The Simple Life

24+ Lessons From 2020


2020 has been a very mixed year for many of us. I have had some very extreme lows but it has largely been a great year. I have grown in leaps and bounds, shattered many limitations and shocked myself as I have watched myself. Today I share some of the things I have learnt this year that have made it easier to keep going:

Nothing remains the same forever

The people who walk with you will surprise you

Build your tribe intentionally

You are the only one who can commit to your dream

Tomorrow is a blessing not a guarantee

Men plan but God executes and interrupts

Love is a verb, a choice and a commitment

Money and provision are two very different things

Opportunities come when I am in place working

When you don’t have faith in your abilities, tap into the faith others have in you

Results are the product of diligent, consistent, honest work…not wishful thinking

Take that step and grow yourself; it will pay off later

Show up in the meeting even if you don’t know anyone

Be willing to stand up and stand out

Very few people know what is really going on; be one of them

Read, read, and read some more; you will find something interesting

Gratitude and empathy are the new currency of life

Do the work in private and because you believe in the outcome not because you want people to notice

Your consistency will attract the needed attention, get it right

Be know for what you are good at not for disappointing others

Build your support networks diligently and carefully; you are as good as your tribe

Do at least one thing that scares you every year, ask someone to hold you accountable

The night will always pass; the morning will always come; the sun will always rise

Regular hand washing should have always been mandatory

A mask is a blessing and I will wear it for a long time to come

All things are possible with God and Faith

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The Simple Life

Life Changes


Life changes as we grow

Life changes as we learn

Life changes as we share

Life changes as we care

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Life changes with loss

Life changes with sadness

Life changes with separation

Life changes with disappointment

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Life changes with laughter

Life changes with smiles

Life changes with soft sighs

Life changes with joy

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Life changes with locations

Life changes with movement

Life changes with uncertainty

Life changes with fear

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Life changes with family

Life changes with warmth

Life changes with belonging

Life changes with truth

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Life changes with oneness

Life changes with unity

Life changes with common goals

Life changes with dreams

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Life must change daily

Life must change to trigger us

Life must change to test us

Life must change to build u

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Every time life changes; smile

Every time life changes, press on

Every time life changes, hope

Every time life changes, believe

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Every time life changes, trust

Every time life changes, hope

Every time life changes, dream

Every time life changes, rise

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The Simple Life

Different & Loving It


Recently, I walked into an event and the number of people had me running for the hills.

I literally left. I have not been one to go out a lot and definitely not to very crowded spaces. The year in partial seclusion has revived some of my introvert ways and it has been a great time of working on me. Many people do not believe I am introverted because of all the time I spend with people however, being introverted has less to do with not liking people and more to do with what drains and revives us. I have my introverted ways as well as the socially engaged person on the other side making me an ambivert.

Conversations in this season have really changed me and given me the strength to pivot as well as be true to who I am. I was in a conversation with one old native about work and the stress of commuting. His opinion is that if one wants to be a professional and have any career progression, the commute is mandatory. In the past that comment would have thrown me off balance, thinking something was wrong with me because I dislike the commute and can be a challenging employee but this time, it was different. I knew different because I had just spent six of the most productive months of my work life without a single commute. I had served more people, organised amazing events and reached a greater audience, from my home office. Did I counter his opinion? Nope! It would not have added value because we would just argue endlessly.

The steadiness of my heart caught and held my attention.

This old native has been around the world a few times and has tested models, found what worked for him and built his life around that. His patterns work and have worked for a few others, but they honestly have not worked for me. For a long time, I wondered what was wrong with me and felt a lot of pressure to conform. Not anymore.

Why haven’t they worked? I have a different personality and the focus of my life is different. Additionally, success means different things to both of us so we cannot use the same method to attain it. Yet more than that, my life experience has shaped how I function. Whereas he has gone full throttle for decades with no recourse, I have had two major health incidents that stopped me in my tracks. These incidents incapacitated me for months at a time and have forced me to find alternative patterns that gel with who I am and thrive at what I do.

The silence that ensued allowed me to think and process.

The peace in my heart fascinated me and it brewed deeply. Fascinated me because finally I did not feel the pressure to conform or be accepted. Brewed because it kept rising and the sunlight and smile on the inside got bigger and brighter. In my own view I had come of age. I had realised and fully believed that my worldview is valid and the right path for me. I had found that deep place of peace with who my Maker made me and how my life has and continues to pan out.

I learnt a valuable lesson from the native that day, but it was not from what he said. His confidence in his opinions and his stubbornness about the things he believes in gave me power. Power to believe that I am on the right path for me. Power to understand that self-acceptance is the starting line. Power to follow through on what I believe even when others do not believe with me and allow my life and its results to tell the story and provide the proof.

I am stronger and comfortable in who I am.

Every day, my understanding of who I am in God and how my life must pan out increases. Every day I find strength in my path and calling. Every day I understand the importance of charting my path through the bush, that another may find the strength to do the same.

I am different and I love it more today than ever before.

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The Simple Life

Strength in Your Voice


Sometimes I call just to hear your voice

Other times you call when  I need to hear it

Every time I hear it, hope rises

Every word, resonates

I love the sound of your voice.

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It is deep like a hidden ravine

It is gentle when encouraging

Stern when pushing

Light when teasing.

I love the sound of your voice.

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It is always confident

Cools the soul like rain,

Warms like sunshine

Soothes like an evening walk on the beach.

I love the sound of your voice.

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I love your laugh

It starts deep

Ends very light

Has notes of cheeky.

I love the sound of your voice.

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Knowing you are with me makes me smile

Knowing we are working together strengthens me

Knowing you are travelling with me, brings hope

Knowing you speak when needed, is right

I love the sound of your voice.

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Your voice signifies home

Your voice opens my heart’s doors

Your voice soothes me at night

Your voice calms our little ones

I love the sound of your voice

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The little ones smile when you call

They look up when you laugh

They lie on your chest to hear the echo

They ask for your at the end of the day

I love the sound of your voice

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I love the sound of your voice in prayer

When you lift us up to God

While you seek direction on how to lead us

When you pray for family members

I love the sound of your voice

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I love the sound of your voice in song

Lifting your praise to our Father

Giving thanks for the Life He gives

Raising the banner in war

I love the sound of your voice

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I love the sound of your voice in times of joy

When you laugh unstoppably

When you sigh sounds like a song

When you are contagious with joy

I love the sound of your voice

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I love the sound of your voice in grief

As you let out the sadness gently

Or when you scream out the pain

Or just groan as the pain flows through

I love the sound of your voice

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I love the sound of your voice

Every night as you lift your voice in prayer

Every morning when you call us out

Every afternoon when you check on me

I ALWAYS love the sound of your voice

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Inspired by a conversation about love

The Simple Life

Assigned Provision


When God sends you to an assignment, He tells you what, why and confirms the rest.

The first time I heard that statement I did not believe it because it felt like I knew what we were doing but nothing seemed to work. Everything looked like it was going burst and I could not make things happen no matter what. I could not turn one way or the other without losing something and I wanted to make the shift but keep everything as it was. Then he said, ‘Walk away!’

What? Why should I walk away? These are things I have always known, people I have always been with, and patterns that I have always had…how do I just walk away? What was I walking towards? Who would I be walking with? How do I sustain the ability to keep walking when I am alone? Was he really serious about the walking away? Then He sent confirmation after confirmation that walking away was the thing to do, so I walked away.

You can and indeed must walk away when He says so.

I have had a lot of time to thing and reflect and been reminded a lot of the whole walking away thing. I have had the opportunity to listen into many conversations in the faith sector and the uncertainty and fear is palpable and it is bothering me.

Isaiah 55:10-11 has come to life as I have thought about this season. God’s word is guaranteed to happen because He does not change His mind or move off path. It is as certain as the fact that rain comes from the sky, waters the earth, and provides food and seed. It is certain like the fact that he does not send rain to some and not others. If the accomplishment of God’s Word is a guarantee, why do so many of us struggle with standing on and believing in His word?

What is my part in this mix?

The one thing I am sure of is that God’s word will not fail no matter what; so why do some things in life fail? As I sat on that the questions begun to run through my mind. Do I really believe? Have I given him full control? Are there things I have held onto? Are there things standing in His way. Surely my part is to believe His Word, stand in faith and work on it.

My mind goes back to Daniel and all the madness around him including threats of death, yet he chose to live his life as he knew how. His patterns were predictable including praying every day, at the same time, with the window open; it was sure like clockwork. He had a critical assignment in government and faith, and he did both very well with faith as his foundation. It leaves me with many questions about my own life.

What is my foundation and established pattern?

If I believe that I am truly assigned and I walk in the fullness of the same, then I will proceed with every step no matter what resources are missing because they will come. Then I remember manna and quail in the desert, insight for the seven years of plenty, the fourth man in the fire, the coin in the fish’s mouth, five loaves and two fish…the list is endless in scripture and if we track it carefully, we can find the same stories in real life. People who live by faith and the word of God; who’s lives are having incredible impact.

As we walk our journey, provision awaits in the appropriate ideas and insights, connections, teams, contacts, clients, income, investments, impact and opportunities to serve. Our foundation must be the word spoken over us before the foundations of the earth.

Today I choose to once again BELIEVE the word He spoke, I choose to stand FIRM on it and walk in FAITH.

Join me!

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The Simple Life

In His Shadow


When I sit enthroned under the shadow of Shaddai,
I am hidden in the strength of God Most High.
He’s the hope that holds me
The Stronghold to shelter me,
The only God for me,
My great confidence.

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He rescues me
From every hidden trap of the enemy,
He protects me
From false accusation and any deadly curse.
His massive arms are wrapped around me protecting me.

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I run under His covering of majesty and hide.
His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping me from harm.
I will never worry about an attack of demonic forces at night
Or have to fear a spirit of darkness coming against me.
I do not fear a thing!

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Whether by night or by day,
Demonic danger will not trouble me
Nor will the powers of evil launched against me
Even in a time of disaster,
with thousands and thousands being killed,
I will remain unscathed and unharmed.

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I will be a spectator as the wicked perish in judgment,
for they will be paid back for what they have done!
When I live my life within the shadow of God Most High,
My secret hiding place,
I will always be shielded from harm.
How then could evil prevail against me
Or disease infect me?

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God sends angels with special orders to protect me wherever I go,
Defending you from all harm.
If I walk into a trap,
They’ll ’ll be there for you
They’ll keep you from stumbling.

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I will even walk unharmed
Among the fiercest powers of darkness,
Trampling every one of them beneath your feet!

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For here is what the Lord has spoken to me:
“Because you have delighted in me as my great lover,
I will greatly protect you.
I will set you in a high place,
safe and secure before my face.
I will answer your cry for help
every time you pray,
You will find and feel my presence
Even in your time of pressure and trouble.
I will be your glorious hero
I will give you a feast.
You will be satisfied with a full life
with all that I do for you.
For you will enjoy the fullness of my salvation!”

Inspired by Psalms 91:1‭-‬16 TPT

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The Simple Life

The Value of Mistakes


I do not know if your upbringing was like mine but when we were younger, we were discouraged from trying things we could fail at by the adverse reaction we saw others receive. It was almost an abomination to make a mistake. Some of us were beaten for getting things wrong, grounded, given excess work, made to repeat classes or worse still denied things we wanted.

Mistakes were often seen as a sign of foolishness and a true lack of wisdom, so we learnt to avoid any scenarios that looked like they would lead to failure and focus on the few things we were guaranteed to do well. We were often discouraged from talking to people who tried things because they were seen as jokers when they failed or did not turn out as expected.

I begun to pay more attention to life.

I remember looking down at people who were not as good as we were because in our minds, they would not do much in life. We even teased people who made mistakes all the time because it was a sign that they didn’t think too much or assess things well. What we didn’t realise is just how narrow we were becoming. Later in life, I was surprised that some of the people who made mistakes had indeed become something worthwhile.

It was even harder in Christian circles because we were expected to be holy and righteous, following the example of those ahead and leaving an example for those behind. My friends, it was so hard to meet all the standards that many of us faked it and never made it or even got close. We were unhappy but used the lingo we had learnt through our lives to create the illusion of happiness and try and draw people to the faith.

Imagine my surprise when I learnt the value of mistakes. Yes, value!

It was hardest when my early businesses failed because I felt like a failure and though I had heard that failure was good, my heart and mind had not connected to rise above my understanding. In the midst of a very challenging season at the business, I realised that I as the leader was the biggest challenge because my mind was not shifting past the things I was failing at. To I begun to say to myself, ‘What can I learn from this failure? What do I need to let go and what do I retain?’

It was not easy at first but as I pursued that line of thinking I say a change happen. I did not love mistakes, I just begun to see them as a classroom, a course, a learning curve. I hid my face less when it was not working and assessed a lot more. I remembered sounding crazy when I kept asking what can we learn? However, in time, it because the reason I kept going.

Mistakes can be your greatest blessing in life.

I cannot say I have stopped making mistakes, but I have learnt a lot from the ones I have made and a catalogue of lessons that I live by. I have also learnt to look for stories of people who made mistakes and how they recovered as opposed to looking for success stories because ‘Other people’s experience is the best teacher,’ in my books

I have however come face to face with the fear of failure again as I raise the young king. Recently after months of wondering what was going on, I realised that our education system does not allow them to think outside the lines. I realised that the system is looking for a certain set of answers in a certain order and if you miss one your get a bad grade. Ever wonder how they learn to cram? There it is.

The young king loves the kitchen, and he is learning but is has been hard because he thought he had to get things right the first time. when he did not, he would be so frustrated and ready to give up. The day I realised that he thought I never failed blew my mind. So, we began tracking times I failed and how it became a place of learning and growth.

We must teach our children differently about mistakes.

Our generations must understand that unlike the past, making a mistake is not:

  • A bad thing
  • The end of the line
  • Final

A mistake is and will always be:

  • A great classroom
  • A lab for experimentation
  • A quick learning curve
  • A way to build your inner strength and culture

Let us teach ourselves and our children to:

  • Acknowledge the mistake
  • Unpack what allowed us to make the mistake
  • Find what could have or can be done different
  • Apply the lessons learnt from the mistake to life ahead

Shalom

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The Simple Life

Time


To everything there is a season,

A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,

And a time to die;

A time to plant,

And a time to pluck what is planted;

A time to kill, And a time to heal;

A time to break down, And a time to build up;

A time to weep, And a time to laugh;

A time to mourn, And a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to gain, And a time to lose;

A time to keep, And a time to throw away;

A time to tear, And a time to sew;

A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;

A time to love, And a time to hate;

A time of war, And a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1‭-‬8 NKJV

It is well my soul ❤

From my personal collection #Sunset #eventide
The Simple Life

Never Static


Introspection is a part of my life that jumps up daily and calls for attention. It is more evident when I am processing things. 2020 has been about lots of processing and though it has been a little taxing, I have come to really love it.

I was thinking about my life looking back 20 and drawing parallels to today. It was interesting that I loved emerald green and cream. I would gladly have those colours in as many pieces of clothing as possible. I also needed to find ways to hid so I hid behind flared skirts and trousers a lot. This helped me fade into the background or so I thought.

Fast forward a few years and I went to dark colours so it was all about black, navy blue and brown trousers with long tops. Some tops were coloured some were muted, and I stayed in this place for many years because it provided safety and comfort in a turbulent season.

Life is never static, so the tide begun to turn and I found my life changing. My mind was shifting, my thoughts were challenged, my patterns of life were challenged to be place of breaking. It took a while, but the change in my inside brought changes on the outside. As I stabilised in my thoughts and was more accepting of the new position, my colour palette changed first to pastels then to bright colours and finally to large bold prints.

The next change was my perception of self and that was hard. I faced off with who I was, how I looked, all my gifts and skills, the failings and risings; all brought together on one page. As self-acceptance rose, I saw changes. The biggest change was when I could wear fitted clothing instead of all flared and baggy. One day entered a room and my sister gasp in shock at the gravity of the change that brought understanding to her of the true meaning of shifting.

The external shift speaks of an internal shift previously invisible.

I can now see how the changes in the colours I wore have always signified different phases of my life linked with spiritual growth, emotional cycles, and different states of physical wellbeing. You would not know the gravity of each season or related colour change as an onlooker, just understand that each season needed a different focus to keep on track and get through. 

Every change brought forth a new version of me daily growing towards better. It has really been an intense journey and for a long time I couldn’t see the depth of change. It all broke forth when Papa said he could see things were changing. I was perplexed because I couldn’t see them so I asked him how? His answer was insanely simple, “You now wear colour.” I thought I was hidden but his man, who prays for me and calls God’s purpose to account in me had been watching and smiling as he saw the shift.

Shifts are visible to the discerning eye, but invisible to all others. 

Know that even if you have not seen it, every day creates or produces subtle changes in your life that can and must be tracked. Every change alerts you of possibilities, realities and opportunities. Be present in your life and track it, you will learn a lot and you will thrive.

Shalom.

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The Simple Life

Allow Me To Bring LOVE


Everyone wants to give themselves completely to someone

To have a deep lasting relationship with another

To be loved thoroughly and exclusively

Please allow me to bring it to you

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God says to every child

No! not until you are satisfied

Not until you are fulfilled and content

with being loved by me

Please allow me to bring it to you

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When you are completely satisfied

To have an intensely personal & unique relationship with me

Discovering that only in me

Please allow me to bring it to you

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Not until your satisfaction is found in me

Will you be capable of the perfect human relationship

I have planned for you

Please allow me to bring it to you

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You will never be completely united with another

Until you are completely united with me

Exclusive of anyone or anything else

Please allow me to bring it to you

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Until you are exclusive of any other desire or longing

I want you to stop planning

Stop wishing

Please allow me to bring it to you

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Allow me to give you

The most thrilling plan existing

One you cannot imagine

Please allow me to bring it to you

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I want you to have the best

You must keep watching me

Expecting the greatest things

Please allow me to bring it to you

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Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am

Keep listening and learning

The things I promise and mean

Please allow me to bring it to you

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Be patient that it is all well

Don’t be anxious

Do not worry

Please allow me to bring it to you

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Don’t look around all the things others have

Or the things I have given them

Don’t look at all the things you think you want

Please allow me to bring it to you

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You just keep looking off and away up to me

Or you will miss what I want to show you

When you are ready,

Please allow me to bring it to you

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I will surprise you

With a love more wonderful

That any you would dream of

Please allow me to bring it to you

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You see,

Until you are ready

Until the one I have for you is ready

Please allow me to bring it to you

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I am working even this moment

To have both of you ready at the same time

Until you are both satisfied with me

Please allow me to bring it to you

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Until you learn the life I want you to live

You will not be able to experience

The love that exemplifies your relationship with me

Please allow me to bring it to you

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There is a perfect love Dear one,

I want to have this most wonderful love

I want you to be in the flesh

Please allow me to bring it to you

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A picture of your relationship with me

A life that enjoys my perfection

To love what only I offer

Please allow me to bring it to you

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Know I love you utterly

I am God Almighty

Believe it; Be satisfied

Please allow me to bring it to you

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shalom

Adapted from an anonymous poem I found in my archives

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