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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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thankful

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.

not impressed.gif

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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54 minutes…

img-20161204-wa0000So, in this instant that I am writing, it is 54 minutes to my birthday. Chances are, by the time I’m done it’ll be 30 minutes,  but oh well!

I’m not going to lie, when I first started this whole 20 day thing, I did it because everyone seemed to be doing something for their birthdays and I felt like I needed to do the same. I started with all these great expectations and thoughts. I had planned it all out and it was meant to be great and filled with lots of interesting posts, but I didn’t count on the fact that my mood wasn’t going to be “up beat” for the whole 20 days. I didn’t count on the fact that I had never written for my blog for 7 consecutive days talk more of 20! I didn’t consider the fact that I would be tired and so not in the mood to write half the time!

Lol, one week into it and I was struggling. My desire to write was waning but I had given my word.  I thought it would get better as the time went by, but it didn’t. As the days went by I got even more disinterested in writing and I was actually dreading my birthday.

Today is the 19th day that I have been writing, and to be honest even though it was hard, it was definitely worth it. It made me think about things, things I normally ignore, and more than that, it made me thankful. Thankful for so many things. I didn’t think I would be able to find something to be thankful for for all the days I wrote. I mean,  know there are sooo many things to be thankful for, but I didn’t want to just state the obvious. I wanted to give thought to those things and I did and I am glad I did.

I was nervous about today, for a lot of reasons, but I knew God was in control and even though I just wanted to hide behind a rock all day and pretend I didn’t exist, God gave me peace and He told me to hold on and be calm and I did… I’m glad I did, I ended up getting cake today 🙂 Two cakes actually.

See ba, today all I can say is this. God is faithful and He hears us and He see’s when we are hurting and panicking. Don’t for one second ever think that God hasn’t been listening to you. My life is a testimony to the fact that He hears and sees. Even the things that your heart whispers without you actually praying. God hears..

I am thankful today for the journey of the last 19 days. I am thankful that God see’s and He hears. I am thankful that I decided to go on this journey. It has definitely been worth it.

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Standards or nah?

 

img_20160619_113623It occurred to me the other day, that a lot of the time, the standards we live by are standards created by people just like us. i.e society
Society dictates what we do, how we dress what we eat and  even how we think. Should it really be that way?
I used to compare myself to a good friend of mine all the time, and I would say, if Miss X can wear that, why can’t I? If Miss X can watch that, or if she does that, why can’t I? And then , it got to a point and I had to ask myself.. Whose standards am I living by? Hers or mine? That thought brought me to write this. I don’t know where it’s going or how it will end, but I must ask myself and everyone willing to listen.. Whose standards are they anyways?
Are they your standards? Or the standards of someone else that you have adopted because said person is popular and everyone likes said person? Or are they the standards of your bestie? Or are they the standards imposed upon you as a child by your parents, and because you were a kid, you held on to them? Now, you’re older.. Are you still holding on to their standards, or are they yours? Don’t get me wrong.. More often than not, our parents are wise and know a great deal about a lot of things, and their standards and values are most times on point… but like I said, most times.. Not all the time! If for instance, you have parents that are very traditional, their standards may not always be right…

So, then… the question again.. Whose standards are you living by?
It is super important to know whose standards you live by, because your standards will determine what you do and what you don’t do. They will determine how you respond to certain situations, and how you view life…
I am constantly asking myself, whose standards do I live by? As a Christian, I live by Gods standards, but even at that, I have to ask myself, are the standards I’m living by really Gods standards? Or are they man’s interpretation of God’s standards?
Many at times, what we think are truly God’s standards, are actually just man’s understanding of God’s standards… so how then do you differentiate? By listening to God and finding out by yourself, what his word says, and not solely relying on what you hear from the people around you.
But then, looking outside of being a Christian, it is important that you don’t let society dictate to you how you live.. I know, its super easy to go with the crowd and do what everyone is doing, but really.. Society is always changing.. What society thinks is good, or bad, changes all the time. Our morals and values by society’s standard changes every day.. So why then should we allow that same society determine the standards we live our lives by?

These are my random thoughts.. I look forward to hearing yours

It’s  almost the end of my 20 day challenge and today, I am thankful for grace.

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Apologies for the extreme lateness of this post. I will try and do better tomorrow!

 

 

Dear Reader

Handwriting letter with penDear Reader,

I know I promised you a post everyday, but today my body has other ideas, and if there is anything I have learnt over the last two years, it’s “pay attention to your body”. When my body says it needs a break, I try my very best to give it one. I mean, whats the point in working myself to an early grave? Or to a hospital bed?

The way I see it, I don’t think we are meant to work that hard. Work so hard that you end up in a hospital simply because the stress on your body is too much or you are so busy you fail to take care of your body or give it the basic things it needs.

See ba, I understand the desire to achieve dreams and goals and to make it in life, but if there is anything I will never stop saying, its this, don’t over do it. Don’t work so hard that you end up  sacrificing your family, health and well being all in the name of “you want to achieve” because trust me when I say a dead man cant enjoy anything, and the best thing a hospitalized patient can enjoy is having friends and family around. And chances are, if you worked yourself into a hospital bed you probably chased your friends and family away in the process.

So like I said, I have nothing against hard work, in fact, as an individual I often times overwork myself, not because of any real reason to be honest, I just like being able to say I did everything I could possibly do. However , I am careful to listen to my body. If my body is telling me I need to slow down, then I do, because at the end of the day, I need to be able to enjoy the fruit of my labour. As my fellow Nigerians say ” I cannot come and go and kill myself” It’s not even that deep. I’m more useful alive and healthy, working at full capacity, than I am tired, exhausted  and running on empty.

So, my dear readers, I have to drop my imaginary pen because my body has been giving me signs all week, and it’s about time I paid attention to, and did something about those signs.

Having said all that, It’s five sleeps to my birthday, and today, I am thankful for this thing called the weekend. I am thankful that it gives me/us a chance to take a break from work even if it’s just a day. I’m thankful that it means I don’t have to get up before the sun and work under constrains. I am thankful it means I can be in my comfy clothes all day if I choose to and not be bothered!

Lol, yup… its 5 sleeps to my birthday and I am definitely thankful for the weekend!

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As always, all comments and thoughts are appreciated!

 

I Love You…

img-20160804-wa0000It’s 21:35 and as I am writing this my head is really blank, but I gave my word, and I have every intention of fulfilling it.

I wanted to write about love today. Why? Well, because it is important, it’s important to me and to a lot of people. But for some reason, I seem unable to articulate myself properly. So forgive me if this isn’t up to “par”.

Over the summer, I learnt something about myself. I learnt that I love to be loved. I’m sure this seems like a pretty obvious one, but I only realised it over the last few months.

I am one of the most antisocial social people I know. I don’t know how to explain it, but at the end of the day, I tend to come across as someone who is proud, doesn’t like people, shy or something like that, but really, I just don’t do too well with people. I have learnt to accept that part of me, and to be honest, most times I am fine with it.

What I am not fine with however, is the absence of love. I don’t need to be surrounded by people to be happy or content, in fact I find that when I am surrounded by people I usually get exhausted and frustrated. The thing I do need though, to be the best that I can be, is love.

I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. Because when you think about it, we are all searching for love in one form or the other. We are all searching for someone to love us and show us we are special, and that’s okay. I believe we were created to love and to be loved, but this is a fallen world and so we don’t love as we should, but we all desire it.

In my opinion, we all work better when we have love. It’s something I think we fail to realise until we are surrounded by love and then away from it.

Like I said earlier, I believe we were all created for and to love. The Bible in 1 John 4:19 says “We love Him because He first loved us” I never really understood how that was a thing, I mean, I believed it, but I didn’t understand it, but today it hit me. Let me try and explain with a little story.

There is this woman that I love. I met her say five years ago and then after “friending” her on Facebook and not talking for like 4 years, I re-met her last year.

One of the first things she said to me when we met was, “I love you”. Ah, me being the Nigerian that I am, I was skeptical. I mean, who randomly loves someone they don’t know without wanting something in return?

But she did and she still does and I love her because she loves me. There is something about being loved by someone who doesn’t “know” you. Something about being loved in an unconditional manner that prompts you to love back. It comes with the knowledge that you didn’t do anything to deserve the love, the love isn’t based on what you can give, it’s just there…

I want to love like that, always. I’m still learning, but it is something I aspire to. Because there isn’t enough love in the world. We need it but we are too scared to give it. We don’t want to be hurt or to be taken advantage of. We don’t want to look like fools, so we hold back. But the thing is, we were made to love, and we do a disservice to ourselves and to God when we refuse to love the people around us. When we walk around with hate based on political views, tribes, race, religion etc.

Love conquers all things. It really does. If we had a little more pure, honest, genuine non-selfish love in the world, we wouldn’t have half the problems we have.

I know I need love to thrive and I know that a lot of people, weather they know it or not do to. So I have decided to love. Not because I want something in return, but because I been called to love and because I know a little act of love and kindness can go a long way in making someone’s life better.

So today, on this 14th day of December 2016, I challenge you to love. To love selflessly and unconditionally. Christmas is a celebration of love, so why not show a little love to someone.

Today, I am thankful for love. For everyone that has dared to love me. For everyone that has shown love in the midst of hate.

Above all else, I am thankful for the ultimate and unconditional love of my Heavenly Father, because the truth is, His love is the only love that can fully satisfy.

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p.s I apologise for the lateness of this post!

Image courtesy of Iyke Ibeh. You can find him on IG @iykeibeh

 

Dear Future Husband…

img_20161211_192601When I started my blog, I didn’t start it for people. I started it as an escape. A way to express myself. Having said all that, a lot of the things I used to write and still write about are a little too personal and so I don’t post them. But today, I want to share one of those

A part of me feels like I shouldn’t be sharing because I told myself a while ago I wouldn’t write about love. But oh well, here it goes.

I was thinking about something today. I remember someone telling me I was too young to think about marriage. I mean, I am young, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t see why I am too young to think about getting married. You see, I am the type of person who wants to start having my kids preferably before I get to 30. I know in this day and age it sounds pretty optimistic, but it’s what I want.

However, I was thinking about why exactly it is I want to get married, and even though I haven’t gotten to the bottom of it, I will share some of my reasons.

I want to get married because I want to have someone that I love totally and completely so much so that I want to share the rest of my life with. It’s a big commitment. I know to people of these days marriage isn’t, but to me it is. Do you know how amazing it is to find someone you love so much that you are ready to commit forever to? I mean, it may not always work out for some, but I think that type of love is something special. And I guess at the end of the day it’s not that I necessarily want to get married, it is that I want a love that I am so sure of that I am ready to commit the rest of my life to.

I want a person I can love completely and endlessly. I want someone I can love so much that the thought of submitting doesn’t make me cringe. Someone that I know that for better or for worse we are together, because yo, lets face it. In this day and age it’s pretty much for better. People bail at the smell of for worse. Nobody wants to stick around when things get tough. You see, more than the love, I want the commitment. Because to me that is just as important as the love. And it should be to you too.

Love is a funny thing, and on it’s own we tend to abuse it. We tend to misuse, underuse and disrespect this thing called love. We make fools of our selves foolishly all in the name of love. I can tell you because I have been there. I have been the girl who spends money she doesn’t have on a guy all in the name of love. I have been the girl who went against the things she believed in all in the name of love. And do you know the worst part of all these stories? All the people guys who have claimed over and over again that they loved me bar one, have all walked away when the going got tough. They loved me only when I was easy to love. They walked away when I was confused, hurting, unable…

This probably feels like a bit of a disconnect from where I started from, but let me tie it all together for you.

Now, maybe this is a flawed way of thinking, but I want to be married because I know, that when I get married, my husband will be committed to me. No, I don’t believe all men cheat, yes I know marriage is not easy, but more than that, I know that when I get married, my “for better and for worse” will definitely be for better and for worse, and I know that my spouse will love me when I am easy to love and when I am not. And more than that, he will be committed to loving me and making our marriage work.

So, I guess at the end of the day, maybe I shouldn’t be saying I want to be married, cause really, what I want is commitment, but I do (want to be married). And I don’t think I am too young to start thinking about it because I would rather think about it now, and know what I want for my marriage than wait till I’m 30 to start thinking about it.

You may not agree with me, but that’s fine, because we are all entitled to our own opinions and thoughts.

So dear future husband. It’s the 11th of December 2016, and I am thankful for you.

Photo credit: Photo taken from Ejike Emmanuel. Follow him on Instagram @ejikemanny

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Half Way Through…

thanksssI was literally about to get into bed and continue my semi Grey’s Anatomy marathon and then it hit me. I hadn’t written tonight’s post. LOL

But that’s fine, because I’ve known all day what I was going to  write about.

So today, I’m not going to say a lot, because I don’t think the words I have will do justice.

It’s the 10th of December 2016, and today, I am thankful for God. That’s all. I don’t know that I can even explain it anymore than that, but let me try for a minute.

You see, the thing is, without God I wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t be able to go through everyday. I wouldn’t be able to drag myself out of bed every morning. Not simply because He wakes me up, but because without Him, I wouldn’t be able to make it through the battles I fight. I wouldn’t even keep fighting. I would have given up. I keep going because of God. I am able to function because of God. Because of His grace and mercy and His love. I know how many times I have felt like it was over. I know how many times I have been hurt and heartbroken by life. But God has kept me, He has kept me safe, kept me healthy, He has saved me time and time again…

Like I said, I don’t know how to explain this anymore than saying it simply. And so, today, the only thing I can say is this. I am thankful for God.

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I Am Worth It

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            Cristina Yang and Meredith Grey

Don’t you just love it when you get an epiphany?! Well, I do, especially when it comes at the most unexpected times.

Once upon a time, when I’d meet new people who I thought I could potentially like or vise versa, I used to introduce myself by listing all my flaws. I mean, I would tell you straight up  things like “I hardly make phone calls” or “I have a bad temper” (not anymore though 🙂 ) anything that I thought was negative about myself, you name it, I’d tell you. I used to do that as a self defense mechanism. I felt if people knew the worst about me, they wouldn’t be surprised if I messed up or anything like that. They’d also know that I wasn’t a saint and thus lower their expectations.

I used to always feel like I was a difficult person to get to know. Actually, I didn’t always feel that way, but some people starting telling me that and at some point in time I started to believe it. This led to me often times defending myself (unnecessarily) before anyone had a chance to accuse me of being difficult.

So… Where am I going with all this?

Well, I agree that I can be difficult to get to know at times. Even when I think I’m doing great at being open and uncomplicated, often times I’m not, but you know what? At the end of the day, I am worth it. I am so worth it.

I won’t go into the details of how I am worth it, and to be honest, some people might not even think I am, but that’s fine, because I know I am. I know what I carry on the inside, and I know what I have to offer and I’m pretty sure there are people out there who agree with me on this one #JustSaying

Unfortunately, a lot of  people don’t know this or get to experience this, and that’s okay, because it has made me super thankful for those who do. Those that have stuck around.

So today, 11 sleeps to my birthday,  I am thankful for all my friends. For the ones that have stuck around through my “difficultness”. The ones that didn’t give up on me because I was low key being a pain. The one’s that have fought for our friendship. I am super grateful for you guys. You rock!

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A Funny One

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I was thinking about what to write today, and in as much as I have a lot to be thankful for, I couldn’t decide what to write on. So, in the midst of all my thinking, I decided I needed a shower, and then it hit me!

Some of you are probably going to laugh at this one, but today…. I am thankful for the heat of the sun, especially the Nigerian sun!

Lol, yes, I know its the same sun that we see all over the world, but I’m pretty sure anyone who has been anywhere in Nigeria will tell you the sun there is something else!

The thing is though, here in Ireland, the sun doesn’t shine that often, and when it does, it doesn’t give that much heat, especially this time of the year. In fact, it’s quite easy to feel unmotivated and lazy because the weather can just be down right depressing and it’s so cold and dull, you really just want to stay in bed, drink tea and watch TV all day.

So, today, I choose to be grateful for the sun and the heat it offers. We often tend to take the little things around us for granted, but we shouldn’t. The things that are nothing to you and the things that you complain about are often things that a lot of people would give a lot for. So I am grateful for the sun, both in Ireland and in Nigeria. Grateful for the warmth it offers and the smile it often puts on my face 🙂

 

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