Fertiliser – Growth, not Waste

Organic fertiliser (the one that we collect from the animals in the field) does not smell good, but it’s just what a plant needs to grow.

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Sometimes when we are bombarded with negative words or vibes, we need to, instead of responding in kind, express gratitude to the person responsible for shovelling the fertiliser. I know. I know. Easier said than done, right?

In the moment it may not sound good or feel good, but if we understand what is actually happening, we would turn our corresponding emotions inside-out in anticipation of the glory that shall be revealed in the future.  Sometimes the words are hard to hear, especially if they come from loved ones or persons from whom you expect to get compliments.  The trick is to see if there is any merit to what they might have said, extract the parts that point to areas that you need to improve, and keep it moving towards development and growth.

This kind of response takes time and a retraining of the mindset.  Usually when someone, especially a loved one, spew negativity at you, your self-esteem takes a blow. But as I always say, it may be difficult but not impossible to adapt a new and more heart-friendly way of thinking.  Yes, negative words take a toll on your heart if you allow them to.

So, here’s what you can do

I’m loving this girl
  • Develop a love relationship with yourself 
  • Be honest with yourself
  • Accept who you are (strengths and weaknesses)
  • Perpetually examine yourself to see where you need to make changes, and make them
  • Be confident in who you are 
  • Grow a hard shell or impervious feathers
  • Do not take everything as a personal afront to who you are
  • Deflect and reject anything that does not represent how you think or feel about yourself
  • Receive constructive criticism with grace
  • Apply grace to those who need it and recognize ignorance
  • Make this your mantra and stay in character when someone comes at you or for you without a cause – “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.

I am not asking you to do something that I’m not actively practicing.  Recently I was told that I needed to stick to singing and I was offended because it came from someone that I thought would appreciate my other works.  Well I pondered over it for a while and then I decided that maybe they had a point.   It drove me to examine my priorities based on my history in the music business, my abilities, gifts and talents.  I am now spending time birthing some material that God gave me a while back, and I am enjoying the feeling of accomplishment.  Thank you, person that will remain unnamed, for the fertilizer. 

Friends, as I said, this may be a difficult pill to swallow because of how we’ve been trained, but it is not impossible to make the adjustments that will create a more stress-free existence in this stressful world.  And do you know what?  In the end, the shift that you will make will be worth it because of the harvest you will reap.  Fertiliser means growth, not waste.

I would like to know of your progress when you make the shift.  DM me or drop a comment here.  Please like and share this post.

SHED: How to get/keep your spirit right

Just like God (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit), man is a triune being.  He was made after the image and likeness of God therefore he is spirit, soul and body.  They are not independent of each other.   If you feed the spirit by spending time in the Word of God and prayer, it becomes strong and that strength affects the other parts of you.  The same is true for the soul and body.  So, since we are talking about shedding, maybe we should start with our spirit man.

Man is a spirit, that has a soul that lives in a body.  Quite simply put, our spirit is that part of us that connects with God through regeneration.  And you would think that if it is connected to God that nothing can go wrong with it, right?  If that was true David would not have penned this prayer in Psalm 51:10 after he had gotten himself embroiled in adultery, deceit and murder. 

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

He had compromised the purity of his spirit because he gave way to his base nature.  This caused a disconnection between him and God.  Remember he was a man after God’s own heart so any disconnection from God would have hurt him badly.  The difference between David and a lot of us is that he was quick to say he was sorry and repent.  He wanted God to renew a ‘right’ spirit within him because he was conscious that he had cultivated a wrong spirit.  

We as well can cultivate a wrong spirit when we allow ourselves to be drawn away by our own lusts and enticed (James 1:14).  Many people feel that they can keep doing wrong and God will keep forgiving them.  But there comes a point when the heart stops feeling convicted and the conscience becomes seared/dead.  That my friend is a dangerous place to be.  It means that you have crossed over into reprobation (Romans 1:28). Click here for more on reprobation.

Without going in too deep in this short post, let me make a distinction.  We can either live in a way that makes deposits into our spirit man or we can pander to the flesh (base nature).  They are polar opposites and one leads to life and the other leads to death (Romans 8:1-14).   In Galatians 5, Paul points out the differences between the works of the flesh and the outworking of the Fruit of the Spirit.  Here they are:

WORKS OF THE FLESH
Galatians 5:19-21 (NLT)
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.  But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 
Flesh/Spirit Comparison

How do you measure up against these lists?  

Personally, as much and as often as possible I check my daily actions, motives, words against those two lists to make sure that I am not falling short.  Don’t get me wrong, we all make mistakes and we all sin and come short of the glory of God, but we don’t have to stay there because God has made provision for us.  What a wonderful father we have.  He said that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  In other words, as we yield to God, He is able to help us shed all the works of the flesh and cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit.  Here is how you can accomplish a spirit that is free of sin, a spirit that is right with God and a spirit that is alive.

  1. Acknowledge that you are a sinner or that you have sinned
  2. Repent of your sin(s) 
  3. Renounce the works of the flesh
  4. Accept the free gift of salvation/accept God’s forgiveness 
  5. Walk in the Spirit (eat of the Fruit of the Spirit everyday)
  6. Maintain your walk by daily communication with God (praying/talking to Him and reading His Word)
  7. Detox as needed.  Stay away from that which will contaminate your spirit (1 Corinthians 15:33); fast and pray.

The Bible also said in 2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

See. He can make you new.  He can help you to 

Shed the old; embrace the new

Shed the bad; embrace the good

Shed sin; embrace righteousness

Shed the flesh: embrace the Spirit of God

Brothers, sisters, friends and family.  The choice is yours.

Focus

So, I have this new project that I’m working on, and delivery is in a couple of weeks.  Everything is coming together nicely.  I’m pumped and most of all I’m focused.  This project takes advantage of my natural talent and creativity.  It’s been taking up my head space and physical energy as well.  

Then bam!  Out of nowhere I was made aware of something that was happening ‘behind my back’ for a while.  Again, I am a babe caught in the woods.  Basically, my modus operandi has always been to mind my life and although sometimes I am sensitive to contrary vibes around me, I really don’t pay them any mind.  My focus has always been on God, my family, my purpose and how I can help make the world and someone else’s existence a little better.  For me there is no time or energy left to sweat the small stuff.

Suffice it to say, I was caught off guard but surprisingly I wasn’t as affected as I would have been maybe two years ago.  I have grown in every possible way and for that I am grateful.  

I slept soundly that night and when I awoke for devotions in the morning, I realized that I was still thinking about what transpired the night before.  And just as suddenly as I realized where my thoughts were taking me, I began rebuking the enemy of distractions.  I discerned very quickly what he was trying to do, and I immediately took authority over the spirit of distraction and brought my straying thoughts to a screeching halt.  

I knew that my focus was under attack.  Whenever what you purpose to do threatens the enemy’s kingdom, he will send the spirit of distraction after you.  He did that to David and Samson, and as long as life lasts, we will be confronted with this demon as well.  But here are a few points to bear in mind whenever you feel your focus slipping.

FAITH – have faith in your God, yourself, your purpose and the process.  You were created with purpose in mind and God is able to finish what He has begun in your life.  Stay connected to Him. He is your enabler.

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ORGANIZE – write down your thoughts, your visions, your goals.  Create plans that will help you to chart your progress in fulfilling your goals.  Refer to them often to keep yourself on track.

CONCENTRATE – tackle each task one at a time so as not to become overwhelmed.  Keep your goals in sight and don’t let anything or anyone take you off your grind.

UNDERSTAND – having a good grasp/working knowledge of who you are, your purpose (why you were placed on the planet) and your destiny goes a long way to helping you to remain focused. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get widsom: and with all they getting get understanding (Proverbs 4:7). Sound advice I would say.

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SPEAK – affirm yourself with positive words.  Emotions have their place but pandering to the ones that are negative hinders progress.  Tell yourself often “I can do this” and go out and do whatever it is you have been putting off, for other lesser important things.  

Here’s an analogical question for you.  What if when you lay your head down on your pillow, in the quiet of the night you hear a singing.  The singing gets closer and closer and then you realize it’s a mosquito that is aiming for your ear.  What will you do?  Would you sit up in bed and gripe about the mosquito and how it’s preventing you from falling asleep? Or will you take action so that you can get back to dreamland?

It’s the same way, when you are on purpose, you should not let anything deter you.  Don’t take time to reason with the spirit of distraction.  Recognize it for what it is.  Deal with it and get right back to doing what needs to be done to get that much closer to your destiny.  Focus!

Proverbs

I’ve been reading the Book of Proverbs as part of my reading-through-the-Bible-in-a-year challenge, and I’ve marveled at the truth of the phrase, “reading is fundamental”. Outside of direct personal revelation from God, wisdom was handed to us in the pages of the Book of Proverbs.  In order to receive it, one would have to dedicate himself/herself to reading the book and making its instructions a part of their daily lives.  And it’s all practical instructions.

Here is the introduction to the Book of Proverbs from my Bible, The KJV Prophecy Study Bible:

“As the preface to the book states, Proverbs is about wisdom.  On one level, wisdom is a skill of living, a practical knowledge.  Wise people know how to say the right thing at the right time and to do the right thing at the right time.  They live in a way that maximizes blessing for themselves and others in the world that God created.  But at a deeper level, wisdom is more profound than an ability to navigate life well.  Indeed, it begins with a proper attitude toward God characterized by “fear”.  This is not the type of fear that makes someone run away, but it is more than respect.  It is the awe that a person should feel when in the presence of the sovereign Creator of the universe, Proverbs is a book about wisdom, and it intends to make its reader wise.”

FYI:  The Book of Proverbs is associated with Solomon, Israel’s wisest king.  Indeed, most of the proverbs were written by him, but there were other contributors as well such as anonymous writers of (Chaps 22:17-24:22), Agur (Chap 30) and Lemuel (Chap 31).

Solomon addressed his writings to his young son(s) but we know that they apply to all of us.  Chapters 1 – 3 gives a general overview of why the attainment of wisdom is so important and, these two verses have stayed with me from my childhood memorizations.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge:  but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Prov 1:7)

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom:  and with all they getting get understanding.” (Prov 4:7)

As many times as I have read the book, I find myself constantly stopping in the middle of reading, flabbergasted because I realize that Proverbs addresses the exercising of wisdom in any and every area of our lives. Finances, relationships, communication.  You name it, wisdom is there for the reading, understanding and execution.

As I continue to read the book, I concur with Hosea when he said in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”  And it is true.  I have witnessed persons whom I consider having above average IQs, do and say the most foolish things and I shake my head and wonder.  But I’ve learned that intelligence does not equate to wisdom.  As the writing above said, wisdom has to be practiced.  Most of all, one has to be connected to the God of all wisdom, and be willing to hear what He has to say, to become wise.

Proverbs 2:6-8 (NLT)

For the Lord grants wisdom!
    From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
    He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
He guards the paths of the just
    and protects those who are faithful to him.

The Passion Translation

Wisdom is a gift from a generous God,
and every word he speaks is full of revelation
and becomes a fountain of understanding within you. 
For the Lord has a hidden storehouse of wisdom
made accessible to his godly lovers. 
He becomes your personal bodyguard as you follow his ways,
protecting and guarding you as you choose what is right.

So, here is my advice.  There are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs.  Why not challenge yourself to read one a day?  Today is the 12th September so you would read Chapter 12 today, 13 the next day and so on.  I would like to hear what effect the exercise would have had on your daily life, if any.  Please DM me.  I’m anxiously awaiting your report. 

Who Are You Calling ‘Hoar’ Head?

Grey is the new black

I walked out of the sanctuary, and just as I anticipated someone asked me, “So what’s going on with your head/hair?”  “What are you doing?”  I turned right around to an attractively attired sister in the Lord that I regard as my friend and said, “I’m letting my hair grow exactly as you see it”.  And in my mind, I said, there’s nothing wrong with that.  She kind of chuckled and said, “I can’t.  Just the other day my daughter told me that I needed to stop dying my hair and I told her I can’t.  I’m not ready to show my grey hairs just yet.”

Her answer is typical of many women her age today, and I’m fine with that. To each his/her own. I ain’t mad at her because I must admit that not too long ago I was thinking and saying the same thing.  I’ve been told that I look younger than my age and I wanted my hair to reflect that.  I still do but it has become increasingly challenging to keep my grey hairs in check.  I would henna them and in less than two weeks they would begin sneakily peeking out again. 

To make it worst, almost a year ago I decided to return to my natural roots, which requires a lot more care than when my hair was relaxed.  Therefore, a typical wash day, when I have to also color my roots become a mammoth task that results in my many times putting off the whole production until I can gather the gumption to spend a whole day with my hair.

The reason I anticipated someone making a comment about my hair, especially after church, is because

I’ve earned my greys
  1. It’s the one place where you will get noticed because you have to sit still for so long with the possibility of being featured in a video frame being very high
  2. I had gotten a friend to cornrow my hair the day before, therefore the different hues of my hair were very visible
  3. There is at least one person in that congregation that would feel comfortable enough with me to point out the obvious 

I am a realist and I am practical to a t.  Although the gravitational pull towards what I know to be the sensible thing to do may take a while to manifest, eventually it does manifest.  I love to look good and as pulled together as the next person, but I am also a low-maintenance kind of gal.   For me being fashionable and trendy cannot trump sensible and comfortable.  So, it may be the fashionable thing to dye your hair because you appear to look better with black hair, but what about the cost in time and money to do that every two weeks?

In my case, ‘I’ve given up the ghost’ at this time in my life because I know I’ll be fighting a losing battle if I continue.  I began going grey in my 30’s and it was not a slow progression like it is for some people.  Also, I started to grey at the front of my head while some people either go ‘salt and pepper’ (which is beautiful to me) or they have a patch.  I would have loved a patch because its funky looking.

Some persons have said that you go grey because you’ve had stress in your life.  Others say that it has to do with your nutrition and even proport that it can be reversed by changing the diet.  For me, I’ve gone grey because its hereditary.  I saw my paternal grandmother when she was in her 50s and her thick, long plaits were a beautiful shade of salt and pepper.  I also saw my dad, whom I resemble very much, began to go grey around the same age. Over the years I witnessed his beard eventually growing all white like that of Santa Clause and it too was, at the time, beautiful.

I believe as we get to a certain stage in life, that we need to make peace with the things that we cannot change.  That is what I’ve done.  I have been doing some growing for the past couple of years and greying hair has been one of the latest ‘happenings’ that I have decided to embrace.  A lot of times we do things because of what we think others will feel, think or even say.  For me, the time for that frame of mind has expired.  I will do what is right and pleasing to me.  If God is happy with me, then I am happy with me.

In our culture, most women I know, even well into their 60s and 70s, and at a time when it should be an honour to flaunt their grey hairs, still color their roots.  Many like me feel that grey hair ‘pulls their face down”.  Others, like me again, look younger than their age and they prefer to keep everyone guessing.  Even among ourselves as women we make comments that would seem to discourage the appearance of growing older because to us it is unattractive.

On the other hand, men are called distinguished when they begin to grey.  They are regarded as silver foxes and younger women are drawn to them especially if they are also taking care of themselves.  But why the disparity in the way that the sexes are perceived as it pertains to greying hair?  Is it all in our heads?  Why aren’t we embracing what is naturally happening as part of our journey?  And let’s not even talk about who is benefiting from our need to appear younger than we are.

As always, let us go to the one place that has an answer for any and every question we may have.  In Psalm 139:14 where David spoke about God knowing us before we were born, here is what he also said, 

“…for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”  I receive that.

And the kicker is found in Proverbs 20:29, 

“The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head” and Proverbs 16:31, “The hoary (grey or white with or as if with age) head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” Amen to that.

Isn’t that something?  I rest my case.

So, I will speak to us ladies because we seem to be the ones who struggle most with growing grey.  If the Creator of the Universe and the One who also created us values our grey/hoary hair/head, why are we allowing ourselves to be pressured by society, friends and loved ones to despise it?  Why are we succumbing to a culture that drives us to dishonour what He obviously honours?

Listen to what He is saying to us.

Vroom Vroom. Ready or not, here I come

And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.” (Isaiah 46:4).  Whoah!! I’ll take that any day.

Well my sister friend, if you haven’t gotten to the point where you can accept the inevitable, I do have some very good henna that I’m willing to part with.  Drop me a line and they are yours.  As for me, this is what I have to say. 

 “World, here I come with my hoary, crowning glory.”  

Relationship with Benefits

Man of God (MOG), God is watching you and you are found wanting.  Why do you think he created you?  Why do you think he created you first and then formed woman out of you?  Think about that for a minute.  (And for the women or others who would like to come for me because of your beliefs that may be contrary to mines, please postpone your trip.)  My allegiance is to God and what He says that is what I will live by. That is what I will preach.

So, this message is for the men.  Do you know why we are living in all this mess that we call “life”.  Because you dropped the ball.  You were given instructions by God in the Garden of Eden and you took them for granted.  You also took your wife for granted and left her uncovered and vulnerable to the wiles of the enemy.  Thank God for the women who have repented on behalf of Eve and are today covering and interceding for their families.

This is not for every man because some men are doing their jobs as prophets, priests and kings in their families.  I am not talking to you.  I’m talking to those who live like the devil seven days a week and then go to church on Sunday morning in all piety.  Why?  Maybe trying to make an impression on those present that they are serving God and to preserve their status as a ‘family man’?

Yes, I’m talking to those of you who only appreciate the fact that your wife is a praying woman so that you can load her up with your requests when you need something from God.  The same God that you disregard and disrespect every day of the week.  You are one of those who only care to BENEFIT FROM THE RELATIONSHIP that your wife has with God. 

You need to stop, take stock, humble yourself, and find God for yourself.  As my father used to say, “every tub has to sit on its own bottom”.  There’s only so much your wife can do on your behalf. Why not be the one to say, “Honey we have this issue. Would you join with me as we take it before God?” The Bible said in Matthew 18:19, Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. Look at you. You got a built-in partner when you decided to marry your wife, and that is what our Omniscient God intended. What a God!!!

For those of you who are out there fooling around with other lives and leaving your family uncovered…again, who do you think you are playing with?  Everything is open and naked to the One that you have to give account to.  And so that you know, what I or anybody else thinks does not matter even though we/I see your fruit rottening.  Only what God thinks matters. 

MOG, God is calling you to COUNTER. He wants you to stop shirking your responsibility of husband and father, leader in your family and nurturer of the next generation,   If you don’t take account now and get your act together, the next generation will suffer.

Your rottening fruit is reaching to high heaven and God has had enough of your riotous and double-standed living.  Man-up and become the prophet, priest and king that is needed to set your home, nation and world right side up.  This is on you.

Women, like Hannah you keep on praying.  Keep on interceding.  God honors that which He instituted and how can two walk together except they be agreed.  Never mind that your man isn’t who he should be right now.  If he isn’t a Christian continue to stand in the gap for him.  If he is a Christian but is in a backslidden state or is straddling the fence, keep praying for him. Prayer changes things. 

Desperate Woman of God (WOG), Samuel needs to be conceived, incubated and birthed so you cannot abort him by neglecting to do what you have been commissioned to.  Your Maker is your husband.  Look to Him for grace and strength, instruction, understanding and wisdom as you continue to PRAY UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS (PUSH). 

NP.  Women in this text is inclusive of wife and mother, even though my focus is on the husband and wife relationship. Nevertheless, many men depend on their mothers and wives to pray for them while they continue to live like Peter Pan. And although, through the ages we’ve seen how effective a mother’s prayer can be, God expects men (fathers and husbands) to pray as well. If Jesus did it, so can the men.

ROOTED

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

(2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

This grape tree has weathered several hurricanes, Hurricane Irma of 2017 being the last.  We thought she was a goner but we decided not to discard her.  She still had roots imbedded in the soil.  There was a chance that she could bounce back from the ravages of the storms. And we were right.  As evidenced by her fruit, which are sweet by the way, she still has much to give.   

Lessons

Two personal truths that I hold dear.

  1. It does not matter how broken something or someone is, if you can still find value in the pieces, maybe it’s worth it to rework or repurpose those pieces into something that can be appreciated or used. Not because something is broken, means that it should be automatically thrown away.
  2. No matter what comes your way to buffet, destabilise or uproot you, make sure that your roots are anchored deep in the Rock, Christ Jesus.  All you need is a little nurturing (time in the Word, regular communication with God, encouragement of and fellowship with good friends) and you will more than survive.  You will thrive.

As you thrive here are a few things that you can do.

  • Acknowledge and accept who you are daily as life changes you as you age
  • Engage in self-care
  • Do your personal work on a daily basis. No one else can do that for you 
  • Disengage yourself from things and people that are destructive
  • Align yourself with those that support your dreams, your purpose and your destiny
  • Use life-lessons as stepping stones to where you are going. No experience is wasted
  • Focus on and never lose sight of your goals
  • Keep crawling/walking/running towards the prize

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. So I admonish you as Jesus did his disciples in Matthew 24:13

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Life is Short…

Good Family and Friends are a Scarce Commodity

While living in the United States there were six months out of the year that I yearned to be in Anguilla.  They were the cold months and although I enjoyed the experience, there were many days when I imagined myself splashing in the warm, blue-tinged, crystal clear water of Rendezvous or Meads Bay.  Therefore, I told myself, whenever I returned to the islands, I will make good the privilege of living on an island and I will never, ever take sea-bathing for granted.  

For the past couple of weeks, I have kept that promise to myself and today, as I drove back into my yard after exercising and sea-soaking, the thought came to mind – “Life is short and good family and friends are a precious and scarce commodity”.

You see, I went to the beach alone and except for when I am home with my family, most of my time, if I were to take note of it, is spent by myself.  I have no family here but there’s more to it than that.  

I am a pastor’s kid and when we were growing up my mom had an experience that caused her to become overprotective.  My dad had migrated to another island and she of course joined him.  Therefore, she also did not have any family close by.  What she did was kept us very close so that we would not get hurt as she did, but the result of that was both positive and negative.  On one hand we did and still do not really need company to be happy; but on the other hand, when we did go out as teenagers and even young adults, we were socially inept.

Despite the negative, I have matured, and I am no longer socially inept, but I have also grown to appreciate that if I don’t have company, I am quite fine.  Also, in a community where, human beings can sometimes be quite mean for no apparent reason, being able to enjoy your own company is a gift.

Be that as it may, God has blessed me with some precious family and friends for whom I am so grateful.  So, here is what I have to say.

Life is short.  We have been given 70 years and by reason of strength, 80.  When you stack that up against time that has gone and the time that will be after you exit the scene, 70 to 80 years is a drop in the bucket.  Therefore, the moment that you have right now, is precious.

Good family and friends are precious and a scarce commodity.  If it were not for good family and friends that covered and supported me over the past two years, I don’t know where I would have been.  So, believe me when I say, I know the importance of having people in your life that get you and still love you.

I thank God for the opportunity to travel and live away for a while.  It opened me up to the fact that although interacting with some people can make you gun-shy to socializing with others, there are still wonderful people in the world.  There are people who even though they have their flaws, they are about loving and caring for others.  And I have been privileged to meet persons like that all over the world and it has given me hope.

Life is short and good family and friends are a precious and scarce commodity.  You don’t know when your time will come to leave this place called planet earth. So cultivate those relationships with the time that you have left.  

Be there for your family and friends as they are for you.  You don’t have to call or text every day, but as often as possible let them know that you are thinking good thoughts about them.  After all, if we don’t have good family and friends, what do we have?  With the way that the world is right now, those relationships make life worth living.

Guess what?  I am going to take my own advice and hope you do too.  It could mean the difference between living a full and fulfilled life or one that is very lonely.  And being alone does not necessarily mean being lonely.  But for those of you who may be feeling lonely right now, I leave this food for thought with you. “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

Be blessed. Much love.

Perfection is Over-rated

Today I saw this tree.  It’s in an idyllic location – near a huge pond with ducks swimming nearby.  It was beautiful to behold, but then in my mind I said, ‘it’s short though, almost like an overgrown bonsai tree’.  It looked like someone had been pruning it to that size, but I knew this was not the case.  It was that size and shape because of its location, wind action and soil.  It was so picturesque I could not pass up the opportunity for my friend to snap me in the frame.

I totally enjoyed the moment.  Snap!  Click!  Saved!  Immortalized for future moments when I would need to reminisce.

As I continued to meditate on what I had seen, and how I was able to find shade under this short tree, it dawned on me how sometimes we miss out on life because we have an idealistic view of how things should be. But by now, if you’ve lived for more than 3 decades, you will agree with me, just based on your experiences alone, that perfection does not exist, and idealism only creates unnecessary stress.

I stand to be corrected.  However, if you have read my book ‘A Helper Suitable’, you would see where I admitted more than once that I am a converted perfectionist.  And believe me when I tell you, thinking and relating that way and seeing the world through those lenses have caused me many years of unnecessary stress and time that I cannot recoup.

My takeaway today is, we should not ignore or discard something or someone just because they donot present with exactly what we desire, or what we are accustomed to.  Human beings, especially, are not created perfect.  We are all works in progress.  I am not saying to disregard your standards.  What I am saying is, just as much grace as you would like extended to you, extend to others.  In everyone there is some good.   Based on your constitution and stick-to-itiveness, you may need to dig for it but when you find that good, be apprecaiteive and continue to extend grace.  Don’t focus so much on the bad that you neglect to see the good.  Remember none of us are perfect, but all of us need love and acceptance. 

Here is a question for you to consider today.  

Suppose after we were born, our perfect Father God looked at us and saw all the flaws and knowing all the mistakes we would make throughout our lifetime, He just pulled back his breath and said, this one isn’t worth it.  Let’s throw him or her back.  What if He did that?  There would be no Susan.  No Joe or Alice.  Essentially, there would be no one here on earth for God to have a relationship with – and He craves relationship.  So, imperfect brothers and sisters, let us ponder this thought before we go discarding people who are less-than perfect.  Perfection is over-rated.

Be the BEST YOU that You Can Be!

I’ve been living with myself for the past 51 years but I’ve just recently come to accept who I am. I guess after all these years, I realise that I cannot separate from myself or divorce who I am in exchange for anyone else. I am unique. I am quirky. I am talented. I am conservative. I love adventure and new experiences. I like quiet. I need patience. I can be anti-social at times. And the list goes on but guess what? I embrace all those parts of me.

There is a little plaque that I bought for myself one day, just so I would have a visual cue to remind myself of how important it is to accept the me that I am. I later bequeathed it to my son for the same reason.

I have learned over the past two years that people and situations pass through your life to expose who you really are. Some of what you learn may not be too attractive, but at least you know what is there. You now have the opportunity to work on you. Remember your life is like a revolving door. People and situations move in and out, but like the revolving door, you are the constant. You will always be with you. Work on being the best you that you can be for you. If you can be the best for you, then thats what others will expereince when they meet you. Hmmm

Instead of throwing blame and shade on others, acknowledge what is and proceed to take measures to work on a new and improved version of yourself. I have taken the stance that just like rocks in a surf that rub against each other and eventually become smooth, I will endure the friction of my essential relationships. It must get easier as time passes. The non-essential relationships I will let go without regret. And as you get older, this becomes easier because some relationships take more from you than they give.

Surf’s up BVI September 2019

This perspective, I’ve learned, comes with maturity and having lived through several life cycles. The bottom line still rests in having the mindset that you need to:

  • take the time to learn who you are
  • embrace yourself, flaws and all
  • be grateful for your experiences
  • grow through your experiences
  • appreciate who you’ve become in spite of and because of those experiences
  • be fully present in your life

And after all of that, you still get to be yourself because everyone else is taken.