Adventures In Ghana 🇬🇭 #1

Allow the sun to kiss your skin. Sweep your feet. Charle, feel the breeze of Mama Africa.

The way the sun will welcome you every morning as early as 5:45am, you will rise to open your window blinds. Akwaaba. Day 2 in Ghana was so refreshing. Woke up and ate some bread and eggs with some Milo. Let’s talk about the eggs. When I tell you the eggs in Ghana is so good, you will even wonder what they are feeding the eggs in America. It is delicious. I must say that when it came to eating well, charle I dey chop paa. Hausa Koko & Bofrot for breakfast. Fried yams + Shito + fried fish for lunch. Rice and tolobeefe for dinner. So many variety of foods to eat in Ghana.

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Week 1 in Ghana was very adventurous. Went around the neighborhood and visited my cousin in Osu. First stop was Vodafone then Papaye which was right around the same street. When I was a little girl, I remember my aunt taking me to this spot. This time around I went with my cousin. This Papaye restaurant is located in Osu, Accra.

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After spending approximately an hour in Papaye, we headed out to the streets of Osu. We walked and came across many art crafts. And of course not to my surprise, I was asked if I wanted to purchase anything. There were so many beautiful artwork and African clothing. Here are a few pictures I took while walking on the streets of Osu. Osu in general is a busy place.

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After walking and setting our eyes on all this beautiful handmade work, my cousin and I walked to catch the Tro Tro to Ako Adjei to surprise my cousin. My first time on the Trotro was very interesting. Everyone is sitting and minding their business while the Trotro “mate” is asking for your fare. At last, we reached our junction, walked a while on the rich soil grounds of Accra. My cousin and I took pictures and planned on how I was going to surprise my cousin, Uncle and aunt.

At last we reached my Uncle’s house. I hid on the floor as my cousin entered. After I just ran inside and they started screaming. They were so surprised because no one told them that I had come to Ghana. My cousin at the time was in the bathroom but because they were screaming, I think she was aware. I hid awaiting for her to leave the bathroom, but once she walked out she mentioned my name. She was really happy to see me. We spent and hour and some change at my Uncle’s house. Afterwards, my cousins and I took pictures together. So many memories we created within a few minutes. Next up, we headed to my cousin’s seamstress. We spent a few minutes there while my cousin tried an outfit she had sewn.

Afterwards, my cousins and I walked to the junction to pick up a TroTro to LA Maami. As we waited for the TroTro, the aroma of Kelewele (local fried plantains) engulfed my nostrils. After waiting approximately 10 minutes, the TroTro arrived and my cousin parted ways with us. My other cousin and I arrived home safely.

Accra, Labadi (Streets)

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Something that I also realized while in Ghana was that a lot of stores were Christ based. Like Sweet Jesus, His Grace, God Will Provide Supermarket, God First Carwash, and etc. The names on the Trotro were even more funnier. 

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On my way to get my hair braided, I saw a young man selling coconut. We stopped by to get some coconut. It tasted so good and was refreshing. I mean look at this goodness. 

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On our way back home, I saw little children playing outside.

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Mama buying snacks for their children before school.

I enjoyed taking pictures of the streets of Ghana. On our way back, we stopped by TT Special to purchase fried rice and chicken. (Trade Fair).

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Little boys walking back from school. Unfortunately some children don’t attend school because their parents can’t pay for their school fees. There were many days, I saw little children selling food outside.

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Little girls walking back from school exchanging in their native language (Ga).

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Brotherhood & Sisterhood

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Tema Community Place

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Palm Trees in Tema

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Homes In Ghana (Regimanuel Estate): Visiting a family friend.

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During our visitation, I was served Waakye, stew and Fish/boiled eggs. Charle Ghanaian food is good. Finger licking food paa.

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On our way back to Labadi, I saw a woman selling donuts. It amazed me how I was able to capture these pictures while sitting in the car (windows rolled up).

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Preparation To Make Kelewele With My Cousin. Week 1 Festives.

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Road Trip To Akosombo: Excursion With Cousins

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Kpong is a town in the Lower Manya Krobo District of the Eastern Region of Ghana and particularly noted for the Kpong Dam.

Welcome To Akosombo. Let the fun begin. Below are some of the pictures I took from the excursion.

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Friend Posing…

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Excursion was extremely fun. Enjoyed every moment and capturing pictures.

Right after church duties. Cousin preparing pepper.

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Fried Yams + Shito + Shrimps. 

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Kenkey + Fish + Pepper + Guizzard + Shrimps. Please I beg both meals aren’t mine. 

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End of Week 1 in Ghana 🙂

Week 2 Chronicles

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Accra, Labadi: On my way back from the seamstress place.

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Roads of Tema. This was absolutely beautiful to me. I couldn’t help but to capture the roadside and the trees.

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Until next time, stay blessed & lovely.  🙂

Copyright © 2017 Karen Owusu

All rights reserved.

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Ghana: My Heartbeat

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Where do I even begin? First off, before going to Ghana I was extremely nervous. Every time, my friends asked me if I was excited to be visiting my homeland, I always responded “No, I’m actually nervous.” You may be wondering why I was nervous about visiting Ghana. Well, I haven’t been to Ghana in 16 years. I haven’t been on a plane ever since I stepped foot in the states. I haven’t seen my family members in so many years and the feeling of going back home filled me with so many emotions. The day before going to Ghana, I was a little excited but still nervous. I felt the Holy Spirit reminding me of 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” That same night, my friend sent me a text with the same verse. I felt a calm in my spirit.

The day arrived for me to go to Ghana. My suitcases were packed. Passport and everything settled. Arrived at the airport to check my luggage only for the luggage attendant to say that my luggage was above the limit (50 pounds). I stood to the side and situated everything. The crazy part was that my luggage barely had anything in it but I learned that the luggage itself consumes weight depending on the brand you purchase.

Airplane Experience:

So I flew with KLM.  I didn’t take a direct flight to Ghana. My departure flight delayed by an hour. Eventually, the plane arrived and we were all ready to board. Before entering the plane, you have to show your boarding ticket and passport. On the plane, they served us pasta, rice, fruit salad, chicken and desert (icecream, almond, apple crumb cake). I actually enjoyed the foods that were served on the plane.

Upon arriving at Amsterdam airport, I walked around and when it got close to time to board the flight to Ghana, my mom and I went to the flight hostess to check our boarding pass ticket to make sure that everything was intact. It was almost time to board our plane to Ghana so we walked over to our Gate. There, I saw so many Ghanaians alongside with Caucasians and other races boarding the plane to Ghana. We waited patiently and eventually it was time for us to get on the plane. Once again, our passport and boarding pass ticket had to be checked. I cannot count how many times I had to show my passport and boarding pass. Everything worked out and we walked a pathway to enter the plane. At this point, I was excited. Ghana here I come. I sat back, relaxed and watched Fences and Hidden Figures. Let me tell you about the movies they had on the plane; it was the bomb. I mean from African movies to Bollywood to Chinese movies. C’mon the plane was serving us well especially with all that money that was paid to board to the motherland. They were not playing when flight hostess went around multiple of time asking us if we wanted water, soda or tea. I wan’t surprised how many times I went to the bathroom. I enjoyed every moment. The clouds were beautiful. If you are ever flying, I would definitely recommend you to take the window seat. You will surely enjoy your trip unless you don’t care much about the view.

Let’s talk about the babies. Yes the children who cry throughout the plane ride that you can’t even sleep. To be honest, sometimes it’s the parents who cause the children to cry. For instance, there was this little boy sitting next to his father. He was watching his show. All of a sudden his father started asking him questions, then he started crying. Mind you this little boy was around 3 years old. His father kept asking him if he wanted to eat. He was asking the child too many questions and the child was probably already frustrated sitting on the plane for so long. The father couldn’t handle the child to the point that he ended up tapping his wife who was sitting in the front seat with his other child for her to come to his rescue. Sometimes, children want to be left alone. When they are playing games, they don’t want to be asked so many questions. The child cried until half way to Amsterdam before he stopped crying.

Arrival to Ghana:

I remember this like it was yesterday. The plane landed in Ghana at exactly 8:07pm. Upon landing, I loved how everyone was filled with joy and started thanking God for safe arrival. It was amazing. Compared to arriving at Amsterdam, the plane was silent. Though we landed at 8pm, we actually got out of the plane around 9pm. Apparently, the bus that was supposed to take us to Kotoka International Airport hadn’t arrived upon our arrival. I was waiting for the heat to welcome me as my fellow friend told me it would once I landed. It welcomed me but I didn’t think it was so hot as she expressed it but I also believe that it was due to the time of my arrival. If it was in the afternoon, the heat will seriously welcome me that I would need at least 3 bottles of Voltic water.

Our bus eventually arrived. I loved how the bus looked. It was very simple and pleasant. The airport was really packed. I wasn’t expecting that since we arrived on a Monday. It took a while before everything got settled. Some people had to stand in line in accordance to their stance (immigrant or citizen). While on line, I met a girl name Vanessa. I loved her braids and attire. She is from America but is currently doing her Master’s in Public Health in University of Ghana. I also met a couple who were coming to Ghana to know more about their roots. After taking their ancestry test, their results showed that their family were mostly from Ghana. Though the line was very long, our engagement in conversation made things more quicker and interesting. As we stood on line, one of the ladies that worked there, directed us to someone to take a look at our documents and everything. Eventually, everything got sorted out. Now it was time for us to go and pick up our suitcases. One thing that I noticed is that everyone wanted to help so that they can get money from you. There was one guy who kept parading our luggages because he wanted to help us but my mom didn’t want him to help.

As we arrived the waiting area, I made a plan with mom that I didn’t want my aunt to see me. I wanted to surprise her because as far as I knew, she didn’t know that I was coming to Ghana. So my mother took a different pathway than I did. When my aunt saw me, she started yelling. Mind you, it’s been 16 years of not seeing her. She was the one that raised me when I lived in Ghana. It was pure joy seeing her after all these years. Honestly, writing this post is bringing back too many memories.

So after all the yelling and hugs, we packed our luggages in the car. My aunt kept saying “I can’t believe it you.” On our way back home, my aunt showed me the schools I attended while I was in Ghana. She mentioned a few street names and junctions but I couldn’t remember them because years have passed. Close to home, tears trickled down my cheeks. It saddened me to see so many children sitting outside at past 10pm. The road was extremely rocky and seeing the neighborhood I lived in surprised me. As a child, your not aware of too many things. Your’e just living life without a care. In the same way, the children that were sitting outside, are most likely accustomed to their way of living but because I have’t been to Ghana in so many years, seeing children sitting around that time shocked me because in the states, you barely see children at that time of the night.

Meeting My Family:

Everyone was surprised to see me. My grandmother didn’t recognize me. Mind you, it was at nighttime so she probably wasn’t really aware. She was half asleep/awake but once she woke up, she was able to recognize me. We spoke for a short time then proceeded to do some few things.

This was Day 1 in Ghana. 🙂

There is so much I want to share but one post won’t do any justice. Watch out for the next blog post. Till next time, here are a few pictures I took while in Ghana.

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Lessons Learned (Calling/Texting)

....forgive my yearning to know, to share & understand....  I'm not angry.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that your absence is not about me.         I am on my own.    I have to remind myself that loving you right now, means shutting the fuck up...& blessing you on your own path.         Peace, my love..

We have all at some point in our lives text someone and not received a response. To be honest, this can get annoying after a while and makes us not want to text that person again. Even though this can become frustrating, here are some things I have personally learned about texting that can probably help you in understanding why you shouldn’t give up so quickly on those who don’t text you.

  1. Everyone’s form of communication is different. As much as you might want someone to respond to your text, it is also essential for you to know what communication method works best for that person.
  2. Some people prefer calling than texting and vice versa. For some people, texting requires too much effort so calling them is the way to go.
  3. “I’m not a texting or phone person”. I’m sure you have come in contact with someone who has stated this phrase. It is a lie. This person needs to get it together. If that’s the case why does that person have a phone? In the generation that we are living in, we can’t meet up all the time. We all have things to do. Social media can’t be the way for one to communicate at all times. In this case, you have to find what works for both ends.
  4. Some people think they have responded and in reality they haven’t. Before they realize a week or even a month has passed on by. Maybe the person you are trying to reach is not in the country or have traveled. Not everyone informs people when they are traveling so in that case there’s nothing you can do.
  5. When people are going through their own situations, they don’t want anything to do with anyone. So this could mean no picking up phone calls or answering text messages.
  6. People choose who they want to respond to and when they want to return someone’s text or call. Understand that everyone’s mentality is different. Yes, it can intentionally or unintentionally.
  7. Maybe they are busy doing something and by the time they want to respond, the day has passed on by and they may feel like what is the point of responding depending on the question you asked them. To me, it will be polite if they can at least send you a text expressing why they couldn’t respond to you.
  8. If you find that your constantly the one reaching out, express that to the person. If change isn’t made, sometimes, you have to sit back and evaluate the situation. Is it worth fighting for?
  9. If you reach out to them and they don’t respond but then you see them on social media, try not to get upset. Like I mentioned, people choose to respond when they want. You can’t force anyone to get back to you even though it would be the polite thing for them to do.
  10. Sometimes, all you can do is pray for people. Maybe they are going through their own situations and this is the time they don’t have the voice to express their pain, so you have to learn to understand. If you have their address, you can send them a card or leave them a voicemail. They might respond to you later. This is why it’s also key to know the people your dealing with. Know yourself. Know the people you surround yourself with. If you feel like you have tried over and over again and you are drained out, leave it alone and don’t feel bad. If you want to reach out to the person once in while, feel free to do so but don’t have expectations for them to respond when you know their habits.

*Do you find yourself only calling or texting people when your going through something? This may also be a sign for you that maybe that person gets drained out when you only call them when your going through situations. This may be the reason, they are not picking up your phone calls and responding to you during the hours you are asleep. Not everyone is your therapist. Not everyone means well for you. Sometimes, people don’t want to listen to what your going through when they are facing their own battles. When your going through a situation, learn to sit and reflect on your situation before picking up the phone to call someone. It’s so easy for us to call someone to lay our burdens on them but not everyone wants to hear you out. Get yourself a journal. Write your thoughts out. Learn to seek God first when your going through something. Pour your heart out. Lay it at his feet. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t call people. We all go though situation and it’s good to have a shoulder to lean on but we can’t make God our last resort. Sometimes, God can even cause a person not to pick up the phone because he’s trying to teach you to seek him first.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope you can take something away from this post. God bless you. Have a lovely day/week 🙂

Latest African Movies

Are you looking for the latest African movie releases? If so, you have stopped at the right place. Below are some great, intriguing movies you can watch with your friends and loved ones. Most of these movies can be watched on Irokotv. You must have a subscription in order for you to watch. Its $15 to watch as many movies as you want for 3 months. You won’t regret it. There are many movies you can enjoy. Tell you friends and their friends. Until next time, sit back, relax and have a good time watching these movies.
Sobi's Mystic
You, Me And The Guys
Gateman
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Intervention
Tiwa's Baggage
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North East
A Northern Affair
Beautiful Ruins
If Tomorrow Never Comes
30 Years A Virgin
Meet The In-Laws
3 Is A Crowd

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Miscellaneous
Moth To A Flame
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On Bended Knees
Finding Mercy

Things I’ve Learned In 23 Years

  1. Life is a journey. You live and you learn.
  2. Write in your journal more often.
  3. Learn to spend with yourself. You don’t have to go everywhere with someone just because they send you a text asking if you can go somewhere with them.
  4. Time is an essence. A precious gift, you can never get back.
  5. Your friend’s (friends) aren’t necessarily your friends.
  6. Seek God in all your earthly doings. Cultivate a relationship with God. Sweet oh Jesus.
  7. Know your worth. Don’t settle for anything. (You are an asset. Know what you bring to the table. You are an addition to someone’s life, not a subtraction. If they don’t appreciate you, that’s their problem. “Sister’s Advice to Me”
  8. Understand that some friends are in your life for a season. People grow apart and though it’s painful, such is life.
  9. Don’t be afraid to venture out to try new things. Get out of your comfort zone.
  10. Spend time with your family. Create memories with them. Take lots of pictures & Record videos with them. Interview your parents. Ask them about their childhood/advice they would give to their younger self. It’s been amazing doing this so trust me, make the most out of it. Like my mom/dad says “Life is too short”. We are alive by God’s grace so make the most out of each day you are granted 🙂
  11. Waking up in the morning is a gift/testimony despite how you are feeling. Someone didn’t wake up. Be grateful.
  12. Every trial that we face in this lifetime serves as a purpose. Though we may not understand every situation, there is always a lesson if we pay attention.
  13. Be careful who you share your information with. Not everyone has a good interest at heart.
  14. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh often.
  15. Don’t give people the power over you.
  16. Continue being yourself. Kind you are. Caring you are. Never change who you are because of how people have treated you.
  17. Save your money. This is not something that was difficult for me because I love to save but it may be a reminder to someone else.
  18. Speak life into your situation. Pray about everything. I mean everything. Get in the position where you can pray at all times. God is listening. He is closer than you think.
  19. Prioritize. If people don’t prioritize you, you don’t have to do the same for them.
  20. Don’t stress over things. Things will eventually work out for you. God has your back.
  21. Read books. Never stop educating yourself outside of the classroom.
  22. Stay Focused On Your Goals. Don’t make excuses because time surely flies and before you know it, all that you had set for yourself has not been accomplished.
  23. Embrace the season your’e in. Nothing is permanent. Continue to live, love, learn. Be your authentic self 🙂

Cheers to what lies ahead of us all. Have a lovely day 🙂 xoxo

Advice To Your Younger Self #1

via @ bonnietsang on Instagram:

For the past two months, I’ve been going around asking people who are much older than me this question “What advice will you give to your younger self?” It’s been pretty interesting the responses that I have received. I started this project primarily because I believe that it is very important to learn and takeaway something from other generations.

  1. Diane: If I can give my younger self an advice, it would to travel more. Other than that, I don’t regret anything. I was a Nurse then wanted to become a Mid-wife and I pursued it. (February 11,2017)
  2. Raquel: If I can give my younger self an advice, I would have to say *Don’t get distracted. Don’t allow heartbreak to take control of your emotions. Friends come and go but those who meant to be apart of it, will be. Embrace where you are at in life. Those are the things you will look back at. The things that you see at your darkest will prepare you for the light. Be wise with men, friends, and money. (February 16, 2017): Heart to Soul (Hillsong)
  3. Professor Diamond: If I can give my younger self an advice, it would have to be “go to college right after high school. I took a while before I went to college. At the time, I was working. (February 18, 2017)
  4. Bill L: If I can give my younger self an advice, it would have to be getting a real job after college. I was too busy painting houses. Later on I lived in Japan for some years teaching English. (March 8th,2017)
  5. Professor Amutah: If I can give my younger self an advice, I would have to say, *Stay focused on your goal. Don’t get distracted. Understand that not everyone in your circle is destined for greatness. Some people like to remain in the same level. Surround yourself with supportive people. Be unapologetic about yourself. If you are African, own up to it. Be proud about it. Don’t be embarrassed about your roots. Demand respect from every area of your life. From your friendships, family, your relationship and etc. Don’t downplay your gifts. (One of the favorite professors ever. Team Public Health). (March 21st,2017)
  6. Daddy: If I can give my younger self an advice, I would have to say, stay out of trouble, work hard (be studious), and don’t let anyone discourage you. Strive for success. Respect your elders. Listen to people’s opinions. It’s good to have opposers, that’s how you learn and grow. Be nice to people but also be careful because people take advantage. Be careful the choice of friends you make. Choose your friends wisely. Sometimes, you have to keep to yourself. Don’t open your heart too easily. Be careful what you share with people because you never know what may happen. If you have a fallout, they can share your information. If you have a secret, keep it to yourself. March 31st, 2017 🙂
I hope that as you take the time to read this post, that you can take away something. There’s always something to learn in this life. It’s a journey. We can’t do it alone. God has placed people in our lives for a purpose. Always, remember to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Until next time, stay blessed. Live. Learn & Love. 🙂
Grow through what you go through...:

Perspective is Key

Tropic greens: The taste of Petrol and Porcelain | Interior design, Vintage Sets and Unique Pieces www.petrolandporcelain.com:

Perspective is Key. Looking back over the years, I can say that I didn’t have this mindset of perspective being key. I’ve grown so much. The trials I faced drew me closer to God. Life isn’t always easy. Some days are tougher than others but I have learned to lean on God. I can definitely say that something that has helped me to reshape my thinking is my relationship with God. I look at situations through a different lens now. There were times when I was going through my own personal situations and when I called my friends, they never got back to me. In those moments are when one begins to question their friendships. It was hard at times and yes there have been many times in my life that I have questioned myself about the people I surround myself with but overtime I learned not to depend solely on people. We are humans and we fail in some way. It breaks my heart to see that there are many people hurting. They have become silent. So what have I learned thus far in this life? I have learned a lot but I’ll list 10 things.

  1. Seek God in all your earthly doing. Study the Bible. Invite the Holy Spirit before you partake in your study.
  2. Perspective is Key. The way you choose to view your circumstances can either shape you or break you.
  3.  Create room in your heart for God in the same way you make room for things.
  4. Be careful of your circle of friends. At the same time, know that there is a Purpose to every encounter. Some people come into our lives for a season or for a lifetime. It’s never a mistake the people we cross paths with in this life.
  5. Prioritize. When something is important to you, you make time for that thing. You don’t make excuses. If you want to have a better relationship with God, you make time to be in his presence. You will make time to read the Bible.
  6. Community of Believers: It’s good to have people in your life that pray for you and want to see you grow in the Lord. If you do not have people in your life but will like to be surrounded with likeminded people, pray about it.
  7. Live: Don’t take life so seriously. There’s a time for everything. Create memories with your family, friends and loved ones.
  8. Spend time with yourself. Get know what you like and don’t like. Go out and explore. Write in your journal. Take pictures. Discover new hobbies.
  9. Prayer is powerful. I’ve heard people say “I don’t know how to pray”. “So and so knows how to pray for long.” Honestly, it’s not about the duration of your prayer but rather your heart and also having the faith that whatever you have prayed for will come to pass. I can say that something that has given me peace is asking God to have his way in everything. If things don’t go as I intended, I’m grateful and I look at it in a different perspective.
  10. Be a blessing unto others: As you forth into the day, there are people that God will allow you to cross paths with. It’s for a Purpose. I don’t believe in coincidences. Take time to compliment someone if you like their hair, clothes and etc. Take time to say hello or good morning when you meet people. Sometimes, we get so caught up in our own situations that we become close minded to what is right in front of us. Take time to pray for someone.

“There are far too many silent sufferers. Not because they don’t yearn to reach out, but because they’ve tried and found no one who cares.” -Richelle E. Goodrich

Until next time, take care of yourself. Stay rooted in the Word. Be Encouraged 🙂