… not on the other side

A couple of weeks ago, i met someone who recently returned to her former job after taking a job with another institution for two years. She said “I realized the grass is not always greener [on the other side] and i decided to return.” My response was, “Wow! It’s nice that [your former institution] was nice to take you back.” 🙂 Interestingly, she is back in the same position she was before she left. Well, guess it’s true that whatever is meant for you will be for you.

I thought i’d write on this subject because quite often, we as girls/women see pictures of our friends (or other women) or hear about an exciting thing someone else is doing and we begin to wonder what if? We start analyzing our situations and begin comparing our positions/places in life with others around us. Many times, this happens when we look at pictures of our friends on social media outlets or when we catch up after a long time. Ever wished you lived/worked in another City? State? Country? Another part of the world? Ever wondered how your life would be different if you were single, in a relationship, married, dating/married to someone else?!

grass greenerThere are several circumstances we face that might cause us to think that life is better on the other side. However, i want to caution you today to think carefully before you get envious and/or make a drastic decision. Below are some questions and tips to consider before your next big decision:

Regarding a career opportunity:

  • Is this my passion? (Do not pursue an opportunity for the money, glam, or because of your friends)
  • Will this make me happy? And/or will this opportunity help me grow?
  • How much more value will this opportunity add to my life/career trajectory?
  • Have I watered the grass where i am and it still isn’t getting/looking greener?
  • Have I spoken to and heard from God about this?
  • Am i ready for the implications, whatever they may be?

Regarding a romantic relationship:

  • Will this relationship make me truly happy?
  • Why do i want this relationship?
  • Am i (physically, mentally, emotionally/spiritually) ready for this relationship?
  • Have i spoken to and heard from God about this relationship?
  • Am i confident in/of who i am as a person? (It is important to know yourself well before getting involved in a romantic relationship with another person; things get very emotional)

Those are the tips that come to my mind at the moment. But, i would love to hear any tips/advice you have to share. Also, if you’d like to chat about this and other SEG posts, send me a note at nigerianstar2007@yahoo.com. And, like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/strongenoughgirls?ref=hl.

Remember, you hold the key to your happiness.

learn-to-appreciate

Stay beautiful,

Mizz “O”

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Are you HOT, BEAUTIFUL, or BOTH?

BeyonceObama

Happy Friday Strong Girls (and to any Strong Men who might come across this post)!

Here’s some inspiration i came across today. (Excerpt copied below, but read more here). I added the images for some good visual representation 🙂

Hot is admired from afar; beauty is to be held.

SCANDAL - ABC's

SCANDAL – ABC’s “Scandal” stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope. (ABC/CRAIG SJODIN)

Hot is perception; beauty is appreciation.

Hot is smokey-eyed; beautiful is bare-faced.

Hot is an appearance; beautiful is more than skin deep.

Hot is the way she moans; beautiful is the way she speaks.

Hot is a strong appeal; beautiful is strong mind.

Hot is youthful; beautiful is ageless.

Hot is conventional; beauty is unique.

Hot is a one-night stand; beautiful is sleepless nights.

Hot is a state of beKeriing; beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Hot is devious; beautiful is innocent.

Hot is bending her over; beautiful is baking her blueberry pancakes.

Hot is sultry; beautiful is wholesome.

Hot is her curves; beauty is her nerves.

Hot is a text message; beautiful is a love letter.

Hot is a facade; beautiful is a woman.

Be a BEAUTIFUL woman!

With love,

Onyinye

Not Perfect, but Good Enough.

Tonight, as i caught up on “Girls: A No Ceilings Conversation” between former U.S. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea Clinton along with young girls from communities and 4 Middle and High schools around the US, i was reminded of why my “Strong Enough Girls” initiative is important. Secretary Clinton made a comment to the effect of “Girls stop themselves from progressing because they feel that they’re not perfect. Men/boys do not view themselves in this way [and this is why men tend to dominate many areas in society].”

We have to overcome this mentality.

Strong Enough Girls calls girls and women to believe in their strengths and abilities. We don’t have to be perfect; we can simply be “strong/good enough.” Why should we limit ourselves trying to achieve perfection? Men do not let their imperfections stop them from believing in what they can offer, even to the extent of being cocky. My dear girls, let’s stop holding ourselves back, and keep pressing ahead, imperfections and all. We are as good as any boy or man. We are strong enough!  #Believeit

What do you think? Why do women feel the need to be perfect in an imperfect world? Why do we stop moving forward with our goals and dreams when we hit a roadblock? Why do we allow men to be good enough, but not ourselves?

Change Your Perspective: Focusing your mind, your trust, your plans, and your goals on the Lord

“Cast all your cares upon the Lord because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

5 Ways That Changing Your Perspective Can Change Your Life (# 5 of 5)

By Christine Okaro

 5.    Changing your perspective allows you to see yourself the way God sees you

You are the daughter of the Most High King. Never forget His love for you. It’s greater, wider, deeper than we could ever imagine. My favorite analogy of God’s love for us comes from the song “How He Loves” that depicts God’s love as “a sloppy, wet kiss” and “a hurricane.” God wants to smother you in His love, so allow Him. Give Him your full heart, and He will give you the desire of your heart. He wants the best for you.

You are loved. You are cherished. You are special to the Almighty.

He came down, faced unexplainable pain, and defeated the grave, all for you. Why? Because you are worth it. God loved you so much that He, being selfless, came to save you and give you life eternal, with Him.

He loved you before you were even formed in your mother’s womb. And nothing will ever stop his love for you. His love for you is far greater than anything we have experienced, deeper

When you are saved, the past is washed away. All things have become new, in Christ. You are a new creation, worthy of all the good in life. He wants to rebuild your confidence – to see all of the wonderful things He has in store for you.  

See yourself as an overcomer, because with Him all things are possible.

See yourself as beautiful, for all that God creates is beautiful.

See yourself as a reflection of Christ, for your identity rests in Him.

See yourself as worthy, for the Son of God gave His life to save you and loves you unconditionally.

See yourself as capable, for the Lord has given you all that you need to succeed.

See yourself as unique, for you are precious in His eyes.

Your self-esteem is not based on responses from those around you, but from what God, through His word, says about you. I encourage you to read Proverbs 31.

Verses:

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:13-14

“She is clothed in strength and dignity… and she laughs without fear of the future.” – Proverbs 31:25

Prayer Starter: My Heavenly, Loving Father, I want to know you more. Thank you for Your unfailing love, mercy, grace and kindness in my life. Lord, help me to see myself the way that You see me. Shower me with Your love in a way that I’ve never experienced before. Make Your love tangible to me. Remove the feelings of insecurity, low self-esteem and fear in my life. Be my joy. Show me Your heart.

Quote: “His love is deep, His love wide and it covers us. His love is fierce, His love is fierce and it’s furious. His love is sweet, His love is wide and it’s bringing hearts to life.” – “Furious” by Bethel Music feat. Jeremy Riddle

Music: “You Are More” – Tenth Avenue North, “How He Loves” – Kim Walker, “Family Tree” – Matthew West, “Jesus, Son of God” – Chris Tomlin, “Imagine Me” – Kirk Franklin, “One Thing Remains” – Brain Johnson & Bethel Music, “Hope’s Anthem” – Williams Matthews & Bethel Music, “All This Time” – Britt Nicole, “Gold” – Britt Nicole

Our Heavenly Father wants us to live a life that glorifies Him. All He is asking us to do is look to Him for guidance, comfort and hope. Change your perspective by truly trusting in Him. Make a promise to yourself and to God, that you will strive to surrender all of your doubts, all of your worries and anxious feelings to Him. It is not easy, and is definitely easier said than done, but faith comes by the hearing and receiving of the word. I encourage you to find a church community, a mentor, a friend or even a Christian YouTube personality that can speak into your life. Take time everyday to speak to Him, because He truly cares for you.

Change Your Perspective: Focusing your mind, your trust, your plans, and your goals on the Lord

“Cast all your cares upon the Lord because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

5 Ways That Changing Your Perspective Can Change Your Life (# 4 of 5)

By Christine Okaro

4.    Makes you aware of the way to represent the kingdom

We are the representation of the kingdom to the rest of the world. In a sense, we must have a “kingdom mentality,” different than that of the world we live in. When the world tells us to worry, we must be the ones to increase our faith in the Lord, the one who is the same yesterday, today and forever.

The word Christian means “follower of Christ;” therefore, we are responsible for making His name known. People should be able to see Christ in you through your actions and words. Find others who are devoted followers of Christ to strengthen your understanding by sharing the Word and uplifting one another. Try to see the world and others through God’s eyes. Choose compassion over anger and empathy over judgment.

Verses: “… God has given us His spirit. That’s why we don’t think the same way that the people of the world think. That’s also why we can recognize the blessings that God has given us.” 1 Corinthians 2:12

Prayer Starter: Father God, forgive me from my actions, words or thoughts that misrepresented your kingdom. Guide me today, to respect others, to encourage others, and to grow in my knowledge of you. I want to know You more. Help me exemplify Your kingdom in my daily life.

Music: “Hosanna” – Hillsong United, “Jesus, Friend of Sinners”- Casting crowns

***Check back next week for # 5!***

Change Your Perspective: Focusing your mind, your trust, your plans, and your goals on the Lord

“Cast all your cares upon the Lord because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

5 Ways That Changing Your Perspective Can Change Your Life (#3 of 5)

By Christine Okaro

3.    Changing your perspective illuminates the light within.

Focus on the Lord, and your light will shine bright. Your light is the way that you witness to others. We are called for a higher purpose, to share the gospel and to bring hope to the others. God has given us all that is needed to make a positive impact in the world, so let your light shine. Your light allows you to minister to others not just through your words, but also through your actions. Simply encouraging a friend going through a tough situation or praying for the salvation of others is a way to shine your light. Share hope and uplift those around you.

Understanding that with God, all things are possible changes your behavior and your reaction to trials. Others will begin to notice that even under stressful situations, you are still standing firm and remain unshaken. This is your way of ministering to others, through your presence, your actions, and your attitude. Be a light in a dark place.

Verses:

“You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.” – Matthew 5:14

“And the light goes on shining in the dark; it is not overcome by the dark.” John 1:5

Prayer Starter: Lord, I want to be an ambassador for you. I ask for the confidence to share my faith with others and to draw people to you. Holy Spirit, give me the right words to say. In all that I say and do today, let others see You in me. Use my life as a beacon of Your love and hope.

Music: “We Are” – Kari Jobe, “This Is What You Do (feat. Matt Stinton)” – Matt Stinton, Bethel Music, “My Own Little World” – Matthew West

***Check back in next week for # 4!***

Change Your Perspective: Focusing your mind, your trust, your plans, and your goals on the Lord

“Cast all your cares upon the Lord because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

5 Ways That Changing Your Perspective Can Change Your Life (#2 of 5)

By Christine Okaro

2.    Changing your perspective helps you find your calling. 

As young adults, we are all searching for our life’s calling. While meticulously planning and researching possible occupations and career paths are great ways to prepare for the future, overthinking can lead to excessive stress. Know that God’s plan for you is the best. His plan is more than we could ever ask for, more than we could ever comprehend.

Instead of thinking, “How am I going to do this,” simply say, “God, I am excited to see what you will do through me.”

By taking the focus off of yourself and trusting in His plan for your life, you are allowing God to work wonders. He will put the right people in your life that will connect you to others. He will make His glory known through the works you will complete. You just have to trust Him and know that your future is safe in His hands.  Make sure to thank Him in advance for what He has done and will do in your life.

While asking God for guidance, continue to strive, achieve, and move forward. God can only guide us when we are already moving. Faith is knowing that by doing your part, God will also do His.

Verses:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a future and hope. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. ” – Jeremiah 29:11

What God has planned for people who love Him is more than eyes have seen or ears have heard. It has never even entered our minds!” – 1 Corinthians 2:9

Prayer Starter: God, I give you my life, my future, my plans and my heart. Use me for your kingdom. Holy Spirit, work through me, so that I will not miss my calling. I acknowledge that I cannot do this on my own, and that I need you, Lord. Lead me and guide me through life. I need you and I surrender. I will not be overwhelmed. I will not be stressed. I will not worry. Instead, I place all of my hope, my trust, and my faith in You because through you all things are possible. Use my life to glorify you. Give me vision and wisdom, to know what do. I look to you, God. Have your way in me.

Music: “Not For A Moment (After All) – Meredith Andrews, “Lift My Life Up” – Unspoken, “God I Look to You” – Jenn Johnson, Bethel Music, “White Flag” – Chris Tomlin

***# 3 will be posted next week.***

Change Your Perspective: Focusing your mind, your trust, your plans and your goals on the Lord

“Cast all your cares upon the Lord because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

5 Ways That Changing Your Perspective Can Change Your Life

By Christine Okaro

1.    Changing your perspective manages stress and decreases worry.

In times of hardship or stress, it is easy to let our emotions and attitudes deteriorate. God wants to help. He wants to give you joy, even in the midst of hardship. Find your peace in Him by giving all of your worries, all of the items on your “to do list” and your doubts exclusively to Him. Have faith that He will give you the strength to complete and accomplish everything needed. Remembering that the Holy Spirit, our teacher and advocate, is with us at all times is both comforting and encouraging.

Before starting your day, I encourage you to have a conversation with your Heavenly Father. Let Him know of the tasks you have set before you today, and ask Him to lead and guide you in everything you think, say and do. As you make a habit of conversing with God daily, know that our Father loves to hear from his children – nothing is too big, nothing is too small. All He asks of you is to trust and believe. Ask for His wisdom, for He freely gives to those who ask.

Verses:

“… Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

John 14:27, Luke 12:25, Psalm 55:22

Prayer Starter: Lord, I look to You for guidance and for strength. I need You now more than ever. I have faith that all things will work together for good for those that love You. I know that You are with me and that You have the final say. I praise You and thank you in advance for victory in my life. I know that you are working on my behalf. Give me the peace that surpasses all understanding. Holy Spirit, you are my teacher and helper – lead me. I know that nothing is too big or small for you, so I bring you everything. I come against fear, doubt and worry in my life and ask for Your grace and mercy. I declare that I am an overcomer, in Jesus’ name!

Music: “You Never Let Go” – Matt Redman, “I’ve Found A Love (Love Came Down) – Jenn Johnson & Bethel Music, “Just Say Jesus” – 7eventh Time Down, “Steady My Heart” – Kari Jobe, “Healer” – Kari Jobe, “Strong Enough” – Matthew West, “God I Look to You” – Jenn Johnson & Bethel Music, “At Your Name” – Brian Johnson & Bethel Music, “Love Came Down” – Brain Johnson & Bethel Music

***To Be Continued Next Week.***