Encouragement For Everyone · Encouragement For Singles

Susie’s Successful, Tracy’s Thriving, What’s Wrong With Me?

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No offence  please, if you are reading this and your name is Susie or Tracy, but can you relate?

Susie’s successful, she seems to have everything I desire on a platter and we are age mates.

Tracy’s thriving, already doing things I thought I would have done by now and I knew her when she was practically a baby.

Scrolling through social media and going “oh, how nice” on a friend’s photo but deep down, feeling left out.

Why is mine taking time, why do I have to wait? Why can’t I have what she has? What on earth is wrong with me?

You (sometimes) wonder.

First of all, nothing is wrong with you, God just has a different plan for your life.

What you should not do is compare yourself with someone else, the bible says, it’s not a wise thing to do.

 Not that we [have the audacity to] venture to class or [even to] compare ourselves with some who exalt and furnish testimonials for themselves! However, when they measure themselves with themselves and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding and behave unwisely. – 2 Corinthians 10:12

I can understand the tendency to expect certain things to happen in your life at a particular time or as it seems to happen for others but there’s something I’ve learnt over time, something called God’s plan. He has one for everyone.

The bible talks about us being formed in secret, that to me, buttresses the point that, there’s something unique about each of us. Each, wonderfully & fearfully made. (Psalms 139:14-15)

No matter how wonderful someone else’s life looks to you because of what they have, that you don’t or what they are doing, that you are not, your life isn’t any less wonderful.

If you are like me, you probably didn’t grow up knowing that God had a plan for your life, you grew up expecting things to follow the order of the system you met.

Many unmet expectations/unfulfilled-desires-in-your-timeline later,  you are probably learning, as I am, that God has a plan for your life, one obviously different from the one you had or what you thought it should be, a plan that no one, not even you, can thwart  because even if  we grew up under conditions that were not quite in His plan for us, He has a way of leading us back to His plan – usually the hard way.

You are probably learning, as I recently read somewhere, “that sometimes we make our plans, and sometimes we surrender to plans”.

My plan was something like this – finish school, get a job/make lots of money, get married by latest 25 (lol, yea, I actually said latest 25, when it didn’t happen at 25, I moved the timeline to 28, lol), have 3 kids by 30-31 and just live happily ever after. Talk about being naive.

Now the thing is, I know some ladies whose plans also kinda looked like that and theirs seemed to have worked out for them but for me, 5 years after when I thought I’d be a wife, I’m not, instead I’m a writer, encouraging – you guessed it – single ladies like myself (and happily so). I’ve always loved writing but I certainly didn’t see this coming, now that’s just one of the many discoveries in what I’d call (if it was a movie), ‘So I thought I had a plan.’

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Bottom line, God has a plan for your life, different from everyone else’s, different, most of the time, from the one you had for yourself.

What you should do is stop expecting your life to look or turn out like everybody else’s or look like the image society portrays, but rather trust and seek God for His plan for your life and embrace it because being in God’s plan, where He wants you to be, doing what He wants you to do, that’s the true measure of success, your being faithful where God has you, is what truly matters.

Being faithful means remaining loyal and steadfast, staying true to the facts or the original; stop comparing yourself with everybody else and be faithful to you, live your truth and be free.

Focus on being the best you, not trying to be like someone else or trying to be better than someone else.

It’s not about being ahead or behind, it’s about being faithful where God has you.

Know that,  ‘yet to happen’ is not synonymous with ‘abandoned’.

Thus says the Lord, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” – Jeremiah 29:11

So, “delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart” (Psalms 37:4) but, the thing with delighting yourself in the Lord is, as you do, you begin to desire more and more what He wants for you not what you want for yourself, as you delight yourself in the Lord, you ultimately surrender to His plans and release the ones you had.

Now, that may mean that your life looks different from others but it also means that it looks just the way God wants it, and trust me girl, that’s what you want.

So, as Sharon Jaynes says, let go of comparison and take hold of your God fashioned uniqueness.

Love and live the life that God has given you, knowing that wherever He has you now, He’s grace is available and sufficient for you.

PS: You saw the part where I said, nothing is wrong you, yea?

Be encouraged.

*Image with the ladies from pixabay.com

 

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Encouragement For Everyone

#WIFE: Realize How Blessed You Are

Blessed

As the song writer says, “when upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, when you are discouraged thinking all is lost, count your many blessings, name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”

Not only will it surprise you, it will renew your hope and encourage you to keep trusting Him.

Forget about all of life’s issues stressing you out at the moment and just realize how blessed you are regardless.

He forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases.
He redeems you from death
and crowns you with love and tender mercies.
He fills your life with good things.
Your youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse you,
nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish you for all your sins;
he does not deal harshly with you, as you deserve.
For His unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed your sins as far from you
as the east is from the west.
The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.” 

(Culled from Psalms 103)

Ah! “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me.” (Psalms 103:1)

Even when things don’t look so good, may we never forget that God is good, that His plans for us are of good and all He allows, is for our ultimate good.

May we never forget that God loves us, He’s with us and He won’t fail us.

May we never forget how blessed we are, regardless.

Be encouraged.

*Image from pixabay.com

Encouragement For Everyone · Encouragement For Singles

#WIFE: 2017 Didn’t Go As Planned?

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Hey guys,

Happy New Year.

2018, exciting right?  Or not so much? Perhaps, because 2017 didn’t go quite as you thought it would, didn’t end on a good note? Tell me about it.

Barely a week to the end of 2017, I had an accident that left me with a broken forehead and serious pains. You’ve got to be kidding me, this is not how I planned to end the year, just laying there, not able to move around, ‘popping pills’, hurting, crying, cranky, emotional…

But hey, it could have been worse. I was whining about how I was ending the year when I should have been thankful that I was ending the year regardless, I mean.

2018 God can

(That’s me. The photo on the left was few days after the accident, I was getting better, I don’t want to show you anything gory 🙂 and the photo on the right is me doing much more better).

Jan. 1st was the last thing on my mind when I was in pains and my face was covered in blood on Dec. 22nd, but truly, “this too shall pass”. I’m here today, with scars, ‘bald’ and all, healing, stronger, in way less pain and I’m again reminded that God delivers, He heals, He cares, He’s there. Not just there but right in there with you, in whatever you are going through,  He’s the one who takes us through, opening doors, making ways, sending help, showing mercy, giving favour, strengthening us, encouraging us… It’s all Him. Such a good God.

He says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.” – Isaiah 43:2

So dear reader, 2017 may not have ended the way you wanted it to but you are still here.

You may say, so what? It’s yet another year, I’m still here but I’m not quite ‘there’ yet.

Well, hang in there. Let the new year renew your hope and trust in God, who makes new and is able to take you ‘there’.

I don’t belong to the “new year, new me” school of thought (I’m sorry if that’s yours, maybe we’ll talk about it later), I encourage you rather, to continue to press on.

“Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.” – Philippians 3:12

If you are not in Christ, as in, haven’t accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour, then you definitely need to do so to become new, but if you are, then please continue in Him.

Continue to love God, walk with Him, trust Him, wait on Him, to grow, to love and live to fullest, the life He has given you (regardless of what it looks like now).

Continue in Him.

May we attain new heights in our walk with God this year and as we seek Him, may our lives continually be filled with the joy, peace and pleasures in His presence.

Happy 2018.

Be encouraged.

 

Encouragement For Everyone

#WIFE: Feeling weak, getting frustrated?

Feeling weak? Not just physically now, emotionally, mentally, spiritually maybe?

Getting frustrated, seems like nothing is happening?

Can I encourage and remind you that, God’s got you?  He truly does.

His grace is sufficient

You don’t have to be strong by yourself, you can depend on His grace, His strength.

My soul was practically downcast as I went to church last Sunday, I felt weak and I was on duty in children’s church where I serve. I walk into the class and the kids are in their default full-of-energy-always-excited mode but with the way I was feeling that morning, I wasn’t there for that and I was like guys, please settle down, I don’t have strength for this, this morning.

One of  them, about six years old, responded rather calmly and authoritatively, saying “but God has already healed you.”

I smiled, partly because I felt so proud of him and mostly because I was reminded (even though I didn’t start feeling great immediately) that God is with me.

Isn’t it comforting to know that whatever the ‘trouble’ may be, God is with you, with His favor, loving kindness and mercy?

Dear reader, God has not forgotten about you, He’s faithful and at work in your life.

Yes, sometimes, it gets hard, you feel weak and maybe get frustrated, but always remember that you can rely on Him, even for strength.

Be encouraged.

 

 

Encouragement For Everyone · Everything Else

My first 100 days in 2017

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You know how exciting new things can be? That’s how this new year was for me, I was very excited about it, I still am.  Though, I usually do not join the new year, new me train but I do set goals for myself, you know, plans et al.

One of the things I wrote down in my journal at the beginning of the year, was to be (more) intentional and in the first 100 days, I have not only intentionally messed up, things have also not gone as I intended.

So, the year had barely even started and I settled, just like that. I don’t mean settle into the new year, I mean settle for, wait for it… a ‘relationship’.  Wait, what?! You? The ‘#DontSettle crooner’?  Well, yes, me. Can I be transparent? I knew I was settling but I did anyway, you see that’s one funny thing about settling for less, we usually know, we are fully aware that this isn’t it, that we deserve more, we deserve better, yet, we choose to settle.

The year 2016 had more dates than I did (if I did) and that was fine, really, I mean I’m not a calendar or anything like that, so 2016, we’re cool, no beef.  Anyway, so I’m happy and proud of myself for making it through the year without settling even when I could, you know,  feeling like one ‘unsettler‘ and stepping into 2017 like, I’m ready, let’s do this, then here I was, settling, when I’m not dust (rolling my eyes at me) and I can categorically tell you that those few weeks were pretty miserable.  I’ll spare you the details but thankfully, my worth called me out, it called my name like thrice before I responded though but I did respond.  I was reminded by that experience that, the knowledge of your worth is your immunity to settling.

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Know your worth, don’t settle, if you ever do, I hope you hear and respond when it tries to call you out.

Not too long after that, I had to settle again, this time, my landlord. I had to settle him. My rent was due and my account balance had no clue, my rent money was far from complete. Phew! I was trying not to worry but I was under pressure. Where I wan for see the remaining money?  You may want to ask, ” what about your savings?” or something like that,  but I’m sorry, we ain’t taking questions today, so as I was saying, lol, my attempt to raise money from a few friends was futile, I prayed for a miracle, I needed one. Meanwhile, I had stopped eating three square meals o, I was now eating two, sometimes one and half and they weren’t exactly square, I was seriously economizing my resources.

Then one day, from nowhere, I got a call, hold your horses, it wasn’t the miracle call, lol, I got a call, from someone I knew I had no business talking to but I decided to play nice, perhaps maybe this is where the miracle will come from, I’m sure when I thought that, ‘They’ looked at me from heaven like, yea right. You know who ‘They’ are now? OK.

So I played nice, in other words, I took the call which I would have otherwise ignored, hoping that from there, maybe there will be more calls and then the miracle (as if you can strategize a miracle). For where? In fact, they haven’t called me again since that day, I even tried hey-big-heading them, but no response, the only explanation for that is, God was looking out for me.  God blocks, in His infinite mercy. He doesn’t only open doors, He closes doors too. Truly, He will wreck your plans, before they wreck you, till this day, no response, no call. God is good.

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I decided to stay put and stay hopeful, trusting God, worse comes to worst, I’ll go back to my mother’s house in Auchi, but God is faithful, Amen? He came through for me. One night, just before I went to bed after deciding to have sleep for dinner, I got a call, the miracle call… Praise God.

The year has gone from day 1 to 100 real quick and things for me, have gone from  100 to 1 even quicker. It’s been a pretty rough and tough first 100 days, emotionally, mentally, financially and at some point, spiritually. Not so much physically because I keep hearing that I’ve gained weight, now that’s a whole miracle on its own, I mean with my one and half ‘triangle’ meals a day? Lol. It’s only because of God that I don’t look like what I’ve been through.

Well, 100 days gone, the rest of the year to go, I’m not staying down, I’m not giving up, I’m “ forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13) and I think I’m begin to settle in alright.

How has your year been?

Be encouraged.

 

Encouragement For Everyone

What will you give Him?

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My colleague, Setex  (as he prefers to be addressed ‘on the  internet’), is the  author of this amazing and profound post and he chose to share it through my blog.

Thank you, Setex.

So here guys, my first guest post ever.

It’s Christmas once again, a season of love, basically.

People tend to be more loving and there’s lots of sharing, giving and receiving this season and I’m usually more at the receiving end (lol, don’t judge me).

It’s usually a wonderful time of celebration, packed with activities, folks, drawing up lists of gifts to give and what they’d like to receive, lots of plans, lots of expectations, some easy to meet, others, not so much (the guys planning on gifts for their ladies can attest to that, lol).

At least, everyone is receiving something, right?

Ok, maybe not everyone but almost everyone, yea?

Everyone should though, but wait a minute.

What about Him?

Is He on your list?

I mean the celebrant.

The reason for the season, Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, whom He sent down to redeem you and me.

Any plans for Him?

Picture that, you’ve been invited to the birthday party of a very important personality, of course, you’d get busy, preparing to look your best to the party, wouldn’t you also plan to get the celebrant something they’d appreciate?

So, what will you give Him?

After all, He is the cause for the celebration.

One may say, what does He need?

He owns the whole world, what would He need?

Delivery guys, don’t even go up there, so?

Well, thankfully, we don’t need delivery guys.

We don’t have to go all the way to heaven before we can do nice things for our Jesus, things He will be happy with and proud of.

He’s with us, remember?  He’s near, He’s here.

He hears, He sees, He knows.

So what can you give Him?

Here are some suggestions;

Write Him a love letter or a note of thanks.

Spend some quality time with Him, could be a date, just you and Him.

Make a decision to do better in areas you know He wants you to do better. Forgive that person, because its Jesus’ birthday, let go off the anger & bitterness because it’s Christmas and ’tis the season to be jolly.

Choose to be more loving, more patient, choose to not get offended, choose to be kind, yes, you can make that choice and He’d like that.

Talk to a family member or friend about Him, add bibles to the list of gifts you are giving, make a commitment to winning souls and making heaven rejoice.

Go out of your way to do something nice for someone else with no expectations.

Encourage someone.

Give yourself a break, decide to trust Him more.

How about that?

Isn’t He worth it and more?

It doesn’t even cost much.

So, do it for Him.

As you make plans to celebrate with family and friends, which is very important, remember most importantly, who we are celebrating and make plans to do something special for Him this season.

No Christmas without Christ, He is the reason for the season.

Give Him your best this season.

Merry Christmas!!!

Got more ideas on what we can do for Jesus this Christmas, please share in the comments.

Encouragement For Everyone · Encouragement For Singles

Unexpected lessons 101

images6I got some extra sleep this morning. Yay!

It wasn’t business as usual. My office had planned a health fair and the venue we would be using, wasn’t too far from my place.

My office is quite a distance from where I live, so on a normal day,  I set out very early in order not to be late.

My body though, already accustomed to  getting up pretty early, needed to be held back in bed after my alarm rang.

When I finally got up and started getting ready, way later than usual, I kept feeling like I was late, I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t because I wasn’t.

Then I thought, when those people who usually see me going out early, see me this morning, they will probably think that I’m late.

Well, I said, still thinking to myself, they don’t know where I’m going, I know and I know that I’m not late.

Then it occurred to me, this relates to life, you know?

Sometimes, people think or say you are late because you haven’t done certain things or achieved certain things in the time that others may have done those things but they don’t know where you are going, they don’t know your life’s plan, they don’t know God’s plans for your life.

I hear when my neighbor drives out most mornings, usually that’s a sign that I’m running late and I begin to hurry but this morning while I was still forcing myself to get more sleep, I heard them but I simply ignored, we weren’t on the same schedule, its not even  like we are, on other days (I don’t know why I put myself under that pressure).

You can’t and shouldn’t compare yourself to anyone because you probably ain’t going the same way.

It’s not about anyone, what they say or what they think, it’s about you.

It’s your life and it’s in God’s hands.

So, focus on your lane.

Be encouraged.