Do Not Judge, Or You Too Will Be Judged…

And with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

How many of us can survive our own judgments?

I ask this only because we are always so very quick to judge others and put them down and when we do that, what we are saying, in essence, is that we are far much better; that we would not be caught dead doing/saying something like that. We sit on our high horses and look down on others and hold ourselves to this high standard. And we forget just how human we are and how man is to err is what we are truly about.

Are there things you have ever publicly declared that you would never do, especially after someone you know did the same thing and you just felt so disgusted by it and you almost questioned their sanity? I mean, we know how extra we can become when we are pointing fingers at others. And when our words or let me say our stands and principles come back to bite us, we expect understanding and mercy. The double standard is always very alarming.

It’s weird how we know we are imperfect but yet we strive every other day to prove just how perfect we are. We of course say it, that we are not perfect, but this usually comes when we have messed up but on the other days, well, excuse us, we are well put together and we got things under control and we sneer at anyone who seems to be falling all over themselves.

And because of pride and ego, when our high views of ourselves become the traps by which we fall, we do not even want to have a conversation about it and will instead find a way to deflect because now we cannot deal with the embarrassment of it all. We look for a scapegoat. And the embarrassment makes it almost inconceivable that we could apologize for the wrath that we have spewed on others who fell on the same trap before us.

In my early teen years, I did not understand how someone could think of, let alone actually commit suicide. I found it to be very selfish and cowardly and I spoke very strongly against it. Until I was 16 and I became the subject of bullying and with my already barely-hanging-by-the-threads self-esteem, I was filled with thoughts about ending it all and how maybe the world would be a much better place without me in it. And once I became a victim of the thing I absolutely abhorred, humility checked in and so did mercy and understanding and now I will speak against anyone who tries to put down someone who says they have suicidal thoughts or who actually goes ahead and does it.

I think we have these high standard of ourselves as a cover-up for something else we do not want to deal with. We try to portray this perfect version of ourselves because there is/are certain flaws in us that we just cannot afford to flaunt or certain hurts and pains that we have experienced and we have vowed to never be victims of again and so we come up with this very strict rules of what we believe, hoping it will make us feel better about ourselves.

It’s far much easier to be judgmental than to extend grace or mercy or understanding. And judging feeds our ego. I know there are straight up right and wrong things, but there’s also mercy. And context, I believe, always matters. And a lot of times we project our own ideologies on people who do not share in our belief system and that is just not plain fair. If your faith is your north star, good for you. Live by its precepts but to try and hold another person accountable based on a faith they do not believe in I feel is quite false.

I don’t know about you but personally, as soon as I realized that more often than not when I judged it came from a place of insecurity or a place of jealousy, I trained myself to hold my tongue. I mean, why do I have a problem with someone wearing a short skirt and going about their life? Because I wish I had the confidence to not care about what other people think but because I don’t, I make myself feel better by putting the person who actually does down. I mean, why should I be bothered at all by what someone else chooses to do, as long as they are not breaking any sort of universal law or human rights?

Checking your heart is not an easy thing to do. To actually call yourself out on bad behavior is not a walk in the park and it takes a lot of self-will. Once I accepted that messing up is my default setting, I stopped taking myself too seriously, I became more gracious, understanding and forgiving with myself, and what that did is it helped me to be able to give the same to others. I give people the benefit of the doubt.

I will conclude with the question I started with, paraphrased: “Would you survive your own judgment?”

xoxo,

Moulding Beauty.

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Choose Yourself

Most of our lessons are on how to love others, and be kind to them and to take care of them and to be there for them. We are rarely, if ever, taught how to do all those things for ourselves, yet, doesn’t charity begin at home?

The Bible teaches us to love others as ourselves. That implies that we must first love us, before we can love another. Yet the world teaches us that loving ourselves is selfish. Is it any wonder then, that we reach “burn out” from caring from everyone else and fixing everyone else, and taking care of everyone else, before we take time for ourselves? More like we are forced to take time for ourselves because if we don’t we just might be putting our lives at risk?

Self-care is important and should be prioritised. How can a doctor take good care of his patients if he’s not well enough himself. You cannot give from an empty place. And you cannot use up your reservoir either. So, it is important that you take the best care of self. Only then will you be able to care of others without any resentment or feeling like its being forced down your throat.

We need to look at choosing ourselves as a positive thing and a good thing for everyone involved so that we can stop guilt tripping or shaming each other when someone decides to prioritise their wellness over everything and everyone else. We need to make it the new normal and I promise you, we will have healthier, more fulfilling relationships.

To choose yourself means something/someone else will have to take a back seat. It means doing what’s right and best for you even though it might be uncomfortable for others, or even you. You need to know what your happy place is; the things that allow you to relax and rejuvenate; the places that provide you with peace of mind to put things into perspective and have them as priorities on your to-do list. That’s akin to having you as a priority, which is how it should be.

I know. It sounds almost impossible. And you may be wondering about the other people around you that you care so deeply about. Tell you what, by choosing you, you’re ensuring you’re full and whole and complete. This means you will not stress the people you love and care about to fill you up. You will not walk around seeking their validation, which places a heavy strain on them. By choosing you and taking care of you first, you are best suited to serve wholly. So yes, it’s a win-win situation.

Choosing you means different things at different times. At times it means saying yes, and other times it’s saying no. At times it’s staying somewhere, while other times it’s leaving. It shows up differently. But as long as you are attuned with yourself and you know you, you will always know what you need to do to choose you. And at first it may be difficult on both you and the people you care about, but it will always be worth it. This I can assure you. And yes, there is a difference between choosing you and being selfish. Selfishness is always feeding the ego, choosing you feeds your soul and spirit; your very essence and it always yields positivity for everyone involved.

How do you need to start choosing yourself today?

xoxo,

Moulding Beauty

You Have The Power…

We give our power away too easily. I think it’s because we at times don’t really know that we have it. The beauty about growing wiser and being open to continuous learning is you get to see and experience things differently. And this is one of the things I am embracing fully now in my very few years on this world. 😎

True, when we love people and they matter to us, we often care about what they think; like their views and actions carry some weight for sure, however, no matter how important they are, you are always the boss of you; you always get to choose. And every time something happens, your reaction or response to it is your choice. So, how about making the choice that best works for you and leaves you feeling all rainbowy about you?

That means, someone will do something so low and you will be justified to be mad or throw a tantrum or cry or feel bad about you but, just because it is permissible does not its good for you or healthy. So, person X has done Y, ask yourself “What response will best serve me and my peace of mind?” Choose that.

The flip side of this coin is that you are also not responsible for other people’s reactions or responses. I know, it sounds like “OMG, what do you mean?” Did I stutter? 😂😂😂 We are always going to do what we will do. Whether you walk around someone like walking on eggshells or you just be your true self. And whatever and however others choose to be or respond, got nothing to do with you. So, take a chill pill and have a cuppa #tea 😎😎😎

xoxo

Moulding Beauty

Eliminate The Enemy

I think I should start by saying that the Bible is officially my muse. I’ve been reading the book of John and the verse that got to be my muse today, was John 18:38-40. This is after Jesus had been arrested and presented to Pilate, and he did not seem to find any fault. So he took the decision back to the masses. Gave them an option between Jesus and Barabbas and they chose a criminal over the Son of God. Of course, they did not believe this but you know. And this begs the question, why? What is this bad thing that Jesus did that they chose a convicted criminal over Him?

The Pharisees were threatened by Jesus. This guy comes from a town where apparently nothing good was expected to come from and he’s attracting all these crowds. He’s doing miracles, he’s challenging some of their ways of doing things and showing the masses a different way. And the Pharisees thrived on making the masses believe they were the custodians of religion and it was not just open season, which seemed to be what Jesus was preaching and that threatened their power and their position and their influence.

They did try to corner Jesus; to catch him in the act kind of thing but they kept failing. They didn’t care about the woman caught in adultery as much as they did about entrapping Jesus. And it was all out of selfishness; all about a false sense of self preservation. Jesus was a threat that needed to be eliminated and that’s all they cared about. It consumed them entirely and they lost themselves in the process; so much so that they were not able to have time to think that maybe they could co-exist.

I know, you did not come here for a preaching. So let me bring it back to the 21st century.

Any time you find yourself a target of someone or a group of people, when you have done nothing to warrant the animosity, stop and take a breath and realise that it probably has nothing to do with you. I know, it can’t be this simple but it really truly is. Even bullying. These actions rarely have anything to do with you as the target or victim. And everything to do with the perpetrators.

Like the Pharisees, they are probably looking at you and thinking you are a threat of sorts to their existence or normalcy in some way. And because it’s almost impossible for us as humans to fathom that we could be the ones with a problem, it’s always easier to project and point fingers at others. It’s a version of smoking mirrors. It’s a deflection.

There are two sides of this coin, the Jesus side and the Pharisees side. The Jesus side of the coin, is the side where you know who you are, you are confident and secure in yourself, you seek no validation from outside, you are self aware and you are humble. Humble enough to know that you are not at the centre of people’s lives or feelings, even when their meanness is directed at you. Humble enough to remember just how inconsequential we are as humans in the grand scheme of things. And when you accept this reality, you will save yourself a lot of drama and heartache because even when arrows are thrown at you, they will not hit you and if anything, you will have empathy towards them. Accepting life does not revolve around you makes you a very peaceable person.

The Jesus side allows you not to get rattled. It allows you to keep your head up and it keeps you grounded. It keeps you from not engaging with those who choose to target you for no reason because you are now the wiser that it has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with you. And that means it’s not your monkey, not your circus.

If you are more the Pharisees side of the coin, you have to deal with your insecurities. You have to know that projecting may keep the focus off you for a while but the issue persists deep inside. And if you don’t deal, you will end up going to crazy lengths to fight someone else when the real fight needs to be happening inside of you.

OK. I’m done. I hope you’ve learned a thing or two. I know I have been challenged, so I’m just sharing in the challenge.

xoxo,

Moulding Beauty.

Too Picky for Church? I don’t Suppose So…

When was the last time you went to church? Yes you, who’s reading this. When was it? Do you even go to church? Is it something that you consider important or necessary for you personally?

Well, it’s been a very long minute for me since I attended regular services. I have attended a few over the past one year, different churches, after I decided to stop going to the one that had been home for like 3-4 years. Wait, where did that time go to? And I miss it. I honestly do. I miss the fellowship and community and serving either in Praise and worship or Sunday School. I miss being a part of that community.

My mama is a staunch Christian and I believe she has a lot to do with my spiritual life. She set a good example and I followed through. From Primary school, I was always attending Bible Club and I was a member of the Christian Union club in high school. I did get saved at 13. We have had a lot of moments at the cross, but who’s counting? I know God isn’t and He’s the only one who really matters in this situation, so we are good!

The thing about familiarity is that it can at times leave you jaded. And I think that’s what I was feeling when I finally decided to stop going to the last church I was going to. That and I had a few theological issues about how some things. I was craving the simple old religion. Where the apostles would meet up and someone would lead the service and then when they gave, they would share it among themselves with the person who had needed the most getting the most. This is the kind of community; the meeting together that I craved and the other church had become too big for me, I think. I was craving, and I still I’m craving, intimacy. I am craving a space where the Holy Spirit has room to show up whenever He feels like and can take control of the meeting. I am craving a space that does not have much politics, and you know where there are too many people is also where there’s too much politics. I crave a space where no one in the midst would be found to be silently suffering yet we call each other a family. And these details, this amount of intimacy, can only be achieved in small spaces.

I have also come to appreciate the importance of the right leadership and so I feel like I want to interview the pastors. To know just where exactly their heart is at. To know if they are totally sold out to Jesus and if they live out His commands every day of their lives. Spiritual covering is a big deal guys. And I know the Lord does say “Touch not my annointed” but I gotta check that they are still seeking God’s face, no? Paul did warn about wolves in sheep skin and I don’t want to be caught off-guard. And I am not talking perfection. Nope. I am actually talking about someone who has hidden God’s word in their heart and like David know that it is not by their own strength but through grace and that when they fall, they do get back up. I crave leadership that understands the role of being a shepherd and are submitted to the Lordship of the church.

Is this asking for too much? I don’t think so. I think I am within Biblical rights to want to check their hearts. I want a space where it’s more about Jesus and what He stands for and less about what an individual/individuals think or feel. I crave a leadership; a covering that seeks God before making any move because at the end of the day, they are just stewards and they should never get too comfortable, forgetting whose bride the church really is.

There’s one pastor, Francis Chan, who seems to have figured it out but He’s all the way in Francisco but after being the lead pastor of a mega church for 16 years, he also craved the basics and he is living that out. I want that. A weekly gathering that seeks to empower and equip the group to go out and make disciples of Jesus. That is a very direct and clear mandate that I find the church has somewhat forgotten about or is a bit laissez-faire about. I need a space that prioritizes discipleship.

Until Francis Chan’s concept reaches me, I will audit small churches I can possibly become a part of. There is this one that feels like it’s met most of my criteria. The rest I would have to be there physically to confirm and so I will let you know how that will go once I make the initial visit, which should ideally be next Sunday. Because the other Sunday, will be two days after my birthday and it would be nice to start a new year at a new spiritual home, no? So, next Sunday it is. We will go, without fail and we will see how that goes, so help me God.

What’s your church story or experience? I’m happy to know.

xoxo,

Moulding Beauty

Are You Truly Grateful? #checkyourheart

If you have read anything from me before, you know that God and I have a very unique bond. And I have mentioned before that He is the one person who knows how to put me in my place without getting push back from me and it’s mainly because I trust Him explicitly to know that everything He does is always from a genuine place and from love. Humans can be trusted so much. So, when I woke up this morning and the question I felt He had for me was “Are you a good steward with what is in your hand?” I had to pause, and take a breath and then introspect.

Whenever I pray, I do say thank you for the blessings I have, including the people in my lives and the opportunities I am exposed to. But I also realize that at times words and actions don’t go together and maybe this was a case for this. Where I pray and say thank you, mainly because I think it is the right thing to do but after I say amen, I am complaining to every Tom, Kate, Jane and Harry about just how messed up my life is. And so the question shows up over and over and I realise that I truly have not been the best steward.

And this is on every aspect of life. Am I a good steward with my body? Am I eating right? Am I keeping fit? Am I good steward with my mind? What am I allowing in it? What am I feeding it? Am I a good steward with my house? Am I keeping it clean and neat? Is it the most homely it can be? Am I a good steward with my finances? Am I spending wisely? Am I saving? Am I investing? Am I a good steward with my relationship? Am I being the best, positive, loving version of me possible? Am I a good steward with my friendships? Am I the friend that is there for all seasons, or am I just there when it works for me? Am I a good steward with my time? Spending a whole day watching series is definitely not the best use of my time, so… I got checked, as usual and I am making changes.

My birthday is exactly two weeks away today and I have the theme for 32 which is growth and I mean that in every aspect of my life. I realise, however, that before growth can take place, there must be some seeds planted and taken care of and being a good steward of the things and people entrusted to me, feels like a pretty good seed to plant to help me grow.

Are you a good steward or are you busy complaining about what you don’t have while misusing what you do have? #checkyourheart.

xoxo,

Moulding Beauty.

Marriage: My Perspective… Part 4 (Wives and Our Roles)

June is a day away and that means birthday month! That and extreme cold weather. And I live in a place that is extremely cold. But there is warm clothing and a hot-water- bottle that always keep a girl in check. So I’ll be good. Plus it’s birthday month… Too much excitement to be put down by cold.

Part 4 here we go. I almost feel like I should give myself a limit of how many “episodes” this series of mine should have but then, why? The series will end itself. Hopefully not like Game of Thrones. I mean, I did not care for the show. But how the loyal fans wanted to butcher the writers, not the kind of ending I’d ever want for anything… hihihi. Just a tiny fact about GOT and me. I watched the first season as a dare. I tried season 2 but after the child king executed his right hand man in front of his daughters, well, my conscience could not allow me to continue watching. Don’t come for me please GOT fans. It’s over.

We left off part 3 with me discovering why submission is such a difficult thing for me personally to do and in a nutshell it’s because I do not trust humans based off previous experiences. I mean, I know, it’s not fair but we are products of our experiences, usually subconsciously until we take ownership of ourselves. And I think this is me taking ownership. And now I realise this was a journey I had to take by myself. Just me and God.

Ephesians 5:22-24 “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”

Now, from the beginning I have insisted on the fact that I went back to the author of marriage to help me figure this out because I was clearly failing by myself. And we have seen how I have made certain discoveries in the process that have made me realise just how much more I have to learn, because when I started this series, I thought I had it all figured out. That was just the tip of the ice berg. So, seeing as I yielded to the process of learning from God, I became open to dropping my beliefs and being willing to take up new beliefs. Also, as mentioned, I am doing this for me, because I can only be in control of me. I cannot force the hubby (future speak of course), to play his roles. That’s between him and His God.

I trust Jesus, because I know He always wants what’s best for me and that even when He says no, it’s from a place of love and protection. I trust Him because I know He loves me unconditionally and there is nothing that can ever separate me from this love. Nothing or no one. He is solid. He loved me before I could even be bothered to know about Him. He died for me long before I came into being. He has been looking out for me since way back when and He is perfect. And good, there is no wrong in Him. Him I trust. Hubby on the other hand…

Hubby is imperfect. He has flaws. He has mood sings. He can be conditional. He can be selfish. He can be compromised. Like he’s just not Christ. But neither am I and so am I, imperfect and all those other things. And that is why the only way this submission thing can make sense to me, is by me seeing it from God’s eyes and from where He sits, He expects me to submit to hubby as unto Jesus. And He expects this because He is the author of marriage and He knows that it’s the way for it to work the way He meant for it to work. And because it’s in the Bible, then it is a command and my role in my relationship with God, is to be obedient. So, me submitting to hubby is an act of obedience to God and this always reaps some good fruits; obedience to God that is.

You know the way our parents tell us “Do as I say and not as I do”? And how mum/dad’s words were law and ours was just to obey? At least for as long as are under their roof. If they say curfew is 6 p.m. It’s not a suggestion for you to give your opinion. It is the law and if you do not comply, there will be consequences. It’s not until you’re grown at times that you realise it was all for your benefit but you didn’t have insight then and so to you it just felt like you being placed in shackles. The same thing applies with God. Only that I have seen through others, the peace that obeying His commands brings, yes including submission and so I know it works.

Submission, to me, therefore means to trust. And trust is like a magician’s bag of tricks. Why? Because when I trust, then I can be respectful, even when we disagree and have a difference of opinion, I can still present my views in a way that does not in any way harm the hubby. When I trust, then I allow hubby to lead in confidence, without the fear that there is a knife to his throat in case he makes the wrong move. When I trust, I will be pleasant because I am not trying to fight him. I will understand that we are playing for the same team and his win is my win and his loss my loss. Trust means I feel safe with him. And trust allows him to do perform his roles the way he’s supposed to. And also, because I trust him, then being his helper will not such a challenge either, and I will not look at it as something negative and I will therefore do it with pleasure.

God, the author of marriage, calls me as a wife to submit to my husband as I submit to Jesus and just like when daddy set curfews when I was growing up and no one bothered to question, because even though we did not recognise it then, we trusted our dad, so will I trust God.

And this means that submission is an attitude that is expressed through my actions towards my hubby. And I have to believe in it for it to actually take root in me and guide my actions. I now understand when someone said, “There’s a disconnect between what you say and what you actually believe and do.” I see it now, as clear as day.

For the longest time, my belief was that “Man is not to be trusted”, and my actions definitely displayed that. When you treat someone from a place of doubt, that means you are suspicious of them. It is very difficult to be kind and genuine with someone you don’t trust. It is almost impossible for you to give the best of you to someone you don’t trust, because why would you yet you don’t know what they will do with all that access you give to them. It’s quite the discovery. And it takes someone who is very self-aware to be able to call out BS when they see it. And because of our insecurities, accepting certain things about us can be almost impossible. Like me accepting that what I said and what I did were not aligning, because the belief system was all wrong to start with. But because I had not done the work, which would include vulnerability and accepting that I am quite imperfect, to really face myself, the good, bad, and ugly, it was easier wearing a mask; the mask that represented what I wanted but could not really have because there was some closet that needed cleaning.

And so I took the journey. To face myself and discover things for myself. To find out if I really and truly had a grasp on things like I thought I did. And I can assure, only God could help me with this. Why? Because He is not man and Him I trust. And so He used that trust to show me my faults and introduce a new truth; a new belief to me and tell me that it can be my new way of doing things, if I trusted it. And four posts later, I absolutely and wholeheartedly believe is wives submitting to their husbands; OK at least in this wife submitting to her hubby. Because how would I let one become my husband if I don’t trust them?

xoxo,

Moulding Beauty