Fashion Files: Winter coats

Hey there

So this week is a fashion post 🙂

I have not done one in a while and since I have been thinking about buying a new winter coat, I just wanted to share some of my online wishlist. In a perfect world, I would like to buy them all but my wallet does not allow such thing. But one can dream, right?

The temperatures have been dropping and although most of the UK weather is rainy, the wind has been crazy these days. So it is really important to have an appropriate cover up. It is really hard to stay stylish during cold weather but it is more important to keep warm. So some of these coats will be maybe more on the ‘looking good” side,  and some will be more practical but I love them all.

 

1.  The Really Stylish Camel (Topshop)

 

2.  The Puffer (New Look)

 

3. The Hooded (New Look)

4. The Parka (Asos)

 

5. The Faux Fur (New Look)

 

6. The All Black (River Island)

 

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Fighting Discontentment

Def:

Unhappiness caused by the failure of one’s hopes desires, or expectations

So the root of my pain this year is mostly due to discontentment. I woke at the beginning of this year angry that my life did not turn out how i thought and hope it will turned out. It looks like I tried really hard to built my life and I failed.

I got discouraged and wanted to give up.

One of the thing that can spurred up discontentment is the sense of entitlement

It happens to a lot of us and in a sense it can be understood.

We all have dreams, desires and aspirations and in a sense we all fight to get what we want.

But what do we do when we fail and when the dream is not fulfilled.

How do we react when the answer is no or…wait (an answer i am way too familiar with).

But sometimes because we feel deserve certain things, we decided we need to have them now. Especially in our modern microwave society we want everything we want it now. We tried our best to get rid of the concept of patience in our every day life. Our smartphones allows us to facilitate so many aspects of our life. Google gives answers to most of our questions. You order something you, can get it the day after. You want to book a ticket to see the world, you can just do it. It’s all about having your way and having it fast.

We are also more and more subject to compare each others because of social media and the internet. We are so much into others people’s lives, it is so easy to look at ourselves and feel like we are missing out. It is so easy to feel: ‘why am i not getting the same as the rest? Why am i not there yet?’

So we get frustrated and the danger of discontentment is that it can lead to bitterness pretty quickly.

So how can we deal and fight discontentment?

Changing our perspectives

The reason why the concept of positivity is so popular is mostly because when we get hit in life , our first reaction is being down; which is normal. But the thing is we let our emotions get the best of us and our judgement get clouded.

If I have a bad day i can feel like I have a bad life,

or I have a bad year so the next year will get worse.

I did not succeeded this time so I will never succeed.

I lost this game so I will lose the season.

This person hurt me so everybody else will hut me

Re-focus

One of the favourite things I heard in a preaching came from Christine Caine, an Australian evangelist speaker. She said: ‘Do not let any thing that has happened to you be bigger than what Jesus has done for you.’

You have meaning and your life has meaning, despite the tragedies. We have to learn how to be grateful to change our perspective.

We have to look at the goodness in our life.

Learning how to be grateful is an exercise. You have to remind yourself constantly of your blessings. Truly, they are things now in you life right now that you did not used to have but you prayed and hope for them, and now you have them. But because you have the wrong perspective, you can take them for granted. Whether it is your health, your friends, your family, your job, your house, your talents etc…Someone, somewhere is even praying for what you have.

From time to time, sit down, think or even write the things in your life that you are grateful for, whether small or big. Remembers the answered prayers you had in the past.

Additionally we have to put to death comparison. I know this one is also hard.

But you know what they say: the grass is not necessarily greener else where.

As a matter of fact, we all go through things, but we just very smart at putting filters on our emotions and lives, just the same way we do with our Instagram photos. And as much as we are conditioned to think that life is a competition, it is not. Let’s not be jealous or envious of others just because they are doing something different than us. We tend to compare our chapter 20 with someone’s chapter 50. We look at our life and compare it with someone highlights’ reel on Facebook. These cannot really be compared. Let’s learn to rejoice with those who rejoice and help each other in our different races.

Leave others grass alone and water your own grass.

So in conclusion,

Mourn the life you wanted and embrace the life you have.

Embrace the mess and the good things.

It is your story.

You grew through the storms.

You learn through the painful moments.

Adversity built your character.

We will never have perfect lives but we all have things to be grateful for.

Let’s never strive for perfection, it’s not realistic…but let always look for progression.

You are not who you were a year ago, five years ago or ten years ago.

I had a plan…But God had another one and his plan prevailed.

His plan is good, and better than mine.

I won’t probably see it through the hard times but after the storms, I always see a bit clearer, and a bit better.

I can look back and realise the beauty in my life.

Rom 8:28

Update: At the moment…Resting and Reconfiguring

So the last post was really intense. It was also very real.

I have to admit this year and especially the last past three months really broke me and I went to a very dark place.

I am currently in a uncertain, transition and silent season in my life where I really do not know what God is doing in my life.

To say the least, 2017 is the year I got tired. I woke up at the beginning of this year thinking way too much about my life and the journey. I came up to the conclusion that things really did not turn out the way I wanted. I have now been in the UK for 14 years and I had this image of my life and what I wanted it to be. Believe me I fought really hard and tried really hard to create the life I wanted. There were so many barriers to conquer and so many ‘no’ or not now and at the end I did not conquer.

So disappointed, bitter, angry, emotional, frustrated, and weary, I kinda spiralled into unhealthy coping mechanisms. I just wanted to quit everything an give up.

I had so much expectations and none of them were met. I had not achieved any of my dreams and I got tired.

But even when I let go, God did not. Even when I get tired, he did not. I got reminded that when you get tired, it does not mean you should definitely give up every thing but you should actually rest.

So after really busy month of August, I took time to recharge.

I always feels like September is like the start of the year…It is the month academic year and fashion year start so I decide to do a bit of refocus and refreshing.

I had days of doing nothing.

I declutered my flat.

I reorganise my possessions.

I digitalise my important documents.

I download and discovered new music.

I deciding to re-think the way i spend my money.

I made a vision board.

And most importantly I rested.

In that resting, God spoke and showed me that this season of frustration had a purpose. God also showed me my heart.

Years ago in one on my lowest moment, God led me to Ez 36:26

I WILL GIVE YOU A NEW HEART

I WILL PUT A NEW SPIRIT IN YOU

I WILL TAKE OUT YOUR STONY STUBBORN HEART

AND GIVE YOU A TENDER RESPONSIVE HEART

The one thing that God always wants to work on is my heart. See God revealed to me that there were still a lot of darkness and brokenness in me and He cannot bring me to a new place before He heals me.

At first I got upset.

I resisted him.

I whined about the whole thing.

I fought him.

I even ignored him.

But his strong love pursued me.

He show me that this is how he loves.

He will rather frustrate me and delay me than letting my wounds grow deeper.

Because these wounds would have caused more damage to me and people in my life.

So I surrendered. I am going to rest a bit, sit at his feet and letting him healed me, with his love.

When you do not hope anymore

I wanted to make a little series of posts about my current season. I am sharing a state of mind that may be familiar for some….I have felt like this recently and I had to put it in writing in form a little poems.

It happens sometimes when life hit you too hard, you found yourself losing hoping.

When you do not hope anymore

And then you reached a point

Where you get really tired in your waiting

Especially when you where at an avenue where you had an inkling of hope

You thought this is it

This is what I pray for

Finally it is here

You feel all the expectations

You smile

And then

Just like that the door close back on you

Brutally

It was not it

So here you are laying on the floor

Feeling disappointment like you never felt it before

You are locked in the tower of despair just like the pilgrim

But you are so tired now that you do not want to take the key to get out of there

A part of you is mature enough in your faith to understand that even this setback has a purpose

you will probably make sense of this later on

Because at the end everything is a lesson…Isn’t it?

But now it looks like this storm is too strong for you

This does not seems to make you

This is actually breaking you

And you know about being broken because you have been broken in the past

So many times

So many times you have reached rock bottom

You know what it is like to feel heavy

To not be able to breathe easy

You have known disappointment and frustration before

You are acquainted to these negative feelings

The sadness

The anger

The regret

The bitterness

The pain

They become for a moment, unfortunate friends

They do not want to leave you alone

You are with them so close in this tower of despair

They are the talking to you

And you know you don’t really want to listen to them

Good people try to make you see the light and you think to yourself ‘I have heard these words of encouragement before

I know these verses’

But somehow they do not work in this storm

Actually nothing seems to work

My usual coping mechanisms are not useful here

I am oh so quickly reminded of my pain when the song is over

When the pack of sweets is empty

When the movie credits starts rolling

When you come back home from hanging out with friends and your mask have to come off

The reality is you are not okay

And you do not know when you will be okay

In the mist of people you feel alone and bored

As time goes by, you feel more and more empty

Life becomes a bore and it feels pointless

Every day you are in autopilot so that you do not feel anything

You do not want to feel anything anyway

Nothing matter

You want to disappear but you cannot

This dark tunnel is endless

Where is the light?

Hope?  Where are you?

Uncertain difficult seasons 

There are moments in life when you have no idea where you are headed. You reach a point of total confusion where there are more questions than answers. You do not know even what to pray for or what to hope for.

The doors you thought were meant to open close right on your face. You are then wondering if  God is distant or is just sitting silent.

I am currently in such a season. I can honestly say that my heart is weary and the heaviness is unbearable. However I am mature enough to know that every seasons is necessary for our growth and our faith. It is in hardships that our character is made and truth be told: some lessons can only be learn in the storms of our life.

So today I just wanted to share the lessons God has been teaching me in my season.

1) It is okay to cry and yes emotions are real

We ought to allow ourselves to feel emotions and feelings, as harder as it is. Scream if you have to but let it out all. Do not bottle anything and give it all to the Father: the heartbreak, the sadness, the anger, the disappointment, the bitterness…Every feeling is valid.

2) Share with someone and allow them to pray for you.

It is important to have good friends to speak to. If you have good counsel around you it is okay to explain what you are going through. Before you know it, they may have been or are going through the same seasons as you. We always feel at time that no one will understand what we are going through and they cannot really help us. At some of my lowest points, God allowed my sister, my brother and a woman at my church to bring me comfort in my period of transition.

3) Be careful to not listening to the lies of the Enemy

Remember he prowls around like a lion, and will come in different forms to try to confuse with all type wrong narratives.

“You will be better off away from God”

“He doesn’t love you”

“He doesn’t care”

“Your situation will never change”

“Look others who are not walking with him look better off than you”

Do not think that you will be better off. God covers you everyday believe it or not. Just because we do not get a notification every time that God did protected us from something does not mean he is not protecting us. Even when we feel it or not, He looks after us. Outside of his love, his protection is not guarantee and we can end up in worse situations.

4) Always remember that God is working in your heart and character

We are the clay being moulded by the potter and he is constantly pressing us to make  a more useful vessel out of us. We are the diamond being refined through the fire. Our character and our faith are more important than our circumstances changing.

5) Praise him in the pain

Yes…As harder as it will be, we still have things to be grateful for and thank God for him. See I believe in the power of music and especially worship music. I have playlists of songs that usually talks about hope. Listening to them on a bad day is genuine therapy.

Praise him every time you feel your emotions racing

Praise him with music and with your own words.

6) Be patient

This one is a hard one too. I confess that I still struggle with patience; I have not much of it so it a never ending lesson for me. Situations will not resolve and change all in one go…It might take time. God works with time. I wish I could tell you when it all get better, but I do not know. I can assure you is that there is a purpose in pain and that breakthrough do happen.
It just that God’s timing is very different of ours.

There is say in my country that say that some eat at 8am, some eat at 2pm, some eat at midnight…But no one goes to bed hungry. This means that we each have our own designated time and we will all ultimately receive our answers.

It is also very tempting to compare our life and walk with others and seeing them progressing, achieving things, getting their miracles and we feel like we are not moving. Especially when we have been walking faithfully with God, serving him and we see some who just seem to have started their journey who have came back from wandering ways, getting blessed. We then feel like the other brother in the prodigal son story: “why  is he being blessed and I am not receiving anything although I was here serving you Lord”. Comparison will steal your joy.

Also maybe God just want to also show us that he is our reward and just want to us to enjoy us and our relationship with him. After all, are we seeking more God’s hand or God’s heart?

So let’s be patient and praise him when it hurts. There is always something beautiful on the others side of our faithfulness.

Let him be our strength in the waiting.

At the end of us, He is there.

And all things, yes all things will work for our good.

Age is nothing but a number

 

 

Recently I came across a personal situation where I was told that I was ‘too old’ and it really frustrated me. I felt angry and sad but it also make me question if I was really too old.

I am going to turn 34 this year and here is the trick: I do not look like  34.  On most days people think I am 22. When they hear me speak and how I express myself they can give me 25. I frequently get ID to the point. I believe this is mostly due to my genes as my mother has always looked young. When she turned 50, all my school friends called me a liar because she clearly looked in her early 40s. I am also  black  and consequently the melanin keep me wrinkles free at the moment.

I personally do not see it…I do not know which age to give myself. But most importantly, I do not feel it. I do not understand how time has passed by. It feels like yesterday I was in my early twenties and last week I was a ten year old jumping on my bed, and wondering what will be the next episode of my favourite cartoon.

I believe that is mostly because of where I am in my life at the moment. For me a 34 years old woman will be married with one kid and maybe another one on the way. She will be working as an executive in a company and will juggle career and family life while navigating mortgage payment, holidays bookings, school baking events and dignified brunches with women in the same age as her .*apologies for the stereotypes*

However, this is not my reality.

I am not married. I do not even have a boyfriend. I have no children and do not have enough time to look after a pet. I rent my little flat and  the word mortgage give me chills. I do not own a car and still struggle to keep money in my saving account. Although I am an assistant manager in a prominent law firm, I am not really where I thought I will be at this age.

So my life feels more like a 25 years old’ life.

I am responsible in terms that I pay my bills on time and go to work. But I usually spent my time socialising with teenagers as a youth leader, binge shows on Netflix, travelling and thinking about what item of fashion I am going to buy next. I try to adult in the best way I can, but I am not too sure if I am doing a good job at it. Well I think I do. Since I am alive, I must be doing something right. Whereas others are getting married, and posting baby announcements on Facebook , I am looking at memes and funny videos on social media.

I do ask other people in their thirties if they feel their age. They have the same answers as me, especially those who have children. They do not feel as accomplished adults and it looks like no one is really sure if they are handling situations well or if they know what they are doing. So in a sense, we are all in the same boat: quite unsure about this ‘we are getting older’ thing.

So maybe it is just the way it is and age is really just a number as they say. You are as old as you feel. Feel? I am not necessarily the ‘feeling’ type, but it is true that life does not have to be dull as you get older and become more swarmed by new or bigger responsibilities.

It is not useful as well that our modern society gives us mixed messages about ageing. Apparently you have to embrace ageing but also fight it.

The truth is I believe I got better with age on so many levels (I know, humblebrag).
My body looks its best and my metabolism is still very fast. Since I went back to my natural hair texture I have been appreciating the way my hair looks. My skin has finally cleared up and don’t get me started on the confidence level *Hallelujah*. I am so much more comfortable with myself. In my twenties I tried to figure out who I was, in my thirties I am finally settling into who I am. So many things I used to worry about in my twenties does not bother me now.

Can we really use our age as an excuse to not continue to enjoy life, to believe, to create?There are so many examples of people out there who reached their success and accomplished amazing things in their 40s, 50s,60s and beyond. Life is what you make it to be, at the end of the day.

So although my body will get slower and my energy levels will decrease at a certain point, I will not use my age as an excuse to not enjoy my life.  I will not have a crisis about getting older. I refuse.

Life doesn’t stop as you age. The fun doesn’t stop at 29.

It is just a different chapter, different challenges, different opportunities and different difficulties.

Life is short and getting older is a privilege denied to many. As long as God woke you up this morning, you still have purpose.

Make your life an adventure, not a chore.

God bless

 

 

Fashion moment: Spring Jackets

Hello there

I  wanted to bable a bit about fashion for a moment..Spring is well upon us and it is a season that I really like. I like transition seasons because it is never too hot and too cool: it is just a happy medium. I do not need to wear a coat and a heavy scarf but I can trow a nice jacket and I am good to go.

So to prepare for my new season wardrobe, I checked my favourite fashion websites and just wanted to share some items that caught my eye.

There are some  wardrobe staples that I think everybody should have. There are also some edgy and seasonal pieces to have fun with.

So let’s go.

Classic pieces

The Denim

The Leather

The bomber

The suede

The mac

The fun pieces

The ripped

The floral

The Cargo army

The festival rain jacket

The Embroidered