Category Archives: Reasons To Give Thanks

5 Things I’m Grateful For

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  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

5 Reasons I’m Happy To Be Alive

1.  I have good health 

A week and a half ago I turned 24 however unlike any birthday I’ve celebrated previously, this one came with a viral infection that left me so ill walking was too painful and so was lying down. I can put my hands up and say I completely took for granted the good health I’d enjoyed in the 23 years prior, and whilst ill I realised just how much of a blessing good health is. It’s true when they say you don’t know what you have until you’ve lost it, but we should actively fight against this general lack of appreciation. If you have woken up this morning with no significant ailments, you have one more reason to give thanks today.
2. My best friend

I’m sorry to be mushy, but during this period of sudden sickness I’ve realised just how blessed I am to have married my bestest friend. While feeling like I was on deaths door, my husband tirelessly looked after me, not complaining about the small fortune he’d spent taking me to Brussels only for me to spend all four days in bed. 

3. My 9-5

After some time away from work a lot of people dread that first Monday back, but I am honestly looking forwards to sitting at my desk. I won’t lie, that is partly because spending the last week in bed has been slightly mind-numbing, but a large part of my excitement comes from the fact that I really really like my job. No, not all aspects of it and yes I too have days where I’m bored, tired, lazy, and not in the mood for the slog but on the whole I’m rather happy to be there. I hear people say work can never be fun but I couldn’t disagree more. Going to work might not give you the joy you feel when holidaying in the Caribbean sun but if you are utilising some of the skills you somewhat enjoy, that’s the best starting place for beginning to love your job. I thank God for leading me to a place where I don’t have to live for the weekend.

4. The ground is orange

Waiting for the bus in the morning breeze has the harsh edge taken off when the ground is a beautiful puzzle of oranges and yellows as the branches selflessly shed their leaves. This morning I just had to smile as I soaked in the season changes that had taken place whilst I was cooped inside. Autumn is by far my favourite time of year, not only is the pressure to be doing something really exciting, that comes with summer, taken away, but it’s just the right temperature to want to do fun things during the day and come home at an hour when snuggling in bed doesn’t feel like a waste of a day but a perfectly viable activity. It’s also a good warm up to the chilling weather that will follow. Yes, winter is brutal but at least God doesn’t throw us right into ice and the snow.

5. Every single person that’s made me feel loved this last couple of weeks

I am so grateful for the support system that surrounds me and continues to go out of their way to make me smile. From the mothering phone calls making sure I am fed and watered and haven’t forgotten to take my medication to the cooked breakfasts and special birthday dinner, I have been so touched by the acts of kindness I have encountered. We can easily dismiss the small things we do for others as insignificant but this week for me has proved the little things can make the biggest difference.

I don’t know what you’re facing today but I hope that you too can find the reasons you are grateful to be alive.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans‬ ‭8:28

Love lots,

Dani

Time To Count Your Blessings 

  
If you know me well you will know that 90% of the time I’m quite positive and most things I do are done in a spirit of determination. The other 10% is spent worrying about the things I’m usually optimistic about and moaning about the things I can’t change. Recently I’ve let gloomy Dani have way too much face time. It’s been ages since I’ve written a post acknowledging just how great my God is so I think now is as good a time as any to shout it from the rooftops.

5 things I’m grateful for:

1. That all my senses are in full working order

I don’t want to sing the same old song that’s sung around this season, but we really have to be grateful for what God has already blessed us with. Being able to see hear taste etc is so easily taken for granted but the beauty of our senses adds so much to what makes life great and we rarely acknowledge them. I thank God that I can see how happy people are when they realise I’ve put some thought into their gift and I thank God in advance for the party my tastebuds will be having this season. No matter what I open this year, I know I have so much to be thankful for

2. The people God has put in my life 

You know what they say about weddings, how they’re worth it in the end but the organisation is blood sweat and tears? They weren’t lying. Organising what is essentially the biggest party of my life has had its highs and its ‘why is there so much to do maybe I should just get married in a registry office, but I just wanna give a shout out to the people that have helped me find the light at the end of what’s left of this six month tunnel. Some people take it upon themselves to do the things for others that desperately need doing and to all of you altruists, I salute you.

3. The job that I love 

I’m not sure if I told y’all about the gift God has given me in a new job, but I cannot thank God enough for the opportunity he has given me in my new role. I get to work everyday excited about what lays ahead of me, and every few hours I reflect and smile at just how blessed I am. I’m not on a six figure salary and I don’t drive a company car (don’t drive anything because I can’t actually drive lol) but I know God has put me in the right place to feel out what’s next in my career. For my lovely new team and my straight-forward commute, God I thank you.

4. The man that loves me

I apologise in advance for this public display of affection, I can’t count my blessings without mentioning my better half. I thank God for the man that has made me feel more loved than I thought was possible and who encourages me to achieve all that God has for me. 

5. The upcoming days off 

If you read my last post you’ll know I’m a Scrooge that doesn’t look forward to Christmas but what I am looking forward to is the tripling in time spent sleeping. I know lots of people like to fill their holiday says with activities and food but I will just be opting for the eating and sleeping part this year. Oh how I long for a full 8 hours and nowhere to go when I finally decide to get out of bed.
As you rush around purchasing the last items on your list, and the frustration that comes with things being out of stock after you’ve queued for hours, don’t forget that you have soooooooo much to be thankful for.

Peace and love

Dani-yellah x

How I Racked Up A Million Pound Debt

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I have never really fully understood the concept of credit cards. I think it’s a bit strange that we live in a society that pretty much depends on credit and as citizens we are even encouraged to avoid purchasing items with our hard earned cash and pushed towards spending with the bank hand outs if we ever want to have a good enough credit rating to buy life’s necessities like a house. Strange. The amount of people I know that have to put all their monthly outgoings on their credit cards just to pay it all back at the end of the month makes me question the long winded way of spending that we’ve become accustomed to just because everyone else is doing it.

I’m not too sure if it’s the possibility of spending money that you don’t have that grinds my gears or the fact that now you owe someone something, but the concept of owning my own credit card has always left a funny taste in my mouth. I’m a big believer in living according to your means and not having to ask for outside help in order to support a level of extravagance that you don’t need. Every time I slip into overdraft I can’t shake the ‘I’m living in debt feeling’ which rests on the annoyance I feel for not being able to make it through the whole month on my own wage.

Maybe it’s the inability to be self reliant that underpins it all. I rarely include people in my plan for doing something and generally will only ask for help once I’ve exhausted all the options where I can complete the task myself. It’s probably driven by a smidgen of pride and a double dosage of lack of trust for people but the thought of having to rely on someone for something I need doing doesn’t fill me with faith that I want will come to pass.

Every year when good Friday comes around however, my sentiments to living a life on credit slip away as I realise how indebted I am to my Lord Jesus Christ. We literally lived a sin filled life before we came to acknowledge that so many years ago Christ came to take all that on the cross with him, crucified for the sins he hadn’t committed. With the penalty of sin being death and the fact that we wake up every day living by the grace of God, every day breathing is living on borrowed time.

It’s astounding when you think about it. Just how great God is and just many I owe you ones we’d have to write for what Christ did for us. Words can’t really express how grateful I am for the love of God and the expression of it that gives us a yearly Good Friday.

My father, I thank you.

Your loving daughter,

Daniela x

6 Things I Am Grateful For

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1) My friends

I made a tough decision last weekend – the kind of decision my future self will thank me for but my present self is weeping over quite sad about. I am so grateful for the friends that I have; they have spoken so much light and love into my situation over the past 24 hours. I have only shared the basics of the situation (literally two lines in some cases) and yet they have rushed to my aid, armed with hope and healing words. I also let them know my decision so that I could be accountable to them. Making life-changing decisions in secret is cool but making sure they are executed takes a special circle of friends that will keep you grounded and remind you of where you said you wanted to be.

2) Getting accepted into a university

At the end of last year I got accepted into one of the best universities in the world *pauses and scratches head*. Yeah, I don’t really know how I managed that one either, I can only give God praise and point you in His direction if you’re also wondering how. I haven’t really told anyone because sometimes telling people good news can be awkward (or perhaps I am just awkward and this awkwardness pervades all areas of my life) so apologies if you are reading this and felt I should have told you sooner. God is so good; I’m still in disbelief!

3) My tutor

He charges so much for our sessions but I am so grateful for him! I have an exam coming up and he’s really helped my Maths skills. I am feeling a lot more confident (even though he is bankrupting me).

4) My joni jeans

For my ladies: if you are looking for a good pair of high-waisted skinny jeans, I couldn’t recommend these Topshop jeans more. They are a little pricey (I bought two pairs at once because they fit so well and my account was pained) but they literally fit like a glove. You won’t have to do that annoying pulling-up action you have to do with those horrible Primark high-waisted jeans because these should sit properly on your waist. I would also recommend getting a size smaller (if your stomach is complicit) I bought a size 10 and an 8 and the 8 fits so much better (but I can’t wear them if I plan on eating a full meal…obvs)

5) The Bible In One Year app

I love this app. It is concise, sound, challenging and it is helping me get through the whole Bible this year (if I remember to read it every day). If you’re struggling to read your Bible or don’t know where to start, I would really encourage you to download this app; it will change your life. I’m not saying this lightly. I’ve learnt so much already and it’s only day 19. Check it out!

6) My fresh outlook

This one is a little harder to write because is quite literally Day One of the new outlook. With all new and tough decisions, I don’t know how I will feel in the morning but I do know that regardless of how I feel, I’ve made the right decision. It’s always tough when things fall apart instead of falling together but during these times, it is important to trust God and trust the process. If you committed it to God right at the start then you have to believe that whatever you are left with is entirely His plan. Yesterday my Pastor said “what you end up with will be more than what you started with so why are you worried?” I’m holding onto those words this week.

I hope you have a great one,

Joy xxxx

What I Learnt On My **th Lap Around The Block.

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Why do we associate joy with youth? I remember at school, coming in with a smile on my face (yes I was one of those neeks that quite enjoyed education) and teachers used to comment on how good it must feel to be young. Having never been 45 with a spouse, children and mortgage, I had no real defence for the suggestion that I could only be jovial because I was still a teen. It was the same when I had my first taste of the world of work. People would come in everyday and complain about the very same problems they grumbled about yesterday, whilst I struggled to add to the conversation. When it came to my turn they’d look at me in half wonder and tell me that I should enjoy these days because it really doesn’t get better than this.

What does that even mean?!

How can you tell me life doesn’t get any better than education?!

I’ve heard so many people say that being in Uni are the best days of life. If that’s the case, having recently graduated then I think I might just throw in the towel now. So why do we get so grumpy as life goes on? We start nursery missing our mums but overall happy to be there, primary school isn’t a chore because it’s pretty much always play time, and by the time we get to secondary school we’re so obsessed with the opposite sex and finding out what group of friends we want to belong to, the monogamy of going to school everyday doesn’t get a chance to drag you down. Then what happens, we leave the education system and suddenly our cups transform from half full to half empty??

I for one refuse for that to be the case. I guess ‘life hasn’t ‘hit’ me yet at the tender age of 22, but I think a big influence of our mood comes with the perspective we choose. And yes I said choose! You don’t have to think about starving children in Africa to realise that you have so much to be grateful for.

Give thanks to the Lord , for he is good and his loyal love endures! Psalms 118:29

Sometimes I find myself swimming in a pool of complaints and then all the guilt floods in. This week I’m trying something new!

I’ve become so fat that you could roll me down a hill I thank you God that I’ve gained enough wait to probably save a small fortune on my heating bill this month

I don’t have enough money to feed my eating out addiction thanks Lord for the opportunity to become a wizz in the kitchen

I’m too busy to spend time with all my friends I’m so grateful that I have a job that I enjoy spending time at

We could all find reasons to complain but that shouldn’t stop us from giving thanks to God.

I’m so grateful that God’s love endures forever. No matter how many times I disappoint or neglect my Heavenly Father, he’s always awaiting my return with open arms. There’s nothing you can do to separate yourself from the love of God, no matter how bad the weather gets, how annoying your family can be, and how tired work makes you feel, you can always give thanks for that.

Love lots

Dani xxxxxxx

5 Things I’m Grateful For

30285-What-Are-You-Grateful-For-Today-My job: Similar to my other half Dani, I managed to lose my dream job this year. I didn’t do anything wrong, it just happened…kinda. During that time I used to pray with everything within me that things would work out and my dream job would stop being the job from hell. Things didn’t work out in the way that I hoped they would; I knocked on that door until my knuckles bled but it refused to open because God wanted me walk through the door He had positioned at the end of the corridor. A lesson I learnt this year: Sometimes God will give you the things you didn’t even know you wanted. Through my new job I have been able to find my ‘calling’, that thing I was created to do. I’ve always wanted loads of kids (six) because I have so much love in my heart to give and I need to put it SOMEWHERE. Through this job, I give love to many different people every single day and I am able to make an impact. I am right where I am supposed to be, right in the thick of God’s will and I am eternally grateful for what I had to lose to get here; it was worth it.

My health: It’s been an uphill struggle but I can finally eat without being weak/ nauseous/throwing up/bloated/being bed-bound. The testimony is a blogpost in itself (I’ll probably never write it) but GOD KNOWS how much this means to me. I tweeted about my desire to be ‘normal’ again more than I prayed about my condition but God saw my heart (and my twitter page) and made my dream come true. I’m not completely fixed but I am closer than I have ever been. Praises to the MOST HIGH, LOVE YOU FOR THIS ONE; YOU HAVE REALLY OUTDONE YOURSELF!

My new hair: If you know me personally, you know that I change my hair every 6-8 weeks. I don’t mean I get a touch up/new hair, same style. No, I literally change people every time I do my hair. Short, long, curly, straight, dreadlocks, weaves, wigs – E V E R Y T H I N G. At the moment I’m doing 14” of straight hair that has a natural bounce and does not tangle or shed. All the praise belongs to you, my God.

Getting back together with my first love: Sorry to all of you who thought I was referring to a man (man, what man?!) I am actually referring to Jesus Christ. This year has been turbulent and, at times, I’ve drifted away from God, neglected our relationship and focused on mere beings more than Him. Over the past month, I’ve been running back to Him, reading the Word more consistently and speaking to Him about everything. I love that God cares about the little things, I love that He cares about the details. I love that I can by myself with someone without fear or judgement. His acceptance is all that I really need; I lost sight of that this year and I’m grateful that I’ve finally managed to shift my focus from those around me to Him once again.

The changes I see in myself:

  1. This year I made a decision to get fit. Before my goal would have been to be a size *insert any number below 10 here* but now I have a healthier view on…life?. Will do a post on body image very soon – it’s a big part of my story. Anyway, I’ve been gyming all year and I can finally see results. BOOM. I’ve also realised that what is inside (the state of my heart)is what I should be most concerned about, not whether I have abs or not.
  2. I went to see a play by myself a couple of weeks ago because I realised that I don’t need a plus one, I just need a travel card. Seeing another play on Monday and it’ll be me, myself and the Holy Spirit.

What are you grateful for today?!

Let me know!!

Joy xxxxxxxxx

5 Things I’m Grateful For This Morning

1.My job
I wrote in a previous post about my turbulent summer and the job that I lost, so I really have to give a major shout out to God for blessing me with a job just in the nick of time. Not only did he bring a job before rent and bills were due, he brought one with lovely colleagues and the opportunity to grow. I’ve learnt so much in the past month and have met such friendly people, I really have to give God thanks.

2.Living so close to the Thames
I get a bit soppy when it comes to London, but I have a real soft spot when it comes to the Thames. God gave us such a beautiful planet to live in, and yes the weather isn’t always amazing, but I think Planet Earth deserves some appreciation once in a while

3. Pret’s ham and cheese croissant
Cannot tell you how excited I am to have breakfast on the train. Round of applause for Pret who never fail to bring satisfaction.

4.My friends
I know everyone thinks they have the best friends ever, but firstly, it’s not a competition, and secondly, I actually do! To everyone who continues to call when I don’t call back and comes to visit when I don’t have the energy to leave my house, I salute you. Don’t think I could have made it through this year without the friends that God has placed in my life and for them, I’m truly grateful.

5. Not missing my train to Coventry
This may seem small but when you spend your week running along platforms and praying you make it on the right side of the train doors before they close, it always feels like a mini miracle when you’re on time. Warwick here I come!

We can get so bogged down with asking God for the things we don’t have, let’s not forget to give him praise for the things we do#grateful #blessed.

Love

Dani xxxx