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Wandering Thoughts

Because sometimes hiding behind a pen and paper is the only way we can express our true thoughts and feelings

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I’m Back!


IMG-20180908-WA0032So it has been a while since I last wrote. I want to say I took time off to create more content and reorganise my life, but that would be a lie. The truth is the last few months have been challenging, and I couldn’t keep up with work/school/blogging, so I had to take a step back.
Having said all that, I am back (for the most part)! And I have a few things lined up. The one I am most excited about is a series I will be kicking off titled, “Letters to Sophia”. As the name implies, it is a series of posts written to Sophia! Who is Sophia you ask? Lol, watch this space to find out!

Another thing I will be doing in the coming months is introducing you to my life as a PhD researcher/candidate. I realise that a lot of people do not understand what a PhD journey looks like, and so I would like to share mine with you.

Finally, I will be featuring guest authors on the blog, so if you are interested in being featured, drop me a message at shaybolanta@gmail.com or send me a DM on Twitter/Instagram @shayrunn lets hook up!

In reality, this is mostly a “hey I’m still here” post, but I can’t leave without saying a little something, so here we go!
I started my blog as an escape. It was how I got stuff off my chest. It was how I shared my then unpopular opinions. However, as I have gotten older, I have learnt that my so-called unpopular opinions aren’t that unpopular and a lot of people resonate with the things I have to say. Now, this has made me quite happy, because it means I can speak my mind without judgement (sometimes) and even when I get judged, I don’t mind, because I know I am not alone in my way of thinking.
Okay, so where is the lesson here? I said thatWell, the problem is I don’t always say what I think. I hate confrontations, and I get very passionate about things, so sometimes I “un-look” to avoid unnecessary drama. And while “un-looking” is sometimes necessary to maintain peace of mind, there are times when we need to look and speak.

I have said this before, but it’s only right that my first post after months of silence is on speaking up. The older I have gotten, the more I have come to realise that the women I look up to, are women just like me. The only difference between us is that they speak up when necessary. Does this mean they get dragged on Twitter all day long? Yes!

But it also means they get to educate and inspire people all the time!happy dance

Sometimes it takes just one good connection, from one honest, down to earth conversation with a random person to push you in the right direction.

And here’s another thing. Speaking up is not always about educating and inspiring, it’s about connecting with likeminded people and I for one, am all for it! Sometimes it takes just one good connection, from one honest, down to earth conversation with a random person to push you in the right direction.
So moral of the story, you have a voice, thoughts, and opinions for many reasons. Use them, they are tools and assets, and when used wisely they can change your life in ways you never thought or dreamed!

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The Weight of the World

Sunday = Picture dayGrowing up as a pastor’s child, I had what I would call an “interesting” childhood. Right from childhood, I knew I had to live up to being “The GOs only daughter“. The bar was already set much higher than it needed to be because of the family I was born into (I love them btw).  The bar was set so high, that I spent my childhood, teenage and early adult years trying to reach it. Everyone expected something from me and I couldn’t disappoint.

I didn’t get to do normal teenage things because “people would talk“.   I couldn’t be anything less than brilliant at school, and ultimately I had to be the epitome of all that was good and calm.  So, I lived by these unspoken rules laid out for me by the men and women I met at church, at school and anywhere in between. I grew up feeling as if I had the expectations of the world on my shoulders. I lived in a glass house and didn’t get to make mistakes.

PK Problems

I grew up the one people came to for advice (I enjoyed this though; a little too much I think lol!). For some reason, everyone assumed I was always good and as per pastor’s daughter, I was a “mini pastor”. I became a pro at hiding how I felt. I learnt to swallow all my emotions, my anger, hurt, confusion, etc. I swallowed it all. At the end of the day, I ended up knowing everyone, looking out for everyone, but being alone.

 

So many people carry the weight of expectations on them and end up alone because of it.

There is nothing wrong with being a role model, or being there for people, but like everything in life, there needs to be a balance. Many people never have the chance to develop this balance. They spend all their lives living up to expectation and being strong for others, while they silently suffer.  I hurt when I come across people like that because I have first-hand experience of how lonely and hurtful that life can be.

The truth is, I haven’t quite figured out how to balance living my life and being there for everyone. I still take on more than I should and get consumed by people and their emotions and I still internalize a lot. However, I have learnt some things along the way.

I have learnt that we are not perfect people and we need to be kind to ourselves.  I have learnt that you can only truly love others when you love yourself. I have learnt that beating yourself up for not living up to “standards” isn’t healthy. It can make you see yourself as not good enough. You are. be kind to yourself Most importantly, I have learnt that you cannot give when you are empty. Any help or advice you give when you are weak and empty is never a hundred percent.

At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with being the person who is always “there” for people. There is also nothing wrong with living up to certain standards. However, while you give yourself to others and while you live up to “standards“, remember that you too are human and the same kindness you extend to others you should extend to yourself.

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What are You Thankful for?

A few weeks ago, I was talking with someone and she asked me what I was thankful for. I replied with “I’m thankful for my family.” In my mind, my family was a good thing to be thankful for, but lol, she wasn’t impressed.

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She said, “Well, it’s good to be thankful for your family, but they are not here with you. So what are you thankful for that happened today? Because it’s important to be able to be thankful or happy about things that happen in your everyday life.”

This got me thinking, and I realised that, although generally, I am thankful for many things in my life, I find it hard to see and acknowledge good things in my day-to-day life/activities.

I’ve come to learn that in life, it’s important to find joy in the small things. It is important that you don’t let situations you go through steal your peace and happiness. Life happens in stages and seasons. Sometimes you have a lot of sunshine, and on those days, it’s easy to say “Oh wow, God is good.” However, what happens when the clouds cover the sun and the winds roar? How do you deal and overcome those situations?idk

All my life, people have told me the usual “give thanks in all situations,” but I never understood it. To me, it felt like people were living in denial (in some cases they were tbh, but that’s for another day!). However, I am starting to look at it differently. The idea of giving thanks in all situations isn’t about pretending that x, y, and z aren’t happening. Rather, it’s about acknowledging the fact that although those things are happening, there is still something good in your life.

Deciding to be thankful shifts your focus from all the bad around you to the good. It isn’t always easy to do, but it’s necessary. Why? Well, sometimes the things that aren’t going right might be overwhelming. They might make it seem like there is no hope. If you keep focusing on these situations and their accompanying thoughts, you might end up in a dark place. However, when you are able to look at all the darkness and find a beautiful lone star, that star might be enough to get you going.

It’s easy to say “well nothing good happened today”, but the truth is, the things you are thankful for don’t have to be massive things. You don’t have to win the lotto or get a raise before being thankful. It can be over something as small as what you had for dinner, jollof-rice

 

or an enlightening conversation you had.

Personally, I think choosing to be thankful daily, causes you to analyse your day and find the good in it. Take my day for example. I got to work this morning and everything that could go wrong went wrong. By lunchtime, I was ready to go home and cry. Ordinarily, I would have said, I really don’t have anything to be thankful for. However, as I write this, I’m looking out the window by my desk (it’s a beautiful view) and counting all I have to be thankful for. I somehow got inspiration for this piece, (I was really stressed about what I would write about) I had a nice salad for lunch (I like good food) and to top it off, I found something I had been looking for to complete my experimental setup. So yea, maybe my day didn’t start out great and maybe nothing happened the way I wanted it to, but I can, and I have chosen to look back and be thankful.change

Moral of the story, choosing to be thankful is honestly the only way to keep going on at times. Some call it looking at the bright side, but irrespective of what it’s called, it’s a powerful tool for dealing with trying times.

Finally, lol, coming to this realisation prompted me to join a friend on twitter in finding something to be thankful for, every day. I have found it quite helpful (and challenging tbh) and today, I am inviting you to join me.  Use the hashtag #Iamthankful to post something you are thankful for every day. You can do it for a week, a month the rest of the year; it’s entirely up to you! But give it a try!

Thank you for reading today’s post! I hope you enjoyed it! You can follow me on Twitter @shayrunn

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Crisis of Faith

A crisis of faith. A lot of people who believe in a Supreme Being experience this at some point in time in their walk of faith.

Everyone knows I’m a hardcore Grey’s Anatomy fan. I mean, this is my third time watching the show from the beginning and I don’t feel any type of way. LOL. Anyways, for anyone who has been watching the show, you’ll know that April Kepner has been having a major crisis of faith. So much so that she has abandoned everything that she once held dear to herself because of Kepner leaves.gifit. To be very honest I understand and empathize with her character and what she is going through (she’s had her fair share of crap happen to her).  

I always have a problem with how silent Christians are about how hard life can be at times. They tend to paint Christianity as pink roses and blue skies all day every day, but it isn’t. Too often, people turn away from the faith because they think maybe God isn’t really for them. I mean, the pastor said when I receive Jesus life will be rosy, but my life isn’t, so maybe Jesus isn’t really for me. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, and then they walk away.really Or if I do x, y, and z I’ll be successful and live well and be happy, but it doesn’t really work like that.

 

Like April, so many of us grow up following or trying to follow all the commands in the Bible. We don’t drink alcohol, lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, etc, but somehow, the people who are doing all of those things seem to be making it in life and we are stuck in a rut. It’s devastating. It hurts and it makes you feel foolish. Because it seems like all your “being good” is for nothing.

In my opinion, having a crisis of faith is nothing to be ashamed of. Because almost everyone goes through it and it’s at this point you get to discover for yourself what your faith means to you and why you believe. In the last Grey’s episode, the Rabbi asked Kepner why she expected life to be fair? I mean, if life was fair, Jesus wouldn’t have died on the cross, because that wasn’t fair for him. He said if life was fair Moses would have seen the promised land and on and on he went. Which begs the question of, why do you believe? Is your faith simply because you want to be blessed? Is that why you follow the commands? Pray every day and go to church? Is it for the blessings you want/expect/need? Or is there more?thinking

At some point, you have to question yourself and your faith. You can’t keep doing it because you were born into it. Sooner or later, you need to ask yourself those hard questions and challenge what you have been taught all your life. You need to test the words you’ve been told. Why? Well, if you don’t, when life gets tough and you’re getting knocked over and under, if you don’t know for yourself what and why you believe, it becomes very easy to abandon the faith.

These day’s I’m quite frustrated with where I’m at in my life. However, even when I’m mad at God and tempted to scream, I still trust Him. Because no matter how upset and angry I am, a huge part of me still believes in what He has said concerning me.

I can only say this because my faith is mine. It isn’t my parents or my friends, it’s mine. And that’s why I don’t beat myself up if I don’t read my Bible first thing in the morning every day. Or why I don’t swallow everything “Internet evangelists” spew at me.

It’s also why I can feel like my life isn’t working but somehow trust in this God that I can’t see. Because my faith is mine and I have come to the point where I know and understand that it’s not by how many rules I follow. It’s about a relationship.meredith-alex-feature

A crisis of faith might seem scary or make you feel embarrassed, but don’t let it. Embrace this time of discovery. Don’t be scared to ask questions, it’s the only way you’ll find the answers you’re looking for.

 

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Relationship Bants (Part 1)

So apparently today I’m posting about relationships. dance gif

When I was younger, I told myself I’d have one boyfriend. We would date for like 5-10 years and then get married.

5-10 years, because I’d meet him in secondary school (obviously I’d have to finish university and all that) then we’d have one of those high school happily ever after love stories! Boy was I in for a shock!

Lol, but I’m getting ahead of myself. So, because of this idea, I was very careful about the guys in my life.

check

Whenever I met a guy and I thought he was cute, I’d start going through my mental checklist. Christian. Check. Genotype. Check. Tribe. Check. Complexion. Check, Age. Check. Surname. Check (as per his surname had to rhyme with my first uno!)

Any guy that fitted my list would then be considered. Ah, I couldn’t make any mistakes in the process, and I felt a list would be fail-proof!

Now, let’s just ignore the fact that I was young and naive and didn’t even know what I deserved from a man.

Let’s also ignore the fact that whenever I thought a guy was potential bae, I would move things around on the list and take it to God like “You know he’s good for me yea?”. As if I was trying to convince God that my choice, even though I knew it was flawed would suddenly become great if I could just sell the idea to God! Lol. Anyways, long story short, my high school fairy tale did not happen.

lol

(I’m sure you can guess some of the reason why).

At some point in my life, I would have been upset by all the “almost” or “didn’t work out” relationships I’ve had in my life (calm down, they aren’t that many), but honestly, I’m not anymore.

I wasn’t ready then to be in a relationship, and I didn’t know it. I felt like I could make it work with whomever, as long as I loved the person. I ignored things like, what if the person didn’t have the same end goal as me? Or the same principles? Or the same beliefs?

I also ignored the fact that I was a highly emotional woman who ran away from conflicts, couldn’t say no to anyone, was a horrible people pleaser and did not think highly of herself at all! This meant that I attracted all sorts of people and I always felt like I deserved what I got. I also felt like I could be the “messiah” lol! As per, if the guy is a drunkard or a druggie or a cheat, I can save him from all that.

lmao

Some good loving and prayers should do the trick! Lol

I’m sure you all get the gist! But here’s the thing I want to point out.

Being in a committed relationship is more than a pretty face and a sexy body. It’s more than checklists and criteria’s. It shouldn’t be entered with idealism.

There is nothing wrong in being single, and there is nothing wrong in not being ready for a relationship. If you’re not ready, it’s really not a big deal, lol just sit down and relax. Work on yourself so when the right man or woman comes along, you can be the person he/she deserves. Don’t mess around with someone because you want to fit in.

Relationships are not overrated, but at the same time, you don’t need a relationship to be complete.

Now, all this plenty talk I’m doing stems from the fact that we tend to think maturity is directly related to age, but it really isn’t! You can be as old as you want and still not be ready or mature enough for a relationship. Your readiness is not determined by your age! Some people are ready at 18 others at 25 others at 35.

Don’t shout for love and relationship until you’re ready for it. It really isn’t worth the heartache and pain. Work on yourself, enjoy your singleness, enjoy getting to know yourself! It helps the process!single

And as to how you know you’re ready, well that post is for another day!

(P.s Before ya’ll start commenting, I’ve had and still have some pretty amazing guys in my life.) 

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Trust Issues…

I grew up thinking trusting God was stress. I often felt like God just wanted me (and everyone else)  to trust Him so He could prove a point. I never really knew what the point was, but I sha felt that way.

However, in the last couple of weeks and months I’ve been learning about the nature of God, and here’s the thing that has reverberated over and over again. Everything God does, He does out of love. I mean, the Bible tells us that God Himself is love! (1 John 4:8)

take 3

So how does this relate to trust? Well, here’s the thing. Think back to the children of Israel, and when they were wandering around the wilderness. They complained about not having food, and God sent them manna. When he did, he gave them instructions, told them not to take more than they needed for the day.

Usually, I think about the whole story as: God wanted them to learn trust and depend on Him. Case closed story over. But today I realised there was more to it.

God loves us (mankind) more than we can imagine! It’s why He asked the Israelites to trust Him. I mean, He loves us so much, He doesn’t want us stressing about anything. He gives us what we need for the time, for the season and asks us to trust Him, not just because He knows our end from our beginning, but because He doesn’t want us over thinking and stressing our small brains over things that seem big to us but are tiny to Him.

 

 

no stress

He loves us so much that He wants us to just chill and literally only follow His lead. He’ll never lead us astray, He’ll never give us wrong directions or make any mistakes.

God is love. It is who He is to take care of us, to cherish us, to look out for us, to love us.

It’s like when two people get married and the husband plans a surprise honeymoon trip and tells his wife to trust him. It’s not because he’s trying to form bad ass or something (I mean, that might be a part of it, LOL) but at the bottom of all the forming, he is asking her to trust him because he loves her and has something amazing planned out for her.

If as humans we can trust the people we love, and those who love us, what more of God?!

At the root of everything God asks us to do is love.When you truly understand how much He loves you, trusting Him won’t be an issue. In fact, when you truly understand it, you’ll want to sit back, chill and let Him do His thing because you will know He has everything under control! You’ll understand that His love for you is like wine and you can literally get drunk on it.

sips

My take home message from this post is this. God isn’t testing you and trying you. He isn’t asking you to trust Him because He wants to see if you will fail. No. God is asking you to trust Him because He loves you THAT MUCH love gifand wants life to be stress-free for you. He wants life to be easy! And the beautiful thing is, if you trust Him, it will be!

Thanks for reading today’s post! I hope you enjoyed it!

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Like A Butterfly

 

cropped-fullsizerender1.jpgLike a lot of young people, ladies I went through a phase in secondary school where I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I had this idea of what the perfect young lady looked like, how she acted and even how she thought and unfortunately, I didn’t fit into that pattern but all the girls at my school did.

idk2

There were so many things I tried doing in secondary school, but because I compared myself to other people and found myself lacking,  I stopped. I gave up.

It wasn’t as if I was bad at those things, not at all! I just felt like I wasn’t good enough and would never be good enough at them.Now that I look back, I realise that all that was just hogwash!!

You see, the problem was, I was focused on other people and comparing myself to them, instead of being the person I was made to be. I guess it’s one of the reasons I hate comparison. Because it cost me a lot when I was younger.

 

Fast-forward to last week. It would surprise you to know or maybe it won’t that last week, I found myself doing the same thing I did some 10 years ago! Comparing myself to people. And not even in useful productive things, nah, not there.

I found myself comparing myself to certain people on social media, and how they talk, their online persona, etc.

Today I realised it and I was just like, Can you see yourself? Like really, what exactly are you doing?

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I don’t need to tell anyone all the cliché stuff we see/read/hear on the internet about comparison. I mean, we all know that we are meant to be ourselves and not other people etc.

However, the thing I do think we need to be reminded of is this.

We are who we are and we were created that way for a reason. If someone cannot accept you for who you are, then maybe the person doesn’t deserve such a high position in your life.

You were not created by mistake, nothing about you was/is a mistake. And I think there in lies the problem for a lot of people. We think there was some mistake when we were created. We think if we were smaller, bigger, taller, we’d be better. We think if we talked more or talked less we would be great. We think if we were anything but the way we are we would do better, and that’s just not true.

You are who you are for a reason, and God doesn’t make mistakes. There is a reason you are the way you are and that you can’t see it doesn’t make it less there.

At the end of the day, you are beautiful and perfect because you are the child of a beautiful and perfect God. No, this message isn’t just for people who are Christians by the way.

Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work at developing your skills, or work on making yourself better. No… I’m simply saying understand that you are amazing the way you are and the person to your right is amazing the way that person is. There’s no need to compare. It’s as simple as that. Do your own thing the way you know how. Somebody out there loves you just like that. And if you think nobody does, well God loves you just the way you are and tbh His love is really the most amazing love you can ever experience!

loved

I guess the moral of the story is this. Love yourself the way you are! The more you love yourself, the more you will flourish and blossom into a butterfly!

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Love, Care and Friendship

Often, when I write, I write from personal experience or from personal observations I’ve made. This doesn’t mean that when I’m not writing I’m not observing or experiencing though! lol 🙂

So, why did I start with that?

I was thinking to myself today about how “no one” (I don’t mean this literally) has buzzed me in a bit. I was mulling the idea around in my head and I came to the conclusion that everyone most likely thinks I am busy or something like that. Which although is true, is not an excuse for them or me either tbh.

I have learnt in my short time on this earth, that often when people withdraw, stop talking as often as they used to, or become “busy” there is usually a reason.

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Meredith Grey and Christina Yang, cause I learnt so much from their relationship! ❤

It’s either someone got tired of being the only one putting effort into the relationship, something is going on in their personal life health or otherwise, some sort of offense occurred, or they are actually busy and at those times hearing from loved ones can be very therapeutic.

Human beings are selfish by nature. We only want to do what is best for us. We only want to take care of ourselves. We want person A to do so and so for us, but we aren’t ready to do anything in return. We are lazy when it comes to others but hardworking when it comes to ourselves. It shouldn’t be that way. I mean, yes, you should take care of yourself, but at the same time, you should take care of the people in your life. The people who surround you.

friendsWe are often reminded to be the friends we want to have. This means, if you want a friend that checks up on you often, then check up on your friends often. If you want a friend that takes you out then take your friends out. If you want a friend that sacrifices for you, then be ready to make sacrifices for your friends.

Call your friends more. If you don’t hear from someone stop thinking “if the person wanted to talk he/she would call” you don’t know where the person is in his/her life. Do nice things without expecting something in return. Be the friend you want to have. Fight the selfish nature in you. Love without reservations. Yes, not everyone will reciprocate to the same extent, but 1) that shouldn’t stop you and 2) that shouldn’t make you turn nonchalant to those that actually need you.

At the end of the day, I guess the take home message is, don’t get too comfortable with your friends and loved ones. Don’t get so comfortable that you take them for granted. remember that they too are human. We are called to love, the sooner we realise this, the better.

Thank you so much for reading today’s post! I hope you enjoyed it! Feel free to comment and share!

Photo credit: Google lol

 

Lesson Learnt!

 

030035a5It’s quite funny how things often play out in life.

A few weeks ago, roughly a month I think, I wrote a piece titled “I Want to Quit” . When I wrote it, I was quite frustrated with life, lol, little did I know that it was just the beginning! You see, the weeks between when I wrote that piece and now have been quite intense to say the least. I mean, if I thought I wanted to quite then, I don’t know what I wanted to do over the last weeks!

I felt under a lot of pressure, I was stressed and I wasn’t dealing with it at all. All I literally did most days was get up, exercise (until I stopped), go to work, work till late, come home, make dinner (some times) eat, get into bed and pass out. The time between when I got into bed and when I actually passed out was often spent at one online meeting or the other, writing articles or mentally trying to solve problems (for work). Weekends were spent quite similarly, packed with activity after activity.

Everyone kept telling me to take a break, but I felt I didn’t deserve a break. I felt like I had way too much work to do to take a break. So I didn’t. I pushed my self, until i became less efficient, pushed myself some more, became exhausted, and pushed my self even more, until I was doing just the bare minimum and still flopping at it. Finally, this weekend, I got permission to rest. As funny as it may sound to some, God gave me permission to rest and I did.

The whole episode taught me something. Well, a couple of things actually. The first being that when it comes to stress and work load, there will most likely always be things that will demand your attention and could potentially stress you. You however, have to know yourself well enough to know when to take a step back and breathe.

lessons learnt

The more important thing I learnt however is this.

Sometimes we are looking for permission from someone outside of ourselves to be great. We are looking for someone to approve of our choices before we make them, and really, we shouldn’t be. There are certain things we don’t need permission to do. I remember talking to God, and He asked me “did you really need My permission to rest?” and I sheepishly replied no. because the truth is, I didn’t. God expects me to use my brain and stop when I need to. He expects me to apply my faith when I need to, I don’t need to ask His permission before I rest when I’m tired, or eat when I’m hungry or tell someone about how wonderful He has been to me.

It’s like you walking into your bedroom and asking your mum/dad if you can lay on your bed. I mean, sure they can give you permission if you really want it, but it’s really not necessary. It’s your bed!

So yea, we were created to be great, we were created to do great things, but often time we sit back as though we are waiting for someone to give us permission to be great. It is not necessary! Don’t be like me waiting for permission to rest. There are things that you don’t require permission for, and being great is one of them!

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