I see how hard you work and how tired you are. I see how you sacrifice Friday nights to go and be a good influence to young boys who aren’t your own, how you offer your time to anyone and everyone who needs it, except yourself.
I see how you laugh and smile and how you look at me when you come in for a kiss. How you play with our children, without any inhibitions and so carefree, causing loud belly laughter I can hear from the other side of the house. I see how you love to make me happy; how it brings you joy to see my own.
I see how you lay your head on my shoulder when you’ve had a long tiring day, but you don’t complain. I do it on your behalf. How you dream about our future, how passionate you become about the life you want for us. I see how you encourage me when I am down and when I am having a hard day. How you put your hands under my chin and say, “Listen to me, it’s going to be fine”
At times, I see how you look at me when I’m feeling self-conscious and how you say to me, “You’re so beautiful”.
Sometimes I can even see myself through your eyes and I must say, that makes me smile.
Husband, I see how you love people. I see your kindness, how you share, how you give. How you care for those you love and how you respect those who can’t do anything for you. I see how you love to make others happy.
How you make people laugh with your easy going but sometimes corny jokes; I see how you enjoy seeing them smile and how you continue doing it without much effort. It simply comes naturally to you.
I see you when you play your guitar, how you lift your head to the heavens with your eyes closed and how your own melodies transport you to another place. I see how happy it makes you. I see how happy it makes others to hear you play and how you know just what to say with every song.
I also see how frustrated you get sometimes; how your body at times just gives in. I see how you lay your head on your pillow and sleep immediately, sometimes peacefully, other times fitfully. I see how you shed tears, how your feelings are written on your face and even though others can’t see it, I can. I see how you sometimes sigh and squeeze the top of your nose, shake your head and smile in pure frustration or even exhaustion.
I wasn’t ready to lose my mother when she died in 2020. I was 28 years old; still figuring things out, finding my feet, unbeknownst to her; hiding and finding comfort in her bosom. Even at the age of 28-years old, I was very much a child. Today at 30, in many respects, I still am.
God knew I was not ready to lose my mother. He knew and still knows that I needed correction, discipline, and sometimes those things only come through tragedy. God had other plans. He thrust me into this place where I find myself today, being shaped and molded and, at times, scolded by other strong women.
I’ve realised I took advantage of the role my mother had in my life. I fought her a lot; especially as I grew older. I was hardly ever willing to learn from her because as we know, young children and young adults ‘know everything’. A wall was built between us which, until the day she died, could not be penetrated. I think I will always live with thatregret.
So here I am now; finding myself in a place where I am being humbled through correction. Internally and externally. It’s a convicting feeling.
It’s painful to be honest. It forces you to break out of the mould you created for yourself with all the things you thought you knew. It brings you face-to-face with yourself and that is not necessarily a comfortable experience. In fact, it can be downright excruciating and frustrating. At times you find yourself biting your lip and digging in your nails, just so that you don’t scream out in agony.
No one wants to be told when they’re doing something wrong but we don’t always see that correction, if done right, is almost always done in love.
Help and correction won’t always come freely though. The hard part comes when you have to ask for it. When you have to admit that you need help, that’s when the walls really start to come down.
I have been battling with my season of correction; it’s been extremely frustrating at times. Other days, I take it on the chin, I humble myself and say thank you, I needed that. Other days, I roll my eyes and think to myself, ‘I already knew that’
Not only have I been receiving correction from people around me, God has also been working in me and with me. Reminding me when to hold my tongue, helping me to keep a lid on my complaints, opening my eyes to see people the way He sees them, teaching me to be patient, helping me understand that my journey is not that of my husband’s or my colleagues or anyone in my inner circle.
When I think about correction or being shown the error of your ways, I think of it in terms of when you know better, you do better. You change when you are corrected, you can decide to become better or refuse the change and stay the same. Its all about your attitude when you are in the process of receiving correction; you can stand back and roll your eyes and stay in your ‘I know this already’ mindset or you can pay attention, take notes and humble yourself to those who are trying to show you a better way or different way.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT CORRECTION
Here are a few verses from the Bible that speak on correction. There are many more but these are the ones that stood out for me.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Proverbs 12: 1
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.
Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.
For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
You might not see it now but when you look back in a couple of months or years; you’ll notice that you have better habits, you do things in a different way than before. You do better because you know better. It’s hard to see the finish line when you’re still in the early stages of the race but you need to know, the finish line is there.
That’s where I find myself now in life; being corrected, almost on a daily basis and its hard but I know sooner or later I will appreciate the correction. I will appreciate the molding and shaping because it has made me a better person.
I started this post of by speaking about my mother. Reason being that I wish I had been more open to my mother’s correction. I wish I had listened to her more, asked her more questions because now I realise I need her more than I ever thought I would. Now that I’m in this place of becoming, I need my mother and I need her to reassure me or guide me when I make a decision. I need her to make me laugh when I’m feeling frustrated or show me her feisty and fierce character when I feel uncertain. I needed her then and I need her now.
WHEN YOU’RE THE ONE DOING THE CORRECTING
Sometimes you will find yourself doing the correcting and I’d like you to think about the following when you’re in that position:
Correction come with patience just as learning comes with patience.
Correcting someone can’t be done with aggression. Not everyone responds well to being spoken down to; in fact I don’t think anyone does.
Correction can’t be done with arrogance; you as the person trying to teach another are also still learning in the process.
This month I celebrate my 30th birthday. The last 30 years seem to have gone by in a blur but there were some hard and necessary lessons learned. As I enter my 30s, allow me to share 30 things (out of the thousands) I’ve learned before turning 30-years-old. My 20’s were for learning. My 30s will be for putting what I’ve learned into practice.
1.Everything is a blessing from God if you choose to see it that way and if you can’t see it as a blessing, see it as a lesson.
Isaiah 43:1-3 Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
2. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache and frustration if you choose not to focus on what others think of you.
3. Time with family is more precious than money.
4. Its not just okay to live as your authentic self, its absolutely necessary.
5. Gratitude opens up the door to opportunities.
6. Comparison is just another form of ignorance.
7. Griefnever goes away. You simply learn to live with it.
8. Patience, persistence, preparation and prayer, these things will get through hard times.
9. Rest when you need to. You are no good to anyone when you are operating on fumes.
10. Inspiration is not something to be found. It’s something to be created.
11. To get through anything, you’ll need patience. You’ll find yourself waiting a lot. Waiting in queues, waiting for transport, waiting on people, waiting for signs and miracles. Work while you wait. (I wrote this part while waiting in a queue at a clothing store)
12. Always have a book with you. Whether its a reading book or a note book. You’ll either read something worth remembering or write something worth sharing.
13. No one will and no one should believe in your art more than you.
14. Prayer will guide you and conviction will save you.
15. You need to have honest conversations with yourself about who you are and who you want to be. You need to dig deep into your heart and that will hurt sometimes because you won’t always like what you find.
16. Marriage and love are beautiful thing things. Despite the fact that many people will make you think love is painful or marriage is pointless, once you find it and experience it at its purest essence, you’ll understand the beauty of it.
17. You children will never do what you say. They will do what you do. Make sure you do the right thing.
18. The world is full of bad things but there are even more beautiful things to be discovered.
19. Set goals for yourself, have a plan. Do not go through life rudderless.
20. Take care of your finances. Be smart about your savings and where and how you spend your money.
21. Mind your business but make it your business to care for others.
22. Read and study your bible. You’ll find all the answers you need.
23. It’s okay to ask for help. It does not mean you are weak.
24. Your mind can become a battlefield, you need to protect it at all costs.
25. Be grateful for the hard times. Grapes are pressed and crushed to create wine.
26. Change is scary but sometimes it takes a big change to move you into action.
27. Being kind doesn’t have to be a production. Sometimes its a sincere word, a hug or just a smile.
28. Not everyone is out to hurt you. Some people simply want to get to know you and love you. It’s okay to trust people.
29. Don’t make social media your life.Make time to live in the real world.
30. Love sincerely and wholeheartedly and never regret giving someone your heart, even when they break it.
“Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been” – David Bowie
Relationships are hard; we all know that and I’m sure sometimes it feels as if we’re failing at it. This goes for all types of relationships; family, friends, and romance, even professional relationships but this post is about love with a significant other; romantic love. If you don’t know, I am a romantic and I won’t say ‘hopeless romantic’ because I have hope in love. I believe love is one of the most if not the most powerful source of hope we have on this earth but when it comes to romantic relationships, love can hurt sometimes.
I’ve been blessed to be married to someone who teaches and challenges me every day and one thing I’ve learned in the time that we’ve been together, is that compromise is key. If you’re going to love someone, you have to love them completely and unreservedly, with all their kinks and coils. You have to choose them every single day. Being in a relationship is work, a lot of work andcommunicationshould be the foundation on which you build that relationship.
In 2020 I asked a few couples to share their secrets with me on what makes their relationshipswork and although all the couples are married, I believe the advice they offer can be used by couples in any stage of their relationship but its important to take note of if you are planning on marrying the person you’re with.
I updated the number of years they were married.
EQUALITY IN MARRIAGE
ANTOINETTE AND DENNIS ERASMUS MARRIED FOR 48 YEARS Lives in Cape Town, South Africa.
From the start of our marriage, we adopted the philosophy of equality in which husband and wife are equals, submittingto each other in reference unto God who is the head of our family. We both believe that God has given each one unique gifts for a purpose to live in harmony and to enjoy marriage. Each one’s gifts are for the benefit of the family and the community. Such a marriage creates a safe place for children to grow and develop to their full potential and again to live out their God-given gifts, and by doing so, we send them out as healthy adults.
LUCREZIA AND ALISTAIR FRAY MARRIED FOR 36 YEARS Lives in Midrand, South Africa.
We feel the following are our most important experiences for nurturing our relationship and making our marriage work: * Have respect for one another. * Constantly communicate. It allows us to express our feelings * Making time for each other eg. Have regular date nights * Understanding that marriage is about compromise * Being supportive of each other as marriage is an equal partnership A simple example is comparing a marriage to a garden. If we do not water the plants and take care of it, they will most likely die. It is the same with a marriage; we need to work at it to make it a success.
MAXINE AND CLAUDE PHEIFFER MARRIED FOR 20 YEARS Lives in Cape Town, South Africa
This is what works for us: * We put God first * Prioritise your time together * Marriage is a partnership; it’s not a 50/50 partnership but 100% from both partners * Have fun and take time to be silly and laugh together * Make sure your marriage is your safe space for one another * It also helps if you are best friends * Make time for romance and regular date nights * A little PDA also helps!
MARRIAGE IS SACRED
CANDICE AND PJ FLANAGAN MARRIED FOR 16 YEARS Lives in Midrand, South Africa
Our advice to young couples is to remember a few very important factors for a happy marriage;
* Be committed and faithful to your partner. Marriage is sacred and magical. Don’t destroy it with infidelity. * Love your partner unconditionally with every flaw and fault. Nothing can make them feel more special than knowing that they are loved for who they are. * Take time to listen to each other, whether it’s problems or just them telling you what they love and hate or had a bad day or a good day. * Compromise. Marriage is about two people, not one person. You can’t always have what you want. It works both ways. It’s not always about you. * Make time for each other. No matter how busy you are, always spend quality time together. Go to a movie or dinner or a favourite spot you like to hang out. * Be their strength and hero and let them know that they can count on you. People in this world will always let you down, hurt you, and disappoint you. Assure your partner that you will always be there for them, no matter what. * Put your partner first. They are special and important and should always come first. * Respect and trust. Treat each other with respect. Don’t degrade or say hurtful meaningless words or bring your partner down. * Be easy to forgive and forget. If your partner does something you don’t agree with, talk about it, work things out, and move forward. Don’t dwell on the past or keep reminding them about a past mistake. You cannot move forward in your marriage (or relationship) with unforgiveness. * Don’t compare your marriage to other couples. Every marriage (or relationship) is different, beautiful, wonderful, and special. Rather look at the strengths your marriage has and how great you are together. There will be problems. Marriage is not a bed of roses. Don’t take the easy way out and look for an exit. Talk about your problems. Voice your opinions, likes, dislikes, and work things out.
MAKE SURE TO HAVE FUN
ROZANNE MCKENZIE AND CHRIS BISHOP MARRIED FOR 10 YEARS Lives in Weltevreden Park, South Africa
What’s worked for us over the years is to both have similar values. Chris and I met in our 20s and we have grown together as a couple over the years. Family is so important to us, but it is also good for us as a couple to spend time together, just us. We laugh and we enjoy each other’s company but we also argue and talk things out when we don’t agree. Our relationship is a safe space where we can be open and honest.
LEARN YOUR PARTNER’S LOVE LANGUAGE
BRITTNEY AND DIDIER CHABOT MARRIED FOR 2 YEARS Lives in Saskatchewan, Canada
After 7 years of living together we can say with certainty that the best advice we could give is as follows: * Learn your partners love language- “ If your partner prefers words of affirmation or acts of service in lieu of gifts, you’ll not only save money but a lot of heartache over feeling unheard or unseen in your relationship. I prefer words of affirmation and he prefers acts of service. It took us a few years to figure it out but once we did, it was like a veil lifted and there was a whole new relationship under what we had previously built” -Brittney * Give each other space to be your own person — “Do things you enjoy together, but also pursue hobbies and interests in your own time. Relationships should be the coming together of two whole people” — Brittney * “She loves to hike and be outdoors while I much prefer to collect comics and play video games. She supports my gaming and befriended a few of my gamer buddies while I support her on her adventures by giving her the freedom to just go where her heart desires and we can both have new stories to tell each other and have downtime as individuals” — Didier * Never stop laughing- “ Oh it drives me insane when I’m gearing up for a fight and he cracks a dumb joke or makes a silly face and I forget what I was mad about! It obviously is not that important if he can derail me with one bad dad joke” — Brittney * Understand one another’s pasts but don’t use them against each other or use it to excuse away bad behaviours — “ His family communicated in a different way to mine and it caused a lot of friction for a few years in our own communication with one another until we both had a few discussions about what we needed and why/ how that need came to be. In doing so, we can now be empathetic towards each other and still hold one another accountable when we fall into bad patterns” — Brittney * If you do something wrong or say something in anger, ALWAYS apologise as soon as you recognize it — “ Brittney has a quick temper and she knows it. When she gets irritable and snaps at me or aggressively folds clothes or puts away dishes, she always makes the effort to stop what she’s doing and apologise and explain why she’s frustrated or upset. Sometimes it’s because of something I did but often it’s got nothing to do with me and it helps us avoid arguments “ — Didier
MARRIAGE IS WORK
If you’ve read through all of these tips and advice from the various couples, you’ll notice there are three key things to take away here. 1) COMPROMISE 2) COMMUNICATION 3) REMEMBERING THAT A MARRIAGE OR A RELATIONSHIP IS A PARTNERSHIP
Like I’ve said in the beginning of the post, this advice can work for any couple; whether you are married or if you are planning on getting married. If you have the intention of marrying your partner, sit down and talk to them and make sure you are both on the same page. Too many hearts have been broken because of conversations that were not spoken. In March, my husband and I will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary and I’ll forever be grateful to the people who offered their advice on this post.
Matthew 19:6: So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
This past December, my family and I took a road trip to East Londonin the Eastern Cape. I met my husband’s grandmother, and now my grandmother.
In the ten days I lived in her home, I saw and experienced raw strength.
She is the matriarch and a true one at that. Mama is my husband’s 81-year-old paternal grandmother. She is also as fierce and feisty as they come. For you to understand my admiration for Mama, you need to understand a bit of her life and her history.
Mama, as she is so affectionately known, lost both her husband and only daughter of five children, who was also the youngest sibling, within the space of 6 months more than 15 years ago. She ended up having to take care of her late daughter’s son, who was two years old at the time. He is now a well raised young man.
Through conversations I had with Mama during our stay at her home in Buffalo Flats, I was in awe of how she relayed stories of when her husband, Dada, died and then how she lost her daughter only six months later. When I listened to her speak, I could hear pain, sadness, loss but also acceptance. She made me realize that acceptance like that only comes from a very deep-rooted strength.
I also realized that she didn’t have a choice but to be strong. She took on the responsibility of raising her grandson like he was her own. I cannot fathom the sheer determination and willpower it had to take for her to get out of bed every morning and be there for her grandson, the rest of her children as well as other family members.
SHAPED BY EXPERIENCE
I watched her as she sat on her red lumpy but very comfortable sofa in her home, hunched over with all the experiences from her past trying to weigh her down but she gets up every day, determined to live her life and do her daily chores.
It was at one of these moments when it hit me; she wasn’t sitting on a couch but a throne.
Mama also very much reminded me of mymother who died in 2020. Both women have seen and have been through some of the worst pain you can imagine, both refusing to be dictated to by bad and negative circumstances and both set in their daily way of life.
During the time I spent with Mama, I learned that yes, we are shaped by our experiences but we can choose how to live out those experiences. We choose how to live, we choose whether we give up or go on. We choose to forgive.
There was a point where Mama said to me that she didn’t know if she could ever accept or get through what had happened to her but God had gotten her through it and she did manage to accept her fate.
She could have chosen to be angry and to turn away from God, which I’m sure there were many of those moments when those bad feelings overwhelmed her. She could have chosen to become a lifeless vessel of her former self but I can assure you, that woman still has a lot of life left in her.
Her relationship with God is so secure and I truly believe that that is her source of strength. Every morning she wakes up and reads devotionals and her Bible. I’ve decided to put that in practice as well.
LIVING WITH INTENTION
Every time Mama would tell a story and explain the difficult parts, she would say, “but it doesn’t really matter“
For me, that didn’t mean she gave up or lost hope or didn’t accept things. For me it meant that in the bigger picture, the grand plan of God for her life, her focusing on the past was not the point. It was what she got out of all her pain and loss. Thewisdom and understanding that her loss and pain was not for nothing.The way in whichshe imparted her wisdom and what she learned, to others around her.It was peace beyond all human understanding.It was knowing that love is sacrifice and that understanding comes from compassion.
Mama showed me that life demands of you to be intentional; intentional about your actions, your energy, your focus, your thoughts and emotions.
I learned patience and I saw accepting the things one cannot change, in action.
I loved sitting in her company, I loved watching the movie of her life play out as she told me stories and showed me old polaroid photographs.
In ten days, I lived a life of 40+ years through the eyes of a woman who lost everything, was forced down on her knees and found herself in the perfect position to pray for the strength and will to live to tell the tale.
I hope you learn to appreciate all your flaws and find the beauty in every scar, wrinkle, and folded skin.
I hope you learn to love your voice. I hope that you use it to change your world.
I hope you learn to forgive yourself for the mistakes you made and, I hope you let go of the burden of guilt.
I hope you find love in all the different relationships in your life.
I hope you chase your dreams and get the chance to watch them come to life.
I hope you share your stories and adventures and inspire others to do the same.
I hope you learn to be gentle with yourself and remember that bad decisions do not define you.
I hope you find the strength to fight through the bad times and come out the other side a stronger person.
I hope you remember to pray.
I hope you remember how beautiful you are.
I hope you laugh more.
I hope you play more.
I hope you find more.
I hope you always look for stars in the darkest of nights
and know that the sun will always rise in the morning.
I hope you start believing in love again.
Just believe it again.
I hope you can look back on the last season in your life and find the good
And I hope that you will always be grateful that you have made it this far.
I hope you know that your story is far from over and that the next blank page is waiting for you to create the life that you want.
I hope you know that you have the power to change your life and I hope you remember to never give that power away.
I hope you know that you can push boundaries and break barriers.
I hope that you know that you are never alone.
I hope that you witness great things and climb majestic mountains.
I hope that you find the courage to reach deep within yourself and do what makes you happy.
I hope you walk away from anything that no longer serves you and, I hope you walk away with your head held high.
I hope that you smile again and laugh with all the joy in your spirit.
I hope it’s so loud that the rest of the world can’t help but laugh with you.
I hope you remember that saying goodbye is not always a bad thing. I hope you know that the pain doesn’t last. I hope you know that love is plentiful. I hope you dance in the rain and roll in the mud. I hope you plant seeds instead of picking flowers. I hope you remember that having a bit of fun is good for you. I hope you hold warm hands and kiss soft lips. I hope you get the chance to look into loving eyes and fall asleep in a warm embrace. I hope you take care of yourself.
We all struggle withtemptation, and we all give in to sin. Luckily for us, God knows our hearts, and He knows what we need and when we need it. He also knows when to show us the way we need to go, and He gives us direction. I believe that is exactly what He did when He gave me this message that I share here.
Temptation within a marriage is not something that is uncommon and as part of the kingdom marriage series, I want to explore this idea.
The temptation will come at you looking like something beautiful and desirable. It will be something that looks good, makes you feel good. It will come across as someone speaking well, someone who sounds as if they have a lot of wisdom, and it will make sense to you at that moment
Think of Eve in the Garden of Eden. The serpent approached her and spoke to her in a way that she understood. It made her doubt that which God had instructed them not to do. The serpent painted God in a bad light, making it seem as if God didn’t want the best for them but in actual fact, the serpent was manipulating her.
That is what temptation does. It manipulates you and makes you doubt the truth. It makes you question what you already know is the truth.
GENESIS 3 VS 6
“The woman saw how beautifulthe tree was and how good its fruit would be to eat and she thought how wonderful it would be to become wise. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, and he also ate it”
When the door of temptation is opened, we allow others to become a part of it. For example, if you are marriedand you are tempted to cheat, you unknowingly invite that deception and temptation into your home and your marriage and this happens before you have even acted on the temptation. Your spouse also becomes tempted, a riff is caused between you and neither of you can understand where the trouble in your marriage is coming from. Temptation looks good and feels wonderful and makes you feel good. That is how the cracks are created within your life.
We need to learn to kill temptation before it seeps into our lives and affects the different facets of our lives.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT TEMPTATION
1 CORINTHIANS 7 VS 2-5
“Each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
What I take away from this verse is that it reaffirms that marriage is a 50/50 partnership between a man and a woman. It tells me that we take care of one another in every way so that we are not tempted by the world and by Satan in cheating on our spouses spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. We need to take care of each other in all facets of our relationship. That is my interpretation of the above verse.
1 CORINTHIANS 10 VS 13
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”
This verse says that the temptation will come but God will provide you with way to overcome it. God gave us free-will; we have the choice to give in to temptation or fight it. The power is already given to us but the choice still has to be made.
JAMES 4 VS 7
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
1 TIMOTHY 6 VS 11
“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”
The word ‘avoid’ literally means to keep away from something or to stop yourself from doing something. You can also interpret it as not putting yourself in a situation where you know that you will be tempted. Don’t go to that party, don’t have that conversation, don’t engage with that person. Avoid all these things if you know it will tempt you into unrighteousness.
MATTHEW 26 VS 41
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
This is why we fast, so that we can deny ourselves and our bodies of the things of the world. In this way, we make room for the Holy Spirit to take over. We make room for the Spirit of God in our lives. When we are tempted in any way, we should pray, keep watch, be aware of all the different types of temptations that can sneak into our lives.
2 PETER 2 VS 9
“And so the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trails.”
Simple; God knows how to help you, and He will help you; you only have to ask.
MORE ENCOURAGING SCRIPTURES
PSALM 25 VS 21
“May my goodness and honesty preserve me because I trust in you”
ROMANS 12 VS 21
“Do not let evil defeat you; instead conquer evil with good”
ROMANS 12 VS 2
“Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind, Then you will be able to know the will of God – what is good and is pleasing to Him and is perfect”
You don’t manage a team as if you’re the only person on the team. Whether you manage a huge corporation, church band or if you’re the captain of a sports team, or even the head waitress at a restaurant, all the same rules and principles apply.
You cannot run a business or a company withouthuman capital. If you have a team of five, everyone on that team should be valued.
Communication is key in any management situation.
You cannot exclude the “little guys” from big decisions. Truth be told, there are no ‘little guys’. You don’t have meetings and make decisions and apply changes with only those who hold fancy titles or with the people in your close circle when those same decisions affect so many other people.
When you start excluding people and start isolating them, you cut off the valuable insight that could grow your business or change your perspective.
That is the thing about being a good manager and a good leader; you need to be able to listen and you also need to be able to admit when you’re wrong.
Just because you are in a leadership position, does not mean you are always right.
Not providing a communicative platform for those who work for you, will be detrimental not only for your business and your team but also for your reputation.
I’ve seen many real-life examples of people who are meant to lead, take the people that they are leading, for granted.
In fact, I’ve been in that situation and it troubles me that it happens so often.
If you are not going to take care of the people who work for you, they will either leave the business, betray you (in extreme cases) or just refuse to deliver excellent work.
But can you imagine what the world would be like if we all pulled our resources and talents together and worked in an environment that was conducive to the ultimate productivity all of us possess?
Can you imagine what we could create?
If you are a leader, CEO, or supervisor of any team or business in any sort of context, even the head of your family, you need to realise that your ultimate capital are the people who work for you, the people you lead, the family you are taking care off and the people who surround you and look up to you.
Do not ignore the people who do not have fancy, high-level titles. Nurture them, speak to them, get to know them, and find out where their strength lie and how you can work together (keyword being “together) in order to use those strengths and talents to the advantage of everyone involved and to the success of your business.
Not everyone has the same personality; you have people who are more outspoken than others, and then you have people who are more sensitive than others or people who do not speak as much, which can make them more susceptible to hurt feelings when being criticised. As a leader, it is your responsibility to nurture and understand how the minds and personalities of those who work for you, work. Meaning, you need to get to know those who work for you.
LISTEN AND LEARN
People become more open to share and discuss ideas when they feel they are being listened to. Don’t immediately shut down ideas when they are being presented. It might not be exactly what you want or what you are looking for but simply dismissing someone’s idea or thoughts, is a recipe for disaster and in simple terms, it’s just rude.
Find creative ways to implement ideas from various people but try and make everyone feel involved. Find ways to help people open up more in a comfortable and safe environment.
Once you’ve established that environment, you’ll find that so many people start enjoying their work and confidence starts building within those very people and when someone has confidence, they become more eager to produce. Give people the space and freedom to believe in themselves.
Bitterness causes friction and favoritism amongst the team members which is a breeding ground for tension and eventual failure.
People want to feel valued. We want to feel and know that we matter and that we are contributing. If we don’t have that, we somehow end up doubting ourselves and question our purpose on this earth.
As a leader, you have the power to make that feeling a reality for so many people. Once you impact one person, it spreads. Before you know it, your legacy has grown and touched people you have never even met.
Use your power wisely and grow more responsible leaders.
I’ve always had this fear of confrontation. Speaking to people or addressing issues with people that bother me or put me in an uncomfortable position. I get nervous when I simply think about speaking my mind about certain things of which I have an opinion. I’m that person at the restaurant that will eat the wrong order that the waiter or waitress brings me. I am also a chronic over-apologiser or if you will, a knee-jerk apologist ; I constantly say sorry for things that certainly do not need an apology. Instead of saying ‘Excuse me, if I need to pass by someone, I would say, “I’m sorry”. I would rather write a long letter or text message, than confront you face-to-face.
At times I find myself apologizing for apologizing in the first place.
In an article byPsychology Today, it speaks about the different types of people who apologise. It also referred to a 2010 study that indicated women tend to apologise more than men.
“A 2010 study found that women apologize more than men. Women also self-report committing more offenses, or engaging in behavior that warranted apologies, than men. Do women simply misbehave more than men? Not exactly. The study found that men and women have markedly different thresholds of what constitutes an offense deserving an apology. Women have a lower threshold; men have a much higher one. In other words, women see more acts for which we must apologize than men do; we see more of the things we do as wrong, out of line, inappropriate, or hurtful. A man and woman may do exactly the same thing but regard it differently; she will see it as an offense that requires an apology and he may not.”
I get this uncomfortable feeling in my gut, like a knot when I think about confrontation. Even after I’ve said something or on the rare occasion that I do address an issue, it would sit with me for hours afterward and I would replay conversations or try and think what I could have said or done differently or maybe what I should not have said. I would have second-hand embarrassment for even doing it. Sometimes I find myself simply typing something on a Whatsapp group and instantly regretting it once I hit send.
I can’t tell you where this fear emanated from; there wasn’t a specific day or event when I decided that I will fear confrontation and I won’t tell you either that I am working on it. I guess I simply get used to certain settings even though I still get nervous or anxious, even when I know I’m not doing or saying anything wrong.
There have been situations where I have accepted an outcome when I knew it was wrong. In that situation, I did not retaliate or address the issue, even though it sat heavily on my heart.
I need to specify that the confrontation I am speaking about is not the aggressive / physically violent confrontation. Kathy Caprino in an article for Forbes writes the following:
I know it takes bravery to speak your mind and say what you think or feel. There have been times when I’ve been told that I let people walk all over me and maybe I can be labelled as a ‘people pleaser’ or even weak but I don’t see myself that way. I just want to save my fight for when it matters.
Sometimes people tend to get into verbal confrontations which end up going nowhere; you interact with people who love the sound of their own voice more than the actual topic at hand and more than they try to reach a reasonable conclusion based on facts. There are some people that you simply cannot win an argument with and at times, it’s not worth the breath that you waste on that confrontation or argument.
TIPS TO DEAL WITH CONFRONTATION
I’ve found some amazing references on positive or healthy confrontation. Here are some tips to get over the fear of confrontation in no particular order:
There are many other ways in which we can work through our fear of confrontation, but always try and determine if the situation calls for a confrontation or simply for a nod and a smile. It might save you a lot of unnecessary long-term conflict.
There is a saying I love that goes;
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt”
Sometimes it is better to be silent and other times it’s best to speak up; we just need to know when is the right time for which action.
I find myself beingterribly emotionallately, I’m always choking on tears and having to look away when I’m in a public space. I’m both sad and happy. Both grieving and celebrating. Both fearful and brave.
Everything that has happened over the last year and 8 months is indescribable I’m still sad that we lost our mom and I relive that sadness every time I hear or read about someone elsedyingor someone else losing a loved one.
I cry for everyone who is hurting and I cry for everyone who has survived. I cry for everyone who don’t know which direction to turn and who feel as if the world is just dark.
It’s as if the sadness has latched on to me but then I experience joy and peace and happiness, I feel hope and I feel as if I can conquer anything.
‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, he rescues those whose spirits are crushed’ – Psalm 34 vs 18
There is something greater at work in the world. We may not understand it and maybe it’s best if we don’t. It’s already enough that we experience these things, can you imagine being able to dissect the intricacies of God’s plan. Our minds would probably literally be blown.
I’ve also been experiencing a great sense of gratitude. I realise how blessed I am and how full my life is. I do not take it for granted. I love my family so much, seeing my kids happy and seeing my husband happy brings me so much joy. Sometimes it feels as if I can’t handle it and that too, makes me cry.
Maybe this is just a season of feeling. Understanding that we are all vulnerable and that we are all afraid sometimes and that we all have something or someone to lose. It’s a season of cleansing, cleaning out the cobwebs of our life. Taking stock of what’s important.
Yes, it hurts. Its painful to carry on when you’ve born the brunt of so much loss. Sometimes, it can make you feel guilty. I’ve experienced that. Feeling guilty for being happy when so many others are suffering. Your happiness shouldn’t be a source of personal guilt. It should be a light in the dark to those who can’t see the way.