Living Single


“We are living single, Ooo in a 90’s kinda world, I’m glad I got my girls.
Keep ya head up, what?
Keep ya head up, that’s right!
Whenevea this life gets tough, you gotta fight”

Theme song from ‘Living Single’ tv show

Disclaimer: We are not professionals or experienced at all, we are only giving our opinions and sharing our thoughts. We feel unqualified to talk about this subject, but since you clicked on this post, I guess you are comfortable with unqualified individuals giving you our unsolicited advice on how to navigate your singlehood. Jk, We are also learning.

Welcome to the month of February! I am sure we are all excited to continue achieving great things and stop procrastinating (Check out the previous post for further encouragement!). Apart from the excitement of the great things we hope to accomplish, if you live in the Northern hemisphere of the globe, specifically, Canada, I’m sure you’ve been experiencing the bitter cold that the rest of us have been struggling through. Now, as this is the month of self-proclaimed ‘love’, what does it truly mean to love? And how does one love authentically as a single person? Hopefully this blog will help us stop struggling and help us start surviving the single blues.

I am pleased to have one of my very first ever collaborations on Musings with Mo, yayy! I decided to ask a few of my friends to collaborate with me in in this discussion. Note: As a twist we decided to use nicknames/alias to mix things up a bit.

Enjoy!

 

So ladies and gents, first of all what does love mean to you?

Mo: Love to me means commitment and dedication. Whether that is to God, a group of people which can be family and friends, to a particular individual which would be your life partner and then to a thing, which is the hobbies and passions we have.

Mr P: Love is a feeling you have for others whereby you care deeply about their health and well-being. Therefore you do things to improve those aspects.

Jabu: To me there is no better meaning of love than that found in 1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 8. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. In a relationship for instance, if a man was to call me names such as ‘you’re a loser/saddo/never amount to anything’ that’s not love…because that’s not kind.

Dawn: To me, love is sacrifice. It is putting somebody else’s welfare above your own.

ThatGymDude: In a relationship, love is about intimacy, you accept their flaws despite coming up with every reason not to. It is unconditional.

Next Level: Love in simple terms means to be like Christ. Love was the very foundation of our creation on this earth (For God so loved the world…) and our ultimate purpose is to love a.k.a. to be conformed to the image of Jesus. Love means loving a person with full knowledge of their numerous flaws. It is almost human nature to “love” a person who does everything pleasing in your eyes. A person with no faults of their own some people will say. It takes a special type of person to hate a person even though they are seemingly perfect. Those people’s craze don pass the normal level. I mean, what does it take to love a person who appears perfect? Is that really love? The true test of love, however, is loving a person despite their faults. Loving a person past the unveiling of the person’s true character. The good, the bad, and the ugly. To me, love is loving the unveiled me. Are you sure you’re ready for that future boo? Hehe. Jokes, please. I’m not like secretly mad or anything like that haha but I’m sure you get the gist.

ManLikeEmman: Love means trusting someone’s intentions.

What do you think is the purpose for singleness and what is its importance in helping us to love each other better?

Mo: I think singleness is useful for preparing us to love God first. We work on our shortcomings and allow the love of God to cleanse us and transform us into the image of Christ. Then, we can begin to love ourselves and the image of Christ that we are being transformed into. The older I get I realize that self-love is actually so important, beyond having the ability to love somebody else you have to be able to love yourself first.It is in the season of singleness that you learn self-love. That means loving your soul, spirit, mind and body. Anything that is toxic to that and doesn’t edify those areas, needs to go. #CutOutTheToxic. Moreover, singleness could equal uniqueness which means a time to be set apart. When someone is singled out they are set apart from the crowd, therefore why do we see it as a negative thing? It is a season where we must deal with ourselves, study ourselves through the lens of the word and fellowship with God and friends in order to fully develop into the individual and hopefully partner someday, that God has made us to be.

Mr P: The purpose of singleness is self development and self care. If you’re not healthy you can’t love properly.

Jabu: The purpose of singleness is to find yourself. To explore. To connect with our inner selves, with the God in us. To find strength and confidence within ourselves so that we are individuals who reflect singleness, a lone personality. That is an important trait to have even when in a relationship. To know one’s self allows us to love ourselves in such a way that we understand who we are and who we belong to. This brings about our identity. It is this identity which goes on to create room for us to love others.

Dawn: Honestly, I had never thought much about the purpose for singleness until I watched the first installment of Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church’s series, called “Relationship Goals,” on YouTube just this past weekend. The first part of the series was “Before the Person.” His teaching spoke to me, and after listening to it, I realized that before the person comes (i.e. during my singleness), I need to be founded first on the truth that only God suffices. This means that whatever situation I am in now, I should learn to see, appreciate, and enjoy Him in it. Pastor Michael said, “If God isn’t enough, no person will ever be.” So, to me the purpose of singleness is to learn how to be truly founded in God, so that when I finally meet him, if God wills that I do, I won’t be disappointed. The ability to love another human being doesn’t happen only when we enter a romantic relationship. Different “roles” or “duties” exist depending on the kind of love and/or relationship we’re involved in (e.g., friends, relatives, romantic); nevertheless, the essence of love, which to me is sacrifice, doesn’t change regardless of the type of relationship. Therefore, I would say that each season or stage of life, with singleness being one of them, has its own unique way of teaching human beings how to love each other better.

ThatGymDude: This is very difficult to explain. I think before getting into a relationship, you get to understand yourself better and figure out what you can bring to the table. Before this you should be rooted in yourself and your lifestyle. In my opinion without self love you cannot potentially love someone else. In terms of helping us love each other communication is number one.

Next Level: God said it wasn’t good for man to be alone. God also gave us the Holy Spirit whom Jesus referred to as another comforter. Jesus was our comforter on earth. This shows that God places a huge emphasis on communion. Man cannot be ‘alone’. The only choice we have is who we choose to couple ourselves with. Before I go any further, let me put a disclaimer that life is a constant learning process and as a result, I might say a few things that I will need to grow from or improve my perspective on. Back to our talk – I do not think anyone has a void that can only be filled by another person a.k.a. significant other a.k.a. the sugar in my tea, the groundnut in my garri, the palm oil in my ofada stew. I believe the only void each and every human on this earth has is a God-void. Unfortunately, quite a number of people go in desperate search seeking only after momentary pleasures. That being said, the word from God clearly states that two is better than one. The purpose for singleness is to get you prepared for the war. Two soldiers train for days on, weeks even, and then appear on the battle day to fight the war together. However, if one trains really hard, and the other is not prepared, the latter will likely be a liability to the former in achieving the goal which is to win the war. Even worse, if both soldiers come unprepared for the battle. Well, that’s a disaster waiting to happen. That is how I look at singleness versus married-ness lol. You both (i.e. you and your boo) need to be prepared to fight the “war” together. You need to condition your mind, spirit, and body before entangling with someone else. The purpose of singleness is that preparation period for what is to come. To me, the “war” is fulfilling purpose. You are both striving to fulfill God’s purpose for your lives, and you can do that better together. For two is indeed better that one. However, you need to be prepared. Don’t go to the battleground without training. That’s a recipe for disaster

ManLikeEmman: I don’t really understand the question but I don’t think there is any purpose to singleness. It’s just life. Not everyone gets married or in a relationship.

Continue reading “Living Single”

Just Do It

Happy New Year and Happy New Month in advance!

Lol, I know it’s a little bit late but you know I guess it’s better late than never right? I hope 2019 has gotten off to a great start for everyone. This year I have tried to make intentional decisions and choices to help better myself. I know intentional seems like a strange word to use, however to me it makes perfect sense.

I do not want to give the usual spiel on ‘New Year New Me‘ because honestly I think we are always constantly changing and evolving. A new year just makes the change grandiose and makes us feel special and important. In other to truly be effective in life we must learn how to adapt and make the necessary changes at each point in our lives to be an effective individual and adult.

For me that has meant learning to trust God and just getting things done. According to Hebrews 11:1(NLT)

“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”

One cannot have faith in God if we are living in our comfort zone and therefore not exercising faith. I have learnt that taking risks is vital to keeping our faith muscles stretched. Enough of thinking about something and pondering the pros and cons because that is a great excuse to actually getting stuff done.

Ecclesiastes 5: 3 states

‘Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool.” 

This means thinking too much aka ‘activity‘ can cause you to be directionless and the vision/dream becomes useless because rather than focusing on one aspect because you’ve been overthinking you start seeing multiple dimensions and different angles that you really should not be worried about at the beginning stages. Also, as much as it is important to seek counsel because it states in Proverbs 15:22 that

Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”

At the same time I find that sometimes as human beings we are premature in sharing our ideas. Work on building something first if you can before sharing it publicly. Yes, you will definitely need advice from a select group of specific people but as Ecclesiastes 5:3 says don’t share too much.

Continue reading “Just Do It”

Songs for the Seasons

  1. Tye Tribbett, If He Did It Before…Same God

‘Please be, encouraged, this is not the first storm you’ve been through
You’ve been through worse, you didn’t come this far just to lose
He knows your needs, so take no thoughts on what you lost
God will restore, and this is how I’m sure’

#TurnUpforJesus, #EncourageYourself,

 

2. Nathaniel Bassey ft Chigozie Achugo, You Are God

‘You’ve got times and seasons in your hands
You called for light out of darkness
You don’t need a man to be the God you are
But in your mercy, you’ve called us your own’

#MercifulGod, #GodIsStillGod

beautiful

#IntentionalGrowth

Mo 🙂 x

Seasons

‘You change your life by changing your heart’

Max Lucado

seasons

This quote relates perfectly to the current winter season we are experiencing in North America. We have been quite privileged to have enjoyed a fairly late winter but as expected the inevitable occurred and on Friday 2nd November, barely a second day into the new month, our familiar friend was back.

 

Although, you could hear the murmurs and complaints from everyone about the woes and struggles of dealing with snow. However, gradually you could also sense some sort of relief that the expected had occurred. No more bated breaths and dreaded anticipation, winter had finally arrived. This apparent and physical change in season made me realize that there is beauty in the waiting period and in the different seasons of life.

As a young adult trying to navigate my way through life and fulfilling my purpose, one of the verses that stood out to me, particularly this summer, has been Ecclesiastes 3:11

‘He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from the beginning to end.’

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

This verse reiterates the whole idea of trusting God and the fact that HE is the one who makes all things beautiful in its time. Understanding that God has a plan and purpose which everything else in our lives must surrender to, it takes the pressure off us to think we can determine how things will always go in our lives. Plus, who doesn’t  want a beautiful life right?

The idea of the ‘heart’ also really stands out. Both the Max Lucado quote and the bible verse reference the power of the heart. This leads me to one of my favorite verses at this current season in my life (see what I did there..lol),

‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.’

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV).

For me this raises the question, why is it so important to be able to control our heart and all that inhabits within it? And what is the role of our heart disposition in our perspective on the life seasons we experience?

Well, according to Proverbs 4:23, all that we do flows from our heart. Therefore, the manner in which we see our current seasons  will be affected by what is in our heart. As human beings in our infallible nature, Jeremiah 17: 9 explains that  “the human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?’ Ouch! As painful as that is to swallow we must digest and think about that. Honestly, a lot of times when we complain about our current season, whether academically, career wise, financially, in our relationships and so on, it is usually from a place of selfishness and wanting to have what we see others having or from our own personal human desires. Now, I do not believe it is wrong to have desires and aspirations to prosper and succeed. But, as Christians if we have surrendered to God and say we trust Him with our lives, surely his will for us should always come first?

Interestingly, Jeremiah 17:7 states

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.”

I am coming to the understanding that sometimes what the world classifies as ‘blessed’ may not always constitute to what the Bible classifies as blessed. I read somewhere that God is more interested in refining our character that in giving us what we want.

Food for thought: what if that difficult season we are in is being used to prune our bad habits and character traits to be replaced with Godly habits and traits.

This is why it’s very important to guard our hearts because it determines our perspective and can affect the mindset we have about our life seasons. Sometimes, our situation may not change but because we change our heart and the way we view that current season, then we can begin to see the blessings in that current season. Also, understand that because the ‘human heart is the most deceitful of all things’ nothing can ever truly satisfy us. Once we have obtained that which we think we need, there is always another level we strive to attain. But, if we learn to allow our minds to be transformed through the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2), then surely this renewal will flow to our heart and eventually we will enjoy and not just endure every life season we encounter.

However, we also know that no condition is permanent and in the words of Tye Tribbett, ‘If He (God) did it before, He’ll do it again.” Let us keep trusting in God while asking him to work on our hearts so when we move on in our life seasons we continue to pursue an intimate relationship with God and not just what He could do for us.

 

Happy Winter y’all!

#IntentionalGrowth

Mo 🙂 x

Women Crush Wednesday

The term WCW is known on the world wide web to mean Woman Crush Wednesday and I was just thinking about some of the awesome women I know that constantly inspire me with how they are fearlessly living in their purpose. Besides, gratitude is one characteristic I really hope to develop and I don’t know if you remember my post on the ‘Importance of Finding your Tribe’ (if you haven’t already you should totally check it out!). But, these are some of the people that motivate me daily to fostering and developing my own ‘tribe’.

One of those people is Adetuke Morgan whom I connected with on Instagram about 2 years ago. It was during a time where I was looking for female trumpeters so that I could observe their playing techniques. I actually discovered her blog first and intrigued and inspired by her skills on the saxophone. I really think it’s important to have someone that is a mentor of sorts. Even if they may not know us personally, it is still useful to surround one’s self with people that we admire in one way or another. Recently, one of the people I’ve been following who happens to be a female trumpeter and a Christian (#fangirlmoment) is Arnetta Johnson. She recently concluded a world tour with the Carters (Beyonce and Jay Z). For someone who had been searching so long for someone I could look up to in that area, I am super excited. I mean someone apart from the Louis Armstrong and Roy Eldridge of yesteryears. Don’t get me wrong, they are still legends in their own right but times have changed and styles have evolved.

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In terms of service and transparency another of my WCW is the amazing Tomi Comforts! I have known her personally and I must say I am incredibly inspired by her walk with Christ and how she is living a life of service by teaching and edifying the body of Christ through the word. I recently listened to one of her podcasts which funnily enough was on crushes. She has a guest with her on her podcast as she discusses several issues pertaining to Christian young adults navigating their walk with Christ in this fallen world. One of the things I have learnt from listening to her speak is that God places a huge emphasis on us fulfilling purpose (and we should too!). At all times and no matter the cost we should always place Christ first.

flexing

One of the traits I totally appreciate in someone like Yvonne Orji, is how she is able to authentically be herself and be comfortable in her purpose and in her lane that she is able to celebrate her friends and loved ones without restraint. She is genuinely happy for those around her and is always the first to applaud and celebrate them when they succeed. Those are the kind of traits I really hope to be able to emulate. Even in the midst of her own success, she still continues to be the light God has called her to be and unapologetically celebrates her friends and loved ones whilst working her butt off as well. Now that’s #BlackGirlMagic

three women sitting on bench
Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Now, this was a bit of a late entry but I have been following MoChunks for a little while now. You need to go watch her testimony video on YouTube to understand what I am talking about. I saw a post on Instagram which spoke about Transparency vs Vulnerability. MoChunks was absolutely vulnerable with sharing her God experience and her testimony on her channel! I love her authenticity and her grasp on the idea of grace. Grace is such a huge topic that I feel we all need to learn about. Understanding that everyone is at a different stage in their journey with Christ and that we are all sinners and infallible beings that are loved and saved by a perfect God, it should make us more tolerant of our brothers and sisters. You never know what someone is going through or why they may be acting the way they are. Not giving an excuse but God has a purpose for each and every one. No matter how far gone we may think an individual is God still has a beautiful and wonderful plan for their life. I am so inspired by her story and her relationship with Christ. It’s encouraging to see young adults who are real about their walk with Christ.

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Beyond the online world, I am constantly inspired by the great group of friends God has surrounded me with and even within my own immediate family. It is so funny when we pray for an awesome community and we are also intentional about building such community, God really shows up and shows out, beyond our wildest imaginations. I see people walking fearlessly in their purpose and doing great things either career wise, family wise, business wise or in ministry. I think it is very important to intentionally see how God is working in the life of the people He places around us. I am reminded of my post earlier this year about being ‘Intentional’. That is definitely something I have tried to work on this year and I am not yet sure how successful I have been in that area but, rather than wallow in the pit of self-pity during this season of waiting, I am intentionally going to celebrate the awesome women that surround me.

 

Who’s your WCW?

#IntentionalGrowth

Mo 🙂 x

September

Happy New Month!  I know it’s kinda late but you know what they say, better late than never right…

Happy September

I can’t believe we are in the last quarter of this year.  It totally baffles me how this year has flown by so quickly. However, it’s not over yet! One thing I am looking forward to with eager anticipation this month is for new experiences of old things, learning to be content and wait on God and working to do whatever one’s hands finds to do.

 

Here are some of my favorite sayings, verses, and songs for this month.

 

  1. Open Door by Fountain of Life Choir. Okay, so I randomly found this song on YouTube and I tell you it has been such an encouraging and upbeat tune and the words feel so right for this current season. So if you’re looking to God for something and are expectant for what the next quarter may hold, trust that God is working things out behind the scenes. I heard recently during a sermon at church, the symbolism of the month of September as the month of ‘breaking forth’ new ground. It is the ninth month of the year which is a representation of the pregnancy period and eventual birthing of a baby. New ideas, visions and ventures are about to take place, but the reality is are we truly ready? For me this song captures the joy and jubilation that comes with declaring that this month as one of breakthrough.

 

  1. Surrounded (Fight My Battles) by UpperRoom. The song says ‘It may look like I’m surrounded but I’m surrounded by You.’ This reminds me of the passage in the Bible where Elisha, who was a prophet of God, prays that God should open the eye of his servant. It wasn’t that the servant was physically blind but he was consumed with fear because a great army of warriors known as the Arameans were encamped around their house, looking to capture both Elisha and his household. Whenever our troubles seems to overwhelm us and it seems like we are all alone, remember 2 Kings 6:16 “Don’t be afraid! For there are more on our side than on theirs!”           Just because it looks like its a losing battle does not mean it actually is, because guess what; looks can be deceiving.

 

  1. African Praise Medley by The Gratitude COZA is an ultimate pick me up if you need to get your dancing shoes on in preparation for the awesome things that are about to happen this new month!

 

  1. 2 Corinthians 4:18: “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now, rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.’  Let us focus on Jesus during the remaining quarter of this year and watch him turn things right side up in our lives!

 

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:58: “With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.”                         Only that which we do for Christ matters and lasts.

 

  1. “Gifts are free, but maturity is expensive.’ Bill Johnson. God freely and happily gives us gifts we must be willing to invest in that gift so it can mature. What are you investing in this month?

 

  1. ‘God anoints the areas we are weak to show that he is strong’ Lisa Bevere in her recent book Adamant.

 

  1. Excerpt from Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver:             “God wraps up my good with your good and the good of both of us with the good of others. The plot lines of our individual stories weave together to form his master plan. Nothing is wasted. Nothing is left out. There are no dead ends or red herrings; every story line is given his greatest attention, his diligent care. Your story matters to Jesus…”

Adamant

  1. Make Room by Jonathan McReynolds is one of my favourite songs from his album!(In fact you should go check out the whole album, it is amazing, another great song is Lover of My Soul). We can overcome by the word of our testimony and through declaration. If it is compulsory, we should make vocal declaration to stick with God in this upcoming quarter so that he can break forth His glory in us.         ‘So I will make room for You I will prepare for two So You don’t feel that You can’t live here, Please live in me.’

Vessel

What is a Vessel?

Merriam-Webster defines it as a ‘container for holding something’. The second most common definition of vessel was ‘a person into whom some quality (such as grace) is infused.’

I remember as a teenager listening to  choir ministration at church on being a vessel for God. I will never forget that song because the lyrics really resonated with me even at a young age. Apart from the great musical mastery, the fact that it was sung in English and Yoruba made even more of an impact on me and my view of my service to God.

inspiration

I believe the chorus went something like this;

I want to be an instrument of praise O Lord, in your hands

I want to be an instrument of praise.

E mi fe je, ohun elo iyin ni Oluwa, ni owo re

E mi fe je, ohun elo iyin ni.

One of the things I feel grows in one’s heart is the desire to serve God. That desire to fulfill purpose. That is our heart’s deepest heart cry and it is what truly gives one satisfaction in life. Once we find Jesus and start chasing after him, hoping to know more of him and become like him, only then can our soul be truly satisfied. Especially when we taste and see that the Lord is good. When  working in our purpose, it does something to our soul, such that even in the midst of meeting deadlines and handling our business, we find ourselves at rest. That is the same with dwelling in the presence of God. It gives a certain peace that cannot really be described.

Vessel

So I recently listened to a sermon by Tolu Odukoya-Ijogun on YouTube titled ‘Vessel’ and it really inspired me. She spoke about the fact that God is ALWAYS looking for people to use because his people need to be encouraged and fed. What qualifies us is our availability. How available are we really? I mean when I really think about this it blows my mind. Especially living in a society where we are so huge and adamant about what skills and qualifications we have. Yet, God as the creator of the universe and galaxies says in order to work in my organization, the most important ability you require is availability. Man, that is incredibly humbling.

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For me this requires understanding that it is not about the individual. All I have to do is make myself available and have faith that;

‘He that began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’

Philippians 1:6

As someone with a lot of time on my hands now, I realize that because one isn’t doing something does not necessarily mean one is available. As we wait patiently on God for him to ‘find’ or ‘call’ us we can always find something to do. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop as they say. So, how are we pursuing purpose? I do not want to give a false perception that purpose is a clear and well defined path. Rather, what I am discovering is that our discovery and manifestation of our purpose goes hand in hand with our faith. We showcase our faith through our actions by trying out our hands at whatever we find to do.

We cannot claim to have faith in God if we haven’t gone out of our comfort zone and asked outrageous things from him. What could be more outrageous than entrusting our whole entire life and existence into his hands?

‘In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.’

James 2:17

How do we doing this though practically?

Some questions to consider may be;

  • What gives you joy?
  • What do you seem passionate about?

Even if you do not know, do not be afraid to try things out!

‘Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.’

Ecclesiastes 9:10

We should not be afraid to get involved either on campus with student groups, within our local church or our community. It isn’t necessarily about one’s ability but more about your availability. Availability is to do with us placing ourselves in positions where we can thrive and develop new skills. Things we may do now may not seem to make sense or have any connections but

‘God is working all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.’ (Romans 8:28)

So, whether it is working out or not, God is working it out for our good. Also remember that God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.

prayers

So may we all continue to be intentional and diligent in making ourselves available to be used by God in Jesus name. Amen.

(Listen: Travis Greene ‘Instrument’)

#IntentionalGrowth

Mo 🙂 x

Soul Refresh

Guess Who’s Back?? Back Again. Mo Mo’s back. Tell a friend. 😀

curry

It has been way too long and I know I took a bit of an impromptu and unplanned break from the blog but as I say self-reflection is so vital and you cannot be giving from a well which is dry. I needed a break from this whole writing thing to refocus myself and my priorities as well as finishing some important things first.

Now I have missed blogging sooo much but somehow anytime I tried to sit down and write, it felt almost like I had writer’s block. Even though I know if I searched deep within me I had so much to write about. But I think sometimes for me at least it was that there were certain things I was expecting and waiting on God for. I felt that by withholding this and doing what I believe God called me to do, I would force God to give me what I wanted. I was trying to negotiate with God. Lol, #MasterNegotiator

Anyways, slowly I began to realize that I was only punishing myself  and not God to be honest. God does not require me to do his work. He will always raise up other helpers and other hands. I was only missing out on the benefits of working for my Father who soooo dearly and so intensely loves me. Moreover, I was also missing out on writing and expressing myself. Something that has actually been such a huge help in helping me process my thoughts and feelings. Trust me, I can see a huge difference in how I process my thoughts and emotions when I took my little ‘hiatus’.

 

Now, this isn’t supposed to be all about me telling myself off for my misbehavior, but it is to encourage others who at times may feel overwhelmed and unqualified to do whatever God may have called us to do. Even if you aren’t sure it is God’s calling because one is unable to discern God’s voice or for whatever reason. We are unable to do something that is weighing heavy on our hearts to accomplish, I always find it useful to ask myself very honestly and bluntly, why am I doing this?

Now, when answering this question we must be brutally and totally honest with ourselves. In whose name are we going forth and carrying out our work? At first I thought going on holiday and getting away from my normal routine would help to refresh me and take away whatever dark cloud that seemed to have settled on my mind and fingers preventing me from thinking of ideas or even writing anything down. But, guess what?

 

That was a major fail because as soon as I got back to my normal routine things did not progress. In fact, things got worse. Lol, like that could be possible. Instead, I started feeling even more guilty that perhaps there really was something wrong with me, maybe God didn’t put this thing on my heart to start, maybe it was my human desire to start it and I just sort of attached God’s name to it so it’ll appear more valid. I felt like a fraud and a failure. Unable to finish what I had started. Even more I felt like I was deceiving myself thinking that I could sustain this. And I was definitely right about something. There was NO WAY I could have sustained writing this on my own. Only God can help me.

 

Since #vacationvibes could not help me, I then tried reading a book called ‘Refuel’ by Rob Parkman.  As a lover of words and the possibility they have to accomplish so many things in our human minds, I was quite hopeful and expectant for what I believed this book could do for me. However, once again as you might have guessed, some things in life require practical and physical action and not just theoretical and hypothetical solutions. I had to find a way to apply what I was reading to my actual life.

Refuel

I guess the first step I took to truly getting the refresh my soul required and was desperately crying out for was to change my mindset. Changing my thought patterns impacted my behaviour and thus helped me make better choices which I hope will me form healthier habits. I had to realise that it was perfectly fine to feel overwhelmed or burnt out. But, it was not perfectly fine to stay wallowing in that pit of self-pity and burnt-outness (for the sake of this post, that is now a word. 😀 ). Honestly, I put way too much pressure and high esteem on myself to think that I had to find a way to keep putting out content and appealing to the masses. If God started something surely would He not finish it and even sustain it. I had tried to place myself in the position of God and try and do things myself (coincidentally, I am very guilty of doing this in almost every other aspect of my life, God is helping me sha). But, honestly, I had to first change my thoughts and quieten all the negative thoughts that told me I wasn’t good enough, I was a failure or that how could I encourage people when I had nothing significant that others could aspire to be.

It still is a journey to making smarter choices when such thoughts come into my head to banish them to whatever pit they came from, and ensuring to only surround myself and my mind with people and things that speak life to my life and situation. Some verses that specifically helped me get back on track with blogging and which funnily was brought back to my remembrance through a post by Dr Jackie Greene (@drjackiegreene on Instagram) was Isaiah 40:29 – 31

“He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

Even youths WILL become weak and tired, and young men WILL fall in exhaustion.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

I emphasized the fact that on our own we WILL get tired and feel frustrated. But the key is that we trust in God. One of the things I have been really working on this year has been to trust in God. Let me tell you something! It is so much easier said than done. At the start of this year when I wrote about trusting in God, I can just imagine God laughing at me thinking this girl does not know what journey and trials she is about to embark on. Honestly, I can say that it has been so challenging and tough in so many ways and I just really did not expect it. Somehow, I had this glorified idea that yeah sure things will be tough but God’s got me right, I’ll be alright. Well, God got me but I didn’t got God. I relied way too much on myself even when I felt like I was trusting God. Keyword: Felt. Moreover, I started placing people in the place of God. Sometimes speak to God about your problems and not people. People can only do what God allows them to do for you, so why not take our worries and fears to him first

Before this post becomes more than I envisioned it to be, let me end here. I guess this just means there’s plenty more content for latter posts! But honestly, I am starting to think that all this whole experience was so that God could bring things to a full circle and teach me what it really means to trust Him. The funny thing is I actually prayed for this. Hmm, you berra be careful what you wish and pray for !

On a last note, I recently graduated with my BSc and as many recent graduates will tell you, I entered into this phase of the unknown and being kind of anxious for what my next step would be.

IMG_8986

But, just like in the above image, things may seem blurry, the picture may not be perfect of the beautiful future God has planned for us, (Trust me it’s soo beautiful, that words simply cannot even describe it), but God is the light at the end of the tunnel  with a huge smile on his face, his arms wide open and a huge thumbs up waiting to celebrate and welcome us into his great and glorious plan for our lives. Let us not give up and let us not grow weary of doing good, because in the right time (Not our time or the time of those around us) we will reap a harvest IF we do not give up (paraphrase of Galatians 6:9)

#IntentionalGrowth

Mo 🙂 x

Identity (Names) Pt 2

We cannot love ourselves and nor can we accept the love of others as we should, not until we understand the love God has for us.

Identity plays such a key role in the understanding of our purpose. I have been following a bible study series started at Church titled,  ‘Who is Jesus?’ and it has been quite interesting and instructive. This has led me to ask ‘Who am I?’. I am thankful for the great and thought provoking conversations had with loved ones of recent (thank God for Godly community) because it is showing me the importance of identity.  It seems a  lot of the identity issues we face may be due to a lack of understanding of our savior Jesus Christ and thus who He has made us to be. On the contrary, it may be due to being identified by a past version of ourselves which prevents us from manifesting in our true identity.

 

“As a child of God, which we are already, we cannot be striving to be something that we already are, all that remains is for us to show and allow that identity to come out.”

We are to wear Him as our protection by ‘trusting in Him’, we are to see Him as the supplier of all our needs by ‘hoping in Him’ and we are to live like He is our supreme treasure by ‘loving Him’.

 

Case studies;

  • In the last post I spoke about the Caesarea Philippi story (one of my favorite stories!) and the idea that Peter correctly recognized and identified Jesus. Peter who was previously known as Simon experiences a change in identity as well as a change in came when Jesus refers to him as ‘Peter’ or Cephas which means Rock. Jesus stated that ‘on this rock I will build my church’ (Matthew 16:18) which is quite interesting because it hints at Peter’s role and purpose in establishing and sharing the gospel of Jesus among the Jews of the time.

 

  • In the old testament, we are introduced to Jacob, (whose name means ‘supplanter’) who is presented as a deceiver and manipulator because he tricks his older brother Esau out of his birthright and blessings. I would say this is why we cannot allow the world to tell us who we are. One can argue that was what his parents named him and  how everyone around him referred to him was what he came to emulate. The same people that called him Jacob aka ‘trickster’ were shocked when he started living up to his name. (#Confusion.com?) But guess what?  When Jacob encountered the living God, the fervency and   intentionality that was part of his nature overtook his old identity and resulted in his name and identity change to ‘Israel’. The name ‘Israel’ refers to the chosen people known as the Israelites, who were the promised descendants of Abraham. (Check out ‘The Bible Project’ on YouTube for a better explanation of this lineage!). Basically, he becomes known as the father of Joseph and one of the forefathers of the Israelites. Pretty cool, right?

 

  • And of course the quintessential example is the great man himself; Jesus Christ. ‘Christ’  (Messiah) means the anointed one and ‘Jesus’ is similar to the Greek/Hebrew name, Joshua which means God is salvation. This clearly identifies and states the purpose of Jesus Christ, he was the Savior of the world and humanity by dying for our sins on the Cross, he was the anointed and appointed one.

 

“Who you are is a result of who you were, but where you end up depends entirely on who you choose to be from this moment forward.”     Hal Elrod

‘When you know the Word of God, you know the character of God’    Sadie Robertson

“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”   1 Peter 2:9

‘ The biblical understanding of human self-identity is radically God-centered. As a Christian, one cannot talk about identity without talking about God’s action towards us, about our relationship with God and about the purpose of God for us.’

God has given us our specific and unique identity so that His identity might be proclaimed in the world through us since  we are all made in God’s image.

I pray for everyone seeking to find identity and discover who they are and all that God has called them to be. May God continue to reveal Himself to us and reveal who He has made us to be. May He grant us the grace to boldly and intentionally pursue that purpose He has given us, and thus exhibit the identity He has prepared for us. May we be strengthened to make the necessary changes and adjustments, if needed, to manifest our true identity in Christ. In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

 

 

#IntentionalGrowth

Mo 🙂 x (aka Morenike, MamaT, Renny, MK, …. Daughter of The King, Girl On A Mission)

 

 

 

Identity

As we are all aware the month of February is the designated month of ‘Love’ or ‘Luuurve’. Anyways, it is the month where we celebrate Valentine’s day in honor of St Valentine  (or Valentinus) who was a Roman priest in the 3 C.E who defied a decree that prevented young soldiers from getting married. St Valentine was believed to have performed secret weddings for these young lovers. St Valentine is also believed to have helped Christian prisoners escape the harsh and torturous Roman prisons. It is also Black History Month in American and North American countries, the annual celebration of achievements within the black community. This year in particular has been highly celebrated on social media due to the release of the blockbuster ‘Black Panther’ (watch out for my movie review!).

It can be quite easy to become lost in these different traditions and start to believe that is where one’s identity lies. As much as I want to celebrate both of these things, I have to remind myself that, identity isn’t defined by relationships or by our ethnicity. Rather, our thirst for identity can only be satisfied through the person of Jesus Christ.

First of all, I do believe an important thing to do is to avoid being defined by what people and society say that we are. It is so important to guard your heart against all things because from it flows the course of your life. By nature human beings are flawed and our ideas and thoughts are constantly changing. This is evident in the ever changing trends we see in the mainstream today. For example, he resurgence of 90’s era trends in music and fashion. It makes you wonder, who decides and when was it decided when certain trends would be come cool or stop being cool anymore. Anyways, I digress. The truth is our identity is not defined by what we say we are or by what society says we are because all these things change. People are fleeting just like our thoughts are also fleeting. Therefore, that goes to show that our identity must be anchored in something that is sure, something that is changeless and solid. That anchor is God. Whenever we feel that we may be losing our sense of self or that our true identity is being altered by what other people say, that is when we should resort back to the Word.

When I talk about the word of God, it can be in different forms. For example,  through inspired songs, I recently discovered  ‘ Solid Rock’ by Tash Cobbs Leonard ft Jamie Grace.

“I can lean on You and You won’t move

I can cry to you and You won’t move

I can trust You cos You’re my

Solid, my solid rock

You are solid, my solid rock.”

God is the only solid rock that we can turn to and who can honestly comfort us in the way we need to be comforted. Through his son Jesus Christ, God has literally experienced all types of pain and suffering we could possibly encounter. That is why it is very important that we go to him alone for our validation. When our foundation is Christ, our future is secure and our identity is sure

If you are a bit more old school then you check out the lyrics from the classic hymn;

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

 

I once read that ‘Our greatest emotional need is for intimacy.‘ That is for someone to truly love us for who we are, one who is a true friend and that for lack of better term ‘sticks closer than a brother’. That is why as young children we all long for a ‘best friend’.

Timothy Keller states that

“To be fully loved, but not fully known is shallow

To be fully known but not fully loved is our greatest fear

But, to be known and fully loved is our heart’s deepest desire.”

The bible’s answer to mankind deepest desire can be seen in Matthew 11:28 

“Come to me , all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

What are the heavy burdens we carry? Well these are the negative thoughts that clog up our minds that try to cause us to fall.

Did you know that the enemy studies us in order to bring up past insecurities or remind us of our past failures so we are unable  to move forward into God’s purpose for our life? ( If you haven’t already, do check out ‘Cycles’ by Jonathan McReynolds and pay close attention to the lyrics). This is why we need to study ourselves and figure out our weaknesses – this can only happen when we spend time with Christ. Studying God and His word can reveal to us who we are as well.

Don’t get me wrong, love is a beautiful thing and self-love is very important. However, our deepest desire for intimacy can only be satisfied by one person and that is God. To be loved and valued for who we really are and the only person that can actually fulfill that is God.  I think back to the story in the Bible when Jesus and the disciples were at Caesarea Philippi and Jesus asked his disciples ‘Who do people say I am?’. I find it interesting that although the disciples reply with various answers. Jesus instead asks the disciples directly “But, who do you say I am?’.

These are the people that have been walking closely with God right, the ones that should be able to some extent correctly define who He is. Peter then goes on to state “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Because Peter correctly states the identity of Christ his identity as the ‘rock’ is solidified (#punintended).

Matthew 16: 18 “Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”

The name Peter or Petros means “the rock” which through his correct identification of the person of Jesus, his identiy is solidified. Did you know that Peter is one of the first disciples to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Is that shocking? Absolutely not, Jesus had already spoken into his life. Peter could only have correctly identified Christ because he had been paying attention to God, he had been studying him, communing with him and seeking intimacy with him. Peter was in the ‘inner circle’. We cannot correctly identity and walk in our purpose if we do not spend time with Christ, developing intimacy so He can reveal our true identity to us.

FirstLovedUs

We cannot love ourselves and nor can we accept the love of others as we should, not until we understand the love God has for us.

 

#IntentionalGrowth

Mo 🙂 x

 

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