5 days of Reflection: Day 1 Obedience

365 days have passed and it’s that time again.. my 5 days of reflection…Day 1..

Ahhh Obedience…is a word/ concept I struggle with! A born rebel! I have been rebellious for as long as I can remember. I’m not the typical social rebel, I’ll like to call myself a covert rebel. I bend rules slightly and if I don’t believe in the ideology then count me out. Hard headed stubborn Stacy is who I am, not even Jesus himself will get me to do something I don’t want to do. For example, my church holds a monthly bible study on the third Saturday of every month from 10am to 2pm and I have never been because Saturday’s are mine. Yes you read right MINE. Saturday’s are for me, Tolu and Isaiah. Church already takes the majority of my Sundays so why must they demand that they should have my Saturday’s too?

I spent the best part of this year really unhappy in church and my overall walk with God. I wanted something different, something unique, basically I was tired with ‘business as usual’. I remeber crying at an all female cell group I’m a part of ‘I want something different! I’m tired of business as usual’. Then God said ‘Mabinty it will only change when you change. Listen when I speak. Be Obedient’. As always I ignored this message. Then I went on a women’s retreat in October, the book we studied was Ruth. The message I heard again was Obedience- Ruth was obedient, she obeyed Naomi and God. She married Boaz and became a part of God’s ultimate plan…because she obeyed.

So November 5th came, in church and there was an altar call. I ignored it. Then the pastor called again about giving your life to God, I ignored it- I mean come on God, I did this back in 2010! Then He said, ‘Obedience you know what you have to do’. So I went up. The pastor prayed and I re-dedicated my life to God.

Now I know this journey is not going to be easy but…I want to be the change I want to see and it needs to start with being obedient. Listening and actively seeking God in everything. I’m going to start with attending LIFE Academy. My 2nd Saturdays of every month are dedicated to that. I will also attend the monthly prayer meetings amongst other meetings that will help me get closer to God.

So in 2017 I was a rebellious mess! Listening to all the white noise around me which as a result shifted my focus away from God.

In 2018, I’m obediently seeking HIM in everything I do. Cancelling out the white noise and making HIM the centre.

As Always,

Be Happy, Be Bright, Be You.

Love Mabs xx

Dear Future Me….

It’s my birthday (well it was on Saturday)!! Yaayyy!! Finally 29! You wouldn’t believe that now I am finally turning 29 all my friends have either turned 30 or are about to turn 30! So you can only understand my excitement!

I love birthdays! I always have. I think I love the idea of having all the people I love together in one room, eating, drinking, dancing and just enjoying life. Thinking about it, I would like my funeral to be one big party, with lots of food, drink and dancing. I would love for everyone to come in the colour purple or gold or both or wear African cloth. Just a burst of colour! I wouldn’t want flowers I would just like for everyone to donate to my favourite charities like Shelter, Plan UK and Men4Mentoring!

Anywhoo I digress…back to my birthday… I love them. Every year I try and celebrate. It just so happens that my husband is two days older than me so this time of the year is always very special to me/us. Although I love to celebrate and live life to the fullest from the 24th day through to the 26th day of the eighth month, I also take time out to reflect on the past year of my life and try and make some positive changes to improve my spiritual, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Last year I was terribly depressed on my birthday, I didn’t even want to get out of bed. I think I got up about 3pm in the afternoon. I was in a mood. I was disappointed. I was angry. I was resentful. I was not myself. I remember crying most of the day. Why? Well it’s a long story one that requires another blogpost, when the wounds of my past have fully healed. So this year I was dreading my birthday. I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. However this year I had to tell myself that I wasn’t going to let things or people affect my mood. I was not going to dwell on the things I could not control. The dark cloud called misery was not going to affect my life. Dwelling Dawn was leaving for good and Hopeful Holly was coming to stay. So after sieving through all my emotions and listening to ‘Dear Future Me’ by James Fortune and Fiya I sat down to pen a letter to my future self:

Dear Future Me,

Firstly well done for getting this far! At times I’m sure the road seemed rocky, at times I’m certain that you just wanted to give up! All I can say is well done for sticking through this complex, emotionally draining thing called life. You have made it to this day and you will make it to tomorrow and the next day by His Grace!

Now to the nitty gritty; Stop worrying about things that you cannot change. Your worrying will not make a positive impact to your situation instead it will only increase your anxiety and question your faith. Remember it will ALWAYS work out in the end. Trust in God and trust in you! You’ve made it up until this point haven’t you? Certain things will be out of your control….so simply let go and let God.

Focus on yourself, Isaiah, his brother and sister and Tolu. I guess I am trying to say in the most polite way ever is BE SELFISH! Always remember “I Before Others”! Stop going out of your way for people but instead go out of your way for yourself and your boys and little girl! What I have realised is that no matter how much you love people and make sacrifices for them, they will not always make the same sacrifices for you and that’s okay. Just remember do not break your back for people that cannot even bend backwards for you. Remember to say NO when you are not comfortable with something. Think about yourself first before you say yes. Saying ‘No’ does not mean you do not care! It just means that you cannot at that particular time.

I guess this leads me to my next point; do not dwell on the past or the past hurt that you have experienced in the hands of others. Life is too short. Think about it, did you ever imagine that you would be sat where you are currently reading a letter from a younger version of yourself? No. I didn’t think you did. So that illustrates that time moves forward. So should you. You have spent many years covering up the emotional scars of your past….embrace them and leave them where they should be…in the past. Don’t waste your precious short time on this Earth dwelling on things or people you cannot change.

Believe in yourself! You have so much potential, do not let the opinions of others (including family and friends) deter you from this mind-set. You have achieved so much in your life so far, think about how much more you could have achieved if you caught this revelation in your youth. Do not waste any more time! You can and you WILL! Whenever that procrastination spirit wants to get hold of you remember, “The secret to getting ahead is to get started”.

Live in every moment! I trust you will be able to do this because you love to have a good time. Life is about living. Go and see the world, Climb Mountains, run marathons! Live a life that’s worthy. Think of all the stories you’ll pass down to your grandchildren.

Finally always choose Joy. It’s the best armour against misery and the devil and your haters! Trust me it’s worked this far!

After writing my letter, I can now say I am E to the X CITED! To step into my last year of my twenties what has been the most emotional, most challenging, most revealing nine years of my life. However the nine years also gave me the greatest joys of all. They saw me from a Miss into a Mrs when I married Caramel Latte (yes I love a latte) man and obviously the nine years in which I achieved my biggest accomplishment of all…my big eyed, big smile, energetic, mini me! My Isaiah.

So yes… the storms have come but they’ve also gone…the sun is shining!! I cannot wait to shine into and in my 30s because I am on the path to being able to see clearly again.

Why don’t you give it a go! Write your own ‘Dear Future Me’ letter. What would like to tell an older version of yourself? What lessons have you learnt? Let’s start the #dearfuturemechallenge. Trust me it’ll be the most therapeutic thing you have ever done! I’ll leave you with a snippet of the song ‘Dear Future Me’.

As Always,

Be Happy, Be Bright, Be YOU!

Love Mabs xx

People Lie, Actions Don’t..

Last year whilst watching Jessie Williams’ BET acceptance speech I decided that enough was enough! I was tired of being tired of inequality in all forms! I was tired of Black men being killed in America for no apparent reason, I was tired of people living their lives and being killed just for doing that! I was tired of the social class stratification inequalities, I was tired of society as a whole! That night I stayed up (until very late) and literally cried whilst trying to articulate my social frustrations to my husband! I was angry! I was angry with society but most importantly I was angry with myself. I was angry with me because I felt that I could do more!

As a child, I admired people like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Diana Princess of Wales, Mother Theresa and the list goes on. I admired these icons because despite all the challenges that they were faced with; they stood and acted on what they believed in. I can hear you say ‘Gosh, give yourself a break! You alone cannot change society!’ Yes you’re right, I alone cannot change all of society but I can do something to make a difference to it. I feel as though I can’t be waiting around for someone to bring about the change I want to see in the community I’m apart of or the change I want in society! So I Mabinty Esho declare that I am ready to make steps towards making a difference to three aspects of society…I’m not yet going to share how I plan on doing this until I have actually done something! However I will share with you what social change I want to see….

Homelessness

I have been passionate about homelessness since 2011/2012 when I worked for the charity Shelter and volunteered for my local Foodbank. Whilst working for Shelter I came across a lot of vulnerable people who were homeless, some were on the streets and others were in limbo whereby they had been placed in temporary housing. It was definitely a shock to the system when I found out the amount of people who were homeless due to no fault of their own. It was very different to how the media portrayed homelessness. I met many people who had mental health issues, PTSD  (post-traumatic stress disorder). To be honest it made me angry because as a so-called first world country why do we not have enough housing, especially for the most vulnerable? Furthermore we need to get these people back to work and staying in work! It’s literally that simple! More support with finances, more mental health facilities, more centres (not job centres because they treat anyone who’s unemployed like scum..I’ve had bad experiences) to assist in confidence building, CV writing, Interview training etc. As a country we need to step up and place people, families into homes…it’s a basic necessity not a luxury.

The Elderly

The elderly is something that’s just as close to my heart as homelessness. I feel that we as a society need to look after our elderly better. If the norm is to put them in care homes then those care homes need to be regulated better. That means in my opinion, better pay for the carers and nurses, better staff training, employment of more staff which in result will mean less working hours. I truly believe that a happy team equates to a happy work environment and will therefore mean great quality of care. Having worked in two elderly care homes I’ve seen how it’s been done well and unfortunately how it’s been done badly. We also need to bridge the generational gap between the old and the young. We can do this by getting more young people into care homes, reading to the elderly, playing games with them or quite simply just being a listening ear. It’s that simple..the elderly just want company and care. Like the rest of us, they too just want to feel as though they belong. Especially in a society that has changed so dramatically from when they were youths. In all sincerity wouldn’t you want to feel apart of a society that may often exclude you?

Disadvantaged Boys

This is my priority focus! At first I wanted to focus solely on Black boys and trying to get rid of that social stigma surrounding them. However after working at my current job  (Yes I’ve had many jobs) I’ve now realised that such struggles are not exclusive to only black boys but rather boys from lone parent and low socio-economic backgrounds. The boys who fall under these categories generally ‘play up’ at school, are not academically driven, have low self esteem and may end up breaking the law which inevitably will lead to them ending up in jail hence becoming another societal statistic. I guess I am extremely passionate about this topic because it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that needs to be broken. I am tired of seeing young men either die or end up in prison. It’s time for us to step up and show up! These are the next generation of leaders, the next generation of husbands..the next generation of fathers! Let’s not let situations that were out of their hands determine their future! Let’s be the generation that breaks that cycle…

If you are passionate about this topic and you are a male, came from a low socio-economic background and/or lone parent family, are now in full time employment and/or own a business…Please leave a comment showing your interest.

What are you passionate about? What social change do you want to see? What are you planning to do about it? Leave a comment and let me know!

Let’s get the conversation started.

As always…

Be Happy, Be Bright, Be You!

Love Mabs xx