‘Twas the season to be jolly, trah la lala laa la la la laaa!’
I had started to write this before Christmas Day, but didn’t get around to sending it out! Thankfully there are 12 days of Christmas, so I’ve adjusted slightly and placed it into the present tense. After all, why waste a good picture of my bauble!:) Peace, love and shoes; absolutely gooorgeous!
The decorations have been up for awhile now and will soon need to come down and be packed away for another 352 days. Christmas Day has come and gone and we’ve begun to deal with the aftermath; leftover turkey and Christmas treats have been depleted; checking bank balances and counting the days until the next payday have started; being aghast at the usual increase of travel costs; those who work, are dreading returning; new relationships have started; old relationships have been rekindled; and divorces are even being thought about or sought! Statistics show that there is an increase in filing for divorces, around the New Year. It is seen as a time for a New Beginning. The first Monday back to work after New Year is known as “Divorce Day”. Families are thrown together at this time of year, so stresses and strains intensify, and usually heightens any tension present. A marriage (long term relationships/civil partnerships) can be hard to sustain. Two people coming together need to think as one. This applies at any age and when the marriage has been for any length of time. Some never get used to it and give up the fight. Others get bored. The key thing is love should be unselfish. The Bible says we love because He first loved us. Obviously, the love we have with a ‘significant other’ isn’t 100% equivalent to the love we have of (or with) the LORD, but within the relationship we should always be able to think to ourselves; ‘Would God be happy with the way I’m treating them?’ ‘Am I thinking rationally?’ ‘How would I feel if someone were to say the same thing to me?‘ Respect should be shown. The long and short of respect is basically treating someone the way you wish to be treated.
Opportunities in 2020
Each year, time seems to pass so quickly. I read the other day that a supermarket had already started to sell Easter confectionery. Easter is in April! Do not allow this year to go by before even thinking about what can be done to improve your life. January 1st is as good a time as any, to review life. Looking back, where have the last 365 days taken you or brought you to? Looking forward, through the 363 days ahead, where do you see life taking you? We should aim to always evolve. Some say they do not make resolutions because they never adhere to them or they can self-improve any time of year. This is true. However, why not set one resolution that will cover everything within or about your life. The angle that you look at or do things. You may already have a full and fulfilling life, but see if you can look at things from a different perspective. You may have an empty life, so do something that can give it a boost. Search for opportunities (they are out there), rather than wait for them to land in your lap. Search in every conversation you have, programme you see, newspaper, book or magazine you read. You may not realise it but, when you open yourself to receive your calling, when it’s your time, you will see it present itself to you. Repeatedly.
I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
The LORD’S Answer
Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time, it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay “Habakkuk 2: 1-3 (New International Version/Old Testament/Holy Bible)
My mentor sent me a table for listing plans for the year ahead. It is such a good idea to have things written down and made plain (as per scripture above). Sometimes we can start off with the best intentions but they then fall to the wayside.
The aforementioned table has sections to review the past and then look forward. Whilst reviewing the past it allows you to be aware of what thing(s) you wish to take into the current year. Acknowledging the bad, as well as the good, makes it possible for you to say goodbye to whatever you need to. If there is anything you don’t want to follow you through this year, say farewell as soon as possible. It’s no good having it weigh you down and wasting time that you could have focused on something else. Among other things, the table has spaces for recording forgivenesses, letting go, accomplishments and challenges. It is very detailed. Write it down and make it plain……. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. It will be brought into fruition.
As you venture into 2020 and begin to see things come to pass, may you go with peace, exude love, step out in a good pair of (new) shoes and shine like the star you are. Be the person that you would love to meet!
With my header reading ‘It’s ALL About Me‘, some may feel that I’m self-indulged, wrapped up in myself and selfish. On reading this, I’ve even felt that way about myself, but it couldn’t be further from the truth! In the past I’ve always been one to try and push the attention away, if it was on me. The aim was to make the focus into a joke or struggle to be boisterous if it weren’t possible to throw the ball on. Anyone reading this, who knows me personally, may think to themselves ‘Errrrrrrmmm, what the hell is she on about! (side-eye glance)’, but that is how I would feel. I didn’t feel that my actions were me being me. It was forced. The only time I didn’t mind was when I was speaking to the Church, administering The Word, because then it was ALL About Him! Preposterously, I even thought I wasn’t worthy of God’s love and attention, but that is all changing! Today, I thank God for His undying grace, love, attention and everything else, that I have now realised.
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him1 John 3:1 (New International Version)
Now, I have been a Christian for many years, but still didn’t understand the meaning of His undying grace and love. It is by the help of my mentor, sent by God, that I have come to the realisation. It’s funny how we met, because I used to date her brother. When our relationship had ended, we remained friends and I began attending the Church where his mother was the Pastor. (Surprisingly, I had no idea she was a Pastor, whilst we were dating!) I was baptised, became a member of the Praise and Worship Team, created and became the editor of the church newsletter (Divine Inspiration) and my mentor wasn’t yet baptised. Fast forward many years later, it is amazing to see her zeal and commitment to life and The LORD. I’m not saying that she didn’t have a belief before but I am sure she will agree that her relationship with Him wasn’t as it is now. She has set me tasks for (spiritual) growth, by what she has and hasn’t said, and how she lives her life. She is a fine example of how to make the most out of every second, minute and day. I am far off that stage, but in time will get there! That should be a lesson to us all, that when we think noone is watching, firstly The LORD sees all and then so do those around you. If they’re not seeing it, someone else just might tell them!
I mentioned in previous posts, a bit about my past. For a long time I’ve been deliberating about whether or not I should make it known and thought to myself, why not? The things that had happened to me, and made me as I am, made me ashamed. I should have no shame but those who have done me wrong should. NOT the other way around. Many that read this will not realise these things have happened, but I am going through a healing process. To heal I need to acknowledge events, allow myself to breathe in and then let it go. I’ll say it again (paraphrased), I don’t feel there is any need for me to feel shame because I wasn’t the one in the wrong. If ever the persons that did me wrong come across this or anyone that is guilty of doing this to others, my hope is that they feel shame and ask The LORD for forgiveness. If anyone reading this, or any of my other posts, can relate: I pray that they may be inspired to also heal, to seek help or to think of things differently and consider taking a step in the opposite direction to where they are now.
I am in the process of writing a book. This will allow me to fully rip the plaster off without caring about the pain. Right now I am inhibited, but it will be so freeing to do it without having to wonder what people I know are thinking. It is my right.
Abuse – (Emotional/Verbal)/Mental, Physical and Sexual
This can arise in many forms. In some cases the abuser may not be aware they are doing it but, nonetheless, it is what it is. On occasion the abuser knows exactly what they are doing and revel in the fact. Without going into too fine a detail, all of the above occurred to me, and has shaped me into the person I am today. Any form of abuse affects every aspect of the abusee’s life.
Questions arise for every thought, words spoken and feelings felt, by themselves and those they come across.
The very first instance of sexual abuse occurred at a young age and whether or not the person was young themselves, it was wrong…I should feel no shame or be able to brush it off. It is also for me to speak to the person about it if and/or when, I feel the time is right. I say ‘if’ because I’ve held it in for so many years, never discussing it but always thinking about it. I was then sexually abused by two other people; in my teen years then as an adult. Added to the (emotional)/mental and physical abuse, I oftentimes wondered what my life would be like if I didn’t always have that on my mind. Abuse really knocks you! Would I have followed a completely different path? Why did it happen to me? Am I a magnet for this? Who knows? What I do know is that it does noone any good to keep living in the past! If it does cross your mind, it must be in celebration of where life currently is or has taken you. There are many organisations out there that offer counselling services. I would say that as soon as you feel the need to deal with it, grab that chance. At various times I have had counselling, and the counsellor was just used as a sounding-board. I didn’t need to be advised how to heal. I didn’t need to be told how bad it was that things had happened. I just needed to be heard….Continue reading “Coming Out On The Other Side”
From my previous posts, you may have gathered that I have a belief. I believe in The Most High God, I’m a Christian and have been baptised. When setting up this blog, I thought that I wouldn’t let my Christianity be my main focus or that, maybe, I wouldn’t even mention it. HOWEVER, it’s very hard not to have it creeping in. As the song from The Greatest Showman goes…’This is me!’
The title of this post is from the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. The Book of Ecclesiastes happens to be another of my favourites. As well as having the knowledge that scripture is God breathed and/or inspired, it amazes me that it’s possible to one day come across a verse or chapter that speaks directly to your life, body and soul, then on another occasion you may be reading it, with a little more information from previous verses or chapters, and it will take on a completely new meaning. It is the same with life. Things happen, but when thought about in the future, it can sometimes take on a new meaning. We can usually gain a new understanding. Occasionally, we are even able to laugh, after initially crying, pulling out our hair and being distraught.
My aim was to get this post out whilst we were still within November but, unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Three days late isn’t too bad! Above is a beautiful autumnal scene. Autumn is the transitionary period from summer to winter, which is September to November. The view of that same area can differ greatly, depending on what time of year it’s being looked at. It will, on most occasions, be the same trees in that area, unless something drastic has happened to alter it, i.e death, disease, drought, fire or the birth or planting of a new tree, amongst other things. However, sometimes, all that glitters is not gold. At a first glance a tree may seem beautiful, but at a closer look there may be evidence of rot or wear and tear. There can even be things that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Our persona can also be affected by these same things, mentally, physically and spiritually. Our needs can or will change because of internal and external factors. The same can be said for family and friends, even strangers that we come across. We do not have a clue of exactly what each person is dealing with and also what coping mechanisms, if any, they may have. But by being given a little (or a lot of) love and attention, they can be transformed.
He can make everything beautiful in its time…
In the Book of Ecclesiastes, the third chapter tells us there is A Time for Everything. The very first verse says ‘There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven’. Everyday we can take a walk and see how wonderful this earth is, that we have been blessed with. This is no matter what the weather is like or the season we’re in. Beauty can be found in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Likewise in people.
Deciduous means tending to fall off. In Autumn, the deciduous trees or shrubs no longer need their leaves for survival in the forthcoming season, so it loses them. The leaves fall to the soil, which then enables its decomposition to provide soil bacteria and fungi. This soil bacteria then gives important nutrients to the roots. There is no longer a requirement for so much photosynthesis to take place in order for it to survive and this process provides food for other life forms, such as other organisms present in the soil below. This is a prime example of the cycle of life. The tree or shrub will then create a leaf scar, so that the water that has been collated before does not freeze over. Isn’t that amazing! I know I learnt about this stuff when I was at school but had to refresh my memory. The shrubs I have at the front of my home need not fear, they are here to stay! What a wonderful God we serve! Not everyone reading this will realise this, but my prayer is that you soon will! Before I get sidetracked, I will proceed. Yesterday I looked out of the window and the ground was covered with leaves. Prior to this, I was wondering why they were still hanging on, which is when I started reading about the cycle.
Everything has its season.
When the spring arrives, the weather begins to warm up and the sun provides the warmth they will all need to give birth to new leaves and photosynthesis will reoccur.
Give that a thought for a moment…take yourself away and think about it. What is it that you require for your ‘next season’? What is it that needs to ‘fall off’ your life. What is it that would be good for you not to take through to the new year approaching? What do you need to attract and overcome? What are you waiting to give birth to?
The point is that your thoughts on a particular thing can change from day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month and so on, but that doesn’t matter because as you go through different things; receive different information and meet different people…it can change your view; the way you feel and think about something can alter. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your thoughts were wrong at a particular time but just that you’ve learnt more. You’ve grown. You now see things from a different perspective.
Leave yourself open to new experiences and challenges. Be willing to eat new foods, go to new places, try a course and/or meet new people. Be willing to do things that you never would have done before. Do things that YOU have always wanted to do but never had the guts to. Make changes in your personal life or work. You never know what situation is waiting for a Project Manager (YOU) to take it in hand! Let the spring of 2020 mark a year of adjustment, improvement, renewal, transformation and the manifestation of anything else that is positive. Be like a caterpillar, inside its cocoon, waiting to reveal all its glory when it emerges. For He has made EVERYTHING beautiful in it’s time. Whatever you choose to do ensure you are just the way you want to be; exactly as you were meant to be. Prepare yourself by meditation, prayer and supplication. Let 2020 find you being unapologetically you…
Ecclesiastes 3 v 1-8
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace…
NIV: New International Version
On the evening of November 19th in 1973, I took my first breaths of life, in this world. Now, 46 years later, I can give God a great, big thank you, that I am still here! With the things I have been through, I could have lost my mind, BUT I’m holding on. My morning was spent responding to messages and chattering on the phone. After a conversation with my Aunt, I was gifted some money, so my plans changed and improved immediately. Initially the thought was, that I would go for a little window-shopping and get my eyebrows neatened up. Now that I had received money, Wandsworth became my oyster. I was able to buy some kitchenware, watch a movie and grab a bite to eat. All by myself. I loved it! I thoroughly enjoyed that and felt blessed!
My Mum also visited my home, whilst I was out, but put a card (containing money) through the letterbox. Added to that, my sister came around yesterday with a little birthday cake (above) and she bought us a takeaway, we chatted and watched a couple of movies. Another gift is now pending and there are a few dates to follow. My future, for the rest of 2019, is looking bright! Christmas is close behind…
Reverting back to my birth, many years ago, I was born on a Monday. There is a nursery rhyme which begins ‘Monday’s child is fair of face…’. Apparently, those born on a Monday are very attractive, beautiful and are promised good things and a fortunate life. Well, I can accept that…..partly! After all, Margaret Wolfe Hungerford said, in her book ‘Molly Swan’, that ‘beauty is altogether in the eye of the beholder’. Well, I behold the reflection of myself and see that it is good! Researching, I came across a few quotes, which I felt expressed this perfectly.
Beauty is altogether in the eye of the beholder.Margaret Wolfe Hungerford
We live in a world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.Jawaharlal Nehru
People often say that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places that others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.Salma Hayek
The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you.Vanna Bonta
Beauty isn’t about looking perfect it’s about celebrating our individuality.Bobbi Brown
As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a mentor. In the beginning, she advised me to begin collating affirmations. On doing this, I was told to look in the mirror and affirm them every day. It sounds simple enough, right? Being a person who has/had an issue with ‘self’, it was extremely difficult, at first. As time went on, it did eventually become easier and easier. I noticed that, the times I found it hardest, was when I was having a problem with self-image. Now, I may sound confused, because I start by speaking confidently about beauty, but that’s how I am. I’m not suggesting that, mentally, in the space of time it took for me to get to this point of the blog that my mind had completely changed but I am not always feeling as confident on a day-to-day basis. What I can say, however, is that I am celebrating life, at this moment in time. Therefore, I will try to do as much as possible to remain in the same spirit. As always, I remain, Unapologetically Marcia
Below are some of my affirmations, that you may find useful.
- I am beautiful
- I am enough
- I am exactly where I’m supposed to be
- I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness
- I am intelligent
- I am made in His image!
- I am proud of who I am
- I am strong
- I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness
- I am intelligent
- I am the woman God ordained me to be
- I am what I think and today I think life, fruitful and positive thoughts
- I am whole
- I am worthy of being a work in progress and God does love me
- I believe that nothing is impossible, if you only believe
- I have the power to create change
- I only desire that which is good for me
- I radiate beauty, charm and grace
- I wake up today with strength in my heart and clarity in my mind
- Everything that is happening now is for my ultimate good
- God has given me this AMAZING, DYNAMIC POWER to do, be, have and create ALL that I desire
- My fears of tomorrow are melting away
- My life is just beginning!
- Today I abandon my old negative habits and take up new, more positive ones
- Today I am excited about life
After reading this, has it given you thoughts on making your own affirmations? Do you already have some? Would you like to share?
Great Oaks from Little Acorns Grow.— Geoffrey Chaucer
When going on a journey there has to be a starting point. One may or may not even have an idea of where they will end up, but do know where they are. The point is whether they like where they are to begin with, or not. Some decide to make a change so that they will become better than they are (being in a bad place) or just to improve themselves (being in a good place). Overall there is just a yearning to be different; a yearn to not remain the same. I was on this train of thought when I came across the heading Great Oaks from Little Acorns Grow. Some may know it as mighty oaks and the words moved around, but you get the gist! I knew there was a need for change. I’m not saying I was or am in the worst place possible but knew that, mentally, I could not continue as I was. Your mental disposition can affect your health in so many ways. So, I thought, let me take control and attempt to steer things in a different direction. It may not totally heal me of my ailments but I’ll feel better for it and nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Whilst being a teenager I often dreamt of what adult life would be like. I wanted to have a husband, who loved me inexplicably, two children, my own home, the world as an oyster (that I’d taste frequently) and untold happiness. The reality is, I have been single for too many years (which I’m certain is caused by my low self-esteem), have one daughter; whom I love VERY much (she is my pride and joy), live in a rented home, and have only visited a handful of places. I am now almost 46 years old; where has the time flown! Before now I was unhappy about this, but now, I am content and see life as a glass half full rather than half empty. I’m waiting to see what is going to happen next rather than thinking, nothing ever happens to or for me. We can be our own worst enemies by dwelling on negative thoughts and, at times, can be so entwined in them that we become knotted within until it feels almost impossible to unravel ourselves and break free.
I used to watch a programme, you may know it, where a group of young women would take part in a search for the next best thing in the modelling field. They were vying for a position, in order to win a competition. Some would be crying at a certain point, saying they were not good enough. I’d always give a side eye and think, why the hell are you on the show then?! But we all have moments when we begin to doubt whether we can actually do something…when pushed we usually can. It’s all about our belief or lack of. The thing is to maintain our belief and ensure it never wanes, bringing us to a standstill. If you do come to a standstill you have to use it to your advantage and analyse why you have got to that position and where you go from there. You may grind to a halt or continue with thoughts rushing through your mind, either way it should not be seen as a bad thing. Also, I hasten to add, there is no time limit! Having said that there’s also the adage that time waits for no man. None of us know the exact moment our lives will end or what opportunities we will or will not come across, but we can guess. Be careful time is not wasted pondering or being angry, for you can turn around and be surprised at the age you’ve reached and the lack of an attempt at your hopes and dreams. If opportunities have been missed, move on to another, or search for one, as swiftly as possible.
Growing up I was never confident and there were direct reasons for that, (which I’ll go into at some point in the future). At school, I was around those who were (or appeared to be), but when I reached my teens I had to wear a back brace and eventually had an operation for scoliosis. I felt as though my world was caving in…I became a recluse and felt as though everyone was so much better than I was. It was at this point that I thought to myself, I can truly forget about all those dreams. Who would want someone with a ‘broken back’ (and the rest); I mean I didn’t like me, so how could anyone else! After this moment, life just happened to me. Feelings of not fitting in continued and I just attempted to do things that other people did or what was considered normal. Then, I became an acorn. For all those years I was within the oak tree; needing it to give birth to me. A friend of mine would always post inspiring quotes, on WhatsApp. I would read them and think, ‘I want to be on that wavelength’, so I sent her a message and asked her if she would consider being my mentor. She agreed. It was at this point that I became an acorn that had fallen away from the oak. No longer was I to be led by mental ill feeling or with an aim to please others, but by a need to be my own person. I needed to please ME. I became an acorn waiting to be planted. I have now become an acorn that has been planted in a good foundation and with regular watering with God’s word and the warmth of His Holy Spirit; I’ll be fine! I’ll be able to grow into a Great/Mighty Oak.
I am very happy to continue this journey with God as my buckler and shield and I give thanks for what I’ve been through, where I am now and where he intends to take me! It’s more than okay to be unapologetically me. Here are 3 of my favourite scriptures (there are many!).
…….to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.– Isaiah 61:3, New International Version
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?– Psalm 27:1, King James Version
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.– Psalm 28:7, New International Version
Below are some quotes I can relate to.
Growth is the Only Evidence of Life– John Henry Oswald
Growth itself contains the germ of happiness.– Pearl Buck
One does not become fully human painlessly– Rollo May
The shell must break before the bird can fly– Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The last several years have been challenging; filled with numerous highs and lows, BUT I’ve decided to take the bull by the horns and turn things around. I need to push it to a constant high (or at least a majority!) No. Turning. Back.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Marcia…I’m going on a journey and would like to take you with me.
Welcome to the rest of my life!