Tag Archives: inspiration

Faith vs Ideologies

Come Sunday, we would be celebrating Christ’s resurrection and with that, mark the close of Lenten season. I must admit that I didn’t quite abide by all the rules of Lent per my catholic doctrine which was unintentional. During this whole period, one question has repeatedly popped up in my mind. How do I marry my Christian faith with my personal ideologies?

I guess some people would be justified to raise an eyebrow in wonderment since our ideologies are often times formed by our foundation in Christianity, which is perfectly understandable. And others might probably not understand why a parallel would exist in the first place between faith and personal ideologies because it would seem that faith gives rise to personal ideologies and they are not mutually exclusive. But I beg to differ.

I grew up in a very religious home; went to morning mass with my mom every morning, diligently observed all holy obligations, took part in church activities when I wasn’t in school and was very convinced I had the calling to be a nun ( topic for another day). At first, these were things I did because my mom introduced us to them and per my culture, you do as you are told. As I got older, I understood why I did them and actually enjoyed being part of it.

As a grown woman with some life experiences in her years, the many different realities I have lived through both personal and otherwise have shaped some of my personal ideologies and brought me to many questions, debates and concerns that sometimes do not match what my faith dictates I practice. For example, I have only become comfortable calling myself a Feminist recently because of how sensitive that label can get sometimes. It is not the issue of being a feminist that conflicts with my faith but the things I belief in espoused by that label. Like how I am completely for the woman having control over her OWN body and for no one to dictate to her what she can or cannot do to it. And how one of the things that she could do to it is frowned upon by my faith.Or how people who share my faith use it to hurt others in the guise of following what the good book says.

My mom would be the first to tell you I ask too many questions and the habit seem to only get worse as I age. I have become too critical of everything that I question even the things that seem obvious. And have you noticed that the more questions you ask, the less answers you find? (At least for me). That’s why I have been pondering how I can reconcile the two together. My faith reflects my ideologies but my ideologies do not always reflect my faith and there in lies the problem. I am a believer and I recognize that Christ paid all the debt for my sake. I also realize that He gave me the mental capacity to question the things that I don’t understand, to seek a answers to the things that puzzle me and above all, look to a higher power for calmness within me. I just can’t seem to find the answer to this particular question which has left me befuddled.

Does anyone else find themselves in this predicament or is it just me? If so, please share, It would be good to know that there are practicing Christians who hold values outside of the norm and hear how they deal with them. As always, thank you for stopping by, I very much appreciate it. Say, how are you feeling today?

Christians Need Therapy Too!

pink-sky-wallpaper

A few months back, I shared my experience about visiting a counselor and how it almost didn’t happen. Two reasons why it almost didn’t happen: my cultural background (Cameroonian/African) and my faith. In that post, I shared why many Africans look down on counseling/therapy because our culture doesn’t support sharing your worries or concerns with ‘strangers’ and so do Christians.

Christians believe that anyone who calls themselves Christ’s-follower, should not have need for a counselor or therapist because Christ is all you need. As a Christian, I agree that Christ is all you need to get you through life in good and bad times. But there are times when the soul is so bogged down that it needs a place of release.

I know some would argue that there are christian counseling centers, which I agree but how well are they being used. The idea of counseling is still somewhat new in Christian circles and although these counseling services exist, how many churches actually encourage their members to use them? Some churches would actually make the individual feel guilt about their intent to use counseling because to them, you should speak to one person only who is Jesus.

The teaching of seeking God’s face and going to him in prayers no matter the season in your life is a very good one that all Christians should practice. But there are times when you want to speak to another person who would provide some kind of feedback and  that’s where counseling comes in. James 5:6 says “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working”.

For those who are not catholic and do not believe in confessing to a priest, what then is the best alternative of speaking to someone with a better understanding and even a calling to guide you as you navigate Christianity? I would think that would be counselor, but in this case let’s make it a Christian counselor. I think maybe that’s one of the meanings of that verse, to seek out a Christian counselor who would guide you.

I think at some points in our lives, we all find the need to have that one person we can confide in; that one person who would listen to us unequivocally, provide sound advice or feedback, and wouldn’t judge us for the things we share with them and who can assure discreetness with the information shared. Some are fortunate to have friends who play this role and some not very much. Sometimes, even with the presence of friends who we can trust, you just need a stranger who is completely neutral.

Counseling does not take away from your time with God or does not negate your relationship with Him. If anything, it should strengthen it because after speaking with a counselor, they often times advice, motivate and encourage the ‘counselee’. In the case that it is a Christian counselor, they seek out Christian methods to help you deal with that situation. It might just be recommending biblical passages that were unknown to you, or a biblical based group where you get support from each other or better still, provide ways to better live as a Christian with regards to that particular concern.

Our families and friends each have roles they play in our lives; some are fortunate to have those they can turn to when seeking for counsel and guidance, others not so much. For those ones I suggest trying counseling or therapy. Seek out a Christian-focused counselor or therapist who is credible and who has testimonials. Because sometimes, we need physical interaction, communication, reassurance that no matter the turmoil that is brewing within, God would calm it all down. So don’t be afraid to see one or seek one and feel no guilt for doing so. The important thing is that you get the help you need before it is too late.  Sometimes, it takes a counselor to reassure us of that TRUTH.

 

Happiness!!!

happiness

He slipped out of his father’s snug embrace
And skidded softly to the splashing water
His tiny feet waddling across the asphalt like a penguin
Standing unbalanced; he poked a finger in the spout of water

The rush of excitement sent him reeling back into his father’s arms
But curiosity would drag him out again to repeat his actions
The wonderment in running away from the ‘chasing’ water
The enthusiasm of being whisked into his father’s arms

He giggled so loud it revealed a spotty mouth of teeth
His hazel eyes shun brightly in the sun and
His perfectly brown skin tanned to a sun-kissed bronze

My heart fluttered and my ovaries somersaulted to a gymnastic routine
I felt my cheeks stretching to reveal a broad smile
Tears streamed down my face and I wipe them off surprised
Why was I crying? What was happening with me?

In that moment, I realized as I watched this little person
That I was feeling something I had not felt in a long time
Sometimes it came in tiny packages like an innocent child enjoying his childhood
I was looking at Happiness personified.

No Inspiration

emoticons-sadFor days I would come here, peruse through this blog and reread past articles and other WordPress blogs. I always opened the blog with the intention to write, topics abounding in my head, so many exciting things I wanted to share with whoever cared to click on the story, but at last; I would stare at a blank page for minutes and sometimes hours without the words, no idea how to begin a sentence. Time after time after time. I did enjoy reading other blogs and discovering new writing styles. So I think it wasn’t all lost.

Is this what is meant by writer’s block? If it is, how long does it last because I have been suffering from this for months. I thought writer’s block was meant to last only one writing session not weeks and months. If it is indeed writer’s block, how do I resolve it having lasted this long. I miss writing and I have material to write about but I just don’t get the inspiration to put my thoughts to screen.

It got me wondering whether there was something else much bigger at play, like say depression? I know it seems a bit far fetched how a lack of inspiration would mean that I am depressed but I had recently lost interest in all my favorite TV shows too; and I have been eating so mindlessly lately. Everyone always becomes a doctor to self-diagnose their symptoms these days thanks in part to WebMD; so imagine my horror when I my fears where confirmed by the good internet doctor.

In all honesty, I haven’t been myself these last months and that is putting it lightly, but I also know I am not depressed because that is not a very good place to be and I refuse to go there. I generally feel lost most times and I know what I am supposed to be doing but I can’t bring myself to do it. Instead I focus on all the wrong things; my distraction is so alarming I don’t know what else to do. I feel like I am just surviving and not living my life, and it is annoying.

One of the unintentional habits of mine I had hoped to quit is stop quitting. I took a hard look at my life and I wasn’t happy with what I saw. Apart from my education,  I always start a project but never see it through;countless times I have stopped a project half way without reason or even without intent. If I had a penny for every project I unconsciously quit, I would have a hefty bank account. This bothers me because I am not a quitter, at least not intentionally.

So in hopes of holding myself accountable (another thing I have tried severally but failed), I got a planner today to write my intentions down. I learned this from my management class on Tuesday that to see anything through, you have to have a timeline of events and the only thing to help with that is planning ahead using a planner. I am barraged with ideas and things I would love to do everyday but I am scared I would start only to leave them half way.

As I have read, baby steps is the way to go, meaning small things first which is why I am very ecstatic about being able to write a full post today. I have read quite a bit about people feeling lost and finding themselves again. This is me trying to find myself again on WordPress. Most of my exciting moments I can remember where always when I wrote a full post and published it. I can’t wait to see how I feel after this.

If there’s anyone out there who feels this way, care to share how you got through it? Thank you again to my WordPress fam for always coming through even when you had no idea you did. To all the bloggers out there whose blogs kept me entertained, educated me and motivated me; blogs like Naked Christian, TantoVerde: Simple. Delicious. Vegetarian, Talking to My Weight Loss Counselor – God, Stories without Border and so many others, thank you. Thank you because you have no idea how many times you came through for a girl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Is The Theme Of Your Life?

For the first time in two months I was ten minutes early for mass yesterday and it felt good. I like to have those few minutes because that’s my time to talk to God before mass begins. I found myself praying for the priest during my short prayer before mass; praying that God will inspire him and give him the right message for his flock. I don’t remember the last time I prayed for the priest to be inspired but God must have heard me because the message was beautiful and touching.

I always love it when father Gabriel preaches,so when I heard the announcer say he was the preacher for yesterday’s mass, I knew I was in for a treat.

Fr Gabriel began his homily by reminiscing about the past four Sundays since the start of Lent; the first Sunday, we submitted ourselves to God. The second, we committed a particular area of our lives to God that needed change. The third Sunday, we acknowledged the purpose of Christ death.The fourth Sunday, we decided to love like Christ regardless of our circumstances and yesterday,we decided to let go and let God.

When we get to the point were we feel we have done our very best, we are out of options and there’s no where else to turn, then it is time to let go and let God. And when we do, we should do so trusting him with everything we have got, believing that he will continue where we left off, pick up where we ended and make everything beautiful in his time.

He ended the homily by telling us about an assignment they were given during their last months in the seminary. They had been asked to think and decide what their life’s theme was going to be in five words or less. It had to be something they would easily remember, a theme they could always draw from if they didn’t have the bible to preach from, a theme they could always use to inspire people if they didn’t go to church.

Fr Gabe chose God’s gift from his name John. He reminded us that we were all special and were all gifts to our family, friends, community and world. He reminded us to live our lives in ways that would bless others and indeed be a gift to them and challenged us to decide for ourselves what the theme of our lives will be. A theme that would keep us grounded every time we vocalized it, a theme that would inspire us, a theme that would guide our lives if we never went to church anymore.

I haven’t stopped thinking about it and I still haven’t decided what the theme of the rest of my life would be. I have had a few ideas; victory and victorious, be the light for others, let my light shine, share the love of Christ. I have not been able to settle on any yet. Who knew something so easy could yet be so difficult. Whatever I decide as my theme, I would want for it to shape my life in a positive way and that of those around me.

So, if you were challenged to come up with a theme that will guide you for the rest of your days on earth what will it be? I was so inspired by Fr Gabriel’ message and figured this would be good food for thought for everyone. The theme has to be five words or less, one word is best because you can easily remember it. And when you so come up with one, let it be your mantra, let it impact your life and that of those around you.

Have a blessed week ahead y’all as you ponder on this question; what is the theme of your life?

Finding Myself In 2014!

2014 ends in two days, ushering in 2015. In the last weeks leading up to the new year I have been doing a lot of reflections. Sometimes consciously and other times randomly. It wasn’t so much of a great year for me as I had hoped. So many challenges I faced and so many new things I discovered about myself this year.

Just two days ago, I was having a slumber party with a girlfriend and we got talking about men and relationships and I realized, I am totally okay being alone. After my breakup in January of this year, I got the chance to go on a few dates and meet different men, but not once did I feel the pressure to say yes to their proposal of a relationship. It took 2014 to make me understand the reason why I got into a relationship that almost ruined me a few years back was because of pressure, the need to belong.

I had been going through a dark time that year especially and nothing seemed to work in my favor. Every where around me, my friends were all happy and achieving great things and meeting amazing men and I literally had nothing going for me. I felt like a failure, which pushed me to get into a relationship with someone I knew from the beginning wasn’t right for me but did it anyways because I was desperate to show people that I was capable of getting a man too.

This year though I discovered a whole new me in that regard. I had two friends get engage this year, one got married and two had babies, all happy events and from the bottom of my heart, I was and I am happy for my friends. But I did not feel the pressure of trying to get with the next man as if I had something to prove. It felt good to go on a date without the expectations of it turning into something more.

I have always been an introvert, never liked parties or being in huge crowds but I was made to feel as though something was wrong with me for being the way I am. It is not that I don’t like people’s company, It is that I like my own space and I am more of a one-on-one social person instead of the crowds. So this year, I discovered nothing is wrong with me and just as it is normal for people to enjoy being in crowds, it is as much normal for me to enjoy my own space.

I discovered that it is completely okay for me to say how I feel and I am especially thankful to WordPress for helping me find my voice. When I started this blog, I knew what I wanted it to be about, to share my challenges and experiences and hope to encourage someone or be in turn encouraged, but I was afraid. What if nobody even bothered to read, what if people criticized me instead or didn’t accept my views? But I realized that not every one has to like me, not every one has to accept my views and yet, I am totally and completely allowed to have those views, to have a voice, to say what I feel whether or not anybody reads.

I discovered that sometimes, you just need to go with the flow and not plan every detail because half of the time, it never works out the way we intend to. All the resolutions that I had for 2014 practically never materialized, not one. So for 2015, I have nothing. No resolution. Except to live, take it one day at time and embrace the changes if any as they come. So much I want to do but no plans or resolutions, I am going to live them and do them as God gives me life.

I discovered that despite my best efforts, things would always go wrong. The financial challenges this year were enormous. Twice I was close to being homeless and I am still bordering on the gate right now and this is despite my best financial responsibilities. I am not one to misuse money or spend frivolously and I always budget my funds, somehow, it is never enough. I have learned to deal with the uncertainty better. Before I would be freaking out and be near a panic or anxiety attack but now, I take a deep breath and calm myself down, because a solution I found only comes when I have a clear mind.

This year I discovered the power of God and that despite my good plans, His plans are always better. There is this game the devil always plays, at least I know he does with me. When he knows that I need something badly from God and I don’t get it, he plays this trick with my mind like “maybe he is not listening to me or he doesn’t think I deserve what asked for”. Soon after, I would feel beaten down, defeated and a looser. Thanks to my mother, now I know better that when a prayer goes unanswered, it is not because God is ignoring me or He thinks I don’t deserve it. He gives one of three answers always , yes – when He approves of my want, wait – when the timing for my want is not right or no – when he has something better, a better plan for me.

By many standards, whoever is judging, this year would be termed a failure for me but I take it in stride with gratefulness to God for having allowed me to see this year and hopefully the next. I may have not achieved half of the things I hoped for but I guess that’s the reason why the saying “where there is hope there is life” exist. If I were to attempt at a resolution this year, then it would be to “live my best life” as Oprah would say it. To grab every opportunity which comes my way, to look at the bigger picture always while savoring the moment I am given, to be a better version of me this time next year, to be a better daughter, sister, friend, and especially a better CHRISTIAN.

Do you care to share your reflections about the year? What did you discover about yourself? What are you grateful for?

Happy New Year to all and see you in 2015.

Welcome back

I have missed my WordPress family. Life got in the way of my plans. I got busy with well….. nothing really. Everything i thought i would have accomplished by now was always met with an obstacle. There was always a wrench in my plans but at least am thankful most of them are in the works.

I like to think this year is the last one where i would just stop to exist and start living, and living means going after all i want. So am i back on my block and hope this time around i stay with it.

I have missed my online writing world. I have so much i am looking forward to sharing. I hope in one way or the order it helps, if not for nothing else, then just to merely entertain you. I will bring you updates to my weight-loss journey so far and new projects i want to take on for the blog.

For now, whilst we catch up, i don’t want to overwhelm you. So i will end here. Have a blessed night lovelies and hope you are feeling as upbeat as i am tonight.

Would sure love to know, how are feeling today?