Thursday, 21 May 2020

The integrated, functional and purpose-driven woman


Juggling is an act, and no one understands the act of managing many moving parts better than women do. Think about work, kids, family, community, and all the other things we are responsible for or involved in. This balancing act is critical to ensure we are happy and successful in all areas of our lives. One thing that helps us maintain balance is being authentic–that is, true to who we are and who we were called upon by God to be.

As a woman, I find myself dealing with the many areas of my life —family, career, relationships, self-worth, and Christian living— which may, at times, be in conflict with the other areas. It’s a constant challenge to make decisions that benefit every area of my life. However, to function holistically,  I need to find ways to integrate these different areas so they all work together.

I have come to realize that one of the ways to do this is to figure out what God’s plan is for each area of my life and to focus on accomplishing that plan. It’s taken me a while to figure this out, but along the way, I’ve picked up some useful nuggets that I would like to share.

In this 5-day devotional for women, which I have aptly titled Her Sides, you will learn how to focus on the important things to help you stay well integrated, fully functional and true to your purpose. These stories will encourage you to apply the unchanging truth of God's word to the five key areas of your life: family, career, relationships, self-worth, and Christian living.

Ultimately, our goal as Christians should be to have a wholesome and authentic life, no matter what area of your life you are looking at. Download your free copy of the 5-day devotional today, and share it with the lovely ladies in your life.

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*Blog post image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

Sunday, 10 May 2020

#inspiringwomen

Dear Moms,

Here is a nugget of truth to help you through this pandemic and the new realities we have to deal with as we work and school from home.

We don't need supermoms in this period, we just need moms. Loving, healthy, sane moms. #inspiringwomen

Happy International Women's day 2020

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Why did God create me?

Why did God create me?

That’s a question my son asked recently. For many people, it may have been answered a long time ago. Those who don’t believe in God may never have considered it. But it’s a question that others, including me, re-evaluate every once in a while as life changes.

To know the purpose of a thing, look at its function and design. When you inspect the designs of a teacup and a spoon, you can work out what each of these items may be used for. So here are three aspects to consider when pondering my son’s question, “Why did God create me?”

1.    Evaluate the function and design.
The first thing you need to do is take an inventory of yourself. Look at your design, i.e., the gifts and natural abilities that make you different from others. What are you good at, and what can you do with ease? On your journey to discover the purpose of your life, you need to prepare an inventory of your gifts. Nothing complicated. Start with some obvious strengths that everyone would agree you have, like “good at math,” “works well with computers,” “can learn many languages,” “has a natural love and deep concern for others.” Write a list of your natural traits, things you are good at, and skills that you excel at.

2.   Identify opportunities to use your strengths and gifts.
Self-discovery often leads to self-fulfillment. Once you have prepared your inventory of self, seek opportunities to use the strengths you have listed. Sometimes you find opportunities to do what you are good at by your own initiative; sometimes, other people will point out an opportunity you can pursue; sometimes, you’ll stumble across one by chance. However it happens, you need to make the most of these opportunities. If you genuinely care for others, you can use that strength to reach out to people who are hurting and just spend time listening to them. If you have a natural eye for beauty, you can paint a picture that leaps off the canvas.

This step is really important. You can’t just sit on your oars and hope. You need to actively pursue opportunities to use your gifts—in your community or church group or among families. And every time you do use your skills, you will improve them even more. There is always a need out there. Your job is to find the needs that you can naturally fulfill. And with the internet, you can scout the entire globe.

3.   Fellowship with God.
In addition to using your natural abilities for good in this world to fulfill your purpose, there is the ultimate purpose for which God created us: to be in fellowship with him. Our lives will continue to be empty and meaningless until they are filled with a love that can come only from having a personal relationship with God. Without this relationship, no matter how gifted an individual may be, he will always feel empty and hollow, will always be asking, “What else is there?” Our relationship with God is the only thing that can completely give our lives meaning and purpose. Otherwise, what would be the essence of life in this world but to eat, drink, make the best of things, and die? No, God desires that we have a rich and meaningful life through our faith and communion with him and that we have hope for a life after this one in his kingdom.

The answer to the question of why God created you and me lies in our very DNA. The answer is to use our natural abilities to make our world better in ways big and small while maintaining a relationship and constant fellowship with God.

Nothing else matters.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Undeserved


I was sitting in my garden recently, in the midst of the global lockdown, thinking about the amazing love and grace of God and this song came to me. Just wanted to share it, to remind us all that the love and grace we experience daily from God is really undeserved, but he still gives it to us, just because. 

 

Song Lyrics: Undeserved 
By Seye Oke
Copyright April 2020

I don’t deserve your mercy
I don’t deserve your grace
But somehow you’ve shown it to me
When I was lost in sin

It is the love you’ve shown me
That has brought me home
So every day teach me to follow
Your guiding  light

So light the way
On your truth
Shine on me
Bring me through

So light the way
Keep me true
Only you
Make me new


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Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Rising like a Phoenix from the ashes of despair

I was reading about the phoenix, an ancient Greek mythological bird with the ability to be reborn out of the ashes of destruction. What I found fascinating was the simple notion that when all seemed destroyed, something good came out of it. It’s encouraging to know that where one thing ends, another new life begins.

When we look around our world today, we see lots of pain and despair. It could be the pain from dealing with illness due to the virus, despair from the uncertainty of tomorrow or the gloom of being stuck at home. In these moments, it’s only natural to feel all these emotions in the face of dire or fatal circumstances.

 
But it’s not the emotions we feel that matters, it’s how we handle them. While there are many ways to deal with our emotions, I will like to leave you with a few:

Live
You can worry as much as you want but the reality is that all you have is today and now. You might as well just live in the moment and make the best of each second you have. If you are stuck at home, homeschooling or out of work, think about how to make the best of the situation at hand. No amount of worry can change anything, so instead put that brainpower into creatively coming up with new ways to enjoy your life. You may just spark up a new idea as you embrace your current situation. You could lighten up the day of an elderly couple with a phone call or start working on that personal project that you have put on hold for far too long. You could take up an exercise regime to get you back in shape or spend the time cooking up healthy meals at home. Whatever your current situation, live life to its fullest by making every minute count.

Pray
I have found that praying is one sure way to unload your heart of the burdens that way it down. Spend some time with God in prayer and just meditate on his promises from the bible. This is something you can do whether you are home or in a hospital bed. If you can’t pray out loud, just commune silently in your heart. God hears us however we pray. A good verse to remember at a time like this is Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Keep these words in your heart as you go about your day.

Hope
As you focus your energy on living in the moment and unburdening your heart by praying, fill your heart and mind with positive images of what your future will look like when it’s all over. Beyond every valley, there is a hilltop and a rainbow after every storm. Can you see your rainbow? Replace every iota of doubt and despair in your mind with positive images of how you will survive this period and how in the end it will all work out together for your good. What is six-month-to-a-year from now going to look like for you? Can you see a beautiful future on your horizon? Perhaps a new business idea? Stronger bond with your family and kids? You need to see it in your mind’s eye to move your life in that positive direction.

While we cannot be oblivious to the pain all around and within us, we must not allow it to weigh us down. Be strong. Live, pray, hope and trust in God. In the end, it will all work together for your good.

Article Image by JohannaIris from Pixabay

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Read more articles like this: Something Worth Trying


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Saturday, 21 March 2020

Strengthening Your Faith in Times of Crisis


It’s easy to say “I trust God” and use all the words of faith when everything is going well and exactly as you planned. When you are experiencing favor and great opportunities, you can easily say “Yes, God is good.” But how do you keep that positivity and faith in God when life takes an unexpected turn, like it has for the entire world in the last few months?

When you watch a loved one fall ill and see the light snuffed out of their eyes, how can you trust God? How do you continue to believe in his promises? It’s really hard to do this during life’s crises.

We all find ourselves in the face of battles, like the current COVID-19 pandemic. At times like this, we ask questions like, Why did God allow this? Is this the end of the world? Are we being punished for our sins? Or the most common one, will I also get sick with the virus?

Whatever questions are occupying your mind right now, I can only ask you to take a minute and breathe. Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:27, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan?” I haven’t met anyone yet who can do that.

So relax; if anything, worry will weaken your immune system. Instead of worrying, we can turn our hearts to words of faith from the Bible. These words encourage our spirit through the trying times and strengthen our body.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

As we all navigate these waters through this global crisis, here are a few tips to stay positive and strong during these challenging times:
  • Spend less time listening to negative news and more time reading words of faith from the Bible. 
  • Music lifts the soul; infuse your life with some good tunes. 
  • Take your eyes off the present, and think about the good future God has for you. 
  • Obviously, practice all the good hygiene and social distancing recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as washing your hands often and staying away from large crowds. You can read more on the WHO’s COVID-19 webpage 
  • When you feel overwhelmed, pray. 
  • And if you feel sick, please call a doctor.

But whatever happens, continue to believe that God has a good plan for us all and he will bring it to pass. This crisis, too, will pass.

Stay safe, everyone.


Recommended reading: Mountain high, valley low


Happy Mother's Day