As we proceed with our New Year thought I’d share some edifying habits that have worked for me & continue to work for me…
SET THE TONE FOR YOUR DAY
How you start your day usually determines how the rest of your day will pan out! So for me it’s become a practice to start with God, if it means waking up earlier than everyone else then pray for that Grace!
If you have a house with Children you know our most sacred moments are before sunrise & in the Still of the night, in fact right now I’m blogging at 11:30pm after my mediation session that has actually led me to share this.
It wasn’t always like this though, it can be a struggle & a challenge to rise early or only wake up when the baby cries or when your toddler comes to wake you up and the first thing that you turn to is your phone which is right next to your pillow or under it… Yeah I see you!
But before all those distractions, before you wear your Mommy hat or attend to your Twitter or Instagram feed! Be STILL! Spend an hour or even 30mins in His presence, thank Him for waking you up this Morning & ask Him to guide your day, to protect you & your family & for His Will to be done in your life & for you to bring Him Glory as you go about your daily routine.
It really does make a world of a difference when we practice this, because I notice that when I let myself get too frazzled I’m off balance! easily irritable & my day is just off!
So in 2017 I urge you to start with God, speak to Him, listen to Him, spend time in His word & then set off on your day.
WATCH WHAT YOU FEED YOURSELF- WHAT YOU FEED YOUR SPIRIT
So after you’ve had your fellowship with God & you’re out of the house, what do we all naturally do in the car? We put on the radio right? & what do we listen too?
Well for me & I’ve gotten into a lot of trouble for this! because I miss out on ads & campaigns that I’ve helped put together because I personally don’t listen to Radio! Instead I listen to my personal playlist of what I call my “Jesus Music” from mellow worship sessions to high tempo Praise music that my kids & I can jam to😊meditate on and use to offer our hearts and minds to God as we begin our day.
Again not a practice I’ve always done! In fact when I was so lost in sin I couldn’t listen to my Gospel music as much as I looooove & thrive the most when I’m in His presence in worship, but that’s what sin does- it separate’s you from God!
So I would play my secular favorites & some may seem harmless, but the mind & the tongue are very powerful! what you perceive as harmless- the mind wanders & takes you to dark places & the tongue will repeat back those lyrics which don’t edify you, instead depending on the song- it can make you angry, depressed, proud or sexually stimulated…
Now here’s the thing if your okay with the above that’s fine, I’m speaking to those who want to lead a life that pleases God & also puts you in a place of peace- so it really all boils down to where you are in life & what matters to you!
One of my major responsibilities is my children, so I have to be very aware of what I expose them to! So it’s always been a very conscious decision of mine even when I was lost in sin! that when my kids are in the car with me we’re on Jesus or Kiddy tunes😊 When one secular song slips here & there boy do I try & erase that memory of it! and probably over compensate the next time… Sigh
But I truly thank God for that habit- because now if they are to sing anything at the drop of a hat it would be a worship song! of which I am grateful for- because sowing seeds starts now before it gets a lot harder to redirect their path & we all know the scripture that says- “Train up a child in the way that He should go & when He is old He will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6
Maybe it’s because I LOVE Music so this habit edifies me. Listening to Music with a Wholesome, Uplifting & sometimes even challenging message sets my day off to a good start, a better start & with time I even found myself listening to the same playlist through the day even if in my office I am exposed to everything! but because I’ve already down the seed early in the day- that is all I desire- just to be in His Presence.
BE SELF AWARE
Knowing who you are! Your strengths & your weakness! is so key in self development! You cannot grow if you do not know yourself & one way of knowing yourself is by
- Asking others– how would your Mom describe you, your siblings, your spouse, your colleague or even your kids? You may think you’re this pocket of sunshine! but maybe you’re a bitter pill to swallow & you don’t even know it! I know I struggled with this reality for a long time, even as I write this I’m surprised I can write about it- but I’m your text book example of an introvert who can get pretty moody! My family, my friends & colleagues are all pretty aware! And I should say I was aware to, but did I consciously do something about it? Not really! I just expected people to take me as I am & deal… But God calls us to co-exist in Harmony with all & above all He calls us to Love! So it’s kind of hard to communicate Love when you’re not giving it! So for me being aware of this flaw has made me all the more Intentional- intentionally choosing to Love; be it a family member, friend or stranger, in fact a reminder I feel led to share is Remember Ministry begins at home! Don’t be this sweetheart to the rest of the world but at home you’re unbearable to live with- that’s just not authentic living! Stop trying to keep up with the joneses & ask God to work on your heart and to fill you with His Love so that you too may move from a place of Love.
- Maybe this should have been first, but aside from asking others also ask God to show you your heart & trust me He will, sometimes even more brutally than when others show you- but what I love most about consulting God is His Revelation is Beautiful. In Matthew Jesus says “When you Fast!” not if but when! You see prayer coupled with Fasting is the most powerful practice a Christian could do for their walk with Christ! He reveals stuff about you- you didn’t even know existed, stuff you thought you had dealt with, Strength you didn’t know you had until you are truly surrendered to Him & indeed believe that you can do all things through Christ who strengths you! The beauty about consulting God is He shows you what you can become, what you desire to become & He enables you to become that person.
Know yourself & watch yourself be a better person; for you, for your walk with the Lord & for those around you! Plus the devil takes advantage of what’s left in the dark & he will try to use that against you! Instead own up to it & deal with it & he won’t have power over it or you!
Which brings me to the Fundamental habit I’ve mentioned above!
As a Christian it is so critical for us to get into a habit of fasting! There are some strongholds that cannot be broken unless we pray & fast because some battles are not natural but spiritual! And fasting is the key to fighting spiritual battles!
Some answers you will never get unless you Fast, until you move closer to God and allow for Him to reveal! because Fasting doesn’t move God, Fasting moves You closer to Him.
Fasting is denying yourself food & other things that you like & need to show God that He is more important! that hearing from Him is more important than anything else!
During times that you would eat or watch tv or on spend time on social media, instead you spend that time in His presence! And sometimes that consecration may require for you to spend hours on end in His presence, be away from people & or places for a time so that you don’t have any distractions!
When I first felt the Lord leading me to do this I was terrified! I thought I would never make it! But with each day, with each victory I Blessed His name- because He not only revealed things to me that I would otherwise not see with my natural eyes but only through the Holy Spirit when you Fast!
But My Greatest Joy is my intimacy with God!… Like I said above, Fasting doesn’t move God, it moves you, it switches on your Spiritual antennas and enables you to hear Him more clearly! So every so often especially this first month of the new year I challenge you to give it a try & let the Holy Spirit guide you on how long you should do it, be it 3days, 7, 14 or like Daniel & Moses & Jesus 40 days! The Holy Spirit will lead you & there are several kinds of fasts; dry fast, liquid fast, Daniel Fast- all which should first be consulted in prayer. But a Beautiful habit I urge you to either try or keep in the New Year!
And Like Daniel, Moses, Jesus, Esther, John and David just to name a few who all got their breakthroughs or begun ministry or received the Lords favour or received healing & Restoration only after they fasted… You too can have your testimony after you take the step to pay the price and deny yourself so that He may increase in your Life! So ultimately what a Beautiful Gift it is.
One of my all time fave things to do is write! I write down notes all the time with my terrible handwriting🙉🙊🙈(Dear Jesus bring deliverance there) Lol! But for real- like most girls I’ve kept a journal since my teen years which was then a diary with secrets, which later progressed into a book of stories & songs & poems & then into a Prayer Journal & bible study & now I have several; one for work stuff, one for my ideas & another for my prayer & bible study & of course my note-pad on my phone-which I may use the most!
The benefits of taking Notes;-
- You don’t forget- I literally write down everything! especially in meetings so that I’m not asking myself later what was that brief again!? or when I’m listening to a sermon whether in church or on my phone or my laptop- I will pause severally to take notes so that I can remember and later mediate on the word & also share what I learn with you.
- To help you count your blessings- When you look back at your prayer journal you truly thank God for how far He has brought you & it also serves as a great reminder of how Faithful He is! And it gives you the boost to even pray more boldly & more earnestly.
- I read somewhere that seeing your goals written down with your own handwriting has a trigger in your brain that gives you the momentum to go for it! Plan for it & realize that dream!
- You can pass down lessons- Imagine passing on all the lessons you’ve learned over the years to your children! Like how in Uni we used to ask 2nd years to give us their 1st years books so that we could be a step ahead in class- well same concept here- You have an opportunity to leave something tangible for your children to refer to. In fact as I write this I am given even more affirmation to blog & if it is His Will one day by His Grace write a book that my children can refer too!
There’s a switch that goes on in your thirties that puts you on a legacy mode kind of vibe, it’s no longer about the now, but what will you leave behind?
Lastly for now, because I feel like there is a lot more I’m leaving out, but the last habit I would urge any single girl or guy is…
PRACTICE THE WAIT
Practice Celibacy- Yup I said it! I’ve shared my excitement about Waiting on all my social media pages since Devon & Megan Franklin decided to bless us with their story & their book!
As Believers though, this is not news to us at all! We grew up knowing you keep yourself pure until after marriage! In fact my Mother was in utter shock when I told her I was sexually active & was now a single Mother at 24!
This was not the girl she raised! Even I didn’t recognize myself in my twenties! But that’s what happens when you step out of God’s will & feed your fleshy desires instead! But God is Gracious and He is a God of Restoration! He gave me my greatest Blessings and constant challenge to be a better mother, person and human being- My Children😊
So like me, you may have fallen from grace, and severally at that, but God is a God of second chances, you just need to go to Him with a repentant heart and truly Worship and Seek Him in Spirit and in truth!
Megan Franklin pointed out in her book that sometimes you may find yourself in a relationship that you know is not good for you at all & in no way bringing God Glory! but you stay because the sex is good! Yup I said it! Yet Sex cannot edify you outside of Love and outside of marriage!
It’s a gift God gave us to enjoy as married couple’s… because we all know that sex complicates EVERYTHING!
- You don’t think soberly
- You get your emotions in a tangled mess
- Your heart wants more yet you’re probably not even compatible with this person but there you are forcing!
- Sex comes with consequences that you are probably not ready to deal with e.g kids
- Sex can come with diseases which non of us wants
So as great an act as it is! It’s all the more beautiful within the right context!
And a brilliant lesson that Devon reminds us of is;- if one can control Lust, if one can have power over their mind! You can almost probably handle anything that comes your way!
Which is such a POWERFUL Lesson! Having power over your mind and body is necessary for any human being! not being slaves to our desires but actually being able to have control over ourselves is a weapon only realized once you do have the control.
God rewards Purity & obedience! Your body is His temple, so Love & treat it as is! Our bodies don’t even belong to us, so to think that we can do whatever we want to do with it is a sin!
Because ultimately we are His! Through & Through! & God honors the marriage bed & takes pride when Wife & Husband honor it too & He also enjoys seeing married couples be intimate! It actually brings Him joy! It is a powerful ministry between married couples.
Whereas sex outside marriage only brings shame, yet the act itself is Beautiful but not before it’s time.
One of my biggest lessons, my biggest tests & most edifying practice! It’s not an easy road! not by a long shot! in fact if you are used to the act- you may fall severally! But get back up each time!!
And I strongly feel that we’re in the Season where it’s time for us to do the work because God will bring to completion what He has begun in you but you must do your part!
So as much as His Grace is sufficient! James 4:7 remind us to Submit ourselves then to God, resist the devil & he will flee! Because as much as the act is Beautiful! Outside of marriage as a Christian, no matter how you look at it- It is still sexual immorality! And I know this is a struggle even among Believers, so I urge prayer & fasting to break the habit and to break soul ties so that you are free to serve Him from a more wholesome place & keep yourself pure for Him and for the one that God has for you.
Try it… it will reveal so much about yourself & about the relationship.
From my heart to yours