Stop Maintaining Mediocrity – Seize Success!

 

The Success Spectrum:

I’m sure you will agree with me that there are all types of people in this world, so naturally there will be a reflection of these types amongst the followers and readers of this blog.

At one end of the spectrum there are those who are always positive-minded, who regularly walk the path of success. At the other end there are those who are habitually negative and struggle to achieve. And then there are those in the middle, people similar to King David (in the Bible), who was an incredibly capable and successful warrior, yet often experienced moments of deep despair.

The following is an edited extract from my writing journal in response to a quote, used as a writing exercise. I have however, adapted it slightly to make it less personal and more applicable to followers and visitors of this blog.

Now to all you success-dreamers out there, if whilst reading you feel that the shoe fits, I’d encourage you to use this post as a motivational boost to yourself. In any event, I hope my message will be of help to someone.

*****

 

The Writing Prompt:

“Taking back control is a wonderfully empowering experience. When you beat your victim self, you feel a sense of victory and you know that anything is possible.”

The Writer’s Idea Book – Jack Heffron

 

The Journal Extract:

Indeed, it is a marvellous thing.

When you have lived so long as a victim, when you have lived so long with procrastination, when you have failed to be productive, to follow your dreams, to live life creatively, to explore your potential, to satisfy your creative urges, to express your talent—you have succumbed to the victim mentality. You have allowed your weaknesses, your fears, your indecisions and uncertainties, to take pre-eminence in your life, to dictate how you should live your life, to decide the tenor of your days, weeks, years, even decades. But does it (victimhood) reward you for your faithfulness? Oh no my dear, it does not!

It laughs in your face. It slaps you with the hand of mockery and scorn. It insults you. It declares you have been lazy, that you have lacked discipline. It points its accusatory finger at you, stating in no uncertain terms that you are a failure! You have wasted your life. You had such potential but you wasted opportunities. You failed to make opportunities. You did not seize the day.

Victimhood sends out its subliminal messages of disappointment and disapproval. It hints that you are a failure. You have achieved nothing and just as others decreed, you’ve amounted to nothing. You have wasted time and ability and gifts and calling. You ought to be ashamed of yourself!

And if you are not careful my dear aspirant one, you will pay heed to the voice of these crippling accusations and you will pay heed to your detriment. You will believe it is too late and continue on your path of slothfulness and procrastination, or fear and indecision. You will justify your actions with the usual excuses:

  • I did not have time
  • I was sabotaged
  • No one gave me a chance, or an opportunity
  • I did not know what to do
  • I did not know how to do it.

Excuses, excuses, excuses!

Do you think that those who actually use their abilities and gifts and talents don’t have the same tussles, or battles? Do you think you are a one-off? That no one experiences the same, or similar temptations as you face?

They do! But they wrestled and won. They fought off their demons. They overpowered their negative thoughts. They slayed their Goliaths. And now they have creative endeavours to show for their efforts, for their hard-won battles. Now they stand in the glow and aura of success. They fought. They conquered. They won.

Purpose-driven believers – we can do it too.

 

The Motivational Challenge

You can do it too dear reader. Will you choose the path of success? Will you choose self-discipline? Will you stop making excuses? Will you plan and execute? Will you seek the necessary help and support, apply yourself to the task and refuse to break your focus?

Get back into the game. Pick up the ball. Give despondency (or whatever it is that stops you from achieving), the boot. Give those thoughts and feelings and excuses their marching orders. Take authority. Pick up your sceptre and rule over those immobilizing reasons and excuses.

Rule, aspirant one rule! Rule success-dreamer, rule! Dictate your terms. Summon your inner power and strength. Rise up and be strong. Rise up and be decisive. Rise up and rule!

There is a Joseph spirit (the spirit of a ruler, the vision of a leader) inside of you. There is an Esther mind-set (the mind-set of a victorious overcomer) waiting to emerge. There is a successful dream-achiever waiting to be born.

Do you believe it? Will you walk that path, that journey towards success, or will you remain in your stagnant pool of mediocrity?

Don’t deceive yourself. The power is in your hands!

 

Lacking motivation? Read this: https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/daily-motivation…a-daily-decision/

Ready to move into the realm of success? Read this: https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/a-dream-plus-persistence-success/

***     ***     ***

Fellow bloggers and visiting readers, I trust you were able to gain something useful from the above post, or at the very least that you enjoyed reading it. Why not leave a comment and let me know your response? I’d very much appreciate it.

CREDIT: The above CC0 Image comes courtesy of Gerd Altmann at Pixabay.com

 

 

 

Advertisements

Why Reach For the Stars?

Hello people,

I came across a post last week that kinda got me angry.  Not with the blogger concerned but with that deceiving serpent, Satan. I won’t send you to this blogger’s site – I’ll just say in a nutshell what this blogger’s post spoke about.

Basically, the post referred to disbelief that:

(a)  there is a God (referred to as an “otherworldly being”),

(b) we are put on this earth for a purpose.

This blogger stated that since we are “all here on this earth by chance”, since we are here by a “freak accident”, since we have a “meaningless existence”, we could pretty much do as we pleased.

BUT the remark that really annoyed me was that it is simpler to assume that our lives are not our own, that our lives have a pre-determined purpose.

The strange thing is that this post was supposed to be a motivational prompt, asking writers to “take that leap of faith” and reach for the stars!

Anyone else see this as a conflicting message?

Below, was my response left in a comment box.

___________________

I disagree that we are here on this earth by co-incidence. I believe we are here by design.

I disagree with a philosophy that suggests our existence is meaningless. If that is the case, why seek to make our lives meaningful? Why reach for the stars? Why broaden our horizons?

Why not be satisfied with our supposed lot in life which is to live meaningless, humdrum, inconsequential lives? Why seek to live above our station?

I disagree because I believe that deep down within each one of us is a desire to excel, to express our gifts, to be more than what life throws at us.

Where does such desires and inward motivations come from? I believe they come from the One who created us, the One whose breath gives life to our mortal bodies, the One whose creative genes we share.

I disagree because I believe this Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent One has put us on this earth for a reason and pre-ordained us for a purpose. Dear blogger, it is MUCH simpler to say “my life is my own and I can live it on my own terms” than to seek to discover and fulfil that God-ordained purpose.

I agree that to a certain extent we are in charge of our own destiny. Our choices create that destiny – a destiny that extends beyond the grave!

Peoples, my rant is now over!

What say you? Agree or disagree?

 

CREDIT: the above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

Today… — a cooking pot and twisted tales

Today, when you look in the mirror, you’ll see a beautiful soul. Our mirrors are not just to see the reflections of our physical self, but to remind us that we are more than our looks. ω Check out my latest book Amazon

via Today… — a cooking pot and twisted tales

Hello beautiful souls,

I hope you will be blessed by the words of this post.

May I also encourage you to check out Jacqueline’s new book on Amazon.

Best wishes,

Carol

My Passion Fatigue

Hello people,

For a little while now I’ve been suffering from “passion fatigue”. I’ve written about my ailment and thought I’d share the post with you all over here, since I believe much of what I had to say could be pertinent to someone who follows, or visits this blog, who is committed to pursuing their passion, achieving their dreams, discovering their God-ordained purpose.

Let me know if anything in this post resonates with you. You can leave a comment in the box below. Seriously! I’d appreciate your feedback.

Women of Warfare! (WOW!)

I’ve not written in my writing journal since 1stJuly.

I’ve not worked on my project since 30th June.

I’ve not been actively writing on my two blogs.

I’ve been lackadaisical for 15 days – possibly longer!

Even today, I didn’t feel like doing anything. Didn’t feel like pursuing my passion. Didn’t feel like writing.

At the back of my mind, I’ve known I should push past this feeling and just get on and do. I know when I put my mind to it that inertia flees and the interest returns. Even now as I write, I sense the spark of enthusiasm igniting. And, strange though it may sound, even my fingers feel exhilarated, as they move across the keyboard. I’m back – just like that!

So what kept me away?

Self-sabotage!

At least that’s part of the story.

The other part is that the Enemy is at work…

View original post 945 more words

What Are You Committed To?

Hello folks,

Have I got a treat for you!

I came across this gentleman’s blog and after reading this post, I just had to share it with you all.

If you have time, I hope you’ll also listen to his podcast.

SKYLARITY

What are you committed to? The great idea you said that would define your reality and lead to phenomenal success, are you committed to that idea? Or are you simply infatuated with your thoughts and the possible success outcomes related to that great idea? 

When no one is telling you what to do, when there is not a boss looking over your shoulder, when you are not on the clock, what are you committed to? 

Here is where the separation between the good and the great begins—between winners and everyone else. 

Winners are driven by what they are committed to. They are driven by their passion. Winners are driven by a sense of purpose.

Are you driven by what you are committed to? If you are committed to a great idea, then that great idea should drive you. And if that idea does not get your juices flowing, if it…

View original post 285 more words

An Open Letter on Fathers’ Day

Dear readers and visitors,

Today is a day when we celebrate fathers for who they are and the positive influence they have been in our lives.

My own father departed this world long ago but even when he was alive I did not have a great father-daughter relationship with him. So when a man of God once gave me a prophetic word in a church meeting about how God wanted to develop a loving father relationship with me, I was of course thrilled but I did not know what that would look like.

Now, many years later I can say that my relationship with God is one of the most poignant and precious aspects of my life.

As purpose-driven believers and achievers, our relationship with Father-God should be the “be all, and end all” of our day-to-day lives.

The following is a post I’ve written for my Women of Warfare blog, in celebration of Fathers’ Day.

I do hope you will enjoy reading.

———————————————————————————-

Women of Warfare! (WOW!)

Lady Cee

7 Salvation Street

Pilgrim’s Peak

Jehovah-Shalom Province

***** ——————————————————-*****

To:      The God of all the Earth

Sunday 18 June 2017

Dear Father God,

I Love You.

There have been many times when I’ve told you how I feel about you. I’ve told you during my private devotional times, during public praise and worship sessions at church meetings, during my day when my thoughts run across you.

I love, love, love you—with all my heart, mind and soul.

If I am honest, I don’t think I’m at the point where I can say that I love you more than life itself but I do desire, hope and trust that the measure and quality of my love for you will increase more and more, will deepen and widen as time goes by.

Because dear Father God, you deserve all the love in the world, all the love in the universe…

View original post 728 more words

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.

♥♥♥     ♥♥♥     ♥♥♥

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.

 

*******

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

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!

*****       ******        ******

 

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

Blog Event: Lady Cee’s 4Ws and 1H

 

LADY CEE’S 4Ws & 1H Blog Challenge

(Challenge open Monday 15 May 2017 to Tuesday 30 May 2017)

***     ***     ***

 

Welcome to my debut blog event. I hope you will come and support me by joining in with this challenge.

 

The Challenge:

I have based my challenge on a journalism reporting technique known as the 5Ws and 1H. If you are not familiar with this and I have piqued your interest you can check out the following link: https://www.thoughtco.com/journalists-questions-5-ws-and-h-1691205

You will note that I’ve adapted this slightly for my challenge, hence the 4Ws (Who, What, Where, Why) and 1H (How).

 

How to take part:

Answer the following questions:

  1. Who would you like to be for a day?
  2. What flower or plant do you think represents your personality?
  3. Where would you go on holiday if money were no object?
  4. Why did you become a blogger?
  5. How do you measure personal success and have you, or are you on your way to achieving this?

You can write a post linking back to my challenge post here (remember to give the post link – not your blog’s URL), or you can enter by answering the questions directly into a comment box below. The challenge will remain open until Tuesday 30 May 2017.

Re-blogging of this post is not a requirement but would be appreciated.

Please use the tag: Lady Cee’s 4Ws-1H so we can find each other in the WordPress Reader. If you’d like to share this challenge with your social media contacts then please use the hashtag #4Ws-1H.

Please also show some love and support by visiting participants and leaving a comment (non-negotiable) as well as your ‘Like’. At the very least visit the neighbours on either side of your entry or pingback.

Have fun!

***     ***     ***

And now for my answers:

 

Who would you like to be for a day?

A fine chocolate connoisseur and taster. Any longer and I’ll probably feel sick, or go off chocolate altogether!

 

What flower or plant do you think represents your personality?

One of those sensitive plants that closes if you touch it (No. Not the Venus fly trap!). I looked it up and found the plant is called Mimosa pudica. It has beautiful pink flowers which remind me of the Callistamen.

I chose this plant because I’m a very private individual. Because past experiences of betrayal and mistreatment have made me wary and self-protective.

Since checking it out on YouTube I understand the Mimosa pudica is also called the prayer plant, so I think this reflects me well!

In case you are unfamiliar with this fascinating plant and are interested in seeing what it looks like and how it responds to touch, I’ve inserted a short video below.

 

Where would you go on holiday if money were no object?

Any exotic island with fabulous weather, stunning scenery and colourful flora would do.

Perhaps Richard Branston’s Nekkar Island?

 

Why did you become a blogger?

For two (actually three) reasons.

  • I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a writer
  • I wanted to start doing something with regards to a motivational ministry for women
  • I wanted to build a loyal readership as a potential market for a self-published book.

 

How do you measure personal success and have you, or are you on your way to achieving this?

In a nutshell, success for me on a day-to-day level is making the most of the time and talents I’ve been given.

It means having an ongoing, meaningful relationship with God that brings him pleasure and gives me confidence. I’d like to be known as a woman of godly influence and I’m also aiming to become a writer and self-published author (par excellence).

It’s taking an awfully long time and there are still days when I play the procrastination game but, I believe I’m gradually getting there.

 

Thank you for visiting and reading and I hope you will support me by taking part.

Participants:  (please visit and support them with a comment/like)

 

Embeecee

http://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2017/05/16/new-b-c-in-town/

 

 

Julz

https://juliepowell2014.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/lady-cees-whats-your-story

 

 

MAIN FEATURED IMAGE: courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

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.

*****       *****       *****

CC0 image – courtesy of Pixabay.com

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

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/

 

***     ***     ***

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)

 

Attention! – Friends, Followers and Visitors

 

Hello dear friends, followers and visitors,

I’d like to express my thanks to those who have followed me  recently and in the past few months (both at this blog and at Women of Warfare!).

I normally like to visit and thank people personally but of late have not always found the time to do so.

I hate ingratitude and rudeness and would hate to think that any of my new followers and visitors considered me in that way. Sometimes, I’ve been surprised to learn about several new followers from my stats page because as far as I’m aware, this was not indicated to me via notifications. I happened to discover this by accident and wonder if there have been other new followers I’ve missed.

Anyway, in case I don’t get around to visiting you all, I’ve written this post, as a way of thanking and celebrating every single one of my visitors. I want you to be in no doubt whatsoever.  I appreciate you and thank you for visits, for your kind, encouraging and supportive comments that have both amazed and brought me joy.

I hope the following goes some way to expressing my appreciation.

 

‘Thank you’ dear readers and followers

For granting your precious time

To read, to like, or to comment,

In response to my prose, or my rhyme.

 

‘Thank you’ dear precious visitors

For choosing my place to stop by

For making my moments as inspirational blogger

A wonderful joy-induced high.

 

My sincere thanks to those who linger,

Over posts shared from a heart of love

‘Thank you’ to those who consume, digest and ponder

Who support me with words which affirm and cause wonder,

And spurs praise to my Father above!

 

© Carol Hind – April 2017

 

T H A N K     Y O U !

 

With heartfelt good wishes to you all,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

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

 

New followers and visitors, you are also invited to visit me at my other homes on the net:

https://womenofwarfare.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB (SOUL SURGERY)

 

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.

 

*****       *****       *****

 

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!”

 

 

***     ***

Six Word Story Challenge: OUTCAST

Hello folks,

I’ve decided to take part in a micro-fiction writing challenge hosted by Nicola Auckland of Sometimes Stellar Storyteller

I know there are quite a few writers out there, so 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 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 of the challenge post at Nicola’s blog site. Only one entry per person is allowed.

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

If you require further information or want to read the full challenge rules please visit Nicola’s site (see link above).

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.

 

*****       *****       *****

Challenge open Saturday 15th April 2017 – Thursday 20th April 2017

 

This week’s challenge prompt is:

OUTCAST

 

And this is my story:

One-eyed hunchback turned down my proposal!

 

 

 

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

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.

 

****     ****     ****

 

 

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.

***       ***       ***

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.

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

—————————————————————————-

 

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.

 ***     ***     ***

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:

 

***     ***     ***

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

 

Warning! Your Words Will Determine Your Life’s Course

The Daily Post – Daily Word Prompt: PROPHECY

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

*****   *****   *****

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

negativewords_joelosteen_zpse813333e

 

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

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

 

How To Be Effective

Goldpadlock-166882_640

 

You become effective

By being selective.

(Rick Warren – The Purpose Driven Life)

 

Dear Dream-achiever,

And Purpose-driven believer,

 

Select the company you keep

Select the kind of food you eat

 

Select the literature you read

Select the harvest of your seed

 

Select the thoughts you contemplate

Reject the paths of war and hate

 

Select the habits you must maintain

To secure your dreams and joy sustain.

***     ***     ***

 

 

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.

****      ****      ****

 

Purpose-Driven Achiever’s Top 10 Posts

 

post-boxpete-linforth-pixabay-1726582_960_720

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Posts Which Received Top Views

1.  Paradise Lost or Regained?

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

and

Quit Comparing

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

      2.  Satan’s Suicidal Mission

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

3.  Charisma or Character?

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

4.  Secrets of Success

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

5.  Lady Cee’s Thoughts on Integrity

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

and

Effective Communication

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

 

Posts Which Received Most Likes

1.  Quit Comparing

See Top Views above for blurb details

2.  Satan’s Suicidal Mission

Again, please see Top Views above for blurb details

and

Give God Your All

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

3.  A Stark Contrast

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

4.  Paradise Lost or Regained?

Once again, please see Top Views above for blurb details

and

What is Your Life Metaphor?

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

5.  A Debt of Gratitude

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

and

Five Years Ago

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

 

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

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

 

***     ***     ***

 

Remembering the Christ of Christmas

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

christmasholgergrybsch-pixabay964342_960_720

Are you celebrating the TRUE reason for this season?

 

Christmas time,

Mistletoe and Wine

Children singing Christian rhyme

With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree

A time to rejoice in the good that we see.

(Cliff Richards)

 

 

Cliff Richards, Commercialism, Christ

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

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

 

Stop and reflect!

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

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

3wisemengerdaltmannpixabay-514849_960_720

 

Make faith your travelling companion

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

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

 

Walk with God-focused purpose

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

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

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

 

Embrace your destiny-helpers

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

 

Let go – and let God!

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

Netflix? I’ve No Need!

BLOG CHALLENGE

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

filmgerdaltman-1668917_960_720

 

PROMPT 9:         Favorite Netflix-a-thon Show

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

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

***     ***     ***

 

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

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

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

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

 

Favourite Movie Stars

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

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

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

 

Aspirational Programmes

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

 

Comedy Flicks

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

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

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

 filmtvgerdaltmann-92134_960_720

Cookery Shows

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

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

 

Spiritual Line-ups:

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

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

 

filmtheendgerdaltmann-pixabay-1733893__340

 

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

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

My Leisure Time Pursuits

BLOG CHALLENGE

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

 

 

timehourglassstevebuissinne-pixabay-1703330_960_720

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying My Dream Vacation

BLOG CHALLENGE

 

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

 

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

 

Blog challenge prompt:  DAY 6

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

***     ***     ***

holiday1michellemaria-pixabay
CC0 Image – courtesy of Michelle Maria at Pixabay.com

 

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

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

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

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

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

ice-creamritabernhardt-pixabay1500845_960_720

***     ***     ***

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

 

I Am Me!

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

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

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

Blogging Challenge: Day 1

 

blogging-pixabay1805004_960_720
Are you up for the challenge?

 

Day 1 – What makes You, You?

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

What makes me, me?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Heart Brimming over with Thanks

thankyouheartpda
Thank the Lord for all the glorious things he does… (Psalm 105:1 – The Living Bible)

 

It’s Thanksgiving!

We don’t celebrate this over here in the UK but I join with you all across the pond (why on earth do they call the Atlantic Ocean a pond?), in expressing my gratitude. Yeah, I join you all with my own low key celebration (no turkey – just fresh air pie!).

I am thankful!

The following is an extract from my writing practice journal, written earlier this year.

***     ***     ***

 

I’ve just spent about an hour or so editing and reading recent entries. I am struck about how negative and depressing many of those entries are, about how negative I am regarding my life, my future, my prospects.

It reminds me of David and Asaph, who complained to God about the unfairness of life, the unjust challenges they faced, the persecution they encountered. I don’t want murmuring and complaining to be a constant feature of my life. I don’t want to always see things from a negative viewpoint. I recall WJ saying I am not as negative as when we first married. Nevertheless, thinking negatively seems to be my default place. I want that to change.

I liked when I used to write for the blog feature “My Thinking Corner”, since it forced me to think positively, so that I had positive things to share. I miss that and look forward to renewing that feature, and re-introducing that attitude in my life, in my thoughts. And so, I thought why don’t I make this entry one of positive reading? Why don’t I focus this entry on the good things in my life?

So first of all, I am so thankful that I am saved, that somehow God opened my eyes and took hold of my rebellious heart and drew me toward him. I am glad, I’m not the same person I was when he saved me some 30 odd years ago. I love that God LOVES me unconditionally! I love that there is nothing I do that can or will change this fact. God loves me! Period.

I’m thankful that I have someone to share my life with and that this someone (WJ) is thoughtful and at times considerate and we get along fairly well. I am grateful for our home and I’m thankful that we are both working and have been in full-time work for much of our married life. I’m grateful that we’ve been able to pay our mortgage and bills and enjoy leisure activities and pursue our interests.

I’m supremely grateful for the gift and talent God has given me to write… for the joy I experience when I do write… for the satisfaction this gives me personally and for the enjoyment and encouragement, even inspiration (hopefully) that my writing has provided to others.

I am thankful for my dear, dear mother*. For her prayer legacy. For her example as a committed woman of God and as an intercessor, as a staunch member of her church and for her unwavering love for the Lord.

I am thankful for my ‘ivory tower’ (so dubbed by my husband). My room of my own. My personal space in which to withdraw, to spend time with God, to study, pray and write.

I am appreciative and thankful for the freedom to follow Christ and both enjoy and express my faith through worship and church attendance, even though with respect to attending church, I don’t always take advantage of this privilege.

I love that I am not on my own. That despite my pessimism sometimes, despite my complaints and angst, I know God is with me, has a plan for my life and is in TOTAL control. I am thankful for the assurance that what I’ve gone through in the past, and what I’m going through right now, is not my final destiny, is only equipping me for better days ahead.

I’m thankful for this country into which I was born. It may not be the Seychelles. It may not be Barbados. It may not be the exotic location for which my heart pines but at least the economic climate is temperate. And at least, as a place which adheres to democracy, the political climate is somewhat stable.

I am thankful for each new day. There have been still-births, cot deaths, road traffic accidents, murders and catastrophic events, which have occurred over these past days, weeks and months robbing precious lives. I am still here, still alive and kicking (or alive and sometimes stressing) – praise God!

I am thankful for the assurance that one day (whenever God determines), yes, one day when I leave this life, I will enjoy a new, fear-free, stress-free, glorious life in Heaven. It is hard to conceive that one day I will inhabit a place where the brilliant, pure and stunning light of Jesus, which emanates from his holy, illustrious being will flood that awesome atmosphere, so that there is no need for the sun or moon to shine. He will be the light.

My mind can hardly conceive the possibility of seeing a world with gates made out of a single pearl, foundations made from precious stones, roads and pathways paved with gold, animals of prey co-habiting in peaceful existence with weaker animals, even children.

It is hard to imagine a world of perpetual peace and happiness, of continuous, inexpressible joy. A world peopled with the likes of King David and his son Solomon, with faith-giants such as Abraham, prophets like Elijah and Elisha, disciples such as Peter, James and John, leaders like Moses and saints of the ilk of Paul the apostle.

But, most of all, it is hard to conceive that on that momentous day, I will actually see face-to-face the beautiful shining countenance of the one who loved and loves me, the one who died for me, interceded for me, cherished me, had high hopes of and for me, sustained and preserved me.

For all these, I am truly thankful.

 

*Since writing this entry in July of this year, my dear mother went to be with the Lord.

Chameleon? Colour? Controversy?

DAILY POST WORD PROMPT

 

I wonder… to be, or not to be?

 

Daily Word Prompt: New Skin

Would I benefit from new skin?

Perhaps a white one, so I could generally find acceptance in a white man’s world. Perhaps then I could walk around life batting my blue eyes, flicking my fair locks and use these as a passport to a world of dignity.

rhinoceros-pairlynngreyling-pixabay1612629_960_720Then again, perhaps I should swop my skin for that of a rhinoceros. They often say sensitive people need to develop a hard skin. I imagine that should be hard enough! Toughen up baby! But, is that not just semantic speak for saying you should not get upset when people don’t celebrate you, when because of your colour they doubt your ability, snub you and systematically besmirch your reputation—or (horror of horrors!) even decide their dog deserves better treatment and respect than you? (Now there’s a thought – perhaps I should just get me the skin of a lap dog!)

dogmelanievandesandepixabay-1305734_960_720

But if I were to develop a hard skin, such that I didn’t feel it when someone hurts me, would that mean I’d have become an unfeeling, uncaring so and so?

I suppose I could swop my skin for that of a baby’s just for the fun of it, for the sake of having that soft sweet baby smell. But I’m not sure that would work either. Loved ones wouldn’t take me seriously. baby-tawnyvanbreda-pixabay784608_960_720They’d start conversing with me in that strange baby-speak, tickle me under my chin, and try to feed me with that yucky pureed stuff in jars. Nah!

So I guess I’ll just have to be content with my own skin. Learn to live in it comfortably. Adapt my behaviour in order to accommodate its likes and dislikes (as opposed to allowing racist rhetoric to make me feel uncomfortable within it, or pandering to anyone’s demands, fears and suspicions, as a direct response to it!).

After all these years, I should be able to shrug off the received but unwanted, unwarranted prejudices towards the colour of my skin. I should be able to – right? And, I should be able to ignore the ignoramuses who believe because my skin’s black and because my black skin is stretched over a female form, I don’t belong to the human race… I don’t have a right to speak up… I don’t have the right to be taken seriously… and I certainly don’t have the right to self-respect. Yep, under no circumstances should I show ambition or promise – no siree!

Well dear reader, I have come to a conclusion. A new skin? What good would that do? I just wouldn’t be me anymore!

Now I can’t think of any more fitting conclusion than this song, which confirms and consolidates my convictions on this subject, so I invite you to boogie along with that consummate musician—the inimitable Michael Jackson.

***     ***     ***

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

And don’t forget to leave me your responses or feedback in the comment box below.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 

NB: photographs used are all  CCO images from Pixabay.com

 

 

That Tree!

The Daily Post Word Prompt

 

Hello faithful followers and lovely visiting readers!

I’m thinking it’s time I posted another one of my responses to the Daily Word prompts. This is so I can showcase my writing ability in another format and perhaps gain the interest of any prospective commissioning editor that might be roaming around my corner of cyberspace! Anyway, I’m posting the following for fun and trust you will enjoy reading.

Please do let me have your feedback in the comment box below.

 

***     ***     ***

 Daily Word Prompt: Tree

  

CC0 Image by Hans Braxmeier - Pixabay.com
CC0 Image by Hans Braxmeier – Pixabay.com

 

The horse chestnut tree stood tall and erect, strong and silent, robed in its green summer finery.

How I hated that tree! Hated the way its leaf-covered branches hogged all the light and sunshine from my adjacent garden, starving my shrubs of light and life.

I hated the way it spread its greedy grasping roots past its fenced boundary—daring to encroach upon my property, spreading its life-sucking roots with quiet determination, caring not one iota that it robbed light and life and nourishment from plants that had a legitimate right to be there.

horse-chestnut-tree-pixabay275921_960_720Its leaves, although green, are severely afflicted with rust splotches – incontrovertible evidence that although it would have you overawed by its might and height, although it would have you believe it is invincible, some blighting affliction had struck it.

Just deserts, I say, for stealing accommodation for its roots, for stifling and strangling the life of my own plants which have a legitimate right to be here!

I didn’t care that it offered a home, a sanctuary to those green parrot-like birds, year after year and I could not care less about the grey squirrels that use it as an escape route from the next door neighbour’s cat that regularly lies in wait, hoping to pounce upon the pesky rodent.

chestnuthansbraxmeier-pixabay60346_960_720I did care about the huge amount of life and light this arboreal nightmare absorbed whilst denying my own garden the same privilege. And I did care that it dared to add insult to injury by shedding its rotten leaves in my garden, expecting me to pick them up whilst it looks on in haughty disdain, without even so much as a “thank you”!

So, next door neighbour, now you know exactly how I feel, perhaps you will kindly do something about it. And, if you won’t, then don’t be surprised if you, I and your tiresome tree are featured in the next reality series, Neighbours from Hell! Don’t say you weren’t warned.

 

***     ***     ***

Do you enjoy reading? Do you appreciate good writing? Then let me introduce you to another blogger, whom I believe needs wider exposure. To read her take on this same prompt, please visit: https://whennothingworks.com/2016/10/06/when-trees-walk-home-with-you/. And, if you do enjoy, please encourage her with your comments, likes etc.

Now, should you wish to participate, or if you simply want to read further responses to this prompt from other bloggers, please visit: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/tree/

 

 

 

 

Remembrance Day!

 

CC0 image courtesy of Pixabay.com
CC0 image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Today is Remembrance Day!

Years ago, when I was a care-free, rebellious soul I didn’t really see what all the fuss was about. I certainly wasn’t going to buy a poppy to commemorate people I didn’t know, or a cause about which I had no regard.

After all, I was born in a country whose people showed me in no uncertain terms that because of the colour of my skin, they did not consider me to be one of their own, so why would I, in fact why should I celebrate these dead combatants, who hail from a nation of bigots… a nation who made my parents’ lives, and then subsequently my own life, damned difficult?

So they want me to commemorate and celebrate people who’d sacrificed their lives, so I can enjoy so-called freedom? What freedom? Nope! As far as I was concerned, Remembrance Day did not mean squat to me.

Fast forward a few decades and my care-laden, much-humbled and enlightened soul has a different attitude. After all, I live in a country where I am not oppressed by a dictator. I live in a country that is run by democracy. I live in a country where I enjoy the freedom to openly worship God, and follow my faith. I am supremely grateful.

Now since God has a divine purpose for me, I have to accept that He has orchestrated certain aspects of my life. I have to accept that certain components of his ordained purpose include the parents to whom I was born and the country in which I was born and raised.

Listen to what Rick Warren has to say in his best-selling book, The Purpose-Driven Life:

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!

 …God also planned where you’d be born and where you’d live for his purpose. Your race and nationality are no accident. God left no detail to chance. He planned it all for his purpose.

 

I could have been born in a country within the developing world, facing famine, drought, poverty, dictatorial oppression, or religious persecution. However, God has placed me within an environment where I can pretty much please myself to my heart’s content. But that freedom to do as I please comes along with a responsibility. A responsibility to serve others, to be a voice for the voiceless. It is not a freedom to despise, hurt, or sabotage.

And so purpose-driven believers and aspiring dream-achievers, take heart. Your nationality, even the colour of your skin, is an integral part of God’s purpose for your life. Don’t let the likes of the American president-elect, Donald Trump, colour  your view (pun intended) of who you are. Don’t allow anyone’s opinion to personally pigeon-hole you, decide your potential, or dictate your future.

Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, the onus is upon you to know God for yourself and become acquainted with his Word. Embrace, meditate upon and regularly recall what the Bible has to say regarding the matter of your self-worth and your potential success.

The following passage is just one of many scriptures our Father God has provided to counteract thoughts and words designed to undermine our hopes and self-esteem:

“…For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…”

(Jeremiah 29:11 – New International Version).

 

Today, whilst you commemorate those brave men and women, who have laid down their lives in defence of your freedom, let me encourage you to remember another man, who willingly laid aside his royal pedigree and sacrificed his sinless life for you… for the entire world, so that we can know the truth (Jesus is the Truth), and so that our knowledge of and, intimate acquaintance with that truth, will ultimately and irrevocably set us free!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hiatus

CC0 Image - courtesy of Rebekka D (Pixabay.com)
CC0 Image – courtesy of Rebekka D (Pixabay.com)

 

Dear faithful followers and visitors,

You may have noticed that there has been no activity from this corner of cyberspace for a good few weeks.

My apologies for the inactivity and for the lack of explanation.

Following a sudden deterioration in health, my dear, sweet mother recently passed away in hospital. As you can appreciate I’ve had other priorities!

My sincere thanks to all new followers and visitors for your comments and likes during my absence, particularly those whose kind engagement with me have not been acknowledged. I do appreciate you.

I expect to start posting again this month and thank you for bearing with me at this time.

Best wishes,

Carol

(aka as Lady Cee)

PS: If you are not a regular reader of my blog Women of Warfare! you may be interested in reading the following posts: (“The Politics of Hope” and “A Celebration of Motherhood and Tribute to my Mother”), which provides a little background to relevant events regarding my beloved mother.

Meanwhile, Purpose-driven believers and dream achievers have a blessed weekend!

A Stark Contrast!

The Daily Post – Daily Word Prompt

CCO Image - courtesy of Pixabay.com
CCO Image – courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

The Daily Post – Daily Word Prompt: CONTRAST

 

There is a stark contrast between me and Him.

O yes, we both have the same father. We both belong to God’s Holy Order of kings and priests. But that my friend is where the similarity ends. He is far, far superior! He has to be, for he has made me and he is self-existent—i.e. nobody made him! He existed along with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the very beginning. His name is Jesus.

Contrast.

Now he is in Heaven whilst I am down here on Earth. But it wasn’t always so. There was a time that he was here on this Earth and within 3 years he brought much light and love, healing and miraculous exploits to the world around him. Whereas, I have been on this earth for over 50 years and I cannot say that I’ve impacted the world about me, or the people within the circle of my influence in such a marvellous way. Nope! Much as I wish that were true, I cannot say that.

Contrast.

Jesus was self-assured. He was not fooled easily. He did not strike back in anger, or resentment, or any other negative attitude when he encountered opposition or violence. Imagine being the one who made man, yet allowing the creature you created to mock and jeer, choosing to stand silent, dumb as a sheep, allowing yourself to be sheared so to speak. Sheared of respect. Sheared of self-esteem.

He could have summoned a legion of angels to rescue him. He could have opened his mouth and burned his detractors to a crisp. But he didn’t. He humbled himself. He remained silent. He succumbed. Succumbed to the malicious will of those sanctimonious bigots (fellow Jews) and soldiers of the Roman Empire—who breathed lies spawned from envy… who uttered false accusations… who mocked and ridiculed and humiliated him (stripping him not only of his clothes but also of his dignity).

How meek but strong was that to not react, to not use his power and might to blast them to hell? How meek but strong was that to not retaliate? Oh no—instead, he said: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”.

Contrast.

Now, if the power had been in my hand, I would perhaps have cursed them with my words. I would have stopped them in their tracks. Or I would levitate myself from out of my predicament. Or I would play games with them and put the ‘fear of God’ into them – disappearing and reappearing, taking on that aura of blazing fiery light so they could not look upon me but would either fall down in terror, or freeze to the spot in fear—and then I’d freeze them permanently!

But that is the difference between me and Jesus, the difference between me and the Holy Son of God. Jesus loved me and loved the entire world. He wanted to obey his Father at all costs, so that the world would have a way of escape out of spiritual darkness, and could be redeemed from the hateful hand of his arch Enemy, who also became our ultimate enemy. I speak of Satan (whom I also dub Mr Diablo)!

He is the Christ, the Messiah.

Me? I was just a doomed, rebellious sinner.

Okay, so now I’ve been saved by God’s grace, through his unmerited kindness. Now I’ve been elevated to the position of a saint (according to God’s reckoning). Yet, as his beloved child, his sanctified saint, I am nowhere near the calibre of this awesome man, who loved and sacrificed himself for me, who lived in order to die for me. And as I read his biography and compare his noble achievements with my base life’s record, I cannot deny the fact, yeah, I cannot disguise the truth that between me and Him—there’s a stark contrast!

***     ***     ***     ***     ***

If you wish to participate, or would like to read other contributions on this prompt, please visit: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/contrast/

And, for your further reading pleasure, if you have not already done so, you may wish to read my post on a contrasting character – the aforementioned Mr Diablo (another Daily Post Word prompt).  If so, please go to: Satan’s Suicidal Mission

 

 

Satan’s Suicidal Mission

The Daily Post – Daily Word Prompt

Image by Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)
Image by Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)

 

 How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! (Isaiah 14:12a)

 

The Daily Post – Daily Word Prompt: MISTAKE 

Okay Mr Diablo (aka Satan), so you made a mistake.

You had the audacity to think you could overthrow the Lord God Almighty. You not only had the audacity to consider such a move but you also had the temerity to try and act upon your foolish idea. BIG MISTAKE!

And, to compound your catastrophic error, you convinced one third of Heaven’s angels to abandon their allegiance to the God of Heaven and Earth… to the great I AM, and assist you with executing your devilish desire by mounting an unholy insurrection! BIG, BIG MISTAKE!

You failed! Utterly!

Why, oh why you ever believed such a plot would succeed, I’ll never know. Even I could see this could, and would never work!

Now I realise I’ve not been around as long as you have. I don’t have your twisted wit and cunning. But did you really think that a CREATED being could outwit his CREATOR—particularly when that Creator is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent? I suppose that’s what comes of arrogance, deception and overweening pride. Wow! You are a real textbook example of the term delusions of grandeur, don’t you think? Hush now Mr Diablo, it was a rhetorical question—I was not really wanting an answer.

Was it worth the price Mr Diablo?

Was your evil covetous desire for supremacy worth being booted out unceremoniously from heaven? Was it worth exchanging your prestigious position, as the most beautiful angel in heaven with a highly significant responsibility, for the infernal regions of a dark spiritual underworld?

Granted, your heinous activity and warped influence is fully evident around the world. But for an egomaniac such as yourself, surely it must gall to find yourself confined to exerting influence anonymously, through manipulation and subliminal subterfuge. Surely, it must irk knowing that at the end of it all, you and your cohorts (whom you inveigled), are destined for eternal damnation in God’s Lake of Fire.

Do you ever consider your end Mr Diablo? Have you ever rued the day you decided to usurp my Father God’s throne?

Mark my words Mr Diablo—the time will come when you will have plenty of time to consider your error. Yeah, the time draws near when you will have to face the consequences of your monumental mistake.

(“Dead demon walking…”)

Until then Mr Diablo, let me bid you farewell. Oops delete that—let me say: good riddance!

 

(For biblical evidence of events alluded to above, please read Luke 10:18; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12b-17; Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 1:6).

***     ***     ***     ***     ***

If you wish to participate, or would like to read other contributions on this prompt, please visit: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/mistake/

 

Quit Comparing!

Hello dear readers,

I wrote the following article some years ago, to encourage myself and other wannabe writers. I think the fundamental message of this post can also be applied to newbie bloggers, or to anyone pursuing their dream (whatever that might be), or to those who perhaps feel discouraged during their journey towards achievement.

***     ***     ***     ***     ***

gems(BrettHondow-Pixabay)
All images from Pixabay.com

Very often we view success in much the same manner as a gorgeous gem within a jeweller’s window display. We’re attracted by the lustre of those diamonds, the flashing brilliance of those stones and the fine quality of gold.

rings (Pixabay)We forget these beautiful jewels have been specially crafted. We forget those precious stones and polished metals had a beginning and that if we were to retrace the journey of those glittering jewels back to their origin, we’d see those finished products from a very different perspective.

RubyNecklace(Pixabay)We’d discover that the item nesting alluringly against a rich velvet backdrop and shining so brilliantly with the help of strategically arranged lighting, started out in a place of complete contrast. It started out in the bowels of the earth.

mine(Pixabay)

Once extracted, if you didn’t know what you were looking at you’d maybe throw it away as a valueless lump of rock. You wouldn’t realise it had the potential to be a thing of beauty, something that evokes admiration, even desire of ownership. You wouldn’t appreciate its capacity to bring pleasure.

The journey of an unpublished writer is very much like the above scenario. We ooh and ahh over the creative brilliance of polished writers. We appreciate their carefully crafted words set against the backdrop of an artfully arranged world. Attracted by another author’s style or success, we long to ‘own’ similar achievements.

books(Pixabay)

However, in our approbation of these works, we often leave a relevant factor out of the equation. Much like our appreciation of a beautiful diamond or sapphire, we forget that this artistic work, these authorial presentations had a fairly insignificant genesis.

Perhaps if we didn’t forget this, we wouldn’t feel despondent, frustrated, or threatened about our own endeavours. Perhaps we’d give ourselves a break, stop mentally flagellating ourselves because we haven’t crafted the ‘perfect’ article, short story or novel.

Perhaps we’d stop dismissing the raw materials mined from the bowels of our creative imagination and instead realise: “Hey! This may not look like much now but given time and patience, it can actually become something of value”.

writer-(Pixabay)

And perhaps, instead of constantly comparing the finely crafted pieces of other writers with our freshly mined lumps of untreated ore, we’d start to appreciate, even enjoy our modest beginnings. We’d begin to see our pursuits, not as a path of frustration and defeat, but of learning and adventure.

Fellow writers (I speak to myself as much as to you), let us view our beginnings and efforts with less negativity and more realistic expectations. Let us put our goals, dreams, aspirations and the different paths we take in order to achieve these, into the right context.

SuccessSignpost(GerdAltmann)Let us not fixate on publishing prowess as the ‘be all and end all’ of authorial accomplishment. Let us not be in such a hurry to arrive at ‘Success Street’ that we forget to enjoy the novelty and nature of our quest.

As aspiring writers, bloggers, purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, let us find encouragement in, and take the following words of Ben Sweetland seriously to heart—Success is a journey, not a destination!

 

SINK OR SWIM? (That my friend is the question!)

The Daily Post – Daily Word Prompt: SINK OR SWIM?

Do I sink, or do I swim?
Do I sink, or do I swim?

 

“To be, or not to be. That is the question!” So asked Hamlet (the eponymous character of a Shakespearean play).

Well, my words are not enshrined within a well-renowned playwright’s script but I will utter them anyway. And my query is this: Sink or Swim? That is my question. That is my dilemma. That is the choice I must make.

Sink or Swim?

The choice is not a pleasant one. It’s not like selecting a champagne truffle from a box of Thornton’s chocolates. The choice is, do I allow myself to sink into despair, or do I swim through my troubles looking for the place where hope and resolution meet? Of course, I don’t know how long I’d have to swim before I reach this point. I could get tired. I could drown in my efforts, or I could reach the shore. I have no way of knowing.

Sink? Or Swim?

Do I sink beneath the weight of other people’s expectations and unjust opinions? Can I continue to tread water, or will the constant weight of increasing and unceasing requests—come here/go there, do this/do that, can you/will you?—engulf me within the tempestuous waters of other people’s demands? Do I swim through the morass of moral turpitude that constantly seeks to swamp my soul… that seeks to deaden my godly conscience?

Do I sink, or do I swim? Do I resolve within myself not to let troublesome circumstances overwhelm me, not let them cause me to sink beneath the flood waters of adversity? Do I choose to swim? It is a choice. A daily choice.

But what choice will I make today? Normally it depends upon how I’m feeling. Usually it depends upon whether I have spent time in the presence of my Father God to receive that injection of strength, faith and firm resolve. Will I sink today, or will I swim?

And that is the problem with choices – there’s no one else to blame. You make your choice and you suffer the consequences!

Will consequences be too dire if I were to allow myself to sink within the mire of other people’s opinions—that I’m not good enough, intelligent enough, or successful enough? Does anybody even care that I’m being pulled ever downwards towards the murky depths of low self-esteem?

Surely, to swim is a better choice than to sink? To sink is to give up. To sink is to perhaps invite waiting predators to take a bite out of me, worse still – even swallow me! To sink is to maybe reach rock bottom and never find my way back up again to the surface of possibilities. I suspect there are people who would prefer I sank into oblivion, into obscurity but I shall not give them that satisfaction. Yes, I am weary, but I’m making the choice to swim today. I’m making the choice to swim away, swim forward, swim tirelessly, until I reach that shore.

*****   *****   *****

If you would like to read other contributions on this prompt please visit: The Daily Post – Word Prompt: Sink or Swim

Question: How do you deal with overwhelming circumstances?

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Faces of Longing

Hello lovely readers!

 Many of you will be familiar with the Daily Post prompts. I do not choose to participate every day, or even within the same time-frame that the prompt was posted.

This is a new feature to my blog simply because as a purpose-driven achiever, I would like to improve my creative writing ability and this WordPress feature allows me to do so without feeling the pressure to produce something every day.

I hope you will all enjoy and would appreciate your feedback on these posts.

 

*****   *****   *****

BlueEye(BreannaWhimsy-Pixabay)-491625_960_720
Image by Breanna Whimsy (Pixabay.com)

  

The Daily Post – Daily Word Prompt: LONGING 

Longing.

It’s a word that has the very sense of yearning and earnest desire about it—don’t you think? I have lots of longings. I’ve had longings that have been fulfilled and I have longings yet to come to pass.

Take the time I was walking on Finchley Road in London with my friends. There was a posh travel agents that we passed and in the display window I could see an open brochure or poster, showing what looked to be the most beautiful place on earth. I learned that it was the Seychelles.

I did not know that it was a place that people considered to be a dream holiday destination. I just knew that as I looked at this seemingly idyllic place, the blue, blue sky and turquoise waters, the palm trees and powder-white sandy beach, I wanted to go there. No. I longed to go there.

I decided there and then that if I ever got married that was where I wanted to go for my honeymoon. Well afterwards when I checked into the costs of going to such a place and saw that it would cost about a million times more than a holiday to say Spain, I held onto the dream in my heart but felt it was unrealistic. I believed it was a longing that would not be fulfilled.

Years later, when my fiancé asked me where I wanted to go for our honeymoon, I mentioned my longstanding dream but quickly added: “I know it’s impossible, it’s very expensive.” Well dear reader, I could not have been more surprised by his generous response! He agreed, we planned and we went. And it was beautiful and even better than I had imagined.

Longing.

Long held dreams.

The Seychelles was a longing that became fulfilled. And later, when I think about my other ‘impossible’ dreams, I thank God. Because I know he is in the business of making dreams come true. Particularly, if he has placed those dreams in our heart in the first place.

And so it encourages me when I think about my other dreams, which requires a miracle for them to happen. Although I might not be able to see how that dream, how that longing could come to pass, I need not worry. I just need to leave it in the hands of my loving Father God and leave the logistics, leave the actualisation of those dreams, leave my longings in his most capable hands—the hands upon which I am inscribed (so my Bible tells me – see Isaiah 49:16)—inscribed so that he never forgets me and because he celebrates me!

Longing.

It can be a beautiful thing but it can also be a destructive thing. Like longing for something unfeasible. I think of the protagonist in Toni Morrison’s book: The Bluest Eye. This child is a poor, black girl who has noticed she is not favoured by her school teacher and class peers. She observes however, that a white girl with blond hair and blue eyes is popular and very much the favourite.

And because she is not loved at home (she is verbally and physically abused), and because she is not accepted or celebrated at school, she longs to have blue eyes. She believes if she has blue eyes, she will be favoured. She will be loved. She will be acceptable. She will be a person. She will no longer suffer the pain and shame of ill-treatment, or mockery, or rejection, or ridicule.

And so this girl prays to God whom she believes is able to do anything. She prays and whilst she waits for her miracle, she longs and longs and longs until it becomes an obsession. But her prayer is not answered, frustrating her longing and disappointing her desire.

To the reader, her longing is foolish and sad and painful. And we feel for her and feel her longing and feel the pain she undergoes, as she obsesses over this unrealistic desire.

LONGING. It can be a thing of joy, or a source of deep pain.

Purpose-driven believers and dream achievers, what are your longings? Have you had a long-held desire fulfilled? Please share with the PDA community in the comment box below – you never know who needs that encouragement!

 

PS: for those of you who may wish to participate, or would like to read other contributions on this prompt,  please visit: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/longing/

 

 

Pursue Creativity

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY

creativity(geralt)-396268_960_720

 

—————————————————————————————————

Creativity:

  • the ability to make new things or think of new ideas
  • the quality of being creative
  • the ability to create

Merriam Webster Dictionary

 —————————————————————————————————

 In my post Unlock Your Potential, I said:

as human beings, made in the likeness of our creative Father, [we] share the same incredible potential to find creative solutions in whatever context we may find ourselves. We have the same ability to make valuable contributions to the world in which we live”.

 

As purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, are we nurturing a spirit of creativity in our lives?

I have selected the following inspirational quotes in a bid to both influence our thoughts about and, encourage us toward creativity, whilst we pursue our dreams… whilst we journey towards our destiny.

 

  • Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. Edward de Bono

 

  • Creativity is bound up in our ability to find new ways around old problems. Martin Seligman

 

  • There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period. Brene Brown

 

  •  An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail. Edwin Land

 

  • Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. Steve Jobs

 

  • I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few. Brene Brown

 

  • When we are angry or depressed in our creativity, we have misplaced our power. We have allowed someone else to determine our worth, and then we are angry at being undervalued. Julia Margaret Cameron

 

  • There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age. Sophia Loren

 

  • Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting. Edward de Bono

 

  • A lot of people forget how important it is to be creative. We get caught up in getting ahead and in day-to-day minutiae. But creativity is a fundamental mode of expression, as is being tenacious and standing by your own convictions and passions, even if it’s not the ‘popular’ choice. Tabatha Coffey

 

SELF SCRUTINY

Did any of the above quotes resonate with you?

If creativity is not something you have actively pursued in your life to date, have any of the above quotes inspired you to change that this year?

If creativity has been a feature of recent endeavours, were you happy with the result? Bearing my above quote in mind, how did it make a positive contribution to the lives of others?

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. Please share your comments in the box below.

Dream Seeds: Part 1

dandelion-827000_640

About to get married in a few months’ time I was worried, really concerned. You see I did not consider myself to be much of a talker. I had a strict upbringing and grew up at a time when children were “seen but not heard”.  So I was used to keeping myself to myself, keeping my opinions locked away in my heart.  Now that I was about to acquire a husband and fully expected to be with him until death do us part, I was afraid that I would not know what to say to him.  I was afraid that the demise bit referred to above, would come sooner rather than later – since my non-existent conversational skills would surely bore him to death!

As it happens, I need not have worried. More than two decades later, my husband chides me for interrupting him when he speaks and for anticipating (wrongly) what he is about to say, then finishing off his sentences. And I suspect he secretly despairs about my tendency to become extremely chatty at bedtime when all he wants to do is slip away peacefully to the land of nod.

Now as I embark on this new journey into the blogosphere, I feel some trepidation. Will I make it? Will my potential readership want to know or even care about what I have to say? Will my dream of entertaining, influencing and inspiring others through my writing come to pass, or will it bite the dust? Only time will tell.

Despite my trepidation, I’ll admit I’m also quite excited.  To see one of my dreams take shape and become a reality after years and years of yearning… thinking… procrastinating… being side-tracked… more procrastination… forsaking… dream-retrieving… then finally doing – is beyond awesome.

So why did it take me so long? Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington believes: “dreams without goals are just dreams and they will ultimately fuel disappointment!” Okay.  I agree.  I not only agree, I can even testify that I made goals (very often the same goals) year after year, after year. Maybe there are some of you out there who can relate.

Well, Dan Rockwell (blog owner of Leadership Freak) explains that making long-term goals give us direction, whilst setting short-term goals spur action.  He further advises: “deadlines turn dreams into reality”.  My failure to set and commit to a timescale was a significant (but not the only) factor that immobilised me.

In his book Dream Seeds, author and motivational speaker, Dr Mike Murdock, refers to “pictures of possibilities” hidden away in our imagination and he further goes on to describe these pictures as “dream seeds”.  We don’t have to be an expert gardener, or farmer to know that a seed once buried in the earth remains invisible and takes some time to germinate.  Before the desired result is achieved (crop, flower or plant), there is a necessary process. And all the while, this process requires the right conditions in order for the seed to flourish.  Is it any wonder then that in the midst of everyday life with its demands and disappointments, its trials and traumas, its ups and downs, the majority of our dream seeds result in crop failure?

Do you have a dream, or have you allowed people, circumstances, even your own self to abort, or uproot it? If you have a dream but you are struggling to keep it alive, don’t be weary – take heart. It may seem like trite counsel but historical evidence from people such as Thomas Edison, has proven the truth of a well-known proverb: “if at first you don’t succeed try, try again.”

Life coach and author, Jason Harvey asks: “Are you just “showing up” in your life or are you taking an active role in guiding it to reach your full potential and dreams?” If your response to Harvey’s question is to make a bunch of excuses, I implore you to read Donna B. Comeaux’s excellent article: Success is a “choice” away (see link below). There’s just no way after reading this post that you could come away still feeling your excuses are justified.

Yes, dreams are notoriously difficult to translate from the sphere of our imagination into the realm of reality but not impossible. It takes planning, persistence and much perspiration. Perhaps you are someone who has given up on your dream. Whether big or small, why not make the decision now to recapture that abandoned desire or aspiration?

Meanwhile, in a bid to both encourage and spur into action, I close with the following words by American poet and playwright, Langston Hughes:

Dreams

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.

SEED THOUGHT:   Dreams require goals with deadlines

SELAH (pause & consider):  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1)

SELF SCRUTINY:   Are you burying a talent or planting a dream seed?

What small step will you take this week towards achieving one of your goals?

RESOURCE LINKS:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dream-Seeds-Mike-Murdock/dp/156394149X http://www.amazon.co.uk/Achieve-Anything-Just-One-Year/dp/0981363903 http://awriterfirst.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/success-is-a-choice-away/