Posted in Thoughts

Peace

Here is a poem that touched my heart, I hope it does the same for you:

Peace, one of the noblest of aspirations  a word that gives people hope and a brighter future  but it’s more than just a word  it’s more than just a diplomatic speech for people to hear and sing like Martin Luther King but peace is also a call for duty a call to fight for what’s right and never stand down but stand firm to have faith in what you believe in  

And never abandon peace

By Saibulu 

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Posted in What I'm Learning

The Strangest Secret

I can’t quite remember how I stumbled upon this lesson, but I thank God I did.Very seldom do things have the ability to change ones life but in this case it did.

I want to share with you a recording made in the 1950s by Earl Nightingale entitled “The Strangest Secret.”

The sum total of his message is essentially that we are who we believe ourselves to be and we will have only the life we choose to create for ourselves.

My take away is this: You are what you think……….so dream big and after that even bigger; until you become the ideal version of who you were always meant to be – doing what you were always meant to do.

Enjoy!

-E

 

Posted in Thoughts, What I'm Learning

Words of Affirmation- Declaration

Identity has been my struggle, who am I? Why am I here?

This past year has been spent searching for the answers to those questions. At this moment I don’t have all the answers but I feel closer and more assured that I am heading in the right direction.

Soul searching and prayer is all I can attribute my progress to and at this moment this is my declaration of who I am and a glimpse at some of my struggles….

  • I am a child of God
  • I am a citizen of the kingdom of God
  • God is where I place my trust
  • I have been put here on earth to make a difference
  • I must find my calling and get to work

****I will no longer let the opinions of others define me. Whether it is their silent, obvious, or subtle judgements. Stereotypes, prejudices , microaggresions etc..are not my problem to solve or enlighten people about, the burden is too heavy and not mines to bare,  it is simply not my purpose. These are issues that need to be solved by the those who display them, it is their sin to deal with.I will no longer allow their sin to affect how I view myself.

God created us as equal and told us to love one another. If your view of me does not fit that description in word and in deed, I will not tolerate that in my life or allow it to enter my thinking. I have put away my captive mentality and am no longer waiting for those who did me wrong to realize their wrong position. I am forging on to make a difference in the world. Others  limited thinking will no longer stop, hinder or bother me. They are not my source, only God is. I will continue to pray that they will one day understand who they truly are…..because if  I am viewed as anything less than a Queen, royalty, powerful, wise, and capable to do all that I aspire to, then they have not only underestimated me but themselves.

I am Great, I will be great, watch me be great!

Posted in Marriage, What I'm Learning

Grace & Mercy

“It is by grace you have been saved through faith

and this is not from yourselves It is the gift of God not by works so that no one can boast”

Ephesians 2: 8-9

Grace is a nonperformance based relationship; it is the free and unmerited favor of God.

Grace is a gift from God to us because he loves us.

Mercy is similar to grace it is not getting what we deserve.

It is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is one’s power to punish or harm

“He saved us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5

Mercy and Grace is what God bestows upon us and as his children we should be willing to do the same for others.

The best place to start would be within our families. Grace and mercy should be something we shower our children and spouse with… and the rest of our family members for that matter.

As I have been studying marriage in preparation for my own, I have learned that we cannot base the love we have for our spouse on what they do. Performance based love puts us in bondage and creates unrealistic expectations for a marriage, that neither spouse can live up to. We should instead practice showing grace and mercy to our spouse just as God did for us.

-E

Posted in Finances

Personal Finance Journey

After graduating from college fairly recently and being thrown into the real world, I decided to do some adulting….

I started looking into personal finance and how to manage my finances better via budgeting, paying off debt and investing.

After reading various books and blogs I reached the following consensus:

  • I should work on paying off my debt (student loan debt, credit card debit, car note, etc.) and try not to incur any new debt
  • Build an emergency fund
  • Start financing my retirement fund and investing

It was that last point that changed everything….  RETIREMENT!!!

When I started reading up on retirement I was introduced to the magical world of compounding aka your money making money for you 😉

Compounding works best when given ample time, so the best time for recent graduates to invest the most into their retirement accounts or other investment accounts is NOW!!

  • Now is usually when your expenses are the least
  • Now is usually the time when you can easily adjust your life style to be able to put more money away into investments
  • Now is when you are the youngest you will ever be (you are giving your money more time to grow by investing now)

In my investigation of retirement and investing I started thinking about retirement….And I’m so glad I did! I realized that I didn’t want to work until I was 59 ½ and then retire!

59 ½ is a long ways away from 20 something and I don’t want to spend 39 or so years waiting to retire just working to pay my expenses. I want to spend the majority of my life doing work that I love, needless to say that work doesn’t pay much if anything at all….

So what’s a girl to do that wants to do what she loves before she is 59 ½ or even 55? Research! Lol

Yeah that’s right, I did some more digging and started researching early retirement.

I was very surprised and delighted at what I found and to give you a brief overview I have copied and pasted the financial journey I will be taking to retire early.

This was taken from http://jlcollinsnh.com/2011/06/08/how-i-failed-my-daughter-and-a-simple-path-to-wealth/

The simple path to wealth

It starts with nine basics.

  1. Avoid fiscally irresponsible people.  Never marry one or otherwise give him access to your money.
  2. Avoid money managers. It’s your money and no one will care for it better than you.
  3. Avoid debt.
  4. Save a portion of every dollar you get.
  5. The greater the percent of your income you save and invest, the sooner you’ll have F-You money.  Try 50%.  With no debt, this perfectly doable.
  6. Put this money in the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund(VTSAX)
  7. Realize the market and the value of your shares will sometimes drop dramatically.  People all around you will panic.  They’ll be screaming Sell, Sell, Sell.  Ignore this.  Even better:  Buy more shares.
  8. When you can live off the dividends VTSAX provides you are financially free.
  9. The less you need, the more free you are.

Jlcollinsnh goes more in depth on each of these steps so you can do your own research by clicking on the link 😉

I will be updating you on my journey as I progress!

I advise you to do your own research and tell me what you find…..

-E

 

Posted in Thoughts, What I'm Learning

Friendship

The bonds and ties with people, near and far away,

bringing hope and encouragement when needed, showing love in all ways.

Seasons and times change us, friendships come and go, but the ties and memories made are what remain.

– for the friends that come in and out of all of our lives may we find solace in the memories.

Below are pictures of my time in Bath

 

 

 

Posted in London, Thoughts, What I'm Learning

The Lesson in the Journey

“Not Being able to fully understand God is frustrating, but it is ridiculous for us to think we have the right to limit God to something we are capable of comprehending.” – Francis Chan

I’ve struggled with my faith ever since I started college three  years ago. God has always been real for me. I’ve seen his presence in every aspect of my life but when I left home and started college I didn’t realize how intentional my faith had to be. When I’m at home I am surrounded by my families faith. No matter what I was going through, I could always rely on my fathers faith, or my mothers faith, or even my brothers faith to keep me encouraged and to see me through. Being around them strengthened my own faith. But when I went off to college my own faith began to struggle because I wasn’t plugged in or surrounded by people who could support and encourage my faith. But that’s not the main reason why my faith struggled, it suffered because I wasn’t intentionally pursuing God and his word in my everyday life.

At home I didn’t have to intentionally choose God, his presence was already there. For example, Christian music was basically all that was played whether it be in the car or at home. When I woke up in the morning the kitchen radio would have a sermon playing, so that would be what I listened to as I had my breakfast or cleaned the house. My mother would always pray with me, either in the morning or before we went to sleep and I would constantly find my dad and brother watching sermons on YouTube or my mom listening to African gospel choirs on there. The examples could go on and on, but essentially my parents had infused God and his word into their home. And because of that, when I was at home, that environment would be my reminder that I needed to pray, read God’s word and further develop my faith. When I left that environment, I still had my faith but I didn’t create an environment for myself that would enable my faith to grow.

College is not full of believers, I knew that going in but I hadn’t fully grasped that it would impact my faith the way it did. Like I said before I didn’t plug myself into a church or faith based organization to support my spirituality and that played a part in my struggle. I kept myself very busy involving myself in many different organizations and trying to be a leader on campus. I don’t regret my decisions to be involved on campus, but I do wish that I had carved out more time for God.

My time here in London has made me more self-aware about my personality and my dreams but its also made me aware of my faith and its lack of growth. My time with God had consisted of me reading a verse or chapter from the bible and praying before I went to bed and that was fine for awhile but I had stayed in that stage for three years! It had become second nature, I wasn’t getting what I used to get out of it and most of the time I was too tired to fully comprehend what I was reading. So I became more and more distant from God and started questioning my faith and trying to comprehend God and make him tangible. It wasn’t till I came to London and started delving deep into discovering who I am and who I wanted to be, that I confronted my issues with my faith. I came to the realization that God is big, bigger than me, and you, and this whole universe. There are things about God that I will never be able to comprehend or understand with my human mind but that’s what makes him God. The fact that a God that powerful would want a relationship with me and every other person out there, just goes to prove the unconditional love he has for us. I would be crazy not to try to return that love by intentionally choosing him everyday. Intentionally choosing to get know him by reading his word, praying, and talking to him. I have to intentionally choose to listen to what he has to say and intentionally choose to obey.

Faith has to be intentional.

-E