12 Shades of Thinking (and FREE e-book!)

 

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details.

 

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My Thinking Corner

(NB: Lady Cee aims to participate in this blog challenge on alternate Tuesdays)

 

 

Today’s theme word is THINKING and the thoughts I share in this post are a slightly modified version of a devotional, taken from the UCB Word For Today (February-April 2017), written by Bob and Debbie Gass.

 

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In his book Thinking for a Change, Dr John Maxwell discusses eleven different types of thinking. They are:

  • Big picture thinking: the ability to think beyond yourself is required in order to process ideas from a ‘faith’ perspective.
  • Focused thinking: the ability to think with clarity on issues by removing distractions and mental clutter
  • Creative thinking: the ability to break out of the box and explore ideas and options in order to experience a breakthrough
  • Realistic thinking: the ability to build a solid foundation on facts, to think with certainty
  • Strategic thinking: the ability to implement plans that give direction for today and increase your potential for tomorrow
  • Possibility thinking: the ability to unleash your enthusiasm and hope to find solutions for even seemingly impossible situations
  • Reflective thinking: the ability to revisit the past in order to think with understanding
  • Questioning popular thinking: the ability to reject common thinking and accomplish uncommon results
  • Shared thinking: the ability to include others who can help you think ‘over your head’ and achieve greater results
  • Unselfish thinking: the ability to consider others and their journey, to think with collaboration
  • Bottom-line thinking: the ability to focus on results in order to reap the full potential of your thinking
  • Spiritual thinking: the ability to think in line with the mind of Christ. One God-given thought can change your life! (NB: this last added by Bob & Debbie Gass).

 

Wow! I don’t know about you but I find Maxwell’s thoughts about thinking refreshing and challenging. It made me want to further explore what he has to say in his book.

If you feel the same way, you can apparently download this book for free at: http://www.productmanualguide.com/download/thinking-for-a-change-john-maxwell-pdf.pdf (note: you will be asked to set up a FREE account)

OR

You can purchase a copy from Amazon

Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

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*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

CREDIT: above graphic is a CC0 image courtesy of Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com) 

 

Please share your response to this post in the comment box below and if you enjoyed reading, consider sharing it with your social media network(s).

Many thanks in anticipation!        

How Are You Using Your Gift of Imagination?

You will always move in the direction of your strongest and most dominant thought.

 

One of the most beautiful gifts God has given you is your mind. There are two major functions of your mind. One is your memory, the other is your imagination. Both are God-given gifts that can help or hurt you. Your memory will photograph, file and replay pictures of your past. Your imagination, on the other hand, creates and preplays pictures of things you want to happen in your future.

Dream Seeds – Mike Murdock

 

SELF-SCRUTINY

Where are your thoughts focused – in the past, or towards the future?

 

Purpose-driven believers and dream achievers – enjoy an abundantly blessed and productive week!

 

CCo Image: courtesy of Sophie Janotta  (Pixabay.com)

 

A Desire To Inspire

I came across this post and wanted to share it with you all.

A worthy aspiration indeed – to seek to inspire others.

Enjoy!

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Aspire to Inspire!

I look for my life to be a canvas of inspiration

Not only to those who with me share this moment in the earthly realm

But for those whose lives are beyond our physical reach;

Those who will live and breathe when our purpose and calling we have […]

via Aspire to Inspire! — Unraveling the Mind

Excuse me… (Trumpet Blowing!)

Well this is a busy week for me for self-promotion.

Earlier this week, I had a guest post published at StylishlyInspired. And now today, I’ve had a few poems published at Two Drops of Ink. Needless to say, I’m over the moon!

Would you please (pretty please) pop along and support me with your visits, comments and/or likes?

Thanking you in anticipation.

Best wishes,

Carol

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

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Love’s Sacrificial MindSet

Hello Blogger friends and visitors,

I hope you won’t mind if I indulge in a little self-promotion.
Out of the blue I received an invitation to write a guest blog post for ‘StylishlyInspired’ and this has been published today.
Do go along and visit her site and support me with your comments and likes (if so inclined).
Thanking you in anticipation!

Best wishes,

Carol

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer
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Stylishly Inspired

By Carol Hind 

carol (2)I am honoured to have been asked to write this guest post. It’s been a long-held desire of mine that God use my writing to speak into the lives of His people, particularly women in the Body of Christ, so when the invitation was given, I immediately asked the Lord what he wanted me to say. Out of the blue, a story came to mind. I’d not read it for a while and hadn’t really considered it to be particularly inspiring, so God’s prompting took me by surprise.

I therefore trust this post will provoke you and speak to you wherever you are at in your relationship with the Lord. I pray it will not just be another post that you read (hopefully enjoy) and then forget—but that it will challenge, even change you.

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A Disturbing Narrative

There’s a story in the Bible, which…

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Lady Cee’s Not-So-Secret Recipe for Underachievers’ Pie

Dear blogger friends and visitors, I’m feeling mischievous today!

It all started with this idea for a light-hearted blog post, which came to me during this week (see below).

Warning – indigestion tablets may be required!

 

Under-achievers’ Pie (serves 1)

Ingredients:

1 generous pinch of procrastination

1 tablespoonful each of foiled plans and thwarted hopes

1 convenient pack of slothfulness

Several dollops of self-doubt

8oz of crushed dreams

Method:

Mix above ingredients together with several cups of negativity and leave to harden.

Garnish with a handful of sour grapes and serve with as much or as little shame as occasion warrants!

 Appetising huh?

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 I then decided to look for a suitable quote to add to the mix (no pun intended!) and was surprised at what I discovered.

For a start, someone (a doctor no less!) has actually written a book advocating that one settles for underachievement, rather than  strive for success.

If you’d like to read what one journalist has to say about this work, click here:

Intrigued? Want to know more?

Then you are welcome to take a peek inside this book at the author’s Amazon page:

But before you go dashing off, let me share two reviews, which might tickle your taste buds:

This one from Amazon rated four stars (4*) even though the book was supposedly not read!

I knew this volume would confirm what I already hold to be true, so I didn’t read it. In that light it’s the best unread book I can remember for ages. Sometimes not making use of a thing can be revelatory.

 

And this one from Goodreads rated three stars (3*):

So, why did I read this book? Two reasons.

One, I am known to be an overachiever (and after reading this book, this is not something to be proud of, really.)

Two, I hate self-help books and I thought it would be funny to read a book that subtly made fun of all of them at once.

Am I going to start being an underachiever? Probably not. But it did give me perspective. Never be too depressed because you didn’t achieve as much as you wanted, because, truth is… you’ll never stop wanting to achieve more than you already do. It’s a bottomless pit!

Time to sit back with a cup of coffee and stop caring about being productive all the time.

Dear reader, I did find my quote in the end. You may be surprised to learn the name of its originator – I certainly was!

QUOTE:

You must always work not just within, but below your means. If you can handle three elements, handle only two. If you can handle ten, then handle only five. In that way, the ones you do handle, you handle with more ease, more mastery, and you create a feeling of strength in reserve.

(Guess who!) – *See bottom of page for answer.

 

Links:

Amazon reviews:

Goodreads Reviews:

And if your interest has been piqued and you’d like to explore the subject of overachievers, as well as underachievers, you may wish to read this post: (Worth reading the set of strategic golden rules for managing perfectionism)  https://theeducationcafe.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/overachievers-and-underachievers/

 

What’s your view? Do you think there’s a valid argument for underachievement?

Please share your opinion in the comment box below and you are welcome to share my secret recipe with your blogging friends and social media contacts!

 

* Pablo Picasso (Did you guess correctly?)

 

Credit: CC0 Image from Pixabay.com

 

Don’t Despair – Prepare for Setbacks!

 

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details.

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 My Thinking Corner

(NB: Lady Cee aims to participate in this blog challenge on alternate Tuesdays)

 

 

Today I’d like to focus our thoughts on COURAGE.

Whenever I think about this word I think of it in the context of bravery. The hero who battles all odds in order to win his girl, conquer his enemy, or face his fears. I think of men like Hercules or Kunta Kinte, in Roots.

So I was surprised when I consulted my dictionary to learn of another meaning:

cheerfulness or resolution in coping with setbacks (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary).

As purpose-driven believers, we need to develop both a courageous spirit and a joyful attitude that enables us to get up when we are knocked down, or to press on despite discouragement.

With the above definition in mind, here are a few quotes on which to meditate. Since setbacks are an inevitable part of life, it makes sense to have a strategy for dealing with them. Hopefully, the next time we cross paths with adversity, disappointment or seemingly unsurmountable obstacles, we’ll be better prepared to cope with them.

 

Turn Your Setbacks into Stepping Stones!

 

All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.

Earl Nightingale

 

Be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart,

All you who hope in the Lord.

(Psalm 31:24 NKJV)

 

Live the Life of Your Dreams

When you start living the life of your dreams, there will always be obstacles, doubters, mistakes and setbacks along the way. But with hard work, perseverance and self-belief there is no limit to what you can achieve.

Roy T. Bennett

 

Sorrow and strife comes to all persons. Mature people expect hardships and setbacks and patiently and determinedly work to accomplish their goals. Immature people lash out in anger and frustration when circumstances conspire to blunt their short-term objectives.

Kilroy J. Oldster

 

You know, everybody has setbacks in their life, and everybody falls short of whatever goals they might set for themselves. That’s part of living and coming to terms with who you are as a person.

Hillary Clinton

Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

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How do you normally deal with setbacks? Has this post challenged you to think and behave differently? Please share your response in the comment box below.  I look forward to hearing from you. 🙂

 

The above CC0 Images are from Pixabay.com

 

Focus, Focus, Focus!

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY (1st Monday of each month)

Sharing and Savouring Secrets of Success…

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THEME WORD: FOCUS

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Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Focus on your character, not your reputation. Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes.

Roy T. Bennett

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To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.

T.F. Hodge

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You can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support.

Sabrina Bryan

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I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest.

Venus Williams

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When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.

Joel Osteen

 

The following is a short motivational video encouraging us to focus on our dreams.

 

SELF-SCRUTINY:

When it comes to following your dreams and pursuing your goals, have you  allowed your focus to be broken?

 

Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers – Have a blessed and focused week!

 

It’s a Spring Party… Let’s Groove 🎶🌻🌷⚘🌺🍉🍔🍗🍿🍦🍻💃

Want to expand your bloggers’ network, meet new people, share your posts? Then visit Jacqueline’s blog – spring party in progress now.

a cooking pot and twisted tales

Online Blog Party

Thank you for coming to my Spring party. I love Spring. It’s a beautiful season with a lot of refreshing promises of budding life and blooms. A season of rebirth.

Do make yourself comfortable. Refreshments are nicely arranged down the page: Drinks, Chocolates, Cakes, Donuts, freshly squeezed juice, Coffee, Tea and so much more. :-)

The little party rules.

  • Be friendly. Mix and mingle with others. Don’t be a wallflower. Blog parties offer the opportunity to meet many other bloggers in one place. Use the opportunity effectively.
  •  Please leave your blog link or post link in the comment box below along with an introduction.
  • It’s one link per comment, but come back as often as you’d like, that way it’s easier for others to focus on a link one at a time.
  • Have fun, this is a great way to find bloggers and have them find you.
  • Please show some love. Reblog…

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Speculation? Or Revelation?

 

successgerdaltmann-pixabay-1915350_960_720

Success.

Everybody, (including myself), strives for this on some level and, in a bid to arrive at the place which we have determined as our marker of success, we set goals or make plans etc. Success on my terms however, or according to the world’s standards, is not the same as fulfilling my life’s purpose.

According to Rick Warren, if I want to discover the purpose which God has ordained for my life, I have two options: speculation or revelation. Revelation (divine revelation that is) requires a personal relationship with God, a knowledge of his nature, his thoughts, his ways and his will.

The onus is upon me to discover what my purpose is. And the only way to discover that purpose is through an intimate acquaintance with God. That means spending time in his Word, communicating with him in prayer, walking that pathway of obedience.

Purpose-driven believer and dream achiever, if you don’t already know the purpose of God for your life, you need to ask Him. And if you do already know your purpose, you need to ask God to help you execute it according to His will. Moses knew he was to be the Children of Israel’s deliverer but zeal, lack of wisdom and acting outside of God’s intent and time-frame, led him to commit murder!

Jeremiah 29:11-13 tells us:

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. You will find me when you seek me, if you look for me in earnest.

 

Does it not make sense then for us to ask our Father God what those plans are? Does it not make sense for us to put ourselves in that place where God can speak to us, where we can hear what he is saying and we are willing to follow his directions?

 

PRAYER:

Father God, thank you for your plans and thoughts for our lives. Open the eyes of our understanding. Give us ears that are attuned to your voice. Influence our hearts, to both discern and promptly obey your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

A Purpose-driven Journey

rickwarrentpdl

Many of you reading this post will be familiar with Rick Warren’s inspirational book, The Purpose Driven Life. And those of you who have followed me for a while, will be aware that it is this book that has motivated me to live a life driven by, or in accordance with, God’s purpose for my life.

Grasping the opportunity that Lent affords, I’ll be using Warren’s guide-book to embark upon a 40-day spiritual journey. During this time, I’ve decided to tailor most of my posts to my thoughts and observations along the way.

Have you been meaning to read, or re-read this book? Or are you curious to know what your purpose in life is, or what a purpose-driven life entails? If so, why not use this Lent period to draw closer to God, to commit afresh to discovering and pursuing God’s will for your life?

If you do decide to take the journey for yourself, will you let me know in the comment box below? Will you share some of your discoveries, so we can encourage and maybe even enlighten one another?

A copy of Warren’s book may be purchased from Amazon but if you’d like to explore the concept a little more before committing yourself, please visit the author’s official website at: http://purposedriven.com/

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tree-stumpmariagodfrida-pixabay-1035393_960_720

A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.

(Proverbs 11:28 – The Message)

  

SELF-SCRUTINY

  • Am I pursuing things (material success, recognition, relationships, approval of others, etc) at the expense of pursuing God?
  • What does a ‘God-shaped’ life look like?
  • What does God see when he looks at my life – a stump, or a flourishing tree?

 

flourishingtreegerdaltmann-pixabay-835454_960_720

 

PRAYER:

Father God, I commit my spiritual journey into your hands and ask that you walk with me and divinely protect me from unseen dangers. Let me not stray into the Enemy’s territory. Direct my paths and lead me into the fullness of your purpose for my life. Help me to pursue you with an undivided heart. I ask this in the name of Jesus.

Amen.

 

Are you Wearing God’s Crown of Success?

crownpixabay-1304612_960_720
CC0 Image is from Pixabay.com

 

In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

(Proverbs 3:6 – The Living Bible)

 

SELF-SCRUTINY

Is God’s word and will a priority in your life?

 

Purpose-driven believers and dream achievers have an abundantly blessed and productive week and may your efforts be crowned with success.

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How To Discover Your Purpose

“The discovery of purpose is a journey, the fulfilment of purpose is the pinnacle of achievement.”

So says a switched-on young man, whom I met today during my cyber travels. His name is Kato Nkhoma and his inspirational words of wisdom kept me happily consuming the well-seasoned meat of his posts.

I had meant to stop over for a brief call and then move on to visit other blogs but God had other plans. Sometimes, what you believe to be a random choice, turns out to be a divine appointment. Thank you Father God, for bringing me across this young man’s pathway!

Now if you’ve been following my PDA blog for a while, you are aware that I am an advocate for discovering and pursuing your God-given purpose. The following post makes keen observations and shares some valuable keys on how one may discover your life’s purpose.

Enjoy the read and let me encourage you to visit Kato’s blog regularly for more insightful posts. Better still, why not follow him?!

LifeOnPurpose

KEYS TO DISCOVERING PURPOSE

The discovery of purpose is not an event. Unfortunately, you also can’t take a course on “Purpose”. Purpose is not taught, it is discovered. The best anyone can do is point you in the right direction, the rest is up to you! The discovery of purpose is a journey, the fulfilment of purpose is the pinnacle of achievement.


Acts 13:36

For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:

This should be your story at the end of your life, that you would have served your generation. “How can I serve my generation?” you ask. You serve your generation by fulfilling your purpose. The scripture above might as well read: “For David, after he had fulfilled his purpose, fell asleep…….”. The will of God for you is your purpose…

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Enjoy the Gift of Life

My Thinking Corner

CCO image - Pixabay.com
CCO image – Pixabay.com

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details.

Today my thoughts are on the subject of LIFE. I’ve heard it said that life is a gift. If that is the case (and I believe it is so) then the onus is upon us to unwrap it and enjoy it.

How can we make the most of this precious but transient gift, with which God has blessed us?

Here are my thoughts on how we can enjoy an abundant, satisfying life which glorifies our gracious Giver.

  • Don’t just make a living – make a life! (i.e. a meaningful, productive, God-honouring and successful life).
  • The four key ingredients of a successful life are:
  1. Love – unconditional love (for God, self and others)
  2. An indomitable spirit (develop a refuse-to-give-in mindset)
  3. Faith (in God)
  4. Enthusiasm.
  • Be a giver. A constant ‘taker’ in life becomes fat with egotism, ingratitude and selfishness. As a giver (of your encouragement to others, love, kindness, time and resources), your generosity will reap dividends.

As the Bible promises:

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.

Luke 6:38 (NKJ)

Thoughts are free from toll

(William Camden)

What are your thoughts? Do you have a favourite quote regarding life? Why not share it in the comment box below.

Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, have a blessed and productive week!

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Let Go of Past Regrets!

CC0 image - Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)
CC0 image – Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)

Regret is a waste of time, unless it teaches you wisdom and fuels your resolve to do better next time.

Bob and Debbie Gass – UCB Word For Today ­ (Daily Devotional – Aug-Oct 2016)

 

SELF-SCRUTINY:

If past regrets are preventing you from moving on in your life, these useful tips from an expert, may assist.

 

He Loves You – Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

The Daily Post – Daily Word Prompt

 

lovegerdaltmannpixabay-209900_960_720

Valentine’s Day has come around once again and in honour of this season of lurve, I’ve dug up one of my exercises written in response to an old Daily Post word prompt.

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Daily Post Prompt: I want to know what love is

 I want to know what love is!

That is the title of a song (I know that much) but it is also the title of my chosen prompt today. I want to know what love is! Thus speaks the person whose question implies that s/he does not know what this universal affection is, for which everybody craves.

Surprising! Has nobody told them that love is patient and love is kind? That it does not boast, it is not proud and it keeps no record of wrongs? (Yes, you heard me right!). Love does not rejoice in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always hopes and always perseveres! This is the famous quote and reading from 1 Corinthians 13. A firm favourite at weddings.

But this love is no ordinary human love. It is not the filial love between husband and wife or parents and children. It is not the love of two friends. It is much deeper, more sacrificial, and infinitely more precious. It is a God-type of love (the Greek word for it is “agapē”). It is unconditional.

Now this kind of love is marvellous if you are on the receiving end. Not so great however, when you are being asked to demonstrate it to someone mean and ugly of character. Because this brand of love demands that you show it irrespective of whether you feel the recipient deserves it! It is a love that calls for, nay requires you to die to SELF – that self-important, sometimes egotistical and selfish person you see in the mirror! Mark my words, it’s difficult to practice and difficult to maintain—because this love is not an emotional feeling, it is a decision, a choice of one’s will.

No doubt in the above question posed, the writer was referring to fleshly love (eros), the love between a man and a woman. If we consider the question on a basic human level, does the individual really not know what love is – in the ordinary sense, or are they being sarcastic? Are they puzzled? Are they challenging the listener?

I can well understand the question being asked in the context of the enquirer being a jilted lover, a spurned partner, or someone suffering from unrequited love. Oh! If only s/he knew that true love, agapē love, is just a whisper away. A divine, sacrificial love where the lover (God the Father or Jesus His Son) looks at the world and its inhabitants with affection and goodwill for no other reason than that their very nature is LOVE and as such, they cannot help but pour it out in abundantly generous proportions, to whosoever will accept it.

If they knew, (the song’s enquirer and all those asking the same question), if they were aware of the height, depth, width of such generous and incomparable love, available to them for the asking, would they call? Would they open their hearts to this precious quality of love, or would they reject the giver, spurn the prospective lover’s charms and turn away from his love offerings?

Only Judgment Day will tell!

Mariah Carey video link:

 

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To read responses to this prompt from other bloggers, please visit: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/i-want-to-know-what-love-is/

 

Daily Motivation is a Daily Decision

motivationgerdaltmann-pixabay-361783_960_720CC0 image: courtesy of Gerd Altmann at Pixabay.com

 

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY (1st Monday of each month)

Sharing and Savouring Secrets of Success…

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THEME WORD: MOTIVATION 

Motivation in its very early stages is an act of discipline and you will find it will need to become more and more a part of your personality.

Peter J. Daniels –  author of: How to be MOTIVATED all the time

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The above author, Peter J. Daniels, came from a broken home and a background of poverty. Despite suffering bankruptcy in business three times, he is a millionaire land developer, a top motivational speaker in Australia attracting international demand, and a campaigner for Christ. As such, I believe he has invaluable advice for us as aspiring dream achievers and purpose-driven believers.

If we are interested in achieving ongoing success in our personal lives then you and I will need to develop and maintain those habits which keep us motivated all the time.

To this end, Daniels challenges readers with the following words. He says:

Move up to a level of living and achieving by becoming highly motivated. Recognise that motivation is deeply personal and that it can only be achieved by making it a daily part of your existence.

Daniels further goes on to say that motivation cannot be permanently imposed from without but must be permanently created within.

In other words, although we can become temporarily motivated by inspirational quotes, or motivational stories and videos, permanent motivation has to come from an inner drive and become a daily discipline. Which brings us back to the thoughts expressed in my theme quote above.

So dear follower and visitor, in order to maintain a motivated mindset, are you willing (if necessary), to change your perspective, your habits, your lifestyle?

 

SELF SCRUTINY:

Do you know what motivates you? Have you discovered what it is that propels you to act… what it is that drives you towards your end goal? How are you able to sustain that drive?

Purpose-driven achievers and believers – have a blessed and highly productive week!

 

Warning! Your Words Will Determine Your Life’s Course

The Daily Post – Daily Word Prompt: PROPHECY

The following is a post based around an old Daily Post Word Prompt. I hope you will enjoy reading, as well as gain something that will encourage or motivate you in your own life.

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Did you know that the words you speak to yourself and over your life on a regular basis can become a self-fulfilling prophecy? When I first learned this, I was dismayed. Why? Because for years, decades even, I‘d been speaking negatively over myself and over my life. And when I learned this valuable truth, I realised the problem I’d been facing for most of my life, was not perpetual bad luck, not constant ill fortune, but mainly my own fault. The problem was located one or two inches below my nose—yep! My unruly mouth!

“If you don’t choose your daily words wisely, negative words wouldn’t hesitate to choose a painful future for you.” Edmond Mbiaka

You see, I had taken to speaking constantly about the bad things that happened to me, or the bad things I believed would take place. And guess what? It usually did! No surprise really, seeing I had given life to them through my negative prophecies. And then when these things happened, I felt justified. See? What did I say? Did I not tell you so and so was going to happen? And so it went on.

Speaking to myself, conversing with my loved ones, describing negative scenarios about what I believed would happen in the future, re-hashing what had happened in the past, created a negative cycle. And so my world would go on and on in this ever revolving circle of undesirable events—contrary to my hopes and dreams—resulting in despair, disappointment, discouragement; despair, disappointment, discouragement. It seemed I was doomed and my life, my future doomed to more of the same.

The Word of God tells us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21 NKJV). That means I have the power to determine whether my life follows a course of death, or a course of life. That power lies within my tongue. It lies within what I choose to say with my mouth. It lies within my choice of words.

It’s been a hard lesson. But a necessary one. When you have spent decades speaking negatively, it is not easy to re-train yourself to do the opposite. But do it I must. Do it I will. And so I decided. No more self-fulfilling prophecies of the unwanted kind. I choose to speak life, prosperity, victory and success. Does that mean bad things will not happen to me at all? Of course not! But the propensity for my life to revolve around a cycle that’s predominantly bad, will ultimately change.

So, bed of roses, here I come. Ouch! I completely forgot that these blessed roses have thorns!

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Purpose-driven achievers and believers – have an abundantly blessed week.

If you’d like to read further responses to this prompt from other bloggers, please visit: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/prophecy/

 

God’s Unfathomable Mercy

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details. (Unfortunately, Lady Cee only has capacity to participate in this blog challenge on alternate Tuesdays).

 

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My Thinking Corner

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Have you ever been so mistreated that you began to wonder whether somehow you did something to deserve it?

Perhaps the Enemy has pointed to past mistakes or sins in your life and sowed the thought in your mind that you are merely reaping your just deserts. Or perhaps you feel that past peccadilloes do not justify the kind of backlash, which seems to have been unleashed in your life.

Whatever the case may be, can I point out something to you dear reader? To do so, let me take you first to God’s Word, which is (or should be) the ultimate authority in your life.

I refer to that scripture which says:

He (God) has not dealt with us according to our sins,

Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,

So great is His mercy towards those who fear Him;

As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

(Psalm 103:10-12 NKJV)

Next let me share a verse from a poem by Russell Kelfer. It goes like this:

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.

And God wept that it hurt you so;

But it was allowed to shape your heart

So that into His likeness you’d grow.

With the above in mind, I’d like to encourage those to whom the words of this post may apply.

  • Don’t accept the lies of the devil by embracing and dwelling upon them.
  • Don’t allow those who set themselves against you or the circumstances that conspire to defeat you, to rob you of your peace of mind, joie de vivre, or hope for your future.

Purpose-driven believers, revel in God’s grace and mercy. Bask in the sunshine of his unconditional love. And have a blessed and productive week!

 

How To Be Effective

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You become effective

By being selective.

(Rick Warren – The Purpose Driven Life)

 

Dear Dream-achiever,

And Purpose-driven believer,

 

Select the company you keep

Select the kind of food you eat

 

Select the literature you read

Select the harvest of your seed

 

Select the thoughts you contemplate

Reject the paths of war and hate

 

Select the habits you must maintain

To secure your dreams and joy sustain.

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An Interview by Jacqueline O!

Carol, you are a sweet positive minded soul that I’ve been fortunate to connect with in this place. I would like to thank you for all your support, for your beautiful posts infused with wisdom and love. It’s been a pleasure relating with you. A Bit About Me My name is Carol and I am […]

via Getting To Know Beautiful Carol — a cooking pot and twisted tales (before you click – please see intro below – Thank you).

INTRO:

For those of you who would like to have a personal insight into me the individual, the person behind the blogger, I hope you will visit Jacqueline’s site to read this interview.

If you have not already come across her name on your cyber-travels, I would be most surprised, as nearly everywhere I visit, her Gravatar image is already there amongst the likes, or the comments.  As I’m always telling her, Jacqueline is one of the hardest working bloggers I know (as a visit to her site will soon reveal – there are sooo many posts!), and her desire to collaborate with and support other bloggers, is just cause for admiration.

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Knowledge + Application = Wisdom!

 

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details.

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My Thinking Corner

(NB: Lady Cee aims to participate in this blog challenge on alternate Tuesdays)

 

We live in an age where information abounds. As bloggers we have a plethora of posts to choose from at the Reader. Bloggers we’ve chosen to follow, showcase their wares and at the click of our mouse we can access their thoughts on a variety of subjects. We have access to their creative endeavours. We have access to the inspirational or motivational quotes they wish to bring to our attention. We have access to valuable life lessons—all posted in a bid to influence, to encourage one another on our journey in life, on the path we tread towards our destiny.

And if we also happen to be members of Facebook, or signed up to Twitter, or any other social media platform, the scenario is repeated again and again.

Advice. Information. Words of wisdom. All for the taking.

Now lately I’ve been thinking about this vast fount of knowledge at our fingertips. And I’ve been asking myself a question: if I retained even a small measure of what I read, if I was regularly applying even one sound principle in my day-to-day experience, how different would my life be?

And so, I challenge you today dear reader to think about all that information you are consuming. Are you learning? Are you putting even one of those precious principles you so passionately endorse into daily practice?

Food for thought, don’t you think?

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Are you applying your knowledge?

 

These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, home-owner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.

Matthew 7:24-25 (The Message)

 

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.

John Locke

 

Knowledge is power? No. Knowledge on its own is nothing, but the application of useful knowledge, now that is powerful.

Rob Liano

 

No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and application of wise thought that counts.

Bob Proctor

 

Knowledge without application is like a book that is never read.

Christopher Crawford

 

. . . start applying what you are learning. Remember, to learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.

Stephen R. Covey

 

 

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

James 1:22 (NKJV)

 

Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

 

 CREDITS: The above photos are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

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Please share your response to this post in the comment box below.  If you enjoyed reading, please don’t hesitate to like, comment on and share this post with your social media network(s). Many thanks in anticipation!

 

 

Foster Good Habits

“We are what we repeatedly do.

Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”

Aristotle

 

In his internationally best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey defines a habit as:

“. . . the intersection of knowledge, skill and desire.

Knowledge is the theoretical paradigm, the what to do and the why. Skill is the how to do. And desire is the motivation, the want to do. In order to make something a habit in our lives, we have to have all three.”

SELF-SCRUTINY

Are there any habits in your life, which undermine your potential for success?

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Prodigal or Profitable?

If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.

Benjamin Franklin

 

It’s Saturday morning!

This time last year, I was a full-time employee and part-time carer for my beloved mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. This time last year, on a Saturday morning, I didn’t have the luxury of a whole day to myself, with which I could do exactly as I pleased.

This time last year, I was ruminating with regret over past years and decades, when I’d enjoyed a similar luxury but hardly ever spent my spare time in a meaningful way. How I wished I’d used my time more wisely!

Last year, out of necessity, I had to put my dreams and goals second place.

Purpose-driven believers and aspiring dream-achievers, realise that your spare time, is a precious commodity. You never know what your future holds. Don’t be deceived into thinking you have all the time in the world to achieve your dreams, accomplish your goals, fulfil your destiny. And if you are currently a “free agent”, pretty much able to spend your leisure hours doing as you please, don’t be deceived into thinking that your current situation will remain the same, indefinitely.

Fulfilling goals and dreams, or the destiny God has pre-ordained for you, requires diligence, hard work and the productive use of your time. If you are in the habit of squandering those precious moments, spending an exorbitant amount of time on activities that don’t really matter… that don’t add value to yourself… that don’t take you forward in the direction of your dreams, then you may later regret it (as I did!).

Don’t let slothfulness, procrastination, indecision, fear or folly rob you of the quality time you have available now, which could be spent productively on pursuing your dreams. By the time you wake up, or decide to pursue you dream in earnest, circumstances may have changed. You may find yourself having to juggle unexpected responsibilities and having to squeeze in micro-moments for yourself. Take it from someone who knows. Take it from a procrastination queen!

There are two types of wisdom available to you dear reader. There’s the one you acquire from your own hard-earned experience, and the type you gain from listening to and learning from the hard-won experience of others.

In the context of using your spare time profitably, which type of wisdom will you choose to learn from this year?

Wisdom is the principal thing;

Therefore get wisdom.

And in all your getting, get understanding.

(Proverbs 4:7 NKJ)

Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers have a blessed and productive week.

CREDIT: CC0 Image – courtesy of Pixabay.com

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Are you guilty of wasting your spare time, or are you a workaholic?

Did you enjoy reading this post? Please let me know your response in the comment box below. Likes, ratings and shares will be most gratefully received.

Best wishes,

Carol

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“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

My other blog: (Women of Warfare!)

My Google Collection: (Soul Surgery)

 

 

 

3 Tips For Making Successful Life-changes

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details. (Unfortunately, Lady Cee only has capacity to participate in this blog challenge on alternate Tuesdays).

 

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My Thinking Corner

 

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Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

 

It’s a new year and with it comes the promise of new opportunities. With it comes new hope for old dreams and even enthusiasm for new ones. At least that’s how I feel. How about you?

Now I’m aware from talking to others and from articles read on the subject of self-motivation and pursuing personal goals that some people, disheartened by past failures, have given up completely and do not even attempt to make new resolutions, or New Year goals.

If you belong to that category of “no-hopers’ and have laid aside your ambitions, or if like me, you are refusing to give up on your dreams and are choosing to set out on that path of optimism once again, I hope the following thoughts and suggestions will encourage, perhaps even inspire you.

 

1.  EAT MODERATELY

It’s easy when you are feeling excited and self-motivated to try and saturate yourself in as much knowledge as possible. So you buy a book, research appropriate resources online, perhaps seek out a mentor. But this can lead to information overload, to mental and emotional indigestion.

When it comes to making life changes, or pursuing dreams, you will most probably need to seek out information. But in your enthusiasm, or haste to get from A to B quickly, you can overdo it.

Have you ever been unwell, gone on a diet or a fast? Do you remember your stomach shrinking from not eating your customary amount of food? Think of your desire to cram in as much information, as quickly as possible, as being much like you gorging lots of rich food after a period of fasting. It makes you feel uncomfortable, perhaps even sick.

The trick is to consume the information you need in digestible portions. The trick is to make small demands upon yourself. Take small steps daily, rather than trying to make significant changes overnight. Think elephant – the way to eat one is by taking small bites at a time!

 

2.  EXERCISE GENTLY

Have you ever been unfit?

I can recall a time when I suffered from a chronic back problem. Even my normal walking pace was significantly affected. I’d set off down the road and people seemed to zoom past me, even though they weren’t walking particularly fast. School children reluctant to get where they were going and even elderly folk, managed to disappear in the distance, whilst I struggled to put one foot in front of the other. I had to be patient with myself and determined. Thankfully, over time, I regained my fitness.

Pursuing goals, achieving your dreams, requires you to exercise your life-changing muscles regularly. Just as you wouldn’t just pick up a set of heavy weights and try to lift them the first day or week you visit a gym, exercise those life-changing muscles slowly and gently. When it comes to pursuing your dreams, start out with small changes, then increase efforts, once your capacity to deal with more, enlarges.

 

3.  EXCISE RUTHLESSLY

Become your own personal development surgeon.

You know yourself better than anyone else. Which cankerous areas of your life do you need to remove? Cut out those excuses (no time, no money, no skills). Remove time-wasting activities and if need be, sacrifice the odd leisure pursuit in order to make more time for learning, or practising, or working on your project.

Above all, ruthlessly sever wrong thinking! Replace negative thoughts (I can’t do this, I’ll never master that, I’m not intelligent enough), with life-enhancing meditations. Renew your mind with the Word of God. Adopt a pertinent motivational quote as your mantra for a week, a month, even the entire year.

 

Before I close this thinking session, let me leave you with a quote from Carole Gaskell, life-coach and author of Your Pocket Life Coach:

We are all capable of making changes in our lives, the secret is to break things down into SMALL STEPS – tiny steps in fact – and spend a few minutes EVERY DAY taking action. Little and often is one of the fundamental secrets to successful transformation.

 

Purpose-driven believers and aspiring dream-achievers – we can do it! Have a blessed and victorious week.

 

CREDIT: The above CCO image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com 

Please share your response to this post in the comment box below.  If you enjoyed reading, don’t hesitate to like, comment on and share this post with your social media network. Many thanks in anticipation!

 

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Work At Your Dreams

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 Dreams don’t come true when more time is spent talking about them than praying and working toward achieving them.

Stormie Omartian

 

SELF-SCRUTINY

What action are you taking to make your dreams, goals, or aspirations become a reality?

 

Purpose-Driven Achiever’s Top 10 Posts

 

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Hello lovely readers, faithful followers and new visitors – I wish you God’s very best for 2017 – may your endeavours be fruitful, your goals accomplished, and your journey toward success, prosperous.

As many of you who have followed me for some time will know, this blog aims to encourage you to walk with God, as a dream-achiever and purpose-driven believer, rather than being driven by impure motives or a negative mindset.

I am aware that I have acquired some new followers during my absences last year. And so this post has been written especially with you in mind. Apologies, if I have not managed to get around to acknowledging your follows.

When I first began blogging, I used to receive notifications for every follow. For a little while now however, I’ve noticed that I’m not always advised when this is the case. I realise I’ve had a few blogging breaks, so perhaps the WordPress process changed whilst I was away, since on quite a few occasions, it is only when I’ve been looking at my stats that I notice the names of new members joining the community of purpose-driven achievers.

So, old and new followers and other visitors, thank you for honouring me with your time, for reading and responding to my posts. It is greatly appreciated and gratefully received. Bless you!

New followers, you may wish to read some of my popular posts of last year, whilst old followers, you may find it useful to re-acquaint yourself with these. I’m always amazed at how quickly we can forget what we’ve read, even when they’ve touched our hearts, or made an impact upon us in some way.

And so without further ado, let me give you my top ten posts from 2016. I’ve divided these into two sections – those which received the most views and those which received the most likes. Where there are two posts that have received equal top views or likes, I have listed both. And I’m pleased to say that a few of the posts have made it to both lists. Happy reading!

 

Posts Which Received Top Views

1.  Paradise Lost or Regained?

A personal invitation to agnostics and atheists, curious seekers, spiritual outsiders and lost sheep. Will you accept?

and

Quit Comparing

Aspiring writers, bloggers, success hounds – give yourself a break!

      2.  Satan’s Suicidal Mission

A WordPress Daily Prompt exercise – Mr Diablo comes a cropper! Read all about it!

3.  Charisma or Character?

Which leadership trait attracts you? Which do you believe to be more valuable on your journey to success?

4.  Secrets of Success

Success keys shared by someone who knows! In my eyes, Oprah Winfrey epitomises phenomenal achievement and success. Interested in learning her secrets? Read and listen to this post to unlock them.

5.  Lady Cee’s Thoughts on Integrity

Do you have a set of moral values? Do you keep them at all costs, or do they get in the way of your pursuits for success?

and

Effective Communication

Most of us are guilty of being distracted whilst talking to others, of not really listening. Here are 7 keys to improving your communication skills.

 

Posts Which Received Most Likes

1.  Quit Comparing

See Top Views above for blurb details

2.  Satan’s Suicidal Mission

Again, please see Top Views above for blurb details

and

Give God Your All

If you’ve committed your life into Christ’s keeping and control, has your commitment waned over time? True success requires an all-or-nothing attitude when it comes to pursuing your God-given destiny.

3.  A Stark Contrast

Another WordPress Daily Prompt exercise – Lady Cee measures herself against the incomparable Christ. The result? Click the above link to find out!

4.  Paradise Lost or Regained?

Once again, please see Top Views above for blurb details

and

What is Your Life Metaphor?

Did you know that your life metaphor determines your outlook and dictates your actions? Click the above link to learn more.

5.  A Debt of Gratitude

I am sure many of you are familiar with the saying: “it takes a village to raise a child”. I’d like to use that same concept and say: it takes a team, or a partnership to achieve success, to fulfil your destiny. Do you appreciate your destiny-helpers? Have you thanked them? And do you thank God for those individuals who’ve made quality investments in your life?

and

Five Years Ago

This Blog Challenge post shares personal ramblings and reflections on my creative pursuits: writing, journaling and gardening.

 

As always, I invite you dear readers to connect with me by sharing your response in the comment box below. Do you have a favourite post from the above selection? If the post you liked most doesn’t feature above, then please let me and the PDA community know which one you preferred. Many thanks in anticipation.

Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, have a blessed and productive week!

 

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A Dream Plus Persistence = Success!

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MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY (1st Monday of each month)

Sharing and Savouring Secrets of Success…

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THEME WORD:

PERSISTENT – continuing with determination in spite of discouragement; dogged; tenacious

(Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)

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Ambition is not enough! Desire is not enough! And wishful thinking will certainly not catapult you into the pathway of success!

I have heard it said that pursuit is the proof of desire. And I know from personal experience that pursuit is not a one-time-effort. It’s not a once-in-a-while activity. Pursuit must be consistent. Your dream, your goal, requires persistence.

The question is: do you and do I have what it takes to cross the finishing line?

The following is a 3.5 mins motivational video, which I trust will encourage and spur you towards the fulfilment of your dreams.

 

 

 

Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, may 2017 be your year of achievement and success, as you persist with your endeavours.

 

SELF SCRUTINY:

Is there a dream, goal or vision that you’ve abandoned or neglected because you felt discouraged? Are you willing to try again, to persist until you succeed?

Please share your response to this post in the comment box below.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Wishing You All A Wonderful New Year!

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As the year comes to a close, it is a time for reflection – a time to release old thoughts and beliefs and forgive old hurts. Whatever has happened in the past year, the New Year brings fresh beginnings. Exciting new experiences and relationships await. Let us be thankful for the blessings of the past and the promise of the future. ― Peggy Toney Horton

 

What do you need in the New Year? You need a dream; your dream needs an action; and your action needs right thinking! Without right thinking, you can have only unrealised dreams! ― Mehmet Murat Ildan

 

We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential. ― Ellen Goodman

 

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,

Whispering ‘it will be happier’. ― Alfred Tennyson

 

Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous New Year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source – a Sower of Dreams – just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true. – Sarah Ban Breathnach

 

 

My heartfelt thanks to all followers and readers for supporting me with your visits, comments and likes. It has truly been a blessing and an honour to share my thoughts with you. I wish you all God’s very best and look forward to the pleasure of your visits throughout the coming year.

Best wishes,

Carol

—————————————————————————-https://womenofwarfare.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

 

 

Food! Comforting Food!

BLOG CHALLENGE

(for details on how to participate click on above link)

Yes, it is day 27 of Lifewithgraceandbeauty.com’s Blog Challenge. Since, I’ve not been able to post daily, I’m taking my pick from the prompts I’ve missed. Today’s post relates to Day 15 of the challenge. And so, without further ado…

 

Prompt Fifteen | Comfort Food of Choice

Feeling a little down?  The changing of the seasons has you a bit under the weather?  Don’t feel like being social today?  At some point in our life we need comfort.  And while there are plenty of different ways to be comforted, a common theme we can all agree on is comfort food!  What do you like to eat when you’re sick, feeling a little down, or just whenever you’re in need of some yummy goodness?

 

Comfort Food.

For me it conjures up a picture of warmth, homeliness and love.

What form will it take? A bowl of steaming soup? A plate of fattening carbohydrates? Or a dish of ice cream?

I believe many of us are familiar with the TV scenario where girl gets dumped by her boyfriend, or discovers her man and best friend have betrayed her. And so to what does she turn for comfort? A tub of ice cream!

Not me! Ice cream for me is a pleasure. A way of pampering myself—so no way do I want to associate it with unhappy times. And if  I’m seeking comfort from my food because of inhospitable weather, then frozen dessert is so not the way to go!

Now when the weather is cold and hostile outside, I need nutritional enrichment inside. I need an affectionate bear hug from my food. I therefore turn to shepherd’s pie with its comforting moreish layers of minced lamb, cheese sauce, creamy, rich and buttery mash with a generous topping of melting grated cheese, or alternatively, a good old-fashioned home-made soup with its hot, tasty, West-Indian style seasoned stock, jam-packed with generous portions of Irish or sweet potatoes, yam, green bananas, dumplings, meat and/or blended beans. Hmmm!

So scat winter blues! Your frosty face is certainly not welcome here!

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PHOTO CREDIT: http://www.mumsnet.com/uploads/recipes/201311/medium-3-1170-shepherdspie.jpg

 

What’s In A Name?

BLOG CHALLENGE

Do you want to participate? Please visit  our blog challenge host for further details:

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PROMPT 20:   How did you choose your blog’s name?

What’s in a name?

Before we all hit that “create blog” button, we had to come up with a name – something to identify us amongst the millions of other blogs out there.  How did you decide on your blog name?  What did it take for you to finally decide this was the one?

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Another great prompt question from lifewithgraceandbeauty.com on this 30-day blog challenge. I’ve not been able to participate for a few days, so am re-joining participants today.

Those of you who have been following me for a while will be aware that I own two blogs. In addition to this one (A Purpose-driven achiever), I also created Women of Warfare! 

 

Blog 1: Women of Warfare!

I knew what the name of this blog would be before I created it. For a long time, I’d felt a desire to reach out to marginalised, or wounded women and encourage them. As someone who’d endured a perpetual cycle of negative circumstances and despaired of things ever changing for the better, I could relate to those who saw themselves as helpless victims. Yet deep down within me there was a fighter who could not accept that this was to be my lot in life. As a born-again believer, I knew this should not be so. I knew Christ’s cruel death had purchased an abundant and victorious life for me, which I wasn’t experiencing and I didn’t like feeling short-changed!

Now since I’d been a Christian long enough to know that God uses your experiences to strengthen you, so that you in turn can strengthen others, I believed God wanted me to reach out to other women whom Satan had hoodwinked into thinking they could not escape the negative course in which their lives were entrenched.

I realised that deliverance from a victim mind-set requires warfare against the Enemy. I envisaged a group of women who could (and would) turn their lives around through prayer, through spiritual warfare, and whom I knew my Father God wanted to transform from victims into victors—hence the name Women of Warfare!

I particularly liked that the name evoked an image of strong warrior-like women, who would not allow themselves to be brow-beaten and deceived by the Enemy. I also liked that the abbreviated form of this name (WoW!) spoke of admiration, amazement and impressive wonder. I had a vision of an army of women, who not only learn to walk as victorious overcomers but use their prowess as spiritual warriors for the benefit of their family members and loved ones, or any situation that touches their hearts.

 

Blog 2: A Purpose-driven Achiever

This name is a compromise on the name I originally wanted because it (Purpose-driven Woman) and other permutations had already been taken. I went through a couple of name changes before finally settling on this one. I’m so glad now that my original name was not available. I think this one has a positive ring about it. I believe it speaks of both aspiration and accomplishment and I believe it is more in keeping with the type of woman I desire to be.

The name is part inspired by Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose-driven Life, and part a reflection of my desire to glorify God as a purpose-driven believer, whose life is focused, fruitful and successful in terms of pursuing my pre-ordained destiny.

 

Remembering the Christ of Christmas

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

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Are you celebrating the TRUE reason for this season?

 

Christmas time,

Mistletoe and Wine

Children singing Christian rhyme

With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree

A time to rejoice in the good that we see.

(Cliff Richards)

 

 

Cliff Richards, Commercialism, Christ

The above refrain taken from a popular Cliff Richards’ song, evokes a warm, wholesome image of Christmas, which pretty much stands at odds to the commercial and secular response often associated with this important season in the Christian calendar.

Many will feast and frolic their way through this seasonal period without giving much (if any) thought to the person behind this important event. With all the clever commercials, hyped expectations and frenetic preparations, it can be easy to forget that “Jesus is the reason for the season”.

 

Stop and reflect!

And so dear readers, may I invite you to come aside and reflect for a while upon what the Christmas message means to us as purpose-driven believers? I’d like you to consider what lessons we can take away from the nativity story, which will equip and encourage us to live God-glorifying, purpose-driven lives.

A big part of Christmas celebrations involves the giving of gifts. The Bible reveals that God led wise men from the Far East to the Jewish town of Bethlehem. They presented Jesus with gifts—gold, frankincense and myrrh—as part of their acceptance, recognition of, and homage to Jesus, the prophesied Messiah and King.

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Make faith your travelling companion

I understand from a devotional article read recently, that it took two years for the wise men to travel from their home town, to their ultimate destination. Two years of travelling through unfamiliar terrain away from creature comforts. Two years of not really knowing where they were going – depending solely on God’s guidance through a star.

Logical reasoning would lead anyone to conclude it a risky and perhaps foolish venture, to leave familiar territory for an unknown destination. However, that’s where faith (the ability to believe without actually seeing) comes in!

 

Walk with God-focused purpose

Our relationship with God is often described as walking with Him. It is generally depicted as a journey. There is an oft-quoted proverb about success. It goes thus: “success is a journey – not a destination!

As purpose-driven achievers. we may be tempted to focus on the destination, on the fulfilment of our dreams—but just as important to our Father God, is the journey… how we cope with the vagaries of travelling to the unknown… whether during that pilgrimage we endeavour to be self-sufficient, or are willing to trust and depend solely on him.

Even though it is obvious God was there to guide each of these men on their journey, He nevertheless did not require them to travel alone. There is strength, support, even safety in numbers.

 

Embrace your destiny-helpers

Even though our calling as purpose-driven achievers is specific and individual, our Father does not expect, or desire us to play the lone ranger. Adam was given a help-meet. Jesus, the Son of God, eventually chose 12 disciples. Since God has placed you and me as particular members within the Body of Christ—the fulfilment of our potential, the achievement of our destiny, depends upon our interaction with and, interdependence upon others.

 

Let go – and let God!

Dear followers and visitors, as we move towards the end of 2016 and prepare to greet a brand new year, with brand new opportunities, I pray you will find your destiny helpers. I pray that God will surround you with the right individuals, who will challenge, encourage, inspire and motivate you to be the very best that you can be. I pray that our Father God will cause every past disappointment, discouragement, failure and seemingly insurmountable obstacle, to work together for your advantage and advancement, for your emotional and spiritual growth, and for your success.

Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, I wish you and your loved ones a happy, Christ-centered Christmas. And if you don’t celebrate the birth of Christ (which is the true reason for this season), then I wish you a peaceful and relaxing break over the coming holiday period.

 

 

CREDITS: the images within this post are courtesy of Pixabay.com

Did you enjoy reading this post? Did my message speak to your heart? If so, please let me know. I welcome your comments, likes and ratings and would encourage you to re-blog, or share this post with your social network contacts. Many thanks in anticipation of your support.

 

Netflix? I’ve No Need!

BLOG CHALLENGE

(for details on how to participate please visit lifewithgraceandbeauty.com)

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PROMPT 9:         Favorite Netflix-a-thon Show

One of America’s favorite pastime is watching T.V. There are plenty of tv shows to get hooked on. Some shows you can watch over and over and over again. With streaming like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, there’s always something on TV!

…So tell me, what are your favorite Netflix-a-thon shows? What shows are you currently obsessed with? What’s something you have watched so many times you can quote entire episodes?

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Shock! Horror! I don’t subscribe to Netflix. So, am I missing out?

I did subscribe to Lovefilm and received 2 films of my choice each month. My last discs were from the Mad Men series, which I enjoyed. I originally subscribed to Lovefilm because my husband likes to watch wrestling and boxing (which I hate), so when he’s thus engaged, I use the time to have a Lady Cee’s self-indulgence evening.

Whilst hubby happily watches his sport on our TV downstairs, I used to go up to my study, or “ivory tower” (as dear hubbie likes to call it!), loaded with fancy popcorn, or savoury snacks and drinks and watch a rental on my apple mac computer with its 20inch screen. But not anymore! Oh No! Since acquiring a large screen TV, I refuse to slum it! So I wait until our TV becomes available, in order to enjoy my home cinematic experience.

Come to think of it, I’m due another session. You see, whenever I’ve achieved a goal (which I have recently), I like to reward myself and I’ve been saving my DVD War Room, for just such an occasion.

 

Favourite Movie Stars

filmgerdaltmann-pixabay-1328403_960_720My favourite movie stars are Denzel Washington, Penelope de Cruz and Kirsten Scott Thomas.

I love the Bond films (particularly those starring Daniel Craig) and enjoy Mission Impossible movies with Tom Cruise. I also have a liking for romantic dramas and am developing a taste for Tyler Perry films.

Moving now to my TV diet, I can reveal that this consists of the following:

 

Aspirational Programmes

I just can’t get enough of A Place in the Sun, Escape to the Country and Location, Location, Location (in that order). Perhaps one day fortune will smile upon us (hubbie and I) and we’ll be able to afford a holiday home abroad, or retire somewhere hot and exotic. If not, then a move to the country will be the next best thing—God willing of course!

 

Comedy Flicks

Next to Friends (which no longer airs – however, I do have my DVD box set of all 10 seasons), I’m addicted to Everybody Loves Raymond and Frasier.

Kelsey Grammar stars in another series BOSS, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The character he plays here could not be more different from dear old Frasier. Talk about chalk and cheese! I think it’s an absolute shame that the series didn’t continue beyond Season 2 and that viewers have been unceremoniously left hanging, wondering how the ruthless mayor, Tom Kane, will fare. Most unsatisfactory and most inconsiderate! And if you know who the hell’s responsible dear reader, please tell him/her/them that I said so!

And because I’ve mentioned BOSS, I can’t leave out Scandinavian crime drama The Killing. Absolutely ace!

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Cookery Shows

Don’t get me started on these. I just love, love, love ’em. My favourites are MasterChef (both professionals and celebrities) and anything with Nigella Lawson, Barefoot Contessa, or Jamie Oliver. I usually intend to try out some of the mouth-watering recipes I see demonstrated, however, I very rarely do.

I also enjoy Come Dine With Me, which nicely combines cookery (albeit by amateurs), with an opportunity to have a look into other people’s homes and lifestyles. What’s not to like?!

 

Spiritual Line-ups:

And for dynamic, motivational messages to stir my faith and add zest to my spiritual walk, I like to watch the inimitable T D Jakes (on YouTube) and the fabulous Pastor Michael White (at TBN UK).

Netflix for my film and TV fix? Not necessary dear friends – I think I’m managing quite nicely without it!

 

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PHOTO CREDITS: All the above photographs are CC0 Images – courtesy of Gerd Altmann at Pixabay.com

Did you enjoy reading this post? Your comments, likes, ratings and shares are most welcome, for which I thank you in anticipation. 

My Leisure Time Pursuits

BLOG CHALLENGE

(for details on how to participate please visit: Life with Grace and Beauty)

 

 

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Prompt 8: 5 THINGS TO PASS THE TIME

We all need a break every now and again.  Whether it’s from studying, working, to escape from reality or to cure boredom.  What do you do to break up the mundane tasks in your life? Do you play a game, check your Facebook or Twitter account, or check the news? What are five things you do to pass the time?

 

Spare time!

For the past two-and-a-half months, I am beginning once again to enjoy the luxury of this thing they call spare time. Oh the joy of being able to get out of bed when I feel like it on a Saturday morning, to know that the entire day stretches ahead of me and it is mine, completely mine. All those glorious hours from 7am to 11pm are mine!

Don’t get me wrong – I am not a lazy bones. I don’t spend hours in bed just for the sake of it. In fact I don’t spend hours in bed period (unless I’m not well). That’s just not me.

The thing is, because I am now in the unique position of being able to spend all that time to myself and on myself, I feel I have to use it wisely. I feel I should not squander it. So when scriptures come to mind, such as Ephesians 5:16 about “redeeming the time” and because I know I’ve been guilty of wasting precious time in the past (periods spent in pity-party mode), I feel I need to make up for the time I’ve lost, by using my spare time working on quality activities.

Unfortunately, there is quite often a BIG gap between what I feel I ought to be doing with my spare time and what I actually do.

The following are my spare-time activities:

Reading

This is most definitely my number one activity and takes up a significant portion of my spare time. I love to read. However, I don’t read as much as I used to when I was a child and teenager. I recall one of my secondary teachers (Ms Harding) encouraging our class to read more. In order to motivate us (or check that we were actually doing what she asked), we had to record the title of the book we’d finished reading against our names in a special book she’d set aside for the purpose. Each pupil was given a page to themselves and I remember needing more than 1 page for my name, because I’d read so many books. I remember feeling exceedingly proud that by the end of that year, I’d read over 100 books.

biblereadingpixabay-896220_960_720So, as I was saying, I like to read. I’m currently on a sabbatical but when I am working, I read during my commute. In the mornings (unless I’m in the middle of a gripping fiction book), I normally read the Word of God. I try to read the Bible from cover to cover within the year. So far, I’ve only managed to do so maybe twice. Every time I start with the best of intentions but somewhere around Deuteronomy or Numbers, I lose momentum.

This year, I’m pretty pleased with myself. I set myself a target of at least 5 chapters per day. And although I’ve not always managed to keep to that target, I have progressed beyond the usual drop-out position. Today, I read 4 of the minor prophet books (Nahum to Haggai) comprising 11 chapters. As each of the books were fairly short, I thought I’d capitalise and try to catch-up. Granted, it’s now unlikely that I’ll complete the entire Bible by the end of this year but at least I’ve already achieved the satisfaction of moving way beyond those early books at which I normally get stuck. Hooray! Hoorah!

My evening commute is usually spent reading either a fiction or motivational book. I’ve now started to read for an hour or so in the evenings, rather than watch TV.

This year I set myself a target of reading at least 15 books (in addition to the 66 books of the Bible). To date I’ve read:

Fiction:

Waiting For An Angel – Helon Habila

Beach Café – Lucy Diamond

Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

Liar – Nora Roberts

Every Day, Every Hour – Nataša Dragnić

Rogue Lawyer­ – John Grisham

Non-Fiction:

23 Steps to Success And Achievement – R. J. Lumsden (a re-read)

Success Motivation – Charles Capps

Outliers – The Story of Success – Malcolm Gladwell

Short Story Writing – Dilys Gater

The Positive Woman – Gael Lindenfield

Positioning Your Family For Greatness ­– Bola Ogundeji

Appointment With God – The Navigators (a re-read)

And I’m currently reading: Destined For The Throne – Paul E. Billheimer and Go Set A Watchman – Harper Lee.

Writing

I believe my best time for writing is first thing in the morning, so before I go into work, I like to get in 15-20mins of practice (either an exercise or journaling). At the weekends, I’m more likely to stretch the time from between 20mins to an hour or so.

And of course I write posts for my two blogs Purpose-driven Achiever and Women of Warfare!

I’m a slow writer and I’m obsessive about making sure my posts are as perfect as they can be in terms of readability, comprehension, grammar, presentation and clearly getting across what I have to say. Often when I’ve uploaded my prepared text into WordPress Admin, I’m presented with all sorts of problems from the themes I use. They often re-arrange my layout and refuse to toe the line regarding how I want the text to be laid out. Numbered paragraphs, bullet points and line spacing are a particular nightmare.

Why can’t they be as amenable and co-operative as the Word documents my posts were originally created in? Why do they (the themes) keep exercising their own minds and doing their own thing? Why don’t they recognise that I’m supposed to be the boss? I can end up spending a frustrating amount of time trying to format each post  in the way I want it to look. I don’t always manage it, perhaps because I am not IT literate. I try my best nevertheless but feel mega-guilty about all the time spent on just 1 post. Oh someone please deliver me from my perfectionist bent!

Other Leisure Activities:

Cinema/Theatre/TV

remotecontrolpixabay-825597__340To completely unwind, I like to watch my DVD box set Friends. I’ve probably watched the entire set of 10 seasons (20 discs in total) around half-a-dozen times already, if not more. I love them. They are so funny and I find this is just what I need after a long tiring day, or to get me out of “pity-party” mode.

My husband loves watching action films, so provided they’re not too violent, I’ll watch a movie with him at home, or we’ll go to the cinema. He in turn panders to my tastes and will treat me now and again to a theatre trip.

Hospitality

I do love to cook and entertain but these days my hospitality is confined to having family members over about 2-3 times per year.

Shopping

When I’m in the mood I’ll go shopping, sometimes for necessities like clothes or new shoes but mostly for home accessories and furnishings. I’m into home make-over shows and these often inspire me.

And so here endeth my epistle on how I spendeth my spare time. Wow! When I began writing this, I didn’t even think I had that much to say!

 

QUESTION:

Did anything in this post resonate with you? How do you like to spend your spare time? Please share your response in the Comment box below and your likes, ratings and shares will also be most appreciated. Thank you for reading.

PHOTO CREDITS: the CC0 images used in this post are from Pixabay.com

 

 

 

 

 

The Path Of “Adulting”

BLOG CHALLENGE

(for details visit: Life with Grace and Beauty)

 

Prompt Seven | When You Finally Started “Adulting”

Oh to be a kid again!  Except now we’re adults with careers, responsibilities, and other grown-up business.  When did you finally start “adulting”?  What moment marked your transition to adulthood?  What makes you feel like an adult?

 

Child or Adult Mode?
Child or Adult Mode?

 

I remember when I turned 18 years old. I thought “Yes! I have the key to the door”. And then when I turned 21 years old, I thought “Oh Yes. I’m a true adult now”. At 18yrs and 21yrs, I may have been viewed as an adult legally but in reality I was still quite innocent and naïve. Decades later, am I any more adult than I was then? Not absolutely sure!

Of course since receiving that golden key to the door of adulthood, I’ve clocked up significantly more years of life experience—but does that make me an adult in the true sense of the word?

Maya Angelou made the following interesting observation:

I am convinced that most people do not grow up…We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias. ― Maya Angelou

I think she makes a valid point.

Psychologist and author, Robert Firestone Ph.D also seems to support Angelou’s statement. He says:

Most people are unaware that they are conducting their lives more from a child’s frame of reference than in an adult mode. Although men and women mature physically and become more capable in their practical lives, rarely do they achieve emotional maturity.

Oh dear! Perhaps “adulting” and adulthood are two different things. I will however, treat the two terms as interchangeable throughout this post.

To be honest, I’ve never heard the word “adulting” before. Perhaps it is an Americanism. Or perhaps it is an original term coined by our blog challenger. Anyway, I’ll respond to her question according to what I think it means—i.e. those activities and behaviours, which mark ones transition from childhood dependency to adult independence.

I suppose securing my first full-time job was my first step upon the ladder of adulthood. Working 9-5 and earning a wage, made me feel as grown up as my parents. Most of my school friends decided to stay on at school but I was in a hurry to work and earn. I saw it as a definitive move through the door of independence. However, I was still living at home and I was expected to hand over my pay cheque, so the feeling of independence was incomplete.

Moving out of the family home, having to pay rent, buy food and plan meals allowed me to put my foot on the second rung of adulthood. Unfortunately, irresponsibility with money matters meant I found myself in debt and had to square up to the responsibility of dealing with debt collectors, pay back monies owed plus the exorbitant interest, plus still afford the daily costs of living, whilst trying to maintain an independent lifestyle.

That experience introduced me to another rung in the step ladder of adulthood—the discipline of delayed gratification. I promised never to get myself into that situation again. For years I kept that promise. However, when my husband and I moved into our new house, I couldn’t wait to see it furnished and styled the way I envisaged. So out came the credit cards! If my life could be likened to a game of snakes and ladders, I suppose at that point, any adulting ground I’d made was almost completely lost.

moroccodanielwanke-pixabay-1623127_960_720My most memorable step into adulthood occurred the first time I went abroad on holiday. I went with my best friend to Morocco and we had a whale of a time. We decided that we didn’t want to go to the usual places like France or Spain, and so chose an 18-30s holiday where the accommodation was in mud huts with thatched roofs, arranged in villages. It was called Camp Africa!

When we first planned this we were both so excited. But I recall my mum and an insurance man (who perhaps wasn’t very happy about me cashing in a policy to pay for the holiday), putting severe doubts in our minds about the safety and salubriousness of our country choice. As it turned out we need not have worried. We had a fantastic time and I can honestly say, it was one of the best holidays of my life.

keysilviafrankpixabay-1809636_960_720My next significant move up the ladder of adulting, came when I got married. Setting up a home with a husband and learning to live together, learning to say “we” instead of “I”, learning to consult instead of independently making my own decisions, learning to become a united two rather than a solitary one, were part and parcel of that ascent. I’d like to think that I’ve moved up several stages in the curriculum of covenant relationship and marital harmony but since marriage is a life-time education, I’m probably still some way off from achieving my certificate of distinction!

My latest rise up the ladder of adulthood came when my dear mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. For several years I had to effectively put my personal life on hold, in order to be there for her as a part-time carer, whilst still holding down a full-time job. And then this year my wonderful, supportive husband gave me leave to take a sabbatical from work in order to look after mum full-time, since I did not want her to go into a home. Sadly, my mother became quite ill and died in hospital in September this year. I wrote a post at my other blog called The Politics of Hope, sharing my thoughts and emotional struggles during this time, which you may be interested to read.

And so, it’s here that I now pause on the ladder of adulting, whilst I determine my next move, or wait for another chapter of life’s vicissitude to unfold . In terms of emotional maturity, I know I have a long way to go. But I do believe that even in this area of weakness there has been some discernible growth.

Thank you dear readers for listening. I appreciate you taking the time to hear me out and trust I did not bore you!

And should you want to know what Robert Firestone deems to be the hallmarks of true adulthood, you can read his article at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-experience/201306/six-aspects-being-adult

PHOTO CREDITS: All images used are courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Enjoying My Dream Vacation

BLOG CHALLENGE

 

Are you up for the challenge?
Are you up for the challenge?

 

This post relates to day 6 of this 30-day blog challenge (I know – I’m getting behind!). Anyway, do you want to join in?  If so, for details on how to participate please check out: https://lifewithgraceandbeauty.com/2016/11/17/blogging-goals-whos-up-for-the-challenge/

 

Blog challenge prompt:  DAY 6

All work and no play?  We all need time to relax and unwind.  What’s your favorite vacation spot?  Why is this your favorite place to unwind?  What is the best thing to do here?  Where’s the best place to eat here?

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CC0 Image – courtesy of Michelle Maria at Pixabay.com

 

There are some exquisite places within this world and I have been fortunate and extremely blessed, to have holidayed in just a few of these places.

But wherever I go, whether it be on a tropical island, or a country retreat in the British Isles, or even just in my own back garden (during such times when I couldn’t afford to take a holiday, or my sense of obligation prevented me from doing so), the favourite spot for me has to be the wonderful world of an author’s creative imagination. It has to be the world within a new fiction book.

You see, for me the ultimate in relaxation, in glorious, unashamed revelling at the complete and utter freedom to please myself, to relax and unwind, to not be dictated to by a clock, or monotonous routine, or other people’s demands—but to be able to lie back, or sit in a space where I can absorb the delicious, obliging rays of warm sunshine and enjoy the ambience of my surroundings—has just got to be the joy of reading a new story, of making the acquaintance of new characters, of engaging with the various twists and turns of my vacation buddies’ convoluted lives.

holidaybooks-unsplash-918521_960_720And so, as a measure of my appreciation to the author, and also as a measure of loyalty to these fictional friends, I ride the highs and lows of their joys and disappointments. I empathise with their pains, sorrows and failures. I exult in their achievements and success. Yes, as the plot unfolds, I’m absolutely angst-ing (ok, I admit it – I’ve just made up this word) alongside them. I’m rooting for, and celebrating with them.

In other words, dear reader, the joy of luxuriating in a magical world of creative words and literary phrases is my favourite vacation spot. And if you add to the mix, balmy weather, tasty food, thirst-quenching drinks and melt-in-the-mouth, more-ish ice-cream, then, believe me, I’m in seventh heaven!

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Dream-achievers, where and how do you like to unwind? Please share your response in the comment box below and, if you enjoyed reading this post, don’t hesitate to like, rate, or share it with your social network contacts. My sincere thanks in anticipation.

 

My Paper-round, Parents and Career Pursuits

BLOG CHALLENGE

Are you up for the challenge?
Are you up for the challenge?

For details on how to participate visit: https://lifewithgraceandbeauty.com/2016/11/17/blogging-goals-whos-up-for-the-challenge/

 

Blog challenge – Day 5/Your First Job

We all start working at different ages and for different reasons. What was your first job?  Where did you work?  What was your schedule like?  Why did you start working there?

 

When one of my sisters became poorly and could not do her usual paper-round, I stood in for her for 1 week, so that she didn’t lose the position. And that was my first taste of having a job, being responsible for a role, fulfilling that responsibility to the best of my ability and receiving payment at the end of the week.

newspaperkaistachowiak-pixabay-973049_960_720I recall returning my newspaper bag to the sweet shop owner each day, long after others had returned theirs. I seem to have taken longer delivering the dratted newspapers to his customers on my allotted route. Whether this was because I was more painstaking than the others I have no idea. I certainly didn’t want to mess things up for my sister.

I remember feeling excited about the role for the first 1 or 2 days but after that the necessity of having to get up super-early and the novelty of the job soon wore off. I couldn’t wait for the week to be over! This paper-round however, was not my true first job, since it was not a position that offered regular employment and was not wholly mine.

Well, I subsequently secured a Saturday job at a local drycleaners. I was so pleased I’d landed this position and the proprietor, Mr Williams, was very nice to me. I believe I held that position for a few years. What I cannot recall is whether I had this post in addition to my day job, or whether it was purely a Saturday job—a means of earning pocket money, since my parents couldn’t afford to give us any. It’s just that I don’t think I could have been less than 15-16years old. Now I come to think of it, I believe it may have started out as a Saturday only job but that I continued working there for a while (at Williams Drycleaners), even after I began working properly elsewhere, as a full-time employee.

drycleaningunsplashfh4uo2pya-m0851Williams Drycleaners had a reputation for offering an excellent service. I did not appreciate it at the time, thinking a drycleaners is a drycleaners. But my own experiences since, of a less than desirable service from other establishments; complaints from my husband about the lack of good drycleaners (who don’t put double creases into his trousers and who return your items looking crisp and clean—not shiny, or in the same unclean condition in which they were handed over), plus the anecdotes from one of my brothers, whose cleaning and mending instructions were not followed to the letter, made me realise this is not the case!

My first full-time job was as a typist in the Civil Service. I worked in the Land Registry Department. My boss, the typing pool supervisor, was most impressed with my typing and presentation skills. I am not surprised because I had learnt to touch type at the age of 13 or 14 years old.

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Do you remember when salesmen used to call at your door selling their wares? Well I believe a salesman from the Scheidegger Training Institute had called at ours and my father, who wanted me to have better prospects than becoming a factory worker, decided to enrol me. I learned how to touch type, and earned a Diploma confirming I’d completed the “ten-finger touch method typewriting course including copy and speed typing, use of English and letter writing”. I was very proud of this achievement, especially as I’d achieved it outside of the school curriculum and a good 2-3 years before I actually left school.

Well, dear reader, my civil service job lasted approx 2-3 weeks!

I believe I was one of the youngest in the typing pool. I’d not been there a full week when I felt bored and wanted to leave. My other colleagues constantly moaned about how they hated their job and hated working there. I wondered why they didn’t leave and decided I did not want to turn into someone who stayed in a job they detested, yet moaned to all and sundry about how unhappy they were. So I decided to leave and I did.

Looking back, I can now understand those women. I was young, living at home, with no responsibilities. They were probably married, had a mortgage, plus bills to pay and children to raise. They could not afford the luxury of walking out of a secure job at whim. They had to be responsible. They were adults!

Now because I had this typing ability and because my father had sacrificed to pay for my tuition, I wanted to honour his sacrifice and please him. I did not want his sacrifice, or the skill it had secured, to go to waste, so I decided I’d become a secretary or a personal assistant.

My mother however, wanted me to use the excellent dress-making skills she’d passed on to me and secure a job in the fashion field. I later regretted not trying to pursue this.

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Perhaps I would have been a fashion designer now, or held some other position in the glamorous world of fashion. And who knows, perhaps (unlike Meryl Streep), I would have become The Angel Who Wears Prada!

 

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Did you enjoy reading this post? Please let me know your response in the comment box below. Thank you.

 

Early Memories

BLOG CHALLENGE

(to participate see link below)

 

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Are you up for the challenge?

 

 

Blog challenge – Day 4: Earliest memory

Tapping into your senses can help draw out memories.  What is your earliest memory? How old were you?  What happened?  Why do you think this is the earliest event in your life that you can remember?

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When I first read the thought expressed in the above illustration I did not agree. On reflection however, I believe it is true. Whilst we may not be able to remember some of our memories, I do not think they’ve been permanently erased from our memory banks. I believe they are filed somewhere within the vast reaches of our minds but we either do not know how to access them, or on some subconscious level, we do not choose to.

My early memories are incomplete. They are just fragments of different scenarios. I believe these early memories are from around 6-8 years, then there are a few later ones from when I was around 10-12ish, which is not really early I suppose.

My husband says he has clear recollections of when he was two years old. When he first told me this, I remember being utterly amazed because I can neither recall memories this early, nor so clearly. I had not realised it was even possible.

I understand some people can recall details from just a few months old and some even remember being born. And I hear some people even remember when they were swimming around in their mother’s womb! A-maz-ing!

So my memories are:

  • Walking up a very long path to the front door of my home. As I walked up the path, high flower borders or hedges flanked me on either side. I believe I was coming home from school but I seem to be on my own. Not sure that would have been correct, knowing my parents, who didn’t give me/us such independence and, considering my age (between 6 or 7?), coming home unaccompanied is most unlikely.

 

  • I have a recollection of me sitting in a class towards the end of the school day listening to the teacher at story time. I can recall the class sitting on chairs in a higgledy-piggledy fashion (we were not at desks) and the children in front of and around me listening intently to what the teacher was saying. I was distracted by a beautiful set of coloured pencils that were sticking out of a bag in front of me. 

 

  • Another vague recollection I have, is of me standing by or outside the gates of St. Mark’s School, looking into an empty playground. I may have been waiting to be collected. I don’t recall anyone else being with me. I believe it was the same school from the above scenario.

 

  • At a much later age (maybe around 8-11yrs), I recall having a disturbing nightmare repeatedly. It may not have occurred night after night but I believe I had this same nightmare approx. 4-6 times, if not more. I don’t recall specific details – just what the nightmare had been about.

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And that’s basically it. No real detail. In each of the above scenarios, I can’t recall what the weather was like, or what I was wearing. And apart from the story-time scenario, I don’t even remember whom I was with, or why I was there.  Have I repressed these and other early memories? Or are they sitting in a certain section of my brain which jealously guards and refuses to release my elusive early memories?

I did a little research and experts seem to differ in their theory about early memories. Some say that after a certain age children suffer from ‘childhood amnesia’. University psychologist Dr Patricia Bauer says: “…research is showing that infants do not have the sophisticated neural architecture needed to form and hold onto more complex forms of memory.” Others feel that some early memories may have been fabricated after children were shown pictures, slides or video and the material discussed.

 On reading various accounts of people’s early memories, I found it truly amazing that one person recalled being in the hospital and talking in baby language to a baby that was lying in the crib next to hers. She said they understood each other. That they had this language from inside their head.

I don’t doubt it. After all, God says that he knew us before we were even born (see Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalm 139:13-16). According to Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, we were in God’s heart, mind and pre-ordained plans before we arrived in this world. He  says:

Long before you were conceived by your parents, you were conceived in the mind of God. He thought of you first. It is not fate, nor chance, nor luck, nor coincidence that you are breathing at this very moment. You are alive because God wanted to create you!

 I still find it absolutely amazing that some children can remember such early memories and in detail. When I do read or hear about such accounts, I wish that I were one of those children.

Purpose-driven believers, before I close, if there are any negative childhood memories, which you know are still impacting your life today, why not bring them before the Lord in prayer and ask him to heal you and set you free? Our Heavenly Father, is a God who both hears and answers prayer!

 

***     ***     ***

 If you would like to explore the subject of early childhood memories a little further, you can check out the following links:

 To read interesting accounts of people’s early memories visit: http://myearliestmemory.tumblr.com/

To see graphic survey results of 135 children’s early memories go to: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-s-your-first-memory/

For more information regarding childhood amnesia, or childhood memory visit:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childhood_amnesia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childhood_memory

 

Did you enjoy this post? Please let me know your response in the comment box below. Thank you.

Five Years Ago…

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Are you up for the challenge?

BLOG CHALLENGE – DAY 3

(see above link for details on how to participate)

 

How was life for you 5 years ago?  What were your interests from 5 years ago?  What was your most memorable time from 5 years ago?

 

5 years ago?

Wow! I can hardly remember what I was doing 5 days ago.

After checking various records (online for news events, my pocket diary and devotional journal), I was able to piece together certain aspects of my life from that time.

2011 was not a particularly productive year in terms of my writing. There’s evidence I’d worked on a long-term project from May to July. There’s absolutely no evidence in my Practice Journal that I’d written consistently, even spasmodically that year.

I did however, discover an attempt at a poetry exercise, where you were required to write a prose sentence and then rework it into a poem. The result was as follows:

Rather than

Find myself in the

Sorry state of

Fruitlessness, frustration

And historical regret,

Wouldn’t it be wonderful

If this year,

I actually accomplished

One of my goals,

Realised

One of my dreams,

Achieved

A long-treasured aspiration?

2011 was also the year when I discovered the delights of gardening. Having gained most of my knowledge through research from that ever flowing fount of knowledge—the world-wide web—I planned both the front and back borders and was pleased with my efforts. Believe me, for someone who did not know their weeds from their herbs—this was a considerable achievement!

summerjillwellington-pixabay-783345_960_720In the back garden, I planted tulips and daffodils in pots, pink, white and mauve trailing Fuchsias in two hanging baskets. Another pot held white lilies with thin black edging called Eyeliner.

In the earth, I put orange crocosmias, ferns and shrubs (a deep red rose bush, a pretty pink camelia, an evergreen with creamy-white margins, two yuccas, a pink and white hebe and another evergreen shrub with glossy foliage, called fatsia japonica).

I recall a decorative wooden plaque which hung on a wall in our family home. It said: You are nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth. Certainly, whenever I sat out in my newly-created garden, I’d bask in its air of tranquility. I’d sit, survey and take pleasure in the fruit of my handiwork and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

On a miniscule scale, I could relate to how God might have felt after creating each aspect of his magnificent creation. The Bible reports how God looked and saw that it was good. I can relate because I’ve been made in His image and likeness. We share the same spiritual DNA. And so, when I looked around my little garden, I too felt a sense of personal satisfaction and I too saw that my efforts were good.

When I started writing about this post, I thought 2011 had been neither productive nor memorable. Thanks to my foresight in keeping garden records, I was able to recall a positive period and rejoice in that memory.

Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, if you don’t already do so, may I encourage you to keep some sort of journal? Apart from it being a great record which you can consult later, journaling is generally deemed to provide positive mental and emotional benefits.

Have a wonderful and productive week!

 ***     ***     ***

 

 

I Blog Because…

Blog Challenge – Day 2

 

Hello Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers. I do hope you are joining me for the second day of this 30-day blog challenge. If you have no idea what I am talking about then let me invite you to visit this young lady’s site  for further details. You will learn everything you need to know, to participate.

 

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Are you up for the challenge?

 

Day 2 Question: Why did you decide to blog?

 

Can I let you into a secret?

It will take a little time, so grab yourself a coffee, settle down into your comfy chair and I’ll begin. All ears? Okay!

Once upon a time I had a dream. This dream was a long, long, long-held desire to be a writer. I couldn’t shake this urge, I couldn’t squash this hunger that demanded fulfilment.

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At the same time as cherishing this dream, I had distinct immobilising fears and uncertainties that kept getting in the way of my aspirations. I believe it all stemmed from an incident that occurred at secondary school. You see my English teacher had set the class some homework that I was mega-excited about. We were to write a short story! Furthermore, the best one would be read out to the class.

Well, as a proverbial book worm, I’d read hundreds of books and I just knew in my heart that I was going to deliver the best story. My competitive streak and my ego duly assured me that this was indeed going to be so!

I crafted my short story along similar lines to an Enid Blyton adventure. I hugged and hugged myself with a sense of deep satisfaction and excitement, waiting for the homework deadline, waiting for my story to be selected, my story to be read out and held up as an exemplary model. I know it’s a cliché but I waited until then with bated breath.

schoolgerdaltmann-pixabay-1063557_960_720So when my teacher read out another class-mate’s name and the title of his story, I literally could not believe my ears. Numb with shock and disbelief, as the story was read out, I became even more confused. The story was definitely inferior! Now, whilst I may not make such a claim out of sheer modesty, I certainly don’t say this from sour grapes, or out of malice.

When growing up, in order to teach us humility, my mother often used to say: “Self-praise is no recommendation!” However, dear reader, please believe me when I say that this so-called “best in the class story” was not in the same category as my own. Far from it!

Confusion and dismay roiled in my stomach. Our exercise books were handed back at the end of class and I hastened to see what mark I’d been given. There was no mark! Disappointment deflated me completely and the quiet confidence with which I’d arrived at class was now displaced by a queasy feeling. Why has Mr Williams not marked my story?

I approached him. I asked him.

His response stunned me: “I did not mark your exercise because I did not ask you to copy something from a book!”

Now at the time, I wasn’t familiar with the phrase but he was effectively denouncing me as a plagiarist! I protested. I denied his accusation. I assured him with utter conviction that I had not copied my story from any book. I had used my imagination and I’d made it up. However, I was waved away with contempt.

education-614155_960_720I walked away from that teacher dumbfounded. All sorts of silent accusations hurled themselves at and deafened me. Cheat! Liar! Shame shrouded me. Low self-esteem whimpered within me and abject misery consumed me.

By way of explanation for this nightmarish occurrence, I subsequently surmised why that teacher had so unjustly accused me. I began to have a suspicion, as to why he was not even prepared to give me the benefit of his doubts.

You see, black children are not meant to be proficient at reading, let alone have such a good command of the English language, as to be able to write a cracking good story. So how could I have written it? Thus goes my theory!

Now I didn’t come to this conclusion until years and years later—having suffered repeated episodes of racial prejudice, having had the benefit of hindsight. I surmised that this broad-framed, dark-haired and knock-kneed English teacher had most probably indulged in racial discrimination against me. To my mind, only an explanation along these lines, could account for his bizarre behaviour, since I knew in my heart and God (who knows all hearts), also knew I had written the offending story.

The rot however, had set in. I’d heard about “automatic-writing”. Had I been taken over by some being? (laugh). But no, I’m positive I’d written it. It was my thoughts, my ideas – wasn’t it?

It’s no wonder that over the many years since that fiasco, although I secretly entertained a dream to be a writer, my crippled ego, my crucified confidence just couldn’t rise to the occasion.

So now you know my secret dear reader. And that’s partly why I started blogging.

I believe God has given me a writing gift. I don’t want to be like the ungrateful servant, who hid his one talent in the ground. It’s perhaps conceivable that fear of once again being falsely accused, contributed to my years and decades of suppressing this ability. Who knows?

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I do know that I’m responsible for what God has entrusted to me. I do know that through the sands of time this gift within me may have withered from lack of use but somehow it has also absolutely refused to lay down and die. I do know that blogging provides me with wonderful opportunities to hone this talent, to use and share this treasured gift, speaking into the hearts and lives of others.

Blogging, has given me a new lease of life. Last year, when I started my blog, I committed it into my Father God’s hands along with my writing ability. And do you know, when I started using this gift, just as the protagonist had declared in Chariots of Fire, I sensed the pleasure of God?

I blog because I believe it will become a gateway to the fulfilment of other dreams. I blog because it allows me to write. Writing is my re-claimed passion and writing is an important expression of who I am. I blog because I can!

***     ***     ***

 PS: since writing this piece, my husband happened to mention he’d been watching a programme where Diane Abbott (MP),  a black woman in the same age bracket as myself, revealed she had written an essay and her teacher asked her: “where did you copy this essay from?” Ms Abbott explained: “she could not believe that a chubby little black girl had written it!”

Given my own experience, it seems this may have been the prevailing attitude of teachers in the UK at that time, towards black pupils. Interesting!

***     ***     ***

Purpose-driven achievers, precious visitors, have you experienced set-backs whilst pursuing your dreams? How did you recover?

Please share your response in the comment box below. I look forward to hearing from you. Meanwhile, have a blessed weekend.

 

 

I Am Me!

I met a delightful young lady today whilst on my cyber travels and spent a great time reading and engaging with her 7-day gratitude posts. I want to support her as she is a newbie blogger, and so I’ve decided to participate in her 30-day blogging challenge, which begins today.

Please note, I will not be posting my usual style posts this month. I hope you will nevertheless enjoy the posts that I do share and that you will even feel motivated to take part. I believe this blogging challenge will not only add a new dimension to our blogs and help people like me to post more regularly, but will also enable us bloggers to get to know one another better and maybe even attract new readers.

Please do join in. Go along to her website for full details. Obviously the more bloggers that take part, the more fun it will be and whether you are a seasoned blogger, or a newbie, I’m sure taking part will be beneficial. So come on, let’s give this young lady a boost and help make her blogging challenge a success. Don’t worry if you can’t commit to the full 30-days – just take part as and when you are able.

Blogging Challenge: Day 1

 

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Are you up for the challenge?

 

Day 1 – What makes You, You?

What makes you, YOU?  What identifies you as you?  This isn’t about your gender, although if that’s what makes you, you then so be it.  Who are you?  What defines you as a person?  What sets you apart from everyone else?  When you die, what will people remember about you?

What makes me, me?

I asked my husband the question and he told me three things (of many he says), which I’ll share. Firstly, when he thinks of me he thinks of someone with a sense of style. I like that. I do feel that I’m stylish. I love nice clothes and love putting them together to make a stylish ensemble. I pride myself on having excellent taste. I perhaps do not dress as stylishly now, as I did in my youth. For a start, I do not go out as much as I used to. Lately, I seem to attend more funerals than weddings or special occasions.

Secondly, he (my husband) says I have a beautiful voice. This really surprised and pleased me. I’m aware some people find my voice attractive but I do recall way back in my past that a few employers and service-users had complained I sounded dull and depressing! Anyway, my dear hubbie mentioned that if I happen to call him at work when he’s not having a good day, my voice soothes him. Isn’t that nice?

Thirdly, he says he loves my big, broad smile. I am not a naturally smiley person. In fact people will normally see me as serious, or stern-faced. Years ago, I’d often feel surprised if someone came up and asked “why so serious?”, or “what’s wrong?” As far as I was concerned, I felt fine but somehow my face didn’t seem to register that. Maybe that’s why God has blessed me with a beautiful smile! I just need to remember to showcase it more often. 🙂

Now, let me move on to what I think makes me, me.

I have a strong sense of family responsibility. I will do my utmost to fulfil whatever responsibility I feel I’ve been given. Perhaps that comes from being the oldest of 7 children, or perhaps that is just part of my make-up, I do not know. I do wish that this same mindset would transfer over into my role as an ambassador for Christ. It pains me that I am not as diligent with spiritual responsibilities (e.g. soul-winning), as I am with secular matters.

I am super-sensitive. I will say no more on that front.

I have a deep compassion for the poor and for disadvantaged children, especially in the developing world. I hate to think of them not having enough to eat, or having to take on adult responsibilities and not having the freedom to enjoy being a child. And I absolutely hate it when people misuse their power and authority in order to  abuse or humiliate others, be it children or adults.

I love literature. I love words. My husband calls me a word-junkie! I love reading fiction both for the pleasure of the story being told and for the delight of observing the literary strategies deployed by the author in order to tell their story. I normally tell myself I will read a book twice, once as a reader and once as an apprentice seeking to learn and improve my own writing. I rarely do. So now when I read, I’ll try to do both simultaneously.

I love writing and teaching and sharing and helping others and have a particular desire to see women become the best they can be.

I am a recovering perfectionist. Sadly, that means I can be highly critical and judgmental of myself. It also means I have a desire to excel, excel, excel!

There are many people who would perhaps describe themselves, as avid readers, aspiring authors, compassionate Christians, stylish dressers and responsible adults, with a desire to make a difference to the world around them, so what sets me apart?

Well, I believe the fact that I was born and raised in Britain, yet am of Afro-Caribbean heritage; the fact that I’m a committed follower of Christ, the fact that I have an introverted personality, the fact that I do enjoy social events but prefer my own company, added to my experiences throughout life, my responses to them, my skills, gifts and abilities, my opinions and perceptions, my principles and values, my pre-ordained, God-given purpose, all combine to make me the unique person I am today.

When I die, I hope people will remember me as someone who cared about others, who was a positive influence on others and who glorified God—not just with my lips but also with my lifestyle.

A Debt of Gratitude

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CC0 Image – Pixabaycom

 

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

Albert Schweitzer

 

As a follower of Christ and a purpose-driven believer, I want to live my best life possible. I want to glorify God, honour his name and pursue the purpose ordained for my life. I am aware that I cannot achieve this on my own. I not only need God’s assistance, I also require the help of others. There are people (past and present) who will play (or have played) a part, whether minor or major, in helping me to accomplish my dreams and fulfil my God-given purpose. To those people I owe an inestimable debt of gratitude.

Amongst those people are two who are dear to my heart—my mother and my very first pastor and father in the faith, Archbishop Malachi Ramsay. Both have now gone on to be with the Lord but both in their individual ways made a significant impact upon my life and left a valuable legacy in terms of my spiritual walk with God.

Just as in the natural, the first five years of a child’s life are fundamental in helping to shape them into healthy and competent adults, so I believe the early years of a Christian convert’s life determines their future spiritual development, competence and maturity.

And so I thank God for placing both these commendable individuals early on in my Christian walk. I thank God for their:

  • integrity
  • unswerving commitment to Christ,
  • passion for the lost,
  • fervency of spirit,
  • excellence in service to the Body of Christ,
  • diligence in the spiritual disciplines of fasting and prayer,
  • willingness to teach and model their spiritual convictions to others.

 

I also want to thank God for their exemplary input into my life, which has helped shape me into the Woman of God I am today.

Are there people to whom you owe a debt of gratitude? People who have perhaps prayed for you? Friends who stood with you in good times and bad? People who believed in and encouraged you? Folks who have invested time, perhaps even money in you? Have you thanked them? Are you continually grateful to God for them?

PDA followers and visitors, let’s take care that we don’t undermine verbal expressions of gratitude with behaviour that sends a contradictory message!

Have a blessed week.

Thanksgiving Fatigue?

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CC0 Image – Pixabay.com

 

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to day 5 of my “thanks-fest”. If you have joined me on all the previous days to date – thank you!  If you have only just joined – where have you been? 🙂

Well, the official Thanksgiving Day is over! I hope you all had a wonderful time with your family and friends.

Perhaps you are now feeling a little sluggish from all that food and drink, and perhaps you are even feeling fatigued with the whole gratitude saga. I hope not. There is only one more day to go of my 6-day “thanks-fest”, so I hope you will bear with me.

I’d just like you to consider one point today.

Have you ever given a gift to someone (maybe a child) and that person had to be cajoled into saying “thank you”. Or have you had someone thank you for something you did, out of a sense of duty or politeness but it lacked sincerity? Not nice is it?

ONE QUESTION:

I wonder how our  Heavenly Father feels when we treat him similarly?

 

ONE VERSE:

Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven, for his lovingkindness continues forever.

(Psalms 136: 26 – The Living Bible)

 

ONE BEAUTIFUL SONG:

 

Best wishes,

Carol

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

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https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

 

 

 

 

Dear Lord – Thank You!

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I continue today with the seasonal theme of thanksgiving.

PRAISE

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness,

The power and the glory,

The victory and the majesty;

For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;

Yours is the kingdom, O Lord,

And You are exalted as head over all.

 

Both riches and honour come from You,

And You reign over all.

In Your hand is power and might;

In Your hand it is to make great

And to give strength to all.

 

Now therefore, our God,

We thank You

And praise Your glorious name.

(1 Chronicles 29:11-13)

 

 WORSHIP

 

PRAYER

Father God,

You have said in your Word that we should enter your holy presence through the gates of thanksgiving and the courts of praise.

I am so grateful that I can come into your awesome presence with boldness, because you have made me worthy. I thank you that no matter how many times I fall short of your standards, you love and accept me unconditionally.

Dear Father God, I ask that you cause gratitude to you, for your undeserved favour and mercy, to effervesce continually from my inner being. I ask that you will take great pleasure in the fruit of my lips and from my thanksgiving sacrifices. I pray they will delight your heart, ascending to your throne like sweet smelling incense. Amen.

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.

Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

 

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, I wish you and your loved ones a joyous and memorable celebration. Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers be blessed !