where I have a better understanding of who I am, and who God wants me to be. But I also know that there is always room for a little self improvement, and you will never stop growing as a person. Well, I am making a list of resolutions I want to live by to make sure I am the best possible version of myself this new year;

  • Speaking of growing as a person, I want this to be a year of growth. I want to grow from the base of the person I already am into something even greater. I want a deeper relationship with God. Grow more in my walk with Christ to have a better understanding and relationship with the Holy Spirit than I do now.
  • I want to use my heart in ways greater than worrying about people who don’t care about me. Touch lives and inspire people to be better and give more. I want a strong, positive influential group of people surrounding me this year. People who push you to do better, and ones who are there even through the hard times.
  •  Instead of so many nights spent out having fun, where you’ll barely remember the night anyway. I want to spend more time doing things I enjoy, that I won’t forget about. Like spending my free time writing, going for walks, reading more, spending time in church, fellowship, or going to chase a sunset.
  • I want to love myself, the same way I want someone to love me. The level of respect I want to receive from someone else, is the same respect I want to show myself every single day. I don’t want to take a single moment for granted. I realize that life is short. I want to love with my whole heart, spend my time making a difference, and surround myself with the ones I love every chance I get. I want to stay true to myself, and who I am, no matter what. I believe honesty is the best gift one can ever give him/herself. Your life can only get better when you’re honest with yourself.
  • I am blessed to already have a great family (family goes beyond people you’re related to by blood), but I want to spend even more time together, not just during the holidays. Because in the end family always will be the most important thing. I don’t want to have hate in my heart for anyone. Even the people who have done me wrong, deserve happiness. I want to truly forgive and forget (learn to be “unoffendable”). Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes sometimes. 
  •  I want to set real goals, and actually accomplish them. I want to chase my dreams, and never give up, no matter how many times life tries to knock me down. I want to remain driven (Focused), and not let anything stand in my way. I want to aim higher. To believe in myself so much that I feel like I can truly do anything I put my mind to with the assurance that God is always on my side.  

This is something for those who are so expectant to find love this year, not to burst your bubble tho. A new year is not a yardstick for measuring how soon you can find Mr. Right or Ms Right, No. There’s more to Love than just emotions — I believe it has more to do with purpose, God will give you someone you need rather than someone you want if only you’re patient. His best is worth waiting and praying for. So why don’t you stop spending any more time trying to find THAT PERSON, but rather to be THAT PERSON. Love isn’t something you can search for. It will happen when it’s meant to happen, a good kind of love can never be forced. So for now, instead of searching for that person, become that person.

So by this time next year, when I am once again reflecting on the year and thinking of another resolution for the following year, I hope I can honestly say that I followed the resolutions I set for myself. I hope I am the same me that I am today. I hope I still have my smile, more rooted in Christ, the same positive attitude, and the same love for life that I do now. But I also hope that I can look back on the year and honestly say that I’m an even better person than I was. 

“Because he has focused his love on me I will deliver him. I will protect him because he knows my name. When he calls out to me, I will be with him in distress. I will deliver him, and I will honor him.” (Psalm 91:14-15)  — Give this a try, put your focus on God this year.

Ps; these are my thoughts (resolutions) and might not necessarily work for you. Nevertheless, go into prayer and ask God to help you identify the loopholes in your life and also guide you to make the right resolutions that will help shape your life in order to see tangible progress. Stay blessed!