Heart of Refuge

Unveiling The Hidden Beauty Of Your Heart

Tag: relationships

Are Your Negative Habits Holding You Back?

 

We all are guilty of having some bad habits and how many times have you promised yourself that you were going to do something about them. I have personally come to realize that bad habits can hinder someone from making the progress they desire in life.

Bad habits are like the handbrake of a car, you are ready to go, but you can’t drive off because you have not released the handbrake (habit) that can provide an invisible block to receiving the best in life.

Pause for a moment and think of someone whose bad habits irritate you…….. Have you thought of someone? 🙂 Well think about it, you can see someone else’s pattern and how it affects them now think about how your harmful habits are affecting you and the perception other people may have of you. Please take time to think about this and how you intend to move forward and change or replace them.

Consider these 3 tips:-

1. Join forces with someone so they can support you in your journey. See them as an accountability partner.
2. Consider surrounding yourself with people who live the way you desire to live.
3. Cut out as many triggers as possible.

Changing habits does not occur over night it starts one step and one day at a time. Take action and start adjusting from today.

What is a Friend? (Story time! )

When I was younger I found it so difficult to make friend as I was painfully shy and I had a stutter. Some of the people I hung around with use to laugh at me and one person in particular use to pick on me during my first year in secondary school. It was so awful. My self esteem could not sink any lower than it already was.

I had a friend called Jasmine as primary school, she was my bestie and she would always hang out with me during play times and she alway stuck by me. I can never forget her!

I think friendships change as we get older because our needs change and things happen to us in life. Thinking about Jasmine made me think about the importance of great friendships. Below are some tips I tend to use when I am considering a friendship and I would like to share them with you.

A friend is….

  1. someone you can trust, who will not judge you
  2. someone who respects you and your time
  3. someone who respects your boundries
  4. someone who listens
  5. someone who gives you space when you need it and they are not overbearing
  6. someone who respects your right to change and grow.

In the comments below share with me your important aspects of friendship.

Reminder: Don’t forget to sign up for my self esteem course CLICK HERE

Learning to love you = Managing your time

We all live very busy lives that makes time management a real challenge. However time management is needed so we can keep our life in some sort of order.

Our time is precious and we often give it away too freely to others who do not appreciate it. Those moments are valuable as we can never get them back. When you value your time you value who you are and it is important that we keep an eye on who we give it to.

Let me share some tips with you on managing your time and loving you.

  1. Don’t over extend your self ~ this is so important to remember as it  can lead to burn out. If something does not fit into your schedule then learn how to refuse it graciously and move on it. An over extended calendar does not do you any favours.
  2. Schedule sessions where you can have some down time and relax. you could take a walk, work out, go see movie etc. Down time is important as it gives your mind and body a chance to rejuvenate itself and rest.
  3. Learn how to say no without feeling guilty.

If you have not started then start today by loving you and mange your time.

 

Click the link below read some of my other posts:

Failures flaws & weakness have  purpose

Are you sabotaging your gifts?

 

Dreams Do Become A Reality ~ My First E-book

 

I started 2016 with a list of goals that I just prayed over and said “God over to you”. I did not know how some of them would be accomplished but I wrote the vision and made it plain.

Well one of my goals was to publish my first eBook. At the time it looked like a huge mountain but God connected me with a class Dawniel Winningham was teaching about ebooks. So I paid for the class and listen and took notes. Then I made contact with Julia Royston, a publisher and she helped me to publish my first book on 19th September. I am in the process of writing other books and can’t wait to launch them in 2017

When  you have a vision, God will connect the dots and cross the T’s. It was a goal that appeared to be so far fetched for me but I wrote it down anyway.

If you had a goal in 2016 that  has not happened then make sure you write it down as your first goal for 2017. Don’t discard or give up on it. Keep praying over it and keep going!

Here is the link to download my eBook on amazon  Click here .It deals with issues that we may have had we our parents and the dangers of passing on those issues to our own children, if we do not deal with them. at the end of each chapter are exercises that you can do.

Please comment, like and subscribe

October DV awareness month ~ Testimony from a Christian Domestic Abuse Survivor

 

October is Domestic Violence awareness month. so this week I will be sharing two stories from Christian women who have lived through this awful experience.

Today’s  blog post is from a Christian woman  I reached out to  and she agreed to write for my blog anonymously. To this special woman, thank you so much and you are truly one God’s best kept secrets!

There Go I…But For the Grace 

“Why don’t you just leave and come with me?” ”You don’t need him, he needs you!” “I don’t understand Cory (renamed), you’re smarter than this.” “You’re a social worker helping women get out the exact type of unhealthy environment that you yourself are in. These are the questions subtly hidden in the form of judgments that I offered a friend Cory during our senior year in college. She had been married for only a year, but I learned later that she had endured such horrible emotional and physical abuse even before she agreed to marry him. I was so disgusted by her choice to remain that I ended our friendship, citing that I could no longer sit idly by and watch her show up to school or lunch pretending not to notice a new puss-filled bruise on her face, neck, ear, eye, or forehead. To me, I was being a hypocrite to the profession of social work as well as to the definition of being a friend.

Fast forward 22 years, I found myself married and in a similar situation. However, unlike Cory, I had no friend standing on the other side of my apartment door, admonishing me to leave. Instead, I had the accusing voice of the enemy, telling me that I am “not smart” and if I shared what was happening to me- not only would I be an embarrassment to the social work profession but an embarrassing blemish to the body of Christ!

‘Your witness about the great and mighty God you serve would be a lie. Who’s going to believe how awesome God is if you are supposed to be the example? Just make it easy for yourself and everyone you care about and keep it to yourself. No one has to know that your husband is abusing alcohol and emotionally and physically abusing you. No need to share that during the first week of your “live together portion” of your marriage he held you down in a violently painful and air-restrictive chokehold. You don’t have to suffer through revealing that you became so desperate to survive that you anchored your teeth into the lower palm of his right hand taking out a small gulf of his flesh.”

The truth is, I felt cornered and trapped inside between the inescapable tight walls of my mind and living quarters that felt like an oversized jail cell. I was 900 miles away from the closest immediate family and I was no place near home. I initially shared my matter with an older, respected motherly-type member of a church I began attending nearby-but I was quickly shunned from discussing the details of my situation. I was given a subtle response that (paraphrased) “It was to be expected early in marriage and that after many years, it would eventually improve.” Truth?… I only knew to pray. When the abuse continued and escalated for 5 more months, I eventually called the former pastor (who married us) to disclose my heartache along with a contemplated plan to leave. Preparing myself to be advised to continue with prayer for strength to endure the worse portion of my marriage vows, I was pleased when my plan to separate and leave was being supported with advisement to take caution with my planning. I was also led in prayer for God’s intervening, guidance, protection and successful completion to my reaching physical safety.

With continued fasting and prayer, my heartache and pain has been replaced with gratitude as well as compassion for my abusive husband (now, thankfully “was-band”). My regret has now been replaced with the Word of Romans 8:28.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lord Rebuild Me

Image from pixabay.com

Image from pixabay.com

Nehemiah chapter 4 talks of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. It was a burden to Nehemiah who was a cupbearer to the king. He came and gathered the people, as verse 6 says they had a mind to work.

As women we build families, children, careers, homes etc.  We build everything  around us and we forget to build ourselves. We give give give and before you realise it many years have passed and the strength we once has is gone. Many times we give to our own detriment.

It is time to ask God to rebuild you, to put back into you what you have lost. Reconstruction needs to take place. Ask God to send builders into your life who can speak words into your spirit that build you and repair the waste places in your life.

Do not allow what you have gone through to destroy your divine value.  You are too important to remain broken and hidden……. Let the construction begin!

Transitioning Alone  

image from www.linkedin.com

 

As the earth continues to spin on its axis our lives also continue to spin. No twenty four hour period is the same. A mobile phone we used in 1999 will not work in 2016. Today’s latest iPhone will not work in 2025, why?? because of transitions.

Life is consistently changing and whether we like it or not we are adapting to it. We have to or we will not be able to live our daily life. During periods of transitions it is also a time for us to evaluate our relationships and ask ourselves will this relationship allow me to transition with them or will I have to transition alone?

It can be a scary thought but it is something we all at one point or another in our life have to consider. Transitioning alone is daunting but if we are to fulfill our destinies or God given vision then it may have to be a step we may have to take.

We do not want to look back over our life and see regret littered along the way because of fear of taking a step. Take this opportunity to consider your relationships, prayerfully evaluate them and decide if they can walk with you or will you have to transition alone.

Jenny Allen’s Voice ~ Domestic Violence Awareness (Introduction)

This month has been designated Domestic Violence (DV) Awareness month. So for this month my posts will be dedicated to raising awareness. These posts will be called ” Jenny Allen’s Voice” as I am lending my voice to the women who are unable to speak for themselves.

Lending your voice to those who are unable to speak up is so important. We can use our voice to profit ourselves, in fact we do it everyday but I would like to encourage you to lend your voice to causes that need it.

In this series I will be sharing,

1. 10 myths about DV

2. DV and the church

3.  How to support a friend

4.  How a victim can keep safe

5. What your church can do to help

6. Life after DV.

DV does not respect social class, colour, culture, socioeconomic status and even gender. DV against men by women is coming to light at an alarming rate but the majority of cases are against women.

What is Domestic Violence?

Women’s Aid (Womansaid.org) uses the Home Office definition of domestic violence which is:

“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

• psychological

• physical

• sexual

• financial

• emotional

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”*) uses the Home Office definition of domestic violence which is:

In the UK domestic violence accounts for between 16% and one-quarter of all recorded violent crime.In anyone year there are 13  million separate incidents of physical violence or threats against women from partners or former partners. (www.womansaid.org accessed 25.08.2015).

In my next post I will be sharing 3 myths of domestic violence.

Your In-Laws Need Boundaries


I was ministering somewhere a few days ago and the issue of interfering inlaws came up. It is really really important that we know and understand that they cannot dictate the relationships their children have with their spouses.

Those of you that are thinking of getting married please begin to discuss it and put boundaries in place, especially if you feel your partner is a mama’s boy or daddy’s girl, because if you do not your inlaws may start to interfere (if they are not doing so already) and poison your relationship.

The control is ungodly. Sir, stand up and protect your wife to be/ girlfriend from your mothers’ onslaught. You can see what your mother is doing is not right but you will not defend the woman you call special. Young lady if he cannot defend you in front of his mother, will he defend you at all and is this the start of things to come when you both get married?

The bible clearly states in Gensis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.” 

Why is it significant that the man clearly leaves, even though the woman must leave also? The man is the foundation of his family. He is the main cornerstone that his wife and children will come to and if the man is too caught up with his mother then his family malfunctions and the foundation is shaken. You are not only to leave physically, but also emotionally and spiritually and you must start to cleave. Pray about this and ask God for wisdom on how to create parental boundaries. It may be difficult but it can be done.

Gentleman when you ask a woman to marry you do you actually know what you are asking? Do you know and understand your God given responsibilities? Your God given responsibilities towards your wife does not involve your mother. Yes the bible says that we are to honour our mother and father, that is very important but it does not say honour them at the expense of your wife. Remember God takes the position of a wife  very seriously. He compares marriage with Christ loving his church, the bride. Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. Jesus did not allow Mary his mother, to interfere with his relationship with his bride and what he was assigned to do for his bride.

Ladies in your rush to be married please make a careful note of the relationship your husband to be has with his mother. If there are clear boundaries in place then it’s good, but if not and she feels it is ok to dictate to her son and place ungodly influence over his choices then watch out. If you are having red flags or the Holy Sprit is nudging you about something then step back, pray for direction and ask questions.

If you remain silent then you will not have a happy home and instead of having a 3 fold cord ( you, your husband and the Holy Spirit) that is not easily broken, you will have a 4 fold cord that will break any minute now.

The damage done by interfering inlaws is not spoken about much in church but I want to encourage you to be prayerful and watchful in this area. Let the Holy Spirit be your teacher and do not enter a marriage with someone because you are desperate to be married.  Marriage is not the wedding day, marriage is the beginning of the rest of your life. Cleaving is a life long journey which must be protected.

I heard of a woman, who happens to be in church leadership, who tried to hinder the marriage of her son to a beautiful christian young woman, because she was worried about who was going to look after her and keep her company. When I heard that story I felt sorry for her other adult unmarried children. It is so selfish and manipulative on her part.

Naomi in the book of Ruth was a beautiful mother in law who respected her daughters in law, so much so that they did not want to leave her. There are mothers in law that have a beautiful spirit and if they see anything go wrong in the lives of their children’s marriage, they will take the time out to pray. They honour the spouse their children has selected. I honour such inlaws. If you have inlaws like this treasure them, love them and appreciate them.

What I have stated works both ways. There are some women who cling to their parents and will not allow their husband to lead. Leave and cleave to your husband, do not be a stumbling block.

Dear heart, what does God say about marriage? If your inlaws are disrespecting what God says about your own marriage, then you need to take steps to do something about it. I appreciate that some cultures place a high value on in-laws and their input in their children’s marriage. Their input has proven to be detrimental in many cases. Your spouse is not a tool for your in-laws to abuse as they please. Please stand up for your spouse because the two of you have become one. You do not become one with your parents.

Please share your feelings about this in the comments section.

You are not what you have been through

Every day people are called or  described by what they have been through. The bible talks of the woman with the issue of blood, we do not know her name. The deaf man, the blind man,  the boy who gave his lunch of 5 loaves and 3 fishes and the woman at the well,  to name a few.

People go through trauma’s that label them for life. Such statement like ” you know that woman who has 5 children who lives across the street” or ” that man who had the car accident last Tuesday” Have we ever thought of what their names are? On the other hand people can be described by the good things that have happened to them with statements like ” that man who won the lottery on the news” or ” that lady with the beautiful big brown eyes”.

If you have gone through pain, please know and belive that you are not the pain or trauma you have gone through. It is part of your experience and not your essence. A person who has to cross a river and becomes wet is not the river, they had to pass through it to get to the other side. The river was part of their experience and not their essence.

What have people described you as and which painful experience in your life have they used? Dear one you are not your experience, you are not the negative things people have called you at work, school or church?

Jesus calls you by your name because there is a uniqueness about you, you are one of a kind. Please do not allow your pain to become part of your mindset or entertain a belief of that’s how life is for me. No!!!!  Be transformed by the renewing of your mind because there is more to you than meets the eye and you are not your situations ans circumstances. Jesus came and died for you to be healed, to be loved and made whole and to be appreciated.

When I read my bible I continue to amazed about the love and care that Jesus had and still has. No body cares like he does, no body loves like he does! It is truly amazing. If he can care of the sparrow, can’t he care for you? Can you  receive his love and care! Dear one there is no one like Jesus. Put aside your philosophies about God and just open up your heart to him,  talk, share with him. Put your religion aside and embrace relationship with Jesus.

Dear one I have tried this and Jesus is turning a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly for his glory!!

From one butterfly to another

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