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

Seriously, Specifically and Strategically Shifting Focus.

I’m back!! Sorry I took some time away..I was at a crossroads in my life (‘Crossroads’, I’m so dramatic) and I needed time away to reflect and regroup! I won’t call my ‘time away’ a sabbatical because I was still writing however alot of the pieces I wrote came from a place of anger and hurt and would require a lot of editing before I post them, I ever do…. I guess you’re all wondering what I was going through…..well it was mostly centred around my relationship with God and my faith.

During February and March I felt angry with God, I felt as though He wasn’t fulfilling the promises He had made to me. I felt that God was moving slowly and generally felt abandoned by Him. Due to all these feelings I did what Mabs does best! I dis-attached myself from Him and everything that concerned him. I stopped going to church and I realised that I started questioning and critiquing everything concerning Him and church. My focus shifted from Him (God) to things I don’t like about church and institutionalised religion. I found myself focusing on all the negatives and blaming others rather than trying to figure out how I could be the change that I wanted to see in church.

Then I started reading Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious Specific and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer. That’s when my perspective changed….okay let me be honest…my perspective is changing….

The book is split into ten strategies she believes that our prayer life should focus on and encourages us to write down strategic prayers after every strategy. I’ve found that having to write down my prayer points works for me and it has been very, very helpful because it  focuses my prayers on specific areas in my life.

In the book Ms Shirer speaks about the relationship we have with the devil…actually his obsession with us and how he would do anything to steal our joy and shift our focus from what’s really important. She explains that the devil’s main aim is to steal our passion and shift our focus away from God which in turn leaves us questioning God’s love for us. WOW! WOW! WOW! What a revelation!! That statement hit me like a tonne of bricks! In my head I equated my relationship with God with that of my relationship with my husband and therefore pictured the devil as a side-chick.

(In a Wendy Williams voice)…In my head….My husband and I are living happily, having fun, going on holiday, doing what married people do and we’re falling deeper in love and our union is getting stronger. Then along comes Buki with the good hair (sorry to all Buki’s out there), the big booty and big breasts who has been observing my relationship with my husband and insists that she too wants a slice of the yellow Nigerian pie; what do you think her first mission is going to be? Yeap that’s right! She’s going to make my husband believe that she is the best thing since fried plantain and that whatever she has to offer it will be a lot better than whatever I was giving him (shifting his focus). Buki, will also try and encourage my husband to invest in her and whatever else she wants to persevere in (stealing his passion, which was once me and his family). Buki, would do all these things in different ways she doesn’t necessarily have to sleep with him, she could just be sowing little seeds of doubt in his head by making him focus on all my negative points and encouraging him to forget my positives. I, on the other hand, will still be loving up on him and doing everything I am supposed to be doing for him as a wife (Just like God does for us). In my head my relationship with my husband has never changed because I (the wife ) have never changed because I chose to love my husband unconditionally (the way God loves us).

Once I played that scenario out in my head (Nollywood style) I started to think about the spirit behind my actions and the actions of others and that in relation to God. God will forever be God, He doesn’t change, He never has or never will! God will be the same whether we worshipped in big lavish buildings in the middle of a buzzing city  or in a hut in the middle of a village in Africa! However the spirit of the devil makes us lose sight of God’s never ending love for us. I lost sight of God’s never ending love for me. I let Buki with the good hair, big booty and breasts sow seeds of doubt and despair in my head. Now I cannot put all the blame on Buki, I have to take some responsibility also. I made myself available mentally. I wasn’t prayerful enough, I allowed the physical actions of others to determine my spiritual being therefore leaving a gap for Buki to come in and play her part.

So “gurl bye” to the Buki with the good hair, big booty and big breasts! Your services are no longer needed and wanted here because me, myself and I are seriously working towards specifically and strategically shifting focus from the things that do not matter to the things that DO matter. Those things are firstly my relationship with God, my family and friends, my career and my Men for Mentoring scheme!

I’m back with a VENGEANCE!!

I cannot recommend the book enough! I suggest you grab one asap!! It definitely puts a lot into perspective. Here is the link to the book:

As always

Be Happy, Be Bright, Be You!

Love Mabs x