Category Archives: Steps To Seeking God

7 Things I Learnt In Cardiff

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It was a cold, stormy night in September and droplets of rain tap-danced on the window as I pulled up to Penhevad Street. As an accent so foreign, so unfamiliar passed through the cabbie’s lips, I felt as though I had been transported to another continent  as he overcharged me for the short trip we took from the station to my new home. (I only learnt this after living there for 6 months and doing that journey every fortnight). I rolled my weighty suitcase up to the front door and hesitantly turned my key in the lock. The door creaked slightly as I pushed it open with my free hand and immediately, I was ambushed by a tiny, salt-and-pepper coloured dog named ‘Marley’. This is where it all began….

*Cue theatrical music (track 1)*

As you can probably tell, I didn’t do very well in creative writing at school (or English in general if I’m honest) and I am a tad dramatic but I thought I’d set the scene: it was cold, it was rainy, and I was nervous.

Last September, I started a Graduate Scheme (Banking/Finance – no idea how/why I got there but I’ll save that story for another time) and they placed me up in Cardiff (I’m from London, went to Uni in London and always lived in London). I remember getting the news of my placement location when I was on holiday with my friend and crying like a baby *cringe* (I also cried on my first night there to my Mum on the phone but just pretend you didn’t read that). Anyway, back to the point. I was there for six boring, long and lonely months, during which I learnt a lot about people, friends, family and myself. Of all the things I learnt, I’ve picked a random 7 (let’s pretend it’s because it represents completion, yeah?) and thought I’d share, so…

*Cue theatrical music (track 2)*

  1. Research the city before you choose where to live

Rookie mistake! I actually do not know what I was thinking. I mean, I was living in the absolute SLUMS and people at work were scared for me. I saw a mouse. Ah, memories.

  1. I no longer want a dog

Listen, that dream has died. The ship has sailed. The plane has landed. Amen.

  1. It is possible to go days without make-up without being cooped up indoors

It is actually okay to let your skin breathe sometimes. Who’d have thunk it?! (I am now back to wearing it though. The novelty has worn off and I am an addict)

  1. My Mum loves me SO MUCH

Cherish your parents if you have them. They love you more than you love yourself.

  1. I have the bestest mates.

My friends > yours

  1. London is such a BUMP!

I got a portion of fat chips for 60p out there. 60p!!!!!!

  1. Lots of free timelots of time spent getting closer to God

I backslid like crazy. I always assumed that more free time automatically equated to more time spent with God, but that was absolutely not the case. I prayed on the first night and that was that. I stopped going to church and I stopped even thinking about Him. I spent more time focusing on the things I wanted God to move in my life than actually talking to Him about them. I now feel like I’m back, starting my journey all over again, and that’s okay. I’ll get there!

Although I really hated my time out there, I’m proud and glad that I stuck it out. Now, I’m not suggesting that you go to Cardiff and live with people who have their own bathroom but decide to wash their dirty dog in YOUR bath, or people who leave chicken uncovered and out for days to rot and attract flies.

No, that’s not what I’m saying.

What I am saying is, if you have the opportunity to remove yourself from your normal surroundings and take some time out to live life a different way, I would suggest that you do it! Go for it! You may learn something about yourself!

Bisous,

Bianca xoxoxo

Spain Taught Me The Connection Between Wifi And God

  
There are some things in life that go without question when you’re making a list of life’s necessities. Food comes right up there, whether you eat to live or live to eat, we’re all aware that we need food to sustain are bodies in carrying out our daily activities. Sleep follows shortly after, even if you’re one of those ‘I don’t need sleep to function’ types, like myself, a few weeks of sleepless nights is very likely to result in that familiar crash and burn. Finally, creeping up in importance is wifi. 

Sadly, I’m not joking. Phone contracts with unlimited data have become a treasured memory, and what’s a relationship in 2015 without iMessages, Whatsapps, and Snapchat. Texts and calls have become a last resort for when the tick hasn’t turned blue on a whatsapp message you’ve sent, or when someone is adding moments to their story but hasn’t replied the personal snap you sent them of how yummy your breakfast was that morning, or how much regrowth you’ve acquired since taking out your braids, or a demonstration that you’ve finally mastered twerking. Let’s forget keeping in contact with friends, how would we ever get to our destinations without the bus app telling us the bus is due so running to the bus stop would be a good idea?! Internet connection powers so much of our lives it’s quite difficult to imagine a ‘happy’ life without it. You can imagine my distress when I arrived in Mallorca and discovered my hotel was not supplying free wifi but set the extortionate price of €6 per day of connecting with the outside world.
How 

Would

I
Survive

?!

Yes, I was being dramatic, (I’ve been a drama queen for too long to take off my crown now) but the lack of wifi did cause a slight panic and mild faintness. How would I tell my mum I’d landed safely? How would I speak to my boyfriend? How would I upload all the snaps highlighting all the fun I was about to have?

For 24 hours every activity was tainted with a distant longing to reconnect with the people I’d left behind in the UK. The next day I noticed a wifi sign stuck on the window of a bar that was a little walk away from the hotel, and life in Mallorca suddenly had a sparking silver lining. Everyday my holiday buddy and I made our plan for the day ensuring no day went past without us squeezing in a good wifi session. 

One morning it hit me. Imagine I actually went to such lengths to speak to God. Walking to get wifi meant a 15 minute hilly walk in the scorching 36 degree heat, but I wouldn’t let anything get in the way of speaking to my loved ones. When the signal was bad I’d try every nook and cranny of the bar to get my messages to send, and I wouldn’t leave until I felt like I’d had a good catch up. Yet every morning I copped out of making the effort to connect with God.

I had to think.

Why don’t I treat connecting with God with the same importance as connecting with people? Why do I give up when I feel like I’ve become distant from God? Why have I stopped searching for ways to improve my connection with God? 

We start to feel like maintaining our relationship with God has become more difficult but do we combat that with the determination to keep the relationship on track? It won’t always be plain sailing walking with God, but we have to be prepared to fight for an ever stronger connection with Him. The first hurdle might be waking up, and the second may be singing a song of praise, and then we may have to muster the energy to open our Bibles, but it’s all worth it in the end. It worries me that I wouldn’t feel as distraught not having my Bible for a week as not having phone signal, so this week things have to change. This week I’m going to contact God before I reach for my phone and make every effort to stay close to him.

For everyone struggling to find the will to pray, you are not alone. Getting close to God might be an uphill struggle but at the top of the hill, spending time in his presence will be worth every sacrifice you made to get there.

Love lots,

Dani xxxx

Does God Want You To Feel Lonely?

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Although each life path walked is unique, we are united in that none of us knows what lies ahead of us. Each obstacle we are to face remains hidden until we are standing before it, intimidated and possibly afraid. Thankfully we have an all-knowing God on our side that may not always reveal every obstacle we are to face, but is with us every step of the way, and if we cling to Him, we will never be crushed by the roads ahead.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

God also surrounds us with people who have the power to make this journey even more beautiful and meaningful. I love people; as moody and uptight as I can be (at times), I literally open up in the presence of people; I love meeting new people, connecting with them and helping them in any way that I can.

Over time, these core traits have been mediated by some negative experiences. At the beginning of last year, I decided that I wasn’t going to make any new friends because people simply couldn’t be trusted. I was so tired of being hurt, misused and exploited that I disconnected from people and my encounters with new people became shallow; even my current friends felt like they were extracting blood from a stone every time I was required to talk about an issue I was facing. It took a good friend of mine to let me know that I was acting in fear and the Jesus I supposedly loved and followed didn’t love people in the distant manner I had adopted. Jesus was compassionate and loving; while he did not give himself to people (John 2:24), he never stopped loving them (1 John 4:19).

Unfortunately, by this point, the damage had been done. Close friends had become strangers and I had become accustom the silence, more comfortable spending the evening with Meredith Grey and my Grey’s Anatomy family than real people. Although I was lonely, I felt safe. I now know that it was a dangerous place to be in. In the moments of solitude it was easier to overthink, overanalyse and become consumed with things, which in the grand scheme of things, did not matter. It was easier to shift my focus from God to my problems; it was easier to become self-absorbed and selfish, forgetting that as I cut myself off from people, I had also cut them off from the resources God had deposited within me that they might have needed.

There was a point last year (I think it was around this time actually) that I realised that God was calling me to Him; He wanted me for Himself. He wanted to grow me, nurture me, and reveal to my strengths and my weaknesses. Just as Jesus had to leave the crowd to pray and to seek God (Mark 1:35), God wanted me to stop being so consumed with being a part of the crowd; He wanted me to leave it all behind in search of Him.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

He wanted me to stop being concerned with my Instagram and Twitter accounts, this friend and that friend, and become consumed with Him. Although it was a difficult process and I was mostly alone, I never felt lonely. I was content with Him. I would spend hours seeking Him, reading His word, praying and learning about His ways.

Last week I felt lonely. Not the content kind that God ordered last year, but the isolating, crippling, do-i-really-have-a-place-here sort of lonely. This feeling caused me to do more of everything: I ate more, gymed more, posted more on my social networking sites, read more and thought more; it was a week of ‘more’. But despite my attempts to fill myself up and be okay, these things didn’t satisfy the lonely. It is only when I began to write this post that I realised that I was searching in all the wrong places; all I had to do was press into God, spend more time with Him and let Him reaffirm my worth, answer my questions and calm my anxious heart.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you are feeling lonely and you are trying to fill yourself up with parties, sex, drugs, work, food – it won’t work. Maybe you’ve never had a relationship with Jesus before and you’ve tried everything to satisfy the loneliness you feel; I implore you try Jesus. I wish I could speak with you personally and tell how far I’ve come because of Him. Millions of people across the globe exist as evidence of His love and grace; I hope you give Him a try.

Maybe you’re reading this and you’re already a Christian but you’re battling feelings of loneliness and depression. I invite you to press into God; cry out to Him, show Him where you are hurting and have the expectation that He will heal you. Leave the crowd behind, get alone with Him and watch him take away the loneliness you feel.

All my love,

Joy xxxxxxxxxx

P.S: If you want to know more about anything I’ve said or you have questions, please email us: theperfectpieceblog@gmail.com or drop us a private message via Facebook or Twitter. We would love to hear from you.

I’d Rather Die Poor Than Live My Life Without You.

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Have you ever looked at celebrities or watched Made in Chelsea and wondered what it would feel like to have lots of money. Not necessarily to earn it, but to check your account and see enough money to buy flashy cars, houses, and bags that cost thousands, all in one day if you felt like it. Forget the work life imbalance that comes with most careers that will make you ‘rich’ and just imagine being knee deep in wealth and long haul all inclusive holidays with occasional trips to the moon. Ok I’ve taken it too far with the moon but you get my point. As a child I used to day dream of my life with added grandeur to the point where I thought the royal family would knock on my door, thank my parents for looking after me, but insist I live the rest of my life in the palace as a princess. (You can tell I liked to dream big).

Inevitably I got older. The people I idolised didn’t seem happy. Celebrities were going in an out of rehab and millionaires were diagnosed with depression. I arrived at the logical conclusion that we all preach and secretly don’t believe:

Money doesn’t make you happy

We have to create a new aim so we swap the desire to be rich with the desire to be comfortable. We stop thinking about having the kind of money to drive lamboguini’s and own mansions in every country that we like to holiday in, and start thinking about a stable job that pays enough to buy a house big enough for our immediate family. We can’t live in designer items but we can pay for music lessons and sports clubs and yearly family holidays. Well and truly comfortable.

You do realise that we’ve just remixed a statement we just rejected?

Enough money makes you happy

Is that really what we want as our mantra? When does enough become enough? I plan my career around this medium sized house and dance lessons for the kids, and being able to afford Disney Land, but where do I draw the line with enough? Of course I’ll end up wanting more as I earn more, but if we’ve already dismissed that having money makes you happy then who says I’ll feel any better living the life of comfortable?

Better to have little, with fear for the LORD, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭15‬:‭16‬ NLT)

Everything clicked. I could continue focusing all my energy on earning more and more money with the far-off end goal of achieving happiness, or I could refocus my mind on my relationship with Christ.

I’m not saying don’t pursue a well paid career in any way shape or form,in fact I’m a big believer in ambition. Just make sure you have your priorities in check. We won’t ever earn enough that we won’t have to trust God to get us through life.

If money won’t make you happy you might as well ditch that rat race mindset for pursuit of the God that can.

Love you like warm chocolate brownies and ice cream

DC xxxx

What To Do When Soaps Stop Satisfying

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For everyone who tuned into BBC1 for an hour and a half yesterday, only to find out that the murder suspect we’ve been waiting for for 10 months is a boy under 10, who didn’t really mean to kill his sister, I share your flurry of emotions.

Firstly bewilderment. You’re struggling to believe a little boy has enough strength to give such a powerful blow it could cause someone to die of a head injury. Then you try and piece together the flimsy motive ‘she was making everyone unhappy‘ as a reason for said boy, to want to cause his sister a head injury.

The confusion soon slips into anger as you realise you haven’t just wasted 1.5 hours of full concentration, but 10 months thinking every so often about possible murder suspects, and countless conversations debating the possibilities with friends. When you think about all of that time you’ve dedicated to the storyline while all along the ‘murderer’ has been a character that gets to say around 10 lines a month you have to ask: Do the Eastenders producers think I’m a mug?!

Finally disappointment clouds over what’s left of the evening. Well that was an anti-climax if there ever was one. I really had to question my loyalty to the show and decide whether I wanted to tune in ever again. You know that thing girls do when one guy breaks their heart so they vow never to give another guy the time of day? Those were my sentiments exactly. Just while I was considering boycotting all soaps and tv dramas in order to protect myself from future heartbreak, I realised that I might be being slightly over-dramatic and maybe there could be another way.

This time it was Eastenders, but usually I’m rolling my eyes at the next far-fetched plot twist in Scandal or pulling out my hair as The Good Wife takes yet another season break as if the one over Christmas wasn’t enough!

There comes a time when you’ve got to think maybe it’s me that’s investing just a bit too much of myself into *insert programme here* and it’s not the creators fault that their shows aren’t living up to expectation.

I’m passionate about TV shows but the same could apply to anything that has stopped making you feel the way it once did; your job, your hobbies, even your friends and your relationship. So many of us are looking for satisfaction in the wrong places, we place the things we’re seeking it in on such a high pedestal, they’re bound to fall off and leave us wanting.

If you’ve read the blog before you know where I’m going with this. There is only one guy that will keep on satisfying you and won’t ever leave you wishing you’d placed your bets and invested your time into other things. I met him a while ago and every so often when things in my life disappoint and hurt me more than I thought I’d given them room too, I realise that I’ve taken all my eggs out of the right basket.

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (‭John‬ ‭4‬:‭13-14‬ NLT)

There is nothing wrong with loving a show, or having a best friend, and wanting to spend your spare time with your hobbies, but don’t expect anything to give you the satisfaction that my main squeeze Jesus does.

Love you Dani-ella xxxx

When Sleepwalking Stopped Being Funny

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I have a slight phobia I’m ridiculously scared of sleepwalkers. I remember watching Tracy Beaker as a child (can I get a witness, Jacqueline Wilson was literally the mother of all children’s writers!) and there was this episode where someone in the Care Home was sleepwalking, and everyone was trying to figure out who it was. Sleepwalkers are one of those funny-it’s on a TV show and they’re unknowingly causing havoc, not-funny- they’re sleeping next to you and “accidentally” strangle you to death because you unwisely tried to wake them up. I laughed along at the show, whilst the rest of clan started pretending they were sleepwalking so they wouldn’t get into trouble when caught doing something they shouldn’t be, and secretly shuddered at the thought of being under the same roof as someone who sleepwalked.

My fears deepened when Channel 4 came along and broadcasted one of their ever insightful documentaries on Sleepwalkers. People were having to resort to putting padlocks on their fridges because they kept unwillingly having midnight feasts and this one guy was on trial for drowning his wife because she’s interrupted him in the middle of one of his walks. It’s weird because when they were awake they were completely normal to people but in that half-conscious state they acted in ways their conscious self would have forbidden.

I started feeling less fear and more empathy for sleepwalkers the minute I realised that I pretty much spent the whole week sleepwalking in my faith only gaining consciousness when a word was spoken on a Sunday that resonated with where was at. Those Sunday’s would be the days I realised the kind of Christian I could be and it was steps above the Christian that I was living as.

Unconscious Christianity is like sleepwalking, you don’t even realise it’s a problem until you’ve wandered a few too many miles from your front door or you’re on trial for a crime you hadn’t intended to commit.

We have a choice, we can either live actively walking out our faith or we can stumble through life every so often remembering that we serve Christ.We have got to wake up from unconscious-Christianity or we won’t ever make the impact we’d like to have.

Imagine trying to lose weight but every night raiding the fridge during a midnight binge. At church we’re reminded we ought to be the light of the world, show our communities the love that christ shows us, but if we leave church and slip into a state of unconscious-Christianity, all of those good intentions will never convert to proactive actions.

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (‭James‬ ‭2‬:‭14-17‬ NKJV)

God requires us to have active faith. The sort that doesn’t just feel something but does something also. If we want our faith to be followed by corresponding actions we’re going to have to wake up from the slumber of unconscious Christianity and do something about it.

Love Dani xxx

Why I Already Have Problems In 2015

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Unlike my sister Dani, I am not a ‘New Year, New Me’ kinda gal. I’m more of a ‘New Year… already?!’ kind of girl.

You see, the New Year always takes me by surprise because I never see it coming. Even now, I still think it’s November 2014. I realised by the age of about 14, that New Years Resolutions have a tendency to fall apart around the 15th January.  Furthermore, I realised that New Years Day always felt a bit like birthdays –although it felt like everything should have changed by 12:01am, in reality, nothing changed except the time. I’ll admit, I went through a ‘New Year, Same Me’ phase where I completely opted out of resolutions and all the wishy-washy stuff, but as I grew older, I began to see the benefits of a New Year; a New Year will always represent a clean slate, a chance to start over and to do things differently.

I think even as a teen, my immature mind understood that while the ‘New Year, New Me’ slogan could work for some people, it would never work for me because I continued to battle with issues from the previous year during the early parts of every New Year. Those issues didn’t disappear because the clock had struck 12. No matter how many declarations I made on January 1st, the problems from the 31st December walked with me right into the New Year (how many times will I write New Year this post?!)

I wanted to love 2015. I wanted to feel different and new on the 1st of the month. I wanted to fling open my windows and shout from the rooftops.

Okay. The above isn’t quite true.

I didn’t want that much from this year; I just wanted to attain the peace that had evaded me in the final months of 2014.

One of my Rules For 2015 was to read my Bible more regularly; every single blessed day, I hope to be wrapped up in some quality Jesus time. I really thank God for this rule because it is the sole reason I was able to arise from the slump I had been in since 2014.  Here are some of the things I read that helped me to find my joy (no pun intended)again :

1) God sees

Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?”

Genesis 16:13

I became obsessed with the idea of “seeing” a few years ago after watching Avatar. In order for my relationships to function and flourish, I need you to “see” me. My intentions won’t always match my outcomes, my words often come across as brash and my passion is often mistaken for aggression. It is important that those closest to me “see” my heart and that they “see” where I am because I am constantly tripping up and offending people. Imagine my delight when I opened my Bible last week and was reminded that I serve a God who “sees” me: a God who sees my heart, my anxieties, my hopes, my dreams, my flaws and my problems. This gave me hope. I wasn’t alone. God was watching over me, “seeing” me.

2) Lay down your requests

Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

Psalm 5:3

After reading this verse, I realised that I had been treating God like my shrink.  Every spare minute I had, I would reach out to Him and complain about my problems but not once did I say, “God I need you intervene.” I failed to tell God what I needed, I just kept telling Him what was happening. This verse challenged me – what did I actually want God to do? After I figured that out, I brought my request to Him.

3) Lift up your eyes

The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward.

Genesis 13:14

After you’ve prayed, it is important to look up. It is only when we lift our eyes that we will see what God has in store for us. Every time I have been knocked to the ground over the past three years, God would say “if you knew what I had in store for you.” Sounds crazy, right? I would be looking at the ground, broken, distressed, hurting and God would remind me to lift up my eyes because He knew that better days were ahead. Better is coming than what we have experienced but we must look up because it is only by looking up that we will realise that where we are is not the end.


I want you to know that you are not a victim. You have control over what you think and how you feel. And even if you happen to lose that control, don’t worry, God is bigger than what you see, how you feel and what you’re facing.

All my love,

J xx

It’s A New Year And A New Me

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New year new me has quite literally become my slogan for everything. People offer me unhealthy food and instead of politely refusing I respond with:new year new me. Before people have even finished offering that slice of fluffy red velvet cake smothered in cream cheese icing and I get a chance to start salivating the way you are now, I interject with new year new me.

They follow up with questions…

Oh are you on another diet Dani?

One slice of cake isn’t going to kill you is it?

How long are you going to be on this thing?

Instead of humouring their inquisitions I offer another new year new me and let that be the end of it. To everyone who’s wondering, It’s not just another diet, one slice of cake won’t kill me, but will most definitely lead to another, and I’m going to be ‘on this thing’ for the foreseeable future! Eating well is all part of a lifestyle change that brings me one step closer to being the Dani I want to be.

So we’re five days in and I’m quite proud that I haven’t dropped the ball. I’ve been eating little and often and enjoying getting fuller on less food but I can’t help feel like I’m giving a half truth ( which translates to a complete lie ) when I utter the words new year new me. Yes I’m heading in the slimmer direction but what about the new me that’s closer to God, that’s kinder, more forgiving, reads her bible everyday and meditates on it? What about the new me that’s not afraid to stop a stranger and speak to them about Jesus? What about that girl that’s on fire for Christ instead of the girl in 2014 who was simmering away on low heat?

I want 2015 to really be a new year that produces a new me. I don’t just want it to be the year I got into shape. Knowing me diets will come and go, and weight will fluctuate, but the important changes, the ones that depend on me consciously pursuing my saviour, need to be a no-going-back-can’t-believe-the-girl-I-used-to-be-cheers-to the-girl-God-has transformed-me-into-kind of change.

This year I’m going to step out of my comfort zone and step into my destiny. The destiny that includes spreading the gospel near and far. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I don’t expect to see a miraculous transformation overnight, but this is a declaration of the pursuit of God that starts now.

What are your New Years resolutions? Are they the usual, stop smoking, start the gym, get a better wardrobe kind of changes, or have you decided to make this year, the year that changed it all? God promises a transformation (in Christ there is a new creation, old things are passed away, everything is made new) but what are you going to do to see it happen?

Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

When you want to get slim you have to change your eating and adapt your exercise regime. If you want to see a change in your walk with God, you’re going to have to make some changes.

Today I commit to the daily renewing of my mind (opening up my Bible to meditate on the words within)

Love lots

Dani

3 Things I’ve Learnt Since Landing In Lagos

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I landed in Lagos just over 48 hours ago and I’ve witnessed many wild and weird things. Before I kick off with yet another list, I just have to say: I love it here. I loved it as soon as I walked through customs and saw a fight ensue between a man and an employee (more on that later). My Old Man has been pushing for a family trip to Nigeria for the past two years and I owe him an apology for being so resistant and buying into the Western perception (yeah, I said it) of Nigeria/Africa. Yes, there is poverty, but name one place where poverty does not exist? I know our televisions/the adverts on the trains tell us that Africa is a country continent rife with suffering, children with big bellies and mud huts, that is but a fraction of what exists on this continent: Nigeria is beautiful, Nigeria is amazing; Nigeria feels like is home.

3 things I’ve learnt in Lagos:

1)Temptation is everywhere

They warn you about sex, drugs and alcohol but they don’t tell you about the Sprite in Nigeria that sits in my fridge and contains more sugar than the Tangfastic Haribos. We have so many cans and they call out to me each hour, beckoning me, knowing that if they call for long enough, I will eventually give in. It sounds so small and insignificant but my inability to resist those precious cans has revealed something deeper, something that I have been turning a blind eye to for a long time: my lack of self-control. I say ‘tomorrow will be different’ but will it? A part of me knows at some point in the day I am going to run back to that fridge and drink 1 2 5 cans and feel guilty for the rest of the day. What do you keep going back to? Is it as harmless as a can of Sprite or is it so deep-rooted that you wonder if you will ever be able to resist? I need to learn how to say no to myself, remembering that:

“I have the right to do anything,” you say, but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” but not everything is constructive.

1 Corinthians 10:23

2) There will be periods of darkness

My cousins and I decided to venture out into the estate so we could get to know the area. We walked and walked, taking new turns in the hope that it would lead us right back to our home. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and darkness began to fall. We had a choice – to keep going, taking new roads or to turn back and retrace our steps. One route offered certainty and the other didn’t. Guess which one we took?

How many of us are so afraid of the unknown that we turn back to that which is familiar as soon as we enter a period of darkness? 

Darkness will come…but so will the light.

If we never walk new roads, we will never experience all that God has for us. Some of us are so busy praying in our bedrooms for God to open new doors that we forget to venture outside.

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19

God has already started working in our lives, we cannot be afraid to take steps of faith – even when it is dark.

3) You can’t choose when to love your neighbour

I love hard, I love deep, I love irrationally. If you asked me yesterday whether I needed to learn how to love people properly, I would have shaken my head and inwardly done the polish nails emoji because I would have been 100% sure that knowing how to love people was not my problem. This was until someone didn’t ask for my love; they demanded it, leaving me with no choice but to comply. My space was invaded and my love was taken hostage. My initial reaction to the event was so hostile that I had to question the depth of my relationship with Christ. In that moment of conviction, I learnt that I can’t just love when it’s convenient and easy, I have to love when it is unsettling, difficult and possibly even painful.


In other news, I saw a cockroach this morning and nearly died, I am petrified of mosquitoes and their capacity to ruin my legs, and I have accepted that by the time this holiday is over, I will be so fat that I will need two seats on the plane. As I write this, I am surrounded by chin chin, thinking about what I will be eating tomorrow – these are my confessions.

Lots of love!

Joyxxxxxxx

My First Step Of Recovery From My Latest Addiction

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Yesterday I realised I have an addiction. Not the life-threatening, go to weekly meetings sort, but definitely the take a step back and re-evaluate kind. You may not have heard of it(that’ll be because I’m self diagnosed and coined the name myself) but I have need-to-plan-for-the-future-so-spend-every-waking-moment-creating-a-master-plan-for my-life-itis.

I pretty much have a plan for everything. I have my plan A, plan B, and I’ve even planned some “spontaneous” things to do along the way. I can’t claim to see the future but I have a rough idea of how I’d like life to pan out and so I spend all my spare time ironing out a comprehensive plan of how I’m going to make it happen.

I’m the sort of person that can plan the interior of my future dining room in my dream house before I’ve even started saving for a mortgage. Sounding a little crazy? Well I agree but we all have ‘our things’ (the weird things about us that people love us despite of) and this is mine. Alongside 90% of the female population I’ve had an image of my dream wedding, concluded the names of 3 of my children, and envisaged my wedding proposal, before I left secondary school. I guess that’s pretty normal but it becomes a problem when I start spending every spare thought ‘planning for the future.’

I think it makes me feel safe.

Seemed harmless enough until I realised that I’d forgotten all about God. It’s easy to like the idea of God being in control of your life, but actually relaxing in that is a different story.

Yesterday I realised that I had stopped seeking God and started taking my life into my own hands.

But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

It’s easier to focus on everything but God, but that doesn’t make it wiser. We have to let go and let God. (Yes easier said than done, but we have to try).

Love ya

D.C xxxx