If you believe that you are working and walking in the will of God and if you believe that everything you are doing and experiencing is part of a bigger God-ordained plan for your life, then you must know that nothing is by chance. Everything you’re doing and experiencing; the ladders you are climbing and the opportunities that are coming your way and every door that you walk through, every meeting you attend, every person you meet, every place where you find yourself, it is all part of God’s will and purpose for your life. Nothing is a coincidence. Nothing is by chance. Everything is anointed and should be treated as such. If that is truly what you believe and what you know, then you should take nothing for granted. You should set your mind on things above. You should treat every meeting, every person you come in contact with, every opportunity, and every level of access you acquire as if it is coming directly from above. Directly from God. Because again, if you’re tapped into the vision God has given you and the messages from God, it most likely will come to pass and you need to make sure that you are always prepared. For this reason, you always need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. You always need to remember what the root core of everything that you are doing, is. You need to be in the Spirit at all times. If you haven’t finished your mission, why are you asleep? Why are you wasting your own time? Why are you not meditating on the Word or in the Spirit? Why are you playing games? Have you done what God has called you to do? Are you really done? Never mind what everyone else is doing; keep to your business unless God tells you to involve another. Pray over everything. Consult God about everything. We are not merely here to live and then die. We have a purpose and a mission and it’s our responsibility to pursue that.
I woke up the other morning, irritated and grumpy because of a small insignificant matter and I ended up taking it out on my family. I wasn’t in control of my emotions, I let it run wild and ruined what could have been a perfectly good morning. It led me to pray and ask God to help me control these feelings I get of annoyance, irritability and anger, especially when its for no good reason. The Holy Spirit prompted me to read Galatians 5, it speaks on the fruits of the Spirit and what our lives should produce when we live by the Spirit.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, humility and self-control”
That self-control one is tricky for me, especially when it comes to my feelings and reactions – I’m a very emotional person and I can be reactive at times. I get irritated when things don’t happen when and how they are supposed to happen and now and then I can have an angry outburst. I know it’s not pretty but if we lack self-awareness, we’ll never be able to deal with the deeper issues of the problem. When I read Galatians 5 vs 19, it said the following:
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear; sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties and other sins…”
For me, hostility, quarreling and outbursts of anger are what I battle with. Especially at home and in the mornings when we have to get done for the day and things are not happening as fast or as smoothly as I want it to happen. But I’ve realised and maybe you can relate if this is something you also struggle with, that getting angry or irritated won’t solve the problem or make circumstances more ideal. In fact, it might make them worse. It will sow division in your home and everybody will end up being in a bad mood. It certainly is not the way to start or end a day.
So that has been my prayer lately. That God helps me to stay in control of my emotions and teaches me patience or teaches me how to be patient when I experience less than ideal circumstances and that I don’t just get angry or frustrated at anything or anyone over small matters.
Another verse in Galatians which is sort if the core for me is verse 13. It reads as follows;
“Don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead use your freedom to serve one anther in love, for the whole law can be summed up in this one command ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ “
Galatians 5 is full of wisdom and basically teaches us that we should let the Holy Spirit lead us, lead our lives, actions and thoughts. It speaks of how the sinful nature only wants to do evil;
“And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions”
Every morning when you open your eyes, you are entering the battlefield of your mind, in fact, the battle has already started while you were sleeping. When you wake up, that’s when youchooseon which side you are fighting on. Are you on the side of your sinful nature or are you on the side of the Holy Spirit?
Every day is a battle and it’s easier to give in to sin than it is to surrender all we know to God but then we need to ask ourselves, what do we want more and what is worth sacrificing?
Galatians 5 vs 24 ends the passage with the following:
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited or provoke one another or be jealous of one another”
So this will be my guide and my prayer and I hope it can be yours as well, with whatever sinful nature you are struggling with. I pray that our lives will be filled and reflect the fruits of the Spirit and that we don’t give in to our sinful actions at the expense of our loved ones.
A little self-awareness and introspection can go a long way. Below is a video of a poem I wrote about the battles we face in our minds.
When I searched the meaning of the word ‘intentional,’ I found the following definition; ‘done on purpose’ or ‘deliberate.’ The word ‘purpose’ means ‘the reason for doing something.’ So overall, the word intentional means there is a specific reason you do what you do. There is a particular outcome you desire, something you want to see or achieve through your actions, thoughts, and words daily. I’ve been thinking of my intentions lately, why I do what I do every day, even the simple or mundane things. Why do I clean our home, do laundry, binge-watch series, or eat certain things? Then I realised that some of the everyday things I do sometimes don’t have any purpose. Sometimes, I do it because it’s my excuse not to do what I’m supposed to be doing, for example, watching a series when I should be working on my novel. Those things are not intentional; they are easy. I do it because I am programmed to do it through years of doing the same thing every day. When I write or share something on my blog or podcast, I don’t just do it because I am programmed to do it. I do it to inspire and motivate others or to share a relatable part of my life so that others might feel seen or heard and less alone. That is the purpose, the intention of my writing.
QUESTIONS ABOUT MY INTENTIONS
Then I asked myself how many things I do that are intentional or have a purpose. The answer was few, which made me sad and a little bit angry at myself. I want to go through life with a purpose and a clear direction for my life. I want my life to mean something. I want my work to mean something. At the end of my life, I want to know that I have fulfilled what God put me here to do. I want to be more intentional about my thoughts, actions, and words, whether written or spoken. I want it to bring life to others.
HOW TO BE MORE INTENTIONAL
The question then came to me: What can I do or what should I do if I want to be more intentional? It’s certainly not easy because being intentional requires doing the work. It takes renewing your mind and changing old habits into new habits. However, it is not impossible. For one, whenever you experience a negative thought creeping into your mind, you stop before it overtakes you and switch to the more upbeat, life-giving alternative. Give your thoughts purpose. When you want to watch a third consecutive episode of the current series you’re watching, stop and ask yourself, is there a reason for this? Will this help me fulfill my purpose? What can I do instead? Write, create art, call a friend or family member and check in, go for a walk and clear your mind, pray, or read. Simple things like that can awaken a part of you that you thought had died long ago. I think of the story of Ruth and Naomi in the Bible. When Ruth went out to work in the fields, Naomi realised that the land belonged to Boaz. Later in the story, Naomi instructs Ruth to go to the threshing floor so that she may find a husband and a new home. There was purpose in Naomi’s actions, and there was intention. Eventually, that filtered down through the rest of history.
YOU STILL HAVE A PURPOSE
I’d like to believe that when we wake in the morning, God still has a purpose for our lives, which means we have no choice but to be intentional about who we are and what we do. God himself was intentional when He created us. Knowing that should give us enthusiasm for the day ahead and excitement to fulfill that purpose. It should make us curious about what life offers so that when we lay our heads down at night, exhausted but fulfilled, we know we have completed what God has called us to do. Every single day we have on this earth is a gift. We don’t get the same day twice, and time moves swiftly. Let’s be intentional about how we use the time we have.
Sometimes you get to climb the top really quickly and other times, you get eaten by snakes.
This is a lesson I was trying to teach my daughter one night. I invited her to play a game of Snakes and Ladders with me. It was her very first time. She was five years old at the time and extremely intelligent for her age and also emotionally sensitive. When she started realising that the game wasn’t as easy as it looks, she didn’t enjoy it at first. She didn’t like losing. In fact, she took it so hard, that she started crying the moment she realised that I was winning the game. I explained to her that the point of the game is to go through challenges and I told her that, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I tried to make her understand that its okay to lose sometimes.
She wanted to stop playing and told me that she is the worst player ever and that I am better than her. Then she started listing a whole bunch of other things that she believed she was bad at.
What I told her is that the game is all about learning, much like the life we live. You have to keep playing the game and should never give up. That’s how you see if you’re good at the game. That’s how you see if you can win.
I explained to her that she should at least try to make it to the top and see if she can do it. It took some time and some convincing but eventually it worked. We continued to play the game and she kept asking me, “Mommy am I almost at the top?” and I told her not to worry about what’s at the top but to instead focus on where she is. I told her something many of us have heard a million times; focus on the journey and not the destination.
She felt better, even on the turns when she got swallowed up by snakes. I kept on reminding her that it is okay; just keep playing the game. I hoped that she would remember what I was telling her.
At the end of the game, she won and in a way, so did I because I taught my daughter and myself a valuable lesson;
I was thinking about distractions this morning. We woke up to start our day, and there were elements of distractions that cut into our routine. I woke up less than excited; I couldn’t find my shoes when it was time for our walk, my husband couldn’t find his book when it was reading time, and so forth. I felt disorganized and disorientated, and it irritated me a little. The morning routine was less perfect than the day before, but we still completed it. So many times, we strive for perfection when we should take note of the progress. We think or believe things should be exactly right, and when it doesn’t happen the way we imagined it, we become discouraged, and most times, we tend to give up when we are so close to the finish line. It’s all about progress – small acts you do every day that make you better, stronger, and wiser than you were the day before. When we pray, we tell God exactly what we want, to the last detail, and forget that He can and will probably provide us with something more significant, despite our ignorance.
Isaiah, 55 vs. 8-9, says: ‘Indeed, my plans are not like your plans, and my deeds are not like your deeds, for just as the sky is higher than the earth, so my deeds and my plans are superior to your plans.’
God is the only one who is perfect. I once told my husband that sometimes our reaction to life’s events, like tragedy or a break in routine, or a small or medium-sized distraction, could completely throw us off our axes. Its as if we suddenly don’t know where we are, who we are, or what we’re supposed to do, and then we curl up in a ball and feel sorry for ourselves because things didn’t go as we planned instead of rolling with the waves and adjusting our sails to the winds. Stop looking for perfect. There is no such thing. Don’t take your eyes off Jesus; don’t let the winds of change or distraction throw you off your purpose. Let it make you stronger. Let us build our character and learn to be patient with ourselves. Change and growth is a continuous process, I’d like to leave you with one of my favorite scriptures
Jeremiah 29 vs. 11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.’
My husband and I started our new morning routine. It opened my eyes as well as my mind. The power and presence of God and the Holy Spirit were palpable for me this morning. The morning walk felt good. The moon was still fully out, shining brightly in the sky. My nose was cold. I felt peace overcome me. I am grateful that I can live this life. Thankful that I have another opportunity to change and grow. There are so many things I want to achieve for myself and my family. Places I want to go, people I want to meet, and lives I want to change. I’m re-reading the 5AM Club by Robin Sharma, and there’s a line where the entrepreneur, a woman, decides to take steps in changing her life;
‘She promised herself she’d keep following this process instead of retreating. Her former way of existing no longer served her. It was time for a change.’
One of our greatest mistakes is thinking we have time, but we don’t. Every day without us living the life we’re meant to and fulfilling our purpose on this earth is wasted, and we don’t get that time back. I’m realizing now that our purpose is not something we do one day and then it’s done. Our purpose is small acts that we carry out every single day, consistently, passionately, and intentionally.
We need to be conscious of that. Tap into God’s plans for your life and start doing the work laid out for you. I say this as much to myself as I say to you, dear reader. Time on earth is a commodity, a precious one at that. We need to be aware of the things we spend our time on. I am genuinely grateful that this is still something I have – time.
I don’t want to lie on my deathbed someday; whether that eventually is thirty or forty years or three weeks from now; and be buried underneath all my regrets.
I need to create.
I need to leave something that will live long after I’ve left this earth.
I question whether anyone will remember me for what I’ve left behind and if it is even important.
I want to spend every day of my life creating and as I sit herewriting this, I feel myself becoming emotional; tears run down my cheeks and I know, without a shadow of a doubt that this is truly my calling.
I need to create.
In the same way I need to breath.
I need to create something out of nothing.
I need to fill blank pages with my sorrows, worries, and fears and turn it into something beautiful to share with others.
I need to express my thoughts and dreams and connect with others.
And that is ultimately why I need to create, why I need to write. Why my life needs to be an open book.
I need to build a bridge between my fears and another’s loneliness.
I want to leave breadcrumbs in the form of poetry and stories so that someone else can find their way and their voice.
I need to share my life so that another person can be brave enough to share their story.
It is my calling.
Every day that passes that I do not write, express or create, feels truly wasted. On those days I feel as if I’ve betrayed my calling. I have wasted an entire day not living as I should.
I feel as if I did not live at all.
Even when I’ve tried to avoid it, when I’ve tried to ignore it. When I told myself it wasn’t important, there was always this nagging feeling inside me, tugging at me, pushing me in a certain direction.
And I knew, it was futile trying to turn my back on it; I am an artist. I am a creative.
You may not always understand what I create, you may not always enjoy what I share and you may even mock and laugh at me but that will only encourage me more.
Knowing that I am an artist, reminds me that I must createevery day. It is not just a calling but it is also a responsibility.
Writing is an art; the blank page is my canvas, words are my paint and the world and this life is my muse.
What you finally see before you; is my work of art.