#Life Goals

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Skiing trip (Living vicariously through the lens of my son) #lifegoals

#lifegoals is trending. Life is happening right this minute whether we choose to actively participate or not. 

Well, I certainly hope that you are having a great day today.

It is an honour to be back to continue on our journey. It’s only the second-month of 2018 and I know many of you have made resolutions I prefer to call (goals) that really are going to make a difference in our lives. 

To be resolved for me means simply choosing and sticking to a cause of action by goal setting for your life that you plan to stick by.

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Surprisingly Satisfied 

Welcome to my ”Season of being surprisingly satisfied”. This year I’ve chosen to be a refreshing fountain of living water. I’ve decided to walk this purpose out being intentionally content regardless and irrespective of my current circumstance. And let me tell you, 2018 came for your girl. It’s a war outchea but I’m still standing. 💁🏾‍♀️ I’ve realised that in order for me to successfully stay on course and remain content I must first embrace my authentic self. If you read my blogs you know I write often on my need for choosing to live life authentically.

This entry is basically an encouragement to you (and me) don’t get it twisted every time I share something there’s a message in it for me also. Somehow God always decides to change the direction of my entries as it materialise. If you have started 2018 with the greatest of intentions only to plateau at the first hurdle. Trust me I have been there many times in the past and it can only get better from here. 

Let me encourage you today to give yourself a break, a hug and to tell yourself ”self we will go again” quitting is not an option, a decision I made a long time ago when life was challenging me at every corner. 

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.  

Martin Luther King, Jr

Find the thing that brings you joy. Only you can figure that out so get to discover. For me, it’s alone time. I take retreats often and cherish my coffee mornings in the early hours when mostly everyone is still asleep to just think and hear myself speak out loud. I also find journaling daily is great for me to process my thoughts. It’s crazy how many people choose to share blogs with the world but never take inventory of their own private thoughts by simply cultivating the discipline to journal daily. (Not throwing shade, opinion not fact). Journaling for me is one of the greatest tools I have adopted since teenage years. Not only does it help me to reflect, refuel and rebalance my mind and emotions amazingly it leaves me fully recharged and empowered. After several of these journaling sessions with God, I have found that this place is my most authentic and truest in finding and hearing my voice. I call it my place of unshakeable peace and I encourage you to cultivate the same for yourself this year. 

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My then 9-year-old son building his life with vision. (He will be 16 this year) I can’t tell you how incredibly proud I am of the man he is becoming as he chooses to live his best life. 

Being a healthier version of myself is one of my main goals this year. And I believe if I’m a healthy mom, a healthy daughter, sister and friend I’m being authentic to those around me and therefore a more valuable gift to all and myself. Let’s be honest you are better sound and whole than you are fragmented and chaotic. You will find that those goals (resolutions) become easier to tackle and stick to over a cause of time once you’ve allowed and given yourself permission to clear the clutter and set out your life goals.  

I understand that every season is different and right now you may be reading this thinking what if I can’t meet my goals this year? Friend, rest in God’s sovereignty. The amazing work He started in you, He will finish. Life might not be happening the way you expected in 2018. Circumstances might not be what you envisioned when you pictured your life years ago, but trust Him in the process. This year alone I’m being challenged to trust God more than ever before for what His best is compared to my mediocre that if I had my way would run ahead with. Literally 6 days into this new year I had to witness the man I love get dealt some losing cards and for sure I could’ve sworn the hand that dealt them forgot to include in the deck the winning suits. All I could see was a pack of jokers with every shuffle. As we go through a terrifying and frustrating time I am reminded of my inability of not being able to ‘fix it’and my dependency on my God who He is ultimately the only one that can ‘fix everything’. Isn’t it like God to have me in a season where I find myself surprisingly satisfied and yet facing some of the most challenging things I’ve ever had to face in my life thus far. I guess truth be told my position is not based on the circumstances that surround me rather my surrender in Him.

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Couldn’t pass on a perfect opportunity to take a picture with our favourite ride. Clearly, car is not ours we stay daydreaming #lifegoals

So often we think the impossible before we even contemplate our own possibilities or the power that lies within. For me, it is the ultimate surrender of relinquishing all of my wants and desires in exchange for His ultimate best.  We don’t have to live this life alone and that is always a great encouragement.  He is working, even when you don’t see Him or feel Him. He will complete what He began in you. He will equip you for the task and see you through. Your job is to abide in Him and leave the results in His hands.

Don’t disappear when the “work” of your life isn’t turning out as you had expected. God’s not done with you yet!

Love  Jewel xx

Please feel free to share and comment, your feedbacks are warmly welcomed. I’m still finding my way. 

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🎇🎇🎇Happy 2018!!!🎆🎆🎆

Day 31! The last day of 2017 😊🙏🏾❤️ thank you, thank you, thank you!!! My heart is so full of gratitude.

I am truly blessed to see this day! The bible says to the living there is hope.

Every day my prayer is, ‘Lord help me not waste another moment with breath in my lungs. Help me to always rejoice and be glad that each new day marks the victory over the enemies over my life. For every scheme and plan that was waged in 2017 but never succeeded – I rejoice!!!’

Today for me is a day of jubilation. For me, it’s that time of reflection and reverence to my Lord and King. For He indeed is victorious and has given me victory over every corrupt plan the enemy has plotted this year in mine and my family’s lives.

As I paint my nails and sip on this glass of merlot, with some of my fav tunes playing in the background. I am reminded to thoroughly enjoy these last few hours of 2017. There will never again in history be 31/12/2017!

This coming 2018, I embrace newness, the birth of new beginnings! I am super pumped for what this new year holds.

For so many people new year brings with it so many regrets. But I say to regret what’s in the past, especially things out of your control is meaningless. Instead, allow the new year to be that platform to revisit and start again despite the many failed attempts. Allow this new year to be one of many where you learn to say yes to the courage and no to fear!

Allow 2018 to be your banner year!

I’m so honoured to be alive and thrilled to walk into another year.

May the next 12 months of this new year be spent with the most intentionality than any of the other years combined.

Guys/gals I did it!!! Thank you for following my journey.

I hope 2018 will be the year I find my voice and throw away the muzzle! I hope to share with you my fun side. She’s there somewhere… 🤦🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️Love Jewel 💓💓

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img_0018Its that time of year where if you’re anything like me, you begin to review everything you wrote down at the start of the year, (although I do this monthly) and make sure you are somewhat on track with your goals and being intentional about seeing them come to fruition.

This brings me to why I decided to write an entry today. I’ve thinking soberly about my life recently, a lot is changing, and things are moving so fast. Looking for a pause button; mostly overwhelmed at the best of times.  

Please don’t read this entry sitting on the judgement seat, as you read I hope you can find your story in mine. And I as I go through yet another unveiling to bring about healing to both our journeys, I trust you will be kind enough to yourself by answering some of the questions in this blog and allow your mask to come off also. 

Lately, my questions have been about my life: the past, the hurts, the ex’s, the frenemies, the dead-end jobs, bad boss’s, corrupt colleagues… and my tomorrow. As I approach 40, I look around to find a small handful of close friends (I’m slowly learning to open up again and allow new people to come in). Desperately in pursuit of newness, afraid of sameness, and itching to create moments.  

Have you ever had those moments in your life when you seriously just want to get in the car, pocket full of cash, your fav radio station, the clear road with no traffic? You, the road and destiny; only to wake up to the shocking realisation that real life is not at all like the movies. When will ‘it’ begin? Will I ever get married, will I ever be able to let the guard down long enough to allow someone to get close to loving me, for me. Are more kids on the books, heck do I want more? The truth has I had a decision to make. At this point of my journey, parking the car, leaving it punctured is far from ideal. Looking in the rearview it was clear that I’d come a long way. A bloody long distance, going back was not an option and parking in the middle was; well, also not an option. What do you do when the beginning is no longer in view, and the end is not in sight?  For me, this was a reoccurring hump on the road. It is obvious the show must go on, until curtain calls that are. So here I go again on my journey, no turning back, although it gets ever so tempting at times. But I want to help walk you through my survival kit for bumpy rides. It is inevitable that days will come when the car (vehicle-me/you) simply needs a rest. That’s the first place we start.

R E S T. When was the last time you gave yourself an MOT?

Every car owner understands the importance of having their vehicle checked annually to avoid a failed inspection. The consequences of failing an MOT test is costly, so you owe it to yourself to make sure you pass the inspection.  

Liken that to our own lives. I don’t know about you but I used to be a sergeant for ensuring my ‘life check-ups’ were done without fail every year, usually on or around the week of my birthday. Because the thing is this, with check-ups you are almost, always guaranteed the unpleasantness of other less immediate problems. Truth is, they never pose a serious enough threat to make us want to act now.  I think that is why many people do not like going for check-ups. However, when we ignore these problems that we know should be addressed sooner rather than later, as they may worsen. We face grave consequences that may cause us to fail our ‘life check-up the following year.

Call me, turtle. 

I had a gut feeling 2017 was going to be quite an adventure. But one I simply had no appetite for, just trying to keep it real. Anyone that knows me, knows I’m the queen of hibernating when shit gets real. “Many turtles, are able to retract their heads and legs into their shells as a defensive manoeuvre”. And honestly, I can stay in the shell for what can sometimes feel like a lifetime. I guess growing up is a lot to deal with at times, and some days, I just have no gusto for being an adult. When all you’ve known is responsibility there’s sometimes this mischief urge to do the opposite. The sad part about that is, life doesn’t pause when you do. Time has no respect for my hiatus, and rightly so, it keeps on ticking.

Tonight I screamed silent thoughts of frustration, of wasted years, poor choices and failed relationships, disappointments, failed attempts at success.  I scream, knowing that better days are ahead; but only wished ‘those days’ could be today. I’m pretty sure you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, I do too. Well, one of the things I find that has helped me over the years is journaling my thoughts. It’s always so encouraging to go back to the entries and reading through where your thoughts were and comparing them to how you now feel.

Shortly after having ‘my moment’ of silent torture, I practised  ‘Viparita Karan’ (leg up the wall pose) to help relax and calm me. I’ve recently taken up Yoga again, after several years of putting it to one side. (I’m beginning to wonder why) By practising regularly, I am much more capable of meeting a worry with a presence, of curiosity, and patience rather than fearful reactivity. My practice has given me peace of mind. Honestly, I’m a better mother, friend and person, because I can handle the everyday ups and downs more easily. I feel better than ever. As a Christian, I can easily see the benefits of being spiritually connected to God and being more aware of my being and my presence. In some crazy way, yoga has reintroduced me to my spirit man in ways incomprehensible. 

Reaching for my journal I soon came across an entry that had me in tears. Not sad tears, but the happy: pulls you into pieces separated forcefully, the act of tearing that causes your eyes to stream with warm tears and your mouth engaging in a smile, in one chemical reaction. All because I came across a promise that I had written several years ago. The sweetest part was knowing that finding it was no coincidence. It was just another one of the beautiful ways of reinforcing his love to me. Every word he has ever told me is way bigger than it is, and the first thing I can do is simply trust him. Trusting means letting go of what I want and taking the hold off what he has in store for me. 

What are you holding onto that you know you must let go?

I’ve learned that the challenge of living isn’t the problems we face but our stance in the trials. Yes, the issues are real. The longer I live the more I see hurting people, experiencing real suffering, and knowing actual pain. It’s way bigger than the movies and more factual than the media’s depiction.

My journey has just begun, each milestone finds me standing at the burial ground of my imperfections and breathing life back into it. With each resurrected limb becoming more beautiful than its dead remnants. This journey has me taking tests, and failing them countless times. On route, I learn what it means to follow and be still. I never said I was always compliant, so let’s just say most times I’m kicking and silently screaming, but in spite of, knowing I am exactly where I am supposed to be. 

Truth is, you are fighting for your life in one way or another and perhaps getting ready to park the vehicle. My plea to you is; whatever you do, learn to rest, not to quit. It’s so easy to mistake tiredness as a reason to stop the car. But remember that the journey requires movement. I once read somewhere that, ‘stillness in itself is a movement’. Learning when to rest and when to keep on moving is one handy tool that you and I will need for this journey to wholeness. 

Thanks for following my journey and reading. Please feel free to like, comment or share. Any questions you’d like to ask please feel free to do so. I look forward to walking with and unveiling more to you.

Namaste

Jewel

Reflections of Grace

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I recall sitting and waiting patiently for the gas man to arrive. The boiler had decided to go to sleep, clearly, it needed a rest. I don’t think it was being sensitive to its demand for such a cold and wintery night, but needless to say, a cold night was on the horizon. All wrapped up, with candles on, playing classical music in the background (I love classical music) and a mug of what was becoming my favourite herbal brew, chicory tea.  

Those who have visited my apartment know how cold it can be on winter nights. My apartment is an old build with poor ventilation, but quaint in every other way with traditional features. The architecture is why I fell in love with the property and although awakened to the downfalls of unbearable hot summer nights and smoggy cold winters, it was a ‘small’ sacrifice I was prepared to pay. And, to be honest, several winters had past where it became manageable with the aids of onesies, electric blankets, hot water bottles, candles, and hot brews. Lol – we made it work. Isn’t it funny the lengths you’ll go to when you want something to work desperately?  Until that one, ‘horrid’ night; a cold apartment even when the heater was on,  provided mediocre comfort. 

To my utter amazement, I felt more warmth that night than I usually did on most nights. Looking back on the events leading up to that boiler breakdown, I could easily understand the reasons why.  You see life is a series of decisions. We can choose to suck on the lemons or decide to make lemonades out of our lemons. Don’t know about you, but I prefer to settle for the latter. 

I was going through a 31-day challenge of writing down the things I was most grateful and thankful for in my life. And as I looked around that beautifully decorated front room, I instantly felt tears of gratitude stream down my face. I recalled the nights we slept in a hostel, the many nights I was travelling with my young son looking for shelter because I was in desperate need to escape our current nightmare. The memories of temporary accommodations that weren’t fit for purpose, the days of living through a suitcase; all these memories came flooding at me. And at once, I was fuelled by a surge of warmth, one that came from within, not without.  Admittedly it was a very cold night. London was  7 degrees with a 70% chance of snow. It was freezing, to say the least.

But as my mind escaped, so did my perspective. I have a shelter, a bed to sleep on, clean, running water (indisputably cold) but nevertheless, running water. I sat there for almost an hour, smiling and thinking up all the many blessings I was grateful for in my life and how far He had brought us through. 

For some of you, there is a dramatic shift that is going to take place in your life in the remainder of this year, if you will simply know how to rest in the storms and the not so convenient weather changes.

I learned first hand that the sure-fire way to see the change that is promised, was for me to change the position of my heart. 

This week whilst journaling my heart to the lord, I heard these words”take your eyes off your circumstances and current situations, they will cripple your faith. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.” ‭‭JOHN‬ ‭15:7‬ ‭AMP‬‬

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You have no idea how timely this message was for me this week. I recall a time when I’d stay parked listening to john 15 in my audio bible. Desperately crying to the Lord to help me to remain. What does that even look like, I used to wonder? In chains to every spoken word, I refused to be unshaken and undisturbed in my pursuit when my desire is to remain in this word. My desire for change has been a desperate one, fed up with poor life choices and stagnancy, wishing my ‘aha’ moment would finally come. I’m sure we’ve all experienced such moments. Imagine driving to a destination, clearly getting nowhere fast. Desperately looking to get back on track only to realise you’ve been driving in a circle all along.  

Once on the right track, you’d do whatever you possibly can to prevent yourself from getting back on track. You could liken this analogy to my hunger to have this word being glued, permanently tattooed on my heart. To do whatever it takes to get it out there, and join the many clouds of witnesses that came, not only saw but also conquered. The many that refused to allow their story to be written for them. The many that refused to have life keep them down. Despite my many knockouts, I’m convinced that with each blow I’ve gained new muscles. Muscles I never realised I had before and granted I don’t know how many falls I’ve taken, but the one thing I’ve never done is allow them to keep me stay down.  My desire is to remain because everything else means nothing to me. In this place, I’ve found a living. The temperature in my apartment was unquestionably cold. But the heat I felt that night and would love to have continued on the inside of me is blazing.  

img_0841More and more I’m realising the power of this moment. The power in the now; right now. I see so many of the things I once hid my face from. Now this journey would allow me to sit in a place that others cannot, I see this grace at work, in my life, proving to be sufficient for the roads  I am to travel. 

My prayer for everyone reading this is knowing that He sees you, you who are desperately seeking a safe haven. You, on your journey to finding restoration and craving for change. I pray that you are established and planted so deeply in Him. That regardless of your current situation and where you may find your life at today. Be assured that your story is not over because of one cold night. There is promise in tomorrow. I pray you find him on this journey if you seek him with all your heart. And that you trust the process and allow His word to build you up. Let boldness and courage come over you today like never before. That you might ask whatsoever your heart desires, and when you delight yourself in Him.  Soon and very soon, you’ll experience your heart’s desire. I’m on the same journey…

Signed, 

Finding my way 

Hello…

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My name is Jewel. I am marvellously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation.

Today I decided that I would finally stop running away.

I don’t know who you are. And the reason you’ve chosen to follow my blog. But I promise there is a reason. Together we will discover that reason and find healing and restoration by grace.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired. I’m tired of being that runaway kid. Sad to say, but I’ve run away for most of my life. Always shying away from things, commitment, in the fear of someone getting close to me, and inevitably hurting me. Pain has been an address I’ve been all too familiar with. So, in my defence running away has been my form of control in avoiding the pain. When you’ve come from a place of brokenness and abuse, you learn to protect yourself.

My voice was something I never liked to hear or was never encouraged to share.

It’ll be 8 years in January when I made the decision to rededicate my life to Jesus Christ. And what an interesting journey that’s been so far. I mean to tell you, it’s not like you’ve seen in the movies or even read the novels. You have to personally take that leap of faith and get it for yourself. I would be doing you a great disservice if I were to even begin to explain how it’s been for me. This by far has been the most unveiling, therapeutic, self-discoveries I’ve ever been on. I was born into a Christian family, my father was a Bishop and part of the Oral Roberts board of ministers. He loved Dr Roberts so much he named me after his daughter, Jewel. I grew up as a church kid. I didn’t know much else and Jesus would become to me as real as the friend you speak to every day. For me, he soon became my hiding place, my safe place. Abused at the hands of those who were supposed to love and take care of me, I was at a loss. Everything I knew to be true, turned out to be a tale of lies. Trust was broken, my heart was in pieces.

In the year of 1997, I gave my life to Jesus, became radical and went evangelising with great desire and zeal but no knowledge. Soon my hasty feet will eventually miss the way. I wouldn’t say I gave up, more so fell into stagnancy. The church would be my place to hang out and socialise and very soon the place where hurt would reintroduce itself. This time I put on my running shoes and ran so fast it would take over a decade for me to come back home.

One bad decision after the next I would find myself at a crossroad. 21 & chosen left holding the baby. Motherhood would be the making of me, allowing me to take ownership of my life.

We live with consequences but his grace enables us to live without shame, fear or guilt.

Today I decided to get back to journaling. I’ve kept diaries for as long as I can remember. Since I was a young girl in primary school, I’d write entries often. The writing was my happy place. The place I can pour everything on and I wouldn’t leave feeling judged. With my keyboard, I feel invincible, yet vulnerable at the same time. Deciding to blog was a whole new level of exposure. Let’s face it we live in a critical society with onlookers who would rather look for a fault to find, than applaud your courage to stand.

I knew the time would come for me to open up again. I’ve been through too much to keep my struggles and victories to myself. There is a purpose in pain, it’s a sad but true statement. It’s not to say I am incapable of being committed, more so in fear of once committed, I would lose control.

My God is not wasteful and nothing we have been through can ever be wasted. If sharing my journey helps just one person, then it’s all been worth it.

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Signed,

Introducing Jewelbygrace