Thursday, 2 December 2021

The Joy, Comfort, and Stress-Reducing Power of December


There is something special about this time of the year. December brings an air of joy that can help you reduce the stress acquired over the course year if approached correctly. 

 

On the other hand, you can choose to take on the month's festivities with hyper-stress as you participate in the gift exchanges and family gatherings. Or you can choose to bask in the month's joy and sip in all the comfort of knowing another year is coming to an end. In other words, relax! And as you relax, you reflect - look back and see some of the footprints you have left in the sands of time.

 

Some prints may bring back memories you wish you didn’t have, while others may remind you of moments you want to last forever. It’s effortless to keep your mind fixated on those not-so-great moments, which can then add to the stress of living through December. However, if you own your thoughts and keep them on the beautiful moments of the year, you’d find that the “thank goodness” moments start to outweigh the “wish it didn’t happen” moments. 

 

And If you think about it long enough, you will find a reason to be grateful for all you have or don’t. You start to see patterns in situations and connect the dots of problems while transforming them into opportunities. When you do, your heart will begin to lighten, and stress lessens as you stare at the image that emerges from the mosaic of all the randomness that happened in your life this year. 

 

 

As you ponder further, you start to see the purpose of God in the mundane things of life. Sometimes things happen to make us grow. Other times it's to help us be more empathetic, while at other times, it's to make us feel blessed. So, whatever transpired this year, take some time to reflect and find a reason to be thankful. And as you immerse yourself in the joy and thankfulness of the season, you will feel relieved. 

 

Go through December stress-free and thankfully focusing on your remarkable moments. Don’t extend yourself beyond your means in a bid to meet up to the expectations of the festivities, or you’d heap more pressure on yourself. Instead, enjoy the season knowing that God has an excellent plan for your life. And as the year ends, God's plan is only just beginning. 

 

Monday, 1 November 2021

Listen to Barrow Boy on Audible


Barrow Boy is an enchanting tale of a young lad's quest to find the secrets of becoming a great man. Despite the odds, young Ladi's mother, Nana is determined to help her son succeed and learn the secrets of becoming a great man like his father was. Unable to take on the task of instructing her son, she leads him to the door steps of an old wise tutor who ushers him into a whole new world. The story emphasizes four basic success nuggets: Desire, determination, discipline, and dance, explained in a comical manner that gently penetrates the mind of a young listener.

Listen to Barrow Boy on Audible.

Promo codes available to listen free on Audible US and UK sites. Email hersides@gmail.com to request a code. Offer valid while stock lasts.

 

Saturday, 2 October 2021

A life that honors God


As a young girl, I decided I wanted to live a life that honored God. I discovered, thankfully, that my relationship with my creator mattered more to me than anything else. When I looked back on the times I was happiest, they were times I felt my life and my relationship with God was in sync. This made me wonder, how do I keep this relationship in sync for the rest of my life? My answer, live a life that honors God. 

 

No one goes to a person who dishonors them, not even God. So how do I honor God with my life? That was my next question and my answer, pay attention to what you say. Living a life that honors God simply starts with the tongue. Of all the other parts of the body, this is the one that reflects the soul. It’s the mirror that shows who you truly are inside. 

 

Read through James 1: 26; “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” Your religion, which is your relationship with God, can be seen through words. Your words can push others away from God or pull others to God. 

 

So how do I ensure my words honor God, you may ask? Solomon answers nicely in Proverbs 17: 27-28, “It makes a lot of sense to be a person of few words and to stay calm.” Keeping quiet is the key to honoring God and it's more of a skill than it is nature. Give or take, some people are naturally quiet while others are not. The truth is that being quiet is not the way to honor God, controlling what you say is. 

 

Oftentimes I have been angry at myself because of something I said when I was angry. When you speak in anger, your words are bound to be harsh and hurtful. Your words expose what’s truly in your heart. When afraid, you speak timidly. When jealous, you tend to speak maliciously. If you listen to yourself and what’s coming out of your mouth, you’ll know what’s truly in your heart.

 

To live a life that honors God, we need to watch the words that ooze out of our lips. As we do, we notice the true emotions hidden in our hearts and can address them. Think of it as doing a root-cause analysis to unearth what’s going on in your heart. Something like; ‘I yelled because I am angry. I am angry because…’ So, you can identify and address the root of the matter. 

 

Instead of letting your words go out of control, once you hear yourself and you don’t like what you are hearing, stop talking and address what’s in your heart. By acknowledging the unpleasant emotions in our hearts, we can control our reactions to them. Our words will start to flow with love and our lives in turn honors God. 

 

Take a stock today. Listen to the words that come out of your mouth. Pay attention to the emotions that trigger those words. Address the cause of those emotions and bring it all to align with the word of God. Our words and actions should be out of love. And as we direct our lives through God’s love lenses, we will start to find our whole life being aligned to God’s purpose and live in honor of God. Your words must be true. Your words must be graceful. Your words must be honest. Keep silent, stay calm, and speak only the truth.

 


Blog post image by Aaron Cabrera from Pixabay

Sunday, 29 August 2021

Easy guidance for life's surprising journey

Everyone lives by a code of conduct which is sometimes instilled by society and sometimes by family. We allow such rules to govern our lives to maintain a sense of order and avoid chaos. Imagine if we didn't have rules governing how we drive, and everyone just moved however they wanted. Unimaginable, right? There will be lots of accidents and chaos, so we adjust how we go by the road rules.

 

For the same reason, God has given us a simple rule book to govern our lives and guide us on the best path to living on earth. His word, the Bible, isn't just a book full of rules; it's a must-read and a must-adhere to avoid creating chaos in our lives. Like the signals on the road are there to inform, caution, and enforce, the rules in the bible help you set boundaries and maintain a sense of control on the reins of your life.

 

The bible isn't a book to read for storylines; it's a book to read and apply. The strength you need in times of trials is in his word; the wisdom you need to raise a child is in the pages of his word too.  We have been given a guidebook to make life so much easier, don't leave it stacked in your bookshelf or lost among clothes in your drawer. Read the bible, meditate on it, apply it, and enjoy a smooth ride on earth.

 

And if you run into some bumps or blow out a tire as you journey through life, you've got the owner's manual to help you with fixes and get you right back to where you are meant to be. Don't make guesstimates with your life; get guidance from God's word.

 

 "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." Joshua 1:8 (KJV)

 

 

Blog Image by Pexels from Pixabay

 

Monday, 5 July 2021

Turning around, again.

 
"When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." Psalm 126 (KJV)

 

The words of this verse are beautifully written and intertwined with restoring hope that sinks deep into the soul of anyone reading it. It’s a simple description of a time when things turned around, again, for a group of people. The essence of this verse can be seen in the very first few words you read, “When the Lord turned the captivity of Zion again, we were like them that dream.” The third word in the verse clearly outlines Who turns things around, God. When God decided it was time, he turned the stories of their lives around. In a moment, they went from being captive to being free.  

 

As you read on, the fifth word stands out. The term "again" means this has happened before. Interesting, God turned their captivity around as he had done before. So, it isn’t a fluke or a one-time deal, God did it before, and he can do it again. What a comfort for us who believe in the turning power of God. 

 

Can you think about a time in your life when you felt trapped? Think about a time when you felt overwhelmed by situations, and you thought it would destroy you? Can you remember how you came through that? Those moments passed, and those feelings of despair went away. If you can think of at least one time in your life when you were down, and God stepped in and helped you back on your feet, then he can and will help you through whatever you may be facing now.

 

I have kept a memory frame on my bedroom wall for years now. It’s a small rectangular board with sticky notes framed. On each sticky note, I wrote a short phrase that described a memorable time – a moment when God showed up and helped me turn impossible situations around. I keep this frame to remind me how powerful God is and how faithful he is to his word. And every time I find myself in a bind beyond what I can handle, I look up at the sticky notes and remind myself 'if God did it before, he can do it again'. Then I ask for his help to turn things around again.

 

What’s your story? What are those incredible feats that God has accomplished in your life – debt paid, survived the crash, found hope? Those should go up on your wall and deep in your heart. Cherish those stories, tell them to your kids, remember them always because God can turn around any situation.

 

Remember all he has done for you and use that as a reference point to believe God to turn things around for you. And when the Lord turns things around again, it'll be like a dream.

 

 

Blog post image by Игорь Левченко from Pixabay

 


Thursday, 3 June 2021

Just visiting: On assignment to earth

Image by tookapic from Pixabay

I spent the last five years outside of my home country on international assignment with my workplace. International assignments are fun, a great learning experience that you should try if the opportunity presents itself. It’s often filled with the thrills of first experiences that come with living in a different country, among other people.

 

I have enjoyed learning about other cultures, tried some new meals (not always successfully), learned about five words of the local language, and freed the little girl in me to explore some fun activities. This experience expanded my mindset on many styles and customs vastly different from what I was accustomed to in my home country.

 

Being on an assignment outside your country can be fun; if you love trying new things. It stirs your sense of curiosity and the drive to acclimatize and succeed at your mission. You would need some time to settle, which could be challenging but easier to handle since you know that whatever joys or sorrows you face will only be temporary, and at some point in time, you will go home.

 

This fact helps you handle a lot as an expat living in a different country. You live with a sense of purpose. You know your time here is short, so you work hard at the assignment you were given to ensure you excel and make your time worthwhile.

 

As an expat, you enjoy every moment outside and still want to stay connected to that part of you representing home. You don't forget who you are and where you come from. You honor your heritage and hopefully represent your homeland proudly in the way you live. To keep you grounded, you seek out communities and connect with people who help you stay connected to home- people with the same taste in food, language, values, and cultures.

 

In my years of living as an expat, I have come to appreciate the value of belonging, the satisfying feeling of knowing you are not alone. My community made my time out of home incredibly warm, enjoyable, and rewarding.

 

Now, as I look back on the last five years, I feel a sense of pride in my accomplishment, knowing I had a great time, did my best work, and connected with a great community of people.  I look forward to the end of my assignment with joy, knowing every pleasure and pain was so worth it.

 

My expat experience has helped me relate more to my Christian journey. It has given me a better meaning to life and God's purpose for bringing us all to the beautiful place called earth. We are expats on assignment to the world and will return to our home country, heaven, when our work is done.

 

One of the most asked questions people spend their lives trying to figure out is, what my assignment to earth is? What's my purpose in the grand scheme of things? While there have been many books and articles on how to find your purpose, I dare say it's not as complicated as it is made out to be.

 

My company sent me on an international assignment to solve a problem that I had the right skills and experience to solve. That's why they went through all the trouble and paid the bills to relocate me temporarily. In the same way, your assignment on earth is simply the problem you can solve. It aligns with your skills, natural likes, and experiences. That's it; that's your assignment. That is why you are here.

 

There is a lot to do to keep the earth running and functioning well, and you have to find your niche, where you fit well and contribute to our society as a whole. It may be a substantial one-off project like discovering a new energy source or an everyday occurrence like helping a little kid learn to read - no matter the scale, every function is equally important to have a whole functional society.

 

Whatever natural passion, energy, and skills you have, apply yourself 100% to it. That's your purpose, not something magical-out-of-this-world that should be accomplished with grandeur. It is, in fact, the problem you are naturally situated to solve. And whatever that is, find it, get skilled at it, and give it your best shot.

 

While on the job here on earth, enjoy the different foods, and cultures, and people you meet along the way. That's also part of living. Remember that at some point, your assignment on earth will come to an end. When it does, you want to be able to look back and smile with pride at what you have accomplished and the simple things you experienced.

 

We are natives of heaven, on assignment here on earth. Wherever you are on the face of this earth – find your natural flair, align it to a problem and step up to solve it. Enjoy every moment and experience - happy and sad, that comes along the way. Live well as Citizens of heaven  - kind, patient, loving, and peaceful people. Stay connected to your heavenly father, nurture your relationship with God. Keep a community of Christians to help you stay grounded.

 

Living is fun; enjoy your assignment here on earth and when your time is up, look back with joy and a sense of accomplishment.

 

 

 

Monday, 3 May 2021

Look Ahead

Look ahead, God says

The plans I have for you is good

It’s easier to look behind, I know

But I’m asking you to look ahead

 

See the meadows on the horizon

The lush green grass covers the fields

Listen to the rushing waters of the stream

As they flow between the mountains

 

Look ahead and see

Beauty and tranquility that lies in wait

The opulence of your destiny enthralls

All who see the picture in the mosaic

 

When you look with the eyes within

You see what I see

When you can see what I see

You move the heavens to act

 

Look ahead to see

So you align your plans with mine

Look ahead and embrace

The brilliance I have prearranged for you

 

 

Bible verses to make you smile

“But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43: 18-19

 

 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29: 11

 

 

Blog post image by James Wheeler from Pixabay