Faith Talks | It’s OK to say No – 5 Reasons Why

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious.  You get to choose how you use it.  You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” ~ Anna Taylor

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Welcome to Lyd on Life

In my post entitled 12 things I learned in 12 months I made the statement “It’s ok to say no…”

I had just finished one year at my workplace and decided to reflect on the things I’d learned during that year. I remember wanting to do all that I could to make sure everyone was happy and my time being there was a success. Though that wasn’t a bad attitude to have, there comes a time where you need to realise you can’t please everyone and do everything. This goes for the work we do in church too.

Mind if I rant a little?

I’m a youth leader at my church and Sundays can often feel like another working day at times. I use the term “I’m a youth leader” loosely because I’m not sure if it’s something I actually wanted to be or a request I couldn’t say no to. I’ve been a member of my church for about 4 years now, maybe more. When I joined, I was on fire for Jesus and wanted to get involved in any way I could. I found so many youth there and was excited to walk this journey together with them. 4 years later, and a few church disagreements, the youth had shrunk in size and I was burned out.

The church began to rely on me and I was fine with that at first. I felt I had something to give and if you have something to give you should give it, right? So, I did. Unfortunately, my willingness to serve meant that reliance turned into dependence and the joy I once had for serving in the church turned into sorrow. I felt alone and singled out as the ‘can do’ person in the youth.

“Lydia, can you do this” turned into “Lydia can do this and that and a bit more”. I don’t blame them though. Every time they asked me I said yes. Despite how reluctant or uncomfortable I felt, I still said yes. But why? Church isn’t slavery so why was I afraid to say no?

Is it because I’m afraid to disappoint people? Is it because I don’t yet know my purpose? Or is it because I have the wrong idea of what it means to serve God?

Perhaps it’s all those things and more. When I took a break from going to my church for a few weeks and started attending another church I felt free. I was happy. I was able to receive instead of giving for once and it felt good. When I returned, I realised that my name was still on the list of ‘yes’ people. Lydia, can you teach in Sunday school? Lydia, can you teach in youth? Lydia, can you play the piano? Lydia, can you lead praise and worship? My desire to serve was still there so as always, I said yes.

The bible says, “I can do all things…” but it doesn’t say I can do everything. Church is voluntary and no one should feel burdened to serving in the church or guilty for saying no to a church activity. Running away isn’t the answer but learning to say no is.

We service a gracious God

God really isn’t happy when we’re working ourselves to death. He receives no glory when our service causes us to be resentful and tired rather than joyous and longing. Your worship to Him is more important than your obedience to man. Our service to Him shouldn’t feel like a chore, nor should it leave us more burdened than when we entered the church.

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Our values come from who we are in Christ

After some self-reflection, I realised that one of the main reasons I always say yes is because I don’t want to disappoint anyone or lose their respect. To say no is to risk rejection and be deemed disobedient in people’s eyes. But God doesn’t just see my actions, he sees the heart that comes with it. His opinion of you is more important than anyone. If your no is justified, be confident and know that He understands, even if man does not.

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To fulfil your purpose and not just a vacancy

Saying no to something means we can give a wholehearted yes to our calling. If I’m involved in so many different ministries, it is impossible for me to give my all in each of them. Taking the time to give your all in one or two things makes it easier for you to see where your passion and purpose lies.

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Your No could become someone else’s Yes

We are not adequate to single handily meet every need and there are often more people with much more talent than you in that particular area. If I’m always saying ‘yes’ to a request how will the church find someone else to do the work? How will someone else’s talent be found? The church may not see in some else’s potential because they rely on yours. Your no will force them to look elsewhere and ignite a fire in someone else that has been longing to shine.

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When you are carrying out the will of man and not God

Sometimes we may be asked to do things we aren’t comfortable with. If the church is genuinely asking you to take up the will of God instead of your own then that’s different. Often, I feel as though I’m taking up the will of people who disguise it as God’s will. But remember, He gives you the grace to be responsible for your own life and gives you the spirit to discern what is His will and what isn’t.

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The church should play a part in empowering you to say no. They have to be more strategic about allocating responsibility. Are positions advertised well enough? Do they provide training and discipleship programmes for people to equip themselves to service and support each other? These are some questions I believe that the church needs to be asking before placing responsibility in individuals. Without a strategy people burn out or simply leave. I’ve experienced both first hand.

I’m still working on saying no to certain things that aren’t really for me, in life and in church. Saying no allows us to cut back, simplify and focus our efforts. It’s not easy but understanding that you have the right to say no is the first step. I might do a post on how to say no, but we’ll see!

Your turn…

Do you have difficulty saying no when it comes to church? What about other areas in your life? How do you normally deal with it? Did you find this post helpful?

Lets connect!

Tweet me @lydiaonlife, follow me on Instagram or share your questions, experiences and tips with everybody in the comments below.

Till next time.

Love,
Lydia x

 

5 Ways to Turn Your Bedroom into an Oasis

“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer

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Welcome to Lyd on Life

Feng shui is a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing yourself with the surrounding environment. Now I’m no feng shui expert (not even close) nor do I know a lot about this philosophical system. However, I strongly believe that harmonizing yourself with your surrounding is very important.

Sometimes it starts with something as simple as re-arranging your bedroom. Your bedroom is your own little haven where you find rest, peace and relaxation. Where you prepares to take on the world every day. Re-arranging the place you spend your most vulnerable time can help you find harmony and clarity in other parts of your life.

At 25 years old, I thought I would have my own place by now to fung shui the hell out of. But no, I’m not even close. I’m still living at home in the same bedroom I’ve been in since I was 5 years old. Same blue and white coloured walls, same old stained carpet and the same curtains my mum made when we moved here. Trying to save as much as I can to reach my goal of owning my own place leaves very little time and money to re-decorate. Right now, I can only afford to re-arrange. And that’s ok.

I don’t plan on being in this bedroom for too long but for the time being, I plan to make an Oasis out of it. If you’re like me, here are my 5 tips on turning your bedroom into a beautiful and relaxing sanctuary when you have limited options.

De-clutter

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Whether it’s unwanted clothes, shoes, bags, body products or storage units; get rid of everything that has no real reason for being there. Haven’t used it for the last 3 months? Get rid of it. Is your storage just a space to keep things you don’t use? Get rid of it. Do you need that coat stand? Throw it away. Ensure that everything in your room has a justified and effective purpose for being there. De-cluttering is the most therapeutic process you can go through I feel. If done with the intention of harmonising yourself with the things around you, you’ll be surprised at how much space you’ll create for important things.

Create space

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Struggling to get from bed to door without hitting something? Or do you find yourself knocking things over as you move around the room? Yes it could just be the size or design of your room. Or maybe you have too many things in the way. That laundry basket, does it need to be in your room? Could you put it somewhere outside your room? Those products on your desk? Could you use a rotating storage stand instead of having them all over your desk? Perhaps some wall shelves are needed to hold that stereo or TV instead of floor units? Can you fit your shoes in your wardrobe instead of a shoe rack? If something in your room could go somewhere else to create more space, move it. I believe the more space you have the clearer you can think. You allow your room to breathe and in turn allow yourself to breath.

Open storage system

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I don’t know about you but there’s something about having an open storage system that I like. The constant reminder of the clothes you have and the state of your clothes helps me avoid clutter. I can’t stuff my clutter behind my wardrobe doors if I don’t have any. Everything must be hung and folded neatly. Plus, your personal style can act like an artistic and decorative piece to your room. Now, I’m not saying go out and buy a whole new open storage system. You could simply remove the doors off your wardrobe or only remove one. I did. My wardrobe doors had mirrors so I used one of the doors as a stand-alone full length mirror in the corner of my room and the other as a mirror for the hall way. Open storage could also mean adding shelves to empty walls or buying a door hanger for your coats instead of stuffing them in your wardrobe.

Candles

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Scented candles are amazing. I wasn’t always a fan of candles as I just associated them with fire hazards. And they are, if used incorrectly. When used in the bedroom, it can really set the mood. Whether you are relaxing on your own or with someone special, a scented candle can create the right atmosphere to feel relaxed and in tuned with your surroundings. Ever wondered why they light candles during an aromatherapy massage or treatment? High quality essential oils can have a positive impact on our bodies and provide us with a sense of relaxation before you go to sleep. Our sense of smell is also connected to memory. Having a scent that reminds you of a happy or peaceful time can boost your mood. If you like the smell of bread in the morning, buy a bread scented candle (if that exists).

Bed positioning

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The fung shui experts say bed positioning is important for healthy chi in the bedroom. I don’t know much about chi but I do believe that the positioning of your bed can help improve your mood, especially in the morning. What is your favourite part of your room? Is it your window? Is it your wardrobe? Is it something on your wall? Why not face your bed in the direction of something you’d like to see every time you wake up? For me it’s my window. My neighbours have a lovely tree in their back garden with pink flowers all over it. I sleep with my curtain open as I like the feel of the sun in the morning and waking up to see the pink flowers without leaving my bed is a bonus. Sounds cheesy but it makes my getting up in the morning in this bedroom just that little bit tolerable nicer. Of course, this will depend on how your room is structured but find something you would like to see the moment you open your eyes in the morning.

And that’s it.

Re-arranging the things around you can help you think clearer, see clearer and feel different about certain situations you might be in. These few tips have helped me find peace in the space I’m in as I prepare to get to the space I so long to be in. It will come one day and when it does I’ll be ready for it.

Final thoughts…

Bring your reality as close to your dream as possible so your dream doesn’t just seem like a dream anymore. There’s a lot I’d like to do to my surroundings but for now, these tips and my Pinterest board will have to do.

Your Turn…

Did you like this post? What did you find helpful? Do you have any tips of your own?

Get in touch, tweet me @lydonlifeblog or share your questions, experiences and tips with everybody in the comments.

Till next time.

Love,
Lydia x | https://lydonlife.wordpress.com

New Blogger | You Can Totally Do This

“You fail only if you stop writing” – Ray Bradbury

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Welcome to Lyd on Life.

Expression is good.

Laughing, crying, screaming, punching or simply doing nothing. Everything we do is an expression.

I’ve not written a blog post in over 2 months. That’s me unconsciously expressing the fact that I’m stuck. I’m not screaming or crying because I know what I need to do. I’m simply doing nothing because I’m not sure if I want to do it. If I can commit to it. If I can actually do it. Am I ready to do it?

For the past month (or so) I’ve been re-designing my blog in hopes of getting some inspiration to actually write new content. I wasn’t happy with the way my blog looked and kept getting distracted by the need to change it. To be honest it wasn’t just the way it looked that bothered me. I wasn’t happy with what I was writing about or how I was writing. Reading my posts from 5 months ago, nothing made me excited.

How did I expect anyone else to be excited about what I wrote if I wasn’t?

So, I tweaked, deleted, updated and changed a few things. A lot of things actually. If you aren’t new to my page then you’ll notice the difference (I hope). If you are new then you stumbled on my blog at the right time (I hope).

I started to realise I was slowly forgetting what I wanted to do here on the blogosphere. Or at least what I was trying to do. I got lost in the sauce a little. More focused on putting out content to stay active instead of relevant. Relatable. Refreshing. Transparent. Informative. All the adjectives I hoped anyone who comes on my page would say about me. I wasn’t being any of those things. Why?

Perhaps I’m afraid. Or was afraid. I’d like to think I’m not any more, having deleted 30 of my posts and started again…ish. However, the fact that I haven’t posted anything for so long shows me that I’m still a little afraid. Do I really have something worthwhile to say? Are the lessons I learn worth writing about? Have I experienced enough about life to write about it? Do I really want the world to know my thoughts?

The answer is Yes. Yes, yes, yes and yes. Or at least I think so. I’m a firm believer that if you’re not ready to give up, don’t. Take a break but don’t give up. The fact remains that though I’ve spent the last month or so changing my blog instead of writing blog post, I still come back to my blog. Every day without fail I check up on my blog. For what or why I don’t know. But I do. Something tells me to.

That little things in your head that keeps brining you back to that thing you keep putting off is trying to tell you something. Perhaps it’s saying put an end to it properly or perhaps it’s saying try again. So, I’m trying again. And I’ll keep trying. Nothing we do is every in vain. Everything we do is leading us somewhere. Even this random form of expression you’ve just read is leading me (and hopefully you) somewhere. It’s OK to have these moments. Especially when it comes to a hobby or a lifestyle change. Just don’t stay in that moment for too long. Enjoy the process. This blog was one of my goals for 2017. 2017 isn’t over yet.

Your turn…

Are you a novice or well seasoned blogger? How are you finding blogging?  Do you ever have doubts? How do you deal with them? If you could describe you’re blog in three words, what would they be?

Get in touch, tweet me @lydonlifeblog or share your experiences and tips with everybody in the comments.

Till next time.

Love,
Lydia x | https://lydonlife.wordpress.com

P.s: Here are some helpful posts for moments of doubt:

Life Check | Expectation vs Reality

Honour the space between no longer and not yet.” — Nancy Levin

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Welcome to Lyd on Life

Over the weekend I celebrated my best friends 25th birthday. It’s weird saying it out loud. Twenty Five. Such a cereal and life changing age for those approaching it. It’s at this point you look at your past and ponder about your future and ask yourself: Are you where you want or need to be?

As I approach 25 myself, I’m constantly asking myself that question.

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Our girly catch-up took place at a restaurant called Gogi on Edgware Road, London. It’s one of her favourite restaurants and its pretty decent. Their Spicy Chicken and Gogi Dumpling are so good. Highly recommend.

Once the food came, the talking started.

I don’t know how we jumped from one topic to the other but we spoke about all aspects of life. Kids, marriage, sex, jobs, university, our upbringing, bleaching, body image, and so much more. Four girls, good food and a table for 3 hours. We took our time.

None of us felt like we were ready to be 25. Maybe 21 (some 18) but not 25. What is 25 supposed to feel like anyway?

During our teen years, we define that for ourselves with an unrealistic view of how life will be at 25. A fabulous career, on the property ladder and planning my wedding. That’s what 25 looked like to me when I was 18.

We forget that the steps needed to achieve that life take time. You need time to find your dream job (if that exists) and adjust to it. Time to build a meaningful relationship. Time to save for a wedding, a house and build this fabulous lifestyle we dream of. Most people graduate at 21. It’s very rare to achieve all of that by 25.

At 21, I thought I’d be in a serious relationship getting ready to graduate, start my career and build a future with someone. I didn’t get into a relationship till I was 23. I had to repeat my last year at university (long story). I didn’t get my first-degree related job till I was 24 and I didn’t start saving till this year. I can’t cook, I don’t like my personal style, I don’t exercise or eat healthly and I’m still battling with problem skin. What would my 18-year-old self say?

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I’m not where I thought I’d be at 24 (soon to-be 25). I feel like I’m 2 years behind. But you know what, that’s ok. Not everything is in our control and not everything will happen when we want it to. But that doesn’t mean we give up on what we want. We adjust. We make the necessary changes and decisions to put us back on track to achieving the life we want. Right?

So instead of feeling bad for myself, I’m grateful that I have an opportunity to do something about it. To make my 18-year-old proud that I’m creating the life I want with what I have and not what I wish I had.

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Perhaps we are exactly where we need to be, to get to where we want to be. But we have to be focused. Spend more time looking ahead to see where we are going and less time looking at our feet to see where we are. Remember that there are also things in our lives which we didn’t plan to happen but they did and we are grateful for them. Lets focus on those things and use them to find our silver lining in this quarter life crisis.

It’s easier said than done but it’s not impossible. Hopefully this blog will prove it. There are many people who feel they way you and I feel. But there are also many people doing something about it. I am. Are you?

Your turn…

Do you feel you are where you want to be? Is that where you thought you’d be at your age? What are some of the things you expected to have achieved at your age? What stopped you from achieving them?

Get in touch, tweet me @lydonlifeblog or share your experiences and tips with everybody in the comments.

Till next time.

Love,
Lydia x | https://lydonlife.wordpress.com

NEW YEARS | My 2017 Goals And Resolutions

May this year be the year you stop wishing and start doing ~ Lydia x

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Welcome to Lyd on Life

It’s new years morning. I’m still a little drunk and feeling real brave. Let’s do this!

But before I go in on my 2017 goals, let me start off by saying sorry for the lengthiness of this post. Like I said I was hungover, bloated and suffering from liquor ambition. 01 Jan 2017. Who wouldn’t be excited for the new year? With so many things to be thankful for in 2016 and even more things to be hopeful for in 2017, I had a little bit of a goal overflow.

I’ll be honest I didn’t do much to bring in the new year. We drank, played card games, ate junk food and talked about the future. Guess you could say I had time to do this post.

Below are my 2017 goals as set by my slightly hungover self. Here we go…

Organise my life:

I picked up this new hobby called blogging last year yet found myself struggling to find time to work on it. Working full time plus making time for other things proved to be harder than I thought. I spent the last half of 2016 saying “I have to make a schedule for myself” and I never did. Better late than never I say.

Here’s a rough idea of my 2017 schedule…

Monday – Friday

  • Spend a maximum of 1 hour getting ready for work
  • Working hours are 9am – 5pm
  • Make notes for a blog post whilst travelling to and from work
  • Spend 2 hours a day writing, editing or promoting a blog post
  • Spend 1 hour replying to emails, comments or tweets
  • Spend 15 minutes practising the piano

Saturday & Sunday

  • Spend 2 hours doing house work
  • Spend 1 hour practising the piano
  • Church
  • Spend 2 hours with me, myself and I
  • Spend time with friends and Family time

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Focus more on my Blog:

By the end of the year I want to…

  • Increase traffic using 1 social media
  • Master and utilise 1 social media platform
  • Have 1000 followers by the end of 2017

Develop as a person Woman:

By the end of the year I want to…

  • Saving – Set aside 40% of all income into a savings account.
  • Cooking – Learn to cook at least 2 different Kenyan dishes.
  • Travelling– Go to at least 2 other countries.
  • Exercising – Get a flat stomach by the end of the year.
  • Piano – Confidently play the piano at church during the service
  • Work – Get a healthy pay rise and job promotion
  • Hair – Grow my hair to bra strap length, think and healthy
  • Beauty – Feel confident going out with or without make-up
  • Faith – Strengthen my relationship with God
  • Patience – Leave everything to God and trust his timing

And that’s it, that’s all I have so far. Think it’s good enough for now, right?

Whether I reach these goals or not, life happens. I believe that having focus on what happens to your life helps you get closer to the life you want. Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. So here’s to 2017 and if you’ve stuck around till the end of the post, here’s to us! Bring on 2017!

Your turn…

Have you actively identified your goals for 2017? What are some of the things you hope to achieve by this time 2018

Get in touch, tweet me @lydonlifeblog or share your experiences and tips with everybody in the comments.

Till next time.

Love,
Lydia x | https://lydonlife.wordpress.com

NEW BLOGGER | 4 Ways to Finding The Blog-Life Balance

Life is a balance between what we can control and what we cannot. I am learning to live between effort and surrender. ~ Danielle Orner

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Welcome to Lyd on Life

Blogging is easy…

Said none of the 133,000,000 (and counting) bloggers out there. Ever!

Balancing blogging with your day job and your life can be quite difficult. Especially for a new blogger. You’re already diving your 24 hours between sleeping, working, family, friends, boyfriend, a bit of exercise, a hobby or two, church, personal growth…Did I forget anything?  Now you want to add blogging to it.

I thought I could till I actually started blogging.

I have huge hopes for my blog. For it to grow, provide insight for other people and be a therapeutic outlet for me. Somewhere I can share my thoughts, plans, struggles and success in life. But how do you find time to do all that whilst still living in the real world? I ask myself that every time I say I’m going to write a post but never getting around to doing so. It’s not as easy as I thought.

Having big dream for your blog means you need the time, resources and motivation for it. I decided to do some research in the blogosphere to find out ways I could get my blog-life balance together.

Here’s a few I found:

Learn from other people – As a new blogger, we’re simply winging it. At least I am. I know nothing about blogging strategies, creating great articles or choosing catchy headlines. All I know is I have something worth sharing. Finding people who can help share our thoughts and ideas can motivate and provide direction for when things start to feel lost or frustrating. www.meetup.com is a great place to start. Here, you can connect with people of similar interest, network at events and build relationships that can guide you to finding your balance.

Make it simple – We all want quality graphics and it’s tempting to want to get all the gadgets needed for the perfect picture. From cameras and lighting to photo-editing software and perfect backgrounds. This all takes time and money. If you have it, great! If not, here are a few less expensive or time consuming tools you can use. www.stocksnap.io/ and www.pexels.com are the two website I use for stunning free stock images. If they need some editing, I use www.freeonlinephotoeditor.com/ or apps such as Instagram or VSCO. A few minutes of fiddling around and I have amazing high quality pictures. They will do for now.

Stay motivated – Ever since I started blogging, I’m constantly looking for confirmation that I’m doing it right. When I don’t find it (from comments, likes, views etc.), I feel a little disheartened. Is there any point in going on? Then I remember why I started. I started to share my experience and the many things that I’m learning in my day-to-day life. Whatever your reason for blogging is, remember that if your blog posts are helping even one person, its creation has been worth your time. That desire to blog isn’t there for nothing. Keep going.

Schedule your blog-life – The saying goes, there’s a time for everything. That can be a little misleading as a new blogger. You feel the need to blog every day and promote yourself on every social media possible to draw in traffic. I’ve tried and failed. It can’t be done. At least not while I’m still finding my feet. However, the saying is true, there is a time for everything. I use my journey to and from work to write down my thoughts on the day or a particular topic. Then I give myself 2 hours every day to either write, edit, post or promote a blog post. Blogging shouldn’t feel like a chore. It should be something enjoyable like an escape from the chores of life. Start small then work your way up.

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And that’s it. That’s all I have so far. And I think it’s good enough for now.

So what’s my plan? I plan to post once a week, putting these 4 tips into practice till I find my blog-life balance. Will these tips work? Who knows, I’m new to this remember. Only one way to find out. Wish me luck!

I hope this post gave you some ideas and encouraged you to keep blogging!

Your Turn…

Did you find any of these tips helpful? What distracts you from blogging the most? How do you manage your blog and everyday life?

Get in touch, tweet me @lydonlifeblog or share your experiences and tips with everybody in the comments.

Till next time.

Love,
Lydia x | https://lydonlife.wordpress.com