5 Things I’m Grateful For

Image result for chin chin foodImage result for chicken wings

  1. Chin Chin and Chicken

For those who do not know, Chin Chin is one of the most popular snacks in West Africa – it is a savory snack and makes me so happy. I ate some yesterday and it filled me with immense joy – God bless the creator and God bless Tesco’s for exploiting every opportunity to keep ethnic minorities in their stores by ensuring we have an aisle all to ourselves.

 

  1. My car ride to work

I enjoy driving – perhaps because I remember where I was this time last year: carless and licenceless. My car is a reminder of my ability to overcome my fears, set goals and accomplish them. Each morning, while others grumble about having to remove ice from their windshields, I am almost always more than happy to do so, grateful that I have a car to remove ice from. During the car rides, I am able to speak to God about all the things I need from Him to get through the day. This time, often spent in silence, allows me to reflect upon the things that really matter.

 

  1. The things I get to see daily

We see God when we open the Bible. Yet, there are moments where we are privileged enough to see God in our day to day. Last week, I saw such kindness emitted from one of my students that I was brought to tears. I genuinely had to stop myself from crying. In that moment, I saw God; I saw what it meant to love others, to care about them and shield them from the harsh realities the world often thrusts upon us. Despite the student only being 12 years of age, they allowed me to see what it meant to be sacrificial and loving.

  1. Monday, Monday.

Of late, I have felt mostly melancholic. The desire to fight for my joy (no pun intended) has been tepid, at best. This is the first Monday in a long time that I have felt tired but not unhappy. I know that things are steadily improving (even though I might feel awful tomorrow).

 

  1. The desire to walk with God

My walk with God is more like a rollercoaster, full of highs and lows, unexpected turns and a secret desire to get off the ride and walk slowly, aimlessly, wherever. Yet, I have been determined to strive for God, diligently. Instead of having a vague desire coupled with an equally vague prayer, I have sought to figure out what striving for God looks like in practical actions. For me, it means listening to a sermon while I get ready for work, playing no music on the way to work so that I can pray and setting aside time, when I get to my desk, to read my devotionals. I’m a long way from where I could have been but I see changes. Through this time, I am slowly beginning to distinguish between what I know to be true and what I feel to be true. Even if I don’t feel loved, I know that I am. Even if I do not feel accepted, I know that I am. Appreciating the difference between ‘knowing’ and ‘feeling’ is changing my perception of my days, my thoughts and, most importantly, myself.

– I’m also searching for a Bible study so if you do go to a good one – hit me up!

Love,

J x

New Year, New Me?

 

 

 

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So we’ve arrived in 2017 – the most futuristic sounding year to date. A lot of people got so fed up with 2016 that they desperately awaited the new beginning that 2017 would bring. Here we finally are. Now what?

I have spent a lot of my (relatively short) life waiting for life to just hurry up and for the next phase to come already.

Starting out

I remember being in year 6 in primary school, looking forward to secondary school but half wishing I could fast forward taking the 11+ exam and waiting to see if my results were high enough to get me in to my first choice school. It’s funny because as soon as I arrived at secondary school all that hopeful expectation was replaced with the overwhelming pressure to make friends and find my place, and with all the older years telling me just how cute I looked. All that time wishing I could just ‘be here already’ and when the time finally came, I couldn’t wait to no longer be amongst the youngest. The wish to fast forward time and move up through the school had reared its head again.

Growing up

We leave school, then, there’s that weird in-between stage of College that feels like the longest and most character-defining two years of life. Before you know it, uni applications come and go, as do A level results. Suddenly, you’ve arrived at the pinnacle of your educational journey.

I don’t think a day went by in university when I didn’t wish I could just be in the world of work. If this has also been your journey, you’ll appreciate just how silly it was to think work would be an escape for university. I think back to those dreary days spent in the library and remember that they were wedged in between long breaks of 4 weeks at Christmas and up to 12 at summer. How could I have wanted to fast forward from a place in life where I had 12 hours a week contact time?!?! It’s beyond me.

Full on adult

So what’s next? There are no more educational milestones set out for me to reach, so have I just been content with enjoying the present day? Of course not. Suddenly the focus becomes life milestones-  good jobs, marriage, babies, maternity, deciding when to go back to work and retirement.

Like it or not there will always be a next phase to look forward to; it’s our decision whether or not we enjoy what the present day has to offer us. Alternatively, you can spend all of your life wishing you could fast-forward to the next stage and, before you know it, you’ll have completely wished your life away.

I don’t know what you’re looking forward to for this year. Whilst you’re praying for your goals for the year to come to fruition, don’t forget to enjoy wherever you are right in this moment. This year I commit to caring less about the destination and enjoying the journey.

Love lots,

Dani