Hey everyone! Welcome back to my blog! This week I am continuing on my 4 part series titled Run to the Father. Today in particular I chose to write on Love ❤
If you are cooped up in a loud home like myself during quarantine, you may find that the people you live with are beginning to get on your nerves; even more than usual and there’s no break in sight. Although this may be the case and feelings are more than likely involved, God called us to be set apart and show his merciful love to others. I do not own copy rights to the music used in this video. Hope you enjoy 🙂
Welcome back to my blog; a life of learning! Your girl is coming back to you as a new grad, having just completed my nursing degree! I am a BScN graduate and I am so eager to begin working under this new title. My final step now is to complete the NCLEX exam which covers all materials I have learned in the past 4 years (not too pumped to have to review pharmacology if I’m being honest). My passions are currently in obstetrics and women’s health. I can also see myself working in the nursing fields of mental and public/community health. If I get a job in any of the above, I would be so very grateful. God has been good to me regardless. I believe that he only has plans to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Lets jump right into the message. Are you longing for a deeper relationship with God? Are you seeking to experience his presence? This blog entry was inspired by John & Lisa Beveres’ book titled pathway to his presence where they teach readers ways to experience life and intimacy with God. The book highlights how to overcome barriers that prevent us from connecting deeper to our heavenly father. What are some barriers you might ask? They include…
Mistaken Identity: Not being aware of who God says you are. Staying in this kind of mindset enables shame, regret and doubt to manifest as unbelief in our lives and distance us from God. When you lose sight of who you are, you become vulnerable to the thoughts of man which can be degrading and contrary to the identity and purpose that God calls us to. Colossians 1:13-14 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Cherished Sin: Sin that continues to harbor itself in our lives and is given permission to stay rather than being confronted and removed. Sin creates a chasm between ourselves and our heavenly father, rendering us powerless to overcome it unless we confront it with the power of the holy spirit dwelling in us and the blood of Christ which sets us free from all forms of bondage. Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.
Heart Wounds: Pain or hurt from the past can prevent us from knowing God and experiencing his unmerited grace and mercies. At the age of 9 my parents got divorced and I had to experience life without a father figure. I was angry at my dad, to the point where my perception of my heavenly father was misconstrued. I didn’t trust God and I couldn’t experience the fullness of his love as consequence. It wasn’t until I relinquished those thoughts and brought them to the obedience of Christ, washed myself in the word of God, which proved more true and more real than my hurts and pains, that I was able to draw closer to him. Psalms 68:5 God is the father to the fatherless..
Reflecting on my current self, I’ve come to realize that I’ve grown comfortable with living as a somewhat mediocre christian during this last semester of school. For instance, I haven’t been doing a good job with filling myself with his word, praying and seeking his guidance. My close friends and family would probably agree and tell you right now that this kind of negligence to spiritual growth shows. I forgot about the Holy Spirit and his power living inside of me, to the extent where I didn’t consult him before choosing to fall back into past sin. I felt compelled to write on this topic of intimacy with God because I know I’m not the only one trying to work out a relationship with him and making mistakes along the way.
These mistakes dont make us who we are, for we are washed and sanctified by the blood of Christ as Christians. God measures the condition of our hearts and the level of our faith. Each new day, we get the opportunity to live for Christ and we get to learn ways to overcome temptation/sin by the word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. Our faith is strengthened and developed as we walk in his admonition and in his will, so don’t beat yourself up. As a believer in Christ, you are compatible with God and made new, he will continue to renew and transform you as you walk with him.
Thank you for reading Today’s blog. Like this post and comment below to add to the discussion. I’ve decided to make a part 2 which I will call “Overcoming Barriers to Intimacy with God” and post up after Christmas, God willing. In the meantime have an awesome week and Merry Christmas!
Hey guys, this is the final part to my 4 week series, taking content from my chapter within my book The Tri-Wisdom Effect. I am so glad to have gotten this out and written about my experiences growing up with hope. I hope these posts were meaningful and worthwhile to you guys as well, especially towards those of you who can relate or have similar experiences as me.
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, It is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”
Hope and me:
I am much better off for having Hope in my life and I trust that he is better off for having me as his sister, even though I didn’t feel that way to begin with. By adopting the golden rule for my brother, I had to learn to shift my thinking from problem focused to understanding, accepting and solution seeking. I had to recognize that he is much more than just a mental illness, he is a guy with unique potential.
Hope needs extra holding of the hands, yes and like anyone else, a little shaping this and that way, but he is my brother and he is the best. I know there’s nothing I can do to change Hope’s diagnosis but I can help him to get to his optimum self by utilizing his strengths, interests and abilities for his own good. I’m glad to be in Hope’s life.
The main message I would like to convey to other youths is to never give up on your Hope. If you are like me and have a single mom along with a special needs family member or just simply have a single parent, always make sure you put in the time to help them out. This shows that you’re appreciative and acknowledge their sacrifices. They in turn won’t feel alone in their efforts to raise you. Because your parent(s) love you as much as my mom loves me, you will feel their support even if your special needs sibling constantly snatches their attention away.
Live life one day at a time and invest in those closest to you. I confided a lot in my mom and my life has been a wonderful one due to her love and support for me and my three brothers.
Develop meaningful relationships with other people outside the family too and never see hardships as things that have the power to destroy you. Hard times challenge you, mature you and make a better version of you.
Challenge yourself each day to grow, learn, prosper and continue to place your best foot forward. This is the theme I maintain in my blog where I continue to post more information about my life living with Hope and other assorted issues/experiences children and youths may go through.
Once again, Thanks so much for joining me on this series of hope and reading my blogs thus far. I am happy to say that next week I’ll be starting a new topic on ‘knowing when to let go’ of things like relationships and putting more of your time and energy on enhancing yourself, loving and living a healthy life. Get rid of toxicity, let it go, move forward with yourself and maintain control of your future! Let me know your thoughts down below in the comments section about next weeks topic and the series that just ended above.
Thank you and cash you out next week, Stay blessed ❤
Ps. I have to add the link to my moms more professional blog here.
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THE TRI-WISDOM EFFECT: How to achieve success and true happiness while caring for others.
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As promised, Here’s the 3rd snippet of my chapter!
Getting it right: My mom’s recipe for Hope’s Goals and Routines
Team Hope is composed of my mom, four to five paid caregivers, my two brothers, a social worker and myself. Presently we are incorporating Hope’s strengths and skills into his care and helping him to develop into a functional member of society. He goes out to activities with the various caregivers who are each responsible for some part of his health and well being, thanks to my mom’s diligent planning.
One caregiver takes Hope to the gym, for sports, to cooking classes and the library. Another helps Hope to volunteer in the community by getting him to make hot chocolate and snacks for the homeless as well as to deliver packages for payment (who knew my brother could ever grow to have a job!). Another female caregiver helps Hope to get ready for the day and sometimes for the night when mom is away. This caregiver ensures good hygiene and grooming, bed making, cleaning up after himself and other activities of daily living. The fourth caregiver gets him to do fun activities like swimming, bowling, attending youth services, hockey games and the like.
My mom coordinates Hope’s care, plans for his present and future goals and all other things associated with his team. I help my mom with the physical care of Hope whenever I am home. My younger brothers also help as much as they can. Honestly, I don’t know how my mom manages without a second driver in the home. It’s an unbelievable mountain of work for her! Must be magic, or maybe just regular large consumption of tea and awkward dancing now and then that does it.
Nothing about Hope, without Hope
As a team we include Hope in all care decisions regardless of his mostly muteness. He understands more than he lets on and mom insists he must be included in all decisions regarding his care. We strive to develop quality and effective Hope-centered care for the good of his overall growth and development. By doing this we help him to pursue his goals of self-esteem, self-awareness, communication and integration into society, recognizing that he’s a human being just like anyone else. Ultimately, we take into consideration Hope’s holistic health including the physical, social, spiritual, psychological and mental aspects of his life. I am amazed at what can be accomplished when inspired, like-minded people come together to achieve a goal!
This is where I will end for part 3 of my chapter’s snippet. I hope you liked and enjoyed it. The final part 4 will be posted next week, hopefully on Wednesday. Feel free to leave a comment on your thoughts down below in the comment section and subscribe for future posts. God bless and see you next week!
I’m back, I took a leave due to the burdens of nursing school but I do have a passion for writing and I did promise to come back and continue in my posts. Breaks are so important, especially when used for important things and during a busy schedule.
I wanted to inform you all that I am co-authoring a book with my mom titled THE TRI-WISDOM EFFECT, Achieve success and true happiness while caring for others. The inspiration behind this book is primarily my mother and the struggles she went through raising 4 kids on her own, one being autistic. We recognized that there is a need not only to care for others but to care for the caregiver as well. This need is approached from a holistic stand point, taking into consideration a persons mental, physical, social, financial and spiritual health. The purpose of this book is to uplift and encourage the caregiver/single parent to stay active in their own health by first shifting the mind to reflect positivity and changing bad habits into good ones.
We introduce a 3 step easy to apply method which helps the reader to balance their day to day events, even amongst raising children and/or care giving. For the next few weeks I will be placing snippets of my chapter, which is mostly about growing up with my autistic brother, in my blog posts as a sneak peak for my blog viewers. Straight from our fantastic upcoming book, here is part 1 of my chapter: Growing up with Hope (my autistic brother).
A millennial’s perspective on growing up with a special needs sibling
My name is Fiona, the only daughter of Janepher Otieno who is the primary author of this book. I’m writing this chapter to give you a youth’s perspective on growing up with a special needs sibling. My hope is to be relatable and encourage youths that are growing up within the care of a single parent and/or growing up with a special needs sibling. You are not alone, there is a reason for everything you are given. This chapter is dedicated to you.
God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called (Mark Baterson, 2014).
God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear (1Cor. 10:13).
My mother is a force to reckon with. I always refer to her as a locomotive because it just about encompasses her strong sense of self direction and drive to succeed, even under difficult circumstances. Although mom appears to be equipped for the hassles and pressures of raising the four of us, I can’t help but think that she probably struggles most as a single mom raising my autistic brother (Pretend I did not give her the many headaches in my teenage years, even up till now…and pretend my two younger brothers haven’t replaced me and ranked higher than me in teenage madness). My mom calls my autistic brother SS, meaning Special Son. I have chosen to refer to him as hope in my chapter.
How it all started.
For all I know, Hope was born normal with no signs of a mental illness. In fact he was bright and above most kids his age in pre-school. He had a promising future, or at least we thought. Prior to moving to Edmonton, Canada, Hope became very ill and maintained a relentlessly high fever that took time to respond to treatment. On arrival to Edmonton, he could not walk out of the plane. As a child I blamed the plane as having had something to do with his illness. Looking back I recognize the inaccuracy of that thought. Anyways, thinking he was just tired or sleepy, my mom carried him out of that plane, instead of me – the younger one. He woke up the next morning no longer able to hold a toothbrush properly. He went from a 100 to 0, like really quickly! After a battery of tests and exams over a long stretch of time, he was diagnosed with Autism. We were all dismayed to learn that the bright boy with an even brighter future was now mentally handicapped!
Mind you that at this time my brother was around six years old which meant I was just two years old when we moved to Edmonton, Canada, where I have lived to date. Looking back, I recognize the highs and lows of growing up as an immigrant girl, raised by a single mom with an older autistic brother.
As a young child:
I hated Hope’s behaviors. I recall the embarrassment I felt having to be with him in public because I felt like he always disturbed the peace and got negative attention and judging looks from people. I couldn’t accept or understand him. Not knowing better, I felt like Hope was a curse, a burden to have to deal with … his behaviors and his many nuisances were all just too much to handle. Hope was stealing my right to have a playmate, not to mention my bonding and cuddle time with mom!
I compared myself with my friends who had cool, big brothers and it broke my heart to see how unlucky I was. They got to play with their brothers while I, on the other hand, tried to hide Hope’s existence. I was embarrassed about how others would view him if they saw him and therefore change the way they viewed me. I couldn’t use his name to help me pave the way into a popular clique in junior high; no one there knew about my brother and I chose to keep it that way.
Nowhere was my misfortune more obvious than in my elementary school years. There, it seemed as though all my friends had reliable, functioning older siblings who were mature, relevant and who helped them out with their homework. I wanted Hope to change and behave like a normal. I wanted him to play with me, study with me, and protect me, heck it was a dream I know now could never come true, but a child can hope, right?
Furthermore, I detested the extra attention granted to Hope. I felt it took time away from me to connect with mom and it made me feel somewhat underappreciated. Of all the luck in the world, I had to be the one getting the oldest child’s responsibilities while Hope received the oldest child’s privileges. Some days I thought long and hard whether or not the suitcase hanging in my mom’s closet was big enough to enclose my brother meaning I could finally say hasta la vista baby and watch him get shipped off to Thailand or Australia or just somewhere else far from here.
Thank you for reading up to this point and getting a perspective on the life of a millennial growing up with a mentally challenged sibling. Stay tuned for next week to read part 2 of this chapter where I continue on with my shift of views from childhood to adolescent to adulthood! Leave a comment down below on your thoughts about this post and whether or not you have had similar experience with a special needs you know.
I am in love with the versatility and options I have discovered through my blogging journey and I am more than excited to present my first ever podcast. Today, with the help of my special guest, I will be sharing ways to redeem your time. I hope you enjoy it (getting it converted, transferred and read was challenging and its not perfect but I’m hella proud of it! :D). Because I do not have a self hosted blog site yet, I cant upload the podcast straight from my computer files, instead I have to settle with planting the url code HERE(to download episode, right click and save). Otherwise as we progress through the learning curves, as the theme of this blog site goes, Ill probably improve with the presentation and content of my blog.
Let me know in the comments section if there is anything you would critique, add or subtract, and your own thoughts and opinions about redeeming your time. Also let me know if you like podcasting or prefer reading in a more journal like form. If you haven’t subscribed yet please feel free to do so and stay updated for future blog posts.
Guess what…Next week I’m thinking $$$ money!! I will be discussing ways to increase your financial IQ and prioritize investing your money other than saving/spending it carelessly on unnecessary things. See you in next weeks blog!