Appreciating Education

recite-3svh9zThere are times I think the world is too convenient. Many things are geared towards the quick fix and convenience, such as microwaves, fast food, lose weight in 30 days, drive through pharmacy, GPS, texting, and shopping online. At times these conveniences reduce our creativity, physical activity, face-to-face interaction and developing relationships. On the other hand, some conveniences can make life easier and goals more attainable.

Shinning A Light on Education

I recently watched a great documentary on Netflix called “On the Way to School.” The documentary filmed children in four different countries journeying their way to school. Their journey time ranged from 1 hour 15 minutes to 4 hours. Some of the challenges they faced included avoiding elephants in Kenya and navigating the mountains in Morocco. I was thankful to be exposed to a different type of challenge some children face in order to obtain an education.

After watching the documentary I began to reflect on my own education. I recognized  I have been blessed with an education and the convenience of traveling either by car or public transport to school, college and, university. I developed a deeper gratitude for my educational opportunities and the support I received from my family and friends throughout my education. Additionally, I thought about people who have access to great educational opportunities but due to various reasons they have not capitalized on this opportunity.  I became somewhat disappointed and disheartened. I am aware that everyone cannot genuinely attend school maybe because they have to work for their family, their parent/s do not value education, or have personal challenges with education. However, there are many people who are smart and simply think education’s a waste of time and do not realize the value of their educational opportunities. I wonder how people would change if they watched this documentary and saw not only the journey the children faced but the way they supported each other on the journey, the love, concern and encouragement. Education is not for everyone but basic fundamentals as reading and writing are vital. I decided to share gratitude for my education.

Appreciating Education

I am thankful for family members who support and encourage my education.

I am thankful my grandmother was a teacher, which allowed her to help me start reading and writing at a young age.

I am thankful that my love for reading and researching has expanded my knowledge and understanding.

I am thankful for the words of wisdom my parents gave to continue studying my books.

I am thankful my mother made me attend Saturday school to enhance my knowledge.

I am thankful for the homework books my mum gave me in primary school, even though they did not give home in primary school my mother always made sure I had homework. As much as I thought it was unfair, I recognize the benefits and her efforts, therefore, I am very thankful.

I am thankful for a free education from primary school all the way to university.

I am thankful that I experienced a safe journey to school, college and, university.

I am thankful that my mother worked a short distance from my primary school so I could walk there safely in 10 minutes.

Educational Viewpoint

As you can image I truly value education, it is important. Yet at times I have taken it for granted. I have focused on the debt I have incurred from some of my education, even though it is nothing compared to what some people have, complained about study time, reading and writing papers. I know if I focused on the list above I would increase my gratitude for my educational opportunities.

I encourage you  to make a list of gratitude for your educational opportunities, whether your are in or out of school. Notice how your education viewpoint changes and the road seems clear in terms of obtaining your goals.

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Thankful for Time

IMG_3110I recently graduated and completed a Masters in Professional Counseling. It was an intense two-year program, which also included an internship in the last year. It was one of the best seasons of my life and also very busy.  Now that I am winding down from my intense schedule, I currently have some extra time on my hands. At first I felt somewhat disoriented but now I am thankful for this time.

Time is precious because we can never get it back. Therefore, I am thankful to have this extra time and I plan to use it wisely. I am thankful that this time has allowed me to spend precious moments with my family when they came to visit for my graduation. I am thankful this time allows me to catch my breath and enjoy the moment. I am thankful this time allows me to refill my tank with God’s word and soak in His presence and love. I am thankful this time permits me to focus on supporting and helping others.

I am thankful that this time allows me to sit by the river and enjoy the natural beauty of God’s creation. I am thankful for the time that allows me to reflect on the past two years and adjust my goals and focus. I am thankful that I have the time to read the books that I want to read. I am thankful for the time I have to gather my thoughts, ideas, creativity and further develop myself as a counselor and prepare myself for the clients I will see.

Time is truly a gift and precious. I pray and hope that you also, continually cherish the valuable moments, your time, and the time of others because there is beauty and enjoyment in the time we have now.

Thankful for the Gift of Being Single

unnamed 3I recently read a friends Facebook post about a family member being concerned that they are a 35 single female without children. In spite of the conversation she is happy being 35 without children. I totally related to her post because I am 35 and single. I have heard it all, when are you gonna have kids, why are you single, do you want children? Do you want to be married? Don’t leave it too late etc. Whilst I know people love me and are concerned I do not agree with being with someone or having kids just because of my age! I look forward to being married and having children, but I am not willingly to settle out of fear. I think we have all experienced forcing ourselves to enjoy someone’s company when you really do not like them.

Oh did I forget to mention the biological clock and the increased risk of Down Syndrome. Whilst there may be some truth to the statistics it does not mean I should make a rushed decision about a husband and having children. You chose what you want to believe and I believe God, despite the numbers. Oh by the way, the chance of having twins is higher in older women, with or without fertility treatment.

There are many things that I  am thankful for, whilst in my single season. I thankful for the opportunity to learn about myself  and develop my self-awareness. I am thankful that I can develop my relationships with family and friends. I thankful to come home and everything is the same place I left it, that gives my slight OCD comfort lol. I am thankful for peace and quiet in my home, which is important for an introvert like me. I am thankful for the opportunity to come and go when I please. I thankful that I can focus on my relationship with God and spend more time with Him. I am thankful that I can discover what is important in a relationship. I am thankful to discover what I bring to a relationship. I am thankful for the amazing travel experiences I have had throughout the world. I am thankful for relationships with people who are married, friends and family members with children that I can learn from. I am thankful for the support from my single friends in the same position as mean who are also enjoying life.  I grateful for the various people I encounter, sitting in coffee shops alone. I am thankful that I love me and spending time with me. I am thankful that I have become comfortable in my own skin and know my worth.

To the single ladies in the this same position, you have a choice to enjoy this stage of your life or worry about when you will meet your husband. I know it is difficult when you feel pressure from, family, friends, or the media but settling will only make you unhappy. Being single is a great gift  and there are many things to enjoy. Focus on what you have not what you do not have and your view will change about this season of your life.

To those of you reading this who pressure friends or family members who are single, please give them a break and let them enjoy their life and just be the best friend or family member you can. Please stop asking them if they are in a relationship or why are they single, they will let you know when the time is right.

Thanks for your time

Love Bianca

Thankful to Walk Alongside Others

imageOver the last two days people have opened their heart and lives to me. My friends have shared their pain, joy and deepest fears. As a counseling intern I am exposed to the challenges of my client’s lives.  I am thankful for the privilege to see into the lives of others and walk alongside them. I do not take this privilege for granted and I never what to take it for granted. Thankfully I have friends and family who will let me know if I am becoming ungrateful or prideful.

I thankful for the gift God has given me to counsel and listen to the heart of others. I thankful that He trust’s me to fulfill this role. I am thankful for the opportunity to pay it forward and speak into the lives of others the same way people have spoken into my own life and supported me. I am thankful for the wisdom God has given me to listen, be present in the life of another, speak encouraging works, or ask probing questions that help people with their challenges and/or give encouragement.

I am thankful for the joy I experience sharing other people’s joy. I am thankful for ability to be moved by compassion to help someone other than myself. Life is not about what I can get from others but the love I can give to others. I am thankful to know that family, friends, clients, and sometimes strangers trust me with their life, that says a lot about the love of God that flows through me.

I challenge you to think about the lives you have helped and the people who have opened their hearts to you. This really is a  privilege not to be taken lightly. It says a lot about your character, even when you may have thought otherwise. There are times when we may think, why is this person telling me their whole life story, I know I have thought this. However, it may be because you have the wisdom, insight , patience and gift to listen and help others. These past two days have reminded me of my gift to be with people during their suffering and celebrate with them during their achievements. Whatever the situation I am thankful.

Thankful for the Power of Words

IMG_2589I thankful for the power of encouraging, life-giving words. The saying goes “sticks and stones will break your bones but words will never hurt you,” that is a lie. We remember hurtful words and we remember kind words, yet the hurtful words often over power the kind words. There are gifted people in this world today, walking around believing they are worthless, not good enough, or a failure. On the other hand, there are gifted people walking around knowing that they are loved, worthy, and significant, because of the words spoken to them and what they chose to believe.

I am thankful for encouraging words, and quotes that encourage people to overcome the lies they have been told. I thankful for people who have overcome emotional pain and written books to inspire others. I love to encourage others and I thankful for this gift. I thankful to see the face of a person light up when I give them words of encouragement or tell them how beautiful they are. I love to see a person’s demeanor soften when kind words are spoken to them. As weird as it might sound, I love to see the tears fall from a person who hears words of love for the first time because their tears mean they realize they have finally been accepted.

I thankful for websites like Pintrest where you can find thousand upon thousands of encouraging words. I thankful when I look through my Facebook or Instagram feed in the morning and people are praying for an amazing day or sharing inspiring quotes.

However, most importantly I am thankful for the Word of God, the Bible. That is life-giving to me. As a daughter of God I am reminded of His promises, His enduring love, His, protection, His guidance, His wisdom, and his special love for me. God’s word keeps me and for that I am thankful.

Being Thankful During The Cold Weather

IMG_2560This week I decided to push myself and discover how I am can be thankful when faced with things I do not enjoy or like. As a result, I challenged myself to create an attitude of gratitude towards the cold weather.

This week I decided to push myself and discover how I am can be thankful when faced with things I do not enjoy or like. As a result, I challenged myself to create an attitude of gratitude towards the cold weather.

I am thankful for the cold air that I feel when I walk outside because it means I am still alive and my sense of touch is functioning. I am thankful that I can drive in a warm car, whilst it is cold outside. I am thankful that I can walk from my car into a building or my home in less than one minute. I am thankful for the sun that still shines even though it is cold. I am thankful that my home is warm and I can sit on my sofa and enjoy tea alone or with friends.

I am thankful that I can look forward to spring within one month, the beautiful flowers that will appear and the warmer weather. I am thankful to God for a beautiful home , where I am safe, warm and fed. I am thankful for friends willing to brave the cold so we can still spend time together.

I realise that despite winter not being my favourite time of the year, I am still here to enjoy another day. Another day where I can connect with family, friends, enjoy life and share my gifts with others.

I am thankful there are 29 days until spring! 💐💐💐💐

Thankful for Friendships

An-Attitude-of-Gratitude In 2014 I challenged myself and some work colleagues to make a note of the things we were thankful for and share it on Facebook. For 30 days, in a row, my friends and I shared our gratitude with our personal communities and the outcome was amazing. I became more joyful, less anxious, more accepting of others, and my eyes became open to the blessings I have had throughout  my life. The most surprising outcome was the impact it had on other people. Various people thanked me for sharing my posts on Facebook, some even started their own gratitude list. My colleagues also received similar feedback and personal feelings of joy.

It is apparent that being thankful and displaying your gratitude generates joy and contentment. As result, I have decided to share my gratitude with you, each week. I hope you enjoy this experience and that it creates an attitude of gratitude within you.

As human beings we are created to connect through healthy relationships. I am thankful for friends that I am connected with in a healthy way. I am thankful for my great friendships in both London (my first home) and Atlanta (my second home). I am thankful that my friends love me for who I am not who they want me to be. I am thankful that I have friends who I can be vulnerable with, without fear of judgement. I am thankful for the support, encouragement, quality time, gifts, smiles, words of wisdom, listening ear, voice of reason, and honesty I receive from my friends. I am thankful for the power of great friendships. I am thankful my friendships have helped shape me into the beautiful amazing woman I am today.

I am a woman who is thankful that I know and experience the value of true friendship.