Articles Tagged with: christian women
Valuable Tools That Carried Me Through My Greatest Trial

Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t win in life? Like you just can’t catch a break? Sometimes you want to stay down when you get hit because it seems like that would be better than getting up, only to get knocked down again.

When the tough times come, what do you do? Who do you depend on? Who do you trust? Today, I want to talk to you about the tools I used to overcome my life’s greatest trial.

tools for trial

I often compare my life to that of a punching bag. The brand is Everlast, because my Father is Everlasting. I’ve taken hits but I know I was designed with quality in mind so no matter what, I will last.

My son Kayshaun was born with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, which is a disease that causes a lack of protein in the dystrophin gene. Over time, this causes a deterioration of his muscles. There is no cure, and the only treatment available has some really undesirable side effects.

Since the heart is the biggest muscle in the body, we understood that there was a possibility that it too would eventually deteriorate. In October 2013, we had just finished a regular checkup with the heart specialist at Sick Kids hospital. Every year we have the same tests done, to make sure there have been no changes in his heart function. On that day, we celebrated that his heart function was normal and only showed the slightest of changes.

Fast forward to February 2014, when Kayshaun fell ill. We were often in the hospital from severe constipation from his medication but this time seemed different. The doctors in the Emergency department looked at him quickly and sent him home with a new prescription that didn’t seem to solve the problem. By the 3rd time we had gone back to the Emergency Department, I decided that I was not going to leave until the doctors had done a thorough check.

Persistence

The doctor sent us for X-rays and it finally seemed like he had diagnosed the problem. Kayshaun was severely constipated and needed an enema to clear him out. But at the same time, the doctor had found something else. He told me that he needed to admit us to the hospital in order to take a closer look.

Doctors from the cardiac unit were called in and they kept us overnight to run tests. By morning, the doctors had diagnosed the problem. They called me into a separate room and told me that his heart had deteriorated rapidly from healthy to 5% heart function in a matter of 4 months. They had never seen anything like it and only gave him the weekend to live. They uttered a sentence I will never forget.

I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do.

I was shocked. Heartbroken. Unsure of what to do. Talk about being punched in the gut. I lost all ability to breathe, to think, to live.

I felt like I was left hanging in the air. The weight of the news was too much. I got the news on Friday, and some friends came to the hospital on Sunday to pray with me. That day I felt an indescribable peace came over me. Everlasting peace.

I had this understanding that things were going to be ok. I also made the decision to live life and make unforgettable memories with my son in the time we had together.

When You Think It Can’t Get Any Worse…

In the months that passed, many miracles took place. Every time the doctors said he only had a few days left, he out-lived their prediction. Happily. He always kept a smile. However, on the morning of August 16th, 2014 he woke up and took his last breath in my arms.

I never thought he would pass away. He beat the odds every single time. Near the end, it became more challenging for him and he kept pushing. And each time he kept pushing, I did too. We were cut from the same cloth, built to overcome.

But still he left…

After we had laid him to rest, I took a trip with a friend to get away from the noise. When I returned, I found out that a glitch in my income provider reduced my earnings from $1200 to $700. This meant that I didn’t have enough money to cover my rent. I had two weeks to pack up what I could, donate as much as possible, put the rest in storage and leave.

I didn’t get a chance to take my time even to pack and mourn over his stuff. Maybe it was for the best. In an instant the life I spent eight years building was gone.

But life has a way of shaping us by bringing us through the fire.

My “Tools For Trial”.

Here are the specific things that carried me through my greatest trial.

  • Music.
  • Prayer.
  • Community.
  • Love.

These are the tools that God used to transition me into my new beginning. They helped me find the room to breathe when I felt I couldn’t. Through the curves, the punches, when I felt frozen and stuck in one place.

Music

In the moments where words weren’t enough, I would play songs of hope. Songs of that reminded me of the truth. Especially, I played gospel praise songs to remind my soul that God is still good when I was tempted to complain. They helped greatly in uplifting my spirits

Prayer

Most of my prayers were short because I had nothing much to say and nothing much to give. Sometimes my only prayer was “God help me”, or “God, it hurts” or “God, please!”

And I know that He heard me each time.

In times of prayer, I felt God’s comfort more than I had ever felt it before.

God is your comforter in hardships 2 Corinthians 2 tools for trial

It’s interesting. You can read about the God of comfort but until you need Him this way, you don’t really know what it means. Still He always shows up.

Community

I used to isolate myself when things got really bad and I was challenged to reach out and to build and maintain my friendships through this period. To start conversations with others when I feel like shutting down.

Part of my choice to lean on community support was to hire a professional therapist to help me process my emotions. I also applied to be a part of Toyin’s amazing Leadership and Women’s Life Coaching group. There I was surrounded by 11 other women who walked with me and allowed me to walk with them through their processes as well. It helped me get direction in my life, regroup and see that my life didn’t end when his did, as much as it had felt that way for so long.

Love

Love has been a constant throughout this experience. Kayshaun showed me love every single day. God showed me love every step of this journey and finally, I realized that every time I gave away a little bit of love, it actually was a source of healing to me as well. I felt more complete.

New Beginnings

I heard that the number seven represents completion and perfection and eight, new beginnings.

My son passed away at the age of eight.

I believe that I now have the opportunity for a new beginning if I am willing to accept it. I have been branded by my Maker and walk in His everlasting strength, no matter what is thrown my way.

My Words To You

Dear friend, no matter what you are going through, I want to tell you that you also have the opportunity for a new beginning.

Take a breath *in* and *out*, breath the stress, the negative words, the haunting memories out and give them to God. He knows what to do with them and He knows how to mend your heart and give you life more abundantly in return for your brokenness.

Say these words out loud:

Lord, please help me. No matter where I am in life, keep me close and grounded in You.

You will have to choose to move forward and if even if you feel like you are starting from scratch, make sure you are doing so with a solid foundation. I promise you, God is willing and able to hear you, even if all you can do is whisper.

The best part of life is that you are never obligated to give up. Each day you keep pushing, you are inspiring people around you who you may not even know are paying attention. We need you to keep holding on.

Here’s a major tip that helped me a lot.
Besides praying, find a song that pierces your soul.  The kind of song that no matter where your head is at, it breaks through and warms your soul unlike any other. The rhythm is perfect and the words speak life.

Whenever you are having a hard time connecting, dealing with life, staying present, and moving onward, play that song on repeat. Repeat it until you feel a change within yourself and SING!

It doesn’t matter if you can hold a tune or not, sing the song with everything you have in you. There is something so powerful about singing truth out loud. It’s like you sing the problems out of your body. Once you’ve done that, make the decision that no matter what, this day will be positive. Even if everything goes wrong around you, smile, thank God for the good and bad and don’t give up.

So what’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get knocked down? How are you going to react when life throws you a curve that you never saw coming? Trust God that you too can have everlasting strength.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
-Hebrews 12:11

Let’s Talk

  1. What are some of your FAVOURITE songs for moments of hardship? Share so that others can benefit from them as well!
  2. What are some of the tools that have carried you through your greatest trials?

Guest Blog by C.o.l.a. of Up Pur Beauty

Note from Toyin

Thank you so much C.o.l.a for being willing to be vulnerable and open with us on your personal journey through such a difficult trial. We support you and love what God is doing in and through your life. We pray for greater peace, joy, and comfort as you continue to surrender yourself to Him.

I am honoured that you would share your story on this platform and hope that many of my readers are encouraged to use these tools and find others that will help them overcome the trials they face.

Everyone’s process is different, but God is able and willing to restore even the most bruised and broken heart. If you want to practice what Cola said and listen to as well as sing truth over yourself, click here for a recommended youtube playlist.

If you would like to read more about overcoming hardships, read this blog about failure and this blog about excuses.

Bless you Cola and reader,
Toyin C


The Necessity of Sacrifice in Fulfilling Your Destiny – Part 1

Recently we spoke about the reality of Jesus’ sacrifice spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally both when He was alive and in His death.

I believe that God is looking for people who will be willing to press through the pressure and become living sacrifices, just like His Son.

However, making sacrifices can be done well or it can be totally futile (ask Cain) so today we are going to unpack the how, why and what of living your life as a sacrifice to God. Motives, how to make sure your sacrifice counts and finally, the necessity of sacrifice in fulfilling your destiny and purpose!

necessity of sacrifice in fulfilling destiny

THE MOTIVE OF YOUR SACRIFICE

When we speak of making sacrifices for the sake of God’s glory there are some distinctions that need to be made.

First of all, making sacrifices doesn’t earn you salvation. It doesn’t even earn you God’s love.

Why?

Salvation can only come through faith in the sacrifice and work of Jesus Christ. His sacrifice is and was enough.
Also, God loved you completely before you did ever anything for Him. There’s nothing you can do to make God love you more.

So what is the motive for making sacrifices?

Sacrifice is meant to come out of a heart of love. An overwhelming response to all that God did for you through Jesus Christ. A recognition that nothing you do will ever equal His level of sacrificial giving. Just like He so loved the world that He GAVE, you so love Him and others that you GIVE what He asks when He asks it.

I heard this on the radio this week –

necessity of sacrifice

Be sure of this, your obedience matters to Him.

Sacrifice begins with surrender.

Some people think that just because they are working hard and giving things up, they are making a sacrifice that is worthy of great reward. And while they may have temporary success from these sacrifices, they miss out on receiving eternal, lasting and the most fulfilling rewards you can get from making sacrifices.

Why? Because if that sacrifice isn’t being done because of the call or leadership of God in your life, it is essentially done for your own glory.

And guess what?

Hustling for self glory is simply self-promotion. It may produce temporary success but will not have lasting fruit.Click To Tweet

Sure it’s hard work and you’re giving things up, but if it is not in the will of God for your life, all that work will be burned away when you die (1 Cor 3:11-15). The only thing that will matter in eternity are the things you did, according to His will and for His glory.

Necessity of sacrifice, we are God's workmanship

This means there is a work that God has prepared for you to do.

Obedience Looks Like Something

If obedience to God’s directives is what matters it means that making a sacrifice can look different in different seasons.

For example, at one point, He may ask you to sit down to spend time with Him primarily focused on prayer, fasting and worship – I mean investing hours each day. And that can be difficult to do while it seems like everyone else is busy “making moves” in life.

Then there will be other seasons where He desires that you take action. Where He wants to use YOU as the answer to the prayers you’ve been praying. Seasons where He asks you to run with one or a few things that will further His kingdom on the earth.

It could be business, family, ministry, service, career, schooling or any other thing. It is never meant to take the place of seeking God in private prayer, but it is work.

Are there things that you are holding on to for comfort and security. Are there assignments that God has been calling you to do? Or are you currently working in your purpose and ministry but feeling tired and weighed down? You have to remember…

Sacrifice Means Work.

If God has given you something to do and you pray into it, and REALLy want it to happen with all your heart but do not make the sacrifice required, it will not happen!

necessity of sacrifice, jesus took action

Prayer and intercession are crucial to fulfilling your destiny. But if Jesus only prayed at Gethsemane – “Father, let Your will be done” and didn’t take action – carried his physical cross and got killed on it, we would not be saved today.

Remember He had the option to opt-out.

“Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?”…
Jesus.

He had the power to stop everything. With each lash, with each step, He could have said, I’m done. It’s over. But He waited until He had fully drunk from the cup of God’s wrath. Until He was about to die and then He said –

“It is finished”.

Like He said,
“My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to complete his work.”

If Jesus did not go through until the end it would have been a God plan, a perfect and good idea that died unfulfilled.

We must be willing to partner with Jesus in the prayer, surrender and finally in the follow through – work.

 

Others Can, You Cannot.

Other people may want to just cruise through life. Take the easy road.
Get saved.
Take care of their family only.
Work a good career.
Die and go to heaven.

But you need to be willing to seek God’s fullness for your life, then figure out how to actually live it out. Take the time to ask questions, sit back, pray hard, listen, then move.

Have you been waiting on a series of miracles to inform you of the work you are called to do?
Sometimes you simply have to sit down , use the amazingly creative brain God has given you and just THINK!

Think about where you have been called to. Who you have been called to impact.
Set short, mid and long term goals for how you want to do it.
Plan the actions you must take to hit the goals you have set.
Don’t just wait for the supernatural to push you where you need to go.

God will do His part. He will direct you, show you what He has put inside of you and confirm that you are on the right track or adjust your sails… while you go.

But He will not do your part.

He will not take control of your calendar and help you schedule your activities.
He will not force your brain to think of the inventions that He has placed inside of you.
He will not write your book for you and drop it on your lap while you sleep.

You need to allow God to challenge you. Ask Him what He expects of you.

Then push! Plan! Get help where you need it, and GET IT DONE!

 

Sacrifice Means Completion.

What work has God asked you to do? Are you completing it or do you just start and stop? When you get started, do you actually finish?

Can you imagine if Jesus dropped the cross as they climbed the hill in Calvary and said,
“Sorry guys, I’ve changed my mind. This is actually way too hard for me. God, please find someone else.”

Can you really imagine that?!!

Yet we do it all the time. We start doing what He says, then when it feels unbearably hard, we give in to our flesh and call it quits. Reread that hypothetical sentence and ask yourself whether you’ve been saying a variation of that in an area of your calling.

Yes, these seasons of work can cause you to feel tired. Overwhelmed. Or like it’s impossible for you to do what He’s saying but guess what?

Remember, if you could do it in your own strength, you wouldn’t NEED God.

Within The Process

The heart behind the action is as important as the action itself.
It’s not enough to simply say “ I did it”.

During that pressing season I spoke of in my last blog, I was thinking to myself ‘God, do you see how hard I’m working?”.

And His response was “Do you think doing the action and checking it off the list is what I’m looking for? I see the heart behind it. Jesus did not go to the cross complaining. He went joyfully. He wasn’t laughing, but he was at peace in the sacrifice. I care about the process not just the result.”

The breakthrough will come but God will ask you how you carried yourself in the process. Were you afraid or did you believe? What did you look like during the pressure? Did you give up or push with the Lord?

Did you take matters into your own hands? Were you consistently stressed or did you choose to have faith and acknowledge your tired state but trust Him to bring you through?

Jesus was willing to endure the cross “for the joy set before Him”. Because He knew what it would do for those He loved.
What is the joy that is set before you?
Why are you doing all you are doing?
What is the bigger picture your life is pushing for?
Why are you making the sacrifices you are making?

When you have a clear picture of your WHY, it will enable you to stay joyful during the pressure moments. It will help keep the bitterness and complaint out. After all, being a living sacrifice is only a reasonable service.

Sacrifice – A Reasonable Service

You may have been feeling as though you are sacrificing so much for the sake of your ________ (church, family, friends etc). Like you are the only one bringing something to the table and wondering where everyone else is and why they aren’t giving as much. Thinking you are the only prophet of God left in the land like Elijah did. Or that you invented sacrifice.

However, when you agree with this perspective, that is when your sacrifice becomes a double burden. The hard work it requires of you as well as the heavy weight of offense and bitterness that builds inside.

necessity of sacrifice reasonable service romans 12:1

Being a sacrifice is a reasonable service. It’s not even something to boast about. It is the only reasonable thing to do when you receive a gift as encompassing as salvation.

It doesn't matter how many others are not pulling their weight. YOU give it 100! It is for God not for men.Click To Tweet

If you’ve ever sung the song “I am a friend of God” by Israel Houghton, you need to live it. And guess what? Jesus said He does call you a friend and that specifically if you do what He commands you to do.

“You are my friends if you do what I command.”
John 15:14

If you are a friend of God, then there is no better way to show Him that you love him than to lay your life down for Him. Yes, it is a sacrifice. Yes it is hard. He understands and He did it too. For you. While you still hated him.

Click here for 3 reasons sacrifice is necessary to fulfill your destiny.

 let’s talk

What are you going to change either about your thought life or actions because you read this blog?
What is the bigger picture your life is pushing for?
Why are you making the sacrifices you are making?


The Remarkable Value of Time and 4 Ways To Avoid Wasting It!

The busy and the bored.
The Asian and the African.
The Millennial and the Boomer.
The billionaire and the homeless man.
You and I.

What do we all have in common?

Time.

Time is the most valuable resource available to man and we have all been given a piece of it. It’s your greatest wealth. A universal gift equally given to people who will use it wisely and those who won’t. More specifically, we all have 24 hours within each day. No one gets a little extra and no one has been shortchanged.

In this blog you are going to discover the remarkable value of your time and 4 ways you can avoid wasting it!

time is value, don't waste it

 

Value 1. Time Over Money.

Ever heard the phrase “time is money”? Well that’s barely half of the story. Time can be used to produce money but in itself, it is so much more valuable than currency.

Many people think of their assets, houses, cars or bank statements as their most valuable resource, but all of these things can be replenished.

In fact, I’m certain you’ve heard countless stories of people who went from broke to millions [and wish they were related to you ;)]. As well as others who went from millions to broke and are right back where they started.

Money can be earned, spent, invested, multiplied, wasted and maybe just maybe, there is more to spare. But, no one person has that same luxury with time.

ecclesiastes 3:1 seasons and times bible verse

No one can reclaim or re-earn time. It cannot be recycled and refuses to be stalled (with the exception of once in history where God showed Himself as the master of time.)

However, if you’re not Joshua in ~1000BC,
each moment you receive comes once and then it is forever gone.
Finito. Done. Irretrievable.

Value 2. Time Creates.

Time was used to create everything you see.

Your house, car, food and even the relationships you have are all product of time. What about your work, salary or income? Yup, you guessed it, simply a product of time. Even your child is a product of time.

How? It took people time to study and think in order to create all that you see. The raw material would still be untouched if someone didn’t take the time to convert it into a tangible product that is useful for you.

For the period of 9 months, God handcrafted your child and took them patiently step-by-step through each necessary level of development to enable them to survive outside your womb.

Even when God created the very basis and foundation of life on earth, He started by establishing time as a marker for his work.

“In the beginning, God created…”

Before anything else was made (birds, trees, beasts or man), God started the clock of time. It was the very first thing He recorded for us to see! And guess what? After that He continued His work in measurements of time –

“On the first day… On the second day…”

He has given you the exact same raw material you need to function in His image and likeness. He has given you the ability to use time to create anything.

You have to understand this –

If you have time, you can do anything, create anything and become anyone.

Even if you have natural ability in a skill/field, you still require a huge investment of time in order to become an outlier (someone who will stand out in that field). Paraphrased from Malcolm Gladwell.

3. Time Is Life.

You must learn how to convert time into knowledge, materials or products, and value for yourself and others. Because if you don’t know how to master and convert time, you will waste it. And if you waste time, you waste life.

Say what now?

Yep, I’ll say it again.
If you waste your time, you waste your life.

A second becomes a minute
A minute becomes an hour
An hour becomes a day
A day becomes a year
Years are the entirety of your life
The value you place on each second determines the value you place on your life.

So many people figure they’re just wasting a bit of time. One hour, one evening, one week and don’t realize that your life is made up of these smaller fragments of time

Whoever controls your time, controls your life.

For most people, your time is controlled by everything and everyone else but you. From the moment you wake up, you are moved by the tyranny of the urgent. Jumping through hoops with no larger plan and very little accomplished because you are being spread so thin.

Your eyes open up and immediately the wastage begins. Your time gets sucked into Snapchat, Facebook, phone calls, Snapchat, emails, people, people, people, errands, Snapchat, Snapchat, Instagram, blank mind space worrying… friends, family, Snapchat, enemies, problems and challenges. And then Snapchat.

You are driven from the most demanding, to the most enticing, to whatever is dished to you until you are completely wiped out and the day is gone.

Does Church Own Your Time?

*watches and waves as half of our readers walk out of the room*

For many people, church controls your time. Not God, like you would like to think. Religion is in charge of your life. Your time is taken in church activity and tradition but there is no fruit to show for it.

I’m not talking to those who barely go to church and don’t see the value in a church community for growth and accountability in our Christian walk. A Christian community is valuable and necessary for every christian.

I’m speaking to those who think that their life is being fulfilled by living and serving ONLY within those 4 walls without any attempt to put action to their prayers. Or have an impact in the lives of the people in the communities around them, outside of the church. Going to church is great, but are you actually using time to apply what you are learning outside?

How God Uses Time

God is the originator of time. He used time first and He did so masterfully. What was His example to us from the first 7 days of time?

Creation and Rest.

He created the seed necessary for every.single.created thing we see and haven’t yet discovered in the Universe.

He took time to rest.

Now, how can you say that you have given your life (and time) over to this same God and he has you simply sitting in a pew multiple times a week, listening to someone. And then living the rest of your life like everyone else who doesn’t have a relationship with Him?

If God owns your life, if He controls your time, there should be fruit that is birthed from it.

I don’t mean you need to have “accomplished success” on men’s terms, but there must be arenas where you are adding tangible value to yourself and others. There must be something you are adding to this earth. People you are pouring into, knowledge and wisdom you are gaining. Things you are producing.

Look at how much God produced in the first day alone! Much less the 3-6th.

He Rested.

If you say God controls your time but you don’t have a day to rest because you are always working, I humbly disagree. God doesn’t play with time. He doesn’t make light of days and hours. He teaches us to work and also to rest. If you are always on the go, God isn’t in charge of your time, people, projects, or maybe even money is, but not God.

He gives His beloved rest.

You are not just God's work horse, you are a child of His and He takes good care of those who follow His leadership.Click To Tweet

So if you say that God controls your life/time, make sure it is not actually the fear of man, church, old traditions, a pastor or your own perception of religion.

Make sure it is really, God.

Wasters of Time.

Ever had those conversations where someone calls to tell you one thing or ask one question but spends the first 30 minutes greeting you? I’m talking acquaintances, not family or close friends. (And all the Nigerians said mmmmhmm 👀  )

Sometimes, this waste of time is presented as fun, pleasure or friendship. But if you use all your free time to go “have fun”, when do you work? I don’t mean the time you invest into a job or working per hour. I mean the time you invest into creating value in yourself and others.

Most people who waste time don’t realize it. They’re trying to be nice. They don’t want to offend people, so they never say no. Someone calls to speak to them and they cannot let them know they were working on something else. Or getting rest, or simply cannot have that conversation at that time. They must always be a listening ear at all times.

My friend, you are not the Messiah.
It is not your job to solve everyone else’s problems and you cannot do it, even if you tried.

Masters Of Time

Masters of time are productive. And you either are one, or know them. They don’t just plan well, set great goals, or have good character, they fight for every minute of their day. They are purposeful about the use of their time.

The most productive people fight for every minute of their day. They are purposeful about how they use their time.Click To Tweet

They know when to say yes and when the only appropriate response is a big, fat N-O.

They set priorities and fill up their time accordingly.

Have you ever tried to meet with a successful person? Outside of them being your parent or spouse. Do you find them to be completely available for calls at any time of the day (and long-winded conversations at that)? NO.

If you respect their time by sending them concise short emails, keeping your conversations to the point, it means you value their time.

But do you value your own time? Do others value your time?

See, other people will attribute to you, the same exact value you put on your time. If you are a time waster, they will help you to waste it well. If you are a wise woman or man who fights for every minute of your day, they will also respect your time.

But I Don’t Have Time!

Now I can already hear you thinking, “this is all well and good but Toyin, my problem is I don’t have time!” And this is where I’m going to be that friend that rains on your pity party and points out that you do in fact, have time.

You have a whopping 168 hours every week!!

That means that even if you work a full-time job, and then factor in eating, hygiene and sleeping you still have at least 40 hours each week that belongs completely to you, to do with as you please.

So here’s the truth – You have enough time to do anything that matters. But you only enjoy the time you have been given if you discipline yourself to understand and become a master of your own time. Which leads me to my last point-

Why I Have Never Owned A TV

I remember when I was younger, myself and my sisters spent quite a lot of time watching the television (owned by my parents, hence the title of this section :-P) lol. My dad would often walk into the living room and say – “stop watching other people live, go do something that will cause others to watch you. Instead of watching TV, get on TV.“

Some of you are smiling because that is such a Nigerian parent thing to say (it is).
And it worked.

I took his advice and stopped wasting my time watching the TV. Since then I have been featured on TV numerous times and guess what? After I moved out of my parent’s place and since I’ve been married, I have not yet owned a TV. Not because there is anything wrong with it, but because I know that if I did, it would be my kryptonite. My number one time (life) waster.

Now, don’t all go selling your TV’s on Kijiji (many of you just thought “YEA RIGHT, like I was going to do that”) lol. You do not have to do what I did, but you should be determined to deal with whatever is taking up the majority of your time outside of purposeful living.

If you don’t know where to start, I am about to share with you 4 secrets I use to avoid wasting time (apart from having a TV-less home).

4 Ways To Avoid Wasting Time!

1. Learn to say NO.

If you say no to the wrong things, you will have the capacity to say YES to the things that matter most.

Have priorities!

  • Prioritize what relationships and friendships you want to develop so that you are saying yes to them. Time management doesn’t mean you don’t spend time with people, it means, you spend time where it matters most. Remember, it is a very limited resource.

Do you tend to go out all the time?

  • Here’s a liberating truth – you do not have to attend every social gathering or be in every conference, concert or chill session. You just don’t have to be there. Yes they’ll miss you. Yes you’ll miss them, but generations will be grateful that you chose to take control of your life and produce something valuable with it instead. When it’s time to rest, do so, when it’s time to have fun, go out. But if you are going out every single weekend and using all your spare time at “meet-ups” you need to sit back and think hard about where you’re trying to go.

But I have ministry to do…

  • My father once told me, “there will always be ministry work to do”. So you think you are the only one available to do everything under the sun but when you die, ministry will continue. When you are behind on God’s plan for you and trying to catch up, that ministry will look you square in the face with nothing to offer you but an excuse.
  • Like we said in point one, focus in on your priorities and only do the things that God is leading you to do because the need will always be greater than your capacity.

2. Phones, oh Lord, our phones

Here are some tips I use to be productive despite the constant temptation of my phone.

  • Charge your phone in a different room from where you sleep so that when you wake up, you can greet God, your loved ones and read a bit of the Word before you even get tempted to catch up on what happened in the world, overnight.
  • Put your phone on airplane mode – plug yourself out of the noise and focus in on what work you need to do. When it’s time to rest or take a break, you can catch up on all that happened in the world during your 2 hours of focused living ;)
  • Instead of making phone calls, send a text message, or an email. It will be much more direct and save you and the recipient tons of time. If it’s a relationship you want to build or if you need to make calls for your business etc, go ahead and speak to them directly, just don’t make calls for everything and with everyone.
  • Remember that this disconnect from your phone is to allow you to connect in real life with those friends and family members you value the most.

3. What if you can’t afford to get off social media?

  • Social media can be a great tool or it can be one of the greatest time wasters of your life. In order to utilize it properly, you have to know exactly why you came on and exactly why you cannot afford to stay on beyond that. I am still learning on this point, but I refuse to give my most precious resource (time) to living in a virtual space.
  • If you work with Social Media but find yourself getting lost on Facebook, here’s a Google Chrome Extension that has boosted my productivity and “get off Facebook” time by 8,000% lol – Kill News Feed. It literally stops you from seeing everyone else’s posts so that you can get on, engage with the exact people/groups you want to, then get off and live life. Guys, this free download SAVED. MY. LIFE! lolol

4. Daily/Weekly Schedule

Even if you are filling in your days with “nothing” like Homer, (those would be your Sabbath rest days *wink wink*), you need a written plan of action for your days and weeks.

  • Your daily schedule can change in different seasons, and you may not follow it perfectly. But if you submit yourself to a schedule that is targeted at your life’s greater purpose at all times, you will hit the mark MUCH more than you would without it.

 BONUS TIP 5 – This one is for my friends who have the lovely app called “Whatsapp”.

Though I can’t answer Isi’s question here about who on earth introduced the Broadcast function to Nigerian parent’s [I almost cried from laughter at her post btw], I can say this –

You are by no means obligated to read through every story that is sent to you, watch each video or click on each link.
  • There are some messages you get that will enhance your day, but a majority of them are simply clutter and information overload for your mind.
  • Now, I periodically send messages to a group of friends on Whatsapp and I recently sent a video of myself and my 11 month old daughter singing and playing the djembe. While I was really glad about all the people we gave a smile, I was also pleasantly surprised by this response I received –

  • <<—- That screenshot has me cheering YES! all over again. Because despite my great intentions, if it is a distraction from something productive that you are doing, it’s better to pay me no mind and check it out when you can.
  • Sometimes you may have to block those who send consistent spam if you ask them to take you off their broadcast list and they don’t bother.
  • Lastly, no, you are not CNN. Don’t be the one sending daily news updates and forwarded messages from 10 years ago. It may be tempting, but just, say, no. 

 


Conclusion

Fight to regain your seconds.
Fight to become a master of time.
Remember, the seconds will become minutes, the minutes will become hours, the hours, days and years will eventually produce the outcome or fruit of your life.

psalm 90:12 teach us to number our days

If you are trying to use your time to get tangible results in New Year’s goals or resolutions, check out this blog to make sure you’re doing them right. Also, get on our email list so that you do not miss our next blog, the 4 Most Valuable Things You Should Be Doing With Your Time.

If you are in debt and want to use one hour of your time to gain valuable information that will help you become debt-free, I invite you to join me in my free Masterclass Webinar on 4 Things You Need To Do Today To Get Out Of Debt In Canada. Click on that link to register today.

If you would like to speak to me regarding my Life Coaching services, schedule a Purpose call or email me at toyin@toyindada dot com – one word :)


Let’s Talk!

Share with me! What stood out to you from this blog? What takes up the MOST of your time every week (apart from sleep)? Is it in line with your overall life’s vision? What is your biggest time waster? How can you deal with it?


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!