So Sibo-lifestyle Magazine asked me to do a feature. This is the story I shared in my article. Hope you enjoy and you can follow their blog too inspirationbysibo.com
Let me talk about singing for a little bit because this was a safe place for me in terms of getting to a happy place for years as I was part of a choir and then praise and worship ministry for over ten years. When circumstances prevented me from being able to be active in this ministry it dipped into the unhappiness bucket big time. This however led me to seek God about my life’s purpose more than just using a single gift to being Him pleasure. I’m grateful that I will still be able to express creativity through singing even though I’m not in a singing ministry but I’m even more grateful for my next step to happy place which is my love and passion for women and families finding their rest and beauty in God and in life as a whole. This is a part of my heart that has never gone away.
Even my first published book and prayer devotional was for women. I always believe that one’s career should somehow enhance or even mirror their calling for a fulfilled life. This one song says “if you don’t like the job you’re in then what do you do it for?” I remember the last full time job I ever had, I was miserable. Yes there would be things here and there I didn’t mind doing but overall it went against my personality so the things I had to do did not come naturally for me so that also dipped into the unhappiness bucket. I know better now, yes I’m living in an economy that’s really about survival but I made up my mind that I will not do a job that makes me miserable ever again. The opportunities the Lord has led me to for monthly income since I made up my mind have been mind blowing to say the least but that’s a blog post for another day. In getting to my happy place, it is now so clear how I desire to serve in God’s kingdom concerning women and families and how this passion is a big influence in the current hosting business I run and future businesses to come. I love being involved in hosting women’s events for ministry, empowerment and business. Setting up a solid plan concerning my purpose and passion I can put into action in small doses has really been lighting a fire each day. As hope rises so does happiness because despair and unhappiness are best buddies.
So that’s the bigger picture but there a also smaller things I enjoy that I have been trying to implement on a daily basis i.e. baking, journaling, watching or reading something inspirational, having good conversation, learning to be a better listener, eating ice-cream, spending time with my husband, taking moments to enjoy my daughter, visiting people, doing more activities either than being stuck in a house all day and have intentions of getting back to taking power walks (really love those), just to mention a few. The trick is to have this list handy when that ugly unhappiness mindset wants to dominate again. I’m realising now that this is a chose I have to make daily and on a deeper not it will mean learning to walk in forgiveness and overcoming past hurts, disappointments and fears (let’s also tackle that journey in another post shall we).
When all is said and done no one else decides my happiness but me, it’s up to me to confront what makes me unhappy and if it involved someone else let them know but I cannot let their reaction determine whether or not I will be happy.
So why do I say I’m not happy? I’m focusing a lot of my day on the things my husband has done in the past and some he continues to do that I do not like, I’m focusing my energy on the things I do not have. Of course that is what will make me unhappy and truth be told I have been like that most of my life, in a way it’s like I don’t deserve to be happy or something of that nature. I’ve always had someone to blame for my unhappiness, whether family, past hurts and something I didn’t have, a companion, true friends, always something. I’ve always heard the statement no one else is responsible for your happiness but yourself. This has only become a real realisation at 30 years old. How do I want to live the rest of my life going forward because honestly, people will not stop hurting people and I will not always have my way.
Being aware that my mind already has a doctorate degree in being unhappy, made me realise that undoing this mind-set will be a process, so I have accepted the challenge never the less because I really want to be Happy.
Get joy back!
I’m collecting joy first in my happiness journey. Where do I find her? In the presence of the Lord because that’s where I will find fullness of Joy. Even with this first step it’s easy to have an excuse. After months of using being a tired first time mom as an excuse I had to find a way to get joy at all costs. It started with praying and singing with baby at bath time, nap time, bedtime, meal time, whenever I could sneak it in (and when I remembered because God was not first priority anymore). As this intentional habit grew I then began to seek for time alone with God even if I was doing something. So during my bath time or cooking time when alone I would pray or sing, and think on scripture. Eventually I found energy slowly coming back and I could even wake up earlier. This then allowed me to get a real devotion in. Making sure I pick up the Bible before getting my phone, preparing the babies porridge, read the scripture and pray the scripture.
The beauty about having joy is that even when happiness hasn’t happened I don’t fall apart into a thousand pieces. Joy gives me a new perspective of how I view things, even the things I don’t enjoy I started feeling warm inside because gratitude began to rise. I am grateful for motherhood so much and even joined a baby group that definitely helped in getting the joy levels rising.
So now that I mentioned a little about how I’m getting joy back each day (I can’t express how mandatory this is for one’s soul), it’s time to work on being happy, having that real glow that comes from the inside. What are the things that make me happy in the first place? The thing with being in an unhappy state for so long is that each year you lose more and more of who you are and what you like and love. Side note for all single women make sure you know how to be happy by yourself before you enter a relationship because it’s not a guarantee that a man will make you happy. Sometimes the man can try to make you happy but if you don’t even know what makes you happy trust me all his efforts will be in vain.
Find your happy place
I’m happy when I’m in a creative space of writing, dancing and singing. Practically, to get back here to this happy space, my first priority became getting a blog up and running so that I could write consistently and share my thoughts.
My baby girl is toddler now and so any moment we get we dance together, she loves it. Even at church we go to the front together now to get our dance on and when she is napping during service or a loving saint takes her so I can worship man I have learnt the value of time concerning this so guaranteed I get my temple dance expression on. How I love this and slowly because we are getting joy back remember I found myself dancing while praying when I had put baby to sleep and hubby was at a work function. Singing, I mentioned how I have begun to sing with baby and during prayer time but to get to happy place I have decided to go record some songs I have written and hubby gave a seal of authority on this one so expect to hear my first EP before the year ends.
I’m so thrilled to post in devotions and delights after a year long struggle. February 2019 I felt the Lord leading me to start a blog. I had started blogs before but always had a challenge along the way. This time I told myself I’ll do this differently, I’ll begin with proper research. As I begin this series of rising above defeat I’ll start right here and let you in on my “blogging journey”.
Four months later I was all blog knowledged out. I could sing about starting a blog in my sleep. Then I took the stand to begin and get a website domain because from what I had read it was better to get your name registered. This was all very true and boy was I excited as I began building my website with lots of help from my expert cousin who would willingly log in and sort out things I just couldn’t understand.
This took long, and it was never “ready” in my eyes or my cousins lol. Then to think it couldn’t get any worse in December the web hosting company I was under started experiences challenges and it lead to my site being down for another five months. Yes I’m sure you’re thinking NEVER, just let it go right. Absolute defeat filled my heart. At this point I’m not earning enough income to afford a reliable hosting company get WordPress hosting so yes I felt stuck.
Stand Up “……having done all STAND” Ephesians 6:13
When you stay sitting the things that go wrong will be of your own doing
I picked myself up and realised I needed to start with what I have so in March I decided to start posting short blog quotes on all my social media pages everyday. For the first time I found myself being consistent in something and I could feel a rising.
One night as I’m nursing my little girl, I felt the Lord speak to me concerning the blog and how I was complicating everything unnecessary. It’s ok to start with a free site and upgrade later. What matters is the messages and encouragement. The messages needed to be published and the blog was the route.
I then revisted my first free site that I had begun in 2014 and worked on it as much as I could but failed to change the name of the site. I had to have the name the Lord gave so now what!
Dress Up “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness” Ephesians 6:14
I started following brand builders instagran live lockdown series on building your personal brand and that definitely got me all dressed up to continue the blogging journey. I opened an account on medium,which was a suggestion on one of the live sessions. It’s absolutely great for free blogging with no stress of starting a website and there’s so many people you can find in your genre and learn from them. Because I still needed to have a site that had the title devotions and delights I made a decision to start again and that’s when I stumbled across Christian Website builder, total game changer,they make the steps so simple and it’s perfect for a free site. It’s true when you make up your mind to obey God He will order your steps.
Show Up “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” Ephesians 6:18
So here we are today, there’s a site and there’s a blog and it was not complicated at all. If you are in a place were you want to revisit or begin something I encourage you to take the steps you need to take today. You have a dream, a goal, a purpose inside of you and it will come to light. You will fall, you may fail but the victory is in rising again. Learn the art of rising and you have mastered the art of success. I love to allow God to lead my life because His love covers me when I do fall. Staying in prayer is one way that helps me stay strengthened because truth be told if it was easy we would all be so successful. There are people out there that need to be impacted by you and you alone even if it’s just your immediate family, it’s time to show up for those people.
My desire is to show up for you in the best way possible as we walk this journey together while I share my devotion to the Lord and my delights in life hoping it will inspire your own devotions and delights. Let’s get the movement started!