A New Journey!

Change they say is constant. However, it brings with it the surge of fear and knots in the belly. A journey to unknown territories is one that is quite difficult to make but once embarked on, brings fulfillment like never known before even with its challenges and difficulties.

Starting a blog has been a journey I’ve know I wanted to embark on but the claws of fear and the need for the right timing always seemed to hold me back. Today am facing that fear head long with a whole lot of knots in my belly with questions like “what if it isn’t successful?”. At least then I’ll know I did try.

This is a journey and like the rising sun, it gets brighter with each second that passes!

As a Chinese saying by  Laozi goes

” A journey of a thousand miles begins with a step”

This is my first step to greatness. Good luck to me!!!!

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The Power of Choice

Life is a system of intricate design with series of connecting dots called choices. However, there are some choices that has already been decided before time like when you are born, the family you are born into, the colour of your skin, your race, your sex and most importantly your death. These are choices we practically have no say in.

From the time of our birth to the time of our death, we are left with a whole lot of dots to connect. This wide gap is certainly filled with choices. Some choices are made for us when we are infants and others we’ll make for ourselves when you come of age.

Someone said ” your life is a reflection of daily choices, big or small”. This statement holds true as we are faced with decisions to make daily either major or minor. The extent to which these choices affect our lives might not be noticed early especially for the minor or little choices but it is always revealed in the long run.

So if truly your life is a reflection of daily choices whether major or minor, how then can you create your desired life? Remember, when we make a choice it has the power to fuel our dreams positively and negatively. Life will throw at us many different situations but ultimately, we are in control of how these situations affect us when we view the ultimate picture of our own path.

Now you might be of the opinion that you don’t have a choice with regards certain things that affect your life I totally agree. However, pardon me to say you do. Now you might not have a choice as to what situation comes at you, but how you respond to that situation is definitely you have to make.

When we think about life we often think about what happens to us rather than how we live life itself. We turn this over when we focus on the power of choice. Instead of being ruled by situations and having to figure it out internally, we begin to build our inner world in a way that helps us navigate easily the situations around us. This happens by making a conscious decision of how we want our experiences to either fuel or take us away from our dreams.

Choices allows us to give our hardship a purpose. When we decide what to do with the situations life throws at us, we are giving our experiences a purpose. This is one of the most beautiful things about a Choice.

Paying attention to the power of your choice will free you as you will feel empowered to reach your dreams. When you fuel your decisions with intentions you will become unstoppable because you will constantly be choosing a new path whenever life handles you an obstacle. When we stumble upon road blocks, we can choose to accept it or recognise that maybe we need to change directions entirely.

Change your mind and you change your life. When we empower ourselves with a choice, we set the course towards our dreams. Remember, we can choose when and how to react and when to accept and flow.

I’d absolutely love to hear from you the comments:

What are your opinions on the power of choice?
What situations are you facing right now what choices are you going to make?

True Independence!!!

There is a seed in my heart
A seed of Independence
Placed there by God
Watered by my spirit
Watered by God himself

I look around
And I’m not comfortable with what I see
People living normal lives
Now wait a minute,
There ain’t nothing wrong leaving normal;
No, there ain’t
But we are made for more
Our spirit tells us so
God himself tells us so

I wake up in the morning
Say my routine prayers
A time my spirit yields to the father
A time I know I need to be independent
How do I know,
My spirit tells me so
God himself tells me so

Gone are the days
Where having just enough was okay
Just enough to pay the bills
Just enough to feed my family
Just enough to solve that problem
No! We ought to have more than enough

More than enough is attainable
More than enough only comes
When we truly have independence
Now not independence by the world’s standards
But true independence by God’s own standards

Now the problem is that
We get too comfortable
Comfortable to sleep in a house that’s not ours;
If the food we never contributed for;
Even use the money not worked for;
But then we are made for more
Our spirits tells us to
God himself tell us so

The clock is ticking
Time is running
Get up, Get moving, Get walking and working
Get independent yells the spirit
A little sleep, A listen slumber
And poverty will creep in without you knowing
Alas, you say God is partial

But I disagree, you know why
There’s a part of you he made uncomfortable
Uncomfortable to be average
Uncomfortable to settle for less
Uncomfortable to give mediocre
Uncomfortable to be dependent

Hold up now,
The wheels in my head is spinning
I thought I could be dependent
Let my husband handle it
Let my brothers take care of it
Let my sisters deal with it
Let my wife control it
I’ll let my pastor get to God for me

Yes they can
But you were created for more
Your spirit affirms it
God himself affirms it

Now just before you go riding your high horse
Let me give you a twist
” Be dependent, Be dependent” a still small voice cries out
In shock you hold still
Casting and binding the devil
For not long ago,
A Voice in your spirit cried out
” Be independent, you were created form more”
Your spirit affirmed it
God himself affirmed it

But if you would just listen for a moment
One still little moment
You’ll hear your spirit in union with God saying
” BE DEPENDENT ON ME”
For if we are not dependent on God,
We can never be truly independent.

A word of caution:
Remember faith without works is dead
So while you’re depending on me,
Be diligent, Be committed, Be steadfast
Work hard at what you do and where you are
Only then can I truly bestow on you
True Independence – that level of more than enough!

Photo credit: istock

The Abundant Life is a Choice!

I wanna give you life
Not life like the world does
but life in all its fullness
and abundance.

No, I’m not like the world
Who gives with one and takes with the other
Infact I don’t wait to be asked
I just give.

Remember John 3:16,
” for I (God) so loved the world (You)
That I (God) gave my only begotten son (Myself)…
You didn’t ask for it
I freely gave
The only clause I put to it, is that you Believe.

Eternal life is a free gift
But truly are all things free
I dare say yes
As the price (death on the cross) has been paid
And the only clause to receiving it is that you believe.

My ways are not your ways
My thoughts are not your thoughts
A day is like a thousand years a thousand years, a day
How do you explain that.

Now the logical mind can’t receive from me
The life I want to give you
Because the only clause I put is that you believe

Believe? the Logical mind says,
How do I believe that I am rich,
When my account reads zero
How do I believe that I am well
When I can still feel the pain
Oh please! Spend me to believe nonsense.

Yes! Nonsense it is
Remember 1corinthians 1:25
” The wisdom of God is foolishness to the wise”
Oh how I confound the wise each time
Yet I am ever ready to receive them
If only they can humble themselves.

Test me and see
Believe me, trust me with all your heart
And lean not on your own understanding
In all thy ways acknowledge me
And I will make your paths prosperous
I mean what do you have to lose
You already are living in unbelief
So if it doesn’t work out
You are still where you started off.

But here’s the trick,
” These words that I speak out of my mouth, they shall not return to me void, they shall accomplish that which it was sent for”
So believe me for your job, your spouse, health, wealth and children
In short, believe me for the abundant life.

But the abundant life is a choice
So I set before you today
Life and death
choose life that you may live!

The Evolution of Marriage!

Marriage also known as matrimony or wedlock is defined by wikipedia as a socially or ritually recognised union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between those spouses as well as any resulting biological or adopted children and affinity.

The definition of marriage varies across cultures and religions evolving to both expand and constrict in who and what is encompassed. Principally, it is an institution in which interpersonal relationships usually sexual acknowledge or sanction.

Individuals marry for several reasons including legal, social, sexual, emotional, financial, spiritual and religious purposes. In some part of the world, arranged marriage, child marriage, polygamy and sometimes forced marriage may be practiced as a cultural tradition.

From history it can be noted that the definition of marriage has changed to meet social and economic needs while for others it remains the fixed. Let’s take a look down history lane to see just how much this great institution has evolved over time:

1. Strategic Alliances –

The Anglo-saxons saw marriage as a strategic tool to establish diplomatic and trade ties says stephanie coontz author of Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage. ” you established peaceful relationships, trading relationships, mutual obligations with others by marrying them” Coontz says. Here parents where no longer contents to marrying their children off to just anyone in a neighbouring group but two people as wealthy and powerful as themselves.

2. Consent –

During the 11th century, marriage is about securing an economic or political advantage. The wishes of the couples much less their consent little or no importance. However, a monk by name Gratian brought consent into the fold of a formalized marriage. His canon law required couples to give not just their verbal consent but also consummate the marriage. P. S. This book formed the foundation for the church’s marriage policies in the 12th century.

3. The sacrament of marriage –

The 12th century had Roman Catholic theologians and writers refer to marriage as a sacrament, a sacred ceremony tied to experiencing God’s presence. But it was until 1563, the marriage was officially deemed one of the seven sacraments.

4. Wedding Vows –

These have been around as far back as 1549 where Thomas Cranmer laid out the purpose for marriage and scripted modern wedding vows nearly 500 years ago in his Book of Common Prayers.

5. Divorce –

Prior to 1967, the script was that marriage was for life. However, the gates for divorce opened with The Divorce Reform Act 1969 where emphasis on marriage shifted from a long-term commitment at all cost to a personal relationship where individual fulfillment is important.

6. State Control –

The Clandestine Marriage Act of 1753, marked the involvement of state in marriages. The Act required couples to get married in a church or chapel by minister otherwise the union was void. They also had to issue a formal announcement called ‘banns’ or obtain a licence. Most couple already observed this through the Canon law although, here the penalty for not complying was much harsher.

7. Civil Marriages –

This era allowed for non-religion civil marriages to be held in registered offices. Hence, the birth of eloping.

8. Love Enshrined –

Love became acceptable as a foundation for marriage only in the Victorian era where they insisted and invested in the idea of love – the marriage should actually be based one love or companionship.

9. More than baby making –

This is the area where procreation is decoupled from marriage at some level. This began in the late 19th century. However, for the Catholic Church, the procreation of children remains one of the essential things a marriage is all about.

10. Civil Partnership –

The first ceremonies under the Civil Partnership Act 2 plates in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales in December 2005 where same-sex relationships were accorded the same sort of rights and responsibilities to married couples of the opposite sex.

From the above outline, it is glaring to see that although marriage has evolved over the centuries, several things still remain same and are worthy of note. Firstly, no matter the era, the need to be joined to another either for social, political, civil or love reasons is obvious an isn’t going away anytime soon.

Secondly, there is an invincible thread or string that connects these eras to present day as most if not all are still obtainable today. There will still be people who get married for political, economic and social reasons; while others would marry by means of exchanging vows and consent. Also divorce and same-sex marriage isn’t going away anytime soon.

Lastly but most certainly not the least, the evolution of marriage over the last century brings something new and different. With new Laws, Acts and Reforms, people are shaping marriage to suit their needs.

As we look forward to the 22nd century, one thing is certain – the institution of marriage will still remain and that invincible thread ever so present. However, in terms of morality, needs, and reasons concerning marriage, we can only wait to see the next era of this great institution!

Regardless of whatever the 22nd century brings there would still be people who’ll consider marriage sacred and uphold its values in an ever changing world!!!

Top 10 Books to Read on Your Dating Journey!

Dating is an essential part of human existence an in one time of your life or the other, you must have dated someone. Now this is one aspect of life that just like others, needs preparation.

There comes a times in everyone’s life where we turn to the opposite sex for a shot at something great. We feel no one understands us the way we desire to be understood and so we look to the significant other to meet these needs.

Just as other areas of our live require mentorship, dating also requires same. Now mentorship can come in two ways either by being under the tutelage of a married couple you admire and observing from them or by reading books. You can also have best of both worlds.

Don’t worry if you’re not a bookworm, just start where you are and be committed as the world of relationship books are vast and varied ranging from a total waste of money to genuinely helpful, from controversial to hokey. They is so much diversity that it can be really difficulty to choose a book that fits into the helpful category in whatever stage of your relationship journey. However, when you do find that book, the wealth of knowledge and wisdom is yours to keep.

So here are my top 10 books to help you on your dating journey. P.s I’ve read a couple of them and others are recommendations. The wealth of knowledge found in these books would definitely help you in navigating the journey of dating to arrive at destination marriage and beyond.

        1. The Bible

Yes I said it. The Bible is the number one book to read when navigating the world of dating and relationships. In it contains the blueprint for a lasting relationship and believe me, all other books get inspiration from the it. The Bible enables you leave a relationship with your heart in tacked even though it hurts knowing that He first loved you and it is in HIM(God) that you find your completeness.

        2. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

This is a must read book for every individual. Relationships can be tricky as individuals are influenced by backgrounds, education, society, media and these in turn makes up our communication styles. Gary in this book helps couples learn to navigate each other’s communication style by teaching how to express affection in ways that suit your partner’s particular styles. The book identifies five love languages (ways of feeling loved) and teaches couples how to identify and cater to their significant other’s language.

        3. Things I Wished I’d Known Before We Got Married by Gary Chapman

In this book, Gary provides twelve things one should know before getting married amongst which are: 

  • That being in love is not enough to make a successful marriage
  • That romantic love has two stages and how to make the transition
  • That personality profoundly affects behavior.

This book is a relationship blueprint as the stakes on marriage are high but the reward of preparation are even higher. P.s. I have read this book and I think it’s totally amazing and a definite must read.

        4. Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey

You need to understand men and Steve Harvey empowers you through this book. You need to understand the games men play to win without losing yourself as a woman. This is a must read because Steve breaks down the whole dating and relationship playbook into simple context with his perceptions of what women really want.

        5. Love, Sex and Lasting Relationships by Chip Ingram

This book helps readers walk a path to true love that is more fulfilling that they ever imagined as whether single, dating or wanting more from your marriage, you’ll discover a better way to find, keep and grow in love – God’s prescription of walking in love. A must read!

      6. Mars and Venus on a Date: A Guide for Navigating the 5 Stages of Dating to Create a Loving and Lasting Relationship by John Gary

Yes, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus is written by the same author. John Gary uses a similar opinion of men and women being wired differently to discuss how dating is totally different for both sexes.

      7. Waiting and Dating by Myles Munroe

This book offers a balanced and biblical view for every believer who wants a prosperous and fulfilling marriage relationship as he offers principles and advises on how to find the one and transition through the period of dating.

      8. The Purity Principle by Randy Alcorn

Randy shows us why, in this culture of impurity, the stakes are higher and what we can do to experience the freedom of purity. This may be the shortest book you’ll ever read but the wisdom found in it will last a lifetime.

      9. I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris

     10. Getting to “I Do” by Patricia Allen and Sandra Hermon

These books are not just for dating couples alone as they contain enormous wealth of knowledge for singles and even married couples as well.

Remember these are just a few to start you on your way as the world if relationship books is extremely large and inexhaustible so feel free to explore more but the important thing is to start. The best investment one can make is investment in yourself.

I believe as you study these books and apply the wealth of wisdom found in them, you would be well on your way to arriving your destination!

Write again soon!

Rlyn…

The Defining Moment!!

The church bell chimes at 10 and the guests are all seated, the  groom is at the alter and the bridesmaids and groomsmen are making their way to the alter one after the other and for a moment you are left alone.

That brief moment where emotions are high and thoughts begin to flood your mind as you are dressed and waiting, a bride in white ready to walk down the aisle to be married! Oops! Did I say married, panic sets in. I only planned the wedding, I know nothing about being married or what marriage is all about, am I truly prepared for the task ahead? A knock on the door brings these series of thought to a halt as the father of the bride is set to walk his little princess down the aisle. Once again, you are back on track with the activities of the ‘big old wedding day’.

Everyone goes through various defining moments in life – positive or negative. A defining moment can be some brief occurrence that only happens once, but leaves a noticeable mark, or an ongoing condition or series of events. Bottom line – it leaves you  changed as you step away from that particular experience different than you were before.

There are several important moments in a relationship such as first date, first kiss, first declaration (the first time you hear those immortal words), first holiday, engagement, marriage, children, etc. Marriage, which is one of the defining moments in an individual’s life is of utmost importance. However, less thorough thought is given to the traditional vow of enduring commitment.

It is usually of less importance how a relationship starts but how it continues to grow and flourish in grace is of utmost importance. This is because most people get wrapped up more in getting engaged and planning the ceremony than their life together after the wedding. We are thoroughly unprepared for what is ahead of the ceremony and get all juiced up on the idea of the marriage without fully understanding the reality if marriage! 

What is the true purpose of marriage? Am I fully settled in my understanding of how marriages work, am I truly prepared to keep a home and nurture my spouse, am I willing to adjust, compromise and forgive even when I am right, am I willing to submit under the authority of my spouse and the tutelage of my mentors, how about when my expectations are not met, am I ready to wed? These and much more ought to be settled to fully grasps the reality of marriage.

Indeed, before the ceremony it’s all poetry but marriage itself is a prose. We need to be ready, prepared and fully quipped to handle the next phase of the marital journey to bring us to marital bliss. However, we cannot achieve marital bliss without the grace of God, knowledge, mentors and a strong commitment to making our marriages work.

The moment just before you walk down the aisle is a defining one for every bride and groom as you have that one last time to reflect and make that final decision (if you haven’t settled it already). Remember, either way you come out different than you were before (good or bad). It is always better to have a cancelled wedding than a failed marriage that ends in divorce!

P. S. This also relates to men as defining moments are peculiar to everyone.

Write again soon!

With love,

Rlyn.

Just this Once, Renew your MINDset!

How many of us have been here – that point where you tell yourself this is the last, I’m not going down that road, never again, I am not going to stress or fret or get worried over that job, marriage,friendship,new diet plan, a habit we want to break (porn, binging, smoking, flirting, cheating,brushing our teeth st night,etc) and a host of other things that seem to suck the joy from our lives or go differently than we had expected.

If we are totally honest, we fall right back into the same patterns tops a week. Now this is not because the will power or motivation needed is not available, neither is it because we are not determined or passionate enough to achieve these results nor is it that we aren’t committed. 

Don’t get me wrong all these are legit reasons that hinder the achievement of desired results or goal in mind however one very vital point most if us ( I inclusive) neglect is our MINDSET – a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s response to and interpretations of situations (The free Dictionary).

I love this definition because I can already picture our mindset as an invincible person who is always with us whispering into our minds our already predetermined responses to various goals and expectations. So when we take decision regarding some patterns we wish to change, she is not moved because you haven’t confronted her first!

I would like to focus today on relationships! Ladies, how many times have you come to that point where you make a commitment with yourself over a sour relationship, or a guy who doesn’t treat you as the jewel you are and finally tell yourself ‘the next is going to be different’, ‘I am not going to rush into another, I’ll take my time, know what I want,understand what men need and desire and most importantly, I’ll seek the face of God before I go into the next relationship’; and voilĂ  you’re repeating the same patterns two weeks down the line. For gentlemen, you can relate to those moments when you said you were done with meaningless relationships and one night stands. You were going to get your acts together and go for something with someone worth while. However, two weeks down and you’re back to square one!

So what and who is the culprit? Remember that invincible person who is always whispering into our minds predetermined responses? Yup! Your MINDSET. We grow from various background, and have different beliefs, value system and educational background and we develop a mindset based on these factors either an open or closed one. This goes a long way in interfering with the achievement of our goals and expectations!

Now even though we’ve got will power, determination, passion,motivation and commitment; if our preconceived and predetermined responses aren’t changed or renewed to suit the goals and expectations we wish to achieve, disappointment is just by the corner. The chances of a girl who left a horrible relationship entering into another of like manner are extremely high if her mindset about love, how it works and how she should be treated in a relationship is not renewed.

Ever wondered why the bible says:

(Photo Credit: Google)

Notice from the above scripture it didn’t say by the renewing of your will power, neither did it say motivation nor determination. It says MINDset! To avoid getting the same results over again or falling back to attitudes we wish to change, we need a renewal of our mindsets. 

How? might just be the question on your mind. This is a process not a one off event. You deliberately, intentionally and consistently substitute old predetermined attitudes and responses with new ones! P.S – Remember it is a process and even though you still fall short sometimes, you are making progress.

(Photo Credit – Quotes Creator)

Only when you are able to change your awareness (predetermined responses) are you truly able to achieve set goals and expectations even in relationships!

Write again soon

From my heart to yours!

Rlyn!