Music progress

So if you ready my earlier blog ‘free to be me’ and the other music blogs I’ve written, you may be interested to know that I am having an absolute BLAST this year on my music journey so far.

I am learning music theory, the guitar, taking vocal lessons and I’ve now added the keyboard to my repertoire – nothing can stop me now!!!  I am realising how important the theory is now, it’s the building blocks and foundation for music – if you can grasp this, the rest is just creative fun!  If I had managed to grasp this when I was a little younger, who knows where I would be today?!?!  But hey, I cant waste time on ‘coulda, shoulda, wouldas,’ so I am finally getting on with my music and I am so excited, I feel so content and peacful and I just want more and more of it… 🙂

… The DjW event I did yesterday, was amazing!!  Everyone enjoyed the set that I did and most importantly, I feel like I was able to plant some seeds of encouragement and inspiration, pointing towards God which I believe is the key to life!  We are already in talks about putting on future nights, so watch this space!

Being on stage is like my 2nd home!   There is a side of me that is released and its like I sort of watch this person from within and I’m in awe of her confidence and the voice sounds beautiful, I almost cant believe its me lol!!!  I had great comments about my voice from “girl you can definitely sing,” to “what a voice!” and “wow you have a beautiful voice!”  Hearing this is so touching and encouraging because singing is the one thing that I love to do more than anything else, but its also the one thing I question with thoughts like “am I good enough?”  Or “theres so many others better than me, what makes me think I can really do this professionally?”  I know I shouldnt punish myself with comparison, so I try to nip those thoughts in the bud before they run riot in my mind and I will continue to work and develop until I get where I want to be, but also making sure I enjoy the journey no matter the outcome.

…I’m so inspired right now, I’m now brushing up on my keyboard skills (after 16 years of not playing), and I’m amazed at how much I actually still remember (its kind of like riding a bike, once you learn its always with you).  I guess the old saying “don’t use it, you lose it” doesn’t apply in my case lol!!  Its all still there, its just finding it again.  I’m sure this has something to do with my prayers, asking God to help me grasp everything speedily and to advance me quickly so that I can catch up with the years of missed practice – so I am really seeing the fruit of these prayers!!!  I composed my first song on the keys this week and I was amazed at how well I played, it was literally like my fingers just knew what to do.  Now after spending the afternoon with my uncle who showed me some great tips, (he is such a great teacher and so inspiring) I feel like I have jumped forward 10 steps!  I now have some exercises to practice to develop my keyboard playing and my uncle has shown me how to incorporate various 1st, 2nd and 3rd inversion chords combined with base notes to enhance the chords I have chosen for my song, so I’m really excited about developing this track!

…I’m gonna start some serious recording within the next 2 weeks, so I am really excited about being able to get my music heard and hearing feedback and continuing my development…happy times:)

Xx

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Self Esteem

Today I’ve just started reading a book about self esteem and it’s got me thinking about my self esteem and the highs and lows I’ve experienced.  Its been an ongoing uphill battle at times, but I am thankful that I am on the up nowadays.  I think I can equate it to a combination of things (personal therapy, my counselling training, my faith in God, self acceptance etc).

I have come to the conclusion now that the foundation of my self

esteem comes from understanding and accepting myself

(which is an ongoing process) and most importantly…

…what I believe about myself.


Also in my profession as a counsellor and personal development trainer, I have witnessed personally from my client work how the thoughts and beliefs that run through ones mind (from past negative, difficult and painful experiences), can so powerfully overtake a person and literally have the power to break you.

However, when a person begins the journey into self awareness and starts to see the effects of their experiences in their thought life, with this insight they can choose to begin the process of replacing the old unhelpful beliefs with new life giving truthful beliefs – this is a process.  In my truthful and honest opinion, my experience has shown me that only God can supernaturally change a person, restore and heal the deep hurts that life has bruised us with.  Then the word (Jesus/The Bible) continues the ongoing washing, healing and restoration process.

Simply put: WHAT YOU BELIEVER ABOUT YOURSELF IS WHAT WILL MANIFEST AS YOUR REALITY.

So, simply put again: in order to challenge and change your thoughts, beliefs, perceptions etc.  The mind must be challenged about the negative, old and unhelpful thoughts/beliefs and replaced/renewed with new positive, inspiring, empowering, life giving thoughts/beliefs etc.

I believe that only Gods word is the true inspiration and has the transforming power that we need to renew our minds and our lives to live peaceful, purposeful and fulfilled lives.

Life is a journey, an ongoing process and we are always learning…


BUT one must start their journey with a true and honest intention to seek answers to their quetions and solutions for their problems etc…and be willing to put the work in – THEN the exciting process of change, growth and development etc begins!

I have come to the stage in my journey that I fully, whole heartedly and completely rely solely on every word that God gives (either through the bible or spiritual revelation).

The word of God is my: strength, hope, inspiration, encouragement, comfort, wisdom, motivation, empowerment, guide.  It is the reflection I need in the areas of my life that needs growth, development and maturity.

I simply cannot function in this life without God and I NEED to spend as much time as I can in His presence (reading the word, meditating, reflecting, praying, worshipping with music, being in church and with like minded believers).

I have tried MANY things to manage and cope with life but honestly, nothing comes close to a true relationship, utter and complete dependence on God.
I have to be honest though, I do have my down days when I will think various negative thoughts like:

“What’s the point?” 

“Am I really getting anywhere?” 

“When will I see the answer to the prayers I’ve prayed long ago?”

……And the classic:

“Its not fair, why me?” or even “Why not me – when will it be my turn?”

But I realise that sometimes its just the enemy taunting me and trying to upset me, steal my joy, plant seeds of doubt etc, and other times its just me allowing the old thoughts and negative thoughts (based on past experiences) replay in my mind.  At these times, I may have a little sulk, shed some tears, take a rest and listen to some inspiring music, find something inspiring to read, pray and/or I’ll channel these thoughts and feelings into writing a song or journalling etc.  Every day and situation is different, so I just go with the flow of what is right for that moment.

However God is without a doubt my lifeline and I am learning to trust Him daily.

X x

Prayer works!

My friend EV and I have recently started praying together, and just keeping each other accountable in our lives.  I have a few girlfriends that I know I can pray with about things, and it feels so good to know they have my back.

I got a text today from EV updating me about her court hearing on Friday (God knows why she waited 3 days to tell me!!!)  Anyway,  there was some sort of misunderstanding about fine she had with her car, she had moved and wasn’t getting the letters about it, so the fine had escalated out of hand and had resulted in a summons.  We spoke in the morning before she went to court and we prayed together over the phone.

Here is what she sent today:

Hey girl just giving you an update and praise report…thank you so much for praying with me!  Before I got there the prosecutor asked me a couple questions and was like I’m gonna speak to the judge and came back and said were not going to proceed with ur case😃He also said it was my lucky day and smiled!  I went in and he repeated what he had just told me and the judge looked at me and smiled and said you can walk out of here with a clean licence take care. I didn’t have to say a word.. The two barristers either side of the judge, the clerk and the prosecutor smiled again as I walked out ! God is GOOD! No 6 points no £700.00 fine xxxx

Praise God!

This is no coincidence, how often do people get let off fines???!!?!?!

I’ll leave it to you to ponder…

but …

…As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD Joshua 24;15

Bless xx

Jesus, Grace, Love

But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. (Romans 4:5 NLT)

The love of God is my freedom!!! I don’t have to strive, work, struggle, prove, force, pull, push, manipulate etc.
I finally have the revelation after 13 years of doing the above, that ‘works’ means nothing to God and is not the answer for completeness.
There is nothing we can do to earn or prove ourselves worthy.
Just knowing that because I have received Jesus sacrifice for me, I am set free from the judgement of sin and condemnation is a breath of fresh air. I first heard this message of Grace in 2008 in South Africa at the Rhema SA
Radical for Christ conference. I was there on tour singing with my church worship team, promoting our new album, but I was still secretly struggling with my relationship with God. I loved worshiping and singing, but I did not enjoy reading the bible, praying or spending much time with God. If I’m
honest it was a chore, I felt like it was all one way and God just seemed distant, silent and untraceable. No one wants to spend time with someone who just ignores them! I was not happy about my seemingly non existent relationship with God, I yearned to have a deep and meaningful relationship with God, but I just didn’t know how.

…I had some deep rooted issues from
the past which were a major hindrance to my relationship with God. My Christian counselling training and personal therapy were the key healing factors for me and as I reflect now,
I can see how God was strategically and beautifully weaving my process together and I realise how close He really was…anyway more about this in later blogs)…

Pastor Joseph Prince was teaching on grace (I would encourage anyone who is suffering with insecurities, sin, condemnation, low self esteem or just wanting to understand the message of Jesus and Gods love to read ‘Destined to Reign’ by Joseph Prince, it is very insightful, I had lots of light bulb moments and it totally changed my
Perspective of Christianity and how to relate to God. It has been a loooooong journey, with some major hiccups along the way. However I can honestly say today 3/2/12 that my security is in Jesus, my faith is in His perfection and promises of commitment and love.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)

What a relief!! I have God Almighty on my side. My job is to believe in His undying, unfailing love and to know that no matter what He has my back, He is working all things out for my good and things will always work out. It may not always happen the way I think it should, but each day I learn to trust more in Gods wisdom. This is not always easy, but as I read the bible more and more, it encourages me through my tough times.
It inspires me to keep going, it motivates me to push forward and keep trusting and keep believing that my best is yet to come.

All the best in Jesus name

xxxxx

The Depression: part 2

AGAIN!!!  Why did I wake up?

Every night I would secretly hope that I would just die in my sleep and wake up in heaven!  I didn’t see the point in my existence anymore, life was meaningless.  “Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, why am I still here?  What purpose could you possibly have for me, that you keep forcing me to wake up for ANOTHER pointless day?”  Just another day to get up, go to work, come home, go to bed, day after day, after week, month, year blah blah blah.  I’d had enough!!  Is this all life was about?  Working to pay for bills, spending most of my days working, having a few weeks off a year to escape the meaningless reality of life in another country, for as long as I could possibly afford and then drag myself back to the slavery that I was captive in…there must be more to life than this???

It was as if I had been asleep, a sleep walking zombie, unaware of my sleeping state, but every once in a while I would be rudely awakened by some painful experience beyond my control.  It would force me to self reflect and look at my wounds, but the pain was overwhelmingly unbearable to REALLY feel.   One of my coping mechanisms, was to stuff my pain along with myself, deep down beneath the fully reinforced impenetrable defence mechanisms, that I had created to ‘feel safe.’  I even managed to fool myself most of the time that I was ‘fine’!  I was lying though, my soul was sick, my defences were malfunctioning left right and centre and I didn’t know how to fix it.
I started to search the Internet for answers – Google became my best friend!  I realized that others were searching also, this offered some comfort actually, but I honestly still felt so lost.  I had been in church for about 8 years already, serving, tithing, and faithfully turning up week after week.  Was I doing something wrong?  Why was I so miserable?  Why did I feel so empty?  Maybe there was something more I needed to ‘do.’

It seemed no one I came across had the answers I needed, maybe I wasn’t looking in the right places, but finally I made a decision, that I needed to make a decision, to make some changes.  I have been in the personal development industry for 9 years and at the time I was mentoring and counselling young people in schools across South London.  Therefore clinical supervision was something the company provided for us to review our workload, work through any issues we were experiencing and any personal development needs we had.  Fortunately I had a good relationship with my supervisor and I felt safe enough to share with her how unhappy I was.  She recommended the book ‘Being Happy’ by Andrew Matthews for me to read, which she felt would point me in the right direction, so this was also a good starting point.   This among other books gave me glimmers of hope and pearls of wisdom, which I put into practice, but I kept getting stuck and still could not figure out what was wrong with me!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been someone who would look out for others and help others to progress.  In my spare time I was busy volunteering and at work I was busy fixing other peoples lives, so I rarely had time to think about what I needed and do anything about it, I was mostly fire fighting!

In the autumn of 2008 I noticed the heaviness taking its toll on me.  I started to cry at random times, my temper was out of control, I struggled to sleep and everything was a chore.  This was during what was the most exciting times of my life.  I had just co-written and produced a large scale youth musical for my church, which was an amazing success – but I was absolutely miserable and inside I felt like a disgusting rotten corpse!

After the musical, I was at a loss as to what to do with myself.  My life felt stale and I just felt like I needed something more.  I remember talking through some ideas I had with my mum, one of them being my long-term desire to train as a counsellor.  My mum encouraged me to submit my application and she sat with me while I completed it, and we went together to take my passport photos to send off with the application (sadly my mother is no longer here, so this is a fond memory for me as I write this).  It was not long before I found out that my application was successful and that I was accepted onto the course.  My life was taking a new turn and I was so excited about my journey ahead…

Look out for pat 3 coming soon..

Xxx

A message from God

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds – Psalm 147:3

During my devotional this morning I was praying about what I would write today.  I’ve got tons of stories to tell you, but I’m trusting God to lead me.  This week I have felt inspired to concentrate on the Psalms, so as I was reading Psalm 147, the above verse jumped out at me.  Immediately a memory came back to me about a phone call I had just over a year ago.  The phone call was from a lady from my old church and I could not remember the last time I had seen or spoken to her – it had been a while to say the least.  She said God had told her to call me and give me a Message:

He said He needed me to get into a church because there were some things He wanted to do in me, which He could only do within corporate worship.  He knew I was suffering and hurting and He wanted me to trust Him to heal me.  

On reflection, I now realise that when believers gather together in unity for corporate worship, the is an abundance of faith and this releases Gods flow of healing, breakthrough and miracles!

I hadn’t been to church in months and I had no intention of going anytime soon.  I was angry and hurting, disgusted with church and the so called “Christians.”  I felt downtrodden, let down, mistreated, unloved and discarded. I was sinking into a depression and I knew I needed help because I felt so lost and confused, so it was quite an ‘uh mmmm’ moment for me!!!  Could this really be a word from God?

I didn’t act on this immediately, I decided anything God needed to do or say He could do anywhere – He had just proved that anyway by getting a random woman to call me and give me a message out of the blue!

I didn’t trust anyone and I certainly was not going back to my old church where I was uncomfortable – no way!!  I was so vulnerable, wounded and scarred from a combination of events that had happened, so I just couldn’t bear to put myself through any more unnecessary torture.  No, if God wanted me in church, I wasn’t going anywhere until I was sure that I would be safe.

One of my closest and longest friends invited me to church with her one Sunday and I tagged along because I didn’t have anything else to do, so I thought why not!  It was a beautiful experience.  The worship was soothing and uplifting, it was medicine to my spirit and soul.  The message was real, full of wisdom and inspiring, I felt at ease there and I knew it was somewhere I would come again.  I also bumped into some long lost friends, which was a pleasant surprise, so overall I actually had a good time!  The church was advertising the start of an Alpha course which was due to commence in the New Year (at the time of my visit it was November 2010).  I remembered the message I had received from God from the lady who called, so I figured I would give it a try – what was the worst that could happen?  I was already at rock bottom anyway, so I guessed it wouldn’t do much more harm!

I left the church that day feeling quite hopeful; maybe God was right about me getting back into church?  I would find out…

…look out for part 2 coming soon.

O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me – Psalm 139:1

…God is so good, I asked Him to show me what to write in my blog today and as I got into His word, this blog pretty much wrote itself!  I had no intention of writing my blog this morning (I just wrote my last one a few hours ago in the early hours of the morning!)  In fact MY plan was to develop some of the songs I am working on for my music course I am doing – but God knows best:)  I’m off to get ready for a vocal coaching session- another story I’ll tell you about soon I’m sure:)!

By for now!

xxxx


My blog birth!

So…I’ve been thinking about doing this life journey blog for about 6 months now, but  have putting it off for various different reasons…blah blah…excuses, excuses!!

I figured that there is no time like the present, and even if no one reads this, at least I can say it is something I wanted to do and I gave it a shot…and if nothing else maybe my kids will find it and get a kick out of reading it when I am long gone lol – enjoy kids (my future kid that I will one day have lol!) mummy loves you!

Anyway, my reason for wanting to write this blog is because I love writing and sharing my interests, discoveries, insights etc with others and thought it would be great to combine the two together.

So…whoever you are, if you enjoy my blog(s) feel free to comment, get in touch, ‘like,’ ‘share,’ or whatever it is you decide to do best:)

By for now

T Saf xx