If I Had a Nokia 33:10

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So much of what we see on our phones triggers so much emotion based on assumptions we make and this should be avoided. In a conversation with my mother about everything and anything I was explaining to her that I have lowered my social media presence and consumption because there is so much I see, I probably shouldn’t be seeing. Picking up my beautiful iPhone I explained that “if this was a Nokia 33:10 I probably wouldn’t have seen this person’s post and no assumption would be made”. All assumptions would be based on reality and therefore closer to the truth because my only opportunity to hear from or see a loved one would be either face to face or via the phone.

I spent a few months in 2020 abstaining from social media, and then made a decision to completely step away for a period of time in order to really ensure that I control my social media consumption rather than having it defining me. I felt I needed to be more present with who I am and have always been. I just needed to connect to her again and finding myself scrolling through images and life events of others brought me further away from me and closer to them. Inevitably I found myself changing identities because of a still image of someone else’s beautiful aesthetics. I found myself wanting to wear this and then that every scroll and double tap. I began to ask myself but away from this, who are you?. I thought about friendships and how they would traditionally end in older generations. Historically I assume that a goodbye would be a goodbye and no communication would further take place unless you bump into the person which would probably be rare and therefore give you healing and forgiving space. Now, we are communicating without communicating. We have an idea of what people are doing and how they are.

All of this to say that having spent time off my favourite app, and in my journey of choosing to do so, I feel so much closer to me and it’s a beautiful feeling. My relationships are beautiful because they are more intentional. I am present. Not that I wasn’t intentional in the beginning but I truly felt I needed to refine and go back to the basics of who I am and what my principles are. I feel amazing. This isn’t to say that I have lost all desire to share my moments on such apps, but when I do make a return I know I will be more intentional and grounded.

I also want to add that every circumstance is different. I wouldn’t expect you to do this if there is monetary value in your social media presence. For me, it has always been a space to share, be inspired and to leave. I would just encourage you to be intentional with it because I understand. Another thing I also have to understand is that adaptation needs to take place. For example, there are events I can only first discover on Instagram so I’m not in the know of things. Instead I have subscribed to any platform I like to keep up to date and I guess this is what will work for now. I also miss the relationships I’ve built over social media! There are women on there who exude beauty and inspire me so much in a positive way! It’s not easy, but there is a way to make it work. It doesn’t have to be forever but I do know that right now I have joy because of it. There’s so much to avoid if we think of our phones as the Nokia 3310.

Happy new year,

Love always

HLP x

Romans 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

How have you Positioned Yourself?

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It’s about 4:00am. My sleep has been disturbed and my stream of consciousness has kicked in. I would say the Holy Spirit is here. Following on from the previous post about stillness, I made the point that in order to practice stillness, you must place yourself in a position that allows for the Lord to fight. Positioning being the important part because stillness becomes more intentional rather than an act of laziness or expecting God to do all the work.

Another question has sprung to mind whilst I have been trying to toss and turn myself back into sleep mode: what position are you in? I found it quite difficult to answer it or even understand it. I quickly reflected on the most recent life experiences and argued that actually I feel I have placed myself in a position to bear much fruit though I still have a lot of work to do. A lot. I can write a list here of all the justifications I have for being in a great position for the Lord to step in and dance my life into the perfect soundtrack but I figured that is not the point, and then the answer came to me in a question: what is the state of your heart? Amongst the chaos, what is the state of your heart?

The practical actions matter. Actions like loving, serving, giving place you in a profitable position. However the state of your heart will determine your position in many ways. Before I drop back to sleep I am quickly reminded by God that this is the happiest I have been for a very long time. Not because of anyone else but him and everything he has done for me. I remember the two verses I have been meditating on:

They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed. – Psalm 34:5

Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4

These two verses right here epitomise the state of my heart. The source of my radiance is the joy of the Lord. Delight and joy dwell in my heart and each and every desire is coming to pass in the stillness. So, in addition to positioning, the state of your heart matters. Another difficult concept to grapple with but a conversation worth having with yourself. I pray that joy may dwell in your heart. I pray that you may delight in the Lord despite everything. I pray that God will do great and mighty things in your life. Have a beautiful 2021.

Love always,

HLP x

Joyful me as I become the very woman I dream of becoming

Practicing Stillness

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Stillness is often encouraged and spoken about particularly amongst Christians. It is a very difficult principle to practice and one that becomes more difficult in an environment where everything moves quickly. I reached a full circle moment this morning and felt I needed to share it on my blog because I will definitely come back to this.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Exodus 14:14 has been a longstanding weapon for many moons. I remember I used to always see the two numbers almost every day until one day, a very lovely man of God who used to fill me with bible verses every time he saw me gave me this verse. I remember his words exactly “you didn’t come to church last week and I had a word come to me and I looked everywhere for you but I am happy to see you this week. Open your bible and go to Exodus 14:14. This one is for you”. After that day, I rarely ever noticed the numbers and now use it as a sword of the spirit in my prayers to remind God to ensure he does this (in my somewhat authoritative voice).

The issue I am now discovering is that I was failing to practice the ‘still’ part of the statement. What felt like stillness was actually me choosing to paralyze myself for a few hours before going back to my normal self – I laugh now but honestly I really irritated myself!

Lately I have been meditating on the idea of positioning myself. My pastor has been teaching us about the importance of positioning yourself in order to prepare for God to fight for you. It was beautiful to finally marry the two ideas of positioning and stillness after so many years and I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I believe my intention to be practical in positioning myself in stillness has decluttered my mind to marry the two statements together. I could obviously say to God “but why didn’t you just change that verse to “Position yourself, the Lord will fight for you; you need only be still” so that the latter part of the statement would make much more sense. Now I know he would say “but it’s there in 11 Chronicles 20:17” (I am indebted to my Pastor for this one). I will keep this short, because our society is acquiring an attention span of few seconds thanks to some of these apps.

For the Lord to fight for you, and you to be still, place yourself in a fruitful position. Do not practice stillness in chaotic environments because there is no room there. This is very much a matter of the heart situation because it is about completely looking at that which is or is not healthy for you in your surrounding and working to ensure your environment is accessible for God. It is not easy, but it is definitely possible. The things working for me right now are in relation to taking hiatuses’ from social media, abstaining from my weaknesses through revisiting particular verses of the bible, praying, fasting, going on walks, letting go of unhealthy relationships, and reminding myself of the “why” behind every decision. I wish you all the very best in your journey to continuing in stillness or beginning to practice stillness.

As always,

Love always

Her Last Petal

A Virtual Toast to My Friend

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I speak with a friend sometimes often, sometimes sporadically. I like to call this friend my personal walking diary. We speak about so much, I often wonder how I can even replicate some of the discussions we have because they are always so thirst quenching. Talking with you feels like attending to cravings of a meal I’m desperate for: fulfilling, and wholesome. When we speak, I am all in. This is what I like the most. You get all of me, and I experience the fullness of you and we enter into the very core meaning of vulnerability. Shinga is her name, my translation of the meaning of her name would be “hold on”. She is the kind of friend everyone needs, a blessing you would want to hold onto, because life without her truly feels like a void. So thank you for choosing me, to accompany you as a true friend. I wanted to make a virtual toast to us since the COVID19 pandemic means social distancing. Amongst our many discussions, there is a particular narrative we gravitate towards that is: To maintain a grounded level of self-awareness, in order that we do not forget the core desires of our hearts. I therefore wanted to extend this idea to the world with a few words I wrote. This too, shall be my point of reference if and when my awareness becomes slightly blurred.

I would rather come out of this with nobody but myself.

Every fibre of me.

Than to continuously mould my heart into everything other than

The fullness of what it needs to be.

Don’t manipulate your heart to want what it does not need.

& as always, love always.

HLP x

The Lords Prayer as a Way to Simplify the Complexities of Life

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I am reminded today of my shift in the way I see God now in comparison to previous times in my life. God is too powerful for me to not prosper, more so because I am his child. My faith in him is so grounded that even if anyone attempts to tell me there is an inheritance of a curse in my family line, I am inherently inclined to argue that because my bloodline is more of Christ than it is of anyone else (Galatians 3:29: “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”), I cannot be drenched in this curse.

God is powerful and simple. Just like the Lord’s Prayer. Powerful and simple. I’ve spent my life complicating God. Drowned in revelations found by externals, constructing my journey as a Christian as a half empty cup, rather than a half full cup. There was reason for my failure and it was never me. It was always “this isn’t working because they are”, or this isn’t working because this spirit is against me”. My epiphany revealed that actually, everything will work out because I am Gods child. The Lord’s Prayer outlines the fundamental principles he taught us, and everything else involved within it is an ask to God.

The Lord’s Prayer simply speaks to me about those principles.

“Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be your name”: Faith.

“Your kingdom come, Your Will Be Done”: Hope

“As we Forgive Those”:Forgiveness and Love.

I stripped away complicating God in all I was taught or the ideas people imposed on me about the usual discourse on generational curses, or needing deliverance. My standpoint is not to say these do not exist, rather these do not exist to define me.

1 Corinthians 13:8-13 reads

8 Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part [for our knowledge is fragmentary and incomplete]. 10 But when that which is complete and perfect comes, that which is incomplete and partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God]. 13 And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.

Everything revolves around Love. And after all is said and done, the prophecies, tongues, the gift of special knowledge will pass away and cease. What remains is Faith, Hope, and Love. Above them all is Love. Love is above all. God revealed this to me regarding the depth of the Lord’s Prayer and I am indebted to share. My political opinion is that as Christians, we are not experiencing the fullness of God’s ability to enable prosperity in our lives because our mentality resembles that of a pessimist. When failure arises, the responsibility is never ours, it is always the curse we remember being told we had. We are not introspective enough to say “God this didn’t go very well, where did I go wrong”. If we are truly Gods children then the inheritance of blessing is ours. I truly believe that simplifying our God will eradicate a somewhat poverty mentality, giving Power to The Lord, responsibility to ourselves, and casting the intention of the devil away through faith and the word.

It’s been a while, but as always,

Love always

HLP xo

Sin and Forgiveness.

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And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” 2 Corinthians 5:15

God revealed something to me I felt necessary to share because it’s so important. God doesn’t want us to sin because of the damage it does to us. Whilst condemning myself for responding badly towards sin, his soft voice simply said “Jesus came so that your sins could be forgiven. You are forgiven my child. I don’t want you to sin simply because of the damage it causes to you”. This stood out so much because God’s view of sin made sense. For God, every sin is viewed from a birds eye perspective. There is no height, depth or width. The aftermath of our sinful behaviour is what defines our positions and so it is important to go through a journey of dealing with how you respond to the act. I’ve realised that I quickly forget I am forgiven, because I’m so used to beating myself up. Forgive yourself too, and deal with how you respond to your wrongdoings so that you can be in a grounded position of never going back there. You’re forgiven. God wants you to focus on dealing with the damage it does especially when your conscience level heightens. It’s a work in progress, this is what I tell myself all the time. I just want God to rest in my temple, I want so badly for him to walk comfortably into my presence and to experience peace. It’s a work in progress.

Until next time Petals.

Let People Experience the Fullness of Your Love

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I’ve never been so happy to be grounded in the formula of love, and to understand that everything relates to love. It’s easy to fall back into old habits when you lose touch of love because of issues surrounding you. You begin to dwell on them so much that you forget that above all, love wins.  Being out of touch with love results in being out of touch in your relationships because you’re not in a stable relationship with love. I’m learning that the personal relationship I have with God is a mirror to the relationships I have with the people around me. When I haven’t dined with God, I forget who I am and become clouded by insecurity that I don’t know how to manage my stresses, and those closest to me feel the volume of my silence. I’m sorry, and I’m sorry in advance. Though days won’t be perfect, I made a covenant to God some time ago to work on our relationship, and since then, the rest of my relationships have been falling into place. New relationships have been making sense. 
For some time now, I have been in such a happy place. Regardless of the chaos, I have been able to wake up with enough gratitude to carry on, to brighten the lives of those around me, and to spend time with God. I recently had a strange shift in my mood in the last couple of weeks. I felt myself slipping back into old habits of thinking negatively, and not trusting in the timing of God. Perhaps it was clouded thoughts about the future, the small but impactful mini existential crises I kept having, or something as simple as the seasons changing. Whatever it was brought back familiar negative habits of overthinking and worrying. It felt like entering back into a home I was once so comfortable in. The smell of worry and fear was familiar, there was no light there. I noticed how easy it is to slip back into old habits. I’m glad I’ve gained enough strength to walk out, because I have successfully done so before. My solution is my own testimony. I quickly realised that for what it’s worth, I could walk out of this familiar place. So I did. I made a freshly pressed green juice, reconnected with the word, and picked it up from where God and I had left off.
The result of letting go of old habits meant I was able to refocus my energy on what matters. The state of my relationship with God was becoming unstable, and this was affecting my immediate relationships. I was spending time in deep thought, distracted by worries and yet the small responsibilities contributing to the major issues where not being dealt with. I want to encourage you to work on yourself, to develop your mental state so that people can experience the fullness of your presence when they are around you. I want to clarify that I am not telling you to be happy when you are around people rather, just be transparent and seek to develop people through your experiences. Let everything that leaves your mouth seek to develop your loved ones in one way or another. Always be reflective. The aim of this post was to simply remind you to take good care of yourself and practise love so much that your cup overfills and runs over those around you. Though my week was challenging, I made a promise to write to my readers because in everything that takes place, there is a reason. It is your choice to distinguish what that reason may be.  

A Life Update

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I am the happiest woman. Not for what I do, but for how much of God is involved in what I do, what I experience and who I experience Love with, and for. The future is now. The seeds I longed to walk through once tall, are here. I am so happy that I was ready to embrace these moments. Thank you Lord for showing me Love in its purest form. I am where I belong.

My year has been based on the substratum of honoring God. This has enabled my relationships to deepen, and my experiences are embraced with a sense of fearlessness. The functioning of my mental processes are esoteric and so many complexities arise as a result. God is showing me more of his face and less of other people thus, the extent to which I rely on the presence of others to understand my processes has lessened. I finally can understand from this labour intensive journey that, not many people can do so, and in fact I shouldn’t expect so much from them. Now that I can turn to God with these emotions, I find that I overcome them through rationalising the reality. To God be the glory. This is something I should’ve applied a long time ago, but my senses were not quiet enough to be attentive to the voice of God which reminded me earlier this year that I needn’t make any choices, for he is the first as reflected in Mathew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these. things shall be added unto you”. The last time the music stopped, I gave myself the chance to learn from what the irregular rhythms were teaching me. I am now able to anticipate the song of life, and dance according to the rhythm of Christ.

The result of immersing into the journey of being a Christ follower has also meant I have honest conversations with myself. My journey has no elements of equivocation, because I no longer fear the departure of a human being, whether that be family, friend, or lover. The sweetest words from someone cannot be compared to Gods embrace. I’m seeking comfort in God before anyone else because that is the foundation of my reassurance and validation; the only one that will remain consistent. Understand that if everything you rely on is in man before God, you are vulnerable at all times. Seek and live under the comfort of the Lords word because his is the sweetest and purest of them all. Abrupt departures won’t be so intense. Letting go won’t be so difficult. Loving, won’t be so difficult.

 Love without expectation. Love enough to let go when necessary. Love in a way which honours the Lord. Don’t be in a position where you find yourself wanting, where you are needed. Through practicing the act of Love, I realise that I do not expect much from life. Through finding comfort in God, I realise that he listens better than anyone else. I have healed, and am continuing to do so.

Love always,

HLP x

Self Love

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For a long time I chose to practice the act of self-love. After a while, I began to realise that the grounds on which my love relied on where not enough for the woman I wanted to become and am becoming. I then decided to break the whole concept down instead of just doing without any real establishment of how and why. I must acknowledge the women and men who practice self-love. We are all different and it is important to find what is right for you and to run with it. Those who do, have served as a great example through breaking the social norms established by a number of institutions over several years, and serve as an amazing example to those who don’t, and to those who are yet to radically love who they are. I applaud you.

I began with Love. The descriptions of love were useful in guiding me on ways to practice what it means. Though I was searching for a definition, I needed to know what it meant for me to practice it in its fullness. In exploring Love through discussions with a number of people, and reading, there were several things I learnt, and was reminded of. I remember reading Paulo Coelho’s The Witch of Portobello, where he wrote “Love simply is”. This resonated with me so well because I didn’t want to confine something through establishing a fixed and restricted space for it. In practicing this self-love, I made affirmations often, I felt beautiful, but there were voids I couldn’t quite get my head around.

In my early stages of redirecting a life to Christ, I began to explore Jesus’s life and it was where I found many of the answers I’d been searching for. I saw a tangible example of love through action in him. A personification of love and it was in the bible where love was defined.

 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:16)

If God is Love, what is it that God does to lead as an example of what it means to practise Love? There are ample examples which can be identified in the bible. In regards to self-love my experiences tell me that one simply cannot love in a profound way if one does not know what it means to love who they are first. Put simply, self-love is loving yourself despite all of the factors that will distract you not to. If God is love, then surely to Love myself is to see myself through the eyes of the Lord. If I am made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), there is no reason to question the beauty carved by the hands of someone who made me in his image. Now I look at my reflection and I feel complete, even with the imperfections. The epitome of God’s commitment to us regardless of  falling short of doing good, we are loved and forgiven. What I love the most about this definition is that it will never change, it is fixed forever. Each day I am attentive to the attributes of love, so I too can embody them, in order to love myself and to love those around me.

As always,

Love always

HLP xo