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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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faith

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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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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Adventures and Borrowed Troubles

 

As a person, I generally tend to get anxious and stressed a lot. Like it’s a normal part of my everyday life. I generally overthink things which in turn means I get anxious, which means I get stressed.

For example, last week Wednesday I had to go to the Nigerian Embassy to apply for a new passport. Would you believe it if I told you I started getting stressed from Sunday? Three days before the actual event? And would you believe it if I told you the night before I barely got any sleep because I was stressed about it? mortified  smh, and why was I stressed? Well, it’s the Nigerian Embassy and I don’t know how to hustle or bribe or do all those things people do to get ahead, so I was there thinking and worrying about how they would not attend to me because I didn’t know anyone or because I couldn’t hustle or do “my brother/my sister” type of talk.

LOL, long story short, it actually was not as bad as I thought it would be and not for the reasons I anticipated.

Or, another example, this Sunday I had to drive into town, now just to bring you up to speed, myself and driving smh, let’s just say we aren’t friendsnot friends. Thankfully, I only knew I would be driving to town from the day before (Saturday) so I had less time to stress and be worried, however, on the day, LOL I was quite stressed, I even told the people who were meant to ride with me to enter at their own risk!

Lmao, las las sha, the whole driving in and out of town was actually fun and, one of the occupants of my car actually ended up inspiring this post. We were talking about something, and she said she looks at life like an adventure.

I laughed at it when she said it, but it’s actually something that I think we, (myself included) can benefit from.

Life in itself is full of many unknowns, many up’s and downs. The way you look at life and the things you go through in life determines how you respond to your situations. If you get stressed over everything you’re going to do, you’ll spend the majority of your life stressed, frustrated and tired. However, if you look at life as an adventure, then you look at each day and each experience as something new and something that could either be fun or challenging. You see the good in the experiences and find ways to have fun even in the most unlikely situations.no way

LOL, now, I know a lot of people (like myself) this probably sounds crazy and maybe even impossible, but it isn’t. Your perception situations will genuinely change the way you experience them.

An example of this is exercise. The way you view exercise will determine whether or not you do it and whether or not you enjoy it. Yes, it’s usually hard work and you might be sore afterwards, but if you view it as something that’s fun and helps relieve your stress, you actually look forward to doing it.

Long and short of the story is this. Life is like a roller coaster, but that doesn’t mean it cant be fun, and it doesn’t mean it cant be an adventure.happy dance

Face each activity and each day with the mindset that “this will actually be fun” you may not know what will happen, but instead of thinking of all the bad possibilities, think of the good. And instead of stressing when things go wrong, find a reason to laugh, smile or be thankful for everything that went right!

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p.s If you would like to be featured on my blog, drop me a line at shaybolanta@gmail.com

 

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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Unapologetically You … (II)

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I’m one of those people who finds it hard to say no (I may or may not have mentioned this before). I’m better at it these days, but in the past, 9 out of 10 times I’d always say yes. You see, I often felt like I wasn’t good enough, so I thought if I  did what the people around me wanted, I would become good enough for them. LOL, let’s just say things didn’t quite work out that way.

I’m older now, and even though I haven’t completely mastered the art of saying no, I’m working on it – and this leads us to today’s post. Recently I was asked to do something. My first impulse was to say no because it was beyond my abilities at the time. However, I thought, “what would people say if they knew I said no”? I then told myself I was being silly for thinking I couldn’t do it (even though I knew there was no way I could deliver) and being the stubborn person that I am, I decided I would say yes! LOL, I’m sure my village people were laughing at me. Anyways, I said yes, then promptly decided I wouldn’t think about it. I mean, I knew I had this thing to do, but I didn’t want to stress about it, so I didn’t give it too much thought. I did all that I could physically do and lived in denial for a while. As the deadline got closer though, I realized how unprepared I was and let’s just say things went south really really fast. facepalm

Looking back, I know I could have prevented all that by simply saying no, or saying I couldn’t deliver within the time frame. I could have avoided all that emotional and mental stress. I could have handled the situation in so many different ways, but I decided to go down the one way that would cause me the most stress. I knew it wouldn’t end well, but my fear of “what would they say” stopped me from making the right choice.

So here’s the thing, in being unapologetically you, you have to know who you are. You have to know your strengths and weaknesses, make the most out of them and protect them. If you know you get stressed easily, you need to remove yourself from stressful situations when you can and find less stressful ways to deal with them. If this means doing things straight away instead of leaving them until the last minute, then do that. Don’t sit in situations that will cause you to pull your hair out when the option to walk away is available.  It’s like eating chocolates even though you’re allergic to them just because you don’t want people to think you’re weird or because everyone is doing it. It doesn’t make sense!

Protect your peace of mind, your health and your joy and do it with pride

You can only protect what is yours if you know how too. What are the parts of yourself you are working on? What are your weaknesses? What are your strengths?  What are your unique qualities?  You can only protect and nurture them when you identify them. This isn’t to say don’t work on becoming a better you, but as you’re on that path, take care of yourself so you don’t jeopardize your progress.

When I first started my PhD, one of my colleagues said to me that she doesn’t work 7-day weeks because if she does she’ll become overly stressed and become useless to everyone. So she works 5-day weeks, goes to the gym, has a life outside of work and is productive as a result. She knows herself and she makes no apologies for being that way!no apologies

Your life is yours and yours alone. Protect your peace of mind, your health, and your joy and do it with pride. It doesn’t matter if they think it’s an anomaly. At the end of the day when you’re sick or stressed or worried, the people you were trying to live for most likely won’t be able to help.

Moral of the story, you know yourself better than anyone else. Don’t let the thoughts of people or society push you into a situation that robs you of your peace and joy.

Life is too short for you to be constantly stressed when you don’t have to be!

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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)

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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.

 

 

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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.

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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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I’m back!

pnWo3I can’t believe it’s August already! I mean, I can, but it’s just a bit dumbfounding. So many things have happened in the last couple of months, but that’s a story for another post!

I know I’ve been gone for a minute, but I’m sure it will please you to know that I have been working on some cool stuff, so keep your eyes open for them!

So, to today’s post.

Today I want to share a bit about myself  🙂 . I’m not a celebrity who gets asked hundreds of questions daily, but I do know that some of the people who read my blog haven’t a clue about who Sharon Bolanta is. So here it goes!

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My name is Sharon Bolanta, I am a PhD student at the University of Limerick and I have a B.Sc. in Pharmaceutical and Industrial Chemistry.

I am a Christian and I love it! Every day is a beautiful day when you know you are loved by The One who loves with reckless abandon! I cannot remove myself from my faith, or my faith from me.

I love writing. I write articles, poems and I dabble in “spoken word” now and again.

I am a fan of unconventional things, and I often think if people could see the thoughts that go on in my head they would be scandalized!

About my writing. I write because there is so much to say! I mean, we live in a world that has a warped idea of how things should be (in my opinion) and so many people feel hopeless because of the ideas and ideologies that society has placed on them. They feel locked in a box (I used to feel that way) alone and without a voice. They feel like they don’t belong, or like they have to conform to a certain way of life simply because it is all they know. I don’t think it has to be and for me, having certain conversations is the first step in showing people that they really do have a choice and life doesn’t always have to be a pot of beans!

Lol, okay, so I got carried away there! Anyways, here are some more random facts about myself. I found the questions on the internet!

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  1. What is your favourite colour?

I do not have one! I am partial to blue, purple and red which considering all things are almost the same thing!

  1. How tall are you?

I am about 1.72m I think. I might be taller, I don’t really know.

  1. Cats or Dogs

Dogs!  I grew up always having dogs as pets so I am a bit partial to them.

  1. How many countries have you visited?

Do airports count? Lol, I am joking. I have been to 5 and I have like 30 more to go to!

  1. Tea or Coffee?

Both! I don’t like black tea though. Herbal teas are my thing. I used to have tea collection a few years ago. But then, coffee is just something else. I love the taste, especially all the fancy coffees. Plus with my job, you need a few cups of coffee a day!

  1. Are you single or Taken?

El oh el. I am married to the Lover of my soul!

  1. How would you describe your fashion sense?

Comfortable. I like to look nice, but I will almost always choose comfort over fashion. I also tend not to follow fashion trends because I usually do not like them, or I really just can’t be bothered.idk

  1. What are some of your favourite tv shows?

Grey’s Anatomy is currently the main hit. I enjoy(ed) the Good Wife, White Collar, House, Gilmore Girls, How to Get Away with Murder, Riverdale (waiting impatiently for the next season) etc.

  1. What phone do you have? (iOS v Android?)

Android. However, if you want to bless me with a new one (iOS maybe!) I won’t say no!

  1. Do you eat breakfast every morning?

Hahaha, I should let my friends answer this one! Not every morning. In fact, not most mornings. I hardly eat breakfast

  1. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own?

10 maybe? Not more than 12 sha. Feel free to buy me some more if you want to!

  1. Do you use sarcasm a lot?

I am starting to use it more often thanks to some friend of mine! They know themselves!

 

That’s it for today guys! Thank you for reading today’s post.

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Sun’s Out Gun’s Out, LOL

IMG_20170326_132940When I started exercising in earnest, I did it because I wanted my stomach to be flat, and I wanted abs. I wanted an abdomen that irrespective of the time of day, and how many meals I had eaten, would remain flat.

As an individual I was relatively fit, so jumping on the exercise train wasn’t difficult. However, I fast learnt that certain parts of my body were as strong as I thought! The first part being my arms. I realised very quickly that my arms were the weakest part of me and as such I always dreaded arm day. Whenever I had to do any exercise involving my arms I did it with very little enthusiasm.

Fast forward to now,  arm day still isn’t my favorite day, but whenever I look at my arms, I smile! Why? Because I have worked hard and pushed through the pain and now they are toned, strong and beautiful! (not like they were ugly before):Pexercise

Whenever I look at my arms, I am reminded that the only things that grow and become stronger are the things you work on. The things you focus on (positive or negative), the things you give your time and energy too…they are the things that will grow and  yield fruit.

You cannot expect something that you are not taking care of to grow. If you’re not feeding it, nurturing it, whatever it may be, it will not grow. It will not develop and it will not get better.

Often we have dreams, desires, and wishes but when we are given the opportunity to bring those dreams to fulfilment, we become lazy, we give up before we even start. We put in only a tiny bit of effort and then we wonder why we aren’t seeing any results.

I believe anyone can achieve anything they set their minds to as long as they are willing to put in the work. The more I think about it, the more I realise that even the things we don’t like or enjoy, we can excel at, as long as we are willing to work.

I never liked maths, at all. I hated it, but I also knew there was no way in this world, I could afford to fail maths, so I worked hard at it. I spent more time studying for maths than anything else because I had no intention of failing.

When push comes to shove, we must be able to stand our ground for the things that mean something to us.  There are things that come easy in life for some, but not everything falls under that bracket. And often times, even with those things that come easy, we must still work at/on them and exercise the “muscles” that are required. Only then will they grow and get better.be-strong-and-shine

So yea, I still don’t like arm day, but looking at my arms after a workout and seeing just how much they have developed makes it worth every push up or commando or whatever else I have to do .

Thank you for reading today’s post!

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I Want to Quit

quititng-timeI want to quit.

Every month, I want to quit. When I think of all the responsibilities I have, all the things I need to do. The things I want to do but for some reason or the other cant. I want to quit. The worst part of those moments is, it’s at that time when I’m fighting tears that someone will proceed to remind me that I said I’d do so and so for them, thus making my list even longer.

It’s hard, I’m not even going to lie. So what keeps me from quitting? To be honest I have no idea. When I was an undergrad, the main thing that kept me going was my parents. I needed to make them proud. They couldn’t just spend all that money and then I wouldn’t have anything to show for it. I would often think of all the people praying for me to do well, and I would push myself because I needed to make them proud.

The difference between then and now is, I don’t feel like I have to make them proud of me. I know they are proud of me. So I don’t feel the need to try and earn it.

So as I’m writing this, I’m asking myself, “why don’t you quit?”

Well, I guess there are three main reasons. The first being that since I was a child, verses like Jeremiah 29:11 and Jeremiah 1:5 had been sung in my ears reminding me of Gods plans for me. And in recent times, Isaiah 55:11 has become a gentle reminder. Now, before you think I’m so spiritual or Holy, let me tell you that when I want to quit, I don’t actively remind myself. It’s not even like I want to remind myself, but my subconscious mind knows that God has said certain things about me and therefore those things have to happen, whether or not they feel like they will.

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In addition to that, I wouldn’t be able to live with the knowledge that I didn’t try my very best. I couldn’t live with the fact that I gave up simply because things got hard. Call it pride or whatever you will, but it keeps me going and that is good enough for me. I mean, how can I just say I quit, just like that? Without any reason? Nah, I’m not that person. If I didn’t love it all, maybe it would be an option, but I do, so it isn’t.

 

This will probably sound like a silly reason, but a part of me has a point to prove. People have always found fault in me and the way I live my life, surprise surprise, I’m human! And at the end of the day, a part of me refuses to give up because fam, I don’t want being a quitter to be added to my many lists of “flaws”. There are people that I have a point to prove to. People who have in the past made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. They aren’t aware of it, and that’s fine, but I want to pull a Joseph on them, become a great person irrespective of everything life throws at me and everything they have said to/about me.

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So yea, at the end of the day, I keep going. I don’t quit. If I quit, then it means I don’t trust God to complete what He has started, and at this point in my life, that isn’t and will never be an option.

We all want to quit at some point or the other, but you know what, quitting won’t solve the problem, cause chances are you’ll quit and end up in something more difficult. I’d rather try and fail than quit half way through.

I would love to hear your thoughts and what keeps you from quitting.

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