The Family

Be not misled – a family is not a tightly knitted group of perfect people that gush about each other to the world 24/7. Being part of a family means we all have different temperaments, approaches, likes, dislikes, sensitivities, but at the end of the day you have each other’s back.

Every family has their unique problems but sticking together is admirable.

Being part of a family is far better than being alone in a big city. God’s original plan was for every person to find an intimate sense of belonging within the household. We all have parents, grandparents, and great grandparents which make up our family tree.

Growing up in my big family I watch my Mom handle all our personalities like a boss. When I became a Mom, I was baffled many times wondering how in God’s Name did my Mom do it making it look so effortless.

Having my own kids, they made me question my own sanity many times. Sometimes I think about what I would say if I can talk to my Mom again. My Mom used to tell us when push come to shove, you will always have each other.

In all honesty my greatest happiness is my family. We are not perfect far from it. We know there are no exchanges or returns of human cargo once they enter through the door.

Yes, we disagree with each other, but our faith consistently brings us right back to where it all began. Our circle of strength was founded on faith and kept by God.

As we grow in size and go in different directions, at the end of the day our roots are secured. As a Mom I too am not perfect. I make mistakes. I lose my cool. And some days I can be a little irrational. But it is okay because no one can downright love my children like I do. They know I have their back. In my family no one is left behind.

A family is not always about the needs of the children and making everything perfect for them. Children need to know that Mama cries when they are not okay. That she hurts when they fall praying that their bruises will not leave permanent scars.

Mama’s heart is fragile as she carries each child in her heart. A strong Mama is one who is able to smile in the morning like she was not crying all night.

The secret is making life perfect with all its imperfection. Someone said, “Parenting is a lifetime job and does not stop when a child grows up.”

The Bible says in Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, and a relative is born to help in adversity.” Meaning friends come and go, but family sticks with you during the hardest of times.

Love is patient, love is kind. Love must be genuine.

Family is the first place where children find out about genuine love, relationship, and forgiveness. Families play an important role in the community. A healthy family makes a healthy community.

Family means having someone to love you unconditionally in spite of who you are and your shortcomings. Family is loving and supporting one another even when it is not easy to do so. It is being the best person you could be so that you may inspire each other to greatness.

Disappointment Island

Have you ever heard of an island called ‘Disappointment Island’? Unimaginable. I came across the name of this island while reading an article online. I was so curious I decided to look it up. Disappointment Island is in the Auckland Islands in New Zealand. The population – ZERO. Well you bet – I do not think anyone would want to have that as their mailing address.

My search revealed that no one can live or stay on Disappointment Island forever because the island lacks fresh water. Did someone say lack fresh water? It is a fact that the island lacks fresh water and we know that humans cannot live without fresh water and food.  Some people can live without food for about three weeks but would only last three to four days without water.

Question: How long have you ever lived with disappointment? For some of us the answer will be unbelievable – Forty years. Ten years. One year. Disappointment Island has ZERO population maybe that is the reason humans who live with disappointments are always the one who hate life or make life difficult for others.

Life is full of many disappointments, but we cannot allow our disappointments to stop us or else we will die on the island. Throughout this life, you will experience disappointments on the job, among family members, in the church, in the hospital, with ourselves and with leaderships.

Unpleasant as a disappointment can be, maybe, we can continuously learn something from it without becoming bitter and embroiled in hate. You may as well give up your rights to a long and healthy life if you ever decided to live on Disappointment Island.

Stop feeling frustrated or disappointed with yourself for anything. Doing things wrong and making mistakes is not a bad thing, it is simply part of the learning process. Some people will look for all your mistakes while you are climbing to the top – do not stop to look down to hear what they are saying.

You might have been disappointed and angry with a parent, spouse, relative, employer, or friend and that is totally acceptable, but it does not have to be the end of your life. We all have experienced those feeling but we all did not stay on the Island.

Most healthy people opted to leave because fresh thoughts breed new beginnings. Disappointment or regret can bring you to a standstill and make you die on the Island, so try to think little about what has happened. Forgive yourself or others and move on.

You can move on. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Sometimes, it takes a huge disappointment to get you to the mountain top or to strengthen your faith or to put you in the right place at the right time. No one know God’s ways or His thoughts – we just must believe in His promise.

No One left Behind

If you enjoy a good family movie like me, maybe you saw the Movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’ more than once. In the movie Dorothy a young teenager and her dog Toto are blown away from their farm after a tornado rips through their city. She wakes up in the magical land of Oz. They follow the Yellow Brick Road, and, on their way, they meet a Scarecrow that needs a brain, a Tin Man missing a heart, and a Cowardly Lion who wants courage.

How devastating it must be to wake up from what appears to be a nightmare and find the only characters on this yellow brick road are someone who needs a brain, a heart and a lion that lacks courage.

There are times in life even while you are facing your own crisis that you must carry others who are hurting along the way. No person is an island and no one can stand alone. We are linked together to achieve one goal and that is making sure no one is left behind. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled on us is convincing us that we are at war with each other.

Life takes a toll on everybody as we are all travellers in a strange land called ‘earth.’ Some of us get lost and the path becomes depressing. Some lose heart, some lack courage and some become so mentally tired that all they need is a working brain. What keeps us in times like these? Our values and moral compass.

You don’t have to be spiritual to have morals. You simply must know right from wrong and choose to do what is right. Choosing courage takes you outside your comfort zone where everything you ever wanted is waiting just for you. But it takes courage, a brain, and a heart to get to you to the other side of fear.

The Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow represent so many of us. Anxiety sometimes keeps you up all night. You find yourself crying and becoming emotionally challenged day after day. Shame blurs your vision and you can’t believe that no one sees your pain.

A great rebound is believing that no matter what you face your story will have a happy ending. You are brave enough to get through whatever you are facing. Always start with something that you are good at and do it with pride. Never try to copy what someone else is doing as one person may need a heart, another a brain and another courage. You may just need to click your heels.

Isaiah 41:10 &14 God says, “Don’t worry – I am with you. Don’t be afraid – I am your God. I will make you strong and help you. I will support you with my right hand that brings victory. You may be weak and worthless, but do not be afraid. I myself will help you. This is what the LORD himself says.”

When you have God – God is all you need.

Click your heels together three times and say, ‘There’s no God like my God’ and you will get where you were destined to be. You have everything you need inside of you to get you where you are going.

Never miss an Opportunity to Smile

It’s Friday!! Whatever you do make sure it makes you happy. It’s the little things that either steal your joy or bring you happiness. So keep it moving.

Keep your circle small and the environment healthy. Your best friends are those who make you laugh.

It’s time to laugh!

Stay positive! It’s going to be okay. Cheers to a great weekend ♥️

Hammer and Nail

There is a Proverb that says – ‘If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.’  A hammer is a handheld tool used to hit another object into place. A nail is a small, thin piece of metal with one pointed end and one flat end that you hit into something with a hammer. Now if all you have is a hammer guess what? Everything else will look like a nail.

Then the question is, who is the hammer and who is the nail? If you are a hammer you can either build or crush someone. If you are a nail, you will often see yourself as a victim believing that you are the target of someone else’s anger. No matter who is the hammer or who is the nail it is really all about perspective.

In real life depending on what is happening in our lives on any given day we all sometimes feel like a hammer or a nail. When we are in control the hammer characteristics shows up and on other days if we are hit with a curve ball the nail personality surfaces and we are overcome with a sense of self-pity. The sad reality is most times if we are not secured, we can feel like a nail.

To the person who is a hammer there are days you will hit and days you will miss so be kind to the nail. Just because you are a hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail – so, sometimes choose silence because it is better than unnecessary drama. Someone said that we should think if it is true, helpful, necessary, or is it kind then speak.

Silence is better than unnecessary drama.

To the nail person – just don’t sit around blaming others for your problems. Complaining about a hammer is like whining about life knowing very well the hammer is simply doing its job. It’s left up to you to quit complaining and take the responsibility to move ahead of the disgruntled crowd. It’s only when we own up to everything good or bad in our life can we do better.

Proverbs 3:4-9 MSG:

  1. Earn a reputation for living well in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people.
  2. Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
  3. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.
  4. Don’t assume that you know it all.
  5. Run to God! Run from evil!
  6. Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life!
  7. Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best.

Verses 21&22

Dear friend,

  1. Guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life; don’t for a minute lose sight of them
  2. They’ll keep your soul alive and well, they’ll keep you fit and attractive.

Hammer or Nail – Embrace the Journey

Step Up Your Game

Tony A. Gaskin says, “Until a man walks a woman down the aisle, he is just auditioning. Do not give a boyfriend the benefits of a husband. Know the difference between dating and marriage so every Tom, Dick, and Harry cannot say they had all of you.” OMG!!!

To my younger reading audience, allow me to get real with you. You know how you can walk around with hurts and still fake a smile pretending to be happy – you can take that ‘I’m okay’ mask off and allow me to have a heart to heart talk with you. A man should not get husband’s privileges if he is not ready to make you his wife.

If he is telling you that he is not ready to settle down after being together for what looks like forever – the truth is, he does not want to marry you. There is no dignity in fighting to keep his attention if marriage is not the goal. No one works for years in a company and refuse the benefits plan or walk away from the retirement package. If you fail to plan – plan to fail.

Stop believing that sex proves that he loves you. No, my friend. Sex to him is like food. He will never be satisfied. Do not apologize for stepping up your game. Do not apologize for wanting to be a wife and not just another girlfriend. Do not get stuck in the room doing just about everything without a ring. Slap the contract down on the bed and make him sign.

Stop jumping from relationship after relationship to satisfy your crazy cravings. Sometimes your cravings make you grab whatever is convenient and within your reach, but you can end up needing medical care. Instead get a man who challenges you to order anything from the menu of a five-star restaurant without hesitation and watch him even leave a tip for the server. Up your game!

Real men want to help you accomplish your dream because he knows you are bringing added value to build a strong foundation. Tears, cheating and heartbreaks are not mistakes that can be easily repaired with a five hour phone call or annual promises. Get smart!

The war inside your head is exhausting. I will fight for you. I will respect you. I will include you. I will encourage you. I will stand by you. But I cannot drag you out of the mess. It’s got to be voluntary.

There is no lemon so sour that you cannot make something resembling lemonade. There is nothing so bad that you cannot fix, make better, or move on. Even though bad things happen you can always move on, learn from it, and improve yourself. God says, “I have heard your prayers and seen your tears, I will heal you.” 2 Kings 20:5

I am not telling you it is going to be easy, but I am telling you it will be worth it. You are much stronger than you think. Just make it happen. Spend time with people who will hold you accountable and force you to step up your game.

The Fight is Real

If you live long enough and have accepted the invitation to adulthood you will appreciate the fact that not every fight requires your undivided attention. All fights are not created equally so you cannot enter the ring before understanding the opponent’s strategy. There are battles that choose you, but your maturity must know whether you are attending or declining.

There are fights that turn up on your doorsteps, others knock on your door, some call you on the phone, and the ugliest ones jump out from behind the bushes scaring you to death. Even if you react in self-defence there is a great chance you can be severely wounded and left to die. All fights are not created equally.

Do not get pulled into silly and petty arguments. Fights can be costly when words and emotions get in the way. One thing has been proven when it comes to fights – everyone walks away with scars and there are no winners. The emotional scar is a reminder that you fought in a battle that was not intended for you to fight.

Ephesians 4:26-27&29 says: “ In your anger do not sin. Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs.” Sticks and stones may break your bones but leaning on God in moments like these would not hurt you. Do not allow angry words to get stuck inside of you.

Of all the words a person most likely will ever regret are the ones spoken when they are angry. “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless towards Him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 . When the battle chooses you, hand it over to God.

At the end of the day, let God rule your heart and mind. Forgive because God has forgiven you more times than you can count. Overlook whatever you can. My mom used to say, ‘Anything for peace sake.’ There are times you just have to let it go for peace to reside.

Someone said, “Reconciliation takes two people. Forgiveness only takes one.” Do not wait on another person to ask for forgiveness before you forgive. It only takes one person to forgive. The only other option is to live with bitterness.

Romans 12:20-21 The Message (MSG)

“Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.”

Has the Train left the Station?

My soon to be released book is dedicated to my mother Mrs. Bernice Philip who has since gone on to receive her greatest reward in Heaven. I call to remembrance the genuine faith that was first in my grandmother and my mother and now in me. I know they both would have been proud of my accomplishment and for that I am grateful. My legacy is rich in Godly faith.

Mothers, our role in the home is more valuable than the jobs we hold, the money in the bank, or our status. Our names may not be mentioned in the top 100 greatest influencers of the world , but our children and grandchildren will rise and applaud us if we sacrifice and do it right.

Children will learn everything they need to learn by shadowing us. They will shadow us only for a limited time though until he or she feels like hopping on the next train that is leaving the station. Being consistent and genuine leaves no time for double standards. Children are imitators and they will imitate our behavior over obeying our instructions.

My mother’s life was very consistent and genuine despite her many challenges. She lived her life as an open book before her children. We saw her faith withstand everything that was meant to destroy her, but it did not prevent her teaching us to have our own walk with God.

We were surrounded with love and discipline, and my mom invested time and effort into educating us. Who I am today is by no means an accident. I shadowed my mother’s disciplined life while raising my own children. Like my mom I raised my children to love and fear God above everything else. My greatest joy is being alive today so my grandchildren can get to know me.

Four things I consider are important in raising children – Love, Prayer, Discipline and Example. Today we are witnessing the effect of a single virus bringing the entire world to a halt and these four ingredients are being recommended as a recipe to healing the world.

Love – it is not all about you. You can be a healthy person, but you can carry the virus to someone who is not. What you intentionally or unintentionally do will have a long-lasting effect on others. When someone else’s happiness is your happiness – that is love.

Prayer – people everyone is praying. From the Palace to the hospital to the nursing home to the schools to the funeral homes to the graveside to the grieving relatives. Everyone understands the effectiveness of prayer. Keep calm and pray for the world.

Discipline – staying home saves lives. Working on the frontline is stressful and difficult. The healthcare workers are overwhelmed and frustrated. Everyone must choose one of two pains – the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The easiest decision you will ever have to make.  

Example – the best life is a life that makes the world a better place for everyone. The train with our children on it will one day leave the station called home. Make sure you gave them best directions.

Four things are important in raising children – Love. Prayer. Discipline. Example.

My Unsung Hero

Smile Alert

When you are smiling the whole world smiles with you. And if you are laughing keep on laughing. The sun comes shining through.

We thank God for friends who bring on our smiles while social distancing. Great time to call your parents. Go for a walk. Read a book. Eat some ice-cream.

But for now – it’s time to SMILE with me 😊

All we need is love, but a little chocolate now and then changes the atmosphere and with a blink of an eye it’s the weekend.

Take a break from doing all that was mandatory and enjoy the view.

Image in the Mirror

Life is like a mirror. A mirror reflects what you look like, and the uncomfortable truth is – you cannot argue with what you see. What you see is what others see too. Mirrors do not lie. A dirty mirror shows a blur version of yourself. So, if you look in a mirror and you do not like what you see – do not blame the mirror.

As children we were excellent at playing dress up putting on our parent’s clothes. We looked in the mirror and mastered the art of role-playing. We had no fashion sense as we put together anything that was easily accessible while having lots of fun among ourselves. Looking into the mirror made it the highlight of the moment as it drew lots of laughter as we cleverly imitated the owner of the outfits.

When we were children, we imitated what we saw, who we saw, and how we viewed it. As children we mimicked every character good or not so good in our village/community. The more accurate you were to bring the character to close likeness is more laughter and accolades you received and the longer your performance lasted.  

Life is a stage that we must all cross over whether you an introvert or an extrovert. Whether you fail or pass. Once your heart is beating the camera is recording your every move even if you are camera shy. When we were children we behaved like children and dress up was the game, but we are no longer children.

If you look in the mirror and you do not like what you see, you have no one to blame but yourself. Mirrors do not lie. We are now grown ups. We are the ones fortunately or unfortunately the next generation will be mimicking and playing dress up.

As adults we should be seeing things more clearly. We are not squinting peering through the windows of our childhood bedrooms looking on at others. We are now the main actors while we are being judged by others whether it appeases you or not. A child somewhere will be mimicking you and I as they observe our characters. Will it be positive, or will it be for laughter? Only you and I know the answer.

To be fully transparent we need to trust God to help us to be fountains of life rather than fountains of hate and deception. We do not see clearly all the time while fighting off darkness, but continuous improvement is better than trying to be perfect. No secrets are hid. On our final day all our best kept secrets will be revealed.

There is nothing we can magically do to erase yesterday but we can stop ourselves from falling down a very deep well of regrets. As we breathe right now, someone just took their last breath. Sometimes, we never get to say “goodbye” but saying “hello” is a great way to start a new day.

Someone said, “If you are looking for that one person who will change your life, take a look in the mirror.”