Tag Archives: jesus

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

The 2016 Rise From The Dead


Hi there! Hola! Bonjour!

Long time no post.” I hear you say

Yes, five months to be precise:/

….

Ah I see you want an explanation

*Very very awkward silence*

I want to tell you there’s a large pile of reasons why we haven’t written since May but to be totally frank all I can say is that life got in the way and blogging became more and more of a memory. I got married in June and Joy put on a pretty amazing play in September- just so you know we aren’t complete bums, but hand on heart, when you’re having such a good time on the holiday you’ve given yourself it’s easy to drown out the voice telling you it really is time to get back to life.

For any of you reading who are writers you will know what it’s like to lose momentum, for writers block to set in, and before you know it you’re questioning whether you’re actually that good of a writer and telling yourself that you have nothing to say worth reading.

As I head back to my keyboard for the first time in a long while, trying to get myself re-acquainted with this writing lark, I am surprised by the overwhelming feeling of relief. All this time spent scared and guilty, you know that anxious feeling that rests in the pit of your stomach, and this is the first day of breathing easily. I’m thinking back to Jonah in the Bible and how he must have felt when he finally got spewed out of the whale. Prior to whale entry doing what God had told him to do and preaching to the people of Nineva seemed like the scariest thing he could have done. However, post whale Jonah realised that what’s really scary is not knowing if you’re going to be digested (lol) and the guilt that comes with knowing you should be obeying God.

Whilst in my self created whale I’ve been feeling fearful because besides the writers block and the ‘not having time to write’ I couldn’t override the re-occurring thought that in my silence I was disobeying God. Two years ago when he told me to write and I told him it didn’t make sense because I’m not a writer and I’m not consistent and I’d have nothing to say, but still ended up obeying anyway, I didn’t really have a leg to stand on with deciding not to obey now.

This summer was an uncomfortable one consisting of soul searching and dissatisfaction. I felt like work wasn’t giving me what I needed so I scrolled through job sites to find the perfect job, but as I scrolled I couldn’t shake the feeling that the emptiness would not be solved by a new 9-5 (or in my case 8:30-6…I know…ouch.) I started to think if it wasn’t a new job maybe it was a new hobby I needed, so much so I, for one whole second considered getting back into acting. As a last resort, I even turned to fitness in the hope of a purpose, with the idea that I could make getting fit my raison dêtre and lose the stone I gained on honeymoon (yes a whole stone, yes it is physically possible to gain that much weight in two weeks.) But if you know me and you know how much I like food then you know fitness was never going to cut it as the focus of my life.

So what did I do…

I remembered there was something God had already told me to do that I had dismissed doing in the hope of finding a shiny new purpose to pre-occupy myself. And here I am, imploring you to not make the same mistakes.

Do you feel like you’re stuck on a rut?

Are you sure there’s more to life but not sure where to find it?

Have you forgotten why you set out on the journey you’re on?

When things get complicated I always think back to a happier time and grapple with why exactly that time is different to my present. I absolutely always feel better when I’m doing what God has told me to. Not really surprising right? And yet so many of us are running in the complete opposite directions to Gods voice and then are questioning what’s brought the cloud of doom and gloom over our lives.

Truths we have to face:

God will not give you a new destiny because you don’t like the one you have

Your God given destiny will not necessarily make you rich and/or popular

You will never be able to complete your destiny without God. You will need him every step of the way. 

If you, like me, are tired of the rut and ready to accept that going it alone is not as empowering as you thought it was going to be, the only way forward is Christ, and he is patiently waiting for you to say ‘yes Lord”

Cannot tell you how much I’ve missed you.

Love Lots

Dani 
 

Why The Man Of My Dreams Left Me In The Friend-Zone

  
Firstly let me clarify some things. 

1. I don’t have my eye on a potential bae

2. I haven’t been friend-zoned… well not recently anyway *insert awkward sympathetic stare* 

What I am about to share is all a little bit awkward but hopefully this post will help you to avoid the same predicaments I found myself in numerous times in the past. I was stupidly doing the same thing while wondering why I was getting the same results. 

 At the age of 16-21 I was the go-getter type who went after what I wanted, determined to get exactly that in a variety of areas in my life- my career, my education – oh! And guys. I wanted what I wanted and sometimes I got just that, but other times it didn’t quite work out how I imagined. 

This is how the journey of living in the friend zone began …. 

I remember in one case I was 16 and I bought this guy I liked in school a rose, a box of chocolates and wrote him a note for Valentine’s Day. I spent money I didn’t have to let this guy know I liked him, you would have thought we were in a relationship because of the immense thought and effort I put into it. We were friends but not really. I was simply crushing over a guy and wasn’t afraid to let him or other people know. The verdict though – Friend zone. 

Then there was another guy about 2 years later who I really liked from school and was convinced he was bae and I made the effort of getting myself noticed by everyday. Making sure I knew his timetable at school so I could ‘accidentally’ bump into him and say hi. This wasn’t enough however, I felt like it wasn’t getting me anywhere, so I went to the extent of getting his phone number from a friend of a friend of a friend, called him repeatedly and asked him to the cinema. Verdict – Friend zone

Despite my failure, I wasn’t going to give up my go-getter attitude. Soon enough I found myself in a similar situation as I got slightly older when I met a guy who I was totally convinced was MINE! We were close friends at the time and I expressed to him my true, inner, deep-down feelings because I felt like if I didn’t, I might just explode. This time the knock back wasn’t so bad, he even respected my honesty, but the verdict was the same – FRIEND ZONE!!! 

They say third time’s a charm, and in a way I consider myself lucky enough not to be caught up in that situation since I reached twenty. Having had the chance to reflect I can see there was a pattern to my behaviour which was causing me to be dwell in the friend zone. I was too PUSHY. If I liked a guy I’d semi-stalk him around school, track down his number, call him all the time, buy him gifts and tell him how I felt. 

I didn’t really consider whether the feelings were mutual because in my world, as long as I told him, he would realise his feelings for me and we would live happily ever after because I was going to get exactly what I wanted, right?!

Oh, so wrong

Unsurprisingly, using these methods never worked out. If like me you are finding yourself constantly being put in the Friend zone. Here are 3 potential reasons why: 

1. You’re too pushy

Fine you like them… but give them some space! Don’t bombard them with phone calls or text messages if its still early days + you’re still trying to figure it all out. 
People need space, they need time to think, show your interest but don’t be suffocating. Who wants to feel suffocated in their relationship anyway? If anything this will call for an immediate friend-zoning 

2. Don’t be a weird crazy stalker

 This could work for some people, in some strange town, some might find it quite attractive or flattering to know a girl is after them, but in most situations, you’re going to end up either scaring the man in question or receiving a court order in the post. Don’t be that person that has to scare them into having an interest in you because chances are you’d be lucky if you ended up in a place as friendly as the Friendzone. 

3. You’re waaaaay too fast

I found that in the past a key mistake I made was being too quick to pour out my feelings/ not really getting a feel of the other persons potential interest. I always went straight in for the kill without thinking of the potential consequences.
Get a feel of the other person vibe because you’ll get an idea of when it’s right to let your intentions or feeling be known or whether you should forever hold your peace. 
 

I’m not a relationship guru, all of these tips can/should be applied to how we approach life. You can want something so bad that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get it but have you considered that you’re banging against a door that God has purposely shut? We live in a world that encourages being a go getter, but as Christians if we aren’t going after what God has got in store for us are mission is futile. Finally, that thing that we’re chafing after might be exactly God’s plan for us, but can we honestly say we have the patience for it all to happen in God’s timing. They say throw caution to the wind but I say live as you plan to fall, with all the confidence and caution in the world, not running ahead of yourself and not assuming you will get what you want just because you want it.

Im no expert, I’m just a girl who has made quite a few crazy mistakes in the past willing to share what I’ve learned. Someone out there might like the pushy, stalker, moving too fast type, but for me, it has just never worked. 

Love Precious 

Why I’ve Left Being Flawless For Beyoncé 

    

“You’re crazy” is all my friend had to say after I told him that I would choose a non-brand, affordable suitcase over a Louis Vuitton case. What he didn’t seem to understand was that I didn’t (and still don’t) have any interest in owning expensive luggage if it doesn’t match the pieces I currently have or if I can’t buy the matching set. We’d been talking about luggage (as you do when you’re working hard at work…) and I was trying to explain how much I love matching suitcases. I’ve ended up travelling a lot in the last three years, and I like to look like my life is together. Maybe it’s an attempt to avoid those embarrassing scenes of overweight bags and the repacking it brings at the airport *shudder* but in my mind having matching suitcases is a testament to organisation and a preclude to a smooth journey. They don’t have to match in colour, but there has to be some kind of linking theme and I’m conscious of that whenever I buy a new piece. So no thanks, to the LV bag, if it doesn’t come in a set or go with whatever I have at the moment. Yeah, I’m kind of crazy, whatever – I like it.

It doesn’t just stop with my luggage though: my nails are always done, or at the very least filed and tidy. It annoys me when they’re not. I like for my underwear to match (at least here I know I’m not the only one) and for the two twisted crowns I put my hair into to be even on both sides. I am just filled with an incredible sense of satisfaction and achievement when everything is organised and in place and going according to plan.

So perhaps you can imagine my intense frustration when my. life. is. not. to.get.her.

A couple of months ago I blogged about being a terrible christian and not much has changed since then. Or at least, I feel like not much has changed since then. If I am completely honest with myself and objective, I know I’m not everyday-fail-as-a-christian but I tend to focus on the bad days more than the good. Because I HATE not being everyday-amazing-christian. I am annoyed with myself when I make the same mistakes over and over and over again. It upsets me that I don’t love God as much as I should, that I don’t walk in the light and purpose which He’s called me to consistently. I’m frustrated – by myself!- when I know if I would just readmybibleprayeveryday that my life would be closer to what I want it to be, but I still don’t do anything about it.

And so I haven’t blogged much this year because it has been the above struggle. I know what my life is like and where I am lacking spiritually, and writing about anything else feels hypocritical. The truth is – much as it annoys me – I don’t have my life together and I haven’t been very successful in doing my part and picking up the pieces of my life; yet I don’t want to constantly write about it and be that blogger who is always “woe is me”. That’s just depressing.

However.

I don’t think I’m the only one who is in this space and I do think there’s value in battling oneself like this and being transparent about it. Maybe writing about it will help us get better about admitting our faults and weaknesses to one another. Maybe not playing down the ugly parts of ourselves will actually help us in spreading the truth of the gospel. Maybe acknowledging that the answers are there but it’s a lot easier said than done will mean something to someone. I don’t know. But in the spirit of being transparent, here is some evidence that my life is not as together as it may seem:

  1. My closet is a complete mess. It has been for a while now. So much so that I have piles of clothes everywhere and the laundry I managed to do last week has nowhere to go so it’s just sitting in a basket. Also, I don’t think I care enough to do this week’s laundry. TMI? Ah well. 1.b) Inside my bag is worse. It gives me a headache just looking at it. I’m going out later today and I’m going to take a different bag instead of cleaning my main one out. 
  2.  I’d rather spend all my time in bed. Not even sleeping. Just in or on my bed. I’m young, single and crazy clever different enough to do amazing things with all this time I have; but instead of writing one of the many books in my head or volunteering or tidying my closet or whatever, I just sleep.
  3. My eyebrow game is not on fleek.
  4. I haven’t memorised as much of the Bible as I should have. Especially after that blog post I wrote about doing so.
  5. I’m constantly sinning. Sometimes new sins. Mostly the same ones. It’s a vicious cycle and I hate that I don’t trust that Jesus has the power to set us free from sin. Okay I believe it but I almost always give into temptation so I don’t really know what that means.

The fact that I desire to grow in my faith has to count for something. The fact that I get up each time I fall has to mean something.

I’m not perfect but I’m not ready to give up on this Christian thing. It’s me and Jesus, forever and always, and even if things don’t happen as quickly as I’d like them to, we’ll get there eventually.

Love Deborah

The Day I Got Burgled In My Sleep

  
Waking up, still half asleep I was 50% sure I’d heard a sound and 50% too tired to worry. Some time passed it could have been a minute, it could have been 20 (you know how sleep works) and whilst being too timid to investigate, I was 100% on the verge of wetting the bed so I dragged myself up and headed to the bathroom, only to be stopped in my tracks by a definite sound…one not being made by an inanimate object or being made by the only two other people that should have been in the apartment as they were fast asleep. Looking through the bedroom door that was ajar I could see the front door to the apartment that we had locked before bed was also ajar. That was probably one of the most scary moments I’ve ever been faced with. I woke up my friends and headed to the bathroom, with the single thought that if I was going to be killed it would be with the dignity that didn’t involve wee running down my legs. 

After my friends went to check the coast was clear we discovered whoever had entered had thankfully left, leaving the backdoor wide open. Hours later we realised we were an iPad and all of my holiday money down. All the plans I had for that money stolen and replaced with the prospect of spending more money than I’d budgeted on the break that, up until this point, had been amazing. I will backtrack a little so you can have a better picture of the events.

My last holiday was full of the unexpected, in every single sense, with a mix of good and bad surprises. I booked a flight to see my maid of honour who decided to exchange the gloomy grey of London for the concrete jungle that is New York for the year, and prepared myself for 5 days of sleeping, a spot of sightseeing and some regular exercising. What I received was a surprise that my other best friend had also arrived in New York and news that we were headed to Miami for part 1 of 3 of my hen do. Yes I have the best friends ever and yes I’m on the edge of my seat for parts 2 and 3. We had three days of sun, never-ending portions of seafood and celeb spotting as we found ourselves in VIP lounges. The flight to Miami I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be going to Miami with everything organised behind my back and the flight to New York was spent not believing I had been robbed right under my nose, but apart from cash loss had left unscathed. Getting over the anger of being robbed, the gratitude that I still had all 10 fingers and toes and hadn’t had the near death experience that are known to come with break-ins. 

Imagine I’d awoken whilst the intruder had been in the bedroom and they’d decided killing me would stop them getting caught

Imagine they were after more than just monetary goods and had decided to take us hostage with hope of a ransom fee

Imagine they didn’t want to steal at all but commit a heinous sex attack

In that moment I praised God that I had been robbed, alive to tell the tale, and not too traumatised by the events. 

Is anyone a fan of the comedian Eddie Izzard? I personally don’t really tune in to his comedy, but he said something recently at the Apollo that had me squirming in the inside, cracking my brain as to how to change his opinion that undoubtedly many people all over the world share.

In the words of a true sceptic he asked the audience ‘when has God ever done anything to interfere with all the natural disasters and crappy things this world has suffered?’ (I’m paraphrasing here) but you get the gist. If you studied Religious Studies at school you’ll recognise this as as the anti-God triangle argument against Christ, which basically says the existence of evil and suffering in the world isn’t compatible with the existing of a God that is all-knowing, all-powerful and ever-present. After hearing Eddie I had the same thoughts and feelings I’d had sitting in my RS lesson wondering what I was going to have for dinner.

Just because you don’t know the things God has done, don’t assume he hasn’t done anything at all

This very morning a man gave up his seat before an elderly lady got on the bus. She offered no thank you because she didn’t know that he was standing just so she could have seat, and the man felt no need to tell her, simply happy that he had done something nice for her. If mere mortals can offer altruism with no desire for gratitude how much more can God happily stand in the gap for us, happy to know that we are better off than we could have been without writing in the clouds to say all the near misses with misfortune we had that day.

I thank God for the things I know he’s done and the things that I’m completely unaware of.

To my God who watches out for me, regardless of my gratitude, I love you!
Love Dani
X

 7 Reasons Why I Am Basically Kanye West 

  


 Thou shalt not be alarmed! Although the title may suggest otherwise, no, I have not married a reality TV star and named my daughter after a direction, or given my son a title usually earned by those ‘special’ people who have lived a little and done a lot-tle. I have not grown a beard and told the world that my latest album which contains cursing and verses centred around sex and other ‘stuff’, that it is in fact a gospel album. 
 
I just thought I should clear that up. (I’m naturally an exaggerator, sorry)
 
This morning, I was so close to putting my finger on the Twitter trigger and sending a series of word-vomit, off-the-cuff, rant-style tweets about things that irked me, and as I was about to pull the trigger and press send on my opening statement to let rip onto my timeline (you know, as you do), it dawned on me… it was only a few weeks ago that I was rolling my eyes at Kanye’s rant about the industry and kissing my teeth at the fact that he was always ‘on one’ (not to mention the fact that he basically referred to Africa as a country which is something that gets me easily riled up), but I was on the cusp of doing exactly the same thing! This somehow got me thinking about Kanye as a whole being and subsequently led to me writing this post. 
 

Sidebar: is it just me that sometimes arrives at a thought and traces back to all previous thoughts that led to that final thought and gets amazed at the fact that the initial stimulus was (typically) completely unrelated?

 
I digress, for those of you who may not know who Kanye West is (or for those who enjoy a bit of scene-setting), let me give you a brief overview:
 
– Kanye Omari West is an extremely talented (imo), Chicago-raised producer, rapper, songwriter, entrepreneur and (recently) fashion designer who released his debut album in 2004 “The College Dropout” which had great success. He has since released a multitude of highly successful albums to date

– He is well known for his outspoken views and outlandish ways of addressing them, notably when he jumped on stage whilst Taylor Swift was accepting an award for Best Video to say “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!” or when he stated on a live broadcast for hurricane Katrina in 2005 that President-at-the-time, George W. Bush, “doesn’t care about black people” 

– In 2007 he suffered the terrible loss of his mother with whom he had a great relationship – there was a noticeable change in himself and his music after that

– He is regularly hounded by the paparazzi, and his aggressive responses to the paps are repeatedly shared on social media where people ridicule or, in some cases, applaud him

– In 2014, he married reality TV superstar Kim Kardashian and the couple have since had two ridiculously cute children (North and Saint)

 
Okay, so now we all know (to some degree) a bit about who Kanye is, here are 7 ways in which myself and Mr. West are alike:
 

1. I love and respect great music/artistry

Of course great music/art is subjective, however I believe that my view on it is accurate, spot on and on-the-money. Much like Kanye, nobody can tell me that I do not know great music/art and that my taste sucks basically. Nobody.
 

2. I hate being put into a box

What if I don’t want to stay in my lane? Just because you like what I do in this space, does not change the fact that I have a burning desire to enter a whole new space and master whatever that is too!

 

3. I love my privacy and my personal space

If the paps were in my face 24/7, I doubt I’d be smiling politely and simply strolling to my car…

 4. I don’t always think before I speak

I am naturally quite illogical and emotionally-led; I put my hands up to that. Sometimes, I say exactly what is on my mind, even when it does not make sense, may not be appropriate, is offensive, or isn’t actually how I feel. I often end up having to reconfirm what I really mean after getting out of my feelings (see Kanye’s apology to Wiz Khalifa after speaking about his little boy)
 

5. I can be a bit irrational at times

Again, as I am quite emotionally-led, I can act irrationally when under pressure or in an uncomfortable situation and can end up doing things that to people that know me, may seem completely out of character. We do not personally know Kanye at all, who knows what his norm is aside from those closest to him?
 

6. Sometimes I’m a hypocrite

I say I don’t agree with certain things, or profess to not believe in certain ideas/ways of living however some of my actions and choices I make wholly contradict that. I regularly justify this by saying “I don’t have bad intentions”, however I doubt the majority of us do have bad intentions yet not-so-great things do happen somehow don’t they?
 

7. I’m just trying to figure this whole life-thing out (and honestly, I’ve made and am making plenty of mistakes along the way)

 
Being in the spotlight in such a major way, means that negative things are inevitably magnified. Accidentally bumping into someone when running to the airport to catch the flight you’re almost certainly late for, can leave you branded an aggressor and have you slapped with a lawsuit. Not greeting a fan in an overly enthusiastic, hyperactive way because you just received some terrible news that morning, can have you labelled as cold and unappreciative towards your fans. I say the above 7 points are the reasons why I’m similar to Kanye, but in reality I do not know him and it’s therefore unfair to assume things about a man I do not know. 
 
Although I share those 7 qualities with Kanye (I believe), they do not completely define who I am, what I believe to be right and what I’m about – they’re just a small part of me. Therefore, this could also be true for Kanye or those other people we (the public) have branded as ‘crazy’. I sat and tried to think of obviously amazing qualities that Kanye has (aside from his talents) and struggled to find more good than bad, not because he doesn’t possess them, but because the idea that “bad news travels faster than good” is unfortunately very true. Imagine knowing that you have many great and wonderful attributes that the majority of people are unaware of simply because your mishaps and awkward moments are the only things that make it to primetime.

I’m a firm believer in “there’s a reason why people are the way they are and why they do the things they do” (this applies whether the reason justifies it or simply just explains it). Kanye fans will agree that after the passing of his mother, there was a real shift in Kanye as a musician and ultimately, as a man. Life has the tendency to do that to us. We all have things about ourselves that aren’t particularly good, and have all done things that we are not completely proud of. 

 
“Judge not that you be not judged. (…) You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” 
Matthew 7:1&5

 
Now, you may think that it’s more likely Kanye has a tree in his eye rather than a speck compared to you, but remember sin isn’t hierarchical in God’s eyes.

 
“As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one.”  Romans 3:10

 
We all have stuff going on. None of us are perfect. We all fall short but it’s only by His Grace that we get by. Before branding that guy as a write-off and that girl as wayward, remember that you should look at them with love and understanding first and remind yourself that you’re not so squeaky clean yourself.
 
Love, Stella West (lol, jk) 
 
xoxo

To All My Single Ladies: 5 Steps To Catching A Man 

  
As I decided on this blog title, I thought about all the single men that might be put off having a read, but then my mind wandered to the wise single man who would use this as an opportunity to discover how to get caught, and so the title stuck. 

To everyone who clicked this link in sheer anguish at my audacity in assuming you need a man or even want one, I neither claim to be an expert and nor am I a sexpert, so sorry to everyone who thought they were going to get that kind of advice. 

With Valentine’s Day approaching I can’t help but think back to my oh, so recent single years and the awkward emphasis that this time of year would put on my aloneness. Now as a woman on the verge of diving into the biggest commitment love (or stability, financial security, and fear of being alone) can cause you to make in deciding to marry, I think it’s only fair I comment on my view from the other side. 

They say the grass is always greener but to everyone unconvinced who would really like to be one half of soppy couple number one eating fancy dinners this weekend, or the instigator in couple number two that couldn’t think of anywhere better to spend Valentine’s Day than Paris, please read on. This post is for you.
1. Stop acting like you need one

It is quite hard when you have a life plan that involves marriage and babies to not conclude that if not now, then at some point in the not so distant future, you will need a man. I hear you, and quite frankly I do think marriage and babies would be rather unachievable without one, however like all of our life plans of career success and comfortable lifestyles and all the rest, we need not stress about the how or the when. You don’t need me to tell you that desperation is low down on the attractive scale. Act like you’re completely comfortable as you are-in a long term relationship with God, and over time you’ll start feeling that way. Marriage and babies are nice but nothing can complete you in the way that God can, and so as appealing as another half may seem he will always be a want, not a need.

2.Be the man you want to meet

I know you read that the thought ‘What on earth is Dani talking about?’ I am not suggesting going under the knife to change your gender, but I am encouraging a good hard look in the mirror of your soul to see if you possess the qualities you are looking for in your other half. 

Desiring a man after God’s own heart that’s as caring as he is ambitious is a bit cheeky if you can’t say you emulate your own wish list. So many of us are looking for our better half, we’ve ignored what we could bring to the table in bettering our man. If you want a God-fearing man that’s driven to succeed and loves others with the same passion in which he loves himself, it’s important that you are actively pursuing a close relationship with God, asking him to show you how you can love others better and direct the steps of your career. If you can emulate your wish list when your man comes along you won’t need completing but complementing. What’s more inspiring than two great individuals coming together that are equally great for each other?

3. Start by being in the right place at the right time 

There are countless reasons for not entering into a relationship that I implore you to consider which can usually be routed back to not being in the right headspace to enter into a life-changing relationship. 

Whilst couples post their enviable Instagram pictures of them sipping Piña Coladas on beaches and of their fancy anniversary dinners what they don’t write in the caption below is of the continuous battle to not let their partner creep above God into first place in their hearts, and they don’t have enough space to describe the work it took to keep a smile on their other half’s face. 

Long story short, relationships are hard work and only really make sense to enter when there is an end goal beginning with M and rhyming with carriage. If you’re just after someone to go to the cinema with and to receive the odd bunch of flowers from, you aren’t after a man, just in need of some good friends. When you are ready to enter into long term commitment and are aware of the dragged out battle of resisting sexual sin coupled with the energy it will take for you to have a successful relationship, only then should you make yourself available for Mr Right. He’s not just the right guy for you, he comes at the right time too.

4. Pray for him

It might sound strange to pray for a man you can’t see but we pray for people we haven’t met all the time. Just like the children across seas in need that say a prayer for, your man is alive and kicking, navigating his way through life. 

As his wife you will be his main supporter, (even when you’re not his biggest fan) so why not start as you mean to continue? Once you’re together, you’ll have a long list of things you’d like God to change about him so you can be happy, why not start be praying for God to change the things about him that don’t make God pleased? 

The more prayer you put in now, the less struggle you’ll contend with once he shows up.
5. Let God become your king 

If you cannot submit to an all living caring God, you are going to struggle to submit to a man that is as flawed as you are and is just trying to feel out life, same as you. 

Practise serving your King and and when your earthly king arrives,half of the submission battle will have been won. (I’m aware that the submission topic is a whole post on it’s own, so I won’t say anything more before the feminists with their pitchforks attack!)

To every single gal reading, I hope this post has reminded you that don’t need no man, lol, but on a serious note, you don’t. You are completely complete in Christ and whilst a relationship is a nice addition to one’s life, a life without one is by no means less fulfilling.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a depressing season of mourning, why not spend the day with your first love, that way you are guaranteed a good time? 

 Let’s spread the love (of Christ) this weekend and show the world, single, married, in a complicated neither here nor their relationship, that above all Jesus loves them. 
Speak soon,
Dani

P.S. Please feel free to leave a comment and agree/disagree with anything I have to say here to your hearts content. Would genuinely love to hear from you. Xxxx

Why January Has Raised My Blood Pressure

  

You know you have developed a problem when you realise having a tight chest and a racing pulse have become a staple in your daily routine. Breakfast is eaten with an assortment of fear and worry about the day to come and along with your sandwich at lunch you pick up a snack of stress to enjoy later. This has been the story of my January, as I have begun the year with everything to play for but no certainty on how to win the game. There are so many things that are supposed to just happen this year, I can’t take the stress of wondering if everything will just fall into place.

Has January caused you to nervously nibble on your finger nails? These are my main blood-pressure raisers.

1. The weight that is supposed to be falling off

I have found that the task of loosing weight has just become another weight on my shoulders. Every time there is an option to eat unhealthy food I think about the future slim me, and thoughts of how far away she is are met with thoughts that I’ll probably never get to meet her, and with that unhealthy snack is popped in my mouth and consumed with regret-filled enjoyment.

2. The house that is supposed to be getting snatched off the market.

I am pretty obsessed with properties on a good day. I don’t know what it is about them but scrolling through the best of what Zoopla and RightMove have to offer gives me more pleasure than scrolling through designer clothes or fantasising over fancy cars. The difference between my house searches now and the ones that consumed my free hours at university is that now the purchase is almost achievable. I can nearly taste the picketed fence and open plan kitchen-diner, but the looming mystery of gathering deposit money casts a stressful shadow on my search. I’ve never been one for looking at mansions because that might never happen, but 2 bed flats with an easy commute to London fit in perfectly to my obsession with making plans that leads me to everything I want in life. It’s when the plan doesn’t seem like it’s coming together that the headache begins.

3. Becoming a millionaire 

As materialistic as this sounds this isn’t just about having a nice house with an football pitch of a garden and a shiny car parked in the front. Whether you like it or not, more money equates to being able to do more, and usually make more of an impact. House and holidays aside the pressure I put on myself to be financially comfortable, to the point where I could set up outreach initiatives and fill the gaps in society that the government are unable to plaster, makes me nervous. What if I’m never comfortable? What if I can’t say yes to the driving lessons and dance classes and school trips abroad that my future children want to go on. The desperation to not be that woman drives me to continue designing a life plan that allows me see my fantasises materialise.

I think January adds extra pressure because everyone’s expectations are high of the year to come. We are all in ‘work smarter achieve greater’ mode and we are all aware that most people fall into the same ruts of previous years so try extra hard to keep to the new plans we have written ourselves.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭

So where do we go from here? I realise that when I feel stressed its because my shortcomings overshadow the things I’d like to achieve, all the while forgetting that I don’t need to make things happen when God is in control of my life.

When you are next feeling anxious don’t just take a deep breath, say a prayer and wait for the peace that God has promised you 

Happy Friday!
Dani x

Why I’ve Stopped Living In Denial

  
Have you ever woken up and realised that you’re not worn out because you didn’t get enough sleep, or because you’ve spent too many hours at the gym, but because your mind has been thinking of a thousand problems at once and each one remains unsolved?

This is how problems generally work in my life:

1. I realise problem ‘x’ exists 

2. I rack my brain to produce a plan a, scrap plan b, only to conclude plans l-m-n-o and p won’t work either

3. I think about giving ‘x’ to God to resolve but I haven’t touched base with him in so long I’m uncertain he’s able to make it better

4. I stress-well actually I secretly stress. I go on through life as normal and try and push problem x to the furthest point in my mind whilst my subconscious brain continues to think of solutions, and decide those solutions won’t work, so thinks of some more in a hopeless cycle 

5. I despair

6. I run back to Jesus. I don’t even care if he fixes things, I just want to be living under his wing, trusting that he’ll give me the strength to feel at peace in the midst of whatever storm has been raining on my parade.

Reading that, you’d wonder why I didn’t just run back to Jesus in the first place. Why try to figure things out on your own when you know you’re going to find your senses and come back to God in the end? There is a reason. Actually in fairness, there are many reasons, but they all begin with one…

I will tell you a secret. Not many people know what I’m about to share so brace yourself. I am quite proud. Not in the sense that I think I’m better than people, I’m just confident in my abilities to the extent that I rarely (every bone in my body fights against) ask for help. I might even think the person offering to help would do a better job than I could but I’m too proud to admit that, and the mere thought that I could do it myself even if it does take me twice as long, means all help is rejected and the thought of asking for it is ludicrous. I know what you’re thinking- 

“Even when the person your asking is God?!”
 Yes.

So this has been one of those weeks. I know I can’t possibly solve all the issues life has presented me with, but I hate to admit defeat so much, I have ran away, instead of toward the God that can make it all better. I’m not saying God is a wizard, he’s definitely not a genie in a bottle that grants all of your wishes, but he does give you the ability to overcome every kink and disruption to this journey of life. 

Today I admit defeat. I admit that I need God and that life is only worth living when it revolves around him. I haven’t the energy to keep running away so I’ll stop.

Cast your burdens unto Jesus for he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

When you give your problems to Jesus, it’s not that they immediately disappear and life returns to perfection, but that weight from constantly trying to find a solution is lifted, along with all of the stress it brought. Nobody said being a Christian would be a breeze, but Jesus said my yoke is easy and my burden is light

If you, like me, woke up realising you had been trying to fight a war all by yourself, take the best advice you’ll ever get. Give all  your worries to Jesus, who cares for you and wants you to be free. The stress just isn’t worth it.

Love y’all 
Dani xx

Why I Stopped Being Afraid Of Change

  
There are many things in life that refuse to stay the same. No matter how much you’re enjoying their present state, there is nothing you can do stop them transforming, and once they have, you jut have to adapt. The weather is an example you’ll be familiar with if you live in Britain, or the seasons if you live anywhere on Earth. No matter how much you’re enjoying the long days of Summer, Autumn and Winter will follow and remind you that having daylight is something to be grateful for. (Speaking of daylight why is it now dim by 4pm and pitch black by 6?! I do understand that we have shorter days now but I don’t remember the darkness being this severe. What will happen in January, one hour of sunlight for lunch sandwiched between a pitch black journey to and from work?!?! Alas, I digress.) My point is that time, and all the joys/sorrows it has to bring, waits for no man. Whatever your sentiments, you have to get with the programme.

As I child I remember looking forward to the day things would change. The days I’d get to choose what I wore each day, free from the oppression of school uniform, the days I’d get to tell the chef what I wanted for dinner, instead of being forced to consume my 5 a day by a tag team of Jamie Oliver and my mother (if you’re reading this Jamie, I’m still not over you getting rid of the vending machines), the day I’d get swooped off my feet by Prince Charming and live happily ever after in my beautiful castle. 

You can probably tell that my views on growing up were somewhat idealistic. I remember turning 13 and feeling like I’d really developed into a big woman. I may have only been in year 8 but now I had become a teenager, I could now follow suit of all the teenagers before me, and rebel against ‘the man.’ LOL. My mum soon put me in my place about that- it was still her house, her rules, and my new found age wasn’t going to do anything to change that. Still, I looked forward to growing up and getting all of the freedom I knew came with old age. I ignored the people telling me to enjoy my youth, to enjoy life in the moment because one day things would get complicated, until one day, I started paying bills, and having to make the difficult decisions they had spoken about, and realised I had become one of them.

The future looses its ‘happily ever after’ Disney edge, when you realise the things you’ve dreamed of might remain out of reach, and the things you were looking forward to come with a caution sign. You leave university without the foggiest of what you’d like to do, let alone the 5 year plan they ask you to recite in interviews. You meet someone and fall in love, wondering if you dare have the audacity to believe you won’t follow in the divorce statistics and trends. You realise that believing in yourself doesn’t equate to getting everything you think you deserve. You wonder what you’ll actually have achieved by 30 and you question if life will ever stop feeling like a hard grind.

That can be the reality of growing up. Fairytale endings begin to fade along with the feeling that your opportunities are endless. The future is one big uncertainty so how are you supposed to look forward to it?

There is a constant.

Whether you believe in him or not, there is a God whose love for you doesn’t waver, whose help is ever- present in times of trouble, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If you’ve read my posts about the crazy year I had in 2014, you’ll know that in one summer the trajectory of my life, filled with a good degree and grad scheme went on a huge diversion, but it’s one year later and I’m still standing, thanks to one man. Jesus.

If you’ve lived for any length of time you’ll know that good things don’t always happen to good people, God doesn’t even say that loving him means that good things will always happen to you (no matter how much you put in the offering, and how many hours you spend on your knees in prayer.) God promises to be with you through the changes, hold your hands through the storms, never leave you nor forsake you.

For that reason, the future is bright. You have nothing to worry about when to live is Christ and to die is gain. You might still have to face weekday mornings with someone’s armpit in your face, and a boss you can’t stand, and and exams you wish you didn’t have to take, but you can find peace in the knowledge that God has a plan, and the one he has for you is good.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ 

Love you like a full English and a cup of tea

Xxx