Tag Archives: joy

The Book That Got Me Motivated: ‘You Can Get Through This’ by Anthony Lyrics

  

This month Joy and I are reading ‘You Can Get Through This’ by Anthony Lyrics and have decided to share the poetry love and give you a sneak peak of the pros that have got us feeling like mountains are there to be conquered. Reading this collection of poems brought my thoughts to a mantra that my youth pastor used to say: Garbage in garbage out. When we are in church and spending time with God we feed our spirits with a spiritual meal but what of the other 23 hours of every day? If the rest of our time is filled with trashy TV and sin-inspired music it’s no wonder we don’t always think the most ‘Christian‘ of thoughts. We have control over what we feed our souls and its so important to analyse what exactly we are filling them with. If we’re only feasting on profanity it will be an uphill struggle to overcome the daily temptation to give up on becoming all God has called us to be. This book is the encouragement you need when you’re depressed on the tube on the way into work, and is a great read before bed when you’ve been rained on with the woes of the day.

Here’s 5 things I’ve learned:

1. The road to success has never been straightforward 

‘While travelling towards success, expect struggle and stress’ 

I think we are all distantly aware that everything isn’t just going to magically fall into place as we chase our dreams, but most of us are shocked by the brutal difficulty getting to where we want to be can be. Anthony highlights that we need to expect the struggles and in that we’ll be more determined when the lows keep getting lower. Someone once said the richest place is the graveyard because people die with their dreams. There has to come a time when we decide that we will live out our most wildest of dreams, because what is the alternative? Will you die with your dreams because it all turned out to be harder than you imagined it would be? I’m determined not to.

2. We are all travelling at different speeds to different destinations 

The biggest distraction known to man is the one caused by watching other people live their lives. We get results back from exams and all we want to do is find out how the rest of the class scored. We finish university and the race to be not be the last one without a job begins. Then, once you have a job the salary competition is offset by how many hours you have to spend at your desk each day. We don’t just want a life we enjoy, but one that fares well in comparison to the lives of those surrounding us. We have to accept that we are all hurling towards are destinies at different speeds on different trajectories and there is nothing wrong with that.

‘Patience will prove hard to master watching others in your lane go faster’ 

Like real athletes we’ve got to focus on the finish line, because every glance to check out the competition is just a delay.

3. Things might not be falling into place but…

‘One day it will all make sense’.

That is just something you have to accept. 

“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 ‭

If the answer to you loving God is yes then the worried question you keep replaying in your head that questions whether God has things under control, is also yes. 

It’s as simple as that.

4. No-one can be you like you can 

Most people think they are unique in some way but daring to be different in a world that encourages uniformity, takes courage. It’s easy to see how other people have made it and try to model ourselves according to their winning attributes, only to get frustrated that it’s not bringing the same kind of success. That is where we’re going wrong. In changing to be like everyone else you are robbing yourself of your own winning attribute. We are used to hearing motivational messages about ‘loving the skin you’re in’ and accepting what we see in the mirror, but we fail to preach with the same conviction about loving your personality. Your view on the world and how you choose to move through it, adds the colour we crave to a world that has become grey with the blandness of uniformity.

5. Perspective is everything 

Realism doesn’t have to be pessimism. If your glass has been half empty for too long it’s time to decide to look at it differently or pour some more water into the glass. Anthony writes a poem that has two completely different meanings depending on which way you read it and I was inspired to see that the first way of looking at something is not necessarily the best way. We can put a positive spin on a desperate situation just by looking at it differently. More often than not we see things through earthly eyes which stops us from seeing the Godly vision God has for whatever it is we are going through.

Anthony brings creativity to the subject that is getting forgotten- loving yourself, not because of what you have, and not holding back because of what you don’t. Pick up an online copy today! You can get one Here!

Love lots,

Dani

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

What 2014 Gave Me

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I used to love sitting in English classes growing up, and learning what all the different literary terms meant. Does that make me kind of neeky? Who cares ?! If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you’ll know that I’ve come to be at one with the neekiness I exude. Anyway, back to my point, as any true literary neek, I had a few favourites (yes words, I’m not a ashamed to say that I have favourite words) that made me feel super smart just knowing. I’d get a bonus warm fuzzy feeling inside if I could identify them in people’s writing, and then I really hit the jackpot when I managed to use them in mine. I’m sort of drifting off and making this post about my love for English but I promise that it eventually becomes about what 2014 gave me. I would say my top 3 were onomatopoeia, just being able to spell it was a triumph in itself, all the different types of alliteration, and the coolest one of all…oxymoron.

Using moron in a serious piece of work was quite comical but once you get passed the immaturity of a year 7 (is that when you learn these words or have I just revealed the immaturity I tried to suppress?) you realise that oxymorons are just pretty cool all by themselves. How can you be describing a situation or an object as being polar opposite things at the same time and that be the perfect description? The wonder will never leave me on that one, I don’t even think I truly captured just how accurate oxymorons could be until I lived out 2014, which I can only describe as the most famous oxymoron of all time: bittersweet.

I’ll start with the bitter, but I have two disclaimers

1) I have never been a woe is me kind of person and 2014 did not turn me into one

2) This isn’t meant to sound like a moan, it’s merely part of the synopsis of my year.

I think back to who I was at the beginning of this year and the girl that stares back at me in the mirror is not the same. Partly because she’s gained a stone but anyway, new year-new me-better food choices-intense gym workouts… I digress. The girl that started 2014 was confident in her abilities, pretty much had a 5 year plan in place, and was for the first time enjoying university. I had a conditional graduate job in the pipeline, was finally on track to getting those grades that the conditions depended on, and I felt like I’d finally let Jesus sit in the front seat of my life. Then March came and housing issues were forcing me to make decisions that I didn’t want to make.

Every turn seemed scary or selfish and the stability I stood on slipped away from underneath me with a single rose letter. The next blow came a few months later and in the summer the punches came fast and forceful. Grades weren’t met, job offer was revoked and rent and bills reached out their hands while I had nothing in my pockets to fill them with. 2014 was painful, some days I smiled through it and others left me weepy, with my time with Jesus giving me the morsel of joy I used to get through the day. This year there were points when I didn’t think things could get any worse, but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt about God, he will turn your situation around in a matter of moments.

The sweet came in the latter half of the year, just in the nick of time. I apologise in advance for the vomit you may feel as you read this paragraph. Four days after I found out that I hadn’t achieved the grades I’d been praying for and I could only hold my breath as life hung in the balance, I met the guy that became my best friend and my boyfriend all in the next month. Whirlwind romance much?! Waiting for a job and wondering how I would afford to live was coupled with falling in love and wondering how I could be so lucky. There’s a paradox if there ever was one. The good times kept on rolling, when a few weeks later I got a job that would pay me enough of a salary before rent was due. It hasn’t all been hugs and butterflies but the job I started in September taught me so much about what I’d like to do with myself, I can only chuckle at the career plan I started the year with.

So there you have it, the good, the bad, and at points the very ugly. Despite how bad it got, I’m so glad for the things I get to walk into 2015 gaining.

Resilience

But those who wait for the Lord ‘s help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired. Isaiah 40:31

Patience

A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Hope

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

A fresh perspective

Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but he was born blind so that the acts of God may be revealed through what happens to him. John 9:3

Sometimes crappy things happen, the going gets tough and we search for God in the midst of our madness. I know it’s corny but it’s true when they say that without a test you won’t have a testimony. This year I learnt that we live to bring glory to God. It might not be fun, and sometimes it might be we well and truly painful, but the whole essence of our beings has a purpose rooted in bringing God the glory. I just wanna give a shalla to the people that were there for me this year, the friends that gave me a shoulder to cry on, the boyf that gave me his hand to hold, the God that promised this year wouldn’t defeat me. I love you all and I’m so grateful for the gifts that 2014 gave me.

Happy New Year in advance

Dani xxxxx

Why I Started Taking Happy Pills

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I could have a rant, let me take that back, I WANT to have a rant. I want to let the whole world no the root of my dissatisfaction and kick up a fuss about how fed up I am but that would be a futile expedition.

Today I made a decision. I decided to refrain from complaining forever for at least the foreseeable future. To not raise my voice when people frustrate me, to not moan about the things I cannot change and to start appreciating the things I can.

Today I ended a long term relation with my snazzy boyfriend Worry and decided to begin a new relationship with his hotter brother Fearlessness.

I will not be afraid of an uncertain future.

I will not be afraid of tricky situations.

I will not be afraid of making the wrong decision.

I will not be afraid that everything could go wrong.

I will fear no evil, because God is with me.

Paul (from the Bible) is pretty much, my hero, I imagine him really aloof and yet super serious all at the same time. The kind of guy you meet and want to be his friend whilst wanting to pick his brain and learn everything he has to offer. Today he shared (I picked up by Bible and read) another of his pearls of wisdom and let his words sink in.

I have experienced times of need and times of abundance. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing. Philippians 4:12

The fact that some days we will have to slum it is sometimes enough to make us question God and what he has for us. You haven’t suddenly become a better Christian because you now have food on your plate or clothes on your back. You haven’t suddenly become a sinner because you’ve lost everything you thought you had. This scripture basically says: “sometimes life is crap, I’ve found the secret to not letting the pitfalls keep me down in the dumps.” When someone tells you they have a secret , even when you’re not close to them , the mere fact that there’s hidden information, makes you anxious to discover what it could be. We’ll hang on to your seats folks, I too have found the secret to hanging on through the think and thin and lumpy and disastrous and traumatic and hopeless.

Are you ready for it?


A spoonful of Christ, helps whatever medicine the world is chucking you, go down.

I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me. Philippians 4:1

The reason that every twist and turn in my journey was knocking all the wind out of me and causing me to drag my feet was my refusal to fill up on Christ before embarking on the road ahead. I had forgotten that my strength comes from Christ and that with that strength there was nothing I couldn’t do. Who goes for a drive and expects to get anywhere far without filling up their tank. The car may be able to coast when the road is a downward slope but the minute a hill comes along the driver will soon realise that they’ve been running on empty.

I forgot that God wouldn’t put more on me than I could bear, I forgot that greater is God that’s in me than he that’s in the world, I forgot who I was in Christ and exchanged faith in the God that knows all for fear of the unknown.

So what am I saying? Spending quality time with God is more than an activity you can cross off of your to do list, it’s the necessary fuel you need for the road ahead.

Better to take a daily dosage of the word of God (a tastier happy pill) than to feel like your world is crashing down amidst every storm.

New motive: don’t worry, be happy

Love you,

Dani xx

Have You Ever Been Drunk In Love?

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EVERYBODY PAUSE! No, I do not want to know about activities that wouldn’t make it into a PG film.  Firstly, that would be awkward! Secondly, what you do in the comfort of your home with your spouse isn’t my business. Thirdly…EW!!!!

I shall re-phrase: Have you ever been so deeply in love, with a person of the opposite sex, that you think a small part of the reason your heart beats, is so you can be with them? Ok, maybe that’s too much, but you get the idea.  I’m not talking about the butterflies you get when good looking people cross your path. I don’t  mean the joy that washes over you when you realise that you’ve clicked with someone, and it could potentially turn into something that makes all the people who aren’t in relationships, (I’m a permanent member of this club), want to find ‘their other half’.

“Ever been in love?” Well, I for one can answer no. We don’t have enough time to talk about my boy issues (in a nutshell I’m awkward and probably have a slight complex). Pretty certain I’m not in this club alone. I’m even going to hedge a bet that most people reading will have answered no. (Congrats for all you who answered ‘yes’, if you still are in love, I hope it’s a long happy relationship that turns into marriage and produces beautiful babies). For those of who you answered no, just humour me while I briefly live out my dream of becoming a psychologist for the day. I’d like you to take a moment to ponder: ‘How do you feel about that?

I’ll go first.

Up until this year I was scared. Not scared enough to start joining Christian dating sites advertised on the tube (let me know if that works, anyone who’s tried). I was so mildly scared I didn’t even realise the fear. But it was there.Constantly. Since I first learned what marriage meant I’ve  had this niggling question that rears its head every now and again and gives me a fright:

What if I NEVER get married?

Growing up in a land where “I can’t believe your single” is woven in amongst the variety of chat up lines that don’t deserve reactions, eventually you start to wonder…

‘Why AM I single?’

‘Am I SUPPOSED to be in a relationship?’

There’s only so long you can blame singleness on the lack of viable male candidates, before you start questioning your part to play in the issue.

I should probably say now that by the end of this post, you will not have gained a magic tip to securing the spouse. Sorry! What I want to address is the constant desire to be in a relationship. Before you start hurling scriptures at me I’m one step ahead of ya!

He that finds a wife, finds what is good and receives favour from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22

Despite contrary belief, this scripture justifies wanting to meet someone and do the whole love thing, it however, in NO way ,justifies an insatiable desire to have a ring put on it, at all costs. The Bible speaks of a plethora of blessings and great things that we should claim i.e wisdom, peace, provision. Why is it that we’ve placed such a high value on tying the knot that it consumes our thoughts and we won’t feel fulfilled if we stay single?

Disclaimer: I haven’t become so bitter about being alone that I want everyone to live a life of singledom and ready meals for one.

All I  want is for you to think about why it is, that you want the things you desire? My fear came from a place of wanting to be taken care of. Not in a gold-digger-esque fashion. I just wanted to be looked after, and made to feel special. I imagine it’s nice knowing that someone loves you.

Everything changed this year when I realised that I was scared about not getting married because I didn’t think there was any other way I could have these experiences.

Being taken care of, feeling special, knowing that I’m loved, didn’t seem quite within my reach if not attached to a six-footed, blessed with good teeth, man. Suddenly the penny dropped. I want all these things, but I have God. I lift my hands on a Sunday and open my mouth to sing that Christ is enough for me and yet do I really believe it?

I’ll admit, I do look forward to one day jumping on-board #Team Married, but that desire has stopped coming from a place of NEEDING completion. If I never get married then so what? (No babies, no white dress, but so?) I always tell God, if I’m never rich that’s ok. If I never get to work in my dream job, that’s ok. As long as I have you Lord, I am more than ok. If Christ is enough for you, you won’t need a mere human to feel loved and special and whole.

You will never be that person left on the shelf, because Christ chose you first. He loved you first and died for you before you could even say I love you too.

I might never get wed, but I’ll have lived having the best relationship known to mankind.

Love lots

(permanently sober) Dani X