I randomly rediscovered this song by Brian Courtney Wilson ‘I’ll Just Say Yes‘ and I am in love with it! The tune itself is amazing and awe inspiring but the lyrics are like a declaration of surrender to God.
I’ll just say yes
You lead the way
I’m not afraid of what it means for me to say
This life You gave
Is not my own
I’m trusting You to hear my yes and lead me on
We are two months deep into this the worldwide pandemic known as covid-19 but when I hear songs like these it reminds me that there is hope and a light at the end of the tunnel. There is a bigger purpose for it all and I just have to learn to surrender my fears, uncertainties and worries to God.
Moreover, the Psalms have a wide range of encouraging messages for times like these. One of the chapters I will be reading over and over in May will be Psalms 33.
“For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.”
Psalms 33:4 (NIV)
God is Faithful
“But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”
Psalms 33:11 (NIV)
God has an everlasting Plan
“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.”
Psalms 33:20 (NIV)
God is our Helper
May your unfailing love be with us Lord, even as we put our hope in you.
So Netflix recently released a documentary series on Michael Jordan and the legendary 90’s Chicago Bulls team, who were 6-time NBA champions. I was quite fascinated with the series being a basketball fan, but also being in my Jordan Year, I was hoping to learn some tips and gain a greater insight into the mind of the great player, Michael Jordan who was referenced in the series as “poetry in motion“. I mean, such beautiful words to describe a beautiful man !
Jordan and the Bulls
But honestly, watching the series was quite eye-opening especially to see a young Michael Jordan and just how focused he was. He spoke about first coming into the league and just wanting to prove himself. My mans had a winning mentality and regardless of what his current team was looking like he was determined to stick to his philosophy of playing to win and leaving it all on the court. I don’t really know too much about Jordan and I had somehow always thought he was just too cocky and I couldn’t quite get the hype about him. But, let’s just say I get it now. You cannot help but admire excellence when you see it, and Michael Jordan is an excellent sportsman and businessman. Moreover, one admires the hard work that goes behind the scene and understanding that it takes a team to achieve greatness and success. For example, I was quite intrigued to see how much Jordan was adamant about the presence of Phil Jackson as the coach of the Chicago Bulls. Although, I wasn’t so surprised when I realize that Phil was the mastermind behind the concept of ‘The Last Dance‘, which has become a memorable term in the sports industry.
This then made me think, how it’s quite unfortunate that we won’t be able to witness the amazing Kobe Bryant continue his legendary status in terms of exercising his full potential. For example, training his young daughters to take over the WNBA, in terms of his writing and storytelling as well as his business acumen in general. Although, it is comforting to know he will be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame this coming summer with the likes of legendary player Tim Duncan. (Keep an eye out for a June post on embodying the Mamba Mentality #24). Yet Kobe was a man who lived like he was on a mission. He was on a mission to being the very best version of himself and we got to witness only 41 years of that greatness, it was still a great sight to behold.
It seems this quarantining period has left everyone with a lot of time on our hands as well as extra inspiration with all the posts we are seeing on the timeline these days. Moreover, a girl has gotta eat, so check out my attempt at making my version of a tomato based pasta and sweet pork meal combo.
1. Season the pork using salt, pepper, onions and any other seasonings you’d like (I added garlic paste and fresh strawberries to get the ‘sweet pork’ flavor). I also added a small twig of parsley for embellishment and further flavoring (the recipe I kinda followed actually used sage but #quarantine, so we use whatever we have in the house). Allow meat to marinade for about 30 – 45 mins.
2. Prepare your pasta by boiling in water with some salt. Allow pasta to drain and rinse with water to remove starch and prevent clumping together.
3. Pan fry your seasoned pork by turning each side periodically until meat has been fully cooked.
Note: you can add extra seasoning to the meat such as chili pepper for some added spice.
4. Prepare and boil tomato sauce (blend tomatoes, peppers and onions and boil it down) and add cooked pork pieces to the sauce. Allow to cook.
5. At this point I decided to add broccoli because #whynot ? But I would suggest adding your veggies to your meat just as it is about to be finished cooking so it can soak in extra flavor. (Or not, if you’re not a fan of veggies that’s cool too!)
6. Once sauce is cooked and everything is fried and nice, add your cooked pasta and stir. Allow to cook for another 10-15 mins.
7. Voila! Time to eat
(When food is life and you start eating before you take a final picture!)
During this time try and focus on resting, getting your mind and body right. Feel free to check out other recipes on the blog and share your own recipes!
So, I had started a series on Instagram last year known as #FridayFavs where I share some of my favorite things from that week. After much debate, I decided to turn this week’s Friday Favs into a post. This week my favorite things has been quite interesting and have been inspiring me on how to do the ‘adulting’ life right.
Movin’ On by Jonathan McReynolds ft Mali Music
First of all, let me just say!!!!! This song is me, I am this song as of right now. Lol. There are certain things in life we just have to get ourselves out of in order to progress to the next level. I don’t know about you but I’m trying to go from glory to glory and that literally means letting certain things and mindsets go. If you don’t know yet, I am a huge fan of Jonathan McReynolds and especially his real and relatable lyrics. This song is for the here and the now! For those of us that creating in one way or the other and that may be doubting ourselves and our content, remember what Paul said
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3: 13 – 14 (NIV)
And of course the talented Mr McReynolds reminds us in song form;
“I know my rear view
Can’t compare to
What God will do with my life,
I am forgetting
What’s behind me
I have finally decided
I’m movin on
I’m movin on”
Movin’ On lyrics by Jonathan McReynolds ft Mali Music
The Greater podcast
I just recently discovered this podcast and I am loving what they are all about! As a sister to men, an aunty to young boys and a friend, I am worried about the state of young men, especially Christian young men. They are also going to be leaders of the coming generation and I find that there tends to be a lot more content geared towards women and in building community among women, yet there isn’t much resources like that for young men. Therefore, I will continue to be an advocate as much as I can be for content to edify and inspire our upcoming generation of men. There were many gems dropped in the episode“20 somethings” Expectation vs Reality
Control is comfortable, which is why we start to panic and we do not allow room for God to lead and direct us. We want to remain in the state of security rather than to enjoy the life God has prepared for us. Would you rather choose comfort vs Life.?It all starts from learning to Trust God. We Trust God by constantly relying on Him and allowing Him to prove himself to us time after time.
The episode also discusses legacies, finances, relationships, and physical/mental health. Overall, it was such a dope episode!
Easter : The central point to the ministry and person of Jesus Christ & a pivotal event in Christianity.
Paul states in 1 Corinthians 1: 22-23 that;
“Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
But we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles”
The Jews may be represented by fundamentalists and religious people whilst the Greeks seeking wisdom represent the secular people of the world. Society teaches us that we should not believe until we see with our eyes and can reason with our minds. Yet, in order to be a Christian and set apart from the world, we are to hold on to Jesus Christ. These two groups and their distinct beliefs can be reconciled in the form of Christianity. There is a religious way to do life as well as a worldly way to do life but, the right way is through salvation in Jesus Christ and belief in the great work He did on the Cross.
We need the wisdom to know what to do and the power to do that right thing. This is where Jesus comes in. Some people know what to do but are unable to do it. Some people do the right thing without the knowledge of why and to what end they are doing that right thing.
Christ wants for us to repent which is to change our minds about our past sins, the ways we were living our life outside of Christ without thought of Him or committing our lives to Him. Sin isn’t just our bad habits or character flaws that our loved ones call us out for, neither is it the personality defects we try to cover from others. Sin is an inherent part of us as human beings. It is us living in complete disregard of God and living our lives to our own pleasure.
“The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so”
Romans 8:7 (NLT)
That is why even when we perform ‘good deeds’ by standard of the world because we aren’t submitted to Christ we are living in sin. The same for a believer who has given their life to Christ, but we forget to call God into our daily living and decision making, we are living in sin. Do you see how easy it is to live in this sinful nature? Our flesh always wants to do what it wants to do. Even when we have a good run for a bit, it is inevitable that our human side will flare up and want to run the whole show. This is why we need constant reliance on God. Run to Him and ask Him to help us rely on Him. That is difficult to do! We are taught to be self-reliant. Society tells us that the self-reliant are the people that do well and are successful in this world.
In today’s society where #adulting has become such a phenomenon, we are encouraged to figure things out by ourselves. While we may know we have a community of people to help us and that are willing, we inherently feel like a failure if we are not able to sort things out on our own. Now applying that to our walk in Christ whenever we fall or falter we want to make ourselves pretty once again before we approach the throne of mercy. But Christ wants us to come to Him as we are, so He can beautify us. If we try to work on ourselves on our own we will continue to fail woefully. We don’t have the right tools and resources to help ourselves. We need to rely on someone greater than us who has been through what we are going through and come out on the other side.
The Beauty in the Message
And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign”
Revelations 5:9 – 10 (NLT)
That is the beauty in the message of Easter. God so much loved us even though we can never fully reciprocate His love and give Him the full adoration He deserves. Yet, He sent his only Son to die and suffer so that we can enjoy unending joy, peace, so we can have purpose, so we can experience the life He gave us fully, so we can love deeply.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 (NLT)
Therefore, let us continue to love deeply, serve faithfully and
” I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 (NLT)
In the midst of this pandemic we have to realize that we are already victorious. Whilst that victory hasn’t physically manifested yet; we should consider the amazing scientists that are in the lab working on elucidating a remedy. There are hardworking healthcare workers on the front line helping those that have contracted this disease and the many other ailments people deal with on a daily basis. There are service workers working hard each day to ensure life works as normally as it can possibly be given the current situation. What we as individuals can do is work on building the victorious mindset and understand that ‘This too shall pass!”
We are all in this together
High School Musical couldn’t have summed things up better in their song. One of the things this pandemic has shown us as a human race is just how connected and interdependent we are in this world. When one person hurts we are all affected. Therefore, let us continue to practice social responsibility by quarantining, practicing great hygiene by washing our hands and avoiding touching our face and to continue to support and check up on each other.
Time to Focus
Rather than focus on what is going on and that which is out of our control, let us focus on what we can control during this period of waiting and anticipating.
We can recognize this as a moment to refresh, reset and be rejuvenated. It is easy to get distracted by the constant barrage by social media, the constant emails from companies we didn’t even know we are subscribed to – we can take a moment to appreciate what we do have. We have life, we have love and we have hope for a beautiful future!
Becoming Kingdom Minded
I am reminded of Tony Evans’ series on being Kingdom minded and I think that applies more than ever at this present time. We can become so convicted and assured that we are able to carry on doing that which God has called us to do, that is the ultimate peace of mind in times like these. Everything else pales in comparison to what we do to impact the kingdom. We have an opportunity to evaluate ourselves according to kingdom guidelines and to facing our Kingdom assignment.
“Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”
Romans 12: 3 NLT
Are we in tune with our mission? Is 2020 aligning with God’s vision for our lives?
I hope we are all encouraged with the truth that God is GOOD. When we are focused on the right things, when we are reminded of who and what God has made us to be, when we are kingdom minded, we are less susceptible to panic and worry. Remember that this too shall pass. This is a story we will be telling our children and generations to come to remind us of the goodness and faithfulness of God. How the whole world stopped and our humanity was put on display and we were united for a common cause.
Ultimately, only God knows the end from the beginning. Let us continue to run to Him and to Him.
May God continue to protect us all, grant wisdom to the researchers and strength to the healthcare and service workers.
To all my amazing queens out there doing great work and killing it in your spheres of influence, you are all greatly appreciated and celebrated!
The term ‘Year of the Woman’ was briefly revived in 2018 due to the high amount of women running for office in America. This was a term made popular in 1992, when a similar situation was occurring.
Well, in 2020 we are reclaiming our identities as women and not going to be waiting for a particular year or social phenomenon to celebrate the joys of womanhood. We can always take time to highlight some of the great things about being a Woman.
One of the great young women I know recently stated:
“What I love about being a woman is my ability to choose and be in control of my life as well as to live boldly. The growing movement of feminism has helped educate and create opportunities for women that were not available to our mothers and grandmothers. I feel privileged to be a 21st century woman with a voice.”
I definitely agree that one thing that we are very much privileged in in comparison to the older generation is that we have a voice.
The question now remains how will we use that voice and to what end?
For me the concept of being ‘A Girl on A Mission’ involves challenging the status quo and challenging societal expectations. The term ‘girl’ is usually frowned upon as everyone wants to be known and referenced as a ‘grown woman’.
But one of the things I love about being a young woman & ‘A Girl On A Mission‘ is the opportunity to be flexible and explore all I was made to be. If we can be nurturing mothers for our children, supportive wives for our husbands, loyal to our friends and respectful to our parents, then surely there is nothing we cannot do!
“God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.”
Psalms 46:5 (NIV)
March forth into greatness the rest of this year!
Exhaust your potential and know that the possibilities are endless.
With God on our side, there’s nothing we cannot achieve.
Continue to strive towards your #Vision2020 and pursue purpose in all you do.
I’m rooting for us all!
Happy #IWD2020 !
Also, check out the playlist to see some of the music today’s women are listening to!
It’s the turn of a new decade. As we celebrate black history this month as well as the various legacies being celebrated all around the world, we are all familiar with the general excitement and anticipation that comes with a new year. This year, ushered in the start of a new decade – the 2020’s. Whilst, it’s great to get excited about the newness of the year and the new decade, do you know what else makes life significant? When we CHOOSE to make life significant.
Kobe Bryant & Lois Evans
The world was recently shocked by the death of the late great basketball player and family man, Kobe Bryant in January 2020. It was a shock to go online and see the news of the tragic airplane crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, Alyssa Altobelli and her mother and father John and Keri Altobelli, Payton Chester and her mother Sarah Chester and their pilot Ara Zobayan. Their deaths was quite a shock and seemed to shake the world to its core. The sudden nature and the tragic way they died has really been a wake-up call to a lot of people to love their loved ones as much as they can and to do all they can with the life we’ve all been blessed with.
On the other hand, this is contrasted by the death of Lois Evans who passed away in December 2019 from a rare form of cancer. I absolutely love the Evans family. Of recent they have been showing me in their conduct and reactions what it means to live a life surrendered to Christ. I wrote about the tragic passing of Wynter Pitts (niece of Dr Tony Evans) in Summer 2018. Only, for the family to tragically lose their matriarch in December 2019. But for GOD. They are still moving forward and more than that they can attest to the legacy of a God-fearing woman who poured out her life for her family, her community and her GOD.
Legacy & Revolutionaries
As sobering as death can be especially sudden death, I find myself thinking about legacy. What would be the legacy for the deceased souls? What would be our legacy when the time comes that we leave earth and our physical bodies?
I was reminded of the famous term made popular during the black power movement. ‘The Revolution will be Televised’
Now is the time to do that thing placed on your heart to do. Only you can achieve that which God has commissioned you to achieve. The urban dictionary states that REVOLUTIONARY is a person who advocates immediate, drastic change, often using violence. Of course, we’re not condoning the use of violence. But let me just remind you what the Bible says
“And from the days of John the Baptist and till now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violence taketh it by force”
To me this verse is a call to action. But that raises the questions: What is the task at hand?
We all have various spheres of influence. Look at the life of Kobe Bryant and the worldwide impact he had. There were six other people on that helicopter crash and no one life was more important than the other but rather we see that each had different spheres of influence. Similar to Mrs Lois Evans, some may say she poured all her heart into her husband and her kids, that doesn’t necessarily indicate influence. But let me tell you by completing her mission on Earth, she has spurned generations of people on fire for Christ!
We need to start a revolution in our spheres of influence. Spark a change and challenge the status quo. There will be always be various distractions and various voices trying to steer us away from the way. However, we must be violent if we hope to achieve our mission in life. Now more than ever we see that the days are evil and nobody’s tomorrow is determined. We are all living each day intentionally and living each day with purpose. In all things I am even more vehement now more than ever to pursue purpose in every area of my life. I want to live life fully such that if tomorrow is my last day I can boldly say when I meet my savior;
I have poured out my life like a drink offering. I have done all I could do with all you have given to me.
I have been a good steward of the blessings and resources you have given me.
2020 is the year to do all that. We are all excited about #Vision2020. What if that Vision is to start a Revolution? Open your eyes and look around you. (Psalm 53:2)
Which is better? To have regret or to experience loss. Loss is inevitable but regret is a choice.
My goal in 2020 is to Pursue Purpose no matter what.
So if you’ve been keeping up with current trends this past summer, you may have seen a term being passed around known as ‘Hot Girl Summer’. I guess it’s supposed to encourage the ladies to be unapologetic about enjoying their summer and thriving. I find that usually during summer a lot of growth happens for me personally. I think takes me back to being in school and the contrast in the freedom and relaxation associated with the summer months. Summer is the perfect time for #LivingYourBestLife. Well since summer in Edmonton this year has been a bit of a bust, I decided to relive my summer expeditions and attempt a ‘Hot Girl Summer’ recap.
In addition, to celebrate ‘National Mental Day’ happening in October I decided to throwback to one thing that helps me de-stress and keep me mentally refreshed and rejuvenated: Travelling!
The first location in the summer recap is Ottawa, Ontario.
I was super privileged to have family that reside in the city and was able to spend some time with them as well as visit a few places around the city.
Spending time with family and friends really helps you to relive some of the stress you might be going through. Sometimes just talking to those that are closest to you can help offer insight and revelation to a problem you might be having. Remember, a problem shared is a problem half solved (at least shared with the right person…)
Our first stop was downtown Ottawa where we saw a lot of amazing exhibitions and statues celebrating the work of women in the community and within government. In light of the upcoming federal elections coming up this month, it was great to have visited the capital of Canadian politics this past summer. Getting to see Parliament Hill also known was ‘The Hill’ was pretty interesting. It was inspiring to see ‘The Famous Five’ monuments in the heart of downtown Ottawa who advocated for women and children’s rights.
It was even more monumental to be there with three different generations of young women. As well as to be wearing a shirt from the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Looking at the pictures reminds me of the quote (paraphrased):
‘Here’s to strong, creative, compassionate and loving women. May we know them, may we raise them and may we become them.’
So you have finally finished university and the world seems to be your oyster! So, what’s the next step? First of all congratulations to all graduates it is a great achievement and not an easy feat at all! It feels like those years fly by and before you know it you’re walking the stage and on the way to starting your forever life. I started writing this blog after I had graduated and attended my convocation ceremony in 2018, but I found that I didn’t necessarily have the answers to the many questions and fears I had. Moreover, I didn’t have much positive feedback. The wound was still fresh and the blues were still very much present. However, hindsight really is a beautiful thing and we thank God for his grace and wisdom.
When I was attending my convocation ceremony I remember the angst that prevented me from really enjoying the moment. Although I tried as much as I could which was largely due to my amazing parents and siblings who really made me feel special!( and friends too). But, it wasn’t after I attended the convocation ceremonies for my friends this year was I really able to enjoy the ceremony and take in all the greatness that surrounds starting and finishing something.
The bible states
“Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.”
Honestly no words could be more true. I realized that sometimes just for the simple fact that one finishes something we should be grateful to God for the grace and strength to follow through. Funny enough, it was at this year’s ceremonies that I found out there was supposedly spots designated to take pictures with props and such. Can you imagine how I missed out on taking some epic pictures?? Anyways, it is all in the past but I was grateful for the opportunity to see the experience from a different angle and to celebrate with those that achieved such an amazing feat.
A verse that really encouraged me during the period of waiting and trying to overcome the ‘blue’ feeling associated with graduating was;
“But forget all that– it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new. See, 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
I think one thing that was useful to understand is that every accomplishment in life marks a new stage in life. I remember researching and reading up during that period of time trying to understand why I just felt so discouraged and stressed. It was refreshing to see articles that spoke to how I was feeling and with tons of encouragement for moving forward (Dear Graduate, Joy , Post Grad). It isn’t all doom and gloom though. I found that I really tried to spend that time working on my relationship with God. Figuring out what exactly I wanted my career to look like. Having some tough conversations with myself as well as loved ones in the quest of getting to know myself better. Spin (or squeeze) whatever situation you are in into a positive one.
Generally, as human beings I believe we need to be more humble. Humble in the sense of being more caring . The biblical definition of humility in Philippians 2:3states
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. rather, in humility value others above yourselves,”
Although, there is a time for everything and a season for all things to be done right. I guess it’s all about having wisdom to recognize which season you are in. Whether you are in a season where you need others to pour into you and to receive the encouragement from those around you, ensure you are humble, patient and receptive to the (good) advice people give you. Meanwhile, you may also be in a position where you may not necessarily have received the manifestation of what you hope for, yet you are still able to pour out to others and advice those that were once in a position you were in. We require wisdom to be able to discern which seasons we are in and to act accordingly. Knowing that ‘whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, we do it all for the glory of God.’ (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Practical tips for actually overcoming those post-graduate blues
One of the things I am learning is that life after University really is what you make of it and the skills I learnt during my undergraduate years are being translated to my postgraduate life.