#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 💓💓

Chosen

img_0544Hey Moms,

Age 21 and chosen,

‘Yikes, tomorrow my son turns 15’. To God be the glory…

This life can have you twisted, and learning to unknot is a skill worth pursuing. In this post I share with you the unknotting secrets as a young mom, attempting to raise a modern day knight, in today’s generation. Even in the midst of battles.

It’s not how you start, heck even the knockouts don’t count. Have you ever watched a boxing match? Sometimes I’ve been convinced that the guy who got punched the most, was indeed the one who’d lose the fight. Numerous times we come to realise that it was never the blows he fell from that kept him from loosing. It was his resilience not to stay knocked down, and get back up. This has been my question to me for countless years. ‘Jewel, can you get back up! Stronger than before’?

I love being a Mom. Seriously, I can’t think of any other role better suited for me other than being a parent. I’m grateful that God chose us for each other. If honoured with the choice to make, biasly, in the world of one being born every minute, I’d chose my son, without pause or hesitation.

My exposure to parenting wasn’t the most ideal. Discovering I was pregnant was pure comedy to me. It was then I knew this God has a sense of humour. The scripture that God would choose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise suddenly made sense to me. Looking back now I see why he did that. I could never take credit for the baby I once cradled into a boy and the boy who is being shaped into a man today.

Clearly, I was to be tested as rain decided to poo over my fairytale story. Oops, we’ve hit a wall. Hands down, this was a bad crash, a wreck that I was so convinced at one stage would have no survivors. And if anyone was to survive we would’ve lost a lot of precious money can’t buy moments that time was evidently determined to rob from us.

Counting the grey hairs, and sipping into a cup of chai latte, I sobbed uncontrollably at the fear of losing my adorable son to this world and its ideologies. I watched our relationship become knotted right before my eyes and could do nothing to unknot it, at the time.

Truth, my childhood was crap. Perhaps you could relate, not be trying to paint a sob story but it was what it was, nothing more or less. Growing up I was taught a child was to not be seen, and certainly not be heard.

Put the light on, I can’t see in the dark!

The longer I get to live, the clearer I see things. I have come to realise that love is so much more than words. In the trenches it requires grit, the tenacity to never give up. The willingness to go again. True living is you waking up and making the decision to make every day count. I’ve learned to understand my losses, and deciphering that losing is sometimes winning, and not all wins are good.

As my son’s earthly parent, I believe that it is my job to make sure that I choose our battles wisely. I recall so many wasted days of our precious time on pointless arguments that now in hindsight were meaningless.  I have learned to be quick at saying sorry, and meaning it while teaching my son to never go to bed angry with me or himself.

In the chaos and confusion of this unpredictable journey called teenager life I have come to a conclusion that God is not wasteful and with him, nothing is ever wasted.

It is believed that breastfeeding helps mothers to bond with babies because it releases the ‘love’ hormone. Scientists have discovered the secret behind how breastfeeding helps mothers bond with their babies, that the release of a chemical in massive surges helps to enhance a mother’s feelings of trust, love and affection to the baby.

Whether this be true or not, I would like to hope that the three years of breastfeeding has contributed somewhat to our bond, that is (unbreakable).

According to the book of Proverbs, it talks about training up a child in the way he should grow. And when he is old he will not depart from it. I do believe this to be true. Life experiences have taught me that whatsoever we sow, we will eventually reap. I see this to be also true in the parent and child dynamic. As parents, we have the awesome privilege of being the primary teachers to our children’s’ early childhood development. If we get this right, we have the power to shape their young minds into something brilliant. My only regret is how late I came to discover this truth.

Parents, we are under-shepherds sent out on assignment by the ultimate father. He holds the blueprint of all our lives and somewhere in his marvellous plans for mankind, he saw you and me, raising up the future generation.
How often I lay awake, full of gratitude that he entrusted me with such an overwhelming gift. For this, I am eternally grateful. It’s not rocket science that this is something we cannot do alone. I don’t know about you but without the grace of God, there’s no way I could attempt this assignment called motherhood.

Hello, God you know this is a human life you’ve entrusted me with, right?

I am my son’s teacher and also his student. A good teacher must also be teachable.  ‘No dream is too huge was one of my favourite things to implement in our space, a place where whatever dreams, goals, ideas my son would play out for my ears to hear, my mouth would be in agreement with him.

Parenting from my broken places has brought its own demons along the way.  I’ve made mistakes and repeated actions that I never imagined in my life I would’ve made. But giving myself permission to be human and asking for forgiveness from God firstly, my son and in my opinion more importantly myself. It is true that we are harder on ourselves than others are on us. So teaching myself the importance of truly letting go, and counting losses as wins have been a major game changer for my parenting journey.

Routine for me has been the hardest thing to protect. If I’m honest consistently making sure we protect our date nights, and coffee mornings are perhaps the hardest. With work, school, church and activities in-between. You soon come to realise that time is disrespectful. You will find the older your kids get, the more on purpose you will have to be in maintaining consistency with your families schedule. Sometimes we have to tweak plans as seasons change, be ever ready! Some of our best dates have been the random last minute ones.

Becoming my child’s friend was never my plan but having him respect me and have reverence for me as his leader, under God, has and always and will be my main priority. Gaining a friend along the way, is just Gods unmerited favour, doing what he does best.

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We were chosen and have the pleasure to work alongside the architect. And as his vision becomes clearer to us, we can begin to see the picture unveiling with each stone that is laid. The foundation stages are the longest, and that’s why even after 15 years, I would say I am still at below ground work. It may seem like a never-ending stage but trust the process. It is at this level that if you endure, you will develop strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope that will never disappoint usbecause God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. I may be young, but I’ve come to the conclusion that God makes no mistakes. I was chosen for such a task, and so were you.

Parents, of all ages but especially to those raising teenagers, hang in there. The season may seem like it’s never going to change. But it does. No storm lasts forever. The joy of winter is that springtime is right behind it. Parenting a teenager is challenging because right before your eyes, the ‘baby’ you once knew, is no longer a baby but a grown adult.

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.

Signed,

A mother’s heart

Blind living

“Living in the shadow. Can you imagine what kind of life it is to live? In the shadows, people see you as happy and free, because that’s what you want them to see. Living two lives, happy but not free. You live in the shadows for fear of someone hurting your family or someone you love. The world is changing and they say it’s time to be free. But you live with the fear of just being me. Living in the shadow feels like the safe place to be. No harm to them, no harm to me. But life is short, and it’s time to be free. Love who you love, because life isn’t guaranteed.”

(A quote from a Jay Z song ‘Smile’) 4:44 album

I wrote this poem the other day whilst reflecting on my life and the getaway train that keeps on being highjacked each time I think I’m finally on my road to recovery.

Blind Living 

As the mask slipped away for the umpteenth time I realised that It’s only Him. The Him I refer to is the one who sees me with doves eyes. The one who whispered in my soul and gracefully breaks me. As He prefers to mould me and make me. Loving all the parts of my decayed soul, resurrecting the bones I once buried, patiently pursuing me to dream again, love again and live again

These words keep hunting me like a tiger in the wild, chasing its prey.  Labour pains got me staying up in the darkest hours of the night, travailing for the baby to be pushed out. Looking around me I see none but one midwife. Unequipped and inadequately trained she does her best to encourage me, ‘breathe jewel’ just keep breathing. Each contraction would have me screaming all kinds of pain. 

Connections have been and will continue to be the difference maker for us to find true freedom in our self-worth, networking our net worth, sleeping with predators and fighting demons to be set free from their mousetrap.

How so quickly we are to tweet a thought, instead-snap a moment, go live on Facebook, for the self-gratification of a  like, a follow a quick thrill. But never giving little time or thought of Elohim. It’s only Him; the only one who truly cares and wants the very best for us. But being blind would have us living a lie tapered in false glitter and Judas kisses. Do me a favour and look around you, everything you see in this life is meaningless.

On this journey I’ve found myself falling and have fallen from numerous towers, climbing cooperate ladders only to find myself back in the hands of masters who use their powers to reinforce their vision. Even the television, is selling their vision. Preying down on our insecurities and a false sense of security. Living this lie, with truth buried deep inside of me, us, and them.

Passing down knowledge undigested is like forcing out food from the rear when it hasn’t even been given the chance to flow through the stomach.

I’m in a place of uncertainty for the first time in a very long time. There are things I would like to share with you but right now, I am struggling myself to come to terms with the realities of the struggles I am currently experiencing. I keep on asking these questions on a daily basis. “Jewel, how long will you  remain fallen, bruised, broken and  scarred.

Everyday allowing myself to encounter some home truths.  Each time fear reappears its ugly head I have two choices to make. For as long as I continue to remain stagnant in any given situation I allow fear to win. Truth is when I am no longer afraid, then I will face up to the truth. Stepping up to the unknown, reapplying for the role that only I can play out in this lifetime. Allowing someone to see me again, and sharing all of my fragilities without the cover-up of my mask. Suddenly, it would appear that my eyes of understanding are finally peeling apart the glue that once held it shut together.

I can, I will and I am on my journey as so are you.

simhasana

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

Running my race 

Hey friends,

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting, thinking and most importantly resting. Some seasons demand more of you. You see, when you understand your race, you prepare differently. You plan strategically. You ensure that you travel light.

Carrying excess baggage on a road trip can cause unnecessary breakdowns. Baggage isn’t always luggage. Just saying! Happy it’s the weekend. Can summer come already? It’s so cold…

Running my race was birthed by a conversation that I and my best friend were having about life and the current demands it places on us. As she approaches 40, single, unwed, and without a child. Life may seem somewhat unkind. Often neglecting the remarkable blessings that are happening around us daily, we revert to complaining and wanting more. But there’s nothing wrong with wanting more, surely not! I guess wanting more because the Joneses seem to have it all together is considered the wrong way of wanting more. After-all tiresomely seeking after something that others have is the worse type of pain to induce on yourself, the burden of trying to keep up can be all too exhausting. Running a race in another man’s lane, with another mans shoes on. The sheer thought of it spells folly.

(Isaiah 40:31 ) Listen it is so easy to be like Jacob in this scripture whining and complaining. Some seasons it sure does feel like God has lost track of us. It can almost feel like He doesn’t care about what happens to us, or even knows anything about our lives. Like really, has He even been listening to our cries?

If that’s you, be assured. God hasn’t let go of you. I LOVE this Bible promise that talks about how Gods hands are not too short to save us. If you are anything like me, visual. I see this HUGE enormous God who holds literally everything in His hands. Loosen your grip on your life and experience true victory and peace in knowing that He guides and holds us with His right hand…

I really hope someone gets blessed by this and encouraged to get back on the tracks of their life and begin to run in their lane again. Far too many people are simply existing and not living. This is not the way it was supposed to be, and having gone through it and wasted too many years of my life that I will never get back, I refuse to relax and allow others to do the same.

Run your race at a steady pace
See the goal but don’t make haste 
Because you’ll need your fuel
To face;
The turbulent and unsteady places
Your eyes transfixed 
Don’t lose your focus 
You WANT to fulfil your God-given purpose 
And get to YOUR finish line  
To hear the words ‘well done good and faithful Servant’. 

Listen, you have to get your running shoes on. Set your eyes on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. Live YOUR life, and run YOUR lane using EVERYTHING you have because it’s going to take all of it to get to the finish line – your finish line.

Let us continue to be each other’s cheerleaders.