Go Get Your Dream!

 

Do you have a dream? Then go get it!

 

GO

Move forward.

Proceed.

Travel in direction of.

Walk towards.

 

If you are not moving forward you are either stagnant or regressing!

 

GET

Achieve.

Obtain.

Own.

Make effort.

Possess.

Succeed.

 

You need to plan, pursue and execute!

 

YOUR

An inner compulsion.

Individual.

Personal.

Unique to you.

 

Not borrowed, coveted or stolen from others. So stop competing with the Joneses, with the Kardashians, with celebrities!

 

DREAM

Ambition.

Aspiration.

Desire.

Personal ideal.

Seed of imagination.

Vision.

 

Nurture and nourish your dream then trust God for its fulfilment!

 

And by way of further encouragement and motivation here’s a song to spur you on your way.

 

Have a great week dream-achievers and purpose-driven believers. And, if this post has encouraged you today please let me know in the comment box below. Likes, shares, ratings also highly appreciated.

 

CREDIT: This beautiful CC0 Image comes courtesy of San Wai Han at Pixabay.com

Thanks – For the Feline Influence!

Hello fellow-bloggers, precious readers – today I thought I’d go fun and light-hearted and post my response to an old (very old!) Daily Post Word prompt.

I hope you enjoy reading.

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Daily Post Word Prompt: “I’d like to thank my cats.”

What a weird prompt! What a weird idea.

Part I

Cats are notoriously selfish and are not like dogs. They do not return your love. They will not protect you (ordinarily), although as I write this, I recall some news story of the recent past where a cat protected a young boy. I don’t recall the details – just that it happened.

But it seems bizarre to me that someone would even say such a thing. Is this jest? Can you imagine someone accepting a Grammy award (or some such other award) and turning to the audience to say: I’d like to thank my cat?

Could we take such a person seriously? Would anyone, apart from a member of CAMHS, (Cats Are My Heroes Society), take that person seriously?

Now, I am trying to imagine what you could possibly be thanking a cat for?

For being a valuable feature in your life?

For encouraging you when you were down?

For pushing you towards your purpose when you so wanted to give up?

For what, or why on earth would someone want to thank their cat? Beats me!

Well, if I really stretched my imagination, I suppose a business magnate who’d become a billionaire as a cat food manufacturer, might be grateful that the hundreds of recipes tried out on his poor moggy finally turned up trumps. I can’t think of any more justifiable reasons at the moment but I am sure if I were to continue to exercise my grey cells, continue to brainstorm, I could come up with a feasible explanation.

I would like to thank my cat.

Hmm No! No further inspiration at the moment.

 

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Part II

Wait! Hold up! (Light bulb moment!)

I would like to thank my cat.

You know, this could actually be the genuine response of a grateful actor or cast member from the musical CATS. Someone for whom Tiddles’s tutoring and mentoring has not only informed their acting prowess but also transferred into indispensable life skills. Yeah. I say, give honour to whom honour is due!

How else have said actors honed their ability to purr with contentment over their capacious container, crammed with cream and crowned with smug success?

Or how else could they have learned to stalk past their gainsayers and naysayers, dismiss lowly plebs with snooty disdain, or pounce without mercy upon unsuspecting rivals with the cunning skill and killer instinct of a haunched-down-low moggie stalking a squirrel, or hunting oblivious prey? Yeah! That’s most likely it.

My friend, if someone had told me that I could relate to a person who chose to thank their cat during an award ceremony, I would have said: Sodom & Gomorrah! I’d have thought: unthinkable – you’ve me got sooo wrong!

But now… from between the start and finish of this post, I’ve had a complete change of heart. I can actually see it now. I can believe it too. And, I’d have absolutely no problem with it!

Go actor, go!

Go accept your award and go thank your cat!

 

Wanna read more or participate? Then hurry along to:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/id-like-to-thank-my-cats

 

CREDIT: CCO image from Pixabay.com

The mountain

. . . if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

 

Purpose-driven believers, aspiring dream-achievers, are there mountains in your path which you’ve convinced yourself can never be overcome?

Don’t believe the lies of the Enemy who whispers in your mind, taunting you to give up, to ‘get real!’, to let go of your dream, who brings out the catalogue of past failures as ‘evidence’ you don’t have what it takes.

Listen to what Christian Mihai has to say on this subject:

The mountain ahead is not the real test. The real obstacle. The real mountain is your mind. The sky isn’t the limit, your belief system is.

 

I recently came across the following motivational post by Mihai, which I just had to bring to your attention.

Do please read, reflect and respond.

Cristian Mihai

7e94b6ca15764dd139ba2f8146844331“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” – Muhammad Ali

Ever felt like a failure? Worthless? Lonely being redemption, broken beyond repair. A waste of time?

Ever felt that it just doesn’t matter?

Ever felt like you couldn’t do something because it was too difficult? Because you were just not good enough? Or smart enough? Or you didn’t have the resources you needed?

Ever felt hopeless, seemingly destined to spend your life daydreaming about what would never be and what was and could no longer be?

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Anchored – Not Adrift!

 

Daily Post Word Prompt: ADRIFT

 

An orphan.

That’s me. Without mother. Without father.

However, I’m not a child-orphan but an adult. Nevertheless, when my mother died last year, I felt alone in the world. Even though I have my husband, even though I come from a large family.

I was faced with the stark reality that there would be no more mum to turn to, to share my news and notions, to share my problems and prayer requests.

Even though, if truth be told, things had not been quite the same since mum fell victim to Alzheimer’s disease; and even though towards the end of her life-span, mum was not the strong, independent woman I’d known; at least she was alive, at least I could enjoy some form of connection.

Now her death, our physical separation, left me feeling adrift in the world – without parental anchor.

Is this how mum felt when my father died unexpectedly—left alone with 7 children, in a country that was not her own, that did not really want her? Did she feel somewhat adrift without her spousal anchor, adrift upon the cruel tempestuous seas of grief and bewilderment?

Is this how the disciples felt after Jesus’s death? Adrift from He who had anchored their life to purpose, to identity?

Thank God that was not the end of the story for any of us (my Lord’s disciples, my mother, myself). Contrary to our emotions and initial perceptions, we were not left alone in this world.

Christ’s resurrection from the dead has given us hope and that hope serves as an anchor for our soul. Christ’s resurrection has given us new purpose, a new identity—Kingdom purpose, Kingdom identity. And whenever we need guidance or direction or help, or whatever, we have only to ask.

Whether orphan or not, as children of God, as purpose-driven believers, we are not alone in this world.

Ahoy there landlubbers!

I have a message for you today. I’m not hiding it away in a bottle in the hopes that one day it will be found. Oh no! I’m shouting it loud from the top of my lungs. I’m displaying it clearly from the top of Christ’s mast.

Whatever my circumstances, whatever my concerns, since Jesus is with me and has promised never to leave me—then I am not adrift!

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Wanna read more or participate? Then hurry along to: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/adrift

Trust God. Believe His Word. Encourage Self.

REFLECTIONS FROM MY READING

 

 

 If God implants His desires in our heart, then He will see to it that they are completed as we submit to His Lordship and work in co-operation with His Spirit within us.

Edwin Louis Cole – The Potential Principle – Living Life To Its Maximum

 

For the past 2-3 years I have been beset with fears that I might die before I complete a project I began. Recently those thoughts have visited me almost daily and I have to tussle to oust them from my mind and prevent them from taking root in my heart.

I have been in about 4 car accidents which could have cost both me and my husband our lives. Accidents where the cars were a write-off. Accidents where I still do not know to this day how we avoided a full-on collision, how we avoided careering off into the path of oncoming cars on the motorway. Only the fact that I

(a) serve a mighty, miracle-working God

and

(b) regularly ask the Lord to divinely protect me, and my husband and my loved ones, in accordance with Psalm 91,

can explain why I escaped terrible injuries, or have not already lost my life.

The above factors, plus other incidences in my life where I know, that I know, that I know, God graciously intervened and delivered me, healed me, are the reasons why every now and again the tentacles of fear seek to asphyxiate me.

During the days when I didn’t know better, whenever fearful thoughts came, I’d try to squash them down or ignore them. Sometimes I even voiced them. Which is the worst thing you can do. Because the Enemy does not and will not give up!

And so those thoughts need to be taken captive. They need to be imprisoned within the walls of faith. They need to be displaced and replaced by the Word of God. And it is necessary to apply this strategy again and again and again and again, as often as needed until you are free. Completely free. Until God’s thoughts (as revealed in his Word) become second nature.

Today, I read the above passage from Ed Cole’s book and it has encouraged me. I believe God has planted certain dreams in my heart. Some of those dreams I would never have considered for myself. And some of those dreams would take only God himself to make them become a reality.

I’m choosing to believe God’s servant Ed Cole and what he has written. I’m choosing to resist the lies of the Enemy. I’m choosing to discipline my fleshly inclinations (to sulk, to be slothful, to bathe in self-pity, or to self-flagellate over missed opportunities and past shortcomings) and submit to Christ’s Lordship and co-operate with His Holy Spirit.

That doesn’t mean the fears won’t come back. That doesn’t mean I won’t be tempted to go off on a tangent and try to do things my way because God’s just not working fast enough (remember Abraham and Sarah?).

But praise God, it does mean that He can (and will) cause ALL things to work together for my good, for my benefit, for my success.

Dear reader, if God has given you a dream which is taking forever to take shape and become a reality, or if you are facing obstacles to that dream left, right and centre, trust God to give you that breakthrough. Trust God to carry you through the storms of opposition, persecution, sabotage or failure. Trust God for whatever it is that is pertinent to your situation.

Trust God. Believe His Word. Encourage self.

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CC0 image – courtesy of Pixabay.com

Are You Living it LARGE?

 

LIFE!

Life is not easy!

I doubt there is anyone reading these words who will deny this. It’s a phrase I recall my father using quite a lot whilst I was growing up as a child. In fact, I wrote a post on my other blog: Women of Warfare!, about how I came to the very same conclusion once I’d grown up, which you may like to read – (Five-Minute-Fri: Easy).

 LIFE!

 It has its highs and lows, swings and roundabouts, ups and downs. Sometimes life evokes feelings of euphoria and at other times the feeling of “this is the pits!”

LIFE!

We can either enjoy it or endure it. We can either live it and love it, or bitch about it.

LIFE.

I want to live life with CAPITAL letters. I want to enjoy the abundant life that God says I can have. . . that Jesus died for me to experience. I want to live a purpose-driven life.

How about you?

 

CREDIT: CC0 Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

The ‘S’ Word

 

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 the concept of SURRENDER.

Whenever I think of this word two images spring to mind.

 

  • A wrestling match where one wrestler has the upper hand and is mean, standing (even jumping) without mercy upon an area of his opponent’s anatomy and causing pain until said opponent cries out or signals “I surrender!”

 

  • A war situation where the battle is one-sided and a member of the losing side runs out hands in the air, or waving a white flag signalling complete surrender.

 

In today’s culture no one wants to surrender to another person. It speaks of weakness, or categorises us as losers and in some situations, it can even make us the victim.

However, the SURRENDER I wish to focus on today relates to our relationship with God, as purpose-driven believers and achievers. It is a surrender made because of love, not through fear. It is a surrender that completes us as children of God, rather than diminishes us as human beings.

The following are some thoughts gleaned from Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life.

Everybody eventually surrenders to something or to someone. If not to God, you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to fear, or to your own pride, lusts or ego.

Rick Warren

 

So let’s turn now and examine this concept – what does surrender to our Father-God look like?

Trust:

Trust is an essential ingredient to surrender. You won’t surrender to God unless you trust him, but you can’t trust him until you know him better.

Rick Warren

How well do you know God? Are you seeking to know him better?

 

Understanding

Do you understand what true surrender is?

It is not passive resignation, an attitude of fatalism, or an excuse for being lazy.

It is not becoming a doormat or exhibiting cowardly behaviour.

It is not forsaking rational thinking.

 

Godly surrender is:

Our heartfelt response to God’s unconditional love and mercy.

Our sacrificial dedication of our lives in wholehearted worship and spiritual service.

Our yielding complete control of our lives into his care.

 

Warren tells us in no uncertain terms that:

…surrendering is never just a one-time event… There is a moment of surrender, and there is the practice of surrender, which is moment by moment and lifelong.

 

For Further Thought:

…the greatest hindrance to God’s blessing in your life is not others, it is yourself—your self-will, stubborn pride, and personal ambition. You cannot fulfil God’s purposes for your life while focusing on your own plans.

(Rick Warren)

Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

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Did you enjoy reading this post? Why not share your response in the comment box below and consider sharing it with your social media network(s)?

My sincere thanks in anticipation!

 

Whoo Hoo Wednesday!

 

I’m giving thanks today to my Father God, my precious Lord Jesus and my creative director and associate, the inimitable Holy Spirit.

Why am I thanking this divine trio?

Because today is another day in my writing history where I have cause to flag up some new achievements. I give my thanks and the glory to this awesome holy trinity, because I consider them to be indispensable members of my success team.

And now for the reason for my joy and for this post.

Recently I’ve felt a little discouraged because

  • Blog growth is slow.
  • Blog interaction is erratic.
  • And a recent attempt to rally interest in my first blog challenge event has so far met with zilch response.

But this morning after discovering certain email in my inbox from three individuals, I felt over the moon.

The first was from a blogger friend Kato, a dear and humble minister of the Lord, who was asking whether I’d mind him sharing my post Pick up Your Cross on his site. He deemed it an important message. Would I? I felt both touched and honoured and of course I granted permission. Please check out his blog. Some of you may recall that I’d recently reblogged one of his posts regarding discovering our life’s purpose.

The second cause of joy came from the editor of a Christian women’s magazine. A guest post, Love’s Sacrificial Mind-set, has been published in this beautiful magazine, Ruby for Women. Further, my article has been featured on the main page of the RUBY community website  and on the Ruby blog.

Dear reader, even if you have read this particular post before, please check out the magazine. And you writers out there if you’re interested in contributing an article, poem, photograph or other artwork, please check out the submission guidelines. The site also hosts a Christian Community, so why not check this out also?

And the third cause of joy came from an editor of a literary blog, which I highly recommend. An article I’d submitted was published on Monday. I’d be so grateful if you’d kindly go along and visit and support me with your likes and comments. Here’s the link.

Unbeknown to me, whilst I was feeling low, these three emails have been sitting in my inbox since Monday. And so I declare today as Whoo Hoo Wednesday! May there be many more whoo hoo days to come, for me, my lovely followers, readers and supporters, the editors of Two Drops of Ink and Ruby for Women and also dear Kato.

Whoo hoo! I’m a writer – yay!

Whoo hoo! I’m a published writer – double yay!

 

Credit: CC0 image – courtesy of Oberholster Venita at Pixabay.com

Push A Different Button!

Purpose-driven believers, on your way towards success, whilst pursuing your destiny I’m sure you will encounter difficulties and disappointments.

I don’t know how you currently deal with such events but if you find yourself going round and round in circles without experiencing the change you crave, then this post may be pertinent.

The following is a post re-blogged from my other site – Women of Warfare!

Women of Warfare! (WOW!)

Those of you who have read my posts for some time know that every now and again I share something from an excellent devotional resource that I use, the UCB Word for Today, written by Bob & Debby Gass.

I cannot recommend this highly enough. Even if you don’t get on with daily devotional books (for a long time I didn’t!), you can read it as a straight forward book, or dip into it from time to time (as I started out doing). Before you know it, I’m sure you’ll become a fan (as I have!).

The following is an extract from last month, which I feel led to share with you all.

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MIND-SETS ARE patterns whereby your mind automatically operates a certain way. That means you can set yourself up for misery by reacting to the same people and circumstances in…

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You Are Never Too Old To Dream – This Is Why!

 

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY (1st Monday of each month)

Sharing and Savouring Secrets of Success…

——————————————————————————————————————————–

THEME THOUGHT:

You Are Never Too Old To Dream!

 

——————————————————————————————————————————–

 

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

 

I have seen the above quote attributed to C. S. Lewis and also to Les Brown. I am presuming that the quote originated from Lewis, but at this point I’m not that concerned. I’m just glad I found a quote relevant to this theme.

 

Fears of Passing Years?

Dear friend, follower or visiting reader, do you entertain fears that your ship has sailed, that opportunities have passed? Do you wonder whether you are too old, whether it’s too late to achieve your ambitions, pursue your destiny, follow your dreams?

It is tempting to think that dreams are only for the young. After all, they still have much of their lives before them. If they’ve not yet found their niche in life, not yet accomplished their goals, not yet discovered their purpose, then potentially, they have years in front of them to do so.

Well, whilst I was researching this topic, I was surprised to see a post from a woman who had entertained similar fears at the grand old age of 30yrs. So what of those who have moved past the age bracket of 30-40 yrs, or 50-60 yrs, even 70-80yrs?

 

Foolish or Faith-filled?

What of those who feel there are less years in front of us than there are behind us? What of those who are concerned that whilst time is slipping by, whilst maturity means we cannot abandon our responsibilities and run off into the sunset to pursue our dreams, the opportunity and potential for realising said dreams is ever decreasing?

Should we still hold onto our ambitions? Should we still cling to those cherished dreams? Should we still seek to discover and pursue our destiny?

Before I answer that question, let me just say that as purpose-driven believers, our first frame of reference whenever we want direction, need a troubling question answered, or seek godly wisdom for our lives, should be the Word of God. That said, what does the Bible reveal? Listen up!

 

Some Dreams are in God’s Hands

  • Abraham – fulfils his dream of fatherhood at 100yrs old (Genesis 21:5)
  • Caleb – at the age of 85yrs felt as fit as he was at 40yrs and subsequently fought and drove out the inhabitants of Hebron, taking that city as his inheritance (Joshua 14:10-14)
  • Moses’ dream of becoming Israel’s deliverer only started to take shape when he was 80yrs old (Exodus 7:7)
  • Simeon’s cherished desire to see the promised Messiah with his own eyes, came to pass when he was in the winter season of his life (Luke 2:25-32).

And so, if this message speaks to you where you are at, be encouraged dear one. You are never too old to dream!

Perhaps some of you are still sceptical. Yeah right, Lady Cee. I hear you. But how about showing me a modern day example – huh?

Ok. I will do.

 

A Modern-day Inspirational Icon

Have you heard of Deshun Wang? I do hope you haven’t! But if you have, allow me to refresh your memory.

Below is a 2min video (I beg you – please, please don’t skip it!).

Prepare to be blown away! Prepare to have your biases, concerns and reservations about old age and the pursuit of dreams challenged. Prepare to have negative preconceptions regarding the parameters of success dislodged.

And now, allow me the pleasure of introducing you to Deshun Wang.

 

 

Purpose-driven believer and aspiring dream-achiever, I trust you have been encouraged, inspired, yeah motivated afresh. Have a wonderfully blessed and fruitful week.

For further relevant reading check out:

Pursuing your dreams? Be tenacious! https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/a-dream-plus-persistence-success/

Use spare time wisely – whilst you are still able! https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/prodigal-or-profitable/

 

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Did you enjoy reading this post? Were you encouraged in any way? If so, please do not hesitate to let me know your response in the box below. As usual, your likes, comments and shares are gratefully received and appreciated.

CCO Image (courtesy of Pixabay.com)

 

Use Your Kindness Kit!

 

Every one of us has a ‘kindness kit’ we carry with us everywhere we go. It’s better known as our tongue. Never underestimate the power of one kind word.

(From: UCB Word For Today – February-April 2017 – written by Bob & Debby Gass)

 

*Free postal copies of 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

 

 

Purpose-driven believers and dream achievers, I wish you an abundantly blessed and productive week!

Six Word Story Challenge: LEAVE

 

 

Attention Readers/Writers!

 

Nicola Auckland of Sometimes Stellar Storyteller hosts a weekly micro-fiction writing challenge.

If you’d like to join me and take part in her challenge, this is what you need to do:

Write a whole story in six words (or less) inspired by the prompt. It doesn’t have to include the prompt word unless you want it to. Post your entry in a comment box at Nicola’s blog site. Only one entry per person is allowed.

Note: Links to a blog post will not be counted as an entry.

For full challenge details go to: https://nicolaauckland.com/2017/04/22/six-word-story-challenge-leave/

Need inspiration, or want tips on how to write micro fiction? Visit: https://nicolaauckland.com/2016/09/12/how-to-write-the-best-six-word-stories/

The challenge winner will be the story with the most votes. Again, visit Nicola’s site for details of the separate poll and to cast your vote.

 

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SIX WORD STORY CHALLENGE (open Saturday 22nd April 2017 – Thursday 27th April 2017)

 

This week’s challenge prompt is:

LEAVE

 

And this is my attempt:

Betrayal. Shattered soul stood firm: “Leave!”

 

 

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A Timely Reminder

Hello friends and followers,

During my travels in cyberspace this morning, I came across this wonderful post. I just had to share it. I do so for the benefit of two groups of people:

(1) those who may be seeking, who are curious, or who believe yet disbelieve, who sit on the fence because they want ‘proof’ and
(2) those who desire to live a purpose-driven life. Jesus has given us a clear commission and responsibility. We should not be afraid to share the good news of the gospel.

Thank you and have a blessed day. 😃💖

Simple Joys

This morning my Facebook notified me of my memories via ‘on this day‘ and amongst them was this post which I shared on my timeline. Now I don’t know if the story is true and, if it is, I don’t know whether the student really was Einstein, but what I do know is this; for someone who has been struggling with her beliefs recently (more on this later)this was a timely reminder of what it (faith) is all about for me.

THE POST (from 2012)

Professor : You are a Christian, aren’t you, son ?

Student : Yes, sir.

Professor: So, you believe in GOD ?

Student : Absolutely, sir.

Professor : Is GOD good ?

Student : Sure.

Professor: Is GOD all powerful ?

Student : Yes.

Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to GOD to heal him. Most of us would…

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What Will be Your Legacy?

 

 

We are all familiar with the saying “Time waits for no man”. And maybe, like me, when you look back over your life you can see periods of time that were squandered. Those times have gone. We can never bring them back and there’s no point in us dwelling in the land of regret.

We can only thank our Father God for each new day he allows us to awake, knowing that each day presents a fresh opportunity to live purposefully, to honour Him—not just with our lips but also with our lifestyle.

Most ambitious people, or productive individuals will want to see their efforts and achievements extend beyond their own lives. Their desire is to leave a lasting legacy.

Today, we celebrate artists like Rembrandt and Renoir, writers such as Shakespeare and geniuses such as Einstein, who have left us a rich legacy we can still appreciate and enjoy today. They left an earthly legacy. So, it is perhaps not surprising if we feel that leaving a legacy for others to enjoy after we have gone, is the ultimate in achievement.

However, Rick Warren, advises us otherwise. He believes:

Living to create an earthly legacy is a short-sighted goal. A wiser use of time is to build an eternal legacy.

Rick Warren

When my mother died last year, she left a wonderful legacy behind her. Her life was the epitome of selfless sacrifice. She faithfully served God, her family, the members of her church. Her example inspired and continues to inspire me and I have a great desire to emulate her.

I saw my mother’s commitment and exemplary life as a wonderful legacy—to her children and to her brothers and sisters in Christ. I initially saw her legacy as earth-bound. However, my mother did not only leave behind an earthly legacy. She also built an eternal one. I have no doubt in my mind that the Lord Jesus welcomed her into his kingdom as a faithful and profitable servant.

Warren’s statement has re-aligned my aspirations and re-focused my perspective. Yes, I love the idea of leaving an earthly legacy. However, I see the wisdom of building an eternal legacy. Whilst my ego and self-pride desires to be remembered on this earth, I am now more concerned that I’m known and remembered in heaven.

The Bible tells us that God knows those who are his. And in a recent guest post I warned readers there will be people who mistakenly believe Jesus recognises them as his followers. Alas they were wrong! Jesus dismisses them in no uncertain tones, saying depart from me I do not know you!

Again, the Bible tells us about a Book of Remembrance (Malachi 3:16) and about a Lamb’s book of Life (Revelation 3:5). Now I want to feature in that Book of Remembrance. I want my name to be written in that Lamb’s Book of Life.

Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, whilst striving to fulfil our goals, or pursue our destiny, let’s make sure our efforts contribute towards an eternal legacy.

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Don’t Decide Your Purpose – Discover it!

 

Purpose:

Definition according to Chambers 21st Century Dictionary

  • the object or aim in doing something
  • the function for which something is intended
  • the intentions, aspiration, aim or goal

 

Look around you.

Everywhere you look there are items made for a specific purpose. Laptop. Desk. Diary. Bookshelf, Books. The house in which you sit and which houses all the things you can see. Every single item created for a specific purpose.

What makes you any different?

You have a purpose. I have a purpose. And it stands to reason that if our lives have a purpose, then someone must have assigned that purpose to us. And whoever assigned that purpose to us can be none other than our creator.

I’m sure you will agree with me that the person who wrote that book on your shelf, did not create and decide the purpose of the bookshelf upon which it stands. No! A carpenter created that bookshelf and therefore the carpenter, as creator, decided its purpose.

And guess what?

The carpenter did not make his bookshelf first and then decide what its purpose will be. The carpenter decided in his mind beforehand the purpose he wanted to fulfil and then he created the product that would serve the purpose he had in mind.

So apply that analogy to yourself. You were made for a purpose. And, if you accept this, then it stands to reason that you have a creator. Whether you accept it or not, whether you believe it or not, you are a created being, and your creator is God Almighty:

…the High and Lofty One

Who inhabits eternity,

Whose name is Holy

Isaiah 57:15

 

I say all of the above to demonstrate that it is not up to us mere mortals to decide what our purpose is in life. Notwithstanding what I’ve just said, the onus is upon us to DISCOVER our purpose.

In his book The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren says:

The easiest way to discover the purpose of an invention is to ask the creator of it. The same is true for discovering your life’s purpose: Ask God.

 

 

 

  • Do you believe God has a purpose for your life?
  • Have you discovered that purpose, or are you seeking God and asking him to reveal your purpose?

What on earth are you doing with your life?

 

 

 

Ever wondered why you are alive? Why you were put here on this earth? What your purpose is in life? What the meaning of life is period?

These are big questions. Questions that men throughout the ages have sought to answer. Philosophers. Sages. Atheists. Scientists. Intellectuals. Ordinary men and women.

Deep down in our hearts we sense there is a reason, a purpose for our existence. And whilst some will search, speculate and put forward reasoned hypotheses, others will shrug and be satisfied with existing, with going from day-to-day just allowing life to happen to them, or seeking to bleed life dry of whatever advantages, or benefits, or opportunities they can grasp without thought or care for others around them, without thought or preparation for what lies beyond death.

And then there are those of us who realise we are created for a purpose, have been placed on earth for a specific reason and will never rest content until we both discover and fulfil that destiny.

Whichever category of people you belong to at this present time, I believe Rick Warren’s book can speak to you, offer answers and provide a practical guide to discovering and living according to your pre-ordained purpose.

Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life, takes you on a guided 40-day spiritual journey. If you are unsure of your purpose in life, if you are curious about the reason for your existence on earth, if deep down you feel that niggle of dissatisfaction about your own philosophy in life, or are willing to admit that there is a troublesome vacuum in your life, and you are open to discovering, exploring and perhaps subscribing to a spiritual concept which:

  • reveals who can fill that vacuum
  • guides you towards a purpose-driven life and
  • offers a blueprint for a God-oriented, successful lifestyle

then I recommend you read this book with an open mind and heart.

Dear reader – don’t delay!

Don’t push the idea, or this invitation away!

Come explore with an open mind

Who know what truths, what discoveries, what spiritual riches you will find?

Purpose-driven believers, dream-achievers, and any sceptics reading this post, I pray God will speak to you wherever you are at right now in your life, that he will draw you with his cords of love into a new revelation and knowledge of his being, into the fullness of his purpose and perfect will for your life.

 

Whilst I live . . .

CC0 image – Pixabay.com

I came across this wonderful post this morning and heartily agree with the sentiments expressed. As Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha says, life should should be savoured.

Read. Enjoy. And go live your life in faith, peace and with expectation!

Shalom.

 

Thanks but no thanks WordPress. I still have a lot of life in me. I have no bucket list, thus no item 11 to talk about. This is not something that I have gotten around to doing and doubt if I would do so, even though I know that it might seem the fashionable thing to do […]

via No One Is Kicking This Bucket Yet!… — a cooking pot and twisted tales

Attention – Seekers, Searchers and Sceptics

 

Hello dear reader, dear precious visitor.

Thank you for taking the time to visit me in my corner of this vast realm in cyberspace. You are so welcome!

Whenever I write and publish a post, my heart’s desire is that my words, my message will strike a chord deep within the hearts of my readers. I write, yes to fulfil my artistic leanings, my creative passion. But I also write with a desire to influence, to inform and to inspire.

Today’s post is a message to those among you who may hold views contrary to my own, as a born-again Christian. Today, I am writing for the attention of the atheist. The agnostic. The “free spirit”. The non-religious. Even the religious extremist. I write for the attention of those who may be seeking and searching for the meaning of life, for those who may be wondering about the purpose of their existence.

Dear seekers, searchers, or spiritual wanderers there’s no need to wonder, or wander around clueless anymore. Whenever God wants to reveal or fulfil his will, he uses a human being to speak or to act. This is why he sent Jesus to this earth. And this is why he uses sanctified men and women to speak as his oracle.

Now in this current age, we are blessed to have access to so many resources, including the Bible (God’s inspired Word), through which the God of all gods may communicate. And from amongst this plethora of Christian resources, is one which I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending.

It has been described as a blueprint for 21st Century Christian living. And it is the book which has inspired both this blog, and my fervent desire to live a life that is purposeful, successful and brings honour to the God who created me.

Having reached Day 39 of my 40-day spiritual journey within the pages of this excellent book, I am again convinced that it is a resource which has the power to enlighten the hearts of both believers and non-believers. I am convinced it is a valuable and necessary manual for leading a satisfying and successful spiritual life.

Now if you would open your mind and heart and earnestly embrace the thoughts and truths of this spiritual resource—The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren—I believe my Father God (whom you may have dismissed as a figment of fanciful imagination, or consider to be an impossible ogre, opposed to, or indifferent to your concerns and welfare), will reveal himself to you.

I believe the authentic supernatural experience for which some of you yearn, will be yours—simply by the believing, the asking and the grasping. I believe the principles for raising your life from a mundane existence to a phenomenal plane, if adopted and acted upon, will bring you success and significance.

Dear reader, practically every day you make a choice on the recommendation of a critic, friend, writer or reviewer. Since daily you allow yourself to be influenced by people whom you may not know, people who may be directing you from a certain bias, or with a personal agenda, then today, I’m challenging you to make a choice on the basis of my personal recommendation.

Take that step today. Either beg, borrow or purchase a copy of this brilliant book. Or visit http://purposedriven.com/ to learn more about the concept of pursuing a purpose-driven lifestyle.

What do you have to lose?

Dear reader, making this choice could be the difference between life and death. Spiritual life. Spiritual death.

So choose life!

 

Friends, Bloggers and Countrymen – Lend me your ears!

 

CC0 image – Pixabay.com

 

If you have gone through the WordPress Blogging 101 training course, one of the things the tutors recommend is that you focus your blog on a particular message or theme and write for a specific person, or target readership.

With that piece of blogging wisdom in mind and, as the first quarter of this year draws rapidly to a close, perhaps now is a good time to review our blog’s message and our blog objectives. Are we achieving what we set out to do? Have our motivations changed? Have we as individuals grown since we began our blogs? If so, have our initial reasons for starting to blog in the first place now changed? Do we need to re-brand, or else go back to basics?

The following is my response to an old Daily Post prompt, which I used as a writing exercise. I’m sharing it because I think it’s in keeping with what I’m trying to say in this post.

 

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Daily Post Prompt: BE THE CHANGE!

I would like my blogs, Women of Warfare  and A Purpose-driven achiever, to make my visitors smile, feel better about themselves, be encouraged, feel as if they have an online friend who cares about them and empathises with the things they have to deal with.

I would like my blogs to influence women to aspire to a deeper relationship with God, to be a better person, character-wise and perspective-wise.

I would like to encourage women to pursue their dreams and realise their potential. I’d like them to feel there is a place they can go, for the encouragement and motivation required to live their everyday life on a higher plane. I would like them to feel highly motivated, to seize their day, to live abundantly, instead of merely existing, letting life pass them by, feeling overwhelmed by circumstances, or overlooked by the people around them.

I would like my blogs to motivate women to make the most of every day, to see, enjoy and celebrate their lives as something special, rather than dismiss as drudgery, or as run-of-the-mill ordinary, or worse still view with utter dread, because someone or something has marred their outlook.

And just as I would like God to use me, to be that change in the lives of women who come within my circle of influence, so I desire that these women in turn would be the change in the lives of others around them.

Purpose-driven believers and dream achievers, whether blogger, Christian, colleague, parent, or whatever, I challenge you – in your  household, neighbourhood, workplace, community – be the change! Be an asset in your circle of influence. Be an influence for good.

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If you would like to read other contributions relating to this prompt please visit: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/be-the-change/

 

Question:

Have you felt the need to change, or expand the message of your blog, or have you maintained your original theme? Please share your response to this post in the comment box below. I look forward to hearing from you.

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.

 

*****   *****   *****   ***** *****

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!

💖 💖 💖

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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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!

 

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.

 

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?!

Life On Purpose

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…

View original post 730 more words

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!

 💖 💖 💖

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/

 

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!

 

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!

 

 

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?

 

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

 

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

 

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!

 

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 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!

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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!

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 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!

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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.

 

 

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.