Spirituality

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SOUL GOALS

I have decided to set some goals for myself which I’ve dubbed Soul Goals. These are the goals that will feed my soul and my spirit and create inner peace and healing. I think as much as we want external success in terms of our careers and families and financial state, having inner success is much more important and can actually contribute to the external goals and successes. I think there is also less pressure to showcase these soul goals but its equally important that you work on it every single day.

One way I have found to work on it, is to journal; to write down everything about my day. The good and the bad and see where I’ve achieved these special goals.

So here are a few of my personal soul goals. I will probably add to it as time goes on.

  • Be present in every moment and take in everything around you; the sun, sky, flowers, sounds and smells
  • Listen more intently
  • Be more loving
  • Be kinder
  • Visit new places
  • Be more positive
  • Journal more
  • Spend more time in God’s presence
  • Write and read more poetry
  • Rest when necessary
  • Take more pictures and more videos
  • Take more walks
  • Appreciate every single day, find the good in every day
  • Forgive yourself
  • Smile more; at loved ones and at strangers
  • Play more games
  • Appreciate your own physical self; take care of your health
  • Love yourself – You are wonderfully and fearfully made
  • Let go of the guilt
  • Don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself and doing things that you enjoy
  • Stop rushing through every day, walk slower, breath slower

These might seem insignificant when others have bigger goals of buying cars and homes and growing in their careers, which are all amazing and I too have some of those goals but I have felt lately that I have neglected my inner being, my inner child and I’m hoping by working on these soul goals, I will be able to achieve more peace within my spirit and take care of the inner self.

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TIME

Do you realize that time never stops?
It’s always moving.
Sometimes it flutters by like a butterfly
And other times it strolls past, in no rush
With all at ease.
But it is always moving forward.
Changing.
Even when we don’t.
Especially when we don’t.
Time keeps moving.
It truly waits for no one
It doesn’t check or looks back
To see if you’re following or keeping up
It doesn’t shout back and tells you to hurry up.
Time is it’s own master

And you can either be it’s slave
Or it’s partner

It feels no pity for you
It doesn’t share in your joy when you make it
It doesn’t get angry when you ask it to wait or slow down
Time is determined
It is disciplined
It is silent in its dominance
It knows nothing of excuses or procrastination
It changes days and seasons
It moves with purpose and answers to no one
Time has no attachments
It does not love
It does not own
It does not desire
And in that lies it’s power.

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NOTHING IS A COINCIDENCE

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.

Originally published in 2019 on my Medium platform

self aware, self reflection

BECOMING SELF-AWARE THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

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 you choose on 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.

Poem, Jesus, love, joy

JESUS, MY SAVIOUR

Broken, beaten, and bruised,
Alienated, ashamed, and forgotten,
I found myself on my knees,
No beauty, no prettiness,
Crushed by fear too heavy to bear.

Then you reached out your hand,
Your garment, my lifeline,
Thirsty, you quenched me with living waters,
Bruised, you touched me, and I was healed.

Hopeless and heartbroken,
You opened the floodgates,
Washing me clean,
Because of you, Jesus, I am saved.

Faithful God,
God of Mercy,
Jehovah Jireh, my provider.
God of grace, righteousness, joy, and love

You are the centre of my joy,
My life, my anchor, my compass,
Your presence is holy,
I cry out to you in the heavenly language,
I praise you with all that I am,
I give you all that I have.

In my troubled season,
When it seems I’m surrounded,
Jesus, you make a way,
God’s promises prevail, and He sets me free.

The world may enslave me,
But Jesus Christ is my Saviour!

Church, Jesus, God

MY SUNDAY JESUS

I visit God on Sundays
and always wear my best
I walk into the church, humble in heart
and pray to repent for my ungodly ways
I meet my Jesus on Sundays
To shout Amen and hallelujah
and say a rushed and quiet goodbye
at the end of the service
I forget or maybe choose not to call on Jesus
the rest of the week
I’m ashamed to say I can be a once a week
check-in, kinda-girl;
and forget my God is always willing
From Sunday to Sunday
and every minute in between
My God doesn’t just visit on Sundays
but patiently waits to be invited
in every single day
And yet, I ignore the call and pretend I’m not home
as if He is an unwanted guest wanting something from me
Forgetting I can get all I need just by talking to Him
I visit God on Sundays
and walk into the church
quiet and reserved
Ashamed to say out loud,
I’ve ignored Him all week long
I sing His praises and say the right words in prayer
but most heavy on my heart
is that I forget my God is always there
From Sunday to Sunday
In the church, in my home,
and always everywhere

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TEMPTATION TO FALL BACK INTO SIN

It’s very easy to fall back into sin; to fall back into your old habits before you gave your life to Christ. The thing is, you need to know and admit your weaknesses. You need to know what tempts you the most and what was your carnal sin before Christ and then when you know it, you do everything to fight it and not fall back into the trap of the enemy.

I shouldn’t even say the enemy. Sometimes we give the devil too much credit. Sometimes our weaknesses and us falling off the wagon is simply due to lack of self-control.

Sometimes its just us being selfish and curious and we think, if no one knows, it doesn’t matter. But it does matter, because God sees.

It becomes very convicting; that feeling of knowing you are doing something wrong but you just can’t help yourself. It’s a heaviness and when you give your life to Christ, that heaviness and that burden and that sin is lifted, so why do we turn back to the thing that Jesus saved us from?

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘no’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and Godly lives in this present age”

Titus 2 vs 11-12

Because it’s easier than becoming the person God needs us to be.

It’s familiar and in a way, it’s comfortable.

We can say we repent of our sins but repenting means not going back to the sin you are leaving at the feet of God. We can’t keep going back and forth and live an unstable life in Christ. We can’t have one foot in heaven and another foot in the world. It doesn’t work that way. We cannot serve two masters.

The one you give the most attention to and the one you spend more time on, will be the one that will dominate.

So are you spending more time in sin or more time with God?

I don’t want to go back to the person I used to be before I gave my life to Christ. I was lost and confused and I was hurt and I was hurting people. I was inconsiderate and I felt like I had no purpose. I didn’t know who I was. With God, I know exactly who I am. I don’t want to backtrack and I don’t want to live a life of sin.

So I pray, I ask God to deliver me from my temptations. I repent and I ask God for forgiveness. I pray that God will keep me on the straight and narrow and that I will be an honest, loving and compassionate person.

Yes, I will continue to sin but I never want the sin to become who I am. I never want it to overshadow my life in Christ.

“For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and self-control”

2 Timothy 1 vs 7

San rock art, writing on the wall, history

THE WRITING ON THE WALL

The writing’s on the wall;

stones and sticks and clay and bricks

tell the stories of our history

written in blood and sweat and thousands of tears

I sit in the quiet of the memory hall,

feeling my throat close up and tears start to flow;

how could it be that a people like me

were treated like less than dirt under my feet

I read about how they painted in song

and wrote stories on stone walls, making their

voices known as only they could

dreams shared by entire generations

almost wiped out by white skinned men

who came from afar on a ship with flags

and guns and bibles and a foreign tongue

We watched you from the shore, we

greeted you and welcomed you with

smiles and meals

You smiled back, the greed showing on your gnashing teeth

On our sacred land, where we were born free

they came and beat us, chained us and took what was ours

made us pay for what we farmed and what we sowed

Our mothers and fathers watered the soil with their blood

from it grew the bones of ancestors

the bones we used to make bows and arrows and

found ourselves fighting for land that was ours to begin with

I am an African! I can hear the screams

I am of this earth, and of this sky and of this land

I am an African!

From the earth we were born

sold as slaves as a child

We are also human they say

while they tie us to a donkey, a horse

the heartbeat of the earth beating beneath our bare feet

The only sign we are still alive

You struck us, you tried to belittle us

you put a price on our humanity

but we rose up ; we marched and we fought back

And now we are here

Telling the stories you tried to make us forget

But we have not forgotten and

we will beat the drums

and sing the songs and

write the stories of our heritage

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THE JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH

The past 6 weeks have been completely exhausting for me. Work has been a non-stop rollercoaster, the start of the new school year for our kids have been hectic and getting our business set up for the new year has also been extremely demanding. It’s definitely taken a physical and mental toll on me. I’ve been feeling fragile, emotional, my body aches everywhere and I just feel so overwhelmed. But God is good.

This morning as my husband drove me to work; we were listening to worship music in the car.

One particular song moved me.

‘Because of who You Are’ by Vicki Yohe.

The lyrics are so simple yet so powerful. It speaks not of what God does for us but it glorifies Him simply because He is God. I found myself lifting my hands up in worship during the car ride, singing along and I felt God’s Spirit strengthen me. I felt so happy and joyful and strong when I got out of the car. Despite my physical self not being in line with my spirit; I still felt like I can tackle another day of work and get through it because the joy of the Lord strengthens me.

I want to encourage you today; if you are feeling broken, exhausted, if you are struggling mentally and emotionally and you feel like you have nowhere to turn, turn to Jesus. He is ever present, He is always available to you. You don’t need to make an appointment; pray where you are. Seek Him where you are. I feel so much joy that I can’t keep it to myself.

Joshua 1 v 9

“Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

I want to leave you with a few scriptures that encourage me and help me to remember that I am never alone and when I feel hopeless, helpless and just worn down, that God will lift me up.

Psalm 121:1-2

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

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Nehemiah 8:10

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Isaiah 41:10

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 40:29

“He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.”

Phillippians 4:13

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

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Isaiah 40:31

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Psalm 46:1-3

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

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Haggai, book of haggai, scripture

A WORD FROM THE BOOK OF HAGGAI

What is the main message of the Book of Haggai?

“Haggai encourages those who have just returned from exile to remain faithful, obedient, and hopeful for God’s promise of a new Jerusalem. Haggai challenges returned exiles to remain faithful and rebuild the temple.” – The Bible Project

The other night when I was ready to get into bed, I felt the Holy Spirit move me to open my Bible. I’ve been wanting to start reading the stories about all the women in the Bible and I was looking for the book of Ruth but instead I was led to the book of Haggai.

I have never read the book of Haggai, in fact I probably missed it before because its only one page in my Bible.

At the top of the page, it gives some context of the book of Haggai. I’ll summarise it but the very first sentence read as follows:

“Do you have trouble finishing the projects you start? “

Already, I felt convicted by that one sentence. If you have been following me and my blog, you know I want to become a published author. I just haven’t come as far as actually finishing any of the multiple stories I’ve started, over twenty stories to be exact.

Anyway, back to Haggai.

Book of Haggai, scripture, wordsinverse
The Book Of Haggai in my Bible.

Haggai lived in Jerusalem after many Jews returned from exile in Babylonia. Those who returned started rebuilding the temple but eventually they just stopped and the temple was left half finished.

Haggai, who is a prophet, begins a campaign with Zechariah to continue to work and finish the temple and this is where the story begins.

HAGGAI 1 VS 3-6

‘Then the Lord sent this message through the prophet Haggai, “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes’

The above verse to me speaks about society today. We are always wanting more; more money, more clothes, more possessions and even when we get what we want, we still want more. We look around us, comparing ourselves to everyone we come across. Feelings of jealousy, envy and sometimes even rage rear its ugly head and we end up losing sight of who we are and what we have.

Our focus is on us and what we want and what we can get. We end up forgetting that God placed us here for a reason, that we are part of God’s plan and purpose for this earth. As children of God, we are on a mission that is greater than anything we could ever want or think we need. Our mission is to save souls and serve and build the house of the Lord.

HAGGAI 1 VS 8

‘Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house’

A clear command given by God. He gives direction, he provides resources and gives clear instructions on what needs to be done. All we have to do is listen and obey.

HAGGAI 1 VS 9-11

‘You hoped for rich harvests, but they were poor. And when you brought your harvest home, I blew it away. Why? Because my house lies in ruins, says the Lord. While all of you are busy building your own fine houses. It’s because of you that the heavens withhold the dew and the earth produces no crops. I have called you for a drought on your fields and hills – a drought to wither the grain and grapes and olive trees and all your other crops, a drought to starve you and your livestock and to ruin everything you have worked so hard to get. ‘

Wow, that verse is so hard to read and, in many ways, very convicting. It forces you to take a very hard look at yourself and where your priorities lie.

The first part that really stands out for me, ‘I blew it away’. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away (Job 1 vs 21) It is in the Lord’s authority and power to give and take away as He sees fit and we need to remember that we can do nothing without Him. It is both a blessing and also something to be respected.

The above scripture then goes on to say, the Lord’s house lies in ruins while we continue to build our own fine houses. You can take that literally or figuratively. This is how I interpreted it.

In the literal sense, it means looking out only for your own needs and wants, while we know God’s people are suffering and we see opportunities where we can help, but we don’t because we are too busy building our own homes. I understand it as chasing my own dreams, goals and visions and forgetting that there are people I can help in my backyard.

Then it goes on to say ‘It’s because of you that the rain withholds its dew and the earth produces no crops’. In simple English, we end up blocking our own blessings and plans God has for us because we are so busy being selfish and self-centred and we are worried about our own needs.

Then the last part says,

“I have called you for a drought…”

The Bible says, there is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3 vs 1-8)

This portion of the verse spoke so vividly to me because all of us want the harvest but hardly any of us want to put in the work. Humans are impatient, myself included and we don’t always understand why we are going through difficult times of hardships. We question everything; why are others successful and I am not? Why are things progressing for others but not for me? I believe this scripture says simply;

It is not yet your time.

It is your time for a drought.

What we must remember is the following;

HAGGAI 1 vs 13

‘I am with you, says the Lord’

We are never alone in our time of drought, God is always with us.

HAGGAI 2 vs 4:

‘Be strong…

Be strong…

And now, get to work, for I am with you. My Spirit remains among you…do not be afraid’

How beautiful and encouraging is that promise from God. Even when we go through a drought, God is with us. He encourages to be strong, reminds us that Hs Spirit is among us always. He will never forsake us or forget about us. We must simply continue the work He has called us for and continue to work, even during the most trying times and circumstances. God’s promises are clear.

HAGGAI 2 VS 19

‘I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates and olive trees have not yet produced their crops but from this day onward, I will bless you’

Nothing to explain there, simply take it in and understand God will bless you.

I’ll leave you with this to end off.

HAGGAI 2 VS 21

‘I am about to shake the heavens and the earth’

HAGGAI 2 VS 23

‘I have chosen you’

You are not random. God has a plan for your life. He only asks that you give Him room to work in you so that you can also be a part in building his house and his Kingdom.
The Lord has chosen you for a time such as this.