Who Are You, Really? 

Hold still for a moment and ask yourself ‘Who Am I, Really? 

When you peel back the many layers of falsehood, fained attitudes and forced attributes, who will we find hidden beneath? 

As 2016 draws to a close, let us look back on the year and identify those lines we crossed that we swore we never would, those actions which were betrayals of our true selves and have haunted us for so long. Make a commitment to stay true to your beliefs. 

Let 2017 be the year of your rebirth. A time to show the world who you really are irrespective of what they think or believe. Be true to yourself. 

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Release 

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1 Peter 5:7 KJV

http://bible.com/1/1pe.5.7.KJV

Worrying and over analyzing is something I’m good at. I overthink many decisions, actions and inactions and sometimes worry myself sick imagining any and every outcome. It is exhausting and mentally draining and as much as I’ve tried to shake the habit, it still takes a hold on me.

Worry and fear and best friends. They do everything together. As I battle the constant pull of worry, I have realised that fear has to be tackled first.

Scripture says to cast your cares on God, which for me means letting go and releasing myself from the shackling grip of the fear of the unknown.

When the fear comes, I picture myself swimming, releasing myself from the pull of the water dragging me down so I can float and glide and be free. That’s what casting your cares means; submitting to a higher power and knowing that though you don’t have the answers right now, they will come and the pull of the waves will not swallow you up.

I cast my cares on God because I know everything will work together for my good.

Smoothies Prep Sunday

It’s back to the kitchen for me as I prep for my week of greens and juices. 
For the life of me I’m not entirely sure what combinations I’ll be making or what the final outcome would be; but I’m giddy with excitement. 

Cheers to tasty green smoothies. 

Food For Thought: Receiving An Equal Measure

For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Luke 6:32‭-‬38 KJV

http://bible.com/1/luk.6.32-38.KJV

I got a new take on Luke 6:38 today. We often associate the reference of ‘Give and it will come back to you’ to references of money and financial blessings. But looking at it in the context of th e preceding verses, one sees that returns referred to in vs. 38 are linked to the rewards of stayed judgements, restricted condemnations, expressions of mercy and forgiveness.

Yes we can lay claim to God’s word and speak Luke 6:38 into our seeds and finances but what if we confess it as it was intended can we be so bold as to ask for equal measure of forgiveness, mercy, stay on condemnation and judgment?

Let’s think on these things and pray for a right spirit that is free from animosity, anger, wrath and vengeance.

Musings On My Weight

Ever since I could remember I’ve been engaged in some form of exercise or the order. I am always baffled at how I got to be a whooping size 20 and gradually creeping into size 22. Don’t gasp too muchmuch, that was almost 4 years ago. 

How did I turn a corner? It started with a dress. Late 2011,i think September, I made a black and pink dress for a wedding. It cost me some money when I think about how much I was paid back then so I saved it for special occasions. In March of 2012, it was a battle to fit into this lovely black dress I had worn months before. The dress tore that day while at the afternoon gathering and it took the help from a colleague and several safety pins to hold it together till I could bolt out of the venue. 

That embarrassing situation got me thinking about my health, my weight and my state of mind. It made me sit up and take my life seriously as at the time my blood pressure was through the roof.

There were a lot of false starts and reboots; experiments with exercises, exercise equipments and instructors [Shaun T, Charlene Johnson and Jillian Michaels are my absolute favorites]; diet mishaps, shakes and mixtures. Through it all, my eyes are on the prize – I have a dream, that one day I’ll fit into a size 14 dress and all will be well with the world. 

Till that day comes, I’ll be up every morning dancing, running or lifting weights and doing all I can to remain healthy in spirit, mind and body. 

Day 7: All’s Well That Ends Well 

Talk about ending with a bang. Today’s Smoothie lineup is simply divine. This was really a treat. If your not a fan of peanut butter then this isn’t for you. 

Two recipes to congratulate myself in seeing this through. Because honestly, I don’t think I’ve completed any diet challenge since I started out the weight-loss journey. So for me this an accomplishment. 

Ran out and got me some protein powder yesterday so I could finish up. I was in tears as I handed over my card to pay but what can a girl do. 

So here goes, Recipe 1

2 cups Rice Milk

2 cups Spinach 

2 Bananas 

2 tablespoons Peanut Butter 

2 tablespoons Protein Powder 

4 tablespoons Chai seeds

Recipe 2

1 cup Spinach 

1 cup Soy Milk  

1 Banana  

1 cup Cucumber 

1 cup Apple 

2 tablespoons Protein Powder 

Day 6: Is It Cheating If… 

It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. That’s what I keep telling myself to get through this 7 day Challenge. Will I continue incorporating green smoothies into meal plan going forward, yep I would. Yes it’s been challenging but I feel lighter, a little light headed and my tummy is shrinking [finally]. 

Getting back to my experiment with Chia seeds and Avocado, it does help curb hunger but not for long. I had to eat 2 hard boiled eggs and some Almond nuts  yesterday to curb the hunger pangs. 

Today I had a Pineapple and Banana Green Smoothie. Pretty straight forward – 3 cups Spinach, 2 cups Pineapple, 3 Bananas. Threw in some Chia seeds, Almond nuts and cashews. Now this is really tasty and satisfies my sweet tooth. 

To the cheating reference. I succumbed to the hunger pangs and got a salad for lunch/dinner. It’s veggies so I don’t think I’m derailing my progress. Or am I?

The Value Of A Choice

Had I known.

This too familiar phrase precedes or ends the retelling of a lamentable story. Had she known.

Women are always under pressure. Under pressure to look better, so we spend all we have on make-up, wardrobe changes and elixirs and mixes to keep us trim; under pressure to have better looking lives, so we create a façade of happiness that the world envies when we are really buckling under depression and anxiety; under pressure to be seen as complete women, so we marry the riff raff that we can’t stand just because time is running out, remain under physical and emotional abuse from a husband who should be our protector because of what people would say, go from one prophet to the other looking for a miracle baby, allow ourselves be prodded by doctors and surgeons still looking for that baby that is ours so that the world can know, I am a woman. You are a complete woman in spite of being without a man or a child from your own womb. But in this part of the world, the opposite holds true.

I am not a mother and I may not know the psychological turmoil these women go through from their families and society but as a friend to many who have lost their lives in this desperate gamble underneath the surgeon’s knife, I ask myself constantly if it was worth it.

A friend said to me once, there are thousands of babies waiting to be adopted, why not take one of them? My response, nobody wants to admit to being a failure and to some, adoption is an admission of your failure.

Had they known they would have waited for Mr. Right and not being pressured into accepting Mr. Right Now. Had they known they would have stopped competing with everyone else and focused on being the best version of themselves. Had they known they would have adopted a beautiful baby and given him/her all their love.
If they had known it would end their lives, that might have made a different choice.

Release The Joy

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Some months ago I had some car trouble.  It was a weekday and I was trying to make a meeting at work and that was the day my car decided to  break down. That incident set off a chain of events that affected my entire day. I was grumpy, irritated and downright rude on a number of instances throughout the day. I just couldn’t get over the inconvenience of that singular mishap in my day just because I chose, maybe subconsciously, to focus on the problematic note my day started off on.

Looking back to that day there were splashes of joys and hues of happiness painted across that day that I didn’t even notice for my Miss Grumpy crown. For instance, my 3 year old niece called me specifically to ask when I was come over and ended the call with her and brother saying ‘I love you Aunty Joy’. This and little acts of kindness shown to me at work and later at home should have been enough to get me out of my funk but I whined myself to sleep.

The Truth is there will be situations that wind up our knickers but we need to take time to look around for a reason to be joyful. Be it in the ‘I love you’s’  of your niece or the embrace from a close friend or just the fact that, like me, you have a car and the resources to fix it when it acts up.

There’s always something to be thankful for, you just need the eyes to see it.

What Do You See?

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What are you afraid of?

I was listening to a message yesterday and the Speaker asked a question,  ‘What are you seeing’? That question halted me and got me thinking about a lot of things.

As simple and basic as this question is, it is an internal probe that we all need to ask ourselves from time to time. Are we living up to our individual potential? Or are we so afraid of all the unforeseen variables that we choose not to do anything? Immobilized, helpless and cowering in fear, afraid to lift up our heads to glimpse the picture that could be our future.

Whose voice do we listen to? The one that tells us it can’t be done or the one that’s our loudest cheerleader. We all have within us the capacity and capability to do and become anything we choose, all we need is the determination and tenacity to keep going.

The truth is, win our lose, it doesn’t hurt to try. Even if we don’t succeed the first time, there’s always a second and third opportunity to be great.

Resist the urge to be paralyzed by fear, act in faith; live the dream, because it is possible. The world is your canvas and you can paint the picture you want to see.