Tag Archives: heart

The Lie Drake Told Me

no-new-friends-Story2

Although women generally speak candidly about their trust issues due to their interactions with our beloved male species, all my heartache (okay, most) have come in form of women I once called friends. As time goes on I will fully divulge all the…interesting friendships I have had -the ones I broke and the ones that broke me. To be quite honest, I think I’m the problem. Once I have decided that you and I are on the same team and once the walls I built come tumbling down, I am prone to riding for you, kicking down trees and people for you, praying for you, calling you (everyone that read the call anxiety post knows that this is a big deal) and ultimately trying to make sure that you are living the best life possible.

I am intense (can you tell?) which means until I (recently) learnt how to control the intensity of my friendships a lot of them weren’t very healthy. Over time, I had to learn that if a friendship wasn’t healthy it was okay to walk away;  I had to stop giving myself to people who would never truly appreciate what I was giving them. Walking away doesn’t mean that there has to be an intense burning of the bridge we once walked together, and it doesn’t mean that we don’t love each other anymore, it just means that the nature of the relationship adjusts in accordance with the new expectations both parties have.

So what does Drake have to do with all this?

In 2011 Drake taught me that because of the sheer fact that I would only ever live once, I should do whatever I pleased (I think YOLO is the ghetto version of carpe diem). Since then I have listened avidly to all new Drake songs hoping for a new life lesson.

I was in my room on January 1st 2014, spring-cleaning and suddenly Drake’s ‘No New Friends’ came on. It dawned on me how profound the statement was; Drake had done it again, he had managed to encapsulate a phenomenon in a catchy and sexy way, which would once again tell the masses how to think, how to feel and how to treat people.

 

….Okay, let me be honest…

 

I didn’t clean my room on January 1st and I think I only heard this Drake song in passing coz my sisters are way cooler than me and keep me in the loop.

 

Although Drake’s involvement in my decision-making wasn’t as high as the title suggests, this year I did decide that it was time to pick a team carefully which would involve NO new additions. I looked across all my social ties and picked a few people who had shown themselves to be supportive and reliable for a substantial amount of time, and were therefore less likely to let me down. For these chosen ones, I would give my time, my resources and my heart. Everyone else? Well, if we crossed paths, we could cook it up and chill, but really, it wasn’t going to go any deeper than that anymore.

I was done, bruised in many ways and screaming NO NEW FRIENDS, NO NEW FRIENDS, NO NEW FRIENDS NO, NO, NO.

It went well at first. I was supported, loved, no longer giving myself to people who could potentially hurt me and I had successfully decreased the probability of being wounded. To be quite honest, I was loving life. (I’m not sure if I was actually. Let’s just say I was.) Due to the horrifically beautiful 2013, I was prepared for 2014’s first major hurdle. What I wasn’t prepared for was the team I had so carefully chosen at the start of the year having their own life hurdles to contend with while I was struggling to jump over mine. Where there were once uplifting conversations and text messages telling me that everything was going to be okay, there was only silence. In the silence, I found myself trying to find the balance between understanding the hurdles they were facing and feeling indignant that no one was around to help me get over mine.

SO in this season of self-absorption, anger, hurt and fear I learnt a couple of lessons which I’ll share now, and a few more I’ll share after the smoke clears and I’m running the home stretch.

 

1) Choose your number One

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

Psalm 20:7

Could you do something for me?

Exchange the words ‘chariots’ and ‘horses’ with the names of your two closest friends.

Now read the Psalm again.

Yes, to some degree you can trust in these people to pull you through your storms but at the end of the day, the only friend who will die for you is Jesus. It is that real. We can’t place mere mortals on pedestals and expect them to be there all the time – it is not their job to tend to our needs and ultimately, humans are concerned primarily with their own self-preservation. We are all battling our demons and it is unfair for us to have irrational expectations of those who love us the most and expect them to drop their own issues and come running just because we’ve slightly bruised our knees.

Thankfully, God can handle the weight of our expectations and will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Who do regard as your team? It’s okay to have a team, just as long as God is the most important person on it – everyone else will eventually let you down.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5

 

2) God will bring new friends – whether you like it or not

You can scream ‘no new friends’ as much as you like, God is going to bring new people into your life that you are required to change through your perspectives and your love. I know you have trust issues, I know people have hurt you in the past – they’ve hurt me too – but in hiding from new people, we do ourselves a disservice.

Look at all the beautiful friends you have –they were once ‘new friends’. We are changed most by people, the experiences we share with them and the worlds they birth within us, to shield ourselves from these  new friendships is to live a life that is lesser than the one God intended for us to live.

 

3) What about your old(er) friends?

I sat with a friend this week. Although time and distance had passed between us, I thought everything was fine. They weren’t. Her words broke my heart and I sat in the middle of the shopping centre with tears streaming down my face as she revealed to me the depths of her current situation. In that moment, I realised that I had missed the point (once again). You may not need any more new friends but there are people out there that still need you. Your job is to give yourself to old and new friends believing that God is able to fill you up again if you are left empty and heal the parts of you that may be broken during the giving process.


 

I could have written this post about how sad I was that my team had let me down but I think we need to shift our focus from viewing people as sources to viewing ourselves as resources that can be drawn from in times of need. We should seek to lay the trust issues we have accumulated over time aside if we want to become the light that shines for those in the darkness.

 

Lots of light on this dreary day,

Joy

(Can we all take a moment today to pray that it will stop raining? Many thanks.)

xxxxxx

 

 

 

Ruth 4: Is ‘Happily Ever After’ Possible?

happily-ever-after

 

Dani said

First of all we can see that Boaz is honouring his word. He told Ruth that he would ask the other relative if he wanted to redeem what belonged to Elimelech, and that’s exactly what he did. Some people go as far to say that your word is everything you have but what the Bible says is that life and death is in the power of the tongue. Words are so powerful and we can all follow in Boaz’s example and commit to being accountable to the words that come out of our mouths.

Mathew 5:37

But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’

The second thing I learnt was that just because things seem like they’re going wrong, doesn’t mean it’s not going to be a happy ending. God works all things out for the good of those that love him (Romans 8:28). When the relative Boaz asked said ‘YES’, my reaction was ‘WHAT?!?! What do you mean yes??? This isn’t how the story is meant to go!’ It’s crazy when you know how something ends but you still get worried at the bumps in the road and twists and turns of the plot.

News flash: God said he was going to give you everlasting life. You already know how your life ends up, so why are you getting scared by the things that don’t go as planned?

Finally, I learnt not to dismiss the things that others label irrelevant. In verse 15, Naomi was told by the village women that Ruth was better for her than 6 sons. For the comment to be made just goes to show that women were dismissed in terms of their ability to provide. The fact that God uses Naomi is testament to the fact that dismissal is unwise. God can use anyone and anything to bring about your breakthrough. Stop dismissing the answer to your prayers because it’s not packaged the way you thought it would be.

 Joy said

Ruth 4: 3-6

And Boaz said to the family redeemer, “You know Naomi, who came back from Moab. She is selling the land that belonged to our relative Elimelech.  I thought I should speak to you about it so that you can redeem it if you wish. If you want the land, then buy it here in the presence of these witnesses. But if you don’t want it, let me know right away, because I am next in line to redeem it after you.”

The man replied, “All right, I’ll redeem it.”

Then Boaz told him, “Of course, your purchase of the land from Naomi also requires that you marry Ruth, the Moabite widow. That way she can have children who will carry on her husband’s name and keep the land in the family.”

“Then I can’t redeem it,” the family redeemer replied, “because this might endanger my own estate. You redeem the land; I cannot do it.”

Can you hear the change in tone too?

At first, our dear, old, nameless friend is more than happy to redeem the land and enlarge his estate, but once it becomes clear that it will endanger his own inheritance, he backs away so quickly, he might as well have disappeared off the page. Although that was meant to be a joke (I’m pretty sure none of you laughed) I would like to highlight that this man was not named in the text; he was merely the hurdle that Boaz had to jump over to get to Ruth. This man almost falls through the cracks of history, his role becoming insignificant and in many ways, forgotten by many.

Similar to (I’ve even forgotten her name..) P…P…(I’m going to have to google her name – oh the IRONY!) Orpah… (That’s her name -woops) who we explored in Ruth 1, they both had an opportunity to become an integral part of biblical history and but they both failed to take hold of the blessing with both hands because they couldn’t see it – they lacked foresight. Had this man known how God’s hand was upon Ruth, working things out for her good and ordering her steps, he would have surely looked upon his inheritance and realised that it paled in comparison to the blessings of God. This is a lesson to us all. Let us not become obsessed with what was is currently in our hands because God always has more for his people. We never know how one choice will change the course of our lives so we must make decisions in light of the God that we serve, his desire to bless us and the way he uses the most unlikely situations to do so.

Ruth: the love story

The story of Ruth is beautiful love story. Although it doesn’t have the singing in the rain, the candles, the bed of roses and the great declaration of love Disney films have taught us to long for, this story speaks of true love, a love that transcends time and gender. May God bless us with people like Ruth who will be willing to walk with us when life backs us into a corner and threatens to take the very things we have held closest to our hearts.

Life will not be easy – there are still moments of pain and joy (awkward pun) that we are yet to experience and these moments cannot be avoided. My prayer is that I will be like Ruth and stick around when things are going badly for those around me. I will not leave; instead, I will carry those that I love until they are in a place where their hearts are once again filled with love and laughter. My prayer is that we will also find our Boaz, not just in love, but also in ministry, in our workplaces, in our friendships. Not everyone will see and appreciate who we are and what we can offer but our Boaz will see past the physical and look at our hearts; they will see our intentions and seek to protect us.

It took me a long time to grasp the overwhelming and unfailing love of God because it goes beyond everything I know to be true of the concept of love. For the most part, love exists upon conditions and requirements – once we fail to meet those requirements, the love is snatched away or given in lesser proportions. The love of God does not exist in this way; it is unconditional, unchanged by my actions. There is nothing I can do to make God love me any more and there is nothing I can do to make God love me any less. This love manifests itself in many ways and here I believe we see a perfect example of God’s perfect love. When we met Ruth, all that surrounded her was death, poverty and long-suffering and yet by of chapter 4, Ruth is married with a child and Naomi is a grandmother, something she initially thought was impossible.

I believe that love has the power to bring life to seemingly dead situations and this is exactly what we witness here. Where there was once death, there is only life and Ruth’s love for Naomi carries them to the end of their story together.

Thank you so much for reading with us, we hope you learnt as much as we did!

All our love,

Dani & Joy xxxx

 

Why I Stopped Trusting Men

circle-of-trust

It makes you sick when you see people lie and steal and cheat their way into getting what they want in life. We’re told that it’s dog-eat- dog world but the last time I checked, no-one was barking and cannibalism was still frowned upon. FYI we are not dogs and there is no reason to behave as though we are. Is it true that we’ve got to sell each other down the river just so we can get a little further along the stream? It’s like life is one big competition and it’s not enough for a person to win, they have to see you lose. I guess I should put a disclaimer out now, when I say I’ve stopped trusting men, I’m referring to the genderless man: I have absolutely no trust/faith/belief in mankind (myself included).

I guess it would be interesting to hear about how this one guy broke my heart and how that has put me off all men, but we have bigger things to worry about than my love-life (which is non-existent just in case you were wondering! Jesus is my main squeeze, my side dish and my dessert- for all who were just about to begin a Facebook search to find out about my imaginary mystery men). What really scares me is that we’re living on a planet thriving with Judas Iscariots waiting to sell out their ‘bestie’ and ‘ride or die’ for less than 30p let alone 30 pieces of silver. It’s crazy because we’re all running individual races and yet people are still misguided into thinking that knotting other people’s shoe laces so that they stumble, will help them get ahead.

Newsflash: you won’t win your race because I have lost mine. We aren’t in constant competition. It brings me no pleasure to see you fail, and my success doesn’t make you any more or less of a failure.

The one thing I can remember from P.E (apart from Hockey is really difficult and Rounders isn’t fun unless you’re batting) is that during a race, you have to keep your eyes focused on the finish line. The speed of your neighbour isn’t of concern to you, the ground that you can cover is most important. What’s worrying is that we’ve become so focused on our individual races that we think our lives should revolve solely around pleasing ourselves. Every day on twitter it’s; “do what makes you happy” and “cut out the people who don’t bring you joy,” but what about loving your enemy and helping out those who hate you? We have switched focus from, obeying what God tells us to do, to, focusing on leading a life that brings us ultimate pleasure. What if Jesus had lived by that mantra? What if Jesus hadn’t put his desire to fulfil the will of God above his desire to please his flesh?

While I was reflecting during Easter weekend, I just had to give glory back to God. Jesus was sent to Earth, with a mission and a really important one at that. Jesus was tasked with taking on the sins of the world and offering himself as a sacrifice on behalf of all of us so that we’d have the opportunity to fellowship with him; it would have been catastrophic if he failed.

So often we’re given huge tasks from God, tasks that our bigger than ourselves, and when push comes to shove and it gets painful and the future becomes daunting and we ask God if the cup can pass us over.  Unfortunately some of us fail to emulate Jesus and put God’s will before our own; instead we withdraw into a quiet corner and tell ourselves we wouldn’t have succeeded anyway.

God doesn’t call us to specific tasks because we have great C.Vs  and impressive skill sets, he is giving us the privilege of being a small piece in the masterpiece he’s already created the blueprint for. Being used by God is such an honour and yet we’re so at peace with routinely letting God down, consequentially forgetting about the people that we’re inadvertently letting down by not following through. I don’t trust people because people are fickle. They’re like Judas; with you one minute, and selling you out the next. Promising they will be there one minute, and bailing on you the next.

I’m so grateful that I can put my trust in the only man that’s never let me down. He said he was going to give up his life for the Earth and he came through. He said that he was going to forgive my sins and everyday he comes through. He said that he was going to surround me with his love and everyday he fills my heart with it. He said that he was going to never leave me or forsake me and there’s not a moment when I don’t feel his presence. He said that he was going to wipe away my tears and when I’m weary he gives me rest. He said that he was going to use me to do great things and here I am writing this post.

I serve a God who is so much bigger than me, for who words aren’t enough to capture his unfailing love. I trust God because he said he’d do it and he did it, and if there was take-two, he would do it again.

Psalm 146:3-5

Do not put trust in princes, or in human beings, who cannot deliver. Their life’s breath departs, they return to the ground; on that day their plans die. How blessed is the one whose helper is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God.

Love ya plenty

Dani xxx

Events in April

Beauty Uncovered 05/04/14 This event has passed

logoThe Inner Attitude invites you to a fashion show with a difference. Every woman is beautiful but sometimes the issues of life can cast a veil over our true beauty. Come and be a witness and discover your true beauty through fashion.

Divine Experience 07/04/14  This event has passed

1779870_491244290981148_13417677_nWoman With a Purpose invites you to their next Divine Experience evening. We know it’s not easy to bare our scars, wounds and hurts, but the reality is, they are already evident in ways that we may or may not realise; through our personality, opinion of oneself, and relationship choices. They seek to give you a safe platform to bare all and allow God to penetrate your heart and soul.

Putting The Fun Back Into Fundraising 07/04/14 This event has passed

Put-the-fun-back-into-fundraising1Help raise precious funds for the terminally ill in South Eastern Europe with great food, drink and dance! Ayse Asim will be providing entertainment on the night with fun Latin Zumba Dances and the opportunity to participate.

 

 

 

Urban Island Kitchen 13/04/14 This event has now passed

1240420_449377685192358_2003447825_nUrban Island Kitchen is a monthly Christian Hangout with very affordable Mauritian and Antiguan food and a live Gospel DJ playing the Latest Urban Gospel music. Go and feel at home at their kitchen (you can even take off your shoes!) Don’t miss out on the opportunity to feed the soul with good food, good music and great company! See you there.

 

Gifted Expressions 19/04/14 This event has now passed

971280_10152360241496118_7888024490352885647_n (1)‘Gifted Expressions’ is specially orchestrated by the Holy Spirit, for the glorification of God above all things. The purpose of this movement is to establish a platform where individuals are able to minister to a diverse crowd using different God-inspired talents that has been placed upon their life. This event will consist of poetry/spoken word, drama, testimonies, worship and a brief word of exhortation by Apostle Elijah Israel Chanak of Qadosh Kingdom Movement to bring spiritual awareness to the body of Christ.

A Woman’s Sacred Calling 26/04/14 This event has passed

EWC 2014 - Promo Flyer (updated)Come and be blessed at the Empowered Woman Conference 2014. What are you doing about the younger generation of females rising up around you? Do you have enough in you to teach them how to live a sacred life?  Are you pouring out the nuggets that are so needed to nurture their growth and teach them how to soar like an eagle?  Are there opportunities of growth in you that should be tapped so that you can be effective for the next generation? The Empowered Woman Conference 2014 theme is a call to women to clean out, put first things first, get into God’s order so that you can grow higher and pour deeper into others who need meat and not milk.

Brain Health Conference 2014 26/04/14 This event has passed

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One of its kind, this conference will be addressing three major issues:

  • How to keep your mind healthy and potentially delay the onset of dementia and memory loss
  •  Is the Church equipped to manage mental health?
  •  A Christian approach to managing mental and emotional health

Come and acquire the tools to maintain optimal mental health using a Christian cognitive approach.