#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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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