Category: Blog
Why Most New Year’s Resolutions Fail (and what you can do to come out smiling!)

I just got back from my week long End of Year Retreat and since my return to the real world, I’ve been asked this a couple of times – What are your resolutions for 2017? It makes perfect sense to set these resolutions, after all, it’s the beginning of a new year. Perfect time to turn a new page, start a new chapter, be a new you! Yes? Not quite.

The guys at Statistic Brain Research Institute state that over 40% of people who start New Year’s Resolutions, fail. While only 9% feel they are actually successful in achieving their resolution each year. NINE PERCENT>> Yikes!

I’m about to share with you the four (and a half) biggest mistakes people make when setting their New Year’s Resolutions – which causes them to fail. As well as exactly what you need to do to one-up these mistakes and ensure you are living your highest potential with each new year.

After all, we’ve only got a few years on this planet. Let’s live them well. Read on!

Why most new year's resolutions fail, and what you can do to come out smiling!

1. Resolution Overload!

I’ll start with one of the biggest mistakes people make when setting new year’s resolutions. Making too many of them! It’s as though we sometimes think we have become super human or worse- god-like and can do absolutely everything at the same time. You cannot! You have to be aware of your finite nature, your finite brain, body and energy and let yourself off that hook.

God is omnipresent (everywhere at once). You’re not. He is omniscient (all-knowing). Once again, you aren’t. He can and is doing more each second than you can even imagine, but you can only do a certain number of focused tasks -successfully- at a time.

Yet we want to have our cake, plus 5 other ones in hand and eat them all too. So we make a New Years resolution list that looks like this –

  1. Grow business by 50%
  2. Start healthy lifestyle- exercise 3x a week
  3. Come out of $20,000 debt
  4. Apply for a Master’s Program
  5. Get a promotion at work
  6. Spend more time with family

AND

7. Learn how to drive stick

It feels great to have a list like this. Feels like you’re about to conquer the world. Like you are going to KILL this year and finally start living the perfect life you have envisioned from way too long ago.

Yet 3 weeks in, you feel completely overwhelmed, unsure of where to start, what to focus on and are completely stressed out and tired from trying to do it all. As they say you’re burning the rope from EVERY end.

new year's resolutions fail

Wisdom Key

Instead of making a list with an undetermined number of goals for the year, limit yourself to 3 top things you want to see changed this year. You can have a side wish list with absolutely everything you want.

After you have accomplished one of the three, then include the next one from your wish list, but do not add to your plate until you have fleshed out each new habit or completed one task. Until you have begun to live out one of your lifestyle changes effortlessly. Capishe? Capishe.

2. You Put Matter Over Mind (Get it? Mind over matter? lolol)

Instead of focusing on how to change the way you think, you focus on changing external habits alone. Forgetting that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. So you grit your teeth, squeeze your eyes, wrinkle your forehead, cross your fingers – toes – eyes – trying to become someone you are not inside.

Trying to change the externals, when you haven’t dealt with the necessary mind patterns that dictate the daily decisions you are making.

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7 #livewell #wisdomClick To Tweet

This can actually prove to be very detrimental to you. If you push your body to adjust to a reality that your mind has not accepted, you end up sabotaging yourself in that endeavour. Then, your past or present failure within that task becomes a greater burden to overcome as you try the next time to accomplish it (or other tasks).

For example, you can make a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or start going to the gym, but  ignore targeting your mind. Changing the way you view your body, the way you understand healthy living, the way you view food (comfort, stress relief etc)… starting to get my point?

Your resolution is much bigger than the final product. It’s about what thought patterns have led you to where you are now, and what you are changing about it, to ensure your entire being is headed in the direction you think it is or want it to.

2b. There is no Carrot on the Stick!

When you address the mind behind your new year’s resolution, you must also address the why. You have to know the deep, root reason you have that item on your list.

WHAT IS YO’ CARROT?!

Too many people think their minds will be satisfied with simply losing weight. Uhhh, no. Your inner being needs to begin to understand what losing weight will do for your entire life. The inner you is crying out to know why you have been subjecting yourself to these past 2 weeks of grueling gym time.

Is it to have more energy to run around with your nieces and nephews?
Or because your family has had a history of diabetes and that is the last thing you need in life?
Is it because you love your hubby and want to look your best for him?

Why do you want to lose weight?

If you do not know why, you will, not might, will fail at it. Because once the first challenge smacks you on the behind, it will become too inconvenient to continue.

Wisdom Key

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8

As you make your top 3 resolutions (or goals as I call them), begin to ask yourself these questions-

What brought me to this point (financially, health wise, in my relationships etc)?
What do I have to change internally to make sure that if I hit this goal, I do not default back to where I am now or worse?
Why do I want to change this?
Where do I envision myself related to this matter?
Why?
Is this matter holding me back in other areas of my life?
What thought patterns can I begin to implement to change the way I think about this entire topic?

When you have limited the number of resolutions or goals you are focusing on, answered these questions, you can then move forward to the third reason most New Year’s Resolutions.

3. They make wishes and not goals.

Ooooh this one is a kicker. It deserves to be numero UNO because so.many.people.DO IT! They treat New Year’s Resolutions like wishes! Like letters to the tooth fairy that you can simply write, place under your pillow (or on the altar at church with your offering stuffed in it), do absolutely nothing and still see a magical turnaround by the end of the year. 

Half way through, they realize they haven’t gotten as far as they had hoped, figure the wish simply wasn’t granted and “move on” carrying the baggage of despondency, discouragement and hope deferred.

Wisdom Key

Make for gosh-darn sure your New Year’s goals are actionable. Please.

There is so much to say on this, but that is a blog post all it’s own. Until that blog post is created, click here to get on the waiting list for my FREE goal setting (and accomplishing) email course or schedule a one-on-one Purpose Call where we can see whether I am the right fit to help coach you into living at your life’s highest potential.

The last reason I believe many people fail at their New Year’s Resolutions is
*Drum roll please*

4. Because they take themselves WAY too seriously.

I’ve seen way way WAY :) too many people give up and beat themselves up when things don’t work out they way they envisioned. Instead of getting back up, dusting themselves off and getting back in the race. Nike said “Just Do It”, I say “Keep on doing it”. Keep on doing it even after you’ve “failed” in men’s eyes or by your own standards.

For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.
Proverbs 24:16

That’s so good I’ll say it again-

For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.
Proverbs 24:16

You choose what camp you’re in. Get back up after you’ve fallen. Laugh at your own mistakes. Myself and my husband say the exact same thing after tiny inconsequential mistakes and huge “it’s gonna take us a few months to recover from this one” mistakes – “You live and you learn”. We laugh, encourage each other and keep it moving.

If you’ve made the mistake today, at least you are much less likely to make that mistake again tomorrow. So laugh it off, forgive yourself and move on!

Ya hurd?

Alright! Now ask yourself the following questions as you set (or reset) your New Year’s Resolution for 2017.

  1. Is it concise. Limited. Finite. Like I am?
  2. What part of my thinking led me here and how can I change it?
  3. WHAT IS MY CARROT?
  4. What is my goal? Is it actionable? Is it SMART?
  5. Have I allowed me past failures to sap my joy and drive? How can I begin to forgive myself and enjoy life – mistakes included?

new year's resolutions fail

Your friends and family also have goals, resolutions and want to achieve their BEST this year so make sure to share this blog with them and give them tools to getting ’em done! 

If you have been battling with the same New Year’s Resolutions for years and have yet to see yours (or God’s) dreams come to life, you might need a life coach! Click here to book a Purpose Call, and see whether I am the right fit to help you begin to live at your life’s highest potential. 

Until next time, live well, live wisely
Toyin


Let’s Talk!

What are YOUR New Year’s Resolutions (or goals as I call mine)?
A few of mine are learn to cook 3 more Nigerian dishes -one of my highlights from last year,
Be a LOT more flexible about everything around me -I’m expecting TONS of change this year,
And fearlessly do what God is telling me to do- nothing more, nothing less. (this is a much more specific list I’m just pleading the 5th on the deets ;)


The Most Powerful Way To End Your Year

Alright folks, 2016 is coming to a close and you need to make sure that you are ending this year in the most powerful way possible.

We’ve all experienced 2016 differently. For some of you, this year was full of surprises. Joy, breakthrough and the miraculous taking place. While for others you made it to the end by the skin of your teeth. You faced many disappointments from others and even yourself. It felt like life only dealt tough hands and rough punches. And for the rest, this year was a mixture of both.

most powerful way to end year

As we transition into the new year, there’s one place we must all meet. One way by which we can bring our year to a strong close despite the good, bad and ugly.

This is the way of solitude and godly reflection.

Take 3 days away from the noise of friends, holidays, people and social media. Take time to reflect with God on your year.

end of year solitude retreat guide

Then reflect on these questions:

What was the biggest thing I saw God do?

You need to be able to see where the hand of God moved in your year. You may have many answers to this question, and that’s fine. Boast on God. Thank Him. Be grateful.

What am I most grateful for (if different)?

What specific things do you want to take time to thank Him for this year? If you cannot think of anything at all, remember, He has given you a gift beyond anything else you may be asking Him for. The gift of Himself. His son, Jesus Christ who loved you enough to die on the cross for you. The gift of love. Undeserved, abounding love and mercy. Remember He did not have to preserve your life to see today.

Remember His goodness, they are more than I can write in a blog. Tell yourself to find the good in our God. It’s overwhelming when you choose to do it.

What was the hardest part of this year?

Be real. Cry if you must. Bring your pain to Him and allow Him to heal and speak over it. Admit how it broke you.

As you reflect on 2016, be real with God about any pain. He isn't afraid of it and will not allow it to overwhelm youClick To Tweet

In this time, note that you must be willing to allow Him to bring healing and comfort to your pains and disappointment. This is not the time to fall into a self-pity, woe is me pit. Be sensitive to His spirit. Cry it out, but allow His healing to bring you to life and do not give in to a worldly sorrow which leads to death and depression. Remember His goodness even in remembering the hardships.

What did I learn from it?

Every single difficulty has a lesson if you are willing to hear it. If you are willing to look at it through His eyes and learn. So ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you what lessons He wanted to teach you out of your toughest season this year. Thank Him for His love and correction.

Where or when did I have the most fun this year?

What adventures did you take? Any trips? Any sweet moments of laughter with family? Friends? Catch up on some TV shows? Fell in love with a new song?

No matter how hard your year may have been, there were moments of laughter. Smile, remember, and write them down.

How has God used my church family as well as other blogs, FB live videos, Youtube Videos etc. to encourage me this year?

Be grateful for those who have poured into you this year. Reflect on the biggest lessons you learned from your mentors and leaders. Take time to send them a thank you message. You wouldn’t be who you are today without the input of certain leaders (close and distant) who have poured into you.

most powerful way to end your year questions

What -if anything- do I feel He is saying for 2017?

Take some time to ask Him what He wants to do in 2017. Ask Him for words of encouragement. Any warnings? Don’t simply wait to hear what your Pastor is going to share from God on January 1st. To do that would be like the people of Israel motioning Moses to go ahead and meet God on the mountain without desiring to meet with Him themselves.

Instead, be like Joshua and go with your leaders into His presence to hear His voice over your life and your family. This does not discount what your Pastor will hear. Use it all. Write it all down and watch what God does in 2017.

What am I asking Him to do in 2017?

If you don’t ask, you won’t receive. If you don’t ask, you won’t even know what you really want. Write down a few things you would like to see God help you do in 2017. You can ask for a specific friend or family member who does not yet know Christ to receive His love and truth. It could be related to your spiritual growth, finances, academics, workplace, relationships. Nothing is off limits for Abba.

What am I going to change in 2017?

This is more than a new year’s resolution. Ask yourself, what attitudes have held you back this year? Resolve and pray for grace to leave them behind in this year. What do you want to begin to do in 2017 which would bring you closer to His purpose and dream for your life? What structures of accountability are you setting up to make sure you follow through?

For my personal responses to these questions, check my Fireside Chat Facebook Live youtube playlist.

As we transition into 2017, make sure you are ending this year in a powerful way. Take time away from everyone to reflect on the year.

Glean all you can from your highlights and mistakes.
Grow.
Listen to Jesus’ heart for your city, nation and family.
Drop the baggage of the previous year and go in with faith. Believing that He will do more in 2017 than you have ever yet seen.

God will respond to your faith. He will meet you there.

Click here for our “End Of Year Solitude (Retreat) Guide” PDF.

Let’s Talk!

How do you transition into the new year? Where do you go on New Year’s Eve? What do you make sure to do at the end of each year?


How To Get The Most Out Of Life Changing Sermons!

You’ve been here before, heard a sermon that was absolutely life changing! Compelling! Convicting! Impacting! Unforgettable even!
Two days later you mention this sermon to a friend excited about all that it did for you.
You friend asks “Cool, what was it about? What did you learn?”
You “uhh… ummm… God is good? Lol I can’t really remember the details but I promise you it was SO GOOD! You need to listen to it!”

You’re probably laughing right now because you’ve had this conversation at least once.

You’ve forgotten most of what was said and only remember how great it felt and what an AHA! moment it was when you first heard it.

You’ve already lost the seed that was planted into your heart.  (Matthew 13:19-23)
Now, it’s not entirely your fault,

Your mind is bombarded with SO much information on a daily basis, it’s impossible to hold on to the things that matter the most unless you are purposeful about doing so.

Like it or not, we have become accustomed to listening for entertainment. We want to be moved and yes sometimes, your spirit man is affected, but there is also a listening to be CHANGED. This is what you want to fight for.

Get my free Practical Sermon Note Taking Guide that’ll help you put this post into action the information you are hearing- especially when you want to make it “flesh” in you. (See John 1:14).

practical-sermon-note-taking-guide-2

So here is how to up the ante and get the most from any life-changing sermon you hear!

  1. Repetition Repetition Repetition.

“Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.” Norman Vincent Peale

If this is a sermon teaching you a specific way of thinking that you want to become an automatic reflex, for example – you knew you have long needed to step out in faith in something God is calling you to do. You have been charged by this sermon to take hold of that faith and begin to run.

Then you need to listen to the sermon many times over in order to get your mind to really begin to believe what you have heard. Your mind has acknowledged that this is good information, but it hasn’t yet created the fruit. The material.

You haven’t yet STARTED, and stayed there until your task was complete. So here’s how you make sure you have heard that word or sermon enough.

If you heard the sermon at a live event, get the MP3.

Trust me, that pastor isn’t going to get wealthy off your $2 purchase of what he just taught. So many people act like spending money on resources that can change your own life is a conspiracy cooked up by the speaker. It’s not. Getting the mp3 will help you to grow and apply that word much more than just hearing it once.

If you cannot afford the cost of the recording, many teachers and sound departments are willing to allow you to have it for free or with whatever you can give. Just get over yourself and ask.

OR you can simply begin recording with your phone if you can sense they are going somewhere you need to really take in. If you want to change, you have to get desperate enough to have truth getting in your system.

Which ones?!

It’s not every single sermon you need to get the audio version of and re-listen to, but I’m talking about moments where you know what you’re hearing can impact your life greatly if applied. Those are the words you need to replay!

Put it in your car, or your phone. Listen to it while on the bus. While washing dishes, going for a walk, listen to it with a friend. Just continue to listen to it until you really -get it. Until it bears fruit in you.

Tip – You can do this with the Bible itself. In fact, you should be. You’ll be surprised how much your way of thinking will change!

For more on the principles of remembering, check out this article by Psychotactics.

  1. Talk About It!

When you’re trying to actually benefit from the massive amount of sermons you hear, the solution is often right before you! Begin to share what you are learning. Be purposeful about talking about the sermon (or whatever God spoke to you through) right after the event, on your way home, the next day.

The art of teaching or sharing information actually solidifies the information in yourself. It capitalizes on the power of repetition, and actually takes it up a notch because it forces your brain to reprocess the teaching in a way that your friend can receive it. So when you do this, it isn’t coming at your brain once, but you get to reconstruct that teaching and apply it to your friend’s situation, which increases your understanding of it.

In other words, you “sow to grow!” Feel free to Pin the image below as a daily reminder!

This applies to all principles God teaches you.

Keep in mind, if it was a really strong, encouraging teaching, it will probably help someone else as well. So go and share. Try to highlight at least two statements that stood out to you from the sermon. When you commit to doing this you will actually pay closer attention while listening, because you know you want to share a part of it and you get the added benefit of enriching someone else’s life!

What if there’s no one to share it with?

Then post it on one of the social media platforms you’re on. Someone may see it and be encouraged by it. This would still force you to rephrase what you heard and apply it to your friends online so it still has the benefits of sharing. However, even if you’re surrounded by tons of people who don’t know Jesus, you can share with them what points in the teaching impacted you and why. You’d be surprised how your testimony moves them, even if they don’t understand the full picture yet.

It’s ok if you don’t say everything exactly as it was said before, it’s also fine if you make some mistakes, it’s part of the learning process and still helps your brain!

  1. Take Notes!

This one goes without saying. If you are serious about maximizing your church/conference/youtube sermon experience, you need to be taking notes. To simply sit and listen is to be entertained. You cannot afford to be in that category of people any longer. If you take notes in school, you should be taking notes in church. If you take notes at work, how much less the place where you are being equipped not simply to file papers or do tasks but to change the world for the glory of God.

Some people feel their pastor’s sermons are not “worth” note-taking. He only tells stories, or —–. Guess what? If you go in with that expectation, that’s exactly what you’ll get. Listen with ears to hear.

“The shortest pencil is better than the longest memory.” Dr Amos DadaClick To Tweet

You aren’t just taking notes of what the teacher/preacher/pastor is saying. You are also taking note of what God is saying to you during that time. Write down any other ideas, points of connection He is making to you. Highlight specific phrases that you want to chew on later.

Pen and Paper!

Whenever I tell my ladies to use pen and paper in taking notes, I sometimes catch flak for it. We’re so used to our memo pad, ipads, and eletronic note taking devices that it has become a huge inconveniece to carry a pen and notebook around.

However, “brain scans have shown that when learning, handwriting activates more areas of the brain than typing.” (Longcamp et al. 2008)

Also handwriting may play a role in better synthesis and retention of complex ideas. In three studies, Mueller and Oppenheimer (2014) found that typed note taking of lectures resulted in “shallower processing” than by longhand note taking of lectures (p. 1159).

Something happens when your hand holds the pencil or pen, touches paper and you have to reconstruct what you are hearing  in order to put it down on the paper. It actually helps you retain the information better.

When taking notes, put down the date and location of what you heard. It helps you to track your growth timeline and put an exact face to the lesson. Years later, you may read those notes, see how much it has impacted you since and be able to actually imagine yourself right where you were when you took those notes down.

If you’re wondering how to take proper notes during the sermon, you will love our Practical Sermon Note Taking Guide, available to you for FREE.  practical-sermon-note-taking-guide-2

  1. Ask Questions.

Ask God, ask the teacher. Wrestle with any part of it that doesn’t make sense to you. If it makes sense and you’ve been practicing it, but don’t see the fruit, ask God what is missing.

Questions help you to clarify the meaning of terms, words or ideologies that aren’t clear to your brain. They strengthen relationships between different teachings and help you build on what you have learned previously. They establish continuity and help you build your memory on the subject.

Some questions you can ask yourself or the speaker is –

  • What does this mean?
  • If I apply what is being taught, how will my life be affected by it?
  • Has God been highlighting this to me previously?
  • How does it fit in?
  • What does this change about the way I think?

For other non-negotiable questions you need to be asking yourself, download our Practical Sermon Note Taking Guide here.

5. Avoid Distraction

Concentration greatly multiplies the impact of what you’re hearing. Allowing yourself to actively listen as opposed to a shallow “hearing” of what is being said.

Writing with a pen and paper helps curb digital temptations as you can put your phone aside for that time and focus. If you want to take sermons seriously, you also have to steer clear of the chatty sections in every church more concerned with side jokes, weekly updates, and fashion comparison.

Discussion on what is being taught and response to the speaker is fine. But you don’t want to be getting caught up in conversations that have absolutely nothing to do with what is taking place – at that time! Remind them that you can speak to them right after the sermon. Self control.

  1. Arrive on time! (If it’s a physical meeting)

Arrive on time.

Please.

Don’t be that girl, sauntering in at the end of the service like – Jesus, I’ve come to meet with you. Sermon finished, altar call done.  

Just don’t.

So the next time you hear a sermon that is absolutely rocking you to the core, make sure it goes beyond emotional highs and bears fruit in your life by applying these tips. Get the mp3 or record it on your phone and re-listen to it throughout your week, talk to your friends or spouse about it, write a blog or small encouraging status update. Take great notes. Remember, even the simplest concepts aren’t just learned. They need to be discussed, talked, and written about!

“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word”

Download the Sermon Note Taking Guide for a step by step fillable guide helping you to maximize and apply the next life-changing sermon you hear, to your life!

practical-sermon-note-taking-guide-2

If you found this blog useful to you, share it with your friends using any of the tabs below. :-*

Live well,
Toyin C.

Let’s Talk!

What other tips do you use to remember and apply a really good sermon?


5 Ways To Know If He’s “THE ONE” (Part 2)

 

Hey ladies, welcome to our Part 2, continuation of our previous blog. We are discussing 3 more questions you must ask yourself to determine if this Chris (our hypothetical suitor) is “the one”. If you haven’t read the first blog check it and then return for the final 3 points you must consider!

5 ways to know he's the one part 2

  1. Who Do Men Say That He Is?

What do his family or friends say about him? Better yet, what does your family or what do your friends think about him. This question doesn’t rank as high as “Is he a Christian? Really?” or “Do you like him?”, yet it definitely needs to be taken into consideration.

There are many troubles you can avoid if you simply listen to the counsel of people you trust and love. Family and friends are good for highlighting certain things about a guy that you can’t see yourself. Like it or not, being blinded by “love” or “infatuation” is real. If everyone around you is cautioning you to step back for legitimate reasons (not just “I just don’t like him”).

“In the multitude of counsel, there is safety”.

They could be telling you “he doesn’t treat you well”. Or “you don’t seem happy when you’re with him”. Or you notice that there is a whole lot of drama around him (you are never sure if you’re the only one he is pursuing) etc. If this is the case, take time to pray and think about the decision you are about to make. There is a proverb that says “in the multitude of counsel, there is safety”. And “in the mouth of two or three witnesses a thing is established”. Listen to those around you, use your safety net.

Also, when you are in the middle of this decision process, talk to a mature believer about it. If they know both of you, that’s even better. Ask them for counsel on the matter and take their counsel into consideration.

5 ways to know he's the one short checklist

  1. Have you prayed about it?

When we ask about prayer, we do not mean that you need to have 8 dreams and see 2 visions. Along with an angelic visitation assuring you that “This Chris, is your gift from the Most High God”. These type of confirmations are good, but not necessary in order to know if he is God’s will.

The question here is, have you brought this decision before the Lord in prayer? Have you said “Abba, this is the person that I’m considering getting married to, tell me anything you have to say about it”. And then just listened to what the Lord has to say?

It may not be an audible voice speaking, but if you listen closely, God begins to highlight different things. Ways He’s led you to that point (showing you His hand in the matter). Character traits about that person that you overlooked and wouldn’t be able to live with. Or He may simply give you a still small “yes”. Or an uncomfortable feeling when you try to think about your future together with that person. The way God speaks differs for each person, but as you build your relationship with Him, you will recognize how He speaks to you.

Now, here’s the catch.

It gets very hard to hear what God is saying about Chris if you have already thrown your heart into the relationship before you prayed about it. So take a step back. If you are already in relationship with him, spend a few days alone. Yes, I mean without talking to him, maybe a couple of weeks. Just to hear what God is saying. If it’s God’s will, you will be able to go forward with full confidence. If it isn’t God’s will that you are together, you are both better off not pursuing that relationship.

When a marriage is built on a foundation that you both prayed about it individually and got a go ahead from your heavenly Father, you are much more confident addressing the storms that will come your way during the marriage. You are able to go back to God in prayer when you face challenges and say – “God, You brought us here, help us!” But if you go in completely unsure if it is God’s will for you to be there, even small challenges will trip you up. The tiniest storm will bring you back to the point of – am I supposed to be here at all? Was this God’s will?

God knows the future of yourself and this “Chris” much better than you do so trust Him with this decision, trust His leadership. Listen without any pre-set desires and you will hear His voice.

This is not a point to be over spiritualized and neither is it meant to be downplayed. It is critical that you pray before you make this decision. It is a decision that will affect the rest of your life so don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t matter.

Pin this checklist to keep all 5 points in your back pocket for when you need it or share it with your single friends!

5 ways to know he's the one short checklist

  1. Does he want to marry you?

This is one of those points that may seem completely ridiculous to have on the list, but time and time again women pray and fast asking God whether or not their “Chris” is “the one”… and he hasn’t yet clearly approached them and laid out his intentions relating to marriage or anything serious.

Sister, he may be super nice to you every time he sees you or maybe he always goes out of his way to treat you specially. He calls you a nickname no one else does, or cracks jokes with you for days. It does not mean he is pursuing you. A lot of the time guys are just being nice Christian men and get in trouble for being that! Yes I could write a blog post to them about being clear about their intentions and cooling it when they are not pursuing, but this blog is for you, not them.

If Chris hasn’t come to you articulating what he wants. If he is too immature – sorry, afraid to say it clearly. Or he hasn’t yet made up his mind enough to say- “I like you”, or “I love you” or “I’d like to go somewhere with this” or “I can see us having a future together, please pray into this” or “what do you think of having a relationship with me” you get the gist. There’s no need for you to be worrying your mind praying and stressing your girlfriends and they mama’s about whether or not he is the right guy for you!

You be mature about it!

If you’re unclear because Chris has been making moves that make it seem like he is interested, but he hasn’t had any clear conversations with you, you can be mature about it. Ask him to speak in a semi-private or private setting. Then you can say something like “hey, just wanted to check in if there is something happening here? I’ve been noticing ____”. Or “Is there something going on that I don’t know of?”

Once you put it on the table, you will get a clear response from him of “yes” or “no”. If he says anything that is confusing and muddled, it’s a no. A man who is ready to pursue a relationship with a lady does not need her to explain that to him.

He may say “yes, I am interested but I would like to take things slowly”. Or “I am interested but didn’t know how to say so” or something else explaining why he wasn’t clear in the first place, and that’s fine. You can go back and start praying and following the earlier steps mentioned. But if Chris says “oh no, I didn’t mean it that way”, at least you’re not stressing trying to figure out whether or not he likes you!

A man who is ready to pursue a relationship with a lady does not need her to explain that to him.Click To Tweet

I’ve seen many ladies resolve confusing, time wasting situations by applying this one tip and having a conversation to clear things up. Some of them are now in relationship with, or married to those men and for others, the guys apologized for leading them on falsely. Be encouraged, even they have moved on and forgotten about the whole episode of crushing on the guy or thinking he was crushing on them.

It’s simple. It’s necessary. Stop playing high school games and doing guess work with your mind and time, just talk to the guy.

That’s all for this week ladies! I pray your process toward marriage honors and glorifies God and brings both you and your “Chris” great joy. Pin this abridged checklist so that you can remember our 5 points when it matters!

5 ways to know he's the one checklist

xoxo
Toyin C

Let’s Talk!

What are some other necessary questions for a young woman to ask before she gets into a serious relationship?
What are some non-negotiables for you personally?
Which of these points would be the hardest to consider?
Let me know in your comments!


5 Ways To Know He Is “The One”. (Part 1)

Ok, so this guy – let’s call him “Chris” seems to be pursuing you or has made it clear he would like to get in a relationship. After investing all this time growing close to Jesus, getting used to your singleness and beginning to thrive in it. Or maybe getting a bit tired of being single because everyone around you is getting married, it’s a welcome change. Chris has been making a good case for himself (as they always do) and now it begins.

That -sometimes- agonizing process of prayer and seeking for God’s perfect will for your life.
Is he the one you are to spend the rest of you life with? How do you know?
What questions should you ask?
Which character traits give him brownie points and which should be completely overlooked?
What if you’re not physically attracted to him, but you do think he’s a good Christian?
What if he bores you in conversation but he’s one of the hottest guys you’ve met?
How do you know if he’s “the one”?!

5 ways to know he's the one

Here 5 simple questions to ask yourself about the person you are considering getting married to-

1.        IS HE CHRISTIAN? REALLY?

This is the beginning point for any godly woman considering marriage. It’s the very first question you need to ask yourself (and him if you don’t know him from adam). “Christian” is a very loosely defined word in our culture as you probably know a few folks who call themselves Christian but hate the principles in the Word of God, don’t care too much to follow in the character of Christ, or purposely embrace a sinful lifestyle.

Finding out if he is “Christian” is not a check to see if he simply goes to church, lifts his hand up real high, knows how to pray in public or shouts hallelujah the loudest. It is someone who genuinely loves the Lord Jesus Christ, whose life has come under submission to the word of God and it is evident in his character and lifestyle choices.

A CHRISTIAN IS SOMEONE WHOSE LIFE HAS COME UNDER SUBMISSION TO THE WORD OF GOD AND IT IS EVIDENT IN HIS CHARACTER AND LIFESTYLE CHOICES.

Someone who is living with God’s glory in mind, he may not be perfect but you can see that the priority in his life is to become more and more like… Christ. Go figure. Christ-ian. This point has to be clarified because there a lot of men who are in the church looking for a godly “demure” (as they think equals godliness) woman to get in a relationship and do with as they please.

5 ways to know he's the one short checklist

Why Does This Matter?

Sister, you cannot afford to be in covenant with someone who is not in covenant with God. It is danger beyond your imagination. It doesn’t matter how sweet his words are, how cute he is, how loving his family is, or even how much he professes to love you. One day that love for you will not suffice anymore to sustain your relationship.

How do you know if he is a real Christian?

Listen to his conversation – with you and others. Out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth will speak. If you only ever hear him talking about money, sports, politics, work, jokes and his Jesus- centered conversation is reserved to only within bible study meetings, take note.

Also check to see- How does he make decisions? How does he conduct himself outside of the church? What type of jokes does he tell? Make sure that his life has come under submission to the word of God even if it isn’t perfect, that He loves Jesus and has truly made Him the Lord and Saviour of his life.

THE SECOND QUESTION YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF.

So! Let’s say Chris is Christian, loves Jesus and serves Him with his life. Amazing!

He goes so deep in worship you have to dig him out in order to have conversation. Great!

In fact this Chris can preach fire down from heaven when called to do so, impromptu. Terrific!

Another question you have to ask yourself if you’re considering getting married to him is this-

2.       DO YOU LIKE HIM?

Guess what? At the end of the day you’re not going to be married to Chris’ anointing. You are going to be married to him as a person. A friend of mine used to say – “the anointing is attractive” because we would notice that anytime I would share a “fire” word in our university bible study group there’d be one or two guys calling my phone around 12a.m. while I was speaking with her.

So the additional question here is do you like him? Do you like his character? Do you get along with him? Too many people are praying to marry a guy that you actually do not get along with. You aren’t going to live in the church! The glory cloud isn’t going to cover you in 100,000 hours of time with the hubby. Marriage is a long long time, make sure you are with someone you can actually talk to.

What If He’s Really… Really Cute?!

Also, it doesn’t matter if he’s the most physically attractive person you’ve ever met. Physical attraction isn’t going to keep you in a marriage. People change, bodies change. Make sure it’s someone who makes you smile, someone who shows you love, who you makes you laugh, makes you think.

Physical attraction isn't going to keep you in a marriage. People change, bodies change. Look deeper!Click To Tweet

If in your dating time you’ve found that you can’t stand being around him for too long, don’t marry the dude! It seems silly and obvious to mention but too many times, I see ladies who stay within a relationship they are really not interested in because they want to be nice. The nicest thing you can do for that guy is allow him to be with someone who will appreciate him the way he is while you wait for the right person to approach you. 

is he the one checklist

What About While We Get To Know Each Other?

Finally, this is not in reference to that -sometimes- awkward stage of getting to know one another if you weren’t friends for some time before dating. This is when you’ve gotten to know each other and find you still have nothing to say. You know it’s not the cute romantic fuzzy feels, “your mind is blank because your heart is pounding so hard” stuff. You simply have nothing to talk about or do not care about enough of the same things to meet in the middle. Marriage is not a sentence or a punishment, think that through before going ahead with a “yes!“.

See 5 Ways To Know He Is The One (Part 2) for the rest of this post!


The Secret Place

In all your doing, do not neglect the secret place. The place where you meet with God through His word, prayer and worship. THIS is where you get refreshed. This is where you gain substance. Outside of this, you’re just an echo, just re-iterating what others are learning in THEIR secret place.

Stay with God, spend time with Him. Ensure that all your ministry and service, your work and schooling comes from this place otherwise you’re nothing but a clanging cymbal, adding to the noise thats so prevalent in our generation.

We need those who walk with REAL relationship with God. I constantly find myself getting so busy doing God’s work that I forget to spend time with Him. I ALWAYS see how empty that service becomes, quickly repent and find myself back at His feet. That is the place of greatest honour.

Martha was careful and troubled by many things, but only one thing was needful. Oh that we would never forget this and get sucked in by the busyness of our generation. If JESUS had to take time early in the day to pray, how much more are we in desperate need of time with God?!

Father help us to keep first things first! Help us to actually take time in Your word and not just talk about how great Your word is for us. Help us to live out our love for You by prioritizing our relationship and heart before You. Keep our hearts alive in You. Feeling whatYou feel, praying what You pray and moving on our behalf on the earth!


Love. Life. Truth.

relative_calm_1024

 

On a day which celebrates love, I am crying out. Broken in the place of prayer and pleading with God to see a culture that lives out TRUE, PURE love. A generation that would stand for righteousness and would celebrate holiness.

A culture that would love and honor women. That would no longer objectify them in the name of “love” – What love? This skewed view of love which manifests itself as a selfish desire for self gratification that has overtaken our society with symptoms of the normalization and promotion of pornography, sex trafficking, abortion and the glorifying of “self”.

A culture that would love and honor children, no longer celebrating the right to end their lives as “justice”. I am praying for truth to be seen about this “justice” – A false justice that denies an entire human race the right to life.

I am praying for North America that we would not be so consumed in ourselves and our comfort that we sit silently as generations are obliterated before our eyes. Urging those who oppose this atrocity to be quiet, remain silent so that we can continue to live indifferently. Live in this bubble of blissful ignorance.

I pray for the body of Jesus Christ to wake up. That we would speak up. That we would be a voice for the voiceless. That we would see once again that God is love. Jesus lived love. That love in words alone is empty, fruitless and vain. We must couple our declarations of love for God and mankind with a genuine labor to see the oppressed liberated. For this reason Jesus came:
To preach the gospel to the poor;
To heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

OH that we would cry out for the children that are being killed, the women whose lives are being ripped to shreds by the atrocity that is abortion. Those who don’t even know the options that are available to them when they find themselves unexpectedly pregnant and are thereby lured into the abortion mill. I pray that we would speak life, and hope to those that are hurting from past abortions. That we would show them the forgiveness and freedom that is only available in Christ. I pray for a true love revolution to overtake our society in God’s name and for the glorifying of His dear Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus, I plead Your blood over my sin and the sins of my nation. God, please end abortion and send revival to North America.


His Name is His Word

Exodus 20:7 says: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain”.

I’ve always thought it meant don’t swear in God’s name (I swear to G– etc), or even don’t say Oh my G– etc and I’ve seen so many of us (myself included) being so particular about not just calling out God’s name all willy nilly but today a sis shared a different perspective that stumped me.

She had said that she felt God was saying: “If you’re not gonna do it IN MY NAME then don’t use my name.” (reference Exo 20:7) She said: Think about how many times you were tagged here on FB in a picture you’re not in. How did it make you feel? Well think about how God feels when we tag him in services, churches, messages, songs, conversations, prophetic words, offerings… the list goes on. If you know God ain’t in what you’re doing and/or saying, stop using His name to manipulate situations” Latisha Davis.

This really resonated with me. We need to be careful that we are ONLY speaking as led by the spirit of God who will never contradict His word. Ever. This is worship. It is FULL submission to God and not forcing God or our image of God to submit to our opinions and desires.

Abba, I pray that you would help us to stop using your name in vain. That we would not say things that are not your heart and tag your name behind it to give us more credibility. Please convict me, please convict us and help us not to add or subtract from your word. Give us the grace to bridle our tongues and speak truth and only truth. Help us to be real ambassadors of Your kingdom and an honest representation of Your heart on earth, in Your name and for Your glory.

Exodus 20.7