Dealing with the storms of life — from a Christian perspective.

Hi there!

First of all, I’m sorry it’s been a while since my last post. I had some personal things to deal with so I decided to take a break from blogging but I’m back with a bang!!! (I hope lol).

This post has been on my mind for a while now but because I was on a “blog-cation”, I couldn’t write it. Also, I’ve been speaking to a few people about what I’m about to share so I thought to share it here and stop procrastinating.

Life, as you may already know, is not a bed of roses. I had this mindset before that everything would always work out if you do the “right things” in each circumstance, so there’ll be no glitches (safe to say that I was living in La-la land). I struggled to relate with scriptures like:

Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord will deliver him from them all.(Psalm 34:29) and “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world(John 16:33) because my head was in the clouds! I didn’t believe that I was going to be faced with any kind of ‘affliction’ or ‘trouble’. (Please don’t judge me).

That was what I thought until reality hit me sometime this year. I was faced with a difficult situation that made me a total mess! I was so upset afterwards because I felt like I could’ve handled things better as opposed to throwing tantrums, being downcast and wallowing in self-pity, amongst other things…

I then decided in my heart that I was going to handle things differently when I was faced with another challenge. Little did I know that this challenge would come sooner than I expected. When it came, the first thing I did (as a human being) was to cry and worry. I spoke to a few people about it and they were able to reassure me that everything was going to be alright. I felt so unhappy for about a day until I remembered the promise I made to myself earlier in the year which was that nothing was going to rob me of my joy.

The Word of God says that He will keep you in perfect peace if your mind is steadfast and you trust in God (Isaiah 26:3). There’s a saying that “Peace is not the absence of a storm, it is the presence of God.” Trusting in God has so many benefits including having peace. When one has peace which comes from God’s presence, one will experience joy, just as the scripture assures us that “In the presence of the Lord, there is fullness of joy.” (Psalm 16:11).

When one goes through difficult situations, it’s imperative that one’s hope and trust must be in God and for this reason, I will be sharing what I did to ensure that I didn’t lose my joy or peace during the challenging situation that I was faced with.

1. I surrounded myself with Godly/positive people: Joyce Meyer once said that “You can’t have a positive life and a negative mind.” I personally like to keep negativity far from me. Apart from the fact that it does me more harm than good, as followers of Christ, we are encouraged in the Scriptures to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23). Part of obeying that word is by surrounding yourself with people that’ll help you grow spiritually. People that can provide succour when you go through tough times not those that will saturate your mind with panic and fear.

I attended an event hosted by The Eden Ministry called Spontaneous and Unusual Conversations (IG- @suc_eden). Their events are so impactful (even when the devil tried to discourage me, I still tuned into the Zoom call)…

It felt like the message at that session meant for me! The guest speaker spoke about God’s love amongst other things. I’d encourage you to follow them on Instagram and join their next Zoom session. I assure you that it is a safe space where one can learn and share one’s burdens with fellow believers.

2. I had a prayer partner: Look, the value and power of prayer cannot be overemphasised. (By the way, it is normal to have days where you can’t pray because of what you’re facing). Sometimes, I want to pray but my heart gets so heavy that I can’t utter anything. I believe that this is when a prayer partner comes in handy; someone who can stand in the gap for you in the place of prayer. This person could be your spouse, friend, sibling, parent, colleague…the list is endless! With time, I was able to start praying on my own again.

3. I meditated on and confessed God’s Word: The devil attacks our mind with negative thoughts and whenever these negative thoughts are thrown our way, we must dispel them with the Word of God. For instance if the devil says to you that you’ll be broke, counter it with the word of God which says that, “God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.” (Philippians 4:19). There’s always a word for every situation, so search for scriptures about your situation and confess them. Say these scriptures aloud; let the devil know that you’re not a pushover. Personally, I look for the scriptures in different Bible versions and use the one which resonates with me. Someone once said to me that if you have the ability to worry, then you can meditate. This is because worrying simply put, is replaying negative thoughts repeatedly in your mind. So if you replace these negative thoughts with positive thoughts (essentially the word of God) then you’re meditating on God’s Word.

Voila! It’s really that simple.

Thankfully, the Youversion Bible app  has different Bible plans tailored to any situation you’re in.

4. I listened to Worship songs: There’s a way worship ministers to your spirit especially when you’re going through tough times and find it difficult to pray. This has helped me greatly! I play some worship songs when I’m in the shower or when I’m working so that my spirit is constantly encouraged. I particularly love this song by Jonathan McReynolds called Lover of my soul . This song has been on repeat for the past few days! I’ve also got other songs which were recommended by one of my very close friends (you can send me a message if you’d like to know them / for me to send you my worship playlist). When you can’t pray, try worship- it works.

5. I listened to messages on Faith: When you’re not confessing God’s word, praying or listening to worship music, try listening to faith based messages. When you’re going through a challenge it’s important to renew your mind with God’s word (Romans 12:2) which is what will serve as the anchor of your faith. A word is enough to change your situation, for the Bible says that, “anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down but a good word makes him glad.(Proverbs 12:25). I listened to faith messages from Bidemi Mark-Mordi Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, and searched for devotionals on the subject of faith on the Youversion Bible app. I also started using the NSPPD prayers by Jerry Eze which rekindled my prayer life. If you are struggling with your prayer life, just try to watch one of the videos and join in the prayers or any other prayer sessions which you feel comfortable with.

Finally, try not to dwell on the challenge — God says you should cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you (Proverbs 12:25). When you cast your anxiety on Him, you should trust Him enough to leave it there.

He is a loving father so there’s absolutely no need to worry! There’s nothing that’s too difficult for Him to do (Jeremiah 32:27) so we should have more faith in God — He has never failed and will never fail. Man of your word by Maverick City Music (which is another fave worship song) assures us that “God has never failed and He won’t start (to fail) with us.

Hold your head up high, rest in the promises of God and bask in the joy that God alone can give. Take walks, go to the gym, read a book, bake a cake and do things that you enjoy doing! Self care is extremely important.

If you’ve come this far, thank you so much for reading. I hope you’ve been encouraged by this post.

How do you stay afloat when the storms of life try to sink your boat? Please feel free to share in the comments section below.

Stay encouraged!

Love always,

Teleola 

HOW I CLEARED MY FUNGAL ACNE

For as long as I can remember, I have always been insecure about my skin. I had really bad acne which affected my confidence and self-esteem.

To make matters worse, people being people passed sooooo many (unsolicited) comments. From “you’re a pretty girl but your pimples aren’t helping matters” to “don’t you wash your face?”. Some even went as far as recommending various types of face products for my skin. Annoying, right?

By the time I got into Uni, I became a product junkie — I basically hopped from one skincare brand to the other. Those products seemed to work after applying them for the first two weeks, then I’d hit a plateau and then buy products from another brand and still ended up in the same cycle. (I think I used every drugstore skincare brand lol). It was super convenient for me to pop into Boots or Superdrug just to buy skincare products off the shelf from any brand which appealed to me. But guess what? My skin didn’t improve. (Looking back, I don’t blame it tbh because I applied waaaay too many products in quick succession).

After I moved back to Nigeria for Law School in 2016, I think I was finally loyal to a particular brand — but my skin didn’t really improve regardless! At that point, I was tired of using various skincare brands and seeing minimal results, so I didn’t care anymore. I had accepted my fate and believed I wasn’t destined for flawless skin. Yup, I was that fed up!

Fast forward to 2019, I broke out tremendously! It was crazy!

Everyone who cared kept asking me about my skin and why It looked the way it did. The breakouts looked like rashes and were really itchy. I tried every single thing; organic skincare, chemical peels — you name it! It seemed like it was even deteriorating with each passing day. 😩

July 2019
July 2019
August 2019 – even makeup couldn’t help me lol

At that time, I was already engaged to be married and we had chosen a wedding date so I was even more worried. I didn’t want to walk down the aisle with a face covered in pimples (at the risk of sounding too vain😂). When I travelled to England to see my husband (then fiancé) a few months later, he suggested that we see a medical professional. We then went to a pharmacy to consult with a pharmacist who gave me some products to use (see pictures below).

  1. Face Wash – I washed my face with this face wash twice daily.
Dr Jackson’s face wash – https://drjackson.co.uk/collections/cleansers/products/07-face-wash-200ml

2. Exfoliator – I used this product on my face about once to twice a week.

Bioeffect exfoliator – https://bioeffect.co.uk/products/bioeffect-volcanic-exfoliator#:~:text=BIOEFFECT%20VOLCANIC%20EXFOLIATOR%20is%20a%20clarifying%20facial%20exfoliator,Apply%20a%20small%20amount%20to%20clean%2C%20damp%20skin.

3. Moisturiser – I used this to moisturise my skin after washing it with the face wash and using a toner which I already had before the consulation.

Bioderma Moisturiser –https://www.bioderma.co.uk/our-products/sebium/global

4. Spot Treatment Gel – I usually used this directly on any spots overnight.

Pharmaceris Spot Treatment Gel – https://johnbellcroyden.co.uk/products/pharmaceris-medi-acne-point-gel-2-h2o2?_pos=34&_sid=d4f5bcc73&_ss=r

5. Sunscreen– I applied sunscreen after moisturising my face every morning.

La Roche-Posay Sunscreen – https://www.laroche-posay.co.uk/anthelios-ultra-invisible-light-spf50

I did my research on the products before applying them (plus extra research on acne generally due to my inquisitive nature), then I found out I had Fungal Acne. I read about it, found out the causes, prevention methods and ultimately, the best treatment for it. 

Left- After using the new products (Sept 2019); Right – before (July 2019)

The lifestyle changes that worked for me:

1. Managing my stress levels – I was stressed from trying to achieve the perfect work-life balance. Looking back, I think living in Lagos played a major role in the appearance of my skin — anyone who lives in Lagos will understand (people often say “If you can survive in Lagos, you can conquer the world”, and I agree Lol). I had to intentionally manage my stress levels because I didn’t want it to impede the little progress I had made with my skin; it was a deliberate effort.

2. Using the right products and having a skincare routine – After consulting with the pharmacist, she recommended suitable products for my skin condition. This time I was relying on professional advice as opposed to winging it and randomly buying products. I also had to be more intentional about developing a skincare routine and sticking to it (even when I got back home from work at 10pm 90% of the time). This took a lot of discipline and dedication but everything worked out in the end.

3. Prayer – Guys!! I cannot even overemphasise the power of prayer. I had started praying to God about my skin even before I saw the pharmacist. I just didn’t want rough skin on my wedding day and God came through for me! Hallelujah!

4. Keeping my hands off my skin– This was by far the toughest part of everything, especially because the fungal acne made my skin so itchy. I realised keeping my hands on your skin will only make it worse, as I’d be introducing more bacteria to my face.

June 2020 – my skin isn’t perfect, but it is much better compared to this time last year

Finally, ensure you track your progress. Take daily/weekly photos no matter how “slow” you think the progress is. 

Voila! That’s how I got rid of my Fungal Acne!

Have you ever experienced fungal acne?

Does your acne make you insecure?

Let me know what your experience was or is (whichever the case may be) in the comment section below.

Remember to share if you find this helpful!

Love always,

Teleola

Disclaimer: I am not a skincare expert. I’m only sharing what worked for me 🙂

This is not a sponsored post.

WHY I DANCED SO MUCH ON MY WEDDING DAY

WHY I DANCED SO MUCH ON MY WEDDING DAY

Hi there! 

Welcome to my blog. 

I’m finally going to address the elephant in the room (or rather on IG). My followers on IG skyrocketed after people posted my viral dance video which I have never addressed publicly. 

I’m sure some of you were thinking: 

a) I didn’t know she had so much energy.

b) How can a bride be dancing with so much reckless abandon?

c) Was she drunk?

I’ve gotten so many similar questions from family and friends.  

No – I wasn’t possessed or drunk. Someone even told me that her mum thought I was ‘wild’ after seeing the dance video that went viral. Lol. 

Let me jump right into why/how I “danced like David danced” on my wedding day. 

1. My desire to have fun on my wedding day

I was a horrible dancer even though I loved to dance. It’s like I had two left feet lol. You know what they say about there being a way when there’s a will? Yup! You got it! I was extremely determined to have the most fun at my wedding. Everything didn’t go as planned (I’ll probably address this in another post – stay tuned. Hehe) but I still had fun to the max! I’m one of those people who dreamt of their wedding day since they were a teenager and I had this perfect picture in my head which included being happily married to the man of my dreams and expressing that joy! Two of my friends, Dolapo & Posi, helped me to achieve that dream by working on my dance moves. A year ago, I couldn’t ‘shaku shaku’ or ‘zanku’ without looking like a huge joke! (Thanks girls for being patient with me and teaching me all the moves). I’m a fast learner so I picked up these moves in no time; with constant practise of course! 😎.

2. Genuine joy to be marrying the love of my life

Secondly, I was genuinely happy to be getting married and doing life with my husband. I know you must be tired of all the clichés about how one is perfect for one’s spouse blah blah blah… but I must truly say that He’s perfect for me. God in His infinite mercies decided to give me a precious gift in human form – my husband, after I had almost given up on men in general (aftermath of failed relationships). I will share a post on  the lessons that I learnt from them because I believe that there’s always a lesson or two to learn from every single experience that one faces in life. So it’s safe to say that the joy that I felt was from within and I couldn’t even hold back the joy by dancing till I was tired! 

3. I had the best hype team a.k.a Bridesmaids

My bridesmaids were amazing! I had 15 bridesmaids (don’t judge me) and they were all there to hype me while I danced. I’d like to publicly acknowledge and thank all my bridesmaids. You guys were fantastic and I love you all.

4. I decided not to care about anyone’s opinion and just have fun!

I’m usually not one to gravitate towards the spotlight and in the past, I used to worry about what people thought about me. The truth is, over the years, I have come to realise that people would still talk about you or disagree with you regardless of what you do. The most important thing is your happiness and that you’re not harming anyone in the process. If I had decided to be forlorn because of people’s opinions, people would still have said, “why isn’t she looking happy?” … the list goes on and on .

5. Wedding planning/stress was finally over!

Trust me, it’s not easy planning a wedding. At a point, I lost about 8KGS (I even had to adjust my wedding dress about 4 times because your girl kept losing weight!) – I was so stressed and didn’t really have much of an appetite. I honestly couldn’t wait for the wedding planning to end and for the marriage to begin. So in the midst of meeting with vendors, going for fittings and driving in Lagos traffic, I promised myself that I would enjoy myself to the fullest on my wedding day as a reward for all the stress and unintentional weight loss. 

Even though everything didn’t go as planned, I was thrilled that the day was a joyous and glorious one. My joy was full and overflowing (thank You Jesus!). After the ceremony was over, I got to the hotel, took a shower and crashed! My body hurt for like 2 weeks after the wedding from all that dancing as expected. 

Do you see yourself dancing like I did? Or would you rather keep it simple? Let me know in the comments section below.

Thank you so much for reading! 

Love always,

Teleola.