Thankful for the Gift of Being Single

unnamed 3I recently read a friends Facebook post about a family member being concerned that they are a 35 single female without children. In spite of the conversation she is happy being 35 without children. I totally related to her post because I am 35 and single. I have heard it all, when are you gonna have kids, why are you single, do you want children? Do you want to be married? Don’t leave it too late etc. Whilst I know people love me and are concerned I do not agree with being with someone or having kids just because of my age! I look forward to being married and having children, but I am not willingly to settle out of fear. I think we have all experienced forcing ourselves to enjoy someone’s company when you really do not like them.

Oh did I forget to mention the biological clock and the increased risk of Down Syndrome. Whilst there may be some truth to the statistics it does not mean I should make a rushed decision about a husband and having children. You chose what you want to believe and I believe God, despite the numbers. Oh by the way, the chance of having twins is higher in older women, with or without fertility treatment.

There are many things that I  am thankful for, whilst in my single season. I thankful for the opportunity to learn about myself  and develop my self-awareness. I am thankful that I can develop my relationships with family and friends. I thankful to come home and everything is the same place I left it, that gives my slight OCD comfort lol. I am thankful for peace and quiet in my home, which is important for an introvert like me. I am thankful for the opportunity to come and go when I please. I thankful that I can focus on my relationship with God and spend more time with Him. I am thankful that I can discover what is important in a relationship. I am thankful to discover what I bring to a relationship. I am thankful for the amazing travel experiences I have had throughout the world. I am thankful for relationships with people who are married, friends and family members with children that I can learn from. I am thankful for the support from my single friends in the same position as mean who are also enjoying life.  I grateful for the various people I encounter, sitting in coffee shops alone. I am thankful that I love me and spending time with me. I am thankful that I have become comfortable in my own skin and know my worth.

To the single ladies in the this same position, you have a choice to enjoy this stage of your life or worry about when you will meet your husband. I know it is difficult when you feel pressure from, family, friends, or the media but settling will only make you unhappy. Being single is a great gift  and there are many things to enjoy. Focus on what you have not what you do not have and your view will change about this season of your life.

To those of you reading this who pressure friends or family members who are single, please give them a break and let them enjoy their life and just be the best friend or family member you can. Please stop asking them if they are in a relationship or why are they single, they will let you know when the time is right.

Thanks for your time

Love Bianca

Thankful to Walk Alongside Others

imageOver the last two days people have opened their heart and lives to me. My friends have shared their pain, joy and deepest fears. As a counseling intern I am exposed to the challenges of my client’s lives.  I am thankful for the privilege to see into the lives of others and walk alongside them. I do not take this privilege for granted and I never what to take it for granted. Thankfully I have friends and family who will let me know if I am becoming ungrateful or prideful.

I thankful for the gift God has given me to counsel and listen to the heart of others. I thankful that He trust’s me to fulfill this role. I am thankful for the opportunity to pay it forward and speak into the lives of others the same way people have spoken into my own life and supported me. I am thankful for the wisdom God has given me to listen, be present in the life of another, speak encouraging works, or ask probing questions that help people with their challenges and/or give encouragement.

I am thankful for the joy I experience sharing other people’s joy. I am thankful for ability to be moved by compassion to help someone other than myself. Life is not about what I can get from others but the love I can give to others. I am thankful to know that family, friends, clients, and sometimes strangers trust me with their life, that says a lot about the love of God that flows through me.

I challenge you to think about the lives you have helped and the people who have opened their hearts to you. This really is a  privilege not to be taken lightly. It says a lot about your character, even when you may have thought otherwise. There are times when we may think, why is this person telling me their whole life story, I know I have thought this. However, it may be because you have the wisdom, insight , patience and gift to listen and help others. These past two days have reminded me of my gift to be with people during their suffering and celebrate with them during their achievements. Whatever the situation I am thankful.

Thankful for the Power of Words

IMG_2589I thankful for the power of encouraging, life-giving words. The saying goes “sticks and stones will break your bones but words will never hurt you,” that is a lie. We remember hurtful words and we remember kind words, yet the hurtful words often over power the kind words. There are gifted people in this world today, walking around believing they are worthless, not good enough, or a failure. On the other hand, there are gifted people walking around knowing that they are loved, worthy, and significant, because of the words spoken to them and what they chose to believe.

I am thankful for encouraging words, and quotes that encourage people to overcome the lies they have been told. I thankful for people who have overcome emotional pain and written books to inspire others. I love to encourage others and I thankful for this gift. I thankful to see the face of a person light up when I give them words of encouragement or tell them how beautiful they are. I love to see a person’s demeanor soften when kind words are spoken to them. As weird as it might sound, I love to see the tears fall from a person who hears words of love for the first time because their tears mean they realize they have finally been accepted.

I thankful for websites like Pintrest where you can find thousand upon thousands of encouraging words. I thankful when I look through my Facebook or Instagram feed in the morning and people are praying for an amazing day or sharing inspiring quotes.

However, most importantly I am thankful for the Word of God, the Bible. That is life-giving to me. As a daughter of God I am reminded of His promises, His enduring love, His, protection, His guidance, His wisdom, and his special love for me. God’s word keeps me and for that I am thankful.

Being Thankful During The Cold Weather

IMG_2560This week I decided to push myself and discover how I am can be thankful when faced with things I do not enjoy or like. As a result, I challenged myself to create an attitude of gratitude towards the cold weather.

This week I decided to push myself and discover how I am can be thankful when faced with things I do not enjoy or like. As a result, I challenged myself to create an attitude of gratitude towards the cold weather.

I am thankful for the cold air that I feel when I walk outside because it means I am still alive and my sense of touch is functioning. I am thankful that I can drive in a warm car, whilst it is cold outside. I am thankful that I can walk from my car into a building or my home in less than one minute. I am thankful for the sun that still shines even though it is cold. I am thankful that my home is warm and I can sit on my sofa and enjoy tea alone or with friends.

I am thankful that I can look forward to spring within one month, the beautiful flowers that will appear and the warmer weather. I am thankful to God for a beautiful home , where I am safe, warm and fed. I am thankful for friends willing to brave the cold so we can still spend time together.

I realise that despite winter not being my favourite time of the year, I am still here to enjoy another day. Another day where I can connect with family, friends, enjoy life and share my gifts with others.

I am thankful there are 29 days until spring! 💐💐💐💐

The Power of a Legacy

Whilst legacy is normally consider property left behind there is also the intangible aspect of legacy. For example, a person can leave a legacy through their relationship with others, family traditions, charitable efforts, and career decisions. All of which  impact the life of others. What impact or imprint are you making in someone’s life today?

Thankful for Friendships

An-Attitude-of-Gratitude In 2014 I challenged myself and some work colleagues to make a note of the things we were thankful for and share it on Facebook. For 30 days, in a row, my friends and I shared our gratitude with our personal communities and the outcome was amazing. I became more joyful, less anxious, more accepting of others, and my eyes became open to the blessings I have had throughout  my life. The most surprising outcome was the impact it had on other people. Various people thanked me for sharing my posts on Facebook, some even started their own gratitude list. My colleagues also received similar feedback and personal feelings of joy.

It is apparent that being thankful and displaying your gratitude generates joy and contentment. As result, I have decided to share my gratitude with you, each week. I hope you enjoy this experience and that it creates an attitude of gratitude within you.

As human beings we are created to connect through healthy relationships. I am thankful for friends that I am connected with in a healthy way. I am thankful for my great friendships in both London (my first home) and Atlanta (my second home). I am thankful that my friends love me for who I am not who they want me to be. I am thankful that I have friends who I can be vulnerable with, without fear of judgement. I am thankful for the support, encouragement, quality time, gifts, smiles, words of wisdom, listening ear, voice of reason, and honesty I receive from my friends. I am thankful for the power of great friendships. I am thankful my friendships have helped shape me into the beautiful amazing woman I am today.

I am a woman who is thankful that I know and experience the value of true friendship.

Christian Contentment

I recently read a book called “The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment” by Jeremiah Burroughs. This is a powerful book, that helps a Christian understand how to be content regardless of their circumstances. As mention by Paul in Philippians 4:11-12 he was content in a low or a high position. “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (NIV). I have wondered how this was possible. How could you possibly be content when you are hunger?

This book provides an understanding of why a Christian should be content no matter the circumstances and how a Christian can be content. I will share some of the points that spoke to me personally. However I do recommend reading the book to develop further understanding of Christian contentment.

Burroughs states “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition” (p. 19).

  • A Christian can be content because they are in covenant with God. God’s promises are true. He is not a man, therefore, He cannot lie. In other words as a Christian we are covered!
  • God’s mercy is greater than our affliction. The Grace of God and salvation alone is greater than any affliction! Think about God’s mercy that are new each day! This far outweighs your affliction.
  • Jesus takes the venom out of affliction. Therefore, all the affliction a Christian encounters is less impactful because of the sacrifice Jesus made.
  • A Christian is content because they can read the Bible as an inheritances, whilst a carnal heart reads the Bible as stories.
  • If you can only be content with desires and not the present when will you be content?
  • When you are content you no longer chase after people, places or things thinking they will bring contentment.
  • There is beauty and strength in the grace of contentment. A Christian content in affliction is beauty, because it shows the glory of God.
  • A heart that is not content is able to be tempted. A discontented Christian may search for people, places, or things they feel will bring contentment.
  • Burroughs states “When we are strangers to our own hearts we are powerfully discontented, and do not know how to quiet ourselves, because we do not know wherein the disquiet lies, but if we are very well versed in our own hearts, when anything happens to unsettle us, we soon find out the cause of it, and so quickly become quiet” (p. 100).
  • Contentment is when a Christian merges their will with God’s will.
  • Unthankfulness is a discontented heart. It equates to saying, all that God has given me is worthless. Consequently, continually being thankful brings contentment.
  • A discontented Christian can become envious of what others have.
  • A Christian can only receive from God when they are quiet and resting. For example, if a child is having a tantrum, the parent can only effectively speak to the child when they calm down. A Christians’s strength is to sit still.

Steps to Contentment

  1.  Make a list of God’s mercy and a list of your affliction. Compare the lit and not your thoughts
  2. Focus on being thankful for the next 30 days and write down what you are thankful for.
  3. Focus on being mindful, by enjoying the present moment you are in, not the next 10 minutes or the day’s agenda.

I pray this helps you on your journey of contentment, where joy is overflowing. I am on this same journey with you!

Love

Bianca

Ephesians Prayer for Yourself and Others

In Ephesians 3:16-21 there is a powerful prayer that Paul prays to the Church in Ephesus. The emphasis of this prayer is about being rooted and ground in God’s Love and to know the fullness of God. This is a powerful prayer to pray for others and yourself. I have slightly paraphrased this prayer so that you can pray over yourself and for others. In addition I have used two bible versions: New International Version and Amplified.

Dear Dad/Father/Heavenly Father/Father God
I pray that out of your glorious riches you may strengthen me with power through your Spirit in my inner being, so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith. And I pray that, being rooted and established in your love for me, I  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for me, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of you God. Now to you father, who is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to your power that is at work within me, to you God, be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:16-21 NIV)

Dear Dad/Father/Heavenly Father/Father God
I pray that out of your glorious riches you may strengthen (person/s name/s) with power through your Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in her/his/their heart/s through faith. And I pray that (person/s name/s) being rooted and established in your love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know your love that surpasses knowledge—that (person/s name/s) may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within (person/s name/s) to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:16-21 NIV)

Dear Dad/Father/Heavenly Father/Father God
May You grant me out of the rich treasury of Your glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. May Christ through my faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in my heart! May I be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, That I may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of God’s love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; [That I may really come] to know [practically, through experience for myself] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that I may be filled [through all my being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within me, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that I [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond my highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]– To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it). (Ephesians 3:16-21 AMP)

Dear Dad//Father/Heavenly Father/Father God
May You grant (person/s name/s) out of the rich treasury of Your glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. May Christ through (person/s name/s) faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in (person/s name/s) heart/s! May (person/s name/s) be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, That (person/s name/s) may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; [That (person/s name/s) may really come] to know [practically, through experience for herself/himself/themselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that she/he/they may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within (person/s name/s), is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that he/she/they [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond her/his/their highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]– To God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it). (Ephesians 3:16-21 AMP)

I Feel Alive

I feel alive are the inspiring words to a song called “God’s Great Dance Floor” by Chris Tomlin. This song truly represents not only what I am feeling but what I believe.

I feel alive because I am breaking free from the barriers of perfectionism. I feel alive because I am becoming comfortable with my imperfections. I feel alive because I do not have to fit someone’s else’s ideal and standard. I feel alive because God Loves me in ways I cannot image. I feel alive because I can share my challenges and inspire others. I feel alive because God’s  Love keeps we safe while I am jumping of a cliff and embracing my imperfections.

Today my boss text me and informed me an y team that we will have a paid day off next week. I was so excited that I posted this photo clip below. It was a first taste of embracing my imperfections and being really free because I did not look perfect by my standards. I was so full of joy and feeling alive that I did not care.

My question is do you feel truly alive? If you do that is amazing! If not then what is stopping you?

Love

Bianca