The Simple Life

Boots & Overalls Please.


Have you ever had something to get past and didn’t know how to or didn’t really want to do the work to get there? Let me surprise you that even if you don’t know it, fear reigns. Ha! I know it sounds crazy but is real. It is funny how we can get caught up in perpetual thinking until we don’t move.

I thank God for people in my life who don’t give me room to delay or hang back.

There are projects I have kept on the back on the back banner for a while and since I am not usually one to procrastinate, I kept wondering what is going on. Now I know there are things I needed to deal with before others would be well articulated so I had to do some work.

In late 2018 I mentioned a pending project my mentor and she asked a slew of questions. As I answered them I realised I was the thing holding me back. No one else… just me! Oh wow!! That moment was intense when I say the absence of a clear plan and accountability as the issues and we agreed to change that.

As days went, I thought about the task but didn’t make much progress yet she didn’t relent. Finally, after a period of silence, she asked when the first part would be ready. A specific date came to mind but it felt too close so I was hesitating when she said, ‘Give me the date that came to mind first and stop allowing your mind to tell you why it is impossible.’

You know those times when you are certain God has you cornered? This was one.

I had looked at the situation and deemed it too big to fulfil because I didn’t have all the ideas and connections to complete it. I identified the potential competition and was too scared to go against it. I saw the intensity of the assignment and allowed fear to take root. Oh, it didn’t look like fear from within just too many obstacles to succeed.

As if on cue, coach calls me out of fear in an unrelated conversation and I’m like what??? This God! He is in the business of doing things His way and reminding me He’s in charge and will provide every opportunity, trigger and idea needed to achieve His end.

Coach simply said, ‘You see, the big decision is whether to conquer fear and leap to the other side of it clean or let fear reign and keep holding you hostage in the very place you detest. In reality, you will never know what’s on the other side until you make the leap but the choice is all yours. Who knows, you might come through and unlock new discoveries and pathways in your life and you’ll never know until you try.’

I was stumped when he added, ‘Comfort encourages status quo. Nothing is ever gained or learned from comfort, fear or complacency. Take a risk. See what happens, knowing that no matter what happens you’re well on the way to becoming the woman, wife, mother, child of God you’re destined to be. Before then, you have to promise yourself that you’ll dig deep and do what it takes to get to that side of the story’

I decided that despite all the progress I’d made, there is still lots of growing needed.

I haven’t become all that God has said I will become because growing never stops. I also learnt that changing is constant and there’s no room for doubt and disbelief. I have to put on my boots and overall then head out to do the work; this includes my faith walk, eating, exercise, reading, work, and relationships. I also know that though everything I have learnt so far is useful, it’s nothing compared to what He has in mind.

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that or which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14 (NKJV)

The Simple Life

Learning To Take The Step


I am tired or circling around over and over because when I go into vortex everything else stops

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I have noticed a disparity between what God has said my life will represent and how it is now. The gap has me wondering if I am walking as I should, if I have done something to be so alone or if this is just a part of process. I know that a great part of my walk would be alone and in seclusion but sometimes I wonder what I have to connect to or understand so that being close to God becomes a lasting and stabilising reality. So if He has said it is part of my walk then the first thing I need to do is accept it, the same way Sarah accepted her barrenness and that Abraham could not defend her.

I had never really thought about Sarah’s walk that way.

The promise of God had been circulating over their lives for a long time and she was over ninety when she had Isaac. Can you imagine the wait? She even tried to help God in His plan and that was the advent of drama between her, Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael. She didn’t have the help of a community or a consistent reminder of God’s word from an external source. She had to find and build her relationship with God to remain committed to the cause. Yes, she had to make the choice.

This means that I too have to make the very same choice.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Genesis 15 tells the story of God blessing Abraham with the certainty of generations that are as many as the stars of the sky and the sand on the earth. Holding on to that promise was simple in the beginning but the test to pass was the ability to hold onto God’s word in faith despite her advancing age. Abraham also struggled with the promise and asked God severally about his generations. Even repeated confirmations of the promise would at times be challenged by doubt because of her current physical circumstances. However, change comes. The woman we meet in Genesis 21 has totally changed and is very clear about what must happen… Hagar had to leave.

She walks up to Abraham and says to him, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.” What had happened? She had met God and been shifted to a place of absolute faith no matter what or who didn’t come on board. She was certain that her life and her son’s life was guaranteed in God. She was now certain that all God had said would come to pass no matter what.

She had learnt that confidence and help have to come from Him who has orchestrated the process for it to be accurate in strengthening the lifestyle He has ordained. If help comes from anyone else it will create death. She had to learn what to look for and where to find this true strength and help. God didn’t judge or destroy her for her initial challenges but provided the backup she needed to stand.

This reminds me that in God there is no condemnation. That is His promise to me and then He moves it further and has taken my ‘seeming mistakes’ into consideration to cause them to work for my good. Now, when I realise something is off track and it feels like I am losing it, I stop and remind myself several things aloud: there is no condemnation; His word does not return to Him void but produces ALL He sent it out to do and nothing shocks my Father neither is He caught unawares. There is nothing else to hold onto.

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower, And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. “For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills, Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:10-12 NKJV

 

The Simple Life

Four C’s For Consistency


This week has been harder than expected because of some unexpected challenges. I was blindsided by things I thought I had dealt with and actually lost my footing for a day or two. Yes, I stopped for a couple of days.

I have learnt that there are going to be days when the drive to move is hit out of the park by an unexpected happening that could be a physical condition or even an emotional state. It takes a lot more to get back on track and continue with the tasks at hand. As I have been working to get back on track, I have understood that I am not invincible. I have also learnt that over the last year I have honed some of the key things I need in this season and I must apply them. I will share the keys I have learnt.

  • Clarity: What am I working towards? Who am I becoming? Robin Sharma talks about automaticity and I have found that it works. Automaticity is based on the principle of working on goals for 21 days to change the habit and 45 days or practice to shift to being able to naturally do something. This means that I can honestly achieve four goals a year. These main goals enable me to keep on task, learn deeply and provide lessons that I can apply to other areas of life. This demands that I must be clear what I am working towards.
  • Components: What actions do I need to take or things to become? Lasting change is a matter of practice not chance as highlighted above. The things I do are either accelerators or hindrances to my progress. The hindrances must be overcome and new action items for the new targets set in place. It is important to know what to do and what to avoid to attain the mark. For instance, for weight loss goals, one must figure what to eat, how hard and how often to work out, what is the target weight etc.
  • Companions: Who am I walking with? This is a very critical aspect to consider. I must decide to connect deeply with those who help me keep things going in the right direction and disconnect or adjust the connection with those who don’t contribute. It is to keep the friend who helps me remember the target and keep walking toward it close and all others who think it’s unattainable far. It includes finding the mentor who will not take my excuses and push me to the peak not the one who won’t even remember my goals and walk. It also means that I must be helping someone else who is a little behind on the path to grow into the fullness of who God says they are. This helps keep me focused.
  • Commitment: This is a declaration to stay the course. It varies from person to person but I find that writing down the plan has a powerful way of moving plans from wishful thinking to something my heart and mind connect to and remember so it becomes achievable. The other aspect of it is sharing the key goals with my core support team to keep me accountable. As I let others know what I am working towards and allow them to ask questions and hold me accountable I build in an additional layer of accountability and drive.

It is easy to think that this is too simple and not real but think about it for a moment. Wouldn’t it be that it is in the simple things that we find the greatest energy to keep going and do more? 2018 taught me that change is in the single daily step taken no matter what. I am not yet everything God has said I am so I keep working to reach the mark He has set.

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV

The Simple Life

When I Watched Me


Everyone is talking about New Year resolutions and plans for 2019 and I won’t chime in too much or try to reinforce anything going on.

It was interesting to watch and learn from myself during the holidays. December is review time because that is when I began the journey. Even more interesting was the capacity to remain true to the path. I knew I had grown and changed but the extent of growth was astounding. One of the most amazing things was the reality that the choices I have made over time have stuck and have become second nature.

My 2018 goals were fairly simple:

  • To lose 5.7 kilograms in the year
  • To work out 15 minutes 3 – 5 times a week
  • To eat healthily consistently
  • To check in daily – pictures of meals and workout done, bi-weekly weigh in and mirror check in
  • To translate the lessons learned into my walk of faith.

The outcome by December 31st 2018:

  • Lost 5.7 kilograms and down two and a half sizes
  • Walk 4-8km in on average 60-90 minutes 3-5 times a week
  • Reduced carbohydrates by three quarters; conquered my love for sweets
  • Balanced protein, fruit and vegetable intake
  • Sent in daily reports to coach no matter what I ate
  • Clear and youthful skin and hair

What is so astounding about this year?

  • I pushed past me and all the limitations and excuses I had before
  • I faced my fears even on days when I thought I couldn’t do it
  • My perspective and opinion of myself shifted and I finally believed my Father’s assertion that I am beautiful
  • The journey has helped and challenged others to do something about their lives and health
  • Cravings that I didn’t think I could deal with were broken and dealt with completely

I have always wanted to have an impact and help others change but I never really realised that I had to deal with myself so deeply and without discrimination to be able to really provide honest, local solutions using locally available elements to reach the pinnacle of who I am. I can never ever say that I can’t or I don’t know how or it is too hard. There is no backing down from here on out.

From this point on there are really no excuses to hold me back.

So the plan for 2019 is really simple:

  • Walk daily – increase the distance walked but keep the current time.
  • Eat carefully – keep the carbs low, proteins moderate, fruits and vegetables plenty
  • Remain accountable – keep up with coach and others on the journey
  • Share freely – the things I have learnt are useful to others to share as widely as possible
  • Rise into the fullness of who God says I am; His daughter, His Scribe, His Love.

Join me and let’s rise into the greatest version of ourselves as defined from before the foundations of the earth. The world is awaiting the greatness and gifts that lie in us and we owe the generations following us the gift of honesty and good example.

The Simple Life

No Loss Only Gain


I’m looking back to a day like today last year, December 26th 2018, the day I began the journey to wellness. It is a day of deep reflection. So many things have changed since that day.

The most obvious thing that has changed is my state of mind.

I’ve found that as soon as I am fully committed to something that’s all I need. I have learnt that I am the decision maker in my life and must live life as such. I have always known that I make the choices but for so long it was easier to blame life, people and the things going on around me for the state of my life. The journey wasn’t without struggle but it was also covered with learning that shook and grounded me simultaneously.

A couple of years before, a friend said that I needed to stop playing the victim and begin taking charge of my life. Harsh statement but as I thought about it, I saw how right he was. There were areas in my life I was unable to handle because I didn’t know how to and I didn’t want to appear needy or incompetent. I was hiding struggle and fear behind false confidence, indifference and anger yet this was stunting my growth. I wasn’t whole or rational but from the outside, I was cool as a cucumber.

I had to make a significant change in my life. I had to find a new path. I had to improve and this was one option.

As I begun the journey, I had set my targets and sent them to coach in the middle of the night so I had time to process but he’s an early riser so he saw them early the next morning. Hiding had come to an abrupt end at my request and I held the key to continue or stop. This was my chosen path and I had to keep moving so I decided that no matter what I would make it plain to those around me and ask them to hold me to account for the process. It worked.

Looking back over the last twelve months has been really astounding. I see profound changes; I have become a totally different person. I am stronger, slimmer, happier, and calmer. The aspect of calmer is what grabs my attention today and it raises two questions namely, why have I become calmer? How do I remain calmer?

I am calmer because:

  • My life is now based on the word of God and He has proven himself true and able repeatedly
  • I know I can set my mind to a task and complete it even with extreme opposition
  • I have determined in my heart and mind what needs to be done
  • My life is now based on the word of God and he has proven himself true and able repeatedly
  • Nothing shakes my resolve

I will remain calm by:

  • Keeping my mind on the word of God
  • Remaining accountable to my travel partners and other accountability mechanisms
  • Remembering that this journey is not about me so I must help others find and walk in their determined paths

This journey is never about me and will never be and the sooner I learn this and live by it life becomes and remains better.

The Simple Life

Be Mindful


Do you remember those days when you could keep going for days like an energiser bunny? Those ones where all you needed was a cup of coffee and you are fired up after almost no sleep? I do!

I don’t miss them.

Ha! Some of you expected me to say I miss them, didn’t you? As life’s seasons change so does how you function and you need a different set of skills to make it through.

I remember going for overnight prayers, hangouts or study sessions and still functioning well the next day. I remember turnabout trips up county, twelve hours each way and twelve hours on location, getting back and going to class. I remember going to class after eight hours on the road and still understanding classes, passing exams and keep a high grade point average.

I remember working all day, dashing home, travelling six hours to see friends, hanging out for the weekend with late nights, long stories and a dash back to the city on Sunday then work on Monday. I remember long days on the road then to a site, setting up till the midnight, get home at one and back on site at seven the next morning.

I remember it all and I’m glad I did it but I also remember other things.

I remember near misses for road accidents because I was totally wiped, driving with windows down, AC on full and music on high just to have enough noise around me to stay awake for the forty minute drive home and still falling asleep for a couple seconds. I remember getting into bed after nine days on the road and sleeping for sixteen hours much to my lil king’s frustrating.

I remember forgotten conversations, missed pitch opportunities, misplaced anger and frustration, poorly done documents, long work times, slow decision making, ineffective meetings, arguments and blow ups all because I was exhausted.

No more! Never again!

I’m reminded of
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28‭-‬30 NKJV

I’m not saying don’t put in your time, you are answerable to God for that. I’m saying,

Be careful how you live that it may bring glory to God.

How? We will hear His heart and mind, connect to it and become all He has established is to be.

The Simple Life

Missing Pieces


We find ourselves in difficult situations that we may want to get out of or around like the children of Israel. When they didn’t have water in the wilderness they complained, then they complained about no meat, no bread, no fruit, no luxury…no this or that until God just provided them with manna and quail.

At times we take how God provides for granted saying that it is His responsibility to do so. I used to until I realised that yes it is His responsibility but He has a choice to take care or not.

Case in point is in the desert. He could have wiped out the Isrealites but two things held Him back;

  1. His promise to Abraham that his descendants would be a great nation and God’s representatives for life.
  2. Moses… Moses reminded God of His word and asked for favour for the people.

The wilderness was indeed the first place God took the Isrealites after captivity because of what it represented. It represents a place of:

  • Breaking free from patterns and behaviour that will not be beneficial on the path ahead.
  • Meeting, learning about and connecting with God. Their time in Egypt had dimmed their understanding of God and they needed to be weaned of the things of Egypt
  • Death – this was the removal of anything that would stand in the way of their obedience to God. Sadly for this time it included whole generations
  • Divine provision and preparation – this was the place where God would showcase His love and concern for His people. As proof of who He was and what He could do God gave the people manna, the food of angels with specific instructions how to use and store. _Men ate angels’ food; He sent them food to the full. Psalms 78:25 NKJV_.
  • Training – It is here that Joshua and Caleb were trained to lead and the people saw what God can do

With all these things in mind, shouldn’t the wilderness be something we embrace and even desire?

Granted it isn’t always easy to stay put but it ultimately produces good. Don’t look at me like that… Just read on 😉

It is a place of choosing between life and death, past and future, destiny and stagnation. Wouldn’t you rather choose life? It’s really like the health choices we make. I can choose to follow the traditional thinking that a married woman should be fat to show she is well cared for or I can choose to pursue and remain at the picture of health God has painted for me.

It’s really a personal choice whether I’ll pursue God or the things that are easier to attain like just staying as is, eating how I want and never leaving the bench. It’s all about choice. I remember my dealings with coach where he only asks questions and then demands that I be honest with myself.

Self honesty is most difficult at the start but in time you learn it’s the greatest asset you have.

A few weeks ago, my mentor really brought it home for me. We were chatting about my next steps and how I’d got there and what I see ahead when she said, ‘I am seeing so many possibilities and yet this is something you must see yourself.’

What was she seeing and how come I couldn’t see it? I asked myself. The sense of wonder reminded me of a conversation with a friend where I told him the same thing and couldn’t understand why he was left feeling so driven. In fact his question was one I asked myself, “Makes me wonder what He keeps showing you but won’t show me 🤔.”

Since I know God is just and He responds when we call I have decided to press in and ask what He sees ahead. Why ask Him? Well, it’s rather simple. If I can’t see it but He has shown someone else as they ask Him to prevail on my behalf surely He will reveal all the matters concerning me.

There are people and nations tied to my full connection to His reality so its not an option whether or not I must arise into the fullness He sees.

So I head back to the place He calls me His beloved and wait on Him to show me the full expression of His love and how His life becomes the fuel for mine.