Summer school recap

Hey people,

Hope we’re all good and excited about the last few months of the year. It is already chapter 9/12…

Phew!

So many thoughts, so many plans and so few months left.

I said I had to come back here to write a review of the Summer school we planned for the last week in August, and I really wanted to write this review, more because of the lessons learnt through the entire process.

Some are personal and specific to this, but the majority are relatable and applicable in other scenarios, so please grab what you can.

#1 Nothing should give you sleepless night, especially!, when you’ve handed it over to God

So while planning for the summer school, right about 3 weeks to the date it was meant to start, I wasn’t sleeping well and I was waking up with panic attacks of whether or not it would go fine and whether people would actually turn up. At about a week to the start, God broke this cycle by simply making me understand that it was less about the numbers and more about the quality of what I had to deliver. I can’t say this gave me much comfort but it took my mind off what I thought mattered to focusing on myself and my content.

#2 Don’t worry more about something than you plan and pray towards it

I was burdened almost every minute of each day with thoughts about this summer school, it hunted me when I woke up, while at work I couldn’t concentrate properly and during my break, when I realised an hour was too small to do much, I would just sit and use the time to worry… silly but true, looking in retrospect, I’ve never worried about anything the way I worried about this summer school.

It did not change the situation and neither did it make me work any better or faster, so less worrying, more planning and praying.

#3 Plan properly, but even more importantly, communicate!

I was working with a team for this project, they all worked really really hard on bringing it all together but after thinking back to it after it had passed, I realised how unfair I was in communicating with them. I had the ideas, the time frames and details in my head but I didn’t communicate it well enough or in time to these teammates and this just created more issues which could have been avoided, had I just communicated more frequently and precisely.

#4 There should be no shame in what you believe in

I love so much what this summer school was going to equip young girls with, but unfortunately, when it came to communicating this to parents and the young girls, I was panicked and shy for whatsoever reason. It was like I believed they would say no more than they would say yes and that came out in my communication and tainted whatever confidence I thought I had.

If you believe in something, put it out there with confidence and without shame.

#5 No such thing as disappointment, and I mean that

Nothing went according to plan. Not the numbers, or the venue, or the time table, but it still turned out awesome.

There are a lot of things I would do better next time but i’m not sure I would trade this experience for anything. I thought I was disappointed but I was just sad that things didn’t go according to how I had planned it, regardless, i’m happy and grateful.

PS. If you’re wondering why this picture, on the second day of the event, I was a bridesmaid at a wedding so I had to be that woman in 27 dresses(movie) running up and down, Thankfully, the church was close to my house and I had amazing teammates who held it down while I was away.

Below is tired me, back from the wedding and to the girls…

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Upgrade = Change

The software I provided support for at work had a major upgrade a few months to the conclusion of my placement year.

The main aim of the upgrade was to aid clients to be more GDPR compliant.

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a new policy introduced by the UK government to ensure the protection of people’s data. Which basically means that any company in possession of your details must have it because you have given consent. And if you did receive unsolicited emails, messages or even phone calls, by law, you now have a right to press charges and raise a court case. (I’m not trying to cause any trouble, but really, this information might do you some good).

But my post isn’t to educate you about GDPR, although it is a very good policy that will be really useful for where were headed as a society with how digital the world is getting by the day.

As this was a major upgrade for users, you would definitely expect that things would not be exactly as they use to be because asides the changes made to aid GDPR compliance, it was also done to increase the interactivity, quality and functionality of the software.

Here’s what I could not seem to understand.

I spoke to numerous clients quite often who would complain about ‘this not being like this before’ or ‘this is not how it was in the previous version’ and while I would be excited to walk them through their issues, I was clouded with thoughts of how you agree to get an upgrade and expect everything to remain exactly as they were.

This applies to a lot of things apart from software.

We want to grow, we want to reach new heights, we want to experience new things, but we want to do it from where we are currently. We want the result without the change, the upgrade without the new features and we complain when the upgrade comes and it does not resemble where were coming from, forgetting that the new levels come with their own challenges.

I was deeply challenged by these thoughts and even if I take nothing from placement year, I take that upgrades come with changes, uncomfortable at first, but very beneficial as you get along and learn the ropes.

 #NewLevels=NewDevils  #NeverGetsEasier,YouGetBettter!

PROMISE

promise

This month, we started a thing on FOCH woman where we have a word of the Month every Month, and this August, my heart was led to the word Promise.

It is such a vast and deep word depending on an individual but at least two things will mostly come to mind when we hear or think of the word.

Friendship and Trust.

Friendship mostly because it is a commitment from 2 people to be what a friend is to each other and that commitment can be seen as a sort of promise.

Trust because we make and keep promises to people we trust.

Unfortunately, the second is now debatable because you find that people are quick to make promises they actually know they would not keep.

It has ceased to be something that is solemnly upheld and cherished and has become a sort of higher way of sounding truthful.

Our yes, isn’t our yes anymore and our no isn’t a no anymore unless we say ‘I promise…’ I don’t know but I think it has come with this uncaring and individualistic season of ours in this generation.

The things our generation now seem to support, promote the use of promises to denote sincerity and honesty regardless of the fact that we know that we would not meet these promises.

I don’t know about you, but this really unsettles me, I should not need to make a promise for you to believe me and when I do make a promise, it should be that I am actually committing myself to fulfilling this promise.

If we continue like this, we build a society filled with hurt and untruthful people which translates unhealthy relationships.

I want us to commit to lives of truth, this means, our yes, being yes and our no being no. Let’s reject the norm that society is bringing of needing a promise to be made before we can be believed.

I think God expects that from us.

The bible is filled with so many promises and these promises are what God tells us to hold on to and trust Him with. Imagine if God handled promises like we do today?

He wouldn’t be such a good and loving God would he?

Then it’d make you think why we would be comfortable doing same to others around us. I want us to commit to a higher level of responsibility with our words, particularly our promises. Because God actually holds us to what we say, especially the promises. He has called us to something higher. Don’t go with the flow of society!

I wish you a beautiful last week in August! x

NEW FEATURE – SHORT STORIES

Hey guys :),

I’ve finally decided to put up my short stories up here, they’re all very relatable and have moral lessons that I’ll love that you pick up as you read.

It’s the tab beside the blog tab titled short stories. I have attached the link below. I love feedback, so please leave me a comment or email when you read!

And Hey, Happy August! 8 is the number that connotes ‘New Beginnings’ and our word for the month is ‘PROMISE’.

I’ve just returned from a summer school in all the way Asia, I saw, felt and heard God in the most unique ways and I can’t wait to come and share it all with you. But enough about me! Here’s LOVE AND SACRIFICE. Enjoy!

LOVE AND SACRIFICE

 

The closer, The bigger, The farther

This blog post has been a long time coming, I’ve been in between scared to finally put my thoughts together and worried that when I finally sat to write it, it wouldn’t come out quite as nicely as It was given to me, but i’m going to attempt to and I hope I get people who can understand and relate with it because it’s a critical and very interesting phase in this Christian journey.

I’ve felt terribly unsatisfied and feeling like there was more to do and know about God, I’ve felt like I could be somewhere doing something more impactful or saying something better. I’ve felt as if God was looking at me and going ‘This is so small’ and shaking His head in a ‘What will I do to get this girl to get the point’ manner.

And all these feelings put together made me slightly withdrawn and thinking if there’s really so much more than what i’m doing.

But what’s interesting is that I noticed that I have these feelings quite frequently in my life and at phases where I feel i’m getting closer to God.

So I began praying about it, I knew that God would never look at me and shake His head in the manner I had conceived in my head, I also knew that for the place I was in currently, He had brought me there and He had recently taught me the power of moments, so He didn’t want me forgetting about the now and thinking about the past or the future, so I needed clarity because my feelings were in conflict.

God led me to a random read one afternoon at work and the pieces all fell into place.

It was an excerpt from C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia and you don’t need to understand or read the story to understand this excerpt, you just need to read the words and allow the Holy Spirit do the rest.

In the book, Lucy (which can represent us) told Aslan (which can represent God), “You look bigger than before” and Aslan replied – “Every year you grow, you will find me bigger”.

And booooom!

God told me that the closer I get, The bigger I’ll see Him and the farther it may seem.

I think the worse Christians to meet are the ones who think that they’ve seen all of God, or that they’ve grown to understand all of Him, and what they’ll succeed in doing for you is creating parameters that God can exist in, but God cannot exist in parameters established my any man which automatically creates a flaw.

I have no doubt that I’m growing spiritually, I feel and see changes in my flesh each and everyday and though most times I loose battles, I know that I know better and would do better next time.

As we grow spiritually, we see how biggggg this our God is, we see how much more we have to learn and know and we see how much more impact we have to make in this earth and this knowledge brings us through a season of ‘Am I even doing enough?’ thoughts.

God doesn’t intend to make us feel small in a really big atmosphere or make us feel like we aren’t making any difference, as a matter of fact, it’s the enemy leveraging on such a good thing that spiritual growth is.

I never want to be able to say I’ve seen all of God or known all about Him. I want to always go into His presence expecting something He has for me.

I love messages and I love music too, I want to keep listening to messages and being in awe of the new expression I learn and listen to the lyrics of songs and gasp at the realisation of the rhema hidden in the song and evidently, what I want is, never to get to a point I tell God that I am satisfied with Him, the way I’ll have a few spoons of food and push it away saying ‘I’m ok, and can’t eat again’.

I realised that my feelings were a witness to my growth and the devil really was not and is not happy about that, so he’ll do only what he knows to do, tell me everything that he knows is not.

Now, I don’t know where you are now, particularly spiritually, But what I know is that so long as you’re intentional about this God and His word, progress and growth is for you. The more you grow, the greater He’ll seem and the farther it might seem you have to go, but that’s just awesome!, it’s the journey to looking exactly like Jesus Christ and what could be better than standing in front of a mirror and seeing God’s image!.

Don’t be discouraged by how it seems with your human eyes, as it seemed to Lucy. Because as Aslan said, ‘every year you grow, you will find me bigger’. It may be more frequently, every day? every second? every time you read God’s word? Every time you spend time in the community of other believers? or just simply every time you learn something new about this God.

sunset

MOMENT

I’ve been on a plan talking about goal setting for a few days now.
The focus has been on understanding goal setting from God’s perspective and not merely what the world tells us.

Every day on the plan, I’ve seen something that has linked to one main thing and I’ve seen how important this one thing is and have understood the reason why the devil has it on surveillance and under attack constantly.
It is the power of moment.

All the things you’re concerned and worried about right now don’t necessarily affect your now, or this moment but rather, it’s something that happened in the past or something we’re looking to in the future.
We get so carried away with either or both and forget the Now.

When the devil succeeds in taking the Now from you, you’re not able to enjoy the phase you’re in at that moment because it’s either what I should’ve done or what I should do that you’ll remain focused on and daily, it’ll drain you till you even look at that moment and not see any worth or good in it.

I have aspirations, oh God, I have aspirations, i’m sure you do too, I also have things in my past I’m not proud of or I feel differently about now, but I’m intentionally learning to focus and be appreciative of the moment I am.
To focus on the Now and plan for the next step, not the 10th step or the 20th step but the next step.

It doesn’t alter or eliminate your future focus or inner drive, rather it allows you focus to actually learn all the things that need to be learnt and will be useful for that place you’re headed.

There’s power and value in This moment.
Don’t get carried away with what you think you should’ve done or where you think you should be and pressure your now out of an equally important phase.
Take a few minutes and observe and appreciate the environment you’re currently in, the activity you’re currently doing, and the thoughts at the tip of your memory.
Embrace it and learn from it.
Moments don’t last, but there’ll always be the past and the future.

MOMENT

Embrace the settings on the washing machine

Once again, I forgot to turn the knob of the washing machine to the wool icon. So it washed my wool in cotton temperature, intensity and speed.

So my beautiful woven sweater came out shrunk, slacked and just not the same.
I was extremely mad.

Fast forward to the same night, I was reading about fabrics. Not for any particular reason but as I read, I became more knowledgeable on the temperature, intensity and speed for each fabric depending on its material. And I saw that if you exposed a material like silk to high cotton temperature, you can say bye to whatever clothing that is.

Majority of us go through trials and we wonder, really genuinely why we need to pass through whatever it is, and there’s that quiet but true questioning to God like ‘what’s going on!?’. We’re not insinuating that everyone doesn’t have their share of trial but yours just seems like it’s to an extent much more or more serious than what others appear to be facing.

I’m not telling you that you’re special or that your blessing is bigger.
Rather, your fabric can just stand that temperature, intensity and speed. You were made with your own guidelines and any influence that would shrink or slack you to the point of destruction wouldn’t exactly come near you so glory in the fact that the temperature you’re in, with its intensity and speed, you’ve been designed to withstand it and still come out looking fresh and clean.

The washing machine isn’t the greatest example but at least know that exposure to temperature, speed and intensity varies with people so embrace your share of trial and await the end of the spinning.

Summer School ’18 FAQ

We’re over the head excited about the Summer School coming up this August/September.

A lot of planning and organizing have been put in and we’re just waiting to have our girls and train and teach them to be the best of themselves.

As per the flyer, it is a vocational and Leadership Summer school so we’re focused on developing the skill-set of every girl and also training on personal/self development and of course, discussing career paths and options as per Foch woman aims and objectives.

We’ve had a load of questions coming through with regards the summer school so we put together an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), that might be helpful to Participants and their guardians planning to attend.

WHAT IS THE MOTIVATION BEHIND THE SUMMER SCHOOL?

Foch woman is committed to the growth, development and empowerment of young girls and women across the world, this means that whatever it will take to help us equip young girls for their future, we are all for and about.

The summer school is going to be an environment to learn and develop skills, whether new skills or developing from previous knowledge from well-informed and experienced individuals.

As we create and develop, we have sessions where we’ll actually seat and discuss issues close to the heart of young people today and take direction from the bible to know how best to navigate our way around.

WHAT AM I GETTING OUT OF THIS?

We would not organize this if we didn’t see a benefit in it, for any young girl involved in the summer school this year, we hope to give you a platform to know yourself better by exposing you to different skill-sets and teaching and training you in new things.

We’re attaching mentors to girls which also gives you a sort of ‘Big-sister’ to talk to even beyond the Summer school.

Meeting other participants also gives you an opportunity to network and make new friends and in the end, to remind you of all your hard work and dedication, we will present you with a FOCH woman Vocational/Leadership Certificate highlighting all you would have learnt in the week.

WHAT DAYS SPECIFICALLY WOULD I HAVE TO BE AT THE VENUE?

August 25th, 27th, September 1st, 2nd and September 8th is the Variety day where we’ll allow parents and guardians come and see all we’ve been up to. It’ll be more of a social evening to showcase all we learnt through the last 4 days.

It’ll be 10am – 4pm daily and Guardians will need to drop and pick their kids daily.

Every participant will receive an outline of the program for each day after payment has been made.

HOW DO I MAKE PAYMENT FOR THE SUMMER SCHOOL?

We have an Eventbrite link which takes you to a form to fill and allows you make payments there.

Alternatively, you’re able to speak to any of the organizers or call +447440284657

As we have limited spaces, we strongly advice that you register your interest as soon as you decide you want to be a part of it.

WHO ARE THOSE LOOKING AFTER MY GIRLS?

Foch woman prides herself in a network of reliable and committed girls and women who are also walking on the FOCH path and so are equipped to train and raise younger girls.

Guardians will have an opportunity to meet with their daughter’s mentor for the summer school if they want to and are also able to speak to the organizers about any concerns they might have, but be rest assured that your girls are in the best hands here in Portsmouth.

In the mean time, you can meet the FOCH team here.

SUMMER SCHOOL

INTENTIONAL

I honestly think our generation has made a mistake believing or entertaining the thought that everything you come across is for you to take, imbibe, learn or begin to live out.

It’s the only explanation I have for the rants and arrogance I see or read each time someone states their opinion

I think at some point, we’ll all learn that even though there’s a place for society, there’s a bigger place for individualism and individualism in the right context.
Individualism that works with principles and values, it’ll help filter out the clutter that our world is filled with.

You come across something that does not edify you in any way, walking away doesn’t make you a looser or a propagator for the evil that it might be, it’ll actually reinforce your stand in your principles and untimely save you your time and sanity.

It’s not passivity, it’s another way to say deliberately choose what catches your time and attention.

focus

Another Tuesday

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I woke up today remembering that it is another one of my long day.

I think it is a mental thing I’ve done to myself but it is now a norm for time on Tuesday to appear to be a lot slower than normal. I’ve not been able to understand it fully but I notice that every Tuesday, when I look down expecting to see a time, I always see an hour or 2 hours before that time, and to be honest, it’s not much of a shock anymore.

Monday’s appear to be my fastest day and Tuesday’s, my slowest.

It is expected and  very possible for me to begin to dread every Tuesday. Like waking up every Tuesday morning and going like ‘aaarrrggghhhhh, another Tuesday, another long day’ but when I wake up every Tuesday morning and remember ‘Oh, Rubie it’s our longest day’, I get up and do what i’d normally do on a Monday or any other day.

Today, I quizzed myself about this and I wondered why it didn’t bug me that it was a Tuesday each time I woke up on a Tuesday morning.

I realized that no matter how long a Tuesday lasted, it always, always came to an end. Like, even if I looked at the time expecting to see 4pm and I saw 12noon, I might be pissed but i’m reminded that no matter how it drags, it will end.

I don’t know why it was this period that this realization hit me, but as it came, I remembered all the stories I’ve heard in the last week about all the people who decided it was time to leave the world by themselves due to one reason or the other.

Added to that, I watched about 10 minutes of ’13 Reasons why’ as I waited for my friend yesterday and saw how this beautiful teen girl created 13 videos of the 13 reasons why she took her life.

As I listened to the 13 reasons why she did what she did, with her counselor being the 13th reason (LOL), I realized that none of the reasons were permanent. None of them was going to last forever, in a nutshell, she would have left high school from the people bullying her, healed physically and mentally from the rape she’d been through, got a job and left her uncaring parents and found friends who appreciated her for who she was.

This is not me being insensitive or undermining the gravity of what she felt. To be honest, I don’t even know what she felt because pain is like our finger print. No one truly knows where or how it huts. But my point is how neither of the reasons were permanent.

Same way my Tuesday will always come, but cannot stay forever, no  matter how long it drags.

It is a theory that we all have to intentionally learn that ‘Nothing lasts forever’. Particularly on the negative side. Things always get better, and even when they don’t, we get better at handling these things.

Think of all the things you want to end this minute. If you critically look at them, neither of them will be forever. One day, it will end, and guess what? You’ll probably still have a new list then.

I want Tuesday’s every week to remind you that though it may last, it will end.

My heart goes out to all the people currently going through anything that just you know about.

Here’s something my dad said to me.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Feel free to ‘reach’ out too to talk. Just maybe you’ll feel better.