His Footprints

I turn 25 in a couple of days and this may be a daunting or celebratory feeling for some people, daunting in a way because you start to think of all the things you wanted to achieve by this age. I am sure most of us had a list or ideally hoped that by this time we would either be married, engaged, with a child, living in your own house, or have your own business, dream job etc. Either way I have learnt that things do not always go how you expect them to go and that is totally fine, the main thing is not to become discouraged as I have been feeling these past few weeks. On reflection I have learnt so much about my self these past 3 years and the good thing is I am still learning and growing, what is important is not rushing the process and that all good things will come in due season.

There is a poem by Mary Stevenson called Foot Prints in the Sand, when me and my family lived in Swaziland we had a big framed poster of this poem hanging in one of the rooms, I used to read it every time I went into that room I love this poem, take a look…

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I want to put my own take on the Lords footprints, through out my life my relationship with God has been up and down depending on my circumstances or what I was going through at the time. When I was young my relationship with God was strong I never missed a day without praying or reading my bible, I was bold and confident when it came to telling people about the Love of God and who he was. As I got older the worries of this world took over me and my focus shifted drastically, I started comparing my life with others and I thought I was missing out on a lot of things, so I started running away from God, this lead to me eventually criticising every aspect of myself, I began to create my own footprints.. at the time I did not realise that I was creating my own destiny and journey by ignoring God and doing what I wanted to do.

Reflecting back I now realise that there is nothing more fulfilling than being in the Lords presence, I started to fill these voids that I had, trying to get other people to Love me, ashamed of who I was that I created this ideal me that everyone would like and I still was not satisfied and was left feeling unhappy and lost. About 3/4 years ago I had, had enough I was tired of running I needed to get closer to the source of my Life, I left a bad relationship I was in at the time and told myself it was time for change, being unhappy, depressed, feeling inadequate, feeling lost, living life with no purpose, & filling my voids with things except God was not my portion.

Making this decision is the best thing I have ever done, when you have experienced the Love of God and you become lost and found you begin to appreciate it more and you never want to go back to that dark place. He opened my eyes and I began to realise my self worth, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made Psalm 139:14, that before he formed me in my mothers womb he knew me, before i was born he set me apart Jeremiah 1:5 – God has gone before me and created my destiny and it is my choice if I choose to walk in the footprints that he has created before me. In the past I created my own footprints and if I had carried on I know my life would have turned out different.

My goal everyday is to make sure I am following in his footsteps, that I do not waiver from side to side creating my own path, because I want what he has planned for me and I want to fulfil his calling on my life. There is nothing more amazing than knowing that you are on the right track, yes you may stumble and fall but the goal is to be more and more like Jesus, to have his heart so that you may reject anything that does not look like him. This is a journey I want to stay on and experience the wonders of God, there is nothing like being in his presence. I want to encourage everyone to give him a chance.

 

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12 – NIV

E.B

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The #21DaysofDisciplineChallenge

– Today is a Great day to be Great –

Monday 15th  August 2016 – The day I decided to challenge myself

I was scrolling through my Instagram the day before and I came across this self discipline challenge that @PrinceDonnell had created,  for 21 days you had to…

1. Wake up at 5am

2. Have 1 hour of excercise

3. Drink 1 Gallon of water per day – equivalent to 4.5 Litres

4. Read for 15mins

5. Spend 1 hour of no phone time ( separate from exercise time )

 

I have always struggled with being disciplined in certain areas of my life whether its a goal or an idea I would often start and find myself giving up or moving on to something else that caught my eye. When i saw this challenge I thought this is an opportunity to prove to myself that I can be disciplined, focused and I can stick to a task at hand, Besides what did I have to lose? In fact I had more to gain than lose apart from having to sacrifice a couple hours lay in at the weekend I was in a Win situation if I persevered through it all.  Another thing that caught my eye, it apparently takes 21 days to create a habit well this was what I needed, the discipline of turning the things I hated which are meant to be good for me in terms of growth and success into my habits.

On Monday the 15th August I had a long day at work usually my routine consisted of waking up at 4 am getting ready for work coming back home exhausted which meant taking naps by the time I knew it my whole day was gone. This day was different, this was the day I had to start the challenge. So I showered had something to eat got dressed and I was out the door, I figured I would start with running. Usually I go for Fit run every Tuesday with a few friends but today I had to do it on my own. It hit me when I got to the park and started doing my stretches, am I actually here on my own about to run for 1 hour with no one to motivate me and push me? at this point so many things were going through my head while I was running, how are you going to do this for 21 days straight Esther with no break? Was this even a good idea? This was physically and mentally tough but I told my self I will prove to myself and other people that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

As the days went by it got tougher and tougher especially days when I had to go on my own and push my self to complete the challenge, the first week I struggled with my body I was physically in so much pain my body was not used to me pushing it the way I did, part of me was scared I was pushing too much, then I remembered something my dad used to say ‘everything is in the mind, the things you hate the most are usually the best things for you’ at the time I did not understand this but now this was my daily saying. There was no way I was going to give up through the struggles through the pain I was going to keep pressing forward as each day passed I was learning more about myself and about my body, my mind was clear, my skin was clear, I was having better sleep, more focused, disciplined and something in me was changing and has changed.

I honestly would encourage anyone to give this challenge a go, yes it will be hard waking up so early, drinking 1 gallon of water equivalent to 4.5 litres , taking some time to read a book, spending 1 hour off your phone and exercising will not be a walk in the park especially if you are doing them every single day with no break. Some will be easier than others, but when you come out on the other side the reward is quite incredible you feel like you can conquer the world.

What did I learn from this experience?

Excuses

Before this challenge I did not realise how many excuses I had to why I could not do a lot of things, this challenge made me realise that excuses are the number one thing stopping the majority of us from reaching our goals or finding out what we are capable of doing. Excuses will kill and destroy your goals and dreams, excuses are gonna stop you from realising what your potential is. There are always going to be excuses as to why you cannot do things, its gonna be raining its gonna be hot, you will always be working, you will not have enough time. The one thing I know is If you plan your day right you can fit in all the things you want to do, when you want something there should never be an excuse to stop you from accomplishing it. You gonna find a way to fit it in, spin it around, put all the puzzles together and make it work, and yes its gonna be hard but you can do it.

Just Do It

Taking the first step is a step in the right direction for success, a million questions will be racing through your mind on how this will ever be possible, most of the questions we ask ourselves often put us off from taking that first step. We get ourselves so worked up to the point were we have exhausted all the ways we can fail at a challenge and decide it will not work out so there is no point in attempting it.

Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity to start making change and taking action in your life because what if the perfect opportunity never comes. The perfect opportunity to start making changes is never gonna come, you just have to wake up one day and JUST DO IT, don’t wait for tomorrow today is the day for change, the time for change is now.

Perseverance is Key

After you have taken the first step you will face challenges and trials along the way and this is perfectly normal this is a test to see how much you can persevere through it all, Do not give up keep pressing forward. Some days I was soo exhausted and in pain but I had to power through and often recited these sayings to encourage me ‘No Pain No Gain’ ‘Nothing great ever comes easy’. You have to work hard for the results you want to see and for this i told my self I will persevere through it all giving up is Never an option. Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”.

Motivation

Its so easy to do something with someone else because you know there is no way you will slack as the other person will make you accountable, push you and motivate you to keep going, but one of the hardest things to do is to motivate yourself, no one will be there to hold your hand and whip you to take action. One thing I learned is that in the past when I wanted to do something I would look for someone to do it with me if not I would not even bother attempting it at all. I have learnt that if you want something great you cannot wait for people or someone to do it with you, you just have to push yourself and do it, you will have to be responsible for your own motivation. You never know the impact this might have, there might be people at the end of your challenge who will learn from your journey and be inspired to take action in their lives.

The most Important one of All…
Its all in the Mind

You don’t know how far your body can go until you push it everything is in your head, and the way you speak to your self is so important the inner person in your head that keeps speaking to you is sooo important, your mind set has to be right because the way you talk to yourself determines how far you can push your self. There is a constant battle between the mind and the body, for example in my first week I had the right mind set I was motivated and ready to go but everyday after work I was exhausted and tired and all I wanted to do was have a shower and go to bed, but I was not letting my body rule my mind and win I gave into my mind and surprisingly I felt so much better every time after a work out. The problem is so many of us feed into what the body wants  and later on we wonder why we feel like crap, remember ‘when you physically do something you previously were not able to do something changes’ This means that the bar increases every time you reach what you thought was your limit your mentality changes and you learn that your body can power through anything.

Positive affirmations are a good way to gear your mind and get you on a motivation high each day for example; Every day/Today is a good day to be Great, Its all in the mind, No pain No gain, Strength no Weaknesses, or my favourite one I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, Philippians 4:13.  

I challenge anyone who wants to be more disciplined and see change in their life to go for it, you will learn something you never knew about yourself. You don’t know what you are capable of unless you try, anything is possible if you put your mind to it , if I can do it you can do it.

– Everyday is a Great day to be Great

E.B

The Summer Wedding

Love is Patient, Love is Kind. It always Protects, always Trusts, always Hopes, always Perseveres. LOVE NEVER FAILS – 1st Corinthians 13: 4,7,8 –

 

On Saturday 30th July 2016 my Aunt got married and for the first time in my life i got to be a bridesmaid never been so excited for this moment. The week started off quite stressful running around with my cousin dealing with last minute final touches,  i did not realise how much work  goes into wedding planning i was stressed out and it was not even my wedding so think of how the bride must have felt? The wedding day started off crazy getting ready was stressful normally when i am going out with my friends or somewhere special it takes me up to 2 hours without rushing to get dressed, get my hair and makeup done. So my plan was to spend at least 4 hours taking my time to get ready as it was a really special day and I wanted to look amazing but as you know nothing ever goes to plan,  we were rushing around and running late for the church service so we had to get ready in 2 hours.

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We finally got to relax when in the limo and were served with some lovely champagne which my cousin poured for all the bridesmaids, the maid of honour and the bride, the best I have tasted so far. We arrived at the church got out of the limo while the photographer took our pictures, the vicar greeted us and as we entered the church we stood in height order and were given instructions of when to walk down the isle. All the bridesmaids had walked down the isle and the bride walked down looking absolutely beautiful in the Ivory glittery wedding dress she wore, the vicar led the service, bride and groom took their vows, we sang some hymns and the vicar spoke with a message for the couple. After everything we all proceeded outside to take alot of pictures with the bride, her family, the grooms family and all the bridesmaids together.

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The reception was held at The Ocean View Hotel a really beautiful venue near the beach with beautiful views and a balcony overlooking a swimming pool, this was a perfect spot to take lovely wedding pictures. When you walk inside from the balcony there is a bar accompanied with a sitting area to relax before guests were allowed to go into the main reception hall, waiters were serving some champagne and juice for the guests.

Ocean View Hotel

All the brides maids the best man, maid of honour and bride and groom lined up at the entrance of the reception hall to greet all the guests as they entered and were each allocated their seats by the ushers. The brides maids, bride and groom made their entrance after everyone had taken their seats, we all danced our way to our seats as everyone clapped along and whistled, the room was filled with joy laughter and happiness with everyone taking out their phones to take pictures and film the bride and groom as they made their entrance.

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Some of The Bridesmaids

 The tables were beautifully decorated with lovely flower centrepieces accompanied by diamond stones sprinkled with glitter on the table. Each guest had their name card next to their seat on the table and written on the back of each card was the starter, main course and dessert that each guest had chosen to eat. For the starter i had a liver parfait which was really nice it had an interesting flavour to it, then for the main was pork this was quite filling considering I had not eaten all day. Last but not least dessert let me just say I am in love with profiteroles and these ones were absolutely amazing.

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Table Settings

There was a couple of speeches to the newlywed couple from friends, family, the best-man and the groom most of them wishing them a life of happiness and success through the ups and downs, others giving them advice about married life and how to cope in different situations and the best-man trying to embarrass the groom, they were a lovely set of speeches.

We then proceeded to have a fun night dancing and having fun the bride and groom had their first dance which was accompanied by the best-man and maid of honour and later the bridesmaids and the rest of the guests. The DJ played candy and all the bridesmaids and usher boys started dancing to the famous dance routine with everyone cheering us on and getting into the spirit.The couple later cut their cake with an explosion of champagne poured by the host after that that the bride went to change into her second outfit and the guests proceeded to enjoy themselves on the dance floor. The bride and groom later reappeared wearing cowboy hats she also changed into a hot pink sparkling dress dancing their way around and onto the dance floor, the bridesmaids were also given cowboy hats and joined them on the dance floor.

We all continued on into the night dancing to the music and showing off all our moves having the time of our life. This truly was an amazing special day filled with loved ones and close friends, this day made me appreciate family even more as we had so many laughs and really enjoyed the time we had, it taught me to start spending and investing time on my family, cousins etc. and not make it a habit to come together only at occasions such as birthdays, weddings and funerals. Family is everything, Love is a blessing, A Gift from God that we should all sprinkle and throw everywhere we go like confetti.

Congratulations to Aunty Jess and Uncle Rob.

LOVE

E.B

Recharge Yourself

If you neglect to recharge a battery, it dies. And if you run full speed ahead without stopping for water, you lose momentum to finish the race – Oprah Winfrey –

 

Have you ever had that feeling of emptiness like you have been running on the low, that feeling when you have been running on empty for so long is not the best feeling to have. The crazy thing is some of us keep going till that feeling becomes part of us and we finally lose the momentum we once hard in the beginning to pursue our dreams.

The Oxford dictionary definition of Recharge – To Restore electrical energy in a ( battery or battery operated device ) by connecting it to a power supply. My take on this – When you have a fully charged phone its battery gets drained the more you use it, eventually it will die and you will have to put it on charge. Our phones need charging everyday in order for us to use them so don’t you think we deserve to treat ourselves in the same way? Its funny how we panic when our phone batteries are on 2% but we don’t feel the same way when we are running on 0% everyday, imagine if we treated ourselves and panicked the way we do with our phones when the battery is on low, how much more life would we have?

Instead Everyday we go to work submerge ourselves into the work life get home feeling soo drained that we don’t have enough ‘ME‘ time, we get into this routine of work, home, eat, sleep, this becomes our life and we start feeling drained, unmotivated, fed up and eventually we give up on life. All our plans and dreams are shifted to the back of our minds and they become a distant part of our memory that we once had.

Over the past months I have realised the importance in taking time to recharge and spend some much needed ‘ME’ time. I found myself being soo frustrated stressed out unmotivated with my dreams, goals and felt purposeless. All my energies were being drained and i was not restoring them daily, weekly or monthly so I began to write less create less, spend time with friends and loved ones less and most of all I seemed not to have time for God at all. All my focus was on the source that was draining me, you know when you have a negative friend and you keep pouring all your positive juices into them eventually you are going to run out of positive juice to pour out because no one is refilling your cup.

This is when you become Emotionally, Spiritually and Physically drained, I am learning everyday that it is important to take time recharge yourself and enjoy everyday life. Whether it is taking a holiday break every now and then even for a few days, reading a book, or finding time after work to work on your dreams this helps you focus on something other than work itself and gives your life more meaning. Also taking some much needed ‘ME’ time to refocus your energies, spending time with God every morning before you start your day also works wonders I found that every time I did this my day would go a lot more smoother, feeling less stressed out and having a different mindset. Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will “.

Being stressed and worried is not my portion and neither should it be yours. Philippians 4:13 ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”

This Week…

I spent 2 days away on a spa break at the Hilton St Anne’s Hotel in Wokingham with my sister, a surprise organised by her very thoughtful boyfriend for her birthday. It was a much needed break away from the stresses of life and work. We really enjoyed the time away and got some much needed rest, I had the best massage I have ever had gosh even thinking about it now is making me smile so hard. We both had the hot stone massage where they used heated stones to help warm up our tight muscles it was soo deeply relaxing.

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They had such a huge outdoor space where we got to relax and enjoy the sun, there was also a beautiful conservatory where you can sit, relax, read a book or do whatever floats your boat if you did not want to be directly in the sun.

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I think my highlight was the amount of food there was available i don’t think i have eaten that much food in such a long time. We had all inclusive dinner and breakfast on both days and we really made the most of it, we opted to get room service on our last day and boy was it good. All in all taking time away was really good and gave me a chance to reflect on my life, my purpose and my longterm goals and dreams.

We all need to treat ourselves and take time out to recharge our batteries in order to function and not run out of momentum.

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Lunch Time…

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Room Service Breakfast

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Me and my Sister

E.B