NEW WALK BY FAITH

We used to pray together, the aim was an hour every single day and it was beautiful. With time, we found ourselves ( a group of 5 – 6 friends) in different countries, different time zones and with varying schedules, it became hard to get together to pray as we used to. At first, I was very unhappy with that decision, because I knew the difference that this time with God made in my life.

But now I understand that it was all God’s plan. He knew I had to grow in faith independently and fly by my own wings. He wanted me to take my faith with my own hands and serve Him.  I was depending too much on those prayer sessions and forgot that I also needed some personal time with God. It got to a point where the only time I would pray was when we would gather together. As a group, we stopped praying together around October 2016.

From that time, October 2016 to probably now, I went through so much. Challenges upon challenges, trials upon trials. Nothing seemed to work. Nothing seemed to work out for me. I felt lost, abandoned, lonely, defeated and weak. I cried myself to sleep almost every single night, I wished myself dead, I was tired. Found myself drinking so much that I even passed out once and blacked out. I blasphemed, yes I did. My favourite sentence to my mum who always told me, confide in God, pray, He will make a way for you, and so much more …. was “Leave God where He is”. The reason I said that was because I was angry at God. I wondered why He would let me go through all what I went through without shaking an inch to end my sadness. Another phrase I would constantly say was “Where is God when all this is happening”. I genuinely felt anger towards Him for allowing me to go through what I was going through.

To a point that I found myself asking constantly, “why me, why not somebody else”. I felt as though everyone’s life around me was moving forward and I was stocked in  my pain. It went on from that point all the way to December 2017. I only saw the bad things that had happened and made sure I blamed God for those. I completely forgot to appreciate the good things God had done for me, all the blessings He had showered upon me, I forgot to thank Him. At that point, I felt like God should only be thanked for big achievements. In fact, I was so blinded by this thought of achieving great things that even when greatness was happening, it felt small in my eyes.

An example was my undergraduate graduation during summer of 2017! I never said thank you Lord. I never gave appreciation for Him seeing me through to the end of my degree. So many people drop out, so many are withdrawn from their programmes of study because they fail to meet progression credit requirements, so many do not even get to go to University. But I was ungrateful; I was at the time blaming God for not making it possible for me to gain admission into my dream school for graduate studies. I forgot to even thank God for making it possible for me to pursue my education, for keeping me save (yes, because some people die along the way). I was blinded.

From July to September 2017 and even till December 2017, a tsunami displaced my family dynamics. The anger and pain from October 2016 was not resolved and I was already dealing with yet, another upheaval. Personally, was not surprised by my family’s dilemma as for some reasons, my instincts and guts had always created a possibility for those to happen. It was traumatic, heart breaking and mental. I was not just angry about God, but angry at the situation as well and started building some sort of hatred in my heart. Every fruit in my mind were opposite to the fruits of the spirit of the Lord which include love, joy, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

The betrayal, the pain, the emotional and psychological pain I suffered made me feel unloved, and unhappy. I couldn’t see God’s faithfulness at that point in time. I had very insignificant faith because I felt betrayed by the faithfulness of God. I became a loner, I spoke little and kept my emotions to myself and built even more hatred. The major result of all these made me loose self-control. It was getting out of hand but at least I was busy; busy with school. One thing about me is that I am very ambitious and determined. Once I start something, I must finish it and I always have high goals. I turned my pain and anger and hurt in my studies.

Dear library, studying and revising were my time. I cannot begin to imagine what would have happened if any idleness.

December 2017 was the worst month in my whole existence. I had never felt hurt the way I did. The sadness I felt was unexplainable and I remember, I stopped praying and believing in God. Even when my siblings or mum would say, let’s pray about things, I would laugh boldly. It was a way of telling them that praying would not change anything. Because of all what I had gone through, I felt like if God wanted to act on our (my) behalf, He would have done so already. I just lived and began to think that God was just a myth. A myth human beings needed to believe in to justify things they couldn’t explain. In my mind at the time, I would think that it was luck and coincidence.

One thing that fed my believe was the fact that I knew unbelievers who were doing well without God. I knew people who did not believe in the existence of God but were high achievers. At University they were among the best, they were finding jobs, they seemed happy and bothered by nothing. I did not envy them but it made me question the point of God in my life. I asked myself what God’s purpose in my life was if at the end of the day,  I was still unhappy, and unaccomplished. I would interview with companies and not get it. I would reach final stages in recruitment processes and still would get rejection. I would invest my time in an application and still not get passed initial screening. What was the point then, I asked myself; for God to be in my life if He couldn’t make it possible for just a single thing to happen. That was my state of mind.

Something I have to clarify is that after this December 2017 period, I was now at that stage where I will pray for praying sake. My faith was very little and during the bad days, I will plunge again and blame God. In January 2017, I fell ill. I suffered from a recurrent illness which never seemed to go away completely. I had more than four emergency surgeries. It troubled my studies because I was in and out of the hospital, I will miss my lectures and tutorials, yet I was determined to do well. If anything, in my family, we are fighters. I am a fighter and I did not let sickness get in my way of achieving my goals.

Things began to unfold around March 2018. I started getting call backs from companies for interviews, assessment centres and all that and eventually, secured an offer with a big multinational. Finally something good thing had come my way. I was happy. I decided I would travel in April which I did. I did so well in my May exams. I was finally smiling but it was short. For some reasons beyond my control, I was told in August 2018 that the company for which I had an offer could not sponsor my work permit (Visas and permits for international students in the UK). That was a knife in my chest. That was really when I began to think that “my village people had gotten at me”.

In my culture, there is this believe that “someone can tie your destiny:. That is how I felt. In all honesty, I felt like someone was responsible for this “downfall”. How do you explain having a job offer with a signed contract and not having it anymore. I cannot count the number of whys that came out of my mouth. It was difficult. I would normally never believe in such but when this happened, I was just like “please God, who did I offend”. Must a child of God suffer in this way! Must a child of God go through this much sorrow! But like I said, I never ever give up. That’s not in my vocabulary. I continued to apply.

For a month I asked for this: “Lord just a sign”. Just show me something or make something happen that would make me believe that all I am facing, this adversity is temporary and you are preparing me for a miracle. Some days,  said “I am tired”, God please. I have been asking since August for a sign., a touch from God. I asked to see his face, that he should reveal himself to me. I often said that “God my mouth is heavy at this point to speak out on how my heart feels”. I will be listening to this song titled “For Your Glory” from Tasha Cobbs and asked for favour for almost 2 months.

It had been going on and on until my twin sister last week suggested this website that she has been following which has been really helpful for her in building faith. Other friends from that chat confirmed that they follow this site as well and without any hesitation, I decided to go on there. I looked at the lay out and in that moment was convinced I too will be touched by the messages on there. Before that, my Youtube suggestions led me to the testimony of this lady which I followed attentively and was blessed by it. I watched a couple more of her videos and I felt that the spirit of God had led me into finding her channel so that I will be blessed. The spirit of God led me to another video which I had once watched some years back about this lady who almost sold her soul to the devil and was giving a testimony about it.

Before that even happened, a couple of weeks earlier, when i found myself complaining to a friend with whom I was staying with, I had told her “my life is a mess right now” and immediately suggested I should watch a movie titled The Shack and in that movie, it showed the life of this man, who had experienced a tough childhood but was finally married and happy with his three kids. But everything changed the day he lost his last born on a vacation who was abducted then killed. But this movie shows the workings of God, Jesus and the holy spirit and shows how God is continuously working on our behalf but we cannot seem to see things happening physically because there is poisonous grass (weed) all around. When I watched this, I did not make the connection of how God was using my friend to speak to me in that moment but now I see it all.

Last night in my sleep, I felt tribulation. For some reasons, the images are still very blurry but here is the recollection of the events in my sleep. I believe two people came to our house (a house), a mother and her child in the face of a far cousin of mine who put to birth a year ago but I have never seen the child. The moment the entered, I felt bad energy. I have always been very instinctive in my household and rarely do my instincts fail me. I think its a gift that God has given to me as I am able to tell when someone has bad intentions, energy or just has negative motivations. I smell it from a distance and can tell immediately.

So in this dream, I felt the same way about this person that had come in and I think I tried to question why she had come, and what her mission was at our house. In my dream, I fell asleep as it was night time and at one point felt something wrapped around my neck and was strangling me. It was as if I had a neck scarf and it was slowly getting tight around my neck, making it impossible for me to breathe. I think my mum was sleeping next to me and I tried calling her and touching her to wake up but she was deep asleep. I was fighting and I couldn’t even see who was strangling me with the scarf. Then, I began to pray by intelligence and called upon the holy ghost. I prayed to God that nothing fashioned against me would prosper, I reminded God that He is above any principalities and powers. I told Him to save me, calling upon the precious blood of Jesus. I prayed and prayed and eventually, was set free.

Now, this whole thing made me wake up in the middle of the night and all I could think of was continue praying. I prayed again and again to God for deliverance, I prayed for protection in my sleep and more. I gave my life to Christ in that same moment and asked God to take me, and make me whole in Him again. I realised shortly after that God had finally shown his face to me through this dream and made me hear his voice this night and that was all what I had been asking for. I prayed for healing all over my body in all my tissues, I prayed that by the time I woke up, I would be healed, no more pain, no more fever, no headache, no nothing.

When I fell asleep again, I had a dream, a scene of my aunt telling me my twin sister had passed. Immediately, I rebuked it. I said away from me satan. I said woke and said I make this dream null in Jesus’s name and then I prayed again for protection for all my family members. It was not the first time I had ever dreamed of a family member passing away and as real as it had felt in the past, I had always prayed about it. But I declared it with faith, assurance, audacity and confidence reminding God his promises to be with us wherever we step our foots and had the firm conviction that He would do so. So in the morning, I was not panicked.

Now one thing which I forgot to mention was that from the testimony of the lady on Youtube the day before, the main thing which kept coming for me was forgiveness. She had explained in her testimony how she had been hurt by her own mother and that she had not been talking to her for years but when she gave her life to Jesus and was borne again, not only did she call but she asked for forgiveness too and told her mum she forgave her. It spoke to me because I was in the same position; I was too hurt to forgive, and not forgiving created barriers and chains for myself. I understood that I had to forgive and ask for forgiveness too.

This morning, as I woke up, I knew I was healed, from my physical, emotional and psychological wounds. I felt replenished and new again. I felt strength that I had not felt in so many years. The spirit immediately led me to watching a Sermon by Joyce Meyer and I was touched. The title of her sermon was “the pursuit of peace” and in that she expanded on peace with God, peace with ourselves and peace with our neighbours. How awesome was this. For me to have felt anger all this while at God and here I was listening to a sermon about making peace with God. Needless to mention the peace I needed with myself because of the hatred not forgiving had placed in me and what more, peace with our neighbours which reminds me of the sadness I mentioned earlier when referring to the “tsunami” in my family. I needed this to break the chains and free myself from the bondages I had possibly contributed to.

Then in this same spirit, I listened to a talk from the site my twin sister had suggested a couple of days ago and it was about a woman from the book of Judges called ASCA, which refers to her as a conqueror. They spoke about the impact of our words, our heart and our spirit. In this talk, I understood that I had to come to God and ask with a spirit that I have conquered already, I can ask God the impossible because He is an extraordinary God. They explained how Josiah asked God for sunlight and God did give him. What about Peter, who asked to walk on water. In Luc 11, God reminds us that He has out audacity in us, we should not think of ourselves as any less, not worthy to ask directly and the audacity of Asca as go-getters! I understand that there is no excuse I need to have to claim what is rightly mine, God’s promises. We have that capacity to reclaim those promises because spiritual authority is part of our heritage in Christ Jesus.

They mentioned Jeremiah 29:11 during this talk – I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.

And there I was seating again in my bedroom with all of these and I begin to get filled by the spirit and the word. All what they were saying this morning was addressing me and my circumstances directly. Now I know for certain without any doubt that the Lord is my shepherd and I will lack nothing. He will give me blessings like a tree planted by the river side whose leaves are always green and the roots never dry up. I will remain attached to God with no more conditions. No more of ” God if you give me this, I will do that ….). Now I know that God does not place anything bad on us and that, it is simply the work of the devil who is only here to steal and kill and destroy and we need to have faith and be strong spiritually to pray and cast out any form of attack of his.

Anything bound in heaven shall be bound on earth and anything that the Lord has touched will bear fruits . It’s a new journey but I am thankful that I am all in. I am thankful that I know that I can claim my heritage from God and that his plans for me are for prosperity and bring about future hope. I know that it would not be easy, I know that this journey would be challenging but I also know the spirit in me now. I want to be a wise woman who builds and is not lazy. God has delivered me from the bondages I used to be in and now I know that I will never return to a point of no landmark.

God bless,

Laurianne  Ndzana.

Advertisements

Fitness Your Way – My weight gain and weight loss story.

Hi beautiful readers!

Welcome back to my blog.

In this post, I would be sharing with you the idea of a new section on the blog.

The Fitness Section.

This would include meal plans and prep, workout routines and progress tracking.

I am doing this because I want to motivate myself in my healthy lifestyle journey which as you all may guess, is not an easy task.

When I came to England, I weighted 58 kg and that was actually post summer weight (September 2014). This means on a regular school year, I would be around 55kg.

img_3064
I was about 55 – 58 kg here, very tiny and skinny.

I started putting on weight as the years went by and I reached my highest point at University in my second year when I got to 70kgs. The reason behind this would mostly be attributed to a poor mental state that led me into binge eating. Secondary reasons would be the fact that in my first year, I was still learning how to cook and wasn’t totally great at it. Therefore, I will eat out a lot and my plates used to be filled of Nando’s’ fries, and peri-peri chicken. I will order pizza in the evenings and eat it while it lasted.

Needless to mention I wasn’t physically active. The lifestyle in the U.K. was such that my common daily exercise would be walking to campus, which I absolutely hated. It was a 20 mins walk yet, I hated it because I was not used to walking back home.

In my first year, by the end of the first semester when I returned home at Christmas, everyone had a comment to make.

Wow, what have you been eating, you’re putting on weight, life is good over there … These were the kind of comments I got and believe me, I had an answer to counter argue everything. I wasn’t really seeing myself in the ‘miroir’ to notice how much my body was changing. I enjoyed that holiday and ate as much as I could knowing I would not have the same meals when I returned for semester two.

Flashback to high school …

I used to repeat these sentences: “God forbid I ever become like that”. Like that referred to being obese, over weight, massive, huge… You name it. I had very few friends that were overweight and it just didn’t make sense to me how they’ll allow themselves eat to that extent. Especially that I would see them snack all the time in school, from plantain chips to groundnut caramel, to sweets, cake, burgers, soya to “pain-oeuf-sphagetti”, and “tampico”… It was totally insane how much they ate.

After that Christmas, I came back to University and the first thing I did was to order a scale from Amazon. It was delivered to me couple of days after and I had made up my mind to weigh myself. I was so scared of getting on the scale for I myself had started to realise the weight gain people around me were talking about.

When I climbed on that scale, my eyes dropped. I was 63 kg. From 58-63 kgs, I had therefore added 6 kgs in the space of 3 months. I remember crying about how much I hated my body now. The remarks kept increasing to the extent that when I’ll Skype my parents, I would turn off the camera. They’ll ask and I would give a random excuse that my webcam has issues.

From there, I started making little changes. I would walk to school more often, and I had signed up to the University’s gym and went with friends.

However cooking was still an issue. I have to admit that the major problem here was that although I had identified a need for change, I did not know how to cook and eat healthy. I was never really a fan of veggies, I hated a lot of fruits and wouldn’t drink enough water. So that was hard.

Then began that phase of making myself throw-up after eating. I had come across several blogs were people said it makes it easier to loose weight. I would weigh myself literally every morning and if I had not gone down, I would starve myself and throw up even more in case I ate.

The problem with doing that is that you get physically exhausted. I had started to feel ill and dizzy most of the time and more frustrating was that the number on the scale was not dropping

This really affected me because again, I dealt with this alone and no one knew I was doing what I was doing. Comments about my body even from friends at Uni killed me inside. They commented on my tummy getting big, my jaws and that only made me more sad, angry and bitter.

It came to a point were I broke down one day to my best friend. I told her; people are out there making comments on my body, my weight gain and it’s just so mean. As if I didn’t notice those changes myself. I told her how much I wanted the comments to stop.

I was clearly frustrated. Remember the high school mentality, I was not about to get big. That would crush me to my core.

The gym was not helping get my weight down. On the contrary, I was building muscles. And I even went from 63 to 65kg. Some days I’ll be 63 again, 62, 64 but I never went back to being 58 kg 😭.

Rest in peace my sweet 58kg.

Fast forward to my second year. The hardest year and time of my life. Ohh God, school was hard, everything was hard, I was stressed up 90% of the time and tell me what, I started drinking to top things up. Literally, everyone knows how caloric alcohol is.

Depression kicked in (story for another day. I’ve actually written about it but it’s been in my draft for a year now. It’s quite real and deep and It’s still negative as I wrote some parts even in my depressed state – so it’s going to be another post one day – let’s hope for mental health awareness day 2019?

I would eat myself to sleep, eat whilst crying, studying, I just ate to feel better. Food was replacing my pain and before I knew it, I hit 70 kgs. Now I’m not a very tall person so I should be maximum 60 kgs for my height. I even got myself a waist trainer thinking it would help the fat disappear but “nope”, that only works for Kim Kardashian.

IMG_0235
I was 70 kg on this picture. I had reached my heaviest point. You can tell from my tights, had arms, my face -jaws, neck, almost double chin. Everything really!

At that point, because of how I had changed physique wise and character wise, I did not welcome any comments on my body and weight gain. Anyone who tried got properly roasted. At that point, I just hid in big clothes, hoodies and t-shirts.

That summer, when I went home, I asked my mum to let everyone know I would not welcome any comments about my weight. That I knew how I looked and all the remarks made me uncomfortable. So everyone really took that and my siblings, Dad and everyone one helped me. I had a special diet, I played tennis all summer and was also going to work (my summer internship).

All this contributed to me loosing weight. From 70/72, I went down to 67. You may think, well that wasn’t a lot but I was so happy. It actually motivated me when I returned to Uni for my final year to keep up with that healthy lifestyle.

IMG_3839
One of my regular detox and refreshing drinks. Its a blend of cucumber, apple cider vinegar, lemon, ginger, and of course, water.

I meal prepped, I stopped fast foods (wasn’t a big fan really but occasionally, I’ll have pizza, and KFC) so that totally stopped. I stopped eating out, went to the gym all year long (aside during busy midterms and exams seasons), drank a lot of water and focused on my mental health. I made a lot of changes and that really paid off.

I went down further to 65 kg by the end of the year.

Today, I carry on with this lifestyle and I am maintaining a constant weight of 63 kgs. I try to remain as much active as possible and keep the good eating habits. It’s been two years now since I had any soft drinks, pizza, KFC, and many more. I haven’t had French fries in a year and I rarely eat out. Once in 3 months I would say.

Health is really important and should not be neglected. It’s a constant battle to keep up but it’s really really important.

I had started cutting down weight from here.

The reason I’m making this post is to motivate myself and any other people that may or not relate to this story to take their health seriously. Health is wealth and as cliché as that may sound, you don’t know the value of health until you don’t have it.

Food is the best thing that could have happened in this world, especially with the flavours, from African dishes to Caribbean to French food, the delicacies are innumerable. But here’s the lowdown, food cannot control you. You control food. You may be going through ‘stuff’ but it’s really important that you find in you that capacity to stand up again and take your faith in your hands. And that may mean sacrifices but just know it’s for a good cause.

I drink alcohol very rarely now. Just on special occasions like New Year’s Eve, wine once in a while with food and that’s it. However, I don’t want to sound as though I am totally free from temptation and do not give in sometimes.

Sometimes, especially during exams preparation, I treat myself. I would order food if I don’t have time to meal prep, I would have haribos whilst studying and my favourite chocolate (the chocolate with nuts by Lindts).

However, when that exam period is over, your girl is hitting the gym hard and all is back to normal.

img_4620
Me ready to hit the gym after two weeks worth of exams eating and snacking. I’m in my favourite attire (I love my short even if mum would throw it away at the slightest opportunity)

It’s a journey. A journey where I am conscious of the dangers associated with being overweight, and the harm it can cause to your mental state (weight gain was part of the reasons why i got depressed).

IMG_2841
I am still a bit overweight but now I am at a floating 63. I am not looking to drop to the 50s but I want to make sure I am eating and living healthy. Again, with time, I have built muscles so I really doubt if I can drop back to 58 but its not impossible. Let’s see how I can on.

My favourite quote is that from Jim Rohn; “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live”.

Making excuses burns zero calories per hour. Repeat after me!

Looking forward to sharing my workouts here, my meal plans and tips & tricks.

Note: Most pictures have been left unfiltered because I wanted to maintain the realness. I think it is important to see certain things raw without any touch.

Thanks for reading xx

19’s Observation.

 

EuroTrip – Part 2 – Frankfurt

Hi guys!

As promised here’s part two of my EuroTrip. Destination two was Frankfurt.

After four days we’ll spent in Amsterdam, I was now ready for new adventures in Germany.

Again we booked for our three days stay at IBIS Hotels! This time around, it wasn’t in the city centre. It was about 15 mins walk away from the city centre but closer to the financial district. From my room, I could see the tower of Nomura, EY and Citi Bank …

We got to Frankfurt in the evening at around 6 pm and it was dawn already. Our rooms were definitely better than the ones in Amsterdam as they were more spacious, and we had a bath rather than shower and also the interior design was fab. After settling in of course, we were on the hunt for food again and wanted to explore Frankfurt by night.

The restaurant is a pretty popular one called L’osteria. I had spaghetti bolognese and my friend (Mia) had some fancy thing which I can’t remember the name but it tasted like carbonara. Prices were pretty decent so we even decided to add some champagne (proseco) to accompany everything.

By 10 p.m. we were done eating and we went for a little walk while digested our meal and enjoyed the night view of the bridge and the wind. It was calming to think about nothing else and worrying about nothing but enjoy the moment.

IMG_0799

The next day, we began our little adventures with my Mia and other friends (Ben and Indira). Our plan was to visit the city (old council, the church, the opera and the city) for the morning and by 1 p.m., we had to visit the European Central Bank. I was pretty excited about it.

We did all these tours walking which meant that by the time the evening was up, we were very much exhausted. Below is a little slide show of the day. Starting from old council, then the cathedral, sneak pick from the night before (very close from the restaurant), the streets, and friends.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now the pictures of the view from the pictures below have a story. Did I tell you I climbed a tower of 70 metres using the stairs for there was no lift just because I wanted to capture the view.

Okay, not really. I knew the view would be nice and wanted to get it but if I had known how much time and energy  it would take get to the top of that tower, I promise I would not have signed up to it.

Anyway, I am still glad I did. Reminds me once more of that quote which says “there is light at the end of the tunnel”. You see, investing my energy trying to get to that tower’s top, I took breaks, to breathe, it was exhausting but I did not give up and the view was worth it).

IMG_0919IMG_0918IMG_0922IMG_0924IMG_0927

Absolutely love these pictures. With my friends, we spent around an hour at the top and I even had a group meeting via conference call because duty calls! My friends said, you can’t be serious; on a rooftop? But guess what, it was the most productive meeting ever.

Not sure if we ate something before heading back to our hotels and dress up for the part two of the day which was a visit at the ECB (European Central Bank).

IMG_0955IMG_0957IMG_0958

The visit was topped up by a conference on the functioning of the ECB, the current issues facing the ECB and we had an open discussion in the end were questions could be asked. I remember asking a question concerning the pace of development of different European countries, bringing in the burden that Germany and the ECB takes on those EU countries who are not at the same pace of development or currently in crisis. Greece was the example i brought up. Another question I asked was to know more about the selection criteria to EU countries to be a part of the ECB. The panel discussed this taking the current case of Turkey which is an apparent candidate yet on evaluation to assess whether or not it can join the ECB.

This conference was a great way for me to link up and connect with other participants. I was also glad that I had the opportunity to express my viewpoints on the pros and cons of the ECB. My last question I remember asking was about the ECB’s influence and stake in the management of old French colonies such as Cameroon and other central African states. I specifically brought up the issue on the colonial debt which till date, find absurd. Overall, this was an enriching experience and I hope that one day, I would be in position to influence the fiscal and monetary policies of the CEMAC countries to preserve the Franc CFA, our independence and therefore, autonomy.

And that was it for Frankfurt. I would have loved to shop especially Birkenstocks which I had planned but our schedule was tight and by the time we finished at the ECB, we just had under an hour to get to the mall and shop. And we were also hungry so food won! We went back to L’Osteria since it was close to the hotel.

Three nights and two days and next off was Paris! The picture below just shows how excited I was. There was so much to do in Paris (sight seeing, friends, family, doctors’ appointments, shopping, food). I was looking forward to it already.

img_3692.jpg

Fun Fact: If you are wondering why I was (we were) in trainers in most the photos, that is because we walked most of the time. I cannot recall us taking a taxi or the tram or bus at any point really so trainers were more convenient. Apart from that, they are comfortable.

Part 3 to come in the next post.

Thanks for reading.

19’s Observation.

 

 

EuroTrip 2018 – Red Lights District Amsterdam Anecdote!

Hi my loves!

Hope whereever you are reading me from, you are having a nice time.

Alright, this post is to bounce on from the previous post about my EuroTrip and would be a continuation of my Amsterdam experience.

I would be briefly (hopefully not too long) giving my anecdotes about Amsterdam.

So the first one is about my Red Light District Experience. Before you reading this post begins to imagine things, let me clarify. It’s about my experience visiting the red light district and nothing more haha.

I have never been around such “milieu” so I was not too sure what to expect. All I knew about red lights based on what my friends had told me prior to getting to Amsterdam and for sure, I knew it was that it is an area for prostitutes. But it was rated among the top places to go to when in Amsterdam so out of curiosity and in the company of my friends, we made our way to the famous “Red Lights” . I had never seen such a place before.

Everywhere was reddish and overcrowded. Of course this isn’t a picture taken by me. I just got this online because rule #1 – You don’t take pictures at the red light. I wish I had known this before hand…

While walking with my friends, my friend (Mia) had her phone out and was taking snaps of the girls on display.

Just as on the picture above until the young on display opened her door and aggressively bounced on my friend. She called her all sorts of names (bitch, fuckx bitch, stupid to name a few) and then asked her if she didn’t have respect for their work. She made my friend delete all videos and pictures she had taken and flung her phone. I was so not ready for that to happen and I was in so much shock that I just watched. We ended up apologising endlessly in hope that she doesn’t get physical.

At last, she told us to leave and insulted us again once more repeating we should have respect.

That word “respect” baffled me. Had I just heard a “prostitute” asking us to show respect. I was in complete disbelieve. Not that they do not deserve respect as human beings but asking me to show respect for their profession was not something I was ready to hear.

That whole evening, we debated upon whether or not prostitutes deserve respect with my friends.

IMG_0714

Personally, I do believe respect is a strong word. I think those who deserve respect are those who respect themselves. Selling your body in my opinion shows disrespect towards your own self, because you are lessening the value of who you are and it speaks volume about your character.

However, my friend (Ben) responded saying it would be totally be foolish to assume all prostitutes are morally corrupt individuals and hence do not deserve respect. He added, that “it’s supposed to be the world’s oldest profession and I see no problem with prostitutes who aren’t being coerced into sex by pimps.

Mia said added to this that “unfortunately, many prostitutes are basically slaves who have been sold into the sex trade. They are putting their lives in danger as the only means of survival.

IMG_3510

Regrettably, no matter how old the profession is, and the varying reasons behind prostitution, I would not agree to these ways and would therefore not be in support in any way.

Before I continue, I have to remind you that prostitution in Amsterdam is legal so a place like “The Red Lights” even have cobs walking around in search of their own pleasures.

Again, for me there’s no two way to go about this than having my answer from a biblical stance point (note how I do not refer to religion in anyway. – no matter the religion you follow, I know this is condemned by God).

Prostitution is in the same bundle as sexual immorality and if you read my previous post you will understand better (click here).

Proverbs 5: 3-14 God forbids involvement with prostitutes. And he does in so many other verses of the bible.

In Thessalonians 4: 3 it says, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality.

To sum up as a final opinion and building up on what I have said above, I believe they deserve to be treated as any other human being but having to respect their profession like the lady asked us at The Red Lights is not something I would do. Why would you want to be respected when you are on public display like a commodity/possession and selling/exposing your nakedness.

For sure God looks at the hearts and him alone can judge them however, my faith in Him because He forbids any involvement with prostitutes because He knows how detrimental it is.

God’s desire is that we stay pure and use our bodies as tools for His use and glory (Romans 6:13)

And before you think God doesn’t forgive prostitution, He does because prostitutes aren’t beyond God’s scope of forgiveness. Remember the story of Rahab (Joshua 2:1, 6:17-25). Anyone has the opportunity to receive salvation and eternal life from God, to be cleansed of all their unrighteousness and be given a brand new life. All you need to do is to repent and believe in God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come

I will love to have your own thoughts. Let me know what you think about respecting prostitutes and prostitution as a job.

See you in the next post!!!

EuroTrip – Part 2

19’s Observations.

EuroTrip 2018 – Part 1 – Amsterdam

Hi guys,

Greetings from Exeter, United Kingdom. Yes for once, it’s not London… Its about 2.00 AM and I am still awake because I woke up from a late nap two hours ago (That’s how you know Uni has messed up your cycle)…

At the start of the year, I promised to post once every month but unfortunately, that has not been the case because of priorities and more importantly because, I tend to write when I feel inspired to and not as a sort of routine.

Anyway, tonight I felt like sharing a post on my Easter break EuroTrip!

Background

In my plans for 2018, I had promised myself that I was going to live for me and be happy, treat myself if I wanted to (of course considering bank account’s status) and not let things happening around me get to me and steal my joy. I decided that safety was longer an option or a word in my life and I was open to adventures. I was ready to get out of my comfort zone and do things I have always thought of doing but was defeated by fear or guts.

I really love travelling but at first I would not be bothered to plan these trips or I felt as though I needed approval (from my parents) before going on crazy trips. If it was not a family vacation which was booked by my parents, I would not bother myself with planing and organising (i.e. visa application, flight bookings, hotel/apartment reservations, attractions and sight seeing plan..).

I would literally give up as soon as the desire to travel somewhere comes because I could not imagine myself doing all the paperwork by myself and simply booking a visa appointment. But this was because I left home at the age of sixteen and before that pretty much everything was done for me. All I had to do in the past was to show up (chuckles).

Making these changes allowed me to travel in April to four countries in Europe. I started planning this since January and by April 1st I was on my way for the first destination – Amsterdam!!!

IMG_3564

I went with couple of friends from University and we lodged at IBIS Hotels in the city centre, which was pretty close to everything. Of course, it was the city centre. The same evening once we got there, we settled in an went out to have dinner.

One thing I did not know about Amsterdam is how expensive it is. Just to have a decent warm meal, you should plan around 25 Euros (just for the main). But trust us students to find the cheap spots and chinese!

The following day started off with visiting museums with one of my friends who equally loves Arts and Exhibitions. On our way we noticed that just at every corner, there were Tulips. And then a bit of research and quick chats around, and we realised that Amsterdam is popular for their Tulips gardens and museums and we were right by it.

IMG_0576

IMG_3802

We visited Rijiks which is the museum of modern arts and Stedelijk Museums. The Van Gogh museum is also pretty popular but you need to book it way in advance as tickets sell out quite fast. Visiting the museums took us almost the whole morning till about early afternoon (1.00pm). There are so many pictures I took but I will just show a few.

IMG_0584

IMG_0630

Managed to get this picture from the Rijiks museum. This is one of my favourite pictures I tool for the entire trip.

IMG_0612

I am that one friend with creative weird poses so I would take 10 000 pictures on the same spot but with different poses. Shout of to my friend a.k.a photographerofthetrip for her patience.

IMG_3474

I love this picture not only because of the position of the cubes and the wall paper but also because it shows my skin tone in its realest everyday state without any lighting, or make up. I really do love my dark skin and I cannot imagine myself a different skin tone.

Next from my time is Amsterdam was visit the canals and just admiring the beauty of the city with it’s numerous bikes (Guys, I think you would never see the number of bicycles I saw in Amsterdam anywhere else. It’s insane. They have parkings (up to 1000 spaces) for bikes).

IMG_0689IMG_3520

As courageous as I am, I found myself asking the boat driver if I could take the picture on her seat driving the boat and she nicely said Yes! So I did. If you wish to visit the city by boat through its canals, just look for the popular cruises called “Hop and Hoff”

IMG_0697

The craziest part about Amsterdam was to go on a swing on a rooftop on top of a tower which is 100 metres from the ground (my old self would have never done that, never). I was so scared and definitely screamed but I am happy I did it. It just reminded me about the common fact that “most of the times, for a lot of people including myself, we let our fears get to us so much that we don’t even realise the strength that lies in us”. We are quick to give up, to say no, to not try and that, actually makes us miss our ‘blessings’ in so many ways.

IMG_3601

The rooftop swing A’DAM Lookout and it is so beautiful in there. I loved my journey to get to the place and experience the swing. First, a cruise, then, building itself which has a lot of fancy things (overpriced for the shops) but really good spot for pictures.

And here we go:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There was so much to visit in Amsterdam and it cannot be contained in just one post and there are so many more pictures and anecdotes I wish to tell you guys about but I guess that would be for another time. I would do a sub post on my recommendations and the things to do while in Amsterdam.

To sum up, this was the mood in which I left Amsterdam for the next stop – Frankfurt.

IMG_0765

Till next time guys.

Much love xx

19 Observations.