SO YOU WANT TO GET MARRIED TOO???

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Hi guys,

Well it’s kinda-sorta still the season of love. A lot of engagement rings flying upandan, here and there, people getting hitched, tying the knot and officially saying bye to the “singlehood market”, which in it’s sense is a very beautiful thing. Marriage is one broad topic I hold dear to my heart and would always want to share about but I’m usually reluctant to share my little insights/knowledge. The reason is because sometimes I feel like I’m relatively young and “kinda-sorta not qualified yet” if you get what I mean (Lol.. but I’ll be qualified someday, until then we (me, myself and I) shall purposefully wait 😀 ). I had a big nudge to share this and what really set the ball rolling was a reminder of the fact that God doesn’t always use “the qualified” when He wants to send home a message. I strongly believe in my heart that this is for someone out there, I may not know who you are but trust me God has you in mind for the fact that you’ve come across this.

With the alarming rate at which people have been getting engaged and married of late, you may be feeling like you’re not on the same planet Earth as them, like you’re an alien or you’re probably residing in planet Mars. No aota of boo or potential boo in sight, not to talk of being in a relationship or even getting engaged. You want this whole marriage thing sooo badly that you try so hard to manipulate things to satisfy that need to be hitched too. You never forget to dress to kill or be noticed while attending every single party that may luckily toss you a potential boo. This is the stress many people put themselves through all in the name of being desperate to get married and be featured on BellaNaija too.

The lesson to be passed across is one that we can easily relate to, as most people look forward to happy marriages. I’ll draw this lesson out from something that happened to me recently (in literal sense, it doesn’t correlate but in practical sense it does). Okay so during the week I was craving a particular snack soooo badly that I became super desperate to get it at all means even though I knew it wasn’t a part of my budget at that moment. Eventually, I ordered it and was super excited at the fact that at least my long awaited craving would be satisfied. After the close of work, I went to pick it up and meanwhile during the working hours, my mind would wander off to how the snack would taste, how fulfilling and satisfying it would be that I may not even be cured of my craving…lol (Note: I got distracted while working). So on getting to the pick up venue, my excitement flew 10notches up, I couldn’t wait to devour this snack. As I got into my car after collecting it, I immediately found my way through the double packaging and had two slices to eat without any hesitation. After the first slice the excitement had dropped to about fifty percent and while munching on the second slice, the excitement had gone about 9.5notches down (almost zero percent). I was no longer feeling/enjoying it as much as I craved it; I got tired too quickly and dumped the rest in the refrigerator when I got home. I guess I must have been too full from the thoughts of my craving that there wasn’t much room to accommodate the real deal.

The craving had been satisfied so now what???

This same thing applies to us when we crave getting married so badly and at all cost (the same way I craved for that snack). We usually get distracted while trying to sign up for a relationship or even marriage when it’s not part of God’s budget for us yet. Instead of focusing on the work we were called to do here on earth (purpose), we focus on having the fairy tale, talk-of-the-town type of wedding so we can be featured on BellaNaija and the likes. When we eventually get what we “seemingly want”, yes “want” because we may not need it at that moment. So yea, when we finally get what we “seemingly want” out of desperation, we get tired easily within a short time frame and enter into hibernation/flight mode. We are then left with the questions:

NOW WHAT???  WHY THE RUSH???  SO WHAT NEXT???

I’ve noticed that the most unexpected/unplanned good experiences are priceless and usually the best. The memories and rewards always linger, are usually long lasting and also worth the while. Just like the first time I tasted that snack, it was unexpected and tasted sooo good that the memory still lingers.

Marriage is no child’s play; it’s not something you dabble in and out of. Marriage is serious business and requires the unity of two ‘whole-mature’ individuals (male and female) who know what their individual/personal purposes are, what their purposes are for each other and what their purpose will be together in marriage before officially tying the knot. It’s one thing to just know and another thing entirely to do. So it requires them not only knowing these purposes but also ‘doing’ at least their individual/personal purposes while supporting each other (Purpose for each other, which would continue in marriage). The latter purpose (Purpose Together) would happen in marriage and most times from what I have observed, this is part of the bonding glue that keeps the marriage in one piece (please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong).

It is important to know and walk in the 1st categorized purpose (Personal purpose) before anything at all. It serves as one of the major litmus tests that will help you in the choice of your life partner. I’ve seen/I know women who didn’t discover themselves and their purpose before marriage, got into marriage and suddenly began to discover themselves/their purpose, only for them to be oppressed and humiliated by their husbands. Likewise some men being oppressed and humiliated by their wives too (I personally do not know of any but I know some of them pass through same stuff too). If you’re married and you belong to this category of people just ask God to help you on that journey and help turn around the heart of your spouse for good, that they’ll begin to buy into/support your vision. There’s nothing, I repeat: nothing God cannot do.

A lot of marriages have gone down the line or are on the verge of going down the line because many “unwhole” individuals have signed up for what they cannot handle due to their lack of wholeness (topic for another day). Do not waste your singlehood, trust me many married people wish they could turn back the hand of time and become single again so that they can right their wrongs or fill the empty vacuum they currently have and have had even before marriage. I’ve realized that rushing to get into that “something called Love” will most likely make you rush out. So just take your time, spend a lot of time with God, He’ll lead you to your personal purpose because the truth is that without Him, you’ll only remain a miserable-lost-course. He remains the manufacturer and only the manufacturer knows how best his product will function and yield an optimum result/output. Spend time with Him, get to know and discover yourself, work on your flaws (weaknesses) while leveraging on your strengths and things will eventually fall in the right places for you. (I recommend reading “The Purpose Driven Life” book by Rick Warren)

Always remember that it’s really not about how fast or early you get married but about how well prepared you are for marriage. Next week I’ll shed more light on being whole before marriage.

Thank you and have a fabulous weekend!

~ Mary Agaruwa

NB:- Please feel free to share your thoughts on this in the comment section below and also share this post with others if you wish to.

 

 

OVERCOMING TEMPTATION…

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Love is in the air as we all know… It’s Valentine’s season when the most number of babies are conceived due to the expression of love, if you get what I mean. Not a bad idea for married couples but for unmarried singles, a clause is put to it. Love is in the air, so is great temptation. These days, premarital sex is no longer seen as a big deal. It’s now more like the normal thing to do when in a dating relationship or when the aim is just for the mutual benefits attached to it. The truth still remains that sex before marriage or outside of marriage remains unacceptable in the sight of God.

I belong to a study group on watsapp, where we pray for each other, read edifying books including the Bible and then get to share our various views to edify one another. So in the past month, we’ve been reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren (Trust me, it’s a must-read!), were each member was allocated chapters with the corresponding days to summarize what he/she learnt. I was opportune to share on overcoming temptation so I’ll love to share here what I learnt and has been helping me as well (I’m not perfect, sometimes I fall too). Speaking on overcoming temptation, it doesn’t only apply to sexual temptation alone but all forms of temptation in general, ranging from gossip to lies, stealing, covetousness, jealousy, gluttony and what have you. The reason I’m laying emphasis on sexual temptation is because it is the most experienced form of temptation that people easily fall for and become a slave to in our present day world. This is also the season when it runs wild.

First of all, I’ll start by saying that God will never permit you to experience any temptation you cannot overcome (1 Corinthians 10:13). So the next time you get tempted, remember you are bigger than it and you have the power to overcome. As a matter of fact, we get tempted based on the things our flesh desire and on the things we open up our hearts/mind to. Isaiah 54:17 says “no weapon FASHIONED”… Emphasis laid on FASHIONED meaning that the word “weapon” used in the context can be the temptations we face and this basically means that temptation is usually fashioned for every individual (better put: tailored, custom made, carved out based on your being). So we get tempted based on what we are about and what we desire. For example, a person who isn’t desperate or moved by money will not necessarily be tempted with money to steal, he/she will be tempted based on what he/she is moved by. If a guy’s brain twitches just at the mere sight of a female, he’ll easily be tempted to start thinking immorally about that lady and when he allows the thoughts eat deep, those thoughts begin to find expression in reality (this is where fornication, masturbation and pornography takes its course).

IT ALL STARTS FROM THE MIND

The battle against sin (falling into temptation) is won or lost in the mind first before it turns out to be a reality. Now the question are; WHAT IS YOUR MIND THINKING??? WHAT ARE YOU FEEDING YOUR MIND???… Your mind will think only what you permit it to think and what you expose it to. We are admonished in the Bible to “Flee from every appearance of evil” meaning that if something kinda-sorta-seems like or has the potential to be evil, RUN!!! If we had superpowers I’ll say disappear/vanish. Do not wait to access or analyze if that thing really and truly is evil because you most likely will end up falling a victim. Remember “it was curiosity that killed the cat”

RESISTING THE DEVIL AND GUARDING YOUR THOUGHTS

There’s usually a mix up between resisting the devil and resisting temptation. You truly cannot resist a thought, can you???? (Temptation starts as a thought in the mind). It’s the reason why we are advised countless times to guard our hearts and be careful of the things we expose our heart/mind to (certain movies, shows, social media, music, gist e.t.c) because they eventually lay a foundation of your thoughts and out of the thoughts of your heart flows the issues of life. So since temptation begins as a thought, the best way to deal with it is to turn your attention to something else before it eats deeper. Do not fight the thought because the more you fight and resist the thought, the more you lay more focus on it and the more the thought persists. We naturally move towards what we focus our attention on. So try as much as possible to shift your focus from/ignore the temptation by distracting yourself with something else. Shifting your attention may mean getting up and walking away from that gossip group, turning off or changing that tv/radio station, turning of/changing the music, avoiding mushy dark corners alone with the opposite sex, etc. To avoid being stung by bees, you may consider keeping away from them and even their habitat/surrounding.

IT’S OKAY TO CONFIDE IN/CONFESS TO A TRUSTED PERSON.

I’ve personally noticed that sometimes I overcome temptation by telling the a friend or someone close to me that I’m being tempted (“I’m tempted to…). It helps them help me by talking sense into me. Should incase somehow we fall by MISTAKE, do not keep it to yourself, confess to a loved one, one that you know will be willing to pray and help you back up (James 5:16 says “confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed”).

In conclusion, no one is above temptation but you have the choice either to turn down the offer and walk away from the devil by using God’s word or Stand there while the devil messes with your mind and smooth talks you into taking his offer by acting it out. Standing and listening will do you great harm just like how it did for Eve. May God help us all and keep us strong enough to overcome all forms of temptation, in Jesus name, Amen!…

Bible verses to study: Galatians 5:16, Colossians 3:2, 2Corinthians 10:4-6.

Happy Valentine’s Day… Be good!.. 🙂 ❤

~Mary Agaruwa

Habits to cultivate that will influence an outstanding year for you… (Part 2)

Hi good day,

I’m back again today and this is the continuation of yesterday’s post.. CLICK HERE if you missed it.

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So here we go:

  • Serve with an open and willing heart

Wherever you find yourself, make yourself useful and be willing to serve to the best of your abilities, be it at your 9-5 job, at the church, as a community volunteer, for an NGO, at an event. Do it willingly and open-heartedly, you never can tell who may be watching. The good deeds you do no matter how little, will always find a way of coming back to you. Sow that you may reap in due season. King Solomon said in the Bible (Ecclesiastes 9:10): “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might”, he was acknowledging that there is always something tangible to do and we can always make ourselves useful. A quote by Charles Spurgeon says, “One good deed is worth more than a thousand brilliant theories.” This challenges us to grab hold of the ordinary responsibilities of each day like we own them and simply make sure they get done and not just done but done excellently. So serve willingly as much as you can, make positive long lasting impact in the lives of many around you and as you try your best to light the way that will be beneficial to others, you’ll also get lit.

  • Give, Love and help others grow

Your life is really never and should never always about you. Learn to give, love and help others grow. Give your time, effort, knowledge, prayers, smile, advice, money, gifts as much as you can and ensure you’re helping the next person grow. Your life is really never about you and you will be doing yourself a great disservice if you don’t understand the fact that God permitted you to come into this world not to live for yourself alone, but to live for others as well. If God wanted us humans to live for ourselves alone, He would have conveniently, I mean conveniently created individual planets for every single person life can present, but NO! He created us to cohabit with one another here on planet earth (one planet) because He knows we need each other to survive. No doubt, human beings can be pretty difficult at times (i’m not exempted) but we need to try to take several steps backward from “self” and take several steps forward to reach out to others nevertheless.

  • Cultivate the habit of saving for a lifetime.

I’m literally laughing at myself…LOL. It was not until late last year I truly caught the rhema of habitual saving (covers face, don’t judge me). Initially, I used to save for “the rainy day”. My whole idea about saving was keeping aside about 10-15% of my income and being able to spend out of it on myself whenever I liked. For example; like whenever I wanted to buy that fantastic-eye-catching shoe or dress, or whenever I felt like treating myself with a box of pizza and coldstone ice cream (don’t judge me still..lol). Thank God I’m a changed person now. Saving for a lifetime requires you to set aside a fixed percentage of your income that would accumulate over time for a lifetime, which in turn can be helpful offset a lifetime need (“need not want”) when it arises in the future. Saving is usually not easy but you just have to adjust your mindset, be determined and dedicated to doing it. The best way to frame your mindset towards savings is to pretend like you’re paying off a debt monthly or as frequently as you desire for it to be. Continuously  make the conscious effort to pay that fixed percentage of your income into a dedicated savings account (preferably one without a debit card or withdrawal slip). Even if you reach your set goal for a particular period, do not stop.

  • Pay your tithes and offerings (first-fruit offering included)

This is the aspect many people tend to skip or don’t even like hearing about but I must talk! God gave us everything we have or must have accumulated. He gave us life, every single moment, every single breath, every single second. God gave us the ideas, talents, the ability to be creative and earn money/create wealth. God gave us opportunities, some taken some lost. He asks us to bring ALL our tithes and offerings into His store house and this becomes a big deal? Despite all His goodness, we take most of it for granted and live our lives here on earth as though we were self made? Tithing and paying of offerings can never be overemphasized. It is giving back 10% of your earnings to God and First fruit offering is giving ALL of your first income at your first job and also giving the difference when your income is increased. The truth is that God doesn’t require your money, He owns the Heaven and the earth and all that’s in it. All He requires is that you obey Him. Make a change and cultivate the habit of paying your tithes and offerings, there are manifold blessings attached to it (Read Malachi 3:10-12). You wouldn’t want to miss out on them.

  • Cultivate the habit of gratitude

It’s actually so easy to become ungrateful in this present age because we easily get carried away by the numerous mundane activities in life these days and forget to be grateful for the numerous blessings made available to us per time/season by God. Instead of focusing on these blessings no matter how little, we focus more on the pending negative challenges and on what God hasn’t done yet and then feel like we are worthy of the little we have, so no need to be grateful for anything. Life is like a pendulum, there will definitely be high and low moments. It’s really never going to be a smooth sail all through but we can still remain grateful still. So no matter the circumstance you find yourself in, whether good or bad, do yourself a great service by being grateful/thankful. It goes a long way to keeping you positive about the future, as well as keeping you in a sound state of mind. Practice the habit of keeping a gratitude journal or jar, so that as time goes on, you can reflect and see that God has indeed been faithful.

  • Do not walk alone, walk/partner with God

All the mentioned points above and in the previous post will all be meaningless if God is not involved. I mean this year will turn out to be a mess and just mere talk if you do not partner with God. He knows your end from your beginning and your beginning from your end, so why not just let Him walk you through every process and make the journey way easier for you?. My advice is that you leverage on His power, seek His opinion in every step of the way. Once He approves of a process, just obey and walk in that path even if the path may feel strange or “not ideal”. He never makes mistakes, trust me!

In the light of this, we have come to the end of this write-up and my prayer for you is that you will not miss out on the goodies God has attached to this special year, as you apply these little principles here and there in Jesus name. Amen!!!

Thanks for taking out time to read this. If you have other points or suggestions to make, please feel free to share in the comment section below (we are all learning 🙂 ) .

Have a fruitful day, week, month and year in general!… xoxo

~ Mary Agaruwa

Habits to cultivate that will influence an outstanding year for you… (Part 1)

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Hi guys!

It feels so good to be back on here. The year is still fairly new, even though a month has flown by. I don’t know oh but this year seems to have it’s sprint game on, it’s the 6th day of the 2nd month already or is it just me???

Okay so earlier last month, there were declarations, prophesies and beliefs here and there about this year 2017 and I personally still have no doubt that it would be an outstanding year. As a month plus has gone by nevertheless, it’s not to late tweak some habits that would enable you stay on course through out the whole year. No doubt, a majority of people feel really gingered to pursue their purpose and make things happen this year but the truth is that without putting into consideration some of these good habits, it may almost be impossible to finish the year well and strong. Follow me as we explore through these habits:

  • First and foremost, you would have to always leave your comfort zone and be ready to take on challenging tasks.

If you noticed, the word “leave” was used and it’s an action word. This simply means that you have to take action. You shouldn’t wait for things to happen but rather, make those things happen. If you have to disappear, fly, jump, hop, catwalk or crawl out of your comfort zone, please do! and ensure to put in the required effort to get out the desired result (there’s no shortcut!). Everything you need is actually positioned on the other side order than your comfort zone, so you have to reach out and grab on to the positioned opportunities and use them wisely.

  • Develop yourself at every given opportunity you get.

The future belongs to those who constantly renew their knowledge. The day one stops learning is the day he/she begins to become extinct. At every given opportunity, ensure to develop a skill. Attend that life changing conference, seminar, master class, enroll in that baking class, bead making, fashion designing, public speaking or event planning class. Never let a day go by without learning something new. Read at least a good, edifying or transformational book every month. In the long run, you’ll realize that you did yourself a great service because taking these actions may just bring you a step closer to fulfilling your purpose in life.

  • Be creative and open to ideas. Be ready to explore.

Creativity is a function of knowledge, curiosity, imagination and random thoughts all in one. It is usually birthed out of nothing or let’s say out of the things that seem ordinary. Creativity gives rise to innovation and there’s currently a hard cry for innovation, to boost the economy of developing countries. Create time to think deeply about how the loop holes in the various sects of life can filled/managed to make life easier and more bearable. Trust me, your ideas are valid, so that idea you’re about to push aside because you think it may not make sense, might just be what the world has been long waiting for. There’s no harm in trying!

  • Do not be afraid to fail.

I know you must have heard this times without number and I will repeat it again: Do not be afraid to fail. The fear of failure is still very much present in the hearts of many and this has caused a lot of execution paralysis of many great ideas (catching my sub too). What I’ve come to understand recently is that you truly-really never know except you try and when you eventually try and fail, in that failure lies your success. The answer you require to get it right will no longer be far fetched and this propels you several notches up the ladder. You can check the records of every great man or woman you know today, they failed woefully at one point or the other in their lives but didn’t end it there. So do not give up right there in that failure, all you may need might just be a little tweak here and there and that one last push.

  • Celebrate every milestone achieved but do not settle.

It is very okay to celebrate your achieved milestones. Sometimes, people get so caught up and carried away with the tons of work they have to do that they forget the little milestones they are achieving. Do not be so hard on yourself, sometimes you have to pause and evaluate how far you’ve gone, applaud and reward yourself by either taking yourself out or buying yourself a gift. If you can’t celebrate yourself, who will? Do not wait until you hit the Forbes list or until you’re interviewed on CNN before you can acknowledge your own efforts or how far you’ve come. Also on the other hand, ensure not to get laid back. Just as it can be very easy to forget that you’re achieving great heights, it can also be easy to get carried away with the achievements and hop right back into thy comfort zone, forgetting there’s still more work to do ahead. Know how and when to just draw the straight line.

  • Cultivate the habit/attitude of contentment.

There’s nothing as peaceful as being content with your portion. In this evolving era, comparison is the new cool and social media has even made that very easy. People compare their very okay lives to the controlled social media content of the next person. What you see on social media may not necessarily be the reality. Quit comparing your life and cultivate the habit of being content with where, who and what you are, nevertheless working towards becoming the better version of you. Comparison will only breed envy, bitterness, ungratefulness, hate and basically lack of your peace of mind which should not be traded for anything. Do you! Stay in your lane while working towards becoming a better version of you. Stop comparing your page 2 with another person’s page 75. No two people are the same, so are our journeys in life.

To be continued in the next post tomorrow… 🙂

Have a super amazing day/week and look out for the rest of this write-up tomorrow.

~ Mary Agaruwa

 

#The2016GratitudeSeries(Day 2): Udemeh Sylvia

Hi guys!

Meet Udemeh Sylvia.

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Sylvia is an IT support Manager, she’s also an aspiring author and entrepreneur. Here’s what she’s thankful for in the year 2016:

Gratitude Story…

“God has literally been the front wheel of my life; this I know for certain. His plans for my life truly had been predestined even before I was formed. He was just waiting for me to surrender. The year 2016 has been an amazing journey for me with God. A truly selfless and God-centered year. There have been trial moments but in it, God has not left my side.
Thus I’m thankful for life – a purpose driven life. I’m thankful for my spiritual growth and how I’ve become so sensitive to God. I’m thankful for my Msc graduation and a good job (even when I had not finished my nysc, I got a full time job in an economy that is said to be crashing).
I’m thankful for the launch of my Journal (#ChangingTheConversation; A journey to Life’s purpose and Godliness”). Its a project I’ve done and has been a success.
I’m thankful for the process and journey to discovering my purpose because God is teaching me a lot including how to trust and obey him.
For my family, friends and people I can reach out to help, I’m thankful.
I can go on and on, but I must say that I’m truly thankful for my portion and thankful for 2017.”

Major Lesson Learnt in the year 2016…
“The art of submission: Submission to Gods will is vital. Its the point where it stops being about oneself and starts being about God. I’ve learnt to stop wrestling with God- his plans, desires and purpose for my life and allow him lead.”
~ Udemeh Sylvia
Thanks for sharing Sylvia… God bless you!