Bridesmaid duty… but hoping I’ll be a bride!

First off I wanna say to you all….. Happy October!

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OK, so it’s 5 days late but better late than never ay! Delight in Him through all seasons as your today is part of your tomorrow  🙂

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It’s been a hectic couple of weeks as a chief bridesmaid for my sister, hence why I’ve been AWOL for a bit!

bAck to blogging

Talk about wedding exhaustion and it wasn’t even mine! Just a lil peek for you below….

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It was a beautiful day! Amazing in fact! Full of love, joy, family and friends. It was the epitome of 2 pure and faithful young adults, coming together and forging their commitment before God and loved ones. I’m so proud of my lil sis ( and yes, she is younger!)

Being the Chief bridesmaid loaded me with lots of jobs and responsibility, tiring me out like no tomorrow! But throughout this whole experience, I found myself pondering about my own desire for marriage and what my expectations are.

You see, we live in a day and age where unfortunately more than 50% of marriages end up in divorce. Now I’m no expert on relationships and life even! And I won’t even try and pretend I know why some marriages stay for the long haul and why others don’t….. But one thing I do know is that if you try and enter into it with the right mindset, putting your very best in, then hopefully each day will get that lii bit easier as you grow together as a couple.

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The reality of marriage is that there a 2 imperfect people, coming together under one roof and trying to make it work! My expectation of marriage is not one of fairy tales and fantasy, but of commitment, hard work and grace! It HAS to be more than just the wedding day…. a lifelong commitment cannot be determined by the amount of money and time you spend on the wedding day, but upon the amount of time you invest into one another prior to saying those very powerful vows.  Now don’t get me wrong, if you have the ÂŁÂŁÂŁ for a big do, go spend it! But I have realized that the power of a couple’s love lies in their testimony, faith and compromise in and for one another.

I am looking forward to the day that I meet God’s best for me 🙂 I don’t believe in ‘the one’ but I do believe that there is someone with whom we are most compatible with. Someone with whom you bring out the best in and they in you. There is beauty in commitment and there’s beauty in marriage. And as I wait for my time, I continue to allow God to work on my flaws so that I can be a blessing to the man I will say those powerful vows to one day.

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“When things get funky, you see who’s really there..!”

beauty.id Q&A comes from the lovely Leah! Check out what this Midlands girl had to say…..

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1) What is more important to you, physical beauty or character/inward beauty?

“I would say definitely character, not just because it’s the ‘right’ answer but because someone with a beautiful character will always endure in relationships. When things get funky you see who’s really there… who really has a true beauty. (Male and female) Someone can be beautiful/handsome outwardly, but if they repeatedly hurt you or others or act out of selfishness, with lack of kindness and understanding, that outer beauty becomes invisible and all you see is their character. It is very possible to love someone who you might have found unattractive in the beginning when you soon find out how lovely and genuine they are. Good looks can often be deceiving and it’s important not to fall for someone before you see their true character.

 The king of kings knows this all too well…”

the lord looks at the heart

2) What makes a man beautiful to you?

“A beautiful man to me is a man who can take responsibility, protect and love his family. Nothing makes me smile more inside than seeing a man play with and show affection to his kids. A leader and prayer warrior! I wanna know that when I’m married, whenever I’m losing my bearings, that my husband will pray for me, comfort me and speak kindness and encouragement. A good sense of humour to me is important too! 🙂 Laughter is definitely the best medicine!”

3) Name someone who’s beautiful to you & why?

 “If it’s OK with you I would like to name two beautiful people…

 One of them being my brother Shem.  Throughout my life he has been a great example to me, and through years of family feuds he has rarely shown partiality to anyone. He has been the peace maker between relatives and has the ability to see things from all angles.  He’s great with his nephew and is very understanding at the same time; not afraid to take matters into his own hands and make a decision. He can speak kindness and encouragement as well as rebuke in its right time. He’s not a Christian but he has a natural Christ-like manner which is very admirable. I know he will make a good husband to a lucky lady one day!

 The second being Nicole aka CoCo – she is the God mother of my son and a true inspiration to my life. She has been a great example to me in the few years that I’ve known her… as a Christian, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a teacher and yes a mother even though she hasn’t got any kids YET! She’s very real and wise, she’s an amazing cook, creative, has a great sense of humour, she’s kind and always seems to know what to say and when to say it whether it be of comfort or guidance. On top of all that she’s crazy (like me) and has a killer smile! Everyone needs a CoCo in their life lol!”

4) What makes you beautiful?

“For me this is the most challenging question, because I have struggled with rejection, acceptance and self hatred my whole life. But as I grow and mature, I’m learning to appreciate what really matters in life. God is helping me a lot to accept myself as I am and be myself – flaws and all!

What makes me beautiful?

I love children and animals.

I like to help others in need and share my blessings.

I am creative.

I quite like my eyes too! 🙂 “

 u are beautiful

“God bless xX YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Xx”

If L’Oreal says it, I am…. right?!

Today’s post actually came about as I was searching for an inspiring lil quote or picture to post up on Facebook. And I came across this:

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And the thought came to me… This is a battle that must still be fought… the battle of self acceptance and self-worth.

But is a slogan, an icon, an advert or tag-line enough to make you believe it?!

 

Now as iconic as the L’Oreal adverts are, they do not make me feel ‘worth it’ when I make mistakes or when I’m down…. Don’t get me wrong, the concept behind it is admirable! But, what if you didn’t have a TV to see that advert… would you still think you’re worth it?

Some find worth in money, others status, a job, relationships, knowledge, looks etc etc but what happens when those things go, or that ‘somebody’ leaves us? What if life throws some unfortunate events at you and you lose your job or the ability to think….?

It begs the question then, where does your worth, true worth come from?

I am practical…. I know the importance of education and finance, establishing a career and genuine relationships (no-one is self-made!). But I am also a woman of faith, a woman who’s identity and worth does not come from the tangible and temporary things of life which can so easily fade away.

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We all come to that place of self acceptance in different ways. We are all unique, born into different cultures, surrounded by different influences, moulded by different life experiences – good and bad. And somehow, all these things shape our views and mindsets about who we are and what we think of ourselves.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall…. I AM WORTH IT!

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“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…”

There’s nothing better than getting insight into people’s mindsets and viewpoints about topics! It’s nice to be able to dig deeper into the inner psyche of a person, and to discuss and share our thoughts on some personal topics. The people I interview may not be celebrities, but they represent us as a whole. Just everyday people with real issues and experiences to share that can hopefully encourage others to do the same!

This week’s beauty.id Q&A is here! I asked this kind health professional his views……

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 Will you agree or not…??

beautyid q&a

1) What is more important to you, physical beauty or character/inward beauty?

“In my view, physical beauty and character/inward beauty are the ingredients that make someone beautiful. Having said that we all know the universal statement that “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”.  So, it is quite obvious that what is beautiful to me may not be beautiful to another person.  Let us face it.  When I say she is beautiful, to be honest, it is physical beauty!  At the outset, there is no way I can recognize or see character/inner beauty at first sight.  If you want me to stop beating around the bush and hit the nail on the head, it takes time to know some one.  Once you realize that a person’s physical beauty is deceiving when it is compared to character/ inward beauty, your notion of beauty changes over that period. Now, that strong bond between those two individuals starts to decay and depletes. That is the moment of truth, we come to realize that physical beauty and character/inner beauty are inseparable.”

2) What makes a woman beautiful to you?

“Everything about her.  But a genuine and great smile is her magnetism!”

3) Name someone who’s beautiful to you & why?

“My wife and daughter! I am growing old with my better  half.  This is where self actualization of character and inward beauty takes place. You find that harmony between physical beauty and character/inward beauty.  I am amazed by her relentless effort and her incredible energy in shaping our family. Her unconditional love for the family is like non profit charity. She is my confidant, my counselor, my life coach, my friend indeed and most importantly she is my best critique.  My daughter keeps us on our toes and lets us stay on over-drive, that makes her stunningly gorgeous.”

 4) What makes you beautiful?

“My attitude, my attributes and my struggle for existence.”

 Thank you to Manya for allowing us insight into his views on beauty!  When all is said and done, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

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Remembrance….

re·mem·brance

noun

1. a retained mental impression; memory.
2. the act or fact of remembering.
3. the power or faculty of remembering.
4. the length of time over which recollection or memory extends.
5. the state of being remembered; commemoration: to hold someone’s name in remembrance.
(Dictionary.com definition)
On this very day 12 years ago, a single event shook the world. A lot can be said, has been said & will continue to be said I’m sure as the pages of history continue to be written. Our hearts and prayers will always be broken with the memory of those who lost their lives and those who were separated from their loved ones.
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And yet even in great loss, came great resolve from the heroes and heroines who gave their all to help on that tragic day. As we take a moment to remember, there is much to be learned from that day….
One thing is, unfortunately, we don’t and never will be able to predict the future. None of us know what will happen next in our lives & in the lives of others. Rather than worrying about things we don’t know or that are yet to happen, we can trust in the One who knows the end from the beginning.
Many times, we don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone. We wait for those moments to cherish what we once had. So as we think about that day, let us cherish the loved ones we still have in our lives & remember that justice, mercy, hope and love still resides.
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Love this quote from 1 of the firemen! It is these everyday unsung heroes who constantly put their lives on the line for people they don’t know who should be getting the accolades. We salute you! And we thank you 🙂 not only for your bravery shown on 9/11, but on every other day you decide to put on your fire pants 1 leg at a time!
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Though things may fall down around us, physically, emotionally, relationally, financially ….. though we may fall, we can get up! And that’s what can be said for the amazing character and spirit shown so brightly on that tragic day.
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As we remember……We have a hope… We have a future….

Haves & Have Nots!

Content…… Are you or aren’t you?

As I sit here writing this, I do so off the back of watching a Tyler Perry show, ‘The Haves and the Have Nots’.

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One of the characters, Candace jumped out at me during this show  as she spoke various lines to her estranged mother who happens to be the maid at her friend’s house:

“Don’t you wanna live like this?” and “It’s not fair, there are still tags on the clothes” and “They got her a horse for her 5th birthday, plus a car for her 16th!” Finally, “I want THIS house!”

Now, there’s nothing wrong with looking at others who have more in a material sense and being inspired to work hard to get that ‘dream house’. BUT, when you covet with wrong intentions and motives, when you get what you covet, it will never be enough!

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We live in a world that constantly feeds our human tendency towards dissatisfaction and discontentment. iPad is out, but a new one is on the way! Got a 3G phone, well 4G is the way forward! In the UK, a new reg car is out every 6 months now – so trade up! And it goes on and on. Unfortunately though, it doesn’t stop there. Material dissatisfaction often veers its ugly head to personal dissatisfaction. We then don’t like our shape, our hair, our personality coz we’re more introvert than extrovert. Personal contentment and acceptance is nowadays dependent upon the number of ‘likes’ we get on our FB page, or how many RT’s on twitter. Got followers on your blog…? Well, not as much as the next person! And gosh, how can you only get an A – what happened to A*?!

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I believe contentment is a learned behaviour and it’s one that takes discipline and resilience. I’m learning that day by day 🙂 Rather than focusing on what I ‘don’t have’ I focus on the MANY things I do have! You see, when you put yourself in the “HAVES” category, you have a balance to life that leads to joy, peace and contentment. I can make better judgements between what I need and what I want.  I can accept myself for who I am rather than longing to be like someone else.

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Though I strive to better myself in all ways, I am still happy with where I am and who I am. Unlike Candace, I can look on at others and admire & be inspired, rather than get bitter and twisted, looking for ways to manipulate my way to the ‘top’. I mean, what is the ‘top’ anyway? What does it mean to ‘have?’ Is your standard of having determined by others or by you? When was living within your means not enough? Why stress yourself to keep up with the Jones’ as they say?!

There are so many things to be thankful for… health, family, a job, the ability to taste, see and think. Gratitude leads to a great attitude!

No matter where you are in life, what circumstance you find yourself in, though it may be hard or disappointing even, you do HAVE! You have so much to offer and so much to impart. You are loved, you are accepted and you are beautiful.

So keep hoping, keep going, keep striving, keep dreaming, keep having.

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Mirror Mirror On The Wall…..

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Don’t you just love a good ‘ol in-depth conversation…?! It’s great when you can just sit down, share and encourage one another over some good food!

One of my favourite quotes is: “A fool learns from his mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others”

a fool learns from his mistakes

And that’s exactly what I did last night! After a long day at work. it was refreshing to sit down with a woman with 20 extra years on me! In a world where the ‘norm’ seems to be to have a conversation via Facebook, I sat opposite face-to-face with a lady who’s life could not have been shared in 140 characters or less!

One of the biggest lessons I have learnt from those who have gone before me is having the ability to know and be yourself. When you look in the mirror, what do you see? When you make a mistake, how do you view yourself? Our mind can play some funny tricks on us, and that’s where the battle is either won or lost. You are what you think! And this is a lesson I have learnt all too well.

Now I’m not saying ‘speak it & it shall be!’ BUT I do believe that if your self worth isn’t rooted in something more stable than the words of others and your performance, then the slippery slope of low self esteem can affect you in ways you never thought it would.

I speak from experience. As a young girl who was bullied verbally, I allowed that experience to filter into other areas of my life. There was a point where I just didn’t feel confident or comfortable to speak to people & open up. Even voicing my opinion was hard as I was always afraid of what others thought of me.

“If you live for people’s acceptance you’ll die by their rejection!”

This is no way to live your life my dear reader, and the stronghold can be broken!

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Mirrors don’t lie! What is reflected back to us is the truth! But next time you look into the mirror, don’t just look at the outward, look into the mirror of your soul….  If it all starts with a thought, then be honest about what you REALLY think about yourself.

Is it easy? NO! But it’s doable.  It’s taken me years and I still struggle with it from time to time. The  solution for me …. ? Well for me, my faith 🙂 When I see myself as God sees me, what others think doesn’t affect me.

So, I have a question for you…. Do you like what you see in the mirror? Or when you look at yourself, do you only see countless things that need changing?

Speaking over last night’s dinner paved the way for the first project of Reflections… Mirror Mirror!

Where this will go, I don’t know! But, I only hope that as each Mirror Mirror post is published, you will join me in sharing and discussing true beauty and true identity.

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Stop making a ‘pimple’ out of a molehill!

molehillsThis is me today!! Being a drama queen over what…?? A pimple!

Sounds contradictory to what I’m trying to achieve with this blog – you know true beauty comes from within and all that jazz! Hehe but today, I’m human!

Today, I woke up with (in my mind), a HUUUUGGGGE zit on my cheek! I mean, it was BIG! And immediately, I felt concious!

‘What will everyone think when they see it?’ and ‘Everyone is gonna be staring at it?’ and the worst… ‘Oh, I feel so not beautiful right now!’

If you were a fly on the wall, you probably would of had a big laugh at my attempts to shrink this sucker! I mean, I put on some toothpaste, some spot cream, some germolene and the last resort was tinted moisturiser (love me some Bobbi Brown I have to say- that’s a make-up brand just in case there are any guys reading this & think I’ve spelt the singer’s name wrong!)

Isn’t it funny how 1 pimple can make you feel unpretty for the whole day ladies? Or maybe it’s just me….  Once I got over myself, I just thought, you know what… yeah I have a zit, who doesn’t once in a while. I’m still Mel and I’m still gonna hold my head up high & not attempt a gazillion hairstyles to try and cover it up! (yes, I tried lol)

Love this!

Love this!

Even with a huge zit on my face, I can face the day! And if you can’t look at me because of it, well, then I have to question whether you accept me for me… warts and all!

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