The Dangers of Hidden Emotions

Hello crowned Royals, I hope you are all doing well despite all that is going on in your personal life and the world right now. I hope you continue to take your position and stand firm knowing that God is with you through it all. For the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking of the complexity of our emotions as humans and how easily they can damage us when kept hidden from others and ourselves. You know what I mean right? Think of the times you had to hide your sadness from others because you feared being judged or maybe the time you masked your bitterness with a smile so life could feel normal for just a day. As humans, we are often dealing with our emotions on a daily basis and how we experience them can be a challenge for most of us. The challenge is not with desirable emotions such as happiness, but it is with the least desirable emotions such as sadness, anger, jealousy, bitterness, disgust, shame, guilt, fear. While it is quite easy to display happiness, joy, and laughter, the other undesirable emotions are often kept hidden. Why do we do that? Well, there are several reasons, but two main reasons are; we hope no one sees them expressed in us and two, we don’t want to see us express these undesirable emotions. The posed danger is hidden emotions from yourself, which we do consciously and unconsciously. So, what are the dangers that come from your hidden emotions?

At the very beginning: Where did it all start?

I would like to think every habit we adapt to had to start from somewhere. When is the time you began to hide your least desirable emotions from others and yourself? Let us think back to when were children for a second, we were expressive of almost all our emotions both good and bad. We displayed our face of disgust when our parents fed us vegetables, we threw huge tantrums to convey our anger when our parents didn’t give us what we wanted and cried tears of sadness when our mother left without us. So, when did it become hard to convey these emotions? Is it when your parents said you are growing up and you needed to cry less or compose yourself more? Or is it when your sad tears seemed to irritate your peers and you began to understand the complexity of other’s emotions towards yours? It had to start somewhere and where is started can be anywhere that those least desirable emotions began to be hidden. A perfect example I could think of was from the movie Frozen. There is a scene at the beginning of the movie between Elisa and her parents that we may or may not relate to. Elisa was told by her parents to conceal and not feel (in other words, not be expressive) and that poor girl was haunted with these hidden emotions for way too long. We are in some shape or form have just like Elisa concealed and not felt for way too long. So again the question is, where did it start?

Triggers

I would like to believe we all have emotional triggers. If you have lived quite a bit in this world, there are several triggers that can stir up different emotions. It can be something that someone says that takes you back to that painful experience or something that you watch that is relatable to your situation. It can happen in many different ways, but when something triggers our undesirable emotions, we try to conceal and hide. But how long can you do that before you have an outburst and all the hidden emotions unravel at one time? Sometimes it just takes one trigger to have you lost it because you have bottled up so much for way too long. I get it, been there, and done that and it only took one emotional trigger to bring to the surface all that was hidden for way too long. Was it necessary? absolutely! All that unexpressed anger, sadness, panic, bitterness, and fear had to get out if I want to be liberated from it all. I would imagine that you would want the same thing for yourself too. Nothing is more liberating than being honest with how you feel or felt from the situations you experienced.

7 dangers of Hidden emotions

What we do to ourselves when we hide our less desirable emotions can harm us in the long run. We are created to feel, and God knew exactly what he was doing when he put these emotions in us. Suppressing them only can lead to bigger mental issues such as depression, major anger issues, extreme fear and anxiety just to mention a few. Listed below are 7 of the dangers you are likely to face your hidden emotions;

  1. Immaturity: You inability to fully master your emotions and unable to identify a healthy way to express them. If you are constantly hiding them, how do you mature your expression of them?
  2. Instability: The danger of unstable decisions can lead to long term consequences that could have been avoided.
  3. Self-Sabotage: Ruining almost every good thing in the fear that you will have to expose things about yourself to others.
  4. Regret: Constantly replaying past situations that make you wish you did something different.
  5. Stagnation: Being stuck in the past, constantly unable to move forward because there are still some unresolved issues within you that you have kept hidden.
  6. Isolation: Choosing to be alone and missing out on healthy human relationships.
  7. Resentment: You resent others for things you did not communicate. You also resent yourself, which I think is more tragic.

If you have been noticing some of these dangers in your life, then it means it may be about that time that you feel what you have avoided feeling for way too long. It may be time to dig out all the hidden emotions you hide behind a smile. The good thing is that if you are not open yet to express this to others or lack healthy support, God is always ready to listen and allow you to express those emotions. Here is what he has to say to you;

10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart

    and cast off the troubles of your body,

    for youth and vigor are meaningless.

Ecclesiastes 11 v 10

Banish all anxiety that you have built up from all the hidden emotions. Cast off the troubles and go boldly before the Lord. Speak to God about it in prayer. This is a good place to start better communicating your emotions. Emotions are not a bad thing! Even the bible says get angry, but don’t sleep anger. The bible also talks about different times in the book of Ecclesiastes and emotions are mentioned too. We are human, we are far from perfect. God knew perfectly well what he was doing when giving us these emotions. Being the compassionate God that he is, he is able to turn those least desirable emotions we consider bad to good. He does however require our honesty and openness to him. I pray you see the beauty in opening up from those hidden emotions and finding liberty in finally being expressive in a healthy way. It is time for us to take our rightful place! It is time for us to trade thorns for crowns.

Much Love,

Xholiwe

Never settle: Escaping Dysfunction

Hello crowned royals! I hope you are all doing well and staying steadfast in the Lord. What a year 2020 has turned out to be right? Huge sigh. However, I can’t help it but imagine that God is up to something that will bring ultimate healing for not just us as individuals, but an entire nation! Now that is some good news! Well, what I would like to talk about as per usual is individual healing. Part of individual healing comes from never settling, settling can mean many things to different people, but this time around I want you to look at from the lenses of dysfunction. Ever worked with a tool or appliance that did not work like it should? I have! I once used a loosened hammer that broke of the handle and hurt my foot a couple of times. Also, fairly recently I have tried to make a rice cooker work when clearly the appliance has been exhausted and I would need to buy something new. Can you tell what I was doing to myself while operating these dysfunctional items? I was constantly hurting myself and not producing. Could I have do things differently? Absolutely! While, this may not make sense to some, this may make sense to some of you that have constantly settled in a life of dysfunction and have had enough. For this blog I want us to ask ourselves this question, what have you settle for that is dysfunctional? The other question is, how do you escape?

Never settle in dysfunction

The idea of dysfunction may not reside in one’s mind as a call for making a difference or changing the narrative, but rather most of us have normalized dysfunction and sadly even settled in it. Dysfunction by simple definition is abnormality or something not operating normally or properly. Take a minute to think about any situation in your life that you consider abnormal and check yourself to see if you have settled. Have you told yourself that is just the way it is? and eventually have concluded by saying what there is no point of changing things. Then you have clearly chosen to settle. You have settled in dysfunctional relationships, dysfunctional work places, dysfunctional churches and the list is endless? I totally get you, I have been in a place in my life where dysfunction seemed normal. I settled quite a few times then after a couple cycles around the same situation, I believe I got fed up and had enough and hence my desire for change grew even more. Remember that hammer I talked about earlier? How it constantly would hurt me because it was dysfunctional? If the hammer was tightened to the handle that held it and operating normally, then I wouldn’t have be constantly hurt from it. One way to know that you have settled in dysfunction is how constantly you are hurt from a situation, but go right back to it. Doing this all the time eventually can lead you to repeated cycles of dysfunction that can easily make you believe that nothing can change. However, God calls us to make that change and never to settle. God being a God who knows no confusion will not operate in the dysfunction you have settled in, but rather he calls you out of dysfunction and brings you out from the places you decided to settle. There is more that comes from the liberation of never settling in dysfunction. I am talking about more peace, love, joy, rest, hope and assurance. If you were like me and you had enough, then it may be time to plan your escape.

Escaping dysfunction

How do you escape something that you have already normalized and settled in? I wish there was an easy way out, but because of my own experience I can assure you it may be the toughest thing you have to do, but it is totally doable! First of all, don’t let others talk you out of escaping dysfunction. Secondly, which I think is the most important is that you don’t allow yourself to talk yourself out of it. Think about how many times you came to the realization that things just didn’t seem right, but you went on with it anyway. Think back to the many years that constantly brought you hurt and this time commit to planning your grand escape. For this you will need a whole lot of Jesus and a hint of will power if you want to see a difference in your life or change the narrative. Below are a few steps to get you positioned and ready to find normality from what has been abnormal in your life and that eventually led you to settle:

  1. Do your research; what is normal and what is abnormal? This could be in any area of your life. For example, what does a normal healthy relationship look like and compare that to a dysfunctional relationship.
  2. Examine yourself; What have you settled in that is dysfunctional. This is where you can write things down and read them back to yourself.
  3. Recognize and reflect; This is the part where you ask yourself why you settled in dysfunction. This can be a painful process because you may have think far back and see very similar cycles that have surrounded you even as a child. This may or may not include family cycles much similar to yours.
  4. Acceptance; This is so important and people often skip this and think living in denial will fix all the dysfunction. The elephant is the room is staring your right in the face. Acceptance will help you identify those specific areas.
  5. Prayer and commitment; If you are not praying and committing to this escape then all the other steps will be pointless. Prayer still works! Ask God to help you escape and commit to getting out by any means necessary.
  6. Pick your support; Who will remind you to keep putting the effort? Get yourself around people who either have escaped dysfunction or are doing exactly what you are trying to do. Pull from each other strength and courage to escape dysfunction.

While these steps are not scientifically proven, I speak based off my personal experiences of escaping dysfunction. I know what it feels like to reach at your wits end and literally start to desire a clear escape that will give you peace of mind. Like I mentioned earlier, it is not easy, but when God gets involved and you are positioned, you will see the change! Here is some scripture for you as you being to escape dysfunction;

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, [insert your name here]. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.

2 Chronicles 20 v 17

I pray that you begin to desire normalcy in your life and also clearly identify what your have settled for. I pray you make your escape from dysfunction and find the peace of mind from finally deciding to make a change. I hope you see that your life can be different and more fruitful because of your decision to no longer settle in dysfunction. I disagree with you, it is not just how it is, you can no longer settle. Look to the Lord for help and escape that dysfunction. It is time for you to take your rightful place! It is time to trade thorns for crowns.

Much love,

Xholiwe

The Villain in the story: Why them?

The villain lurks into your strengths and weakness so that you never see the attack coming.
Xholiwe

Hello Crowned Royals! I don’t know if you feel like I feel, but I have one question for January 2020 “What’s with the rush?”. I am guessing not everyone will feel the same, but January is almost gone and there is still a lot more to do. On a less shocking January note, I was hoping to talk to you all about villains in the story. I am a huge Disney fan in case you don’t know, so I am heavily invested in many stories that Disney shares through film. One common element that creates the perfect story line is the villain. Often times the villain is overlooked, but surely they play a vital role in each story. In a Disney movie, there is no guessing what is good and evil. The villain’s intentions, motives and desires seek to destroy that which is good. The good characters in the story seek to overcome the evil caused by the villain. I hope you know where I am going with this regarding your own life. While your story is far from the perfect Disney fairytale, you can agree with me that you have in some point in your life come face to face with the villain in your story. My question for the sake of this blog is, why them?

what is the role of the villain in your story

The distinct role of the villain in your story is to distort what you deemed to be the life you were supposed to live. Like an interruption to your perfect story line, the villain comes suddenly without your knowledge. The villain lurks into your strengths and weakness so that you never see the attack coming. They study your strengths and your weaknesses so that they know exactly where to interrupt you in your story. While you think it is a sudden attack, the villain carefully crafts their attack that range from days to years. The attack is one that can destroy all that you considered your life be and then later it doesn’t make sense to live. Realize that the motives and desires of the villain like I mentioned earlier are to destroy that which is good. Now that we know the role of the villain, let us answer this question; why them?

Question: Why them?

Just like most Disney stories and even some great Bible stories, the question that still lingers is why them? It could have been a stranger that barely knows us, but usually it never turns out that way. It is the people closest to us that know our weaknesses and have mastered our strengths that turn out to be the villain. The perfect example is from the Lion King, my all time favorite movie from Disney. So the villain in this great story line is not just a regular lion that is part of the pride, but Mufasa’s brother and Simba’s uncle Scar. Scar desires the throne, but since he knows it is impossible he creates his own narrative that destroys the lives of others. Scar knew more about his brother and nephew than any other regular lion would, so he used the knowledge he had to craft his attack. The unfortunate truth is that the people that know more about you are most likely the ones that end up being the villains. For some it may have been that uncle that knew you were vulnerable and raped you. For others it may have been that step mother or father that abused you. For majority of us, it was the people we chose to trust and they turned out to be the villain in our story. So why them? Why is it the ones that we love? The ones that we trust? They ones we chose to be vulnerable to? I wish I had the perfect answer that would make you jump up and dance, but I hope you heal with your tears as things come to your mind. If you are still the person that has not risen above the attack from the villain in your story, I think it is time you triumph over evil.

What is your role?

The success of every Disney story and Bible story is that the good person always wins. Notice how they never die and take their pain to their graves? Even when they are completely at their weakest, there is a moment that they rise up and overcome the evil that plagued their lives. Your role in your own story is to overcome! You have the exact strength to rise up and overcome the evil that has plagued you for way too long. You have a vital role in your story line that can change all that was meant for evil towards you to good. Here are a few things you should be doing while you seek to overcome:

  1. Learn some lessons- what did the villain’s attack teach you?
  2. Find better ways to deal with pain rather than taking it with you to your grave.
  3. Master your own strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Still be good, even if you have every reason to be evil.
  5. Face your fears!
  6. Work with others- Cinderella had mice friends, Simba had Timon and Pumba and Elsa had Anna. Build a healthy circle of people around you. You can’t do this alone.
  7. Rise up! Nothing happens for people that sit in their misery.
  8. Remind yourself always that you are able to change what was meant for evil into good!
  9. Love always wins!
  10. Give yourself and others grace- that means you have to forgive yourself and the villain if you want to move forward. Very hard to do and it takes time, but it has to be done.

I hope this list helps you being your process to triumph over evil. It is possible because so many times in my own life, I have made the choice to triumph over evil. If you don’t believe me, at least believe the word of God that say;

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12 v 21

My last words, Show that villain that their evil will not end your story line. The attack may have been an interruption to the story, but is certainly doesn’t end there. There is more your story has to tell and inspire people to overcome evil for good! It is time for you to take your rightful place! It is time for you to trade thorns for crowns.

Much Love!

Xholiwe

Masks Off: Your honesty with God

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Hey Crowned Royals! I don’t know about you, but these winter days are what I live for, which also means I should be working out little more because all these holiday treats are not helping this sister out. While winter is not for everyone, I hope you make the most out it this year. On a less wintry note, I wanted as to talk about masks and how masks have kept most of us from being honest with God regarding who we truly are, where we are in life and how we hope God works in our lives.

Here is a disclaimer, this blog is not going to address physical masks that are visible to the human eye, we will talk about the masks that are impossible for human eye to identify, but there a lot of masked people right now. Solely, the purpose of a mask is to hide the true identity of a person. We all know that from the superhero movies we watch right? Marvel fan moment here, how messy would it be if people knew Spider-man’s true identity? I am guessing pretty messy because true identity is not always well received by others. Also, being able to say I am spider-man to everyone down the street without fear of being rejected, made fun of, and ridiculed would be wonderful. I hope you are thinking of your masks right about now because we have all worn some or continue to, at least I know I have. I wore the masks that misidentified me and rid me of who I truly was, where I was at in life and how I hoped things would change. I eventually came to realization that my masks had to come off, because I would still be doing well with keeping the masks on and acting like I had life figured out. So maybe you too have some masks on right now and are acting like you have life figured out, but like always I am here to burst your perfect little bubble. A life lived behind a mask only gives you so much to survive and never enough to thrive in who you truly are. You most certainly are surviving to keep up with the act, and from my experience, it can be exhausting. It can be exhausting to act like you are happy, when you are not. It can exhausting to act like you have money, when you don’t and the list is endless. If you are exhausted with all the acts, it maybe time to take those masks off and come clean with who you are, where you are at in life and where you need God to bring you. How do you do that you ask? Well, you get honest with God first. Are you honest with God?

Our honesty to God is not possible with masks on, if anything, it actually is a barrier. Perfect example is when Adam and Eve realized their were naked and hid in the bushes to cover up their sin towards God. While we are not hiding behind bushes, we surely have had some form of covering to mask some things in our lives. But wasn’t God still merciful and showed Adam and Eve grace? Yes! Despite their mess, he still provided them some form of covering that was not as shameful as hiding behind bushes. Most of us, have not stepped out of the bush or behind that mask because we fear, we are shamed, we are prideful, guilty and the list goes on. It will take complete honesty to come up out of that mask and own up to God. The beautiful thing about taking the mask off and being honest with God is that he gives you grace. I feel like often times we complicate grace and altogether miss it, but I listened to pastor Hart Ramsey this week, and he said something that I thought you can apply to your life. Pastor Hart Ramsey said this, “trying to get God to accept who you pretend to be will not render grace from him, but rather God is trying to get to the real you”. The you that messed up time and time again is the person God would render his grace to, not the person who you have decided to mask up in hopes that God will work some magic. God is not a magician, he is God. We often mistake God for people, and because we have experienced evil from the people we were honest with, we liken God to them. That my friend, is a wrong way to approach God in all honesty. God needs to see that vulnerability that we often hide from people in fear that we will be different. Our openness allows God the permission to work on us, after he renders grace, he works on us. Grace will unmask us and then allow us to know who we really are, where we are in life and where we want God to bring us to. When the masks come off, be prepared to see the good and the bad about you. When in the process of unmasking, don’t be quick to cover up again because all you see about you is bad, but rather let God know about it. He will be glad to work with an honest person that is willing to change and live a mask free life. Here is some scripture that tells you it is okay to unmask yourself;

13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Hebrews 4 v 13 (NIV)

There is no use hiding from God. He sees you, the real you. You maybe doing well with painting this false picture to your friends and family, but not with God. The scripture says that Nothing! Nothing is hidden in all creation to God. We exposed and naked before him, but unfortunately we also have convinced ourselves that God needs people that are perfect and can only speak in KJV. My bible says that he came for the sinners, not the perfect, he came to render mercy and desired it for sinners (read Matthew 9 v 9-13). The truth is that God is always willing to work with you, but only if you come to him in all honesty.

My last words, Be honest with God. Let him know exactly what is going on and do not leave out anything. You may even have to revisit some past experience to figure out why you wear certain masks, once you discover why, take that to God in all honesty. Have no fear for God has a covering for you, his grace! Allow for the all so powerful, loving, gentle and graceful heavenly father to help you through this process. Masks off! It is time to take our rightful place! it is time to trade thorns for crowns!

Much Love Royal Fam!

Xholiwe

Mocked Crowns: One against all

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay
Beyond that mockery is a greater purpose that is birthed from our standing one against all
-Xholiwe

Hello Crowned Royals! Here we go again, another week for another trade in. I hope you all are doing well and continue to trade those thorns for crowns! I have so many thoughts regarding what am going to write about this week, so get your reading eyes and open minds ready. This week I think it is fitting to talk about mocked crowns. Xholiwe what do you mean by mocked crowns? Well, I will let the story of mocking of Jesus help us understand the term mocked crowns. So it was at the release of Pontius Pilate Jesus was left into the hands of the Roman soldiers. The Roman soldiers mocked Jesus several ways that included, flogging, laughter, spitting, insults, piercing and as if that was not enough they put a crown of thorns over his head. Oh what such pain to bear, all that for the redemption of a magnitude of people. Jesus from this example was the one against all, but even while he was mocked and crucified to death he still have the victory. While most of us can’t compare our pain to that of Jesus, we surely know what it is like to be mocked physically and spiritually, but there is the good news, we already have the victory! While you stand in the presence of your mockers, be reminded that it too shall not last. So what will we unpack in this blog? We will unpack on how to stay standing even in the presence of your mockers.

Modern day mockery is not as gruesome as the ancient day mockery that involved brutal torture, but it has its effects on people that don’t choose to stand against it. So how does modern mockery attack the one person? The mockers of today don’t have to flog you, insult you, or spit at you, all they need are a couple of hurtful words, lies about you, and old truths that no longer define you to get an unfulfilled satisfaction within them. Unfortunately, so many people fall for this and that is why I think bullying is so predominate in schools, work places and churches, yes, I said it churches have bullies too. Your choice to stand alone against all is what will determine your moving forward. If you are the person falling every time you are mocked then you have some work to do. In the midst of your mockers, it is important to know who you are, just like Jesus knew he was even when they Roman soldiers mocked him. When you know who you are the hurtful words, lies and old truths will not effect you as bad as they would if you didn’t know who you are in the first place. Standing alone is not glamorous as many people expect because it comes with some persecution that is often times unexpected. Can we be honest, not everyone does well under persecution and when the pressure gets too much most will tap out. But why should we not tap out? because beyond that mockery is a greater purpose that is birthed from our standing one against all.

Making the choice to stand one against all can be scary because what we often think is what will people think of me, so then conformity happens. Oprah said it nicely, she said that, “I was once afraid of people saying, “who does she think she is?” Now I have the courage to stand and say, “This is who I am”. Conformity comes from the “what will people think” and victory comes from the “This is who I am”. If Jesus worried what people said towards him and conformed to the mockery of others, we would be telling of another story of our redemption. Jesus knowing who he was brought all of us victory. Knowing who you are is what will bring you victory. I remember being wrapped around the the fear of what will people think of me or say about me and now I acknowledge that limited a lot of the things I actually wanted to do. You may still be that person that is still wrapped around this fear and you are probably looking at how you have limited yourself, but there is a solution! It will take a whole lot of courage stand while everyone else makes mockery of your choice to stand. Let us get this clear, standing is not the weak, it takes a little more strength to stand than it does sitting with the crowd. So what are you currently doing? Are you standing or sitting because it is safe? Please stand up because every season in your life will have some mockers and you will will not sit around mocked and defeated.

Since we still continue to deal with mockers, standing one against all is not a one time thing. We have already established that at every other level or season in your life their will be mockers, so realize that every season will require a little more courage. Courage means you confront the mockers with the confidence of you are. You are a crowned child of God! You are set apart and made for a time such as this! You may not believe me, but there is a word that never lies;

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2 v 9 (NIV)

The royal priesthood or in other words “crowned royals” are to be set apart because for most of us, we are aware of how God called us out of the darkness into his marvelous light. So while others will not understand why you are protective over your crowns, they mock you for it, but I commend you to hold on to it! Hold on to the victory of knowing who you are and refusing to be someone else because mockers stand against you. Reminder how I told you modern mockery is not as gruesome as ancient mockery, it actually sounds like people care, so there are a few words that may be spoken to you as you stand against all that you should have solid answers for;

  • You have changed. Answer: Yes, I am supposed to change if I am growing and healing
  • Everyone is doing it. Answer: Doesn’t mean I should be doing it
  • That is how things have always been. Answer: Well, it has to end with me
  • It doesn’t take that much. Answer: It does take that much for me to get to where I want to be
  • You take this God thing too seriously . Answer: Yes, I do because he takes me seriously too
  • You will not make it. Answer: Unless God is not on the throne, but I know he is so I will make it
  • You think you are all that. Answer: I am a pretty big deal to God, so yes!
  • You are too happy. Answer: What else should I be other than happy?

I know there are a whole lot more other statements that mock others, these are just some that I have personally experienced. Some of these questions I answered out of fear, now I know better and so do you! Let’s continue our conversation in the comments, share any mocking statements you have dealt with either in fear of what people would think or from knowing who you are. I would love to see more of us standing one against all the mockers that do not know better. It is time to take our rightful place, it is time to trade thorns for crowns!

Much love,

Xholiwe

While you wait: What is your posture?

Hello Crowned Royals! After a really busy work week, it sure feels good to relax and finally get my hands on my laptop and write to you. Talking to you through this blog gives me so much more reason to live.This week I want us to talk about waiting. We are waiting for something right? When we wait on some things in our lives to happen our posture matters because that determines our readiness for what we are waiting for. I would like to give you a simple understanding of waiting through my “shopping when hungry experiences” that often times leave me regretting what I did because I was shopping while I was hungry. If you ever shopped for groceries while hungry you totally understand what I mean by regret. When I shop while hungry, I often times do not consider what I need and don’t need when I am in the store. Every thing looks good to eat, so I buy things I don’t need, spend the money I shouldn’t have been spending and waste the food I didn’t need because it was not what I needed in the first place. What does this have to do with waiting in real life? The wait for some of us is like hunger and because we are hungry we hasten ourselves to quench the hunger without considering the reason of the wait. Our posture is then impulsive and impatience and we begin to take matters into our own hands. Things that don’t look good begin to look good, things that we don’t need are things we begin to crave for, and so we compromise our posture while we wait. Only to later regret our impulsive and impatient posture to the wait. Don’t feel bad, we have all been there, but we are going to change our posture. We will have the right posture while we wait.

Can we be honest for a second? waiting is not that easy. For those who continue to wait and those that waited before, most can admit that waiting for something significant in life can be hard. If you were to tell your story, after the wait, you can agree with me that your outcome was based off your posture. How was your posture while you waited for somethings to change? Was it good or was it bad? Here I go with my ever available examples, my job search season was good, but not always great, I would be frustrated at times, desperate and would have a negative attitude all together. I tell you right now that this is not the type of posture you should be in the whole time you wait. Truth is that the frustration and all that impatience will come, but it is important to get back to the posture of gratitude and patience while you wait. I guess what I am trying to say is that while there are several ways to wait, a good posture would be to show gratitude and practice patience. It worked for me, and I am pretty sure it will work for you too. Other good postures you can practice while you wait is prayer, fasting, trust God’s plan, encouraging yourself or receiving encouragement from others, and have an positive attitude all together. I would love to write on all of them because they all are essential while you wait, but my heart is fixated on talking about gratitude and patience while you wait.

Posture of Gratitude

I know that you are probably thinking that there is nothing to be grateful about right about now. You are in the middle of what seems to be a long wait and because you are so focused on this new thing you wait for, you are forgetting to be grateful for what you have now. There has to be at least 5 things or more that you are grateful for and should acknowledge everyday, especially while you are waiting. This doesn’t mean that when you wait is over, you stop being grateful. The posture of gratitude at least from my many experiences while waiting is that it helps focus the mind on the grand picture and not just pieces of it. All the pieces will come together, but you are to express gratitude to God for the pieces you already have in the now. Life can be challenging even for the strongest people you know, but what can keep a person going is showing gratitude. While we have experience some not so great things in our lives, we have also experiences some really amazing things too. We have been blessed in life and surely there has to be something we are grateful for somewhere. Let God know how thankful you are for what you have and what you are yet to have when the wait is over. Now that is a good posture that will please God!

Posture of Patience

By one definition patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset. How many of us from the definition can admit we lack patience while we wait? Have we been able to realize that there are things we have not accepted? Acceptance makes the wait much more bearable. When you understand that you are waiting and accept it, you are less likely to experience constant frustrations while you wait. Practicing patience is something some of us have to work on constantly. Just last week, I remember being in line at a grocery store and telling myself to accept the fact that the line was long, but it would eventually be my turn. Even in your wait, it will eventually be your turn, so you have to be patient. Patience is a good posture that can also help you make sound and stable choices while you wait. A bad posture that comes from the lack of patience in your life is hastiness. Hasty decisions have been the downfall of many men and women that were starting to lose their patience and decided to take matters into their own hands. You shouldn’t be that man or woman that loses their patience and misses what you were waiting for all the while. If patience has taught me one thing, it has taught me that eventually it will also be my turn. Ecclesiastes 7:8 summaries all this by saying;

Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Ecclesiastes 7 v 8

There is no way you could go wrong with combining gratitude and patience while you wait. It is the perfect combination that kept me going and still never fails me. The wait is so much easier when you are grateful for the present and patient for what is yet to come. Think of gratitude as your humbling tool that protects you from having a proud spirit. The end is never better for the proud spirit that doesn’t show gratitude and exercise patience. Please read Ecclesiastes 7 v 8 again for re-emphasis on all this that has been said about gratitude and patience.

My last words for the night, couple gratitude and patience with all the other good postures I mentioned earlier, and you eventually get your turn. Stop shopping while hungry, you remember what that does right? Be in constant prayer, show gratitude, practice patience, choose hope over defeat and work on self each any every day while you wait for your turn. It is time to take our rightful place. It is time to trade thorns for crowns!

Much Love,

Xholiwe

Problem Solving: Do you have the right tools?

what happens when we are uncomfortable and the discomfort is coming from an unresolved problem? we immediately want to fix it. But are we using the right tools? -Xholiwe

Hello crowned Royals! I hope you all are doing great! I am beyond great because my favorite season is upon us. It is fall season and I couldn’t be more excited about this change. I could talk about fall all day long, but I would we have more pressing matters I would like to share with you in this blog. I was recently thinking about problem solving in a much different way than I usually do. While thinking about problem solving, what came to my mind was the memory of me as a little girl and how I always wanted to fix broken things in our little apartment. I did that with the sense that I did not want my mother to incur another expense over a broken door handle, clogged bath tub or leaking tap. So I usually would take matters into my own hands and use the wrong tools. The tools I used were either ineffective to solve the problem or too complicated to solve a simple problem. Because of using the wrong tools, I did not solve the problem, but rather made it worse in most cases. Fortunately, that did not make me give up my desire to help take the burden off my mom incurring repair expenses. So I started to get curious of how I could fix stuff around the house and what tool would be effective and not complicated. So I would closely observe what tools the professional repairer would use. I started to pay close attention to what the professionals did to solve the problem and I slowly became better. Eventually, I was changing door knobs, unclogging bathtubs and fixing leaking taps. I did that for some time and mastered ways to solve small house repairs that now that I live on my own, I can get the job done! I gave you this entire example, just so that we can connect my example to how most of us solve our life problems. Can we talk about how many of use continue to use the wrong tools to solve our life problems?

This blog is for all the problem solvers, which I think is all of us. We are constantly trying to fix stuff because we are wired for comfort. So what happens when we are uncomfortable and the discomfort is coming from an unresolved problem is that we immediately want to fix it. We want to fix it as soon as possible so we can be comfortable again, but unfortunately certain problems do not get resolved as quickly as we imagined. We then get frustrated from the problem, which often times worsens the problem. We often worsen our problems because of our lack of understanding on how best to address it and what would effectively solve the problem. If we were honest with ourselves, we would be able to admit that most of us are not the best problem solvers. We have been doing it wrong or have not been effective and now we deal with the same problem over and over again. So how do we change that?

Change starts to happen when we acknowledge that there is a problem. While most of us can’t compare our life problems to me fixing door knobs at 8 years old and getting good at it, we solve of our life problems in a similar way. We mess up at first, worsen the problem, learn and lastly we practice then get good. The question is do we eventually get good at it? Funny thing about problems is that you just can not pretend like there are not there and hope they disappear. It takes a little more than just wishing on stars. Solving problems comes from experience and since experience is the best teacher it may be time for you to jot things down. Ask yourself what did you do last time that did not solve the problem, but made it worse. This is not rocket science, from what you learned from your experience, do you do things differently? Do you now know how to manage your finances? Do you know how to handle your emotions? Do you now know how to speak your mind in a non-toxic manner? There are many more questions I could ask, but based off these questions, there has to be something done differently for someones response to be positive and change.

It all starts in the mind, the mind is a very powerful tool that God gave us, but if it is used ineffectively to solve problems it benefit us nothing. There is a reason why God asks of us to renew our minds (Romans 12:2). Why should we renew our minds? Because some of our minds may have learned the wrong ways to solve problems effectively. In some cases it is was not even our fault, but it is what we saw the family do and so our minds only know of that way of solving problems. While all of us have minds, not all of us have the mindset to solve problems effectively. It is unfortunate to see the right tool being wrongly used. Just imagine what the world would look like if we had more people solving their problems with a right mindset.

Another tool we use wrongly and ineffectively is people. We can learn a thing or two from people. I learned how to fix things around the house from observation. There are people in your life you should be observing that will help you solve problems the right way. You can also observe people that dance around their problems so that you make the choice not to do so because you see the consequence of not solving problems effectively. Many of us fail to realize who we should be learning from on how to solve problems effectively because again the mindset might have to unlearn some things so it can learn new things through other people. Who are you learning from? Are they the right tool?

As we get our mindset right and learn a thing or two through other about solving problems, we have to get Jesus on this journey! We can’t effectively solve our problems without getting God involved. Why do I say this? Well, a couple of times in my own life I tried to solve the problem without God’s help and let us just say I paid for it in tears. God has a way of solving problems that no other person can. It is solid, effective and all the way right when you God is part of your problem solving. He is a God that is bigger than our problems! There is nothing he can not do!

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121 v 1-2 (KJV)

Where does your help come from? is it from the temporary tools the world has to offer? You can go on as many spa dates and still not deal with half the problems that has been a thorn in your life. Who are you looking to? If it is not to God, you might be dealing with that problem for what will seem like forever. Let me just tell you that problem solving with God involved, the right mindset and learning from the right people will change your life! Guaranteed that problems will come, but you will be working with the right tools! You might have some work to do if you have been using the wrong and ineffective tools to solve your problems. But it is never to late to work on that mindset, learn from the right people and most importantly to get God involved. It is time to take your rightful place! It is time to trade thorns for crowns!

Much love!

Xholiwe

Botched Plans: Trusting God’s plan

Photo by fotografierende on Unsplash
A couple detours and stabling blocks will still get you there, it may be different from what you imagined or it may be exact, but trust that God will get you there.
-Xholiwe

Hello Crowned Royals! It’s crazy how quick the weekend comes and goes so fast and not all weekend plans are accomplished in their scheduled time. Today I planned to do my laundry in the morning, but plans to do so were botched because I snoozed my alarm way too many times. This is not the first time I have experienced botched plans and some of the plans I actually needed to be botched because God knew better. Ever planned to leave for an event at a certain time, but ended up being late and hating yourself for it? Then Later on you got word that the exact street you planned to use had a terrible accident. You then took a moment to thank God for that botched plan because maybe that would have been you. I know this has happened several times that we got saved by 5 late minutes.

I am not much of a planner so when I do plan, you best believe I have calculated every possible and impossible event that will make or break my plan. I have had some serious plans concerning my life that were well thought out and planned so precisely, but not all my plans fell through they way I imagined they would. If I were to be honest, most of my plans were botched and I couldn’t be more grateful to God for my botched plans because they saved my life.

I am probably not the only one that has experienced botched plans, if you are reading this you know what I am talking about. You had plans for your present and future that did not fall through the way you imagined them. This is not the time for you to be hard on yourself for the plans that didn’t fall through, but it is time for you to be grateful. God being all knowing knew exactly that 5 years from now your plan would not be sustained and so he turned things around. I don’t know about you saints, but when God turned things around, I was not very happy about it, in fact, I would be low key mad until God showed me why he had to botch my plans. For me it took several botched plans for me to trust that God has better plans for me than I did.

Botched plans can come in different ways when in comes to serious life plans. I think if you have lived long enough you would agree with me that failure, disappointments, delay, lack of and heart break have a way of telling us our plans did not work. How we deal with all these pains that come from our botched plans will determine whether or not we trust God for a better plan. For example if a particular failure paralyzes you not try again then you trust your botched plan and not God’s plan. In the same way, if you keep repeating the botched plans in hopes that they will have a different outcome, then you are more trusting of your own plans and not God’s. I totally get it, your plan is well thought out and pretty perfect, but did you ever stop to think in the long run how well this plan would serve you? I mean it is great plan that you want to accomplish so much, but do those plans line up with the greater plans God has for you? A couple detours and stabling blocks will still get you there, it may be different from what you imagined or it may be exact, but trust that God will get you there.

To my constant planners who plan your life by the hour, it may be hard for you to deal with botched plans, but when you see why God had to interrupt that day to day planner you had going on, you will be grateful that he slowed you down. He slowed you down not because he doesn’t want you to accomplish your hourly tasks, but also to remind you of his existence. There is nothing wrong with planning your day and getting things done, but somewhere in your plans do you have some time for God? Or are you so wrapped around your planner so much so that your planner is full and God has no slotted time? God needs some time with us, we were created to relate with God as much we do with our family and friends. God desires to have a relationship with us and so if an hour planned date is botched for some time with God please take it. Enjoy some quiet time with God either through prayer or praise and worship, you will be grateful you did.

To my quick planners that are so quick to plan, but not well prepared for these plans, you too may deal with some botched plans. Perfect example, this year I quickly planned to change my closet like I always do from Winter to Spring as the days approached. Did I do it? No, days went by and I was not prepared for Spring. On a more serious life note, how many plans have you made that you are not well prepared for? Have we ever just taken the time to sit down with our plans and honestly look at our lives to see if our plans match our preparedness? God wants us to be prepared for what we ask for, so if you deal with botched plans from your quick plans trust that God wants to prepare you. Remember that quick fixes sometimes cost you so much later because most of them don’t last. So trust God as he prepares you for his plans.

Often times when things don’t go as planned all planners tend to be mad and want to throw their fist at God rather than be thankful. I have been there and after I learned why my plans did not work I broke out into a praise break because God knew best! Thank God for my botched plans. You too need to rejoice in those botched plans because those botched plans saved your life. God knows better! Here is what he has to say about planning;

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29 v 11

Until you allow this verse to sink into your spirit, you will continue to make your plans and end up frustrated when they do not fall through. God is not on his throne waiting to harm you, but his plans are to prosper you in all things, not just some. Unfortunately, we look at God’s direction as harm until weeks, months or years down the line where we realize why your plans were no good. I don’t know how many times I can emphasis this, but there is no use being mad at God for your botched plans. There are many reasons for you to be grateful and not hurtful. A closed door does not mean that God doesn’t have a plan. Stop relying on plan A, B and C when God only has one plan for you.

My last word before I eat these perfectly glazed wings are you are not the best planner. Yes, I said it, you are not the best planner. Allow God to do the planning and be amazed at what he does for you. Don’t let the botched plans paralyze you from trusting God’s plan for your life. Also, don’t make plans without first consulting with God. Are your plans well aligned with God’s plans or are you basing them of your own human understanding. Remember God knows better! While you are at it, be well prepared for the plans God has for you. You can’t be so quick to make life plans in a hurry without fully understanding them. Slow down and take some time to look critically at the plans you make concerning your life. Lastly, make some time for God talk to him about your plans and trust him when he botches some of your plans for better ones! It is time to take your rightful place! It is time to trade thorns for crowns!

Let your faith be greater than your fear

Giant leaps are not for wimps.
-Xholiwe

I am notoriously known for displaying inspirational quotes and bible verses and quite honestly find the pleasure in hanging up each and every one of them in almost every room in my apartment. These inspirational quotes and bible verses serve as a reminder for me especially when I am not so in tune with myself and just feel discouraged. I can’t pick a favorite quote or bible verse that is hang up in my house, but I would like to point out the canvas that hangs right above my bookshelf . I have many times glanced at this canvas that reads “let your faith be greater than your fear” and for the many times I have looked at this canvas, I have needed those words to help me look pass my fears and activate my faith. You probably don’t have this canvas that reminds you time after time that you have to let your fear be greater than your faith, but I hope this blog serves as a reminder for you. For those that are like me and have this displayed or hanging somewhere in your space, good for you, but let as dive more into the quote and learn ways we can apply it to our lives.

Fear often times has a way of limiting our abilities and strength to conquer all the obstacles we face as we journey through life. As humans we face some many different fears that it is very easy to notice each other fears without verbal confirmation. Have you ever noticed the fear the shy girl displays when she is asked to present her project to the whole class? Yeah, that fear of public speaking is easy to recognize, but what of the fear that you personally have and allowed it be greater than your faith. So maybe you fear is public speaking and because you have allowed this fear to limit your abilities to speak to larger crowds, it ends up taking away from your the desire to engage with larger crowds. I would like for us to understand that fear takes away, while faith adds to our lives. However, it is easy to hold on to our fears versus letting go because fear has a way of keeping us in our comfort zones while faith requires us trust God and step out of our comfort zones.

Understand that fear starts small and progressively gets bigger. In the same way, faith starts small and progressively can get bigger. In this case, the choice remains entirely up to you. You have the choice to either make your fears bigger or make your faith bigger and I would say pick the second choice. When you start to increase your faith, it is becomes easy to overcome your fear. Here is a practical example; I was feeling adventurous last year in Zambia and decided I wanted to zip-line from Zambia to Zimbabwe, but I feared! The thought of being over water at such a great height and only hold up by a couple of ropes was frightening. I remember shaking and thinking of backing out last minute, but I was already strapped in and only a few steps away from what I thought was my death. When the man that operated the zip-line let go of me for a second there I felt my heart drop, but once I saw the view, I was amazed and glad i did it! This whole experience that lasted only a minute was so profound for me that I am glad I did it! If I allowed my fear take over me, I would have missed out on such a beautiful view!

Faith requires more from us than fear does, but the difference is that faith is rewarding. I have met some people that have such great faith and they testify of how they stepped out in faith and that their lives were never the same again. They talk about the blessings that came from overcoming their fears and allowing their faith to be greater. These are people who took huge leaps and had faith only in God to step into their situation. I want us to realize that sometimes what stands between our fears and faith is us. We have to make the leap, whatever your leap is, you have to make. Giant leaps are not for wimps. Giant leaps require that unshakable faith that can withstand all your fears.

For we walk by faith, not by sight

2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV

All this was to say to you, let your faith be greater than your fear. You can overcome whatever fear that has stood between you and the life you much desire. Let faith arise in you and increase progressively so that it gets so big that there is no room for fear any longer. And whatever you ask you in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith (Matthew 21:22 ESV)

Collectibles: Can Pain be a collectible?

Sometimes what we do is display our pain just like a passionate collector displays their findings.
-Xholiwe

It was not until I moved to the US that I discovered how collecting specific items was a thing that people took very seriously. Passionate collectors make it their primary mission to find rare collectible items for their satisfaction. There are several collectible items people choose to collect, items such as coins, chinaware, figurines, books, stamps, paintings, signed baseballs and the list goes on! Have you ever been around people that collect similar stuff? If you have never done so, I suggest you do because the conversation is full of passion and desire for the next item they plan to collect and display. I was graced with the opportunity to be around such conversations for an assigned project in college that involved me visiting an Antique store and I never thought doorknobs were that important till that day. There were two passionate doorknob collectors that shared their love for collecting door knobs that could not stop raving about door knobs and how they add character to a home. The antique store I visited had what they needed, a variety of doorknobs that they took the time to carefully study and share their thoughts on each one. While I didn’t have the interest to learn about doorknobs, one thing that was very clear to me was that these people were passionate and it would take a lot to convince them that the doorknobs to me looked like every other doorknob. There was nothing that screamed meaningful to me about the doorknobs and that is because it is not my thing and I did not share the same passion as they did for doorknobs.

To my knowledge, I don’t think I collect specific items, but I was thinking hard on collectibles this week and that is why I am writing on it. I will obviously be use collectibles to talk about collecting pain because pain can be a collectible too! Don’t believe me?! Find two people in conversation that are dealing with similar pain and reference back to my story about the two doorknob collectors.

How do we collect pain you ask? Well, for some of us it starts as early as our childhood and then over the years it piles up. We get to our adult years and we have been bruised and battered by the pains of this world. It is very easy at this point in our lives to even display our pain without even noticing we are doing so because it how been with us for a long time. Sometimes what we do is display our pain just like a passionate collector displays there findings. Pain is usually displayed through our anger, hatred, depression, bitterness and sorrow. And then we get around other people with similar pain and we share our pains like a crazed figurine collectors. Unfortunately, most of these conversations are not shared from a place of healing, but we still hold on to every pain because it feels safer to hold on to it rather than letting go. You become a hoarder of your collectible pains, just like any other collector, you have a tough time letting go because it is meaningful to you and no one felt what you felt right? I get it, I have been there too! I thought my pain was my trophy, but in actuality it was my prison. Truth is that it very easy to pile up on pain after pain if you continue to allow pain to dictate how you live your life.

Unfortunately, when we continue to be around those that are dealing with similar pain, healing can be difficult. In that case, we need to surround ourselves with those that want your healing and theirs too. What this does is that it encourages us to focus less on our pains and start to desire healing. All of us have dealt with pain, big or small it is still pain, but how we decide to deal with pain determines how long we will stay in that prison. When Jesus was on earth, he did not just heal people physically, but he also healed the broken. Jesus wants to see us healed and whole, but we have normalized pain that we find nothing wrong living our lives full of it.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalms 34:18 NIV

Rest in this verse that tells you that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted. People around you may not understand what this pain really did to you, but he know and he wants to save you from all of it, not some, but all! You have to stop treating pain like a trophy and realize that it is a prison you need to be set free from. I challenge you today to treat pain as a give away, all the pain you have collected over the year needs to be given to God. It is time to clear out the display of thorns and time to replace the thorns with crowns.