Complaining…

As my vacation came to an end, I spent long moments reflecting. These moments were quite different from the first half of my vacation. Those were days I spent on a cruise mingling, making new friends, enjoying the entertainment and exploring new locations. These were all activities designed to feed my outgoing side. The only times I took for deep introspection were pre-dawn when I religiously got up to catch the sunrise. These were some of the most beautiful sunrises I had ever seem. As I stood on the ship’s deck and gazed at the sun rising from the horizon, I couldn’t help but feel in awe of God for His majestic works.

My latter vacation days were totally different. I spent hours on introspection as I thought about who I am and my year. I guess you guys can call this my year in reflection post. For the first time in many years, I can honestly say that I cried a lot this year! I cried during movies, I cried when I felt hurt or overwhelmed and I laughed until I cried. The difference though was that I ensured that for each of those moments I cried, I found even more powerful and soul-cleansing moments to laugh and smile about. So even though I cried a lot, I also laughed, smiled and played a lot.

I have a confession to make. This year, especially towards the end, there were many times I felt tired and ready to give up. I had some serious lows.

  1. Early in the year, my sister and I met in an accident with a Leyland truck on her way to drop me to work.
  2. My youngest nephew ended up in the hospital twice this year.
  3. While learning to drive, I hit someone’s car.
  4. I lost a close friend.
  5. I had my first failure to effectively close out a project. 
  6. While dealing with the ending craziness of that project, I received news that my grandmother was in the hospital and could have died. 
  7. While dealing with the craziness of the project, I got ill. My anemia started acting up to the point where I shivered constantly even in warm weather and fought waves of nausea and dizziness. As if that wasn’t enough, I also had to deal with issue that had affected me emotionally. In truth, #6 and #7 left me an emotional wreck.

In those moments, I can truly understand if God felt a little exasperated with me but through it all, He patiently taught me to focus on the silver lining that existed in each dark cloud.

  1. Both my sister and I escaped the accident without a physical scratch. We were alive! The car got fixed!
  2. My nephew is home, happy and well. None of his illnesses affected him long term.
  3. We got the man’s car fixed although he was a bastard about the issue.
  4. Maybe that friend was not supposed to be a part of my life beyond that point. My life now has less drama.
  5. The project gave me a lot of experience that I can use to effectively build my career. I also got a chance for a do-over.
  6. My grandmother is now home and recuperating.
  7. That period gave me the chance to see what I am made of. Despite being ill and feeling intimidated at times, I was not built to break.

You are not built to break either. Don’t waste time and energy complaining! Even in the darkest of storms, you can find the light. After all, with storms come the lightening. Loves, you are stronger than you think because it is in your weakness that you will find God’s strength.

XOXO,
Chañel.

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A Ziplining Lesson

Recently, I went on a work trip. Part of the trip took us to Y.S. Falls where I tried 5 ziplines for the first time. Like any first experience of that active nature, I didn’t quite know how to feel but as the experience continued, I picked up a couple lessons on the way.

Before we could start, we were locked into the relevant gear including helmets. As we stood waiting for all our team members to be geared-up, we had a couple of persons who had done it already and they were the ones who tried to alleviate some of our fears. However, in talking, these were the ones who made facing the experience even more fearful.My level of fear was slowing vamping up as I stood listening. I realised then that whilst God has not given me a spirit of fear, fear could be found within the uncertainty of excelling at the unknown and from external factors like well-meaning individuals. At that point I stopped listening and told myself that I could do it.

The walk to the first zipline was long especially since I haven’t done any exercise in months. Again I found myself wavering as my lungs struggled for air and my knees protested and threatened to buckle. Just when I was about to give in to my wavering mind and protesting body, I reached the top and it was beautiful! From this experience, another lesson emerged. The hardest step to fulfilling your dream is the preparation stage to beginning. Sometimes everything will seem to be against you as you try to put things in place. You may even consider giving up but if you hold out, your destination (starting point) will be incredibly beautiful. With everything in place, you will be filled with an incredible pride and satisfaction as you stand on the brink of conquering the world.

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Really? But I Don’t Want To!

I recently had a fight with an acquaintance. We both have strong personalities and let’s say, when we disagreed, we ended up in a cycle of being stubborn and wanting to win. None of us wanted give in, lose or be wrong. We were both too full of pride. Following this, we both walked away.

A few days after that fallout, I came across something, that I knew upon reading, that the person would be interested in. Now don’t get me wrong, I wanted to pass it on but my pride spoke quite loudly, “if you send it, the person may feel that you are giving way or chasing them.” I hated that thought and so the internal debate began.

After an hour, the debate was no closer to a close. I decided to ask God for His input using the Gideon technique. Going to bed, my two options to Him were:

  1.  Send: Wake me before 5am ( I was tired enough to sleep the entire night.)
  2. Don’t send: Let me sleep without waking throughout the night.

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A man after God’s own heart

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I don’t know about you guys but this summer seems to be the engagement season! I turn my back for a few seconds and by the time I turn around, I hear that another friend or acquaintance is married! Okay, okay, maybe I’m exaggerating but you get the point.

In recent times, I’ve not been really concerned about marriage but this season have found me giving the entire institution some thought. This is due primarily to the fact that persons have suddenly seen it fit to constantly remind me that I am now nearer to 25 than 20 and thus, I needed to get cracking.

As I knelt praying, early Monday morning, I found myself thinking about how my perception of my perfect guy has changed over the years. When I first discovered guys, I envisioned my ideal husband to be all looks and no substance. I had it all planned and nothing else mattered as long as we both looked good. As I grew older, I started to realize that the substance mattered and my prayer changed to focus not so much on looks but more on his substance and character. By this point it was all about WHAT I WANTED.

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The TEST will end after you PASS.

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I found myself thinking about God’s tests for us yesterday. The Lord reminded me that in the same way that trials come to make us stronger, tests come to hone us. The key thing about tests is that once you are given it, you have to pass it in order for you to move on to the next level. The thing that happens to most of us is that as Christians, we all want to get to the next level but few of us want to experience the tests that the Lord use to get us there.

I am writing to tell you tonight, if you want the fruits of the Spirit, you have to pass your test. If you want the spiritual gifts, you have to pass the test. If you want to get more blessings, you have to pass the test. If you want to go to new spiritual heights, you must pass the test. The Lord’s tests are just like SAT or CSEC, there is no if, nor but, nor maybe, you have to pass the test in order to move up. In fact, if you fail, you will continue to resit that exam until you do pass.

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Overcoming is Possible!

I still remember my first major habit or should I say addiction. Sucking my fingers! Anywhere I went, I could be seen with my fingers in my mouth. My mother had already moved past the stage where she had threatened, cajoled and expressed despair at this unhealthy habit but I didn’t care one bit. My fingers were my comfort, they were my go-to and I wasn’t going to stop! Dirty and unhealthy or not!

Something happened the year I turned 12. I decided I was a big girl and needed to stop. I came to that decision and need for action all on my own. From that experience, I can definitely say that I underwent the whole withdrawal symptoms from drugs. I would break out in cold sweats when the need arose to stick my fingers in my mouth but I refrained. Sometimes, refraining meant sitting on my hand but I was determined to win the battle between my mind and my will. It took me months but eventually, I won and the urge to stick my finger in my mouth went away. Now I wonder how crazy I was to ever have had that disgusting habit.

My second case of bad habit was a relationship which began when I was 17. Although, over time things soured, I was intensely involved in the situation and thus, my mind refused to let go. “You can change him.” “Things will get better.” These were some of the thoughts my mind told me as I experienced some of the most miserable days of my life.

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The Fears of Yesterday

All of us, as human beings, have tasted the frightening effects of fear. The sad part is that some of us allow the fear to dominate us to the point where we don’t even try the things we have wanted the most and thus, it cripples and prevents us from being the best versions of ourselves. One quote that I’ve kept constantly in my heart is”

Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

The first and only time I came across this quote was some years ago while watching the Hillary Duff movie “Cinderella Story”. I don’t even remember much of the plot of the movie but I have never forgotten the quote.

This week, I touched a milestone and found myself reminiscing on the fears I had to overcome to get to it. Today, I will be listing some of these fears  and telling why I have no regrets in moving past them.

  1. I feared losing my best friend: I eventually lost my best friend despite all I did to prevent it but you know what? I survived! While in the process of learning to come back from the abyss of emotional despair, I picked up a few lessons. Not everyone who comes into your life is meant to stay, some are just to teach you lessons and go. That was the role of my best friend. I also learned who were the persons in my life I could lean on for support.

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