Thursday, September 24, 2020
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Chelsea Moses

How to love difficult people

Living in world with difficult people is inevitable. With a world so filled with sin, brokenness and heartache, it is not hard for you to think of one difficult person in your life. Maybe it is that friend from school who is always making the same mistakes (no matter how many times you have advised them not to). Maybe it is someone from your work who always takes the credit for your ideas in the morning meetings. Maybe it is even a family member, who is always telling you about how much of a failure you are. Whoever it is, their presence in your life just proves that difficult people are everywhere, and many of us know that loving someone when they are being difficult is really hard. This is because when something is harder than usual, it seems easier to give up on it than to actually journey with it. However, just because someone is hard to love, does not mean they are not worthy of love. Here is how we can love difficult people:

 We love them

The first step in loving a difficult person is to actually love them. You do not do this by saying you love them and then loving them from a distance, you do this by actually loving on them with a full heart. This is probably one of the hardest things to do when it comes to difficult people but it is also one of the most needed things for difficult people. You do not know why people are the way they are but the only way you can get to know them is by showing them love, when no one else will. This also leaves room for them to open up to you and possibly become less difficult.

We pray for them

Prayer is so important when it comes to difficult people. Prayer is so powerful in seeing a situation do a complete turn around. This is why it is so important to pray for people who are difficult. By pray, I do not mean that you should pray that they will stop being difficult and make your life easier (because frankly, it’s not about that). It is about praying for a change of heart and the love of God to come into the lives of these difficult people so that they will want to be better for themselves, not for you.

We become their friend

This is where you need to swallow your pride and keep on being present in their life, even when you really do not want to. Why? Because just like a lighthouse guides a boat back, that is lost at sea, so will your friendship guide a difficult person home. Everyone needs friendship and fellowship and so denying someone this due to their difficult ways, will not open their heart but only harden it. This is why fellowship with difficult people and all people is so important.

So here’s to loving people through the hard times. Because not everyone you encounter is going to be easy to love but when you choose  to love them you are choosing to spread light and light always casts out darkness in the end.

 

 

8 Things to do in your 20s!

Being twenty-something is exciting. You are at the ideal age to go explore, discover and invent. There are so many different things to do, so many different people to meet and so many opportunities for you to grow and develop yourself in.  Each of us are different in the things we like to do and the places we like to go.  And being twenty-something is the perfect age for you to venture into the unknown and explore the world around you.

Here are 8 things that you should really do in your 20s:

Volunteer your time

Start a soup kitchen once a month and do something for other people. You do not need money or material things to help others. All you need is time, your own two hands and a heart for helping.

Be silent for a minute

It is in the silence where you discover and acknowledge your inner thoughts. This is important for reflection to help you connect the dots when moving forward.

Give up fear

Once a month, overcome one fear. One thing that scares you. Do it! If it means forgiving someone who hurt you, conquering your fear of heights or speaking in front of  a large group of people, whatever it is, don’t let your fear define you.

Write yourself a letter

Once a month, write a letter addressed to yourself and store it away. Store as much as you can while you’re 20 and when you’re older give it a read and see how much you have grown.

Allow the struggle to happen

The struggle is real – let it be! You cannot fully learn from the struggle if you do not endure it.  Its like the Drake song says: Started from the bottom now we here.

Forgive people

He who does not forgive  harbours hate. When you forgive the people who have hurt you, you allow yourself to move forward and then you leave your 20s fresh and free of any baggage that may be weighing you down.

Love your parents

Just as you are getting older, so are your parents. Cherish all that they have done for you and keep loving them even as they age.

Say ‘thank-you’

There are many people in your life who you should be grateful for, many people will move up the ladder with you as you get older. Maybe, once a month, send them a shout out (a thank you) and let them know you appreciate them for sticking around.

So here is to being 20.  Living, learning and growing.

 

 

 

What on earth am I here for?

What on earth am I here for? How many times has this question popped into your head? How many times have you thought to yourself:

Have I been given a calling? Have I called myself into something? Am I even called?

I’ve been struggling a lot recently, with this idea of calling. “What I have called myself to do versus what God has actually called me to do”. Being in my last year of university, the pressure to graduate and get a job is like a cheetah chasing its prey: fast approaching.

A while back, one of my friends challenged me to join a team that I had never seen myself being a part of. This is because I am a staunch planner. I love planning and I love planning to the last full stop. The problem with my friend asking me to join this team was that I had not drawn it into my 5 year plan.

How often have we actually stepped away from Gods calling on our lives, because of what we think we have called ourselves to do. Whether it is declining that job offer because it’s too much work, or not going for that audition because you think you’re not good enough for the part?

See the problem with my 5 year plan was not the plan itself, but it was that it was so centred around what I wanted to do, it completely neglected the input from God. In the Bible it says:

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and not to fail.” – Jeremiah 29:11

These words alone should put perspective into your life. This God of the universe: has thought of you. He has made a way and called you to step out into faith. You may be battling with deciding what exactly you have been placed on this earth to do, but you are not alone in that decision. Why?

Because God has your back

If we lean on God and ask Him for guidance on where He wants us to go, our “Why on earth am I here?” will turn into a “Now I know why I am here!”.

God has never and will never call us to do something he has not equipped us to do.

My friend was brave enough to listen to God, by telling me that what I was doing with my life was not in line with what I was placed on this earth (by God) to do. And even though I am still very unsure of what next year will hold after I graduate; I know I will be brave and seek God in helping call out my why. Because I truly believe that there is nothing better to do, than to step into shoes that God has designed for you.

Trust God through the storm.

When I was 17 years old, I read a play called ‘The Tempest’ by William Shakespeare. In a rough summary, it was about these people who were on a ship and a tempest (a violent windstorm) hit them, causing the ship to supposedly sink. However, it did not sink, because Prospero (the main character) could actually control the storm, steering its direction.

In this play by William Shakespeare, Prospero had the ability to decide the path that the storm would take. This is the same role Jesus plays in our life. Just like Prospero had the power over the storm in the play, Jesus has the power over the storms in our life.

There are so many times when you are over come with a heavy workload, a dire financial situation, a failed relationship (sometimes all of these things at once) and you do not know what to do. You feel like you are caught in a tempest and the boat is about to sink. This is where Jesus is, right there in the middle of the storm. He is ready to calm the waves, silence the storm and take control of your situation.  The first step is to trust Him. You do this by:

Opening up your heart

When you make yourself vulnerable at the feet of the Lord, you are choosing to surrender everything you have to Jesus. By doing this, you are giving God the power to take control of the things that are creating a storm within your life. You do not need to guard your heart before God. He knows your heart, he knows your storm and he wants you to trust him through it.

Praying

Never underestimate the power of prayer. When you pray you are taking your situation by the horns and saying “I will not let you isolate me”. You are also speaking life over your situation and not just any life, the life of Jesus and trusting that his life will step in and turn your storm into a calm.

Believing

Through the process of us opening up our heart to God and speaking to Him through prayer, we also need to believe that God is going to come through in our situation. We can not just expect God to work in our life if we do not truly believe in our heart that He will. We need to:

Believe it will come through, to see it come through.

Toward the end of the ‘The Tempest’,  it is revealed that Prospero had actually planned to create the storm for his own selfish reasons. He saved the very same people that he put in danger. This is where Prospero differs from God. God does not control your storm for his own selfish reasons, God controls your storm for YOU. He wants to see you through, if you will trust God through the storm.

Living my best life!

I recently turned 21 years old and since then I have been living my best life. Now, I know when you get older people always ask you:

How does it feel like to be 21? Do you feel different? Do you feel older?

To be honest, I had never felt any of these things about my age until I turned 21. It was not because of all the excitement associated with being 21, it was more of an appreciation that I was alive for 21 years. When I realised God had kept me for 21 years, I threw out my old ways of thinking and I introduced my new way of thinking: From today onward, I am living my best life.

How do you do this? Simple:

Live for today

This may seem like such a cliché but really, it is one that works. You only fully begin to live life to fullest, when you stop walking in the “then” and start living in the “now”. You have been called for this moment, not the one that has already passed.

Live for yourself

When you stop living out other people’s version of your life, you begin to live your best life. Living your life for yourself, is the best way to not only honour yourself but it also allows yourself the security to pursue you.  Ultimately resulting in you : living your best life.

Live for Jesus

I know living for Jesus can be a scary thing. Why would Jesus want someone like me to live for Him? because He loves you! It is as simple as that. Jesus chose death and gave you life. So of course He wants you to live your best life, by living for Him.  When you live your life for Christ you’re already living for the best and so by default you are: living your best life

The cause of me living my best life was not sparked by the change in my age but rather the change in my attitude.  When you start to think about life differently, you begin to live differently. When your life becomes less centred around  what other people want from you and more about what God wants for you and what you want for yourself; you start to: live your best life and have the best time doing it.

Stress Less

Stress is a natural part of life. I have a brother who is as cool as the fresh air. He never seems to stress or be stressed. Myself on the other hand, I am the opposite. If stress was a WhatsApp emoticon, my face would be it. When stress puts a little pressure under you, it sparks a fire within you that allows you to get on top of what you need to have done. In this case, it acts as a reminder or a motivator and this is good. When stress consumes your every being, breaking you down mentally and causing you to break out into hives, then it is not so good. We need to manage our stress to be able to deal with it and our everyday tasks. As a student I always find myself in conversation with other students about how stressful the workload is and how stressed we always feel. In fact, I have noticed that I spend so much time talking about how stressed I actually am, that I never actually do anything about it, except complain. This is so unnecessary, because there are so many different ways to deal with stress.

Get physical

I realise that being active and doing physical exercise is not for everyone and that is okay. I am not a physically active person myself, but whenever I feel stressed I go to the gym, do some cardio and afterward I feel so refreshed and ready to tackle anything life throws at me in that moment. In fact, it has been proven that Dopamine (which is a chemical that plays a role in happiness), is increased in our body when we exercise. So whether this is jumping on the trampoline, doing the dishes, running a 20km race or even just having a swim in the pool, whatever looks good for you: do it. It will reduce your stress levels and increase your happiness levels (and fitness at the same time).

Play that funky music

Music is a universal langauge. Although we all have various music tastes, we all (at some point in our day or week) listen to, or encounter music. Music is like a magic power when it comes to helping you reduce stress. What music does is; it taps into your emotions. It demands your attention, and helps you to connect with what you are feeling so that you can deal with the emotions and stop them from stressing you out. It also relaxes your soul – depending on the type of music you are listening to – which helps to calm your body of the stress you feel. So pop on your earphones, turn up the volume, and blast your favourite tune.

Go on an adventure

Sometimes distancing yourself from what is causing you to stress is a good thing. I have a friend, who goes on little adventures every time she is feeling stress. Sometimes this could be a walk alone in the park, a walk to the shop, a mission to the zoo or even a train trip with a friend. Whatever your adventure is, it is something that can help you to clear your mind and gain some perspective on your situation (and stress).

Connect spiritually

Maybe you do not have a spiritual side but perhaps your stress can open up a door for you to become spiritually invested. One of the ways that this can be done is through prayer. This allows you to talk about what is causing your stress, to someone who is always listening (like God). If you are not into talking and more into being silent, then you can read some scriptures in the Bible, to help you get some perspective on your life and also help you to find some more ways to deal with your stress in a way that is beneficial to your soul.  In fact, you could even dive deeper into the book of scripture and get to the root of what is causing you to stress in the first place. Ultimately, when you are stressed, your spirit can feel it and it becomes drained. Connecting and reaching out spiritually is one way to revive your spirit and reduce your stress.

Ultimately, stress is not meant to break us down or tear us up. We are perfectly capable of rising above it. So the sooner we do this (by trying some of these techniques out) the better life will be and the less grey our hair will be.

So here’s to stressing less and being blessed.

Come As You Are

Have you ever walked into a room filled with people who are nothing like you and then instantly felt the need to want to change who you are, in order to impress these people? I know I have found myself in this situation multiple times. I would go out with a group of people and 10 minutes into conversation realise how different I was and then almost instantaneously change myself to fit the crowd.

Being a young women in the world can be hard when, on the one hand, you`re trying to discover yourself, and on the other hand, you have people trying to tell you who you are. So many times we can let the classification that others give us define who we are, when really all we need to do is come as we are. Why is it so important to come as you are? Well, because you have already been called worthy by God. You see, when you realise that who you are has been created by God, you begin to realise that you do not need to change who you are when you walk into a room of strangers but rather embrace who you are. This can be difficult when there are so many voices telling you these things about yourself, but there are ways to help you never forget that who you are is worthy.

Who you are is enough

There is only one you and so trying to be like anyone other than yourself, is only cutting short the supply of greatness God has equipt you with. You do not have to try to water yourself down because who you are is enough.

Who you are is loved

Not only are you someone who loves others, but you are also loved by others. You may not see this as true, but it is. When you stay true to who you are, you open up your heart to receiving the love others want to give you.

Who you are does not need to change

Many times we tell ourselves that we need to change in order to ‘fit in’. This is actually not true. When you were created you were thought of by God. You are not a mistake nor were you meant to be one. God has made you to be truly unique.

It is only when you step into who you are, that you will learn to accept who you are. This self acceptance is so important, especially when there are so many voices trying to make you into a carbon copy of something or someone else. When you realise that you have been called worthy, then you will stop trying to be a false version of yourself and begin to fall in love with the true version of yourself. Who you are now, is exactly who God as created you to be.

So let us come as we are, and let others come as they are.

Sit Still, Look Pretty

Some of you may know the song “Sit Still, Look Pretty” by new artist Daya. Just like many anthems before it (Beyoncé’s Who Run the World and Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun) this song celebrates the role of the woman as an independent player in the game called life.

As a woman, I sometimes find myself having to justify some of the decisions I make. We have been socially conditioned to believe that we should act in a certain way; dress in a certain way; laugh in a certain way. When I was in high school, one of my female friends laughed at a joke that one of our male teachers told the class. He actually called her out for this, by saying the following:

“That is a very ugly laugh for a girl. Girls should not laugh like that”.

How, exactly, should a girl laugh then?

I am not trying to make men feel inferior by raising up women. I am simply doing that: raising up women. As women, we need to remember that we have been called for such a time as this. We need to rise up and take our place in the world – as women created by God, each of us with a unique purpose. Here are some practical ways in which we can do that:

Step up and acknowledge your worth

You are only as good as you believe you are. Isn’t it time we stopped devaluing ourselves and putting ourselves, and each other, down?  We have been created to be daughters, mothers and sisters of the Most High, and what a shame it would be to not acknowledge the great value we have been given. Your worth comes from God, and because He loves you, He has already created you worthy.

Stop allowing your picture to be painted by someone else (let God paint yours!)

You’re an artist and your life is the canvas. You do not need to look at other pictures or people for inspiration. You have been called to go somewhere and be someone, and when you give your picture to God and let Him take the lead, you will find yourself at the hand of a master. Find your inspiration from Him.

Your womanhood is not socially constructed

Your womanhood is God-given, and you are unique. No one has to tell you how to be a “proper” woman. God has already defined your womanhood and said that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made”(Psalm 139:14).

So next time you feel like you have to justify your position as a strong, independent woman, just remember: “My existence as a woman has nothing to do with anyone and everything to do with who God made me to be.”

So blast that Daya tune, dance a little, and remember that you are a woman chosen by your Creator, so be proud!

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