Comparing yourself with others

stop-comparing-comic2

When I was a little younger, I had officially come to grips with the idea that I am not as ‘naturally pretty’ as other girls. Where I got this idea from, I do not particularly know, but I do know that I believed it with all of my heart. In my young mind, some people are just beautiful. They were born with the lucky combination of chromosomes that made them gorgeous. But it is not all bad, because the rest of us have strengths too. Some of us were born with smarts, some can sing and dance, some have the undeniable talent to make people laugh. I did not believe I was given beauty, but that was okay because I exploited my strengths. I sang, I made people laugh, I worked hard in school, I wrote and I was a good friend to people who needed me. All the while, I never felt like not being ‘conventionally pretty’ hindered me. If anything, it empowered me, because I believed that everything I had, I had earned and didn’t have just because I was nice to look at.

Looking back, it is clear that I only had this view about myself because I compared myself to other people.

For most people, comparing yourself to others just distracts you from the many good qualities you hold. You might be amazing in one aspect, but complete overlook it because someone else shines bright in one particular thing. I learnt that I was beautiful. Maybe not in the conventional way, but then again, who wants conventional? I learnt that some of the things that make some people pretty do not work for me. I had to find indiviudal things that worked for me and made me confident and gorgeous. I think I have.

If you realise something does not work for you, you either forget about it or make it work for you. Life does not give you time to whine and cry about things that do not work, because there will be many things that do not work. If you do not work hard for it, you do not deserve it. Simple as that. And if you get things without working for them, you will not fully understand its value.

I am proud of the beautiful, young woman I have become today, mainly because I worked hard to become her. Because of this, I fully understand my value. I do not ever need to compare who I am, what I am, what I have to someone else, because I am enough. Until I realised this, I was incomplete, whether I realised it or not. If more people could see their worth, they would not care so much when they are cast down or told they are not good enough.

When I was a little girl, I was ‘encouraged’ to join my church choir, mainly because they desperately needed members. I had no interest in music and singing, I was much too busy with things nine-year old girls do. But I joined and soon I realised… I hated it. It was not for me, so I believed. I couldn’t hit the high notes, it took up way too much of my time and to make matters worse, the members were incredibly rude. They were not afraid to tell a nine-year old girl that she really could not sing. After crying on multiple occations, I realised they were probably right. Compared to the adults in the choir, I could not sing at all. However, I also realised that if I kept working hard, I will be able to sing. Fast forward a decade or two, and here I am. I can sing. I may not be Mariah Carey, but I can definetly hit more notes than I could then. The point of my anecdote is to demonstrate that comparing yourself with other people can also be a positive thing, but only if you use the comparison to motivate you. If you do it to pinpoint all the bad things about yourself, then it is not helpful.

You do not need someone to make you realise that you are better than where you are in life, right now. You just need yourself to make that first step to improvement. But sometimes it can be just as helpful to have people to measure against, just to show your progression.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

The Restoration Plot pt 2

Two years ago, around this time of year, I wrote a blog post on Easter. I want to share it again, because sometimes we take Easter, and what it represents, for granted.

He died, but now He’s alive. It’s a miracle.

We are remembering all the pain Jesus took upon His shoulders. All the discomfort and humiliation – just to make sure we have our place with God. He restored creation, after sin had attempted at decreating creation. He was that restoration. He gave us the provision, the pathway, the guide, on how to be sin-less. He brought a never quenched light into the darkness. No darkness can comprehend His light. He sent a comforter, a friend, a still small voice, living in the depth of our hearts. It was His Holy Spirit. His Holy Spirit dwells with us, within us and we didn’t even need to fight for that. We didn’t have to work for it. He gave us the easy job and took the hard one. He gave us the job of having to love Him. Of having to praise and glorify Him. And if you realise how great He is, you will realise our praises are nothing compared to what He deserves. Compared to how amazing, and awesome He really is. How loving, and huge and unimaginable He is. The human mind cannot even begin to understand how great He is. We weren’t worthy, we aren’t worthy, but He made us worthy. He became Sin. Sin died on that cross. He became Sin so you and I could be spotless. Spotless. Without a spot or blemish. We have become new creatures in Christ Jesus. We have His love working in us. His unfailing, unending, unexplainable, undeserving love, made available and accessible to us. Forever. And ever. He did that. And not for His gain, but for ours.

What kind of love is that? What manner of man is Jesus? That even death could hold Him. That even sin couldn’t phase Him. 

That’s my King. My Lord. The Lord of my life. The love of my life; That’s my Jesus. And your Jesus. The Jesus who fights for us. He is salvation.

And for all of that, I live in continual gratitude.

Thank you Jesus.

Peace&Love. Made available by the Blood of Jesus being shed for us.

Paula Melissa xx

Another year

It’s my birthday!!

I get way too excited for my birthday every year, you would actually think I was turning ten lol. But yes, another year has come and gone and that is fairly exciting because that year of life wasn’t promised. What I mean by that is that it wasn’t certain that I would be alive for another year of life and I am grateful that I am. This year taught me so many crazy, amazing, necessary things. I’ve become a stronger person, a more mature person, a more tolerant person. This year has fuelled my journey of becoming a complete person – mind, body and soul. God is working on me, and this year has played such a prominent part in that process.

I am grateful for my family, my friends and all my blog readers. Thank you for everything you have all added to my life.

Let me also take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year. 2015 must rock!

 

Here’s to another year guys :)

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’

40 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

I did this a year ago and now I’m doing 40 facts to add to it. I hope you find this at least mildly entertaining.

  1. I am the eldest of four children; I have two younger sisters and one younger brother.
  2. I have a pet dog called Rolfie. He is 9 months old and we’ve had him since he was 6 months old. He hates dog food and strangers. (He is smelling me while I write this.)
  3. I’m not a party person. I’d literally prefer to stay at home than go out, most of the time.
  4. I love make -up, especially eye make-up.
  5. I’ve been blogging for over two years.
  6. I can’t ride a bike.
  7. My first published piece was a poem I wrote when I was 12.
  8. I’ve worked in the government.
  9. Both my parents are lawyers, ministers and authors. My mum is also a councillor in our local council.
  10. I love animated movies.
  11. I love cooking, but I can get extremely cranky if people bother me whilst I’m in my cooking zone.
  12. I’ve been singing in my church choir since I was 9/10
  13. My favourite colour is purple.
  14. RomComs are the best.
  15. I can be quite a loud person if I’m feeling comfortable but I generally hate unnecessary noise.
  16. I love education and learning but hate school.
  17. I got to sleep before 10pm most nights.
  18. I am a born again Christian and I strongly believe in God.
  19. Jesus is my life. My life is Jesus.
  20. I use twitter and Instagram way too much – (@PaulaPaceSetter)
  21. I have a complicated relationship with food.
  22. I let my age limit me in life for a long time.
  23. I find people who are similar to me extremely annoying, but at the same time they usually become my closest friends.
  24. I have poor eyesight and therefore have prescribed glasses that I never really wear.
  25. I love gospel music; it is so uplifting.
  26. I became a YouTuber in Summer 2014.
  27. The only countries I have been to are Nigeria, Belgium, France and Wales, and obviously England, which is where I live.
  28. I can be such a fangirl, but I hide it relatively well.
  29. When I become friends with someone I am also committed to helping them or supporting them. Due to this, I am still friends with people I met 10 years ago.
  30. I usually prefer covers to the original song.
  31. I hate swearing with a passion.
  32. I have strong opinions about certain topics, and I am not easily persuaded.
  33. I hate going to the cinema.
  34. I have more girl friends than guy friends but tend to be closer with my guy friends than girl friends.
  35. I don’t like boybands.
  36. I don’t drink fizzy drinks or alcohol, I only like juice.
  37. Ice cream is my kryptonite.
  38. Young people are my passion and I spend most of my time trying to positively impact young people’s life.
  39. Recently, I’ve decided I want to be a presenter, after presenting a talent show and showcase, as well as a journalist; Benny Bonsu is my inspiration when it comes to journalism and presenting.
  40. I am NOT an outdoorsy person but in Summer 2014 I went to Wales, where I climbed up a waterfall, I climbed inside dark tunnels inside a mountain and came out at the top, I went camping, I went canoeing and I jumped into a freezing lake even though I can’t swim. I literally still can’t believe that I did all of that.

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’

How to make an impact – 4 simple steps

Have you ever asked yourself, ‘how do I make an impact?’ In this kind of world, it gets harder to truly be the person God made you and wants you to be.

1) Make an impact through the type of lifestyle you live
People are watching you… Us. Everyone is looking for that guidance, that ‘something’ and therefore we must be that ‘something’ in their lives, shown through our lives.Be a comforting voice or reason in peoples lives, a voice that reassures everyone. Let people know you as a positive person, a person know for uplifting words and actions, not words and actions that pull others down.

2) Make an impact through your giving.
This one is a little touchy because I know most of you lot were literally like, “Oh! Heck no! My money is my money!”, but giving don’t always mean money. It can mean giving your time, your emotions, your service, your resources or your knowledge. If someone is in need, and you are capable of helping them, help them. It’s not everyday sit and wait until they come to you begging on their needs; some days just help wholeheartedly. It is literally the little things that people will notice are different in your life. You’re in McDonald’s for lunch with a friend. You’ve already ordered and paid for your lunch. Your friend assumes he/she has more money than she actually does and can’t afford the medium diet coke with the meal. If you have that extra pound, give it to the friend. That is making an impact with your giving. Lastly, don’t be that person who keeps a record of your givings. “I gave you 33p on the 6th of June 2005, it was a Monday, and it was snowing. You was wearing a blue top, I was wearing a red.” That’s just ridiculous. Give wholeheartedly. Again, give wholeheartedly.

3) Make an impact through your speaking
Prayer is communicating with God; it is just talking. It may look like you’re speaking to yourself, but you’re not. God is listening.
You can make an impact by praying over your life and the lives of your friends, family and peers. Quick story; once, a good friend of mine was heading down the wrong path, and it was really worrying me. I didn’t feel like I could talk to her about it because she had the mindset that everyone was judging her, and that everyone, including me, was against her. In fact, it is the exact opposite. I wanted what was best for her. So I tweeted out, “What do you do when your friend is going down the wrong route?” and someone replied and said, “all you can do is pray for them.” Long story short; they are back to where they are supposed to be, thanks to the prayers of myself and her friends, family and church. If you care about someone, pray for them.
2 Chronicles 7:15
15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.

4) Make an impact through knowledge and passing on knowledge

The Bible is referred to as ‘The word of God’. Technically, people wrote it, but it was under the interpretation given to them by God. I don’t know how some people expect God to pick up a heavenly pen and heavenly paper and wrote down stuff. God is a spirit and not of this earthly world. Therefore, he must use physical people to physically write down his words. When you hear or read the things written down in the Bible, your faith grows. Faith is your belief, your belief in life, your belief in God and your belief in yourself. Think about it like this, if someone verbally abused a child from a young age over a long period of time, that person will grow into a young adult and believe all the abuse the have heard over time. The Bible works in a similar way, except it is positive, reassuring words that helps you build a confidence which pulls you through troubles and problems in life. The Bible’s definition of faith is found at Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Furthermore, Romans 10:17 (Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.) establishes that hearing the word of God is a priority. As well as hearing the word, you need to be able to share the word with other people. This encourages people who have low levels of faith and belief, in their selves or in life, due to what they have gone through in the past.

These four simple steps work when used all together in a persons life.
These steps are an adaptation from a message heard in church, so not all my own work.
Peace&Love.
Paula ox’

 

The Grace of God

As a Christian, I aim to live my life in accordance to God’s word; the Bible. In this present age, this is increasingly harder than in previous generations, because there a million-and-one new things to tempt us.

I was reading my Bible App by YouVersion and I came across a couple of verses that act as encouragement to Believers. Titus 2: 11-12 (New International Version) says;

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 

I found this verse particularly interesting because it shows that God understands the added pressure that many of us feel every day.  Therefore, the passage offers a solution, something that helps relieve the pressure. And that is the grace of God. Grace is favour that is given to us by God. Breaking it down even further; it is the strength to live life, to overcome temptation and test and to have peace and joy. This Bible verse specifically mentions that the grace of God is the common denominator that people of faith need in order to distinguish their selves from the world. When I refer to ‘the world’, I refer to people that don’t know God or things that are not of God. These are things that Christians say ‘no thanks!’ to because it doesn’t agree with God’s word – the Bible.

The amplified version of this scripture dives even deeper into this passage, adding elaborations for us to understand even better. Titus 2: 11-12 (Amplified Version)

11 For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind.

12 It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world,

When we have the Holy Spirit within us, we are able to see what is of God and what isn’t. Verse 12 (AMP) says, “… worldly (passionate) desires…”: a person who doesn’t have Jesus in their heart is more likely to be driven by emotions in life. But as Christians, we know that all things happen for our good, as illustrated in Romans 8:28. We are not swayed by emotions and feelings; we have our eyes and mind and perspective set on the things of God and His overall purpose for our lives.

 

Just something that was in my heart:)

 

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’

‘Use your talents’ monologue

I wrote this monologue as part of a production at my church.

 

 

Talents. Gifts. Smarts. Forte.

They all mean the excellence.

The brilliance.

The intelligence.

Ingenuity. Of God.

Placed and positioned carefully and precisely in your life. For a reason.

God is not random. God is not man to be random; without reason.

Heard the phrase ‘everything happens for a reason’, well it does.  

You can sing to bless and impact people.

You can dance to bless and relate to people.

You can speak well to bless and motivate people.

You can write well to inspire people.There was a precise reason and plan for you and your life.

So.

Who are you to decide to sit back and ignore that divine path set apart especially for you? Who are you to say no to the almighty God? Who are you? And you might be saying, Paula I’m not saying no to God. But you are. You really are.

We are Christians.

Which means we are called to be part of God’s large scale extravagant plan to bring the whole world to Him. To bring the whole population, to know Him, to want Him, just as we do.

That’s my mission.

That’s our mission.

That should be your mission.

Are you using your talent in the house of God?

 

 

Peace&Love

Paula ox’